Monday, November 24, 2014


12A: Representation blog task

The key notes on our new key concept - representation:


Media texts are a construction of reality, and play an important role in the way we view the world. 

Reality is therefore subject to mediation which is the process that takes place when a media text’s meaning is created.

When mediation takes place, an institution, individual or even technology comes between the actual event and the audience.


Media messages have to be communicated quickly which often means relying on stereotypes. Stereotypes work as a kind of shorthand where a word, image or sound will stand for a lot more.

A stereotype is a standardised, usually oversimplified mental picture or attitude towards a person, group, place or event.

Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people—usually relating to their gender, class, ethnicity or race, sexual orientation, social role or occupation.

Representation: dominant or alternative?

A representation in the media will either reinforce or challenge the stereotype.

If it reinforces the stereotype, it is a dominant representation.

If it challenges the stereotype, it is an alternative representation.

Representation: Blog task

Find a YouTube clip from film or TV and complete the same activity we have just done in class:

1) List the different people/groups represented in the trailer (men/women/Americans etc.)

2) For each group, decide whether the representation is a dominant or alternative portrayal.

3) What stereotypes can you identify in the trailer?

Complete for homework if you don't complete it in the lesson - due next Monday.


Film Language test - learner response

A reminder to Year 12 students that you need to write up a detailed learner response for your film language test. This needs to cover the following:
  1. Type up the feedback from your teacher word-for-word on your blog (you don't need to type the mark and grade if you don't want to)
  2. Below this, write a detailed learner response as outlined in your feedback (usually this will involve re-writing your weakest answer on your blog)

Feel free to use our mark scheme, grade boundaries and potential responses document to help with your learner response - there is no trick here, we want you to take your time and prove you can write a 12/12 answer given the ideal circumstances. This then sets the bar for your next assessment in January. 

The Usual Suspects clip from the test is here:

As usual, if you don't finish this in the lesson time provided you MUST finish for homework - due next week.


Preliminary Exercise evaluation

After the screening of the Preliminary Exercises in class, you need to write an individual evaluation of the Preliminary Exercise you were involved in. As with the MEST2 coursework, you cannot work with others on your evaluation although you may wish to discuss strengths and weaknesses with other students (either within your group or others). 

Your evaluation needs to include the following:

Here's a good example from last year to help you.

Your evaluation needs to be a minimum of 500 words and is due for Friday 5 December.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Year 12 cover work: Mr Halsey 21/11/14

12A: 21/11/14 P3
Firstly, make sure you've finished Monday's work on Uses and Gratifications theory (plus the two tasks reinforcing the Hypodermic Needle and Two-Step Flow theories).

The final aspect of audience theory is one step beyond Uses and Gratifications - read the notes below then complete the questions in a separate blog post.

Dependency theory

Rokeach and DeFleur took Uses and Gratifications one step further in 1976 in suggesting that people have become dependent on the media.

With Dependency theory, they suggest that people rely on the media for information determining their decisions. This means the media can create many different feelings such as fear, anxiety, and happiness.

Blog task - answer the following questions

1) What do YOU primarily use the media for: entertainment or information? (Or something else?)

2) To what extent do you feel we are dependent on the media?

3) Has our dependence on the media changed over the last 10 years? How?

4) Read this Telegraph article – does this support Dependency theory? What is your personal opinion on this issue? 

12C: 21/11/14 P6
Your Preliminary Exercise is due on Monday - make sure you have edited it, exported it and uploaded it to YouTube. It needs to be up on your blog for the screening on Monday.

If you have completed that, you can get ahead on next week's work and start to evaluate your preliminary exercise. Write a list of the strengths and weaknesses of your preliminary exercise, thinking carefully about the lessons you have learned for the real coursework you'll start next week.

Monday, November 17, 2014


12A: Uses and gratifications theory (Blumler & Katz)

Researchers Blumler and Katz reignited audience theory in 1974 by stating that media audiences are active and make conscious choices about the way they consume media.

They suggested there are four main uses or gratifications (pleasures) that audiences get from the media.

Diversion: escape from everyday problems and routine - entertainment.

