My FILM 4660 class requires that students write a 5-7 page paper.
Here is the description:
“CRITICISM: Select one of the following chapters / articles: Include a summary of the article’s central arguments and examples that you add, demonstrating the value of their approach.
Since film is an auditory and visual medium it seems inappropriate to present a thesis or general idea about cinema in simple written word. An alternative to simply writing a paper would be creating an audio or visual compilation to portray the authors ideas.
The class is about the history of animated film and many of the students in the class are studying how to create animated shorts. It could be an option for these students to create a short film that would explain the concepts discussed in the articles. This would allow students an outlet tied to their interested but still directly linked to class criteria.
Another option, for students that are not well versed in animation software, would be to create a short film that explains the central concepts. This could be live-action or stop-motion animation for the project or simple slide-show presentation with examples of clips from films related to the topic.
All of these options are open to creativity and directly linked to film as a medium. It gives students an opportunity to use their skills in an educational setting and have a personal experience with creating video.