VPA - Film


Film

Getting Started

Keywords: Think about words that describe your topic and the variations of that word, as well as directors, performers, and technologies. Boundaries are not clear-cut between film genres and some of the people involved cross perceived boundaries. This can give you great angles for your research, but can also make it difficult to stay focused on a topic precise enough for a good paper.

Encyclopedias and indexes are good places to start your research. They can help you identify a topic for your paper and often include useful bibliographies.

Film Encyclopedia REFERENCE PN1993.45 .K34 1994
Encyclopedia of Novels Into Film OVERSIZE P1997.85 .T54 1998
Film Literature Index REFERENCE Z5784 ,M9 F45
Film Studies Dictionary REFERENCE PN1993.45 .B53 2001


Books

Useful Subject Terms

Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Film' is such a large topic and can be defined in multiple ways, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down by time period, title, director, genre, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to consider:

Browse the book stacks

Sometimes, just looking through the shelves can turn up works you would not have otherwise considered. Using the Library of Congress subject heading system, you will find FILM is shelved in the PN call number area, ranging from PN1993 to PN1997.85. The Wikipedia online encyclopedia provides a list of the subclasses in the PN area so you can see how this is organized.


Articles

Film journals include some of the latest research in the field as well as discussion of adaptations, genres, directorial styles, and historical developments. They are a good source for finding very detailed information on your topic. It is a good idea to start with a couple of books before diving into the journals to get ideas on terms to use in your research as you will get a larger number of articles to look through than you will find in books. To find articles, you will need to start with research databases in the Visual Arts Databases link provided. Each will allow you to search hundreds of journals at once. The problem is to decide which databases to look in first! Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text.

 


Internet Sources

Online Journals
Not all journals need to be accessed through the research databases, here are some additional titles:

CSUSM Catalog: Electronic Journals Film
A listing of all the full text journals available on film topics offered by CSUSM either through the databases or on the open internet.

Bright Lights Film Journal
Covers a wide variety of genres, reviews, and people in the industry.

Fade in Online
An emphasis on directors and trends in Hollywood.

FilmMaker: The Magazine of Independent Film
An emphasis on technical and promotional topics of interest to the filmmaker along with resources.

Film Score Monthly
If soundtracks and music in support of the visual images is your interest, this is a must-visit site.

Images: A Journal of Popular Film and Culture
Discussion of films, genres, and directors along with reviews of both theatre-release movies and video.

Scope
From the University of Nottingham Department of Film Studies, this free journal addresses meaning and representation rather than the technical aspects of various films. Covers a wide range of cinema as well as book and film reviews.

Other Internet Sources

Your instructor may allow use of some web pages you find on the Wild Wild Web, but remember NOT ALL SITES ARE OF EQUAL VALUE TO YOU AS A RESEARCHER. Exercise caution with statements you find and look for reference lists and citations for supporting documentation. Without careful checking and research, you don't know what is truth and what is fiction, but the instructor grading your paper is going to know! Click on a link below to open a page of reliable sites you can check out. 

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
This is the organization that selects the Academy Award winners to receive the coveted Oscars. Information winners in all categories can be found here.

American Communication Association
A portal to journals and academic sources on film, film studies and the business of film and screenwriting.

American Film Institute
The largest organization concerned with the moving image from commercial, education and preservation aspects.

American Popular Culture: Film
A list of websites, online articles and a bibliography to a variety of sources on film in American culture.

Artslynx Film Resources
A wide variety of links on film, filmmaking and more.

BBC-Film
From the British Broadcasting Company, this site offers reviews, filmmaking advice, and information on alternative films among many other useful pieces.

British Film Institute
Offering links on history, film reviews, scriptwriting and much more, this provides more of the European view of film.

Creative Planet Communities
Online news, articles and discussion boards for technical assistance on specific film making an editing tools.

Directory of Open Access Journals
Click on the "performing arts" category to see freely-available online journals including film journals.

Fathom Archive
A collection of online seminars, exhibits and other materials from reputable institutions and organizations, most is freely available. Check the Course Directory tab to find the free seminars and websites on film and cinematography.

Film/Video/Radio Resources
A list of organizations and funding agencies assembled by the National Endowment for the Arts.

FlixFind
An assortment of review sites, blogs and online publications. Genre categories offered in the left navigation bar are particularly helpful as are the screen snapshots provided when you mouse over the link.

H-FILM
Discussion and resource site for cinema history and uses of media.

