Course Title: Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: VART5797C

Course Title: Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6088 - Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting

Course Contact : Program administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact Email:Brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: George Viscas
Email: george.viscas@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 70

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive view of screen language, by researching and critically analysing the history and theory of screenwriting in order to inform the artistic practice of students of professional screenwriting. 

 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUVCOR13A Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice

Element:

1. Research history and theory.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify relevant sources of information on history and theory
1.2 Identify and explore potential new and alternative sources which provide different views to traditional information sources.
1.3 Use formal and informal research techniques appropriately to address questions.
1.4 Organise research materials and findings for current and future artistic practice.

Element:

2. Link research to artistic practice

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Critically evaluate information in the context of own artistic practice.
2.2 Assess ways in which different aspects of history and theory inform artistic practice.
2.3 Develop positions in relation to history and theory to inform current practice.

Element:

3. Update and maintain knowledge of trends within own area of artistic practice.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify and use opportunities to update and expand knowledge of theory and history.
3.2 Incorporate and integrate knowledge into artistic practice.


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course, you will be able to inform your own artistic practice through a knowledge of the history and theory of screenwriting.


Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:
1. In-class activities:
•teacher directed group activities/projects
•class exercises
•individual and group project work
•peer teaching and class presentations
•group discussion

2. Out-of-class activities:
•independent and group project based work
•online and other research
•discussion and comment via blackboard
•independent study


Teaching Schedule

WeekContentAssessment Elements
1Introduction: Course Outline.
[Assessment Brief 1 and Assessment Brief 2]
Early Film History: Lumiere Brothers, Georges Melies and D.W. Griffith.
Introduction to Screen Language: Production and Story Elements.
 CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

2German Expressionism and Russian School of Montage. Discussing the characteristics of these periods in film history and key contribution of selected filmmakers. Screening excerpts from selected films. Class discussion and exercises.
Structuring the Narrative: David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction: ‘Narrative as a Formal System’.
Assessment 1 - monitoring progress and consultations

CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

3Classical Hollywood Era: Introduction. Discussing historical and cultural contexts, production and distribution patterns during the Classic Hollywood Era (1916-1960). Screen excerpts from selected films. Class exercises focusing on story elements. Presentations.Assessment1 - monitoring progress and consultations

CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


4Genre: Introduction: Discussing historical and cultural contexts, production and distribution patterns during the Classic Hollywood Era (1916-1960). Screen excerpts from selected genre films. Class Exercises focusing on story elements. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentations (ongoing).
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


5Romantic Comedy: Examining generic conventions of Romantic Comedy. Screen excerpts from selected romantic comedies. Class discussion and exercises. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentations (ongoing).
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


6Film Noir: Examining generic conventions of Film Noir. Screen excerpts from selected noir films. Class discussion and exercises. Presentations.
Screening Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944).
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


7Focus on Story Elements:
Comparative analysis and discussion of story elements in the published script and selected scenes (including alternative ending) in Double Indemnity. Presentations.
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

8Focus on Thriller:
Screen excerpts from selected films by Alfred Hitchcock. Class discussion of Opening and Closing Sequences, and Patterns of Development in Hitchcock’s films. Class exercises. Presentations. [Brief 2]
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


9French New Wave: The Auteur Theory: Introduction. The social, cultural and political contexts for the emergence of French New Wave and the key filmmakers. Screening excerpts from Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961) and 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1962). Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


10The Hollywood New Wave and the ‘Unmotivated Hero’: Screening excerpts from the key films of New Hollywood. Exercises focus on analysis of themes, discussion of narrative structure, and compiling character profiles. PresentationsAssessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

11The Mastery of Style and Subtext in French Genre Film: Melville’s Stories of Honour Amongst the Thieves and Irony and Coincidence in Chabrol’s Bourgeois Thrillers: Excerpts from selected films. Exercises focusing on the role of generic conventions, selection of locations, props, and establishing characters using language of silence. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


