Sunday, March 26, 2017

Reminder: A Level Media Easter sessions

A reminder we have confirmed dates for A Level Media Easter coursework sessions.

The sessions will take place on:

Monday 3 April 9am - 3pm (Mr Bush & Ms Quinn)
Tuesday 4 April 9am - 3pm (Mr Halsey & Ms Quinn)
Wednesday 5 April 9am - 3pm (Ms Quinn)

We are VERY lucky to be able to open up the Media department for three days so make the most of it. Media computers and equipment will be available on all three days but if you want feedback and an idea of what grade you're working at you will need to see your coursework teacher on the relevant day or email them. Ms Quinn will be on hand for advice and guidance but will be running the Wednesday session single-handedly so please bear with her.

Good luck with the coursework and keep working to those phenomenal professional standards we know you are capable of!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Revision: MEST1 mock exam

Your full MEST1 mock exam is on Wednesday 29 March at 8.30am.

We're in the process of producing some stunning coursework and now we need to match that top-grade performance in the exam.

You need to be revising EVERYTHING you've learned in Media this year. These PowerPoints may help you:

Film Language unit

MIGRAIN Introduction to Media unit

MEST1 Section B - British Film Industry / Ill Manors / A Field In England unit

There's also plenty of other revision you need to be doing:

Check your MEST1 Section B index and revise all the work you've done on Ill Manors, A Field In England and your independent case study so far.

There are MEST1 Section B past questions to revise, plan and practice here.

*Bonus revision material*

As requested by 12C, here's a revision PowerPoint summarising key theories and terminology for the MEST1 exam

Remember to look closely over your feedback and learner response from your January MEST1 assessment. You need to make sure you acting on that feedback and improving key aspects of your exam performance - and remember we provided the mark scheme and Examiners' Report for the January assessment which will be useful to revise before your MEST1 exam. 

One of the key lessons from January was the quality of our notetaking and whether we were writing enough for each question in Section A. Remember: you need to write a minimum of THREE well-developed paragraphs for EACH question in Section A. 

Finally, remember the most important thing for BOTH Section A and Section B:


Good luck with your revision - this is your last formal practice before the real thing in May. Take it seriously!

MEST2 Evaluation

Deadlines are fast approaching and you now need to be working on your MEST2 Evaluation. This is worth 20 marks and will make or break your overall coursework grade.

You can find the evaluation guidance here. You don't have to follow it exactly but you DO need to address each aspect in some way if you want to achieve a top mark.

The original MEST2 2017 brief is here. Remember, we have done Brief 1 (The Little Picturehouse) and within that (a) Broadcasting and (b) Print. You must make this clear in your introduction. Remember your evaluation also needs to address the third brief, e-media. This means writing in detail about what you would have done for the e-media task which is a film blog. 

You will have one opportunity for feedback on your evaluation which will be arranged by your coursework teacher. Important: if you miss this opportunity, you will not get any feedback on your evaluation. You need at least 67/80 to be sure of an A grade in MEST2 so the evaluation is vital.

The FINAL coursework deadline for all research, planning, production work and evaluation is Wednesday 19 April.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MEST1 Section B: Independent case study

You've now studied your main case study, Ill Manors, in great detail and have A Field In England to offer a second case study on arthouse cinema and film distribution.

You need one more film case study for the exam and this one has to be independent - that means YOU choose the film and research it across broadcast, print, e-media and more.

Complete the following tasks on your blog:

Choose one of the following six big-budget British films:

Spectre (2015) (£170m budget)

Paddington (2014) - £40m budget

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011) - £3.5m budget

Belle (2013) - £11m budget

'71 (2014) - £8m budget

Suffragette (2015) - £10m budget

Case study research tasks

The basics

1) What is the name of the film, the director and notable stars?

2) When was it released?

3) What genre is the film? What are the generic conventions that tell you the film belongs to this genre?

4) What was the critical reception? What is the film rated on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes?


