Comparative Script – Feedback

These are the assessment criteria for your comparative video essay…

Comparative study (SL and HL) Marks Total
A Task components 12 32
B Comparing and contrasting 12
C Assembling the comparative study 8

In the light of focus group feedback, we have decided that we will offer feedback on either:

  • A draft of your script, or…
  • A draft of the video essay

This represents the final (reflection) feedback you receive and will be the last formal feedback you will get from your teacher.

We have also decided to extend the final deadline for the video essay to Friday 18th January. This means you will be able to get peer feedback on criterion C from your peers on:

  • The extent to which you, assemble the comparative study in a clear, logical, audible and visually appropriate manner?
  • The extent to which you, support the work with accurate subject-specific terminology?

This peer assessment will take place in a single lesson during week 1 of next term (9th – 11th January)

Feedback on your script

Before you get feedback on your comparative video essay script you must complete a self assessment.

To do this you should highlight your script:

Criterion A (Red)

  • Sections where you demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the components selected for study (the area of film focus & two films).
    • This should include the cultural context of the selected films and the student’s justification of why these films were chosen for the comparative study.
  • Your research sources, quotes and explanation of those.

Criterion B (Blue)

  • Sections where you compare and contrast (key scenes from) the selected films, making links to the chosen topic?


You should write a brief comment at the end of the script and also set some targets for improvement

Preparing your comparative essay script

Drafting Your Script

By the end of this week (Friday 7th) you must have completed a first draft of your script. This will probably be in the form of a rough essay.

If you have followed the planning document we introduced last week, it should look something like this:

  • Introduction, justification and context
  • Comparative Point 1
  • Comparative Point 2
  • Comparative Point 3
  • Comparative Point 4
  • Conclusion

It is essential that this draft is completed by Friday, ready for some peer feedback.

The Read Through

You will all complete a read through of the script and get some peer feedback on the key assessment criteria.

The groups will be 3 or 4 strong and at the beginning you as author will allocate:

  • A timer and someone to count quotes & references to key scenes
  • Someone to listen out for structure and the degree to which you are answering your own question.
  • You will read your own script aloud

You should all use the assessment document to focus the feedback.

You should complete notes as you read through and gather your peers’ feedback at the end on how you could improve your work.

Visualising The Script (Independent Study)

Once you have received your peers’ feedback on the draft script you need to redraft based on that feedback and convert the essay into a script that will run alongside visuals from the two films.

You should consider the following: At a FAST talking speed (160 words per minute) you are limited to about 1,500 words! I used this website to calculate speech speed. You should test your reading speed by recording you reading out a 200 word section of your essay on your phone, find out your talking speed (remember audibility and clarity are assessment criteria) 

Use this document to drop in sections from your script and screenshots from key scenes + time codes. You must observe the word count limit and based on your own speech speed test you may need to amend this down.



Before we start scripting the essay we need to develop a structure that allows you to illustrate your research, understanding of the whole films, their context and how these big ideas and revealed in the cinematic style (micro).

So, recap what you have learnt so far:
What have you learnt from your research into:
  • Genre & Style
  • The film movement
  • The film theory
How does this learning apply to your 2 films (macro):
  • Representation of character,place and events
  • Use or challenge to conventions
  • Narrative & themes
What have you learnt about your films’ contexts
  • Social
  • Political
  • Historical…
How you link these big ideas (context and research) in the films’ micro:
  • Screenplay (lines of dialogue and structure)
  • Directing (blocking, characterisation, intention and style)
  • Cinematography (lighting, framing, movement & composition)
  • Editing (rhythm, style, pace, positioning…)
  • Sound (diegetic and non diegetic)
Planning Part 1

Take a copy and complete this structure document.

The more specific you can be the better. So include quotes, key scenes, characters, themes, micro examples

Your Research


Please complete this Google Form to outline your initial ideas for the comparative project.

