IB Text Analysis: Pan’s Labyrinth

“Director/Conductor” by La Chachalaca Fotografía is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


A guide to planning, researching, and creating your IB Film Text Analysis

  • Follow the directions for each step below
  • Include for your notes, where required

Student Work

  • Justin’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Neil’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Satchel’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Dexter’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Sam’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Jadee’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography
  • Laari’s Post, Draft Paper, Bibliography

Guidance for Your Work

The TA is an exam. Failure to turn in the work within the 4 weeks, unless the teacher requests extenuating circumstances directly from the IB, should be considered a fail.” – IB Film

13.5 Hours To Complete

  • Please track how long it took you for each stage

Step 1 – Preparation: Spend 2 Hours

Total Time:

Step 2 – Pick a Film, Watch It, and Write Notes: Spend 4.5 Hours

Total Time:

The goal of IB Film is to expose students to films from all over the world and to increase their critical and practical understanding of film as a creative art form and reflection of its time period, society, and political and cultural environment. As a result, this class requires the viewing of a wide variety of films. In some cases, these films may carry an R rating, or, in the case of films made before 1968 and some foreign films, will have no rating at all. Please be assured that all the films selected for this course have a high degree of artistic merit and that many have won numerous awards and are considered part of the film canon. However, if you object to any film shown that does carry an “R” rating, you will always have the opportunity to request that an alternative film be assigned, and/or be excused from class and not view the film.

  1. Watch the trailers and pick ONE of these films (or the two episodes) (10 minutes)
    • Pan’s Labyrinth [Spain/Mexico] Director Guillermo Del Toro 2006 (Rated R)
      • Trailer
      • Available on Netflix and other streaming services
      • Google Drive (Film and Commentary)
    • Across the Universe [USA] Director Julie Taymor 2007 (Rated PG-13)
      • Trailer
      • Available on Hulu and other streaming services
      • Google Drive (Film, Commentary, and Extra Features)
    • The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 1 Ep. 01 and 02 [USA] Director Reed Morano 2017 (Rated R – Mature Rating on Hulu)
  2. Review Drew’s TA Guide Sheet (he scored very high!) (10 minutes)
  3. First Viewing: Watch the film and record your reactions (2 hours)
    • Take notes (below in this post)
      • How does the film (various scenes) affect you?
      • Remember every scene is like a mini-movie
      • Pay attention to which scene best represents the film, for you
      • Notes:
      • beginning scene mirrors final scene!!!
      • 1:50 – beautiful, magical, fantasy element
      • 3:31 – fantasy, mysterious, ethereal, bright
      • 7:04 – he’s bad
      • 8:03 – daunting
      • 11:38 – cold, warmth gone from earlier scenes
      • 16:03 – cold, violent
      • 19:53 – dark but magical
      • 20:43 – daunting, scary
      • 22:03 – creepy, magical, but friendly
      • 27:20 – warm, happy
      • 32:20 – fairy tale-like
      • 32:34 – scary
      • 32:58 – creepy, suffocating, claustrophobic
      • 33:59 – war
      • 38:19 – fearful
      • 38:51 – cold
      • 39:50 – elegance, decadence, pigs
      • 42:06 – sad
      • 45:50 – suspicious, creeeeeepy
      • 46:31 – contrasts previous scene of the rich feasting, shows the struggle common citizens are having
      • 47:20 – fear, panic
      • 50:08 – comforting
      • 55:00 – revulsion
      • 56:37 – daunting, fear
      • 59:57 – extreme sweating and fear for Ofelia this is one of the scariest and creepiest scenes I have ever watched in my life
      • 1:02:37 – warmth, sunny
      • 1:04:15 – evil
      • 1:08:16 – evil
      • 1:12:40 – suspense
      • 1:16:11 – sadness, revulsion, evil
      • 1:17:28 – fear
      • 1:18:48 – kindness
      • 1:21:51 – sadness, fear
      • 1:24:11 – proud, valiant, dignified
      • 1:26:00 – sadness
      • 1:32:21 – fear, then proud
      • 1:35:51 – relief
      • 1:38:00 – disgust
      • 1:43:21 – fear, pain, blood, panic
      • 1:47:11 – sadness but also happiness? weird pit in my stomach
  1. Second Viewing: Notice the cinematography, mise en scene, actor movement, wardrobe, sound (diegetic, non-diegetic, music, etc.) choices (2 hours)
    • Review the Big List of Film Terms for cinematic elements, mise en scene (what’s represented on screen), and sound
    • Write notes (below in this post)

Step 3 – Choose Your Extract, Watch It, Write Notes, and Research: 2.5 hours

Total Time:

