An Art form in itself
ENG 225: Introduction to Films
28 June 2010
Filmmaking Analysis: An Art form in itself
The art of motion pictures have been compared to other forms of expression art, but what makes it unique is that other art forms are incorporated into motion pictures. Through moving pictures, a story can be told with fluidity and rhythm, like music. Much like a sculpture molds clay or stone into something beautiful; a filmmaker can show us their vision or perspective of a story. Motion pictures have a way of influencing us to change the world, make us laugh and make us cry. This powerful medium has altered our world and has helped shape our culture. Analysis and evaluation is only natural, as humans will always strive to understand why this form of art has made such a lasting impact. To use the techniques to analyze a film, one must first familiarize themselves with the literary elements. By recognizing what the theme is in a motion picture, it becomes easier to see the filmmaker’s intention to the motion picture. Soundtrack and musical score also has the ability to add texture and depth to the experience of watching motion pictures. Just as we place symbolic meaning to other forms of expression, we do the same for motion pictures. Each of us have a different perspective in viewing motion pictures just as no one can see the same piece of art the same way. The style and the way characters are presented are just a few examples of the many different pieces that most analyze motion pictures. The interpretation and evaluation of the art of making motion pictures can help give a better experience to viewing films. The first steps in analyzing a film must be made by identifying the theme. This “refers to the unifying central concern of the film, the special focus that unifies the work” (Boggs, Petrie, 2008, pg. 20). The theme of any motion picture consists of five elements that filmmakers use to broaden their ideas into specific emphases. Although some motion pictures use all five elements, it is more than likely only one element will dictate the idea. These elements are plot, emotional effect, character, style and an idea “that helps to clarify some aspect of life, experience, or the human condition” (Boggs, Petrie, 2008, pg. 24). When filmmakers focus around the plot to the structure of the theme, it usually intended to emphasis the action of the story. Many films like the Indiana Jones (Spielberg, 1981) and Terminator (Cameron, 1984) series uses this to provide the viewer to escape from their normal lives. Another element is the focus on emotion or mood. The motion pictures that use this element direct its attention to specific emotions to explain the story. Many suspenseful and psychological thrillers use this focus. Plot plays a significant role, but it is the mood that is created that is important. Such movies like When a Stranger Calls (Walton, 1979) and Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960) uses this element superbly. The third element that a theme uses is the focus on a unique character. Again, the plot is important in this element, but it is the focus of the personality of the main character “and what separates them from ordinary people” (Boggs, Petrie, 2008, pg. 23). Another element filmmakers use to focus the theme on is style and texture, or structure. It is not done often, but some filmmaker’s style dominates the motion picture. Whether it is through camera angels or the rhythm and organization, Quentin Tarantino has a particular style that is recognizable in each of his motion pictures. Last, but certainly not the least effective element used by filmmakers is a focus on a number of ideas that tells the story of the human experience. These ideas can range from moral statements to environmental issues and the truth of human nature. Motion pictures in which the filmmakers depict these ideas try to show us different aspects of the way we live. The elements that...