Analyze a 3-7 minute scene from a film of your choosing. The scene you choose should not be from a film viewed in class. If possible, provide a link to the scene you select. Use the following guidelines for your essay.


FILM 101 Essay 2 Form + Content


Write an essay of approximately 3 pages in length (double-spaced), providing in-depth analysis of a film NOT viewed in class. Essay should synthesize major ideas, movements, and/or topics discussed throughout semester. This essay will be worth 100 points (15% of your final grade). Please upload your paper on Canvas as a .docx, or .pdf file.


Analyze a 3-7 minute scene from a film of your choosing. The scene you choose should not be from a film viewed in class. If possible, provide a link to the scene you select. Use the following guidelines for your essay.


Sample Structure:

  1. Scene context and significance. Use this section of your paper to give your reader context for the scene. You should consider questions like: Why is this moment significant in the film? How does this scene express the key message of the filmmakers. This should lead you to an argumentative thesis statement. (paragraph 1)
  2. Scene description. This section of the analysis should be a technical description of the scene you are working on. Pay special attention to: camera angles, camera movement, deep/shallow focus, shot length, framing, editing, light, image quality, color, acting, costume, sound effects, musical underscoring, dialogue. (paragraph 2)
  3. Formal Analysis + Content Analysis. Using your scene description above, identify 3-4 techniques (formal analysis) used by the filmmakers to influence the way we experience the film. This is an opportunity to use the vocabulary you have developed throughout the semester. Next, interpret the scene by discussing how the cinematic techniques create meanings, send messages, or affect our understanding of the protagonist and main tension of the film (content analysis).

               (paragraphs 3-4)


  • Essay structure (including introductory/concluding paragraphs)
  • 3 pages in length (approximately 750 words)
  • Double-spaced
  • No plagiarism – Please cite all sources in a bibliography at the end of the essay. MLA formatting preferred but not mandatory. Please see the MCC library website for formatting guidelines (


Advice and Disclaimers:

*Of course it is impossible to analyze all the concepts we have studied in the textbook, so only focus on a couple. See the chapter outlines for an exhaustive list of possible concepts to discuss.

*If you do not find this structure helpful, you are free come up with your own.

*The very best papers use convincing analysis of specific moments in the films to support their major ideas.

*Do not summarize the plots of the films. Provide minimal context and focus on analysis.

*The very best papers go beyond the analysis of moments discussed in class and display critical thinking.



Grading Rubric

1 Essay has an arguable thesis that is connected to this significance of the scene. 10
2 Essay is written in a basic essay structure (Introduction, Body, Conclusion). 10
3 Essay is readable and mostly free of grammatical errors. 10
4 Scene description and formal analysis use appropriate vocabulary of film studies and provides necessary context. 20
5 Content analysis is thoughtfully connected to formal analysis. Essay includes analysis of a specific scene from the film selected.   25
6 Overall scene analysis shows critical thinking (evaluation, synthesis, analysis), rather than summarizing (knowledge, comprehension, application). 25

Any movies except:

wonder woman

citizen Kane


raiders of the lost ark

hunt for the wilderpeople

400 blows


the god father

the hurt locker

get out

shawshank redemption 13th

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