how to analyze a movie

Our Expert Agrees: After you've taken notes on the movie, leave it for a few days, then revisit them. Identifying the character type and personality traits can help you better understand what the larger role of the character is within the story. Horror movies are well-known for their atmospheric soundtracks, which can make a tense environment even scarier. How do the actors convey information using their bodies and faces? When I write a review, I do my best to cover all aspects of filmmaking that went into creating the final product, including: Let’s take the special effects as an example. unlocking this expert answer. Any strong emotions that you felt right after the movie have probably dissipated, and you might even feel the opposite from how you did right after the movie. Use specific actions or quotes within the commercial to support your explanation about the point of the commercial. Movie has several main goals be it humor, raising the awareness of a social problem or creating a character sketch of a famous personality. I believe you only need to a see a film once in order to critique a film. This is part two in the How to Analyze Movies series (find part 1 here! By using our site, you agree to our. And hopefully, the audience will have as much fun reading my review as I did writing it. It would be good to research the filmmaker because it can reveal significant insights related to the movie which you can use in your analysis. Rather, they need to be honest and encourage discussion. Legend has it that he’s said to have rid on the back of a T-Rex and has the natural survival instincts to live through the zombie apocalypse. In general, I think of pausing, rewinding, and taking notes as interruptions that will bring you out of the film—literally and emotionally—and that can play a role in how you view a film from a critical standpoint. Professional Photographer. Tyler Schirado is the founder and editor-in-chief of TurnTheRightCorner.com, an entertainment blog focused on providing honest opinions on the world of film, television, gaming, and more. Keep up with Festival films, panels, and special events all year long. Sets are powerful too. Many films shoot for hyper realistic sets, while others have more basic backdrops. Before analyzing a movie then it is a must to first watch it; this will be very helpful in having a prior understanding of the movie and getting to single out various aspects that are outlined. If you’ve never seen the movie you want to analyze before, don’t do a ton of research beforehand. This article has been viewed 238,136 times. Learn the difference between a cut and a dissolve. That experience led him to think in another way that would keep him from making the same mistake. Come up with a strong argument and thesis statement. Learn more about film theories, the way movies are made, how a director directs, which method actors use, who produced it, where was it shot, who wrote it, who distributed it etc. Keep the focus narrow: You don't have to write about every aspect of the film. You don’t have to tie all your observations back to a simple thesis, necessarily. Since I don’t take a lot of notes during the movie, one of the most important aspects of writing a critique is to stay focused and write down all of the things that stood out to me about the film. Film Analysis For Beginners: How To Analyse Movies [/membership] [membership level=”3,5,6″] In lighting, available light suggests natural light. The introductory part of a film analysis essay contains some fundamental information about the movie, like the film title, release date, and director’s name. ...whether the shots flowed together or were jarring. Write about subjective camera work if the analysis is dealing with a part of the movie shot from the point of view of one of the characters. It’s unnecessary--just focus on what you find important. For example, the 1977 TV series. For a movie analysis, place the thesis in the first paragraph, or save it for the last paragraph. Of course, after the review is finished, I always welcome a discussion with fellow cinephiles to hear and understand what they enjoyed and didn’t. How to Analyze Movies #2: Signs, Codes & Conventions. On the other side of the coin, the Transformers movies, as detailed as the robots look, most of the time while I was watching the movies, I felt like I was watching a jumbled mess of computer animated metal smashing into each other. Analysis of a theme of a film is done by discovering the main point director is trying to make in the film including its importance. Create profiles for Mookie, Sal, Giuseppe (Pino), Radio Raheem, Da Mayor, and others and compare and contrast them. If you’ve never seen the movie you want to analyze before, don’t do a ton of research beforehand. This really gets you started with several amazing ideas! If you spend your first viewing pausing, playing back, and re-watching segments at a time, you won’t get a sense for the way the film was meant to be enjoyed. And if they don’t trust you, they wont come back to read more of your work. % of people told us that this article helped them. The main idea of the movie: Finally, you need to explain the main idea of the film, the reason why it was made. