BA Music and Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Video Project 2 - Docufiction

Unit code DRAM30062
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course is designed to teach students different dramatic styles by integrating theory and analysis with practical work. In addition to attending seminars and screenings, the students will develop video production techniques and post-production skills to discover how different narrative forms are achieved with industry level camera equipment and editing software. Smaller production groups will be formed to devise a short dramatic film using documentary film techniques, which will then go into production, overseen by the tutor. The students will conduct research, develop a working script and learn how to cast and direct non-professional actors on location and through improvised acting. Each student will be required to carry out a variety of functions which could include: director, camera-person, sound-person, editor, production assistant and researcher.


Pre-requisite units

Any L1 Drama Study or Practical core option

Any L2 Drama Study core option - Practitioners in Context 1; Practitioners in Context 2; Screen, Culture and Society

At least one 20 credit L2 Drama practical course

Co-requisite units


Drama Dissertation/Research Essay




·         To give students an opportunity to explore different approaches to video production conducted in the borderland between fact and fiction, and to test those strategies through undertaking practical work on docufiction preproduction, production and postproduction.

·         To conduct practice-based research on docufiction film by drawing on docufiction history and theory.

To develop a critical understanding of media objectivism in historical and contemporary media by understand how the an artifice of authenticity can be devised in media productions.


Indicative syllabus (representative only – all of the topics listed below may not be covered every year):

Week 1: Course introduction, docufiction theory and camera workshop

Week 2: Lighting, audio, shooting and production workshop

Week 3: Preproduction: Workshops on project proposals, copy right, ethics, health and safety

Week 4: Workshop on narrative, working script, casting and directing non-professional actors.

Week 5: Production and shooting

Week 6: Shooting and presentation on Documentary Dramas and Ethnofictions

Week 7: Shooting and presentation on Mockumentaries and Hoaxes

Week 8: Shooting and presentation of Hand-held Horror and Docu Science Fiction. Introduction to   

                logging, paper edit and the reflective essay 

Week 9: Editing: workshop and rough cut

Week 10: Editing: fine cut and poster design

Week 11: Editing: final cut

Week 12: Media career workshop, workshop on distribution, reflective assessment essay,  

                  Appraisal and final screening.                

Teaching and learning methods

The course is taught via:


·         Training workshops, focusing on camera work, shooting, managing light and sound, storyboarding and editing

·         Lectures

·         Discussion and group exercises engaging with course readings/materials

The course unit will be complemented by a Blackboard site that conforms to minimum requirements including a course handbook, weekly course breakdown, provision of reading material, reading lists. Supplementary material from workshops will be added as appropriate. The blackboard site will be prepared and available to students at least one week prior to the beginning of the first teaching week each semester.

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a critical and systematic understanding and knowledge of:

·         the artifice of authenticity

·         docufiction history and theory

film production processes

Intellectual skills

Demonstrate critical understanding and ability to use -

·         critical film analysis

·         reflective practice

·         editing skills


 - in order to develop, create and produce short films of industry standard or approaching industry standard.

Practical skills

Demonstrate advanced practical skills in -

·         preproduction of docufiction film

·         production of docufiction film

postproduction of docufiction film

Transferable skills and personal qualities

·         Advanced interpersonal communication and team-working skills

·         Critical thinking skills and creative group-work practice skills (problem-solving, thinking innovatively, drawing on creative approaches of others, evaluating arguments, giving and receiving feedback, time-keeping)

·         Using effective leadership and group-work skills to solve complex problems

Performing with confidence and precision for specific audiences/contexts, making use of diverse creative approaches and media

Employability skills

Group/team working
Ability to work independently and as part of a group to conceive, plan, undertake and evaluate original, well-developed projects that involve complex and unpredictable scenarios; Ability to work independently and as part of a group to solve problems arising from engaging with challenging and unpredictable scenarios
Advanced skills in group-work, leadership, reflexivity, planning and project management
Understanding of and adherence to industry-level professional and ethical standards in practical work; Ability to develop informed critique of professional practice (own and others), drawing on understanding of high quality standards; Development of a professional identity and skills/knowledge base to inform further professional practice, training and learning

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative


Weighting within unit (if summative)

Production of a project proposal, working script and a docufiction film.


Docufiction film (10-15 min), project proposal (2000-2500 words) and working script (length n/a).


Reflective Essay


4000-4500 words

40 %

Ongoing feedback during workshops –peer to peer and tutor to student





Feedback methods

Full written feedback on all assessments

Recommended reading

Hight, C. & Roscoe, J. 2001. Faking It: Mock-Documentary and the

Subversion of Factuality

Millerson, G. 2001. Video Production Handbook

Murch, W. 2001. In the blink of an eye

Rabiger, M. 1992. Directing the Documentary

Rhodes, GD. and JP Springer. (eds.) 2006. Docufictions: essays on the intersection of documentary and fictional filmmaking


Rosenthal, A. 2002. Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and


Ward, P. 2005. Documentary: The Margins of Reality

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 165
Independent study hours
Independent study 235

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Johannes Sjoberg Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Open to Drama students (Single and Joint Honours).

If you are not a student on a Drama programme but have considerable experience and interest in video production, please get in contact with Course Unit Director Dr Johannes Sjoberg AND Programme Director for Drama Dr Rachel Clements to request a place on the course: /

Technical Support: Karl Spencer will hand out the equipment for your projects. Make sure you return the equipment to him promptly at the agreed times. He is available for background technical advice and his office is F11.

Additional Video Screenings: In order to screen recommended films additional times in preparation for the assessment essay, you can arrange a booking to view available videos and DVDs in a screening booth in the Lenagan Library.

For further information please visit

Timetable for 2016/17: TBC

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