Anatomy of a Film

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Collaboration, Interpretation, Analysis in Modern Horror

Schedule

8/25: Inquiry Learning; What are my expectations? Discuss: Film Art Chapter 1 (pgs.2-9; remainder optional). Have watched  Night of the Living Dead [Coping with Change: Traih]

8/28: [Coping with Change: Traih] Film Screening, Vocabulary & Analysis; Discuss: Film Art Chapter 2 (Film Form). Turn in personal statement. [Getting Involved: Ruppert]

Screening of Night of the Living Dead, Saturday: 6:30pm, Reinsch Library Auditorium. Bring your friends!

9/1: Film Screening, Vocabulary & Analysis. Discuss: Chapter 3 (Narrative). Have read analytical essay assignment. Visit interfolio and read about the portfolio project. [Adjusting to College: Counseling Traih]. [Getting Involved: Ruppert]

9/4: Film Screening, Vocabulary & Analysis. Discuss Chapter 4 (Mise-en-scéne). Have watched Night of the Living Dead again!

Weekend Extra: Finish creating your interfolio portfolio account; learn how by watching this (soundless) 5-minute video!

9/8: Film Analysis, film Vocabulary & Analysis; Workshopping Expectations. Discuss: Film Art Chapter 5: Cinematography and Appendix, “Writing a Critical Analysis of a Film” (431-437). Narrow your topic for Individual Analysis Essay Assignment!

9/11: Workshopping: Expectations. Individual Analysis Draft Due. [LRC Presentation: Tutor] [MU Resources and Services: Ruppert]

9/15: Film Analysis: Workshopping. Discuss: Film Art Chapter 6: Editing. Revised Draft Due.

9/18: Researching in College: Introduction to the Library; Research Project Overview [Library Instruction Room Meet in Computer Lab] Individual Analysis Due. [Conferences with Farah]

9/22: Presentation Expectations. [Assertiveness & Communication Skills: Counseling] [Communicating with your Professors: Traih] Have watched your film at least once!

9/25: Research Presentations. Discuss Film Art Chapter 7: Sound. Pair Research Project Due. [Revision per my comments due electronically by Sunday] Have set up your Interfolio account (http://www.interfolio.com) [Conferences with Farah]

9/29: Midterm Quiz: Vocabulary of Film Analysis. Have re-read/skimmed/studied Film Art Chapters, Vocabulary and Concepts.

10/2: Introduction to Film Commentary Project [Guest: James Miller] [Group Dynamics: Ruppert]. Visit the ELS on your own or with your group. Have watched your film at least twice, and browsed the supplementary materials included on the DVD. 

10/6: Planning a Large Project, Working in Groups. Midterm Reflections. Portfolio Draft Due–Come prepared to share! Work on your segmentation. **Make sure your REVISED ANALYTICAL ESSAY IS IN YOUR PORTFOLIO!

10/9: Film Analysis: Segmentation Groupwork. Draft Segmentation Due. [Stress and Stress Management: Traih? Counselling]

10/13: Break – No classes! Communicate with your group members; finalize the group film segmentation, and organize your group. Watch your film again, and take notes using the provided form.

10/16: Researching Again: Context. Group Segmentation Due. Work on research project, commentary script. [Library Meeting: Library Instruction Room]

10/20: Meeting in the Library Instruction Room. Presentations How-To.  Commentary script progress? [Jordan Presentation: Traih]. Work on research project, commentary script. [Class discussion led by Farah!]

10/23: [Class discussion led by Farah!] Presentations How-To.  Commentary script progress? [Jordan Presentation: Traih] Work on research project, commentary script.

10/27: Group Research Presentations. Group Research Project Due. In-Class Film Still Project. 10pg Individual Script Draft Due; Exchange electronically. Read your peers’ scripts; comment, and return electronically. [Using Microsoft Word] How to use Microsoft Word to comment/peer review.

10/30: 10pg Individual Script Draft Due; How to use Microsoft Word to comment/peer review. IF YOU HAVE A LAPTOP, BRING IT! Bring your 10 page script draft to turn in to me, and select from that 2 pages of your analysis that you would like to workshop. Bring enough copies of that selection for the members of your group (you may put all this on one page, single-spaced, or front-back, to save paper).  In class: Workshopping for Vocabulary Use and Analysis.

WEEKEND: Exchange electronically. Read your peers’ scripts; comment, and return electronically by SUNDAY, using Microsoft Word.  Revise according to your peer’s comments.

11/3: Workshopping: Integrating Your Work. Bring in: one copy of first two pages of revised individual script for workshopping/integration. Final 10pg Individual Script  Due, revised per your peers’ comments. Meet with team to create a 40-page integrated script, due on 6th.

11/6: Planning the recording. Acknowledging sources. Deadlines. GROUPWORK ON SCRIPT; come prepared to work with your group members on integrating your script and revising for analytical strength. 40pg Integrated Script Due. [Farah: Registering]

11/10: Planning the recording. Acknowledging sources. Deadlines. Continue working on film commentary project. 40pg Integrated Script Due. [Upcoming courses: conferences, hands-on recording time. Planning the Recording.]

11/13: ELS Recording Time Groups The Signal and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. OTHER GROUPS: Meet in Library to continue working on commentary project.  Revised Draft Portfolio Due. Finish working on film commentary project and prepare for recording your commentary. Each group should prepare fully for the recording by:

  1. Deepening the analysis of your commentary where necessary, incorporating sources, and using Ginger Snaps as a model.
  2. Divide the group script into the parts each student will be narrating. Use Ginger Snaps as a model.
  3. Do a “test run” of your narration by running the film and reading your narration aloud. Make any adjustments necessary.

11/17: ELS: Recording Time Groups Alien and Dawn of the Dead. Groups A, B: Revised Draft Portfolio Due. OTHER GROUPS: Meet in Library to continue working on film commentary project. Each group should prepare fully for the recording by:

  1. Deepening the analysis of your commentary where necessary, incorporating sources, and using Ginger Snaps as a model.
  2. Divide the group script into the parts each student will be narrating. Use Ginger Snaps as a model.
  3. Do a “test run” of your narration by running the film and reading your narration aloud. Make any adjustments necessary. THIS IS CRITICAL!

11/20: Advertising Your Projects, What criteria will we use to judge a winner? Arrange weekend screening parties. Film Commentary Project Due [Farah to lead class]

11/24: Selecting and Advertising the Winner; Presentation Expectations. Select a winner, develop publicity ideas.

Thanksgiving: View clips online to select a winner, brainstorm publicity ideas.

12/1: In-Class Presentations. Groupwork: Advertising [Meet in Auditorium]. Advertise the public screening.

12/4: In-Class Presentations. Groupwork: Advertising [Meet in Auditorium]. Retrospective Analysis. Final Portfolio Due. Advertise the public screening.

Final Exam [Reinsch Auditorium] Friday Dec 11, 12-2:30 pm*
Public Screening of the Winning Film!

* this is the very last day of exams… should we try to schedule our screening during the afternoon of the 5th, after composition exams, or on the Sunday before regular exams start?


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Course Description

This term, we will be learning the basics of film analysis through the popular genre of horror. The major course assignment is the creation of a collaborative film commentary track, supplemented by smaller assignments, both individual and group, intended to prepare you for the major assignment. Part of these assignments will involve the use of technology unfamiliar to you, research resources unfamiliar to you, and methods of analysis unfamiliar to you; therefore, another central component of this course is learning how to engage adaptively with new tools and contexts.