  1. Open your TA Bibliography Google Doc (In Your IB Google Drive Folder – Mr. Le Duc created)
    • You will add your MLA sources as you research
  2. Choose your 5-minute extract (scene)
  3. Re-watch this scene numerous times and write notes in the Task Analysis Guide (below) (15 minutes)
  4. Research to support your notes (1 hour)
      • Cultural context Evidence: Textual analysis and sources
        • Answer these questions:
          • To what extent do you demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context of the film text?
          • To what extent do you support your understanding of the cultural context with research from appropriate and relevant sources?
    • Add to your notes in the Task Analysis Guide
  5. Re-watch your scene numerous times and add to your notes (15 minutes)
  6. Research to support your notes (1 hour)
    • Re-read Criterion B Film Elements Rubric
      • Evidence: Textual analysis and sources
        • To what extent do you evaluate how the extract makes use of film elements to convey meaning in the chosen film?
        • To what extent do you support your observations with the appropriate use of relevant film vocabulary?
    • Write notes (below in this post)


    • 1:21:55-1:26:55
    • Sources:
    • https://humanities.byu.edu/entering-pans-labyrinth/
    • https://edspace.american.edu/worldcinema/2018-collection/spain-pans-labyrinth-el-laberinto-del-fauno-2006/
    • http://citadel.sjfc.edu/students/jf00059/e-port/Files/Pan%27s%20Labyrinth%20Essay.pdf
    • https://commonplaces.davidson.edu/vol1/mothering-relationships-in-pans-labyrinth/
    • http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/a/9/2/qian/qian.pdf
    • https://www.chrispaulwalton.com/single-post/2016/11/24/Pans-Labyrinth-Conventions

Step 4 – Compose A Rough Draft: 2 hours

Total Time:

  1. Watch Mr. Le Duc’s Convert a Table into Text with Editpad.org tutorial and do the following: (5 minutes)
    1. Copy and paste the two columns of your Text Analysis Guide notes (below) into editpad.org
      • This will convert your two-column table layout into a regular text document
    2. Copy and paste from editpad.org into your Google Docs TA Paper Template
  2. Thoroughly re-read and examine your work with the Text Analysis Rubric (PDF) (10 minutes)
  3. Compose your rough draft (1.75 hours)
    • Weave in your research the following
    • WHAT: Your observation about a film element in the 5-minute scene
    • WHY: Relate the film element to the shot or scene’s emotional or narrative importance
    • HOW: Explain how the film element works in the context of this scene
    • SO WHAT: Justify it with the cultural context, as needed

Step 5 – Get Draft Peer Reviewed: 30 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Get it peer-reviewed with the TA Worksheet (PDF) (30 minutes)
    • Peer Reviewer: Look for evidence of each section of the document
    • Look for WHAT, WHY, HOW for each statement in the paper
      • There should be at least one WHY or HOW or every WHAT statement
    • Look for cited research to support statements, where it makes sense
    • Write comments to help the author
      • Add them as “Add Comments” on the side, so you do not add to the word count of the document

Step 6 – Revise: 1 Hour

Total Time:

  1. Revise your draft (1 hour)

Step 7 – Get Feedback from Mr. Le Duc and Revise: 30 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Get feedback from Mr. Le Duc
  2. Make final revisions and check format (30 Minutes)

Step 8 – Finalize Paper and Cover Page: 15 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Clear cover page with the Title of Film & Timecode (5-minute film extract)
  2. Sans serif 12 point font
  3. In-text citations
  4. Less than 1,750 words maximum

Step 9 – Finalize Bibliography and Check Format: 15 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Update your TA Bibliography Google Doc (In Your IB Google Drive Folder)
    • Finish and check the format of your MLA sources as you research

Step 10 – Upload to Turnitin.com: 10 Minutes

Total Time:

  1. Upload your TA paper (from Your IB Google Drive Folder)
  2. Upload your TA Bibliography Google Doc (from Your IB Google Drive Folder)

Text Analysis Guide (For your 5 Minute Scene)


The extract may be up to five minutes in length and must be a single, continuous sequence of the film
Time of 5-minute clip PLACE 5 MINUTE TIME INTERVAL HERE…

PART 1 –  The film, your scene, why it is of interest, and how your scene relates to the whole film.

Brief Summary of Exposition

Writer, Director, Producer, studio, year released Main characters, conflict, identify the genre. Identify the aspect ratio.

Context of Extract in Film – briefly describe the scene

At what times does your scene occur, how it begins, and how it ends. Do not describe it further. The judges have seen the movie.

The Rationale for Selection – relation to the entire movie

Why is it interesting and why does this scene best illustrate the themes of the whole movie?

PART 2 – Remember to integrate the Director’s intent with each of the following areas in this section


Script – Not just dialogue but in terms of being the spine of the storyExplain how this scene advances the plot. How do the events of this scene clarify/complicate matters? How does this scene affect/cause future events? What new information is revealed or suggested about a character? Is there anything deliberately withheld? Anything unusual in the dialogue? Word choice? Delivery? Accents? Repetition?

Cinema Photography

a) Camerawork – describe shots in specific termsShot size: ELS, LS (stage), full shot, MS, CU, ECU. Camera angles: bird’s eye, high angle, eye level, low angle or Dutch (oblique), camera movement: pan, tilt, dolly or tracking, handheld, Steadycam, or moving crane. Invisible V conspicuous. Are tracking shots motivated by character movement?
b) CompositionOpen/closed composition, aspect ratio, rule of thirds, Kubrick single-point perspective.
c) Depth of FieldConsider foreground, mid, ground, and background. Deep focus is associated with wide-angle lenses. Could be flat. Narrow ranges of focus may be the result of telephoto lenses.

