Students will examine the rich history of British factual programming, and how it is used to reflect and document every aspect of life in the UK. They will become acquainted with the enormous range of subgenres, such as animated, musical, and authored documentaries, as well as explore the world of reality formats and fixed rigs. Throughout they will consider the ethics of using real contributors to tell stories for mass consumption. Students will also examine the process of commissioning factual series for British television—and will develop and pitch their own in groups to a British TV executive. As a final project, students working individually or in pairs will produce a three-minute smartphone film, and screen it in the last class, along with a “making of” presentation which reflects the learning process. With abundant in-class screenings and numerous visits from independent directors, students will leave with an appreciation of the variety of British documentary programming, its role in British culture, and its impact on the rest of the world.
Enrollment priority to Newhouse students and other communication majors.
Department: Television Radio & Film
Semesters: Fall, Spring