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Unit information: Film and Television Production Technologies and Techniques in 2020/21

Unit name Film and Television Production Technologies and Techniques
Unit code FATVM0022
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Milner
Open unit status Not open




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


As a foundation to the unit(s) and dissertation option(s) it serves, this intensive and practical unit is designed to put in place the basic technical skills and understandings required to operate professional high-definition cameras, associated sound recording equipment, and industry-standard digital editing software, and the process of realising a film sequence. Specific coverage will include:

  • Exposure and the particular technical challenges of digital imaging
  • The lens and what it does  focal length and control of perspective, depth of field etc. (and choosing your shots)
  • The basics of 3-point lighting and the challenge of colour and tone
  • Sound and how to record it, including challenges in sound recording in awkward places
  • The editing process, including preparation of material, stages in professional practice, the professional fine cut, and finishing and exporting the edited project

The unit leads to all students making a short sequence under real world conditions, requiring competent technique and functional understanding of the grammar of film language.

The unit is aimed at embedding basic and functional technical and conceptual competency in the technologies of entry-level professional production in film and television, so students can proceed to work on creative film projects and to more sophisticated elements of realisation in the unit(s) and dissertation option(s) it serves.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will:

1. Have acquired functional competence to operate in any of the key technical roles that are usually needed on small-scale non-fiction projects (that do not involve complex lighting, staging or design), and demonstrate this competence by participating in the shooting and editing of a short film.

2. Have acquired a functional understanding of the grammar of sequence construction and the techniques of shooting and editing a coherent and legible narrative (of an unstaged event) for the purposes of a short film.

3. Be able to reflect on the creative decisions taken during production in order to advance their practical expertise of the benefit of future production work.

Teaching details

Bi-weekly group tutorials, 7 x lectures, 6 x technical demo/workshops, supported by self-directed tasks where appropriate.

Assessment Details

100% Practical Portfolio

Reading and References

Brown, Blain (2008) Motion picture and video lighting 2nd ed. Focal Press, Dancyger, Ken (1997) Technique of Film and Video Editing (Focal Press)
Figgis, Mike (2007) Digital Film-making (Faber)
Weynand, Diana (2009) Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro (Peachpit Press)
Wheeler, Paul (2001) Digital Cinematography (Focal Press)
Wishart, Trevor (1994) Audible design: a plain and easy introduction to practical sound composition (Orpheus the Pantomime)