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Fun with Film

Film Studies: The New Media

Mr Thurlbourn explores the new GCSE course which starts at SVC this September.

What is Film Studies?

Put simply, a study of films. However, rather than passively watching them for entertainment, as we all do, students will be developing their analytical skills across a wide range of films that span not only Hollywood but world cinema – from South Africa, to Japan, and, of course, the UK.

Is film studies a subject with coursework?

Rather than just being examination as many subjects are at GCSE, Film Studies incorporates a large coursework project, which allows you to demonstrate your newly found understanding of the technicalities of film in a way that allows you to explore your interests. It helps maximise your grade in the subject as your final course result does not ‘ride’ on exams alone. This year, the inaugural classes will be writing a professional screenplay for a specific genre of film such as science fiction, horror, or the ‘teen’ film. It is a really creative process and if you like planning and writing, have imagination, and enjoy watching and researching films, you’ll enjoy it immensely.

What will I study?

In the first year, you will be orientated into film studies with an induction unit, providing you with all of the basic terminology and concepts required to understand and interpret film. You’ll then use this to analyse the Bond film Skyfall. Later, you will study the film Slumdog Millionaire, set in Mumbai, India, and Tsotsi – a superb film set in South Africa. Thereafter, in year 11, you’ll study an independent American film Little Miss Sunshine, create your own screenplay, and compare the Sci-Fi films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and ET: Extra Terrestrial.

Why should I consider the course?

If you enjoy watching films, if you enjoy analysing texts (for instance, in English Literature), if you enjoy learning something new – this course might well be for you!

What can I do with a GCSE in Film Studies?

As with media studies, film lays the foundations for further study at A Level, and later, at degree level. If you have an interest in being creative, and aspire to enter the film industry, this would be a great course to start that journey.

If you are in Year 9, and are interested in selecting Film Studies as one of your options, please email me:, or visit me in F5, in the Art block.

Mr Thurlbourn

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