MEDIA304-19B (HAM)

Documentary Practices

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
Screen and Media Studies

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: vanessa.mclean@waikato.ac.nz

Placement Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
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    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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This paper will examine the variety of texts within cinema, television and digital-based media which either form a part of the documentary genre, or are closely associated with the agenda of documentary. All of these texts share a relationship with factual discourse; that is, the set of cultural assumptions and expectations associated with the claim to be able to offer an 'objective' and 'truthful' representation of reality. The range of documentary forms this paper discusses is broad: from conventional 'authoritative' documentaries to hybrid forms such as drama-documentaries, nature documentaries, mockumentary, documentary animation, and television reality-based formats, and the more recent proliferation of online video, interactive documentary and other digital factual forms. The aim of this paper is to provide a thorough understanding of such documentary and related practices and the variety of aesthetic and political issues associated with these kinds of media.

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Paper Structure

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This paper includes a weekly 2 hour lecture, which is directly followed by a 2 hour workshop (with a short break in-between). The workshop will incorporate a mixture of hands-on skills, idea and proposal development, supervised project-work in small groups, screenings of full-length documentaries followed by analysis and discussion sessions, and regular presentation of project work-in-progress. The presentation of work will usually involve all students in the activity of peer and self-critique. In order to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve satisfactorily across all of the assessment events, it is important that all students not only attend, but actively participate in both the lecture and the workshop sessions.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • reflect upon the complexities of the relationship between audio-visual media and the social-historical world
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  • recognise that any form of nonfiction is shaped by social, cultural, economic, political and technological factors;
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  • reflect upon their own position in relation to the contemporary mediascape
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  • analyse a variety of mediations of reality, particularly in audio-visual form
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  • acquire the communication skills necessary for developing and articulating research ideas (including creatively, where appropriate)
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  • acquire the skills of analysis and discernment necessary to critically engage with a range of media texts and to consider these in relation to documentary practices, representation and the social/political/cultural role of documentary.
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  • acquire the skills necessary to develop a documentary project through several stages, from researching a topic, proposal development, gathering materials, testing solutions and technologies, assemblage, presentation and self-critique.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Analytical Review, Due date: 30 August 2019 4.00PM
30 Aug 2019
4:00 PM
35
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Hand-In: Faculty Information Centre (J Block)
2. Documentary Pitch/Proposal, Due date: 05 September 2019, 12.00 PM
5 Sep 2019
12:00 PM
30
  • In Class: In Lecture
  • Online: EPortfolio System
3. Documentary Project, Due date: 10 October 2019 12.00 PM
10 Oct 2019
12:00 PM
35
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
  • Online: EPortfolio System
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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A list of required readings can be accessed from Moodle and full citation information will be available via the University of Waikato Reading Lists link.
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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. The paper outline, lecture notes, weekly readings, weekly screenings and assignment details are all available from this site. Assignments are to be submitted to Moodle by 4.00 pm on the due date. Grades for all pieces of assessment will be available through Moodle.

Notes:

  • all grades in Moodle are provisional, and will be confirmed at the end of the semester
  • There is a maximum of 20MB per file for uploading to Moodle - where files are too large to submit through Moodle, students can use the University’s Private Bag service: https://privatebag.its.waikato.ac.nz/
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Workload

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Attendance at lectures and workshops is expected of all students. Students are expected to either attend screenings or organise their own screening (a copy of each screening is available from the lecturer, where possible).

Students are expected to keep up with the required readings, which are linked from Moodle. The required readings and the required screenings will be discussed each week in lectures. It is recommended that students watch the specified documentary prior to its corresponding lecture, and read the corresponding reading directly following the lecture it is attached to. Your knowledge of both the readings and screenings will be tested within all assessment events.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: MEDIA101 or SMST102

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: SMST306

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