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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Documentary (SCR300)

Organisational Unit Creative Media, Arts and Design
Credit Points 3
Description This unit introduces students to the main issues and debates in the study of documentary film from the perspective of history, modes, genre, theory and ethics, also its social and cultural functions. Shows how documentary techniques influence the way we organise knowledge about the world, and the way we represent ourselves and others. Though the unit is essentially theory based it will also offer the students an opportunity to work on a production component based on a previous edited documentary production.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Display a sound knowledge of the principles and development of documentary;
2. Critically communicate views on the genre & modes of documentary, the documentary film institutions, and documentary film text;
3. Engage effectively and appropriately with information and communication technologies;
4. Understand other cultures and times and an appreciation of cultural diversity;
5. Apply critical skills to other disciplines and to culture at large; and
6. Be ready to turn the theoretical tools and critical insights of the unit to practical use in documentary filmmaking.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorials 1.5 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences The lectures introduce major theories, debates and issues in the discipline of cinematic documentation. The assigned films based on the lecture topics range from classics to avant-garde productions, selected in terms of their relevance to the theoretical approaches chosen.

As SCR300 encourages learning as a reflective and re-constructive creation of knowledge, our tutorials are designed to aim at an interactive learning process. The tutorial discussions fall into two general categories: issue-based and cinema-based topics. We will explore each week's film within the theoretical framework introduced in the lectures, by investigating documentary forms, cinematic styles and themes.

During ONE of the tutorials throughout the semester, students will be required to offer a presentation based on the topic nominated. Students will have 20 minutes for their presentations [including Q&A]. While the tutorial presentation requires you to discuss the topic in conceptual form, it should also foreground your personal experience of documentary film. In addition to the tutorial presentations students are required to have read the nominated readings and participate in open discussions.
Assessment 10% - Student participation and interaction - contribution to tutorial discussion and peer presentations
20% - A 20 minute presentation (plus Q&A) with a 1-2 page point-form summary of the presentation.
40% - Film Review and critique of one of the chosen films within the unit - discussing in detail the cinematic language and representations of truth and reality within the chosen film text.
30% - A 10 minute edit of given material in which students work in pairs or small groups
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed MCC333 Documentary may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Glen Stasiuk

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 6468
e: g.stasiuk@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.4.046 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
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