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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: MA Finalising Your Documentary: The Edit (DESI11124)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
Summary60 credits Semester 3
This semester 3 60 credit course focuses on editing a short documentary enabling you to apply an innovative and original approach to completing the documentary film which you researched in Semester One and filmed in Semester Two. You will complete your work to a professional standard and also finish all the relevant paperwork and publicity for your films.
Course description This course focuses on developing approaches to narrative structure through editing- especially on how to hone meaning and originality out of material which you have researched in Semester 1 and filmed in Semester 2. You will work on resolving creative questions posed by your edits and finding out what new meaning emerges from your films during an in depth process of exploring your rushes/footage and the possibilities presented by them. You will work with image, sound, music, possibly voice over or text to bring out layers of meaning.

The edit should be of a professional standard, demonstrating directorial / editorial decisions using carefully selected, innovative techniques which employ image and sound in a suggestive, meaningful way. The visual language of the film should be sophisticated and beyond the simplistic approach of a film exercise or a tv documentary. We are looking for imaginative cinema that explores form and does not copy filmic cliches.

You will also have to provide paperwork for the production side of a film including images for publicity, blurb for catalogues as well as permission slips etc. for filming.

The course follows on from Developing your Documentary (Semester One) and Making your Documentary ( Semester Two) tracing the natural workflow of film production which resolves in an edit. This is a chance to really bring your authorship to the material you have filmed.

Teaching in Semester 3 will be based mainly on seminars which will look at your edits at different stages. There will be an opportunity to go into each edit's structural problems in depth and a range of lectures about approaches to narrative structure, use of sound and imaginative approaches to voice over. Practical workshops on how to edit using Avid software will be available as well as sound design workshops and group tutorials on the production side of finishing their films. There is also the opportunity to collaborate with other students in the University including Composition for Screen and Sound Design Postgraduate students.
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:  28
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Lecture Hours 8, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 36.5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 528 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are 2 components of assessment which are weighted as follows:

1) A finished short documentary of approximately 10-20 minutes in length (70% of overall grade, assessed equally against Learning Outcomes 1 and 2).

2. A finished production folder comprising a complete set of accompanying materials for your film from pre-production, production and post-production. These materials should be presented to a professional standard, and should evidence in particular your ability to present your film to potential audiences, festivals and distributors through marketing and promotional materials. (30% of overall grade, assessed against Learning Outcome 3).
Feedback In terms of formative assessment: you will receive verbal feedback on your rough cut edit in week 5 (half-way through the teaching block). You will be asked to identify and write up the focus of your work after this and action points for further editing.

In terms of summative assessment: you will receive written feedback via Learn 15 days after hand-in, and also verbally in a group critique of your finished edits.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Resolve an innovative approach to film form through the completion of a short documentary film that critically positions your work within the discipline.
  2. Elucidate and communicate the themes of your finished film using the skills of editing, including sound design and music as appropriate .
  3. Evidence an appropriate professional standard of short film production through a completed production file, including post-production and marketing materials.
Reading List
Murch, Walter; 2001; In the blink of an eye: A perspective on film editing; Silman-James Press
Bricca, Jacob; 2017; Documentary Editing: Principles & Practice; Routledge.
Michel Chion; 1994. Audio-vision : sound on screen / edited and translated by Claudia Gorbman ; Columbia University Press
Ondaatje, Michael; 2004; Conversations : Walter Murch and the art of editing film; A.A. Knopf, .
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills You will have acquire to date professional skills in communicating your story ideas for film through an edit. You will know how to approach editing documentary both from a practical and aesthetic point of view. You will learn how to edit on Avid software which makes you more employable in a highly competitive market.

More specifically, the aim of the PG Film Directing programmes at ECA aligns with SCQF level 11. By engaging and completing this degree, you will be able to fulfil the following:

Knowledge and understanding
- Edit a short documentary film and indicate a practical understanding of current approaches to documentary form
- A critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles of contemporary documentary film.

Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry
- Plan and execute the editing of a short film using a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the documentary film sector.

Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
- Apply original and critical thinking to your film using critical analysis, evaluation and imagination.
- Develop a film language which is appropriate to the subject and unique to your creative vision
- Question the place of documentary film in wider society and how it can be used to further knowledge, enquiry and understanding.

Skills and abilities in Communication
- Communicate, using appropriate editing methods, to a range of audiences with their film making.

Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness
- Exercise substantial initiative in professional activities related to documentary practice including relevant paperwork.
- Manage complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements

Technical/practical Skills
- Plan and conceive a documentary film edit and all aspects of post production
- Make an original and through provoking short film
- Understand ethical considerations of documentary film and work appropriately

KeywordsEditing; documentary; sound design; directing; film,composition for screen
Course organiserMs Emma Davie
Course secretaryMr Aidan Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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