Module Catalogue

MCH1035 : Starting out in Filmmaking

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Simon Rushton
  • Lecturer: Ms Carol Lynn
  • 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

Topics covered during the module may include:
- 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lecture delivered in person (or, if necessary, online)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminar discussion of film extracts - present-in-person but can be synchronous online if necessary
Guided Independent StudySkills practice160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops112:0022:00Practical interactive workshop - present-in-person but can be delivered as sync online if necessary
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity135:0035:00In preparation for Reflective Log
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time12:002:00Present-in-person or synchronous online discussion of final portfolio in week 11
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 proj2M253-minute Dialogue sequence
Design/Creative proj2M253-minute Day in the Life sequence
Design/Creative proj2A253-minute Sense of Place sequence
Reflective log2A2510-minute Video Essay Critique
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