12Neo-Noir: Postmodern Joviality and Con-Games: Screening excerpts from selected neo-noir films. Analysis of the narrative, dialogue/subtext and organization of time in neo-noir films. Class exercises: Analysing dialogue/subtext and discussing and attempting alternatives. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3

13In the Archive of Cinematic Memories: Film Essays of Chris Marker. Excerpts from La Jette (1962) and Sans Soleil (1982). Class discussion and exercises focusing on the use of voice over and still images. Das Neue Kino: Discussion of work of key filmmakers and screening excerpts from their work. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


14Generic Crossovers: A Disarming Comedy About a Murder Case. Screening Fargo (Joel Cohen, 1996): Comparative analysis of selected scenes in the script and the film, focusing on structure, characters, dialogue and subtext. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


15Documentary Film History: Introduction. Screening excerpts and discussing the treatment of documentary subjects and different narrative and production devices used in five documentary modes. Presentations.Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)

ASSESSMENT 2 due
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


16New Hong Kong Cinema: Elegiac Romances of Wong-kar-Wai. Screen excerpts from Wong-Kar-wai’s films. Exercises and class discussion focusing on repetition as the key poetic motif in Wong’s work. Presentations.
The Poetics of New Iranian Cinema: Screening excerpts from the films of Abbas Kiarostami and Jafari Panahi. Discussing the seemingly naturalist plot and character development in contemporary Iranian cinema. Presentations.
Assessment 1:
Presentation (ongoing)
CUVCOR13A

1,2,3


17Assessment Week (No classes)  


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Any prescribed reading material will be distributed in class


References

You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.


Other Resources

You will require access to a computer and to the internet


Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through the application of learned skills and insights to your writing tasks.


Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.

Assessment 1. Research Assignment and Presentation
Due date: Date to be negotiated with the class teacher
Percentage Weighting: 50%

Your task is to focus on one movie of your choice and discuss one element (characterisation; camera; editing; music; use of sound etc) used in the construction of it¡¯s story. How does the story progress with your chosen element and how does the chosen element change as the film progresses?

This can be done in pairs or by yourself. You need to let the teacher know in advance who is involved in the presentation.

Choose two excerpts from your chosen film that you think best illustrates what you have researched to make your conclusion.

You must demonstrate:

  • that you know the film very well!
  • evidence of research focusing on that specific story element.
  • familiarity with the Director’s/Screenwriter’s film/TV work.
  • evidence of research focusing on the work of the director and screenwriter/cinematographer/editor/film composer etc. (Annotated Bio.)

Each presentation will be approximately 15 mins. (20 MAX. which will include the two excerpts). Please take into account the Q & A which is NOT included in the time allotted.

There will be two or three presentations per week starting Week 5


Assessment 2. Genre Assignment
Due date: Week 15
Percentage Weighting: 50%
Your task is to select and research a particular film genre and investigate specific genre convention/s that will inform your creative writing. You may choose one of the Hollywood genres established in the classic period (gangster/melodrama/noir/neo-noir/romantic comedy etc.) or opt for contemporary genre crossovers to add a level of complexity to your research.

Your task is to;

Research  broadly and identify and discuss the selected film genre.  (Please note - do not use Wikipedia or internet movie database as your only source material),

Research and discuss the selected genre convention/s in a specific film.

Produce a select bibliography and filmography

1000 Words.


Your assignments will be graded. The grades used in this unit are as follows:


80 – 100% HD High Distinction
70 – 79% DI Distinction
60 – 69% CR Credit
50 – 59% PA Pass
Under 50% NN Fail


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are
available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

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You will receive both spoken and written feedback on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity is about the honest presentation of your academic work. Presenting work that fails to acknowledge other people’s work within yours can compromise academic integrity. For further information on academic integrity and plagiarism, please refer to the following URL. http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=kkc202lwe1yv

Late Submissions
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the course blackboard site for information on late submissions and on applying for an extension.

Special Consideration Policy
Please refer to the following URL for information on applying for special consideration:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

Course Overview: Access Course Overview