Friday, December 18, 2009

AS | A2: Snow, Xmas & Deadlines!

Dear all, due to the snow, school is closed today (Friday 18th December).  Due to this fact you will not be able to take equipment away to film during the Christmas break.  Because of this, coursework deadlines for both AS and A2 students will be pushed back by 2 weeks.

Please focus on your blog and your exam units!

A2: Click here for work on Regulation & Censorship.

AS: Please get your blogs sorted!  Also, please make sure that you practice your analysis and note making skills - watch at least 2 openings and make detailed notes focussing on Camera, Editing, Sound & Mise-en-scene.  Then complete the practice task set here on the Long Road Media Studies: TV Drama Blog!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A2: Xmas Homework

Homework 1: Watch / Play a Film or Video Game and make notes analysing both the "surface reality" and "verisimilitude" of the text.

Homework 2: Read the articles in the previous post here: and make notes.

Homework 3: Make sure that your quote sheet is complete and fully referenced.

Have a very merry Christmas - Mr. M.

A2: More Articles About Video Game Regulation & Censorship

Here are 4 more useful articles about video games:

Please read them over the Christmas Break do develop your understanding further!

Merry Xmas!
Mr. M.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"a movie about childhood", not a children's movie!

Where The Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, 2009)
At the weekend my wife and I went to the Cinema as we are often known to do.  We went to see Where The Wild Things Are, dir. by Spike Jonze based on the beautiful childrens' book by Maurice Sendak.  The movie was beautifully crafted.  The camera work rsembled the best indie movies (Little Miss Sunshine, Amelie) with careful choice of distance, angle and positioning; and just enough editing to allow the movie to flow unobtrusively - Jonze ensures that the presence of the camera remains firmly unkown to the audience.

But what made this film so special (particulalry as a fan of the book) was one: the musical score - created by Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeah's fame which was quirky, challenging and beautiful at the same time - check it out at the film's website here:

Like the music, the mise-sn-scene was stunning - Jonze's pallet is soft and haunting with some of the best lighting I have seen used in a movie in years.  The "Wild Things" were amazing - once again the Jim Henson company outdid themselves in prducing creatures that not only faithfully reflectd the wonderful drawings from the book but that took on a life of their own - seeming at times more human than could possibly be imaginable.

Here is the trailer for the movie:

Here is an animated version using the original pictures from the book:

And finally, here is a test made by Disney who for some time had the rights to produce the film - while this looks like it would have been good, I for one am very glad that this was one project that they did not complete.

Jonze's film is a film not for children but for those of us who read the book when we were kids.  It is a haunting, alternative, deeply beautiful and emotionally satisfying affair that brought my wife and I to tears - "I could eat you up I love you so".

In the words of Max: "Let the wild rumpus start!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GCSE | AS | A2: Practice your film making skills online...

"Xtranormal" - is a gr8 way 4 u 2 improve your film making skills, selecting camera angles, mise-en-scene, dialogue & sounds - click on the link & have fun!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A2: Media Regulation & Censorship

Two articles from today's news that should prove to be helpful!

A2: Extra Media Lesson - Wednesday, P5, Room 79

There will be an additional media lesson for A2 students on Wednesday 16th December, Period 5 in Room 79.

The lesson will focus on Regulation and Censorship - key quotes and essay writing.

All of you should be able to attend as this used to be your UCAS time - if you can not and have a valid reason you must either come and see me or e-mail to explain.

Mr. M.

AS: Coursework updates...

...please c vle course 4 updates 2 deadlines, reminders about blogging, evaluation questions & guidance on how the rough cut & final cuts of your films r 2 b submitted!

Remember, if u have any questions please c Mr. Michie...he is always happy 2 help!

Friday, December 04, 2009

4OD & DEMAND5 Available Via YouTube!

You can now watch Channel 4 programmes and Channel 5 programmes via YouTube.  Hurrah for Google bringing media to the masses online.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A2: Learn to search "smarter" with this guide from Google!


