smartphone on tripod in forest

Create impactful audio-visual content using your phone or tablet

Module details

  • Offered to 1st years
  • Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
  • 8 weeks (autumn or spring term)
  • Planned delivery: On-campus (South Kensington)
  • Non-credit only
How to enrol

As video becomes easier and quicker to produce it is becoming an increasing important medium in all areas of life. Although old, analogue film production still has an important place, these expensive practices have long since been superseded by cheaper, more versatile digital ones. And with smartphones, tablets and other small devices a part of daily life, film making is well on its way to being democratised. Now is an exciting time to think and play with film.

In this short introductory module, we will look at some basic principles of film making, explore what makes a good film, and learn how to get the most from our mobile devices. From generating an idea to working it up, producing a production plan, filming and editing, this module will take you through the process of making a film of your own, from start to finish.

This module is designed to give you the confidence to use your own devices to produce arresting audio-visual content. You may be inspired by STEM, or you may choose to engage in a particular hobby or interest. You might even use the medium to explore a new area that excites you. Since we will cover basic film making practices, the module can function as an introduction to film making, or as a primer for creating and using audio-visual material in a variety of contexts.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Video written on a mobile tablet
By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Use mobile devices to record and edit audio and video.
  • Use the audio/video facilities of mobile devices along with supplementary software and hardware, where applicable, to produce effective footage.
  • Apply basic compositional processes through the creation of an original video.
  • Present individual and group work to peers and respond to constructive feedback from facilitator and other learners.
  • Apply key concepts, research, and feedback to write a reflective essay.

Indicative core content

  • Being true to our values: what does it mean to produce a 'good' film?
  • Develop experience through a series of short, film-making exercises to build up a repertoire of techniques to produce arresting images
  • Sound and Music: how to capture good-quality sound, and whether/how to use music
  • Production Planning: refining, expressing and pitching a film idea - with Dr Lily Ford
  • Student-led filming project, creating images and crafting a story of interest
  • Editing: introduction to video editing and effects: recording, importing and editing digital media and the use of effects.
  • Group presentations by students exploring the intention, context, structure, production techniques and effectiveness of a piece of video.

Learning and teaching approach

Each of the eight sessions will begin with a short lecture or group discussion component, followed by a more substantial practical, student-led component. This will include time for you to work in groups towards the eventual completion of a film. You will be given time to freely experiment with new techniques and skills learned in that session and to apply them to your own creative work.

Some sessions will include Problem Based Learning tasks where you are required - at the start of the session – to undertake a task through which you figure out what skills you need to learn in order to complete it.

There will be points within the module where you and fellow students can share work-in-progress with one another, and given the opportunity to share feedback for subsequent implementation.

We have designed the module to embrace technology you have to hand. In most cases, this will be a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Apps exist to enable you to get control of parameters such as white balance, exposure, ISO, and so on. You will learn how to access and manipulate such features on your own devices, with the bulk of class time dedicated to techniques such as conducting interviews and presenting in front of a camera, as well as framing and establishing locations.

You will submit assignments through the module VLE, though which you will receive written feedback commenting your assessments. You will receive feedback within two weeks of submission.

Assessment

  • Coursework: Final portfolio submission - 5-minute group video piece (70%)
  • Coursework: Reflective essay (700-words) (30%)

Key information

  • ECTS value: 0
  • Requirements: You must be prepared to attend all classes and to spend about an hour a week preparing for each session
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 4 course. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