Before I came to Ohio University I looked at films as pure entertainment, I never analyzed them or wrote about them. Once I started classes, specifically classed in my major, I then started to analyze them for things such as special effects and composition, but it wasn’t until this class that I started looking at films and analyzing their effects on me, the viewer.
Movies to me were originally nothing more than something fun to do with my friends and family when there was nothing else to do. I looked at films merely on a superficial level, never looking any deeper than on its surface. I actually had many friends who were into analyzing movies and enjoying films for reasons other than just explosions or funny dialogue. They would always encourage me to watch films that had something more than just fancy special effects and almost every time I would come away unhappy. I would go into each movie close-minded, unable to look deeper into what I was watching to see things that the average viewer would not. This environment resulting in me watching a plethora of movies but only enjoying less than half I would watch. The whole experience actually left me kind of salty toward experimenting with new types of movies I hadn’t enjoyed before.
Coming into my first set MDIA classes with a closed mind meant it was a quite a shock to learn I would be watching so many movies that on the surface looked to be films I wouldn’t like. Wanting to get a good grade in the classes I temporarily let my mind open to the films that were required to watch. This decision has proven to be a big step in my development with film. At first we just watched films and wrote reviews on them similar to they way we started this course, as time went on we started to focus on more specific elements of these films. We started to look at things such as special effects, the use of color and lighting, composition and editing. After watching film after film and writing paper after paper on these topics I found myself unable to watch a film and not critique it. It was to the point that I wouldn’t yearn to watch movies like I had in the past. I found that it even made movies that I loved not enjoyable the next time around. Eventually I finally went all-in, I analyze all films like I was taught I watched films that were critically acclaimed instead of films that looked good on a poster. After a little while it seemed as if I had an epiphany, suddenly movies that were boring in the past had a different affect on me. I realized that I now could look past the outer lining of a movies budget or advertising campaign and could enjoy the movie for its inner lining. I walked away from that first set of classes with a new view of movies, along with retaining some of my old feelings and therefore formed a whole new foundation on which to view movies on.
Coming into this class I looked at films two different ways, either as sheer entertainment or as an achievement in the terms of things such as effects and unique editing. Never has a class or anything challenged me to look into films they way this class did. I never thought to analyze the way filmed effected me emotionally, granted I understood that some films made me happy yes, but never did I look deeply into the feelings that were provoked into me by watching a film. Focusing on things such as character development and theme in this class helped to unless I took this class. This class has also led me to enjoy more movies and to enjoy movies that I already loved on a whole new level.
At the beginning of this class I looked at films more narrow-mindedly than I do upon its completion. I have a better understanding about how to look at the emotional response a film can give and how to harness that response into a analytical discussion that helps to further ones understanding and therefore ones enjoyment of a film. Now I am glad to say I have more ways to enjoy films and plan on continuingly analyzing films using techniques I learned in the class.