Film Studies

Matthew Smallridge
Matthew Smallridge

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?

It is an exciting course that will allow you to study a range of films and gain an insight into the wider industry. You will study the language of film, performance, cinematography, editing and sound, and see how they construct meaning and provoke audience response. You will engage in debates around technology and the issues facing independent cinema, seeing a range of perspectives. Working with industry leading equipment and editing packages will provide practical experience, allowing you to create a professional portfolio of work to carry forward to university or employment.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM FILM STUDIES?

Film Studies offers a lively and challenging insight into the film industry. You will be expected to participate in debates and be open to exploring both independent and international cinema. You are expected to analyse key texts, and then write about them in your exam to demonstrate creativity with your practical productions.

HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?

The Film Studies course is assessed a combination of coursework and exams.

WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?

If you have a willingness to learn, an interest in the development and production of films and are passionate about developing your knowledge of the film industry, this subject is for you!

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

You will develop a vast range of technical, creative and analytical skills throughout your study. These skills are highly desirable making you a perfect candidate for a wide range of university degrees, as well as preparing you for a career in areas such as Film Production, Directing, 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 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.