introduction to film analysis
Below is a list of elements and questions to help you when analyzing films.
Along with the literary elements such as plot, setting, characterization, structure, and theme, which make up the text or screenplay, there are many different film techniques used to tell the story or narrative. Attention is paid to sound, music, lighting, camera angles, and editing. What is important is to focus on how all the elements are used together in making a good film.
Prerequisites: This course is open to all students with interests in any aspect of film production, criticism, journalism, or scholarship. It assumes no previous familiarity with film studies, but students with backgrounds or interests in any of the above areas are encouraged to take the course
By the end of this course, students will be able to: (1) Develop a deeper understanding of the forces and structures that go into the construction of cinematic meaning; (2) Put analyses into clear argumentative writing; (3) Describe and analyze film using the analytic vocabulary of film studies; (4) Develop a basic understanding of the formal techniques necessary for the production of cinematic narratives.
Therefore, after watching the movie, think if the actors are realistic and if they portray the role of their character effectively? More importantly, consider how their acting corresponds to the main idea of the film and your thesis statement.
However, make sure you analyse only the elements that are related to your thesis statement, that can support it or help you make your point. Otherwise, you risk drifting away from the main argument.
An Introduction to Film Analysis is designed to introduce students to filmmaking techniques while also providing an invaluable guide to film interpretation. It takes readers step by step through:
Ryan and Lenos’s updated edition introduces students to the different kinds of lenses and their effects, the multiple possibilities of lighting, and the way post-production modifies images through such processes as saturation and desaturation. Students will learn to ask why the camera is placed where it is, why an edit occurs where it does, or why the set is designed in a certain way.
Surely, you will encounter films that convey meaning and persuade its audience in ways you don’t agree with at all, which can be frustrating sometimes. Especially when you realise that the casual audience member has no idea of what’s being inserted into their subconscious. Nonetheless, film analysis and delving into the hidden depths and meanings of film will be revelatory, and totally worth it.
Transformers (2007) – source: Paramount Pictures