Geoffrey Cowper - email@example.com
By appointment arranged previously by email or 5-10 minutes after each on-site class.
Professional English for Audio-visual Communication II is a 4-credit subject. It will be taught during the second semester of 4th year in the Audio-visual Communication degree and will focus on TV series .
The importance of series has changed in recent years. Nowadays the audio-visual boundaries have become blurred and we can consider a 60 minutes film or a 100-hour series to be equally part of the seventh art. Major production companies and video-on-demand platforms want to create consumer loyalty and an emotional connection with viewers.
Sometimes considered to be the literature of the 21st century, TV series have set a trend thanks to the technological revolution, an improved world Internet and the enormous investments of new billion-dollar companies (Netflix, Amazon, FX and pretty soon Apple producing their own series) generating a huge variety of series and making massive profits, to the extent that they have become the have come to dominate de audio-visual entertainment market and been legitimised by their millions of viewers.
Without any doubt we are in a golden age of TV series and we must be prepared to make the most of this situations, not only as consumers but also as potential creators.
The course will be taught completely in English, so proficiency in the language will be necessary in order to follow the classes and work with the materials provided.
The main objective of this subject is that students understand the creative process and the production criteria used by producers nowadays. The intention is also that they get familiarised with the concepts in use in the sector and finally become able to incorporate this knowledge in a creative audio-visual piece, to the highest possible professional standard.
- 01 - The ability to adapt to varying circumstances
- 02 - The ability to understand, accept criticism and correct errors
- 03 - The ability to administer and manage human and technical resources
- 04 - The ability to work in a team and autonomously
- 05 - The ability to organise time and workspace
- 06 - The ability to develop academic rigour, responsibility, ethics and professionalism
- 07 - The ability to apply the deontology and respect for the audiovisual sector
- 08 - The ability of critical analysis, synthesis, concretion and abstraction
- 09 - The ability to objectify, quantify and interpret (data, statistics, empirical evidence )
- 10 - The ability to confront difficulties and resolve problems
- 11 - The ability to generate debate and reflection
- 12 - The ability to meet deadlines, develop the ability to be punctual and respect for human, technical and material resources
- 13 - The ability to create spoken and written communication
- 19 - The ability of informative documentation
- 21 - Knowledge and mastery of the digital culture
- 24 - The ability to plan and organize both short term and long term projects
- 25 - The ability to maximize creative development
- 26 - The ability to develop a sense of taste and perfection in the aesthetics and finalization of projects
- 50 - The ability to adapt, understand and apply the expressive possibilities of new technologies and future changes
- 53 - Lingustic ability in Catalan, Spanish and English
- 54 - The ability to skillfully manage the literature, terminology and linguistic structures of the English language related to the field of communication.
Once the subject has finished, the 4th year students will be able to demonstrate the benefits of having learnt the following:
- The importance of the serial format to hook the viewer and guarantee their continued watching.
- The importance of working without frontiers. The world is our labour market .
- The key stages of the creative process; the writing and dramatic mechanisms of TV series, pre-production, shooting, post-production and the different forms of sales and distribution.
- The different audio-visual formats currently used for series and mini-series (20 minutes, 40 minutes, more than 40 minutes)
- To have the tools that give access to the labour market, both in cinema and television production.
- Command of the vocabulary used in the sector and knowledge of the English terms used in the audio-visual industry.
- Upon finishing the course each student will have a pilot of a series in which he or she has worked as a head of team. In this way, they will be prepared in case any production company, TV channel or digital platform is interested in their project.
The subject has both theoretical and practical contents. The theory is essential to help students to understand key concepts; how series are written and the creative process. The practical exercises will help them to integrate and assimilate the theory in a way that is deep, personal and lasting.
During the course students will develop a pilot of a series, either fiction, non fiction or a hybrid, through all the stages from planning, scheduling and pre-production to the point at which they can produce the first episode (casting, locations, material, crew and shooting) and reach the final stage of post production.
The subject will be divided in three parts.
Part 1: Making a good script great.
Students will write and finalize the definitive version of the script for the pilot episode of a TV series.
Part 2: Pre-production (or how to properly prepare for the shooting)
Prepare an exhaustive pre-production schedule; find the crew, the cast and the locations; make the shooting schedule, shooting script and the storyboard.
Part 3: Shoot, edit and deliver!
The students will have to direct, edit and post-produce the pilot episode of their series.
Teaching and learning activities
|TRAINING ACTIVITY||ECTS CREDITS|
|Lectures. In lectures, lecturers/professors not only transmit content or knowledge, but also, and above all else, attitudes, motivation, skills and values, etc. They also ensure that participants can express their opinions and arguments to the other students.||1|
|Coaching. Monitoring how students learn the content of the subject, either individually or in groups. In the coaching sessions, mistakes will be corrected, queries answered, and exercises and activities to achieve the established objectives will be suggested.||0.4|
|Focused Praxis. Handing in occasional exercises to learn theory through practice.||0.4|
|Seminar. This activity will consist of taking an in-depth look at specific up-to-date topics in a monographic manner-in some cases these topics will have been debated socially-, via active work in small groups.||0.4|
|Practical workshop. A highly practical working activity, where students can acquire skills that are practical or also theoretical (intellectual skills, logical skills, critical skills, intellectual learning skills, study skills, quoting skills, etc).||1|
|Meeting Point. Meetings will be organised with notable people from the professional and scientific fields or the international field, and students. These sessions will take the form of conferences, work sessions, discussions, or interviews, etc.||0.4|
|Workshop. Advanced and intensive workshops of a longer duration, led by lecturers and/or foreign professionals, in which the language used is English. These culminate in the creation of a professional or semi-professional product which is also produced in English.||0.4|
Evaluation systems and criteria
- 10% for assistance in class and punctuality.
- 20% for the practical exercises in class (attitude and participation)
- 70% for the final project, which will be done in small groups (depending on the final number of students). The final project consists of developing a creative audio-visual piece through all its stages, and special value will be given to the evolution of the project, the learning process and the results obtained.
If the student doesn’t pass at the first evaluation, the second will consist of doing an exhaustive dossier for the production of a pilot of a pre-existing series detailing all the necessities of each department.
Bibliography and resources
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee. Methuen Film (1999)
Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder. Michael Wiese Productions (2005)
Directors close up by Jeremy Kagan. Scarecrow Press (2005)
Making Movies by Sidney Lumet. Vintage books (1996)
In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch. Silman-James Press (2001)
Writing Drama by Yves Lavandier. Le Clown & l’enfant (2005).
Making a good script great by Linda Seger. Silman-James Press (2010)
Hitchcock Truffaut by François Truffaut. Faber and Faber (2017)