Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not sure what to watch over the Xmas break?

Well, don't worry because Andy Wallis (Head of Media Studies @ The Ringwood School) has got you covered. Check out his list of films to watch over the holidays!

From the list the following three films are absolute musts, IMO.
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • Amelie
  • Alien
Enjoy and to all of you, have a very merry Christmas!

Mr. M and the rest of the Media Studies team.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A2: Deadlines post-Xmas break!

To be completed and evidenced on blog:

  • All research for video-based production - complete; no gaps
  • All planning for video-based production - complete; no gaps with feedback and your reflection written up
  • All research and planning for ancillary texts - complete; no gaps
  • Either - a rough cut of your production or one complete ancillary text

Your progress will be reviewed with Mr. M. during the first 2/3 lessons after the Christmas break.

Have a great Christmas one and all!
Mr. M.

Monday, December 13, 2010

AS: Homework: Media Ownership: Convergence and Expansion

Read the following article: Media Ownership: Convergence and Expansion - located on the VLE.

Make notes and bring them to the first lesson back with Mr. M.

Weekly Challenge - 5

Weekly Challenge 5: Camera/Mise-en-scene - Colour has become a key tool in film and TV to: create meaning; establish mood; establish character or emotions; or set an aesthetic tone. 

Find and discuss in detail the use of colour in one Film or TV show. If possible provide a clip or screen grab to illustrate your discussion.

As this is a more in depth challenge please submit your response by Friday 7th January 2011.

A2: WikiLeaks discussion is heating up!

The forum discussion about WikiLeaks is heating up. Make sure you join in!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A2: Forum Discussion: WikiLeaks: A Modern Media Controversy

I have set up a discussion forum for you all to gather your thoughts, debate the issues and have a resource to return to in preparation for your exam.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

GCSE Media Studies Homework

Great to see the effort some students put into their homework in the run up to exams:

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Introductory Post

To all!

I'm sorry it's so long before I posted here. I have a busy schedule that I'm trying to keep too.

For a small intro, Mr. Michie has already mentioned that I am a third year animation student studying in Bristol and planning to extend my stay here for my professional practice due to Bristol's amazing networking opportunities.

On how I can help with your work, I can suggest websites and material that may be of some help to inspiring film makers, whether it be animation or film related.

The first of these I give you here:

The link is pretty straight forward. It has good content about films coming out have already been released with behind the scenes from all sorts of members of the film industry from directors, actors and those in the special effects department.

I hope this is some use and all the best for your projects.

Until next time!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Film Riot!

Here's a link to a useful set of videos to help you with your coursework. 

Learn how to shoot and edit your films, music videos and ads guerilla stylee with Film Riot over at their YouTube page.

Thanks Dan for the heads up!

Mr. M.

A2: Australian Government adds Wikileaks to list of banned websites...

Short article about the Australian government's decision to add the website 'Wikileaks' to its list of banned websites!

I didn't even know they had a list of banned websites. Makes me ask the question: Does our government have a list of banned websites? Worth looking into me-thinks!

How do different countries compare on their regulation of the World Wide Web?
Who has the right to regulate it?
Is the WEB taking the place of Video Games in the age old argument over 'effects' and the impact on Media to do good/bad?
What are the implications of political websites like 'Wikileaks' being targeted in this way?

[Update] Wikileaks is banned in school. Should it be?

Get to work!
Mr. M.

AS: Weekly Challenge - 3

Weekly Challenge 3: Editing: What is a "graphic match (or match cut)".

There are many famous examples of this technique. Therefore, I expect all of you to provide both an explanation and example. Try to not offer up the same example as everyone else.

Good luck!
Mr. M.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Blogger!

For the first time ever Media @ CCC is going to feature blog posts from a guest blogger. Having already shared some useful links, Sophie Lowden has signed on to add musings, ideas and links to the blog. 

I think this is going to be an exciting new feature and hope that you all enjoying discovering more about media, film and animation through Sophie's unique insight.

Welcome Sophie, the students and I look forward to your first post! :-)

AS: Key Concepts and the Language of the Moving Image

Thanks to our friends at Ringwood School for the following excellent resources about the key concepts of Media Studies and Moving Image Language.

Key Concepts:

Language of the Moving Image:


AS: Weekly Challenge - 2

This weeks challenge is inspired by Ellie Biddle's response to Weekly Challenge - 1.

Weekly Challenge 2: Editing: What is 'parallel editing'? [Challenge] Find an example clip to illustrate your point.

Answer by commenting on this post. Due: Friday 26th November.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

AS/A2: Anatomy of a Scene: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1'

Sophie thought some of you would find this useful. David Yates, director of the latest HP movie, discusses some of his film making techniques.

Click here to view!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This could be you! #2

Caroline Jackson graduated from CCC in 2008 having achieved a stunningly high A grade in Media Studies.

A thoroughly engaging young lady; she set off for Sheffield University to study Journalism and now finds herself a dissertation shy of graduation and the world of work.

I stumbled upon a blog she has been keeping; offering her musings on fashion, music, and anything else that takes her fancy. Her written word has a unique sense of irony and a deeply aesthetic vocabulary. 

Check it out here: Dressing up with Caroline Jane.

A2: Cover Work 4 Mr. M.

1. In my absence today (Friday 19 November), please continue to work on researching and planning your ancillary texts. Be sure to have blogged all of the work that you have completed.

I will review your progress during Monday's lesson.

2. Read through the following blog posts:


What makes this post effective? Is there anything that this student has done that could help you improve your posts?

