When I’m reading a play text the way I like to take notes in the margins of the page but if there is insufficient room in the margins I will sometimes take notes on a separate page instead. As I read I underline the literary devices the author uses and then in the margins I write down my thoughts as to what the author meant to do with said literary devices. I also try to mark down points that I feel are important to the overall text. If there are parts I don’t understand or feel are significant I will usually reread them two or three times to ensure I’m gleaning as much information as I can from the text.
After I have read the entire text I will go through my notes. After finishing the text I have more information about the story and what the author was trying to express. I will add to the notes I already have using the information I learn from the rest of the text and sometimes amend things that I no longer find relevant to the text.
When watching a film I approach it in much the same way despite the different medium. As I watch the first time I will write in a notebook, taking note of scenes or dialogue that seem important, as well as aspects of the film like camera work and music choice that seem to hint to something greater.
Watching a film for a second time will always yield much more than the first screening. After you know the ending and the direction a story will take aspects of the film take on a whole new meaning. you notice subtle foreshadowing that you didn’t understand the first time. Dialogue or actions that seemed unimportant become laced with meaning you were unable to understand the first time you watch. Watching a film a second time is much more rewarding than the first viewing and it adds to the notes you have already taken while introducing new points at the same time.
Both text and film are similar in the sense that many subtle hints left by the author/director only become visible when you already know the path a story will take.