• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Get control of your email attachments. Connect all your Gmail accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize your file attachments. You can also connect Dokkio to Drive, Dropbox, and Slack. Sign up for free.


Film Unit - Semester Two

Page history last edited by Russell 10 years, 2 months ago


Notes for upcoming film unit. REMEMBER: When you visit links, they are posted and hosted by people outside the realm of public school; ads and content may not always be rated "G"



TUE, Mar 30 and APR 1


DUE TUESDAY: Study guide responses and film review of "Rear Window"

DUE BY FRIDAY: Study guide responses to "Big Fish" - the film review is due on return from break OR before break

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Be answering study guide prompts for "Big Fish" and submit BEFORE BREAK

FOCUS TODAY: Critical viewing of "Big Fish"


"Big Fish" study guide

Guide to writing a film review  (simply adjust it for "Big Fish" where "Rear Window" is referenced)


Mon, Mar 22 and Wed, Mar 24


DUE TODAY: Nothing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Each night, make some notes on the study guide

FOCUS TODAY: Critical viewing of "Rear Window" directed by Hitchcock


"Rear Window" study guide

Guide to writing a film review for "Rear Window"


Wed, Mar 17


DUE TODAY: Nothing


FOCUS TODAY: The relationship between conflict and genre


There is a slide show today that outlines commong film genres. This slide show is only available in class. If you miss it, please arrange a viewing with the teacher. The slide show will be accompanied by various film clips.


Mon, Mar 15


DUE TODAY: At end of class: 1/2 page on "Which film director made better use of color and lighting to enhance meaning?"


FOCUS TODAY: Color and setting symbolism


All-class brainstorm on the meanings associated w/ colors and elements:




  • White = purity, innocence, clean/sanitary, sterile, virginal, good guy (forces of good)
  • Black = unknown, evil, abyss, death, bad guy (forces of evil)
  • Red = danger, royalty (power), passion, Communism, anger, blood!
  • Blue = serenity, depression, lack of emotion, sadness, cold, lifelessness
  • Green = nature, sickly, spring, renewal, life
  • Yellow = energetic, optimistic, happy, sun, fear/cowardice
  • Gray = monotony, boredom, neutral, pale=sick
  • Purple = hazy, abstract, royalty, bruised




  • Fire = heat, danger, power, renewal (Phoenix), hell, passion, anger, vengeance
  • Water = cleansing, smooth, rebirth, purity, elegance, water breaking = birth, sweat = exercise/extreme emotion, tears = sadness, high emotion, pee = extreme fear
  • Earth = rock, strength, age, tierra/terra, crops/growth
  • Air = oxygen, life, stealth, freedom/flying, fresh


Films viewed:

  • "Hero" starring Jet Li
  • "2001: A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick


Wed, Mar 10


DUE TODAY: Nothing in writing


FOCUS TODAY: Lighting, editing, review of shots/angles


There are two short powerpoints for today on lighting and editing. Please get notes from a friend or come before/after school for the slide shows.


Film clips today:

  • Tim Robbins as Andy duFrane in "The Shawshank Redemption" escapes prison and emerges into a violent rainstorm - a focus on lighting and camera angle. Additional relevant notes = how shots are framed and the character's physical actions.
  • The motorcycle/truck chase scene from "Terminator II" - angle and use of color shape how we see the threat of the truck
  • Uma Thurman and John Travolta dance in "Pulp Fiction" - medium shots, framing, and color all blend to reveal character
  • Jodie Foster in the climactic scene of "The Silence of the Lambs" - use of lighting and camera angle add to the tension, especially when the lights go out and the audience becomes the antagonist.


Sample assessment of the "Shawshank Redemption" clip:

Character = “Andy” escaping from prison

Focus = Lighting and camera angle

The filmmaker uses a low angle when we see Andy strip off his shirts. The effect of using this angle causes the audience to see him as a kind of hero – he appears larger and his escape takes on greater meaning.

With regard to lighting, I noticed light shining directly at him when the bird’s eye angle was used, which caused me, the viewer to feel as though Andy was being revealed out of darkness – he was getting a new life.

This scene is a re-birth for Andy. He literally crawls through the sewer pipe (birth canal) out of the womb of the prison where he has been captive, and he, along with all the filth from the prison, bursts out into the drainage canal. The weather lets you know the emotional turmoil, and the rain falling down washes away the sludge and grime of his life inside the jail. He is now a new man, further indicated by his stripping off of his clothes and bathing in the clean rain. Notice his pose at the end? You are God looking down at a man whose arms are outstretched like Christ on the cross. This is a typical pose for heroes when they are redeemed or “chosen.” See “Avatar”? Remember the scene where the little jellyfish creatures are gently falling down around the main character? He’s urged to let them fall around him, and he stretches out his arms, illuminated by the natural light of the little creatures. Again – a Messiah-like pose, revealing he will be the savior of the Navi.


Mon, Mar 8


DUE TODAY: Nothing in writing

HOMEWORK TONIGHT: Only folks finishing leftover ad unit stuff

FOCUS TODAY: Camera angles, shots, history of film technology and style


A quiz on camera use

  • “Cliffhanger”


Type of shot used

Effect or purpose of the shot

ELS (Extreme long shot)





Bird’s eye




Low angle





Extreme close-up

Gives a sense of place – the grandeur of the mountains – it’s a big place, and people are VERY small in it


Emphasizes the geography – gives the audience the sense that they are WAY up high, and it’s dangerous


Looking up at climber – emphasizes that he’s hanging out in space – it helps the audience experience the danger of his precarious position


Broken buckle going thru the clamp – acts as a kind of countdown to doom! Tension increases as we see that she’s only held by this one piece of plastic


  • “Goldeneye”


Type of shot used

Effect or purpose of the shot







History of Film – Powerpoint presentation

Films = “Four Troublesome Heads”  “A Trip to the Moon”  “The Great Train Robbery”


Thu, Mar 4


DUE TODAY: Nothing in writing


FOCUS TODAY: Vocabulary of film study: shots, angles, frame


The information today is in a Powerpoint that I will not make available online. Please see me to schedule a time to view the presentation, or copy the notes on vocabulary from a friend.


Film clips today include:

Clint Eastwood as "Dirty" Harry Callahan - "Go ahead. Make my day."


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.