Skip to main content

Unit information: Producing and the Business of Film and Television in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Producing and the Business of Film and Television
Unit code DRAMM0016
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Metelerkamp
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit has two main objectives: to enable students to acquire the necessary procedural and management skills and understandings successfully to proceed to their dissertation productions, and to enable students to develop industry awareness that will be useful in professional life. Teaching and learning will cover:

  • the film and television production development process from idea to screen
  • what a producer does, and what s/he needs to know, and how a producer prioritises, plans, communicates and leads
  • the key functions of a line producer
  • the entrepreneurial dimensions of producing, including finance, marketing, and industry research
  • film budgeting and scheduling
  • conventions for communicating with(in) a production crew
  • key legal issues with which a producer needs to be familiar
  • rights and how they are they managed
  • the processes that lead to the completion of an actual professional production
  • financial structures in the screen media industries
  • social and political forces within and around the production of screen media
  • commissioning processes and the structures and their relation to processes and markets for distribution across a range of platforms

The unit will:
1) equip students with a solid and functional understanding of the key issues that face small-scale independent productions.
2) prepare those students proceeding to dissertations by production/practice, with the skills and awareness they need to approach their dissertation projects successfully.
3) expose students to a professional awareness of industrial conventions, and the financial and other structures of the industries for screen media production and distribution. This will be value to all, but in particular to those students proceeding to dissertations by industry placement.
4) enable and require students to engage with professional practitioners
5) offer those students progressing to dissertations by scholarship an enrichment to their understanding of professional processes and forces in the world of film and television production

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students will:
1) have sufficient skills and understandings in the core areas offered to proceed to dissertations across a range of modes
2) have a foundational professional awareness of industry structures, conditions, and norms
3) have transferable skills and understandings in the nature of the professional project development process
4) have demonstrable industry awareness and research skills developed via the case study

Teaching Information

Lectures, practical workshops and exercises, with contributions to all from currently active media professionals.

The case study assignment, requiring students to engage with a professional context, is an important learning tool.

While the unit is carefully structured to take all students through the generic conceptual and practical stages of project development for film and television production, it is also sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of different projects, teams, ideas and processes

Assessment Information

1) Script breakdown, budget and schedule, of equivalent academic weight to 2000 word essay: required for credit and assessed by pass/fail

2) Individual case study of a professional film or television production of the student's choice, requiring both direct research and contact with industry professionals, and the ability to situate the findings within a broader analysis of forces and trends within the film and television industries. 3000 words: 100%

Reading and References

  • Davies, Harcourt, Howlett and Moskovic (1986) The Independent Producer: Film and Television (Faber)
  • Durie, John; Pham, Annika; Watson, Neil (2000) Marketing and Selling Your Film Around the Word: A Guide for Independent Filmmakers (Silman-James Press)
  • Epstein, Edward Jay (2006) The Big Picture - Money and Power in Hollywood (Random House)
  • Gates, Richard (1992) Production Management for Film and Video (Focal Press)
  • McCracken, Richard & Gilbart, Madeline (1995) Buying and Clearing Rights: Print, Broadcast and Multimedia (Chapman & Hall)
  • Miller, Philip (1998) Media Law for Producers, 3rd edn. (Focal Press)