DGTL12014 - Documentary Filmmaking

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will learn the history and theory of documentary, and about current trends in industry practice. Through a series of individual exercises, you will gain skills in project development, sound and vision capture, and documentary editing using industry-standard software. You will apply these skills in the production of your own short documentary. You will be encouraged to find your authentic voice and visual style, and will be introduced to the ethical and legal considerations for documentary practice.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: MMST11009 Digital Video and Audio

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 40%
2. Practical Assessment 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 85.71% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 44.44% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Self Reflection
The first assessment was quite complex.
Streamline first and second assessments. Focus on preproduction exercises as the main assessment outcome for Assessment 1.
Action Taken
The first assignment was simplified and better aligned with the second assignment.
Source: Teaching Team feedback
Make more use of the technical demonstrators on campuses
Allow sufficient time in the breakout groups for technical demonstrators to work with students.
Action Taken
The tutorials have been restructured to ensure students have time in break-out groups to work with the support of the demonstrators.
Source: Teaching colleague.
Assignment 1 could be further aligned with Assignment 2.
Modify Assignment 1 to include additional planning for Assignment 2. Have students present their work as a video pitch with accompanying documentation that is consistent with current industry practice.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Integrate a theoretical understanding of documentary practice and audiovisual skills in the creation of a completed documentary project.
  2. Apply documentary editing principles in the creation of a documentary using industry-standard editing software.
  3. Manage media files and workflow through the stages of development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution
  4. Reflect critically on one's own professional documentary practice within an industry-standard ethical framework.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10