Middlesex University; BA Film -Year 2

On moving to Hendon campus in our second year, the programme changed and we were introduced to a new degree called BA Film. Second and third year modules of the new degree replaced previous modules on the programme and film making students got the experience to learn alongside film studies students and vice versa. We were excited to move into the all new £80m purpose built Art Design and Media complex and we were the very first students to occupy the building.

Modules taken in this year included MDA 2800; Producing ad Directing, MDA 2200; Documentary Film ad MDA 2100; Screen writing : The Short Film.

In producing and directing we were introduced to the roles of the producer and the director, how films are produced and directed with points to consider while working as a producer or director.

I learned the producer’s roles they prepare and supervise the making of a film, working independently or employed by a film company before presenting it to the financiers. He is the overall boss in charge of hiring the director, assisting producers, other production managers, cast, crew, screenwriters and they have the final say in production and post post production. The director’s role is to direct the film making controlling its artistic and dramatic aspects guiding the crew and actors on how to visualize the script to the audience satisfaction.

We were given guidelines in film budgeting and all the necessary paperwork involved including filming permissions in certain areas, copyright waiver forms in case you need to use someones material like music, actors agreement, shooting schedules, call sheets, sound logs, camera report, script breakdown templates, music master sync license etc.

We had the first project in the first term working in groups and sharing roles to create a two minute watch commercial with a teenage target audience putting all the aspects of producing and directing in practice using all the required paperwork and processes including a budget. This was a bit too much and we could now see the reality in film making, time and money well spent in pre-production, production, post-production and even in distribution and marketing.

In documentary film module I was introduced to the term documentary as films constituting of non fiction motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality. We studied a number of documentary films with seminars and group discussions to learn how they were made and the message the film maker wanted to deliver to the audience, how they did it.

Research is the main key in documentary film making and in this module we were given the first assignment to work in pairs and produce a research portfolio about a community group demonstrating the skills of researching and try to find a story within the community being researched. I picked on a Somali social club in Neasden London and interviewed quite a number of people from 18 to 50 year old, both male and female about their culture, religion, history and changes in their lives in diaspora.

We came up with a very interesting story and most of the interviewing were audible enough to to appear in cinemas and their story telling techniques were so original due to their odd past having fled their motherland due to civil war. We had visual materials that would enhance the film like stills from the club in Neasden with a banner that reads “this is in London from the outside and Mogadishu (the capital city) from the inside” with Islamic and traditional decorations, no seats at all and people leave their shoes outside and cross their legs on the floor enjoying their traditional food and drinks chewing some traditional herbs believed to stimulate their body and mind.

Reference to all the work done on this module is available on my work within my study/ producing and directing.

In Screen writing module I learned what screen writing is and also referred to as script writing. This is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media production, it involves researching the story, developing the narrative, writing and delivering the screen play in its required format. I learned different theories of writing a screenplay, different screen writing formats, dialogue and description and screen writing software.I learned how to use Celtx screen writing software and learned how to translate a story or a book to a script in the right format. Celtx basic software can be downloaded for free from the internet and tutorials are available online for refreshing and practice, its easy to use and I could easily visualize a story with the auto fill to scene headings, character names, it even tells me which button to tap if i want to enter an action line, dialogue or parentheses. it also allows me to edit and correct work with remarks and can be  saved in celtx as well as pdf format.


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