Elements of Film Aesthetics


Using examples from the rich history of film, Dr. Claire Graman covers the elements of film aesthetics in this entertaining, enjoyable course. Students will learn why lighting is the most important element to any film, as well as the importance of blocking. As a result of taking the course, they’ll learn about the evolution of film editing, the first “color” film, and whether there was ever a truly silent film.

Dr. Graman has summarized this amazing wealth of knowledge into four, easy-to-comprehend lessons. There’s also a fifth video, a coda to the series, that demonstrates the use of film aesthetics.

Highlights of the course include:

  • Aesthetics Introduction: Dr. Graman introduces the concept of Film Aesthetics through the close observation of scenes from The Graduate and Moonrise Kingdom.
  • Cinematography: how the position and angle of the camera provides meaning in a film; how the camera “sees,” and how different types of lenses affect different shots.
  • Mise-en-Scene: all the things that are “put into” the scene, including sets, props, costumes, makeup, hair, acting, blocking, lighting, and the style of the film.
  • Editing: the cutting and joining together of different scenes to make one film, the development of film editing, graphic matches, the 180 rule, and other editing techniques.
  • Sound: the history of sound in the movies; how music, dialogue, sound effects and even silence contribute to the film.
  • Aesthetics Coda: students learn how to apply what they’ve learned using a scene from Moonrise Kingdom.

For more about film aesthetics, check out “A Lesson From Maya Deren.”

You might also enjoy The Evolution of Film Over Time — A Brief History”

What Will I Learn?

  • Each video focuses on one important aspect of film aesthetics
  • Students will gain an understanding of the basic components that go into making a film
  • Students will be able to identify how cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing and sound contribute to a film

Topics for this course

6 Lessons1h 30m

Aesthetics Introduction

Aesthetics Introduction13:04


This lesson will guide students through the basics of cinematography.




Aesthetics Coda

About the instructor

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3 Courses

4 students

Maya Deren

Material Includes

  • 6 video lessons

Target Audience

  • Teens and adults
  • Film students
  • Movie buffs
  • Film aficionados