Recording Your Research

Over the next week in lessons and for independent study you must conduct some independent research into:

  • Your film focus
  • Your two films

You need to aim to find approx 5 research sources that helped you understand your film focus and analyse your own films/sequences using that approach:

These sources should include:

  1. A quote from the teachers’ research notes.
  2. Reviews of your films
  3. One Book
  4. Magazine articles
  5. Websites
  6. Other video essays

This research must be recorded and referenced using the Harvard System.

One way in which you can record this research is to use a slide show, with a slide per source. Here is a slide show template you can use.

Film Theory


Research one of the following film theories:

  • Feminist Film Theory
  • Marxist Film Theory
  • Soviet Montage
  • Structuralism & Film
  • Postmodern Film

  1. Find a short definition that sums up the theoretical approach.
  2. Name  an important theorist.
  3. Identify 3 films which are considered important within that theory.
  4. Identify 3 recent films which might be explored using the theory.
Our Research

Film Movements

Watch this

From this video choose one film movement which you would like to learn more about.

Find a secondary research source that introduces and explain the film movement you have chosen and list 5 films that came out of your film movement.

Write a one sentence definition for that film movement, which describes it’s look and intentions.

  1. British New Wave
  2. Scandinavian Revival
  3. Japanese Golden Age
  4. New Queer Cinema
  5. Third Cinema
  6. Italian Neorealism
  7. German Expressionism
  8. Soviet Montage – ME
  9. Golden Age of Hollywood
  10. La Nouvelle Vague
Our Research

Film Genre & Style

Genre Analysis

Sound easy? Well it is! Genre analysis is done in three steps.

1 Define the corpus.

That is, agree on a group of films that you think are ‘pure’ example of the genre.

This definition may be done in combination with secondary research.

So: Fantasy Corpus:

  1. Lord of the Rings
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Shrek
2 Decide what features of those films are conventional in terms of their genre.
This Theoretical Process is Outlined Here

This means agreeing on a Repertoire of Elements, which are similar across the corpus and indeed necessary for a film to be given a genre label. In this case ‘Fantasy Film’.

An Example analysis of the fantasy genre

3 Analyse your text using those defined conventions

Once you’ve defined those conventions, you need to consider how far your film is similar and/or different compared to those conventional features.

So, after all that, your film focus genre question becomes…

What are the generic conventions of a given genre and how similar and/or different is a given film?

Choosing a Personal Movie


Choose three films you would love to study.

Some advice:

  1. Avoid big franchises movies
  2. Use films that have been on your watch list for a while.
  3. Find films which have won awards or been critically well received.
  4. Find directors who go against the mainstream. Who are working as independents.
  5. Think of the sorts of films we have studied on the course.
  6. Choose films by a director you admire
  7. Perhaps a foreign language film?


You cannot choose a film we have studied together during the course or in any other part of your IB studies (Extended Essay). So that means Pan’s Labyrinth, The Dark Knight, Nosferatu, Let The Right One In & all the films we studies for the textual analysis are off limits!

Some ideas:


The Comparative Study

Key Information

Here is the guidance  from the IB Film Specification Guide

The Comparative Video Essay.

Here is the assessment criteria

 Dates and Deadline
  • Script Deadline – Monday 26th November
  • Draft 1 Deadline – Monday 10th December
  • Final Deadline – Friday 21st December
Week 1
  • Introduction to film focus:
    • Genre & Style
    • Film Theory
    • Film Movements
  • Select Focus Film and/or Film Focus
Week 2
  • Select comparative film & film focus
    • Comparative film must have different cultural context.
  • Research into movement, theory, genre…
  • Research into focus film (critical reception)
  • Teacher meeting 1.
    • Develop research question
Week 3
  • Scripting
  • Assembling task components
Week 4
  • Teacher meeting 2 – Group Seminars
    • Read / discuss draft scripts
Week 5
  • Record Commentary
  • Assembly video
  • Draft 1
Week 6
  • Teacher meeting 3
    • Formative Feedback
Week 7
  • Final Draft & Deadline