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MCH1035 : Starting out in Filmmaking

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Simon Rushton
  • Technician: Mr Matt Robinson
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1) To introduce filmmaking as a cinematic art that engages with, comments on and expresses feelings and reflections about the social and historical world

2) To apply the principles of observational filming and to explore its intersection with more constructed forms of poetic and dramatic self-expression through the principles of visual structure and the uses of diegetic and non diegetic sound

3) To reflect on the relationship of practice and its relationship with theory drawn from film aesthetics and ethnographic film

The practice-based module will introduce students to filmmaking as a cinematic art. Students will be nurtured into a way of approaching filmmaking as a way of engaging with, commenting on, feeling about, and reflecting on the social and historical world. Ethical dimensions of filmmaking will also be discussed. The module will also introduce students to the basic principles and processes involved in non-fiction filmmaking in the observational mode. Students will develop further their technical competence from MCH1011 in operating the video camera, recording sound and undertaking a basic edit through producing video content in the form of a series of sequences

Outline Of Syllabus

Filmmaking as cinematic art.
- Filmmaking as a way of engaging with, commenting on, feeling about, and reflecting on the social and historical world
- Ethical dimensions of filmmaking; interpersonal relations and representation
- Basic principles and processes of filmmaking in the observational mode
- Intersections between observational practices and more constructed forms of poetic self-expression and dramatisation
- Visual structure and the communication of moods and emotions
- Relating between sequence structure and visual structure
- Audio and the possibilities of diegetic and non-diegetic sound

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Concepts, theoretical underpinnings and debates
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical121:3018:00Studio and field practice
Guided Independent StudySkills practice144:0044:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops121:3018:00Screenings and discussions
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity148:0048:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures that set out key theories and concepts and workshops based on working through the implication of key readings for practice. This will enable students to achieve Knowledge Outcomes 1, 2 and 3.

Practice based sessions form a significant method of teaching which will enable students to achieve Skills Outcomes 4, 5 and 6.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M70Students submit a portfolio of film exercises
Reflective log2M30Video essay that provides a critical commentary on the development of the portfolio and knowledge and skills outcomes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The rationale for the assessments is to enable the students to demonstrate their understanding of film as a cinematic art through a portfolio of short film sequences. Given the emphasis on practice this forms the major part of the assessment. The reflective log provides the opportunity to critically reflect on the theoretical and methodical considerations that informed their practice and how effectively the aims and learning outcomes have been realized.

Reading Lists