The Essay

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Film Studies Micro Elements Essay - Instrictions

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  • I love this film, it is great. So and so is the best actor
  • The Essay

    1. 1. The Essay What you need to do How it will be marked How to write/structure your essay.
    2. 2. The Task An analysis of a film extract – 1500 words You are required to explore how one or more of mise en scene, editing performance, cinematography and sound construct meaning and provoke response. Support you work with illustrative visual material Recommended length of extract 5 mins
    3. 3. The Assessment Criteria • Marked out of a total of 30 • Four Levels of Achievement (specific grade boundaries are determined after the exam by the examiners) • Levels 1 and 2 are not acceptable – you will need to ‘redo’ if you receive those levels • Levels 3 and 4 are good!!!!
    4. 4. Level One 0-11 marks • Candidates will give few indications that they have gained knowledge and understanding of the micro features of the film they are concentrating on and will tend to rely on ‘common sense’ • There may be some reference to their chosen film but this will have no clear analytical purpose • There may either be little attempt at personal engagement or only a set of personal statement that fail to demonstrate any learning • Struggles to communicate clearly
    5. 5. Lower Level Two –12 – 14 marks • Candidates will show basic ability to identify and describe specific aspects of the micro features of film but, compared with work at higher grades, knowledge will in insecure, generalised and with significant inaccuracies • There will be basic reference to the chosen film but only indicating basic analysis. • Personal response may be strongly stated but be characterised by description of personal feeling and unsupported assertion • Basic ability to structure ideas and use appropriate language to communicate.
    6. 6. Upper Level Two – 15 – 17 marks • Candidates will demonstrate some ability to identify and describe specific aspects of the micro features of the film they are concentrating on. This will be generally accurate, though in consistent in its level of detail • References to the details of the micro features of film will sometimes be clear but there will be a tendency towards imprecision • Personal response may be strongly stated but lacking in any conceptual focus on how meaning is made • Some ability to structure ideas and use appropriate language to communicate
    7. 7. Lower Level Three – 18 – 20 marks • Candidates will demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of specific aspects of the micro features of the film. This will be reflected in their ability to refer in some details and with a generally high level of accuracy • There will be sound analysis of aspects of the micro features • Personal response will focus on the process of making meaning(s) in particular instances but may revel limitations in broader conceptual understanding or the interaction between film and spectator • Soundly structured and reasonably accurate use of appropriate language to communicate clearly.
    8. 8. Upper Level Three – 21 – 23 marks • Candidates will have a good knowledge and understanding of micro feature of the film. This will be reflected in their ability to refer in detail and with accuracy to their chosen film • There will be sound analysis of how micro features produce meaning(s) • Personal response will show a competent appreciation of the production of meaning. However compared with the very best candidates, more will be taken for granted and a less exploratory approach will be adopted • Well structured and accurate use of appropriate language to communicate clearly
    9. 9. Level Four 24 – 30 marks • Candidates will be distinguished by an excellent knowledge and confident understanding of the micro features of the film. • This will be reflected both in their ability to refer in detail and with accuracy to their film and in their analysis of how micro features produce meaning(s) • Personal response will be characterised by a high level of analysis of the production of meaning(s) through the interaction of film and spectator • The interaction between film and spectator will be perceived as complex, subtle and resistant to simplistic assumptions • Excellently structured and accurate use of appropriate language to communicate clearly.
    10. 10. How to write the Micro Essay • Research – You will need to watch the entire film (probably at least twice) – You will need to watch your chosen scene repeatedly (until you know every line of dialogue!) – Take detailed notes on the micro elements you have selected – Find out about what other people have said about the film (reviews, info on the director, cinematographer, composer, commentari es, audience views, blogs etc)
    11. 11. How to write the Micro Essay • How to take notes about the film sequence • The analysis must have detailed reference to the text so you may find it easier to write you notes in three columns to help you do this. Observation Example Evaluation Costume is used to show details about how the characters are feeling This suggests he is alienated from those around him and gives the audience a sense of his depressed state of mind. When Jeff enters the brightly lit bar, he is dressed in grey where as all of the other characters are dressed in bright colours
    12. 12. How to write the micro essay • Once you have completed the chart for the whole sequence you should then start to group you ideas and see if you can come up with an overall reading/meaning of the clip • This is very important for the Introduction and your title/question
    13. 13. How to write the Micro Essay • Introduction – The title much state which micro features you are focusing on, the key meaning and emotional responce – Identify the micro elements you will focus on – Identify which film and which sequence – Place the sequence in the film narrative briefly – Show that you understand the importance of micro elements in the creation of meaning – Summary the main types of meaning which can be generated by the micro elements you have selected
    14. 14. How to write the Micro Essay • Middle Paragraphs – Should show a systematic and thorough evaluation of the impact/effect of micro elements on the audience – You could evaluate one micro element at a time – You could work systematically through the sequence and discuss micro elements as they appear – You could choose to write ‘thematically’ – one reading/effect at a time and discuss how all the micro elements contribute to that reading/effect
    15. 15. How to write the Micro Essay • Middle Paragraphs – Whatever structural pattern you decide to use stick to it! – Back up every point you are making with a specific and detailed example from the sequence – Try to make links between your chose elements as well as dealing with them individually – Use screen shots as it cuts down on the descriptive writing and allows for more analysis. – You can make links to macro features as well (genre, narrative, themes etc)
    16. 16. How to write the Micro Essay • Conclusion – Summarise the meaning and responses you think your chosen micro elements have generated – Comment on whether or not you think the micro elements have produced meaning and response effectively
    17. 17. Questions 1. Who directed this film? What other films have they directed? Do they have a unique style (Auteur)? 2. Who produced the film? How much money did it cost? How much money did it make and over what time scale? 3. Who is the target audience? How did the TA respond to it? How did this film appeal to its target audience? What did critics say about this film? 4. What is the dominate message/reading of the film? What emotional response was the director going for? What scenes could you write about?

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