Film – Week 13 – Changes


“The most honest form of filmmaking is to make a film for yourself.”

― Peter Jackson,  Link


  • This week, I watched the Story of Film Episode 2 and I completed the Production portion of Sneakonthelot. I also learned how to combat negative thinking.


Screenshot from
Screenshot from


Screenshot from The Story of Film Trailer on NetworkReleasing YouTube channel



Worksheet from
  • My negative thought is that I feel bad about not helping my mom enough in the kitchen. My distress level is a 4/10. The distortion category is Should Statements. By challenging this negative thought I will make sure to help my mom in the kitchen. My distress level is now a 2/10.


  • I learned what happens in film production and the order of the steps that must take place. I also learned some of the origins of Hollywood styles and some of the pioneers of those styles.
  • I solved the problem of scoring poorly on the Production quiz in Sneakonthelot.


Story of Film – Episode 3 – The Golden Age of World Cinema

1918-1932: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World

Comparative Study Worksheet 2020-21

“Film scripts for sale in Soho! #newyork #newyorkcity #nyc #movies” by Nat Ireland is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


A guide to planning, researching, and creating your Film Comparative Study

  • Follow the directions for each step below
  • Include for your work where it is required

Student Work

HLBrad’s PostDexter’s PostSam’s PostJustin’s PostDylan’s PostNeil’s PostLaari’s PostSatchel’s PostJadee’s PostChet’s PostSL (or not testing this year)Hunter’s PostAvian’s PostReece’s PostEthan’s PostCaleb’s PostNick’s Post

Steps and Tasks

  1. Brainstorm possible films for the task. You must select TWO films from contrasting cultural contexts.
  2. Brainstorm and justify at least three different areas of FILM FOCUS for your two chosen films.
  3. Brainstorm and justify at least two different CULTURAL CONTEXTS for your two chosen films.
  4. Consolidate your ideas and develop at least three different RESEARCH QUESTION topics for your study.
  5. Finalize your choices and select your RESEARCH QUESTION. Choose two films for comparison.
  6. Develop the main arguments you will make about your topic.
  7. Collect evidence from the films that support your argument.
  8. Research secondary sources for information that supports your argument.
  9. Write your Narration and plan the audio-visual components of your video essay.
  10. Recordassemble, and edit your Comparative Study Video Essay.
  11. Create a Works Cited document (separately) once your Comparative Study is finished.

Guidance for Your Work

“Simple formative analysis of film elements, no matter how precise or insightful, won’t cut it which is why the research question needs to be crafted in such a way that it provides scope for theoretical and socio-historic exploration. It’s basically an EE in disguise but focusing on two very different textual sources.”

Comparative Study Task Components

For this assessment task, each student identifiesselects, and researches each of the following task components.

  1. TASK 1: One area of film focus.
  2. TASK 2: Two films for comparison from within the chosen area of film focus, one of which originates from a contrasting time (historical) or space (geographical) to the personal context of the student, and the other film identified for comparison must arise from a contrasting cultural context to the first film. Students are required to select films they have not previously studied in depth. The selected films cannot come from the prescribed list of film texts provided for the textual analysis assessment task and, once selected, the films cannot be used by the student in any other assessment task for the DP film course or the extended essay.
  3. TASK 3: A clearly defined topic for a recorded multimedia comparative study, which links both the selected films and the identified area of film focus. Each student should invest time in researchingdeveloping, and honing their topic (which in most cases is likely to be expressed in the form of a research question) to ensure it is clear, focused and concise, in order to provide them with the maximum potential for success in this task. The topic should seek to enrich the student’s understanding of the chosen area of film focus and should avoid a plot-driven approach to the comparison.

The assessment criteria for this task requires students to provide a strong justification for the choice of task components as part of the recorded multimedia comparative study. This includes the student’s justification for how films arise from contrasting cultural contexts.

