Film Analysis



Essential Question: What makes a movie “good?” What are the pieces of a “good” movie?


  1. Choose one or two 3-5 minute clips from a movie, TV show, or short film –something you feel the class needs to see. Think carefully about which film and which clip(s) you choose to show. Th clip(s) should represent the film you are showing (ie give us a good idea of the style of the film, and what the filmmaker is doing. You will be encouraged to choose something the majority of the students in class have not seen. Look for something classic or independent.
  2. Write a short paragraph (3-5 sentences) about each of the elements of cinema, below. This is one of two parts to this assignment, which you will turn in on our Google Classroom.
  3. You have two options as to how you want to present your analysis:
    • Create a montage explaining your clip. You may make this in Adobe Premiere or a google slideshow (see example). Put your clip in context of the longer movie (etc) that it comes from–where does it fit? Overall, tell us why you chose this piece of media and why WE should see it too. OR…
    • Present the film clip to class. Plan, rehearse and deliver your thoughts on the clip. Delivering your presentation, you have some choices:
      1. You may choose to introduce the film to put the clip into context for the class, then let the clip show in it’s entirely before delivering your analysis.
      2. You can talk while your clip is playing, starting and stopping at times to point things out to us.
      3. After your introduction, you can play the clip through once, then play it through a second time, pointing out elements of the film you want us to notice (this works better with a shorter clip, say 3 minutes).

Analyze the following elements of cinema in your presentation:

  • Storytelling (The Script / Writing: Plot, Beginning / middle/end – structure; Dialog; Characters; the IDEA)
  • Acting & Directing
  • Mise En Scene (‘What you see’ – Locations; props, costumes; makeup)
  • Cinematography (Shots: Composition, Lighting, Viewpoint / Perspective / Angle; Movement)
  • Soundtrack (Music score; Mix; Compliments visuals and story;
  • Editing (Tells the story; special effects; continuity; pacing)