WHY FILMS WORK

1070065_10151773371863582_831666910_nIn the history of cinema, before the introduction of sound in 1929, all films told stories visually.  This is the very foundation of visual storytelling.  Babies cannot use words until about 18 months of age yet we communicate with them through sign, gesture and tone.   There is a strong correlation here. Films work because they are what we first know, because they are primal like our dreams, because they trigger our emotions, because we can empathise, because we deeply relate to this visual language.

Images are a universal language and yet, primarily due to the process of law, control and power structures, it is the WORD that dominates education.  This is changing.

Recent studies and practical sessions in the classroom, along with the redefining of literacy in the digital age, have shown that moving images provide access to higher order thinking, analysis, motivation to write, understanding and learning.

Almost everyone is now carrying around a screen and a video camera (mobile phones, tablets etc. ).  The moving image is now a dominant form of communication.  The world has changed.

We still need books and words and stories but now, we also need film phonics.  We can READ the language of film but know little of the grammar, the form, the process and the production, that is: WRITING or creating films.  There is also a distinction to be made between “just filming” (Youtube) and film making.

Here is some further research:

http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/policy/nlt_policy/815_the_future_of_literacy_in_the_digital_age

http://www.movingimageeducation.org/

http://screen-ed.org/

http://www.bfi.org.uk/education-research/teaching-film-tv-media-studies