About this Guide
This website provides a guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, highlighting key resources and crucial search strategies. There are many special aspects to doing Film Studies research, including:
- important but unintuitive search terms, such as "motion pictures"
- techniques for finding videos, reviews and screenplays
- intersecting topics, such as how a social group is represented on screen (its role in front of the camera) and its position within the film industry (its role behind the camera)
- major topics (such as financial aspects) that are less prominent in other fields within the arts and humanities
- cast and crew information
- and much more
Through this website, I try to give you some ways to crack open Film Studies' numerous subjects. Most of the pages give examples that you can use as a model for your searches, descriptions of the main resources, and tips on how to use certain databases.
It's important to know that even though the guide focuses on strategies for finding books, often the same or similar approaches will work in article databases.
There are also pages for particular classes, and every month I provide a list of books (and sometimes microfilms, databases and other resources) that the Library acquired the month before.
Questions? Want to discuss your research needs? Please contact me!
Author credit: Please note that much of the content of this subject guide was written by Tobin Nellhaus.
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What kid doesn’t love a good feature film? These writing prompts about movies will encourage students to take film to a new level. Whether they’re persuading a friend to see a favorite movie, reviewing a recent show, comparing books to their on-screen counterparts, or creating a memorable film character, your kids are sure to find a prompt that inspires!
1. Must See!
What is your all-time favorite movie? Write a paragraph persuading a friend to watch it.
2. A Fighting Chance
Luke Skywalker wields a lightsaber, and Katniss Everdeen is a whiz with a bow and arrow. Buzz Lightyear has a Space Ranger Blaster, while Ironman uses a wrist laser.
Plan a movie in which your hero has a special weapon. Who is your hero? What is his or her weapon of choice? How is it used?
3. Don’t Judge a Book by Its Movie
Make a list of books you’ve read that have also been made into movies you’ve seen, such as Charlotte’s Webor The Hobbit. Next to each title, note whether you preferred the book or the film version.
Challenge:Explain your reason(s) for preferring one over the other.
4. Two Thumbs Up
Write a review of a movie you’ve watched recently.
- What is the film’s genre? Action? Science Fiction? Fantasy? Other?
- Include a brief summary of the film and an explanation of why you liked (or hated) it. What was your favorite scene? Did you find any part of the movie disappointing? (Make sure to avoid spoilers, since others may not have seen the film yet.)
- Give the movie a rating from one to five stars (one star meaning terrible and five stars meaning exceptional).
5. What a Character!
Have you ever wanted to write a movie screenplay? Write a paragraph describing your main character. Include the character’s appearance, character qualities, desires, and a surprising fact about their background. If you get stuck thinking of words, you can find some ideas here and here.
6. Pretty Powerful
What movie has made the greatest impact on you? Explain your reasons, using three different scenes from the film as examples.
Looking for more writing prompts? Check out our extensive collection on Writing Prompt Wednesdays!