IB Text Analysis: Pan’s Labyrinth

IB Text Analysis: Pan’s Labyrinth

“Director/Conductor” by La Chachalaca Fotografía is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


A guide to planning, researching, and creating your IB Film Text Analysis

  • Follow the directions for each step below
  • Include for your notes, where required

Student Work

  • Justin’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Neil’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Satchel’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Dexter’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Sam’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Jadee’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Laari’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography

Guidance for Your Work

The TA is an exam. Failure to turn in the work within the 4 weeks, unless the teacher requests extenuating circumstances directly from the IB, should be considered a fail.” – IB Film

13.5 Hours To Complete

  • Please track how long it took you for each stage

Step 1 – Preparation: Spend 2 Hours

Total Time: 26:28

Step 2 – Pick a Film, Watch It, and Write Notes: Spend 4.5 Hours

Total Time:

The goal of IB Film is to expose students to films from all over the world and to increase their critical and practical understanding of film as a creative art form and reflection of its time period, society, and political and cultural environment. As a result, this class requires the viewing of a wide variety of films. In some cases, these films may carry an R rating, or, in the case of films made before 1968 and some foreign films, will have no rating at all. Please be assured that all the films selected for this course have a high degree of artistic merit and that many have won numerous awards and are considered part of the film canon. However, if you object to any film shown that does carry an “R” rating, you will always have the opportunity to request that an alternative film be assigned, and/or be excused from class and not view the film.

  1. Watch the trailers and pick ONE of these films (or the two episodes) (10 minutes)
    • Pan’s Labyrinth [Spain/Mexico] Director Guillermo Del Toro 2006 (Rated R)
      • Trailer
      • Available on Netflix and other streaming services
      • Google Drive (Film and Commentary)
    • Across the Universe [USA] Director Julie Taymor 2007 (Rated PG-13)
      • Trailer
      • Available on Hulu and other streaming services
      • Google Drive (Film, Commentary, and Extra Features)
    • The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 1 Ep. 01 and 02 [USA] Director Reed Morano 2017 (Rated R – Mature Rating on Hulu)
  2. Review Drew’s TA Guide Sheet (he scored very high!) (10 minutes)
  3. First Viewing: Watch the film and record your reactions (2 hours)
    • Take notes (below in this post)
      • How does the film (various scenes) affect you?
      • Remember every scene is like a mini-movie
      • Pay attention to which scene best represents the film, for you
        • When the captain grabs Ofelia’s hand, it makes me think he’s the bad guy
        • The labyrinth has a hellish look to it
        • The Doctor seems to be a good guy
        • The medicine he gave her looks to have importance
        • The room has a blue green color
        • interesting shot of the fetus transitioning to the rose in Ofelia’s story
        •  The scene where the captain kills the farmer and his son was powerful
        • The fairy looks weird, not fairytale like. The movie is not uplifting
        • Ofelia is not scared by the faun
        • The book revealing itself was mysteriously shot
        •  When Ofelia enters the fig tree, the stuff in the air looks mystical
        • The scene with the toad was disgusting from start to end. It shows what Ofelia is willing to go through
        • Ofelia has ruined her dress to pursue the tasks, she seems happy about it
        •  when we first see where Ofelia is going with the chalk, the hallway looks hostile, along with the room with the feast and the monster in it
        •  the silence is deafening to the point where just the key being out makes a sound
        • when Ofelia eats the grape, seeing the fairy put it’s head in it’s hands helps us to realize the gravity of the situation before the monster even wakes up
        • the rain makes the fighting scene seem gritty
        •  It is hard to watch Pedro mess up when he can’t count to three without stuttering
        • The faun yells at Ofelia, but she isn’t concerned about the noise, only what he is saying
        • It’s hard to watch the doctor kill Pedro
        •  the scene with Mercedes and the captain was very intense
        • The scene where Mercedes cuts up the captain is very brutal
        •  When the captain is chasing Ofelia through the labyrinth, there is high tension
  4. Second Viewing: Notice the cinematography, mise en scene, actor movement, wardrobe, sound (diegetic, non-diegetic, music, etc.) choices (2 hours)
    • Review the Big List of Film Terms for cinematic elements, mise en scene (what’s represented on screen), and sound
    • Write notes (below in this post)

Step 3 – Choose Your Extract, Watch It, Write Notes, and Research: 2.5 hours

Total Time: 1:41:06

  1. Open your TA Bibliography Google Doc (In Your IB Google Drive Folder – Mr. Le Duc created)
    • You will add your MLA sources as you research
  2. Choose your 5-minute extract (scene)
  3. Re-watch this scene numerous times and write notes in the Task Analysis Guide (below) (15 minutes)
  4. Research to support your notes (1 hour)
      • Cultural context Evidence: Textual analysis and sources
        • Answer these questions:
          • To what extent do you demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context of the film text?
          • To what extent do you support your understanding of the cultural context with research from appropriate and relevant sources?
    • Add to your notes in the Task Analysis Guide
  5. Re-watch your scene numerous times and add to your notes (15 minutes)
  6. Research to support your notes (1 hour)
    • Re-read Criterion B Film Elements Rubric
      • Evidence: Textual analysis and sources
        • To what extent do you evaluate how the extract makes use of film elements to convey meaning in the chosen film?
        • To what extent do you support your observations with the appropriate use of relevant film vocabulary?
    • Write notes (below in this post)

