Film Studies is one of our newest GCSE options to join the curriculum within our KS4 curriculum, introduced in September 2020. As a school we believe in the technological advancement of the media industry and believe in the blend of technical skill and understanding alongside the transferable skills of analysis and comparison developed within the GCSE Film Studies option. Film Studies aims to inspire our creatively minded students, introducing them to a range of personal responses to the studied projects, from the emotional to the reflective as they are drawn into characters, their narratives and the issues films raise. The root of that power is the immersive audio-visual experience film offers – one which can exploit striking cinematography, composition and locations as well as powerful music and sound. It is not surprising that many consider film to be the major art form of the last hundred years and that many feel it important to study a medium which has such a significant influence on the way people think and feel.
Within the GCSE, students develop their knowledge of US mainstream film by studying one film from the 1950s and one film from the 1980s, thus looking at two stages in Hollywood’s development. In addition, students study more recent films: a US independent film as well as films from Europe, including the UK, South Africa and Australia. Production is an important part of Film Studies and is integral to our students’ study of film. Studying a diverse range of films from several different contexts is designed to give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding of how films are constructed to their own filmmaking and screenwriting. This is intended to support students in producing creative films and screenplays as well as enable their production work to provide an informed filmmaker’s perspective on their own study of film. The academic study of film is now well established and the frameworks for its study are broadly similar whether at GCSE, AS, A level or at higher education institutions. Our GCSE Film Studies aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the ways in which meanings and responses are generated through film, a contrasting, culturally diverse range of films from different national contexts, film as an aesthetic medium, how films reflect the social, cultural and political contexts in which they are made and the relationship between film and film technology over time. The study of GCSE Film Studies complements both English Literature, Language and Artistic subjects.