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MEDA100 - Making Digital Movies

Unit rationale, description and aim

Media plays a central role in our lives, and facility with video and audio production is fast becoming a skill with applications across a range of industries. Content produced for the screen is powerful and ubiquitous, particularly evidenced by the growth of social media and smartphone technology, and performs significant functions in developing community attitudes and opinions. Media students need to understand and apply video and audio production conventions in order to successfully communicate their ideas to audiences who are already highly literate in screen-based storytelling. These skills will enable them to be producers of media and not merely consumers.

This unit aims to introduce students to a range of video and audio production techniques and their associated specialised skills. Suitable for use in a range of work-related scenarios, students will learn the basic technical and aesthetic skills to create and produce a short digital screen production, suitable for distribution through a range of platforms.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate competence with the components and capabilities of basic digital video cameras and audio recorders (GA5, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Apply a basic understanding of video and audio editing software (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Summarise the skills developed to produce short video productions (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • An introduction to basic skills in video production, including camera operation, lighting principles, audio recording and editing.
  • An understanding of a range of media production processes and practices. Video and audio production processes will be examined and applied at an introductory level.
  • Students will learn to apply the skills and techniques learnt to enable them to produce a short video production.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is delivered as one lecture and a 2-hour workshop. The lecture provides the students with an overview of the concepts and ideas that will then be followed up through practical application in the workshop. In these workshops, students will practice skills and concepts discussed in the lecture and be encouraged to seek critical peer review. The unit is delivered requiring the student to have no prior experience in video or audio production and through practical workshops, supported by lectures and readings, the students will incrementally develop skills that will result in their ability to produce a professional standard video or audio piece. These workshops are sequenced in accordance with constructivist principles to guide the student with formative tasks completed mainly in workshops, to a more complex summative task that allows them to apply their skills to a personal video project.

This unit is a core production unit in the ACU media sequence. We do not assume that you will possess prior knowledge in video or audio production.

Many ACU media graduates have gone on to nd employment within the media industries in content production. With this in mind, this unit prioritises the attainment and production of industry-based practical outcomes which are evidenced in the assessment tasks.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit, students will be asked to demonstrate their engagement with video and audio software and hardware, technology and cultural forms, at an introductory level. Assessments have been designed to facilitate students in demonstrating and applying their skills to recognised industry-style outputs which will enable them to be more work-ready. A range of assessment procedures will be used that combine to meet the learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include the demonstration of applied knowledge of camera and audio operation, editing skills, scriptwriting or storyboarding and video production. Assessments are designed to demonstrate the attainment of the Learning Outcomes stated.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Camera/ Audio operation folios

Requires students to acquire and apply the skills learned in camera and, lighting and audio recording.



GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2: Editing exercise

Requires students to articulate the skills learned in using editing software and demonstrate an understanding of editing principles.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3: Production

Requires students to apply all their skills and research to a nished authentic outcome.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Cultural Protocols

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Cultural Protocols for Indigenous Reporting in the Media

Australia Council, Protocols for Using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts,

Terri Janke, Pathways and Protocols: A Filmmaker’s guide to Working With Indigenous People, Culture and Concepts, Screen Australia


Kindem, G & Musburger, R 2015 Introduction to Media Production: The Path to Digital Media Production, 4th edn, Focal Press Burlington.

Lubin, T 2010, Getting Great Sounds: The Microphone Book, Thomson Course Technology, New York.

MacEntee, Burkholder, C., & Schwab-Cartas, J. (2016). What’s a Cellphilm? Integrating Mobile Phone Technology into Participatory Visual Research and Activism (1st ed. 2016.). SensePublishers.

Mirzoeff, N 2009, An Introduction to Visual Culture, 2nd edn, Routledge, London.

Millerson, G & Owens, J 2012, Video Production Handbook, 5th edn, Focal Press, London.

Mollison, M 2010, Producing Videos: A Complete Guide, 3rd edn, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

Rose, J 2015, Producing Great Sound for Film and Video, 4th edn, Focal Press, Burlington.

Schleser, & Berry, M. (2018). Mobile Story Making in an Age of Smartphones (1st ed. 2018.). Springer International Publishing.

Zettl, H 2015, Production Handbook, 12th edn, CENGAGE, Stamford.

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