Step 4 – Compose A Rough Draft: 2 hours

Total Time: 52:16

  1. Watch Mr. Le Duc’s Convert a Table into Text with Editpad.org tutorial and do the following: (5 minutes)
    1. Copy and paste the two columns of your Text Analysis Guide notes (below) into editpad.org
      • This will convert your two-column table layout into a regular text document
    2. Copy and paste from editpad.org into your Google Docs TA Paper Template
  2. Thoroughly re-read and examine your work with the Text Analysis Rubric (PDF) (10 minutes)
  3. Compose your rough draft (1.75 hours)
    • Weave in your research the following
    • WHAT: Your observation about a film element in the 5-minute scene
    • WHY: Relate the film element to the shot or scene’s emotional or narrative importance
    • HOW: Explain how the film element works in the context of this scene
    • SO WHAT: Justify it with the cultural context, as needed

Step 5 – Get Draft Peer Reviewed: 30 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Get it peer-reviewed with the TA Worksheet (PDF) (30 minutes)
    • Peer Reviewer: Look for evidence of each section of the document
    • Look for WHAT, WHY, HOW for each statement in the paper
      • There should be at least one WHY or HOW or every WHAT statement
    • Look for cited research to support statements, where it makes sense
    • Write comments to help the author
      • Add them as “Add Comments” on the side, so you do not add to the word count of the document

Step 6 – Revise: 1 Hour

Total Time:

  1. Revise your draft (1 hour)

Step 7 – Get Feedback from Mr. Le Duc and Revise: 30 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Get feedback from Mr. Le Duc
  2. Make final revisions and check format (30 Minutes)

Step 8 – Finalize Paper and Cover Page: 15 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Clear cover page with the Title of Film & Timecode (5-minute film extract)
  2. Sans serif 12 point font
  3. In-text citations
  4. Less than 1,750 words maximum

Step 9 – Finalize Bibliography and Check Format: 15 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Update your TA Bibliography Google Doc (In Your IB Google Drive Folder)
    • Finish and check the format of your MLA sources as you research

Step 10 – Upload to Turnitin.com: 10 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Upload your TA paper (from Your IB Google Drive Folder)
  2. Upload your TA Bibliography Google Doc (from Your IB Google Drive Folder)

Text Analysis Guide (For your 5 Minute Scene)


The extract may be up to five minutes in length and must be a single, continuous sequence of the film
Time of 5-minute clip 33:00-38:00

PART 1 –  The film, your scene, why it is of interest, and how your scene relates to the whole film.

It is the first task Ofelia has to do and it involves both the captain’s storyline and Ofelia’s storyline.

Brief Summary of Exposition

Writer, Director, Producer, studio, year released Main characters, conflict, identify the genre. Identify the aspect ratio.

Context of Extract in Film – briefly describe the scene

At what times does your scene occur, how it begins, and how it ends. Do not describe it further. The judges have seen the movie.

It starts with Ofelia crawling into a dying fig tree to retrieve a golden key. Integrated with this is the captain discovering a spot where the rebels had set up camp. The scene ends with Ofelia tricking the toad into eating the rocks and taking the key from the Toad.

The Rationale for Selection – relation to the entire movie

Why is it interesting and why does this scene best illustrate the themes of the whole movie?

This scene incorperates many of the important themes that the film has. It illustrates the theme of birth and maternity through the fig tree and the toad. It shows the captain’s ruthless pursuit of the  rebels. It illustrates the indirect killing of Ofelia’s mother by the captain.

PART 2 – Remember to integrate the Director’s intent with each of the following areas in this section


Script – Not just dialogue but in terms of being the spine of the story Explain how this scene advances the plot. How do the events of this scene clarify/complicate matters? How does this scene affect/cause future events? What new information is revealed or suggested about a character? Is there anything deliberately withheld? Anything unusual in the dialogue? Word choice? Delivery? Accents? Repetition? For Ofelia, she completes her first task to becoming the princess of the underworld. For the captain, he discovers the vial of anti-biotics that he uses to discover the doctor is a traitor helping the rebels. We also get to see the rebels for the first time. When Ofelia meets the toad, she introduces herself as princess Moanna, and says she is not afraid of it. However how she delivers the line suggests that she is. She asks the Toad if it is ashamed of living in the tree, eating bugs and getting fat. Similar to the upper class in the following dinner scene, not having to experience the burdens that the war brought on the people, instead being able to stay at their homes and avoid it.

Cinema Photography

a) Camerawork – describe shots in specific terms Shot size: ELS, LS (stage), full shot, MS, CU, ECU. Camera angles: bird’s eye, high angle, eye level, low angle or Dutch (oblique), camera movement: pan, tilt, dolly or tracking, handheld, Steadycam, or moving crane. Invisible V conspicuous. Are tracking shots motivated by character movement? LS – shows the clausterphobic scene, slow zoom in

Dolly shot transitions to Captain and horses (motivated by character movement)

CU – Captain’s hand, starts with a tilt, transitions to a pan

Cu – tracks the Captain’s hand picking up a paper bag

MCU – The captain is examining the antibiotics,  camera begins to rotate around the Captain

MS – Captain walks up a hill, the camera cuts pans in front of him

MS – Camera is behind the Captain, slow pan

MLS – Captain and two officers are somewhat small, almost looking down on them

CU – on captain’s upset face

MS – low angle shot, Captain still has power

Pan follows men out of the forest

Transition to behind rebel’s back (MS)

FS – Low angle shows the rebels  have power

MCU – pan follows Ofelia in cave, reveals bugs are still on her

MCU – show’s Ofelia’s concerned face, she is lost, slow zoom in on cave

Slight pan to reveal toad

Shot reverse shot with Ofelia and the Toad

CU – Ofelia drops the stones in mud

CU – Shows the bug in Ofelia’s hand

MCU show’s Ofelia gets an Idea

WS – Shows both Ofelia and dying toad

MCU – highlights the golden key

MCU shows Ofelia’s lip quivering, tracking reveals that her dress is not where she put it


b) Composition Open/closed composition, aspect ratio, rule of thirds, Kubrick single-point perspective.
c) Depth of Field Consider foreground, mid, ground, and background. Deep focus is associated with wide-angle lenses. Could be flat. Narrow ranges of focus may be the result of telephoto lenses. The captain and his to officers are small in frame, they have little power.

