ANTHGS25: Practical Documentary Filmmaking,
Interdisciplinary Module, Spring Term 2012 for 15 credits, to audit and for non-university graduates for certification
Tutor: Lasse Johannson
Download detailed Course Outline here
UCL’s ethos in putting on these courses is summed up in our saying that
"We live in a world of moving images and to communicate our ideas we
need to be as fluent in the use of sound and imagery as in the printed
or the spoken word." In addition, Lasse Johansson stresses that one of
the unique contributions of documentary is the ability to create a
special combination of distance and intimacy between the film-maker and
the subject of their film that allows it to achieve that classic
ethnographic goal of making the familiar strange, and the strange
familiar. The first step for doing this, naturally enough, is to develop
the technical skills for documentary filmmaking, and then to explore
the aesthetic and narrative opportunities that the medium offers.
ANTHGS25 in Spring 2012 offers students a unique hands-on practice-based training in shooting, recording sound, editing and directing their own film documentary film, using the Panasonic (card based) cameras, workstations and facilities in the department's visual laboratory - for credit as part of a masters degree (15 course credits) to graduates in anthropology, humanities, social sciences, and to suitably qualified applicants from other subject areas. We encourage students who take this as part of a degree to make a film relevant to their academic work - and hence allow a very wide range of 'documentary modes'.
Thus, students will be trained in the technical and creative skills of video and digital technology to represent and document aspects of the human condition to broadcast standards under the guidance of a group of teachers with film, anthropology and film training backgrounds.
Working with Johannson and other senior tutors who will come in to listen to film pitches mid term and offer advice early in film making as well as at Rough Cut stage, students will develop practical, creative, intellectual, ethical and narrative skills in the service of completing a 15-minute video project.
As distinct from the Autumn Term course, which focuses primarily on anthropological, ethnographic, and participatory filmmaking, the ANTHGS25/Spring Term course focuses on documentary narrative, via single-person, multi-tasking filmmaking using a multitude of genres, in which students shoot, record sound, edit and direct their own documentary film.
During the course students will explore a range of the technical, stylistic, aesthetic, and representational dynamics involved in video construction, ultimately finding a form which best reflects the content and story of their individual film projects.
Structure of the Course:
- This being a practical course, the reading load focuses on technical handouts and equipment manuals. In addition, numerous exemplary documentaries (including Vikram Jayanti’s) will be made available for students to view, as part of the coursework discussion.
- The usual reading requirement is exchanged for the compulsory hours each student spends on practical work and editing their own project, estimated at 100 to 150 hours for a 15-minute film.
- The Senior Tutor and his colleagues are available to students outside the classroom to assist and comment on the final editing stage of student's video projects.
- The course is assessed 80% on the student's final 15-minute video project, devised, shot and edited during the course, and 20% on a Project Diary.
- Weeks 1-3 of the course focus on hands-on exercises and appraisal sessions aimed at preparing the student in manual control of camera image, synchronous sound and techniques of sequence building and shooting to edit.
- Weeks 4-5 concentrate on synopsis, treatment, location, characterisation, narrative structure, scripting, storyboarding, logistics, legal and ethical responsibilities, narrative structure, aesthetics, character and location research.
- Weeks 6-8 are concerned with developing editing skills using the student's own digitised footage, through assembly, to rough cutting and on to fine cutting and picture lock.
- The final 9th week deals with outputting, DVD authoring and finding an audience.
- During 5 weeks of the subsequent vacation (and the last four weeks of post-production training, Weeks 6-9) students should be working on the rushes/footage that they have successfully filmed.
The course will entail a Laboratory Fee on top of any fee for a UCL Masters degree to cover the cost of tuition and equipment. Places are reserved by paying a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the fee. If you are not from the anthropology department please ensure with your course tutor that s/he agrees to you taking this course before making any payment.
UCL Masters' students from School of Historical and Social Sciences and from the Arts and Humanities Faculty who take the course for credit will be charged a £1,000 Laboratory Fee. £475 will be paid by their degree to the account of ANTHGS20.
UCL Masters students from other faculties will need to seek our help to determine whether their degree programmes can help subsidise their fee.
Any UCL student not taking the course for credit (e.g. PhD students) will need to pay the full £1,500 Laboratory Fee.
Students at any other university may do this course at full fee (and for grade if their home institution accepts this as part of their degree).
Members of the interested public are also welcome at full fee.
All course members will have full access to the UCL Anthropology Audio Visual Lab with 11 Final Cut Pro enabled Macs as well as camera kits for the duration of the course.
For further information please contact Dr Michael Stewart, email@example.com