Write a review & ask questions!
write a film review
Materials: Pencil and paper, or computer
A film review summarizes the film and describes the ways in which it is successful and unsuccessful. Put on your film critic hat and tell us what you think the filmmakers were trying to accomplish and whether they succeeded. What did you think of the plot? Did they develop strong characters? What would you have done differently if you were the filmmaker? This is an opportunity to show off your knowledge about the art of film. What were the visual techniques the filmmaker used? What did you think about the soundtrack? The camera angles?
Hint: Remember, this is not a summary of the film. In fact, film reviewers usually avoid talking about plot too much because they don’t want to spoil the movie for people who haven’t seen it already.
meet the characters
Materials: pencil and paper (or index cards)
Write a letter to a character in the film: Pretend that one of the characters is your penpal. Ask them questions about their life. Tell them what you have in common or how you’re different. Maybe even give them advice!
Interview a film character: Break up into pairs and pretend to interview one of the characters in the film you just watched. One person in the pair will be the interviewer and one will be the character. The interviewer needs to come up with questions they want to ask the character, and the character needs to come up with answers to those questions that are consistent with her or his character and experiences.
Interviewer: Make sure you ask meaningful questions which will help you learn more about the life, thoughts, and feelings of the character you choose. Avoid yes or no questions.
Character: Try and get inside the mind of your character. Use the information you have from the movie as your base, and then use your imagination to build upon that data to make up interesting answers.
Optional Film Activity:
Materials: camera or smartphone for video (and tripod), pencil and paper (or index cards)
If you want to practice film techniques, you can also set up and film the interview using either a real camera or a cardboard camera!
Click on the PCFF Activity Reel film strip for more ideas!