Jordan Mitchell’s Guide to the CS



  • Put notes into an outline and/or a basic Venn diagram
    • One side is film number one and the other side film number two
    • Add what’s similar and what’s different
  • This will help you shape what parts you want to talk about in your task components


Pick a film you know and/or love

  • The first time you watch it, just watch it passively, enjoy it, and don’t overthink it

Keep a journal and jot down notes

  1. Track of the big themes related to your Genre or Film Theory
  2. Keep in mind how you are feeling as a viewer
    • Don’t just focus on the film technique
    • Focus on how it makes you feel
      • It’s easy because you don’t know what’s coming if you haven’t seen it before if you have try to remember your first impressions of these scenes
    • If there are points where you feel anxious, laugh out loud, are excited about the character, jot that down
      • These are important things to know
  3. If there are any interesting things that catch your eye, even if you don’t know why jot them down
  4. Later go back and analyze why you feel that way

Watch a second film and analyze it to see if it fits your film focus

  • Watch it a second time and be more detailed in your note-taking
  • Pause and re-watch some key scenes for key film techniques and things that relate to your film focus and things that interest you or catch your eye.


“The student provides a credible and persuasive justification for the choice of task components.”

  • Write a paragraph stating justification for why these two films are worthy of study
  • Have a sentence about how each film relates to that topic

“The student demonstrates an effective and highly appropriate knowledge and understanding of the identified task components and cultural context of the two selected films. The student analyzes the cultural context of the selected films and provides a credible and persuasive justification for the choice of task components.”

  1. You have researched your cultural context
  2. You know how they apply to your focus
  3. Show that you know what your area of focus means
    • shots used in your genre, common themes among your film theory, etc.

“The student references an effective range of sources that are highly appropriate adding to the critical perspectives explored in the work.”

Use a range of sources

  1. Some that talk about your film genre, film focus, and actual film techniques
  2. Some that talk about the society and the cultural context
  3. Some about the actual film that you’re studying (articles about people’s reaction to the film and film reviews)


“The student effectively analyzes how the two films connected to each other and to the chosen topic providing insightful accurate and relevant observations regarding similarities and differences.”

  • Talk about specific characteristics of your film focus and compare and contrast them to the two films
    • Example: Jordan focused compare and contrast the topics of McGuffins and discomfort

For any key point you make, you want to…

  1. WHAT: Relate it to your film topic
  2. WHY: Relate it to film technique with specific film language
  3. HOW: Compare / contrast both films
  4. SO WHAT: Justify it with the cultural context

“The comparative study is consistently and effectively supported with accurate film vocabulary.”

  1. Throw in film language “buzz words”
    • Narration Example: “The use of close-ups and extreme close-ups are used to portray the character’s emotions and make the audience feel uncomfortable.”
  2. Show visual evidence of film language “buzz words”
    • Visual Evidence Example: Show those shots to prove that you actually know what a close-up is.


“To what extent does the student assemble the comparative study in a clear, logical, audible and visually appropriate manner?”

“To what extent does the student provide an equal treatment of the two films selected for study?”


  • Record audio in a quiet room, a closet, or under a blanket
    • Your phone is fine
  • Reduce background noise
  • Have consistent volume levels should be throughout
  • Cut out blank spaces or pauses
  • Make sure your recording should be between nine and ten minutes



  • Know how to cut, splice, rearrange clips, add text, and change the volume of audio
  • Look on YouTube for the basics of your film software
  • No points for making it look flashy
  • No transitions


  • Give equal consideration to the two films throughout the comparative study
    • As close to 50% screen time for each
  • Start with the easy stuff
    • For example: if you’re talking about a specific scene or specific shot then obviously you want to show that shot
  • Have some of the movie volume in the background (Recommended)
    • It sounds better, super low like room tone
    • If you want, search on YouTube how to do underwater audio effects to muffles the words
  • Place random scenes that you think look cool from the movie To fill extra spaces
  • If it fits, add little bits of movie dialogue between your thoughts
  • If you have quotes from an interview try to find the video of that interview
    • Don’t just read it aloud. It makes it a little bit more engaging
    • If you have a key point that you want to make try to just put text on the screen as a quote
  • Use lower thirds as onscreen citations
    • Google ‘lower third template’ for your editing software
    • You can just drag and drop and change the text easily
  • The slate at the beginning has to look like this like the examples
    • Don’t modify or stylize the slate
    • The beginning slate needs to be exactly 10 seconds

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My name is Scott Le Duc. I have been a learner all of my life. I am an autodidact.

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