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Year 12 Film Study

Shawshank Redemption

gemma ward

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Year 12 Film Study

Shawshank Redemption
Year 12 Film Study
From the title, what do you think the film is going to be about?

The Prison
Red and Andy's redemption from Shawshank Prision.
Here are a list of important themes which you need to keep an eye out for in the film

1. The loss and ultimate celebration of hope

2. Human Emotions

3. Hope for the future and fear of the unknown

4. Loyalty, friendship and courage

5. Abuse of power and control

6. Survival
Important themes in the film

Do you agree with Red’s definition of ‘institutionalisation’?
How did this apply to Brooks?
Do you think Red would have met with the same fate if he hadn’t made a promise to Andy?

Parole system
How fair was the parole system depicted in the film?
What would you consider to be a suitable time in jail when convicted of murder before parole is considered?
Key Questions
Warden Norton claims to be a Christian man. How true is this based on his actions in the film? Outline any biblical references you can remember.

Prison break
How believable is Andy’s escape?
Can you foresee any problems that might have arisen in real life? If you were directing the film, what changes would you make to this scene?

Mistreatment of prisoners
How successful a chief guard was Byron Hadley?
Did Bogs deserve the fate he received at Hadley's hands?
How was Tommy’s death explained? Who is responsible for his death – Hadley or Norton?

Success of failures
Why does Tommy get really angry when he has finished his exam? What makes Andy post the paper anyway?
More Questions
1. The Beginning Scene
•What happens to Andy Dufresne and Red?
•What do we learn of Andy's and Red's characters?
2. Introduction to Shawshank
•What do we learn of the nature of the prison? Give examples.
3. Degradation
•What does Andy endure in the first few years? Be accurate and specific.
4. The Rooftop Scene

•What do you learn about dignity, courage and hope from this scene?
5. The Library
•What does the library represent to Andy? Think about time, education, friends, music and hope.
6. Music
•Identify a scene where music is important. Explain how it is used and to what effect.
7. Minor Characters
•Using evidence from the film, explain the following peoples characteristics and say why they are important:
•The Warden
8. The Ending

•What happens at the end of the film? What message does it send to society?
Group Discussion
Describe what is happening in these shots. You need to pay attention to colour and camera angles.
Using the theme of hope answer this essay question

Analyse how important techniques are used to engage your emotions in a text (or texts) you have studied
Theme of Hope
Plan your work around this piece of popcorn

Paragraph One:

Paragraph Two:

Paragraph Three:

Paragraph Four:

Your essay:
Describe the setting in the welcome to Shawshank Scene.

What happens with the colours of everything as Andy is on the bus in the country side to when he is offloaded at Shawshank?

What do Red and his friends do when the new prisoners are let into the prison?

What is happening with the music in the scene?
Welcome to Shawshank
Describe what happens in this scene?

What does Andy do?

What are some important Quotes you can take from this scene?

Write a paragraph including all this
information. Make sure you use
a topic sentence and back up
what you are saying with
evidence from the text.
Mozart Scene
Friendship is important through this film. We see an ideal friendship through the characters of Andy and Red. Discuss their friendship and how it helped both of these characters develop/mature as the film continued.
This film is directed by a famous Director called Frank Darabont.

This film is based on novel by a famous writer called Stephen King.

The film was made around 18 years ago (1994).
About the Film
We are introduced to Red in the ‘parole hearing’ scene.

What do we learn about Red in this scene?

Describe the scene and say why the hearing is shown the same way all three times in the film.

What does the other convict’s comment, “I’m up for rejection next week”, tell us about the judiciary system?
“Put your trust in the Lord, your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.”

The bird’s eye view, sweeping shot of the prison is very dramatic. How does the director use camera shots, music and colour to show the bleakness and size of the prison?
What effect is created by the director when Andy looks up as he and the other ‘fresh fish’ (newly convicted) enter the prison building?
What is our first impression of (1) Mr Norton, the warden, and (2) Mr Hadley, the captain of the guards? What dramatic techniques have been used to create these impressions?
The bet that Red and his friends were taking was to see who of the new prisoners would break down on their first night in jail. Haywood wins when his choice (his horse) starts crying for his mummy. Why do you think the director makes the killing of Fatass so publicly violent?
Write a paragraph on Redemption from the film. What does this word mean in relation to the film?

Make sure you use specific examples from the text to back up your ideas.
Cinematography- everything associated with the camera and includes:
Framing- close ups, wide shots
Camera movements- panning, tracking, dolly, handheld
Use of angles- High, low
Use of filters- colours, tints, bright, over exposed or washed out
Depth of field- distance within which the shot is in focus; narrow depth of focus (foreground is in focus but the background is not) long depth of focus (everything in the shot is in focus).
Film stock- slow film stock gives high resolution, fast film stock gives grainy texture.
Lighting- high key lighting gives little contrast, low key lighting gives high contrast and shadow.

Soundtrack- everything heard in the film and includes:
Music- can come from within the drama and is called diegetic sound (eg a character turns on a radio), or can be added as background music (non-diegetic), to create a mood. Consider whether characters have their own theme music associated with them.
Dialogue- consider how it is said, not just what is said. Has it been added post production such as a voice over or narration? This is extremely important especially in regards to Red in our film.
Sound effects- creepy sounds, what noises do we hear in Shawshank?
Movement sounds- what sounds do we hear? Footsteps, clothes rustling or breathing?
Use of silence- Consider why it is used and what sounds are dropped into the silence.

