Thursday, January 12, 2017

MEST2 Print brief

Your MEST2 Print brief is as important as the video work you are currently filming. 

It is crucial that you research, plan and design print work that could comfortably holds its own alongside professional examples. Our AQA MEST2 brief is here, with the key task as follows:

All entrants have been asked to create pages for a promotional booklet which will demonstrate the variety of local film-making talent and provide information on the shortlisted entries. Each entrant is therefore asked to create their own pages for the booklet. You should create two to three A4 pages. You are encouraged to be creative in your approach and try to make your pages distinctive and visually appealing. You should include information about you, your production team and the film itself.

What do you need to produce?

1) A5 Little Picturehouse programme front cover featuring YOUR film
2) A5 Double-page spread contents page
3) A5 Double-page spread feature on YOUR film

Now complete the following tasks to plan and prepare your print work:


1) Key conventions. Look over the magazine cover key conventions notes sheet and ensure you can confidently identify the key aspects that are found on a magazine cover.

2) Write an analysis of this BFI Film Festival programme front cover. How many of the 12 key conventions of magazine covers can you see? In what way does this print product differ from a traditional magazine cover? How have the designers made this programme visually interesting?

3) Find at least 5 arts centre or cinema programmes/brochures aimed at a similar target audience to your project (arthouse cinema). For each one, pick out one design idea that you could use in your own print work.

4) Find at least 5 contents pages from arts programmes or magazines. How are contents pages designed? How do they use a combination of text and images to create an effective design?

Planning and sketching

1) Create a spider diagram or bullet point list of all the things your target audience might be interested in. How can you use this information to create a main feature about your film that will appeal to your target audience?

2) Produce an A5 sketch of your front cover including the key conventions and design tricks you have studied in existing programmes and then planned in planning task 1 above.

3) Produce an A4 sketch of your double-page spread contents page. In terms of the text for your contents page, you will need to find out the names of the films of other groups in your class. The other films in the class will make up the rest of your contents page.

4) Create a spider diagram or bullet point list of ideas for your double-page spread feature. Write a list of potential headlines and sub-headings for the article you choose to go with.

5) Produce an A4 landscape sketch of your double page spread design now you have chosen the subject matter.


1) Which of your main characters will appear on the front cover of your programme?

2) What image or images do you need for the contents page?

3) What image or images will you use for the double-page spread?

4) Write a shot list for the photoshoot. Make sure you plan a variety of camera shots you will look to capture - medium shots, close-ups etc.

5) What costume, props or make-up will you require for the photoshoot?

Use the lesson to complete these planning tasks but you'll need to finish for homework - due date is your class's photoshoot (confirmed by your coursework teacher). 

Immediate homework
In Microsoft Word, write the text for your double page spread feature. Plan it out carefully then write a headline, sub-heading and around 500 words for the main article (depending on the type of feature you have chosen).

Due date: confirmed by your coursework teacher.

The British film industry: institutional context

To complete our introduction to the British film industry, we need a little more institutional background.

We will be using another Media Factsheet to finish our background research on this exam topic. Complete the following tasks on your blog:

1) Find Media Factsheet #100 on the British film industry. Save it to USB or email it to yourself so you have access to the Factsheet for homework. You can find the Factsheet on the Media Shared drive - M:\Resources\A Level\Media Factsheets.

2) Read the whole of Factsheet #100 British film industry

3) What is the 'cultural test' to see if a film counts as British?

4) Complete the task on the Factsheet, researching the films listed and finding out what they score on the cultural test: Sweeney, Attack The Block, The King's Speech, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Skyfall.

5) What is the main problem for the British film industry?

6) What are three of the strengths of the British film industry?

7) What are the two options for the future of the British film industry?

8) In your opinion, which of these two options would best safeguard the future of the British film industry?

You have a week to complete these tasks for homework as next week's lessons will be used to watch our case study film Ill Manors. Exact due date set by your Exam class teacher.

January assessment: Learner response

The January assessment is a good opportunity to look at the skills we need to develop prior to the real MEST1 exam on Thursday 18 May.

Most students find that the MEST1 Section A unseen is the weakest element of the exam and therefore requires serious practice, revision and preparation. It's important to reflect on the areas to work on and make sure that you improve your performance in future. Particular elements we noticed when marking included:
  • Focus on the question: don't write about sound if the question states mise-en-scene
  • Paragraphing and organisation: you should be aiming for 3-4 well-developed paragraphs for each question with a clear topic sentence for each paragraph
  • Media terminology and theory: revise the key theories, particularly for audience and representation

January assessment: learner response

Your learner response for the January assessment is as follows:

1) Type up your feedback in full in a new blogpost called 'January assessment learner response' (you don't need to write the mark and grade if you don't want to)

2) Read the Mark scheme and Examiners' Report for the Sussex Safer Roads MEST1 exam.

3) Use the information you read in the mark scheme and Examiners' Report to re-write your weakest question into a superb, well-developed answer below your typed up feedback. 

