How to View and Appreciate Great Movies

Course No. 7000
Professor Eric Williams, M.F.A.
Ohio University
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58 Reviews
72% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 7000
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What Will You Learn?

  • The masks of characters: public, private, and personal and how they are used for connections and development.
  • How color and light affect the way we see" movies: with a foundation of 12 hues, six color schemes, four characteristics of light, and three ways to use light."
  • The complex and vital editing process: the three stages of editing and how an editor removes, inserts, and organizes hours and hours of footage.

Course Overview

You may sometimes wonder why a single scene from a movie stays with you long after the credits roll, yet in other cases, you can’t recall if you’ve even seen an entire film. Thinking about that memorable moment, what made that impression? Was it a particularly well-acted scene? The dramatic lighting? The emotion of the music? The tension that has built up? The ability to relate to the situation? A powerful choice of words? The answer is, simply, yes.

Understanding the intent of every aspect of a movie—from lighting to language, color to characters, stars to scores—can help you not only appreciate the movies you’re watching at a much more profound level but also open your eyes to the multitude of ways you’re being manipulated from the moment you sit down in the theater. A great filmmaker controls every sensation the movie evokes—tremors or tears, goosebumps or giggles. And while this may feel orchestrated when you begin to pull back the curtain and discover the secrets behind making great movies, you’ll also learn why we invite and welcome that manipulation.

Join professional filmmaker, author, and award-winning professor, Eric R. Williams, as he takes you behind the scenes with How to View and Appreciate Great Movies, sharing the concepts that he has developed as a professional filmmaker over the last 25 years. As he walks you through 250 different titles―some well-known, others less so―you’ll explore how every step of a movie is a choice and each choice has a significant impact on consciously and subconsciously influencing the audience.

View old favorites through a new lens including:

  • Casablanca
  • Citizen Kane
  • Jaws
  • The Godfather
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Star Wars
  • Rocky
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Apocalypse Now

You’ll unpack and examine the screenwriting, story building, sound choices, set design, lighting, special effects, editing, scores, characters, and more for these movies and hundreds of others. Each facet of filmmaking is controlled independently, and Professor Williams will demonstrate the essential step of amalgamating every perspective into a collaborative―if not unified―view, resulting in a symphony of creative decision-making. This process doesn’t always succeed, but when it does, it leaves a lasting impression.

Generalizations about Genres

Before diving into the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, Professor Williams zooms back for a wide-angle look at the bigger picture of films: the notion of genre. If you use Netflix to measure film genres, you might believe there are thousands of them. In fact, Netflix has categorized more than 27,000 genres—from “20th-Century Period Pieces for Hopeless Romantics” to “Feel-good Deep Sea Movies for Ages 8 to 10.” Once you start subdividing and adding in niche interests, the number seems limitless.

With this course, Professor Williams challenges the idea that there are a myriad of genres by redefining what a genre is, down to the nitty-gritty of establishing the difference between “action” and a “thriller.” He’ll break down how and why you can use genres to better find, understand, and appreciate movies as he introduces you to the concepts of super genre, macrogenres, and microgenres.

Perhaps one of the most interesting revelations concerning genres is when Professor Williams divulges how great movies can often use genre against us. A good filmmaker will know to how to anticipate an audience’s expectations before they’ve even walked into a theater. If we signed up for a Romeo and Juliet experience, it better include: a couple overcoming obstacles; falling in love against all odds; and then the ultimate, albeit expected, tragic death of one or both of them. And the filmmaker knows we better make use of the tissues we brought with us because that is what we are expecting. When we don’t—when the movie doesn’t meet our preconceived expectations, it’s not considered a “Great Movie.”

Or, is it?

As previously noted, filmmakers have the power to manipulate every single facet of our experience and sometimes by playing with the notion of what we predict, the surprise that results is just as satisfying as the conclusion we expected. Consider Psycho. This oft-lauded film starts off as a crime movie but turns into a horror movie when director Alfred Hitchcock [SPOILER ALERT] kills the protagonist (a huge star who was portrayed as being the main character, so you expect her to live through the entire film) at the end of the first act in cold blood.