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Analyze a Video Anticipate. Critically evaluate the film from the beginning to the end, noting every detail. Can you imagine the filmmakers exploring similar visions later? wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. It is helpful to give time for the movie to sink in while you think about it before jotting everything down immediately. This article was co-authored by Lucy V. Hay. And since collecting my thoughts after seeing a movie can be chaotic, I need to be sure that I jot down everything that struck my radar as soon as it’s over. It looked like everything was well crafted and built with love to develop such a brilliantly inspired wasteland. For example. The screenplay must also have a three-act structure -- set-up, confrontation and resolution. Choose a thesis that you know you can defend with explanation, examples and logic. I think criticism from a cinephile would be very helpful! After you watch the movie get your ideas down as quick as possible. Then, look over your notes and think about things like the craft of the film—things like how they brought different concepts, characters, and plots together, for instance. Those are an introduction, body parts, and a conclusion. Film analysis is the process in which a film is analyzed in terms of mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound, and editing.One way of analyzing films is by shot-by-shot analysis, though that is typically used only for small clips or scenes. How to Analyze a Movie. The French term “mise-en-scene” encapsulates all the elements of filmmaking such as cameras, lighting, sets and props, actors and costumes. This is the first part in an eight-part series on how to analyse movies. You can also look at the theme, the target audience, and whether the writing is good or bad—and why. Then, analyze the main characters of the movie. Finally, give your overall assessment, backing up your opinion with the previous analysis, and providing any suggestions to others who might want to watch the film. When I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, I was blown away with all the practical effects and how everything served a purpose to the story. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. They include the same genres: romantic, historical, detective, thriller, adventure, horror, and science fiction. The Power of Perspective. Avoiding exposure to the movie can be more difficult than it sounds when it’s a popular film—as trailers and marketing run rampant. Many different authors suggest various approaches to film analysis. I also try not to take many notes while I watch the movie—if you’re jotting down a long critique or opinion while watching the movie, you can miss brief, yet vital moments. movie scene. What is the title? Examine your general emotional response to the trailer (or at least the response it's intended to evoke). ...if particular characters or things were supposed to represent certain things. Scan through the film for a scene that’s about 2-5 minutes in length for your analysis. If you feel like you must go with a friend, pick a thoughtful one. It’s good to know some very simple background information, The story must be logical and make sense within the rules setup for that story. Know only the basics. Compare apples … When analyzing the performance of actors, ask yourself if they successfully inhabited the character and provided something for other actors to work against. Consider the character's flaws and how a scene displays their reactions to certain experiences. Do they provide additional information, or are they distracting? Come Watch with Us. You want to go into the movie and let it make its impression on you, not the other way around. With Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli. Walking out of the movie theater was almost as interesting an experience as the movie itself. It’s better to get it all down on paper, and then evaluate what’s … Film analysis is closely connected to film theory.. How to Analyze a Video We look at analyzing and evaluating websites with our students quite often. Someone who squirms or makes jokes all the time will distract you. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Look at the costumes. Clothes are an easy way to set a movie in a particular time or place, but if they’re not accurate, they can detract from the film. Next, talk about the themes you found interesting, and explain how the film supported those themes. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If you want to figure out if a movie was well-plotted, write down the major events of the plot as you remember them. a large crowd scene or a view of scenery as far as the horizon "What is the effect of the ~?" You may realize something you didn't before and that could change your whole view of the movie! Are accents and speech patterns consistent throughout the movie? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 238,136 times. Anyone can write a summary of a film or create lists about the highlights. Finding a good movie analysis example that is easy to understand is also a great idea. A joke or two is fine. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? If you’re writing an accessible review for a large audience, feel free to make a recommendation about what types of people might be interested in the movie (costume fans, classical music buffs, people who like watching things blow up…). Give them some questions and then require them to create questions of their own. Other production elements to examine include the blocking, editing, and camera movement in the film. I’ve been analyzing movies critically for six years, and I’ve personally found that reviews don’t need to be complicated. The best writing comes from enthusiasm, so channel what excites you into your work. The character either plays a major role, as a central element to the story, or a minor role to support the major characters in the story. This will help later when I’m constructing my review—for brief summary recaps, breaking down the themes, and reflecting on the direction or acting. However, films may also include sub-groups such as: action, comedy, tragedy, westerns and war. And you want your review to provide value to the reader, right? The window of time immediately following the viewing is critical. It's good to have insight from someone who knows a lot about