|How did viewing the film compare
to the experience of reading?
|Some people think that an adaptation
should be faithful to the book in letter or in spirit.
Others think that a film should be faithful only to the
art of film, refashioning the story in its own terms.
What obligations do you think the film maker has to the
original source? Consider: How does the film differ from
the book? How have the screenwriter, director, and actors
reshaped the material of the story to make the film? Do
you agree with their choices?
|Analyse how the pictures and soundtrack
in the opening titles of the film indicate what
the film is going to be about.
|The director (Robert Mulligan) deliberately
chose to make To Kill a Mockingbird as a black
and white film. His reasons were:
to give the effect of Scout's memory of the past
to focus on and enhance the racial issue
to escape from the natural realism and heighten
(a) Which of these do you think is the most effective
feature in the film?
(b) What effect does the black and white cinematography
have on the viewer's understanding of the issues in the
film? Would it gain or lose impact if it were filmed in
|The use of shadow is an important
technique in the film. Explain the effect of the following
use of shadows:
Boo on the verandah at the time of the raid
Bob Ewell's hand at the car window
The trees blown by the wind
What contribution does the soundtrack make to the
effect of these shadows?
|How does the director show us in
Bob Ewell's first scene that he is the villain of the
film? Consider camera angles, framing, character positioning,
|Using the guidelines in question
6, create a table listing the name of each main character,
the way we are introduced to them and what this communicates
to us about them.
|Which scenes of the film are seen
from the children's point of view and which from a general
and impersonal point of view? How does this affect our
interpretation of events?
|Tom Robinson was shot 17 times in
the novel; in the film they say he was shot dead when
they were trying to wound him in the leg. In the depiction
of this violent end to Tom in the film, why was this changed?
Someone had to make the decision to leave out the fact
that he was shot 17 times. Why?
|What other films does To Kill
a Mockingbird remind you of? How are they alike? How
do they differ?
|Compare Scout's memories of growing
up in Alabama during the 1930s to your own experiences
of childhood. How does the film compare to the images
of childhood represented in other movies or television
programs you have seen? How do you account for the differences
|View each of the following film clips
from To Kill a Mockingbird and write a short analysis
of their significance, noting the use of film techniques
and how they enhance meaning.
||Listen to the following musical items
from the soundtrack of the film.
"Main title" (the film's main theme music)
"Creepy Caper / Peek-A-Boo" (when Jem, Scout
and Dill sneak up to the Radley house for the first time)
"Assault In The Shadows" (Jem and Scout
are attacked coming home from the school pageant)
Discuss how the music captures the mood and tone of
the episode. Consider:
(a) What styles of music are used in the soundtrack?
Is there a pattern with how the styles are employed?
(b) What music components are employed to help
establish the main ideas or themes of the film, the characters
(c) Is there a recognisable theme that is used
each time a particular character, mood, and situation
appears? If so, describe the theme and how it helps support
the characterisation, mood and situation. Consider elements
What instruments are playing?
How would you describe the timbre of these
How does the timbre help support the mood
and overall 'theme' of the episode?
Is the harmony dissonant? Consonant?
Is the melody lyrical, disjointed, large/small
pitch range, easily hummable, not easily hummable, long/short?
Is the rhythm fast, slow, moderate, steady
beat, dotted beat, swung, even groupings, uneven groupings?
|The novel and the film are two entirely
different texts. Imagine you are the screenwriter adapting
the novel into the film script and you are asked to justify
the changes you have made to Harper Lee and the film director.
Script your conversation.
|Choose a scene from the novel not included
in the film and create a storyboard showing how you would
|Using ICT tools choose a scene form the
film and script, perform and film it for the class.
|Imagine you are doing a remake of To
Kill A Mockingbird now. Prepare a 'pitch' for a major
film studio persuading them to give you money to make
this film. Consider the genre, cast, script, locations,
film techniques, audience and budget. Remember to justify
all your choices. Produce your written pitch. You may,
if you wish, record your 'pitch' as a podcast.