Coursework guide pt1 2012


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Coursework guide pt1 2012

  1. 1. FILM STUDIES COURSEWORK REQUIREMENTS: Coursework is 50% of your overall grade4 MAIN PIECES OF WORK: 1. Exploring a film of the candidate’s choice (30 marks) An exploration of the micro features of film language in a short extract from a film of the candidate’s choice (350 – 750 words). 2. Pitch and Preproduction (30 marks) Candidates create a pitch for an imaginary film (approximately 150 words) and then use it to form the basis of a pre-production chosen from a range of options. 3. Production (30 marks) Create a production chosen from a range of options. 4. Evaluative Analysis (10 marks) A brief evaluative analysis highlighting what candidates have learnt about the main study areas for film from their preproduction and production work (film language, film organisations and audiences). THIS BOOKLET WILL GUIDE YOU THROUGH PART ONE OF YOUR COURSEWORK NAME: ____________________________________________
  2. 2. EXPLORING A FILM OF CANDIDATE’S CHOICE (25MARKS)This section is made up of 2 parts:Film Exploration: Industry (10 marks)This coursework requires you to explore a film that you haveparticularly enjoyed and do some brief research into how it wasproduced, distributed and exhibited. This initial piece of work willallow lead into a more detailed consideration of the ways in whichthe micro features of film language communicate meaning. (TheMicro Essay)Textual (Micro) Analysis (20 marks)In class we have looked at a variety of different film sequences andthought about the way in which the film’s language is used to createcertain meanings and how we respond to those meanings. Youshould now have the analytical tools and terminology needed tosucceed. For this piece of coursework you need to show anunderstanding the ways in which the micro features are used tocommunicate meaning. For example, lighting and sound (two of themicro features of film language) can combine to create a particularkind of atmosphere.You are required to produce a written analysis of 350 – 750 wordswhich focuses on how TWO of micro feature(s) (e.g. mise-en-scène,editing, camerawork and sound) create meanings and generateresponses in a chosen film sequence from the film you researchedfor industry (maximum length: 5 minutes).
  3. 3. Film Exploration: Industry (10 marks)Steps to completing this coursework: 1. Choose a film – THIS IS THE SAME FILM THAT YOU USED FOR YOUR MICRO ANALYSIS! IT CAN’T BE A SUPERHERO FILM!!! 2. Research how your film was produced, distributed and exhibited, using the tick list to help you 3. Record all research in a Word document or PowerPoint 4. Include pictures 5. DON’T COPY AND PASTE LARGE AMOUNTS OF TEXT. ONLY WHAT IS NEEDEDThe following will help you understand the film industry so that youcan start researching your film and working on your blogProductionActivities involved in the actual making of the filmAll films begin with an idea which then gets turned into a screenplayby a screenwriter. Often film narratives [stories] are based on real-life events, books, plays or old films which are remade, sequelled oradapted. The screenwriter usually then pitches his/her screenplayto film studios/production companies or directors who will thentake the screenplay on to the production stage and make the film. Ifa film has major stars in it the production budget could easily bemore than $80 million. Generally the screenwriter is paid between2.5%-5% of this budget, so a screenwriter with a really goodscreenplay could expect to earn $1 million.DistributionDeciding where a film will be shown and publicising thisOnce any film is made it has to travel in order to reach its audience.Distribution involves acquiring a film from its producers and tryingto make it reach the widest possible audience by selling it to theplaces where films are going to be shown—to exhibitors (cinemas).Distributors need to make sure that when a film reaches itsdestination there are lots of people waiting to see it. So, we need toknow about the film before it arrives at its exhibition destination. Afilm usually needs to make about two and a half times what it cost toproduce just to ensure it doesnt lose money. Distributors have anumber of roles to fulfil. Firstly, they try to find out what kind ofaudiences might want to go and see the film, using test screeningswith test audiences where people are invited to see the film and arethen asked lots of question about it This can lead to changes being
  4. 4. made to the film. Then theres marketing and publicity—posters,merchandising, festivals and premieres—a summer blockbusterwould cost around $100 million to promote! Finally, timing is veryimportant when the film is eventually released, particularly as theopening weekend can account for 50-75% of a films overall boxoffice takings.The distributor also decides the release pattern for the film, releasepatterns refer to how often and where film will be shown – generalrelease is as wide as possible, limited release may only be inLondon or specialist cinemas.ExhibitionWhere the film is shown – cinemas of varying typesThis is the last of these three interconnected areas and is the pointwhere we finally get to see the film. The ways in which we view filmsare changing rapidly. For example, big Multiplex cinemas areeverywhere now, offering a variety of additions to the cinematicexperience such as fast-food, arcades and bowling alleys as well asa huge choice of blockbuster films to see. There are less and lesssmaller, Independent cinemas and many people choose to watchfilms at home on DVD or [legally or illegally) downloaded from theinternet. During the exhibition phase, reviews are very important andcan make or break a film when it reaches the cinema as audiencesmay avoid a film which has been negatively reviewed or make aneffort to go and see one that has received positive reviews. This isnot always the case; of course, Titanic critically slated in 1997 butwent on to become one of the most successful films ever made.So now you know all of that look through the example then usethe tick list worksheet to help you research your chosen film, it may not be possible to answer every single question. It’s also important to comment on the information you find out and not just put a straight forward answer USEFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU RESEARCH:
  5. 5. CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE TO HOW TO COMPLETE THIS WORKSection 1 - Introduction  Write a brief synopsis of your chosen film and give some reasons why you like it.Section 2 - Production  Find out where the idea for your film came from and who wrote the screenplay.  Who directed the film? Has he or she directed any other well-known films?  Who starred in the film?  Which studio made the film? Give some details about it.  What was the budget for the film?  Where was it made? Did the funding come from more than one country?  Can you find any other interesting facts about the production of your film?Section 3 – Distribution  Find out about all the different ways your film was promoted before it reached cinemas. Comment on whether you think each one was effective or not  Find a poster advertising your film and write an analysis of it, looking at: genre elements in including props, costume and settings; the use of stars; special selling points; target audience; references to other films/books/TV shows; images, colours, typography (fonts) used.  Find examples of any merchandising (the use of products— e.g. McDonalds toys) done to promote your film. Write a list and/or include images. Who were they trying to appeal to through the merchandise?  Was your film screened in any film festivals or at a premiere before its release?Section 4 – Exhibition  Which cinema chains screened your film in the UK? Did any independent cinemas show it?  How much money did it make in the UK, the US and worldwide in its opening weekend and altogether?  Find at least two reviews of your film from different publications, one from the UK and one from the US and add them. Comment on whether you agree with the reviews or not and why.  Find out how much money your film has made in DVD sales (if its been released to DVD) and/or how many copies its sold.
