What happens in this subject?
Film Studies attempts to engage students' excitement about a powerful audio-visual medium, which is central to today's society and culture. The films studied are designed to exploit that enthusiasm and motivate them to broaden their knowledge of film and film technology from the first moving images introduced to audiences in 1895 to the digital environment of contemporary film. Production work is a central part of this GCSE.
This will enable students to apply all that they have learnt about film as well as provide students with a fresh, filmmaking perspective on the films studied.
Once our pupils have selected Film Studies in Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11), they will be introduced to a broad range of films from around the world as well as giving them a historical perspective on film. The US films they focus on, for example, will include mainstream films from the past – films produced in the 1950s and late 1970s and 80s (ET and the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers), two distinct phases of Hollywood's development. Through comparing these films, pupils will see how genres change, how the contexts in which films are produced affect films and how elements such as cinematography and editing change and develop.
More recent US film will be explored through independent productions – films produced outside the mainstream (Juno) which have allowed their filmmakers to explore less conventional topics and issues. Although many pupils' experience of cinema is likely to be dominated by US film – well over 80% of the films shown in UK mainstream cinemas are American – this specification offers the chance to explore film produced outside the US – in Europe, including the UK, South Africa and Australia (Brooklyn, Slumdog Millionaire and Spirited Away).
Production is integral to the study of film. As well as developing knowledge and understanding of a range of films, pupils will be acquiring a knowledge of filmmaking, which they will be able to apply in a synoptic way to their final production. Pupils will demonstrate this by constructing a screenplay, shooting script and an evaluation. The exam board we study is EDUQAS.
Aspirations and KS5
Our passion and challenge aims to encourage students' excitement for film and the impact the moving image can have on an audience. Altogether, our curriculum prepares our students for an aspirational post 16 career path studying Film Studies or Media Studies A Level, which can lead to studying Film, Media or creative courses at University or entering careers in the Film and Media industry.