Monday, June 09, 2014

 

Media Magazine research task

One of the best resources for A2 Media is Media Magazine – published every three months and aimed at A Level Media students.

We will be attending the MM Conference in December and also have back issues to use for our Critical Investigation research. All these back issues are now on our VLE.

Media Magazine research and presentation
  1. You will be allocated a Media Magazine issue no.
  2. Download it from the VLE (VLE > Departments > Media > Shared documents > Media Magazine
  3. Read it – ALL of it – cover to cover (around 60 pages)
  4. Make a list of all the articles in the issue and email it to Mr Halsey
  5. Prepare a 5 minute presentation about the issue, summarising the theme, listing the content and talking in detail about your favourite article
  6. Presentations should end with: "This would be a great MM issue to look at if you’re doing a Critical Investigation on… [list topics]"
Presentations will be on Monday 23 June, when all of this is due.

You will have one single lesson to work on this but otherwise it is homework and the first significant test of whether you can cut it in A2 Media.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

 

UNIT 1 Exam Revision

Here is your complete checklist to prepare you for the UNIT 1 exam that takes place on Friday 23th May at 9:00am.

Firstly, make sure you use the 6 Part Active Revision Cycle whenever revising:

This is the most productive approach:
  1. STEP 1 Read your notes/text book/online resources carefully
  2. STEP 2 Reduce/summarise the information (e.g. draw a mind map, write key words on A5 card, write a table, draw a diagram)
  3. STEP 3 Learn/memorise the reduced information - using rhymes, acronyms, etc.
  4. STEP 4 Do an exam question under timed conditions
  5. STEP 5 Review what you have done
  6. STEP 6 Traffic light topics (red - don't know it; amber - know it a bit; green - know it well)
A. MediaMagazine

Spend as much time as possible reading and actively making revision notes (mindmaps etc.) using the MediaMagazine (login details: mediamagazine11/qp726zr). 

This is a great resource - up to date information, written by A Level media examiners, with all the key terminology and theory in bold in every article:
B. UNIT 1 Exam Papers (Section A)

Practice Section A questions, under exam conditions:
Typical questions (fifteen minutes per question)...
  • Media Forms: What (media language) techniques does the extract use to establish the text’s genre and/or engage the audience?
  • Media Representations: How is gender/ethnicity/age/disability/sexuality/a place represented in the extract?
  • Media Institutions: In what ways is the extract typical of the film/advertising/television industry? What values does it promote?
  • Media Audiences: Who does this text/brand appeal to? Why?
Typical texts (it WILL be moving image in the May 2013 exam)...
  • TV programme extracts (drama/soap, news, game show, documentary, etc.)
  • Adverts
  • Film extracts/ trailers (variety of genres)
  • Music videos
  • Video game extracts/trailers
C. MEST1 Past Questions (Section B)

Firstly, revise your case studies fully - 'Ill Manors' and your Hollywood film. Go back over your own Cross Media Case Study you produced. Use all your notes on your blogs and the examples on Macguffin from January, February and March

Remember, you must revise examples across all three platforms. Use the checklist to help you.

Also, make sure you do some additional research over the next few weeks so you have some up-to-the-minute examples.

These are the key questions you should be able to answer:

How are texts in the three platforms constructed?
• Are there similarities and differences in the way the area is dealt with in each platform?
• What type of media language is used and how?
• How are genre codes used?
• How do texts within the three platforms construct narrative?

How do audiences access texts across the three platforms?• Do the texts enable different types of audience activity and/or interaction?
• Are audiences able to play a role in the construction of media texts? (UGC)
• Are there differences in the audience gratifications offered across the three platforms?

How are representations constructed and are there similarities and/or differences across the platforms?
• What values and ideologies are communicated within the representation?

What institutional issues are raised by the topic areas?
• How are institutions reacting to change in technology?
• How are institutions attempting to reach and engage their audiences?
• What economic issues are behind the construction and distribution of contemporary media texts? 

Then, make sure you complete detailed essay plans on ALL of the past questions, and then practice as many as you can under timed conditions (45 minutes/question):

January 2009
1.To what extent do the media products in your case study do more than just entertain their audience(s)?

In your answer you should:
● Provide a brief outline of your case study
● Consider how far the media products in your case study also inform, educate and
provide opportunities for interaction and participation
● Support your answer with reference to examples from three media platforms.

2.Consider the reasons media products from your case study are present across a range of media platforms.

In your answer you should:
● Provide a brief outline of your case study
● Discuss the advantages for producers of each media platform
● Support your answer with reference to examples from three media platforms.

