I chose Film Studies as an A Level at Godalming College as I aspire to become a film director, so felt the subject was suitable for developing my career path. Over the past two years, I have studied 11 films that provide a great foundation for understanding film as a medium and the evolution of cinema. From looking at silent films during the 1920s, to contemporary films of the 2010s, this course has prepared me very well for studying Film at university, as I am leaving College with a much deeper knowledge and connection to the art form. Not only is this a result from the diverse range of films I’ve studied, but it is also a testament to the teachers, who effectively combine interactive class tasks with more independent and study-based tasks, creating an engaging and passionate working environment where it never really feels like a “lesson”. There are many opportunities to voice your opinion about a film or topic that the lesson is centred around, so this helps to create a more comfortable and collaborative classroom that overall amplifies the enjoyment of each lesson. We watch and analyse a lot of films, so if this medium is something you have a passion for, it will only grow throughout the course. There are many one-to-ones with you and your teachers, which develops a close and comfortable relationship with them, and these meetings are useful for assessing where you’re currently at and how to improve your grade.
In the first year, there is an opportunity to make a short film or screenplay, so this allows you to incorporate your practical and creative side into the course. The College has a large supply of equipment that can be used for filming, so this is a beneficial resource that can elevate your projects. However, the course is mainly theory-based, which may not be what you picture a subject like film studies to involve (Film Studies is often associated with making numerous short films). I do think this course is very useful if you want a future in the film industry as it teaches you about filmmakers’ approaches to narrative, aesthetics and how they use of film form. Filmmaking is an art form, and this course analyses creative choices and ideas that amplify a film’s substance. As a result of Film Studies, I apply this approach and thought process into my own films, identifying what needs to be in frame and what purpose it serves, as well as understanding the effectiveness of holding a shot compared to a fast cut away, and I feel this has pushed my films to the next level.
I can’t recommend film studies enough, I have loved my two years studying this course and am going on to study film at a highly regarded university, which only reflects the quality of this subject and its impact on me. I have found A Level Film Studies to be a great foundation for learning about the history of cinema and the work that goes into a film, and great preparation for when I come to make my own films.
Film Studies A Level
Media BTEC Diploma
University of Bournemouth: Film Production