Category: Coursework

The Reflective Analysis

The final part of your coursework submission is The Reflective Analysis.

From the specification: ‘The reflective analysis should select key features of the creative product and reflect critically on both the creative process and the product.’

The Reflective Analysis is a precise engagement with your work. It is closer to a micro analysis (like you did way back in year 12) than some kind of broadly based production report.

You should bring to bear all your Film Studies knowledge in order to evaluate your work, for example, what you were trying to achieve and do the creative decisions proved to be appropriate?

Given the limited length of this analysis, you are strongly recommended to focus on precise moments in the script, and particular key decisions made.

These are some of the discussion points:

What narrative function does your sequence have?

  • Where in the narrative does you sequence happen?
    • How is the narrative structured around your scene?
  • What are the key conflicts (binary opposites) that drive the narrative?
  • What are the actions/events which move the narrative forward?
  • Are their enigmas resolved or to be resolved

Are the characters clearly defined?

  • Are they recognisable types?
  • How did you encode your characters through appearance, mannerisms and dialogue (vocabulary)
  • Do they have clear motivation for their actions?
  • How does their dialogue (delivery) and actions communicate their motivations and intentions?

Is the genre of the film evident?

  • What generic features are evident in the narrative, characters, themes and micro features?

What sort of tone and atmosphere did you want to create?

  • What is the mood and tone you are going for?
  • How did you create tension and conflict?

Who would be the likely target audience?

  • Age, gender, existing cultural (film) knowledge, ideology

Does the screenplay reflect any possible influences from other films

  • Iconography, narrative, character, filmic technique

How would you hope the screenplay would be realised technically?

  • Cinematography
  • Sound
  • Editing



Screenplay Read Through

Over the next two or three sessions you will be completing a read through of your screenplay.

You will need:

You should record the whole session:

  • Your introduction
  • The read through
  • The feedback you receive

Mr Gregson will process the file and share them with you. This is the feedback you need to act on for the next draft, whether it be draft 3 (Miss Hales class) or the final draft (Mr Gregson’s)

Screenplay Deadlines

Here are the deadlines for the Screenplay:

  • Monday 7th Nov: Draft 2. Ready for 1-1 feedback with teacher
  • Monday 14th Nov: Draft 3. Ready for small group read through & peer feedback
  • Monday 21st Nov: Final Draft

Here are the deadlines for the Reflective Analysis:

  • Monday  28th Nov: Draft 1
  • Friday 9th Dec: Final Draft

Character in a Screenplay Dialogue

Character in the screenplay

Read this section from the screenplay for No Country for Old Men and highlight character clues which are evident in the dialogue and screen directions for the actors.


Read section from the screenplay for American Beauty and consider subtext – the ideas, character and their relationships that is evident between the lines. What is implied?


Once you have got a sense of your sequence it’s time to really get your teeth into your characters.

In the screenplay you have got to be able to show that your have developed engaging and distinct characters. Please use this document to give some depth and detail to the look of your main characters.

The next thing is to consider is how they speak, not just what they say, but the sort of language they would use, the sort of tone they would adopt, the way their wants and needs within a scene & who they are talking to are reflected in their dialogue.

First off though, here is a simple rule. Dialogue has two functions:

  • To drive the scene forward (not say what is happening (we can see that!))
  • To reveal character / relationships

Here’s the rule…if it’s not doing either of these things it has no place in your screenplay!

Here’s another rule…film is a visual medium! If you can tell the story in pictures you should!

Task 1

Watch this sequence from O Brother Where Art Thou (2000) Cohen Brothers with no sound.


  • Can you make sense of the story without the sound?
  • Calculate approximately the amount of time characters spend speaking and the amount of time they spend in action.

Watch the sequence again with the sound back on.

  • How much of the dialogue is pushing the story forward, and how much is developing character?
  • How much narrative information is expressed through dialogue?

Task 2

In threes read this extract from the screenplay for No Country for Old Men (2007) Cohen Brothers. (Two people read the characters and the third the screen directions)

  • Discuss the nature of the two characters and how the dialogue reveals differences between them.
  • Look through it again and consider how much of the dialogue reveals character and how much reveals plot.
  • Watch the sequence and consider how the dialogue contributes to the characters:

Task 3

Now think about your own character(s) in your sequence.

  • How much of their characters can be shown by other means?
  • How much narrative information can be show?

Recap the central characters in your screenplay:

  • Name
  • Family
  • Education
  • Past Experiences
  • Motivations

Find a sequence from a TV prog or film in which we see a similar character and listen to their voice and the language they use:

  • How they deliver their lines speed / rhythm
  • Accent
  • What words they use Language (vocab / slang)
  • How much they say
  • Do they speak in full sentences?

Developing your scene

Here is a slideshow that is designed to help you develop your sequence. The most important thing is that you must visualise your sequence. You need to see it in your mind’s eye. Consider:

  • Your characters (how they dress, how they move, how they are feeling, their body language, how they speak…)
  • Who are we positioned with in the sequence?
  • Your location (time of day, lighting, key elements of mise-en-scene)
  • The action (how does it develop and proceed? How is it paced?)
  • How will the camera and sound contribute to the atmosphere?
  • How will the edit make sense of the scene?

Use this document to visualise the scene and jot down notes on up to 5 key moments / events within your sequence.

Now use this document to layout the essential features of your scene.

Presentation (Script) Assessment

How will you get a good mark for your presentation (script)?

The assessment criteria for the presentation script are:

  • Excellent insight into chosen research area of investigation demonstrated 
  • Considerable evidence that a broad range of ideas has been developed during the investigation
  • Excellently well-structured presentation script with explicit reference to key items of research from the annotated catalogue
  • All examples used in the presentation will be well-chosen and relevant, contributing important ideas to the area of investigation.

Task 1 

Contribute your ideas to this collective mark scheme for the presentation (script).

During the presentations

Here is the feedback you are going to receive from your teacher and the peer you’re presenting to:

Student Feedback on:

  • Whether you name research sources including authors.
  • How you illustrate your analysis from the films.
    • Which examples do you put on the screen.
  • How many quotes you use from your sources.
  • How many sections are there in the presentation. (Structure)

Teacher Feedback on:

  • Your understanding of  the macro / theory.
  • Your description of specific micro feature.
    • The language you use used to describe (the significance/impact of) these examples.
      • Do you use good adjectives?
  • You  analyse of particular micro features that link to macro research
  • Your correct use of Film Studies technical language
  • Your correct use Film Studies theoretical language.

Your Presentation (Script)

This week you will be working towards your presentation (script). The schedule for the next three weeks looks like this.

Here is a short slideshow on how to approach your presentation.

Here is copy of the presentation structure document.

Support and feedback

During this week you will be having another 1-1 discussion with your film studies teacher, by the end of that discussion you should have a clear idea about the following:

  1. Annotated Catalogue
    1. Is your referencing correctly formatted
    2. Whether you have enough appropriate research sources
    3. Which sources have become (or are likely to become) rejected sources
    4. Targets for improvement
  2. The Presentation (Script)
    1. The scope of your project
    2. The structure of your presentation
    3. The evidence you are going to use to illustrate your ideas

The assessment criteria for the annotated catalogue are:

  • Items selected from both primary and secondary research with a excellent sense of relevance to their chosen topic
  • Broad range of material selected from diverse sources, suggesting excellent research
  • Excellent notes on reasons for their selection
  • Excellent reasons offered to explain why certain items were not selected for inclusion in the catalogue.