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                            SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY


                                                 QUALIFICATION:
                                                 Master of Fine Art

 SAQA QUAL ID                      QUALIFICATION TITLE
 71777                             Master of Fine Art
 ORIGINATOR                                                      PROVIDER
                                                                 AFDA: The SA School of Motion Picture
                                                                 Medium and Live Performance
 QUALIFICATION TYPE                FIELD                         SUBFIELD
 Masters Degree                    2 - Culture and Arts          Visual Arts
 ABET BAND                         MINIMUM CREDITS               NQF LEVEL             QUAL CLASS
 Undefined                         180                           Level 8 and above     Regular-Provider-
                                                                                       ELOAC

Comment on this qualification should reach SAQA no later than 2009-07-01.

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by another
qualification.

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION
Purpose:

The MFA stands to offer the mature learner an opportunity to develop and master the
knowledge levels necessary to create high quality, engaged narratives that serve to entertain
local audiences. Ensuring an appreciation and demand for local films, locally, will lead to the
development of the much sought after film industry that South Africa so aspires for and needs.

South Africa does not have a Masters degree in film production at the scale of feature film. The
current demand and lack of supply for key conceptual feature length film-makers, performers,
distributors, marketing, directing, producing, cinematography, editors, production designers,
animators, graphic designers (film titling), sound designers, writers and exhibitors is a generally
accepted fact. A Masters degree is the minimum accepted requirement of formal film training in
most countries worldwide.

No other institutions are offering this type of outcomes-based, collaborative, Masters
Programme for feature length films, television and documentary series with a theoretical input
linked directly to a specialized vocational outcome.

In addition to the above, the AFDA MFA will provide the South African Film Industry and other
related statutory bodies with much needed research work and findings with regards to the
development of local audience groups, production systems and strategies to grow the market
and the viability of the South African film industry.

Rationale:

In its commitment to be part of the creation and development of a local South African film
industry, AFDA has been running a three-year undergraduate and one-year post-graduate
programme for the last nine years. These programmes offer intensive training in film production
with specialisations in each of the key creative components of production.
  Source: National Learners' Records Database             Qualification 71777        10/06/2009     Page 1

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The expansion of the undergraduate and honours programmes to include a Master of Fine Arts
is an effort to further this commitment to realise a film industry that represents authentic
experiences and interpretation of South African narratives.

RECOGNIZE PREVIOUS LEARNING?
Y

LEARNING ASSUMED IN PLACE
Candidates for the Masters in Fine Art need to demonstrate their craft skills through the
submission of the following:

Directing:

● An Honours Degree in a related field of study, within the humanities.
● A portfolio of work:
○ A script accompanied by a mini-treatment.
○ A selection of recorded works (installations, films, documentaries etc.).
● Industry experience/on set experience.

Producing (Broad because student may specialise in different areas):

● Students must have at least an honour in a degree relating to Production i.e. Marketing,
Accounting, Entertainment Law, Business Management, Human Resources, etc.
● If there's no degree, at least 10 Years Industry experience in Production.
● Students must be completely computer literate and show a very clear understanding of
Microsoft Office especially EXCEL.
● Must show a clear understanding of all the legal documentation and procedures.

A portfolio consisting of two treatments, for any film or something similar that they have
produced.

The Producing Discipline looks for five qualities in prospective students:

●  Have they demonstrated a commitment to a career in producing?
●  Have they demonstrated the level of creativity the program requires?
●  Do they have the confidence necessary to be a producer?
●  Have they demonstrated the planning and organizational skills in order to be able to
operate successfully as a Producer?
●  Have they demonstrated the ability to generate their own goals and find the means
to achieve them?

Cine:

● Minimum of honours degree or 10 years relevant industry experience.
● Proof of technical competence on 16mm and 35mm film cameras.
● Industry recognized loaders certificate.
● Show reel of professional work; at least 2 shorts or adds that have been flighted on national
television.
● Ability to work under pressure; calm cool and collected.
● Management skills; personnel.
● Organizational skills; production planning.
● Excellent communication skills.
● Dedicated passion; technical skills (mechanical and scientific).
  Source: National Learners' Records Database         Qualification 71777        10/06/2009       Page 2

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● Technical drawing skills.

Edit:

● AFDA honours.
● Honours from other institution offering video/film outcomes based on submission of CV and
show reel.
● 3 years industry experience as an editor (not assistant editor).
● Honours from academic institution + 1 year experience as editor (not assistant editor).

Have to be completely comfortable on FCP and/or Avid express/DV express.

