Undergraduate Degree




DF8000 Survey of Experimental Film​

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description

Learnin​g Objective

To deliver to students a survey of non-narrative and abstract Experimental Film.


This course investigates the development of non-traditional forms of film and video making. This course will look at the avant-garde in time-based art and the formal and theoretical structure of significant examples of the genre will be examined. Through a combination of readings, screenings, class discussion, projects and exercises an understanding will be arrived at of what the avant-garde is in film & video and how it has influenced art practice in general.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• What do we mean by experimental film? 

• Abstract Narrative

• Documentary as Personal Journal

• The Alternate Narrative 

• Video Art


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Life as film, film as thought, thought as film

• Semiotics & Video Art

• Post Modernism - Appropriation

• Political Activism


• Final review of assignments


Learning Outcome

The students will have an overview of the histories, theories and practice of experimental film. The students will be aware of film as a fine-art medium. The student will be aware of film as something that need not be in service to the Hollywood monolith.

Student Assessment

  1. MidTerm Test: 60%

  2. Final Assessment: 40%


  1. Michael Rabiger, Developing Story Ideas, Focal Press

  2. Marisa D’Vari, Creating Characters: Let Them Whisper Their Secrets, Michael Weiss Productions

  3. Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting, Harpercollins

  4. Dwight V Swain, Joy R Swain, Film Scriptwriting – A Practical Manual, Focal Press

  5. Lajos Egri, The Art of Dramatic Writing, Wildside Press

  6. Scott MacDonald, Screen Writings: Texts and Scripts from Independent Films, University of California Press

  7. Jack Foster, How to Get Ideas, Berrett-Koehler Publishers