BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking (Two-Year)

Guari Chadha

  • “Met gave me my life!”
    Gauri Chadha - Assistant Director Mission Impossible 4 2-Year BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking Graduate, 2010

BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking is designed for students who want intensive training in practical filmmaking over two years.

Students will undertake a series of modules. At the end of the programme, students will receive one of two awards, which will reflect the options chosen across the two years. These awards are:

– BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking
– BA (Hons) Film & Digital Cinematography

On the BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking programme students develop an understanding of the production and technical processes relevant to the Film and TV industries. Delivered by industry professionals, students are taught ways of conceptualising and evaluating their work through the creation of filmed artefacts. Those on this programme gain knowledge of the ethical and regulatory frameworks that affect film and TV production.

In Year One students undertake a series of filmed exercises, write and direct their own short film, make a documentary film and collaborate in creating episodic TV.

In Year Two students make an opening sequence to a feature film, collaborate on the production of a feature film and make their own experimental  film. The programme culminates in students undertaking a graduation project.

 

Watch our BA programmes overview to get more information about studying with us from our students and tutors.

 

Click on the tabs below to gain full details of the Year-One and Year-Two BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking Modules.

Modules

Year One Modules
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Foundations in Filmmaking

This module provides students with a grounding in all aspects of practical filmmaking from original concept to delivery - covering the creative, technical and logistical aspects of filmmaking.

We focus on giving students a working knowledge of film grammar as well as an understanding of industry conventions and the importance of professional on set behaviour.

We place great emphasis on narrative storytelling and script development, techniques in pre-production planning; how to direct actors; screen history and meaning; how to use a digital camera; lighting; sound; editing and post-production.

The module culminates with each student directing their own 3 minute short film exercise. In this exercise students demonstrate their writing, directing and editing skills. This module also provides students with the tools for self-development and self-reflection.

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Making Short Films

This module brings together the craft and creative skills taught in the previous module, by requiring students to engage with the process of professional film production through the making of a short film on location. This module will take students through the entire process from the writing of a screenplay to the editing of a film.

Through workshops, seminars and tutorials this module provides students with the opportunity to focus on the key areas of film production with the aim of presenting a production portfolio for a short film.

In order to develop their creative sensibilities and professional understanding of writing, directing and cinematography, students will be asked to shoot, direct and edit a short film. They will also be asked to crew in a variety of production roles to demonstrate that they can combine creativity and applied craft skills while working as a committed member of a production team. Students will be required to write a formatted screenplay as well as presenting a production portfolio before their shoot.

During the first few weeks of the module, Cinematography students are engaged in the production of their own 60 second commercial whilst the filmmaking students are writing their script for their short narrative film. Cinematography students are assessed through this piece of work by their ability to lead a crew, the quality of the concept for their commercial, their approach to lighting and the ability to control the shooting process and realise their vision.

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Professional Practice

This module introduces students to various film, TV and new media formats both fiction and non-fiction. Students will make their own documentary film exploring interview and observational techniques under the guidance of an experienced documentary filmmaker. Students will develop a critical awareness of documentary texts and the documentary tradition, which will inform their work as documentary filmmakers. Students will also pitch a proposal for their documentary film to an industry panel before embarking on shooting their documentary film.

During Small Screen Production students will develop an in-depth knowledge of TV production techniques, covering technical, production and creative skills that are used to produce programmes such as TV drama serials. Students will work collaboratively on a single programme, devised by the group in response to the brief set by the tutor who will act as executive producer. Students will be encouraged to be innovative rather than emulate and work across new media formats in the creation of episodic TV.

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Year Two Modules
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Crafting Narratives

This module broadly allows students to explore various genres of film production. The productions students complete during this module cover a range of established storytelling formats and demonstrate how genre creates meaning in film and TV.

In Movements in Film students explore and define the key principles associated with major 20th and 21st century film movements such as German Expressionism, Film Noir, Italian Neorealism, French New Wave, American New Wave and British Social Realism.

In Crafting Genre students examine the role of genre in a filmmaking environment through the production of an opening sequence for a genre feature film. Students will participate in seminars from genre industry specialists, workshops, group tutorials and practical exercises designed to increase their understanding of genre and how genre creates meaning in film, and the relationship between film, filmmaker and audience.

