Piont Of View
Educational Film


  Why do we make educational films? Maybe the answer is so simple, something like, ‘well, to educate ‘. And if we ask why do we use films to educate? The answer may be this: cause films are capable of taking people’s interest as well as teaching something to them. The answers seem quite right. Now what do we got to do if we want to make an educational film for primary school students in order to teach science to them? Again the answer seems easy, we go to a science expert. We’d better go to the author of the book, analyze it together, and then write an script based on the information we’ve got. The expert confirms that the script is fine, and then we make the film. The problem rises right here. The contents of the science book are provided to reach a certain goal. They are designed and planned in an specific way to be taught by a teacher in a classroom. That’s why this book can’t be the basis for making an educational film, and the film won’t have the characteristics of a good one. To make an educational film for a certain educational section you have to refer to the book, but to its concepts, not its contents; because, as mentioned before, the contents of the book, if provided properly, are formed for another reason, and can’t be used for an educational film. We use films for educating because they have statng capabilities, and to use these capabilities in an effective way we should give it a proper structure which is gained when form and content are closely related to each other. In other words, the basis subject of the film should have the needed capabilities and be proper for the used structure too.


When analyzing a system, three main questions are considered:

1.      What are the aims?

2.      How can we reach those aims in the most efficient way?

3.      How can we make sure that we have reached those aims?


If there are good answers to these three questions, what we are doing is going to be successful. These questions can be asked about an educational film as well. What are our aims when making an educational film? Do we wish to teach a scientific subject or to make an image of the book? Is the subject proportional to the film characteristics? Or is it possible to teach the subject in an easier and maybe more efficient way?

The first step in making an educational film is to determine the aim of making it, and then finding the best way to reach that aim. An educational film maker is to clarify this to the orderers and the experts, who are not familiar with the characteristics and structure of films. Most educational film orderers in our country are the governmental centers related to the Ministry of Education. naturally these centers are more interested in numbers, statistics and the quantity of their activities which are more eye-catching than the quality matters. That’s why the priority is with the long programs.

The film makers are usually suggested to make the films based on the book contents. Is that really needed? Making a film based on the contents of a book would mean doing something already done in another way. Isn’t that a waste of our time and money?

An educational film, as a film needs to have a certain structure, in which form and content are arranged to reach aesthetic aims. On the other hand, an educational film is supposed to have some other features as well. An educational film maker should use the film to reach an educational goal, considering the aesthetic aspects of a film. So naturally educating and reaching that goal is more important. In other words, educational film making means using a film to educate. It means using the capabilities and characteristics of a film to teach the concepts which would have less efficiency if taught in other ways. That’s why making an educational film, in its real sense, is very difficult. Because the film maker should be both familiar with film characteristics and education, and be able to mix them into an interesting and instructive work.

                                               Reza Ziaee Doostan