Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Documentary Film Production

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Media and Communications

DESCRIPTION During this unit students will be introduced to the history and theory of documentary film. A core selection of seminal non-fiction films will be watched and discussed in class, covering the the evolution of the documentary film genre, the diverse approaches adopted by filmmakers covering a number of social, political, cultural and historical subjects.

Class discussion will also cover the ethical considerations that non-fiction filmmakers have to make throughout the production process, as well as the importance of accurate and thorough research, especially during the per-production stage.

Added to this, students will work in teams to produce their own documentary film short. Each team will have separate meetings so as to discuss the the progress of their film as well as troubleshoot any difficulties encountered during the production process.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to familiarize students with the evolution of the documentary genre, and help them identify sub-genres as well as critically assess a repertoire of films.

The study-unit also aims to enable students to prepare and present a documentary film treatment/proposal which in turn will be produced, filmed and edited. This will be based on research on their chosen issue with relevant data gathered and synthesized. Finally this study-unit aims to help students to objectively critique their own work and classmates' work using critical analysis and constructive comments.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- be fluent in documentary film language;
- compare and contrast different documentary modes;
- critically assess a documentary film in terms of structure, content and bias;
- identify, compare and contrast films across the genre;
- evaluate the aesthetic and political ramifications of the genre.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- draft a documentary film treatment proposal;
- plan and coordinate filming sessions;
- plan for and conduct interviews;
- script and record narration;
- create a an audio-visual narrative.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- AUFDERHEIDE, Patricia (2007). Documentary Film. A Very Shirt Introduction.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- McLANE, Betsy (2012). A New History of Documentary Film (2nd edition). New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
- NICHOLS, Bill (2010). Introduction to Documentary. (2nd edition) Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Study-unit: MCS2020 and MCS3070

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Tutorial and Project

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 No 10%
Project SEM2 Yes 90%

LECTURER/S Louiselle Vassallo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.