Environmental film observation project | Education homework help


Films give us a unique opportunity to exam nonverbal communication without creeping anyone out in terms of “people watching.” It also provides us the opportunity to observe first interactions between characters as they are introduced to one another. These “first meetings” generally give us an idea of what to expect from that relationship moving forward (i.e. power relationships, romantic, conflicted, etc.). This exercise provides you the opportunity to reflect upon the impact of nonverbal communication on relationship building. 

What Do I Need To Do? 

Step 1: Find a movie which features human interaction which you have never seen before. It may be a classic film, a new release, or just something you have had on your watch list for a while but it must include human relationships and communication between people and sound (no silent movies). (I also do not recommend watching documentaries for this project). Any genre of film is fine to watch. For tips on locating movies, check the Hannon Library, Public Library, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. 

Step 2: Watch your selected movie with NO SOUND or Subtitles. Take notes on the nonverbal interactions you see particularly when it appears characters are meeting each other for the first time. Pay close attention to their eye contact, posture, proximity, touch, environment in which they are meeting, etc. Feel free to pause the movie to get a “time-stamp” of when that interaction occurred as it will help you with the next step. Make predictions as to what type of relationship you believe these people have with each other. Is it one of power, romance, conflict, collaborative partnerships etc. What indicators are leading you to make that prediction? As the film goes on, does your perception of that relationship change? 

Step 3: Now, re-watch the film in the traditional setting (with the sound on, subtitles if you prefer). While re-watching the film, take note of the interactions you saw the first time. What nonverbal cues do you pick up on that are different than what you saw the first time? Were your predictions about that relationship accurate or are there external factors (i.e. environment) which led to those nonverbal cues? 

Step 4: Draft a 4-6 Page Paper (following syllabus writing guidelines) addressing what you noticed about nonverbal communication and first meetings in this project. The first paragraph of your paper should include the title of the film as well as a brief description of the movie and why you selected it for this project. The rest of the paper should address the following:  Make sure to address the questions outlined in steps 2 and 3. In addition be sure to address the following questions: What was your experience watching a movie in complete silence? Were you able to understand what was going on? Did you miss something important when you watched in silence? What did this assignment show you about the relationship between nonverbal and verbal communication when building relationships? 

What Do I Need To Turn In? 

Please turn in the notes you took during the movie from both times you watched it (may be handwritten and scanned into Moodle or typed) AND the 4-6 page paper described in step 4. 

How Will I Be Graded?

1) Did you submit both your notes and the paper? 

2) Does your paper meet the required length and writing expectations outlined in Moodle? 

3) Did you address all the questions in your paper?

4) Did you relate the questions back to the course textbook and classroom discussions? 

5) Was your paper quality writing and well thought out? 

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