Film Appreciation Teaches Analysis Skills


Darius Walters, Staff

For the last few years, CHS has offered a film appreciation course. In this class, students learn things like various types of camera shots and vocabulary used to analyze moviesknowledge that film critics use to review films.  

The honors-level English honors elective was started and instructed by athletic director Rich Hambor.  

“BCPS has always had a film class in their curriculum, but a lot of schools don’t offer it,” Mr. Hambor ex.plained.  

When he first started the course in 2014, he needed to be trained to teach the ½-credit course. 

[English chair Melanie] Coates knew that I had been interested in doing something like that for a long time, so she allowed me to go to a one-day workshop to learn how to teach film class,” he explained.  

The class is all about films that have changed how and why people make movies. Students watch classic films like The Godfather, Psycho, The Thing, and Shawshank Redemption. Students who have taken the course really enjoy how different and interesting it is. 

“It’s kinda laid back, a period where you can just take a bit of a mental break. Much more relaxed than an AP course,” senior Chase Bettick claimed. 

He’s learned a lot while in the class. 

“I learned more in-depth how a film is created and the process they go through to make movies. I also learned about directors that changed movies for good,” explained Bettick. 

The class teaches many vocabulary terms and critical ideas applicable to any movie. 

We got to see a lot of classic movies. I learned a lot about different lighting and camera angles, and just how much goes into film making, sophomore Adrian Cummings remarked. 

Over the past few years, the film appreciation course has gotten more popular and becoming a more preferred elective.  

“When I couldn’t get into the elective I wanted and saw that I could take a class where I watch movies and write about them, was excited to take it and see what happen. I don’t regret it,” explained Cummings. 

Students and Hambor alike are pleased with the outcomes of the course’s growth. 

“I really like it a lot, I’m an athletic director now so I don’t teach full time. I used to teach five English classes and one film class, and now I have two film classes only,” Mr. Hambor shared. “So, the class populations are going up as there are more and more kids sign up for it every year, and I am lucky to be able to still teach this course that I like a lot.