GCSE Film Studies

GCSE Film Studies offers students the opportunity to watch, discuss and analyse a wide range of films; from a Hollywood blockbuster to an Independent Film, a film created in the UK to a subtitled non-English language film. Students learn how to decipher the decisions made by directors and what impact this has on an audience, linking the message of a film to the wider context of what was happening in the world at the time the film was created and/or set. 

Additionally, students are able to put their learning into practice by completing the following coursework tasks: 

  • an original Screenplay that links to a specific genre
  • a Shooting Script, demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of sound, cinematography and editing
  • an evaluative analysis that compared their own ideas to the wider film industry

Structure of Assessment

For every area of the assessment, students will be required to analyse key sequences from a range of set-films.

Component 1 — Key Developments in US Film

Written Exam worth 35% of the overall GCSE (90 minutes)

Section A: US Comparison Study

Question 1 focuses on ‘Dracula’ (Browning, 1931)
Question 2 focuses on ‘The Lost Boys’ (Schumacher, 1982)

Question 3 is a Comparison Study essay of ‘Dracula’ (Browning, 1931) and ‘The Lost Boys’ (Schumacher, 1982)

Students could be asked about any of the following areas of study:

  • Genre and Narrative
  • Representation of Characters
  • The Key Elements of Film Form
  • Context (Political, Social, Cultural, Historical, Technological and Institutional)

Section B: Key Developments in Film and Film Technology

Question 4 focuses on the Key Developments in Film and Film technology timeline from 1895 to the present day

Section C: US Independent Film

Question 5 focuses on how a source of specialist writing influences the students’ understanding of the key themes of their set-film. Students will have the opportunity to choose between studying either ‘Whiplash’ (Chazelle, 2014) or ‘The Hate U Give’ (Tillman, Jr., 2018).

Students could be asked about any of the following areas of study:

  • Key ideas from the source of specialist writing
  • How the key idea has influenced their own opinion of the film
  • Whether they agree or disagree with the source of specialist writing
  • The Key Elements of Film Form 

Component 2: Global Film — Narrative, Representation and Film Style
Written exam worth 35% of the overall GCSE (90 minutes)

Section A: Global film, produced outside the US
Question 1 focuses on ‘Jojo Rabbit’ (Waititi, 2019).

Students could be asked about any of the following areas of study:

  • Characters and their Character Journey
  • Genre and Narrative
  • Narrative Structures
  • Narrative Theories (Todorov’s Narrative Theory; The Theory of Binary Opposition; Propps’ Narrative Theory)
  • The Key Elements of Film Form
  • Context (Political, Social, Cultural, Historical, Technological and Institutional)

Section B: Non-English Language Film

Question 2 focuses on ‘The Wave’ (Gansel, 2008)

Students could be asked about any of the following areas of study:

  • Characters and their Character Journey
  • Representation of Characters
  • The Key Elements of Film Form
  • Context (Political, Social, Cultural, Historical, Technological and Institutional)

Section C: UK Contemporary Film, produced after 2010

Question 3 focuses on ‘Attack the Block’ (Cornish, 2011)

Students could be asked about any of the following areas of study:

  • Film Style and Aesthetics
  • The ‘look’, mood or atmosphere of the film
  • The Key Elements of Film Form
  • Context (Political, Social, Cultural, Historical, Technological and Institutional)

Component 3: Production

Non-Exam Assessment worth 30% of the overall GCSE

Students are required to complete the following three pieces of coursework as part of their N.E.A. work:

  • Original Screenplay (800-1000 words) that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of ONE of the following genres:
    • Science Fiction
    • Action
    • Horror
    • War
    • The Teenage Film
  • Shooting Script (approx. 1 page equating to 1 minute of footage) that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the following:
    • Cinematography (including camera shots, angles and movement)
    • Editing (including cuts, transitions, pace and order of edits)
    • Sound (including dialogue, sound effects and music)
  • Evaluative Analysis (750-850 words) that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the following areas:
    • The aims of the genre film extract (the chosen genre of the production, its main audience)
    • An indication of how key aspects from approximately three genre films have influenced the production
    • An analysis of the production in relation to comparable, professional produced genre-films

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