Aim of the course

The aim of Film Studies is to deepen students' understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film, the major art form of the twentieth century. Students will be able to critically analyse the visual elements of a film. They will also develop creativity and practical skills. The course explores the relationship between the film and the individual by exploring how films create meaning and produce intellectual and emotional responses. The study of film producers and audiences explores issues of production and consumption: the supply of and demand for films. The course introduces students to the diverse range of film forms and film styles developed in different places throughout the history of cinema.

How the course is broken down

FM1 Exploring Film Forms (40% of AS Level) Internal Assessment.

  • Students will focus on how the micro features of a film are created to construct meaning and emotion.
  • You will be given the tools to analyse the visual elements of films, you will look at the construction of the setting, props, costume and makeup as well as the performance of the actors.
  • Students will also study cinematography which includes photographic elements, camera positioning, colour, lighting, framing and composition.
  • You will study Sound and the way it is used in relation to visuals.

You will develop an awareness of your role as a spectator and the impact that a film has on you.

FM1 is assessed through an Analysis of a film extract – 1500 words and a Creative Project where students will either create a film sequence or complete a short film using the micro elements they have learnt.

FM2 British and American Film (60% of AS Level) External Assessment.

This unit focuses on key aspects of Film Studies.

  • Producers and audiences and their relationship between them.
  • The role of macro features of film (narrative and genre) in constructing meanings.
  • You will study the relationship between producers and audiences, with particular focus on aspects of the film industry and audience behaviour.
  • Narrative and genre characteristics of UK and US films.

Students will study the American Film Industry and its impact on UK audiences and The British Film Industry including issues of independence, distinctiveness and profitability. You will look at the aspects of finance and the consumption of film. The study of stars and genre are important within this unit.

Students will also produce a Case study exploring the relationship between producers and audiences.

In Section B of FM2 students will study British Horror by looking at the distinctive characteristic of the genre and there is a particular focus on narrative development and themes. Students will also study British Films and Culture and they will particularly focus on Thatcher's Britain in the 1980's, studying issues if representation and film narratives.

A2 Film Studies

In A2 Film Studies students will complete a research and creative project concentrating on developing skills to critically approach Film Studies. You will also develop creative skills and deepen your understanding of creativity within Film Studies.

You will sit an exam in A2 Film Studies which looks at World Cinema. As a Film student you will study films from either Mexico or Japanese Cinema. You will also study German and Neo Realism Films. Students will also critically study a single film deconstructing its visual elements; there are numerous films to study from. For example students may choose Vertigo (Hitchcock) or Fight Club (Fincher).

AS Level

Unit 1: FM1 20 % (40%) Internal Assessment
Exploring Film Form
  • One analysis of how the micro aspects of a chosen extract from a film of candidate's choice produce meanings and responses (1500 words)
  • One creative project based on a film sequence or short film
Unit 2: FM2 30% (60%) External Assessment
2½ hours Written Paper
British and American Film
  • Three questions, one from each section:
  • Section A: Response to stimulus material set by Awarding Body based on producers and audiences of film (40)
  • Section B: Topics in British Film (40)
  • Section C: US Film - Comparative study of two films (40)

A Level (the above plus a further 2 units)

Unit 3: FM3 25 % Internal Assessment
Film Research and Creative Projects
  • a small-scale research project (40)
  • creative project (60 - 45  product/15 reflective analysis)
Unit 4: FM4 25 % External Assessment
2 ¾ hour Written Paper
Varieties of Film Experience: Issues and Debates
Three questions one from each section
  • Section A: World Cinema topics (35)
  • Section B: Spectatorship topics (35)
  • Section C: Single Film - Critical Study (30)

As part of the Film Studies course students will get the opportunity to visit the Berlin Film festival.