1) Write a close-textual analysis of the trailer using the MIGRAIN key concepts of Media Studies.

2) Find examples of television promotion on YouTube (adverts, chat shows, ‘red carpet’ interviews etc.) and post them to your blog along with an explanation of how these promote the film.

3) Does the broadcast promotion use stars to create interest in the film?


1) Read at least THREE reviews of the film and provide a quote from each one.

2) Find examples of print promotion (e.g. film poster, billboard adverts etc.) on Google images and post them to your blog along with an explanation of how these promote the film.

3) Choose ONE print advert and write a textual analysis of what it communicates to the audience.

4) How is the film’s brand constructed? What does the brand connote? Does it remind you of any other brands or similar films?


1) Research the film’s presence on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. How does the film’s social media presence help promote the film?

2) Analyse the official website for the film. How does it use the film’s brand? What examples of synergy can you find with the other platforms?

3) Did the film run any kind of e-media based campaign to generate interest in the film?

4) Can you find any examples of the two-step flow theory online – did celebrities or journalists tweet or post about the film in order to promote it to their followers?


1) Who is the target audience for this film? Demographics and psychographics.

2) How does the cross-media promotional campaign target this audience?

3) What audience pleasures does the film provide? Think about the BFI lecture on audience pleasures in British film.

4) What similar films would the target audience enjoy? Justify your suggestions.


1) Which film studio produced the film? What other films have they produced? Do they have a track record with this kind of film and this target audience?

2) Which company distributed the film in the UK? What other films have they distributed? 

3) Do they have a track record with this kind of film and this target audience?

4) What was the budget for the film?

5) How successful was the film financially? Why do you think this was?

6) Was this film more successful in the UK or worldwide/USA? Why do you think this is?

7) What certificate was the film given (12A, 18 etc.)? What was the reason for this certificate? Is the certification important for this film in terms of targeting its audience? Why?


1) What representations of people, places or groups can be found in this film?

2) What representation of ‘Britishness’ does the film contain?

3) How does the representation of Britain differ to Ill Manors? 

4) What values and ideologies can you find in your chosen film? (E.g. The King’s Speech is extremely patriotic, pro-monarchy etc.) 

Case study comparison

1) What similarities and differences can you find between Ill Manors, A Field In England and your chosen case study film? List all that apply.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

MEST1 Section B: index

Now we are reaching the end of our work preparing for MEST3 Section B, we need to put together an index so we can easily access our work for revision. 

Remember, you'll be answering ONE question in an extended essay on the film industry and need to refer to all THREE media platforms and at least THREE film texts in the essay. Your index should contain the following:

1) The British film industry: Media Factsheet questions
2) Institutional context of the British film industry: Factsheet questions
3) Ill Manors: film review
4) Ill Manors: trailer analysis
5) Ill Manors: music video
6) Ill Manors: TEDx lecture
7) Ill Manors: broadcast platform concluded
8) Ill Manors: print platform (newspaper interviews)
9) Ill Manors: print branding
10) Ill Manors: e-media Tag London campaign
11) Ill Manors: e-media social networking research
12) Ill Manors: official website analysis
13) MEST1 Section B: essay plan
14) A Field In England: reading, research and questions
15) A Field In England: the appeal of arthouse cinema
16) Ill Manors, A Field In England, Warp & Vertigo: institution research

Remember, your index should link to YOUR blogpost for each of these tasks.

This is a significant amount of work and should prepare you well for MEST1 Section B. 

Remember: you have a full mock exam on Wednesday 29 March at 8.30am.

Next week: MEST1 Section B independent case study on a big-budget British film.

Index: complete in lesson but if you're missing anything make sure EVERYTHING is in order by next lesson.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MEST1 Section B: Institution research

To finish our in-class case studies, we need to research the institutions behind the films. This means knowing the production companies that contributed to their production. 

Create one blogpost for all of these tasks. Make sure you find enough time to complete this - there is a lot to research and it could take you a good couple of hours.

