Short Written Assignments

During the semester, there will be five times that students will be responsible for writing a short (2 page) analysis or report.  Each is worth 10% of the final grade, and each is due the following week.

These are “mini-essays.”  While they do not have to follow exact academic essay format, remember that they should be carefully written, coherent, and organized, and if using material from any other sources, must follow correct citation protocol and include a bibliography.

Week 2: Storyboard a short scene.  Find an interesting short scene in a film that you like.  Create a drawing representing each separate shot, as discussed in class.  Beside or underneath, label each drawing with the appropriate shot type, and describe briefly the sound or action.  You do not have to be a talented artist – just make sure your drawing shows the relative sizes and positions as close as you can to the film image.  Photograph or scan the finished pages and submit them into the class Dropbox on Lea.  Ideally, the scene should be about 2 to 3 minutes, and have a variety of shot types – at least 15 different shots.

Make sure your frames (boxes for each drawing) are the same proportions as the film itself – that is, if the film’s aspect ratio is standard or widescreen.  There are a number of different aspect ratios.  Try to be accurate.

Make sure to name the film.  Due next class – Week 3.

Week 4: Compare/contrast two scenes.  Look carefully and describe the details of production design, as discussed in class, in the two scenes.  Try to conclude with a general statement that explains what the design “aesthetic” or theme was for each scene.  Due next class – Week 5.

Week 6:  Narrative Analysis.  Watch a film, taking detailed notes, and then create a graphic chart of its narrative structure, as we discussed in class.  Make sure to include the important elements of Exposition, Inciting Incident, Rising Action or conflicts, Climax, Denouement, sub-plots (if any) and other details as applicable.  Due Week 7.

Week 8:  Music.  Write an analysis of the use of music in a film that you like, referring to notions you have learned.  Due Week 9.

Week 11:  Screening.  After the class screening of a full-length feature film, write your reaction.  Use what you have learned in the course to “analyze” the film, pointing out how it uses the different elements of film language, and making an assessment.  Due Week 12.