Film Studies Coming to PFHS in 2022-2023


Potomac Falls adds new class for students wanting to learn more about film.

With new courses being added to Potomac Falls’ 2022-2023 curriculum, one class stands out as unique; Film Studies is being added as part of the art department. Film studies covers the creative process behind filmmaking, as well as the importance of notable films in cinematic history. 

The new class will be offered by Corinne Fox in the Fine and Performing Arts department. “Film Studies is a relatively new class that has been offered across the county and several other schools have offered film studies in previous years, and they had a lot of success with it. It was really popular at those schools, so I thought we would give it a try,” said Fox. “Because the class up until this year was just in a pilot phase, they’ve really been tweaking the curriculum and changing it around a lot, and kind of taking input from teachers who have taught it, saying ‘what worked, what didn’t work.’”

The class is a combination of two separate categories: analysis and production. “There are also two different versions of the class, there’s the film studies analysis class, which actually falls under the English branch, and then there’s the film studies production class, which falls under the Theater branch,” said Fox. “What I would like to do next year is to take the curriculum from both classes and merge them together, so it’s a little bit of analysis, a little bit of production, and give everyone the best of both worlds.”

On StudentVue, the course description of the class talks about students studying the history of film, and the visual effects, audio effects, and other techniques that create a cinematic atmosphere. “Course participants will be challenged to make artworks that respond to video technology’s most fundamental property: its ability to reproduce a stream of real-time synchronized images and sounds. In the first half of the course, students will study, examine, and reflect on the history of film and television through critical analysis.”

“I would like to go through all the different film genres throughout the course of the year, take units and focus on drama, comedy, horror, animated, romantic-comedy, etcetera,” said Fox. “We’ll analyze them together as a class, but then students would work on their own individual analysis of different projects, and all would be in the same genre at the same time.”

The course will study in-depth individual films and look at what made them so influential and unique. “One of the movies that’s considered one of the greatest movies of all time is Citizen Kane, and the only reason why I haven’t decided if we’re going to watch that or not is because I watch it every other year in my other Theater class… we’re gonna be watching classics like The Godfather, and those Oscar-winning, really-really-good staples of specific genres. I would love to look at Lawrence Of Arabia, Ben-Hur, some of those really old classics,” said Fox. 

The class will also explore the technical and practical aspects of film production, such as lighting, cinematography, writing, and acting. “I would also like to expose students to the film production aspect and what goes into lighting technique, camera angles, and close-ups, and wide-angle shots, and things like that,” said Fox. “[Students] would also create their own commercials, and do their own short films, and understand what goes into film acting and scriptwriting and the whole process as well.” 

While several classes are being added to Potomac Falls, Film Studies offers students a chance to discover a creative and artistic medium.