MI4001 - Film & TV Production 1

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What will I learn on this module?

Film & TV Production 1 introduces you to the methods and approaches used to make effective practical media productions.

Developing towards the production of a short documentary project, this module introduces you to camera, sound and lighting, location, filming technology and the associated production techniques. It pursues an understanding of film making conventions alongside the protocols of teamwork. The project focuses on collaborative processes with defined roles and standard practices which will see you undertake a number of classic camera exercises and location process, while learning how to articulate a film idea from script to screen. The module will introduce you, not only to professional filming equipment and how to use it effectively, but also how to structure and organise your film to the best creative and narrative effect. The documentary script treatments are generated in the parallel module Screenwriting 1 and the chosen treatments are then shared out in the production teams to be filmed and edited. Following a series of camera exercises and location crew activities, you will take the treatments and make a short documentary film with the theme ‘portrait of a person’. The production takes 11 weeks, with the first half of the semester dedicated to the practical exercises and techniques and the second half to the planning and production of the work to completion.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by attending a combination of workshop and practical exercise sessions, supported by individual group tutorials, project feedback and critique sessions; in addition to reading the suggested texts which will support and enhance your practice based learning. You will also learn by applying the material discussed in a practical way to your own filmed exercises and projects. Workshop sessions include lecture material to contextualise the relevant approaches. Analysis and discussion of relevant film clips are also used to explore the module’s key content. These sessions will enable the tutor to discuss the key dynamics of film production in relation to the project briefs and module context in an in-depth manner. The workshops are structured to reflect the core issues and themes of the module. Your tutor will frame the content of each seminar and outline the aim and learning outcomes. Tutors begin the project sessions with the clear parameters of the production together with the definitions and considerations that will enable you to negotiate the practical work while developing a critical understanding of the key principles. Technical workshops combined with expert demonstration of filming technology and techniques in location settings will help you deliver effective productions. Tutorial sessions help to guide and advise each specific project throughout production as well as offering formative feedback on the materials and process. Guided project work creates an experiential environment on which tutors can offer insight. Lecture materials, seminar guidelines and module information will all be available on the eLearning Portal.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your tutor will demonstrate and explain filming technology and techniques whilst also providing detailed and specific formative feedback and encouragement on your practical application of these principles, as the module progresses. The tutor will also be available during sessions to help with the practical understanding of equipment while you are setting it up and using it yourself. The scheduled production group tutorials, once the production of your documentary films is underway, are also designed specifically to address the minutiae of each individual group project. Further one to one tutorials can be arranged outside of teaching time also. You will also receive detailed written feedback on your final summative submissions, which will identify, in detail, areas that could be improved in future work. 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. The module will also incorporate assessment preparation discussion, with advice on how to approach not only the practical elements, but also how to write up the critical analysis of your project which will form the basis of the supporting materials in your final submission. Furthermore, the module tutor will offer set office hours for academic support.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. To gain an understanding of the basic principles which govern modes of documentary filmmaking as well as a basic proficiency in using the relevant technology.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. To gain and develop professional skills and approaches to both the practical and creative filmmaking aspects of production.

3. Evidence initiative and organisational skills.

4. Evidence a critical engagement with your practice in context, reflect on and analyse the process of learning.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Demonstrate progress made in enhancing proficiency and expertise in the relevant skills by analysing critically, evaluating reflectively and valuing curiosity in your learning. Show an effective engagement with teamwork and professional deportment.

How will I be assessed?

You will receive formative verbal feedback during the seminars throughout the module as you work through the practical tasks – MLOs 1, 2 and 3.

Summative assessment is based on the submission of the completed documentary film 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, 4, and 5. (Production Portfolio – the finished film and all relevant supporting material and approx. 3000 words equivalent analysis).

In addition to this, the submitted portfolio must also contain a written analysis, which will examine your production process for strengths and weaknesses while suggesting reasons for these, alongside suggested improvements. Equally, the finished film made from this process will also be discussed in these detailed terms, examining it critically for strengths and weaknesses, and suggesting areas for possible improvements.

You are also required to submit a piece of original research examining a specific production role as part of this portfolio. This research should examine the role and how it is performed in a professional context in the industry.

Finally, a detailed private diary will chronicle the progress of your documentary project and your insights about both the process and results.

Detailed written feedback will be provided on both your film and your individual 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

Film & TV Production 1 provides an introduction to professional location, camera, lighting and sound equipment and the related practical techniques for location filming, developing towards the production of a short documentary film. Building through a series of practical and creative exercises the module will develop your understanding not only of professional equipment and filmmaking workflows, but also how to employ these skills creatively and effectively as a visual storyteller. You will develop an understanding of the fundamental principles related to formal visual language while exploring the process from script to screen, thus providing you with the core skills relevant to a career in the industry. Your tutors have a great deal of relevant industry experience which informs the module and its delivery, while supporting you in the development of not only your practical skills but also an enhanced understanding of professional crew roles, group working and the requisite planning and organisational skills.

Course info

UCAS Code P310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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