1. FILM Choices List

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  10min
Which films are you considering for your final Comparative Study? List as many as you wish below as part of an initial brainstorm. Remember that you must select ​​TWO​​ films from contrasting cultural contexts for this task.e.g. CITIZEN KANEYear, Country, and Director of the film.e.g. 1941, USA, Dir: Orson Welles
Forrest Gump 1994, USA, Dir: Robert Zemeckis
19172019, USA, Dir: Sam Mendes
To Hell and Back 1955, USA, Dir: Jesse Hibbs

2. Areas of FILM FOCUS

Film Focus Possibility – identify the broad focus area and then add specifics (e.g. “THEORY – Auteur theory” or “GENRE – Horror”). Develop at least THREE options…you can create more by adding more rows.Justification for this Film Focus. Be as specific as possible.
GENRE – ActionIn all of the film options listed above in step 1, wars are the focal point of the story.
STYLE – Documentary1917 and To Hell and Back are both documentaries of WW1 and WW2. Forrest Gump is fiction but it still tells the story of the Vietnam War.
THEORY – New HistoricismAll of the Films in Step 1 feature different perspectives on historical wars.


  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  5min

For this assessment task, “cultural context” involves consideration of some of the following factors, some of which may be blended (such as socioeconomic factors).

  • Economic, Geographical, Historical, Institutional, Political, Social, Technological
Identify at least TWO Cultural Context possibilities for your chosen films.Justification for this Cultural Context. Be as specific as possible.
HistoricalAll of the films in Step 1 show historic wars and their impacts on the world.
GeographicalSince all of the films in Step 1 feature wars, they also feature they geography of those wars.

4. RESEARCH QUESTION Possibilities

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  15min

Consolidate your thoughts above and develop at least ​THREE​​ different research question possibilities. More are possible by adding additional rows to the table below. FYI these will be shared with the full class for discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

Your Chosen Area of Film FocusTopic for Comparative Study (written as a research question)
Cultural Context – GeographicalHow does the geographical location of the story effect the mood of the story?
Genre – ActionWhat challenges do the protagonists in these movies have to face and how do they grow by overcoming them?
Cultural Context – HistoricalHow do the historical time periods of the films affect the architecture, weaponry, and clothing of the films?

5. Final Decisions

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  20min

Using your topic options in the table above, select ​ONE​​ to be your final topic for this Comparative Study task. NOTE: There are examples from the IB of what this should look like below this table.

Your Chosen Area of Film FocusFilm 1Film 2Contrasting Cultural ContextTopic for Comparative Study practice task (written as a research question)
Genre – Action1917To Hell and Back1917 takes place during WW1 and features to British soldiers who cross over enemy lines in order to send a message that could save the lives of 1,600 fellow troops. To Hell and Back takes place during WW2 and features Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of WW2. How do the protagonists in each of these movies follow the Hero’s Journey?

6. Developing Your Topic

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
Develop 3-5 main arguments that can be made about your topic based on your research question and chosen film focus.Brainstorm how you could support these arguments within your video essay.
The story begins with the protagonists leaving the familiar in order to accomplish a set goal.In 1917, the protagonists leave the safety of their base in order to send a message that could potentially save 1600 fellow troops. In To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy leaves his small Texas hometown in order to support his family with his military earnings.
The protagonists in both movies must face the tragedies of war.In 1917, the protagonists traverse barren, war-scarred battlefields, encounter the dead, and witness death. Lance Cpl. Schofield must witness the death of his fellow soldier, Lance Cpl. Blake. In To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy must face the death of his fellow soldiers.
The protagonists in both movies are quickly elevated in battle strength due to the grit they have gained and hardships they have dealt with.In 1917, both Lance Cpl. Blake and Lance Cpl. Schofield gain sharper reflexes. After the death of Lance Cpl. Blake, Lance Cpl. Schofield gains a relentless spirit to deliver his message to the other soldiers. In To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy’s bravery and natural leadership place him in stressful and difficult situations where he proves his bravery. Since he is one of the younger captains, he compensates by becoming one of the best.
The protagonists return to a sense of familiarity and gain a sense of completion for their efforts.In 1917, Lance Cpl. Schofield is able to save the lives of many men by sending his message. He is able to deliver the tragic news of Lance Cpl. Blake’s death to Blake’s brother. The movie ends with Schofield sitting against a large tree in a field of grass. These plant growths are a stark contrast to the death and barren battlefields that Schofield has traveled through throughout the film.

