Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Introduction to Film Language



Course Schedule:

Fall 2023 | Mon Wed 5:50 7:10 PM Berlin (UTC + 2)

Semester: Fall 2023
Subject: FILM
Course Level: 100
Course Title: Introduction to Film Language
Max Enrollment: 22
Schedule: Mon Wed 5:50 – 7:10 PM Berlin (UTC + 2)
Distribution Area: Analysis of Art
Cross-Listing(s): none
Language of Instruction: English

With the technological development of image-recording devices, such as video cameras, mobile phones, GoPros, and so on, moving images now frame our everyday life. However, questions of cinematic literacy remain open to anyone who is interested in developing their visual language, seeing and comprehending cinema in its vibrant fluctuating form, and learning how to communicate with the world through images and sounds. Technology’s accessibility doesn’t necessarily grant its users the power of cinematic expression: an additional effort, along with skills and knowledge, are also necessary. This practice-based course aims to introduce students to the basics of cinematic language, including its key technical concepts: the camera as a tool and a medium, camera movement, film/video formats, lighting techniques, composition, and other aspects of film/video production. We will also address the basics of scriptwriting to understand how ideas may be transformed through writing and brought closer to the visual implementation. In addition to familiarizing ourselves with the practical aspects of cinema, we will read texts on film theory, memoirs, poetry, and artistic research as well as watch films and videos.