TV Communication and Digital Production
Citizen Kane Shot Analysis Essay
Now that we have viewed Citizen Kane, you will analyze the film’s themes by completing a shot analysis of the sequence where Kane is sent away by his mother to be educated on the East Coast. The purpose of this assignment is to expand your understanding of how Welles constructs meaning using his narrative as well as representations presented through images and sounds. You have already watched this scene a few times for an overall impression of the scene, paying close attention to everything that happens in the scene. Review the scene as many times as necessary to draw all elements out of it. You will then analyze what the overall impact and/or message of the scene is. As you analyze, you will want to consider the scene’s development and connection to the larger themes and characterizations of the film. How does this sequence set up the major elements of the plot? How does it reveal important characterization and thematic development? How does it connect to the film’s final reveal of Rosebud and how that reveal helps Welles communicate his message? You should analyze how Welles not only uses the plot and dialogue, but also shot composition and imagery, to develop this sequence and tie this sequence into his bigger picture.
Your scene analysis should be typed, double-spaced, one inch margins (top, bottom, left, right), twelve point Times New Roman. Your paper should be between 2-3 pages. While your citations will be a bit different for this essay (you will not, obviously, be quoting from a written text), your analysis should use at least two to three specific elements and/or references per paragraph to help analyze the sequence. I am looking just as carefully at your support as I am at your ideas.
You should also submit your shot analysis data worksheet (below), but this does not count towards your 3-4 page limit. Attach the data to the end of your essay when submitting to Turnitin.com. For each discrete shot, you will be looking at the duration (length of the shot in minutes, seconds), the composition (what’s happening in the shot? How is the shot framed? How are the actors and mise-en-scène arranged?), any dialogue in the scene, as well as any other diegetic or non-diegetic sound in the scene.
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