Looking at film studies and its importance is very pertinent to its role in education and higher education. The medium of moving pictures was invented and became prominent in the later 1800s. A number of inventors of the Edison Company created the Kinetoscope which allowed a single person to view a moving picture but it wasn’t until 1895 that the Lumière brothers were able to project a moving picture for a paying audience (“A Very Short History of Cinema”). After the start of the moving picture film soon took off and over the years things like sound and color were gradually added to the medium. By the late 1940s film study had been started and was in its infancy and eventually gained popularity as well as its name “film study” by the 70s (“What Is Film Studies?”). The popularity of film studies is not a question when things like the Society for Cinema and Media Studies exists and conferences held by such organization host hundreds of thousands of people (883 Andrew).
Studying film is simply the study of the medium. That would include visual elements, writing elements, sound elements, and more. Film is most prominently seen as the main force in visual storytelling. When it comes to studying visual storytelling the main focus is on what is seen. In film they call any seen element the mise-en-scene and it refers to the props, characters, setting, lighting, and cinematography (9600 M and T). In a serious piece of film everything in the mise-en-scene is relevant and creates a cohesive story and world within the film. Mise-en-scene is also necessary to utilizes certain literary devices like symbolism. The use of specific objects or colors can be relevant to the characterization of an individual or the tone of the setting or film as a whole.
The diegetic and nondiegetic sound is also very important when crafting and studying a piece of film. Just like in any piece of literature diction and choice of dialogue is important to how we interpret the work. Characters shouldn’t all talk the same or say things that are out of character. Keeping things consistent maintains the world you’re trying build on screen. In terms of nondiegetic sound the music and sound effects only existing to the audience are also very purposeful and useful to storytelling. Music has its own feeling and science behind it and if you were to match up a scene and a song together that don’t have the same tone then it ruins a lot of the message that might be intended.
Film as a discipline is very prolific after being studied for decades and continues to be as such. It often goes hand in hand with literary works in a writing sense and symbolic sense.
“A Very Short History of Cinema.” National Science and Media Museum, https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/very-short-history-of-cinema. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.
Andrew, Dudley. “The Core and the Flow of Film Studies.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 35, no. 4, 2009, pp. 879–915. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.1086/599587.
M, Mena, and Varun Prabha T. “A Study on Visual Story Telling Techniques of Maniratnam Movies: Cinematography and Mise En Scene Analysis of Selected Movies.” Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, vol. 25, no. 6, 6, June 2021, pp. 9599–606.
“What Is Film Studies?” The British Academy, https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/what-is-film-studies/. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.