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BA single honours film Production 2019/20

Year of entry

Film Production is a practice-centred course that will provide you with a mix of technical, production and business skills required for employment in the creative industries. The film industry is a thriving sector of the UK and global economies and demand for craft skills continues to be motivated by content-hungry areas in film, prime-time drama, digital and web-based production.

From the outset you are encouraged to network and to develop a content-rich show reel as these are important means of finding employment. Students are supported in finding work-experience and work placement opportunities are offered through our Alumni Facebook pages.

The course places emphasis on fiction film-making but the skills you will develop are transferable to other film-production contexts. Regular visits from professional practitioners will enrich your studies and offer up­to­the­minute insights into industry practices.

The course is delivered in the School of Media, Art and Design’s specialist facilities and equipment. It uses a range of digital cameras including Canon, Black Magic and Arri cameras. There is also the opportunity to acquire skills in the use of 16mm film. Post-production facilities include Avid situated on an Editshare network, and you have access to pro-tools and grading software such as DaVinci as well as the full Adobe Creative Suite.

Key areas of study include:

  • screenwriting
  • editing
  • cinematography
  • directing 

The course helps you become ‘multi-skilled,’ developing your technical and creative skills to the professional level needed for entry into the film industry and other creative industries.

Film Production is a practice-focused degree (70% practice and 30% theory) that helps you to develop your technical, creative and media-management skills to the standard required for employment in the film industry and associated creative professions. The film industry is a thriving sector of the UK and global economy and demand for craft skills in this sector is driven by content hungry areas in prime-time drama, digital and web-based productions.

The programme places particular emphasis on dramatic storytelling, but these skills are transferable to other production contexts. Regular visits from professional practitioners will enrich your studies and offer valuable up­to­the­minute insights into industry practices. The course uses the specialist facilities of the School of Media, Art and Design, including industry standard equipment and software, such as Arri, Canon, Blackmagic, Avid, Final Draft, Movie Magic and Adobe products.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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The programme offers you the intellectual stimulation to expand your horizons and the space to explore your own artistic and creative potential. It provides opportunities to work on a range of film projects and develop specialist film production skills. You will also be encouraged to take up opportunities for work placements across the creative industries.

Year 1 provides the opportunity to network, build teams, study films and filmmaking and develop the skills necessary to produce short films including screenwriting, editing, directing, producing and cinematography.

In Year 2, you will focus your study towards a specialist area of interest. There is also the opportunity to undertake a placement and study abroad.

Your academic work culminates in Year 3 with a substantial film project in which you will have a key production role. The project will extend your skillset and provide evidence of your abilities to include in your show reel.

The programme offers you the opportunity to work on a range of film projects and develop specialist film-production skills. The teaching team is a creative mix of practitioners and theoreticians. Guest speakers from industry, including from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and the independent television sector, provide industry insights and expert masterclasses. The programme’s Industry Advisory Panel ensures that the curriculum remains current and maintains industry standards.

The programme also offers the opportunity for additional language and cultural training and the possibility of a year studying abroad at one of our international partner universities. There is abundant evidence that such international experience helps to improve academic performance, enhances employability and improves the pace of career progression (Universities UK International (2017).

Core modules

Year 1

Screenwriting: Foundations in Narrative Storytelling (20 credits)

In this module you will study the practical and theoretical application of writing for the screen. You will analyse the elementary building blocks of writing for film and television and apply them creatively through a series of writing exercises that culminate in the script for a short film.

Introduction to Film Production (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the effective and safe use of digital film production equipment. It provides the opportunity to develop creative, technical and organisational skills through active participation in a series of exercises.

Film Production Project (20 credits)

The module extends your film-making skills and develops you knowledge of industry practices through the production of a short film. You will work as part of a team and be expected to take on a specific and significant production role.

The Art and Craft of Film Editing (20 credits)

This module provides you with an understanding of editing practice and looks at the development of the editor’s craft in classical cinema as well as other key influences upon film form. Through the production of a number of short editing exercises you will examine the relationships between practice and theory.