Mise-en-scene – The overall look and feel of a movie

a) Position of characters and objectsIdentify the dominant, does movement guide our focus, character proxemics patterns (intimate,  personal, social, and public distances). How does the director add meaning to these choices? Is one character encroaching on another’s space? Watch for space being used to portray relationships/changes in relationships. Watch for windows, doors, parallel lines that frame people or objects.  Entrapment. Look for actor placement. Front – actor facing camera, greatest intimacy. One-Quarter Turn – very popular. Profile – character lost in the moment, a bit more distant than the previous two. Three Quarters Turn – useful to convey anti, socialness, Back of Head, most anonymous shot.  Creates a mystery or feeling of alienation.
b) LightingLow or high key. How does the director use light to focus our attention? Key, fill, and backlighting. What is the source of lighting in the context of the scene?
c) Color schemeHow does the director use color and what is the director’s intent for doing so? Look for color symbolism or color associated with characters. Color to suggest a mood. Color as foreshadowing. Contrasting colors ( the monolith v white room)
d) Set/location/propsSet design. Studio or on, location, describe props, scenery, what was the Director ́s intent for using them? How dense is visual information? Stark, moderate, or highly detailed?
e) Costume, hair, make upPeriod, class, gender (emphasize or diminish), age-appropriate, silhouette (close-fitting or baggy), fabric (plain, sheer, rough, delicate), accessories. Color is very important in relation to character.
f) Acting/body languageActing style, body language, blocking, period, or contemporary. Individualized (Joker), Stylization. Look for subtext (character says one thing but means something else). Consider typecasting as a shortcut to characterization.

Sound – watch scene w/o picture

Live sound, sound effects, and music. Sound can be diegetic, meaning characters would hear it, or non, diegetic, meaning that characters would not hear it, such as narration or music over the credits. Explore the relationship between diegetic and non, diegetic sound when appropriate.


Is the music telling you what to feel?  Music can be used as a counterpoint to the action.


Ellipsis (time compression) and cross-cutting, fades, dissolves (fades between scenes), wipes,  matching cuts, straight cuts, dialogue overlap, and sound bridges. Consider how long each shot lasts.

Part 3: Analyzing the Film as a Product

Sociocultural Context

In what way was this movie a product of its time? What does the audience learn about the culture or historical context of the film?

Target Audience

Teens/adults or male/female age group, college education art crowd, liberal, conservative, Christian

Generic Expectations

http://www.filmsite.org/filmgenres.html also research  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Tropes


Man V Man, or one of the others, is this film an allegory?


What specific devices support your definition of the theme? Look for recurring elements.

Film Criticism

Both contemporary and current. Use brief quotes from two different sources. Record the details:  reviewers’ names and publication names/dates


Compose Paper

Part 4: Sources

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
Source 4
Source 5
Source 6
Source 7
Source 8
Source 9
Source 10


Revision 1 Proofreader:
Revision 2 Proofreader:
Revision 3 Mr. Le Duc

External Assessment Criteria SL and HL

Peer Review Checklist

Comparative Study Worksheet 2020-21

“Film scripts for sale in Soho! #newyork #newyorkcity #nyc #movies” by Nat Ireland is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


A guide to planning, researching, and creating your Film Comparative Study

  • Follow the directions for each step below
  • Include for your work where it is required

Student Work


SL (or not testing this year)

Steps and Tasks

  1. Brainstorm possible films for the task. You must select TWO films from contrasting cultural contexts.
  2. Brainstorm and justify at least three different areas of FILM FOCUS for your two chosen films.
  3. Brainstorm and justify at least two different CULTURAL CONTEXTS for your two chosen films.
  4. Consolidate your ideas and develop at least three different RESEARCH QUESTION topics for your study.
  5. Finalize your choices and select your RESEARCH QUESTION. Choose two films for comparison.
  6. Develop the main arguments you will make about your topic.
  7. Collect evidence from the films that support your argument.
  8. Research secondary sources for information that supports your argument.
  9. Write your Narration and plan the audio-visual components of your video essay.
  10. Recordassemble, and edit your Comparative Study Video Essay.
  11. Create a Works Cited document (separately) once your Comparative Study is finished.

Guidance for Your Work

“Simple formative analysis of film elements, no matter how precise or insightful, won’t cut it which is why the research question needs to be crafted in such a way that it provides scope for theoretical and socio-historic exploration. It’s basically an EE in disguise but focusing on two very different textual sources.”

Comparative Study Task Components

For this assessment task, each student identifiesselects, and researches each of the following task components.

  1. TASK 1: One area of film focus.
  2. TASK 2: Two films for comparison from within the chosen area of film focus, one of which originates from a contrasting time (historical) or space (geographical) to the personal context of the student, and the other film identified for comparison must arise from a contrasting cultural context to the first film. Students are required to select films they have not previously studied in depth. The selected films cannot come from the prescribed list of film texts provided for the textual analysis assessment task and, once selected, the films cannot be used by the student in any other assessment task for the DP film course or the extended essay.
  3. TASK 3: A clearly defined topic for a recorded multimedia comparative study, which links both the selected films and the identified area of film focus. Each student should invest time in researchingdeveloping, and honing their topic (which in most cases is likely to be expressed in the form of a research question) to ensure it is clear, focused and concise, in order to provide them with the maximum potential for success in this task. The topic should seek to enrich the student’s understanding of the chosen area of film focus and should avoid a plot-driven approach to the comparison.

