A level Film Studies is ideal for students who want to explore how and why films are made. A level Film Studies focuses on the analysis and deconstruction of film over a wide historical time frame. It allows you to engage with films from early silent cinema to 1930s Hollywood films to contemporary and experimental cinema.
Film Studies involves studying 12 different films. These are separated into set categories, which are; American, British, Independent, Global, Documentary, Experimental and Silent Film. We look at these via a number of different study area frameworks, including: film form, meaning and response, context, spectatorship, narrative, ideology, authorship, critical debates and theoretical debates.
You will work with your peers to debate and pull apart the set film texts and to develop a sophisticated contextual understanding of the world at the time these films were made.
Film Studies requires that you develop an inquisitive mind and consider the deeper social, political and economic contexts of those films. It gives you excellent problem solving and communication skills as you use what you have learned to create a product of your own.
You will be expected to think independently and to develop your own ‘voice’, and you will be expected to expand your knowledge outside of the classroom through reading about and watching film. This is likely to involve going to film festivals and exhibitions.
What does the qualification cover?
You will be introduced to a wide range of film-making processes so that you develop, through discussion, analysis and debate, a wide range of technical skills for both constructing and deconstructing film. This will give you the ability to develop your own creative skills as you explore these film-making techniques from different times and places.
The coursework element allows you to experiment with a variety of film-making technology and film-editing software to develop your creative skills, creating a short film in an experimental style.
You will also explore the work of a wide range of influential film directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Ridley Scott and Debra Granik, Film Studies A level also takes in the forefathers of cinema by evaluating the impact of key pioneers on the film industry including The Lumiere Brothers and Buster keaton.
What will I study?
Global film (two-film study)
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films: one European and one produced outside Europe. ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ Guillermo del Toro, and ‘Wild Tales’ Damián Szifron.
Documentary film – ‘Amy’ Asif Kapadia.
Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study)
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two Hollywood films, one from the Classical Hollywood period (1930-1960) ‘Vertigo’ Hitchcock and the other from the New Hollywood period (1961-1990) – ‘Blade Runner’ Ridley Scott.
American film since 2005 (two-film study)
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film ‘No Country for Old Men’ The Coen Bros, and one contemporary independent film, ‘Winter’s Bone’ Debra Granik
A number of short films in preparation for the production.
British film since 1995 (two-film study)
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films. ‘Trainspotting’ Danny Boyle, and ‘This is England’ Shane Meadows
Film movements – Silent cinema – Buster Keaton shorts
Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960-2000)
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option. ‘Pulp Fiction’ Quentin Tarantino
Practical and screenwriting skills.
How will I be assessed?
For the Eduqas board (WJEC) 70% of your mark is assessed through two 150-minute exams at the end of the two-year course. One focuses on American and British Film, whilst the other focuses on global, documentary, silent and experimental film.
Coursework makes up the remaining 30% of the Film Studies A Level. You can choose to create a either short film (4-5 minutes) or produce a screenplay for a short film of between 1600-1800 words. The screenplay must also be accompanied with a digitally photographed storyboard of a 2-minute section of the screenplay. and you must write an evaluation of your production, of between 1600-1800 words.
Where can it lead?
A wide variety of careers as this is a multi curricular subject. There are specific degree courses you can apply for but it also is suitable for a wide range of courses where analytical and practical skills are required.
Past students have entered a wide range of professions including Costume Designer, Teacher, Police, Forensics, Retail, Journalism and Psychologist
Ms G Hale
Mr A Hart – Faculty Leader