Sound:

● Proven understanding of narrative.
● 10 Years experience with recording equipment (not necessarily on set but including an
understanding of microphones and their capabilities, recording devices and ancillary recording
equipment).
● Previous experience on a sound editing program. This experience could be in the field of film
or music.
● Mixing experience. This could be in the field of film or music and should include experience
with and understanding of the major tools used by a mix engineer. (i.e. use of equalization,
compression, panning, reverb and effects).
● Show reel material: This could be in the form of film or music work and should include at least
one item of sound to picture (possibly music to picture, not necessarily sound design to picture).

Production Design:

● An Honours Degree in a related field of study.
○ Be that Art, Design, Architecture, Interior Design etc.
● A portfolio of work:
○ Be that work art, design, photography, etc. Anything to show how visual a person he/she may
be.
○ This work should be accompanied by a rationale, to assess conceptualization.
● At least 10 years industry experience/on set experience in the Art Department.

Animation:

● Recognized four year degree in relevant studies [animation/motion graphic/broadcast
design/game design].
● Portfolio: Show reel.
● Script writing.
● Research methods techniques.
● Advance computer skills.
● Advance craft skills [drawing, sculpture, painting, etc].
● Advanced technical skills in animation.
● Academic writing skills.

VFX:

● Practical Courses in AFX, PS, MAYA/3d STUDIO MAX.
● Honours degree in a related field of study.
○ Graphic Design.
○ Art.
  Source: National Learners' Records Database         Qualification 71777       10/06/2009      Page 3

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○ Animation.
○ Visual Effects.

Multicam:

● An honours degree in film or related.
● Should a candidate have an honours degree in other subject, at least 3 years of experience in
the industry would be a prerequisite (one can substantiate it with a show reel, or scripts).
● In order to qualify, candidates would submit a script (with research) for a 13-part multicamera
television series (sitcom, drama or soapie) with one full script (eps 1), story outline for the
remaining 12 eps and the full character bible.

In addition Candidates with no academic History would have to have had 10 years Industry
experience in the discipline they wish to enter.

Recognition of Prior Learning:

The Qualification can only be achieved in part through evidence of experience in feature film
production. However the research aspect of the degree cannot be achived trough Recognition of
Prior Learning.

Access to the Qualification:

● An Honours degree from a university programme or equivalent.
● Certified recognition of prior learning, with experience in the field of film or television
production.
● Submission of a portfolio of related work.
● Written proposal and motivation for area of study.
● The candidate is to select any of 3 core disciplines, in order of preference for their area of
specialisation.
● An interview with the selection committee, comprising of the CEO, the Principal, the MFA
Convener and respective Core discipline Champions, who reserve the right to determine the
area of specialisation in consultation with the candidate.

QUALIFICATION RULES
MFA Program; Notional; Percentage Learning:

Year 1: Learning Activities; Credits; Hours; Time:

Lectures; 45 Credits; 450; 50.00%.
Narrative; 9 Credits; 90.
Performance; 9 Credits; 90.
Medium; 9 Credits; 90.
Aesthetics; 9 Credits; 90.
Control; 9 Credits; 90.
Tutorials; 10 Credits; 100; 11.11%.
Practical Academic Sessions; 0 Credits; 0; 0.00%.
Practical Workplace: Module 1; 0 Credits; 0; 0.00%.
Practical Workplace: Module 2; 0 Credits; 0.
Independent: Literature; 15 Credits; 150; 16.67%.
Independent: Media ; 10 Credits; 100; 11.11%.
Peer Interaction; 10 Credits; 100; 11.11%.

Total Credits/Notional Hours;90; 900; 100.00%.
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Year 1: Fundamentals and Core:
Fundamentals/Lectures: Year 1; Notional:
Credits; Hours:
Narrative; 9 Credits; 90.
Performance; 9 Credits; 90.
Medium; 9 Credits; 90.
Aesthetics; 9 Credits; 90.
Control; 9 Credits; 90.

Total: Fundamentals/Lecture: 45 Credits; 450.

Core/Disciplines: Year 1: Notional.
Credits; Hours:
Tutorials; 10 Credits; 100.
Practical Academic Sessions; 0 Credits; 0.
Practical Workplace; 0 Credits; 0.
Independent: Literature; 15 Credits; 150.
Independent: Media; 10 Credits; 100.
Peer Interaction; 10 Credits; 100.

Total: Core/Disciple; 45; 450.

