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First Time It Hits, The (2004)

A young man skateboarding in an empty car park spots a girl sitting by the wall. He’s instantly smitten by her bubblegum blowing, graffiti and edgy style. He fantasises about impressing her with a skateboard stunt. He gathers his courage and skates towards the girl to make his dream a reality, but he fumbles the trick and his skateboard goes flying. The girl is knocked to the ground. Horrified, the boy runs off. The girl opens her eyes, smiling; she only pretended to be unconscious.

Classroom Activities

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Questions

  • What does the setting suggest about the girl and the boy?

  • The film moves very fast and has a lot of strangely angled shots and quick edits in it. Why might this be? Does it fit the subject matter?

  • How does the film make you feel?

  • What do you think the theme of the film is?

  • Who do you think this film was made for?

  • Would you describe this a film or a music video?

Watching

  • Before screening the film, present the class with just the title. What kind of film do they think it will be? Why?

  • Play the film up to 01:25, up to the point where Geek has imagined performing a daring stunt to impress Bad Girl. Ask students to tell their partners what has happened in the film so far. Take feedback to check that everyone is clear about the story to this point. Explain that there are less than two minutes remaining before the final credits appear. Ask for predictions on what will happen in that short space of time.

  • Play the film to the point when both Skate Geek and Bad Girl are lying prostrate on the floor (timecode 01:50). Freeze frame and ask students whether they think the film will end happily or tragically.

  • Play the film to the end and discuss predictions.

  • Watch again. After the title has appeared (00:11), advance the film one frame at a time. Ask students to make a note of each shot which contributes to an impression of the multi-storey car park. Some shots may be judged to be more evocative than others (for example, the jagged broken glass, the graffiti covered sign; the long-shot of the interior).

  • Find examples of point of view (POV) shots in the film. Using still printouts or drawings, ask students to indicate whose point of view the shot shows.

Analysing

  • Ask students to write phrases or sentences that describe the car park in the film. Put them on sticky notes on the board. Discuss how these phrases create a verbal way of expressing a sense of place. Now discuss how the images of a film can do the same thing but on a visual level. Ask the class to find examples in the film.

  • Discuss how the storytelling in the film works. Ask the class to create a timeline of events in the film. Discuss cause-and-effect in narrative storytelling.

  • Ask students to count how many shots there are in the whole film. Why so many shots in such a short film?

  • Ask students to find examples of shots that represent setting/location; the boy; and the girl. Using printout images or drawings of the shots, ask them to annotate the images to explain what the images mean in each case. This could lead to a discussion of how visual imagery can be used in storytelling.

  • If they were making this film, would they include any other images or shots – for instance, to establish the setting or the characters better?

  • Discuss the use of colour in the film: pink for the girl and blue for the boy. Is this just a stereotype or does it show how each character feels about the other?

  • Ask students if they have ever been besotted by someone or tried to impress them. What did it feel like? Did it work out? Is there ever a case of ‘trying too hard’?

Creative

  • Role-play or write two parallel dramatic monologues: one from the skater geek’s point of view, and the other from the girl’s point of view.

  • Music: compose a song or tune that captures the theme of ‘adolescent love’.

  • Taking the point of view of either the skater geek boy or the girl, write a short descriptive passage of how they would talk about the place they live in. For example, perhaps the girl sees the car park as a refuge or a place to smoke, whereas the boy sees it as a skate park, a place to practise his skating skills.

  • Hot-seat: Choose two students to be hot-seated as the boy and girl (or, small groups of students can play the characters). One asks questions, and the other must answer (in character).

  • Music: compile a playlist of songs to accompany a skateboarding session.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-002-000-051-C
Resource Rights Holder Short Circuit Films Ltd.
Project Ref MVS-09
References Interview with the filmmaker
Year of Production 2004
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Curriculum Areas subjects
Who Dave Tomalin (Producer), Jason Budge (Director)
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Love, Embaressment, Failure, Deception
Clip Length 03:00