Film Studies

A-LEVEL FILM STUDIES 

Film studies provides an exciting and stimulating A level course. It allows students to explore films of many forms and traditions, considering their intellectual themes as well as our emotional response to the ideas and narratives presented. Students develop a critical appreciation of the way meaning is constructed through film language and the relationship that film has within society, both as an art form and as a way of exploring the stories and events that shape our modern world. We aim to develop a critical appreciation and passion for film whilst encouraging creativity.

Who is it for?

Film studies is a highly complimentary subject, combining in-depth analysis, creativity and a historical and global perspective on the films studied, as such our students are often those who’s interests lie in the arts, literature and humanities. Our most successful students are those with a thirst for learning, who have an open mind-set and enjoy new experiences. We are a subject that encourages debate and discussion and an enjoyment of this kind of learning is definitely an advantage. Those with a creative eye and interest in either writing or practical film making will have the opportunity to put their ideas into practice in the practical production assessment. 

Course content 

UNIT 1 - ’Varieties of film and filmmaking’  

WRITTEN EXAM 35%

  • Hollywood 1930-1990 (Comparative study)
  • American film post 2005 (2 film study)
  • British film post 1995 (2 film study) 

UNIT 2 ‘Global filmmaking perspectives’

 WRITTEN EXAM 35%

  • Global film (2 film study)
  • Documentary film
  • Silent cinema
  • Experimental film (1960-2000)

UNIT 3 - ‘Production non-exam assessment’ 

PRACTICAL PROJECT 30%

EITHER —

  • Short film 4-5 minutes
  • Screenplay 1600-1800 words
  • PLUS and evaluative analysis

Assessment

2 Written exams – each 2 ½ hours duration and worth 35% of the final grade

Production non-exam assessment – worth 30% of the final grade

Entry requirements

In addition to the general entry requirements, a grade 5 or above in English Literature is strongly advised as film studies is a subject with a strong analytical basis.  Whilst it is not necessary to have studied media studies at GCSE, it may offer some advantage in the early stages of your study.

Commitment

Beyond the classroom, the most obvious commitment is going to be many students’ idea of pleasure! Obviously as a film student you must have a love of film and be an active consumer of film, ideally experiencing film in the cinema as envisioned by the director. However, there is also a good deal of reading around the subject area and a number of excellent podcasts that are recommended. This is in addition to regular written assignments and preparation for lessons that might include watching key scenes and analytical tasks. 

Career prospects

Film studies encourages a range of transferable academic skills, not least that of close textual analysis and detailed deconstruction. It is therefore a very useful A level in the pursuit of further academic study at university. Past students have pursued diverse paths to study art, graphics, drama, English and politics at university, or towards more technical T.V and film production, audio and special effects work, as well as film at degree level, moving into research and film and production related careers.

 

For further information contact

Mrs R Moore rmoore@sharnbrook.beds.sch.uk