Mise-en-scene – The overall look and feel of a movie

a) Position of characters and objects Identify the dominant, does movement guide our focus, character proxemics patterns (intimate,  personal, social, and public distances). How does the director add meaning to these choices? Is one character encroaching on another’s space? Watch for space being used to portray relationships/changes in relationships. Watch for windows, doors, parallel lines that frame people or objects.  Entrapment. Look for actor placement. Front – actor facing camera, greatest intimacy. One-Quarter Turn – very popular. Profile – character lost in the moment, a bit more distant than the previous two. Three Quarters Turn – useful to convey anti, socialness, Back of Head, most anonymous shot.  Creates a mystery or feeling of alienation. When the captain shows up, only him and his officers get off their horses, the rest of the soldiers are not shown until they leave. The captain is dominant, he’s always the largest in frame. When he realizes the rebels are close by, he never looks directly at the camera, he doesn’t know where they are exactly. We even see from behind him, suggesting they could be surrounded.
b) Lighting Low or high key. How does the director use light to focus our attention? Key, fill, and backlighting. What is the source of lighting in the context of the scene? In the cave, it is oddly well lit with an almost golden light. This is most likely to add to the fairytale piece of the story. The scenes in the forest with the captain are naturally lit to bring the audience back to reality. When Ofelia leaves the cave, it is a dark blue, showing a cold snapping back to reality.
c) Color scheme How does the director use color and what is the director’s intent for doing so? Look for color symbolism or color associated with characters. Color to suggest a mood. Color as foreshadowing. Contrasting colors ( the monolith v white room) golden light in cave shows mysticism

Dark Blue when Ofelia leaves the cave – creates a cold feeling


d) Set/location/props Set design. Studio or on, location, describe props, scenery, what was the Director ́s intent for using them? How dense is visual information? Stark, moderate, or highly detailed? The Fig tree outside and in looks like a uterus, most likely representing the Ofelia’s mother and the child she’s carrying. The is being killed by what’s inside it similar to how Ofelia’s brother is killing her mom. The vial of antibiotics is crucial as it indicates that the doctor is involved with the rebels before it is revealed. It is the reason that he gets caught later in the film. The forest set in combination with the camera work meant to be confusing.
e) Costume, hair, make up Period, class, gender (emphasize or diminish), age-appropriate, silhouette (close-fitting or baggy), fabric (plain, sheer, rough, delicate), accessories. Color is very important in relation to character. Ofelia is dressed minimally, she is clean at the start and ends covered in mud and slime. The Captain and soldiers are dressed in dark colors. The rebels look poorer than the soldiers.
f) Acting/body language Acting style, body language, blocking, period, or contemporary. Individualized (Joker), Stylization. Look for subtext (character says one thing but means something else). Consider typecasting as a shortcut to characterization.

Sound – watch scene w/o picture

Live sound, sound effects, and music. Sound can be diegetic, meaning characters would hear it, or non, diegetic, meaning that characters would not hear it, such as narration or music over the credits. Explore the relationship between diegetic and non, diegetic sound when appropriate.


Is the music telling you what to feel?  Music can be used as a counterpoint to the action.


Ellipsis (time compression) and cross-cutting, fades, dissolves (fades between scenes), wipes,  matching cuts, straight cuts, dialogue overlap, and sound bridges. Consider how long each shot lasts.

Part 3: Analyzing the Film as a Product

Sociocultural Context

In what way was this movie a product of its time? What does the audience learn about the culture or historical context of the film?

Target Audience

Teens/adults or male/female age group, college education art crowd, liberal, conservative, Christian

Generic Expectations

http://www.filmsite.org/filmgenres.html also research  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Tropes


Man V Man, or one of the others, is this film an allegory?


What specific devices support your definition of the theme? Look for recurring elements.

Film Criticism

Both contemporary and current. Use brief quotes from two different sources. Record the details:  reviewers’ names and publication names/dates


Compose Paper

Part 4: Sources

Source 1 https://theasc.com/ac_magazine/January2007/PansLabyrinth/page1.html
Source 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqDLB3JWfds
Source 3 http://widescreenjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/66/111
Source 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbZNkMn3PvQ
Source 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-G8pKiuG8Q
Source 6
Source 7
Source 8
Source 9
Source 10


Revision 1 Proofreader:
Revision 2 Proofreader:
Revision 3 Mr. Le Duc

External Assessment Criteria SL and HL

Peer Review Checklist

Comparative Study Worksheet 2020-21 (Format 2)

Comparative Study Worksheet 2020-21

“Film scripts for sale in Soho! #newyork #newyorkcity #nyc #movies” by Nat Ireland is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


