What Is Close Viewing?
Like close reading of text, close viewing of film media is carefully and purposefully viewing and reviewing a film clip in order to focus on what the filmmaker is trying to convey, the choices the filmmaker has made, the role of images, narration, editing, and sound, and what the film’s purpose might be. Close viewing ensures that students become critical viewers of film content and that they really understand what they’ve watched. Skillful close viewing is also an important foundation for helping students develop the ability to justify their claims in class discussions and writing assignments with specific evidence. The following sample protocol is meant for use with a short (five- to ten-minute) film or video clip.