Wednesday, 21 November 2007

FS1 Explained (the unit, Film Studies 1) Making Meaning

Unit 1 – Film: Making Meaning

A) Overview

This unit focuses on:

• Film form – and the production of meaning
• Spectator response
• Hollywood genre films

In particular we will look at:

• Film form and style
• Techniques of storytelling
• Film in relation to intended and actual responses by audiences
• Individual responses to micro and macro elements in film form.

The unit concerns itself with the interaction of film text and audience as a communication process.

B) Film Form

This requires a study of two particular aspects:
1. MACRO: narrative and genre
2. MICRO: mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound.

C) Spectator Study

The unit also requires a study of the spectator as someone who ‘reads’ a film text and responds to narrative and film form.

The emphasis is on:

• your awareness of your competences in working with the conventions of narrative film and genre in order to make meaning
• the exploration of the spectator’s personal identity in responding to a film.

Film texts and genre
To develop film the skills needed for the micro analysis:

Patty is teaching the western
Dave, film noir
Dog, war films

D) Assessment tasks

You need to produce a portfolio consisting of:

Written analysis 1 ( 1000-1500 words) - 30% Macro analysis

Focus on how narrative and genre features create meaning and generate response in a film sequence of no more than 15 minutes or in a comparison of two different sequences from different films, neither of which should be more than 7 minutes in length.

Written analysis 2 (1000-1500 words) - 30% Micro

Focus on how one or more mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound create meaning in a film sequence of no more than 7 minutes. You can support your words with images from the film.

Practical Application of learning – Creative Work – 40%

You will need to prepare the following:

1. A very brief synopsis (summary) of an imaginary film – 200 words maximum
2. A brief account of the cinematic ideas to be developed in a sequence – 200 words maximum.

The specific work on the sequence may take the form of:

a) A storyboard (drawn or photographed) - between 15-25 different shots
b) A screenplay extract pf between 500 and 800 words (including directions and visual information) from a specified point in the film.

You will then need to produce a brief reflection/evaluation on the intended meanings and actual responses to the creative work – 400 -500 words in total.

Marks will be awarded as follows:

• Film Form and Spectatorship – Application of Learning – 40%
• Appropriate presentation – 10%
• Evaluation – 25%

Dog at St Luke’s adaptation of work done by W.R. Malyszko, a teacher and examiner for the WJEC

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