A guide to planning, researching and creating your DP Film Comparative Study

  • Follow the directions for each step below
  • Include for your work where it is required

Student Work

  • To be placed after students create posts

Steps and Tasks

  1. Brainstorm possible films for the task. You must select TWO films from contrasting cultural contexts.
  2. Brainstorm and justify at least three different areas of FILM FOCUS for your two chosen films.
  3. Brainstorm and justify at least two different CULTURAL CONTEXTS for your two chosen films.
  4. Consolidate your ideas and develop at least three different RESEARCH QUESTION topics for your study.
  5. Finalize your choices and select your RESEARCH QUESTION. Choose two films for comparison.
  6. Develop the main arguments you will make about your topic.
  7. Collect evidence from the films that support your argument.
  8. Research secondary sources for information that supports your argument.
  9. Write your Narration and plan the audio-visual components of your video essay.
  10. Recordassemble, and edit your Comparative Study Video Essay.
  11. Create a Works Cited document (separately) once your Comparative Study is finished.

Guidance for Your Work

“Simple formative analysis of film elements, no matter how precise or insightful, won’t cut it which is why the research question needs to be crafted in such a way that it provides scope for theoretical and socio-historic exploration. It’s basically an EE in disguise but focusing on two very different textual sources.”

Comparative Study Task Components

For this assessment task, each student identifiesselects, and researches each of the following task components.

  1. TASK 1: One area of film focus.
  2. TASK 2: Two films for comparison from within the chosen area of film focus, one of which originates from a contrasting time (historical) or space (geographical) to the personal context of the student, and the other film identified for comparison must arise from a contrasting cultural context to the first film. Students are required to select films they have not previously studied in depth. The selected films cannot come from the prescribed list of film texts provided for the textual analysis assessment task and, once selected, the films cannot be used by the student in any other assessment task for the DP film course or the extended essay.
  3. TASK 3: A clearly defined topic for a recorded multimedia comparative study, which links both the selected films and the identified area of film focus. Each student should invest time in researchingdeveloping, and honing their topic (which in most cases is likely to be expressed in the form of a research question) to ensure it is clear, focused and concise, in order to provide them with the maximum potential for success in this task. The topic should seek to enrich the student’s understanding of the chosen area of film focus and should avoid a plot-driven approach to the comparison.

The assessment criteria for this task requires students to provide a strong justification for the choice of task components as part of the recorded multimedia comparative study. This includes the student’s justification for how films arise from contrasting cultural contexts.

1. FILM Choices List

Which films are you considering for your final Comparative Study? List as many as you wish below as part of an initial brainstorm. Remember that you must select ​​TWO​​ films from contrasting cultural contexts for this task.e.g. CITIZEN KANE Year, Country, and Director of the film.e.g. 1941, USA, Dir: Orson Welles
Joker 2019, USA Dir: Todd Phillips
Taxi Driver 1976, USA Dir: Martin Scorcese
Uncut Gems 2019, USA Dir: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

2. Areas of FILM FOCUS

Film Focus Possibility – identify the broad focus area and then add specifics (e.g. “THEORY – Auteur theory” or “GENRE – Horror”). Develop at least THREE options…you can create more by adding more rows. Justification for this Film Focus. Be as specific as possible.
Character Study All the possible film choices focus around the mental state of one character
Crime Each film has an element of crime as part of the central plot. Specifically murder.
Drama Each of the films are story driven, not relying on flashy visuals or constant action.


For this assessment task, “cultural context” involves consideration of some of the following factors, some of which may be blended (such as socioeconomic factors).

  • Economic, Geographical, Historical, Institutional, Political, Social, Technological
Identify at least TWO Cultural Context possibilities for your chosen films.
Justification for this Cultural Context. Be as specific as possible.
Political Between these films (Particularly Joker and Taxi Driver)  they portray politicians and politics in different lights.
Social The seventies had a much different Social structure than 2019 did. There was less understanding of Mental health for example.

4. RESEARCH QUESTION Possibilities

Consolidate your thoughts above and develop at least ​THREE​​ different research question possibilities. More are possible by adding additional rows to the table below. FYI these will be shared with the full class for discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

Your Chosen Area of Film Focus Topic for Comparative Study (written as a research question)
Character Study How has the portrayal of mental health changed since the 1970s?
Crime How have crime films featuring anti-heroes changed since the 1970s?
Drama How have Drama films evolved from the 1970s?

5. Final Decisions

Using your topic options in the table above, select ​ONE​​ to be your final topic for this Comparative Study task. NOTE: There are examples from the IB of what this should look like below this table.

Your Chosen Area of Film Focus Film 1 Film 2 Contrasting Cultural Context Topic for Comparative Study practice task (written as a research question)
Character Studies Joker Taxi Driver Social Differences How has the portrayal of mental Health changed since the 1970s?

