Feature Film Development Lab


Duration: 6 months, full-time
Intakes: October and January each year
Hours: Tailored to the requirements of the individual/group. Typically 10.00-17.00

Are you a writer, director, producer or a team looking to get a feature film project off the ground? Join our intense development programme, designed to move your project from idea or concept into a fully developed feature package and enhance its credentials to financiers or production companies. Over 6 months you focus your creative energy on writing, directing and producing to progress your project in a practical filmmaking environment. Through an advanced programme tailored to suit your needs, our Feature Film Development Lab will help you develop your craft, refining your skills and understanding as well as fulfilling the potential of your feature film idea.

With the support of our pool of professional writers, directors and producers, your project will get bespoke support and mentorship, leading to the delivery of a developed feature film script, the production of supporting visual material (in the form of a trailer, pilot, or sample scene, for example), and training in specific areas to support your pursuit of raising additional finance.

Consolidate your talents, knowledge and experience through seminars, workshops and extensive interaction with film & TV industry professionals. Working with a number of writers and directors will expose you to various filmmaking approaches and methods while nurturing your own style.  We provide you with key networking opportunities, encouraging you to forge relationships with professionals that continue beyond the end of the course.

London Film Academy’s Feature Film Development Lab is open to individual writers, directors & producers as well as teams comprising 2-3 of the above. You are expected to have previously written, directed or produced short films or have proven substantial experience in TV, theatre or other areas of the media, and to bring to the course ideas for a feature film project you wish to develop. 

This course has been approved and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick



Visual Storytelling

Feature Film Project

You put your passion for an idea into practice and develop your feature film project through writing seminars. You complete a synopsis and treatment and begin writing your screenplay. Supervised by an experienced screenwriter, the supportive discussion of one another’s work illustrates how projects are developed in the industry. You develop pitching techniques before projects are initially pitched to industry guests. Feedback is received before writing commences.

Visual Grammar

Seminars look at developing your understanding of the use of the camera as a storytelling tool and how this integrates with the vision and style of individual feature film projects. They also look at choices made in your previous work – including the use of selective focus, blocking, moving camera and composition – as well as explore the work of other directors.

Directing Actors

Within practical workshop sessions you work with actors to develop your directing technique in a supportive environment. Topics include: improvisation; emotional memory; immediate experience; blocking; Method or other schools of acting; and the art of structuring rehearsals for maximum benefit.

The Collaborators

Seminars with professionals with whom directors collaborate to realise their visions include: directors of photography, production designers, producers, 1st assistant directors and editors.

Development & Pre-production

Feature Film Project

Throughout this phase you continue writing your feature film screenplays. Comments from peers and industry professionals continue to feed back into the writing process, encouraging the development of strong, smart and intelligently written screenplays. Suitable material for the pilot project is selected.

Pilot Project

Once material has been selected you spend a significant part of this phase in pre-production for these projects. Advised by film & TV industry professionals, you develop a pilot that supports the future pitching of your feature film project.

Digital Workshops

In these sessions give you workshop aspects of your feature film projects and integrate the skills developed from seminars. You work on several week-long practical directing workshops, shooting on digital cameras and working with professional actors under the supervision of guest directors. Acting as crew when not directing, you gain the benefit of other directors’ workshops and the input of the guest director.

Entering the Industry

Feature Film Project

Complete your feature film screenplays with the support of one-to-one meetings with a screenwriting tutor. Build on previously developed pitching techniques and skills with the opportunity to pitch your project to industry guests.

Pilot Project

You work with outside professional crew and aim to produce a pilot project with high production values that represents and sells your feature film screenplay. These projects give you the chance to showcase your creative voice and the skills honed during the previous phases. The content of your pilot project can be a sample scene, trailer or short. It can also be a visual presentation or mood board, comprising clips, footage, music or photography, which demonstrates your ambition and vision for your project. Please note that you need to raise an additional budget for the pilot project so you can be as ambitious as your ideas demand and the money you raise can justify.

Pitching to the Industry & Professional Development

You attend seminars and pitching sessions with guests from the film industry, including producers, agents and development executives. You learn about the world of finance, co-productions, funding resources and distribution. We support your professional development during and after the course. You go through intensive pitching sessions, both written and verbal, to understand the level of professionalism the industry requires. We continue to offer you career and business advice long after graduation via our Filmmaker’s Club.

Enhancing Students Film-School Experience

Together, students form lasting professional and personal relationships. LFA is a filmmaking community that operates like a production company. Students from all courses regularly support one another, thus enhancing their film-school experience: for example, the multi-disciplinary aspect of the Filmmaking Diploma enables graduates to crew for the Feature Film Development Lab projects; the Screenwriting Diploma students submit scripts for production and join the sets of the Filmmaking Diploma students’ films.


To book your place on this course please:
Apply online or 
Apply by post/fax, print out the application form and post to London Film Academy, 52A Walham Grove, London, SW6 1QR, email admissions@londonfilmacademy.com or fax to 0207 381 6116. As soon as we've received your application we’ll send you a confirmation email containing payment details. Please check your ‘Junk Mail’ folder if you appear to have not received this email.


  • Bachelors degree or equivalent, however, we may also consider students with a non-traditional background on the strength of their pervious work experience and/or portfolio
  • Visual and written work submitted prior to attending an interview - we are looking for potential creative ability as evidenced through visual and written material
  • Fluency in English language (minimum of IELTS score 6.5 or equivalent)
  • Some practical experience in film production is desirable, except in cases where student can demonstrate transferable skills in other relevant areas

All international students outside of the EEA (non-EU countries) must obtain a Tier 4 General Student Visa to enter the UK. Please see Visa Information for more details.

Application Checklist

NB. All applicants must be writers-directors or apply as a writer-director partnership where individuals submit work specific to their profession.

Please submit the following:

  • Director’s show reel
  • Writer’s show reel. Two of the following: Short film screenplay, feature film treatment of 10-15 pages, the first 20 pages of a feature script
  • Project pitch: A one-page script synopsis of work submitted
  • If applying as a partnership you also need to include: A written history of the writing and directing partnership 

Please see Feature Film Development Lab Application Checklist for further details

What kind of students are we looking for?

  • Those with a certain level of previous experience - through either short filmmaking or comparable media (TV, theatre or commercials) - who are looking for professional development and can only afford a short period away from paid employment
  • Committed and dedicated people, who have a proven passion for filmmaking and who want a professional career in film or television
  • Collaborative, articulate and creative people who can demonstrate a strong instinct for the grammar of visual storytelling

To apply online please click on the course date below.

There are no set dates for this course at the moment.

Please register your interest with us and we will contact you as soon as a date has been set for this course

Alternatively please call us on +44 (0) 20 7386 7711 or email us info@londonfilmacademy.com for more information.

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