Google Guide - making search even easier

AS/ A2: Useful Websites to support your learning!

Media Magazine - Physical copies can be found in the Media room and the LRC. For access to the online site please ask Mr Michie for the username and password.

MediaKnowall - A sound, reasonably detailed site; not a bad place to start at the beginning of the unit. - Excellent site created by David Gauntlett - particularly useful for AS students studying Audiences and Institutions and A2 students developing their theoretical knowledge.

Media Studies Ringwood - An excellent blog; an excellent school - check out the resources here and also take the time to watch the excellent coursework produced by the students.

Long Road Media - One of the most successful Media college's in the country. Resources are of the highest order, as is the work produced by the students who attend.

Robert Smyth School
 - Excellent range of resources.

OCR Virtual Media Studies
 - Provides good information and some useful resources - definitely a case of pick and choose.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Here is the feedback from Y12 students about their first ILP Day.

100% of students approached the day with either optimisim or expectency.

100% of students found the peer / teacher assessment of their "continuity task" to be very useful.

86% of students found the teacher led session on storyboarding, sound and colour useful.

100% of students found the time to work on their storyboards and animatics very useful and based on the comments added, was the part of the day the students most enjoyed.

Overall, those students who responded to the survey found the day to be well planned with the right amount of teacher led activity and independent work.

60% of students felt the day was "worth doing" and 40% felt they could not get by without it.

Mr. M. has also noted that biscuits / cakes would be a good addition and will ensure that this is not overlooked next time!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Y12 Cover Work from Mr Michie - Monday 30th November

Please make sure that your blog is up to date and has all sections completed to an excellent standard - use this as an opportunity to get this area of your coursework on track.  Don't forget: locations, props and costumes, actors / actresses should have been investigated, decisions made, photographed and blogged.

See these blogs as a guide to the standard you should be aiming for:

I will see your presentations / animatics on Thursday!

Mr. M.

Y13 Cover Work from Mr Michie - Monday 30th November

Video Games - Regulation and Censorship

Read the following articles and make notes:

Don't forget to help complete the 18 cert / banned video game wiki on the VLE.  Don't know the enrollment key, ask a class mate.

Mr. M.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A2 - Y13 ILP (Session 2) - Feedback

Here is the feedback from Y13 students about their second ILP Day:

Q1: What were your objectives for the day?

Responses were varied due to students setting their own objectives - however they all had clear targets and most of the students objectives were realistic within the time frame of the day.

Q2: Did you meet your objectives

Yes - 100%
No - 0%

Q3: How did the day help you achieve your objectives, or develop the progress of your coursework.

Responses again were varied - here are some sample comments:

  • "it was very useful to have a period of time where you were free to get on with your work and have access to all the equipment.  I was able to get a lot done and quicker"
  • it gave me a whole day to film and upload footage, see what needs to be re-shot and then I still had time to go out and film again."
  • "got a large time consuming process out of the way - more time to focus on production and filming..."
  • "i was left to get on with what I needed to do but could still ask for help..."
Q4: In what ways can we improve the day for you.

Responses here were very brief with most students feeling that the day was a success over all.  Here are some suggestions:

  • "examples of good animatics, rough cuts to provide comparisons
  • "maybe some time put aside for us to blog - might help encourage evaluate our progress..."
  • "better Internet connection in media hub"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

AS: Wong Kar-Wai - In The Mood For Love

Here is the clip from "In The Mood For Love" that I used to demonstrate the importance of colour, lighting and sound.  This scene is so powerful.  Please try to see the whole film and its sequel "2046" if you can.   

Wong Kar-Wai is an amazingly talented director.  There is an interesting essay about the film "In The Mood For Love" here!