Mise en scene- everything that can be seen in a shot (literally means put on the scene and covers:
Setting- time period, historical context, geographical location.
Location- interior, exterior, constructed, natural
Costumes- what are the characters wearing?
Sets and props- design, colour, particular style.
Placement and movement of characters in the show- where they are standing, sitting, moving.
Editing- takes place post-production and is the putting of the film together to tell the story. It involves:
Ordering the shots- this is where the narrative/story is constructed
Length of the shots- generally the shorter the length of the shot the quicker the pace of the film. Has time been elongated or condensed by the length of the shot?
Adding special effects
Decisions on transitions between shots- dissolves, cuts, fades.
Narrative structure- the way in which the story is constructed. Methods of narration include:
Chronological or linear order
Use of flashbacks
First person narration
Multiple viewpoints
Through action and dialogue
Voice over
Devices such as letters and diaries
Three act structure
Use of sub plots
Where the climax occurs
The opening sequence
This is always the vital sequence to view closely and analyse. The whole film is invariably set up here- characters, themes, settings, method of narration, symbolism, mood are all introduced.
TASK ONE- Look at the opening scene a number of times, filling in one section in the chart each time.
Narrative sequence- the order of events
Type of shot, angles movement
Editing- sequence, length of shot
Soundtrack music, SFX and important dialogue
Setting- location, props, costumes
Lighting and colour
Now that you have prepared notes on key techniques answer the following questions about the opening sequence.
1.Where is the opening scene set?
2.When is the story set? How do we know?
3.Setting in society is another important aspect of setting. What do the opening scenes tell us about the people and the time period of this place?
4.What mood is established? How is it established?
5.What characters do we meet? Which ones will be important? How do we know?
6.What qualities can we identify in the main characters at the start?
7.What is the story going to be about? How do we know?
8.Drama grows out of conflict. What conflict or dramatic tension is established?
A way to tell the difference between the two is simple

Diegetic sound takes place within the world of the film (the characters in the film can hear it).

Non diegetic is outside the world of the film (the characters cannot hear it.

Diegetic and non diegetic sound

(1) Analyse how verbal AND visual features of a text (or texts) you have studied are used to give audiences a strong idea.

(2) Analyse how important techniques are used to engage your emotions in a text (or texts) you have studied.

(3) Analyse how atmosphere is established and maintained in a text (or texts) you have studied.

(4) Analyse how the beginning AND ending of a text show an important change in a character or individual in a text (or texts) you have studied.

(5) Analyse how a character or individual is influenced to make decisions in a text (or texts) you have studied.

(6) Analyse how the growth of a relationship affects the climax in a text (or texts) you have studied.

(7) Analyse how symbols are used to develop an idea in a text (or texts) you have studied.

(8) Analyse how successful a text (or texts) you have studied has been in influencing you to think differently about an issue.
Essay Questions

Stephen King has a reputation as one of the most well known and popular science fiction novelists. Some of his most well known works are: Misery, It, Christine, The Tommyknockers. The main characters in these stories range from a psychotic clown to a man eating car. The students' predictions about The Shawshank Redemption should be interesting if they have read any of King's other novels.
Steven King
Check This Out
Read this website
today we are going to look at what you need to write in your film review. You should have already completed one which you can work from.
The film review
A literary essay is one in which a piece or piece(s) of literature is analysed.

INTRODUCTION: A paragraph in which you state your point of view, outlining what it is you will be saying in the 'meat' of the essay.
The name and author of the piece of literature should always be written into the introduction.
In this introductory paragraph you also say which aspects of the literature you will be discussing, for example plot, style, themes etc.

BODY: This is made up of paragraphs. In each of these paragraphs you discuss one aspect. Remember to follow this pattern:

1.State your point in a topic sentence.
2.Support this with a reason.
3.Give an example from the text you are dealing with. It can be in your own words or it can be quotation.

CONCLUSION: This is the final paragraph in which you sum up your essay and re-state your original points.
Do not introduce any new ideas or opinions in the conclusion. It is a finishing point, a summary. The final sentence should assert your point of view firmly.
Your Essay
Power Relationships in Shawshank
Talk about the power relationships between the various groups of characters in the film. These relationships can be divided in several ways:
•Prisoners vs Guards - Where the guards have the legal and perceived power
•Andy vs Norton - Andy has the 'real' power ie; his intellect and inner strength
•The Sisters vs Other Prisoners - The sisters have physical power (in numbers) but Andy has the power to fight them mentally
•The Prisoners vs the Outside World - The prisoners lose their power to fear of the unknown
•Norton/Hadley vs The Law - Ironic that these characters who are perceived 'upholders' of the law are more corrupt that some prisoners
Talk about other power relationships in the film. Draw diagrams to show power structures, such as the external power of the authorities vs inner power of the prisoners.. Talk about how would you define power in the movie.
Write a response about what you regard as a key theme raised in the film, including comment on the social value of the film's message.
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