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On my Youtube channel, I’ve made many videos on how to watch movies. Those videos are compiled here into what is now a FREE ONLINE COURSE on movie-watching and film criticism.

In other words, this is essentially a video textbook, except it’s fun.

Everybody in the world needs this kind of course. Just as you learn grammar in school so that you can write, so you need to learn film grammar so that you can watch, think about, and critique every single video you ever see.

Think about how much time you spend watching videos. Movies, TV shows, video games, Youtube videos, and of course, commercials. Supposedly, the average person will spend 78,000 hours watching videos!

Why haven’t you ever studied how they are put together? Or how they make meaning? Why do few if any schools require this kind of course?

If you watch these carefully, you will become a smarter person, able to think about what you’re watching and how it’s re-programming your brain.

Pause these videos, rewatch them, think about them. You can send me an email asking me any question you want, within reason.


The First Three Lessons in “Intro to Film”

  1. The Cut
  2. The Focal Point or Dominant
  3. Sound

The Basic Shots in Movies

  1. Close Shots
  2. The Two-Shot
  3. Extreme Close Shots
  4. Long and Extreme-Long Shots
  5. Low Camera Angles
  6. High Camera Angles
  7. Birds-Eye-View Shots
  8. Tilted Shots
  9. Reaction Shots
  10. Closed Forms
  11. Open Forms

Movements and Edits

  1. Zoom-Ins and Zoom-Outs
  2. The 180-Degree Flip

Creating Characters

  1. The Voiceover Narrator
  2. Character Positioning, Part 1 (Turns)
  3. Character Positioning, Part 2 (Three or More Characters)
  4. Character Positioning, Part 3 (Centers and Margins of the Frame)
  5. Three shots in JFK
  6. Character Types in The Karate Kid
  7. Character Types in Die Hard
  8. Creating an Ensemble Cast, with The Breakfast Club


Movie Persuasion, or How Movies Make Us Love Them

  1. Character Contrasts, and the Contrast Principle

The Great Directors’ Masterpieces

Big Ideas about Movies

The Basic Edits and Transitions

The Basics of Analyzing Scenes and Sequences


  • Joseph says:

    Hello, Josh. My name is Joseph. I am grateful to have discovered your YouTube channel and this page in particular because to tell you the truth, I’ve spent an exhausting amount of time reaching out to other people experienced in film to ask their advice on film analysis. While the advice they gave me was somewhat helpful, the playlist / lessons you shared on here have helped me tremendously. I’ve began looking at film in a whole new way and would analyze a film shot-by-shot thanks to the way you gone about analyzing a film from your videos (especially the opening analysis to The Dark Knight and red pill scene from The Matrix). I really appreciate the time and effort you put into these lessons. I do have one question: What are your thoughts on note taking during a film? When you’re watching a film or analyzing a scene, do you jot your thoughts and create notes or do you advise against note taking? Thank you again for your channel 🙏

    • mm Josh Matthews says:

      Hi Joseph, I think I might’ve addressed this on the channel, assuming you were the one who asked a similar question recently. Notes are great; take them if they help. As there are no rules or laws for this, anything goes. I have a pen and notepad when I need to both concentrate on a film and remember very specific elements of it. Usually just writing down verbatim quotes, specific elements of a scene. I have found when I write something down as I’m watching, I’ll remember it so that I usually won’t have to refer to the notes. But, if I don’t write it down, I have a low probability chance of remembering it. When writing reviews, notes are essential; I don’t see how written reviews or anything else could be done without them. Thanks for your comment and kind words.

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