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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: FTV 4A: Film Project Research and Development (DESI10152)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course enables and supports students to explore, research and develop a variety of aspects of a film project proposal, which can be a fictional film, a documentary, an experimental film, or a combination of these film contexts. This will result in the submission of a final film proposal, which is required to conform to Industry standards and be presented in a professional format.
Course description On this course, students will be supported to explore, research and develop a range of aspects of a film project proposal. This will primarily be undertaken through a series of seminars, lectures and workshops.

Course seminars will reflect standard industry practice in Screenwriting Labs, Documentary Development Programmes, and Writing Studios. These sessions will provide key opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback during the project development process and students will practice these industry skills throughout the course. Through a rigorous process of peer review, students will be able to develop their film projects to high professional standards, presented in a format in accordance with professional industry practice, and aligning to the requirements for application to professional film development programmes.

Film Project development requires a rigorous process of research and investigation. The course requires students to address a range of key crucial criteria including:

· What is the chosen genre of the project and why?

· What are the existing conventions of this genre and how will this influence their project?

· What will be the style and tone of this film and how can this be communicated in a project presentation?

· What other specific creative and artistic aspects can be communicated about the intended tone and look of the film?

· Who is the intended audience for the film and how can they be reached?

Students explore these different questions by experimenting with a variety of approaches, presenting their research and development process in a project folder.
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:  24
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 24, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 15, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 344 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100 % coursework

Learning Outcomes are equally weighted.


Students submit a draft Project Folder conforming to film industry standards for Formative submission mid-semester. The precise content of the folder depends on the nature of the project (experimental, documentary or fiction).


Students submit a Project Folder conforming to film industry standards. The precise content of the folder depends on the nature of the project (experimental, documentary or fiction).

The Project Folder should contain the following as a minimum:

A title page with a title for the project and student name.

A contents page.

An introduction explaining the motivation for this specific project and a reasoning for different creative choices, such as genre, style, casting idea, etc. (500 - 1000 words)

A Logline (1 to 3 sentences)

Character Descriptions (one page max for ALL characters)

OR if more appropriate: Description of the subject or concept (for experimental/documentary films).

A synopsis (1 page)

A Script of 8 to 12 pages in the case of a short fictional film

OR if more appropriate: a treatment of 6 to 12 pages (documentary films)

A statement from the perspective of a Writer and / or Director (1 to 3 pages)

A Moodboard and/or other visual materials, such as locations pictures, storyboards, production design, etc (3 pages max).

A casting Idea (1 page)

An audience engagement plan and / or funding strategy (1 page)
Feedback Regular verbal feedback will be given by peers and by the academic staff member in the weekly seminars in semester one and two.

Formative assignments are submitted at end of semester 1. Written formative feedback will be given on LEARN within 15 working days after submission of formative assignments.

Verbal feedback will be provided in an individual online tutorial during semester 2.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Document independent research into different aspects of film, such as film genre, film history, and cinematic conventions and contextualise one¿s own work within existing film traditions.
  2. Independently develop a creative project through critical analysis of narrative, dramaturgy, and film aesthetics.
  3. Communicate the creative process in a professional manner through an appropriate project proposal.
Reading List
Beker, M. (2017). Write to Shoot: Writing Short Films for Production. New York: Routledge.

Rabiger, M.(2016). Developing Story Ideas. New York: Routledge.

Rabiger, M. (2014). Directing the Documentary. New York: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Conducting independent research

Critical analysis

Communicating ideas through writing and different media

Development of creative projects to a high professional standard

Time management
KeywordsFilm,Research,Project Development
Course organiserMs Tracey Fearnehough
Course secretaryMr Aidan Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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