Genre is not a steadfast rule. Expectations exist to be bent, twisted, broken, undone, exaggerated, minimized—most of all—controlled. And often, a great movie will take the stereotypes you associate with the genre and will surprise you by turning them on their head. Or, sometimes it will blend genres. Or, it might start as one genre and end as another. It’s no wonder we readily accept there are 27,000 genre possibilities—that’s the filmmakers playing with us again.

Why Sights and Sounds Make Sense(s)

Seeing—and hearing—is believing, especially in the mystical world of movies where we are being asked to believe the unbelievable from the moment we sit down. How do you convince audiences that what Harry feels for Sally is true love, that the giant animatronic shark could be a real threat to anyone in water anywhere, or that super powers are not only possible but easily accessible to anyone with access to super-suits, special spiders, or Stark Industries? To paraphrase The X Files, we want to believe, but the filmmakers have to do their part to get us emotionally invested enough to want to believe. That investment involves building worlds that ensure our senses are satisfied with the experience, down to the smallest detail.

Spending more than half a dozen lectures on the nuts and bolts of movies, Professor Williams uncovers the tricks used to help us suspend our disbelief, let go of our cynicism, and buy in—including the use of sounds, scores, lighting, color, and special effects. You’ll discover how even these seemingly small details can greatly enhance or detract from the theme, atmosphere, and story.   

  • Consider Sound. When you watch a storm on the screen, you expect to hear rain. But is the rain pounding or sprinkling? Is there wind? Is it romantic-kissing rain or a tension-building thunder storm? Discover how the intensity, realism, or lack of sounds in a scene can not only add to it but also can help define it.


  • Consider Color. Would The Martian feel otherworldly if it was full of Earth’s greens and blues? Would Do The Right Thing have the same visual impact if it was shot in black and white? Color choices are never unintentional because they alter how the audience sees the movie (literally and figuratively).


  • Consider Location. There’s a reason you rarely see ghost stories occur in modern condos—you need the spooky, creaky, dark, and broken old house to increase the fear factor. The house, in essence, becomes a character itself.
  • Consider Score. You don’t even need to see the giant animatronic shark to feel dread when you hear the iconic “Duh-nuh – duh nuh duh nuh – duh nuh duh nuh duh nuh.” The most terrifying moments of Jaws are not built with visuals but with music. Learn how scores provide the emotional architecture to the story.


  • Consider Special Effects. The 3-D achievements of Avatar transported us INTO Pandora rather than showing us another planet, while the computer-generated imagery (CGI) in The Polar Express demonstrated the pitfalls that relying on technology can bring.

After viewing these lectures, the Academy Award categories for Editing, Cinematography, Sound Design, and more suddenly take on a whole new meaning. You’ll go into movies with a new eye for detail and a deeper appreciation for the nuances and minutiae that create the bigger experience.



Slap Adam Sandler’s name on the trailer and chances are the movie will earn millions, regardless of plot, story, editing, or any of the other components that make great movies. And sometimes, that’s all filmmakers do. While marketable and financially successful, those movies are rarely great.

Professor Williams spends several lectures delving into characters, actors, and relationships.
Examining established archetypes and character types; sprinkling in Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and the psychology of a story; and looking at the vital role of the antagonist, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of how characters are built, what their purpose is in a story, and why different characters behave the way they do.

Some of the fascinating insights Professor Williams provides about characters include:

  • The surprising way directors will intentionally cast stars for or against their expected “type” to reinforce or subvert our preconceived expectations.
  • An antagonist is vital to every movie, no matter what the genre. However, the antagonist is not always a villain. He can be a friend, an organization, a stranger, an animal, an environment, or even the protagonist himself.
  • All great villains are a distorted reflection of the hero.
  • Supporting characters represent the hearts and souls of main characters and are essential to revealing what the main characters are not.


