• Dr. Valerie Dopp

    Perry High School



    FILM STUDIES I (1888 – 1959)


    Course Description:

    This course offers a panoramic overview of the development of film from the first celluloid to the silent shorts with icons like Charlie Chaplin, to the technological advancements of sound and color, on in to the studio boom of the 1930s-1950s. The students will be able to master film vocabulary and concepts while learning to formulate rich interpretations in analysis through written and verbal critiques. The students will examine the fundamental elements of film including narrative form, cinematography, editing and sound. The students will also examine the cultural aspects of film and be able to relate these aspects to the growth of the industry.


    You can see the list of film titles we may view at the end of the syllabus. All films are rated G to PG-13.


    Grade point values will be assigned for each film notes, projects, quizes, or writing assignment. There will be considerable writing in this course. There will be occasional opportunities for extra credit, but it is always best to keep up with classwork and assignments. There will be several creative projects. Grades will be updated regularly online.

    Rules and Expectations:


      • Students are expected to pay full attention to the film and participate fully in all class activities and discussions.
      • Students will remain awake during films.
      • Student will be respectful of the teacher and of one another. There will be NO TALKING during a film.
      • No gum, food, or drink is allowed in the classroom (other than water in a closed container).
      • No cell phones or headphones are allowed during class time, except for camera related projects.
      • Students will follow the school dress code.
      • Students are expected to keep an open mind and try to enjoy the films for the course.

      If a student violates any of the above rules he/she will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include a conference with the teacher, standing for the remainder of the class period, loss of cell phone for the day, a parent phone call, a disciplinary referral or any combination of the above. If a student continues to violate the rules, a parent conference with an administrator will be scheduled to determine whether or not the student should remain in the class.

    1. Film Study Notebook:

      You are expected to keep and organize your film assignments and study guides. Notes and assignments will be given to you to study from, but it is your responsibility to safeguard them. All of the questions for quizzes and exams, as well as resources for writing assignments will come directly from your film notes and study guides.

       Film Study Notes: Some Guidelines

      1. Fill in the blanks completely. You will not be given credit for incomplete answers.
      2. Use complete sentences or phrases – no one-word answers.
      3. Be specific. Explicit examples from the film are required to prove you actually paid attention.
      4. Write in a legible and reasonable size. Text that is too big makes you appear lazy. Text that is microscopically small just irritates the teacher (and gives her a headache!). Scribbling is wasted. If I cannot read it, you do not get credit for it.
      5. Support your opinions. If you did not like a film, give specific reasons as to why you didn’t like it. If you loved a film, give specific examples as to why it was good. Responses such as: “I didn’t like it because it wasn’t in color” or “I liked it because it was funny” say NOTHING! Try to come up with an intelligent answer.
      6. Keep it relevant. Every good work of art imparts some kind of message or significance. Always make a serious effort to determine how a film may relate to you personally as well as culturally.
      7. Always keep in mind the historical setting of a film. Think about what was going on in the world at the time and how the film reflects the values, struggles, and hopes of the people of the era. Just listing “it was during the war” is not applying it to the time. There must be some cause and effect.
      8. Turn work in on time. Film notes are due when the film ends. Film notes handed in late will only receive half credit.


      Make Up Work and Absences:

      Some absences are unavoidable and necessary. However, please understand that it is impossible to replace the experience of actually seeing a film. It is vitally important that you keep your absences at a minimum. If you have 11 absences, no matter what your grade in the class, you will not receive credit unless the hours and movies missed are made up after school.

      Make up work will be granted for EXCUSED absences only. Assignments missed due to unexcused absences will receive a score of a ZERO. If you miss a film due to an excused absence, the following procedure may apply:

      1. At home or in the library, go to www.imdb.com and look up the film. This internet movie database is an excellent source of information about the film. Read the complete synopsis of the movie. Use this information to create your notes.
      2. If possible, rent or stream the movie and watch the part you missed. Again, nothing can replace the experience of actually seeing the film.
      3. Complete your notes and hand them in the next day. Turn them in on time within the make-up period in order to receive full credit. For example, if you are absent on a Monday and we finish the film on Monday. You have Tuesday to make up your notes and turn them in on Wednesday at the beginning of the class. You will receive a “0” until make-up work is turned in & graded.

    Film Studies Compliance Agreement

    Please complete the following information and return this page for a grade.


    My student and I have read and understand the rules, policies, and expectations as they apply to

    Dr. Dopp’s class. By signing this agreement, we agree to abide by and uphold the rules set forth.


    Parent Consent

    My student and I have read the syllabus and the current film lists thoroughly and understand that all the films listed may be partially viewed, viewed in full, and/or discussed at length.

    Syllabus and film lists can be accessed on Dr. Dopp’s website Film Studies page.

    If you have any comments, questions, or concerns regarding curriculum and/or supplemental materials, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at dopp.valerie@cusd80.com



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