7. Selecting Supporting Evidence (Primary)

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  90min
Identify at least 15 scenes from your chosen films that will help support the arguments you have outlined above. Screen clip a frame from each scene below.Write notes about how this scene helps support your argument. (These notes will help form your voice-over narration.)
To Hell and Back: After calling the navy, Murphy uses a burning machine gun to wipe out the entire opposing force at that location. Murphy gets shot in the hip.This is Murphy’s most heroic act in the story and the shot to his hip would end his career as a soldier and send him home to receive his awards for his service.
To Hell and Back: Murphy’s mother passes away.This event causes Murphy to join the Army, leaving behind everything that he was familiar with.
To Hell and Back: Murphy stays behind to call in the positions of the enemy tanks in order for the american navy to fire at them.This action sets Murphy apart from the other soldiers, putting him in a league of his own when it come to bravery.
To Hell and Back: Murphy is put in charge of a group of soldiers who are older than him.This begins Murphy’s journey as a leader in the military.
To Hell and Back: Lt. Murphy is awarded three purple hearts, a bronze star metal with a bronze service arrowhead, a legion of merit, two silver star metals, the distinguished service cross, and from the French government the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and two Croix de guerre medals.This is the end of the story. Murphy is awarded for his heroism and bravery. He has accomplished what he set out to do at the beginning of the story and he has done above and beyond that as well.
To Hell and Back: Murphy shoots a mirror that shows a reflection of himself.This action shows how tense Murphy has become and it also represents Murphy’s willingness to sacrifice himself in order to protect his fellow troops.
To Hell and Back: After the death of his fellow soldier, Murphy wipes out the entire opposing force at that location.This is a great loss for Murphy and he uses his rage to strategically rush the opposing forces. Up until this point in the story, this is Murphy’s most heroic act.
1917: Lance Cpl. Blake reluctantly agrees to go on the mission with Lance Cpl. Schofield. They are told that they are walking into a trap.This is the beginning of the story and the protagonists’ departure from the familiarity of their base. They proceed despite the low odds of their survival.
1917: Lance Cpl. Blake and Lance Cpl. Schofield set off trip mines.This scene increases the protagonists’ awareness of their dangerous landscape and helps to prepare them for the journey ahead. Blake suffers a leg injury.
1917: Lance Cpl. Schofield crosses a damaged bridge while being fired at by the Germans.This scene is a great obstacle for Schofield because in order to cross the bridge he had be extremely courageous by potentially revealing himself to the enemy.
1917: Lance Cpl. Schofield reaches a burning church.This setting represents the damage and horrors that war causes and that Schofield has had to endure throughout his journey. The church represents peace, familiarity, and holiness. The ruined and burning state that it is left in shows the destruction of the war.
1917: Lance cpl. Blake is killed by a wounded German who Both Lance cpl. Blake and Lance cpl. Schofield were trying to help.This is a turning point for Lance cpl. Schofield because his trust is eroded after the betrayal of the German. He also must carry on the mission by himself.
1917: Lance cpl. Schofield makes it to the other ally troops only to find out that Colonel Mackenzie is 300 yds down the tranch. Lance cpl. Schofield then heroically runs across the battlefield with men dying and shells going off all around him.This scene is a great test of Lance cpl. Schofield because after all he has gone through and all of the times that he put his life on the line, he must risk his life once again and convince Colonel Mackenzie to call of the attack.
1917: Scholfield delivers the sad news of the passing of Blake to Blake’s brother.This scene shows Schofield relieving himself of the doubt that he may not be able to find Blake’s brother to tell of his brother’s death and return his brother’s belongings.
1917: Lance cpl. Schofield rests against a large tree, knowing that he will get to see his significant other soon.This is the end of the story and the completion of Schofield’s mission. He returns to the familiarity of a large tree in a grass field after having to march throughout barren, war torn landscapes for great periods of time.

*Add more rows as needed.

8. Selecting Supporting Evidence (Secondary)

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
Identify at least 3-5 secondary sources (articles, books, websites, video essays, etc.) which provide information that help support your arguments being made. In this column include the specific source citations.Summarize the detailed information from the secondary source that you can use in this column. (You can copy+paste if they are from online sources.)
New York Times article – ‘1917’ Turns a Horrific War Into an Uplifting Hero’s Journey
This source argues that the British military authorities had little regard for the lives of their men and saw them as expendable. This is reflected in parts of 1917 and helps to explain many of the obstacles that stood in the protagonists’ way.
To Hell and Back, novel versionThis source entails the heroic life and feats of Audie Murphy and is the source that the film To Hell and Back was adapted from.
USO Article – Audie Murphy: To Hell and Back
This article entails the military career and heroic feats of Audie Murphy.

