Over the past few weeks my Spanish 5 class has studied cinematography. We first used the works of Spanish-speaking directors/producers to analyze the film techniques that these directors use to communicate a message. We watched scenes from Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios by Pedro Almodovar, La Lengua de las Mariposas by José Luis Cuerda, and El Orfanato by Guillermo del Toro. We looked at how these artists used lighting, movement of the camera and special effects to portray the feeling of comedy, drama and horror. I selected clips of each film that we then analyzed as a class. We discussed the films in Spanish and prepped students for their unit project.
1. Present scene (clean house before guests arrive)
2. Clean the living room: vacuum, dust, tidy up
3. Clean the kitchen: dishes, moping, take out the trash
4. Clean the bathroom: toilet, mirror, shower
5. Clean the bedroom, make bed, tidy up, clean closet (actors will not actually get to this in the film…)
6. Doorbell rings – someone is there
Characters needed in the film:
– protagonist – age of students in class
– someone at the door
Props to be included in each scene:
– living room: vacuum, pillow, blanket, magazine
– kitchen: knife, trash barrel, banana peel, mop, dishes
– bathroom: toothbrush, toilet cleaner, mirror, towels
Students will be graded based on whether or not they meet these requirements. The success of portraying the feeling of “horror”, for example, will not be graded, thus allowing the students more room for creativity. In addition to making the film, students had to divide their movie amongst the members of the group and write essays justifying how they used cinematography tricks to create the feeling of horror while sticking to the structure we agreed upon.