Here is another example of colour used effectively, this time from the film "Hero" directed by Yimou Zhang.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tim Burton at MOMA

See more info and videos here: and here:

I Met The Walrus by Jerry Levitan

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrator James Braithwaite have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack. A spellbinding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit and timeless message, I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short. ("I Met The Walrus",, 2008)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Y13 Cover Work From Mr Michie - Thursday 12th November

You need to complete the following tasks:

Read the two documents I have uploaded for you.  The first is the perspective of a student (similar age to yourselves) responding to the topic of censorship.  The second is the response from a Head of Media Studies from another school.

Using the information from their articles answer the following essay question in as much detail as possible.

Is regulation and/or censorship of the Media necessary?

You may also draw upon any of the material you have been given so far, anything you have researched yourself and any evidence from the case studies we have looked at.

Your responses need to be complete and handed in to me on Monday.

Mr. M.

Y12 Cover Work From Mr Michie - Thursday 12th November

You need to work on your continuity task - remember that you have to hand it in at 3:40 on Friday.

Mr Ford has the key to the Media Hub - please make sure that the Hub is left in a tidy fashion - I will be back in school at 4:30 / 5:00 for Open Evening and I will be checking on the state of the room.

Mr. M.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Click Me to view High Quality!

More innovation here!

A2: What is Evaluation?

Useful document from Mr Ford on what evaluation is...

Don't forget to use the PowerPoint here, this has examples of how to evaluate within your blog.

GCSE / AS / A2: Key Media Terms

Sign - the smallest unit of meaning within a media text
Denotation - the literal or actual meaning of an image, word or object
Connotations - the implied or suggested meanings of an image, word or object
Representation - the way a person, group, place or idea is "re-presented" by the media
Mediation - the 3 processes of re-presentation: 1 - Selection, 2 - Organisation, 3 - Focusing
Target Audience - a specific group of people who a media text is aimed at
Synthetic Personalisation - the false relationship created between a media text and the reader through the use of personal pronouns (I), direct address (you, your) of the reader and a variety of rhetorical devices ( this the end of the world?).
Institutions - the producers of media texts
Hypodermic Syringe Effect - this theory suggests that media audiences are passive and accept the messages and values within media texts without questioning them
Two Way Flow Model - this theory suggests that media audiences can reject media texts altogether (selective exposure) or they may simply reject certain ideas within a media text (selective perception)
Uses and Gratifications - this theory suggests that media audiences are entirely active using the media for a variety of specific needs
Textual Analysis - the process of breaking a media text down by its component parts - in the case of a film this would include: the camera angles, mise-en-scene, editing and sound
Composition - the way a media text has been put together, e.g.: the front cover of a magazine
Surface Reality - this is a judgment as to how truthful or realistic a media text appears on first viewing
Verisimilitude - this is a measure of how truthful or realistic a media text is after closer textual analysis

    Thursday, November 05, 2009

    Broadcast ILP Round 2!

    Today I have been working with students producing video as part of the Broadcast ILP.

    • Here is a sample video from two of the students who took part:

    See the rest of my reports from the day here:

    Change Schools Chalfonts Blog

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    A2 - Y13 ILP Feedback

    9 of the 13 students who attended the first ILP day completed the "feedback survey".

    The sessions that students felt were most useful were:

    • Session 1: Presenting animatic and receiving feedback

    • Session 4: Improving their animatics

    • Session 2: Reflection and evaluation (followed closely behind Session 4)

    The session deemed to be of least use was:

    • Session 3: Blogging...

    Overall it was felt that session 2 and 3 were too long and that I spoke for too long. For future ILP Days I will seek to make them more interactive and practical to maintain student engagement throughout.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    A2 Coursework Deadlines

    Research - Sep 25th
    Planning - Oct 2nd
    Animatic - Oct 9th
    Rough Cut - Nov 2nd
    Re-shoots - Nov 9th
    Final Cut - Dec 8th
    Ancillary Media Texts - Jan 25th
    Blog and Evaluation - Feb 22nd

    AS Coursework Deadlines

    Research completed - Oct 19th
    Continuity Task completed - Nov 13th
    Planning and animatic completed - Nov 23rd
    Rough Cut completed and presented - Jan 22nd
    Final Cut completed - Feb 12th
    Blog and evaluation completed - Mar 22nd

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Broadcast ILP - Student Feedback

    An interview with Georgia and Lucia about their experience of the Broadcast ILP.