6. Developing Your Topic

Develop 3-5 main arguments that can be made about your topic based on your research question and chosen film focus. Brainstorm how you could support these arguments within your video essay.
The portrayal of Mental Health is more accurately portrayed today Joquin Phenox based his performance on an actual condition
The causes for this decline in mental health are better understood now Taxi driver cites the Vietnam war, while Joker cites Abuse from his parents

7. Selecting Supporting Evidence (Primary)


Identify at least 15 scenes from your chosen films that will help support the arguments you have outlined above. Screen clip a frame from each scene below. Write notes about how this scene helps support your argument. (These notes will help form your voice-over narration.)
This is the turning point for Arthur when he makes his final decision to Kill Murray rather than himself. More selfish
This is the scene where Travis goes to save the young girl instead of assassinating the mayoral candidate.  Less selfish
This scene is when Arthur brings a gun into the children’s hospital. He is also fired, because of this and hits his head in a phone booth
This scene describes the medical condition that Arthur has
This scene is when Travis describes his disgust with the “scum” of the city and how he wants to cleanse it.
This scene shows the problems that Travis has after blowing his chance and being rejected by the girl he’s obsessed with
This scene is when Travis is practicing his quickdraw in the mirror. It is the start of his violent tendencies
This is the first of Travis’s efforts to in his mind “Clean up the streets”
The stair dance scene is Arthur’s high point in the film before he goes onto the show. It shows his feeling of being free
This is when Arthur is at his breaking point and he kills the three men on the subway.
This scene is when Arthur discovers his mother’s abuse of him and why he has his condition.
The scene where Arthur kills his mom shows helps to show his mental decline, not to mention his words about not having been happy in his life
This scene shows Travis’s failed assassination attempt and his change of heart.
This scene shows the beginning of Travis’s obsession over Betsy
This scene shows  some of Travis’s mental decline as he is willing to fight Betsy’s co-worker  just to talk to her

*Add more rows as needed.

8. Selecting Supporting Evidence (Secondary)

Identify at least 3-5 secondary sources (articles, books, websites, video essays, etc.) which provide information that help support your arguments being made. In this column include the specific source citations. Summarize the detailed information from the secondary source that you can use in this column. (You can copy+paste if they are from online sources.)
Joker (2019) Psychology Analysis


  • Arthur has a ton of clinical symptoms (see 1:30 for list)
  • At the beginning, there are more signs of the major depression. The middle of the film has more to do with Psychosis. The end goes back to the mood disorder, this time hypomania, after just about everything in his life crumbles.
  • His murders is him adjusting to a cruel world and does not have anything to do with his mental illness
  • “the joker has always been a mirror into American cultural fears”
Taxi Driver – Breaking Down Bickle


  • “We are so far in his head, we buy into his delusions”
  • He starts more lighthearted, laughing and joking with the man interviewing him.
  • He takes pleasure in his own discomfort
  • Travis’s obsession is saving someone who doesn’t need to be saved.
  • The movie is about watching and observing Travis rather than an overarching story
  • Travis too used to being rejected so he is not ready when Betsy goes out with him
  • He is unable to read social cues
  • He only considers becoming violent himself when he picks up a passenger that is violent
  • Travis has many bad habits and doesn’t ever fit in
  • slow motion indicates contempt
  • The Tablets Travis takes is the simmering rage inside him
  • Travis tries to repel his angry thoughts

*Add more rows as needed.

9. Writing Your Narration

Using the information, scene choices, and external sources you have compiled in parts 6-8, you will now write your voiceover narration and match it up to your chosen visual examples.

For the final Comparative Study, your narration should be no longer than 10 minutes in length.

Assemble in Two-Column AV Formatt in Celtx (Tutorial) or use Google Docs

Remember that you need to:

  • COMPARE and CONTRAST your two chosen film using the arguments and evidence you identified in parts 6-8
  • Begin your narration with a detailed justification for the chosen cultural contrast
  • Use an equal balance of the two selected films.
  • Write in a third-person voice to construct your argument (similar in tone to your Extended Essay and other
    comparative analytical work you have written in Film class).
  • Identify where any WRITTEN TEXT will appear on the screen and highlight this (to reference during the
    creation/editing stage)
Voiceover Narration Ideas Which visual evidence/scenes line up to this part of the narration?

10. Assembling the Comparative Study

Now you will collect all media resources needed for the task and construct your video essay.


  • Import the digital copy of your chosen films into editing software
  • Identify and extract chosen scenes and clips
  • Place and edit clips into a rough timeline for your video essay
  • Record audio narration (both partners should participate in narrating this practice task)
    into an audio file using recording equipment (Zoom recorders, iPhone, DSLR Rode video
    mic, etc.)
  • Import your recorded narration audio file into your project timeline
  • Assemble, edit and fine-tune clips and narration until your video essay takes shape
  • Create and add any required textual information in the timeline (including black slate at the start)
  • Audio mixing of narration and movie clips (adjust levels so that narration and movie sounds complement each other)
  • Export the final video essay movie file
    • Upload Unlisted draft to YouTube for peer review
  • Create Works Cited list separately (Google Doc)

*NOTE: Separate tutorial and tips sessions will be held throughout this process to provide guidance on recording your voice-over narration and mixing the audio levels successfully.

Examples of Possible Task Components (from the IB)

Area of film focus Film 1 Film 2 Possible topic for comparative study
Film movement: German Expressionism The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Edward Scissorhands (1990) How and with what effect are specific film elements of German expressionism used within a chosen contemporary film?
Film movement: French New Wave Breathless (1960) Badlands (1973) The influence of the French New Wave on New Hollywood’s use of innovative film elements in its representation of youth and violence.
Film genre and film style: Black comedy No. 3 (1997) The Big Lebowski (1998) To what extent do “black comedy” films differ according to cultural context?
Film theory: Soviet Montage Battleship Potemkin (1925) Koyaanisqatsi (1982) To what extent are specific features of Soviet montage theory faithfully employed in a contemporary experimental film?

