you will critically and creatively analyze a single scene from any film or television show of your choice – as long as you can send me a link to watch that scene or check with me in class to see if I’ve watched that film or show. You will model your essay after the sample student essay (with lots of useful annotations) provided in the final chapter of your Film Studies textbook. (See below for links to the scene analyzed in that sample paper).
For this assignment you write a 2000 (or more) word scene analysis essay with 1 inch margins and size 12 Times New Roman font. The Scene Analysis must properly use at least six vocabulary terms from the Film Studies textbook in order to earn a passing grade.
You are required to take notes on your scene before you start writing your essay. Your notes will be worth 100 points and your essay 200 points. If you type your notes, include them at the end of your essay. If you take handwritten notes, snap photos of them and paste those in to the end of your essay
Use the Yale University Film Analysis Website (Links to an external site.) as a guide for taking notes on your scene. Follow the example analysis shot lists to create your own Shot List notes.
There are several ways to slow down a film or tv show shot by shot to notice the editing and other elements. You might try: using screen snip or your phone to capture individual shots; use a DVD player with a frame by frame advance option; download a clip from the web into Microsoft Movie Maker (a standard program on Windows machines) to use the frame by frame advance option.
Keep the following rubric in mind as you write your essay.
* Begin your essay with an introduction that invites the reader into your paper and provides a clear thesis statement providing your argument about what makes this particular scene important to the overall development of the film’s themes and/or characters (or film history).
* Begin each body paragraph with topic sentences that build on your thesis. Discuss and describe very specific details and examples from the film, do not provide unneeded plot summary since the people reading your paper will all be people in the class who just watched the film as well.
* Make sure to include a conclusion paragraph that does not simply repeat your thesis but instead explains how your essay was organized to prove your thesis and what the broader implications of you analysis are for the study of this film or tv show, this writer or director, or this period of film or tv history.
* Do some basic formatting (have a title, page numbers, etc) and proofreading before posting your essay. You should not need to use any sources other than those provided by the course, but if you do reference any of the course texts be sure to include proper citation.
Here are links to the scenes analyzed in the sample student paper in the Sikov textbook.
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