SJ5042 - Film and Television Practice (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||Film and Television Practice|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||School of Computing and Digital Media|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2020/21||
This module will enable students to explore a range of film and television moving image texts through practical exercises, experimentation, observation, analysis and documentation. Focusing on a series of key texts, through screenings, lectures, workshops and seminars, students will gain an enhanced understanding of how the key technical aspects – production development, cinematography, design, performance, sound, editing, post-production and effects – shape a work’s narrative, language, genre, and ideology.
Students will also engage with a range of aspects of television production, from producing and directing to technical roles, providing an opportunity to gain useful transferrable skills for employability within the broadcast television and film sectors. This practice-led work will be underpinned by a carefully critical approach to television conventions and analyses of television product in order to extend students' theoretical knowledge and understanding of the television industry. Students will be encouraged to work as self-motivated reflective practitioners, operating effectively within a team to produce a television programme.
The main aims of this module are to:
1) introduce students to various techniques in relation to contemporary television production in order to develop student knowledge and understanding of television production roles and enable students to build effectively on knowledge and skills in all aspects of production.
2) foster a critical and analytical approach to practical work, enabling students to gain further understanding (through practice) of critical theories arising on courses within the School of Computing and Digital Media with respect to narrative, genre codes and conventions and audience contexts.
3) introduce students to a range of appropriate digital video techniques for contemporary video production enabling them to build on existing L4 skills in cinematography, sound and post-production.
4) enable students to work effectively as part of a production team and encourage them to recognize the importance of effective communication and co-operative working strategies for the development of film and television projects. 5) enable students to gain and develop a range of transferable skills in audio-visual production and in working effectively with critical concepts in a practice-led context
Prior learning requirements
The first half of the module will focus on a series of key texts, selected to enable students to explore a range of television and film output through practical exercises, experimentation, observation, analysis and documentation. Through lectures, screenings, workshops and seminars, students will analyze the aesthetic and formal properties of a range of genres including the silent film, melodrama/soap, science fiction, independent cinema, social realism, experimental film and contemporary documentary. Module content will build on the study of narrative structure undertaken by most students at Level 4. The key practical assignment will be planning, presentation and making of a 1-minute ‘silent’ film that explores genre and narrative visual storytelling. LO1-2
In the second half of the module, the main practical production task will be the planning, presentation and making of a teaser/pilot for a television broadcaster. Students will be encouraged to devise and contribute core elements of their ‘TV Pitch’, thus learning to operate as self-motivated, freelance practitioners. This part of the syllabus will place an emphasis on developing professional communication skills and effective team-work. LO1-4
Students will also learn about distinct conventions of television as differentiated from film production practices. They will be introduced to the historical development of television practices and theoretical perspectives on television and will be encouraged to adopt a critical and analytical approach to codes and conventions as reflective practitioners. Theoretical and critical material will continue to be integrated with practical production elements throughout the course, following a ‘theory/practice’ model. LO2-3
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
This module will be taught using a range of strategies including film screenings, lectures, directed reading, seminars, discussions, group and individual tutorials, with practical exercises in aspects of video production. Following each of the practical video and research exercises, there will be opportunities for informally presenting work in class and students will be able to benefit from peer critique and tutor feedback. All teaching materials will also be co-ordinated and archived on WebLearn.
Students will be supported through individual and group tutorials, in devising relevant theoretical underpinning for their various production activities. Practical skills including cinematography, production planning, editing and digital post–production will be taught via a series of workshops in a Mac lab.
The main items for assessment will be produced both individually or in pairs, and in small groups. There will be a focus on transferrable skills such as co-operative working, communication and working with others. Tutors will offer feedback in these important employable skills during simulated working situations and students will have to document how they have worked with others in the course of their television production work. Students will be expected to document the processes of all their planning and will be assessed on working process and development of appropriate material via their participation in pre-production presentations during the year, and via their individual written reflections.
On successful completion of this module, students will have acquired the practical and theoretical skills necessary to:
1. make effective use of video production equipment, including cameras, lights, sound recording, editing and a range of post-production techniques in order to create television programming
2. gain extended knowledge of the aesthetic and formal properties of a range of film and television genres and will have been able to focus on specific examples in practice
3. formulate television programme content and demonstrate initiative in devising appropriate material, carrying out primary and practical research tasks specific to the television context and making appropriate use of research resources in order to ‘pitch’ a television concept to a relevant broadcaster
4. work competently and effectively and collaborate as a team member in the production of a television programme/pilot
There will be FOUR assessment items for all students, including theoretical and practical work:
Assessment 1: all students (in individuals or pairs) will have to compile a presentation (10%) of their practical and theoretical planning for a 1 min. silent film.
Assessment 2: all students (in individuals or pairs) will be expected to produce a one-minute silent film sequence (25%); plus 500 word individual written reflection (10%) on how their film has fulfilled the aims outlined in their planning presentation.
Assessment 3: all students (in small groups) will complete a ‘practice/theory’ presentation + pitch (10%) for a television show.
Assessment 4: all students (in larger production groups) will be expected to produce a pilot/teaser for a television show (30%); plus 1000 word individual written reflection (15%) on how the television show pilot has fulfilled the aims outlined in their planning/pitch presentation.
Allen, R.C. and A. Hill, The Television Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 2004)
Ascher, S. and E. Pincus, The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (N.Y.: Dutton/Plume, 2nd edition, 2007)
Bordwell, D. and K. Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, various edn (N.Y.: McGraw Hill)
Comer, S. (ed.), Film and Video Art (London: Tate Publ., 2009)
Creeber, G., The Television Genre Book (London: BFI, 2002)
Cury, I., Directing and Producing for Television (Burlington, Mass: Focal Press, 2007)
Dovey, J., Freakshow: First Person Media and Factual Television (London: Pluto Press, 2000)
Eisenstein, S., ‘The Dramaturgy of Film Form’, in Braudy, L. & M. Cohen (eds.), Film Theory and Criticism, Introductory Readings (N.Y./ Oxford: OUP, 2009), pp. 24-40
Fowler, C. (ed.), The European Cinema Reader (London: Routledge, 2002)
Hayward, S., Key Concepts in Cinema Studies (London: Routledge, 1996)
Huber, D. M. and R.E. Runstein, Modern Recording Techniques (Boston: Focal Press/Elsevier, 2010)
Le Grice, M., Experimental Cinema in the Digital Age (London: BFI, 2001)
Light Honthaner, E., The Complete Film Production Handbook (London: Focal Press, 2010)
Manovich, L., The Language of New Media (Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, 2001)
Millerson, G., Lighting for Television and Film (Oxford: Focal Press, 1999)
Musburger, R.B., Single Camera Video Production (Burlington, Mass: 2010)
Utterback, A.H., Studio Television Production and Directing (Boston: Focal Press, 2007)
Bignell, J., An Introduction to Television Studies (London: Routledge, 2007)
Kahn, D., Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Voice, Sound and Aurality in the Arts: A History of Sound in the Arts (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001)
Tomlinson, H., Sound for Digital Video (Burlington, Mass: Focal Press, 2013)
+ various online links/resources, e.g.:
BFI Screenonline: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/index.html
Future Shorts website: http://www.futureshorts.com/
Adobe Premiere Pro DV editing tutorials: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/tutorials.html
BBC Academy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/page/about
Dependent Films: Tools & Utilities for Filmmakers: http://www.dependentfilms.net/files.html