How to Analyze a Film

4 April 2017

Make a list of the things you want to look for. Shots and cuts first of all. Pay attention to what kind of shot the director is using for each frame. Why is it a long shot? For what reason? Why from that angle? What else is in the frame that might be important to the story besides the actor? These are some of the basic things you should look for when you start. ` Step 3 Pay close attention to the style. View the frame of the scene like a painting. Does it seem darker than normal? Where is the light coming from?

Does there seem to be a dominant color in frame, does everythinglook brownish or grayish? Why would the director and cinematographer choose to do the scene like this? What does it mean for the story? Step 4 `How does the scene move? Are there a lot of cuts? Does the camera pan or zoom in and out? Why would the camera be doing that at that moment in the story. ` Step 5 `Sound? What else can you hear in the scene besides the actor’s voice. Why are those sounds necessary. Are they necessary? If we are supposed to be on a street, do we need to hear street noises? Or can we do without them.

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Are the sounds taking away or adding anything to the scene? ` Step 6 Finally, do you agree with these choices? Just because it might be a great movie, doesn’t mean every single frame is the best it could be. Can you think of better ways to shoot the scene? Why are they better? Are they visually better or better for the story? Step 7 After making notes on all of these things, watch the scene a couple more times while glancing at your notes. Does it feel more complete? Do all the choices made enhance the story, take away from the story, or do nothing at all for the story?

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