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Unit information: Digital Filmmaking in 2016/17

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Unit name Digital Filmmaking
Unit code DRAM30027
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Maingard
Open unit status Not open

DRAM11007 Production Skills for Film or equivalent



School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit explores digital video as a mode of production and digital cinema as an audio-visual form. It focuses on the changes in production practice and film style that have occurred in tandem with the technological changes of the last fifteen years, exploring a range of uses of and responses to recent technologies in modes of production such as fiction, documentary, animation and experimental film and video. The unit encourages students to engage critically with digital technologies, and to incorporate the use of digital video into their intellectual and creative lives. It also aims to familiarise students with a range of digital film-making techniques, and to develop students’ practical skills in areas including camerawork, sound recording, directing, producing, production design/art direction, and post-production.

The unit is Open, by approval of unit convenor (based on evidence of appropriate practical skills).

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate an understanding of digital filmmaking and its aesthetic and conceptual implications;

(2) situate digital filmmaking in an appropriate conceptual framework drawn from relevant theories on its social and aesthetic aspects;

(3) create short films making specific use of digital filmmaking technologies that engage with conceptual and aesthetic issues related to this form of filmmaking;

(4) demonstrate advanced practical skills in one or more aspects of short filmmaking (for example, camera, editing).

Teaching details

Weekly 2-hour seminar/workshop + weekly 3-hour screening/workshop, production tutorials (within workshop sessions) and practical work (both independent and partially supervised)

Assessment Details

4-8 minute film (50%) ILO 1, 3-4

3000 word reflexive account of practical work (50%) ILO 1-2

Films can be made either individually or in groups, at the unit convenor’s discretion and within a defined range (i.e. individual projects and small groups, or larger groups and no individual projects). The required length of the film will vary, depending on the number of students involved and the specific nature of the project. Films made in groups will be awarded a single grade.

Reading and References

Billups, S. (2008) Digital Moviemaking 3.0. Los Angeles: Michael Wiese Productions

Ondaatje, M. and Murch, W. (2002) The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing. London: Bloomsbury

Mulvey, L. (2006) Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image. London: Reaktion

Rodowick, D.N. 2007. The Virtual Life of FIlm. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Willis, H. (2005) New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image. London: Wallflower.