The MA Film Production specialist course is taught over four terms, 60 weeks, and based on the AUB 180 credit MA framework. The awards attainable are a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) and a Masters (180 credits).
All students are taught on specific discipline-focused and dedicated pathways. Allowing students to enhance their skills and knowledge and their ability to focus on their chosen pathway, together with its specific relation to the key aspects of the work of film production. Between course production blocks, all students are encouraged to seek out short work opportunities in the industry.
The experience gained enhances group learning and collaboration on the course. In their fourth term students undertake an industry pitching process, designed to overlap with the new student intake further increasing opportunities for group learning. Structured in a way that builds systematically and in a logical sequence that mirrors the film industry, the course consists of four overlapping units, each building in complexity and demand. For the producing, directing and documentary pathways this will involve six or more shoots, and twelve or more shoots for the other pathways, as their numbers on the course are organised to facilitate this production engagement. This again mirrors industry experience for these pathways.
Unit 1 | Cinematic Storytelling
This unit consists of two production blocks. The first block involves a number of exercise shoots in which student also involve themselves in script continuity and first AD roles.
The second block is a location/studio shoot of a script devised and developed by students during the unit. For this block and other productions; the BA (Hons) Film Production course students and graduates will be a valuable crewing option. All MA pathways collaborate together on these shoots.
Unit 2 | Virtual Effects Project
This explores the realisation of expansive, action, cast heavy, costly sequence, beyond the scope of the short film. Scenes normally only possible on a large budget production which even then would be achieved by a mix of live action and computer generated imagery, such as in the opening scene of Les Miserables.
Through collaboration with the BA Visual Effects and MA Animation courses, the MA Film Production students produce a virtual action sequence using the industry standard software to cover a demanding and expansive scene of this scope.
This will then be edited, reviewed and analysed by the cohort together with experienced practicing directors, editors, producers, VFX designers and stunt arrangers. Use of green screen is an integral part of the unit.
AUB has a branch of Framestore, Europe’s leading VFX company, on campus.
Unit 3 | Portfolio Short Film
A short film shot over a week, or number of days to be determined by budget and negotiation. Using studio and/or location and image capture with Arri Film or Alexa Digital cameras. This film will be based on a script, or devised material that has been developed on the course. The expectation is that these films will have the potential to be entered into festivals.
Unit 4 | Research & Project Development
This unit is about the genesis and development of long form/feature projects, beyond the scope of the short film. Graduates will take this out into the industry as part of their career progression. Over the first three terms this story/theme driven work for the pathways, includes research into process, feasibility and practice studies.
Bridge to the industry
A two-day production block for this unit enables the shooting of a teaser or pilot scene. Furnished with these active projects, with industry networking, with a Portfolio Short Film and the experience gained on the course, graduates of the MA Film Production course will have a real bridge to the industry and to career development and progression.