The assessment criteria for this task requires students to provide a strong justification for the choice of task components as part of the recorded multimedia comparative study. This includes the student’s justification for how films arise from contrasting cultural contexts.

1. FILM Choices List

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
Which films are you considering for your final Comparative Study? List as many as you wish below as part of an initial brainstorm. Remember that you must select ​​TWO​​ films from contrasting cultural contexts for this task.e.g. CITIZEN KANE Year, Country, and Director of the film.e.g. 1941, USA, Dir: Orson Welles
Double Indemnity 1944, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder
The Dark Knight 2008, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

2. Areas of FILM FOCUS

Film Focus Possibility – identify the broad focus area and then add specifics (e.g. “THEORY – Auteur theory” or “GENRE – Horror”). Develop at least THREE options…you can create more by adding more rows. Justification for this Film Focus. Be as specific as possible.
Style – Film Noir Both films use similar devices used in film noir i.e. lots of lowkey lighting, dark plots, the femme fatale (sort of), etc. Film noir is considered both style and genre, but if looked at as a style I can talk about how film noir has evolved to be used in different genres like superhero movies, and how the style was originally created to express humanities darkest desires and thoughts originally through crime movies, though now it exposes those thoughts through glamor and technology which follows how now in the 21st century humanity’s darkest desires have changed.


  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  10

For this assessment task, “cultural context” involves consideration of some of the following factors, some of which may be blended (such as socioeconomic factors).

  • Economic, Geographical, Historical, Institutional, Political, Social, Technological
Identify at least TWO Cultural Context possibilities for your chosen films.
Justification for this Cultural Context. Be as specific as possible.
Historical Historically, film noir movies were made to fit what was going on during the time, like wars. Film noir has evolved throughout history to fit what was going on during the time, and now film noir speaks more to the technological age.
Social Film noir reflects society’s flaws, and is sort of a form of satire. They are meant to show people humanity’s worst parts, but both films do this in a different way because humanity has changed a lot since the 1940s.

4. RESEARCH QUESTION Possibilities

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  10

Consolidate your thoughts above and develop at least ​THREE​​ different research question possibilities. More are possible by adding additional rows to the table below. FYI these will be shared with the full class for discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

Film style How has film noir evolved over time as a style
Film style To what extent has film noir evolved to fit society’s expectations?

5. Final Decisions

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 

Using your topic options in the table above, select ​ONE​​ to be your final topic for this Comparative Study task. NOTE: There are examples from the IB of what this should look like below this table.

Your Chosen Area of Film Focus Film 1 Film 2 Contrasting Cultural Context Topic for Comparative Study practice task (written as a research question)
Film style Double Indemnity The Dark Knight Social To what extent has film noir evolved over time to fit society’s expectations?

6. Developing Your Topic

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
Develop 3-5 main arguments that can be made about your topic based on your research question and chosen film focus. Brainstorm how you could support these arguments within your video essay.

7. Selecting Supporting Evidence (Primary)

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
Identify at least 15 scenes from your chosen films that will help support the arguments you have outlined above. Screen clip a frame from each scene below. Write notes about how this scene helps support your argument. (These notes will help form your voice-over narration.)

*Add more rows as needed.

8. Selecting Supporting Evidence (Secondary)

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
Identify at least 3-5 secondary sources (articles, books, websites, video essays, etc.) which provide information that help support your arguments being made. In this column include the specific source citations. Summarize the detailed information from the secondary source that you can use in this column. (You can copy+paste if they are from online sources.)

*Add more rows as needed.

9. Writing Your Narration

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 

Using the information, scene choices, and external sources you have compiled in steps 6-8, you will now write your voiceover narration and match it up to your chosen visual examples.

Length (</= 10 Minutes)

  • For the final Comparative Study, your narration should be no longer than 10 minutes in length.

Remember that you need to:

  • COMPARE and CONTRAST your two chosen film using the arguments and evidence you identified in parts 6-8, above
  • Begin your narration with a detailed justification for the chosen cultural contrast
  • Use an equal balance of the two selected films.
  • Write in a third-person voice to construct your argument (similar in tone to your Extended Essay and other
    comparative analytical work you have written in Film class).
  • Identify where any WRITTEN TEXT will appear on the screen and highlight this (to reference during the
    creation/editing stage)
Which Visual Evidence/Scenes line up to this part of the narration? Voiceover Narration Ideas

Formatting Guidelines

Screenshot from Celtx.com

10. Assembling the Comparative Study

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 

Now you will collect all media resources needed for the task and construct your video essay.