*Add more rows as needed.

9. Writing Your Narration

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 

Using the information, scene choices, and external sources you have compiled in steps 6-8, you will now write your voiceover narration and match it up to your chosen visual examples.

Length (</= 10 Minutes)

  • For the final Comparative Study, your narration should be no longer than 10 minutes in length.

Remember that you need to:

  • COMPARE and CONTRAST your two chosen film using the arguments and evidence you identified in parts 6-8, above
  • Begin your narration with a detailed justification for the chosen cultural contrast
  • Use an equal balance of the two selected films.
  • Write in a third-person voice to construct your argument (similar in tone to your Extended Essay and other
    comparative analytical work you have written in Film class).
  • Identify where any WRITTEN TEXT will appear on the screen and highlight this (to reference during the
    creation/editing stage)
Which Visual Evidence/Scenes line up to this part of the narration?Voiceover Narration Ideas

Formatting Guidelines

Screenshot from

10. Assembling the Comparative Study

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 

Now you will collect all media resources needed for the task and construct your video essay.


  • Import the digital copy of your chosen films into editing software
  • Identify and extract chosen scenes and clips
  • Place and edit clips into a rough timeline for your video essay
  • Record audio narration (both partners should participate in narrating this practice task)
    into an audio file using recording equipment (Zoom recorders, iPhone, DSLR Rode video
    mic, etc.)
  • Import your recorded narration audio file into your project timeline
  • Assemble, edit and fine-tune clips and narration until your video essay takes shape
  • Create and add any required textual information in the timeline (including black slate at the start)
  • Audio mixing of narration and movie clips (adjust levels so that narration and movie sounds complement each other)
  • Export the final video essay movie file
    • Upload Unlisted draft to YouTube for peer review

11. Create Works Cited

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
  • Create Works Cited list separately (Google Doc)

Examples of Possible Task Components

Area of film focusFilm 1Film 2A possible topic for comparative study
Film movement: German ExpressionismThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)Edward Scissorhands (1990)How and with what effect are specific film elements of German expressionism used within a chosen contemporary film?
Film movement: French New WaveBreathless (1960)Badlands (1973)The influence of the French New Wave on New Hollywood’s use of innovative film elements in its representation of youth and violence.
Film genre and film style: Black comedyNo. 3 (1997)The Big Lebowski (1998)To what extent do “black comedy” films differ according to cultural context?
Film theory: Soviet MontageBattleship Potemkin (1925)Koyaanisqatsi (1982)To what extent are specific features of Soviet montage theory faithfully employed in a contemporary experimental film?

External Assessment Criteria SL and HL

Peer Review Checklist

__Assemble Findings
__Develop a personal and critically reflective perspective
__Identify and gather appropriate audio-visual material to support the study
__Justify the chosen topic and selected films
__Make sure that the text is in a formal academic register (can be in the 1st person)
__The balance between visual and spoken elements
__Make clear reference to your sources as on-screen citations (text on-screen)
__Make sure the primary weight of evidence for the study from the two chosen films
__Make sure each film is given equal consideration
__Make sure film language information is communicated clearly throughout (avoid “to be” verbs – make statements like “blah is this.”)
__Make sure information is communicated logically rooted in film language
__Have another student highlight the WHAT WHY HOW in your draft screenplay
__Recorded voice and edited commentary numerous times until happy with the material
__Make sure your name and the school’s name ARE NOT IN THE ESSAY
__Make sure to have 10-second title card with:1. Area of film focus2. Titles of the two films for comparison3. The chosen topic
__Include breaks in your recorded commentary to enable other audio-visual material included in the study to be clearly heard (if needed)
__Make sure film clip length matches points being made
__Make sure still images have citations on-screen if you have them
__Make sure text on-screen is legible and spelled correctly
__Make sure information is communicated audibly (levels are good for all sound)
__Make sure information is communicated visually appropriate manner
__Make sure background music is from Creative Commons and is cited
__Make sure edits are clean
__Make sure the presentation is 10 minutes maximum, including title card and credits
__Make sure two films are listed in sources

Story of Film – Episode 2 – The Hollywood Dream

2009 River Walk Ball Ornament
“2009 River Walk Ball Ornament” by JD Hancock is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Notes (The following material is from Wikipedia)

1918-1928: The Triumph of American Film…

…And the First of its Rebels

Film – Week 11 – Updating Workflow – Mind Like Water

Fun With Water Drops - 6
“Fun With Water Drops – 6” by Cayusa is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

“‘Be shapeless and formless.. like water’ (Bruce Lee)” by is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Have a mind like water.”

