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Current Issues in Film & Television - TFT00013H

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Julia Havas
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module will acquaint students with the structures that surround and condition the production and delivery of contemporary film and television: political, cultural, technical, financial and legal. It will examine, for example, the power structures that control UK broadcasting, the funding routes that underpin global film production, the debates that surround the development of new delivery platforms and new reception technologies and the reactions – cultural, political and beyond – to new techniques, subject matters and forms of media ownership. Key to this module will be its sense of topicality. Lectures and workshops will react to events - changes in the broadcast or film environment that make headlines – and examine their implications. Students will be expected to be equally flexible and the module will seek to encourage a sensitivity to – and the tools for developing an understanding of – the emerging trends and changing circumstances which affect the industry and influence employment opportunities.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

·To acquaint students with the current industrial and institutional organisation and functioning of the UK and global film and television industries

·To acquaint students with current developments, debates and controversies in these industries

·To introduce students to the economic, policy and legal frameworks and contexts relevant to the production and consumption of film and television

·To acquaint students with aspects of industrial, technological and aesthetic convergence in film and television

·To provide a more detailed understanding of current developments and trends in film and television production and consumption

  • To develop an understanding of business practices for media including the development, financing and distribution of projects
  • To enhance and develop a range of personal skills to enhance students ability to market themselves and gain employment in a competitive marketplace
  • To enhance and develop public speaking skills including pitching and client relations.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students are expected to be able to:

·Have knowledge and understanding of the current organisation and function of the film and television industries in the UK including commissioning, development distribution and common deal structures

·Have knowledge and understanding of the industrial and technological context of film and television production and how these impact on questions of creativity, form and aesthetics

·Understanding recent public policy initiatives relevant to film and television in the UK and how this has impacted on the film and television industries

·Understand how a greater emphasis on markets has impacted on the organisation and operation of the film and television industries in the UK and beyond

·Have knowledge and understanding of the impact of new digital technologies on film and television consumption and of the major opportunities and challenges in the future

  • Demonstrate an understanding of business aspects of the film and television industries including the nature of day-to-day operations, business environment, client procurement and retention, staffing and legal issues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the personal communication and marketing skills required by media business including pitching and client relationship techniques


Task Length % of module mark
Essay on two researched topics in current film and TV
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay on two researched topics in current film and TV
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be available 20 working days after the assessment deadline.

Indicative reading

-UK Film Council (now BFI), Statistical Yearbook
Annual Reports of the BBC, ITV, C4 Sky and others.
Annual Reports of OFCOM.
Toby Miller et. al. Global Hollywood 2 (London: BFI, 2005)
**Jason Squire (ed.), The Movie Business Book, Third Edition (New York: McGraw Hill, 2005)
**John Thornton Caldwell, Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)
Paul MacDonald, Video and DVD Industries (London: BFI, 2007)
**Rhonda Baker, Media Law: A Users Guide for Film and Programme Makers
(Abingdon: Taylor and Francis, 2006)
**Chuck Tyron, Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Digital Convergence
Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009)
Dorota Ostrowska and Graham Roberts (eds.), European Cinemas in the Television
Age (Edinburgh University Press, 2007)
Maggie Brown, A License to be Different: The Story of Channel Four London: BFI, 2007)
John Hartley, Creative Industries (Oxford: Blackwells, 2005)
**David Hesmondhalgh, The Cultural Industries (London: Sage, 2007)
Jonathan A. Knee (and others), The Curse of the Mogul: What’s Wrong with the World’s Leading Media Companies (London: Penguin, 2011).
Chris Anderson, The Long Tail (New York: Random House, 2007)
**E.J. Epstein, The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood (New York: Random
House, 2006)
Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture (New York University Press, 2006)
**Paul MacDonald and Janet Wasko, Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry -(Oxford: Blackwell, 2008)
Mark Litwak, Deal Making in the Film & Television Industry (Los Angeles: Silman James, 1994)
**Mark Litwak, Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Independent Films (Los Angeles: Silman James, 2004)
Tom Crone et. al. Law and the Media (Oxford: Focal Press, 2002)
E. Quinn & J. Counihan, The Pitch (London: Faber and Faber, 2006)
**P. Alberstat, The Insider’s Guide to Film Finance, (Oxford: Focal Press, 2004) **H. Blumenthal, This Business of Television, 3rd edition, (Billboard Books, 2006) **H. Vogel, Entertainment Industry Economics, (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.