Film IA

Timothy Hoffmann

With IB exams for May 2021 cancelled in some countries where it is deemed unsafe, IA marks are now more important than ever!

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Though the Film IA is a long process it is something you will enjoy doing, especially if you remember why you chose IB Film in the first place. This is often your first chance to really get stuck into film-making – make the most of it!

IB Film has a relatively big internal assessment. Not only do you have to create a whole film but you also have to write an extensive portfolio explaining everything. It is a long process but something you will enjoy doing, especially if you chose IB Film in the first place.

Before you start anything, watch movies for inspirations. If you don’t have enough time to spend hours watching even more films, you can simply think about ones you really enjoyed or thought were well made. Rather than focusing on their plot twists and character developments (which are still helpful for writing a screenplay), analyse the film language for inspirations on how to film. Look through different shots and edits as well as the role music plays and how the film sets its own mood. Don’t try to copy them but extract ideas to create your own. Remember to take note of these films; they will be excellent to mention in your portfolio.

Once you start planning, give each stage enough time – especially editing. Making ‘perfect’ edits is impossible, but every time you rewatch your film you will be able to spot more and more edits you want to make. The only thing stopping you will be time. So make sure to leave several days to edit. After a good night’s sleep your film will look different and you may be able to find even more ideas for edits.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to take each step seriously. It is very tempting to leave work for the next step so your current work will be easier and quicker. You might decide to leave your screenplay as it is because your actors can have spontaneous dialogues to fill the scene. Or you may shoot only one take because you can simply edit it to make it better. This is the worst mistake you can make. Always remember that when rubbish goes in, rubbish comes out. If you make sure every step is done at its best, it will make the next step so much easier and your end product so much better.

When you start writing your portfolio journal, try to incorporate every material you learned in class. Look over class notes and use specific film words you learned to explain various styles of shots and edits. Reference filmmakers and particular films as inspirations. Explain your process but include reflection wherever you can, to focus on what you’ve learned rather than what you’ve done.

Creating a film feels like a lot of pressure. But rather than an assessment, think of it as a project you always wanted to try. You love movies, now you simply get to make your own!

Further Reading