The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course provides students with the skills, knowledge and technologies required to produce documentaries for the screen. Students work in groups and develop technical skills in the use of digital video production and postproduction equipment and facilities as well as increasing their abilities to understand and analyse diverse forms of documentary storytelling. The course examines diverse modes and hybrid documentary practices for historical, experimental and contemporary screens and their social, political and cultural implications. Through practice and analysis students examine questions of representation, truth, ethics and context, as well as the relationships and responsibilities between filmmaker, subjects and viewers within global screen cultures.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2019.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of documentary storytelling, method, modes and practices by creating a short documentary video (in a group).

2. Develop an understanding of the principles and practices of documentary project design and demonstrate integrated creative, technical and analytical skills.

3. Use the documentary genre as a medium to communicate social messages to digital screen based audiences and viewers.

4. Competently use designated video production and postproduction equipment

5. Develop critical, awareness and analytical skills and understanding of the ethics and responsibilities involved in working as part of a documentary team.


Students will be introduced to the different stages of documentary production from concept, research, proposal, script, prototyping, production, postproduction and multi-platform delivery and examine diverse narrative and experimental modes and practices for the screenDuring the workshop sessions students will:

  • gain research and screen writing skills for documentary video;
  • develop an understanding of the ethical considerations and responsibilities involved with working with people to produce a documentary for the screen;
  • gain increased understanding of camera, video and sound recording and production, editing and post production techniques;
  • gain appropriate technical competence with video production, including aspects of production management;
  • develop an understanding of the social, political and cultural impacts of documentary modes and practices within historical and contemporary contexts; learn about specific crew roles and working with a team.

Assumed knowledge

CMNS1230, CMNS1005, CMNS2035, or equivalent digital editing and post production skills for both audio and video; and an understanding of relevant principles of communication in the construction of audio and video programs.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments

Presentation: Presentations - Group

Project: Video Documentary

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Workshop: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction (equipment usage).