Course Title: Applied Film Research

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Applied Film Research

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Allan James THOMAS

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3125

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 6.6.09

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

COMM-1033 Australian Cinema and COMM-1036 Histories of Film Theory

Course Description

As the course title suggests, this is a course in which you do film research, and apply it to a concrete outcome (which in this case will ultimately be a web site available to the public as a research resource in its own right.) The course has a focus on Australian film, but within that framework, students will determine their own research project, a task that includes (at the very least) deciding what you want to research (topic), how you want to do that research (methodology), and how you want to express that research (outcome). Just as importantly, you will also need to think about why you wish to deal with these questions in the manner you choose. So although a great deal of the course will be oriented around you doing your research project, we will also be spending time in and out of class reflecting upon the whats, whys and hows of film research itself.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of this course, you will be able to devise, manage and complete an independent cinema research project, and publish it for the use of the wider cinema research community.

In this course, you will:

- produce and publish research on Australian and/or New Zealand cinema (how we interpret ’Australian and New Zealand Ais fairly open ended.)
- reflect upon and expand your conception of what research is, and how, where, when and why you do it.
- develop a critical understanding of the relation between research and professional practice (and of course, ’professional practice’ means something very different if you’re an academic, a curator, a filmmaker, a critic, etc.)
- put both of the above into practice in your individual research project, and in doing so begin to reflect upon the place of research in your own relation to the field of cinema studies (i.e., ’how does this relate to what I want to do with cinema?’)
- develop an extended and expanded view of Australian cinema through your research.
- become familiar with a range of methods and approaches to film research, and be able to critically - evaluate where and when they might be appropriate in relation to different research projects, topics and outcomes (specifically through defining your own research topic and how your research will be applied, and choosing the appropriate research method/s for that topic and outcome.)
- manage, direct, develop and complete a research project in the field of Australian cinema, and made the results of the research available for other researchers to make use of.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course focuses on independent research, guided by the coordinating staff. There are some seminars/labs offering discussion of  and feedback on your research in progress, and some basic technical skills required for publishing your work to the web.

Overview of Learning Resources

There are no prescribed texts or reading dossier for this course.

One of your key resources for this course will be the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Research Collection, located on campus at RMIT, in Building 24, Level 4. Its opening hours are:
Tuesday 11 – 4pm
Wednesday 2-7pm
Thursday 11- 4pm
If necessary or appropriate, I will organize a tour of the AFI and its resources for us. For more details, visit their website <>

The Media referencing and citation guide can be found at: <;ID=taxu6u1giucu;STATUS=A?QRY=When,%20why%20and%20how%20to%20cite&STYPE=ENTIRE>

Overview of Assessment

All assessment tasks undertaken in this course will be based on individual work. Assessment tasks will include the final published research project, a research plan, entries into the Bonza database, and may include oral presentations of work in progress. Detailed task sheets will be handed out for each assessment component.