If you have two questions on the same lower mark, choose the one you feel is your weaker area. We want you to use all the links and documents to help you - the objective here is to use all possible resources to write as close to a 12-mark answer as you possibly can.

The Sussex Safer Roads Embrace Life clip is available here:

The question paper you took on is available here.

If you don't finish this in the lesson make sure it is completed for homework - due for your double lesson next week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

British Film History: Social Realism Genre and Sub Genres

The British Film Industry

That Hamilton Woman, Secrets and Lies, Under the Skin

We have made notes and watched clips from various eras of, the British Film Industry over this week. 
If you have missed notes on any decades, please make sure that you catch up. 

Social Realism

We examined social realism in 1950s/1960s and how this genre has evolved over time. Originally focussing on angry young protagonists, disillusioned with modern society and usually suffering social privation, this movement has evolved into a number of hybrid and sub-genres featuring provocative, authentic and raw human stories. 

Next week we will be screening our case study film: Ill Manors. It was made as a crime drama film in 2012 but has elements of the genre of urban social realism due to its use of urban East London locations, gritty and authentic dialogue, an exploration of social issues and real life influence (Plan B wrote it when he was 21, basing the original concept on an incident of a raid by police on his home.) 

If you are interested in this topic and want to find out more, here are some useful places you can go:

1) Best British Films- Time Out's list of the best of British film 
2) Films that could only have been made in Britain: An interesting article about what it means for a film to be British and how the industry  has flourished and been extremely diverse over the years. 
3) An interesting Guardian article about this year's BAFTA nominated social realist film, 'I, Daniel Blake'. The article discusses the credibility of the film, made in 2016 by celebrated social realist director Ken Loach, which uses authentic docu-drama style to examine and critique the social welfare system in Britain and how it is failing many of its working class.
4) Social Realism - A BFI history- A history of Social Realism in cinema throughout the ages with recommendations of films to watch to gain more insight into the genre and its sub-genres.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MEST1 Section B: The British film industry

We will be focusing on the British film industry for Section B of your MEST1 exam.

In your lesson, you will have been taken through the rich history of British film from the Second World War to the 2000s. Your blog task is as follows:

1) Use our brilliant Media Factsheet archive on the M: drive Media Shared (M:\Resources\A Level\Media Factsheets)to find Media Factsheet #132 on British Film

2) Read the whole of Factsheet #132 British Film

3) Write a one-sentence definition of what makes a film British.

4) What is the difference between a Hollywood production context and production context of a British film?

5) When did the James Bond franchise start?

6) In terms of film censorship and graphic content, what began to change in British film in the 1970s and 1980s?

7) What groups are often represented in British film? Give examples of films these groups feature in.

8) What does the Factsheet suggest might be the audience appeal of British film?

Complete for homework anything you don't finish in the lesson - due date set by your Exam class teacher.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy new year!

Welcome back and happy new year for 2017!

We’ve got an incredibly important term coming up – it’s only 11 weeks to Easter and in that time we will be completing all of our coursework and stepping up our exam preparation.

In your exam lessons, you will be focusing on Section B of the MEST1 exam. This will explore the British film industry and particularly the critically acclaimed 2012 London-based social realist drama Ill Manors from director Ben Drew (better known as Plan B). You’ll be researching and discussing the film in real depth across the print, broadcast and e-media platforms looking at how the film was made, marketed and promoted. Towards Easter, you’ll also be choosing a big-budget British film to research independently to give you the second case study you need for Section B of the exam.

In terms of coursework, this is the term when you will shoot and edit your film as well as photographing and designing the print brief. There’s a lot of work and the time will fly by so make sure you’re organised, committed and as creative as you can be.

What can you do to maximise your grade in AS Media Studies?

Now is the time to really step up your consumption of wider issues and debates in the media. If you want an A grade, you need to be doing the following as a minimum:
  • Keeping up with the Media Guardian to find out the big stories in the media each week – particularly on a Monday.
  • Reading each issue of Media Magazine. Our full archive is available here – the latest issue (MM58) has excellent features on Brexit, streaming and diversity - all incredibly important and relevant topics. 
  • Using our incredible NEW archive of Media Factsheets to revise and increase your knowledge of wider media issues and debates. There are over 100 topics covered, many of them highly relevant to our exam preparation and coursework. They are available on our M: Media Shared drive under Resources > A Level. Make the most of the them! 
We made excellent progress last term and have given ourselves the platform to achieve the very top grades in Media. Now, we need to go out and get them. Good luck!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ho Ho Ho Hello year 12!

Have a lovely and restful Christmas.

For those of you who missed the lesson just now, or those that wanted more clarity on the exam taking place on Wed 4th January - read this powerpoint that makes it clear...
MEST 1 Guidance

Remember that the media text can be anything - audio/visual or static text.

If you want to look at some previous exams, goodle AQA MEST 1 exam and have a look - only Section A for now as the rest is related to our case study which we will tackle in the new year.

Happy Christmas!

Miss Fowler :)