WELCOME, FILM STUDENTS
Below you will find assignments, handouts, vocabulary, and other helpful links.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
MR. SAXTON'S PICKS:
EXTRA CREDIT AND LATE WORK FOR TERM 4 WERE DUE ON 5/12.
5/15 Shooting scripts and storyboards were handed in. They will not be accepted late. We finished watching and discussing the film. Next time (on the 19th) we will have a review for the final exam.
5/11 We continued watching and discussing the film. Shooting scripts and storyboards are due next time. Extra credit and late work are due tomorrow.
5/9 Storyboards were turned in and the shooting script was assigned. Check the screenwriting page for examples. Shooting scripts and returned storyboards are due on Monday, May 15th. We then discussed and began our last film, 2001: a Space Odyssey.
5/5 We finished Galaxy Quest and completed an in-class evaluation and analysis of the film. This was a rather large assignment, and you should come see me if you were absent. We then did some brief background for our next film.
5/3 We went over the requirements for storyboarding the screenplay. See me if you weren't here. Storyboards are due on Tuesday, May 9th. We then continued watching Galaxy Quest.
5/1 We began our next film. We will be writing an evaluation (4 values) on this film and an analysis based on a theory of your choosing. Watch the film carefully. Screenplays are due next time.
4/27 We finished and discussed M. No assignment, but screenplays are due next week.
4/25 Treatments were turned in. We discussed and took notes on the proper format for the screenplay. Screenplays are due on May 3rd. We took notes on Marxist Film Theory. We began the Fritz Lang film, M, which we will finish next time.
4/21 We finished Waking Ned Devine, discussed it, and had a short writing assignment. See me if you weren't here.
4/19 We discussed the treatment (see the example on the screenwriting page). The typed treatment, in the proper format, is due in class on Tuesday, April 25th. We also watched some short films and discussed how they did or did not match the requirements for the assignment (some are posted below). We took notes on "Hollywood" vs. "Independent" film. We then began our next film, Waking Ned Devine.
4/17 We took notes on screenwriting and the rules and requirements for the screenplay project. We wrote three concepts for short films and turned them in. We watched an example of a poorly written film (see below). Check the screenwriting page and come talk to me if you were absent.
4/13 We finished our discussion of animation and watched several more clips. There was an in-class assignment to write a paragraph on which type of animation you prefer and why, a paragraph on how the form of an animation relates to its function, and a paragraph on where you see animation going in the future. See me if you have questions.
4/11 More animation notes. More clips and discussion. Get the notes from someone if you were absent.
3/31 We took quite a lot of notes on animation styles and history. We then watched a couple of example clips and took a test on documentary modes. See me if you were absent.
3/29 We finished The King of Kong and our in-class assignment (which we turned in). We then watched a short animated documentary and discussed what we will be doing next time.
3/27 We continued our assignment by watching "Amarillo by Morning" (available in three parts below) and identifying the mode, bias, and purpose of the film. We then began our full-length documentary, The King of Kong: a Fistful of Quarters, for rhetorical analysis. See me if you were absent.
3/23 We continued our assignment from last time analyzing documentary clips from Spellbound, Steep, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Winged Migration, and "Delusions in Modern Primitivism." You're on your own for the clips if you were absent. We will finish this assignment next time.
3/21 We wrote an in-class paper on The Magnificent Seven (see me if you were absent). We then took notes on the six modes of non-fiction film and began an in-class assignment (which we will continue next time) to identify the mode and the bias in documentary examples. The first film we watched was "To the Shores of Iwo Jima" below.
3/17 We finished The Magnificent Seven and discussed it briefly. We will be discussing it further and writing about it next time.
END OF TERM 3
3/15 We took notes on Genre Theory and the generic requirements of westerns. We then began our next film, The Magnificent Seven.
3/13 We took a test on Auteur Theory and all the material we've covered in class so far. See me if you were absent.
3/9 We identified patterns and directorial style from music videos from Anton Corbijn, Jonathan Glazer, Michel Gondry, and Mark Romanek. The videos are below. You should be able to recognize the style elements of each director on a test next time. In other words, I will show you a video, and you will have to identify the director and give your reasons for why you feel that video matches the director's style.
3/7 We took notes on Auteur Theory and then began an assignment to identify directorial style and patterns in order to analyze a director's vision. We watched and analyzed several music videos from directors Chris Cunningham and Spike Jonze. Videos are below.
3/2 We finished and discussed The Village. (The film is available below, but probably not for much longer.) We then watched a short film called "The Delicious" and had an in-class assignment. Watch the film (in two parts below) and see me for the assignment.
2/28 There was no class due to ACT testing and College/Career Day.
REMEMBER THAT EXTRA CREDIT AND LATE WORK ARE DUE MARCH 9th.
2/24 We watched most of The Village looking for how the film idealizes its reality according to Cave Theory.
