Final Project (Filmmaker Option)

  • Final Project (Due on November 30, 2017): Filmmaker Option 

(PDF version of this outline available here): final project -filmmaker option

You may choose any filmmaker to examine for your final project (select any actress/actor, director, cinematographer, composer, screenwriter, special effect artist, etc.).

    • Requirements/Expectations: Using APA format, the final project will consist of four (4) sections:
    1. Introduction
    2. Biographical sketch
    3. Evaluation component focusing on three (3) films
    4. Wrap/conclusionoctavia-spencer-book-series

Format guidelines:

  • This is a term paper and the guideline will provide you key dates to keep you on target throughout this semester (or term).
  • You should have three (3) – five (5) strong sources outside of the films you view (do not use Wikipedia). You may use IMDB, but you should add an additional 3-5 sources on top of that.
  • You will also need a bibliography page at the end of your paper (APA style) identifying your sources (including the films you view).
  • 12 pt font (Georgia, Times, or Palatino).
  • Header at the top of your paper should include the name of your selected filmmaker and your name.
  • Number the pages in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • Category headings or subheadings as needed throughout the paper.
  • The paper should be written in APA style throughout your work including in-text citations.
  • There are numerous APA citation generators available online to assist you if needed.


Expectation Guidelines

I. The introduction (at least two strong paragraphs (1/2 page – a full page) will offer a tease or a preview of what the reader will find in your paper. It should include limited information about your filmmaker, your chosen films, and why you found this filmmaker interesting to explore.

  • II. A biographical sketch on your selected filmmaker should be based on three (3) – five (5) strong sources (as mentioned above). Things you should include (at a minimum) in this section: birthplace, childhood interests, personality type, school or training, what inspired the filmmaker to enter the cinema world, film trademarks, box office successes/failures, awards or critical success earned by filmmaker, etc. This should be approximately one-two (1-2) pages or 500-1000 words.
  • III. An overview of three (3) of your selected filmmaker’s projects contrasting and comparing their stylistic approach to each film and the impact they made on the finished product. Examine the following as appropriate: story, acting, lighting, themes, film genre, music, camera angles, cast, crew, etc. Based on these collective works, what impact does this filmmaker have on the world of film? Dedicate at approximately one (1) page (approximately 300-500 words) per film = (approximately 900-1500 words).
  • IV. Wrap/Conclusion – You will then need to wrap the paper with an explanation and defense on why this filmmaker is or isn’t worthy of further study by others based on your research, observations and evaluation. What insights did you gain from examining the filmmaker’s background and films? If the filmmaker is still living – what future prospects do you believe she/he will have on the world of film? This should be approximately one-two (1-2) pages (350-1000 words).


  • Timeline/benchmarks to assist you in staying on trackgoogle-cal-reminder-644x250
    • Sept. 7, 2016: Identify possible filmmaker for final project.
    • Sept. 14, 2016: Identify (3) three films for review from your filmmaker.
    • Sept. 21, 2016: Identify 3-5 (three to five) strong sources for your biographical sketch Print, online articles, audio, video sources, interviews with filmmakers, writers, actors, etc. are acceptable.
    • October 5, 2016: Have draft of the introduction for final paper (turn this in for grade).
    • Oct.8, 2016: View one of your select films by this date (and make detailed notes).
    • Oct. 12, 2016: Have draft of edited intro and biographical sketch complete (turn in for grade).
    • Oct. 12-27, 2016: Watch final two films (and make detailed notes).
    • Nov. 2, 2016: Have next draft of introduction, biographical sketch, and 1/3 of your film overview analysis complete.
    • Nov. 10, 2016: Have draft of introduction, biographical sketch, and 2/3 of your film overview analysis complete.
    • Nov. 17, 2016: Have draft of complete project ready (including intro, bio sketch, 3 films, wrap).
    • Nov.30, 2016: Turn in final project.


*Note: You can turn in your project drafts at the listed points (dates above), and I will provide detailed notes on your work, which will give you a chance to make modifications without any loss of points on your final draft. If you follow this guideline and my editing notes, you should be able to achieve an A+ on the final project. You are welcome to turn in any of these components earlier than the due dates as well.

  • You may select any approved filmmaker. If possible, you may want to consider films that are different in nature (examples: comedy vs. drama, sci-fi vs. musical, action vs. animation, etc.) That will give you a greater appreciation for the range of work produced by the filmmaker. Do not view three (3) franchise films of your selected filmmaker (example: Indiana Jones films, Hunger Games films, Toy Story films, etc.) The following are just examples for reference:

Cast Away Tom Hanks pic1

  • Actor – Tom Hanks
  1. Splash (1984) – Comedy
  2. Forrest Gump (1994) – Action-Drama-Comedy
  3. Castaway (2000) – Drama
  •  Angelina Jolie Pitt
  1. Girl Interrupted (1999) – Drama
  2. Salt (2010) – Action
  3. Maleficent (2014) – Disney Fantasy
  •  Cinematographer – Michael Chapman
  1. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Sci-Fi
  2. Raging Bull (1980) – Drama
  3. The Fugitive (1993) –Action/Drama
  •  Composer – John Williamsjohn_williams_tribute_by_onenine72-d5dzg6q
  1. Jaws (1975) – Horror/Suspense
  2. Schindler’s List (1993) – Drama
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) – Fantasy
  •  Director – Steven Spielberg
  1. ET. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) – Drama/Sci-Fi/Family
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Action/Adventure
  3. Saving Private Ryan (1998) –War Drama
  •  Producer – Dede Gardner
  1. A Mighty Heart (2007) – Biopic/DramaWWZ
  2. Killing them Softly (2012) – Crime Thriller
  3. World War Z (2013) – Sci-Fi/Horror
  •  Writer – Cameron Crowe
  1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) – Comedy
  2. Say Anything (1989) – Romantic Drama Comedy
  3. Almost Famous (1990) – Drama/Atmospheric Musical


Here are student examples of final projects worthy of note (used with permission from the student). The bibliography in these may not be APA style, just read the papers with content in written format stylings in mind to provide you guidelines for your final paper.


8. 13.17


One Comment Add yours

  1. noeltmanning says:

    Fall 2017 Projects:

    Tim Burton – Jenna
    Wes Anderson -Mallory
    Wes Anderson – Emma
    Stephen King – Haley
    Stephen King – Rachel
    George Lucas – Peden
    Lee Daniels – Keanna
    Stephen Spielberg – Tyler


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