Story of Film – Episode 6 – Sex and Melodrama

1953-1957: The Swollen Story: World Cinema Bursting at the Seams

Distracted School Day Feedback


  • My project aimed to show some of the distractions that take place in my distanced learning environment. I filmed this video with my friend Casey in order to include the added distractions of having a friend around while you try to do a task.


  • A distracted student fights against distractions to complete schoolwork.

Intent / Goals

  • My technical goal for this project was to include four edits (mine were standard cut, cutting on action, smash cut, and fade in/ fade out) that logically fit the flow of my video. My creative goal was to try adding my own music and new shots into the film.
  • I wanted my audience to feel a sense of distraction.


  • Editor and sound designer Walter Murch
  • What about them was interesting, compelling, and qualified them to be studied by you? Walter Murch is extremely qualified in editing, directing, writing, and sound design. His career in film began in 1969 and since then, he has won three Academy Awards, being called “the most respected film editor and sound designer in the modern cinema” by Roger Ebert, a highly acclaimed film critic.


  • 1. Did the edits help the story progress?
    2. Was the log line clearly portrayed?

Peer Feedback

  • Hunter: “The beginning made sense but toward the end things got confusing / less coherent”
  • Josie: “The drums in the background were good. The drums sped up as things got more hectic and matched the chaos of the video. Considering the log line, the cadywompus stuff could have been considered as a distraction.”
  • Mr. Favorite: “First shot was out of focus which made the video less good and took the viewer out of the story. Through the middle into the end, the story was not easy to understand.”

Evidence of Editing: “Spider-Man 2 – Stopping the Train Scene (7/10)”

  • What about editing language understanding did you notice?
  • Many rapid standard cuts caused the scene to have a lot of suspension and showed the mind of Peter Parker as he tried to find solutions in the environment around him to stop the train
  • Many J cuts were used with the music. Music that suggested that something bad or dramatic was going to occur played before that dramatic event would happen
  • Very heavy use of cutting on action were used which made the audience feel as though we were in the train ourselves
  • Cutaways to the back or bird’s eye view of the train allowed for the scene to feel more intense because it put the conflict into full perspective, revealing that it was causing damage to surrounding buildings as well as the train track
  • What did you like about the film clip?
  • Great shot at 0:10 where the camera is under the train track
  • Crowd reaction made us feel like we were rooting for Peter
  • Great job from Tobey Maguire by using charming and funny facial expressions and reactions
  • At 0:49 there is a great shot were the city seems to warp into the train track, making the track seem much more frightening then it actually is
  • Body language conveys a great mix of suspense and comedy
  • Write what you learned from this week’s exercises?
  • I learned what the 7 key rules of editing are and how they are used
  • I also learned how to identify different editing techniques in a movie scene and why they were used in that scene


Spider-Man 2 – Stopping the Train Scene (7/10) | Movieclips

J and L Cut Notes

  • J Cut: The scenes audio precedes the image
  • L Cut: Audio from one shot carries over to the next
  • Used to create more natural dialogue scenes
  • Without J and L cuts a dialogue scene can seem cold or mechanical which can be an effective stylistic choice
  • J Cuts can make a scene feel urgent by cutting a scene short
  • L Cuts can drag a scene out
  • J and L cuts create significance by showing images associated with the audio
  • Cuts
  • Cutting on Action: Cutting shots while the character is still in action
  • Cut Away: Cutting to an insert shot, can be used to show the thoughts of a character
  • Cross Cut: Cutting between locations, can increase tension, also used to see thoughts of a character
  • Jump Cut: A cut between the same shot, showing the passage of time, can make the scene look hurried
  • Match Cut: Cuts from one shot to a similar shot by matching the action or the composition, can be used in dialogue
  • Transitions
  • Fade in / fade out: Dissolving to or from black
  • Dissolve: Blending a shot into another
  • Smash Cut: Intense transitions. Intense to quiet or vice versa.
  • Iris: Opening and closing the iris of the lens to transition from and into black
  • Wipe: One edge becomes a new scene, wiping across the old scene. Can include other shapes.
  • Invisible Cut: Gives the illusion of a single take by pointing the camera at darkness and bringing it out of that same darkness for the second take. The same effect can be achieved with the camera movement instead of darkness.
  • Transitions can be combined for great effect


  • We will be learning how to combine different transitions and cuts next month.

