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Creative Brief Three - Using the History of Film


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Søren Kierkegaard

Study the past if you would define the future.”


“ …everything has a past. Everything. A person, an object, a word: everything. If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.

Chaim PotokDavita’s Harp

Understanding the history of cinematography and the way that cinematography has developed is a key part of understanding the grammar of film language and being able to use it in your own work. It is not, as many people assume, a simple linear history: things used to be simple and now they are more complex (and, by implication, better).

This week we want you to work in groups to explore a specific film movement from the history of cinema. Once you have researched the movement, we want you to create a one-minute piece of drama that uses the cinematic conventions of that movement. At the screening next week, we will get each group to present their research findings and their piece for the rest of the group to critique.

This week’s Obstructions:

This will use the skills and techniques of cinematography that your researched and applied in the previous two tasks: the long portrait and the sense of place and space. 

  • Choose dialogue scene from a well-known film. Two examples:
  • You must re-imagine the scene using the conventions, both visual and aural, of the film movement that you have been given in class (French New Wave, Soviet Montage, Italian Neorealism, Silent Film, Bollywood, Hong Kong Cinema etc). The piece cannot be a spoof: it must be an affectionate exploration of the movement (or if that doesn’t work)

Uploading your work 
When you are finished upload it to Vimeo and add it to the Cine Collective Vimeo page by midnight on Sunday 21st October. We will be feeding back on them during next week’s session.

Task Discussion