Select around 10 minutes of a film of your choice that is very significant. Explain it's purpose and why you have selected it - Saving Private Ryan.

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Ian Russo        10SP/G1/GA        Mr. Hunnisett

GCSE Media Coursework

Title: Select around 10 minutes of a film of your choice that is very significant. Explain it’s purpose and why you have selected it.

Analyse thoroughly:

  1. the camera shots
  2. characters
  3. action portrayed
  4. lighting
  5. soundtrack
  6. music
  7. dialogue

Comment on the general editing and overall film product.

Saving Private Ryan was created in 1998 and won five Academy Awards including “Best Director” for Steven Spielberg. Saving Private Ryan is a WWII drama; it stars Tom Hanks as Captain John Miller, Edward Burns and Tom Sizemore to name but a few. Saving Private Ryan also won Golden Globes for “Best Picture” and “Best Director”.

        The ten or so minutes that I have selected happen in the very beginning of the movie. The story line is when a squad of American soldiers invade Normandy, known as the D-Day landing. They then move beyond the beaches of Normandy to embark on a treacherous mission to save Private Ryan whose brothers have been killed in combat. I have selected this particular film because I believe that it is an important part of history and that everyone should have the opportunity to learn about it.

        The film starts with a medium shot of an American flag waving in the wind, which creates a sense of patriotism. You can hear the mellow sound of brass instruments, which makes the audience think of the military or the army or some other type of organisation of that sort. As the music continues the camera cuts to a medium shot of someone’s feet that is walking with a slight limp and is also moving very carefully, we can automatically tell that this person is elderly. As the camera pans upwards on this man you can see that he is dressed in modern day clothes. This would be a surprise to the audience, as they know that they are watching a WWII film and they expect to see a battle or something like that during this period. As the brass music continues violins come in as soon as we realise that this man has entered a veteran’s cemetery. While the man enters the cemetery, the camera pans upwards and is now a high angle shot. Since the camera is elevated you can now see row upon row of white crucifix gravestones. The pitch of the shot shows the sheer scale of this cemetery.  As the man’s emotions overcome him, he falls to the ground and the group, which have been accompanying him, rush to his assistance. Without any such dialogue the camera zooms in quite slowly into the man’s face, firstly a close up then a big close up, this shows intense sentiment. You can now hear that the music has faded out and the sound of waves crashing against a beach.

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        The scene now cuts to a flash back. You know this because a caption comes up saying:

June 6 1944

Dog Green Sector Omaha Beach

The lighting from the previous scene is much brighter compared to what you can see now. This gives a sinister atmosphere and a feeling that this isn’t the place that you want to be. In the distance you can hear the sound of engines approaching the coast and then the camera cuts to a fleet of landing craft using a medium shot so you can see the other landing craft as well. ...

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