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Writing About Film

Writing About Film

There are a number of different approaches to writing about film, including film reviews and critical essays. We have designed a number of resources (all written by an experienced English and Media teacher) to support teachers and pupils in this work.

Word Banks

Pupils often find it challenging to translate their, often sophisticated, understanding about what they are seeing into words. It takes time to develop a full vocabulary that allows you to articulate subtle and complex ideas. Helping the class to develop a word bank related to specific film and moving image elements such as design, movement and sounds can empower them with the confidence to talk about film in a more developed way.

Use our Word Bank to get you started. It provides suitable screen vocabulary for talking about design, camerawork and sound.

Film Reviews

Encouraging young people to write film reviews that go beyond basic statements of like or dislike can be difficult.

Use the questions from Evaluating a Film to encourage deeper exploration of a film, then use our guide to writing Film Reviews which provides templates for all levels of learners, from BGE to Seniors.

Critical Essays

While the process of writing a critical essay about a screen text is almost identical to writing about novel, play or poem, it can be a daunting prospect to begin with.

Use our guides to writing Critical Essays about screen texts. There are ideas and templates for all levels of learners, from BGE to Seniors.

While there are currently no formal Es and Os for film studies, we have developed sample BGE Fourth Level Film Studies checklists based on English and Literacy Es and Os. These cover the most important outcomes from the study of fiction and non-fiction film and one for making a film. There is also a checklist for a combined approach as, in order to make a film, you have to study one - and vice versa! This should help you to develop a checklist suited to your own class.