Year 2: Learning Activities; Notional; Percentage Learning:
Credits; Hours; Time.
Lectures; 0 Credits; 0; 0.00%.
Narrative; 0 Credits; 0.
Performance; 0 Credits; 0.
Medium; 0 Credits; 0.
Aesthetics; 0 Credits; 0.
Control; 0 Credits; 0.
Tutorials; 6 Credits; 606.67%; Control & Production Design Marketing.
Practical Academic Sessions; 8 Credits; 80; 8.89%; VALA Panel, Reviews: Cuts and Sound.
Practical Workplace: Module 1; 36 Credits; 360; 40.00%; Principle Photography.
Practical Workplace: Module 2; 24 Credits; 240; 26.67%; Post-Production.
Independent: Literature and Media; 12 Credits; 120; 13.33%.
Independent Prep VALA: 80 Credits.
Wrap-up Dissertation; 40 Credits.
Peer Interaction; 4 Credits; 40; 4.44%; Production Meetings for VALA.
Total Credits/Notional Hours: 90 Credits; 900 notional.

Year 2: Fundamental and Core:
Fundamentals/Lectures: Year 2:

Narrative; 0.6; 6.
Performance; 0.6; 6.
Medium; 0.6; 6.
Aesthetics; 0.6; 6.
Control; 0.6; 6.
Total: Fundamentals/Lectures; 3; 30; Fundamental Input by VALA Panel.

Core/Disciples: Year 2:


  Source: National Learners' Records Database         Qualification 71777   10/06/2009    Page 5

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Tutorials; 6; 60; Control and Production Design Marketing.
Practical Academic Sessions; 5; 50; Reviews: Cuts and Sound.
Practical Workplace; 60; 600; Principle Photo and Post-Production.
Independent: Literature and Media; 12; 120; Independent Prep VALA: 80.
Wrap-up Dissertation: 40.
Peer Interaction; 4; 40; Production Meetings for VALA.
Total: Core/Disciple: 87; 870.

Whole Course: Year 1 and 2 combined.
Summary: Learning activities; Notional and Learning.

Credits; Hours; Time:
Lectures; 45 Credits; 450; 25.00%.
Narrative; 9 Credits; 90.
Performance; 9 Credits; 90.
Medium; 9 Credits; 90.
Aesthetics; 9 Credits; 90.
Control; 9 Credits; 90.
Tutorials; 16 Credits; 160; 8.89%.
Practical Academic Sessions; 8 Credits; 80; 4.44%.
Practical Workplace: Module 1; 36 Credits; 360; 20.00%.
Practical Workplace: Module 2; 24 Credits; 240; 13.33%.
Independent: Literature; 27 Credits; 270; 15.00%.
Independent: Media; 10 Credits; 100; 5.56%.
Peer Interaction; 14 Credits; 140; 7.78%.
Total Credits/Notional Hours: 180; 1800; 100.00%.

Summary: Fundamental/Core:
Fundamentals/Lectures: Year 1: Notional:
Credits; Hours:
Narrative; 9.6 Credits; 96 Hours.
Performance; 9.6 Credits; 96 Hours.
Medium; 9.6 Credits; 96 Hours.
Aesthetics; 9.6 Credits; 96 Hours.
Control; 9.6 Credits; 96 Hours.
Total: Fundamentals/Lectures: 48 Credits; 480 Hours.

Core/Disciples: Year 1: Notional:
Credits; Hours:
Tutorials; 16 Credits; 160.
Practical Academic Sessions; 5 Credits; 50.
Practical Workplace; 60 Credits; 600.
Independent: Literature and Media; 37 Credits; 370.
Peer Interaction; 14 Credits; 140.
Total: Core/Disciple; 132 Credits; 1320.

Total Fundamentals and Core: 180 Credits; 1800.

Credits for fundamental, core and elective contents (There are no elective components in this
programme).

Credits; NQF Level 8.


  Source: National Learners' Records Database         Qualification 71777     10/06/2009        Page 6

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Fundamental: 45 Credits
Core: 135 Credits

Total : 180 Credits.

EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES
Exit-Level:

The MFA programme in Film Production will be a two year part-time course. After two years of
study the outcome entails a written component in the form of:

● A comprehensive thesis (20 000 to 30 000 words) in a core discipline based on a feature
length film, television or documentary series, to be completed by each learner. The thesis
consists of three major components, namely: (1) Fundamental research work (2) the Core
discipline research analysis and preparation for the production phase and (3) a retrospective
analysis and conclusion of the completed production, to serve as research resources for the
industry and other stakeholders.

Fundamental research work:

The learner must demonstrate a critical understanding of narrative decoding and encoding for
originating a screenplay, television series or a documentary series. This will be achieved
through a comparative analysis of histories and variations as inferred in three similar texts and in
secondary literature and media. These texts will be critically analysed according to the five
subjects that comprise Fundamental learning.

