AAU Film Industry & Blaxploit

Description

As covered earlier in the course, you are required to write a Final Essay. You will submit your work by the end of this module.

Use the content covered in this course as well as your own independent research to answer the following question in 1500–2000 words:

How have advancements in technology changed cinematic style and technique? In consideration of the influence of home viewing and the digital revolution on audio-visual aesthetics, compare the approach to story, camerawork, and editing from a movie made in the 1970s (where we start the course) to one of a similar style and genre—it can be a remake—made in the 21st century (where we end the course).

Refer to and properly cite at least three outside sources in your work. Citations should be in MLA style.

Resources

Suggested Film-Dedicated Websites for Research

Guidelines for Writing

Your Final Essay should illustrate similarities and differences which you can describe in specific detail. Use verifiable examples from similar scenes in both films. (Providing web links to clips that demonstrate your findings is very helpful.) After examining what is the same and what is different in your films, think about the reasons for these similarities and differences. Conducting your own research and looking to the course modules covering the rise of home viewing in the 1980s and the rise of digital technology in the 1990s, consider how new advances, tools, and aesthetic approaches in both filmmaking and film viewing between the 1970s and the 2000s might have influenced the director’s decisions on set and in the editing room.

For example, perhaps in the first film you choose—from 1975, let’s say—a conversation between the two lead characters was shot in a wide, hand-held, long-take style. However, in a 2011 remake, that same conversation between the same two characters was shot with smooth dolly moves, many close-ups, and rapid-fire editing. It is your job to examine why. Why, in order to convey the same screenplay information, has the second director used completely different tools than the first director? If the second director instead did things mostly the same as the first one, then you will need to examine why that is the case. Whatever the case, your job is to first compare the aesthetics of each film and then examine if and how time and technology have influenced those aesthetics.

Therefore, you should construct an essay that focuses on how screenplay and story elements might have changed over time and how they are made into audio-visual experiences for the viewer via tools of directing—namely camerawork and editing. (Feel free to also include observations on lighting, production design, soundtrack, performance, and so forth.) However, be sure to not only concentrate on story. For example, you may write that the story in your first film has a lot of plot twists compared with the second one. That’s interesting, but if you stop there, all you are discussing is what the screenwriters did. What about the director? In this case, you would need to go on and describe how each director uniquely delivered those plot twists with their camerawork and editing (and any other pertinent audio-visual tools, like production design, sound, lighting, and so forth).

Purpose

To crystalize knowledge you have developed over the course of the semester in a research essay comparing films from two different periods in film history.

Tools

  • Text-editing software
  • Reference material
  • Due on 05/23

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