Microblog

of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Practical Value of Film Studies

I made a connection in my film class that I had not truly appreciated until today.  After three students did a presentation on acting, I showed “Together We Can Empower” which was a video from 2009 in which I asked colleagues to donate to the Schoolcraft College Foundation.

As part of the discussion, I first pointed out how unnatural it is to look natural while acting.  For example, I pointed out to the students that I had to sit with a slight, uncomfortable slough.  Because I was sloughing, my shirt looked funny so someone pulled it tight from the back and secured it with clothes pins.  Then there was the problem with the light reflecting off my bald head so we used chalk dust to eliminate the reflection.  Therefore, I look very natural while sloughing with clothes pins in my back and chalk dust on my head.

The second issue I addressed was the one where I made the new connection.  I was talking about how I am an introvert by nature by have been trained in acting.  I explained how we could use concepts from acting in our own lives; that the better we can act (aka present ourselves publicly) the more likely we can succeed.  I said that had I not been able to get over my natural introversion with acting skills it is likely that I would not have been successful professionally; that it is very likely that I would not be a professor at Schoolcraft College.

While making my presentation, I realized that other aspects of film studies are also could be adapted to our personal lives.  I cited mise en scene–or dressing the scene–as another example.  I talked about some of the things I did to create a welcoming environment in my office. I did not have time to go into specific details behind some of the artwork I selected to display and some of the other decisions I made.  However, I was able to point out that I made conscious decision on how to dress my office.

Until today, I had not considered just how much relevance to the “real world” that we can get from film studies.  Because this realization just came this morning, I have not had time to fully develop this idea.  But it was an interesting realization.

 

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