Reading the Moving Image (20 credits)

This module places the study of moving image production into a historical context, looking at how narratives and meaning are negotiated and how they impact on the viewer. You will study key concepts, for example authorship, genre, mise-en-scene and consider the ways in which filmmaking practices impact on the creation of texts for television and film. You will learn how to apply the analysis of moving image form and content to your own creative practice.

Professional Perspectives in the Creative Industries 1 (20 credits) 

This module builds on your pre-existing skills to help you to make a smooth transition to Higher Education and the challenges it presents. The module will encourage a reflective and self-managed approach to your study, time management, research and work-readiness, which will begin to prepare you for work in the creative industries.

Year 2

Film Production: Script Development (20 credits)

Using screenplays developed in the screenwriting module, you will learn how to produce an animatic and/or filmed response that will be the pilot for a more substantial short film.

Documentary (20 Credits)

This module examines different forms of television documentaries and how they have been shaped by social, institutional and technological circumstances. Drawing on a range of examples, you will critically consider the ethical and contextual issues when filming with real people. These conventions and methods will also help you to create your own short documentary, which aims to engage an ever more demanding audience.

Film Production: Main Project (20 credits)

The emphasis of this module is to select the pilot films that have been trialed in the pre-production module and re-imagine them as high-quality short films that are suitable for public exhibition.

Professional Perspectives in the Creative Industries 2  (20 credits)

This module prepares you for work­related experience in the creative industries, which is an important step towards your future employment. Tailored workshops and industry guests will help you to understand popular trends, issues and markets in order for you to make the best of these opportunities.

Students also choose TWO modules from the list of Year 2 options, one of which must be practical, one theoretical and one professional.

Year 3

Film Production: Pre-production (20 credits) 

This module is the pre-production phase for the Final Project. You will follow industry-standard planning and pre-production procedures to produce an appropriate project proposal or ‘pitch’. You will develop your proposal into a pre-production portfolio comprising a collection of supporting materials.

Film Production: Final Project (40 credits)

The Final Project is a double-weighted module that gives you the opportunity to synthesise the technical expertise you have acquired throughout the programme to work as part of a team to create an ambitious professional production. The Final Project will add to your showreel and act as your ‘calling card’ when seeking professional employment.

Professional Perspective in the Creative Industries 3 (20 credits) 

The module prepares you for entry in to the creative industries by developing key skills in presentation, pitching, networking, portfolio management, and teamwork. The module focuses on work readiness by examining freelancing, self-employment, and setting up a micro-business. You will respond to briefs set by industry experts to simulate the experience of a creative industries pitch. You will have contact with industry professionals who will help to set project briefs and offer feedback on your work.

Students also choose TWO modules from the list of Year 3 options.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Students must choose TWO of the following optional modules:

Cinematography: Designing the Frame (20 credits)

You will gain practical hands-on experience of moving-image production technologies and learn how to light, control exposure and compose for the camera. The module is delivered through practical workshops, lectures and screenings.

Directing (20 Credits)

This module explores the relation between director and actor and considers the ways in which the camera and edit mediate the performance. Through practical workshops and exercises topics such as casting and working with non­actors are examined, offering creative solutions that students can take into their main assessed projects.

Editing: Practice and Theory (20 credits)

You will develop understanding of the historical development of editing practice and examines the relationships between practice and theory. A key element of your learning will be the production of a number of short visual exercises.

Students must choose ONE of the following Theory modules:

American Independent Cinema (20 credits)

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of American independent cinema since the end of the 1950s and its relationship to mainstream Hollywood cinema. You will study the work of the pioneers of the independent cinema aesthetic. You will reflect on what might constitute the independent aesthetic and explore oppositional, transgressive approaches in independent cinema and its symbiotic relationship with the mainstream.

