C and S

The 3Cs (colour, camera, character) and the 3Ss, (story, setting, sound) can be used to help students discuss and analyse all the elements of a film text. Working with the 3Cs and 3Ss enables students to make connections between the features of all texts, and develop their decoding, encoding, reading and writing skills.

The C and S questions and a C and S dice template can be downloaded free from Into Film (registration is required).

Into Film C and S resource

This video from Screen Online explains more about camera shots


  • What shots have been used? Can you name them?
  • When do you see a long shot or a close-up shot?
  • What are the different shots used for?
  • Through whose eyes do we see the story?
  • When do we see different characters’ point of view?
  • When does the camera move and when does it stay still?
  • How does the camera help to tell the story?
  • What do the first shots tell us about the story, the setting etc?
  • Why do certain shots follow each other e.g. a longshot followed by a close-up?
  • How can you tell what the characters are thinking or how they are feeling through what the camera does?
  • How quickly do the shots change? Does this change in
  • different parts of the story?


  • Is there a main character?
  • Is there more than one main character?
  • Is the story really about this character or aboutsomeone else?
  • Who is telling the story?
  • What do the main characters look like?
  • What might the way they look like tell us about themas a character?
  • How do they speak and what do they say?
  • How do they behave?
  • How do they behave towards other characters?
  • Do any of the characters have particular music or sounds?
  • Which character interests you the most?
  • Is there anyone else you would like to see in the story?
  • How would the story be different with another character added or taken away?


  • What colours do you see?
  • How do the colours make you feel?
  • When do the colours change and why?
  • What do the colours tell you about the time of daythat the story took place?
  • Why do you think certain colours are used?
  • What colours would you have chosen?
  • Do the colours change when the story is in a differentsetting?
  • Are any colours associated with particular characters?
  • How important do you think the colours are in thefilm?
  • What would the film have been like in black and whiteor in just one colour?
  • What mood do you think the colours create?


Where does the action take place?
• Why is the story set in a particular place?
• When and how does the setting change?
• How does the setting affect the characters and theway they behave?
• When the story began, where did you think we were?

• How could you tell where the story was taking place?

• Could the same story have happened in a differentplace?
• How do you think the story would have changed if it had happened in a different place or setting?
• Can you tell when the story is taking place?
• What clues might there be to tell us whether the story is set now or in the past?


What happens in the beginning, middle and at the end of the story?

• What are the most important things (events) that happen in the story?

• How would the story change if events happened in a different order?

• How do we know where the story takes place? • Who or what is the story about?
• How can we tell?
• How long does the story take in ‘real’ time?

• What do you think happened before the story began?

• What might happen next, after the end of the story?
• How does this story remind you of other stories?
• How would you like the story to continue?


• How many different sounds do you hear? What are they? • Is there music in the film?
• How does the music make you feel?
• When do you hear the music or sounds change?

• What is happening on screen when the sounds or music change?

• If you listen to the sounds without the pictures, can you tell what is happening on the screen?

• Are there any moments of silence?
• Do any of the characters speak? What do they sound like?

• If you added your own voiceover to the film, who would speak and what would they say?
• Can you hear any sound effects?
• Do you think any sounds have been made louder than they would be in real life? What are they? Why do you think they are louder in the film?