Correct In-Text Citing of a Movie

Most of the academic papers require in-text citing. This helps to back your points of view and to give reliable information on the chosen topic. That is why the majority of students are familiar with all sorts of academic citing and don’t have any problems with it.

Correct In-Text Citing of a Movie

Unfortunately, not many of them are aware of citing a movie properly. Even if you want to reference a film in your research paper and not an official article or book, you need to do everything properly. You should also mention all of the contributors to give them enough credit.

As well as with citing other sources, movie citing should follow one of the accepted styles: APA, MLA, Chicago, or others. In today’s article, you will learn how to cite a movie using each of the three styles and will get familiar with examples to master the subject better.

MLA Formatting Style

There are many situations when you will have to cite a film in the body paragraphs of your assignment. It may be placed in the description or the context of a particular event or story.

The two main ways of referring to a movie in your academic essay or research paper are to include the movie’s title or name of its director. Remember to collect basic details of the film before citing it. Such information includes:

  • Name of the movie;
  • Name of the director;
  • Name of the producer;
  • Studio’s name;
  • Name of the producing company;
  • Names of key performers;
  • Release date;
  • The medium (film or DVD).

If you decide to start the reference with the movie title, you should also begin the reference with the title in your works cited page. However, if you decide to start with the director’s first and last name, it should be the first element of the reference entry.

When citing other sources in your research paper, all you need is the author’s name and the page number. However, MLA citing a movie requires not only the director’s name but also the title of the film.

How to List the Entry Using Movie’s Name

Every academic work should have a list of references. In an MLA format, it is called the Works Cited page. If you are willing to include the movie’s name, follow the tips below. When in-text citing, you should insert director’s name and also mention the name of the movie in Italics using parentheses. Here are examples of in-text citing of A Star is Born movie.

Example: Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born) managed to render a tragedy of one person’s life even though it was his debut as a director and producer.

Another way to cite a movie is to provide only the title, which will then be found in the works cited page.

Example: A Star is Born is a remake of a 1937 movie and gives a modern version of the story, filled with new turns and twists.

Works Cited Page Entry

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Start with movie’s name in Italics followed with a period;
  2. Add ‘Directed by’ and include the director’s name and a comma;
  3. Include names of the key performers after the ‘Pref.’ in the following format: ‘ first, the last name’. All of the names should be separated with commas. At the end of this list you need to include a period;
  4. Then mention the studio’s or product company’s name. If both are unknown, indicate the distributor. Finish with a comma;
  5. Write the release year of the movie, followed with a period;
  6. Finish your reference entry with a single name of the medium: DVD or Film. Don’t forget about the period.

Based on the rules above here is how your reference in an MLA style will look like:

A Star is Born. Directed by Bradley Cooper. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2018. Film.

As you can see, the title of the movie in the above example is the main element that refers to the entry in a page with works cited. However, if you want to use the name of the director instead, start your in-text citation with it and then place it first in the Works Cited. Remember to include the title of the movie in italics and put it within parentheses.

In-Text References

For example: Bradley Cooper managed to show even the darkest sides of a personality in his A Star is Born movie.

Another example: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper) has presented the main character in a completely different light compared to the original movie.

It is also possible to site a movie according to the following rules:

  • The last name should be followed with a comma;
  • Start with the last name and then write the first name;
  • The word Director should be followed with a period;
  • Place film’s title in Italics and then end it with a period;
  • Include production house and place a comma;
  • In the end, mention release year.

For example:  Cooper, Bradley, Director. A Star is Born. Warner Bros. Pictures. 2018.

APA Formatting Style

As well as the MLA formatting style, APA requires knowledge of particular details about the movie. They include director’s and producer’s names, the title of the distributor/studio or producing company, city, release year and the medium.

Here are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. Write down the last name of directors and producers, and their first initials. Then separate those names with commas;
  2. After the initials, you need to write their roles using parentheses. For example, (Director) or (Producer);
  3. If the director and producer is the same person, you need to write (Director/Producer);
  4. If there are several names, you need to use an ampersand before the last name;
  5. Include production year. It must be placed in parentheses and followed with a period;
  6. Proceed with writing the film’s name its format. Movie’s name must be provided in Italics, and its format must be surrounded by square brackets, ended up with a period;
  7. Complete your reference with country and Production Company’s title. If the movie was produced in several countries, you need to indicate the country, where the movie was first released.

Example: Cooper B. (Director/Producer). (2018). A Star is Born [Motion Pictures]. United States: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Necessary Steps for In-Text Citing

When you include the director’s and producer’s names, there is no need to include the words Director or Producer. Just separate those names with commas. If there are several directors and producers, list all of them in the first citation. Then in the following one, you will only need to mention the first name and add ‘et al.’. Don’t forget to include the production year. In case you want to highlight a particular scene, include a timestamp to your reference. The format should be the hour, minute, seconds. I.e., if the cited scene appears at 46 minutes, the following format should be applied, 0:46:00. In case there is no time value, you should always place a zero.

Chicago Formatting Style

As you already know from MLA and APA examples above, before citing a movie in a Chicago format you will need to know some details about the film. They include:

  • Director’s name;
  • Release year;
  • City and state, where it was produced;
  • Distributor’s name;
  • Medium format (format the movie is released in).

The main steps include:

  1. Start with writing a movie’s title in italic and place a full stop afterward. This is the key element of your in-text citation, so make sure you don’t make any mistakes or typos. Name of the movie will make it much simpler for the reader to find a necessary reference in the page of references;
  2. Write the name of the director in the following format: first name, middle initial, and then the last name, and a full stop. Don’t forget to include ‘Directed by’ before the name. For example, Directed by Bradley Cooper;
  3. Indicate the year of release or production, followed with a semicolon. Starting with this element, all the details should go in parentheses. After the distributor’s name you will need to close them;
  4. Write the names of the city and state, where the movie was produced. Place a comma after the name of the city and a colon after name of the state. For example, ‘New York, NY:’;
  5. At the end indicate movie format: film, DVD or VHS. Put a full stop.

Example: A Star is Born. Directed by Bradley Cooper. (2018; New York, NY: Warner Bros. Pictures) Film.

Take into account that not depending on the formatting style you choose, i.e., MLA, Chicago, APA or any other style that your tutor or guidelines demand, in-text citations should be used only when they are required. If you have cited a movie, it is important to try and avoid repetitions. In case you have already given enough details about the movie in previous paragraphs, there is no need to cite that movie once again. Your audience will be able to identify it based on the information you have already provided.

Now you are ready to cite a movie using three main formatting styles: APA, Chicago, and MLA. In case you have any other questions, we are always there to support you and to help with such a challenging assignment.

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