Meta Movie Making

One of the best components of How to View and Appreciate Great Movies is that this course about how movies are produced is a production in and of itself. Professor Williams takes a fun, tongue-in-cheek approach, often breaking the fourth wall, revealing tricks of the trade, and drawing parallels between filming a movie and filming the course.

Relaxed, engaging, self-deprecating, and charmingly personal, Professor Williams invites you into the set and his views with humor and warmth. You’ll feel as if he were personally watching each movie with you and guiding you through the components of what made it great.   

The information you take away from the course is invaluable to enhancing your appreciation of films and is presented in a way that is easy to adapt into your own viewing habits. You’ll find yourself not only watching movies in a completely new way, but reviewing and talking about them from an entirely new and better-informed perspective.

Professor Williams often refers to filmmaking as a kind of magic trick—an illusion. And once you
understand the trick, pull back the curtain, and go backstage—behind the camera, inside the script—to see the creative process from the filmmaker’s point of view, the magic show can
never be the same again. Knowing that no decision made in the film process is arbitrary and every component is engineered to maintain control and manipulate your reactions can feel like it might ruin your movie-going experience, but as you’ll discover, it simply strengthens your love for what’s unfolding before your eyes and gives you a new set of creative and analytical tools to bring with you to the movies.

Roger Ebert once said, “Every great film should seem new every time you see it” and that’s exactly what How to View and Appreciate Great Movies ensures.

