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Unit of study_

CAEL2039: Screen Arts: an Introduction

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study introduces you to the conceptual frameworks and technologies that shape the making of screen-based media and contemporary art practices. Through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and screenings you will explore the evolution of experimental film, video art and independent filmmaking from the 1960s to the present. You will engage in the production of a self-directed digital film that may be realized in any style or genre. The unit is supported by a technical program that provides you with the applied skills and competencies needed for the use of studio facilities and equipment.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CAEL2039
Academic unit Sydney College of the Arts
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in Visual Arts or 12 credit points at 1000 level in Film Studies or 12 credit points at 1000 level in Studio Foundation
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator John Tonkin,
Tutor(s) Tamara Voninski,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Final project
Video project submitted via Canvas
50% Formal exam period
Due date: 14 Jun 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 28 Jun 2021
1-3 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Found footage: short video project
Online submission. Details on Canvas.
30% Week 06
Due date: 17 Apr 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 01 May 2021
1 minute video submission
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO2
Presentation Final project: proposal presentation
Pre-recorded video presentation shown in timetabled class.
20% Week 08
Due date: 01 May 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 15 May 2021
5-7 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO6 LO4 LO3

Assessment summary

Project 1 – Found footage video project: you will create a short video that recontextualising existing found footage as a new experimental film/video project. 

Project 2 – Proposal presentationyou will create a short presentation that outlines details of your final project. This should include storyboards, editing style, sound design, production and lighting plans, artistic inspiration, concepts and test video examples.

Project 3 – Final project: you will produce a creative short form video project brings together multiple aspects of what you have learnt over the semester. You will use innovative approaches in the conceptual development, production and post-production of your project.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Please Note: The relative weighting of the assessments has been adjusted from what is listed in the handbook. 

You must attempt all assessment tasks in order to pass this unit!


Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.



65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.



50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to unit and Found Footage Film - look at the use of found footage in experimental film and moving image art Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 02 Montage Theory - historic and contemporary uses of montage Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 03 Post-Production Video - Adobe Premiere and overview of video editing Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 04 Mise-en-scene and introduction to film production Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 05 Location Video & Sound Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 06 Moving Image & Experimental Film and Video Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 07 Independent study week Independent study (3 hr)  
Week 08 Location Lighting Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 09 Sound design and the moving image Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 10 Post-Production Sound and Video Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 11 Conceptual and process-driven moving image art. Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 12 Project Development and group feedback Seminar (3 hr)  
Week 13 Work-in-progress screening and class discussion Seminar (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Relevant readings, viewing links and handouts will be provided in class and on Canvas throughout the course.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. produce two short audio-visual works that demonstrates the application of technical skills appropriate to each project
  • LO2. communicate ideas creatively and effectively and demonstrate rigorous and independent thinking
  • LO3. effectively evaluate the ethical implications of contemporary art and/or moving image production in relation to professional practice
  • LO4. demonstrate the ability to plan audio-visual projects and follow a production schedule from pre-production through to post-production
  • LO5. extend the creative potential of the studio major practice through the experience of working with technical resources in the Screen Arts studio environment, and through viewing a range of innovative video works
  • LO6. understand and apply safe working practices - OH&S in the studio and on location.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes have been made since this unit was last offered to better facilitate online learning for online students.

Work, health and safety

Over the course of the semester, you will be given guidance in the safe use of SCA's production equipment and facilities. You will learn to assess and apply safe work standards to your work in both the production studios and on location. It is essential for the safety of yourself and others and for the safety of the equipment that you follow these guidelines.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.