Film Sound and Music (20 credits)

You will examine the theoretical frameworks in which film sound has been understood and relates them to production practices and developments in film sound technology. You will also consider the ways in which sound works to produce meaning and emotional effects for the audience. The module aims to enable you to make critical connections between film and other forms of auditory experience in order to better understand the use of sound in cinema.

World Cinema (20 credits)

This module aims to introduce you to a variety of international films and develop their ability to critically engage with specific expressions within the context of national identity, industry, genre/movements, themes and style. You will examine a number of movements and styles and be encouraged to interpret the significance of films and place them in the context of the larger cultural systems of which they are a part.

Global Experience in Media, Art and Design (20 credits)

You will develop your appreciation of cultural differences and how these affect your professional practice by carrying out a media project abroad. To complete the project you will need to apply the skills that you have learned on the programme so far, and engage with the host culture.

Business of Film: Producing, Financing and Management Practices (20 credits)

You will be introduced to the essential business practices of filmmaking, specifically relating to budgeting, scheduling, company structures and film financing. The role of the film producer is approached as a co-creative partner, supporting the production team and working with the director to fulfil the creative aspirations of the film project.  You will work with industry standard software that supports the planning, development and implementation of business strategies and develop a crowd funding application. 

Year 3

Students must choose TWO of the following optional modules:

Screenwriting and Script Editing (20 Credits)

This module builds on your earlier study of screenwriting and enables you to explore more substantial drama formats. You will examine scripts from an industry perspective and consider the needs of specific audiences. There will be the opportunity to write long­form material that could be developed into a production in Year 3.

Advanced Editing & Audio Post Production (20 credits)

This module builds upon the specialist study of editing and is designed for those students who have taken the Level 5 course Editing Theory and Practice. You will be introduced to ‘advanced’ editing and post-production techniques in the capacity of both visual and audio editing specialists, thereby extending your craft base and preparing for contributions towards the major film project. The module will provide opportunities to practice grading and visual effects work. Additionally, editors will have the opportunity to learn advanced sound mixing and dubbing processes. By studying this creative practice you will strengthen your show reel and thereby increase opportunities for future employment.

Film Distribution, Marketing and Festivals (20 credits)

You will be introduced to the creative business and sales practices that are used to market and promote both commercial and student films.  You will gain an understanding of the national and international film markets and festivals and learn how these avenues support the distribution process of screen media. Through practical coursework assignments you will have the opportunity to develop an informed marketing strategy for your own work.

Art Film and Video (20 credits)

This module will enable you to place art film and video within a critical context in relation to the avant-garde in other art forms and to contemporary audio-visual culture. It aims to provide you with an understanding of the historical and theoretical contexts of art film and video production, which will enable you to engage with questions of expression, representation, meaning and affect. The module will allow you to make informed connections between film and video and production, key works in art cinema and video art, and contemporary cultural discourse.

Cinematic City (20 credits)

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the meanings of space and place in contemporary cinema, with particular attention to the construction of the cinematic city. You have all visited cities in your imagination through film and television representation and this module explores the theoretical framework for thinking through how the “real” city and the “imagined” cinematic city are intertwined.

Editing: History, Technique, Art and Craft (20 credits)

This module will further your critical awareness of editing practice and theory and the historical development of editing procedures. You will analyse a range of relevant cinematic texts, practical productions and technical exercises and learn how editing is used to create meaning, which will inform your own production work.

The Horror Film (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to develop student responses to film by focusing upon the genre of horror. This will refine critical and theoretical notions including those of genre and auteur theory, mise en scène, audience response, the grotesque, the uncanny, narrative and representation in relation to the specific context of the horror film, where necessary, connecting this to specialised critical vocabulary.

Film Production prepares you for employment in the Film Industry but the skills you develop would open up opportunities in the wider creative industries, which is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the UK and global economy.