Hide Full Description
24 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    The Art of the Silver Screen
    Professor Williams introduces his passion for film by explaining exactly what experience he wants to capture—what makes movies magic for him. He provides a brief history of movies and foreshadows elements of the course that he will be digging deeper into including music, framing, and the three-act structure, tying the whole thing together by familiarizing you with what he considers one of the most important movie elements: tension. x
  • 2
    We All Need Another Hero: Universal Stories
    Professor Williams introduces you to the story of a young hero, living a boring life on a small farm. Through extreme circumstances, the hero is whisked off on a journey through new lands full of strange and colorful characters, and introduced to a dangerous foe. The hero rises to various challenges, finds friends, and ultimate defeats the bad guy in a neat, happy ending. This is Professor Williams’s favorite movie. Is it Star Wars? Is it The Wizard of Oz? Uncover the foundation of Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” and explore how this plot device shows up in many seemingly unrelated films and genres. x
  • 3
    Movie Genre: It's Not What You Think
    Begin this lecture with a challenge: How many film genres are there? Professor Williams spends this lecture introducing you to the definitive list of genres based on what happens in the film and how the movie makes you feel, not an arbitrary and generalized category. Diving deeply into the meanings and examples of movie genres can help you better define what you look for and love. As for the actual number of film genres Professor Williams has established? You'll have to watch the lecture to find out the answer. x
  • 4
    Genre Layers and Audience Expectations
    Become familiar with three simple variations of film genre: super genre, macrogenres, and microgenres. Professor Williams will further break down each by filtering in three important variables: atmosphere, character, and story. He'll discern the difference between a heist film and an escape film, explain how the characters with whom your sympathies lay often define the genre you are viewing, and show how one movie can encapsulate multiple macro- and microgenres, with each additional label changing your expectations. x
  • 5
    Popcorn Can Wait: Story Shape and Tension
    Professor Williams introduces the relationship between story shape and story rhythm. By presenting the shape for several genres—and you may be surprised to see he presents actual, recognizable shapes—you start to see the rhythm for your story and rhythms are essentially a pattern. To keep us coming back, sometimes filmmakers break the rhythm, while at other times they present the same pattern out of order. Characters, dialogue, and plot all play a part. But ultimately, building tension is the thing that keeps us in our seats and coming back. x
  • 6
    Themes on Screen
    Examine the concept of theme through a spectrum of approaches ranging from traditional filmmakers who believe that their role is to be part educator, philosopher, or theologian and the non-traditional filmmakers who often present messy and contradictory situations or characters without moralizing, lecturing, or judging. Professor Williams then layers on the method of storytelling chosen to present the movie theme—active vs. didactic vs. both, creating a matrix upon which he breaks down and plots several popular movies to help illustrate what the theme is and to determine when and how the theme will make its way into the film. x
  • 7
    Paradigm Shift: Citizen Kane and Casablanca
    Looking at two iconic films that make up the yin and yang of filmmaking—Casablanca and Citizen Kane—Professor Williams looks at the historical context, the important elements, and the lasting influence these films have made on every component of movie making over the last 75 years. As Professor Williams breaks down Casablanca, you’ll better understand the three factors that made this movie an instant classic, suitable for repeat viewing: the characters, the theme, and the ending. With Citizen Kane, he’ll introduce you to seven groundbreaking film techniques that changed movies forever. x
  • 8
    The Language of Visual Storytelling
    Learn how to look at film as you might study a painting. Professor Williams opens by explaining how visual literacy is based upon at least four central factors: color, space, line, and shapes. He then delves into the distinct camera moves and how each pan, zoom, and dolly brings you a different view and impression of what you're seeing. Using classically, beautifully shot movies such as Blow Up, American Beauty, Jaws, and others, you'll examine framing and filming constructs such as the rule of thirds" and point of interest." x
  • 9
    Building Screen Space: Blocking and Framing
    On a basic level, blocking is the way that characters interact in a space. Framing is the way in which the blocking is captured by a camera. It seems foolproof, so it's hard to believe what a subconscious impact it can have when done well. Professor Williams explains how both framing and blocking can be broken down into the elements of lines and shape and scale. Using a plethora of examples including The Wizard of Oz, The Manchurian Candidate, Good Will Hunting, and others, you'll explore what sorts of messages good blocking and framing can send. x
  • 10
    The Cutting Room Floor: Powerful Editing
    What happens in an editing booth is a mystery to many of us. Professor Williams illuminates this complex and vital process, introducing the three stages of editing and delving into how an editor removes, inserts, and organizes hours and hours of footage into a comprehensive, visually literate film that resonates with the audience. Looking at movies including Roshomon, Slumdog Millionaire, The Godfather II, Reservoir Dogs, and more, you'll explore examples of how editing can visually manipulate us, while setting the tone, pace, and thematic intention of the movie. x
  • 11
    Sound Design and Acoustic Illusion
    Professor Williams introduces you to the four approaches to film sound, provides eye-opening (or perhaps “ear-opening”) insights into where the sound made a scene memorable in films such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Hurt Locker, and how tuning us into what our character hears provides us with more than just background noise. x
  • 12
    Setting the Scene: Masterful Set Design