Story of Film -Episode 5 – Post-War Cinema

1939-1952: The Devastation of War…And a New Movie Language

60 Second Film: Ballin to the Extreme


This film is about shooting hoops. My goals for this film were to shoot fun video clips with my friends and to learn how to use the basic features of the Shotcut film editing software.

Feedback Question

  • Did the film have enough substance?
  • Was the film edited well?


“love the start – ball to the camera catches our attention. shaky camera work, fast cuts, and finger in the lens at one point a bit hard to watch for extended time… low substance I agree. Joyful mood” – Brian Favorite. Paraphrased: “Create a story line and take influence from strong messages to incorporate into the film”

“The film has a lot of substance but there wasn’t a lot of a story to the idea. I liked the editing and I think it was done well”. – Naomi Barer (fellow student in my class)

“I like the comedic aspect of it when u intentionally missed and showed a clip of a make”. – Cooper Carlson (fellow student in my class)

Story of Film – Episode 4 – The Arrival of Sound

Episode 4 – The Arrival of Sound[edit]

The 1930s: The Great American Movie Genres…

Film Analysis: Across the Universe


  • I choose Across the Universe, a musical/romance the features Beatles song, to analyse because I like the music of the Beatles a lot.

Film Analysis

Film TitleAcross the Universe
DirectorJulie Taymor
If you could work on this film (change it), what would you change and why?I wouldn’t have named the characters by the names of Beatles songs because it didn’t add to the story add just made it cheesy.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who is the protagonist?Jude, a young British worker
2. Who is the antagonist?Dr. Robert
3. What is the conflict?The Vietnam War.
4. What is the theme? (summarize in one or two words)Learn more…Romantic musical
5. How is the story told (linear, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, at regular intervals)Learn more…Regular Intervals
6. What “happens” in the plot (Brief description)?Jude joins the navy and jumps ship in order to find his father who he had never met. He finds him at an ivy league college and while he was there he meets Max and Lucy, Max’s sister. Lucy’s boyfriend dies in the Vietnam War and all three of them move to New York. While there they begin to live in New York, Max is drafted into the war and many anit-war war protests occur in the streets.
7. How does the film influence particular reactions on the part of viewers (sound, editing,
characterization, camera movement, etc.)? Why does the film encourage such
The film encourages a suspicion for Dr. Robert by portraying him as a kind of hippie king pin. He acts very confident and is filmed in very strong, psychedelic, multi colored, and saturated lighting making the viewer feel as though he has those around him in some kind of trance. He is given the song “I am the Walrus” by the Beatles. The lyrics of this song make him sound like some kind of twisted mastermind, which appealed to the crowd. Later on in the film, it becomes clear that Robert had actually been using his influence and psychedelic drugs to entice women to fall for him.
8. Is the setting realistic or stylized? What atmosphere does the setting suggest? Do
particular objects or settings serve symbolic functions?Learn more…
The setting is stylized to make it look overly colorful at some times and at others to make it look like an illusion. The colorful and surreal scenes are meant to look like a burst of the hippie culture of the 60s. In parts of the movie where heavy visual affects are used to warp the setting, it is meant to show the greater significance and tragedy of the scene, notably in Max’s recruitment scenes and medical scenes. Jude used strawberries to represent the lives of the soldiers who were fighting in Vietnam.