External Assessment Criteria SL and HL

Peer Review Checklist


TASK COMPONENTS (ACTION) Notes / Suggestions
__ Assemble Findings
__ Develop a personal and critically reflective perspective
__ Identify and gather appropriate audio-visual material to support the study
__ Justify the chosen topic and selected films
__ Make sure that the text is in a formal academic register (can be in the 1st person)
__ Balance between visual and spoken elements
__ Make clear reference to your sources as on-screen citations (text on-screen)
__ Make sure primary weight of evidence for the study from the two chosen films
__ Make sure each film is given equal consideration
__ Make sure film language information is communicated clearly throughout (avoid “to be” verbs – make statements like “blah is this.”)
__ Make sure information is communicated logically rooted in film language
__ Have another student highlight the WHAT WHY HOW in your draft screenplay
__ Recorded voice and edited commentary numerous times until happy with the material
__ Make sure your name and the school’s name ARE NOT IN THE ESSAY
__ Make sure to have 10 second title card with: 1. Area of film focus, 2. Titles of the two films for comparison, and 3. The chosen topic
__ Include breaks in your recorded commentary to enable other audio-visual material included in the study to be clearly heard (if needed)
__ Make sure film clip length matches points being made
__ Make sure still images have citations on-screen, if you have them
__ Make sure text on screen is legible and spelled correctly
__ Make sure information is communicated audibly (levels are good for all sound)
__ Make sure information is communicated visually appropriate manner
__ Make sure background music is from Creative Commons and is cited
__ Make sure edits are clean
__ Make sure presentation is 10 minutes maximum, including title card and credits
__ Make sure two films are listed in sources

Comparative Study Worksheet 2020-21

Comparative Study Worksheet 2020-21

3 “Simple formative analysis of film elements, no matter how precise or insightful, won’t cut it which is why the research question needs to be crafted in such a way that it provides scope for theoretical and socio – historic exploration. It’s basically an EE in disguise but focusing on two very different textual sources.”
4 Thoroughly read the Comparative Study requirements in IB Film Guide PDF (including rubrics)
5 Examine the CS Poster 1
6 Examine the CS Poster 2
7 Watch Garrett’s CS Example
9 Provide a strong justification for the choice of TASKS 1, 2, and 3 below. This includes your justification for how the films arise from contrasting cultural contexts
10 TASK 1 – Pick a FILM FOCUS (film focus can be: film movements, film genre, film style, or film theory)
11 Research Film Movements
12 Research Film Genres
13 Research Film Style (difference between genre and film style defined)
14 Research Film Theory
15 Date: FOCUS:
16 TASK 2 – Pick TWO FILMS
17 Film1 – (must come from contrasting time (historical) or space (geographicalto the personal context of the student)
18 Film 2 – (must arise from a contrasting cultural context to the first filmCULTURAL CONTEXT can be: economic, geographical, historical, institutional, political, social, technological
19 Date: FILM 1: Cultural Context:
20 Date: FILM 2: Cultural Context:
21 TASK 3 – Define Topic which links both the selected films and the identified area of FILM FOCUS
22 Likely to be expressed in the form of a research question – ensure it is clear, focused, and concise
23 The topic should seek to enrich your understanding of the chosen area of FILM FOCUS and should avoid a plot-driven approach to comparison
25 SOURCES for FILM FOCUS (primary and secondary sources: including original films, critiques, publications and other media)
26 Find research a range of relevant sources and add below, decribe how these sources help define a WHAT, WHY or HOW for your comparison
27 Add more sources, as needed
28 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
29 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
30 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
31 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
32 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
33 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
34 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
35 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
36 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
37 Date: Source: What, Why, How:
38 How films COMPARE and CONTRAST (Add below as many rows as needed)
39 Consider the ways in which FILM ELEMENTS work together to convey meaning in your analysis of how the selected films compare and contrast
40 Gather evidence of links that exist between the selected films, as well as your ability to identify connections, similarities and differences while relating these back to the chosen area of FILM FOCUS
42 Film Element:
43 Film Element:
44 Film Element:
45 Film Element:
46 Film Element:
47 Film Element:
48 Film Element:
49 Film Element:
50 Film Element:
51 Film Element:
53 Date: Assemble Findings Notes Peer Review of Draft
54 Date: Develop a personal and critically reflective perspective
55 Date: Identify and gather appropriate audio-visual material to support the study
56 Date: START SCREENPLAY Assemble in Two-Column AV Formatt in Celtx (Tutorial)
57 Date: Justify the chosen topic and selected films
58 Date: Make sure that the text is in a formal academic register (can be in the 1st person)
59 Date: Balance between visual and spoken elements
60 Date: Make clear reference to your sources as on-screen citations (text on-screen)
61 Date: Make sure primary weight of evidence for the study from the two chosen films
62 Date: Make sure each film is given equal consideration
63 Date: Make sure film language information is communicated clearly throughout (avoid “to be” verbs – make statements like “blah is this.”)
64 Date: Make sure information is communicated logically rooted in film language
65 Date: Have another student highlight the WHAT WHY HOW in your draft screenplay
67 Date: Recorded voice and edited commentary numerous times until happy with the material
68 Date: Make sure your name and the school’s name ARE NOT IN THE ESSAY
69 Date: Make sure to have 10 second title card with: 1. Area of film focus, 2. Titles of the two films for comparison, and 3. The chosen topic
70 Date: Include breaks in your recorded commentary to enable other audio-visual material included in the study to be clearly heard (if needed)
71 Date: Make sure film clip length matches points being made
72 Date: Make sure still images have citations on-screen, if you have them
73 Date: Make sure text on screen is legible and spelled correctly
74 Date: Make sure information is communicated audibly (levels are good for all sound)
75 Date: Make sure information is communicated visually appropriate manner
76 Date: Make sure background music is from Creative Commons and is cited
77 Date: Make sure edits are clean
78 Date: Make sure presentation is 10 minutes maximum, including title card and credits
79 Date: Make sure two films are listed in sources
81 Reflect on the learning undertaken in this task, and review and refine your comparative study ahead of submission
Date: Revision 1 elements:
Date: Revision 2 elements:
Date: Revision 3 elements:

