AD3030 - Introduction to Film Practice

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What will I learn on this module?

‘Introduction to Film Practice’ introduces you to a range of core practical film production and creative skills, as well as developing transferable personal skills to support your future study and employability. You will also build your knowledge and understanding of the processes, trends and issues in the contemporary media landscape.

As emerging film makers, you will be introduced to practical and creative skills including pitching, writing, production research, production logistics, scheduling, storyboarding and directing, in addition to the creative and technical fundamentals of camera, sound and editing operations. You will learn essential softer skills such as time management, group work and interpersonal skills, risk assessment, presentation and negotiation skills – all of which help to prepare you for your choice of degree path. You will also acquire critical and reflective skills, as you respond to your own work and that of others, reflect on your own personal development, and set yourself goals for improvement. Your progress will be marked by a number of film making exercises which cumulatively form a portfolio evidencing your developing skills and knowledge.

Your knowledge will grow to include an understanding of different styles and approaches to storytelling and film content, across a range of film activities, setting your work alongside that of other directors and film makers and increasing your awareness of the range of formal approaches across a wide range of media production. You’ll also progress with a solid grounding in principles of risk assessment, to ensure safe filming practice.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, workshops, seminars, practical exercises and independent learning, both individually and in groups. Initially majority of the teaching will be in the form of workshops and seminars, giving you the opportunity to participate in discussion about the topics being taught. As technical skills are introduced and our industry-standard equipment is being demonstrated, you will also have hands-on access to try out equipment for yourself, giving you an insight into professional practice. This will be reinforced by independent study, written work, and practical exercises, carried out by you and resulting in feedback on your progress. As the module progresses, you will acquire the necessary skills to begin carrying out your own group film productions, and at this stage the teaching emphasis will gradually change from practical workshops and assignments to group support and feedback as your group carries out its individual short productions. Peer review and feedback becomes an important part of your learning, as students take the opportunity to watch and offer feedback on each other’s emerging work. In the final section of the module, once team productions are complete, you will then carry out a self-assessment exercise.

The Final assessment is via the submission of a group production portfolio of work, including the filmed exercises, and an individual portfolio.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

There will be opportunities to discuss and share practical and written work in development at various stages in the module. Group workshops and seminars will support you through the various stages of research and planning for your planned project.
You will be mentored through the practical production process by members of the staff team with professional experience. You will be offered formative feedback from your tutor and mentors based on the work you share. Your tutor will also encourage you to use these sessions as an opportunity to plan further work, and to develop your confidence in talking about your own practice.

Your module tutor will also be available for subsequent follow up tutorials to discuss all aspects of your project and to provide you with more detailed feedback, ensuring that you are on track with all aspects of your work in the lead up towards your assessment.

Relevant module materials will also be made available to you via the Blackboard online learning portal. The electronic learning portal is a big source of support material throughout the module. This contains important documents pertaining to each stage of the production process, e.g. ‘How to…’ guides on completing proposals, scripts and treatments.

Outside teaching hours, staff are available to offer advice and support via email and designated office hours. Every student will also have a designated personal tutor, who offers individual support and guidance to make sure every student gets the most from their academic studies.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles which govern modes of filmmaking - research, scripting, production management and teamwork.

2. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding around the wider scope of production processes on a variety of introductory film production activities, as well as basic proficiency in using the relevant technology, camera operation, sound recording and editing.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. To develop basic skills and approaches to both the practical and creative aspects of filmmaking and to be able to evidence these alongside initiative, organisational skills, time management and working effectively as part of a team.

4. To cultivate a developing critical engagement with your own practice, by reflecting on and analysing the process of learning and skill development, and demonstrate critical ability by writing a critique of your own production and processes.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. To demonstrate an understanding of the scope and range of the ethical considerations which are all central to all film productions.

How will I be assessed?

You will receive formative verbal feedback during the seminars throughout the module as you work through the practical tasks required – MLOs 1 - 4.

Summative assessment will be via two portfolios, one submitted at the end of each semester. Each portfolio carries 50% of the overall module mark.

In each semester, the portfolio consists of 2 elements. Element A is a set of completed film exercises alongside a selection of supporting materials, all of which should evidence engagement with professional process and technique e.g. scripts, treatments, storyboards, log sheets, release forms, schedules etc.; (MLOs 1, 2, 3). This element is a group mark.

Element B in each semester is an individual written analysis and evaluation of the process followed, the work processes, and the individual learning acquired. It also includes an element of peer assessment. (MLO 4 and 5.)

Detailed electronic feedback will be provided on your portfolio.

You will also be offered the opportunity to receive further verbal feedback following this formal assessment, so that you can follow up any concerns you have regarding your critical development and future learning.





Module abstract

‘Introduction to Film Practice’ introduces you to the world of short film making. In the course of this year-long module, you will produce a range of filmed exercises and have the scope to develop each activity in a direction that matches your own interests and aspirations. You will learn to research, plan, write, shoot and edit your films, while also developing skills in production management, group work, time management and other transferable skills. You will receive instruction on camera operation, sound recording and video editing. Assessment is via the production of the filmed exercises and a group portfolio as well as an individual portfolio outlining your work and progress on the module. The module gives you a variety of transferable skill sets, useful in a number of degree pathways and careers.

Course info

UCAS Code P320

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts, Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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