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The Graduate Film Review & Psycho Response Paper

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8/30/2017 BBC – GCSE Bitesize – Writing for moving images English Writing for moving images Planning to write text for moving images There are a number of types of writing that accompany moving images, like films or animations. You can: review a film write a script write the script for a voice­over think of words for a TV or online advert Always consider GAP when you plan your writing ­ genre, audience and purpose. Because then you’ll get the style right. The first thing you’ll need to do is to look at examples of the form you are going write in. This Revision Bite gives you two examples of moving­image assignments: 1. a film review 2. a voice­over Task 1: planning to write a film review As with any kind of writing, you need to start by identifying your genre, purpose, audience and style. The first step is to get familiar the genre (or form), so if you are planning to write a film review, start by reading some published film reviews. You can find film reviews on the BBC website, listed according to film genre. Notice what each review is doing and ask yourself what is the purpose of each review? A film review should have a number of purposes: 1/8 8/30/2017 BBC – GCSE Bitesize – Writing for moving images To inform. The review needs to tell people who is in the film, who it is by and where or when readers can see it. To describe. The review should describe the story, characters and some of the action ­ without spoiling the plot or giving too much away! To analyse. A good review gives an opinion on whether the film is good or not and why. To advise. Finally, the review should tell the reader whether or not to go and see the film. These different purposes will give you a basic structure for your writing. Task 1: structuring your film review All good reviews follow a similar structure. The following example gives a clear a indication of how a film review should be structured. The Golden Compass Reviewed by Stella Papamichael Free will is the object of the game in The Golden Compass, a big budget exercise in orienteering where witches and polar bears point the way to enlightenment. You’ll have to look between the CG seams to find the original intent of Philip Pullman’s atheistic novel, but this isn’t the overriding problem. It’s that writer/director Chris Weitz doesn’t convey a strong enough sense of purpose. Thank goodness for the star presence of Dakota Blue Richards. She is thoroughly engaging as Lyra, a young girl singled out in prophecy as ‘the one’ to save all others from some awful yet indeterminate fate. It all sounds a bit messianic really, except that organised religion, represented by The Magisterium, is a force for evil. Nicole Kidman does the ominous eyebrow lifting as a guardian of the 2/8 8/30/2017 BBC – GCSE Bitesize – Writing for moving images establishment who kidnaps children to wrest them from their ‘daemons’ (the animal sidekicks who embody their better judgment). Among the abductees is Lyra’s best friend, and so begins the voyage north to find him. Many questions raised Daniel Craig has little to do as Lyra’s scientifically minded uncle except hint at potential sequels. The draw is in a simple story of friendship and Lyra’s journey of self­ discovery. The line­up of curious characters she meets along the way helps to lighten to Pullman’s otherwise dark material. Sam Elliot is wryly amusing as a cowboy aeronaut and the spectacle of Lyra being carried across the arctic wastelands on the back of a polar bear (voiced by Ian McKellen) will appeal to the child in everyone. Towards the end, some impressively realised battle scenes up the excitement. Disappointingly though, all this magic and mystery fails to lead to any grand unveiling. There are just too many questions raised and not enough answered. Approach this not as a lesson in the facts of life, just a bit of childish escapism. The Golden Compass is out in the UK on 5 December 2007. Analysis of the review of The Golden Compass We can divide this review into three parts: 1. Introduction: this gives an overview of who is in the film and what it’s about. It also sums up the reviewer’s conclusion about the film (so readers can form an opinion without reading the whole of the review) 2. Paragraph 2: the reviewer then describes the plot and the action, while informing the reader which actor plays which role. 3. Paragraph 3: the reviewer then analyses the film, talking about the director and then the actors, looking at 3/8 8/30/2017 BBC – GCSE Bitesize – Writing for moving images good things as well as bad things. 4. Finally: the review informs the reader when the film is out (and sometimes, in a local review, where it can be seen). Task 1: audience and style Once you have understood the structure of your piece, you need to work out your style. Notice that the style of The Golden Compass review is established right at the beginning. It is personal, addressing the reader as “you” and using the kind of expressions that come up in a friendly chat (for example “Thank goodness for…”). While it is informal, its language is fairly adult, using a broad vocabulary. Notice advanced words like “indeterminate, messianic, ominous” and “disappointingly”. This is because the audience is young adults choosing to go out to the cinema. The simplest way of identifying the audience for your review is to choose a publication you want to write for, for example a particular newspaper or magazine. Ask yourself: Who is the target audience for the magazine? What vocabulary does the magazine use? TV and radio film reviews Films are also reviewed on TV or radio. These types of review often depend more on the personality of the reviewer. They can be fun to listen to or watch, but remember that your writing has to retain a purpose. You need to entertain your audience as well as inform them about the film. Have a look at examples on the BBC website: Film 2011 Mark Kermode’s Radio 5 Live reviews 4/8 8/30/2017 BBC – GCSE Bitesize – Writing for moving images Task 1: film language Finally, it’s important to use the right language for discussing films. Make sure you comment on some of the following: Performance: how the film is acted. Direction: how the story is told. Editing: how the parts of the film or action are put together. Cinematography: how the film looks (how it is photographed). Music and sound effects: how the music works with or against the pictures. Special effects: how the film uses unusual techniques such as computer­generated imagery (CGI)
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