Number of teaching hours per year: 36 The subject module ‘Motion picture and media’ has been prepared in two versions, A and B, each of which has its own system of objectives and requirements, and its specific content. When making the local syllabus, either version A or B may be used.
Version A Objectives and tasks Essentially, this school subject focusing on motion picture and media primarily serves to enhance pupils’ skillsin understanding text in motion pictures (films, television, video, computer games, web) and familiarising them with the function and workings of audiovisual media in society, as media has a profound influence on the personality and information possessed by individuals. Large amounts of people align their daily schedule with that of television, receive suggestions as to how they should perceive the world’s events; it launches fashions in eating and shopping, creates heroes, ideals and life goals. As film, television and the Internet transform language, the system of values, rhythm sense, taste, desires, heroes, taboos, arts and artistic pleasure, creation and reception as well, education in media is afundamental tool in personality development.
The primary objective of teaching this subject is therefore to prepare pupils for an independent and critical attitude with respect to texts seen and heard in the media, and to be open to using traditional and new media. This, however, requires a basic level of literacy in the language of motion picture and in the history of arts, as well as a certain transformation of naive consumer attitude. With pupils in the eights year, the necessary skills may be developed through situations which provide them with experience, through working with works, TV and film products, by participation in a series of individual and group activities focusing on relevant themes, enabling children as viewers to differentiate between news and commentary, author’s works from products in the same genre, and to recognise ownership and political points applied to the making of art works and TV and film products.
Developmental requirements In accordance with the subject’s objectives and tasks, successful education in motion picture and media must pay special attention to the development of communication and cooperation skills, promotes a creative attitude, enhances problems-solving, observation, orientation and organisation skills. Through analysis and practise of creative roles, it helps develop a realistic self-view. Through analysing conflicts presented in art works and by helping pupils to experience feelings arising from true human stories, it promotes the development of a tolerant and emphatic personality, as well as gentle treatment of crisis situations encountered in life.
In the course of teaching ‘Motion picture and media’, pupils must be made to realize how and why the motion picture form of communication is suitable to capture the world’s occurrences and to deliver a personal message at the same time. Pupils need to realise how and why communication in the media (e.g. in entertainment) endangers high culture and, at the same time, personal autonomy (e.g. addiction to information, obsessional consumption), but also the possibilities provided by technical reproduction of images and network communication together for the preservation of our cultural heritage and for the enhancement of free choice (e.g. digital archives, publicity).
When developing the skill to understand audiovisual texts, care should be taken to help pupils to recognise cultural patterns in media texts. One layer of interpretation therefore recognising the author’s or genre’s dominance in representation (personality, style, conventions) and the role of the recipient, the viewer (expectations, identification), while the other fundamental layer is recognising the underlying, often tacit system of values and interests influencing media texts.
For this reason, the school must enable pupils to learn more about their own personality, to learn about historical, social and cultural correspondences through the study of appropriate motion picture products, and to be able to use mass media in a critical and sovereign fashion.
Classes of ‘Motion picture and media’ must also be occasions where pupils have the possibility to develop their expressivity through suitable creative exercises, thus helping them to formulate their personal, polished audiovisual messages.
Viewing products, TV programmes and parts thereof in groups or small groups (due to the duration of motion picture texts (film, TV, video, computer games, web), it is normally only possible to discuss and analyse texts with the help of excerpts in the class; the products themselves must be viewed outside class time).
Study of the tools used for representation: individual or small group exercises (e.g. grouping pictures, making collage, adding texts, making story-board or scene plan, making living pictures, shadow-play, creating the main title (for example, for a TV programme), making commentary, dubbing).
Brief report, demonstration or description (e.g. description of the background in terms of cultural history or technology on the basis of technical literature of self-information, making and demonstrating optical devices).
Project work: individual or group tasks and activity forms which continuous also outside class, last for a longer period (3-6 weeks) and can often be selected from several options (e.g. research, finding, organising and processing data, facts and information about press products, movies, radio and television programmes, web pages, marketing campaign; making case studies, self-portraits, photo or video etudes, writing a screenplay, making interviews, designing and creating a trailer, designing logos and cover pages, writing work logs).
The language of motion pictures
The roots of motion picture, the discovery of film and film theatre
The roots of communication through motion picture (image true to reality, playing with light and shadow, storytelling with pictures, series of pictures, cartoon).
The principles and tools in technical image capture and perception.
Multiplication, telecommunication, mass communication.
Essential properties of motion picture
The dual nature of motion picture (reproduction and representation).
Breaking up and re-editing the continuity of space and time (scene, picture sequence, arrangement).
Directing viewers’ attention; highlighting
Close-up, lighting, repetition, duration and pace.
Narration through motion picture
Chronological and causal order of events.
