Intro to Cinematic Language

Welcome to Senior English & Film! 

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 2.31.08 PMThis site is your home base for information about the  course and assignments.   Below you will find our documents  from our initial unit on becoming acquainted with film and its  language.  As we move into new units, subpages will be created  and updated with documents and assignments.

This is our first unit, Intro to Cinematic Language & Reading a Film Like a Text

Essential Questions

  • What does it mean to be an engaged, active viewer in the 21st century?
  • How is our understanding of the world both impacted by and reflected in images? What is the nature of this relationship?
  • How are media messages constructed using a creative language to convey unique points of view?
  • What composition skills are necessary to effectively communicate and participate in today’s world?

What you should know because of this unit:

  • Define and use film terminology accurately
  • Identify a director’s purpose in using a variety of image making techniques
  • Analyze scenes and films based on the director and cinematographer’s techniques and decisions

Final Assignment

  • Anatomy of a Scene using a Hitchcock film of your choosing

Thurs 8/29
In class:

  • Film Questionnaire & Film Terminology Pre-test
  • Syllabus Review

Review Basic Film Terms & “The Shot: Mise-en-Scene”

Fri 8/30
Film Terminology presentation

Tues 9/3
Film term presentation cont. (pick up with “score”)

Wed 9/4
Film term presentation cont.

Learning elements of mise-en-scene project (on google classroom)

  1. Read your assigned section
  2. Identify key terms and main ideas
  3. Start to plan/script out video
    1. What clips will you use?
    2. How will you organize your information?
    3. Analyzing scene/film still

Thurs 9/5
Working on project with partner(s)

Fri 9/6
In-class work day

HW:  Project due Tuesday at beginning of class

Mon 9/9


Tues 9/10

Mise projects due

Hitchcock on Hitchcock

Reading your assigned section with your group

  • Main ideas
  • Define key terms
  • Confusing info or questions your have about his statements
  • Find clips online he is discussing to apply the main ideas


  • 285-287
  • bottom 287-290
  • 290-293
  • 294-top 297
  • 297-end

HW:  Review 5 of the videos for film terms on mise-en-scene

Wed 9/11
Presenting Hitch on Hitch and reviewing clips from films

HW: Review the rest of the videos for film terms on mise-en-scene

Thurs 9/12
Film term review

Intro to North by Northwest

HW:  Hitchcock on Dick Cavett – Take notes on the following clip of Hitchcock on Dick Cavett

  • What new understanding do you have about Hitchcock’s approach to cinema from this clip?
  • What new terms does he explain/use?

Fri 9/13
Overview of final assignment

Introduction to Rear Window and discussion questions

  • What is Hitchcock’s purpose with Rear Window?  What is he trying to say?
  • How does he construct and achieve this purpose?
    • Shots
    • Scenes
    • Film Techniques

HW: Locate and start watching film for Hitchcock project.  Film should be completely viewed with accompanying notes for Friday’s class.

Mon 9/16
cont. North by Northwest

HW:  cont. watching and notetaking other Hitchcock film

Tues 9/17
finish North by Northwest 

HW:  cont. watching and notetaking on other Hitch film

Wed 9/18
Writing a response to North by Northwest

Click here for directions on editing in iMovie

Click here for directions on editing in iMovie