You will study six core units and complete a dissertation.
Core course units:
The Role of the Producer
This series of seminars provides an overview and examines the history and theory of producing and discusses what it means to be a creative entrepreneur in film and television.
You will examine the producer’s role with a particular focus on television. You will explore the funding and commissioning process as well as the scheduling of programming.
You will be considering the way production companies work and how the producer sets the template for each production. Assessment is by an essay or treatment of 3,500 to 4,000 words.
This unit examines how best to find, evaluate and develop scripts. Through seminars, you will explore different approaches to working with writers and look at ways to help improve scripts. You will learn to analyze story in a clear and comprehensive manner. The unit teaches professional practical techniques for writing script reports and looks critically at the major theoretical works on scriptwriting. There is input from professional screenwriters, producers and script development executives. The unit is assessed by a portfolio of two script reports of 1,500 words each.
This unit runs across three terms and teaches the practical skills necessary to develop and produce a pilot for a web series, a short film and a professional pitch document for a feature film, TV or media project. You will collaborate with writing students in the Autumn Term and team-produce pilots for a web series. Spring Term will further develop your Producing skills. You will pitch to an industry panel your idea for a feature film or quality TV or cross platform project. You will be required to present a pitch package consisting of Creative Vision, Budget, Schedule, Finance Plan, Treatment, Cast and key attached talent. In the Summer Term you will produce a short film, TV pilot, or cross platform project of your own choosing. You are required to be entrepreneurial and will raise the funding, find the talent and oversee the project. You will keep a Production Folder to the highest standard on your production and will be required to evidence it on every project. You will learn about team work and the crucial creative relationships (Director, Writer, Actor, Casting Director, Director of Photography, Production Designer and Editor). The unit is assessed by Production exercise (60%), a Treatment (40%), Pitch Document (100%), Summer Film and Production Folder (100%).
This unit introduces you to the nut and bolts of production management. You will explore how the Production Department works and the role of Line Producer and Producer.
You will learn to create professional Budgets and Schedule in Movie Magic Software. You will learn how to cost all the elements involved in production as well as understand post- production and contract requirements for talent and crew. You will understand how to do produce professional production paperwork such as call sheets, movement orders, purchase orders, cost reports and accounts. You will understand what deliverables are required for both Film and TV. In addition you will learn to think strategically about production problems and location issues. The assessment ( 100%) for this course is a Budget, Schedule, Cash Flow and Creative approach to producing a high quality 50 minute TV drama.
International Media Business
You will be introduced to global media finance. You will explore the role of financial planning and the value chain in the life-cycle of film and television projects. The unit explores the wider context of financial planning in the development, financing, marketing and distribution of film and television. This unit will analyze media funding and tax incentives in the UK and elsewhere. You will learn about the global media marketplace and how to create a business and finance plan. The unit is assessed by an Oral Presentation (20%) and a written Film Finance Plan (50%).
Marketing and Media Law
This unit explores aspects of media marketing and promotion in film and television distribution and exhibition. An exploration of social media and new trends in the global marketing of films and media projects will be undertaken. You will also be introduced to the fundamental principles of media law, including contract and intellectual property law, as well as issues of content and regulation. The unit is assessed by a 2,000 word essay on law and a 2,000 word essay on marketing and distribution.
You will undertake a 10,000 word assessed dissertation or media project on a chosen topic to be agreed with the supervisor; this is intended to provide an opportunity for you to investigate your chosen area in real depth. The dissertation will have a clearly defined aim of study and arrive at a carefully argued set of conclusions derived from original research. It is expected to reflect wide research, investigating print, internet and first hand interview sources.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
- a broad and detailed understanding of the nature of film and television production; how the role of the producer impacts on the production as the creative and managerial driving force, and how the producer communicates meaning to the writer, director, film crew and to the audience
- advanced understanding of the process of producing a film and/or TV programme, from initial concept through distribution and sales
- advanced understanding of script development
- advanced understanding of the various stages of the production process and how to write a pitch, a treatment, business plan, make a deal, write a financial plan, re-coupment schedule and budget as well as all relevant production contracts and documents
- critical knowledge of the current genres and trends in film and television and how they have evolved in recent years
- an understanding of the UK film and television industries, including their structure, institutions and working practices
- a broad understanding of the group nature of film and television production and how the roles played by the key players shape and influence the creative as well as business outcomes of a project
- a clear understanding of management structure within the production company and film crew, hands-on experience of production in a professionally equipped television studio working with industry professionals as well as fellow students
- a broad understanding of health and safety, industry codes of ethics, best practice and legal undertakings
- an introduction to high quality industry software for budgeting and scheduling, and post production editing
- an understanding of film and television history
- an understanding of what creative and business skills are needed to be successful in the media industries.