  • Import the digital copy of your chosen films into editing software
  • Identify and extract chosen scenes and clips
  • Place and edit clips into a rough timeline for your video essay
  • Record audio narration (both partners should participate in narrating this practice task)
    into an audio file using recording equipment (Zoom recorders, iPhone, DSLR Rode video
    mic, etc.)
  • Import your recorded narration audio file into your project timeline
  • Assemble, edit and fine-tune clips and narration until your video essay takes shape
  • Create and add any required textual information in the timeline (including black slate at the start)
  • Audio mixing of narration and movie clips (adjust levels so that narration and movie sounds complement each other)
  • Export the final video essay movie file
    • Upload Unlisted draft to YouTube for peer review

11. Create Works Cited

  • Set a timer
  • How much time did you spend:  ? 
  • Create Works Cited list separately (Google Doc)

Examples of Possible Task Components

Area of film focus Film 1 Film 2 A possible topic for comparative study
Film movement: German Expressionism The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Edward Scissorhands (1990) How and with what effect are specific film elements of German expressionism used within a chosen contemporary film?
Film movement: French New Wave Breathless (1960) Badlands (1973) The influence of the French New Wave on New Hollywood’s use of innovative film elements in its representation of youth and violence.
Film genre and film style: Black comedy No. 3 (1997) The Big Lebowski (1998) To what extent do “black comedy” films differ according to cultural context?
Film theory: Soviet Montage Battleship Potemkin (1925) Koyaanisqatsi (1982) To what extent are specific features of Soviet montage theory faithfully employed in a contemporary experimental film?

External Assessment Criteria SL and HL

Peer Review Checklist


TASK COMPONENTS (ACTION) Notes / Suggestions
__ Assemble Findings
__ Develop a personal and critically reflective perspective
__ Identify and gather appropriate audio-visual material to support the study
__ Justify the chosen topic and selected films
__ Make sure that the text is in a formal academic register (can be in the 1st person)
__ The balance between visual and spoken elements
__ Make clear reference to your sources as on-screen citations (text on-screen)
__ Make sure the primary weight of evidence for the study from the two chosen films
__ Make sure each film is given equal consideration
__ Make sure film language information is communicated clearly throughout (avoid “to be” verbs – make statements like “blah is this.”)
__ Make sure information is communicated logically rooted in film language
__ Have another student highlight the WHAT WHY HOW in your draft screenplay
__ Recorded voice and edited commentary numerous times until happy with the material
__ Make sure your name and the school’s name ARE NOT IN THE ESSAY
__ Make sure to have 10-second title card with:1. Area of film focus

2. Titles of the two films for comparison

3. The chosen topic

__ Include breaks in your recorded commentary to enable other audio-visual material included in the study to be clearly heard (if needed)
__ Make sure film clip length matches points being made
__ Make sure still images have citations on-screen if you have them
__ Make sure text on-screen is legible and spelled correctly
__ Make sure information is communicated audibly (levels are good for all sound)
__ Make sure information is communicated visually appropriate manner
__ Make sure background music is from Creative Commons and is cited
__ Make sure edits are clean
__ Make sure the presentation is 10 minutes maximum, including title card and credits
__ Make sure two films are listed in sources

Film – Week 10 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 2


Image from BiggerPlate.com

Teens are overwhelmed, partly because they don’t yet have the skills to manage the unprecedented amount of stuff that enters their brains each day.  – from LifeHacker.com

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

― David Allen, (GTD) Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World


This week I learned more about getting things done and then I got those things done while using different systems like my planner. Trello, Flora, and more.


Screenshot from Sneakonthelot.com
Screenshot from Sneakonthelot.com
  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 60 minutes in this ‘room’
  • Complete…
    1. First Time User
    2. Introduction To Film


Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

You are going to learn to develop your own version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) process in this ‘room.’

I think the way that these videos described the process of getting things done makes a lot of sense to me. I can see how it helps with de-stressing because it is a great way to organize the billions of thoughts people have in a way that isn’t overwhelming or overly complicated. I think that these resources will definitely help me with how I approach getting things done in the future.


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

Examine Two GTD Maps: Basic and Detailed

  1. Detailed map by guccio@文房具社 icensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
  2. Basic map from BiggerPlate.com embedded below

GTD-based Trusted System

Image from Trello.com
  • Examine and pick a trusted system from the 4 options listed below to ‘capture’ your work
    • trusted system is your method for managing your tasks in a way that you consistently get things done
    1. Trello.com with a – GTD Template
      • We use Trello in this class to manage group projects
        • You will create a Trello account a few weeks from now regardless
        • You might want to start now
      • We start using Trello in the second semester
      • Watch Mr. Le Duc Creating a Trello Account and Add GTD Template Tutorial (3:45)
      • You can get the free Trello app at the Apple Store or Google Play
    2. Your phone
    3. Paper and pen or pencil
    4. Examine LifeHacker.com’s GTD Resources


  • Go for a 15-minute walk, if it is safe to do so  and follow the advice from David Allen
    • Bring a notepad
    • Walk and relax and allow your mind to wander
    • If you land on something that needs your attention, write it down
    • Continue throughout your walk
Image from GoodReads.com
Image from GoodReads.com