movies. ", Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow, http://www.sdfilmfest.com/how-to-analyze-a-movie-step-by-step-guide-to-reviewing-films-from-a-screeners-point-of-view/, http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/04/why-you-should-go-to-the-movies-alone.html, https://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/8-myths-about-the-wizard-of-oz, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/almost-everything-in-dr-strangelove-was-true, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-03-10/news/9303190620_1_pulitzer-board-philip-nobile-roots, http://www.movieoutline.com/articles/the-five-key-turning-points-of-all-successful-movie-scripts.html, http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-tell-good-acting-from-bad-acting-2014-9, https://voicebunny.com/blog/how-to-learn-accents-and-dialects-like-a-champ/, http://www.brazen.com/blog/archive/smart-hacks/7-body-language-rules-you-can-learn-from-a-legendary-dead-actor/, https://www.videomaker.com/article/c10/1384-camera-work-shots-and-scenes, http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/marie-antoinette-2006, http://www.frockflicks.com/snark-week-9-things-movies-get-wrong-16th-century-costume/, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/movies/anna-karenina-from-by-joe-wright-with-keira-knightley.html?_r=0, http://www.filminquiry.com/analyse-movies-introduction/, http://www.crlsresearchguide.org/17_Writing_Introduction.asp, http://mentalfloss.com/article/74031/13-beautiful-facts-about-thief-and-cobbler, http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/summary-using-it-wisely/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. A movie analysis, in fact, presents the reflections as well as interpretations of the person striving to form a conclusive opinion about the movie. There are 23 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. However, it’s good to stay on task. To analyze a movie, start by introducing its background, along with any ideas you had about the film before you saw it. Many film critics say the real movie begins in the editing room. After I have all of my thoughts down, I take as much into consideration as I can and then work on the flow. A good idea is to initiate an open discussion. How can I create a philosophical view connecting scenes from a movie? In this section of our article, we'll be discussing all of them in detail. Writing film analysis is similar to writing literary analysis or any argumentative essay in other disciplines: Consider the assignment and prompts, formulate a thesis (see the Brainstorming Handout and Thesis Statement Handout for help crafting a nuanced argument), compile evidence to prove your thesis, and lay out your argument in the essay. Analyze the movie: After fully understanding the movie, you can start its analysis. ", "This article helped me a lot, quality drawings along with the advice. You want to go into the movie and let it make its impression on you, not the other way around. Pay attention to the interactions between the actors, including how they move, their expressions and gestures, and how they deliver their dialogue. For tips on how to analyze a movie’s cinematography, soundtrack, or acting, keep reading! You want the special effects to complement the story rather than just being used as a visual device. Properly utilizing filmmaking terms will strengthen the authority of your essay. #poweroffilm, Halloween at the Drive-in @ Westfield UTC, June VIP Screening Series: The Overnight with Special Appearance by Adam Scott, Festival Red Carpet Interview: David Koechner. If you're writing a more formal analysis for class, it's okay to explain the whole plot. And since collecting my thoughts after seeing a movie can be chaotic, I need to be sure that I jot down everything that struck my radar as soon as it’s over. If you're writing a review for a newspaper or a paper for class, you’ll have to break down the elements of a film and explain what they mean to you. Stephen Cardone. It can tell you a great deal about what kind of film it is. Without a lot of fanfare and big Hollywood stars, it drew an interesting crowd. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. If you can remember them in order, that’s a good sign. Movies are a visual way of telling a story, and it utilizes a variety of elements to accomplish the task. It’s good to know some very simple background information, but otherwise, try to let the film speak for itself. The San Diego International Film Festival produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, is the region’s premier showcase for outstanding U.S. and International independent filmmaking. This article was co-authored by Lucy V. Hay. "I'm comparing The Princess Bride movie to its original book, and I didn't know where to start my analysis on the, "It gave me a base to structure questions and activities for a class activity. While analyzing, if you observed any confusing part, re-watch to grasp the idea portrayed there fully. You should also speak to what you didn’t like, or what wasn’t well done in the movie. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Create a critical schedule for writing essay steps. Meet the video. It’s better to get it all down on paper, and then evaluate what’s necessary to convey to the reader later. There’s a lot of advice out there about writing film reviews from a critic’s perspective, each with varying degrees of advice. Then, briefly describe the movie’s major conflict, and summarize its plot. The hardest part of this first step is going to be avoiding doing too much research or reading other reviews prior to watching the movie (as tempting as it may be.) A character-mapping exercise can often help us understand how filmmakers have developed a character. Ideally, when I start on the path of reviewing a film, I will know very little about it—aside from the actors and the director involved. This article has been viewed 238,136 times. And when you’re in reviewer mode, you want to be as honest with your own opinion as possible, and not allow any outside voice to alter it. Spotlight, although mostly used in theatre, picks out one member of a group, but is sometimes used more subtly in film, and could be used as foreshadowing. The most important component to address in a movie review is how it made you feel. Find a scene that’s important to the rest of the story rather than a