Core discipline preparation:

The learner must demonstrate the ability to:

● Originate a conceptually and emotionally relevant narrative (conceptual modelling).
● Assign visual and audio form to the conceptual model through the mechanism of structured
textual analysis (perceptual modelling).

Retrospective analysis:

The learner must demonstrate the ability to:

● Critically analyse their contribution to the production outcome through a comparative analysis
with components 1 and 2 of their thesis.
● Document audience responses, attendance numbers and audience categories and their
relationship to the target market for whom the narrative text was designed.
● Collate and assess feedback from broadcasters and other exhibitors with regards to the above
mentioned. Through this process the learner will formulate a methodology to assess the
effectiveness of the production, and how it can be improved in order to meet the needs of the
target market, its accessibility and its ultimate viability as a model to develop of the South
African feature film industry.

And a professional/practical component:

● One feature length film, television or documentary series per production group. Learners
completing an MFA in animation will be required to complete an animated series, an
equivalency of a feature film. This practical outcome illustrates the learner's ability to concretise

  Source: National Learners' Records Database         Qualification 71777          10/06/2009       Page 7

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the perceptual model for audio-visual recording, to manipulate its form, and to manage the
distribution and exhibition of the final product.

These outcomes can be broken down more specifically with regards to each core discipline:

Core discipline Outcomes:

● Screenwriting.
● Completed feature length script (first draft plus subsequent revisions).
● Script thesis which offers a detailed analysis of the relevant concepts in the film and its
relevance to a particular audience; an analysis of how narrative design intersects with other core
disciplines in the creation of cinematic narrative, and research findings on the core discipline's
contribution to the creation of a viable South African feature film industry.

Directing:

● Detailed director's thesis of feature length film with a detailed analysis of the five allied
subjects that the director facilitates, an analysis of how narrative design intersects with other
core disciplines in the creation of cinematic narrative, and research findings on the core
discipline's contribution to the creation of a viable South African feature film industry.
● Directing a professional outcome.

Producing:

● Detailed producer's thesis of a feature length film with detailed analysis of the five allied
subjects that the producer initiates and facilitates, an analysis of how narrative design intersects
with other core disciplines in the creation of cinematic narrative, and research findings on the
core discipline's contribution to the creation of a viable South African feature film industry.
● Producing a professional outcome.

Cinematography:

● Detailed thesis written by the cinematographer about the visual world of the narrative (lighting
and camera aesthetic) of the feature length film in production. The thesis offers detailed
interpretation of the script and the narrative in the five allied areas of cinematography and
research findings on the core discipline's contribution to the creation of a viable South African
feature film industry.
● Producing a professional outcome.
● (5) Sound Recording and Sound Design.
● Detailed thesis written by the sound recorder/designer about the audio and musical world of
the narrative of the feature length film in production. The thesis offers detailed interpretation of
the script and the narrative in the allied areas of sound design and research findings on the core
discipline's contribution to the creation of a viable South African feature film industry.
● Location recording and sound design on a professional outcome.
● (6) Production Design.
● Detailed thesis written by the production designer about the visual world of the narrative (the
aesthetic) of the feature length film in production. The thesis offers detailed interpretation of the
script and the narrative in the allied areas of production design and includes wardrobe, makeup,
set design and research findings on the core discipline's contribution to the creation of a viable
South African feature film industry.
● Design of a feature length film as the professional outcome.
● (7) Editing.


  Source: National Learners' Records Database         Qualification 71777         10/06/2009        Page 8

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● Detailed thesis written by the editor of feature length film with an in depth analysis of the allied
subjects that the editor facilitates, and research findings on the core discipline's contribution to
the creation of a viable South African feature film industry.
● Editing a professional outcome.
● (8) Animation/Special Effects.
● Detailed thesis of the handling of special effects in a feature length film, with an analysis of
safety issues and precautions. The thesis should also include stunt layout if applicable to the
film, as well as research findings on the core discipline's contribution to the creation of a viable
South African feature film industry.
● In the case of the animated series the role of the animator is not purely to offer skills in
illustration but he/she must also deal with either Claymation, pixilation or live-action animation.
The thesis will be a combination of a director's thesis of story for an animated series and the
necessary character development to realise the animated series to produce a professional
outcome.

ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Pre-production assessments of (1) narrative origination and analysis, and (2) motion picture
market research and audience development.

Conceptual and perceptual modelling is assessed through thesis work during the pre-production
phase. It culminates in pre-production presentations assessed by the VALA panel.

