Scottish Screen, in partnership with Learning and Teaching Scotland and the National Library of Scotland, has just launched a new website to promote film education. The site features over 15 hours of films and clips with attached resources, questions and activities designed to help students and members of the public achieve a deeper understanding of what film can be about.
"We set this up so that young people can have the opportunity to examine moving image texts in detail, not just look at what they appear to be saying," Scottish Screen's David Griffith told Eye For Film. "The site provides the material for close textual analysis looking at, for instance, how shots are composed. We want to make film less transparent and encourage people to ask questions about how films were made, why they were made, and what techniques were used to underscore their meaning."
In choosing material for the site, several factors were considered. There's a wide historical spread, from 1895 to the present. The films were selected to be relevant to different areas of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and most of the clips are short enough to be used effectively in lessons, with time left for discussion. They feature innovative cinematography and each makes a distinct point with the techniques it employs.
In the longer term, Scottish Screen hope to expand the site to include around 50 hours of footage, plus they're working on a second site which will feature short films selected to help young Scottish and UK students to learn foreign languages.
We view an understanding of film as an important aspect of 21st century literacy," says Griffith. "There is some shift in the balance between the importance of film and written texts, but looked at another way, they can complement each other. Analysing films can be a step towards better appreciating written texts, but films can also be studied in depth in their own right."
You can see the new site at http://scotlandonscreen.org.uk/