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Film Studies: Cinema and So Much More

Steven Spielberg once said, “Only a generation of readers will spawn a generation of writers.”


While every individual may have an idol, cinema enthusiasts look up to filmmakers who inspire them. Filmmakers inspire audience’s with stories that connect them to hope, courage, give them dreams and inspiration. Perhaps it is because cinema means so much more to filmmakers than just art, and their filmmaking craft translates their understanding of people, life circumstances and meaning. In fact a filmmakers ideology and life experiences travel from the creator mind to influence and build characters and their choices in the stories they create, which makes them unique.


Studying films helps a film student unravel the clues and maps that filmmakers knowingly or unknowingly use. The study comprises of the technique of filmmaking approach as well as the film art behind it. Through the practice of watching films from the filmmakers perspective over and over, to be able to decode and decipher the mind of the filmmaker, their inspirating, approaches and reasons- builds a filmmakers tools. Only when one understands what was truly involved in the art of creating the film, can the student understand the film’s essence and apply the approach to find their own voice.


In an interview once Anurag Kashyap admitted to have a library full of films from all over the world. It is said that if you can name it, he might have it. And he goes back to them for inspiration. In fact, if a well-read storyteller tells a story he may have been inspired by, each time he may add new touches, backdrops, characters, and make them a little complex or layered to keep audiences enthralled.


Combining filmmaking and film studies makes a strong foundation for aspiring filmmakers. One is not limited to being just a skilful professional, but grows to expand horizons and carry visions. Each craft of cinema comes with its complexity as in medium, technology, budget etc. Film Studies helps an individual to understand the use, approaches, impact of incorporating them- to become a versatile professional.


Experience matters- take for instance the impact of story and character in the gaming industry. Gaming is not limited to shooting digital weapons at virtual enemies, but as the game progresses they have incorporated themes, stories and characters who leave an impact on the gamer. Different characters with multiple traits and skills that contribute to a gamer’s experiences vicariously. Neil Druckman, Creator Director of the Last of Us franchise believes in “simple stories, complex characters”. He is the creator of an adventure game that explores human relationships as the characters wander in a dilapidated world. With the pathbreaking survival horror, The Last of Us, that is still being talked about and will pretty much continue being the topic of discussion for a good while in the gaming community, as he brought to us an apocalyptic world with some of the best gaming mechanics. An ideology combined with technology! It is now a most-watched web-series.


What’s important to understand is that a creator is not just born, they are a result of experience and understanding. Film studies offer a wide range of subjects and counter-opinions. These help an individual understand more mediums and not limited to films. Art appreciation can be utilised in translating to other mediums making games, shooting documentaries, teaching, writing a book, becoming a researcher, composing music.


For example - Cinematographer, Rajeev Ravi loves paintings and he draws inspiration for his cinematic shots from them. Film Studies is a field of fine-arts which is a vast pool of everything. Visuals, sound, philosophy, psychology, mythology, language and emotions.

When we get to know what the history of cinema is and how all forms of art are interlinked, we get on the path of becoming world class creators.


“A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of the poet .” – Orson Welles


Well said!!


INPUTS CURATED BY ANNAPURNA COLLEGE TEAM

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