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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: FTV 3A: Hothousing a Short Film Production (DESI10130)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course will support students in 'hothousing' a short film: putting a 4-minute film (a drama, self-shot documentary, or experimental film) through production within the timeframe of a single semester. This principle focus of this course will be on challenging students to work within their resources, exploring a direct, ongoing correlation between creative ideas and available resources (such as time and equipment). Students will be asked to develop a short film script through a series of weekly seminars, whereby they will be required to place their work within a wider cultural context, and subject their ideas to critical scrutiny. Ten scripts will then put through production - shooting and editing the film in a single term. Students will be expected to work collaboratively in small groups to realise the completed film.
Course description 'Hothousing' is a film industry term used to describe a highly-focussed, tightly-resourced and time-sensitive way of working. During this course students will 'hothouse' a short film production within a single semester, focussing on working within available resources and learning how to adopt creative approaches to constraints and limitations.

This course will principally take the form of weekly, 2-hour development seminars throughout the course of the semester. Throughout the course of their productions, students will present their work at these weekly sessions and receive feedback from both lecturers and fellow classmates. A key focus will be on how we communicate our ideas as filmmakers - verbally and through supporting documentation.

Alongside these core sessions, the development of the productions will be supported by workshops and lectures in areas such as editing, drama, contemporary industrial practice, production management, technical issues, pitching.

This course focuses primarily on writing and directing.

By the end of this course, students will have developed a sense of their own, particular aesthetic approaches as filmmakers and will feel equipped to progress to more ambitious film productions (such as those undertaken in fourth year). Students will become familiar with the script development process and how to present their work in a professional format. Throughout the course students will develop skills in communication - asked to present their ideas in a series of different contexts - and collaboration, in realising their ideas within a group of their peers. Alongside this, students will develop sophisticated problem-solving and project management skills centred upon the relationship of creative ideas to available resources.

Whilst the focus of the course is on students' individual work as writers, directors and producers, students will be expected to collaborate with their peers in order to realise the short films.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on a Degree Programme in the School of Design
Additional Costs As the focus of this course is working within available resources, students will be expected to use locations, props and actors that are readily available to them, and thus to shape productions which do not require additional costs.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have completed at least two practice-based courses that have included the production of a short film. These courses should be similar in form and content to FTV 2A and 2B; 'cinematography', 'working on a film set' and 'exploring film language'.

Visiting students should be prepared to demonstrate this level of competence through a written reference.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 28, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 14, Fieldwork Hours 16, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 322 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative
Students should submit a draft of their script (or short treatment) at a formative stage in its development the end of week 4, in order to receive verbal feedback in class in Week 5.

Students should submit a portfolio at the end of teaching including the following elements:

1. A folio (70% of final grade) containing:

- Link from an agreed online platform to a finished 4-minute short film which can be documentary, drama or experimental film on which they worked either as a writer, director or producer and also contributed to in a technical role.

- Supporting materials:

a document outlining your directorial vision (500 words) along with appropriate visual material and the final draft of your script (if a drama) or treatment (if a documentary).

These supporting materials are an opportunity for students to demonstrate the intended vision for their work, and to provide written (and - if appropriate - visual) material that evidences their creative process. This should not include critical reflection or contextualisation of the work (which should appear in the written reflection) but rather, should convey a sense of the preparatory development work undertaken by the student, presented in an industry-appropriate format (as above).

If the project fell short of expectations, then supporting materials are an opportunity to present the film as it was intended to be made (and the written reflection will then provide an opportunity to explore the shortfall between the film as intended, and the film as delivered).

2. A written reflection of 1000 words (30% of the final grade) on the development of the project and which mounts a critical reflection about what you have learned about directing, cinematography, editing or producing, and places your work within a wider cultural context.

The Folio will be worth 70% of the final grade, and will be marked against Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. The written reflection will be worth 30% of the final grade and will be marked against Learning Outcome 3.

Both components of assessment must be attempted. Further guidance on the uploading of work will be provided in the course handbook.

Feedback There will be two stages of feedback:

- Formative: students will initially be required to submit a draft of their script at the end of week four, and feedback will be delivered verbally in class in week 5.

- Summative: final summative assessment feedback, upon the materials detailed above, will be given in writing within 15 working days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop their own film aesthetic through the making of a short film.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to resolve project ideas within available resources (such as time and equipment).
  3. Reflect critically upon their decisions as a film practitioner and place your work within a wider context of other filmmaking work, theories of practice and relevant interdisciplinary work.
Reading List
Rabiger, Michael, 2016. Developing Story Ideas: The Power and Purpose of Storytelling, Routledge.

McKee, Robert. 1999. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, Methuen Film.

Tarkovsky, Andrei, 1988. Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema, University of Texas Press.
Bresson, Robert, 2017. Notes on the Cinematograph, New York Review Books Classics (New Edition). First published in 1975.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Communication; collaboration; teamwork; resource-management; script development; project management; film editing; ability to reflect critically upon practice.
Special Arrangements This course is, to a large extent, dependent on the resources of the department - such as the number of cameras, sound equipment and editing stations. This limits the number of student film productions that we are able to support within a given term, and this affects the number of students that can be involved.
KeywordsFilmmaking,short film,hothouse,collaborative practice
Course organiserMs Lili Sandelin
Course secretaryMr Rhiordan Langan-Fortune
Tel: (0131 6)51 5926
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