You are here
Home > Film/Art > Academe/Education > Writing Guide: How to cite a movie as reference material using the MLA Style

Writing Guide: How to cite a movie as reference material using the MLA Style

Fallback Image

Citing a film title on a paper follows specific formats, which depends on the preferred style imposed by the school or company requiring the writing composition.

The MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is one of the popular options when citing reference materials for a research or writing work. Noticeably, it is often preferred in Humanities and Liberal Arts papers. While the MLA Style provides a clear format on how to cite a reference, the inclusion or non-inclusion of certain information in a movie citation can slightly vary depending on the needs of the writing composition.

For the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the citation can be written as “2001: A Space Odyssey. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, and Arthur C. Clarke. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Warner Bros. Pictures, 1968. Motion Picture.”

For “Edward Scissorhands,” the citation can be written as “Edward Scissorhands. Prod. Tim Burton, and Denise di Novi. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Wynona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, and Anthony Michael Hall. Twentieth Century Fox, 1990. Motion Picture.”

Guide in Citing Films Using MLA Style

1. Type the film’s title in italics, then place a period after it. As an alternative, you can underline the title instead of italicizing it. In cases that both italicizing or underlining is not possible or preferred, underscore symbols are used. For example, the title “Toy Story 3” should be written as “_Toy Story 3_” as an alternative.

You can use both the original and translated titles when citing a movie with a foreign language title. Usually, for an English writing composition, you first write the English title, then follow this with the foreign language title in brackets. Both titles should be in italics as well.

2. Type “Dir.” to start the director’s citation, then follow this with the director’s full name and a period. Often times, the other key production people are not listed on the citation. However, if your paper discusses the producer or scriptwriter, it is better to include them in the movie citation as well.

It is typically acceptable to include “Prod.” followed by the full name of the producer or “Screenplay by” followed by the full name of the scriptwriter in a movie citation in MLA format. Place any additional citation before the director’s citation. If there are two or more names in the credits, separate the names with a comma, then add the word “and” in between the last two names.

3. Type “Perf.” to start the actor’s citation, then follow this with the actor’s name and a period. This citation can actually be skipped on a case to case basis. If you mention an actor or a number of actors on your paper or they have significance in your writing work, then cite them in your movie references. If there are two or more names in the credits, like the director’s citation,separate the names with a comma, then add the word “and” in between the last two names.

4. Type the name of the production company or movie studio that produced or distributed the movie, then follow this with a comma. Type the year of the movie’s official release, then follow this with a period. You may end the citation like this or you may also add the medium of the material, which is on this case, “Film” or “Motion Picture.” End this with a period.This is more often used when your references come from a variety of materials.

Other popular source materials used in papers include books, electronic books, websites, newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, VHS tapes, CDs, audio cassette tapes, digital images from the Internet, and images from printed sources.

Rianne Hill Soriano
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.
https://www.riannehillsoriano.com

Similar Articles

Top