MI5022 - Cinematography

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What will I learn on this module?

This Module further develops and embeds concepts introduced in Film Production 1, building on your knowledge of specialist camera equipment and visual language. Cinematography describes the art of photography and camerawork in film making, not just capturing pretty pictures. The camera is a cinematic tool and its use should inform audience perception of plot and character. Cinematic storytelling manipulates our emotions, revealing character and plot - sometimes without our immediate knowledge. The audience may not be consciously aware – but can feel it has meaning. Cinematography exists in context and its only purpose is to serve the material at hand. There are 6 main components related to Cinematography. As well as being technical, these can be used as part of a creative design to make your audience ‘feel’.
• Camera Placement
• Lens Selection
• Movement
• Composition
• Lighting
• Colour palette

These components are all inter-related and the possibilities are infinite – but all fall within this framework. This module will explore and explain how to master these components in practical and aesthetic terms. The module also introduces you to more specialist camera equipment, particularly the Sony F5 camera and prime lenses - a state of the art camera system widely used in industry. You will learn how to operate the Sony F5 camera as well as understand its advanced menu systems and features with a view to enhancing your visual work, in aesthetic terms, as well as in a practical sense. This knowledge can then be applied to enhance all your subsequent films.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by attending a combination of workshop and practical exercise sessions, supported by 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 Cinematography 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 outcomes. Tutors begin the project sessions with the clear parameters of the content 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 develop the skills required to 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 the relevant filming technology, techniques and cinematographic principles, while also providing detailed and specific formative feedback and encouragement on your own 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. Further one to one tutorials can be arranged outside of teaching time also. Your tutor will be available to provide verbal feedback on your tests and planning process as the module progresses. 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 final 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. Lecture materials, seminar guidelines and module information will all be available on the eLearning Portal.

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. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles that govern modes of cinematography

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the technology and practices of the camera department

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Evidence a critical engagement with your practice in context

4. Demonstrate proficiency with professional equipment to create images that are of a high technical and aesthetic standard

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

5. Evidence initiative and organisational skills and effective engagement with teamwork and professional deportment in the delivery of projects

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be given on tests and planning progress as the module progresses.

Summative feedback will be given on submission of the portfolio at the end of the semester, which addresses all of the MLOs. The portfolio should contain exploratory practical exercises, filmed research and test material culminating in two short, filmed scenes supported by a written evaluation of 2000 words. This should outline your research, your practical tests and methodology. The 2 completed scenes should demonstrate an understanding of colour palette, movement, lighting and composition to communicate a feeling, idea or emotion.

Pre-requisite(s)

none

Co-requisite(s)

none

Module abstract

No matter how important the key aspects of film making are, such as sound and postproduction, performance and scriptwriting, the medium remains unequivocally visual. Delivering a portfolio of camera department exercises, from shot composition to lens choice, from team protocols to the mobile camera, students on this module option will become familiar with the processes and approaches that underpin the best directors of photography. You will learn about the importance of lighting, camera placement, colour palette, composition, and lens selection. The camera is a cinematic tool and its use should inform audience perception of plot and character, as well as capturing beautiful looking pictures. Building through a series of practical and creative exercises, the module will develop your understanding of not only the state of the art Sony F5 camera filmmaking workflows, but also how to employ these skills creatively and effectively as a visual storyteller.

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 Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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