Monday, February 08, 2016

Ill Manors: Print platform

It is essential that we discuss all three media platforms when writing a MEST1 Section B essay response. The next platform we are studying is print.

What different aspects should make up our study of the print platform for Ill Manors?
  • Newspaper/magazine Ill Manors reviews
  • Newspaper/magazine Plan B interviews
  • Newspaper/magazine features/profiles/ opinion pieces (columns)
  • Print adverts
  • Billboard adverts
  • DVD/CD soundtrack packaging

Key word: synergy
The process through which a series of media products derived from the same text is promoted in and through each other.

(Easy way to remember synergy: LINKS between different platforms/texts.)

How can we find examples of synergy in the promotion of Ill Manors?

Ill Manors offers an excellent example of synergy because the film is cross-promoted by the soundtrack album of the same name. 

Marketing and advertising promotes both the film and the album – while the political element of both is highlighted through interviews, TEDx lectures and more.

Print platform: blog tasks

Read the following print articles:

For EACH of the four interviews, embed an image or screengrab from that magazine's brand and work through the following questions and tasks:

1) Identify the target audience (demographics/psychographics) for this magazine. How is that particular audience attracted?
2) Does the article do more than just entertain? How? (Think of Uses and Gratifications theory) What audience pleasures does the article offer?
3) What codes/conventions of print interviews can you find in the article? 
4) How is narrative used to tell a story in each interview? Clue: what is it that keeps the reader interested in the article to the very end?
5) What synergy can you find between this text and the broadcast examples we have studied so far?
Finish for homework if you don't complete these in the lesson - deadline set by your exam class teacher.

Friday, February 05, 2016

BFI Trip - Tuesday 9 February

Our BFI Study Day on UK Cinema, Audiences and Institutions is Tuesday 9 February. It fits in perfectly with our MEST1 Section B case study on Ill Manors and the UK film industry. More details about the day can be found on the BFI website here.

You will have received a trip briefing in your Year 12 Media lessons this week but it's here if you need an electronic copy

Remember, we are meeting at 10am at BFI Southbank near Waterloo. We need to be registered and seated by 10.15am so it's essential you arrive on time.

See you in the main foyer of BFI Southbank at 10am on Tuesday!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Ill Manors: Broadcast platform concluded

We have already studied the Ill Manors trailer, music video and TEDx lecture. Now, we need to explore some further broadcast texts to conclude our work on the broadcast platform. 

Watch and listen to the following clips/links, embed them where possible on a new blogpost called 'Ill Manors: Broadcast platform concluded' and answer the questions below each clip.

DVD extras
Watch the Making Of Ill Manors from the DVD extras. (Watch in class - unavailable online).

1) What does this tell us about Plan B's intentions in making the film?
2) What do we learn about the production process for Ill Manors?
3) What can you tell about the possible target audience from this short documentary?
4) Does the film successfully do what director Ben Drew (Plan B) set out to achieve? Explain your answer with reference to both the film and the 'making of' documentary.

Watch Plan B interviewed by SBTV while he was editing Ill Manors.

1) What is SBTV? Research the channel and explain how it became successful.
Identify the target audience for this interview (demographics/psychographics) and say why.
2) What is the audience appeal for an interview like this? How does the opening of the clip emphasise this appeal?
3) How is Plan B (the brand) represented in this text?

Watch Plan B interviewed on the Jonathan Ross show.

1) What is the history of the Jonathan Ross show? What channels has it appeared on? Why has Jonathan Ross been a controversial media figure in the past?
2) Identify the target audience for this interview (demographics/psychographics) and say why.
3) What is the audience appeal for a programme like the Jonathan Ross show?
4) How is Plan B (the brand) represented in this text?

Listen to this interview with Plan B on Fearne Cotton's BBC Radio 1 show.

1) How popular is BBC Radio 1? Find average listening figures for the station. How has the BBC Radio 1 audience declined over recent years? Why might this have happened?
2) Who is the target audience for BBC Radio 1?
3) How does Plan B promote Ill Manors in this interview?
4) What representation of Plan B can we find in this interview?

You will have a single lesson to work on this but will need to finish for homework - deadline confirmed by your exam class teacher.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Year 12 screening: Attack the Block

The Wednesday screenings are continuing today with Attack the Block (2011) - 3.10pm in DF07.

This urban sci-fi comedy hybrid is something of a departure from our recent arthouse screenings but it does match the category of low-budget independent British film. In fact, this will be useful not only for your coursework but also your MEST1 Section B case study as it continues the trend of London-based urban British films such as Kidulthood, Ill Manors and more.

The film also raises interesting questions in terms of representation and has been criticised for the one-dimensional portrayal of London teenagers living on housing estates, particularly young black males.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Ill Manors broadcast: TEDx lecture

Ill Manors raises important questions in terms of ideology, moral panic and the representation of class and youth in mainstream media.

