Course Overview Exploring Film 30% Exam: 1 Hour 30 mins Film Outside Hollywood 20% Exam: 1 Hour Exploring & Creating 50% Coursework
Exploring Film – Paper 1 • The exam aims to develop: • Skills in film analysis • Knowledge of genre conventions • Awareness of how audiences are targeted
Assessment – Paper 1 4 Compulsory Questions: • Respond to an unseen moving image stimulus. One Question on Film Language One Question on Genre • Respond to a still image stimulus. One question on marketing/promotion • Creative Task Series of small tasks assessing films in relation to audience and industry Set genre for first examination in Summer 2009 and last examination in 2012 will be Disaster films.
The unseen extract - film language • This question will expect students to discuss aspects of film language such as: • The use of camera shots and movement • The mise-en-scène • The pace and type of editing used • The significance of sound
Exploring Genre • Exploration of the ‘typical ingredients’ of specific genres – what we have come to like and expect. • Focus upon: setting, themes, characters, props, narrative and plot, style. • Students should look for patterns of variation as well as repetition. • Begin to build to a more complex definition of genre as something that is dynamic and open to change. • Focus on the ways in which films mix genres.
Independence Day • What typical aspects of the disaster genre are evident in this sequence? • EXAM QUESTIONS – a. Identify one camera shot. b. Say why it is used. c. How are camera shots and editing used to emphasise the dramatic events in this sequence?
Deep Impact – question 2 • What typical aspects of the disaster genre are evident in this sequence? • What typical disaster movie themes can you identify? • What relationships and characters are important? Why? How is the film narrative ‘resolved’?
Disaster conventions • Most Disaster Movies have a linear narrative that leads up to and away from the central disaster. • When the disaster is towards the end of the film the narrative is even simpler, a ‘will they won’t they’ countdown to doom or escape provides the narrative. • ‘High concept’, little need for plot details as disaster bound to happen • Characters and their relationships run alongside the disaster and maintain ‘human interest’.
Themes & Issues • Relationships • Self-sacrifice/redemption • Working together • Nature & people’s arrogance • Greed/cutting corners
Characters & Stars • The hero. • The reluctant hero. • The bad guy. • The bad guy turned good. • The self doubter. • The kid(s). • The strong woman. • The damsel in distress. • The bureaucrat. • The voice in the wilderness. • The support. • The victims • These characters more often than not are thrown together and forced to work out their differences in order to survive. Many of these characters are simple, what is called ‘one dimensional’.
Industry response • The third question will expect students to respond to a stimulus and show knowledge of the industry in their response. • The focus will be on industry issues raised by a print-based stimulus (production, marketing, exhibition issues?) • Again students should show awareness of genre conventions but also industry conventions
Teaser posters • What genre conventions are being used to draw audiences to this teaser poster?
What typical industry conventions are being used to sell this DVD of TITANIC?
WAR OF THE WORLDS • How are images used to promote ‘War of the Worlds’ in this homepage? • What other information is given that helps to sell the film to audiences?
Creative question • The final question on the exam paper gives students an opportunity to be creative WHILST proving their knowledge of industry and genre conventions. • Reassure them artistic skills are not as important as imagination and knowledge. • Students must keep an eye on timing, and mark allocations (spend more time on questions with higher marks!)
Possible tasks • Design a film poster • Design a homepage • Opening of a film magazine article • Come up with a new disaster film • Storyboard a sequence • A section of a script
CONCLUSION • This paper brings together students’ knowledge of: film language film industry film genre • The best grades will be achieved by the students who see the connections between all three.