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MCH2002 : Filmmaking: Ideas to Screen

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Geetha Jayaraman
  • Lecturer: Dr Ian McDonald
  • Technician: Mr James Davoll
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The practice-led module is designed to allow the students to draw on the knowledge from MCH1034 Introduction to World Cinema and theories, concepts and ideas introduced in Film Theory 1 and Film Theory 2 to make an ideas-led short film. Working in small production teams, students will develop their understanding of film praxis, the coming together of theory and practice, in the short film format. Students will be encouraged to be innovative in their use of form to produce both conceptually and visually creative content.

This modules aims to:
1.       Outline the principles and practices of producing a proposal (with mood-boards where appropriate) that demonstrates relationship between ideas, concept, theory and story.
2.       Develop students abilities in a range of advanced technical skills required in a group production
3.       Develop students abilities in working as part of a production team
4.       To produce an appropriate length short film of a high standard, working within the practical constraints of environment, equipment, and technical ability
5.       Develop the ability of students to reflect critically on their own creative work, drawing on a recognised body of theory, or the work of one or more recognized filmmaker/s.

Outline Of Syllabus

-       What is Praxis: ideas –led filmmaking
-       Principles and practices of writing a proposal.
-       Production and craft skills: cinematography, shooting processes, lighting, audio, editing & post-production
-       Creative skills: working with non-professional actors and the art of direction
-       Coping with the demands of technology and behind-the-scenes roles, and the challenges of location, camerawork, lighting and sound
-       Problem-solving approaches to the different aspects of making a short film

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Theoretical frameworks, concepts and debates
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading138:0038:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work154:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops123:0036:00Student-led explorations of theory and practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures that set out and test key theories and concepts and student-led workshops that seek to use these theories and ideas as source material for ideas-led film.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2A70Group production of a small film (5 – 10 mins). Group mark that assess the craft and intellectuals qualities of the film.
Reflective log2A30Individual mark – 1,500 word essay that reflects on the theory underpinning the film.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The rationale for the assessments is to enable the students to demonstrate their intellectual grasp of film theory, concepts and ideas and to illustrate this through the production of a short non-fiction film. Given the emphasis on practice, the production of the film forms the major part of the assessment, but the reflective essay provides the students an opportunity to articulate the theoretical underpinnings that informed their practice.

Students undertaking a group project will receive the same mark for the group assignment. However there is some scope for variation in individual marks as there will also be an element of peer-assessment. This element is not designed to assess quality of individual contributions to the group work but is designed to identify the quantity of work dedicated to the project. In essence this is a mechanism to identify students who have not made a full contribution to the group production.

Although there will be regular informal feedback at each stage of the production process.

Reading Lists