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FTR2006 Documentary and Factual Entertainment

Semester 1, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Documentary &Factual Entertain
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100701 - Audio Visual Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Daryl Sparkes


Pre-requisite: (FTR1004 and FTR1005) or FTR1007


This course identifies some of the key points in the development of the documentary form and its evolution into what is today widely known as “Factual Entertainment” where documentary, reality television and drama meet. It also allows students to develop the skills needed to interpret, critically analyse and produce their own documentary films using methods and techniques learnt in previous courses.

Students will commence the course with an introduction into the history and aesthetic practices of the Documentary film and create an understanding of its place and importance in the history of cinema. Documentary production techniques are then explained using practical examples. Students are then able to use this skill and knowledge base to write and produce their own documentary films in a group situation. Students will then be introduced to the links between documentary and the genre known as ‘factual’ entertainment.

This course is designed for students who wish to have a more holistic understanding of the role of the production media and links well with other areas of media production for those interested in the “factual” disciplines such as documentary, news journalism, and current affairs.


This course develops in students the organisational, planning and strategic skills required of the documentary and factual entertainment producer. It requires them to demonstrate a grasp of documentary and factual entertainment theory, and to produce a completed original documentary or factual entertainment production in video.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. understand the history and theoretical principles of documentary and factual entertainment production, and its application to new media (TOL 1);
  2. be able to creatively communicate, collaborate, research, problem-solve, outline and organise as part of implementing a short documentary video production to a high (broadcast) standard (TOL 2, TOL 3, TOL 4 & TOL 5);
  3. undertake both camerawork and editing techniques as applied to documentary and factual entertainment production (TOL 3);
  4. understand the principles and operations of media marketing, new media, funding and budgeting as they apply in the Australian context (TOL 1).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Theory and critical analysis of the documentary form and factual entertainment 25.00
2. Stages in pre-production and production 25.00
3. Field production skills 25.00
4. Post-production organisation 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There is no set text for this course however, you are encouraged to explore and investigate other texts and materials.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Nichols, B 2017, Introduction to documentary, 3rd edn, Indiana University Press, Indiana.
Rabiger, M 2014, Directing the documentary, 6th edn, Focal Press, Amsterdam.
Rosenthal, A 2016, Writing, directing and producing documentary films and videos, 5th edn, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Illinois.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Independent Study 121.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 100 20 20 Mar 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 19 June 2020