Current case studies: financial figures

Ill Manors: Funding and production budget
  1. What was the estimated budget for Ill Manors?
  2. Where did the money come from? List the different organisations and companies that contributed funding to Ill Manors.
  3. How did the Ill Manors budget compare to a Hollywood blockbuster such as Skyfall?

A Field In England: Funding and production budget
  1. What was the estimated budget for A Field In England?
  2. Why did A Field In England manage to secure a higher budget than Ill Manors?
  3. Where did the money come from?  

Film London and Microwave Film
Ill Manors was created partly thanks to Film London and Microwave Film. Revise the key details from your MEST2 research by answering the following questions:
  1. What is Film London and why does it exist?
  2. What is the purpose of Microwave Film?
  3. Choose one film funded by Microwave film and explain how it compares to Ill Manors (similarities and differences)

Vertigo Films and Warp Films
Your BFI Study Day on UK cinema focused on two important production companies in the British film industry: Vertigo Films and Warp Films. Revise what you learned on the trip by answering the following questions:
  1. What are the most successful films Vertigo Films has been involved in?
  2. Why do you think those films were successful with their audience?
  3. What different film genres has Vertigo Films worked with?
  4. Where did Warp Films start out?
  5. What are the most successful films produced by Warp Films?
  6. How have Warp Films helped to develop new talent in the film industry?
  7. What titles have Vertigo and Warp Films produced that are similar to Ill Manors? Explain the similarities - it could be in terms of audience, location, content or genre.

Certification: BBFC
One final aspect of institution is the certificate a film is awarded for exhibition. This is decided by the British Board of Film ClassificationRevise the key details regarding the BBFC from your MEST2 research by answering the following questions:
  1. How does the certification process work at the BBFC?
  2. Think about the certificate of Ill Manors (18 certificate). What is deemed acceptable for an 18 certificate? What is the difference between a 15 certificate and an 18 certificate? 
  3. Why was Ill Manors given an 18 certificate? How might this have affected the Ill Manors target audience and commercial success?
  4. What was the certificate for A Field In England? Why was this certificate awarded?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages for a film in being given an 18 certificate?

You will have lesson time to work on these tasks but you will need to complete this for homework. Due date: confirmed by your exam teacher.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

A Field In England: the appeal of arthouse film

Through both coursework and exam preparation we have studied and researched arthouse film in some depth.

Understanding the audience appeal in terms of arthouse film is a vital part of this - and you'll need to discuss this in both your MEST1 Section B exam AND your MEST2 1,500 word evaluation.

Media Magazine: the appeal of arthouse cinema

Complete the following tasks to improve your understanding of arthouse film and the possible audience pleasures that the genre offers:

1) Read Beyond Hollywood: Reading Arthouse Cinema. This is in MM45 on page 24 - go to our Media Magazine archive to find the article. Sum up the article in one sentence.

2) What are some of the suggested audience pleasures for arthouse film?

3) Why do some audiences struggle with arthouse film? Refer to some media theory here (there are some important media theories discussed in the article itself).

4) To what extent is arthouse film only for the middle classes and older audiences? Why might this be the case?

5) What type of audience would A Field In England appeal to?

A Field In England: BFI report on the release strategy and commercial success

1) Read this BFI Insight report into the release and reception of the film. What was the purpose of the report? 

2) What was the budget for A Field In England?

3) What were the key numbers in terms of cinema box office takings, TV viewers, VOD and DVD sales? 

4) What was the primary target audience for A Field In England? Does this surprise you? How does it contrast with your answer to question 5 in the tasks above?

5) What did the report conclude with regards to social media and the marketing campaign? How does this link to our Ill Manors case study?

6) Finally, what was the BFI's conclusion with regards to the unusual release strategy for A Field In England? Was it a success? What evidence is provided to argue this point?

Complete this for homework if you don't get it done in the lesson - due next week.