Film II – Production Studies

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The starting pistol has sounded for this term’s HASS 02.201 Film II – Production Studies. Four film-making teams (30 students) will get a taste of film school boot camp by becoming writers, cameramen/women, editors, etc., and learning to use our 6K Scarlet RED Dragon cameras – the same model used to shoot Hollywood movies such as The Hobbit.

Students write, produce and direct their own films over the 14 weeks of term. These are screened at the SUTD Awards Evening – our very own Oscars! At this event, students discuss their inspirations and compete with one other for prizes such as Best Cinematography, Screenplay, and of course, Best Film.

Dr. James Rowlins, Course Lead, has on occasions rolled up his sleeves and directed films with students. One such film is Monstrosity. It is a neo-noir thriller starring local actor Jack Hyde, that to date has received over 60 awards from 30 international film festivals.

Course instructor Dr James Rowlins (in blue) with students and actors on set

Prior to Film II, most students have already tried their hands at film-making in HASS 02.103 Film I – Introduction to Film Studies: Theory, History and Practice. The course teaches that the best education a filmmaker can have is to learn from the masters! It covers over a hundred years of cinema history, from the silent era to modern movies, and instructs students in the theoretical discourses used to analyse films. Students are asked, instead of writing an essay, to channel their reflections into a film-making project.

[Read our Student Highlights interview here.]

Behind the scenes 1

Behind the scenes 2

Behind the scenes 3

Preparing for the next shoot

Students put a great deal of effort and passion into their films. They come to understand that cameras, lenses and gadgets (techne) are powerful tools if used skilfully by auteurs to bring their vision to life. Film Studies graduates have praised an “enriching, informative and practical course, great and fantastic fun!” – “a very hands-on course that allows students to learn by experiencing and trying. Superb that our school can have such cool and fun courses in our curriculum.”

There is nothing more pleasing than seeing SUTD students around campus working in teams to make film art. Sky’s truly the limit to what they can conjure up. Viva cinema!

SUTD student films are online at:

Stop Press!
HASS 02.131 Non-fiction and Ethnographic Film: Theory and Practice, our third Film Studies elective, will run in May – August 2018.