Introduction The MA in Film Production is a 1 year full-time programme that begins in October of each year, and offers graduate students opportunities to undertake intensive study in production skills in 16mm film and video. The programme provides instruction in sound recording and design, camerawork, lighting, editing, scriptwriting, budgeting and directing. The Department of Media is housed in a purpose built complex with professionally designed studios, cutting rooms and editing facilities.
Course Description This MA Programme is aimed particularly at people who have a good first degree in a subject such as film, television, or media studies but who have limited practical experience. Good honours degrees in other subjects, together with evidence of a serious interest in film and video production outside a formal academic context, may also be appropriate.
This MA Programme will suit people who want a general introduction to all areas of pre-production, production and post-production within 16mm film and digital video. Although some degree of specialisation is possible this MA should be seen as a general introduction to all areas. One of the advantages of this approach is that all our MA students are encouraged to write and direct their own films.
During the first term of the programme (October - December) students undertake a number of familiarisation exercises in film and video, developing pre-production, production and post-production skills. These exercises include 4 short 16mm productions and a number of video productions. These are carried out in small teams and it should be noted that teamwork is a major focal point of this MA. In the second term (January - March), the programme concentrates on the further development of skills in scriptwriting, cinematography, directing, sound design/dubbing with ProTools, editing with Avid and compositing with After Effects. During this term students carry out the pre-production for their assessed film/video. This is then shot and edited in the final term (April - June). A budget of up to £500 is provided to cover the basic costs of production. Students receive support through individual tutorials, group seminars and studio classes.
The MA in Film Production is predominantly practical but it should not be seen only as a vocational preparation. Its important theoretical component is related to the practical side and a weekly two-hour session covers theoretical issues such as narrative style, representation or national identity. In addition, students are obliged to attend weekly screenings and playbacks in the final year undergraduate courses. During July, August and September students research and write a 12000 word dissertation on the theory underpinning their assessed film.
Resources The Department's video equipment includes DVC-PRO video cameras (equivalent to Digibeta), tracks, doorway dolly, jib, specialist lighting gear, editing on AVID Xpress Pro, sound dubbing in a digital dubbing suite using ProTools, and software such as Photoshop, After Effects and Flash. There is also a newly equipped 3 camera TV Studio using digital widescreen cameras, gallery with digital desk and sound room with 32 channel mixer.
Our film resources offer fully professional 16mm and Super 16 opportunities, using Arriflex, Aaton and Bolex cameras, Nagra sound recorders, solid state recorders, a fully equipped studio and portable lighting kits for location work.
Outside the Department there is a student run campus radio station, in which many students participate. BBC regional radio (Radio Kent) also operates a studio in the Media building and offers student involvement with professional broadcasting.
Student Destinations Students who successfully complete the MA have gone onto a wide range of Media related careers often starting at the assistant level and moving up from there. A number of ex-students work within Camera Departments, Producing and Feature Film Editing. Lecturing within Further Education and Higher Education has also been a particularly successful employment route.
Funding Significant funding may be available for UK and EU students who have a good academic background [e.g. a first class or 2.1 honours degree] from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (A.H.R.C.) Please see their website for application details (http://www.ahrb.ac.uk/) Please note that this application process takes some months with a completion deadline in April.
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