  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 15 minutes
  • Then watch David Allen summarize the steps
    • “Very simple folks! …
      1. Just WRITE STUFF DOWN
      2. Decide the ACTIONS and OUTCOMES embedded in them
      3. Get yourself a MAP OF ALL THAT so you can step back and take a look at it.
      4. And then, basically, you USE THE MAP TO DECIDE, “OK, here’s the course that we’re going to go on.”
      5. You then LAUNCH the ‘ship’ on a trusted course in the short term, as well as on the long horizon that you’re moving on.
      6. And then, on a regular basis, you need to REASSESS, “OK, we need to take in NEW DATA, CLEANUP, RECALIBRATE, and REFOCUS for the next leg of the journey.”
    • It’s that simple…”
  • ‘Capture’ all the ACTION ITEMS you can in your GTD Trusted System


This week I learned more about getting things done and what systems work for me. One problem I had to solve was when submitting my application to UW, I didn’t get an email back with confirmation. I emailed UW admissions, and they responded and made sure they received my application. I also had to prioritize submitting that application over some of my homework assignments, which is why I finished this blog post late.

Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1


“Day 092/366 – To Do List” by Great Beyond is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Your toughest work is defining what your work is! –  Peter Drucker


This week I finished up some old work, did work for my paid job, and completed the tasks on my enormous to-do list such as my EE Criterion A, Spanish blog post, Italy history assignment, UW application, and more. There were a handful of things I didn’t get around to unfortunately, but I should be able to wrap those up this upcoming week.


Image of David Allen at TED Talk
Screenshot from David Allen TED Talk

In this ‘room’ you are going to try Getting Things Done (GTD).


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
  • EE Criterion A
  • Apply for AES scholarship
  • Submit application to Colorado Boulder
  • Work on UW application
  • Sneakonthelot two lessons
  • Figure out Celtx
  • Interview people at Solomon’s Reef
  • Italy history assignment
  • Chem LTS 4-7
  • Chem assessment
  • Work on Chem IA Procedure
  • Spanish blog post
  • Finish discussion posts in English
  • Review/study calc
  • Take calc test
  • Meeting materials for community transit job
  • Recruitment summary and updated applicant list
  • Schedule interviews for Lewis County job
  • TOK think of history topic


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
  • Italy history assignment
  • Spanish blog post
  • Submit application to Colorado Boulder
  • Work on UW application
  • EE Criterion A
  • Meeting materials for community transit job
  • Recruitment summary and updated applicant list
  • Schedule interviews for Lewis County job
  • Sneakonthelot two lessons
  • Figure out Celtx
  • Interview people at Solomon’s Reef
  • Chem LTS 4-7
  • Chem assessment
  • Finish discussion posts in English
  • Review/study calc
  • Take calc test
  • Apply for AES scholarship
  • Work on Chem IA Procedure
  • TOK think of history topic


  1. Set a timer for your first task
    1. Decide how long you think it will take before you start
  2. Start working
  3. Repeat this process for 45 minutes for as many tasks as you can complete, then take a 15-minute break
    • Get up and get a drink of water
    • Get up and go for a walk
    • Every 20 minute blink your eyes 20 times while looking at least 20 feet away
      • This is good for your eyes

Start steps 1 through 3 again, repeat for your school day


David Allen image
Oct. 2020 Lucidchart interview with David Allen
Image from FastCompany Magazine, https://www.fastcompany.com/3026827/the-brain-hacks-top-founders-use-to-get-the-job-done
Image from FastCompany Magazine, https://www.fastcompany.com/3026827/the-brain-hacks-top-founders-use-to-get-the-job-done
  • Reflect on GTD and getting to the top of the colorful list above for a minute
    • How can the GTD process help you tame the crazy-busy dragon of modern life?

  • Then, go for a 15-minute walk, if it is safe to do so
  • Write a few sentence reflection

OPTIONAL EXERCISE – Literally, read the article and go for another walk 🙂

 Katia Verresen homepage
Katia Verresen, kvaleadership.com

“I coach C-suite executives and rising stars from the earliest startups to Fortune 100 companies. My passion is to help ambitious leaders achieve their full human potential.”  – Read more about Katia…


I learned that sometimes I need to let myself breathe in between assignments and classes or else I won’t be able to function. I also learned I work best when there is white noise around me so I’ve started using coffee shop background noise. One problem I had to solve was for my Language and Literature class I have been planning to interview people who work at local restaurants, but none of them have been answering my calls or calling me back and I can’t go interview them in person, so now I am behind on the deadline. My solution was to change my article topic slightly so I don’t need these interviews.

Developing Quality Workflow

What is Workflow?

Image Creative Workflow from Behance.com, https://www.behance.net/gallery/27919515/Creative-workflow-GIF

Work•flow /ˈwərkflō/

“The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.” – lexico.com

What is a quality workflow?  How do we develop it?  Below are elements of the production cycle that most creative people move through as they create something.  First, we must identify the stages of project production. What is each stage and what are the quality checks for each stage.  Read on and find out!

Stages of Creation Development


How do we find ideas to develop?

