The Sixth Sense

  (b)    Select one film of feature length made during the time period of 1970 – 2000. You are not to use a film already used by you, the instructor or the course content. In your term paper, you should present information about the making of the movie, about its success at the box office, about awards it was nominated for and/or received. Also present a sampling of the critical reaction to the film, from both the time of its release and later. Finally, you should watch the film and react to it. Do not summarize the plot. Assume that I’ve already seen the film. In addition, write about how this director used the following in these films: Editing (montage), Sound and Music, Cinematography, Special Camera Work (steady cam, hand held, optical effects), Special Effects (this can include stunt work).


Outline and Resources – You are to turn in an outline and resource list for your project before the end of week 5 and submit it to the proper folder.  Part two will not be accepted unless part one is turned in.

You must turn in an outline and a list of resources for your project no later than the end of week five.

  1. Use either an Alphanumeric Outline, a Decimal Outline, or a sentence hierarchical outline.
  2. The list of resources you expect to use includes website, books and films. This should be in the form of an Annotated Bibliography.

To see the entire description of the Final Project, clink here > Final Project.

As you prepare for the Outline of your Final Paper, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Wherever you are in your writing process, it’s important to remember that you’re trying to show me what you’ve learned in the course.
  • Make observations and connections and integrate vocabulary and concepts we’re learning
  • Think about the organization. Simply listing the elements in the assignment prompt is not an outline
  • The thesis statement is the most important part of the outline HOW TO WRITE AN A+ THESIS STATEMENT
  • I would like to see a full sentence outline. The more complete your work is now, the more helpful and substantive my feedback can be
  • I look forward to seeing how your work is developing!
  • You should plan to spend about more time on this stage of the assignment (research and outline) than on the final stage of the assignment (rough draft and polish).
  • UMGC’s WRITING CENTER can assist you if you get stuck or need some extra help.
  • Final Essay Stage Two – Samples of Outline and Resources (Sample Outline.docx)(Student Example.docx)

Good luck and happy researching!

Final Project Part 2

Cinematic Analysis of Schindler’s List

Alphanumeric Outline

Thesis Statement

Can films have greater impacts on its audience by relying on realisticness and authenticity over specially effects?

Film Introduction

Film Summary

Schindler’s List (1993) is historical drama based on the novel Schindler’s Ark written by Thomas Keneally. The film tells the emotional story of a German businessman and a member of the Nazi party named Oskar Schindler savings more than one thousand Jewish refugees during World War II.

Film Director

This film is directed by Steven Spielberg, one of the Hollywood’s most celebrated film directors – in terms of both commercial success and critical acclaims. Spielberg is associated with many of the box-office blockbusters either as director, producer, or writer, such as Jaws (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993). Such thriller and adventure films made Spielberg a household name.

Spielberg is also heavily involved in other types of film, drama films such as The Color Purple (1985), Savings Private Ryan (1998) and Lincoln (2012).

Based on his success and contribution to the film industry, Spielberg was named as one of the Time 100 in 2013. He also received multiple Academy Awards nominations and won three times and in 1995, Spielberg received the AFI Life Achievement Award.

Film Production

This film was produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film had a budge of $22 million and was shot from March through May 1993 in Poland.

Film Success

The film was released in December 1993 in the U.S., grossed $96.1 million domestically and $321.3 million worldwide.

In terms of awards and recognitions, this film received a total 12 Academy Awards nominations, winning 7 major categories including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Music Original Score. In addition, the film also won 3 Golden Globes Awards and 6 BAFTA awards.

Film Reviews

Summary of review by film critics, one from the original release and one from recent period.

Film Analysis

Cinematography Analysis

Black-and-white cinematography

The most noticeable cinematography element in this film is the use of black-and-white films over color film, which in my opinion, makes this film a masterpiece. The director and cinematographer’s decision of shooting this film in black-and-white, as some critics have suggested, is to give the film a documentary visual style. I think this serves two other purposes effectively: it makes the historical context more relevant to modern film viewers; it also heightened the sense of death and lifelessness that the film makers want to express.


