module specification

SJ4046 - Moving Image and Sound Practice (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Moving Image and Sound Practice
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
180 hours Guided independent study
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Photographic image and storyboard + 500 word analyses OR 1000 word written case study
Coursework 25%   Soundscape for an existing piece of digital video + 500 word critical reflection on production process OR 1000 word writ
Coursework 20%   1000 word essay
Coursework 30%   Shooting and editing project (5 mins approx.) + 500 word critical reflection on production process OR 1200 word written
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon
Year (Spring and Summer) North Friday Morning
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces students to a range of photographic and digital video and sound practices, through a variety of practical exercises. This will provide them with a range of potentially employable skills. Through this practical engagement with digital video and photographic technologies, students will also reach a greater understanding of a number of theories and histories relating to photography and to the moving image and sound.

Module aims

This module aims to:

• introduce students to the fundamental technology of both DSLR photography and digital video and sound production, and to a range of basic practical skills necessary for each

• provide students, therefore, with a range of potentially employable skills and capabilities

• support some of the theoretical priorities of the School of Media, Culture & Communications courses, including Film and Television Studies, by exposing students to various aspects of digital video and sound production and DSLR photography

• present these practical introductions in relation to the histories and a number of theories of moving image and sound, and in relation to various media and cultural theories (including those they have encountered or are likely to encounter on other School modules) that assume, or assert, a relationship between moving image and photography, and to analyze this practice/theory process through written reflection on the practical work

• provide students with the experience of collaborative working practices and to reflect on their benefits and difficulties, particularly in relation to individual/group co-ordination, all of which are important components for future employability

• prepare students for a ‘practical-theoretical’ strand of School of Media, Culture & Communications modules at levels 5 and 6, including the level 6 Project.


In relation to photography, through short lectures and workshops students will investigate history, genres, questions of realism, close textual analysis of both still and moving images, temporal and spatial montage, and photomontage. Students will also participate in practical workshops in storyboarding with images.

In relation to moving image and sound practices, through short lectures and workshops students will investigate continuity editing (and alternatives), sound/image relations, mise en scène, particularly lighting, various sound (including sound art) practices, narrative and genre, camera, lighting and sound technology, analogue/digital historical comparisons, and there will be workshops on group production strategies and the close textual analysis of moving images and sound. Students will also participate in practical workshops in HDV/DV camerawork, lighting, microphone use, adherence to Health and Safety precautions, and use of Adobe Premiere Pro software for image/sound editing in a Mac lab.

Learning and teaching

This module seeks to consolidate a ‘practice/theory’ approach on courses within the School of Media, Culture & Communications, including Film and Television Studies, by exposing students to various aspects of digital video and audio production and DSLR photography, and importantly to complement the foundation of various media and cultural theoretical knowledge gained overall at level 4.

Weekly, three hour teaching sessions are divided between: lectures, close analysis workshops (both in class and in Mac lab) and practical equipment workshops (both in class, studio and Mac lab). All teaching materials will also be co-ordinated and archived on WebLearn.

There are a number of informally assessed, individual exercises, providing opportunities for both formative and diagnostic feedback: close textual analysis of still images and short moving image and sound clips in class, note-taking exercises during clip analysis, short in-camera exercises (storyboarded) to practice shooting for continuity editing, lighting, microphone use and sound recording, and introductory editing exercises, close analysis of ‘average shot length’ of chosen film and television clips and introductory Adobe Photoshop work, all in Mac lab workshops.

Group work is expected, i.e., students to work on others’ projects, and this is expected to take place not only within but also outside weekly class time. This will be an important learning experience, in terms of potential employability, particularly in the context of potential future media work (e.g. media production, post-production, media journalism, etc.)

There are opportunities for those students wishing to pursue theoretical study only (i.e. not wishing to participate directly in practical work, either video or photographic): to utilize research methods introduced on other level 4 cores in the School of Media, Culture & Communications, in order to conduct a case study of the production process of one or more of the other students’ production work on the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will have acquired the practical skills necessary to:

• produce digital photographic images, e.g., operation of DSLR cameras, digital photographic reproduction and image manipulation

• produce and edit digital video and audio material, e.g., operation of HDV/DV cameras and microphones, careful use of lighting equipment, storyboarding, image and sound editing (e.g. use of Adobe Premiere Pro software on Mac), adherence to Health and Safety precautions

• gain, therefore, a range of potentially employable skills.

On successful completion of this module, students will also have:

• gained an understanding of many of the relationships between film and television theory and video-making practice, between the still and the moving image, and between sound and moving image

• made a critical evaluation and comparison of individual and collective modes of working

• gained experience of the importance of time management, especially under conditions of limited resources and external time constraints

• been encouraged, through group work on the module, to acquire and/or develop personal qualities (such as independence, ability to take responsibility, self-esteem and confidence) and transferable skills (such as negotiating/working effectively with others, communication, objective setting, planning and creativity)

Assessment strategy

There will be FOUR assessment items for all students, including theoretical and practical work. Students will normally work on a photographic-based assignment, an exercise in digital sound practice, a short group video production, and a short essay, analyzing some aspects of photographic and moving image/sound history, genre and practice. Apart from the essay, which all students are expected to complete, individual students have the option of completing three other written-only outcomes instead: three in-depth case studies of production work (by other students on the module) on the three assignments.

Practical projects are individually assessed, but students are expected to work co-operatively as crew members, as appropriate to specific production tasks on each other’s projects.

Both sets of students will also be expected to produce one academic essay, analyzing questions of genre and mise en scène, arising from the practical (photographic, and moving image and sound production) work on the module, as well as reflecting on the process of practice/theory interaction throughout.

The alternative, ‘case studies’ assessment option will be based on the work of other students’ projects for this module and should include some visual documentation.


Bolter, J. D. and R. Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (Cambridge, Mass./London: MIT Press, 1999)
Bordwell, D. and K. Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, various edn (N.Y.: McGraw Hill)
Cook, P. and M. Bernink (eds), The Cinema Book, 3rd edn (London: British Film Institute, 2007)
Elsey, E. and A. Kelly, In Short: A Guide to Short Film-making in the Digital Age (London: BFI, 2002)
Gibbs, T., The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Sound Design (Worthing: AVA Academia, 2007)
Licht, A., Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories (Milan: Rizzoli International Publs, 2007)
Manovich, L., ‘What is Digital Cinema?’, in N. Mirzoeff, N. (ed.), The Visual Culture Reader, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 1998), pp. 405-416
Middleton, C., The Complete Guide to Digital Audio: A Comprehensive Introduction to Digital Sound and Music-making (Lewes: Ilex, 2004)
Millerson, G., Lighting for Television and Film (Oxford: Focal Press, 1999)
Musburger, R.B., Single Camera Video Production (Burlington, Mass: 2010)
Nelmes, J. (ed.), An Introduction to Film Studies, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 1999)
Rice, J. and B. McKernan, Creating Digital Content: Video Production for Web, Broadcast, and Cinema (N.Y: McGraw-Hill, 2001)
Tomlinson, H., Sound for Digital Video (Burlington, Mass: Focal Press, 2013)
Watkinson, J., An Introduction to Digital Audio (Oxford: Focal Press, 2002)
Watkinson, J., The Art of Digital Video, 8th edn (Oxford: Focal Press, 2008)
Wayne, M., Theorising Video Practice (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1997)
Wells, L., Photography: A Critical Introduction (London: Routledge, 1996)

+ various online links/resources, e.g.:

V&A ‘Photography’:
Guardian 'Photography':
BFI Screenonline:
No Film School:
Box of Broadcasts:
Adobe Premiere Pro DV editing tutorials:
BBC Academy: