This taught degree programme has a unique focus, offering training in all aspects of filmmaking, from concept and creative development through the filmmaking process and on to distribution and marketing. By the end of the degree, students will have developed a competition and festival-ready calling-card short film, together with transferrable skills in developing and marketing their product and an understanding of the nature of the film industry.
Teaching on this degree conforms to current industry practice, and includes training and mentoring in standard development documents, such as screenplay, treatment and storyboards, and in areas such as risk assessment and budget management. Visiting guest speakers from various areas of the film industry provide an essential context on changing practices, as well as offering useful information of their own experiences in film. The programme does not include training in basic production techniques, and successful applicants will have a first degree in Media Studies or a related discipline, and/or equivalent industry experience.
All students on this programme receive a production budget.
The Film Industry: The aim of this module is to foster an understanding of the workings of the international film industry; film production, distribution, exhibition, marketing and consumption will all be examined. There will be an initial focus on the historical development of the film industry on an international scale, with a particular emphasis on Hollywood and its relationship with the rest of the world. Various aspects and traditions within the modern day film industry will be examined, including ‘independent’ and ‘world’ cinema, and the situation in the UK, as well as Hollywood today.
Concept Development: This module introduces students to the practical and theoretical aspects of developing concepts for film, as well as the craft of screenwriting including script formatting, style, structure, genre, plotting, characterisation and dialogue. Students will be encouraged to develop professional writing habits and to give and receive critically constructive comment and advice, as well an understanding of storytelling in visual media at postgraduate level.
Film Production: The micro short: This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of the technical aspects of filmmaking, including direction, camera-work, lighting, music and editing, with the aim of producing a high-quality two-minute short film. Students will also gain understanding of the economic forces that frame the film industry and an understanding of the role of technology in production, content manipulation, distribution, access and use.
Writing the Short Film: This module expands students’ practical experience of screenwriting, and advances core theories on the synthesis of creative and industry practice, as well as focusing specifically on the history, format, aesthetics and demands of the short film. Students will also learn how to present and communicate their concepts in industry standard documents such as beat sheets, treatments and storyboards, in order to facilitate the filming of short film screenplays in the latter part of the MA course.
Pre-Production: The short film: This module aims to develop knowledge on the practical and budgetary aspects of pre-producing a festival quality short film, including commissioning strategies, casting, rehearsals, risk assessment, location scouting, and the managing and co-ordination of a production crew. Students will also manage a production budget in order to understand the economic practicalities of filmmaking and the importance of the commissioning and funding structures of the creative industries.
Film Production - Dissertation: This module utilises the skills and knowledge developed during the previous modules on this MA; providing students with funding and the opportunity to recruit a crew from undergraduate students to produce a short film. Students will generate work that displays exceptional capability in operational aspects of media production technologies, systems, techniques and professional practices to produce a competition and festival-ready calling-card short film.