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photo by Sean Cousins











It's Happening! 

And this time, bigger and better than before.

The 2015 trip was an absolute beauty. 


The 2016 Cambodia "make a film, make a difference" Trip

will run 7th -17th September 2016.


Why better than before?

Well, it's two days longer than last year's trip and...

we are offering more options:

Make an observational documentary - experience what it's like to work in the television industry

Make a travel documentary - an entree into the world of online travel filmmaking

Make a poetic documentary - perfect 'calling card' for aspiring cinematographers

Improve your photographic skills with a professional photographer as your mentor

in one of the best places on Earth to take photographs


We love Cambodia!  This wonderful country, with a troubled and complicated history, is the perfect location for making your documentary film.  As ever, we have researched a long list of stories to choose from.  Steve is about to set off on this year's 'recce' and should turn up lots of great new stories. He'll be on the look out for stories with the potential to make a brilliant short doco. Just the thing for a short film festival, or perhaps as a 'calling card' to the elite film school you are hoping to get in to. 

Our base for the 11 day experience is Siem Reap, the city closest to stunning Angkor Wat.

Each filmmaking team gets their own fixer/translator and vehicle to get them around and assist with logistics.  

There are two mentors on the trip; Sean Cousins (company founder) and Steve Warne (ex-Film Victoria). Collectively they have almost 50 years filmmaking experience.  Sean and Steve both teach documentary in film schools, in addition to working as filmmakers. They share a passion for story craft and teaching and bring a diverse range of production experiences to share with the participants. 

This year we will also have photographer and photography educator Clive Hutchison on the trip to mentor photography students/enthusiasts.

'Two-person teams' and 'filmmaking couples', are a great tradition in documentary filmmaking; Dardennes bros, Maysles bros, Connelly & Anderson etc.  We strongly encourage couples or teams to apply.  A reduced rate is offered to those who wish to work in two-person teams with a single camera.

PRICE for 2016. in Australian Dollars



Payment by Invoice. Contact us

The cost includes, as well as mentorship and your own fully researched story, accomodation, transfers, transport, your own 'fixer' and many meals.

An additional fee is charged for the use of a professional video camera, sound equipment, and all associated insurances.

There is a single supplement fee for those requiring their own room.



The Cambodia "Make a film, Make a difference" trip offers travellers who want a bit more from their time overseas, a truly unique experience. Instead of just moving about taking photos, this is your chance to make your own documentary film, or master your documentary photography skills, with personalised tuition from experienced professionals.

You get the chance to 'embed' with the local community and really get to know the place.  And you have access to a list of outstanding stories suitable for a short documentary that we've spent months sourcing and researching for you.  You'll stay in quality accommodation and you'll be provided with your own local fixer/translator and your own personal transport in the form of a tuk-tuk.

No previous filmmaking or photography experience is required but we are trying to give you an experience as close to that of a professional crew as possible. In addition you'll get hands-on in-the-field filmmaking, guidance and advice from filmmaking mentors Sean Cousins and Steve Warne, plus after-hours tuition in story craft and reviewing of ‘rushes’. Photographers will be mentored by an experienced documentary photographer.  There’s also time set aside to visit some of Cambodia’s hidden treasures lead by expert guides. Part of your fee will be directed to a local charity.

Note: There is an application process, which involves completing an application form and a short phone interview.



Detailed Itinerary from 2016 


Day 1:  Arrive in Siam Reap 7th Sept

A private transfer will escort you to your hotel; you can spend what remains of the day relaxing or reading over your story notes and research material, or getting to know your camera and sound recording equipment. We can hand it all over to you today or tomorrow, depending on your preference.

Day 2: Orientation 8th Sept

AM: Briefing at the hotel This is a chance for you to really get to know your filmmaking mentors and tour guides. You will familiarize yourself with the high quality equipment and have all your questions answered. Notes on filmmaking and the stories that await you are provided if you didn’t collect them yesterday. We want to hear what you hope to get out of this opportunity, because we understand everyone has slightly different expectations and we want to tailor the experience to meet your needs and desires. A local ‘fixer’ in the film industry is mandatory when filming OS. This morning you’ll meet your own “right hand”. Your personal 'driver/translator/guide' will introduce you to the characters for your film and take you daily to your location.

PM: Travel to individual film locations It’s time to get started. Visit your location, meet your character/subject, recce the township, further familiarize yourself with the gear. There will be a team of us there to support you. We’ll work out the specifics at the time, based on story needs, personal requirements levels of experience etc. Later that night we’ll all gather in the hotel and those brave enough to share can show rushes from the day’s shoot. We’ll provide feedback public and private, again, depending on your.