Light on the main character

As Schindler walks into the club and sits down at the table, the light is projected on his face, while the surroundings and other characters are in the dark and seem blurry. This is very effective on illuminating and establishing the protagonist.

This happens again in the scene which Schindler tries to convince Stern to find potential business partners, even though they’re in the same room and sit across the desk from each other, Schindler’s close-up is much brighter than the rest of the room.

The film also used colorization on limited objects, such as the little girl’s red coat and the yellow candle flame during the Sabbath at Schindler’s factory. Both are significant symbolism – red coat signifies the love, passion, and blood; yellow candle flame signifies life, hope, and brighter future.


The director also uses high contrast shots to signify the threatening and uncertain path the prisoners face: for example, when the train arrives at Auschwitz at night, everything in the shot appears to be dark and gloomy, except for the fire and smoke coming out of the chimney, which indicates their horrifying destiny.

Camera movement

Pan shot

After Schindler sits down at the table, a pan shot is used with medium and close-up shots focus on his eyes. This reveals the character’s unspoken intention – observing the surroundings, seeking a target, and calculating his next move – while Schindler himself tries to hide it. I think the restaurant scene is very significant, as it ultimately reveals the nature of the protagonist – an opportunist.

Camera angle


Used at the beginning when the refugees arrive at the station and announce their name, while their names are being typed out. I think this technique connects the names and faces of the refugees for the audience and helps to establish and emphasize the identities of the victims.

This technique is repeated toward to the end when Schindler pays off Goeth and names of the people who Schindler saves are called from the list.

Editing Analysis


At the opening scene, the director uses multiple dissolve transitions: the shot of family that gathered at the table dissolves into an empty table; three more shots that focus on the candle quickly dissolve, with zoomed in camera angle with each dissolve. This does not only express the passage of time, but perhaps also symbolizes the six million lives that were lost.


Also, in the restaurant scene, montage is used to reveal Schindler’s opportunistic nature and intention. As he surveys the room, shots cut between Schindler’s eyes, the female photographer, and the Nazi officers – the director essentially reveals Schindler’s plan to gain publicity.

Cross cutting

The director uses cross cutting for a scene which shows a Jewish family is forced to give up their home and Schindler moves into the same home simultaneously. This signifies what is about to happen to the Jewish community – their lives will be turned up-side-down, and their properties are to be given to the German. It is effective to show how helpless the Jews must had felt as they face uncertainty.

Special Camera Technique

Handheld camera shots without stabilizer

Multiple scenes have destabilized handheld camera shots, for example, the Nazi troops marching down the street; the Jews walking towards the ghetto; Stern recruits workers for the ghetto. Overall, by shooting certain scenes with destabilized shots, it creates the sense of chaos and volatility and brings the audience closer to the event as if they were there.

Sound and Music Element

Piano element

When the Nazi troops go into the ghetto and start killing people who were hiding, the scene cuts to a Nazi officer playing piano. This sound element effectively enhances the chaotic nature and fast pace of the killing.

Main score

The collaboration between Steven Spielberg and John Williams continues with this film. The main score comes on at the end of the film as Schindler sets to flee, the main score reflects the emotional state from different characters: Schindler’s feeling of failure as he blames himself for not able to save more people; the workers feeling relieved that war and their nightmares are finally over, at the same time, their gratitude for Schindler; for the audience, feeling sorry for what the prisons and refugees endured and the horrific crime against humanity.


Spielberg incorporates several cinematic techniques to showcase the brutality and cruelty of WW2 and the genocide against the European Jews by the Nazis. Without any special effects, the heart-wrenching story captures the audience’s attention by using documentary like camera work and shooting techniques. It is evident that filmmakers can resonate with viewers’ emotion without extravagant special visual effects, all that is required is realistic cinematography with a good story that reflects our humanity, such as what Schindler’s List conveys – all human life is sacred.