June 2009
 1. ‘Audiences are no longer just consumers of media texts but producers too.’ To what extent is this true of the media products in your case study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate how far audiences participate in and contribute to the media products in your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Account for the similarities and differences in the codes and conventions used in the media products from your case study.

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● compare how and why media products from your case study are similar and/or different within and across media platforms
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

January 2010
1. Identify how media products from your case study make links with other media platforms. What are the reasons for these links?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● consider possible links such as targeting audiences, promotion and revenue generation
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. ‘All media texts tell stories.’ In what ways is narrative used in the media products in your case study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● discuss the different ways narrative functions in the media products in your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

June 2010
1. 'Audiences are becoming increasingly powerful in shaping media output.' With reference to your case study, how far is this true?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate the roles of audiences in the creation of media products from your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.


2. ‘It is not the strongest that survive but those most responsive to change.’  How and why do media institutions continue to change?

In your answer you should:
• provide a brief outline of your case study
• show how and why media institutions in your case study have been responsive to change 
• support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

January 2011
1. How far have improvements in technology made a difference to the quality of audience experience?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate the impact of new technologies (eg red button, file-sharing, 3D) on the audience's ability to interact with and/or enjoy media products from your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Do the institutions in your case study have an equal presence on each media platform?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate how and why media products from your case study have more of a presence on some platforms than others
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

June 2011
1. 'To be successful, media institutions have to use a variety of media platforms'. To what extent is this true of your cross-media study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your cross-media study
● consider the possible advantages of using a range of media platforms
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. 'Our enjoyment of media products is influenced by the platforms we use to access them.'How far is this true of your cross-media study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your cross-media study
● consider how audiences use and respond to media products from different media platforms
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

Jan 2012
1. Evaluate how far audiences are able to represent themselves and/or their ideas and opinions in media products from your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Evaluate how successfully media products from your cross-media study are promoted within and across media platforms.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

June 2012
1. Consider how imaginative techniques are used by media products from your  cross-media study to attract and maintain audiences.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Synergy is the process by which media institutions use a range of platforms to promote, sell and distribute their products. Assess the impact of synergy in your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

January 2013
1. Evaluate how new technologies have been used in the products in your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

2. Intertextuality describes the way in which media products make reference to other media products that producers assume audiences will recognise.  Identify the ways intertextuality is used in your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

June 2013
1. How far does the platform on which they are consumed determine the construction of media products in your cross-media study?

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

2. Explore how representations are constructed in media products from your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

D. Key Concepts, Key Media Terminology, Film Language and Audience Theory

Revise the following really well:

E. AS Revision Booklet

This excellent guide summarises the key theories and key terminology you need to include and provides examples of how to use them in the exam. 

Read this repeatedly in the run-up to UNIT1, revise ALL the main theorists here and practice using them in your answers.



 

Section B: sample paragraph

In today's lesson with 12E, we wrote two sample paragraphs to the following question:

Evaluate how far audiences are able to represent themselves and/or their ideas and opinions in media products from your cross-media study. Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms. [32 marks]

The 5-minute plan we wrote at the start of the lesson contained the following ideas:

Section 1: Ill Manors e-media - Tag London campaign, Twitter, Facebook, UGC etc.
Section 2: Ill Manors print - contrasting representations in Men's Health and NME magazine
Section 3: Ill Manors broadcast - representations of young people in the media, TEDx lecture, music video, film trailer.
Section 4: independent case study examples e-media/UGC
Section 5: independent case study examples e-media/UGC

The broadcast section is potentially the most challenging but also the most interesting part of the plan. This is what we came up with as a class:

In making Ill Manors, Plan B wanted to create an opportunity to discuss the negative representations of young people that dominate the media. He used the broadcast platform in order to further this point of view. Ben Drew (Plan B’s real name) gave a critically acclaimed TEDx lecture as part of the Guardian newspaper’s TEDx programme. He used the lecture to talk about the lack of opportunities for young people and how with Ill Manors he wanted to give unknown actors from the part of London he was from the chance to break out of their circumstances and demonstrate their talents. This opportunity for young people to represent themselves and the reality of growing up in certain parts of London was a major reason Ill Manors was so gritty, realistic and critically successful. The TEDx lecture would particularly appeal to a middle class, ABC1 left-wing Guardian reading audience. These people would fit into the Reformer psychographic group and would be angry that young people are not given more opportunity to represent themselves in the media.

