MI4002 - Experimental Film 1

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What will I learn on this module?

Experimental Film is a micro movie project that introduces you to the methods and approaches that filmmakers have used in delivering personal and experimental projects.
It chooses to foreground frame-by-frame filmmaking (animation) as a solution to the brief, with the definition being the manipulation of a timeline, the manipulation of an image and work that goes ‘beyond live-action’, as used by experimental animation pioneer Dick Arnall, to describe frame-by-frame approaches that are in opposition to mainstream live action filmmaking.

A key aspect of animated filmmaking is condensing and the economy of presentation and here the ‘micro-movie’ duration of the brief helps to develop individual filmmaking and writing for the screen skills, while acknowledging the potential for oppositional approaches to making work and the context in which short, personal filmmaking takes place.

Here, the potential for experimental approaches to methods and materials and the condensing of narratives is augmented by pre-visualisation through experimental animation storyboarding.

Being an individual endeavour, the module allows you to engage deeply with the complete production process from ideation, through testing and validation to filming and post-production.

How will I learn on this module?

Experimental Film 1 consists of lecture/workshop sessions that are delivered together. The focus on studio practice is demonstrated by supervised studio sessions in the second half of the project.
Throughout the pre-production period the sessions include several presentation opportunities of ideas and pre-visualisation, as well as in class discussion of individual approaches to the brief, where informal feedback is freely given. Workshop exercises also seek to help you to develop ideas and approaches, as well as understand the potential for frame-by-frame filmmaking and it’s appropriate technology.

You will have discussions about your project in seminars and workshops, in the first half of the module and then have the opporunitty to get advice, feedback and guidance during the studio sessions.

You will then receive written feedback on your final summative submissions which will 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.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The first half of the module delivery furnishes you with definitions and consideration and includes exercises and presentations. All activities are supported by your tutor and there are explicit discussions about your ideas in the sessions themselves. This module offers seminars and workshops in which to formulate your individual and personal projects and then moves onto guided studio practice. In the studio, your tutor is available to help, offer advice and provide further academic support. You are not confined to the timetabled studio slots and can work in the studio in your own time, offering the potential for further engagement with the tutor and module materials, as is the nature of studio filmmaking.

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. Understand the key components that make up experimental animation, including the principles that underpin the practice of frame-by-frame filmmaking.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. Deliver creative and imaginative responses, utilising module materials, in a professional manner, with appropriate technical skills.

3. Critically evaluate the work in the context of the module.

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

4. Show wider understanding of the context of the experimental film and its place in a wider culture.

5. Be curious and challenge conventions in such a way as to be truly experimental.

How will I be assessed?

You will engage in demonstration of your understanding and presentation of ideas and will receive verbal formative feedback from the tutor. Individual ideas are formulated during workshops and seminar sessions. There is the opportunity for a critique of rough cuts built into the schedule also.

Summative assessments will test skills of organisation, communication, research, critical engagement, and practice and will be focused upon the analysis of key issues arising from the module content. You will be assessed by delivering one experimental film, largely by using frame- by-frame techniques, as defined within the module. The production portfolio is offered as evidence of the learning outcomes of the module, and is designed to contain relevant material appropriate to each project.
The portfolio will contain relevant pre-production material such as treatments, storyboards and production paperwork and will contain relevant production work as evidenced in MLOs 1, 2 & 5. The production work will take the form of completed film production responding to the individual projects, in this context, a completed film is regarded as a final edited timeline with appropriate sound and title credits.

Whilst critical understanding is often also demonstrated in these pre-production materials, a further critical evaluation of the project will ensure that you have reflected on and analysed the process of learning in MLOs 3, 4 & 5.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

Experimental filmmaking allows you to have total creative control over your project and engage in all aspects of the filmmaking process, from ideation through to post production. You can try different approaches in this module that both complements and counterpoints it’s twin module Film Production 1.

Many experimental films have used frame-by-frame techniques and here you learn about the manipulation of timelines and images in a personal ‘micro movie’ project that goes ‘beyond live action’. As a studio-based project, you will enjoy its creative freedom and professionally skilled tutor support, and you will develop the ideation and pre-visualisation skills prized by industry innovators.

You can explore and challenge your own artist preoccupations, largely by using stop frame technology and receive feedback at several points in the process.
The skills of condensing and economy are required, they make for strong filmmaking and the investigation of the work at a ‘frame’ level helps you acquire real editing 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 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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