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Remember how much you must know

Responding to NCEA exams

MEDIA STUDIES RESPONSE TO FILM

How to respond to the NCEA questions:

DO NOT describe the scene or plot – all this shows is that you have watched the film it does not demonstrate that you have analysed or engaged with the text.
DO break the scene into its components – that is deconstruct the film.
THEN reconstruct the film with added value – that is provide your insights into the film by commenting on things like:
• How does the scene relate to the film as a whole.
• How technical elements relate to other technical elements within the scene.
• How one component of the film relates to another component of the film e.g. how does dialogue relate to the characterisation.
• How a technical element relates to a component within the film. e.g. how does lighting relate to the Horror genre.
You are demonstrating how the film is put together by organising your analysis around an argument. Imagine you are trying to convince your reader that the film experience was worthwhile…

The Components:
• Genre
• Narrative
• Editing
• Sound Track
Genre:
There are many examples of genre – horror – westerns- romance – Science Fiction – War etc.
A genre is a means of telling a story within established conventions.
Remember that Genres change with time as a reflection of the society from which they come. Change also emerges as Directors play with the genre in order to add to its attraction.
Narratives:
This is what is told
Narration is how it is told through the technical, costume, editing & lighting factors.
Note that the story includes the back stories and sub plots in the narrative.
Editing:
This is important to a film – as it is the grammar of the scenes and shots. You read a film by looking at the editing and where the edits occur so you can analyse the effect and purpose.
Editing re-orders film from the points where it was filmed and selects the ideal shots from the footage to get the optimum effect.

Editing organises space – cuts between distance in the action.
Organises time by varying the duration of shots.

The pace of editing implies movement in time and space.

Sound Track:
All that is heard on the film – includes dialogue, music and ambient sound.
Ambient sound is the sound we associate with the environment but are not really conscious of.
Music can be both diegetic and non diegetic at the same time – Diegetic is what the characters and audience hear as consistent with the environment the characters are in. It can bleed into diegetic to become an audio signature for a character ofr situation.

Sound Effects are added during the editing after filming has been completed as are folet effects. Watch for the use of foley effects in a film by asking would I normally hear such a sound when that action is performed in real life.