Shot-by-shot analysis of and 750-word essay about a scene from Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
The assignment has two components: a shot-by-shot analysis and an essay.
1. Detailed, shot-by-shot analysis of the scene. Enumerate the shots in the scene and describe each shot’s stylistic features. 50 points.
You should include the following relevant information: camera distance, angle and movement; important elements of or changes in the mise-en-scène, such as staging, costume, figure movement, and screen direction; pertinent narrative information; the nature of shot transitions; the use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound; and shot duration.
Adopting a clear and consistent form is essential to this exercise. Use short forms for shot scales (e.g. LS for long shot, CU for close-up). Only basic information should be included in a shot-by-shot analysis. It should look something like this:
Shot 1. LS, straight-on angle. 7 seconds. Establishing shot of a large office lined with bookcases. There are no windows. There is a single, closed door at frame left. At frame right, John, dressed in a blue suit, is seated behind a large oak desk. The desk and John are oriented facing the center of the room. John begins writing on a piece of paper. There is a sound of a knock at the door. Cut to:
Shot 2. MCU, low angle. 3 seconds. John raises his head and looks to frame left. Cut to:
Shot 3. MCU, straight on. 3 seconds. Reverse-shot of the door. Eerie non-diegetic music begins to play. Cut to:
Shot 4. LS, straight on. 10 seconds. The non-diegetic music bridges over the cut and continues. John rises from the desk. His chair squeaks. The camera tracks inward, reframing him in MCU, and then tracks left, following John as he walks across the room to the door. He reaches for the doorknob. Match-on- action cut to:
Shot 5. CU, low angle. 5 seconds. John’s hand nears the doorknob. The music grows louder….
If a shot appears to be a repeat of an earlier shot, simply record it as follows: “Shot 8: As Shot 3. A woman enters the frame from off-screen right.” Be sure to note any pertinent changes within your description (if there are any). Make your reference to the most recent version of the repeated shot within the scene.
2. 750-word analysis. Do not offer a review of the film or a critique of the scene (or elements within it). Instead, use your observations about the movie’s formal features to devise an argument that identifies the patterns of style that emerge and explains their function. Keep your comments concise and focused on the form. 50 points.
In devising your argument, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:
• What formal and stylistic aspects of the scene are emphasized? How? Why? 
• How are time and space treated? How do editing, mise-en-scène, cinematography, and sound aid 
in our comprehension of that treatment? 
• Are any of the film’s larger themes evident in this scene, as revealed by specific formal features? 
Given the brevity of the essay, it is essential that you develop a clear, logical and convincing argument, supported by appropriate reference to the formal features of the film as documented in the shot-by-shot analysis. Your analysis must not be simply a transcript of the scene or a catalog of observations about story and style. Instead, use your judgment to discern and explicate those features most salient to the scene’s functions. 

This assignment does not require you to consult or reference any secondary sources beyond Film Studies: An Introduction and Casablanca.
Your essay must be composed in formal, academic English and formatted according to either MLA or Chicago documentation and presentation standards. Your name and student number must appear on each page. A word count must appear on the final page. Failure to follow these guidelines, all or in part, will result in the deduction of marks.

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