The module builds on the students’ skills and knowledge of digital media production established in Year 2 (FHREQ Level 4). The module aims to develop students’ sense of the documentary as a serious form of inquiry and engagement with the world around. The module has two intentions – (i) to allow student to engage with a piece of work that is either commissioned or the brief is like a commission; and (ii) to enable students to pursue a documentary story of their own for a whole year. Both these forms of enquiry will facilitate students’ ability to think of documentaries as one of the main areas they will pursue after they graduate.
The module will also discuss three important theoretical concepts in documentary filmmaking – (i) the relationship between representation and reality; (ii) the ethics of documentary film-making and (iii) the importance of access on the type of documentary being made.
Production work is single-camera based and students are encouraged to shoot on location. Students will develop production skills such as planning, organisation, production management, camera, lighting, sound and post production techniques. As part of a small production team, students devise, research, schedule, script, shoot and edit two documentary videos of 5 to 10 minutes duration each.
Through lectures, screenings, workshops and exercises, the module aims to develop students’ critical awareness and understanding of conceptual and contextual issues of the documentary form and how these relate to their practical work.
A. Make a documentary as a group where the documentary brief is given
B. Initiate, develop and create a documentary in a group context
B. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the documentary form and function through the documentaries they make, thereby also accomplishing a further enhancement of their practical skills in film-making
C. Research and use appropriate production techniques in relation to documentary film-making
D. Critically evaluate their individual role in documentary production within the wider context of media industry practices and constraints
This module will be taught over two semesters, with the teaching pattern in the two semesters being slightly different from each other. While the first semester will concentrate on the simultaneous development of two documentaries with very different styles, the second semester will concentrate on the production and delivery of these two documentaries. So, the teaching pattern will conform to the stages of production. The first semester will have two hours of lectures and two hours of seminars each week, where the students will discuss their projects and work towards an initial presentation (oral or written). In the second semester, as the students work towards producing their projects, they will be supported by seminars and lab/ practical fieldwork, which will mainly take place in the edit suite.