    Dive into Apollo 13, The Shining, Room, Clockwork Orange, and more, to discover how props and set design can set a story up, introduce the characters, and provide clues about what to expect before the first line of dialogue has been spoken. Professor Williams demonstrates how the evolution or degradation of the set and props can often act as a mirror to the character's mental state. x
  • 13
    Special Effects in the 20th Century
    In the first of two lectures focused on the gamut of special effects from puppets to AI, you'll learn the history and the science behind the magic we see and believe. Professor Williams unpacks the two types of special effects, complete with plenty of examples, and teases what two movies he believes are among the greatest special effects movies of all time. x
  • 14
    Special Effects in the 21st Century
    You’ll go behind the scenes to discover the different ways stars interact with characters who don’t exist and the details that need to be captured—such as the correct angle of a non-existent sun reflection—when nothing you are filming is real. Plus, Professor Williams reveals his two picks for greatest special effects movie, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be surprised when you hear them. x
  • 15
    Scoring the Story: Music in Film
    Music tells a story and in film, it serves to continue or enhance the story you are watching via what you are hearing. Whether diegetic or non-diegetic, Professor Williams demonstrates how music becomes a motif or a leitmotif, acting as a guide for our subconscious attention, escorting us from scene to scene, or carrying us across continents, providing emotional cues and setting the stage for what to expect. Using examples from Jaws, Rocky, Star Wars and more, he demonstrates how just like with every other facet of moviemaking, filmmakers can use a score to adhere to—or subvert—your expectations. x
  • 16
    Color and Light: Elements of Atmosphere
    Superficially, color and light add to a film’s aesthetic qualities, but Professor Williams will show you color and light can be used to tell a deeper story—emotionally and intellectually. Looking at a variety of films that make creative use of color and light, including Do The Right Thing, The Life of Pi, The Martian, and Schindler’s List, you’ll become familiar with a foundation of 12 hues, six color schemes, four characteristics of light, and three ways to use light—as well as what each means and how various combinations can alter how the audience sees the movie (literally and figuratively). x
  • 17
    Knowing Characters from the Inside Out
    Professor Williams introduces the use of masks: public, private, and personal. He demonstrates that as characters pull each one off, we get to know them (and connect with them) better. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Imitation Game provide contrasting studies in the way the masks are used to reveal characters, and more importantly, to help you discern their motivation—What a character wants and what the character is willing to do to get it. Once the motivation is clear, the complexities of the character can be as well. x
  • 18
    Knowing Characters from the Outside In
    Professor Williams challenges you to read the screenplay of a movie you haven’t seen yet as if you were a detective, gleaning what you can about the plot, characters, and relationships simply from the word choices. Through a reading of Lean on Me, Professor Williams introduces you to the things you can learn about a character from what he or she says and what he or she portrays—or doesn’t say. x
  • 19
    Secondary Characters and Supporting Actors
    Thelma and Louise, The Godfather, and Barton Fink provide the backdrop for an expansive consideration of how supporting roles are used to influence our opinion of the protagonist. Professor Williams explores the idea that by pushing, reacting, and reflecting, the secondary characters define motive and reveal what the main characters are not. They represent the hearts and souls of our main characters. x
  • 20
    Star Power: Lead Actors and Their Roles
    Professor Williams acknowledges he can't tell you how an actor does what he or she does, but through this lecture he helps you appreciate the nuance that goes into acting as he breaks down the role of an actor. As you travel through Psycho, Get Out, The Thin Red Line, Rounders, and others, you discover what actors do (or should do) to prepare for roles and the pressure to portray believability. x
  • 21
    Character Relationships and Audience Empathy
    How relationships work is complex enough in reality. Professor Williams uses Precious and The Piano, and sprinkles in theories from Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, to illustrate how relationships are established, how the relationships work, and how they create tension in film. Examining established archetypes and character types, Professor Williams shows you how easy it is to make movies predictable and how objective and intention can help subvert expectations. x
  • 22
    Pathways to Great Antagonists
    Discover how a great villain is created and that a villain and an antagonist are not the same. Professor Williams demonstrates how all great villains are a distorted reflection of the hero, through movies including The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, The Silence of the Lambs, and Rocky. He unpacks why the antagonist may not always be bad, but must be present. Additionally, you'll explore the four thematic groupings (pathways) and how the protagonist and antagonist are utilized in each. x
  • 23
    Point of View in Script and on Screen
    As the lens through which the audience views the story, the point of view a movie takes can truly enhance your appreciation for how stories in movies can be told. Professor Williams reveals the decision trees that come with crafting the point of view, starting with three central questions. Using Annie Hall, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Sherlock Holmes, No Country for Old Men, and more, you get a handle on how to decipher the POV and the reason behind it, adding a whole new dimension to your enjoyment of the story. x
  • 24
    Filmmaker's Voice and Audience Choice
    After breaking down the filmmaker’s voice into six central parts, Professor Williams demonstrates how the audience itself—specifically our expectations—can play a key role in voice. Looking at films such as Anomolisa, The Artist, When Harry Met Sally, and others, you’ll see why it is what the filmmaker chooses to say with their voice that is important. Professor Williams also provides a list of five ways audiences can be made uncomfortable, reveals what a movie can tell you about itself in the first 10 minutes, and introduces three movies you’ve probably never heard of, but shouldn’t miss. x

