We have had regular lectures from industry professionals. Recent guest speakers include award winning Director Olly Lambet and Editor David Charap.
Guest commissioners provide students with knowledge of and links to current commissioning strategies. Several of our invited commissioners have subsequently worked with our students on developing their projects.
The Media Arts Centre offers you 24/7 access to Final Cut Pro in our editing rooms and media labs, recently equipped with the latest Mac Pro and iMac computers. On weekdays, our Location Store provides an equipment loan and advisory support service with a lending stock that includes twenty Sony PMW-100 XDCAM cameras, twenty Sennheiser radio microphone kits and a selection of professional quality sound recording and lighting equipment.
With access to the latest digital recording and editing equipment, the MA in Documentary by Practice offers you an in-depth study of creative production, taking you from conception through commissioning to research, composition and exhibition.
You will be provided with excellent tuition in self-shooting documentary filmmaking techniques. You will be able to meet the growing demand for self-shooting directors and producers in both the independent and commercial documentary industries.
From Idea to Screen introduces the practice of documentary film making - exploring eclectic notions of the genre, from the conventional to those more associated with fine art. Idea to Screen is a seminar, tutorial and development lab based course, which will explore the conceptual and formal challenges of creative Documentary Filmmaking.
At Royal Holloway we are continually looking for ways to consolidate lecturer’s professional practice and student learning. These research led teaching initiatives create an important synergy between staff research interests /industry experience and student learning outcomes. The course tutor begins with case studies linked to their own professional practice. Their work is deconstructed across all its constituent parts idea, conception, pre-production planning, and research, shooting and post-production. Idea to Screen will explore ways of translating observations and ideas into imagery – both visual and aural. There will be an emphasis on experimental forms of narrative – at time crossing the boundaries between fine art and documentary.
Foundations of Production – consists of Development lab days, seminars and guest lectures. It aims to give students across the whole range of documentary practice, from reportage to experimental, the research and producing know-how they need to complement their skills as directors in order to support their work now and beyond university. The emphasis of Foundations of Production is on the researching and developing of ideas and the filming of development material: skills that are immediately relevant as students begin preparations for their dissertation film.
Foundations of Production will build expertise in the production of short taster tapes and the writing of proposals and treatments, whilst covering the basics of budgets, schedules, copyright, legal compliance and marketing. As well as looking at the skills required to pitch an idea - and beginning to prepare for the live pitch assessment which will take place at the beginning of the summer term – students explore the commissioning process, the role of the broadcaster and their commissioning editors in funding programmes as well as the other sources of money for emerging documentary directors. Students will learn about finding useful contacts and opportunities for new talent and address how to find the right partner, such as a production company, to develop their project whilst protecting their intellectual property.
Major Documentary Production – Dissertation
Developing out of study, research and practice from previous units, you will direct and produce a substantial documentary production. This is the largest assignment in the course and is appropriately weighted. The unit is tutorial based.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
- Invaluable experience of both authored and commercial documentary production
- The ability to develop their own ideas, preparing them for the documentary industry but also finding ways to reinvent it
- An understanding of documentary film genre and its changing boundaries as well as the changing technologies and their impact on the genre
- An advanced understanding of the processes of making a documentary film from initial concept to final form and the various stages of production.
- An awareness of the institutions and mechanisms of the UK film and television industry
- A critical knowledge of the current and changing platforms for documentary film, from cinema to television and the internet.
View the full course specification for Documentary by Practice (MA) in the Programme Specification Repository
Assessment includes three films, a documentary proposal and budget, and two written production papers.