Reading Film (Fall 2011)

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investigative proposal revised

October 25th, 2011 by martinvukaj · 1 Comment · 3 Investigative Proposal


Martin Vukaj

English 110

Prof Ferguson





Investigative Proposal


Film, a rather contemporary art, has evolved in many ways since its first inception in the early 1900s. Introduced in the earlier part of the 20th century, it has progressed as an art form and is used in many forms today. The Great Train Robbery, created in 1903, introduced great film techniques and new film technology, which were unseen before. With the use of cross-cutting, on location shooting, and camera movements, these new cinematographic elements led to an astounding new view of films, especially given the primitive time period. Over the coming years, new cinematographic elements would come into play which transcended the film industry, and some of these new cinematographic elements were possible with the advent of new technology. Taking a look at films pre-depression and those during and post the depression era, an analysis of the techniques and technology used will give us, as film viewers, a better understanding and appreciation of films. The films themselves, pre, during, and post depression are an indication of a change of the techniques, technology, and the stylistic and cinematographic elements which are contained in them. How did new film techniques, such as cross-cutting, on-location shooting and new camera movements, along with the introduction of new technology in films such as sound on film and technicolor change and advance the film industry from 1930 to 1945, and what effect did these changes have on the film viewing population?

After providing research and studying this topic, the information gathered will provide the film viewing population a better insight and appreciation of films during this era. We will also gain knowledge in new technology and techniques used in films, as well as the cinematographic and stylistic elements, some of which are also used today. Through the research and information accumulated, the evidence will ultimately try and prove that from 1930 to 1945, the film industry underwent major changes and leaps forward to become the

The methods being utilized for this research are few and far between. Research would begin with an analysis of cinematographic and stylistic elements found within films from that time period. To find out how films evolved, and discuss some of the major factors that caused films to change in how they were made. An analysis on the many advances in technology would also be utilized. Finding how the implementation of color came to be and the use of different camera angles, are just a few examples of new technology and film techniques that arose during this era. I would also analyze the unique stylistic elements found in many popular directors of that time as well. On a final note, this research will all be combined in an effort to discover how the film industry changed and transcended over this period of time.
Possible resources that could be used are also a variety as well. I would look at films from this time period, pre, during, and post the depression era. I would also look at reviews from this time, as well as reviews from contemporary time, in order to see differences or similarities in the view of film style and portrayal. I would also gather research and use books coinciding with film technology that arose in this time, such as technicolor and advancements in sound. An analysis of many big name directors from this time will also be used, to understand the stylistic elements and techniques used, in comparison to techniques found in earlier films and used by directors. Articles and possible biographies or autobiographies on directors will be used to understand their standpoint on how these new additions in film either helped or hurt the industry. I would also gather studies on movie attendance ratings to see if the changes and advancements in film had an effect that coincided with attendance in movies as well.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Kevin L. Ferguson

    About your question–I like that you’re using keyterms to suggest the structure of your essay, but I think your keyterms right now are still too broad. You’re basically asking a question that could be the topic of a whole course or book.
    One thing I wonder–why 1930 to 1945? If it’s about the Depression, then you could think about a specific subset of “new film techniques” that had something to do with an issue of the Depression (lowered movie attendance? lower production costs? more free time for viewers?). Now, “cross-cutting, on-location shooting and new camera movements” don’t seem to be specifically chosen for your topic–you could examine those same techniques for scifi movies of the 1980s. When you also add “sound on film and technicolor” I can see your topic ballooning to something you couldn’t do a good job analyzing in a paper.

    Maybe the real meat of your question is the last part–on changing movie audiences? Seems like two papers to 1) analyze how the industry changed and 2) how a changing industry resulted in different audiences.

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