Exposition and closing.
Turn of events and episodes.
Actions, story, narration.
The role of cutting in presenting space and time in motion picture
Film space and film time (presenting continuous and simultaneous actions and actions which happened earlier).
Categorising motion picture texts
Fundamental principles of categorising motion picture texts
By carrier media (from celluloid to digital data carriers).
By place of presentation (from film theatre to TV to computer games and the Internet).
By relationship with reality (documentary fiction).
By theatrical and perspectional characteristics (genres).
The role of media in society
Media and mass communication
From the book press to the Internet: the importance of the mediating media.
Media’s own and assumed roles
Information, documentation, entertainment, services, and business and economics functions.
Some characteristics of mediatised communication
Whose message is sent to whom and why: institutions, owners and community in the media.
Coverage time as a property.
Public and commercial media.
Audience as consumers and commercial articles.
The contents of the programme magazine: programmes and programme schedule.
Where and why the screen is on: observation of media consumption habits.
Techniques of influencing the audience: programme schedule, thematic composition, making the channel image, the principle of maximum audience, the principle of series.
Typical media texts, programme types
Representation of reality in the media
Deviation from reality in representing sexes, professions, lifestyles, minorities etc. in the media.
The function of advertising in democratic mass societies (the possibility and obligation of choice)
What makes news news?
Differentiating between news and commentary.
Prerequisites of moving ahead Pupils should be familiar with the basics of the form language used in motion picture, and be able to use the tools of representation learnt in interpreting motion picture texts. Pupils should be able to differentiate between personal messages and technical reproduction, to differentiate between, describe and interpret scenes. They should differentiate between motion picture texts by their relationship with reality, make a distinction, for example, between documentary and drama. On the level appropriate for their age, pupils should be able to collect information from and about various media, to organise these and to make observations independently. They need to be able to bring up arguments in debates about the truth of media texts (e.g. commercials, news programmes). Also, they need to be able to apply their knowledge about the working of the media when selecting programmes.
Version B Objectives and tasks Elementary familiarity with the language, working, multiple application fields and cultural importance of audiovisual media has become part of basic general literacy. Pupils have a perplexingly rich store of experience in this field, but the interpretation of these poses a serious challenge for the school. We must find tools appropriate for adolescence to study complex cultural and social phenomena. An effort is made for the subject to focus on experience and the works, and to give much space to activities utilising the creative motivations of pupils.
Developmental requirements The fundamental objective is to deepen sensitiveness, to learn about the basics of audiovisual culture, and to make pupils capable of utilising the offers of the media for experiences and information in a sovereign, selective manner.
Pupils are introduced to / and gain some practical experience in representation techniques of technical mage reproduction and image transmission. They learn about the elementary aspects of analysing films and TV programmes. They learn to distinguish between image and reality, as well as between various media, representation techniques, genres and programme types.
Pupils become aware of the exceptional influence of audiovisual media on everyday life and the development of personality. They learn of aspects and correlations which enable them to be self-reflective and critical towards views and behaviour patterns presented in the media.
New activities Discussion of programmes, films, press releases in the classroom and working with them individually.
Playful exercises to ‘try out’ various tools of expression, processes of interpretation and effect mechanisms.
Animation, montage, photo and other creative exercises.
Seeing a movie, discussion.
Introduction to the use of CD-ROMs as a source of information.
Audiovisual capture of individual and common events, as allowed by the technical apparatus available.
Library, theatre, film theatre, in front of the screen.
Radio, TV, video, Internet, multimedia.
The importance of the carrier medium in communication.
The transformation of the role of the media in the present age.
Eloquent pictures, important objects, gestures in life and on the screen.
The relationship of words and images.
Multiplication, telecommunication, mass communication.
The visible man
Image and fantasy.
Technical image and reality.
Truth in film – lies in film.
Milestones in motion picture development.
Functions of motion picture
Distinguishing between genres, programme types, e.g. drama, documentary, news, commercial, series, live coverage, popular scientific programmes.
Understanding what you see
How can you ‘augment’ images? The meaning of what we see; the continuity of the narrative.
Movie stories, movie heroes.
Action and narration.
Orientation in space and time.
The concept of cutting.
How does TV work?
Technology, business, politics, arts.
Programme schedule, programme editors.
Browsing in the programme magazine and between channels.
Influencing public opinion.
Behavioural patterns, effect mechanisms.
Identification, critics, participation and indifference in front of the screen.
The influence of TV on everyday life, on the health of body and soul, on taste and on the environment.
Prerequisites of moving ahead Pupils should recognise the elementary tools of representation, interpretation and impactfulness. They should be familiar with the basics of technical reproduction and image transmission and possess the skills necessary to understand the events seen. Pupils should be conscious in selecting programmes and sources of experience and information.