However, the broadcast platform for Ill Manors also contains media products that offer extremely negative, highly stereotypical representations of young people. The Ill Manors music video that was released alongside the film and designed to cross-promote both the film and the soundtrack album contains plenty of stereotypes that go against Plan B’s ambitions to represent another side of young people. The mise-en-scene (particularly costume and locations) and the many shots of anti-social behaviour (particularly the London riots) would simply reinforce a negative view of young people and make it less likely that they will be given opportunities in society. One of the paradoxes in the media is that young people are simultaneously angry about the representation of themselves in media products yet also attracted to media products that contain negative or anti-social representations of themselves. The film trailer further reinforces this, with fast-paced editing showing a huge number of shots with iconography of criminal behaviour and drug use (guns, costume, locations and more). Plan B’s music soundtracks both of these broadcast products which seem to go against the key message of his TEDx lecture.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 

12E case study peer assessment

Today, we are going to assess the case study of the person above us in the blog list on Media Macguffin.

Work through the following tasks/questions, looking at their case study carefully to both learn about another film text and also pick up ideas for improving your case study:
  1. Name of student whose blog you are assessing:
  2. Name of film they have researched:
  3. Have they covered all three platforms? 
  4. Examples from print:
  5. Examples from broadcast:
  6. Examples from e-media:
  7. What links can you find between this case study and Ill Manors?
  8. Is there anything you can learn from this case study? What could you add to your own case study after looking at someone else's work?
You should be able to complete this in class time but obviously you will need to finish it for homework if not.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

 

12E: essay planning and case study revision

Today we looked at the following Section B essay question:

Synergy is the process by which media institutions use a range of platforms to promote, sell and distribute their products. Assess the impact of synergy in your cross-media study. Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms. 
[32 marks]

As a class, we came up with the following plan:

Introduction
Introduce the industry we have studied (film industry), the texts we have studied (Ill Manors, A Field In England, your own case study), and briefly answer the question.

Section 1: Ill Manors brand
Print – synergy across print using the Ill Manors brand. Film poster, adverts, DVD packaging; font, tower block theme, urban iconography (Riz Ahmed’s costume, gun, setting etc.)
E-media – Ill Manors brand across official website etc.

Section 2: A Field In England
Synergy in releasing film across all platforms on the same day. Benefits to the institution in distributing film in this way. Difference between arthouse film and Hollywood blockbuster. 

Section 3: Your own case study on a big-budget Hollywood film
You must answer the question – looking at synergy across different platforms.

Section 4: Ill Manors soundtrack/film
Synergy between the music and the film – the music video, YouTube channels, importance of attracting existing Plan B music fans.
The use of the soundtrack as a key aspect of the film – used in the narrative, referred to across different platforms by Ben Drew in promoting the film.
The Tag London Twitter campaign was launched to promote the soundtrack album but in turn cross-promoted the film and in particular the values and ideologies behind Ill Manors.

Section 5: Ill Manors and Politics
Synergy across different platforms in promoting the values and ideologies behind the film.
Broadcast – TEDx lecture on the motivation behind the film. Supported by the ‘Making Of’ documentary on the DVD extras and also chat show appearances (Jonathan Ross).
Print – magazine interviews such as NME feature (‘Watch out David Cameron’). Additional point – lack of synergy in Men’s Health magazine (article features £900 suit and ‘how I lost 2 stone’)

Conclusion
Answer the question a final time: synergy is crucial when promoting a film to ensure coverage across different platforms and a consistent brand that connects with the target audience. 


Additional homework
1) Revise all the material we have covered this term - Ill Manors, A Field In England - as well as everything we looked at in the introduction to Media unit in the Autumn.
2) Spend 35 minutes writing an answer to today's question using the plan above. You have around five minutes to write each section so time management and training up the skills and stamina you need is absolutely vital.

Due: Tuesday 22 April

Thursday, March 20, 2014

 

Coursework Evaluation

Here are the details about how to write the coursework evaluation.

Make sure you use plenty of media terminology and media theory in every paragraph - use the keywords sheet to help you.

And remember you must make explicit reference to the brief. You did Brief One, Task (a) (i) broadcasting, and Task (b) (ii) Print. You also need to read Task (c) (i) and (ii) when you talk about your e-media ideas.

The OFCOM guide might also help.

12E: Deadline for first draft is Tuesday 25/3.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

 

Cross Media Case Study: Hollywood Film

Identify a big budget Hollywood film for your independent case study which you will write about in the MEST 2, Section B exam (along with 'Ill Manors').

Go through the Powerpoint and copy each question individually to your blog. 

For every question, provide a written answer underneath and give evidence (examples, links to the texts, images, etc.). 

Cross Media Case Study Questions

Deadline -when we return after Easter.

You should ensure that you have covered each of the three platforms in your answers. Use the checklist below to help...






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