autumn 2018

SVF-3102 Conveying social realities: Exploring audio-visual narrative strategies - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 29.01.2019

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Type of course

The course is compulsory for students admitted to Master's programme in Visual Cultural Studies (VCS). It may not be taken as a singular course.

Course content

The course will start with a camera based "mini-fieldwork" in teams conducted in Tromsø. The fieldwork lasts for two weeks. The students are expected to spend normal working hours doing fieldwork during this period.

During the filming period, sessions of screenings of rushes will be held. Students will view each other's work for open discussions in which the responsible supervisors will participate.  The main focus will be on analyses of the content, ethical, anthropological and technical aspects.

The experiences are further used during the course SVF-3108.

The course consists of three parts:

1) Narrative and montage

2) Technical editing

3) The editing of a film of 7-10 minutes´ duration

1) "Narrative and montage" provides examples of paradigms or recurrences in the practice of storytelling. Storytelling in a filmic form is presented by means of motion pictures and sound, of oral and written texts, by using various genres, and is constructed by the researcher in an ongoing dialogue and shared authorship with the subjects. The course includes an analysis of various storytelling practices. The basis of film form, montage and the processes of editing will be thoroughly analyzed. Examples that illustrate the history of montage in cinema will be viewed and basic editing language acquired through exercises tackling aspects of rhythm and pace, rupture and continuity.

2) The course in techniques of editing will provide an introduction to the use of the Avid Media Composer system.

3) The editing of the video material provides the opportunity to apply what has been learnt to the making of a filmic narrative. The editing will be done under supervision of the responsible teacher.

The students will continue to follow a series of seminars on ethnographic film history begun as a part of SVF-3101.

Recommended prerequisites

SVF-3101 Etnographic Film-making 1

Objectives of the course

Students who successfully complete this course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:


- know the classic paradigms of visual storytelling as ¿ways of knowing¿ in specific contexts.

- know examples of filmic languages and narrative structures as ¿ways of knowing¿ in specific contexts.

- have general knowledge of the technique of editing; capturing, creating bins, bin naming protocol, working on time line, color correction, sound mix, titles & subtitles.



- be able to distinguish and express how filmic narratives are linked to specific cultural contexts.

- be able to explain how a chosen narrative strategy is needed for a visual narrative to reach out for a specific audience.

- be able to capture the conceptualizations of the field partners with the video camera.

- be able to dramatize their progressively acquired insights into their field partners¿ conceptualizations.

- be able to prepare adequately under supervision for the editing process, manage  a systematic workflow in editing, and apply their own creativity in order to enhance their storytelling using video.

General competence

- be able to build up cinematic structures and stories within a social science framework.

- be able to demonstrate how time/space dimensions contribute to the establishment of meaning in a visual narrative.

- be sensitive to the narrative conceptualizations of the partners in the field, and  at the same time develop narrative strategies with a future audience in mind.

- under supervision, be able to apply both visual and sounds creatively to enhance their story narratives.

Language of instruction

All lectures, readings, assignments, seminar discussions and the final exam are conducted in English.

Teaching methods

Consists of lectures, seminars (approx. 40 hours) and fieldwork.


Course attendance is compulsory, i.e. only valid absences will be approved. A minimum presence of 80 % is required.

Students must participate in fieldwork as teams, but will edit individually.

Work requirements:

  • Editing script
  • Sequence list

Students will receive individual feedback on this


  • A film (7-10 minutes)
  • A reflection paper (about 4 pages)

Marking is made according to a grading scale from A to F, where F is fail. A resit exam will be arranged. Students will only redo the reflection paper in the event of a resit exam.

Date for examination

Movie hand in date 07.12.2018
Reflecting paper hand in date 14.12.2018

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Course overlap

SVF-3102 Etnographic Film-making 2 10 stp
SVF-3102 The crossing view - the qualitative research process 10 stp

Recommended reading/syllabus

SVF-3102 Conveying Social Realities: Exploring Audio-visual Narrative Strategies

- Reading list 2018

* Barbash, I. & Taylor, L. (1997) Cross-Cultural Filmmaking. A Handbook for Making Documentary and Ethnographic Films and Videos. University of California Press. Berkeley (pp. 370-429). ISBN 0-520-08760-7 60 p.


Bromhead, Toni de, (2003) Looking Two Ways. Documentary Film¿s Relationship with Reality and Cinema. Intervention Press. Højbjerg, Denmark ISBN 87-89825-13-6 148 p.


Henley, P. (2006), `Narratives: The Guilty Secret of Ethnographic Film-making?¿ In Postma, M. and Crawford, P. (eds.): Reflecting Visual Ethnography ¿ using the camera in anthropological research. Intervention Press, Højbjerg, Denmark (pp. 376-402). ISBN 87-89825-14-4 27 p.


MacDougall, D. (1998) Introduction. In Transcultural Cinema. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-01234-2 19 p.


MacDougall, D. (1998) Ethnographic film ¿ Failure and promise. In Transcultural Cinema. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-01234-2 19 p.


Tarkovsky, A. (1996) `Imprinted Time¿. In Sculpting in Time. University of Texas Press, Austin

(pp. 57-81). ISBN 978-0-292-77624-1 25 p.


Editing with AVID Media Composer. VCS version adapted by Andreas Buch. Based on Avid Media Composer Basic Guide/Editing with Media Composer 5/Media Composer 6. 103 p.


401 pages


Arntsen, Bjørn

Førsteamanuensis, Visuelle kulturstudier
Telefon: +4777645637

Magnus Lyngra

Rådgiver, fellestjeneste for opptak
Telefon: +4777644174