    Using ACID with Jordan

    A brief clip of Jordan using the audio editing program ACID.

    Making a radio broadcast!

    A brief interview with one group about the work they are doing.

    As break time approaches...

    ...all the students have created a jingle with loops and a slogan for the radio station. Here is an example!

    Broadcast ILP Day 2

    And we're off - students are making jingles for the school radio station - "Triple C Radio". They have been shown the basics of using 'ACID', which is a audio editing, loop based program. Here of some of the kids at work!

    Friday, October 09, 2009

    Year 13 ILP Day 1

    Animatics, Blogs and the Reflective Learner

    On Monday 12th October Y13 will have their first full day session. The aim is for them to present, edit and complete their animatic. To improve their blogs - particularly focusing on the way they use information, the way they reflect on and evaluate their learning - this will help them to prepare for their coursework evaluations later in the year and their synoptic assessment in their final exam.

    A fairly successful day - I personally feel there was a lot for the students to take in. The structure of the day needs to be revised going forward.

    I am very pleased by the progress many of the students have made and am positive that they will create thoroughly engaging and creative coursework!

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    AS/A2: Evaluation Time!

    Don't forget to use the following resources to help you complete your coursework evaluations:

    AS - Click Here!

    A2 - Click Here!

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    BBC School Report 2009 @ CCC

    The day went really well. All the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and went away having learned a variety of new skills. Follow the link to see the finished video and blog posts from the day:

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    BBC School Report 2009 @ CCC!

    In a little over 10 hours a small group of GT pupils will be taking part in BBC School Report here at the Chalfonts Community College. Here is the blog link if you wish to read the reports / see film. All material we be live by 2.00pm tomorrow!


    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    A2: Re-sits

    If you wish to / or you are thinking about re-sitting your Critical Research Paper, please see me by the end of school on Tuesday. Forms need to be signed and handed in with the money by the end of school on Wednesday.

    Well done to Lauren, Cilia, Laura and Erica for excellent results in their critical research exams.

    And also well done to Stan, Thaddeus, Cilia, Hannah, Amy, Hannah and Erica for making massive improvements in their Audiences and Institutions re-sit.

    Mr. M.

    Wednesday, March 04, 2009

    march 13 - coursework deadline!

    time is ticking - here's a music vid (screaming 80s) to inspire you over the next week!

    Be The One

    useful website

    media, gcse, as, a2 - website with loads of info, great for revision!

    "CLICK ME!"

    Thursday, January 29, 2009

    AS & A2: Wider Reading

    Some books to get your teeth into!

    No Logo by Naomi Klein (available in the LRC)
    Rupert Murdoch by William Shawcross
    Decoding Advertisements by Judith Williamson
    The Fundamentals of Creative Advertising by Ken Burtenshaw et al (Available from Mr Michie)
    Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan
    Mythologies by Roland Barthes

    AS: Guidance for your evaluation!

    AS: What are you peers up to elsewhere in the country?

    Check out this student blog from Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge:


    It is an excellent example of how a blog should be put together. The level of analysis and evaluation is excellent. They also have a rough cut complete already!

    Mr. M.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    A2: T-Mobile - Breaking every rule of advertising!

    Freedom of speech and civil liberty

    Interesting site with comment and video about the right to civil liberty and the state of civil liberty in the UK - Jon Snow and other members of the media have their say on the issue. Click on the image - read, watch and listen!

    AS & A2: Blog! Blog! Blog!

    A reminder to many of you who seem to have forgotten that maintaining your blog regularly is a required part of the course. You need to be regularly updating your blog reflecting on the progress of your coursework and the decisions/revisions that you make.

    Please make more of an effort to do this!

    Mr. M.