― David Allen,  GTD


  • After this week, I have learned about the origins of film and how it has evolved over time by watching The Story of Film: Episode 1. I have also gained some knowledge and experience with creating some of the different kinds of scripts in film making by doing the Sneakonthelot project.


Screenshot from
Screenshot from


Screenshot from The Story of Film Trailer on NetworkReleasing YouTube channel



Image from
  • I use the Trello app to help boost Dopamine because it is a to-do list. I listen to music sometimes when I am doing school work which can help boost Oxycontin. I throw the football outside with my friend which helps boost Serotonin. And, I frequently eat spicy food which boosts Endorphins.


  • This week, I faced the problem of trying to format my blog post for The Story of Film: Episode 1. I was able to solve this problem by finding that bulleted items in Edublogs indent if you press space.


Film – Week 10 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 2

Working Hard
“Working Hard” by cindy47452 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Image from

Teens are overwhelmed, partly because they don’t yet have the skills to manage the unprecedented amount of stuff that enters their brains each day.  – from

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

― David Allen, (GTD) Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World


  • This week I learned the GTD process and I also learned how to organize my tasks and school assignments using the Trello website. I have also learned about the benefits of staying present in the moment by watching David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”.


Screenshot from
Screenshot from


Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

You are going to learn to develop your own version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) process in this ‘room.’

  • I have learned that it is important to write down things that you need to do rather than try to remember all of those things because our brains aren’t designed to keep track of ideas, they are designed to create ideas. Walking is a good way to generate a list of what needs to be done because it clears away distractions while releasing serotonin. “Crisis evokes serenity” – David Allen.


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

Examine Two GTD Maps: Basic and Detailed

GTD-based Trusted System

Image from



Image from
Image from


  • Projects: Add to IA in Math, Complete the Story of Film
  • Inbox: Email teachers for retake
  • Next Actions: Take out the trash, Register for IB tests, Do laundry, Rake the yard
  • Waiting for: Walk the dog, Help mom make dinner, Wash dishes
  • Done: Complete Chemistry retake
  • Someday/Maybe: Go to a movie in person



  • I have learned how to use the Trello website to organize ideas. I have also learned how to use the GTD system in order to keep track of tasks that need to be completed.
  • I have solved the problem of how to organize my tasks and assignments in an organized fashioned and how to deal with organizing incoming assignments.


Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1

“working” by dsevilla is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
    • Coming soon!  Check back later in the week 🙂

“Day 092/366 – To Do List” by Great Beyond is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Your toughest work is defining what your work is! –  Peter Drucker


  • I have reflected upon and reviewed my process for getting things done. I have also learned new ways that are effective in getting things done.



Image of David Allen at TED Talk
Screenshot from David Allen TED Talk


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
  • I must complete:
  • Math homework
  • Math IA paper
  • English Performance Project
  • This Blog


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
  • This Blog
  • English Performance Project
  • Math homework
  • Math IA paper



David Allen image
Oct. 2020 Lucidchart interview with David Allen
Image from FastCompany Magazine,
Image from FastCompany Magazine,
  • The GTD process can help me complete all the assignments that I need to do by reminding me of why I am doing the assignments. The process can also help me to stay focused and on track with what I’m doing.
  • I have reflected on things that I need to focus on while I am working on my assignments. Some of these things are, correct grammar in my math paper, quality assurance in my math homework, and speaking with clarity for my English poetry presentation.

OPTIONAL EXERCISE – Literally, read the article and go for another walk 🙂

 Katia Verresen homepage
Katia Verresen,

“I coach C-suite executives and rising stars from the earliest startups to Fortune 100 companies. My passion is to help ambitious leaders achieve their full human potential.”  – Read more about Katia…


  • Write only a few sentences of WHAT YOU LEARNED
  • In one or two sentences, describe a PROBLEM YOU SOLVED


  • Give feedback on this week’s class Content and Process