Harry’s AS Work : Practice Project

1. A western film is a movie that is based around stories primarily set in the late 19th century in the old American west.

2.key codes and conventions of a western:                                                                                      props- sheriff badge, spurs, a stock horse, guns like revolvers and colts, stetson hat and crack whips.

characters- sheriff, outlaw, bounty hunter, local farmer, indians, town drunk, civil war soldiers, the attractive lady, town mayor, gunslinger and the kid.

settings- small towns, ranches, saloons, deserts and mining areas all of these were found in mid-west America in particular Texas.

narratives- typical cowboy films usually consist of a man who is the hero a damsel in distress and a bad guy. The plot is usually either; a family member was murdered and the hero is seeking revenge, an outlaw is trying to rob the town and someone has to stop him, someone has been kidnapped (typically a women) and someone seeks the main character to help them or women is in danger so the main character helps protect them and usually kills the bad guy.

camera techniques- extreme close ups usually of a hand by the gun, long shots which could be of 2 men in a standoff.

Editing techniques??


3) ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid’- based loosely on the real lives of Western outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy) and Harry Longabaugh (aka the Sundance Kid), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a classic movie about two buddies trying to make it in a changing world. What’s funny about this flick is that you forget that these guys were hardened criminals who robbed banks and trains for a living. The easygoing charm Robert Redford and Paul Newman bring to their roles makes you like the characters despite their choice of profession. Their clever hijinks and humor make the movie an enjoyable ride.

‘High Noon’-High Noon is film about being torn between duty and love and standing up for what you believe in, even when everyone else abandons you. Gary Cooper plays Will Kane, a town marshal from New Mexico, who settles down with his pacifist Quaker wife (played by Grace Kelly, one of your grandpa’s babes). Kane’s plans to retire to a peaceful life are interrupted after he gets word that a former gunslinger is coming in on the noon train to settle an old score with him. His wife pleads with him to leave town, but Kane knows he can’t. He has a duty to defend the town and his honor. Will finds himself alone in the battle as everyone in town, including his deputy sheriff, have turned away from him. The tension builds, leading up to the final gun battle — the quintessential mano-a-mano showdown that historians say rarely actually happened in the Old West, but has become an indelible part of popular culture.

‘The searchers’- In this film, also directed by John Ford, John Wayne gives the most intense acting performance of his career as the dark and vengeful Ethan Edwards, a man who vows to kill the Comanche raiders who murdered his beloved sister-in-law, brother, and took captive two of their daughters. Wayne does a fantastic job in embodying a conflicted, complex man whose racism and desire for revenge sets up a situation far more morally ambiguous than Cowboys vs. Indians. Info from  http://www.artofmanliness.c/om/2013/06/04/best-western-movies/

4) django unchained and the Lone Ranger. Django unchained was rated very highly in its reviews, it got 5/5 by the telegraph, 88% by rotten tomatoes and 4/5 by the daily mail. However the Lone Ranger didn’t do so well and only got 31% from rotten tomatoes.

5) John Wayne- was in many many westerns and is the first person to think of when it comes to westerns.

Clint Eastwood- was an incredible actor who brought a new style of acting to the world and it worked really well in western films.

Randolph Scott- handsome leading man who developed into one of Hollywood’s greatest and most popular western stars. Born to George and Lucy Crane Scott during a visit to Virginia, Scott was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina in a wealthy family. He attended Georgia Institute of Technology but, after being injured playing football…

6) Clint Eastwood is a very famously known director and not just for westerns but also other very highly rated movies like million dollar baby. Another famously known director for westerns is someone called John ford who directed ‘the searchers’ and ‘stagecoach’ which are some of the highest ever rated westerns.  Also a man called Sergio Leone is a famous director who directed the very highly proclaimed ‘the good, the bad and the ugly.

7) 1. Westerns made good stories, and the black vs. white (aka good vs. evil) in many of them was very appealing. As pointed out, they were a staple of Hollywood since back in the silent days. They were cheap to make simply because the sets were built — if you wanted a new western, you could find the western set on the backlot, repaint things a bit, and you were good to go.
2. Because America was urbanizing and industrializing rapidly, we were leaving behind our immediate rugged individualism for a new cultural identity. Even though people didn’t want to be subsistence farmers suffering from drought and poverty, they are nostalgic for community and family. Thus the skyrocketing popularity of country music and westerns well after that lifestyle became outmoded.
3. Movies live, but most printed materials don’t. Even so, the western genre in books, especially popular books like dime novels and pulp magazines, was, by far, the most numerous and best-read genre of the time. Mysteries didn’t start to catch up until after World War I. 


8) Because as time changed trend changed and space travel became more of an option sci-fi became more of a trend. we then made it into space starting a trend of aliens and science fiction this is shown in toy story.

9) Because there have been many remakes of old famous cowboy movies but with a more modern view. for example Django, magnificent seven and true grit.

Health and safety

There were various health and safety issues which could have happened but were prevented for example using the tripod on a unstable ground on a windy day. This could have fallen and broke the camera but this didn’t happen because we put bags under and around the tripod to make it more stable and I also sat by it to catch it. Another risk with the unstable ground in the fields was tripping and falling, to stop this from happening we used a flat bit of ground. Whilst in the bar there weren’t as many risks as its a more developed place to be. however when we did the shot glass sliding along the bar shot it could have fallen and smashed. This meant everyone had to be wearing shoes at all times.

Western Storyboard


shooting scripts

Reflection on my western


My role was director, cameraman and editor. The only thing I didn’t do was act, I also chose the costumes and props. I believe my strengths were being able to plan the shots I was going to have before I even got there and being able to gather the equipment/props. strengths of the group were everyone being at the set location at the right time and letting me know if they could do it or not. I believe a weakness of mine was sometimes not properly communicating my ideas to the actors because I was thinking ahead of them. A weakness of the group would have to be the giggles and not being able to keep a straight face.


My role in filming was choosing the shots and being the cameraman. I believe my strengths were knowing what I wanted everyone one to do and getting them to do it. I also think I chose the shots well and adapted well to the environment/space I had. strengths of the group were everyone being friendly which allowed everyone to have the confidence to act in front of each other, it was also a close group of people so knew what everyone was like. A weakness of mine could be that I still need to learn all the names of the shots so I know what I’m doing. A weakness of the group was finding the filming process a bit tedious and losing concentration.


I did all the editing myself and if I had any problems I would ask Roger. I believe a strength of mine was picking up the skills of editing rather quickly and I was happy that I could do it considering it was the first time I’ve ever edited a film. A weakness could be I still don’t know how to do everything and I want to be able to some more of the advanced stuff.

I’m very proud of the editing I did because as I previously said it was my first time and feel like I did a good job, I was also proud of some of the shots. If I had to change anything I would have changed some of the actors (no offence meant) I would have also liked to make it longer with maybe a bit more dialogue. Another thing which I would change was the lighting in the bar. I think I have learn a lot from this practice film for example how to edit, camera angles/shots and the ability to direct.

Burford School Media Arts