Key notes

What is an ideology?

An ideology is a world view, a system of values, attitudes and beliefs which an individual, group or society holds to be true or important; these are shared by a culture or society about how that society should function.

What is a dominant ideology?
Dominant ideologies are views and beliefs that are accepted by most people in society without thinking – they are seen as common sense.

A good example would be that the characters in Ill Manors are bad – they are criminals or drug users and deserve punishment.

Dominant ideology and moral panic
One key aspect of ideology and the media is that certain issues that might challenge the dominant view become major concerns for society.

Sociologist Stanley Cohen coined the phrase ‘moral panic’ to describe this situation.

Examples of moral panic:

  • Violent movies/videogames
  • Gangs
  • Paedophilia
  • Terrorism
  • Pornography

Ill Manors: TEDx lecture blog task

Create a new blogpost called Ill Manors: TEDx lecture and complete the following tasks: 

1) Embed the above video in your blogpost and read this Guardian article that accompanied the original event. Remember to also look at the comments below - these can give you a variety of different perspectives and criticisms to the original lecture.

2) Make notes on the lecture: focus on Plan B/Ben Drew's views on the opportunities for young people in London and how these inspired Ill Manors.

3) What are Plan B's beliefs/politics? What are his values/ideologies? Explain your answers.

4) Who is the target audience of the TEDx lecture? Demographics? Psychographics? How do you know? How does this compare to the audience for his music/films?

5) What does Plan B say about the media? Explain how this can be linked to Cohen's media theory of moral panics? Read this summary of moral panics and the definition from Wikipedia and use them in your answer.

Complete these questions for homework if you don't get them done in the lesson - due for your next Media lesson.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New A Level Media Factsheets available

We have just added five new Media Factsheets to the archive on the M: Media Shared drive...

141 Media and Identities
142 Identity and Film
143 Politics and Persuasion
144 DTP coursework
145 VICE News

They are in the usual place on the school network: M:\Resources\A Level\Media Factsheets

Several of these are extremely relevant right now - the DTP (desktop publishing - print design) could be very useful for your MEST2 print brief. Similarly, Identity and Film or Politics and Persuasion could be linked to our work on Ill Manors.

These are brilliant resources - if you want an A grade, you need to be reading this kind of resource along with the latest issue of Media Magazine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ill Manors broadcast: music video analysis

The Ill Manors music video is a great example of cross-promotion and synergy.

The institutions behind Plan B/Ill Manors tapped into Plan B's music fanbase to promote both the film and soundtrack album. Analysing the music video gives you another superb example to discuss in your MEST1 Section B essay and allows you to write about the synergy (links) between the two texts.

Ill Manors: music video

Ill Manors is a hip hop protest song by English singer and songwriter Plan B. The track was released in the United Kingdom in March 2012 through the American company Atlantic Records (a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group conglomerate) as the lead single from the Ill Manors soundtrack, a low budget film which Plan B also directed. The song was written in reaction to the 2011 riots across England, and specifically Plan B's perception of "society's failure to nurture its disadvantaged youth." The song deals with both the causes and the consequences of the riots, concentrating on society's attitude towards the disadvantaged youth population. Drawing upon Plan B's own experiences of being expelled from school the song sarcastically attacks the media view of working class children: "Keep on believing what you read in the papers / Council estate kids — scum of the earth." 

Writing in The Independent, Tim Walker called it "an all-time great protest song." However, Samuel Breen, also writing for The Independent, describes the song as "a cliché riddled attack on politics" and suggests that Plan B is justifying the action taken by the rioters, something Plan B denies.

The music video for "Ill Manors" expands upon the themes of the song, and uses footage from the 2011 riots. David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, both feature in the video, despite not being mentioned in the lyrics. However, Cameron's "Hug a Hoodie" campaign is alluded to.

Ill Manors music video: blog task

Watch the music video again and analyse it closely, making detailed notes. Use the same skills you are developing for the MEST1 Section A unseen text. 

Answer the following questions on your blog using the minimum three-paragraph structure we have discussed for MEST1 Section A:

Media Forms
How is it typical of a music video? 
(Use this PowerPoint on the key conventions of music videos to help you).

Media Representations
How does it represent the London riots/rioters?

Media Audiences
What audience pleasures does the music video offer?

Media Institutions
How does the music video help to promote the film?

Ill Manors soundtrack research task

Research the Ill Manors track and soundtrack album - focusing particularly on the institutions and critical reception. Find out:

  • the record companies/institutions behind Plan B
  • sales/downloads for the soundtrack
  • music reviews 
  • Plan B's fans' reviews and comments

Post the research on your blog below the music video analysis - minimum of 350 words research (bullet points and sub-headings are fine in terms of structure).

Complete for homework - due next week.