Monday, February 08, 2010

TutorPhil, Please Read + Comment.

Hi Phil, I was just wondering, as I have learned FCP at the Maidstone UCA last year would it be possible I could stay at home tomorrow (Tuesday 09/02/2010) and do some uni work?

If not its ok I can still come in, but I thought I could do something more 'productive' ?



tutorphil said...

You're an adult, Dan - so I guess the decision is yours - but I suggest you check with your classmates afterwards to ensure you haven't missed anything that might be new to you...

D Bright said...

ok thanks phil, thought I would ask though, Im still used to the school/college ways :) Thanks again.

tutorphil said...

Hey Dan,

I've been thinking about your story; as I said, the idea of the stuntmen fashion show or pageant is a winner, but, in truth, you're still lacking a central character or a way into the narrative... however, I think I may have an idea; how about setting your story behind-the-scenes of the stuntman fashion show; see the videos listed below for reference and inspiration...

BUT - instead of having stylists combing models' hair, they're setting them on fire, shooting them with machine guns, and lowering them in fish tanks etc. You could do a mock documentary-style - with a microphone appearing in shot and a 'cinema verite' approach (look it up!).

tutorphil said...

Interim Online Review 16/02/2010

Hey Dan,

You need to reassure me that you're not going 'off the boil' again... There's been precious little movement on this blog and your story ideas is no further resolved. I don't know what it is you're doing while your classmates motor through their various tasks, but right now you look to be allowing history to repeat itself. I thought this was your opportunity to join the 'first division' and get up to speed - and, importantly - begin to feel more confident? DO NOT MUCK THIS UP. I want to see some movement in your creative development asap.

Regarding your written assignment, please see the following posts; you need to take on board the advice given and apply it.

tutorphil said...

“1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and the order of scenes”

While the essay questions asks you to analyse one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure, you are nonetheless expected to contextualise your analysis – and that means you have to widen your frame of reference to include discussion of other, related films and associated ideas – and also the ‘time-line’ within which your case-study sits.

So, for example, if you are focusing on a scene in a contemporary film which makes dramatic use of montage editing and quick-fire juxtaposition of imagery (the fight scenes in Gladiator, the beach landings in Saving Private Ryan, the bird attacks in The Birds…) no discussion of this scene would be complete without you first demonstrating your knowledge of the wider context for your analysis – i.e., the ‘invisible editing’ approach as championed by W.D. Griffith, and the alternate ‘Eisensteinian’ collisions adopted by Russian filmmakers (and now absorbed into the grammar of mainstream movies). In order to further demonstrate your appreciation for the ‘time-line’ of editing and its conventions, you should make reference to key sequences in key films – ‘The Odessa Steps sequence’ from Sergei Eistenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (as in scene in the Cutting Edge documentary, but also viewable here in full

Also – if further proof were needed of the influence of this scene, watch

The Cutting Edge documentary, as shown on Monday 15th Feb, is viewable on YouTube at

If you choose to quote from any of the ‘talking head’ sections (Ridley Scott, Walter Murch etc.), in support of your discussion, ensure you put the documentary’s original details in your bibliography (as opposed to the You Tube url). For official title and release date etc. visit

Put simply, whatever film you choose to discuss, you will need to link it to its ‘ancestors’ and also, where appropriate, to its ‘children’ – i.e., what influenced it/what it influenced.

Regarding the ‘language of editing etc.’ the following site is useful – if ugly!

I suggest you use it only as a starting point for focusing your research parameters – not as the fount of all knowledge (it isn’t!).

Something that keeps coming up is how to cite websites using the Harvard Method:


tutorphil said...

Stylistically, many students’ essays still lack the required formality and tone for a University level written assignment. Many of you write as if you’re ‘chatting’ to your reader or writing a blog entry. This is inappropriate and you need to cultivate a more appropriate style if your discussions are to be authoritative and properly presented. Below are some suggestions re. use of language; take note and use!

Use good, formal English and grammar,


Use objective language: e.g. rather than 'I find it difficult to identify ...'

'It is often difficult to identify...'
'It can be seen that...
'There are a number of...'

Adopt a cautious academic style; avoid conclusive statements: e.g. use may, might, it seems that, appears to, possibly, probably, seemingly, the evidence suggests that, it could be argued that, research indicates...

Avoid assumptions and generalisations: e.g. everyone can see, everybody knows, public opinion is...

If you make a statement, always present evidence to support it.

Within your essay you will be hoping to demonstrate or prove something. You will have a point of view that you wish to convey to your reader. In other words, your essay should 'say' something.

You should support what you wish to say with a reasoned argument and evidence.

A reasoned argument consists of a series of logical steps you make in order to lead to a point where you can form some sort of judgement on the issue you have been examining, or come to some sort of conclusion.

Paragraphs are organised in order to build your argument in a series of logical steps

A typical paragraph is concerned with a single step in your argument

The first sentence of a paragraph is the topic sentence. It clearly states which step in your argument you intend to deal with in this paragraph

Subsequent sentences explain, define and expand upon the topic sentence

Evidence is offered

Evidence is commented on

A conclusion may be reached

Try to make each paragraph arise out of the previous paragraph and lead into the subsequent one

Below are some useful ‘linking’ words and phrases that suit the formal tone of an academic assignment – get used to using them to structure clear, articulate and confident sounding sentences.

To indicate timescales:
when, while, after, before, then

To draw conclusions:
because, if, although, so that, therefore

To offer an alternative view:
however, alternatively, although, nevertheless, while
To support a point:
or, similarly, incidentally

To add more to a point:
also, moreover, furthermore, again, further, what is more, in addition, then
besides, as well
either, not only, but also, similarly, correspondingly, in the same way, indeed
with respect to, regarding

To put an idea in a different way:
in other words, rather, or, in that case
in view of this, with this in mind
to look at this another way

To introduce and use examples:
for instance, for example, namely, an example of this is
such as, as follows, including
especially, particularly, notably

To introduce an alternative viewpoint:
by contrast, another way of viewing this is, alternatively, again,
rather, another possibility is..
conversely, in comparison, on the contrary, although, though

To return to emphasise an earlier point:
however, nonetheless, despite, in spite of
while.. may be true
although, though, at the same time, although.. may have a good point

To show the results of the argument:
therefore, accordingly, as a result
so, it can be seen that
resulting from this, consequently, now
because of this, hence, for this reason, owing to, this suggests
 that, it follows that
in other words, in that case, that implies

To sum up or conclude:
therefore, in conclusion, to conclude, on the whole
to summarise, to sum up, in brief, overall, thus

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