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Writing Guide: How to cite a movie as reference material using the APA style

You must always list down the sources of information you use for an essay, thesis, dissertation, or any other research paper or writing composition.

When citing a movie as a reference material, one of the most popularly used citation style is called the APA (American Psychological Association) Style. Noticeably, it is often used in the fields of Social Sciences and other related professional and scholastic works.

While there are no strict rules on which style to use, citation formats are based on the regulations imposed by the university, company, organization, or agency requiring the creation of the writing work. Each style has its own unique features that a writer would prefer for varying reasons. It is also possible that minor changes are employed when using any citation style — based on the more specific instructions given to the writer.

For the movie “300,” the citation can be written as “Canton, M., Goldmann, B., Nunnari, G., Silver, J. (Producers), & Snyder, Z. (Director). (2007). 300 [Motion Picture]. United States: Warner Bros. Pictures.”

For “Once,” the citation can be written as”Niland, M. (Producer), & Carney, J. (Director). (2009). Once [Film]. Los Angeles: Fox Searchlight Pictures.”

Guide in Citing Films Using APA Style

1. Type the director’s last name, then place a comma after it. Follow this with the first or first two initials of the director. Write the word “Director” and open and close it with parentheses, then follow it by a period. If there are two or more directors, separate each name with a comma.

You can also include a producer’s citation, especially if the producer’s job has significant value to the content of the writing composition. If so, the producer’s citation should come first before the director’s. Follow the same format as the director’s citation, but change the word “Director” to “Producer.” If there are more than two producers, separate each name with a comma. Use another comma to separate it from the director’s citation, then use “&” before writing the director’s citation.

Other pertinent names can follow the citations for the producer and director as well. Citations can also include the scriptwriter, director of photography or cinematographer, production designer, actors, or other members of the production team. This is on a case to case basis as every paper has its own requirements and it can discuss different aspects of a movie.

2. Type the year when the movie was officially released. Open and close it with parentheses, followed by a period.

3. Type the movie’s title in italics, then type the medium used, which is on this case, “Film” or “Motion Picture.” Open and close the text using brackets, followed by a period.

4. Type the city or country where the company that produced or distributed the movie is located. The city is usually placed for production companies in key U.S cities like Los Angeles and New York. On a case to case basis, the country is more preferred for citations, especially when referring to films from different countries. Use a colon between the city or country citation and the name of the production company. End the citation with a period.

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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