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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Film and TV 2B: Visual Aesthetics in Cinema (DESI08152)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course delivers a range of core technical skills and approaches to cinematography which enable students to engage effectively with consideration to story, subject matter and authorship in the work they produce, through their degree studies. This specialist practice-based knowledge enables students to collaborate as a Director of Photography or camera assistant in documentary or drama productions as well as on self-shoot documentaries or experimental films, using a creative and technically competent individual approach to visual storytelling. It also enables students to develop their own unique visual approaches through critical evaluation and use of a range of visual approaches including filmed scenes and a visual treatment.
Course description This course will be delivered through a series of practical workshops, seminars, lectures and tutorials and teaching that cover the following key areas:

The role of cinematography and the creative use of shots, framing and lighting and specifically how they inform our choices as directors as well as cinematographers

Understanding the range of different roles in a camera crew and how to apply this in a film

How to prepare a visual treatment for a film

How to communicate visual approach through a filmed clip

By the end of the course, these classes (and the knowledge gained through participating in them) will ensure students have developed their own visual language and will be equipped to use camera and/or lens when working on production, on location or on a documentary. Students will become familiar with the logistics of the camera crew and what the different creative and departmental roles in the professional filmmaking process entail. Collaborative and communication skills will be developed throughout and across the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  17
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 21, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Fieldwork Hours 40, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 8, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 295 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will submit a portfolio consisting of the following 4 elements:

1) A visual treatment for your own film (3 pages) including visual references to examples of work which may be paintings, photography or other films but which illuminate and provide clues as to your own visual approach as a director.

2) A teaser of your own film idea which gives a sense of an original and unique approach to film making.

3) A professionally communicated verbal presentation describing how you have used framing, composition, camera movement, and equipment to serve your creative vision. Your professional approach, your ability to communicate well, to be responsible about equipment as well as skillful and creative in the use of it are all assessed as part of this.

4) A written commentary (750 words) that reflects critically upon an aspect of creative cinematography practice you have been involved with this semester: for example, as a camera assistant on a level 10/11 film, or another aspect of creative cinematography work.

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:

The portfolio will be assessed across all 4 learning outcomes equally.
Feedback There will be two stages of feedback.

Initial formative feedback will be given in response to a hand-in of a draft visual treatment, to be submitted via LEARN. Students will receive written feedback within 15 days.

Final feedback will be given further to summative assessment. Students will receive written feedback within 15 working days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of approaches to professional cinematography through creating a visual submission.
  2. Use a range of skills in visual storytelling through film techniques.
  3. Communicate creative and practical ideas in a verbal presentation.
  4. Undertake critical analysis of which techniques and which storytelling approaches to use for a specific aspect of film production.
Reading List
Brown, Blain. Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors Focal Press (2011)

Alton, John Painting with Light. University of California Press (1995)

Bazin, Andre. What is Cinema - Volumes 1. University of California Press (1st edition) (1967)

Lumet, S. Making Movies. Vintage Books (1 Nov. 1996) (1996)

Mascelli, Joseph F. The Five Cs of Cinematography. Silman-James Press (1965)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Communication; collaboration; teamwork; delegation; Skills in camera; in camera assisting.
Keywordsfilm practice
Course organiserDr Alex Nevill
Course secretaryMr Aidan Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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