Exploring Movie Construction & Production by John Reich

Exploring Movie Construction & Production contains eight chapters of the major areas of film construction and production. The discussion covers theme, genre, narrative structure, character portrayal, story, plot, directing style, cinematography, and editing.

Important terminology is defined and types of analysis are discussed and demonstrated. An extended example of how a movie description reflects the setting, narrative structure, or directing style is used throughout the book to illustrate building blocks of each theme.

This approach to film instruction and analysis has proved beneficial to increasing students’ learning, while enhancing the creativity and critical thinking of the student.

Table of Contents



Part I: Construction

  • 1. What Is the Theme? Why Do We Need It?
  • 2. What Is Genre and How Is It Determined?
  • 3. What Are the Mechanics of Story and Plot?
  • 4. How Are the Characters Portrayed?

Part II: Production Prologue

  • 5. What Is Directing?
  • 6. What Is Cinematography?
  • 7. What Is Editing?
  • 8. What Is Sound?

Conclusion: What’s So Exciting about Movies? – Novice Answers

Production Assignment

Cinematography Assignment

Future Viewing


About the Contributors


John Reich received a B.A. in theatre from Buffalo State College in 1976 and an M.A. in speech with a theatre and journalism concentration from Kent State University in 1979. He has been teaching Film, Speech and Interpersonal Communication at Genesee Community College since 1998. He published an article entitled “I’ll Take Education for $100”, in Innovation Abstracts in 2011, which discusses a method of teaching film in the classroom. This article was the precursor that led to formulating the idea and concept for this textbook. He also published an article, “How to Transform Fear and Hostility into Enthusiasm” in Teaching for Success in 2009 that discusses how to help students get over their nervousness when taking a Public Speaking course.