What is it about at sixth-form level?
Film Studies A Level aims to enrich and develop your current enjoyment and appreciation of film. You will learn why film production is considered an art form as you study: the implicit and explicit meanings associated with specific settings and locations; why characters are represented in particular ways; how camera techniques and editing choices enhance or diminish the importance of the frame’s content; and the importance of sound- including dialogue, ambient sounds, and musical soundtrack throughout the film. The course explores how the film industry has developed and evolved from the days of the Hollywood Studio System; and teaches you why film is one of the main cultural innovations of the 20th century. You will also learn about influential film styles such as la nouvelle vague (French New Wave), realism, and silent cinema; as well as gain an understanding about why these fim styles continue to influence film productions today.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
Film Studies is one of the most relevant subjects today. Moving image/video is a powerful marketing tool in the digital age, whilst entertainment platforms such Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are constantly expanding their content.
Film Studies is an interdisciplinary subject which helps you develop many transferable skills relevant to further education, the workplace, and life in general. You will develop your critical skills of analysis; your creative powers of expression; and your ability to articulate your thoughts on paper and visualise your ideas on screen. This course supports career paths in film-making, directing, producing, and editing. It also provides a good foundation for more theoretical and analytical pathways such as film criticism, journalism, education, and humanities-based subjects at degree level
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You must have a wide-ranging interest in cinema, an inquisitive nature, and a desire to learn more. The course requires you to question how filmmakers create meaning, as well as how meaning can vary between different spectators, and across time and place. A good grade in GCSE English (or equivalent) is essential to meet the comprehension, analytical and writing demands of the course.
How is the course assessed?
The course is assessed by two written exams and a non-exam assessment. Component One: Varieties of film and filmmaking. This paper assesses your knowledge and understanding of six feature length films relating to mainstream and independent American and British films from different periods of cinema. This written exam is 2.5 hours and is worth 35% of the qualification. Component Two: Global filmmaking perspectives. This paper assesses your knowledge and understanding of five feature length films (or their equivalent). The different film types examined are silent, documentary, experimental, and world. This written exam is 2.5 hours and is worth 35% of the qualification. Component Three: Production. Students produce either a short film or a screenplay for a short film and digital storyboard of a key section from the screenplay. This section of the course is worth 30% of the qualification.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
A Level Film Studies: The Essential Introduction Third Edition
By Sarah Casey Benyahia et al.
Published by Routledge, ISBN: 9780415520898
WJEC Eduqas Film Studies for A Level and AS
By Lisa Wardle et al
Published by Illuminate Publishing, ISBN: 9781911208440
Exam Board and Specification Codes
WJEC specification codes have yet to be confirmed.
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