Bath Spa UniversityBy Asian Correspondent Dec 06, 2011 6:12PM UTC
Becoming a successful filmmaker is about more than setting yourself up with the right equipment and mastering the latest editing software. Even those with a gift for storytelling find that it takes more than a compelling narrative to get ahead in today’s competitive environment.
For filmmakers in Asia, trying to compete with Hollywood powerhouses can be discouraging, especially since so many of these films are financially successful despite the fact that they lack creativity and inspiration. This is what makes a film course at Bath Spa University so attractive. It teaches students how to work on a low budget in a counter-cultural environment that encourages competing with Hollywood rather than succumbing to its pressures.
MA in Feature Filmmaking
Bath Spa University’s MA in Feature Filmmaking is offered through a series of workshop modules that introduce students to industry insights, filming techniques and strategies for marketing and distributing a finished project. Full-time students can complete the programme in a year, while part-time students take twice as long.
These modules set an MA in Feature Filmmaking from Bath Spa University apart from the competition. Similar courses at other schools are bent entirely on the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking, but this module introduces students to the challenges and skills needed to navigate the financial and legal aspects of the trade. A portion of this module also dives into the affect that Hollywood dominance has on small filmmakers, especially as it relates to narrative development.
The context modules are highly practical. Students apply their newly learned knowledge to tax regimes that have been instated by EU nations to combat pressures from Hollywood. They also learn how to make the most of alternative funding sources to keep their project as independent as possible.
The other type of module is a feature development project, which involves the actual script development pre-production and post-production of a feature film. Students are actually involved in two different feature development workshops. This is the core of an MA in Feature Filmmaking at Bath. Full-time students spend this time developing their own feature film and receive up to four hours of one-on-one mentoring. Part-time students collaborate with their full-time counterparts during this module.
This is the point at which theory and practice come together. Students will finish with an actual feature film on their hands, one that can be marketed and distributed using skills learned through other modules in the course.
These are modules on offer through the programme:
From Script to Screen
This module is all about the low budget production techniques that students can use to refine their personal film project. It builds on knowledge gained in other modules and equips students to improve their stylistic approaches as well as their editing and scripting skills.
From Pitch to Production
This module is all about understanding why the Hollywood model of filmmaking dominates the industry, and then using that to your advantage when producing and marketing a feature film. Attention is given to business systems and procedures that inform modern filmmaking, along with the historical background of filmmaking.
Planning for Success
This pre-production workshop focuses on the skills needed to rework and revise a project, with low budget constraints in mind. It builds on the skills developed in the first two modules of the programme.
Finding an Audience
Scripting and producing a film is only one part of creating a successful film project. It also has to be marketed in a highly competitive environment. This module focuses on marketing theory and strategy, paying special attention to digital marketing techniques involving social media.
Production and Post-production
This is the final module of the filmmaking programme, and it lasts 16 weeks. It builds on the insights and skills developed across the entire course. The final module is highly intensive, requiring students to stay on task six days a week for the entire 16 weeks.
It generally consists of around four to six weeks of principal photography, with twice as much time given to editing. By the time this 16-week module is complete, students will have a film that is ready to be screened, marketed and distributed.
BA in Film and Screen Studies
A BA in Film and Screen Studies from Bath Spa University is focussed on enhancing the critical and analytical skills of students and is perfect for Asian students who want to develop their aesthetic taste in this profession.
The programme concentrates on cinema, television and segments of the new media, such as video, DVD and computer- generated images, and further looks at film histories, practices and institutions and connects them to the broader social, cultural and political environment. Students can expect to develop their intellectual, analytical, research and creative skills that would help them secure employment in the communicative and cultural industries.
Bath Spa University
Bath Spa University is located in the World Heritage City of Bath, a region of unrivalled beauty and historic interest in the southwest of England. The University has around 6,500 students following a diverse range of courses, but with particular emphasis on courses leading to careers in the creative and cultural industries, and in teaching.
Bath Spa University’s mission is to deliver excellent teaching and learning underpinned by high quality research, and informed by links with key employers and industry partners.
Bath Spa University is based on campuses of exceptional beauty and historic interest, providing a unique mix of state-of-the-art modern facilities alongside historic buildings. The University welcomes students from many different countries and has an international focus.