  • Find inspiration from professional filmmakers
  • Tools like YouTube
  • The process should involve a combination of collaboration and communication with other students along with individual research to create ideas
  • Grades measure quality (unfortunately) but so do your own goals you set for yourself: if you meet your own goals, you have made a quality product


How do we clarify our specific goal(s) for a project?

  • To clarify our specific goals we first need guidance from Mr. LeDuc on requirements
  • We need to pick one or two learning targets/goals that we wish as a group or individual to meet throughout making the film
  • We need to collaborate and ping ideas off each other to finally find a goal that suits everything we want/need
  • The goal or goals should be not to difficult and not to easy to reach, somewhere in the middle


How can we brainwrite, brainstorm, storyboard, and plan our ideas at this phase?

  • Tools like simply a pen and paper should be used to brainwrite, brainstorm, and storyboard, but then can be transferred to things like dotstorm
  • There should be a balance between individual and collaborative brainstorming
  • The quality of the brainstorms should increase as we collaborate and further strengthen our ideas with our goal found above in mind
  • Mr. LeDuc should make sure we remain on the right path, and provide simple guidance


How do we communicate with each other and execute our plan for this phase? This is where we actually make the project.

  • Tools like Trello, email, and the Schoology calendar should be used for students to communicate with each other and for Mr. LeDuc to communicate with students
  • The process requires every member of the team to be held accountable for their responsibilities with the film, Mr. LeDuc can help hold us accountable
  • Quality means that we meet our goals, to meet those goals everyone has to play a part, tools like Trello will help with this
  • We should keep our main goals and idea for our film in mind throughout the whole production process so we don’t lose our intention


How do we communicate with each other and execute our final stages of the project for this phase? This is where we publish the project.

  • Tools like iMovie and other free editors will be used at this stage
  • Again, the main intention of the film should be clear as we go through post-production
  • Due to the lack of in-person communication, we will have to communicate with the editor via Zoom
  • Adding on to the above statement, even though we are in online school there should still be lots of communication between the editor and the other roles, if the communication stops and the editor is left on their own then they won’t have as much support
  • Quality means we met our goal and our intention remained clear


How do we share our project with our learning community, advisory members, and the world?

  • Tools like YouTube and social media can help share our film since we are not in person currently
  • We should present our film in a way that shows our intention clearly
  • We should follow similar presentation steps for when presenting to advisory members as last year
  • We should make sure everyone has something to talk about, and that this presentation is prepared for beforehand


How do we conduct a feedback session at the end of the project development cycle?

  • Tools like dotstorm can be used or a Google Form
  • There should be a Zoom meeting where for a chunk of time all we do is talk about what worked and what didn’t
  • We can then make a list of 4 or 5 main points we wish to improve upon within our workflow for the next project
  • Mr. LeDuc should use what the students talk about to create guidelines for the students to use and focus on in the next project

Recipe for Success: Kathryn Bigelow

Image of Kathryn Bigelow from Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathryn_Bigelow

Born: November 27, 1951 in San Carlos, California

Personal Success Definition

I define success as someone who breaks down barriers and does what people didn’t think could be done.

Kathryn Bigelow is successful because she has shown that not only can a woman be a good director, but can be an amazing one. She was the first and only woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, and has opened many doors for other women who want to direct films.

Skills for Success

Kathryn Bigelow is 1) a painter, 2) well studied in film theory and criticism, and 3) a writer. Kathryn was “A very talented painter, [she] spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program.” – IMDb By learning to paint, Kathryn gained the art skills that she would later apply to her filmmaking. She then attended Columbia and moved to the art of film, where she studied film theory and criticism. This, combined with her talents with painting, all contributed to her success. Finally, she also learned how to write, giving her all the skills to be the amazing director she is today. 

How They Used These Skills

The Hurt Locker movie poster, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887912/

Kathryn used these skills to achieve success by making some of the most amazing films ever. One of those films, The Hurt Locker, has become one of the most legendary war films ever. It is very unique and was created in a more realistic style not seen often with war films. Kathryn once said to Interview magazine, “‘My movement from painting to film was a very conscious one. Whereas painting is a more rarefied art form, with a limited audience, I recognized film as this extraordinary social tool that could reach tremendous numbers of people,'” – Biography. She met this goal of reaching tremendous numbers of people through The Hurt Locker; the film opened peoples’ eyes and showed people the truths of war.

Challenges Overcome

Kathryn Bigelow had to overcome the challenge of being a woman in an industry where women are vastly underrepresented. To be successful in the film industry as a woman, Kathryn had extra hoops to jump through, hoops that men don’t experience, simply because she had to prove that a woman can be a successful director.

Significant Work

Point Break movie poster, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102685/

Point Break is another successful film that Kathryn Bigelow directed.





Story of Film – Episode 13 – New Boundaries: World Cinema in Africa, Asia & Latin America

CC Image boundary by Roger at Flickr


The following material is from Wikipedia.

1990-1998: The Last Days of Celluloid – Before the Coming of Digital.

Story of Film – Episode 12 – Fight the Power: Protest in Film

CC Image Protesters by Matthew Peoples at Flickr


The following material is from Wikipedia.

The 1980s: Moviemaking and Protest – Around the World.

