If you are passionate about film and would like to one day end up working in the movie or television industry, a degree in a media or film studies field could be just the start you need. While people taking more traditional degrees in things like math or science subjects may scoff, thinking that all media studies students have to do is watch movies all day and talk about them, there is actually quite a lot of depth to these subjects and they are not the easy option they can sound like to outsiders.
However, to study film you do have to watch a lot of it, and one thing some students find troublesome is the fact you can often end up having to watch the same piece of cinema many, many times over to study it in the detail required. Whether your dream job is in production, screenwriting or special effects, you’ll need to learn how to get something out of every viewing of a film, even if it is one that you didn’t especially enjoy the first time around.
Try Watching From Different Perspectives
When you are watching something you already know well, and are not going to be surprised or particularly entertained by the things that might grab a first time viewer like the story, the dialog, the acting or the cinematography, try watching with a different perspective in mind. Put yourself in different roles. How might you take aspects of a movie set in a foreign country if you were from that country? How would you have seen this movie as a child? How would someone with opposite political views to you take this movie? Or someone much older? If it is a sequel, could you watch it without knowing the original? Trying to view the entire movie as someone else might will give you fresh ideas about it.
Try Watching in Different Ways
Watching in a proper, focused, beginning to end screening situation at college or in a movie theater, with proper commercial theater seating, a big screen and high quality sound, will give a different experience to watching scenes in isolation, watching at home on your laptop, or watching with friends or other students who you stop the movie to talk about it with.
Try Watching With Subtitles
It may sound strange if the movie is already in a language you understand, but turning on the subtitles makes you – even subconsciously – pay more attention to the dialog and less to the visuals or the appearance of the actors. In an action packed or very beautiful movie, this can give a whole new experience as you can more deeply analyze and remember the script.
There is no getting around the fact you’ll have to watch some pieces lots of times, but to stop yourself from zoning out and getting nothing from an individual screening, try some of these techniques – they may also save you from getting bored of even the films you love on your media studies course!