Welcome to Aliso Niguel High School's Film Studies Course - Mr. Ohnstad, Instructor


This wiki supports the content and curriculum of the Fall 2010 Film Studies Course. Students will participate in discussions and create content related to the course using this wiki. I will give instructions in class for creating your account and what type of content you will contribute.

Wiki Participation Points:

  • Answer teacher's weekly discussion question by the following Monday of the week it is given: 10 points
  • Add content to either key concept, director, or film section by the end of unit of study: 20 points for each addition to the Wiki

Course Objectives:

Taking Film Studies is designed to enable you:
  • to gain a working knowledge of film history, from the silent cinema to the present day;
  • to develop your cinematic literacy - to teach you to recognize and use the basic technical and critical vocabulary of motion pictures;
  • to understand how the technology of the cinema relates to film art;
  • to see and understand the place of Hollywood film in American popular culture;
  • to grasp a fundamental understanding of the economics of the film industry;
  • to understand the role of genre in film history, and recognize how some of the most popular genres express social and cultural tensions;
  • to develop a more sophisticated concept of "realism" as it relates to motion pictures;
  • to question your own role as a passive spectator, and increase your ability to watch films actively and critically.

Here's a link to my course description and syllabus: Film Studies Description-Syllabus.pdf

To Get the Most Out of Taking Film Studies

  1. Buy yourself a good notebook and label it for use only for this course.
  2. View the films shown in and outside of class actively. This is a course on the mechanics of film. As you proceed through the course, you will acquire an increasing ability to watch films closely and see the mechanics at work. This requires concentration. If you find yourself slipping into the usual role of passive moviegoer, stop yourself. Take a few notes, or jot down a short description of what the images on the screen look like.
  3. Complete all assignments given to you.
  4. Keep up with the course. Film studies has been designed to provide a cumulative learning process; the concepts and terms you acquire in one unit will be used in future units.
  5. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's best not to wait for exams or the day before an assignment is due to discover all the things you could have asked but didn't.
  6. This class is designed to change the way you see films. So, if you happen to go to the movies at any time during the course, put what you have learned to use! Try to identify the filmmaking techniques used. Ask yourself if the film fits into any of the genres you are studying or whether the film reminds you of anything you have seen in the class. Gauge the extent to which you are learning to watch movies in a new way.

Mr. Ohnstad