The Program

The Master in Documentary Filmmaking is a highly practical, applied program in the production of documentary film for cinema, television or other media platforms. From the beginning of the master program, students will start working on the portfolio for the production of a feature documentary film that will represent their final dissertation work, while also taking other theoretical, and practical courses, with the possibility of choosing from a number of elective courses offered.

By the end of the First Semester, students will prepare a pre-production portfolio that will comprise a written proposal for a documentary film of 15-27 minutes, with the specification of the sub-genre, the synopsis of the film, edited according to standards (1 page) and an initial storyboard. The portfolio will also have a description of the initial research results and foto documentation as well as an estimated budget and production plan. They will also prepare a documentary exercise of max. 15 min., produced in the style of the subgenre selected.

During the Second Semester the students will continue to develop the pre-production portfolio, by finalizing the script and preparing the production stage (continuing documentation, choosing film locations, starting the logistic and production planning, etc.). They will keep a production journal that will become part of their portfolio. If possible, students might also start the production process and make the first shootings. They will also finalize the documentary exercise.

On the Third Semester, students will start the filming and production of the feature documentary film. At this stage, the portfolio will include the shooting plan, with locations and calendar, as well as the list of necessary materials and resources. Students will also develop daily production files while continuing to keep the production journal with the observations, conclusions and results of the production day. At the end of the semester, they will present the production portfolio as well as a rough director’s cut representing at least 50% of the length of the final film.

During the Fourth Semester the students will work on the post-production stage, editing and adding sound to the final feature documentary. They will also complete the portfolio with the master copy and the promotional material (posters, covers, or other type of materials)

In order to finalize their studies, students will be expected to have completed all the credits comprised in the learning plan, as well as write a dissertation paper that will be defended in front of dissertation commission. Additionally, they will present to the public in a public viewing the feature documentary produced during the course of their studies.

 

General objectives of the Master program in Documentary Filmmaking

  • Developing an understanding of the most important trends and developments of the documentary film genre within the context of the new platforms of distribution and new specific audiences in the information age
  • Practical learning, through analysis and practice at the highest standards, of specific documentary film genres: scientific documentary, social and anthropological films, docu-drama, and adventure documentary.
  • Acquiring skills and abilities necessary in the production of film for cinematography, television and new media.
  • Developing the ability to use the specific media and cinematography specialized language while creatively applying theoretical and practical knowledge in a professional setting.
  • Developing theoretical and practical knowledge about Romanian and international non-fiction contemporary film
  • Developing theoretical knowledge and practical experience in order to cultivate high professional and ethical standards, as well as professional courage and civic responsibility, as a non-fiction cinematographer. 

 

Core Courses

  • Pre-production: Research and Scriptwriting / Pre-producție: Documentare și scenariu
  • Anthropology and Documentary Filmmaking / Antropologie în filmul documentar
  • Research in Creative Industries / Cercetare în industriile creative. The course offers students an overview of the range of research methods used in creative industries: visual and textual analysis, textual and visual semiotics and hermeneutics, visual identity elements. The course also helps students analyze creative industries in terms of the socio-cultural and new technologies context, as well as creative economy.
  • Documentary Filmmaking (1) / Producția filmului documentar (1)
  • Fiction and Reality in Documentary Films / Ficțiune și realitate în filmul documentar
  • New Media Documentary / Documentarul New Media
  • Documentary Filmmaking (2) / Producția filmului documentar (2)
  • Creative Transmedia Project / Proiect transmedia. The course introduces students to the production process of interactive documentary by developing individual and group interactive projects. At the end of the couese, the students will be able to understand how the new platforms provided by digital media, the democratization of communication and information through the use of the Internet, as well as the increased access to audio and video digital devices foster the development of new media and film genres.
  • Postproduction: sound, editing / Post-producție: sunet, montaj
  • Project Production Management / Managementul producției proiectului
  • Dissertation Writing  / Elaborarea disertației. This module is assisting students in all stages of thesis production. Students will learn the methodology of documentation, editing and organisation of information and will be capable of understanding the specific requirements of a scientific paper (structure, argumentation, bibliography etc.). 

 

Optional Courses

  • Contemporary Critical Paradigms / Paradigme critice contemporane
  • Critical Thinking and the New Medias / Gândirea critică și noile medii
  • Docutainment / Docutainment
  • Docu-drama / Docudrama. By acquiring knowledge into the specifics of the genre (docudrama) and certain practical creative experiments, the MA students are offered the opportunity to step into and beyond the world of pure documentaries, with particular focus on the universe of dramatized documentaries, of “mediated narratives.” Working with actors (professional or non-professional) will represent a creative element that is specific to the genre, a complex professional exercise. The course provides a foray into the world of “hybrid documentary,” straddling the border between fiction film and other genres, often placed in atypical correlations, with generous openings towards creative cinematographic experiments. The course on docudrama describes the specific characteristics and role of documentary films in the wider audio-visual landscape and proposes methods and solutions for audio-visual expression in the context of the developments that have taken place in the field of image capturing and processing technologies and of the new audio-visual communication media.
  • Interactive Movies / Filme interactive
  • Visual Storytelling / Narațiune vizuală
  • Documentary film genres: anthropological and social / Genuri de documentar: antropologic și social. The approach to historical or sociological themes represents an area of interest on the media market. The course will focus on the production stages and methods that are specific of historical and / or sociological themes. The specific characteristics of the sub-genre, such as: the techniques used in historical evocation, the specific methods of visualisation in the “time tunnel,” reconstruction methods, etc., will be addressed in this course. In the case of sociological documentaries, the characteristic problematic of this area will be addressed. The course proposes a synthesis of the anthropological registers of documentary expression, within the larger context of the contemporary media landscape and proposes specific methods and solutions for audio-visual expression in the context of the developments that have taken place in the field of image capturing and processing technologies and of the new audio-visual communication media. The description of the actual audio-visual production methodology that is specific to documentaries of this type will be detailed in terms of technical / human resources and of their specific expressiveness and aesthetics.
  • Documentary film genres: science, exploring and adventure / Gernuri de documentar: științific, explorare și aventură (RO). Cursul crează contextul pentru dezvoltarea şi aprofundarea cunoştinţelor în domeniul filmului documentar ştiinţific şi de popularizare ştiinţifică. De asemenea, crează cadrul pentru elaborarea unor proiecte individuale dezvoltate până la faza de producţie.(Propunere de temă, synopsis, treatment, schiţă de scenariu, concepţie regizorală.)

Student Videos

PELICAM Festival 2017. 

Film workshop in Baru Mare, 2016. 

Master program presentation movie, 2015.

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