Works Cited

Brokaw, Tom. “The 2013 Time 100.” Time, 18 Apr. 2013, Accessed 13 June 2020. Time is an American news magazine published weekly since 1923. Its website contains its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. This brief article of Steven Spielberg’s biography is written by Tom Brokaw, an American journalist who was the Anchor and managing editor for NBC Nightly News for over 20 years. This source is credible and highlights Spielberg’s achievement and influence.

Bullock, Paul. “Schindler’s List and Documenting History Through a Movie Camera.” Medium, 21 May 2017, Accessed 21 June 2020. Medium is an online publishing platform owned by A Medium Corporation and launched in 2012. It features both professional and amateur writers on its blog host. This article is written by Paul Bullock, who is the Editor of From Director Steven Spielberg. This source analyzes Spielberg’s cinematic techniques from various films and is a credible source.

Clark, Travis. “All 30 Steven Spielberg Movies, Ranked by How Much Money They Made at the US Box Office.” Business Insider, 27 Mar. 2018, Accessed 13 June 2020. Business Insider is an American financial and business news website founded in 2007, owned by German publishing house Axel Springer since 2015. This article ranks the films directed by Spielberg by US box office and is a credible source.

Di Mattia, Joanna. “‘Schindler’s List’: One of the Most Visually Powerful War Films Ever Made.” SBS Movies, Special Broadcasting Service, 6 Apr. 2017, Accessed 14 June 2020. Special Broadcasting Service is the Australian public broadcasting corporation owned by the Australian government. Its service ranges from radio, online and television. This article is written by Australian based film critic Joanna Di Mattia and analyzes the symbols and images used by Spielberg in Schindler’s List. This is a credible source.

Gottlieb, Akiva. “Commentary: Why ‘Schindler’s List’ Remains Brilliant and Troubling 25 Years After Its Release.” Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2018, Accessed 21 June 2020. The Los Angeles Times is a California based daily newspaper publication found in 1881. It has the fifth largest circulation among US newspapers. This commentary on the Schindler’s List was published in December 2018, 25 years after the film’s original release.

IMDb. “Schindler’s List (1993).” IMDb, 15 Dec. 1993, Accessed 13 June 2020. IMDb, also known as Internet Movie Database, is an online database that contains information related to films and television programs. The site was purchased by Amazon in 1998 and has approximately 6.5 million titles and 10.4 million personalities in its database. This article provides cast and production information on Schindler’s List and is a credible source.

—. “Steven Spielberg.” IMDb, Accessed 13 June 2020. IMDb, also known as Internet Movie Database, is an online database that contains information related to films and television programs. The site was purchased by Amazon in 1998 and has approximately 6.5 million titles and 10.4 million personalities in its database. This article provides Steven Spielberg’s biography and career highlights and is a credible source.

Mark, Mary E. “Shades of black and white FILM / If cinematographers are our 20th-century painters, black-and-white cinematographers are our Impressionist masters – or so say a small but growing coterie of directors, who are turning away from the slick appeal of colour.” Globe & Mail, [Toronto, Canada], 12 Apr. 1994, p. D2, Accessed 14 June 2020. The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper originally found in 1844 and one of the most circulated newspaper publications in Canada. Mary Ellen Mark is an American photojournalist. Originally published in 1994, this newspaper article discusses the growing trend of black and white films at that time and is a credible source.

Maron, Jeremy. “Affective Historiography: Schindler’s List, Melodrama and Historical Representation.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 27, no. 4, Summer 2009, pp. 66-94, EBSCOhost. Shofar is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Purdue University Press and is the official journal of the Midwest and Western Jewish Studies Associations. The author Jeremy Maron is a researcher-curator at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This paper explores how melodrama operates as a specific mode of historical representation in Schindler’s List.

Tabraiz, Anas. “The holocaust as film and literature in Schindler’s List.” Creative Forum, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2008, p. 159, EBSCOhost. Creative Forum is a peer-reviewed journal publication focuses on contemporary literature and language. Anas Tabraiz is an Assistant Professor at Delhi University. This paper analyzes the Schindler’s List from a literary perspective and is a credible source.