The Department of Media and Cultural Studies recently showcased the works of its honours students in the form of 16 short films, with eight of the best being screened.  The event was attended by students, their parents and staff.

Short films formed part of the requirements for the Advanced Television Studies module which combined practice with theory. Students worked in four production teams, producing the 16 short films around four topics – Hot, Music, The Honours Class and City Life. 

In the course of their filmmaking, each student had an opportunity to be the director/script writer, editor, cinematographer and production manager. 

The concept, Idea is King, was central to the projects. Teams used available equipment and sourced free editing software to complete their project. 

‘As the teams worked together, they developed valuable skills in intergroup relations and communication,’ said the Department’s Dr Zoe Molver.  ‘Their experiences were articulated in meticulously presented production diaries – each student completed the course with a substantial portfolio comprising four films each accompanied by a production diary.’

One of the students, Ms Ashley Bowman, said: ‘For the topic City Life we filmed three couples exploring trendy hot-spots in Durban such as Gateway, Florida Road and even the Arcade. We wanted to show Durban as an exciting place to hang out and we managed to convey it in a romantic, fun, quirky manner.’

Her colleague, Ms Ronel Singarum, said there were both challenges and highlights to the guerrilla film-making course. ‘We experienced technical problems with lighting, microphones and editing but it was all worth it. In the end, it really is gratifying to see the completed product and it truly was a learning experience that has fuelled my passion for TV and film production even more.’

Films included a comedy horror film, complete with fake blood and gore, and music videos. ‘For many parents, this was the first time they had a sense of where their children worked and played and who taught them. Many were astonished by the calibre of work produced.’

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