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Film StudiesAS Level

Film Studies offers an in depth exploration of film in all its forms, from Hollywood blockbusters to low budget indie movies, from old classics to modern masterpieces from the obscure to the popular and films across the world. You will study fiction films, documentaries and shorts and have the opportunity to plan, write, shoot and edit your own films.

This is a rigorous and challenging course for those with an interest in film. It encompasses all aspects of film production, distribution and consumption. Using case study examples throughout, you will get a thorough grounding in how films are made and how they communicate to their audience, introducing you to a realm beyond the mainstream: British, Independent and World cinemas.

  • What surprised me is how much of the content is driven by my own interests and opinions.
  • What surprised me is how much of the content is driven by my own interests and opinions.
  • What surprised me is how much of the content is driven by my own interests and opinions.
  • What surprised me is how much of the content is driven by my own interests and opinions.
  • There is no right or wrong answer with Film Studies practical, as long as you have the passion and drive
  • Before I studied Film, I thought Fight Club was a clever movie! I have been introduced to so much since that I don't think I'll ever go back to blockbusters!
  • Film Studies at St Paul's has given me the opportunity to grow as a filmmaker.

Course Content

Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking (exam - 35%)

Section A: Hollywood 1930 – 1990. A comparative study of two Hollywood films from different eras. We currently study ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Bonnie and Clyde’.

Section B: American film since 2005. Two films studies; one a mainstream film, the other a contemporary independent film produced after 2010. We currently study ‘Inception’ and ‘Captain Fantastic’.

Section C: British film since 1995. A study of two British films. We currently study ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Sightseers’.

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives (exam – 35%)

Section A: Global film. Two films studied, one European, one produced outside Europe. We currently study ‘City of God’ and ‘Victoria’.

Section B: Documentary film. One contemporary documentary film will be studied. We currently study ‘Amy’.

Section C: Film movements – Silent cinema. One silent film from the 1920s/1930s will be studied. We currently study ‘Sunrise’.

Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960 – 2000). A film that experiments with one or more aspects of its form will be studied. We currently study ‘Pulp Fiction’.

    All films will be studied through the framework for studying film:

  1. The key elements of film form – cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing and sound, which have significance both individually and in combination with one another
  2. The structural elements of film form – narrative and the processes of narration, including the role of the screenplay in providing narrative structure, and genre (where relevant to the film studied)
  3. How film creates meaning and generates response, including how it functions as a medium of representation
  4. Film as an aesthetic medium
  5. The spectator and spectatorship
  6. The social, cultural, political, historical and institutional, including production, contexts of film
  7. Critical approaches to studying film – arising from the idea of film as 'constructed' and including different conceptions of narrative, ideology and the idea of the 'auteur'
  8. Key debates (the realist versus the expressive in film and the digital) and filmmakers' theories of film.

Component 3: Production (Non-Examined Assessment – 30%)

A short film (4-5 mins) that highlights narrative construction OR a screenplay for a short film (1600 – 1800 words) and digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay.

Key Facts

  • Course Level A Level
  • Assessment Breakdown Examination 70% Non Examined Assessment 30%
  • Assessor Eduqas (WJEC)
  • Entry Requirements Minimum 5+ Levels 4-9, 5+ in English Language
  • Online Learning Materials Interactive courses on our VLE including forums and online assessmentstpaulsmediadepartment
  • Media Channel stpaulsmedia on YouTube