Personal Relationships: using the media for emotional and other interaction (e.g. developing affection for characters in TV)

Personal Identity: finding ourselves reflected in texts or learning behaviour and values from the media. Reality TV or documentary (Educating Yorkshire) are good examples.

Surveillance: Information useful for living (e.g. Weather, traffic news, holiday bargains etc.)

Uses and Gratifications: blog task

Create a blog post called ‘Uses and Gratifications Theory’.

For each of the four categories, write about one media text that fits that particular audience use or pleasure. Make sure you explain WHY it fits the category and use images or clips to illustrate your points.

Audience theory: classwork/homework

1) Complete the Uses and Gratifications blog task above if you did not complete it in the lesson.

2) Read this Mail Online article about the effects of videogames. How does this article link to the hypodermic needle model?

3) Read this BBC profile of Jamal Edwards. How does Jamal Edwards link to the two-step flow model?

Friday, November 14, 2014


12A: Audience theory

The hypodermic needle model

This is a crude theory from the 1920s that suggests the media injects information into the audience like a hypodermic needle and therefore can have a dangerous effect on us.

The two-step flow model

The two-step flow model was developed in the 1940s because the hypodermic needle theory was considered too simplistic, assuming the audience consumed media without thinking.

The two-step flow model instead suggests the audience are influenced by ‘opinion leaders’ in the media who mediate how the audience react to media texts. The theory suggests the media is not all-powerful and that social factors are important.

Task: Two-step flow model

1) Summarise the two-step flow model. 

2) In your opinion, is the two-step flow theory still relevant today?

3) How does this YouTube blogger fit into the two-step flow model?

4) How this this Telegraph article on influential tweeters fit the two-step flow model?

Finish for homework if you don't get it done in the lesson - due Monday.

Friday, November 07, 2014


Preliminary exercise

Continuity task

Your preliminary exercise involves filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. 

This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule

Time allowed: two weeks

You are advised to work in the group that you will work in for your MEST2 coursework project.

Note: you must have your filming completed by the end of Monday 17 November in order to have footage for the Apple Store trip on Wednesday 19 November.

Key skills

The following clips and links should help you with the key skills you need to demonstrate in your preliminary exercise.

Match on action

Match on action (or cutting on action) is an editing technique for continuity editing in which one shot cuts to another shot showing the same action of the subject in the first shot.

This creates the impression of continuity - the action creates a 'visual bridge' which is easy for the audience to follow.

Look at this YouTube clip for match on action - the cuts you want to look at in particular are at 2 seconds, then again at 18 seconds:

Shot/reverse shot

Shot/reverse shot uses over-the-shoulder shots to show a conversation between two characters. Look at this example from the Hunger Games movie - specifically between 0.50 and 1.30.

With shot/reverse shot, you need to observe the 180 degree rule

180 degree rule

The 180-degree rule of shooting and editing keeps the camera on one side of the action. This keeps characters grounded compositionally on a particular side of the screen or frame, and keeps them looking at one another when only one character is seen onscreen at a time. 

It is referred to as a rule because the camera, when shooting two actors, must not cross over the axis of action; if it does, it risks giving the impression that the actors' positions in the scene have been reversed. [source: Columbia Film Language Glossary]

In other words, draw an imaginary line between the two characters facing each other and then make sure the camera never crosses that line during the filming of that scene. This video is a brilliant explanation of the rule:

Task list: planning

  1. Sort out your group (if you haven’t done so already)
  2. Discuss what your preliminary exercise will involve – location, sequence of events, who will act etc.
  3. Write a short script for the preliminary exercise. Remember, scripts outline movement and shots as well as dialogue. The BBC Writer's Room is a brilliant resource for tips and examples of TV scriptwriting. Here's a genuine TV script example from Luther to check you are formatting your script correctly.
  4. Write a shot list of every possible shot (and a few extra) you will need for this preliminary exercise. An example shot list is here.
  5. Draw a rough storyboard for the sequence you plan to shoot.
  6. Upload your completed planning to your blog then let your teacher know. You can then book out a camera and start shooting.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?