Film Studies and History Personal Statement
Submitted by Sean
For me, the most interesting thing about film is the responses it can bring out in people. Be it love or disdain, the way film causes reactions is fascinating. Writing a blog reviewing films has improved my skills of understanding and deciphering these effects. I have been reviewing films for over 2 years and I find it a helpful outlet for sharing my opinions whilst learning how to articulate them better. It also has helped my analysis skills; I feel I can understand a film’s ideological implications more quickly. Writing a blog also shows that I am unfazed when it comes to speaking my mind. I have taken my criticism of film a step further and have begun to look at film making as an art form rather than a medium of entertainment. Reading books such as Bordwell and Thompson’s ‘Film Art: An Introduction’ has progressed my love of film to a new level.
Film also accesses a diverse group of interests. For example, ‘Dunkirk’ showcases how you can blend history and film making. The film gained huge critical success but, to me, the most interesting thing about 'Dunkirk' was how it depicted the historical events. Was it a realistic depiction of the events, or patriotism overpowering the true events? Whether it's the complete absence of Muslim and Sikh soldiers or even the fact that the German planes’ nose cones were painted yellow, (something that only happened a month after Dunkirk) it is fascinating to look at what aspects of history are ignored within films and consider the thought behind this. Whilst doing my EPQ, where I studied football hooliganism, I met each deadline I set for myself. This made it a lot easier to produce a good project. This is because I am a very self-reflective person, I can identify what is going wrong and then resolve it. This all means that I thrive in independent situations and can think on my feet. I feel like this quality will be very useful at University as deadlines and independence are crucial to doing well.
My A-Level subjects will be of huge benefit to my studies at university. English and History both involve looking across history and identifying themes and patterns. I have to be able to see deeper meanings in both. These subjects and my EPQ all involve researching and working with a wide range of sources. These are skills that will be very useful when it comes to studying film. I have transferred my analysis skills in to my English studies, as I am writing a language study on Tarantino’s portrayal of female characters. I believe that studying maths has helped me to strengthen my resolve and develop a hard-working attitude that will ultimately lead me to success.
The world of film has a vast range of job opportunities available. Something that opened my eyes to this was the work experience I had with the National Research Group. This is a global entertainment market research company. The Executive Director, Jane Sies, said that I am “a good listener, takes instruction well and was equally happy to manage tasks by himself as well as part of a team”. During the placement, I mainly worked with the screening team. However, I did speak with everyone in the office learning and becoming fascinated about their professions. Working at a place like the National Research Group or using the talents I have gained through my blog to go into film criticism is a dream. Both of these professions fit perfectly with my love of analysis.
Working as a Lifeguard requires the ability to deal with big responsibilities; to work well as part of a team and to be a strong leader when instructing my co-workers what to do and to manage the public well.
In conclusion, I believe that the skills I have acquired through the subjects I am currently studying and working as a lifeguard will set me up to thrive at university. Studying film along with its historical and social impact is a dream of mine and it will set me up for any career in the film industry, or related professional area, that I decide to pursue.