DMED H3026 - Drama Filmmaking

Short Title:Drama Filmmaking
Full Title:Drama Filmmaking
Module Code:DMED H3026
ECTS credits: 5
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Contributor:Hugh Rodgers
Module Description:This module aims to provide students with all the necessary theory, skills and experience to make short fictional films of quality. There will be a focus on writing scripts, working with actors, lighting and cinematography, and post-production techniques. They will also gain a deeper insight into the film business and inner workings of the industry.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of film theory, the language and grammar of film, and the history of cinema.
  2. Conceive and develop a concept, write a script and translate it into a dynamic visual story for the screen.
  3. Demonstrate a proficiency in a range of skills necessary in the making of a film production- including: scriptwriting, casting, camera operating & cinematography, lighting, sound recording, scouting locations, sourcing props, financing, budgeting, producing, directing, editing, grading, titling, sound-mixing and outputting final files for delivery.
  4. Successfully work as part of a creative team - solve problems, divide roles and responsibility, and work together to make a quality piece of work.
  5. Plan and produce a successful short film production, demonstrating an understanding of industry standards and best practice.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Film Theory and History
• Learning the language of film and cinema literacy • Understanding genre and sub-genre • Semiotics and decoding film • Film history
Film Pre-production
• Script writing and introduction to final draft • Budget and how to shoot for less • Pitch, high concept and treatment • Applying for funding • Casting: auditions, casting calls, screen tests, read-throughs and rehearsals • Developing production schedules: script breakdown, shooting schedule, production schedule, shot lists, shooting scripts and storyboards • Crew: key personnel and roles. Which students will do what? • Production design and art direction: props, dressing locations, costumes and makeup • Developing call sheets and getting organised for production
Film Production
• Camera and cinematography: master scene method, subjective and objective views, blocking scenes, coverage, plan scene, Hitchcock’s rule, visual language and basic composition rules. • Camera dynamics: moving with the camera including pan, tilt, zoom, handheld, move in/out, tracking shots, counter moves. • Using lights to tell a story: covering the history of lighting in film, lighting effects, using reflectors and basic positioning. • Directing actors. • Sound: capturing pristine dialogue • Log sheets: keeping organised, continuity, and the importance of the clapperboard. • Viewing and backing up rushes / dailies.
Film Post-production
• Film editing: creating the rough cut, fine cut and film editing techniques • Adding graphics including opening titles and credits • Post-production sound: adding wild track and room tone / atoms. Adding sound effects, voice overs, foley and developing M&E track and continuity script for foreign release. • Music and score
Film business and legal matters
• Irish tax incentives and funding opportunities: section 481, BAI/RTÉ, Irish Film Board • Legal matters: basic media law and legal forms including location release form, artwork release form, cast and crew release form, non-disclosure agreement • Insurance: what to insure and what not to insure • Film unions and pay scales: SIPTU and Equity • Distribution methods • Submission to film festivals • Marketing and promoting your film
Indicative Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work Assessment %100.00%
Course Work Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Project Make a 5 to 10 minute fiction film that is captivating, innovative, audacious or in some way thought provoking. The film may include animation, but should mainly consist of live action. All films should be produced to very high standard and have been developed through a rigorous pre-production phase; production and post-production should be conducted to a professional standard. All necessary documentation and legal forms must be used and submitted as part of the assessment. 1,2,4,5 60.00 n/a
Practical/Skills Evaluation Presenting verbal pitch; developing a script; composing a storyboard; combining animated work with live action; shooting blocked film sequences; shooting with moving camera; setting up casting sessions and interviewing actors. 1,2 20.00 n/a
Essay Critical analysis of film or film genre in the form of essay; report covering legal or business matters related to filmmaking; a “pop-quiz’ style test on creative or business film terminology. 1 20.00 n/a
No Final Exam Assessment %

ITB reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Indicative Module Workload & Resources

Indicative Workload: Full Time
Frequency Indicative Average Weekly Learner Workload
Every Week 30.00
Every Week 45.00
Recommended Book Resources
  • Gaspard, J & Newton, D. 2007, Digital filmmaking 101 – an essential guide to producing low-budget movies, Michael Wiese Productions
  • Brown, B. 2002, Cinematography theory and practice – image making for cinematographers, directors and videographers, Focal Press
  • Arnold, B. & Eddy, B. 2007, Exploring Visual Storytelling – The art of turning good ideas into compelling stories, Thomson Delmar Learning
  • Frensham, R. 2003, Teach yourself Screenwriting, Hodder Education
  • Monaco, J. 1981, How To Read A Film – The Art, Technology, Language, History, and Theory of Film and Media, Oxford University Press
  • Cook, P., Bernink, M. 1985, The Cinema Book, British Film Institute
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Box, H. 2010, Set Lighting Technician's Handbook – Film Lighting Equipment, Practice and Electrical Distribution, Focal Press
  • Gates, R., Production Management for Film and Video, Focal Press
This module does not have any article/paper resources
This module does not have any other resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
BN_DDMED_8 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Digital Media [240 ECTS credits] 5 Mandatory
BN_DDMED_7 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Digital Media [180 ECTS credits] 5 Mandatory