2/22 We finished watching Double Indemnity. We discussed some of the ways it acts as a mirror of its time. We then had a quick, in-class writing assignment based on the film. If you were absent, see me about the assignment and, since Double Indemnity is a little hard to find, use Detour, the film below, as a replacement. We then took notes on Cave Theory and on our upcoming film.
2/17 We watched most of the rest of Double Indemnity while taking notes on the film's technology, aesthetics, economics, and sociology.
2/15 We watched and wrote about Edwin S. Porter's "The Great Train Robbery." We then took notes on Film Noir and our upcoming film. Get the notes from someone who was here if you were absent. We watched the first 20 minutes of Double Indemnity.
2/13 We watched and discussed several very early films to determine how they reflect the economics, technology, sociology, and aesthetics of their times. The last film, "A Trip to the Moon," began an in-class assignment to write about what the film reflects.
2/9 We finished and discussed the film. We then had an in-class writing assignment to evaluate the film's cinematography, sound, acting, and directing. We then took notes on theoretical analysis and Media as a Mirror theory. Get the notes from someone if you were absent. Also, see me about the evaluation assignment.
2/7 We continued to watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We will finish and write about the film next time. If you were absent, you should talk to someone who was here.
2/3 We finished our in-class cinematography assignment by watching and evaluating a scene from The Return (unavailable to post here). We turned those assignments in. We then discussed evaluating acting and directing. We also took notes on our first full-length film: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We watched about the first half hour of the film annotating for sound, cinematography, directing, and acting in order to write an evaluation at the end.
2/1 We finished our notes on cinematography by discussing visual rhythm, lighting, and color. We then watched a couple of example clips from In Cold Blood, and Edward Scissorhands. We then had an in-class assignment to evaluate the cinematography in clips from Empire of the Sun and October Sky. For the clips below, write at least two specific uses of cinematography to create or enhance the story (use the vocabulary from the packet). Then, for each, write an overall evaluation of the photography illustrating what works well and what doesn't work so well.
1/30 We took notes covering field of view, angle, composition, and framing in the cinematography packet. We watched a film clip from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to demonstrate how they are used (see below). We then covered point of view, juxtaposition, and montage. Get the notes from someone if you were absent.
1/26 We began our detailed examination of cinematographic vocabulary and cinematography as a rhetorical device. We covered transitions and movement. We watched an example sequence from Joel and Ethan Coen's Raising Arizona demonstrating how camera transitions and movement help create or enhance the story. We then took notes on field of view. If you were absent, you will need to get the notes from someone who was here. We will continue our notes and watch other examples next time.
1/24 We watched Charles Chaplin's The Kid and evaluated its use of cinematography and sound to shape the story. This was an in-class assignment. You can watch the film below if you were absent.
1/20 We discussed and took notes on cinematography as a story-telling device. We also took notes on some early film history. Get the notes from someone if you were absent. We watched some example films of cinematography and sound working together to manipulate audience perceptions. The TV teaser-trailers for Gladiator are below. The short film, "Sweet," is not available to link on this page; but you can view it HERE.
1/18 We practiced evaluating cinematic sound starting with score and then moving to score plus sound design. For each of the scores we listened to, students wrote what genre and tone the piece conveyed, how the piece conveyed that information, and whether or not it was a "good" score. We discussed how the musicality of the score isn't necessarily its quality -- it's more what and how well the piece communicates. For each of the film clips students offered an overall evaluation of the sound design (including score, ambient sound, ADR, and Foley). The scores are below. You're on your own for the film clips.
1/13 We went over the disclosure document and website. The first homework assignment was given: print, fill out, and sign the last page of the disclosure document. Make sure your parents fill out and sign the last part correctly. The signed documents are due on Friday, January 20th. If you were absent, come see me. We then took notes on the six basic concepts of sound. and watched a short film (below) to evaluate its sound design.
1/11 First day of class. We discussed and took notes on the difference between evaluation and analysis. We talked about the four values of film to be used each time we evaluate. (Get the notes from someone if you were absent.) We then watched and discussed two short films and wrote evaluations of each on all four values. The short films are available below.
LATE WORK AND EXTRA CREDIT FOR 1st SEMESTER WERE DUE ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 6th BY 2:30.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
GALAXY QUEST (1999)
WAKING NED DEVINE (1998)
Short films as examples for the screenwriting project.
Several animated shorts and clips of all styles.
THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS
"Amarillo by Morning"
Several documentary example clips and shorts from Spellbound, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Steep, Winged Migration, and "Delusions in Modern Primitivism."
"To the Shores of Iwo Jima"
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)
Music videos, commercials, and shorts by Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, Anton Corbijn, Jonathan Glazer, Michel Gondry, and Mark Romanek.
THE VILLAGE (2004)
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
Edison, Lumiere, Melies, and Porter short films to illustrate mirror theory.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
Clips to demonstrate cinematography principles.
THE KID (1921)
TV teaser-trailers for Gladiator
Opening sequences from Driving Miss Daisy, The Return, Birdemic, and Gravity to evaluate sound design
"Fits and Starts"