Introduction to Practical Non-Fiction Filmmaking, Stage 5 module (EN52048)

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Module code


Week 1: Introduction: What is Non-Fiction Film

Week 2: Lighting at Interview  

Week 3: Interviewing on Camera

Week 5: Editing an Interview

Week 6: Scripting Non-Fiction Films

Week 7: Researching and Filming the Archives

Week 9: Finding, Clearing and Editing Found Footage

Week 11: Preparing a Rough Cut: Music and Sound

The students will also attend weekly screenings of important non-fiction films and fortnightly one-hour discussion sessions for reflection about theory and practice. 



The intended learning outcomes of the module are assessed by a finished scene of around five or ten minutes, directed, shot, scripted and edited by the student. This will count for 70% of the module grade. They will also produce a reflecive essay in which they assess their working process. This will count for 30% of the grade.

Assessment type

Weighting (%)

Finished Scene


Reflective Essay


The intended learning outcomes are as follows:

Knowledge and understanding

  • to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of non-fiction film production
  • to understand and apply specific film language, concepts and terminology
  • to demonstrate an ability to apply practical skills by making a short documentary

Subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes.

  • to respond to constructive feedback about their practical work both formally and informally from tutors and peers
  • to exchange views about film practice with others in a constructive and open-minded context and to work co-operatively with other students
  • to express their own opinions and defend their own critical judgments and practical work by drawing on key themes and debates in Film Studies

Transferable, employability and enterprise skills and attributes.

  • acquire a range of transferable skills, graduate attributes and personal qualities, which will enhance their confidence and independence both during and after their studies
  • develop an independent, organised approach to learning, and thereby practise time management skills through working to deadlines


Upon completion of the module, the successful student will be have gained:

  1. The ability to produce and direct a short documentary or essay film
  2. An appreciation, and practical experience of non-fiction filmmaking
  3. Experience interviewing subjects and building the art of screenplay from interviews and research
  4. A practical understanding and experience of the basic techniques of cinematography and film editing
  5. A deeper understanding of the aesthetics and grammar of the non-fiction film 


Dr Brian Hoyle


The teaching will be all be face-to-face and will involve workshops, tutorials, seminars and training session. The students will have the opportunity to learn practical skill and reflect upon their practice.