Motion Picture Production

Full-Time One-Year Diploma. Next intake September 23rd, 2019.

The Motion Picture Production Program is designed for students wanting to become fully qualified independent filmmakers, or are looking to launch a rewarding career in the film and television industry.

Why you should study with us:

The Motion Picture Production program will guide students through every step of the creative process, from that first spark of an idea through to distribution of the finished project. 

In addition to helping students hone their creative talents, the program also gives students an in-depth understanding of the business side of the industry, teaching them about legal clearances, funding sources, tax credits, budgeting, and how to successfully navigate through the legal entanglements of contracts, agreements, and financing to maintain ownership of their intellectual property. 

Through a series of lectures, workshops, exercises, and student projects, students will gain invaluable experience in scriptwriting, cinematography, directing, editing, sound recording, set decoration, lighting and special effects, as well as learn about film theory and the subtle nuances of visual storytelling. 

Students complete several projects throughout the program, including a commercial, public service announcement, short documentary, and a number of short films, creating a body of work that can be used as a 'calling card' for future endeavours. 

Each student has the opportunity to write and direct their own final projects, and to experience a variety of on-set crew roles while working with other students and faculty mentors. Upon completion, students will be knowledgeable and skilled filmmakers ready to share their creative visions and talents with the world.

Career Options:

Upon graduation students will be able to apply for entry level positions in film and television industry, create their own independent film or start a small production company.

Tuition and Lab Fees: 
Fees for all the programs are listed on page 3 of our Application Form.

Full Time Application Form
Student Reel 2017

"I came to PDA with no experience or skills for making a film, but after completing the
course I am capable of completing a project from concept to release."

Student 1

"PDA was extremely beneficial in networking with many people in the local film industry.
That in itself will allow my future to continue."

Student 2

"Great school, great program! 10/10 would get educated again."

Student 3

Course Description:

Students learn the role of the Producer, Assistant Director and Production Management. While the MPP projects are developed throughout all the classes, the Production Class is where the logistics, problem solving, and filming takes place. As Producers, the students are responsible for acquiring all the rights and releases for their projects, as well as creating budgets and scheduling their shoots. Includes Commercial and Documentary production.

The Cinematography class is designed to realize how best to achieve the look of your film, as well as the most important principles in Camera Functions and Lighting. The course explores various applications of lighting in different shooting scenarios. Students learn about Principles of exposure, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Lenses / Filters, Depth of Field, Focus, Lighting, Camera Angle, Composition and Framing.

Business of Film
The Business of Film class focuses on maintaining chain of title and looks at production insurance, filming permits, Errors and Omissions Insurance, tax credits, co-productions, funding, and marketing independent films.

Throughout this course students will focus on the role of the editor and the use of editing within creative storytelling. Examination of contemporary editing styles paired with a technical approach to Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere will facilitate hands-on learning from the rough-cut stage to the finished product. Students will acquire the tools and techniques needed to edit video, audio and visual effects in High Definition formats.

The sound class focuses on the techniques of gathering location and studio sound. Students are taught the importance and interaction between sound and image. Students are given practical exercises in recording dialogue and building soundscapes during the post production process.

Learn the basics of storytelling and screenplay writing, how to create your own stories and develop your writing to attract an audience. Students learn about character development, scene development, dramatic conflict, plot structure, dialogue, pacing and how best to address the complexities of the 3-act structure. All of this, to bring your story off the page and onto the screen.

Visual Storytelling
Through lecture and hands-on training, students learn to understand the grammar of film, how images work and how to plan and prepare for a film shoot of any size or imagination.

Learn what directing is and how to do it, by shaping shot selection, shooting style, story points and actors’ performances to get the film you visualize onto the screen.

FX for Film
Learn the basics to intermediate functions of Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. Students are given a series of exercises as well as 1 on 1 mentoring to help them create titles and basic effects such as muzzle flashes, blood splatters, compositing, green screen and more. Much of this class evolves around the students needs and skill set.

Various Workshops are held throughout the year. These include: Film Industry Orientation Program with WHMIS, Traffic Control Training Course, field trips (when available) and visiting independent filmmakers.

Samples of Student work:

Shelbourne Community Kitchen
Elements Pharmacy
Men's Trauma Centre PSA
1UP Single Parents PSA
Animated Logos


Head of Motion Picture Production
Peter earned a Communications degree, specializing in audience studies and broadcast media from Simon Fraser. He worked on: “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,” “The L Word,” “The Chris Isaak Show” and “All Gone Pete Tong.” He taught at the Vancouver Film School, and then moved to 20th Century Fox to acquire legal releases and product placement deals for “Dolittle 3.” He worked as VFX Coordinator for “Air Buddies”, then as a Project Supervisor for Technicolor Creative Services. He headed the Post Production department for Parallax Film Productions Inc. where he worked on “Blowdown” and “Ancient Megastructures” for National Geographic and the History Channel.