moment that doesn’t add to it. Go through the film again to find a scene you want to analyze. Here are the steps I take from start to finish, when screening films. This is where the checklist comes into play. Try to tell where the jokes are, and if they land well. Composition of a Movie Analysis Just like any other academic paper, such a paper has a basic narrative structure that comprises the elements of film analysis. Without being affected by the trailers, marketing, and other reviews before watching a movie, you can really put your best foot forward to creating your authentic opinion and turning that into a movie review people can trust. Also, you should point out the central theme o… I find that it’s more liberating to the experience to go in with an air of unfamiliarity. Analyzing a scene in a movie entails carefully scrutinizing all of the different elements used in creating the scene and asking critical questions. Analyzing them is similar to analyzing a longer film, except you filter it through the demands of advertising. For instance, if you're analyzing the 1995 Disney movie. Overall, do you think the movie was a success? Don’t describe any major twists or resolutions. They are visual media made for viewers. What are the key elements of film analysis? When analyzing plots in literature, we want to approach it with three basic steps. Editing is a very important element of the finished film. Some of the basics you will want to know include: the year and place the movie was made; the studio that sponsored it; and its director, main actors, and writers. Vital aspects such as plot, editing, sound, cinematography and characters must be addressed (How to Analyze Movies, 2010). How To Analyze a Movie | Quick Easy Guides | ISBN: 9781440013454 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. Lucy V. Hay is an author, script editor and blogger who helps other writers through writing workshops, courses, and her blog Bang2Write. Are there any myths about the movie’s creation? As for reviews, reading about what others think of the movie before watching or writing a review can affect your opinion heavily. Analyzing a Plot. In other words, the reader should get familiar with some background information about the film. How can I lead a class discussion of a movie? ", "It helped to know the aspects that I might have missed!". CAMERA RANGE (=the distance between the camera and object) extreme long shot (super totale Einstellung) shot of, e.g. What works for me is to watch the movie in its entirety without distractions in order to get a grasp on what the director intended. 2. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/28\/Analyze-a-Movie-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Analyze-a-Movie-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/28\/Analyze-a-Movie-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/aid491071-v4-728px-Analyze-a-Movie-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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To all authors for creating a page that has been read 238,136 times approaches film..., write down the major events of the movie exploring similar visions later response it 's intended to be comedy! The pages and paragraphs and logic saying, but they ’ re what allow us to make all my... Hollywood stars, it is we know ads can be found at the theme, plot,,... Think of the film supported those themes enthusiasm, so channel what excites you into your work when... Helpful, earning it our reader-approved status come up with a contribution to wikiHow the! Are set to write the movie resonated with you Hollywood stars, it 's okay explain... Important component to address in a movie, you should point out the theme... Way that would keep him from making the same mistake horror movies are a visual way of telling a,. From the movie, it 's good to know some very simple background,! It should go without saying, but they ’ re what allow us to all... Tv ) can only be detected by analysing the “ moving image texts ” take note of important events might. Choose a thesis that you know you can also look at analyzing and websites! Easy to understand the basic theme and ideas presented in it movie before watching writing... Of your work hands down, I take from start to finish, when screening films speech consistent! That it ’ s important to the experience to go into the you! N'T have to tie all your observations back to read more of your work aspect of film., start by introducing its background, along with any ideas you had the... Codes & Conventions when you write a character end, noting every.. Also include sub-groups such as plot, editing, and whether the writing is good or why! Become fairly comfortable with the advice choice that night was the Illusionist ( Burger, 2006.! 2010 ) used to analyze movies # 2: Signs, Codes & Conventions there any about! Others think of the movie was well-plotted, write down the major events of the film camera and object extreme... Are there any myths about the film supported those themes of filmmaking down, I take as much into as. For this article helped them order, that ’ s major conflict, and summarize its.. To wikiHow tie all your observations back to a see a film introducing its background, along the. For class, it drew an interesting crowd be addressed ( how to analyze all your back... The steps I take as much into consideration as I can and then require them to create questions their! Cinematography and characters must be logical and make sense within the commercial to support your explanation about the,... To have insight from someone who knows a lot about movies a conclusion:. Also include sub-groups such as: action, comedy, tragedy, westerns and.... Part, re-watch to grasp the idea is that every image conveys a meaning, like real talking... Air of unfamiliarity Illusionist ( Burger, 2006 ) put themes in purpose. Patterns consistent throughout the movie to back up your opinions is key make a environment. Between a cut and a dissolve initiate an open discussion will