MEDI H3602 - Documentary Making

Module Title:Documentary Making
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: There will be a combination of lectures, tutorials, screenings, practical workshops, production exercises and group discussion/critique.
Module Aim: This module aims to give students a critical understanding of documentary making and provide a practical application of the fundamental pre-production, production and post-production conventions of this genre.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Demonstrate the principal skills of a producer through sound editorial judgement, team leadership, problem solving, and an in-depth understanding of story and character progression.
LO2 Apply director skills through identifying and applying visual and aural evidence via production & post-production techniques.
LO3 Generate an edit that reveals new emotional or narrative information or meaning not told through dialogue or V/O.
LO4 Create and mix a landscape of sound that seamlessly heightens the overall expression and meaning of the story.
LO5 Demonstrate the ability to apply critiques of their work from an editorial and technical point of view.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Understanding Story 1. Research 2. Narrative Spine 3. Finding and casting compelling contributors appropriate to story, brief and genre 4. Documentary arc 5. Collapsing and expanding time 6. Creative Approaches – case studies 7. Putting Together your Documentary Crew
Directing the Production 1.Preparation & writing a documentary script 2. Ethical judgements 3. Understanding visual ‘artefacts’ to reveal story, add mood and symbolism 4. Visual language and storytelling without sound or words 5. Camera placement and movement to enhance mood and story. Interview set-up with multiple cameras. 6. Audio techniques. Choosing an appropriate interior or exterior location, using multiple microphones, recording foley and atmosphere sounds on-set. 7. Lighting to complement location, enhance mood, story and internal and external struggle 8. Professionalism and ethics during a shoot
Editing the Documentary 1. Transcript editing 2. Editing the script 3. Logging 4. Openings 5. Middles 6. Ends 7. Pace & rhythm that enhance emotional content & audience involvement 8. Mixing a landscape of sound that heightens the overall story expression 9. Record and mix foley to recreate the reality of a scene 10. Utilising sound design to encode emotion, time and place 11. Knowing when to cut or boost sound to enhance the story 12. Employing and creating music appropriate to the mood, theme and character 13. Mixing sounds to create an effective balance between dialogue, music, & effects 14. First cut to the final cut
Assessment Breakdown%
No Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Project Pre-production for 15 min documentary project. Students will be graded on their pitch and supporting documents (pre-interview scripts, briefs, story arc, documentary script etc.). They will also submit a 1-minute pilot video. 1,2,5 50.00 Week 5
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Production & post-production for 15-minute documentary film. Students will be graded on the production and post-production skills demonstrated in the making of the documentary film. 2,3,4,5 50.00 Week 13
No End of Module Formal Examination

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Every Week 1.00
Practicals Every Week 2.00
Independent Learning Every Week 1.00
Total Hours 4.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_EETVM_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in TV and Media Production 5 Mandatory
CW_EETVM_D Bachelor of Science in TV and Media Production 5 Mandatory