FT3VC-Videographic Criticism

Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof John Gibbs

Email: john.gibbs@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Videographic criticism – the production of critical and theoretical arguments through the form of audiovisual essays – is a diverse and rapidly developing field. Recent developments in digital technology mean that scholarly work in film and television can now be produced in a similar form to the object of study, creating opportunities for formal experimentation and an unrivalled opportunity to bring evidence together with argument. This module gives you the opportunity to explore recent developments in videographic criticism, produce a series of short videographic exercises and to create a more substantive video essay on a film or television programme. 


•    To develop understanding of practices in videographic criticism and the surrounding critical and theoretical debates.

•    To develop skills in the production of videographic criticism, including appropriate picture and sound editing techniques.

•    To extend understanding of style and its effects, generally and in the case of specific film / television texts. 

•    To develop the discussion of the relationship between film / television aesthetics and a range of other critical, historical and theoretical debates.

•    To extend skills of close reading and contextual analysis. 

•    To encourage a critical engagement with works of film criticism and theory, both written and audiovisual. 


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

•    Produce short audiovisual exercises and essays in a range of forms.

•    Reflect on videographic critical approaches.

•    Demonstrate critical understanding of their object(s) of study, orally, audiovisually or on the page.

•    To deploy and extend skills of close reading and contextual analysis.

•    Reflect critically on the work they have produced, including its strategies and rhetorical effects.

Additional outcomes:

The module plays a significant role in the continuing development of other skills and competencies, which are central to the course. It is expected that the level of skills and competencies achieved in the following will be appropriate to the level of study: oral communication and argument in group situations; deployment of research using printed and electronic resources; critical analysis and coherent argument; undertaking self-directed, independent work; presentation of written and audiovisual work using IT; identifying and addressing problems in the analysis of film and television forms.

Outline content:

The module will engage with a wide range of audiovisual essays. Students will watch / listen to existing work during class time and in preparation for class discussion, and read around the developing forms of videographic criticism. Early in the module they will identify a film (or television programme) to work on in a series of videographic exercises: briefs with focussed constraints will be set in class and the students will present their responses to the brief in a following session. Different exercises are designed to focus attention on different aspects of the form. One of these initial exercises will form the first assessment point. In the later stages of the module, students will work on a more extended audiovisual essay, which will be submitted with accompanying documentation. Alternatively, students can write an essay about the film / programme they have been working on for their second assignment, applying the insights developed through different videographic encounters with their object of study.

Global context:

In the context of class discussion, different practices from different national cinemas may be explored and compared.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Within the two-hour class, a range of teaching styles will be used and may vary from week to week. The dominant teaching forms will be the seminar and the workshop, which will concentrate primarily on close analysis of audiovisual essays – including work produced by the participants in the module – and discussion of critical approaches. Seminars will require preparation in the form of viewing work and conducting specified reading. Short videographic exercises will be set and the work produced will be discussed in class. Advice and training in appropriate technological processes will be made available. The second summative assessment point will involve the production of either an audiovisual essay and accompanying documentation or a traditional essay on the object of earlier videographic enquiry.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Supervised time in studio/workshop 47
Guided independent study 135
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 28
Project output other than dissertation 72

Other information on summative assessment:

Alternatively, if the participating student elects to write an essay for the second assessment, the summative assessment percentages would be Project output: 30%; Written assignment, including essay: 70%.

Formative assessment methods:

Formative videographic exercises which will be presented and discussed in class.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    An overall mark of 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Resubmission of failed coursework 

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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