Module UXS-3053:
Film Industry Development

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Steffan Thomas

Overall aims and purpose

This module will provide students with an overview of the development of the film industry. The film industry developed from being a medium to educate to a medium to entertain and maximise on commercial opportunities. Students will explore and investigate the introduction and development of conventions as well as the search for commercial advantage in a digitally disrupted market.

This module provides students with an overview of the changes and influences in the development of the modern film industry. There will be a historical context that presents the foundations of the current trends and production processes. The module will have an international perspective, which emphasises the ability for a multinational converged film industry.

The taught element of the module will include:

  • Technology development within the film and television industry

  • Charting the changes in Britain, America and Europe

  • Film and media influence in the 20th Century

  • Technology and disruption – user generated content

  • Maximising on digital opportunities – distribution, production and marketing

The module will guide the students from early technical development that enabled the advancement of the film industry through to current production and financing of films. The focus of the module will be on British, European and American film industries.

The first half of the module will introduce students to the historical context for the development of film conventions. This early phase will and will focus on pushing the boundaries of possibilities for film and address the way technology and the aspiration for film production worked in tandem to develop the industry that it’s become. The second half will consist of reviewing the modern film industry in a converged media society, collaborative projects and digital distribution’s impact on the modern production.

Course content

This module provides students with an overview of the changes and influences in the development of the modern film industry. There will be a historical context that presents the foundations of the current trends and production processes. The module will have an international perspective, which emphasises the ability for a multinational converged film industry.

The taught element of the module will include:

  • Technology development within the film and television industry

  • Charting the changes in Britain, America and Europe

  • Film and media influence in the 20th Century

  • Technology and disruption – user generated content

  • Maximising on digital opportunities – distribution, production and marketing

Assessment Criteria

excellent

Excellent: A- to A* Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

threshold

Threshold: D- to D+ Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.

  2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.

  3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.

  4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

good

Good: C- to B+ Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Learning outcomes

  1. To evaluate the development of conventions in film production.

  2. To analyse the influence of seminal film producers in the development of production methods.

  3. To interpret the challenges and opportunities for modern digital production.

  4. Be able to assess and evaluate technology’s impact and influence on the film industry.

  5. To be able to contextualise and compare the transformation within the British, American and European film industry.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Presentation 50
Essay 2500 words 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

1 hour of lectures per week

12
Private study

Individual study

164
Seminar

2 hours of seminars per week

24

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).

Resources

Reading list

• Balio, T. ed., 1985. The American film industry. Univ of Wisconsin Press.

• Betts, E., 1973. The film business: a history of British cinema 1896-1972. Allen & Unwin.

• De Vany, A., 2004. Hollywood economics: How extreme uncertainty shapes the film industry. Routledge.

• Hoskins, C., McFadyen, S. and Finn, A., 1997. Global television and film: An introduction to the economics of the business. Oxford University Press.

• Kerr, P. ed., 1986. The Hollywood film industry: a reader. Routledge.

• King, G., 2013. Indie 2.0: Change and continuity in contemporary American indie film (Vol. 10). IB Tauris.

• Macnab, G., 1993. J. Arthur Rank and the British film industry. Psychology Press.

• McDonald, P. and Wasko, J., 2008. The contemporary Hollywood film industry. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

• Parkinson, D., 2012. History of film. Thames & Hudson Limited.

• Ulin, J., 2013. The business of media distribution: Monetizing film, TV and video content in an online world. CRC Press.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: