How to analyse a film review

Areas to adress:

Layout – how is the review displayed, does it look ordered, how many collums have been used

Typography – what font, colour and styles have been used

Images – what is featured and how many are featured in the article

language – techniques, tone and style or writing

Content – what they have actually written about



These films are usually quite high budget with a high level of stunts and action hence the name of the genre. Could also possibly include rescues, battles, fights, escapes, and destructive crisis’s for example explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, natural disasters, fires etc. Action adventure films mostly show binary opposition for example good vs evil. These films also showcase Vladimir Props narrative and character theory. A major sub-genre of this genre is disaster films.


Adventure films are usually exciting and short stories, very similar and often paired with action films. They can include traditional films known as swashbucklers, and historical spectacles, again similar to disaster films or treasure hunts.


Comedies are light hearted plots, these stories are deliberately used to provoke and amuse the audience. This genre shows different areas of cinematic photography including, slapstick, screwball, spoofs, parodies, romantic comedies, black comedies, and many more.

Crime and gangster:

Crime (gangster) films around the sinister actions of criminals or mobsters, particularly bank robbers. Featuring characters that operate outside of the law, breaking, stealing and murdering their way through life and society. Criminal (gangster) films are often categorised as ‘film noir’. This is due to the cinematic qualities of these type of films.


Drama films are serious cinematic presentations, depicting real life situations and characters. Usually they are not focussed on comedy, action or special effects, but portray a more serious approach to film. Drama films are probably the largest genre with many subsets.


Epics can sometimes be costume dramas, historical dramas, war films, that often show a large time frame set against a vast, panoramic backdrop. Epics share aspects of the elaborate adventure films. Epics take a historical and/or an imagined approach, they then add extravagant or elaborate examples of mise en scene, and a dramatic and sweeping musical score. Epics are a more spectacular and lavish version of a ‘biopic’ film.


These film are film are made to frighten and bring out your worst fears. Often in a terrifying and thrilling finale. While entertaining and captivating the audience at the same time in a cathartic experience. Horror film feature a wide range of styles from the first made to the latest made today. Horror films are often combined with Sci-fi, where the appearance of a monster is combined with a technological disaster, or when earth is threatened by aliens. Fantasy and supernatural films are not synonyms of horror. They are sub-genres of horror.


These films are films that incorporate all three elements of performing, acting, singing and dancing. Or they are films that centre around a combination of music.




Film Noir

What is film noir ?

A style or genre of cinematic film that marks and portrays a feeling of menace. The term was originally applied to American thriller or detective films, made in the period of 1944-54. It is said that with film noir, you could take a picture of the screen at any moment throughout the film, blow it up on a large scale and it would look aesthetically beautiful.

Top 5 film noir directors:

Robert Siodmak:

Robert Siodmak was a German born, American film director, he is best remembered as a thriller specialist, and for a series of stylish film noir that he made in the 1940’s.

Fritz Lang:

He studied at the College of Technical Sciences of Vienna’s Academy of Graphic Arts but unhappy with the career path chosen for him by his parents, he ran away to study art in Munich and Paris.


Modern day film noir, film noir has been showcased in modern day media in tv and film, a key example would have to be the current show PLL. there was an episode broadcasted where the show was ‘noirified’ as quoted by one of the lead actors. The episode depicted another reality and world that the character wakes up in, the key themes and ambiences of the show remain the same, just with a twist. The technical aspects of this episode are aesthetically beautiful. Each shot is stunning and crisp, the editing shows fluidity and consistency. and the miss en scene just adds to the scenes and really helps portray the time period that it is in. I think more shows should experiment with film noir. It added so much to the episode and was incredibly well recieved by the audience. Here is a video of the cast and crew talking about filming the episode behind the scenes on set.