  6. 6. Textual (Micro) Analysis (20 marks)So now you’ve learnt about the ways in which your favourite filmwas produced, distributed and exhibited, you can now analyse asequence from the same film paying attention to one on more of themicro features. Your chosen sequence should not be more than 5minutes long (if you have already done this then that’s great butsome people need to improve their first draft!)Look at Sarahs analysis below of the ways in which camera framingand camera movement combine to create meaning in the openingsequence of Tsotsi.  The bold text indicates the parts where she shows her understanding of key concepts and when she uses the appropriate terminology accurately.  The italic text indicates the points where she identifies camera shots or movement and then goes on to examine the meanings/effects that are created by their use.  Finally, and this is very important, the underlined text shows the places where Sarah has given her own response to the sequence - how it made her feel and why An analysis of how camerawork is used In the opening sequence of TsotsiThe opening scene is introduced with a game which involves dice.There is a close-up of the dice to symbolise that life is a gameof chance as nobody can choose who their parents are andhow they end up in life sometimes. There is also a repeatedmotif of close-ups of hands which could show their workingclass background and the fact that they are used to doingmanual labour. It could also show that we all have the power tochange in our hands.Because of the camera, framing we are able to identify the maincharacter who is Tsotsi. He isnt really introduced straight awayuntil a, powerful dose-up that is emphasised by the musickicking in at the same time. The non-diegetic sound-track isparallel to the image of the four boys walking down the street as ithighlights their authority. After weve seen them walking downthe street there is an establishing shot that lets us know thecircumstances they have to live in. It is a high angled shot
  7. 7. indicating that the people in the township are small andpowerless over their surroundings.After this Tsotsi and his gang go to do a job which seems to be a,regular occurrence. As they arrive at the train platform theres a,panning shot so that we can pick them out of the crowd. Atfirst it is hard to see them as they are blending in so as not toappear suspicious. Another high angled shot, this time lookingdown on the crowd and the gang, shows a massive orange bannercentre frame. It is highly noticeable and attracts ourattention straight away as it reads HIV affects all ofus. This is a terrible virus that has unfortunately taken its toll onAfrica where, if you are lucky enough not to contract the disease,you will more than likely know someone who has.The scene which follows shows the gang scouting for their nextvictim. A series of medium shots are used to pick out a rangeof possible victims. However, the shot of a chirpy old man islonger which, instantly tells us that something is going tohappen to him . Also he is portrayed as a jolly old man whosmiles as he buys a gift from a stall. We have already formedan opinion of him and have warmed to him. An extreme close-up then shows us Tsotsis eyes which show no expression; thisconnotes that he has no conscience . He stares intently at theman. It then quickly edits back to the victim and zooms in on anenvelope of money; here the audience click on to the fact thatTsotsi is going to steal the money.I think this opening sequence really sets up the story well. Welearn a lot about Tsotsi and his gang, their environment andwhat they are about to do through the camerawork. Very littledialogue is used but a feeling of real tension is built up veryquickly and we want to watch on to find out what will happennext. Click here for another example of an A grade essay
  8. 8. The title of your essay must be written like this: Explore the ways in which (two micro features) create meanings and responses in one sequence from (put the film title here)And start like this:In this essay I am going to explore the ways in which (name the twomicro features) are used in a sequence of film from (title of film) tocreate meanings and responses.Watch your sequence through at least three times, making notes as you do so. You may want to pause the film at certain points, or rewind if you think youve missed something. Remember your main focus areas but, like Sarah, you may want to mention other elements of film language when they combine to create meaning. Make sure you use Film terminology a list is included at the end. Remember we have covered these skills in class!
  9. 9. TERMINOLOGYCINEMATOGRAPHY MISE-EN-SCENE  Wide Shot  Props  Establishing Shot  Costume/Make up  Extreme Close Up  Setting/Location  Close Up  Body Language/Facial  Medium Close Up Expressions  Long Shot  Lighting/Colour  Medium Long Shot  Medium Shot SOUND  High Angle  Low Angle  Diegetic  Canted Angle  Non-Diegetic  Dolly Shot  Dialogue  Tracking Shot  Parallel  Zoom (in/out)  Contrapuntal  Tilt  Sound bridge  Pan  Foley Sound  Pedestal Shot  Crane Shot EDITING  Cut  Jump Cut  Fade  Dissolve  Cross Cutting  Shot reverse shot  Long take  Pace  Match on action  Montage