Story of Film – Episode 11 – The Arrivals of Multiplexes and Asian Mainstream

CC Image multiplex by June Marie at Flickr


The following material is from Wikipedia.

1970s and Onwards: Innovation in Popular Culture – Around the World.

  • The Kingdom and the Beauty (1959) dir. Li Han-hsiang
    • feminine, studio set, colorful, musical
  • A Touch of Zen (1971) dir. King Hu
    • Hu changed Hong Kong cinema from feminine to fast, action packed, sword fighting themed cinema with this film
    • “graceful, exquisitely engineered cinema”
    • Kung Fu took over
    • starts as an action movie, turns into a ghost movie
    • action cinema at its most innovative
  • Enter the Dragon (1973) dir. Robert Clouse
    • Bruce Lee’s much more angry Kung Fu fighting style which stemmed from plot and his personal life
    • introduced a bigger shift to masculinity
    • camerawork patiently recorded the action, stayed out of the fight
    • not much editing, steady and wide imagery
  • A Better Tomorrow (1986) dir. John Woo
    • male bonding, loyalty, betrayal
    • new style of film: shootouts filmed with several cameras, “the aesthetic of the glance”
  • Iron Monkey (1993) dir. Yuen Woo-ping
    • fast cutting, numerous camera angles
    • characters were in the air rather than the ground like Bruce Lee
    • innovation impressed Hollywood once again
  • The Matrix (1999) dir. Lilly Wachowski & Lana Wachowski
    • influenced by Iron Monkey and Yuen
    • Yuen took 4 months to train actors how to use their fists, none knew how to fight
  • Once Upon a Time in China (1991) dir. Tsui Hark
    • filmed extravagantly, very uniquely with extensive details
    • made Hong Kong cinema spin
  • New Dragon Gate Inn (1992) dir. Raymond Lee
    • influenced by Tsui Hark
  • Mughal-e-Azam (1960) dir. K. Asif
    • Bollywood
    • took more at the box office than the Sound of Music
  • Devi (1960) (introduced in Episode 6) dir. Satyajit Ray
  • Mausam (1975) dir. Gulzar
    • musical
    • modern look influenced generation of women
    • “joy of love and its pain”
    • more glamour and accent on beauty and youth
  • Zanjeer (1973) dir. Prakash Mehra
    • uses zooms, freezes and close-ups to show and dramatize feelings of fear, rage, and realization
    • main character was king of cinema at the time
  • Sholay (1975) dir. Ramesh Sippy
    • in country at time, youth was unhappy with the system
    • innovative colossus of 70s cinema
    • similar to an epic, landscape like a western, music like an action film
    • captured the spirit of the times
    • huge box office success
    • similar to movies like magnificent 7
  • The Message: The Story of Islam (1976) (a.k.a. Mohammad, Messenger of God) dir. Moustapha Akkad
    • looked like a conventional biblical epic
    • scene where man talks to camera, we expect reverse angle but it doesn’t come because he is talking to prophet Mohammad and Islam doesn’t allow the depiction of the prophet
    • Akkad made two different version, one with Arabic actors and one with Western actors
  • The Making of an Epic: Mohammad, Messenger of God (1976) dir. Geoffrey Helman & Christopher Penfold
  • The Sparrow (1972) dir. Youssef Chahine
    • account of when Egypt lost territory to Israel
    • captures emotions and shock of citizen
    • end scene with people marching the streets was one of most iconic scenes in Arab film history
  • The Exorcist (1973) dir. William Friedkin
    • marked the start of the era of the blockbuster
    • “slapped horror cinema in the face with realism”
    • voice of devil smoked cigarettes, swallowed raw eggs and drank to make her voice sound the way it did, extremely innovative vocal performance was the outcome
  • A Guy Named Joe (1943) dir. Victor Fleming
    • Spielberg was influenced by this film
  • Jaws (1975) dir. Steven Spielberg
    • both an establishment and an innovative film
    • shot on water to get the affect of realism
  • The Making of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1995) dir. Laurent Bouzereau
    • spielberg talks about how he used people in bathing suits as transitions to make scenes feel seamless
  • Vertigo (1958) (introduced in Episode 4) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) dir. Steven Spielberg
    • technique where he films people looking at something, draws out those shots, then cuts to camera rising over what they are looking at
  • Jurassic Park (1993) dir. Steven Spielberg
    • uses same technique
  • Star Wars (1977) (introduced in Episode 1) dir. George Lucas
    • felt like a storybook film
    • uses wide angle lenses to film spaceships to make them appear much bigger
    • Luke dresses like a samurai, follows tropes of a knight
    • most absurd plot so far in history
  • The Hidden Fortress (1958) dir. Akira Kurosawa
    • helped inspire Star wars: robots and fighting style
  • Triumph of the Will (1935) (a.k.a. Triumph des Willens) (introduced in Episode 4) dir. Leni Riefenstahl
    • helped inspire Star Wars: shots of stormtroopers

Story of Film – Episode 10 – Movies to Change the World

CC Image world by Riccardof at Flickr


The following material is from Wikipedia.

1969-1979: Radical Directors in the 70s – Make State of the Nation Movies.