Introduction to film Discussion 1

Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, read Chapters 1 and 2 in your course text and Chapter 2 in How Movies Work.


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Your textbook, Film: From Watching to Seeing, makes a distinction between story and plot, stating that story is what happens in a movie, and plot is how it happens. The distinction may seem minor; however, throughout this course, you will be scrutinizing the various aesthetic choices and cinematic techniques that work together to create meaning, develop characters’ motivations, and advance the plot in any movie. With that in mind, you can see that how a film presents action can be very important.

  • A logline is a one-sentence description of a film’s story.
  • A plot summary is a compressed description of what happens in the film and why.

Write (due Thurday, Day 3)

Please choose a film from this list of approved choices. Note: If you would like to write about a film that is not on this list, you must email your professor for approval in advance or you may not receive credit on this discussion.

In at least 250 words, describe the relationship of story to plot in your chosen film. Be sure to

  • Identify the title, writer, director, major actors, and the year of the film’s release.
  • Summarize the story of your chosen film (what happens) in one sentence.
  • Summarize the plot of your chosen film (what motivates the sequence of events) in about five sentences.
  • Discuss whether the action in your film is presented chronologically or non-linearly. In your discussion, address the following:
    • What are some of the effects of this choice on the audience?
    • How are elements like character development or foreshadowing impacted by the choice of storytelling methods?

You must use at least two outside sources, in any combination of embedded video clips, still photos, or scholarly sources. All sources should be documented in APA style as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.). Please view the video Posting in a Discussion in Canvas (Links to an external site.) for guidance on how to integrate multimedia with your response.

Required Resources


Goodykoontz, B., Jacobs, C. P., Meetze, J., & Pritts, N. (2019). Film: From watching to seeing (3rd ed.).

  • Chapter 1: Watching Movies, Studying Films
  • Chapter 2: Storytelling


Kawin, B. F. (1992). How movies work.

  • The full-text version of this e-book is available through the ACLS Humanities E-book database in the Ashford University Library. Please read Chapter 2: Parts and Wholes. This book provides information about the discipline of film studies and will assist you in your Logline, Plot Summary, and the Relationship Between Story and Plot discussion forum this week. 

Supplemental Material

Pritts, N. & Meetze, J. (2020). List of approved movies.

  • This file is available in the online classroom. This document provides an extensive list of movies that are approved for the assignments for this course in Weeks 2 and 3, as well as the Final Paper in Week 5.

Recommended Resource

Web Page

American Film Institute. (n.d.). AFI’s 10 top 10 (Links to an external site.).

  • This web page provides information about the 10 greatest films in 10 classic genres and may assist you in your Logline, Plot Summary, and the Relationship Between Story and Plot discussion forum this week.
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