Film Appreciation Course

Presented by Alan James

Over 5 sessions Alan will take you on a journey into why feature films matter, how they work, or don’t work. Along the way you will create your own personal ‘Film Critic Kit’ which will enable to gain an insight into knowing what you like, how to choose and know what’s showing using the 25 words or less, story pitch process.

This is NOT just a series of lectures but an interactive way to fully appreciate those flickering images. 

The five sessions will cover:

Part One-FORM, CONTENT & THE JOURNEY
  • What is a ‘Film’ – How is it different from ART, literature, theatre and reality.
  • Movies vs ART vs Literature

Part Two-WRITING
  • Expectations—personal vision vs lowest common detonator & community engagement. 
  • Setting the Tone. Genres, sub genres & cross-dressing genres.
  • The elements of the story. The story Arc & The Hero’s Journey.

Part Three-DIRECTOR AND THE AUTEUR
  • Styles of Director. Great Directors—but who says so?
  • The director as the ‘Auteur’ (author). Pretentious arthouse directors vs everyone else.
  • Examples of ‘the great, the good, the bad and the ugly’

Part Four-DESIGN AND THE LOOK OF THE FILM
  • What’s good design mean, anyway?
  • Editing- style, pace and constructing the ‘Viewpoint’.
  • Cinematography—the camera, lens, aspect ratio. Big vs small screen.
  • Costume and Makeup.

Part Five-SOUND
  • The ‘Soundtrack’ – music, dialogue & background atmosphere.
  • Creating the ‘Audio Picture’.
  • What audio does & doesn’t do.
  • How audio is recorded on location, post production and the famous ‘Foley Artist’.

Alan James 

Bachelor of Communication – Major in Cinema Studies and Creative Writing.

35 + years professionally employed as an audio, video, lighting technician. 30 years as a producer/presenter on community radio.