Film – Week 10 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 2

Image from BiggerPlate.com

Teens are overwhelmed, partly because they don’t yet have the skills to manage the unprecedented amount of stuff that enters their brains each day.  – from LifeHacker.com

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

― David Allen, (GTD) Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World


This week I managed to get my Mtgw Italy assignment done as far as I needed to and I also revised my College essay.


Screenshot from Sneakonthelot.com
Screenshot from Sneakonthelot.com
  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 60 minutes in this ‘room’
  • Complete…
    1. First Time User
    2. Introduction To Film


Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

You are going to learn to develop your own version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) process in this ‘room.’


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

Examine Two GTD Maps: Basic and Detailed

  1. Detailed map by guccio@文房具社 icensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
  2. Basic map from BiggerPlate.com embedded below

GTD-based Trusted System

Image from Trello.com
  • Examine and pick a trusted system from the 4 options listed below to ‘capture’ your work
    • trusted system is your method for managing your tasks in a way that you consistently get things done
    1. Trello.com with a – GTD Template
      • We use Trello in this class to manage group projects
        • You will create a Trello account a few weeks from now regardless
        • You might want to start now
      • We start using Trello in the second semester
      • Watch Mr. Le Duc Creating a Trello Account and Add GTD Template Tutorial (3:45)
      • You can get the free Trello app at the Apple Store or Google Play
    2. Your phone
    3. Paper and pen or pencil
    4. Examine LifeHacker.com’s GTD Resources


  • Go for a 15-minute walk, if it is safe to do so  and follow the advice from David Allen
    • Bring a notepad
    • Walk and relax and allow your mind to wander
    • If you land on something that needs your attention, write it down
    • Continue throughout your walk


Image from GoodReads.com
Image from GoodReads.com


  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 15 minutes
  • Then watch David Allen summarize the steps
    • “Very simple folks! …
      1. Just WRITE STUFF DOWN
      2. Decide the ACTIONS and OUTCOMES embedded in them
      3. Get yourself a MAP OF ALL THAT so you can step back and take a look at it.
      4. And then, basically, you USE THE MAP TO DECIDE, “OK, here’s the course that we’re going to go on.”
      5. You then LAUNCH the ‘ship’ on a trusted course in the short term, as well as on the long horizon that you’re moving on.
      6. And then, on a regular basis, you need to REASSESS, “OK, we need to take in NEW DATA, CLEANUP, RECALIBRATE, and REFOCUS for the next leg of the journey.”
    • It’s that simple…”
  • ‘Capture’ all the ACTION ITEMS you can in your GTD Trusted System


I learned that I should not put things off. One problem I faced was when filling out an application for UW, the website was really slow. I solved this problem by taking the time and doing other things while waiting for the website to work.

Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1

Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1

“Day 092/366 – To Do List” by Great Beyond is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Your toughest work is defining what your work is! –  Peter Drucker


This week I managed to complete the ToK puzzle and ESS graph assignment. I managed to make progress on my calculus IA and I made progress on my book.


Image of David Allen at TED Talk
Screenshot from David Allen TED Talk

In this ‘room’ you are going to try Getting Things Done (GTD).


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk

Things I need to do

  1. Extended Essay – research, writing, revising
  2. College Applications
  3. Calculus IA
  4. ESS IA
  5. Sneakonthelot part 3
  6. RTW Germany assignment
  7. Math HW
  8. ToK puzzle
  9. Study Spanish
  10. ESS Graphs assignment
  11. Independent Reading project
  12. Finish Book


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk

Priority list

  1. Calculus IA
  2. ESS IA
  3. Sneakonthelot part 3
  4. College Applications
  5. Extended Essay
  6. RTW Germany assignment
  7. Ess Graphs project
  8. ToK puzzle
  9. Math HW
  10. Study Spanish
  11. Finish Book
  12. Independent Reading Project


  1. Set a timer for your first task
    1. Decide how long you think it will take before you start
  2. Start working
  3. Repeat this process for 45 minutes for as many tasks as you can complete, then take a 15-minute break
    • Get up and get a drink of water
    • Get up and go for a walk
    • Every 20 minute blink your eyes 20 times while looking at least 20 feet away
      • This is good for your eyes

Start steps 1 through 3 again, repeat for your school day


David Allen image
Oct. 2020 Lucidchart interview with David Allen
Image from FastCompany Magazine, https://www.fastcompany.com/3026827/the-brain-hacks-top-founders-use-to-get-the-job-done
Image from FastCompany Magazine, https://www.fastcompany.com/3026827/the-brain-hacks-top-founders-use-to-get-the-job-done
  • Reflect on GTD and getting to the top of the colorful list above for a minute
    • How can the GTD process help you tame the crazy-busy dragon of modern life?

