Blog Post

Collaborate on an On-line Film Textbook

I would like to invite faculty and students to participate in a collaborative Film Studies initiative during which we will write an on-line introductory film textbook that will be released under a Creative Commons license.  The on-line materials will be primarily written by undergraduate student.

My vision is that, during the 2014 Fall semester, students would draft text, such as can currently be found on the Horror page and Animation page.  Drafts would be discussed in the comments section and revisions to the original text would be on-going.  The website would also include reviews or scene analyses such as the one written by Bradley William Page.  If there was an interest, Film Studies could also include research papers or other types of writing.  [These three examples were not specifically written as part of the initiative, but the students allowed me to post the material as examples of how we could begin.]

To start the process, I envision that some collaborators might ask their students to take responsibility for certain sections of Film Studies.  Faculty collaborators can coordinate these selections so that we don’t have two or more students drafting the same section. 

After the initial work is completed, we could work with students to continue to expand and improve the text. We can also use the comment section to discuss the concepts being addressed.  For example, I will likely ask my Winter semester students to respond to sections of Film Studies by posting mini-reviews in which they recommend examples of films relevant to the section.  I could also see a film professor asking his/her students to post scene analyses or analyses of short films in the comments sections as well as submitting them to Film Studies for publication.

My belief is that it is easier to discuss a document rather than a concept which is why I completed the basic architecture of the website before publicizing the initiative.  However, I have been writing and collaborating long enough to not be so personally invested in what I have created that I am not open to suggestions for improvement, revised approaches, and so forth.  It is through discussion and collaboration that we can produce the best product.

I look forward to discussing the Film Studies project with you in more detail and hope that you and your students will be able to be involved in drafting and improving this resource.

You may reach me at




1 comment

Rather than YouTube links (which are likely to go dead or be covered with ads), I would suggest using Critical Commons as your media hosting server -- it's free, open and was  funded by the first round of the Digital Media and Learning initiative specifically to support this type of fair use for media analysis: