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How to Write a Film Report

by Veronica Scott, Demand Media

    When you are in a film class, you will often have to write film reports. Students sometimes confuse the concept of a film report with a film review, but they aren't the same. In a film report, you will need to think deeply about the film you have watched.

    Items you will need

    • A film to report on
    Step 1

    While you watch the film, pay attention to themes, things that stand out -- such as certain characters -- colors or music. Take notes.

    Step 2

    Go over your notes and try to see how those things are connected. For example, if you happened to note that you were quite interested in the character of Michael Corleone in "The Godfather," you would try to think about the clothes he wears, how he speaks and the way others speak to him.

    Step 3

    After making some notes on a character, try to understand the context of that character. In "The Godfather," Corleone had just returned from being a war hero in World War II. Ask yourself: What was going on in America at that time? What does his character represent compared to the other men in the film? What is the time period from beginning to end? What are some symbolic scenes or images in the film?

    Step 4

    Develop your thesis statement. A thesis topic for your film report will look something like this: "In Coppola's film 'The Godfather,' the character of Michael Corleone represents the dashed hopes of America."

    Step 5

    Back up your thesis statement using three or four reasons to support your arguments. In the example from "The Godfather," you might state: "The journey of Michael's character from hero full of hope to cold-blooded murderer and businessman could be seen as an allegory of America's journey as a country." You might then compare some historical facts to incidents in the film.

    Step 6

    Circle back to your thesis statement for your closing. Show how the film fits society and makes us understand ourselves better.

    Style Your World With Color

    Tips

    • Watch the film at least once, preferably two or three times.
    • If you get stuck, think of a film report as you would a book report. Think of film as a type of text, since many themes of literature apply to film.

    Resources

    About the Author

    Veronica Scott is currently a graduate student at Ohio University, studying film. She holds a BS in Film Studies with a minor in Creative Writing and Art History from the University of Idaho. She has been published in the film magazine Cineaste as well as the McNair Journal.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

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