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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: FTV 3B: Working as a Head of Department on a short film (DESI10131)

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
SummaryDuring this course you will gain a strong understanding of a Head of Department role (cinematographer, producer, editor, sound designer or production designer) and will learn to reflect critically on your practice as a filmmaker, placing your decisions within a wider cultural context. The aim of the course is to give you an insight into a career as a Head of Department in the film industry.
Course description Heads of Department exercise a senior responsibility during a film production. Cinematographers, Producers, Editors and Production Designers all exercise a decisive influence over the finished form of a film. During this course students research a Head of Department role in detail and will learn to reflect critically on their practice as filmmakers, placing creative decisions within a wider cultural context.

Students' core work on this course will consist of their own, individual developmental processes as Heads of Department. Students will prepare a portfolio of materials appropriate to their chosen discipline as part of typical industry pre-production process. The course will require a considerable degree of self-motivation, direction and initiative.

Student's individual development processes will be supported by the following:

- group tutorials. These will take place every week, throughout the term. During these tutorials students will be asked to present, discuss and reflect critically upon their research throughout the term. These sessions will provide a supportive environment within which to support, challenge and problem-solve developing practical work. During this process students will be asked to situate their work within a broader context, drawing upon the work of other filmmakers and theories of practice. Communication will be a key focus of the seminars, and students will be asked to present their developing ideas in a series of discipline-specific formats corresponding with industry conventions (such as a storyboard and mood reel for a cinematographer).

- a regular series of masterclasses from visiting industry professionals. These will occur once a week for the first 5 weeks of the semester and will explore a variety of professional perspectives upon working on a film set, and will help students gain a sense of current industry practice to inform their own work.
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 students on this course will be working as Heads of Department on 4th year graduation films, it is expected that the 4th year students directing these films will be responsible for any additional costs.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesGiven the wider ecology of the programme, whereby the films that students will be working on as Head of Department are 4th Year Graduation films (and thus a crucial part of the degrees of 4th year students) it is important that those taking up positions of senior responsibility as Heads of Department have had the full experience of the BA in Film and TV.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop an understanding of a practical specialism through in-depth research into a Head of Department role.
  2. Realise practical filmmaking work of a high aesthetic standard.
  3. Reflect critically on practical filmmaking decisions and contextualise practice within a broader context of other filmmaking, theories of practice and interdisciplinary work.
Reading List
Figgis, Mike, 2007. Digital Filmmaking, Faber and Faber.

Murch, Walter, 2001. In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, Silman-James Press (2nd Edition). First published in 1995.

Truffaut, Francois, 2017. Hitchcock, Faber & Faber (New Edition). First published in 1966.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to reflect critically upon practice; communication; research skills.
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.
KeywordsHead of Department,Cinematography,Editing,Producing,Production Design,Filmmaking,Film
Course organiserMs Tracey Fearnehough
Course secretaryMs Georgia Dodsworth
Tel: (0131 6)51 5712
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