Second Year Film and Television Production: Second Semester Summary!

So here I am again, back talking to you about my modules, however, unlike last time this is all about my second semester of my second year in Film and Television Production!
Technically, today is my last academic day of second year, which is super scary yet exciting at the same time! So quite a bit has changed over this last academic year, and I’ve learnt so much about myself as a person, which I can’t wait to share with you over the next couple of months! Anyway, as I did before in my first-semester post, I will be going through the modules, giving my opinion on each one, enjoy!
(Disclaimer: modules on this course are always changing so might be different or non-existent by the time you’re reading this blog post.)


Advanced Post Production: (Optional)
Short version: Great module, however, it’s a lot of work!

“Advanced Post Production develops your skills of editing and forms the basis your practical and conceptual understanding of digital non-linear editing, using industry standard software.”

Long version: As the quote suggests, advanced post-production is all about learning how to edit using premiere pro and the history surrounding editing.
The module is marked in two parts: a portfolio of weekly tasks and an exam.
The exam is made up of content from the module reading list, lectures and practical exercises, and is worth 30% of your overall mark, as the portfolio makes up the rest.
The portfolio is comprised of 5 tasks:

  • Exercise 1 Manipulating Media (10%):  This task is about manipulating pictures using keyframes, creating movement in your images.
  • Exercise 2 Using Keyframes (10%): For this task, you learn to blur a face and must go out and record footage of your own for this piece.
  • Exercise 3 Multicamera Editing (10%): As the excise suggest, you learn how to edit multiple camera feeds together, and you must record your own footage for this task.
  • Exercise 4 Factual Production Techniques (60%): This is the main part of your portfolio and is a 3-minute factual video about any element of editing history you chose to do it on. It must include an interview, a narration, images, video, titles and music.
  • Exercise 5 Audio Dub (10%): For this task, you pick one minute of a three-minute video provided to source all the audio for and edit into the scene.

The pros of taking the module are: the lectures are great allowing you to learn more of the historical side of editing which is super interesting and fun. The seminars are taught in a way which allows you to learn at your own speed without the added pressure of messing up, and allows you to ask questions if you get stuck, which most of the time you won’t need to as the lecturers are great at teaching people how to use the software. Additionally, there is one-on-one support if needed throughout creating your portfolio.

However, this module does have it’s cons, one of which is that you have to record all the footage and audio you use for the task, which can be difficult on times as it can be a bit of a juggling act with other modules as you have to work on all of them at once, and it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do that. Also, you can only edit on campus, which has been an issue for some people I know.

Overall though, this module is a great introduction into editing and it’s techniques. And I have found it an extremely useful skill to have as I have already used the skills I have learnt in this module, in another one of my modules. So I’d highly recommend this one if you’re a budding editor, or just want to try your hand at something new!

Research for Film and Television: (Compulsory)
Short version: I still don’t like this module.

“Research for Film and Television develops your skills in academic research. The module surveys a range of research methods and equips you with the necessary skills to undertake a film and television focused research project.”

Long version: As I stated last time I talked about this module: “Theory isn’t for everyone, and I am the everyone in this situation.” And that has not changed one bit I am sorry to report, theory is still not my cup of tea. I can appreciate that essays are needed to make the degree legitimate, but at the same time I would much rather be doing practical work in all honesty, as I feel that suits my skill set much more. Essay wise, I’m still not very interested in this module as it’s veered quite a bit away from film and more into different methods of research, which is great if you enjoy sociology, but I would much rather be analysing films.

On a happier note, this module has taught me one very important thing which is I am not the type of person who is suited to do a dissertation, it’s just not for me, which I’m super happy I’ve found out now. As sometimes it’s nice to find out your weaknesses as it helps you find out what your strengths are. Because of this, I will not be doing a dissertation in my third year and instead will be taking two modules in it’s place! (Speaking about third-year modules, I’m planning on writing a ‘First impressions’ post, next month about the modules I’ve chosen and what I hope to learn from them, so keep an eye out for that!)

Documentary (Optional)
Short version: Love the idea of it, however practically it can be a bit messy.

“Welcome to the Real World: Documentary Production offers you the opportunity to research, develop and produce a short documentary film that could be considered for submission to a festival or competition or for exhibition over an alternative platform.”

Long version: Documentary has been a real whirlwind of a module. It’s been jam-
packed from start to finish
, and stressful on times. But overall, I’m glad that I chose this module. It didn’t sugar coat anything and taught me how to deal with issues as they arise.

The main part of the coursework for this module is a 3 – 5 minute documentary around the theme “What matters?”. For this, I chose to create a documentary about autism which was really interesting to film!
Additionally, there were a couple of filming exercises, one of which was a one-minute stills documentary, which you have to write about in a reflective report (essay).
The pros of taking this module are: you get to research and learn more about the topic you’ve chosen to create a documentary about which is really interesting. Making the documentary itself, as at the end of the process you can add it to your showreel and hopefully be proud of it. And finally, it’s a chance to experiment with a new art form as making a documentary is very different than making a normal scripted film.

The cons however of taking documentary is that the module is very group work heavy, so teamwork is an issue on times if everyone isn’t working efficiency. Deadlines can stress you out and can creep up on you, as there is a lot to plan and organise. And finally, as I said before, it can be a juggling act with other modules on times as the module demands a lot of you, especially as I’m the director in my group. Overall, this module is rewarding if you love documentaries as much as I do, as you need to be motivated and prepared to put the hours in, as all the work and stress is totally worth it when you have the finished product in your hand!

I hope you learned something from this post or at least found it interesting. There is a lot
of other modules that I have not discussed as unfortunately, you can’t study them all, so please feel free to check out the website for the rest of them.
Again thanks for reading and following me through this academic year, it means a lot to me! I’m currently writing a post about my academic timetable as I get asked a lot about how many hours I have to be on campus for each week, so stayed tuned for that!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Pleasantville (1998)

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