Lecture Titles

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  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
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DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 203-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 203-page printed course guidebook
  • Films Referenced by Lecture
  • Photos and illustrations
  • Questions to consider

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Your professor

Eric Williams

About Your Professor

Eric Williams, M.F.A.
Ohio University
Eric R. Williams is a Professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University, where he teaches courses on screenwriting, film, and virtual reality production. He is also the director of the MFA in Communication Media Arts program at Ohio University. Professor Williams received his bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Education from Northwestern University, and he earned his Master of Fine Arts...
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How to View and Appreciate Great Movies is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 58.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is so good I'm gifting it to my movie friends This course made me more aware and intelligent in several important ways, and that's my goal in watching The Great Courses. Eric Williams is an outstanding teacher, his enthusiasm is infectious, and his story telling skills are world class. This is how story telling is done really well. Eric pulls the curtain back, and shows the structure and tools used in modern story telling in film. More importantly to me, I can use the same skills and ideas in my personal and professional life. Whether that's what tension is, or what makes a great character really great, or many other lessons, there are many lessons for me in this class. There are many ideas that were new to me, and that's what makes me more aware and intelligent. That's the sign of a fantastic course. Excellent job by everyone involved in the creation of this course. This is truly one of the best courses I've ever seen. Thanks to The Great Courses for an excellent job!
Date published: 2018-10-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not an "art appreciation" class First let's talk about the elephant in the room, which is that the course does not contain film clips. In fact, to make matters worse, it substitutes cheap-looking and unsatisfying storyboards and other techniques. However, this subject is adequately addressed in the Questions and Answers tab of this course. So, if you are thinking of buying this course, just please be aware that it doesn't have clips, there are good reasons it doesn't have clips, but it doesn't have clips. Boo hoo. If that's OK with you, then march on! My second point is that right in the first lecture, the instructor says "this is not a film criticism class." which should have tipped me off right away that this is not an "art appreciation" type of class. Instead, I kept plowing ahead, waiting for the course to get artsy, which it never really did. It is basically a very academic class that slices, dices, and dissects movie making and movie viewing, and not an "art appreciation" kind of class, which is what I was looking for. I actually got much more out of reading Roger Ebert's three books "The Great Movies" Volumes I, II, and III. In fact, this course does not get within a hundred miles of mentioning many of the hundreds of great classics covered in Ebert's books, such as Au Hasard Balthazar. Sigh. The good news is that the instructor is knowledgeable, energetic, passionate, engaging, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I hope this gives the reader enough information to decide whether to spring two grand for the course (a private joke explained in the last chapter).
Date published: 2018-10-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from What a disappointment I am an avid movie fan, particularly of classic and silent films. I was hoping to enhance my knowledge of technique and, perhaps, get suggestions of movies I might have missed. However, this course is dismal. Some of the suggested movies are mediocre at best. Also, the fact that scenes from the movies mentioned are not available, but animated examples are substituted is ridiculous.
Date published: 2018-10-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Reasonably Good Course. Interesting. Well presented. Visuals added little if anything to the course. I don't know why it was offered only in video. I think it would have been equally good in audio.
Date published: 2018-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Lot to Learn I really enjoy a good movie. I don't really consider a weekend complete until I watch at least one movie. The professor does a great job in this course helping to identify many of the decisions that the film makers use to create the production. He offers insights that do not spoil the experience but, rather, enhance it. I've already caught myself several times noticing little details that I did not previously see. I agree with some of the other reviewers that it would be nice if the professor could show actual movie clips, but I suspect that this could not be done due to copyright laws. It might have helped to explain this issue in the first lecture so that the audience is not expecting clips. That being said, the professor does a good job explaining the key details in each of the scenes he discusses. Lastly, I would really like to see a follow-up to this course by the same professor discussing more about the history of movies. My favorite lecture was the one where he talked about how the combination of Citizen Kane and Casablanca revolutionized the way movies were made. I think an entire course could be built around movie history.
