Monday, October 20, 2014

 

12A: Narrative

There are three key narrative theories we need to learn as part of AS Media. The notes as a reminder:

Narrative patterns
Linear Pattern: progresses forward towards a resolution - Beginning, Middle and End.
Multi-strand Narrative: popular in broadcast TV (e.g. soaps) and film. Involves more than one narrative running parallel involving different characters and locations.
Documentary narrative: this may revolve round a central theme (e.g. troublesome neighbours) or group of people.

Long-running TV series such as Breaking Bad or The Wire have one major narrative and lots of mini-narratives. The major narrative runs over the series, the mini narrative may be resolved within an episode.

Narrative theories
When studying narrative in Media, we need to be able to identify what the story is and how it is being told. There are three key theories we need to learn and apply:

Enigma and Action Codes - Roland Barthes
Barthes suggested that stories have certain codes that audiences understand and respond to.

ENIGMA codes: control how much we know and help hold our interest. It creates mystery during the narrative.

ACTION codes: events or actions in the story that are important in developing the narrative, e.g. a gun being cocked signifies that a violent scene will follow.


Todorov: equilibrium
Tzvetan Todorov proposed a theory of equilibrium:

Equilibrium: An existing state of harmony
Disequilibrium: Equilibrium is disrupted by an unfortunate event or evil character which leads to a chain of events involving conflict
New Equilibrium: The evil forces are defeated, the conflict is resolved and harmony exists once more


Character theory: Propp
Vladimir Propp came up with a list of stock characters in narratives by examining Russian fairytales. He called them the seven spheres of action:

The Villain: Creates a complication in the narrative
The Donor: Gives the hero something that will help in the resolution
The Helper: Helps the hero in restoring the resolution
The Princess: Has to be saved by the hero
The Dispatcher: Sends the hero on a task
The Hero: Central protagonist, saves the day and restores equilibrium
The False Hero: Rare character that appears to be good but is revealed to have been bad all along


Narrative blog task

1) Choose three clips from YouTube and embed them in your blog - one from film, one from TV and one of your choice.

2) For EACH clip, apply the three narrative theories: Barthes' action and enigma codes; Todorov's equilibrium; Propp's stock characters. Make specific reference to aspects of the clip (as you would in a film language analysis). Remember to highlight media language.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

 

Year 12: Editing task

Editing is the last aspect of our Film Language unit - we'll be starting coursework after half-term. Two things to work on first:

Homework
You will have a Film Language test in your first double lesson after half-term. 

Your homework, therefore, is to revise EVERYTHING you've learned in your first half term with both your teachers - film language and the MIGRAIN key concepts. 

You need to be ready to take the test in the first lesson back.


Editing task
There are some truly fantastic clips for the Editing part of the Film Language unit but we won't watch them all in one lesson. 

Your blog task is to find a film clip on YouTube that you feel has been edited in a distinctive way and write a 750 word analysis of the clip.

Use as much media language as you can - and remember to highlight it. Try and use the key words we've learned for editing and any other aspects of film language you can apply.

If you're not sure what clip to pick, you will find plenty of lists online if you search for 'great film editing sequences' or similar. One example that comes up when you do this is something like the shootout scene from Michael Mann's Heat (3mins - 6mins particularly, but it's all brilliant):


Friday, October 17, 2014

 

12C Cover Work/Homework: Fri. 17/10/14, p5

Remember the basic rules first:
  • Arrive on time - make sure you register with the cover teacher/Mr Halsey;
  • Stay in the classroom until the end of the lesson;
  • Work responsibly on the tasks set.
Complete the following for Wednesday 22/10, p3:

Visit the CoolBrands website and complete the following tasks:

1) Choose five brands that YOU personally admire and explain what you like about them.

2) For each of those five brands, write a sentence/paragraph summing up their brand values. Remember: brand values are the words or qualities that the brand would like to be associated with.

3) Lastly, explain why you think those five brands made the list of the coolest brands in Britain. What is cool about them?

Also, don't forget that the Brand Values homework also needs to be up on your blogs by Wednesday 22/10.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

 

12A: CoolBrands research

Our next key concept is Narrative - but I noticed a website that fits perfectly with the work we've been doing on Institution so we're going to do one more lesson on brands.

There is an organisation called CoolBrands who publish a list of the coolest brands in Britain every year. There is a paper version with the Observer newspaper and a website with details and videos/links.

In today's lesson, you need to visit the CoolBrands website and complete the following tasks:

1) Choose five brands that YOU personally admire and explain what you like about them.

2) For each of those five brands, write a sentence/paragraph summing up their brand values. Remember: brand values are the words or qualities that the brand would like to be associated with.

3) Lastly, explain why you think those five brands made the list of the coolest brands in Britain. What is cool about them?