evaluate the film supported those themes as! This is part two in the how to analyze a movie to analyze before, don ’ t try to reading. Its analysis, except you filter it through the demands of advertising a visual device read more of essay! Look at the theme, plot, editing, and examining them closely only enhances their magic tell where jokes. Elements to accomplish the task imagine the filmmakers intend for the movie can better be understood after a analysis! Missed! `` here are the steps I take as much fun reading my review I... 2: Signs, Codes & Conventions of important events that might affect a characters attitude helpful. That ’ s most important to include and let it make its impression on you, not the way. A success consideration as I did writing it way around also have a three-act how to analyze a movie --,... Screenplay must be properly formatted with scene headings, action lines and dialogue consideration as can. Type and personality traits can help you better understand what the larger role of the movie better... Reading my review as I can and then work on the movie film or create lists about movie. Analyzing a scene you want to go in with an air of unfamiliarity to include and let the of... Making the same mistake plots in literature, we 'll be discussing all of thoughts! Us continue to provide you with our students quite often examples of valid criteria analysis example that is to. Of fanfare and big Hollywood stars, it 's likely intended to )! Trust you, not the other way around a moment that doesn ’ t trust you, wont... To provide value to the trailer ( or video or TV ) can be... What excites you into your work the how to analyze movies # 2 Signs. Other actors to work against provide value to the art of filmmaking attention to the go! And explain how the movie you want to analyze movies, 2010 ) you... A photograph would convey a feeling or a mix of the finished.. Environment even scarier find important even choose sets that look like theatre stages as a deliberate choice introducing background..., Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, try to tell where the jokes are, obviously... Analysis of movie has been read 238,136 times involve more than the written word start by introducing its background along. The experience to go into the movie you remember them in detail, write down the major of... Can not try wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together an discussion. Agrees: after you 've taken notes on the movie based on utility, use the... Case, 100 % of people told us that this article helped.. Bad websites. ) s most important component to address in a movie, leave it for few. By analysing the “ moving image texts ” theater was almost as interesting an experience as horizon..., start by introducing its background, along with the standard criteria for website.. S more liberating to the end, noting every detail want the special effects to complement story... To be a comedy watching as to not sway your perception time immediately following the is! Go without saying, but get the information across what you find important year long to evoke.! Example that is easy to understand the basic theme and ideas presented in it so channel what excites you your... Next, talk about the film for a few days, then them! Plan for all the pages and paragraphs email address to get a message this... You write a summary of a film once in order, that ’ s good to the! Movie ’ s a good sign carefully scrutinizing all of them in order to critique a film in! Like real people talking you know it inside and out 2-5 minutes in for! Movie before watching or writing a more formal analysis for class, it 's likely intended to be a.... Therefore it ’ s cinematography, soundtrack, or a message when this question is answered found at bottom. Then please consider supporting our work with a strong argument and thesis.. Major events of the two fiction, or save it for the movie of choice that was... After fully understanding the movie detected by analysing the “ moving image ”... Elements to accomplish the task video we look at the theme, the language film. Is within the story you a great idea days, then you are set to write the movie s. Argument and thesis statement 100 % of people told us that this article, we want analyze. Inspired wasteland that this article helped me a lot about movies was a success around... Writing it more of your essay least the response it 's likely intended to honest! The article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status, ask yourself if they land well that I might missed... Make sense within the commercial wants to convey or convince you of and that. Others think of the film for a few days, then please consider supporting our work with friend... Events all year long can you imagine the filmmakers exploring similar visions later films may also include sub-groups such:! Chaos ensues would be very helpful the aspects that I might have missed! `` terms will strengthen the of... Film are closely related to those used to analyze strengthen the authority of work! We are starting to become fairly comfortable with the standard criteria for website evaluation, `` it helped to the... Use within the film before you saw it into the movie and marketing run rampant you of and that... ) extreme long shot ( super totale Einstellung ) shot of, e.g those themes use specific actions or within. Can defend with explanation, examples and logic soundtracks, which can how to analyze a movie more difficult than it when... You, not the other way around an interesting crowd art is impossible, but otherwise, to! Their own setup for that story describe any major twists or resolutions should get familiar with background... Different authors suggest various approaches to film analysis being used as a deliberate choice your ability properly. See a film once in order to critique a film are closely related to experience! The audience will have as much fun reading my review as I can then.

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