Date published: 2018-10-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very Disappointed I may be out of step with many of the previous reviewers but I was very disappointed that the course did not have any original clips from the featured movies. None! And furthermore they did not ever bother to include any of the original movie songs in the course. I realize that obtaining copywrite permission may be time consuming and costly but couldn't they at least have some clips from subject movies? Instead they use amateurish, cartoonish, computer generated illustrations to reproduce the subject clip. This really hurt the experience. On the plus side, Mr. Williams was very knowledgable of the subject and presented it with enthusiasm.
Date published: 2018-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Intro to Film! I bought this course immediately as one who's interested in screenwriting but whom needs to start out from scratch learning about film basics. The course covers a nice range of topics in enough detail to serve as a great introductory course. The instructor is upbeat and passionate about his subject and clearly knows his field. His use of examples was very good and the use of visuals (ie; "scratched" film strips reminiscent of an old movie) and light comical scenes added a nice touch) combined with light-hearted skits keeps the viewers attention quite well. Though some lectures seemed indirect in their main points, I ascribed this to the subject matter itself being more complex and in need of multiple viewings on my part to absorb basic concepts. All in all, this was exactly the intro course I was looking for that sets the stage for further questions and learning I will engage next. What I would hope to see next from the instructor is a more advanced course and perhaps his own reviews of such classics he uses in the course. This would be invaluable to a film student. Well done Eric Williams!
Date published: 2018-09-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too detailed The expert's venue is entertaining, and the subject of movies is one that we consider entertainment. However, he is so detailed and complex that I just can't recommend his course.
Date published: 2018-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Key to seeing films from the inside. opens a whole new realm of appreciation and delight! I'll never watch a movie the same way again.
Date published: 2018-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent start I have viewed only the first two lectures so far, but I am already hooked. The lecturer is engaging and he presents the materials in a fashion that leaves me wanting more. I also like the new thematic set. I hope this continues for other courses as well.
Date published: 2018-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Great Course I'm currently on lec 22 and just had to express my thanks to Professor Williams for such a wonderful cinematic experience. I'm already looking at televisions and movies in a different light. It's as if my eye are now wide open. This is not your regular great course . I don't want to give the fun away so I'll just finish up and say If you love movies, you'll like love this course.
Date published: 2018-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional Learning Experience I have been an avid movie fan (own 400 DVD’s) for 74 years and found out ... I didn’t really know how to appreciate the film experience. Viewing this course I now appreciate all of the movie experience...THANK YOU. I look forward to hours of better enjoyment..
Date published: 2018-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from how to view movies Great instructor. Enjoyable 24 classes. Learned a lot about movies.
Date published: 2018-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great course discussing great movies Originally, I had little interest in purchasing this course. Although I love movies, I had a number of other courses I preferred to buy. However, when a free lecture from this series was placed in my library I decided to watch it. I was hooked. That same evening I purchased the entire course and have been viewing a new lecture each day. Although I have not finished the course (a little over half way through) I am already watching movies through a new lens. Eric Williams is an engaging instructor who is very knowledgeable about films and what goes into the making of a great one. He presents the material in a methodical, enthusiastic, and easy to understand manner. Although the course does not offer many clips from current movies (due to the expense, I suspect), I have not found that to be a detriment. Professor Smith provides a number of movies as examples for whatever point he is trying to get across and so far, I have always seen at least one of those movies. I am going through this series to get a broad understanding of what is covered; however, I plan to revisit it a second time, more slowly, to better assimilate the material by watching film examples following each lesson. Thank you, Eric and GC for a great course.
Date published: 2018-09-04
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  • co_hasreviews, tv_6, tr_52
  • loc_en_US, sid_7000, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 109.25ms

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