Film Studies

WHAT IS FILM STUDIES?

Film Studies is the study of film as an art form, learning to appreciate this medium not only through its technical production, but also by understanding how to interpret the wider meanings and messages that they hold.

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

Film Studies is a rewarding and exciting course that will allow you to study a broad range of films and gain an insight into the industry and the production of films; from learning how a film is conceived in its screenplay, to being distributed and watched by millions worldwide. You will engage in debates around the effects of technology and the issues facing independent cinema, providing you with a wide range of perspectives to understand the industry. Working with professional, industry-standard filming equipment and editing packages will provide you with practical, hands-on experience of creating your own short film, playing with genre and conventions to produce something innovative.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM FILM STUDIES?

A lively, challenging and engaging subject led by teachers who are enthusiastic about films. You will be expected to participate in active debate around key films, and be open to pushing the boundaries of the types of films you watch and enjoy. One of the main features of studying in this subject is being aware that there are other great films out there besides what you see at your local multiplex cinema. Be prepared to explore independent, British, classic and world cinema (with subtitles). Film Studies is an academic subject, which means that it does include a significant amount of writing in preparation for your written exams. Like English Literature, you are expected to analyse key texts, and then write about them in your exam. Most of all, we expect you to be creative with your practical work and willing to learn.

HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?

The Film Studies course is assessed through examinations and coursework with 60% of your final marks from coursework and 40% from examinations.

WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?

If you have an interest in the development and production of films and are passionate about developing your knowledge of the film industry then Film Studies is for you!

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN A-LEVEL IN FILM STUDIES?

The vast range of skills you will develop will make you a perfect candidate for the wide range of university degrees in this area as well as preparing you for a career in areas such as film production, directing, producing, journalism and screenplay writing.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?
Over the two year course, the following topics will be studied:

FILM INDUSTRY
In this unit, we work on your understanding of films from an industry perspective, looking at the power of Hollywood compared to British and world cinema as well as engaging in aspects of the production, marketing and distribution and the different strategies film studios can take. Exploring questions such as; is cinema dying? And why do the types of films being produced get made?

BRITISH CINEMA
Here we will be analysing key British films in relation to how the themes they present represent circumstances and issues in the UK during the time in which they were made. We look particularly at British horror and how, through analysis, we can uncover what they reveal about Britain, such as our anxieties over ‘chav’ culture and fear of empowered women.

AMERICAN COMPARISON
By exploring two key American genre texts you will draw out comparisons and contrasts between how the films comment on such ideas as ‘The American Dream’ and ‘Suburban America’. This unit focuses particularly on American Beauty and Wolf of Wall Street; films which commentate on the same ideas but have very differing approaches and reactions.

MICRO ANALYSIS
The first part of your coursework involves a 1500 word essay on a film of your choice. Through the skills you have developed in class, you will identify how micro features such as cinematography, editing, sound and mise en scène create meaning.

PRACTICAL PRODUCTION
Working in a group or independently, you will use your knowledge and understanding of technical production, and apply it to your own creative short film. Using HD video camera and Adobe editing software, you will bring your ideas to life, showcasing your creativity to produce a professional moving image production.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THIS SUBJECT

During your time studying Film Studies we organise trips to heighten your experience of films and the industry. This year we are looking to organise a trip to the ‘Berlin Film Festival’ in Germany, as well as planning trips to Manchester’s independent cinema ‘Home’

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSE grades at A* - C, or 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.