Moving Images Art


Whether accessed through Cinema, Television, DVD or the Internet, Moving Images act as a primary source of information and knowledge about the world around us. Visual literacy is now critical to understanding and interpreting contemporary society. The ‘creative industries’ are becoming increasingly accessible and attractive to young people and this is mainly due to the rapid growth of digital media technologies. The impact is being felt within the classroom where students are seeking opportunities to learn technical skills as well as to express themselves creatively.

This course is a great opportunity for students to develop the creative and practical skills necessary for making Moving Image products. The variety of skills developed and employed are ideally suited to work in the creative industries. In Northern Ireland, the film and television industry is a rapidly growing sector, which is now providing a variety of employment opportunities.


This course will suit those students who:

•  Love watching films and are interested in how and why they are made.

•  Have studied any of the following subjects at GCSE – Art and Design, Drama, English, ICT.

•  Anyone interested in a career such as television presentation/production, broadcasting, film making, journalism, photography, advertising or design consulting, or a specific role within the film industry, such as screenwriting, storyboard illustration, costume and sound production/design.

Moving Image Arts has a high level of technical requirements and numbers will, of necessity, be restricted.  Consequently, students must have:

•           achieved a grade B or higher in GCSE English Language


•           achieved a grade C or higher in GCSE English Language and a grade B or higher in GCSE Art and Design, Drama or ICT.

In the event that too many students still qualify, we will produce a rank order based on GCSE scores in English Language and select students with the higher scores first.



You are not required to possess prior knowledge of or a certain level of attainment in the subject, but are expected to have a keen interest in the film and TV industry.

Qualities / skills needed to succeed in the course

•           The online examinations for both AS and A2 courses require students to demonstrate basic keyboarding and word processing skills.

•           Students must be highly creative and observant. They must have an eye for fine detail and be able to write fluently about their own work and the work of other filmmakers.

•           It is essential that students who choose this subject are disciplined when it comes to meeting deadlines as film production and editing is time consuming by nature.

•           Previous technical knowledge is not essential but students must be interested in the technology involved and willing to experiment with it and research software and methods.



•           An understanding of the inter-relationships between the Moving Image and other art forms;

•           Knowledge and understanding of the place of Moving Image in contemporary society and an awareness of the context in which moving image production takes place;

•           Skills in screenwriting, storyboarding, sound production, directing, editing, and production management.



The course is divided into four units: two units at AS level and two units at A2.

At both AS and A2, students choose to make their product as either:

•           Film: live action, fictional or narrative;


•           Animation: rostrum, stop motion or CGI animated narrative.

At both AS and A2, there are two key theoretical areas:

•           Realism: the Classical Hollywood Style or continuity style and the realist tradition in cinema history, including the documentary aesthetic, Italian Neo-Realism and the French New Wave;


•           Formalism:  the expressive use of the film medium in all its formal or technical elements such as lighting, shot composition, editing, music, set design and sound.

Other key areas of study:

•           Film language provides the vocabulary, focus and enabling factors for personal development in terms of enquiry, expression, communication, awareness and perception of the moving image.

•           You will develop an understanding of the craft of the moving image by studying the different technical roles and work practices involved in moving image production (for example, director, cinematographer, editor, art director or set designer).


Unit AS 1: Foundation Portfolio –

Realist and Formalist Techniques and the Classical Hollywood Style

In this unit you will produce one film and a critical production portfolio that displays understanding of the Classical Hollywood Style and the stylistic and expressive techniques associated with realism and/or formalism.

The AS foundation portfolio will contain:

•           A Statement of Intention (including a synopsis) of 1000–1400 words and an

            Evaluation of 800–1200 words;

•           One script, storyboard and shot list featuring the pre-production planning

            developed for the short film or animation;

•           Director’s Notebook of 10–20 A4 pages or equivalent (production research, design development, stylistic conventions, management and problem-solving)

•           One narrative film sequence (3–4 minutes, if live action or 1½–2 minutes, if



Unit AS 2: Critical Response (Online examination)

The examination is divided into two sections:

Section A: Alfred Hitchcock and the Classical Hollywood Style

This will assess your knowledge and understanding of the continuity style, the realist narrative, the Hollywood studio system and Alfred Hitchcock’s innovative approach to film language.

Section B: Formalism – Early European Cinema and American Expressionism

This will assess your knowledge and understanding of early European formalist film movements and their influence on the evolution of film style in Hollywood, culminating in the classic period of Film Noir.

The AS portfolio and exam together is worth 40% of the total A Level award.


 Unit A2 1: Advanced Portfolio - Creative Production and Research

In this unit you will produce a complete narrative short film that demonstrates practical understanding of the stylistic approach of a selected practitioner. For example, if you choose Tarantino, your film will employ similar style and techniques.

You will write an Illustrated Essay, which gives you an opportunity to study a film practitioner known for a particular, individual stylistic approach. Students can choose one of the following practitioners as the focus for their in-depth research:

•           a director;

•           an editor;

•           a cinematographer; or

•           a sound editor.

The stylistic approach of the chosen practitioner must be relevant to your own creative intentions. You should explore a variety of formal and stylistic techniques, including those that cross conventional boundaries.

The Illustrated Essay gives you the opportunity to develop a detailed production portfolio, including one 4–7 minute short film or 2–3½ minute animation, with associated creative and organisational pre-production and production materials. You will then critically evaluate your film or animation.

Unit A2 1 is divided into five distinct stages:

•           Stage 1: Illustrated Essay;

•           Stage 2: Creative Pre-production;

•           Stage 3: Planning, Design and Organisation;

•           Stage 4: Creative Production and Post-production; and

•           Stage 5: Evaluation.


Unit A2 2: Advanced Critical Response (Online Exam)

The examination is divided into three sections:

Section A: Realism: Narrative and Visual Style

This will assess your knowledge and understanding of film language, film-makers and film movements within the codes and conventions of realism.

Section B: Creative Exercise

You will be required to compile a detailed set of Director’s Notes based on an original unseen script.

Section C: Comparative Analysis

You will respond in writing to one question. The question will assess your ability to compare and contrast the narrative technique and visual style employed in two unrelated and previously unseen film sequences.

The A2 portfolio and exam together is worth 60% of the total A level award.



This course offers a challenging and rewarding course of study for students who will:

•           Undertake a further study in Moving Image Arts and other related subjects.

•           Study subjects or take up careers for which a Moving Image Arts education is relevant.

•           Have an interest and aptitude in the subject, yet are not intending to study the subject further; and go directly into employment.


You may wish to do an AS or A2 Level for its own sake, perhaps to form the basis of a future interest or as part of a range of other subjects. You might wish to go into a job where it is useful to have had experience of Moving Image Arts, or where you will need some of the skills developed during this course. These might include careers such as Television, Education, Performing, Journalism, Marketing and Media, Design Consultation and Advertising. The study of Moving Image Arts can also help you develop transferable skills that you can take into any career or job. Success in AS/A2 Level Moving Image Arts requires dedication and a determination to succeed.