Exploring Film Language

Film Language

Studying film language will be approached by exploring:

  •   mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing and sound – the micro elements of film
  •   genre and narrative – the macro elements of film
  •   how and what films communicate – representations and ideologies.
  1. (a)  The micro elements of film language are:
    •   mise-en-scène – setting, costume & props, lighting/colour, performance, gesture & body language
    •   cinematography – framing, camera angles and movement, shot size, focus
    •   sound – diegetic and non-diegetic, parallel and contrapuntal, sound bridges, ambient sound and sound effects
    •   editing – types of edits, pace of editing and special effects.

      Although these elements will be studied separately, candidates will need to understand how aspects of film language work together to create meanings in films.

  2. (b)  The macro elements of film are:  Genre

    For genre, candidates will study:

    •   the conventions of genre, based on iconography, mise-en-

      scène, themes, issues, narrative & plot, characters & stars,

      style (camerawork, editing, sound)

    •   the relationship between genre, industry and audiences.

 Narrative

For narrative, candidates will study:

  •   how narratives are created and constructed, focusing

    particularly on the role of editing

  •   the role of character functions – central characters,

    supporting characters, heroes & villains – and audience

    identification in narratives

  •   the role of locations and settings in narrative construction
  •   the structure of narratives – e.g., equilibrium and

    disequilibrium, binary oppositions, open/closed, story/plot.

(c) How and what films communicate involves studying:

 Representation

  •   the way films can offer different representations of age, gender, culture, social class, ethnicity and disability
  •   the role of stereotypes – positive and negative – in representations
  •   the process of categorisation, identification and recognition
  •   the role of stock characters in representation
  •   the ways in which films show different groups of people,

    what they believe in and how their societies are organised.  Ideologies

  •   how representations convey different points of view and reflect different ways of seeing the world
  •   what value systems are evident in films.

 

Controlled Assessment 1 – Micro Analysis and Industry Research

Expectations

By the end of this unit it is expected that all students will: understand how films create meaning through a range of micro-elements such as cinematography, editing, sound and so on and begin to comment on these elements with emerging Film Language; understand and comment on the processes associated with film production, marketing and reception.

Most students will: understand how films create meaning through a range of micro-elements such as cinematography, editing, sound and so on and begin to comment on these elements with increasingly confident Film Language; understand and comment on the processes associated with film production, marketing and reception.

Some learners will have progressed further and will: evaluate the codes and conventions of Film Posters as well as their function and comment on these features with assured use of media language ; replicate the features of Film Posters with flair and originality; understand and comment on the processes associated with film production, marketing and reception and evaluate these in light of a film they have researched.

Key Assessments

A micro-analysis and research task.

Comments are closed.