Fees

Tuition Fees for 2019/20 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Text books No purchase is mandatory.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of screenings, lectures, seminars and practical workshops. Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will also have a personal academic tutor. You will use industry-standard software and facilities throughout your course. 

You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through directed filmmaking activities and self-study. Self-study typically involves looking at films, practicing with the film equipment, reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars. For the Final Project in Year 3 you will work under the supervision of a member of the course team who you will be expected to meet on a regular basis.

Independent learning will typically take up to 24 hours each week.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 36 hours, including 12 contact hours and 24 hours pf independent learning and assessment activity.

For a 20-credit module your study time is about 12 hours a week.

Academic input

The teaching team is a creative mix of practitioners and theoreticians all of whom hold postgraduate degrees and teaching qualifications and are research-active.

Guest speakers from industry, including from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and the independent television sector, provide industry insights and expert masterclasses, which keeps the programme up-to-date and relevant. 

Assessment methods include practical films, critical reviews, essays, scripts, portfolios and presentations. Informal assessment during each module will allow you to evaluate your progress before you complete the final assessments at the end of each module that count towards your final module mark. For practical filmmaking modules the assessment typically includes a practical film project together with a written critical review. For screenwriting modules the assessment will be the submission of a script. For editing, cinematography and directing modules assessment is based on at least two practical assignments that evaluate different areas of creative practice and offer a theoretical context using found footage, photographs and/or exercises produced in a workshop context. Theory modules are typically assessed through essays and presentations.

There are no written exams.

Balance of Written Coursework to Practical Coursework

Broadly speaking coursework is 70% practice and 30% written in each year, although in Years 2 and 3 the precise balance depends on the optional modules you choose.  For theory modules written coursework elements typically comprise 100% of the module mark. Theory/practice modules typically have a 50:50 written and practical coursework balance. Practical modules typically require a practical project and written critique in an 80:20 ratio.

Feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessments.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of submission of your final assessment.

Teaching takes place on the main Canterbury campus situated on North Holmes Road. Much of the teaching takes place in Powell where we have a range of studio facilities for filming and post-production. We have a variety of different digital film cameras including the Panasonic, BlackMagic and Arri cameras. Post­production facilities include Avid and Adobe After Effects software on an Editshare network.

Our new art and design building on our Canterbury campus is scheduled to open in September 2018. The building will have bespoke learning spaces for our art and design students and will be equipped with the latest technology.

BAFTA award-winning director Tony Smith, who has worked in the film and television industry for over 30 years, runs workshops on the programme in which he shares his experience of the creative process which students can apply to their own creative practice.

Film Production has links to various independent production companies and professional filmmakers. Guest lecturers from industry provide masterclasses and professional guidance. The BA Film production has been developed out of our long running Film, Radio and Television Programme and we have an industry advisory panel made up of industry contacts and alumni of the FRTV programme who are now high ranking members of the media industry who advise on curriculum design and who also contribute to the third year module Professional Perspectives in The Creative Industries. This innovative module provides our students with the opportunity to do a mock pitch to module tutors giving them a strong sense of having responded to a “real world” creative brief. The module was used in a recent HEA report as an example of best practice in directed independent learning.

The programme is linked with NAHEMI (National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image) and MECCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association).

Jane Milton is a documentary filmmaker who has won a BAFTA and Grierson award for her television programmes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Higher Education Academy for her teaching.

Tim Jones is a documentary filmmaker who has won awards at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Festival, The Cinema World Fest and Headline International Film Festival. He has also won awards at the Canterbury Christ Church University for his innovative teaching and a Canterbury City Council award for his research on archive film.

BA Film Production is a recent development from our long established degree, Film, Radio and Television, which started in 1980, long before most other media production courses started in the UK.

Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, three time Academy Award Winner and martin Scorsese’s editor is an Honorary Fellow of the University.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • P313 Film Production, BA

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full-time

Starts

  • September 2019

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited 08/03/2018 15:24:00

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Last edited: 08/03/2018 15:24:00