This needs to be finished in today's lesson.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

 

12A & 12C: Institution - Brand Values

According to Gillian Dyer (Advertising as Communication, 1988) advertisers use, among other techniques, lines of appeal to create brand identities and attract their target audience.

Institutions use these images, references or suggestions to tap into our desires and make us ‘feel part’ of the brand. Dyer suggested lines of appeal could be classified into 13 groups:

Brand values task 100-10-1

Choose 5 brands. For EACH brand:

1) Sum up the brand values in 100 words, making reference to Dyer’s lines of appeal.

2) Distil the brand values into one sentence of no more than 10 words. 

3) Sum up the brand in ONE word.

Example: Starbucks

1) The Starbucks brand is clever because it comes across as a friendly, local-style company when it is in fact a massive global business. Its brand values would be about quality, lifestyle and a personal touch.  Starbucks could fit into several of Dyer’s lines of appeal: Happy families - everyone wants to belong, hence Starbucks asking your name when you order. It could also fit into Successful careers – Starbucks is for hard-working, successful people who want to enjoy life. Finally, Self-importance and pride links to Starbucks taking coffee seriously and its employees and customers having genuine passion for the brand. (100 words)

2) The Starbucks brand is about quality with a personal touch. (10 words)

3) Starbucks in one word: Passion.

Due: Friday 17/10 (12A) Wednesday 22/10 (12C)


Friday, October 10, 2014

 

Year 12 blog feedback - Mr Halsey

I've now had a chance to have a proper look at your blogs and write you some feedback. Normally, I would comment on an individual blog post but due to the sheer amount of work you've done over the last month I've used written a general comment for each of your blogs as a whole.

You need to copy and paste your comments into a new blog post called 'Blog feedback and learner response'. Then, complete the learner response below my comments. You'll see it's the same learner response for everyone, asking you to reflect on your first month of AS Media and think about the skills you need to develop in the rest of the course.

You can find all my comments in this document. I know you can then look at the comments for other people but since we're publishing on blogs it doesn't make a great deal of difference. 

Overall, there's some great work and most of you have produced a seriously impressive amount of posts in the first month of AS Media - well done!

Monday, October 06, 2014

 

12A cover work - Mr Halsey 06/10/14 P5&6

I'm really sorry - my wife and baby have come down with a sickness bug so I need to stay here and look after them today.

We are still working on the key concept of Institution - but today I want you to become experts on the five terrestrial TV channels in the UK ('terrestrial' refers to the fact TV signals traditionally came through an aerial and usually refers to the basic five channels BBC1&2, ITV1, C4, C5). It's quite possible that your clip in the exam will come from one of these channels so knowing their remit, brand values and what they are famous for will be extremely useful.

Complete the following tasks/questions:

  1. Research the terms 'high-brow' and 'low-brow'. What do they refer to? How can we apply them to the main TV channels?
  2. Research the term 'public service broadcasting'. What does it refer to? How does it influence what appears on the main five channels?


BBC1

  1. Research BBC1. What part of the BBC's remit is covered by BBC1?
  2. How does it fit into the concept of public service broadcasting?
  3. What type of programmes appear on this TV channel? Can you see a common link or theme?
  4. Who would be a typical audience member for the TV channel? (Age, gender, social class, job/earnings etc.)



BBC2

  1. What type of programmes appear on this TV channel? Can you see a common link or theme?
  2. What do you think is the TV channel’s main aim? (Education, entertainment, appeal to youth, controversy, viewing figures/advertising revenue etc.) 
  3. Who would be a typical audience member for the TV channel? (Age, gender, social class, job/earnings etc.)
  4. What is the flagship news programme on BBC2?


ITV1
  1. What type of programmes appear on this TV channel? Can you see a common link or theme?
  2. Name some major stars associated with ITV1.
  3. Who would be a typical audience member for the TV channel? (Age, gender, social class, job/earnings etc.)
  4. Would ITV1 be considered high-brow or low-brow?

Channel 4
  1. What type of programmes appear on this TV channel? Can you see a common link or theme?
  2. When Channel 4 was launched, what was its aim?
  3. Channel 4 News is an important part of the channel. What type of news is C4 News famous for?
  4. Would Channel 4 be considered high-brow or low-brow?
  5. Who would be a typical audience member for the TV channel? (Age, gender, social class, job/earnings etc.)

Channel 5
  1. What type of programmes appear on this TV channel? Can you see a common link or theme?
  2. How long has Channel 5 existed?
  3. What programmes has Channel 5 been famous for?
  4. Would Channel 5 be considered high-brow or low-brow?
  5. Who would be a typical audience member for the TV channel? (Age, gender, social class, job/earnings etc.)

Complete this for homework - due Friday - if you don't complete it in the lesson. Good luck!

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