Extra Credit Fun in My Film Course

Knowing from experience how difficult some of the tests in my “Art of Film” class can be for some students, this term I prepared in advance three ways that they could earn extra credit.

1)  Take the practice exams in the online textbook “kit” provided by the publisher prior to class chapter quizzes (for up to two points extra credit per quiz).

2)  Write one extra “media journal” paper (for up to ten points on the final grade).

3)  Create a three minute art film that illustrates one of the film language concepts learned this semester, upload and share on a website, and present the film in class (for up to 20 points).

I was surprised by how few students took me up on #1 (but not >too< surprised because it required paying to sign up to the online “kit” that went along with our book).  #3 — making a short art film — sounds like the most fun, but actually takes a lot of work.  I was impressed by what the students did, so I thought I’d share the results below.

Since there were only three of them, I actually typed out shot analysis essays, with frames from their movies pasted in, in color, as a form of critique.  I felt they deserved extra special feedback for doing something extra special for the class.  And I should add that everyone loved watching these movies and analyzing them with the same skills that we brought to the screen for all the other movies we studied this semester.  It was a good closure activity for the semester!

But first, I give you one of the surprising submissions:  Emily Maeder’s essay for option #2.

A stream-of-consciousness prose poem in response to the surrealist classic Un Chien Andalou.

Written on a banana.



Embedded videos apparently no longer work on my server for some reason. For now, here are links to the videos:

David Berkowitz: Sonnet

Olivia Goudy:  Cow-Tipping

Bruce Powell:  Michael Parente #7


Published by

Michael Arnzen

Professor of English, Seton Hill University.