InfoUSA: Links to Cinema Resources
Compiled by the US State Department, this is a list of links to archives and organizations on film and the film industry.

Internet Archive: Moving Image Archive
A very large collection of public domain films of documentary, entertainment and historical interest.

Internet Movie Database
For basic information about a film, this is one of the more complete sites. "A search on adaptations" returns a variety of links to foreign-language-adaptations, adaptations by the writer and more. /p>

Masters of Cinema
Focusing on World Cinema topics and filmmakers.

Moving Image Collections: A Window to the World's Moving Images
A catalog of archives with access information provided when known. This site does not provide online viewing, but the information about each item is extensive.

National Film Preservation Board: Other Film Resources
Links to research centers, film schools, legal resources and historical research sources.

Selected Web Sites for Film History and Criticism
Short list of sites assembled by a Yale University Librarian, much of the rest of the site is focused specifically on accessing Yale's resources, but the Genres and Themes and Social and Other Aspects of Cinema pages are useful to CSUSM researchers as well.

Video on Demand
A collection of performances, lectures, interviews, and installations recorded at UCSD. These are free to watch using RealPlayer. Use the video finder subject divisions to browse the offerings (try starting with the Arts & Music collection and then select the "by subject" tab. A title/keyword search option is available. Of interest are the Media Arts and Artists Profiles sections.

 


Other Film Resource Helps

Adaptations

Genres

Reviews

Screen and Script Writing

Techniques


Film Reviews

Books

Useful Subject Terms
Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Film' and 'review' are such large topics and can be defined in multiple ways, so you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by title, director, genre, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to consider:

 


Articles

Journals provide access to new movie releases much more quickly than a book--either in print or online, many journals are indexed in the research databases. Two titles of special note are: 

  • Literature/Film Quarterly--print in the Library at PERIO PN1995.3 .L57 or through the Communications and Mass Media Database (1973-on)
  • New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film (2002-on in Communication and Mass Media Database)

When looking for film reviews in a research database, the easiest way is to type the title of the movie. Add the word 'review 'as an additional search term to help focus your search. If the movie is an adaptation of a book, adding the additional term 'movie' or 'film' will eliminate most book reviews. Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text. Specialized or foreign films that have been reviewed may also be found in some of the more specialized databases such as Ethnic Newswatch or Womens Studies International.

Academic Search Premier
Covers a wide array of subjects with full text for nearly 1,850 scholarly journals, including more than 1,250 peer-reviewed titles./p>

Art Abstracts
Includes abstracts from periodicals, yearbooks, museum bulletins, competition and award notices, exhibition listings, interviews, film reviews, and more.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Provides abstracts and full text for more than 200 communication journals.

MLA
Includes abstracts of articles from critical literary and language journals.

ProQuest Direct
Includes complete ABI Inform (business) and Newsstand publications. As these will be mostly reviews published in newspapers and more popular magazines, they may not be the scholarly quality your instructor wants. Check with your instructor or the librarian.

 


Internet

These may not be as scholarly as published journal reviews, so be aware of the credentials of the reviewer.

Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
As determined by the New York Times reviewers with plot, and reviews. Reviews are accessible after registering.

Greatest Films
One individual's lists of the greatest films, but reviews, plot summaries, and histories of the films make this valuable along with a "Tips on Viewing Films Critically". Chronology, glossary, Academy Award winners and more.

Images: A Journal of Popular Film and Culture
Discussion of films, genres and directors along with reviews of both theatre-release movies and video.

Internet Movie Database
For basic information about a film, this is one of the more complete sites. The comments from other visitors are NOT scholarly, so don't rely on that part the site.

Movie Review Query Engine
This site collects reviews from a variety of resources for over 45,000 movies.

Rotten Tomatoes
A bit light-hearted in its treatment and again offers viewer comments as well as snips from published reviews. 

Roger Ebert
One of the more well-known popular movie reviewers, this site assembles his reviews from the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.


Film Adaptations

Books on Film Adaptation

Useful Subject Terms
Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Film' and 'adaptation' are such large topics and can be defined in multiple ways, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by title, director, genre, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to consider:

Looking for films that have been adapted from books?
Search the CSUSM catalog using the genre/form search field (instead of the usual keyword or subject search). Type in FILM ADAPTATIONS to see the current list of films in our collection. Or, type title of either the book (or movie) in the keyword field and add the word adaptation to limit to any possible adaptations.


Articles

The Research Databases at CSUSM will offer both articles on adaptation in general and discussion of a specific title's adaptations. When looking for articles on a particular film adaptation or a technique used in a particular film, the easiest way is to type the title of the movie into the database. Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the button to check our other resources for full text.