9. How are the characters costumed and made-up? What does their clothing or makeup reveal about their social standing, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or age? How do costume and makeup convey character?Learn more…Jude is clothed in working class British coats. Max is introduced in casual clothing that is similar to his friends at the university but he later takes up the hippie outfits of his New York room mates. Jude keeps wearing his working class coats throughout the movie unlike the other characters which shows his attachment to his life in Britain and the other characters’ embrace of their new life in New York.
10. How does the lighting design shape our perception of character, space, or mood?Learn more…The lighting in the movie often accurately shows the underlying mood of the scene. In a sweet moment by the sea with Jude and Lucy, the lighting is soft and golden. It makes the surrounding dock wrecks somewhat scenic. This in turn makes the scene Jude and Lucy’s escape from the troubling events that were occurring in the world in that time.
11. How do camera angles and camera movements shape our view of characters or spaces? What do you see cinematically?Learn more…In dramatic scenes like the strike at the buildings in New York, the camera appropriately moves around the action and creates an energetic and chaotic effect. It emphasizes the anger of the people in the scene. In other scenes, the camera follows a character who has left the action, adding a depth of emotion to an otherwise straight forward scene.
12. What is the music’s purpose in the film? How does it direct our attention within the image? How does it shape our interpretation of the image? What stands out about the music?Learn more…The music serves as a template to build upon in order to express a particular character of group of character’s feelings in that given time. The originally feel of many of the Beatles songs used in the film are given new meanings with the original covers and ways that they were used in the film.
13. How might industrial, social, and economic factors have influenced the film? Describe how this film influences or connects to a culture?Learn more…The film portrays the political climate of the 1960s. It shows the protests toward the Vietnam war and the devastating effects of the war with one of the main characters, Max, being drafted, and the death of Lucy’s first boyfriend in the war. The film also touches on the civil rights movement and the death of Martin Luther King Jr.
14. Give an example of what a film critic had to say about this film.Use credible sources and cite sourcesExample: “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review (1994) | Roger Ebert.” All
Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2015.Find good sources…
“Nothing’s gonna change my world” Roger Ebert. All content. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 September 2007. “This isn’t one of those druggy 1960s movies, although it has what the MPAA shyly calls “some” drug content. It’s not grungy, although it has Joe Cocker in it. It’s not political, which means it’s political to its core. Most miraculous of all, it’s not dated; the stories could be happening now, and in fact, they are.”
15. Select one scene no longer than 5 minutes that represents well the whole film and shows relevant cinematic elements. Explain why.PLACE THE TIME STAMP FROM THE SCENE HERE… Example: 0:33:10 – 0:36:40
16. In the selected scene: write a sentence for each of the elements below:
a. Screenwriting:Switches back and forth from American soldiers fighting in Vietnam African Americans getting attacked by police, and the funerals of the victims of both events.
b. Sound Design:Captures violence, screaming, and explosions.
c. Camera Movements:Changes on different subjects in order to show the event.
d. Light Setup:Uses natural outdoor lighting and natural lighting from church windows.
e. Soundtrack:A cover of “Let it Be” by the Beatles.
18. What’s the socio-cultural context of this film?Learn more…Compares the tragedy and the grief and loss that is felt by both victims of the Vietnam War and African Americans who had had their rights infringed upon by police and the government.

Mr. Le Duc’s Film Analysis Resources

Film Analysis: Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Film Title: Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Year: 2009
Director: Steve Carr
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Comedy

