Curriculum

Film Studies

Why study Film Studies?

GCSE Film Studies will help you to develop many useful skills such as:

Analysis – You’ll never be able to watch a film again without analysing it. You will learn the skills of analysis which can be applied to many other subjects, English, History, Business Studies etc.

Communication and practical skills – You will work in groups to simulate film studio practices such as marketing, as well as creating your own film.

What will I learn about?

The main features of this GCSE are:

A chance for students to explore both popular mainstream and independent films as well as Global cinema.

The current films being studied are:  Submarine (2010), District 9 (2009)Hurt Locker (2008), Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1956), ET (1982) and Let the Right One In (2008)

There are opportunities to plan and make film sequences and screenplays. 

GCSE Film Studies explores how the film industries of Hollywood and Britain operate and considers the impact they have on all of our lives.

How will I be assessed?

GCSE Film Studies involves coursework and 2 final examination papers:

Paper 1 – 35%

  • US Film Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Section A: Q1 US film comparative study films produced between 1930 and 1960
  • Q2 films produced between 1961 and 1990
  • Section B: US independent film.


Paper 2 – 35%

  • Global Film Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 35% of qualification This assesses knowledge and understanding of three global films produced outside the US.
  • Section A: Contemporary UK film
  • Section B: One recent global English language film
  • Section C: One global non-English language film.


Coursework – 30%

You will produce an extract of a genre film and write a detailed evaluation of it.

What do employers think about the subject?

Employers will highly value this subject as it will demonstrate a student’s ability to be creative whilst being analytical. The skills that you will acquire through research and experience in lessons will allow you to become practitioners in whichever field you choose to go into.

What are the skills I will gain?

In addition to the knowledge and understanding learners gain from their GCSE study of film, they will also develop a range of literacy, communication, analytical, production, IT and other transferable skills. This will enable students to progress successfully to higher level study, whether that is in Film Studies, other related subjects or work environments.

Year -by-Year Subject Breakdown

Students will be given a taster of the units offered at GCSE while also being introduced to the key elements of film that will be studied throughout the course. During the year, students will undertake practical tasks such as:

  • Using cameras and phones to capture a variety of shot types and camera movement.
  • Designing and creating film storyboards as part of the first term’s exploration into the Superhero genre.
  • Watching the contemporary Bond film, ‘Skyfall’ (2012), and analysing the film’s style and place within the British Film Industry.
  • During the last term, students will independently record footage and use editing software to create their own horror film trailers.

In Year 10, students will study the 3 films from the Component 2: Global Film exam with each film focussing on a different study area. The 3 films studied and their focus areas are:

  • ‘Submarine’ (2010) – a coming-of-age comedy written and directed by comedian Richard Ayoade. Students will be required to study the film’s style and how the director uses the micro-elements to portray meaning around characters and themes.
  • ‘Let the Right One In’ (2008) – a Swedish horror film set during the 1980’s that uses the vampire genre to explore issues such as bullying and isolation. Students will be required to study representation and how the film presents groups of people within society.
  • ‘District 9’ (2009) – a science-fiction film that explores the aftermath of an alien species seeking refuge in Johannesburg, South Africa. Students will be required to study narrative and how the film’s plot is structured to reflect its social context.

 

Students will also complete the Component 3 production during year 10. This will require students to independently produce their own horror film extracts which will entail: 

  • Planning and storyboarding.
  • Selecting locations, costumes and props appropriate to the horror genre.
  • Recording footage in and outside of school.
  • Using editing software to collate footage, add title cards, music and sound effects.

 

Students will then be required to produce a detailed evaluation of their horror film extracts.

In Year 11, students will study 2 films comparatively and 1 independently from the Component 1: Key Developments in US Film exam. The films explored are: 

  • ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ (1956) – a science-fiction horror that reflected America’s Cold War paranoia through the invasion of ‘pod people’. Students will focus on all aspects of film form when studying this film.
  • ‘E.T’ (1982) – Steven Spielberg’s family classic that tells the story of a boy who befriends an extraterrestrial stranded on earth.  Students will focus on all aspects of film form when studying this film.
  • The emphasis of the comparative study will be on genre, narrative and context.


The independent film will be studied in relation to a piece of specialist writing. This film includes:

  • ‘The Hurt Locker’ (2008) – a tense thriller set during America’s occupation of Iraq that follows the members of a bomb disposal team. Students will be required to read and respond to a review that argues that the film glorifies war.

 

Students will also study the key developments in film and film technology timeline.