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!