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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: MA Filming Your Documentary (DESI11125)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course enables you to gain both the practical and theoretical skills you will need to film your short documentary, as developed in your first semester. You will be encouraged to develop an individual, innovative approach to film form and documentary storytelling.
Course description This course leads on directly from MA Documentary Film Development in Semester 1 (for both MA and MFA 1 students) and challenges you to put the ideas you formulated earlier in the programme into practice through filming your chosen subject in a unique and original way.

Using knowledge and skills gained in Semester 1, you will explore approaches to directing camera and sound in preparing your own short documentary film which will be evidenced this semester through selected rushes and a sample edited scene. We expect to see a wide range of subject matters and filmic styles across the year group and will pro-actively challenge you to find your own approach.

Learning will take place through a mixture of tutorials, seminars, lectures and workshops. You will be expected to use material filmed as part of your ongoing film productions to evidence your progress. There will be opportunity for group and individual learning through seminars and tutorials throughout the semester, allowing each student support in implementing their own approach to directing documentary.

You will receive lectures and seminars on subjects such as:

-Approaches to documentary structure
-Film production
-Ethics and welfare
-Observational filming techniques and approaches
-Collaborating with a cinematographer and sound crew
-How to prepare visual treatments to communicate to others how you want your documentary to look
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Any costs associated with film production to be met by students. Minimum £60.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  28
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 35, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 314 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback In terms of formative assessment: students will receive feedback verbally in response to a selection of rushes that will be submitted in Week 6. This will be the focus for an individual tutorial, and following this feedback students will be expected to identify narrative strands and challenges to serve as the basis for further work.

In terms of summative assessment: you will receive written feedback via Learn, 15 days after hand-in.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Plan and evidence a short documentary film that demonstrates a critical understanding of documentary film practice through independent initiative, originality and creativity.
  2. Direct camera and sound in a professional manner that fully explores the ideas behind your documentary film through the creation of a series of sample rushes.
  3. Implement an innovative and consolidated approach to documentary film form through the making of a sample scene.
Reading List
Quinn "This Much is True" 14 directors on documentary film making A&C Black Academic and Professional (8 Nov. 2012) Recommended
Bernard " Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen" Focal Press; 3 edition (2010) Recommended
Winston, Brian "The Documentary Film Book" BFI ( 2013) Recommended
Herzog, W. & Cronin, P. "Herzog on Herzog" Faber & Faber (2002) Further reading
Marks, Laura "The Skin of the Film" Duke University Press (2000) Further Reading
Howell, C., S. Cox, S. Drew, M. Guillemin, D. Warr, and J. Waycott. 2015. "Exploring ethical frontiers of visual methods." Research Ethics 10(4): 208-213.Further Reading
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Following on directly from Documentary Film Development, taken by all MA and MFA 1 PG Film Directing students, this course aims to equip students with both the practical and theoretical skills required to film the short documentary each has developed in their first semester.

This course fosters the following graduate attributes through engagement with lectures, group seminars and tutorials which each explore the course's focus of 'Filming Your Documentary'. (The following attributes comply with SCQF Level 11):

Knowledge and understanding
- Students will be able to film documentary ideas in a manner demonstrating critical understanding of current international documentary practice.

Practice: applied knowledge, skills and understanding
- Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to integrate understandings of how to use the practical tools of cinema (in particular: direction, cinematography and sound) to communicate ideas through their filmmaking practice.

Skills and abilities in research and enquiry
- Students will be able to consolidate the research they have begun in their first semester and their ongoing enquiry into their chosen subject matter and instantiate this practically through their filmmaking work.

Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
- Students will develop a filmic style appropriate to the chosen subject matter of their film in a manner demonstrating an innovative, creative approach to documentary filmmaking.

Skills and abilities in Communication
- Students will be able to work both individually and in collaboration with classmates (and other collaborators) to plan and execute their own short documentary film, whilst communicating effectively with collaborators.

- In additional students will learn to carefully consider the ethical considerations of their filmmaking practice and to ensure that all communication with possible and actual contributors is conducted in a manner meeting appropriate ethical standards.
KeywordsFilm,Documentary,Directing,Cinematography,Sound,Ethics,Observational filming,Collaboration
Course organiserMrs Ling Lee
Course secretaryMr Aidan Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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