Students will work in teams to produce the opening sequence of a genre feature film of their choice and prepare location and studio shoots, fulfilling key roles and responsibilities. Students will develop further their skills in the production areas of screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, sound recording, production design, post-production and budget management. In Multi-Camera Production students are introduced to multi-camera filming, lighting, sound and vision-mixing concepts for live and as-live productions. Students gain experience of the studio floor roles (including studio cameraman, sound recording and engineering, floor manager) along with an understanding of the function of a studio gallery and practice in its operation. These technical skills will be taught using practical examples of TV genres including news and magazine programmes, quiz, reality and entertainment shows, and TV multi-camera comedy and drama.

In Visual Storytelling cinematography students gain a thorough understanding of how the relationship between the frame that is to be photographed and the images within the frame affects the audiences’ reading of an image. Working with actors, students develop a critically informed understanding of the relationship between classic and contemporary composition and appreciate the creative and technical implications of framing a scene.

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Feature Filmmaking

This module enables students to enhance their specialist skills in either screenwriting, directing or cinematography, gain a working knowledge of the importance of production planning and the delegation of roles within a production team as well as observing the specialist skills demonstrated by others during the production of a feature film.

Students will specialise in a particular role within a feature film shoot, taking in a different scale of work both in terms of length and ambition of the production, and in terms of employing advanced professional practices.

This module is intended to advance, enhance, and extend students technical, logistic, and creative knowledge in a professional context. Students will learn from industry specialists currently working in feature film production management, casting, location management, script supervising and production design. Filmmaking is a collaborative art form and effective production is about communication and collaboration. It is conveying ideas, inspiring an audience, arousing emotion. In order to achieve this it is absolutely essential to grasp the importance of effective group work; students will discover the key to a successful feature film production is positive, disciplined and balanced effort within the team.

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BA Graduation

In this final module students engage in two research-led projects which foster personal creativity, new methods of working, and explore the boundaries of digital media to discover new and innovative applications and techniques.

During Experimental Filmmaking students pitch, make and exhibit their own experimental film. Students will explore various approaches to the medium, some that are removed from the dominant conventions of the drama film and challenge current industrial modes of production, and others that are pushing the boundaries of digital media discovering new and innovative applications that may well become the conventions of the future.

The module culminates in students making their own graduation project to be showcased at a celebratory screening at the end of the two years. The Graduation Project is a major piece of work that draws on the skills and concepts students have learnt throughout the programme. Students can choose to make either a narrative film, pilot for a television programme or write a feature film screenplay in a genre of their own choosing. Students are encouraged to perform a role on the project specific to their skills and career development such as writer, director, producer, director of photography or editor. This project provides students with an understanding of current markets and the means of exhibition and distribution available to them, whilst creating a product suitable for their show reel.

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Programme Aims

  1. Be technically assured in all aspects of production and postproduction for film and related media

  2. Take part in filmed exercises that reflect the core concepts of the module they are studying. These exercises will showcase acquired understanding of varying visual formats and the ability to take on a range of production roles

  3. Leave with a showreel that demonstrates their acquired filmmaking skills and experience

  4. Complete at least six short films, both individually and collaboratively, across a range of formats and genres

Start Dates & Prices

  • 5 October 2015 —
  • 8 February 2016 —
  • 3 October 2016 —
  • Price

    £22,000/y
    Minimum Age:  18 at start of course
    Entry requirements:  160 Tariff points.  If you are 21 or over this criterion does not apply. Call us now for more information on our requirements and how to start your application process.
    Application Process: Refer to our application process for our two-year programme. Spaces are limited-apply now to secure your place.
    UK Students applying via UCAS: 
    Institution Code: W05
    Course Code: W600
    Apply Now
  • Price

    £22,000/y
    Minimum Age:  18 at start of course
    Entry requirements:  160 Tariff points.  If you are 21 or over this criterion does not apply. Call us now for more information on our requirements and how to start your application process.Duration: Two Years Full-Time
    Application Process: Refer to our application process for our two-year programme. Spaces are limited-apply now to secure your place.
    UK Students applying via UCAS: 
    Institution Code: W05
    Course Code: W600
    Apply Now
  • Price

    £22,000/y
    Minimum Age:  18 at start of course
    Entry requirements:  160 Tariff points.  If you are 21 or over this criterion does not apply. Call us now for more information on our requirements and how to start your application process.Duration: Two Years Full-Time
    Application Process: Refer to our application process for our two-year programme. Spaces are limited-apply now to secure your place.
    UK Students applying via UCAS: 
    Institution Code: W05
    Course Code: W600
    Apply Now