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Directing for Theatre Film & TV - TFT00048H

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. John Mateer
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This is a shared module between the BA Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance and the BSc in Film and Television Production programmes. It focuses on the craft of directing and analyses the particular requirements of realising a story for stage compared to those for screen.  

At the heart of the module is the dialogue between the three media between which directors, actors and crew regularly traverse. In small groups comprised of students from both degree programmes, practical workshops will explore directorial techniques and processes. Students will not only gain a deeper awareness of their own assumptions about the process of directing, but enrich their practice through a more developed understanding of the synchronicities and distinctions between directing processes across the three art forms.  The focus of the teaching, practice and assessment is on how directors work, specifically in how they might develop and employ different strategies in light of the different technical context in which they are working.  Texts will be chosen in order to best demonstrate some of these challenges. For example, groups in the past have focused on comparisons of a scene from David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, analysing and practically experimenting with both the play-text and the screenplay, as well as analysing the 1992 film version.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

  • To extend the range of directorial practices and contexts by exploring techniques beyond the medium / media on which each degree focuses.
  • To develop an understanding of how live performance differs from recorded performance and the impact of camera and editing on audience perception of character.
  • To develop the capacity to move, in the most basic terms, between stage and screen direction, and to be able to identify, articulate, negotiate and critique the challenges raised by this process.
  • To develop a practical understanding of the ways in which narrative functions in theatre, film and television and, crucially, how as the director can work with actors to make a scene clear and effective.
  • To develop a deeper understanding of the student’s chosen medium/media by widening knowledge and imparting an awareness of the other contexts between which industry professionals constantly move.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students are expected:

  • To articulate the skills needed to effectively work with actors on a short scene in different practical and technical contexts;
  • To be able to demonstrate how the different media of theatre, film and television affect directorial practice;
  • To demonstrate an ability to undertake practical experimentation as well as detailed reflection which successfully negotiates with the processes of directing across the three media.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3000 Word Essay
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral presentations of plans to direct for camera and the stage (2 x 15 minute sessions)
N/A 20

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3000 Word Essay
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Viva Presentation
N/A 20

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on both summative assessments.

Students will receive oral feedback in practical seminars / workshops throughout the term.

Indicative reading

  • Delgado, M. and Rebellato, D. (2010) Contemporary European Theatre Directors. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Innes, C. and Shevtsova, M. (2009) Directors/Directing: Conversations on Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Katz, S. (1991) Film Directing Shot By Shot. Michael Wiese Productions.
  • Mitchell, K. (2009) The Director's Craft: a handbook for the theatre. London: Routledge.
  • Mitter, S. and Shevtsova, M. (2005) Fifty Key Theatre Directors. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Proferes, N. (2008) Film Directing Fundamentals: See Your Film Before Shooting. London: Focal Press.
  • Schreibman, M (2006) The Film Director Prepares: A Practical Guide to Directing for Film & TV. Lone Eagle.
  • Shepherd, S. (2013) Direction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Weston, J. (1996) Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television. Michael Wiese Productions
  • Weston, J. (2003) The Film Director's Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques. Michael Wiese Productions.



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.