We’ve only scratched the surface of all that encompasses film theory! But for those who want to devote their professional lives to it, they might want to explore a career in film history, film criticism or even film education.
But what about those who want to be the ones making movies? Why should film theory matter to them? Because as mentioned earlier, many film specialists must collaborate to make a single film, and the truth of the matter is that it’s essential for any aspiring filmmaker to be able to speak “film language.”
Without any understanding of why sound or lighting is important to a movie, how would a Director then instruct their Cinematographer or Composer on what they’re trying to achieve? Or in contrast, how would they be able to digest the suggestions of those individuals as the experts in their fields?
Communication is vital in filmmaking and being well-versed in all aspects of it can only result in a better-made movie.
And for those saying that they only write the films and never even want to step foot on a sound stage?
Think about the ultimate goal: Having that script realized as closely as possible to the Writer’s intention. That means understanding all of the above elements, even during the writing process, to better clarify the story on the page. Says Writer and filmmaker Kameishia Wooten, “I take color and sound into consideration when implementing the theme and subtext [of a script]. I also find film theory useful when prepping to direct.”
For anyone looking to one day teach about, write about or make movies, film theory is critical in being able to effectively communicate about them, as well as create a meaningful and enduring film to join the rest of the cinematic compendium.