AFDA's academic quality assurance mechanisms are embodied in the VALA-panel (Value-
added learning audit). The VALA-panel ensures that the learning inputs for conceptual and
emotional relevance in fundamental learning translate into viable and culturally relevant outputs
(i.e. marketable motion pictures that reflect South African culture and therefore have audience
appeal to local markets).

The VALA-panel consists of a combination of internal, inter-campus and external assessors that
represent the five categories of a motion picture production and its market. These are: Narrative
(the story), Performance (the enactment of the story), Medium (the translation of the enacted
story into motion pictures), Aesthetics (the visual space of the story) and Control (the
management of financial and human resources to realise the successful production in order to
meet the entertainment need of the target market).

VALA draws from various spheres of academic expertise to assess the learner's ability to
conduct research on the development of a motion picture as well as its place in the market, and
his/her contribution to the production of a feature film. These include: the Arts, Law Commerce
and Science. Industry specialists will also contribute to the process of auditing the outputs of
learners. Any given assessment panel will include two resident academics, one inter-campus
academic and two external assessors, drawn from other universities or the industry.

Post-production assessments on cinematic narrative manipulation, refinement and amplification.

The production is the demonstration of concrete modelling learning, as well as the practical
outcome of the programme, and as such the manifestation of the conceptual and perceptual
modelling phase. This is assessed in the following ways:

● Audience response assessments by a standard test audience.
● VALA assessment for concrete modelling learning.
● Acceptance into film festivals.
● The retrospective analysis by learners that constitutes Component 3 of their thesis. This
research will establish a viable methodology and framework for the development of the South
African feature film market.
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Weighting of assessments:

The pre-production assessment of conceptual and perceptual learning, as presented in thesis
work and in final pre-production presentations, constitutes 50% of a learner's mark.

The post-production assessment of the delivery of an entertainment product that meets the
needs of the target market (the concrete model) constitutes the other 50%.

INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY
This programme was designed through a series of group meetings and consultations with the
following: Dr. Jyoti Mistry (Film studies), Dr. Florian Schattauer (Cultural and entertainment
management), Dr. Gerda Dullaart (Literary theory), Mr. Anton Basson (Master of Arts:
Narratology and literary analysis) Mr. Bata Passchier (CEO of AFDA) and Mr. Deon Opperman
(co-founder of AFDA with an MA in Television and Film production). A comparative analysis was
done of the Masters' programmes of the London Film School, the Film School at New York
University and the North-western University in Chicago.

At the recent 50th anniversary congress of Cilect in Helsinki, attended by the executive officers
of AFDA, further consultations took place with Prof. Henry Breitrose of Stanford University in the
US, and the Chairs of Columbia College and NYU, namely Bruce Sheridan and Dave Irving.

The above mentioned models were adapted to create the best variations for the South African
context, with an explicit focus on developing the South African feature film industry, the
documentary film series industry and mini-series for television.

ARTICULATION OPTIONS
None: Terminal Degree.

MODERATION OPTIONS
There are two aspects to the moderation of the degree:

Firstly the advisory Board which looks at the programme itself. The Board is made up of the
following people:
Kethiwe Ngcobo - Head of Genre SABC Drama Prof Rory Ryan; Dean of Humanities University
of Johannesburg Theo Dora Sogiba - National Film and Video Foundation Ramadan Suleiman;
Director of "Fools" and "Zulu Love Letter".

Prof Keyan Tomaselli; Chair of the programme in Culture Communication and Media Studies,
University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban In terms of the outcomes and student work External
examiners and moderators are identified by the Principal and MFA Convenor. They are invited
to become examiners and moderators based on their qualifications and/or industry
standing.They must have the following Minimum requirements:

● A minimum of ten years industry experience industry experience within the field of the core
discipline speciality.
● An MA or MFA in a relevant field (e.g. Fine Art for Aesthetics).

Learner work that will be up for moderation consists of the following:

● The thesis will be marked by an internal academic staff member and moderated by an external
member of VALA.
● The VALA-panel, responsible for the entire research analysis phase and the pre-production
presentations, will consist of a mix between internals and externals, as described.
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● The VALA-panel, responsible for the assessment of the completed product and market
requirements, will comprise fully of external moderators.
● The assessment on audience response cards at the test screening will be done by an
independent audience. It is the responsibility of the producer of the production to ensure that
she/he secured an audience within the target market. (The audience response will in turn
become the subject matter for the last component of the learner's thesis and, in turn, will
generate findings and indicators that point towards a viable methodology for the further
development of local audience sectors and the South African feature film industry.).

NOTES
N/A

UNIT STANDARDS
This qualification is not based on Unit Standards.


LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION
None




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