  • Then, go for a 15-minute walk, if it is safe to do so
  • Write a few sentence reflection

OPTIONAL EXERCISE – Literally, read the article and go for another walk 🙂

 Katia Verresen homepage
Katia Verresen, kvaleadership.com

“I coach C-suite executives and rising stars from the earliest startups to Fortune 100 companies. My passion is to help ambitious leaders achieve their full human potential.”  – Read more about Katia…


I learned that I like to work for a half-hour with a 5-minute break. One problem I solved was my distractions. I got distracted when my phone would buzz, so what I did is I flipped it over so it was less noticeable when I got a notification.

Developing Quality Workflow

Developing Quality Workflow

What is Workflow?

Image Creative Workflow from Behance.com, https://www.behance.net/gallery/27919515/Creative-workflow-GIF

Work•flow /ˈwərkflō/

“The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.” – lexico.com

What is a quality workflow?  How do we develop it?  Below are elements of the production cycle that most creative people move through as they create something.  First, we must identify the stages of project production. What is each stage and what are the quality checks for each stage.  Read on and find out!

Stages of Creation Development


We find ideas through brainstorming. We can find inspiration in other works like film, song, or literature. What can help this process is keeping track of ideas by noting them using some kind of journal, either physical or virtual. The quality of  ideas is subjective. It is hard to measure the quality of an idea because people tend to see different things as quality. Really, quality is dependent on you, the person with the idea.


Intention should be decided before the brainstorming process begins. To find intention is usually based on the team working on the project. The intention is usually an achievable goal, agreed upon by the team that usually involves everyone.


We can brainwrite and brainstorm using tools of communication like Trello or a simple messaging app in order to communicate with one another. The storyboard could most likely be done individually at first, then revised in a group and changed.


Due to COVID, this stage of production is complicated. What could work is finding who can work in person with who, and then making the production phase more independent from the class. This is a very hard phase to decide how to do because it is such a collaborative effort.


This phase, on the other hand, is fairly easy. Editing can be done individually and everything could be accessed by the editor via a shared google drive like last year. ADR could also be done remotely by the actor or whoever is doing the voiceover and sent to the editor. I’d say there should be a meeting by the team specifically after the rough cut is done so the editor can get comments from the team about it.


This piece of the production cycle is also somewhat tricky.  One possible way this could be done is that the advisory members get and watch the films before the actual meeting and write their feedback down. Then during the presentation, the participating students could present their evidence for the targets met and the advisory could give their feedback. I’d say that the feedback should additionally be sent to the students via email if they miss the meeting or if they need it for future use. This piece of the cycle could also be a short video/audio recorded presentation put at the end of the short film, or sent to the advisory board. This would most likely be a good option in the case of people with poor internet quality so that the presentation is clear.


As stated above, the feedback for each film could be given in a meeting after the presentation. The feedback should also be emailed to the student if possible so that it can be used in the future or if the student misses the zoom meeting.

Recipe For Success: Muhammad Ali

Recipe For Success: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali NYWTS.jpg

Born January 17, 1942, in Louisville Kentucky

Personal Success Definition

I define success as someone who pursues their passions regardless of what they are told or the obstacles they may face.

I believe Muhammad Ali was a successful person because he followed his passion for boxing even after he was systematically denied a boxing license and stripped of his passport for refusing to fight in the Vietnam war, due to his own beliefs.

Skills for Success

Ali was a boxer, an actor, and a poet. He is known as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He started his training at 12 and went on to win a gold medal at the age of 18 in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics. He also made appearances in various movies and TV episodes, such as Requiem for a Heavyweight or his own autobiographical movie The Greatest. He is also known for his use of poetry, either when trash-talking or during his activism outside of boxing.

How They Used These Skills

Explain how did they use these skills to achieve success?

Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X: When Happened When They Met | Time
Picture of Ali with Malcolm X: https://time.com/4200219/muhammad-ali-meets-malcolm-x/Ali used his boxing skills to fight his way to the title of heavyweight champion on February 25, 1964, and again on October 30, 1974. His acting and poetry mainly helped to achieve another passion of his, activism. Ali was a Black Muslim in the 1960s. His success in boxing helped to show the white population that African Americans are just as able as white people. It was his skills in acting and poetry that further spread this message he had.

Challenges Overcome

On his journey to success, Muhammad Ali had to overcome the challenge of racism he faced and the hate he got from winning against white men. Ali was quoted as saying “I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”[154]  Despite the amount of hate he faced, he still managed to become one of the most notable boxers in all of history.

Significant Work

Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston: The Controversial Fight Behind Their Iconic Boxing Photo - Biography

This famous photo is from Ali’s rematch with Sonny Liston. The photo was taken after Ali had knocked Liston out with the “Phantom Punch”.

Leadership: Trello Project

For our leadership project, I and a few friends decided to shoot a film outside of school. We somewhat used Trello to document our progress, but not to the fullest extent we could have. We didn’t really decide to choose roles for each other, instead we each just helped each other with everything. Shooting was all done in one day, with little planning. Despite this, it went pretty well. I was mainly in charge of organization and helping set up some shots. I learned that when shooting outdoors, audio was hard to capture, so ADR was needed for just about the whole film. we also didn’t have a mic on set, so audio would have been bad anyway. Next time, I think we should plan and communicate more.

The Story of Film – Episode 14 – New American Independents & The Digital Revolution

The following information is from Wikipedia

The 1990s: The First Days of Digital – Reality Losing Its Realness in America and Australia.

Story of Film – Episode 13 – New Boundaries: World Cinema in Africa, Asia & Latin America

The Following Information is From Wikipedia

1990-1998: The Last Days of Celluloid – Before the Coming of Digital.