Institute of Arts and Sciences



Film Production (CNM 103) Prof. Cherish Aileen A. Brillon

1st semester 2008-2009

Class schedule: (Tues: 3:00-6:00)

Consultation: by appointment

Course Description:

This course introduces the student to the rudiments of film / video (alternative) production making; to aesthetically craft social, political, economic perspectives using film as medium of expression and to utilize creative talents in culminating a student film production that would help develop society’s engaging issues.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the semester, the students are expected to:

  1. Understand the nature and principles of filmmaking from a global perspective and approach
  2. Utilize the fundamentals of film craftsmanship
  3. Promote human values in filmmaking through a rigorous process and production
  4. Execute plans, techniques, and aesthetics on the use of film as a medium of expression and communication

Required texts:

  1. Mamer, B. (2006). Film Production Techniques (2nd ed.). USA: Wadsworth.
  2. Dancyger, K. (1999). The World of Film and Video Production: Aesthetics and Practices. USA: Harcourt Brace & Company
  3. Crisp, M. (1996). The Practical Director. USA: Focal Press.

Supplementary readings:

  1. Baumgartel, T. (ed.) (2007). Kino Sine: Philippine German Cinema Relations. Manila: Goethe-Institut
  2. Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. (2004). Film Art: An Introduction (7th ed). New York: McGraw Hill.
  3. Kenny, Isabel E. (2005). Making documentaries in the Philippines. Manila: Anvil Publishing Inc.
  4. Pincus, E., & Ascher, S. (1984). The filmmaker’s handbook. New York: Plume Book.
  5. Travis, M. (2002). Directing Feature Films.
  6. Bernstein, S. (1988). The Technique of Film Production. USA: Focal Press.

Course requirements:

I. Film

Final output is a film project geared towards film competitions outside of the University. Genres are short narrative, experimental, and documentary (either environmental or advocacy). Guidelines will be discussed in class. Prelims will consist of the sequence treatment. Midterm exams will be composed of the first rushes of the film while the Final exams will be the revised output.

II. Recitation/Reporting

The class will be divided into several groups and will be asked to report on assigned topics

III. Assignments

Regular assignments should be passed on time.

IV. Quizzes

There will be announced and surprised quizzes during the semester.

V. Regular attendance

The University policy of 6 absences (considered dropped) will be strictly implemented, as well as 3 instances of tardiness (arriving 15 mins late prior to your class schedule) will be considered an infraction on your attendance. For a 3-hour class, you are only allowed 3 absences before being considered dropped and an allowance of 30 minutes.

Grading Scheme Transmutation table: Formula for computing grades:

Special projects/Papers 40% 95–100 = 1.00 PG= 2(CS)+PX/3

Recitation/Reporting 20% 90-94 = 1.25 MG = 2(CA)+PG/3

Quizzes 25% 86-89 = 1.50 FG= 2(CA)+MG/3

Assignments 15% 82-85 = 1.75

78-81 = 2.00

Total 100% 74-77 = 2.25

70-73 = 2.50

*Grading system is cumulative 66-69 = 2.75

60-64 = 3.00

Classroom Policy:

  1. Submission dates for assignments, papers and other requirements will be strictly enforced. I will not accept late submissions except under special circumstances (in case of absences resulting to sickness and other life and death matters, please present an excuse letter and a medical certificate)
  2. Make up quizzes will only be given to those who can present an excuse letter and a medical certificate
  3. As previously mentioned, infractions on absences and tardiness will strictly be enforced.
  4. When there is group reporting and group activities (projects), individual group members are required to submit a written evaluation with a corresponding grade of their groupmates. It should be typewritten and sealed for confidentiality purposes. Peer evaluation makes up 20% of the grade for each activity.
  5. Please put your mobile phones on silent mode during class hours. Likewise, iPods, PSPs, mp3s and mp4s are not allowed when class is ongoing.
  6. Anyone caught cheating is subject to disciplinary action
  7. I reserve the right to answer your texts messages especially if it pertains to topics already discussed in class.
  8. Anyone caught committing acts of plagiarism (especially copy paste techniques) automatically gets a grade of 5.00.
  9. Regularly visit for special class related announcements. Click on the category to which your class belongs.
  10. Since this is a film class and film screening is an important part of the subject, I expect everyone to be on time and to observe proper decorum.


Week 1

Topics: Discussion of syllabus

Screening Lababo by Seymour Barros Sanchez (Short narrative)

Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren (experimental)

The Ballad of Mimiong’s Minion by Jobin Ballesteros (short narrative)

Assignment Enumerate the duties and responsibilities of the production staff (film)

Week 2

Topics: Review of Film Movements (history)

Duties and Responsibilities of the production staff

Readings: Bordwell & Thompson: Chapter 12: Film History

Dancyger: Chapter 1: The Language of Production

Chapter 2: An Overview of the Production Process

Mamer: Chapter 3: Crew Organization

Activity Groupings and assignment of final project

Assignment: Per group: Report on short narrative, experimental, and documentary (advocacy filmmaking)

Week 3

Topics: Documentary, Short Narrative, Experimental genres

Readings The Workshop Set the Tone For Me by Ditsi Carolino *

Experimental Film Production in the Philippines by Christoph Janetzko *

Pramaggiore & Wallis: Chapter 8: Alternatives to Narrative Fiction film: Documentary & Avant Garde

Activities: Group reporting on the assigned genre (recitation)

Screening: Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore

Assignment: Form groups of five and compile pictures of the different types of cameras (film and video), lenses and lighting equipment. Be ready to tell the class about it.

Week 4

Topic: Pre-Production Phase (from concept to script to location hunting)

Readings: You Have to Let Your Sariling Duende Speak: A Conversation Between John Torres and Kidlat Tahimik *

Mamer: Chapter 4: Preproduction

Dancyger: Chapters 3-7: Pre-production: The Conceptual World

Assignment Concept and Sequence Treatment of the film project (quiz)

Activity Submission of the previous assignment/Brainstorming

Week 5

Topic Production Techniques (The Camera)

Readings: Dancyger: Chapter 8-11: Production: The Technical World

Mamer: Chapter 1: Creating the Shots

Chapter 5: The Camera

Crisp: Chapter 1: lenses

Activity Reporting/Hands on training

Submission of sequence treatment

Week 6 Prelim exams

Submission of first draft of script and defense

Week 7

Topic: Continuation of production techniques (camera and lighting)

Readings Mamer: Chapter 12: Lighting

Dancyger: Chapter 8-11: Production: The Technical World

Crisp: Chapter 2: Lighting and Equipment

Activity Hands on training

Week 8

Topic: Continuation of production techniques (costumes, acting, production design)

Readings Mamer: Chapter 2: Constructing the Scene

Crisp: Chapter 4: Production Management

Activity Hands on training

Week 9, 10, 11 Shooting schedule

Note: Your written output regarding what transpired during the shoot will be the basis for the midterm quiz

Week 12 Midterm exams

Presentation of the initial rushes by each group


Week 13

Topic: Post Production (editing and sound design)

Readings: Mamer: Chapter 16: Editing

Dancyger: Chapter 12-14: Post Production: Editing and the World Beyond

Crisp: Chapter 9: Editing

Week 14 Post production break

Week 15 or 16 Submission of Final Output

Week 17 FEU Film Society Film Festival

Revised by:

Cherish Aileen A. Brillon AY 2008-2009

The Truth Is Out There