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Unit information: Animated Film in 2015/16

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Unit name Animated Film
Unit code DRAM23137
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Moen
Open unit status Not open

DRAM11007 Production Skills for Film or equivalent



School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores the aesthetic forms and thematic concerns of animated film. It examines this through the study of: influential and popular animators, such as Norman McLaren and Walt Disney; animation techniques and forms, such as stop motion and cel animation; animation ‘genres’, such as narrative and abstract animation; and approaches to understanding ways in which animated films resonate with wider issues of culture, art and society. The unit develops an exploration of animation around a practical project where students make a short animated film. This will include structuring a narrative, storyboarding, designing and animating.

The units aims are:

  • To understand and employ the aesthetics of animated film;
  • To situate animated film in wider contexts of film culture, society and art;
  • To explore the artistic and thematic potentials of animation;
  • To create an animated film, from concept to final film.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1) demonstrate an understanding of animation as an aesthetic and cultural form;

2) identify and employ different aesthetic, conceptual and cultural aspects of animated film;

3) demonstrate a detailed knowledge of how animated films are constructed, from storyboarding and design to animating and postproduction;

4) work with the materials and approaches used in prominent modes of animated filmmaking;

5) display advanced skills in the development of a practical project.

Teaching Information

Weekly 2 hour seminar / workshop (in the first four weeks of the unit), weekly 3 hour screening (in the first four weeks of the unit), two 1-hour production tutorials (in the fifth and six weeks), 2 half-hour production tutorials (after the sixth week), practical work (both independent, and supervised in scheduled sessions), 30 hour intensive production period for film.

Assessment Information

Animated film between 30 seconds and 2 minutes (depending on whether produced individually or in a group of 2) (50%) ILO 1-5

2500 word reflexive account of practical work (50%) ILO 1-3

Films can be made either individually or in groups of 2, at the unit convenor’s discretion. The required length of the film will vary, depending on the number of students involved and the specific nature of the project. Films made in groups will be awarded a single grade.

Reading and References

  • Eisenstein, S. (2006) ‘On Disney’ in The Eisenstein Collection, London: Seagull Books, 79-185. Leslie, E. (2002) Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-Garde, London: Verso. Napier, S. (2005) Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle, updated edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Wells, P. (1998) Understanding Animation, London: Routledge.