Questions to Ask While Viewing Film[1]

   *           Who created this message?


*            What message does the film communicate? What themes does it embody?


*            What techniques are used to attract my attention? See Language of Film. How do these techniques construct meaning?

·         Identify symbols, imagery, metaphors throughout the film.

·         How do camera shots communicate meaning?

·         Listen closely to the music; how does it contribute to the film? In what ways does it communicate happiness; about childhood; fear and uncertainty?

·         What role does lighting play?

·         Listen for sound effects and discuss how they influence you during a particular scene.


*            How (and why) might different people understand this message differently from me?


·         How might different viewers from me, interpret this film differently?

·         Why do they not “see” the same things that I see?

·         How do my life’s experiences filter my understanding of the film?


*            What lifestyles, values, and points-of-view are represented in or omitted from this message?


·         How do the producers of this film represent the antagonist or the protagonist?

·         What do the setting, the clothes, the accents of the actors all communicate about the time period or the way of life of these characters?

·         What role does each character play in communicating values?





[1] Developed by The Center for Media Literacy, and taken from Frank Baker’s website, “Film Study Guide for To Kill a Mockingbird: Seeing the Film Through the Lens of Media Literacy.”