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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Major Documentary Production Project
Module Code CM5961
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Tom Burke
Semester 2: Tom Burke
Autumn: Tom Burke
Module TeacherNo Teacher Assigned
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 25
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat the module

This module requires the students of the Masters in Documentary Production to research, develop, shoot and deliver a major piece of documentary work. The final projects may take the form of a short documentary film (max duration 16 mins), a long form audio project (1hr radio project or podcast) or photographic book project. The emphasis throughout is on professional standards in production leading towards industry facing exposure for the final works once completed.

Learning Outcomes

1. Research, develop, record, produce and deliver a short form documentary film project or long form audio project or photobook project.
2. Identify characters who will form the basis of their proposed project and develop clear relationships with them based on consent and an informed understanding of the project.
3. Identify key narrative elements needed to effectively craft a multi-faceted narrative in their chosen form.
4. Master the technological tools required to bring the story to fruition using professional grade cameras, microphones and post-production software.
5. Form and sustain groups of students with complimentary skills and a well balanced set of strengths capable of brining the project to fruition over several months.
6. Respond to rounds of feedback from supervisors from early assembly edits to rough cuts and onward to final cut ready for public exhibition.
7. Understand the theoretical and professional context in which they are making their work and how best to engage audiences with their narrative.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Fieldwork750Major group project research, production, post production and delivery
Total Workload: 750

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Proposal to Production Plan
Building on the module ‘Masterclass and Proposal Development’, students will enter this module with a well defined project proposal. This proposal will then be further developed with a view to feasibility and implementation over the summer months and will be translated into a production plan and schedule for that period.

Research and Development
Students will engage in extensive outreach activities where they meet potential contributors and assess their suitability for the project. This may involve an amount of pre-interviewing and even preliminary recording of material.

Location Scouting
Potential locations for filming, shooting or recording should be visited in advance to assess their viability in terms of access, availability of light sources, power sources and potential audio issues which might arise. This recce period will in turn inform the production plan for the shooting period

The main period of production sees students engage in location filming, shooting and field recording to gather the array of elements required to tell their story. Students will have access to the three main DCU studios (Media Studio plus 2 Audio Spaces) during this period.

Post Production
The main editing period takes place in DCU’s computer labs which are equipped with the latest Adobe suite of software products. This period may also include the gathering of archive material sourced from contributors, news archives or personal archives. There may also be pick up shooting days during this time.

Final Finishing and Delivery
Students will be required to finish their productions to a professional standard. In the case of film work, this means full DCP (Digital Cinema Projection) files with a minimum 2.0 Stereo soundtrack mix and graded picture. In the case of audio projects, delivery will be of uncompressed digital audio files (AIFF or WAV) at minimum 48Khz 16 bit quality. In the case of photography projects, delivery will be of a hard bound printed photo book with professional colour finishing.

Public Output
Film projects will be showcased at the Irish Film Institute Documentary Film Festival in late September of each graduating year. Similarly high profile public showcases will be sought for photo and audio based projects.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ProjectMajor Group Project100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    MADPMasters in Documentary Practice

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