Film noir is a type of peculiar genre, but in my opinion it is more of a creative style compared to a genre. Film noir is a unique style including a variety of codes and conventions, the codes and conventions are what makes it a type of genre. These include, stunning cinematography, fluid editing, a dark forbodding storyline, and minimal characters. The cinematography includes extreme closeups on certain features of the characters, reflections, and faces obscured through objects. Urban settings used to make whatever is happening in the scene a lot more realistic, Low key and/or high key lighting. Sounds you would hear in film noir include the following:
melancholy downbeat music
heavy breathing
use of quiet and silence
often discordant music
sudden noises
voice over of protagonist
sound effects to create ambience
The editing could also show, non linear storyline, use of jump cuts sometimes, occasions closeup then zoom out to reveal action.
Some narratives could also include the following themes or ideas:
black widow
double crosses
sin and punishment
downward spiral
one wrong decision
sexual obsession
Some characters that could be shows include;
the fall guy
beautiful women



Evaluation of last years work

Overall throughout the entire process of last year and the various tasks that we have been set I feel that I have grown and developed as a media student. Throughout the continuity task, we learnt a lot about continuity and the 180 rule. I personally acted in this so didn’t have a lot of input in any technical parts, however I learnt from this and for the final task, I made sure that I was much more technically involved, I made sure that I had much more input and put forward many more creative ideas.

Within this year of media, the task that we are required to do really excites me as it is all individual work, I love working individually, as it give some the opportunity to put all my creative and unique ideas into one project, I am really enjoying the process so far and am trying to come up with something different and original, which is another thing that I have learnt from last year.

When I leave school one of my options is to either become a writer/director or work with something to do with film, and in the film industry, so hopefully through doing a short film I will be ballot incorporate and practice many skills, which is another thing that I have learnt from last year, to try and get myself involved with more than one job.

Codes and conventions of a short film


Characters is really important to understand within short films, especially how many will appear in the film. Usually in a short film there are 2-3 main characters. Usually in  a short film the character story and development is quite short, so a long winded emotional backstory is not needed to get the point across, you just need 2-3 simple characters with a clear character arc.


Short films will usually contain some unexpected twist, this is to keep the audience engaged. Due to the film being so short and not a detailed storyline, the audience need and want a plot twist as it takes the story in a completely different direction, and keeps the film interesting,


Usually for a short film, the budget would be rather low, most short films are independant, meaning they don’t require funding from a production company. They can usually be made with a minimum budget. When I started my short film outside of school, we actually used crowd funding, and raised our budget through indiegogo, which is another option for funding.

Length: Short films can vary from a length of 5 mins to 35 mins, the required length of the film that we have to make is 5 mins, meaning a low affordable budget and not too complexed storyline.


Short films usually take a situation that everyone watching can relate to, and then flip it on it’s head in someway, and make it completely unexpected for the audience which is more interesting for them.

My chosen brief

My chosen brief is the short film I chose this brief as for GCSE media studies I made a music video, and I would love to further develop my skills as a media student and try something different. I also have quite a bit of knowledge on the film industry already, which hopefully I will be able to use and will be showcased in my final product.

Some examples of short films that have been successful would have to be:

  • Benh Zeitlin, ‘Glory At Sea’ (2008)
  • Michel Gondry, ‘Human Behaviour’ (1993)
  • Sofia Coppola, ‘Lick The Star’ (1998)
  • Martin McDonagh, ‘Six Shooter’ (2006)
  • Stephen Daldry, ‘Eight’ (1998)





The 4 media briefs

For our task we were given four briefs to look and do research into for our main task, these include.

Short Film : A short film lasting approximately five minutes, which may be live action or animation, or a mixture of both. With side tasks of either a poster for the film, a film review featuring the film in the style of a magazine page, or a website homepage for the film.


Music Video : A promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music video promo, no longer than five minutes duration, with two of the following. A cover for its release as part of a digipack (CD package). A magazine advertisement for the album release. A website homepage for the band.


Film Trailer : A promotion package for a new film, to include a teaser trailer, together with the two of the following : A film magazine front cover, a poster for the film, a website homepage for the film


Advertising : An advertising package for a new product or service, to include two TV advertisements, together with two of the following: a TV programme sponsorship sequence,  a radio advertisement, a web pop up.