Academic Search Premier
Covers a wide array of subjects with full text for nearly 1,850 scholarly journals, including more than 1,250 peer-reviewed titles.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Provides abstracts and full text for more than 200 communication journals.

MLA
Includes abstracts of articles from critical literary and language journals. This is primarily concerned with the original work of literature, but you will find plenty of articles on adaptations here.

RILM Music Abstracts
Abstracts from scholarly journals on international music and related disciplines, focus on adaptations here will be on writing music for film.

 


 

Internet Sources

These may not be as scholarly as published journal reviews, so be aware of the credentials of the reviewer. Keep in mind when searching the internet that not all material will be scholarly and other search terms will be 'cinema' or 'film' rather than 'movie'.

Comparing Film Adaptations
This site from PBS uses the many versions of Shakespeare's works which have been filmed to show how to examine the similarities and differences in adaptations of the same story. Fathom offers a lesson plan using Shakespeare, Frankenstein, and others for the same purpose.

Internet Movie Database
For basic information about a film, this is one of the more complete sites. "A search on adaptations" returns a variety of links to foreign-language-adaptations, adaptations by the writer and more.


Film Techniques

Books

Useful Subject Terms

Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Film', "motion picture' and 'technique' are such large topics and can be defined in multiple ways, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by type of technique or aspect, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to consider:

Looking for films that have been adapted from books?

Search the CSUSM catalog using the genre/form search field (instead of the usual keyword or subject search). Type in FILM ADAPTATIONS to see the current list of films in our collection. Or, type title of either the book (or movie) in the keyword field and add the word adaptation to limit to any possible adaptations.

 


Articles

The Research Databases at CSUSM will offer both articles on filming techniques in general and discussion of a specific techniques. Try to be specific when constructing your search query as otherwise, you will spend a lot of time searching through unnecessary hits. Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text. Recommended places to start:

ABI Inform Trade & Industry
Abstracts and full-text articles from more than 1,000 leading business and management publications, with full-text for most popular sources. This addresses the 'business' side of film making.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Provides abstracts and full text for more than 200 communication journals.

 


Internet

These may not be as scholarly as published journal reviews, so be aware of the credentials of the reviewer. Keep in mind when searching the internet that not all material will be scholarly and other search terms will be 'cinema' or 'film' rather than 'movie'.

IFP.org
A resource for independent filmmakers including information on production and networking.

Filmmaking.com: The Filmmaking Portal
For the independent as well as Hollywood-based filmmaker, this site offers information on a wide range of technical and business aspects.

Filmmaking.net
Along with some useful reference sources, there is a directory of film schools and classified for equipment.

iEarn MovingVoices: The Filmmaking Process: Plan on Paper
A guide to plotting the film before getting behind the camera.

Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking
For the "guerilla filmmaker", articles, tips, and downloads.

Screensite
Resources assembled by the University of Alabama for film students and teachers.

The Art and Science of Film and Motion Picture Production
A list of sites collected by an individual, this offers a lot of links to various aspects of film technique and technology.

Traditional Film Camera Techniques
General explanations of various film effects, including angle and depth of field.


Screen & Script Writing

Books

Useful Subject Terms
Can't think of terms to accurately describe your topic?  Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. 'Film' and 'review' are such large topics and can be defined in multiple ways, so you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by title, director, genre, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to consider:


Articles

The Research Databases at CSUSM will offer both articles on adaptation in general and specific titles. When looking for articles on screenwriting, keep in mind that the text may refer to screenwriting or screenwriters. Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text.


Internet

These may not be as scholarly as published journal reviews, so be aware of the credentials of the reviewer. Keep in mind when searching the internet that not all material will be scholarly and other search terms will be 'cinema' or 'film' rather than 'movie'.

Internet Movie Script Database
Claims to be the largest collection of scripts available on the web for free reading or download.

Motion Picture and Video Industries (Occupational Handbook)
Offers information on the roles in the industry and educational requirements for screenwriters.

Screenwriters' Guild of America
The organization for US screenwriters, this site has both members-only and visitor access.

Writers Guild of America, West
Directed to not only movie, but television and other media. The site offers some legal forms to be used as contracts and a means to register your work. The WGA, East offers more material.

The Secret to Your Scripts Success
While you wade through a lot of commercial "buy this book" graphics, there are some helpful articles and information.

Simply Scripts
How-to information, copyright discussions, a message board and free scripts for download.


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