Days 3 & 4: Roll camera! 9th & 10th Sept

Everyone sets off this morning to their various locations. Expect one of the mentors will join you to offer support and advice. You’ll have our local mobiles of course - as well as the local travel agent - should you need assistance of any kind. Some films will require evening shooting (eg. The circus story) so you may choose to have a later start to the day. Have a look at the list of story possibilities at the end of this document if you haven’t yet.

Day 5: REST DAY Sunday 11th Sept


Details of the day’s itinerary can be found at the end of the page.

Day 6 & 7 & 8 & 9: Shooting continues. 12 - 15th Sept

After an enjoyable rest day spent exploring the Angkor temples far from the tourist hordes, it’s back to the task at hand. The next two days are critical to capturing your story… And the mentors are there to help you realise your creative potential.

Day 10: final shooting day 16th 

AM: Spend the morning shooting pick-ups or finalising your film.

PM: Data wrangling. Hand back cameras and other equipment. You still have use of your driver/translator and vehicle this day so you may want to take the chance to do some shopping or more sightseeing. And that night we have a special treat in store. It’s not a film without a wrap party - and this will be one to remember. Do what you need to do. Because folks, that’s a wrap!

Day 11: Travel Day 17th 

Final good-byes…

• Your private transfer will deliver you safely to your outbound flight.

• It’s time to begin planning your edit.


For the latest pricing information click on the link "register your interest" at the bottom of this page. There's no obligation!



- Private transfer from Siem Reap Airport to your hotel.

- Accommodation including all taxes and breakfast each day.

- Activities and additional tours as per itinerary.

- Private transfer to the airport at the conclusion of your experience.

- Trip ends at Siem Reap Airport.

- Drinking water provided daily.

- Luggage handling to and from the airport.


- Mentorship and tuition

- A list of stories and accompanying research notes to assist you in your filmmaking.

- A private driver/translator with vehicle for the duration of your stay.


- International Airfares to and from Cambodia.

- Visa fee on arrival US$25/pp(as applicable). Or book your e-visa on line before you arrive.

- Meals and beverages except those mentioned in itinerary.

- Extra activities (not included in the itinerary).

- Items of a personal nature, Tips and Gratuities etc.

- Insurance (except for camera and other filming equipment).

- We strongly recommend you take out adequate travel insurance for Cambodia.

- In the unlikely event that there are any changes imposed by National Government or recognised authorities in taxation treatment or ticket entry fees these costs may be passed on to the customer. NOTES: Remember to pack light. You’ll have a personal bag to carry as well as your Pelican case if you leave from Melbourne. We’ll provide more information on packing and other logistical and health matters, such as immunisations, when you place your booking.

Optional Extra One:

If you don't have your own gear or you would prefer to use ours we can arrange for you to hire a wide variety of equipment, including video cameras, lights, radio mics, tripods etc. Give me a call and I'll discuss how it works.  Sean +61 414 659579

Optional Extra Two:

Post Production: supervision during a week of out of suite assembly and two weeks in a professional edit suite with a professional editor and supervision and assistance in shaping your story from Filmmaker Abroad Founder, Sean Cousins, in Melbourne.  The cost also includes access to a vast music library and mastering to the format of your choice plus your movie on a branded Filmmaker Abroad USB stick.  Furthermore, it automatically provides you with a distribution agreement for your film and wild reels with a major distribution company, giving you the chance to recoup costs. Contact us for costs.



I am really excited to be running the Cambodia trip again.  Once again we will have a great range of stories to choose from.  Booking early gives you the best chance of “cherry-picking” the story that most appeals to you.  But don’t worry there’s a rich and diverse list to choose from.

As always we are trying to give you an experience as close as possible to that of a professional film crew.  We’ll stay in carefully selected quality hotels that speak to the vibrancy of New Cambodia, with its burgeoning art scene.  We’ll have time off to recharge our batteries literally and figuratively.  A chance to do some sight seeing in the shadow of one of the man-made wonders of the world, Angkor Wat. With our excellent local contacts we can offer wonderful insights into Khmer history, ancient and more recent – you let us know what you’re interested in.

And of course we’ll make films - and take photographs.  We’ll drill down into our stories, finding their heart and allowing them to take shape with regular “rushes” screenings and feedback sessions. Photographers will get the chance to share and discuss their days work too.

We understand that everyone will want to tell their story in their own style.  So, before we begin filming, we’ll listen to each of the participants about their approach to filming. We will do our utmost to ensure you get to tell the story in the way you want to.  There’s no cookie cutter approach here. That’s the beauty and the challenge for us as mentors.   And we are thrilled by the prospect of producing eight original works in this amazing country.  



register your interest