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who is the protagonist?Paul Blart.
2. Who is the antagonist?Veck Simms.
3. What is the conflict?The mall is being robbed.
4. What is the theme or central, unifying concept? (summarize in one or two words)Underdog.
5. How is the story told (linear, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, at regular intervals)Linear.
6. What “happens” in the plot (Brief description)?Blart embarrasses himself on numerous occasions in order to impress a woman. When Simms and his goons attack, Blart gets a chance to prove himself.
7. How does the film influence particular reactions on the part of viewers (sound, editing,
characterization, camera movement, etc.)?Why does the film encourage such
Laughter is encouraged through physical comedy. Blart’s underdog nature makes the audience root for him. When he accomplishes something great, it is very unexpected and thrilling for the audience.
8. Is the setting realistic or stylized?What atmosphere does the setting suggest?Do particular objects or settings serve symbolic functions?The setting is realistic. It is a normal mall atmosphere. Blart’s segway represents him as a person. It is a slow, un-sleek vehicle that rises the user above the ground, just as Blart often sees his minor authoritative powers as greater than they actually are.
9. How are the characters costumed and made-up?What does their clothing or makeup reveal about their social standing, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or age?How do
costume and makeup convey character?
Blart’s mall cop uniform makes him a very average looking character. Towards the end of the robbery of the mall, Blart changes into an all black uniform. This marks Blart’s increase in confidence and wit after he had cleverly come up with ways to defeat some of the robbers while impressing his friends.
10. How does the lighting design shape our perception of character, space, or mood?When Blart is going through a moment of deep focus, courage, or ingenuity, the lighting focuses in on him and gets more serious.
11. How do camera angles and camera movements shape our view of characters or spaces?What do you see cinematically?The camera shots often switch from one character to another. This is very present in scenes where Blart is fighting the robbers. This shooting style makes scenes dynamic and makes the audience feel as if they are in the action.
12. What is the music’s purpose in the film?How does it direct our attention within the
image?How does it shape our interpretation of the image?What stands out about the music?
The music emphasizes strong emotions. When Blart was thinking about how he blew it with his crush at the bar, a heartfelt, sad song played. When Blart was preparing to take on the rest of the robbers in his new uniform, “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group played. This song showed Blart’s mood because it was a song that meant buisness.
13. How might industrial, social, and economic factors have influenced the film?Describe how this film influences or connects to a culture?This film shows that the average person, in this case a mall cop, can become a hero if they are challenged and if they have the bravery to stand up to that challenge.
14. Give an example of what a film critic had to say about this filmUse credible sources and cite sourcesExample: “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review (1994) | Roger Ebert.” All
Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2015.
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop Movie Review (2009).” All Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 January 2009. “What’s even more amazing, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” isn’t “wholesome” as a code word for “boring.” It’s as slam-bang preposterous as any R-rated comedy you can name. It’s just that Paul Blart and the film’s other characters don’t feel the need to use the f-word as the building block of every sentence. They rely on the rest of the English language, which proves adequate.”
15. Select one scene no longer than 5 minutes that represents well the whole film and shows relevant cinematic elements.Write a one-sentence description of the scene and record the time of the scene. Example, from 1:05:00 to 1:10:00.Explain why you chose this scene.0:00:00 to 0:03:06. In this film, Blart almost completes a police academy obstacle course, but he fails due to his hypoglycemia. I choose this scene because it shows the general pattern of the movie. Blart starts at a disadvantage. He is clearly shorter than the other trainees and in poorer shape as well. He rises to the occasion and makes it through most of the course with ease where others struggled. But in the end, his hypoglycemia takes him down and he fails the course.
16. In the selected scene: write a sentence for each of the elements below to justify why this scene best represents the film:
a. Screenwriting:The scene’s lack of dialogue and focus on physical movements cleverly tells a story without words.
b. Sound Design:The audio of Blart’s heavy breathing and the leading officer’s voice are the only non-musical things captured in the scene which again represents Blart’s disadvantages and the great task that he faces.
c. Camera Movements/Angles:The scene is shot like a training montage with many slow motion shot which makes subject matter of the event seem like it is more important than it actually is.
d. Light Setup:Natural outdoor lighting is used and later on, when Blart is at home, the lighting just looks like the typical lighting of a house at night.
e. Soundtrack/Score:The choice of music makes the scene feel like it is on the verge of greatness only to be let down.
18. What’s the socio-cultural context of this film?Blart is very much a common working man who has the disadvantage of hypoglycemia, so when he rises to great challenges, he become the hero of the every man.

This worksheet was developed with ideas from many IB Film teachers, thus should remain in the Creative Commons

Film – Week 14 – Intro to Analysis


“Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner” by classic film scans is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Analysis gave me great freedom of emotions and fantastic confidence. I felt I had served my time as a puppet.”

Hedy Lamarr – Read about 1930s actress Hedy Lamarr-inventor of cellphones, Wi-Fi and GPS


  • This week I watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop and filled out an IB analysis for it.


After Watching The Film…


Image from
  • Some tips that I picked up from this guide to remain calm are finding reliable sources online to eat good food and to find my window of tolerance. I learned that one’s window of tolerance is when your mind is clear and calm. This can boost your efficiency and problem-solving ability.



  • I solved the problem of finding a good scene in my movie to use to analyze different film making techniques