Be prepared to discuss these blog posts and your own postings during Monday's lesson.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Free of Advertising"

Interesting post about the invasive nature of advertising:

"free of advertising" by leo babauta -

Monday, November 15, 2010

This could be you!

For the second week running I received an email from an ex-student.

Sophie graduated from the Chalfonts in 2008 completing courses in Media Studies and Art. Her passion was animation and she went on to study it at UWE in Bristol. She has produced some fantastic work which you can view on her blog.

She is now in her final year working on her final project.

She says: "I'm personally now living in a student house with three other animators who have had a profound effect on my work. We're all now working away on our final films so I've barely had any time to take a breather but I know that it's going to be a success if I put my mind to it!"

It was fantastic to hear from Sophie and find out that she is doing so well. I wish her all the success in the world and just think, this could be you in the near future!

AS: Weekly Challenge - 1

This is the first in a series of weekly challenges to help develop and broaden your understanding of the moving image. Please respond to the following question by commenting on the post.

Weekly Challenge 1: Editing: What is compressed time? Please answer the question and [challenge] if you can provide a link to clip that demonstrates it in action. Answers are due in by Friday.

A2: Y13 ILP Day

Dear all, please make sure you use this time wisely. You will have computers, cameras and other materials available during the day. Mr Ford will be with you and can offer support as well as an alternative perspective on your project.

I think that it is an excellent opportunity for most of you to focus on the research and planning of your ancillary texts. Here is a reminder of what you need to produce for each brief:

A promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music promo video, no longer than five minutes duration, together with:
  • a cover for its release as part of a digipack (CD/DVD package)
  • a magazine advertisement for the digipack (CD/DVD package)
A promotion package for a new film, to include a teaser trailer, together with:
  • a film magazine front cover, featuring the film
  • a poster for the film
An advertising package for a new product or service, to include two TV advertisements, together with
  • a TV programme sponsorship sequence
  • a web pop-up
A short film in its entirety, lasting approximately five minutes, which may be live action or animation or a combination of both, together with:
  • a poster for the film
  • a film magazine review page featuring the film

Haydn and Lauren, can you both, please use the time to catch up with creating your storyboards/animatic and publish them on your blogs.

Do make the most of the extended time and have fun!

Mr. M. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

AS: The Use of Colour in Film

Here is an email I received from Andrew, an ex-student, now studying film at University, that I felt was worth sharing with you all:

Hey Sir,

Whilst doing some research for Uni I came across this great blog post that explains/shows the use of colour in Film. To save you from reading the whole thing it basically tells you about how Ridley Scott reversed the conventions of colour use in his movie Black Hawk Down and the effects it has in the audience. The thing I found most interesting was the colour chart towards the bottom of the post. Comparing the relationship between what each colour represents and where they are predominate in the narrative is very interesting. In my opinion the colours match very closely to Todorov's narrative theory. 

Just though you might find it interesting as well as your A-level classes!




It's great to hear from students who enjoyed studying Media and have carried on doing so at University. One day this could be you! In the mean time, go check out the website - it should be very helpful as you plan your thriller openings.

Monday, November 01, 2010

AS: Coursework Focus - Continuity Task

Year 12 - The next two weeks are focussed on completing your "Continuity Task" - one of the key features of your coursework assessment.

Below are the key dates and deadlines.

Monday 1st November - Basic Video Training - Room 72 with Mr. Michie
Thursday  4th November - ILP Day - 9:10 to 3:40 - Room MU3 with Mr Michie

  • Planning
  • Storyboarding
  • Filming - of your Continuity Task

Independent Study Time - Complete filming and editing of your Continuity Task - The HUB is always available!
Friday 12th November - P7 - Arrive with your completed Continuity Task ready for teacher/peer assessment - Room 72 with Mr Ford

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AS: Semiotics - "The Bad Colour"

Aaron Mahnke, a freelance graphic designer from Boston started writing a post about where he found his desktop background for his computer but ends up discussing M. Night Shyamalan's film The Village and the symbolic meanings of colour in particular red - "the bad colour."

Please take a moment to read the post - it demonstrates that you don't have to be a film maker to understand and care about the connotations of colour; and also offers a picture of the many possible meanings that a single colour can have, dependent upon the individual who is interpreting it.

Oh, and if you have not seen The Village, do so now, it is an excellent example of the thriller genre. Here is the trailer to wet your appetite:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AS: Continuity Task

Listen up Year 12. The standard has been set, courtesy of Dan, George, Leah and Martin from the Ringwood School!

When you complete your preliminary tasks after half term this is what you must measure up to. You can view more continuity tasks, made by the students at Ringwood here.

Diploma: Two Early Draft Animations from Josh & Sian

These are shaping up to be really good. Watch out for the finished articles!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A2: Music Video Students

Here is an excellent example (Level 4) of a student made digi-pack and magazine ad for their music promo package:

Thanks to Andy Wallis at Ringwood School for the heads up! Check out their Media blog here:

Mr. M.

Conspiracy Theory: The Dark Side of Google

Josh, from my Year 11 Creative Media Diploma class, found this and thought it was worth sharing:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A2: Contemporary Media Regulation - Links!

Don't forget that you should be doing as much wider reading as possible during this unit. Here is the site you used in Mrs. Neale's lesson last week:

There is a wide range of articles discussing Kubrick's films and the controversies that have surrounded them, including The Clockwork Orange.

For further reading please make sure that you are making full use of the SBBFC site:

It has an interactive timeline of Film/Video Games regulation and censorship; as well as case studies, articles and essays - including an fabulous range of info about The Clockwork Orange as well.

Remember - you need to offer a critical understanding in your response so you must read both popular and academic criticism around the case studies that Mrs. Neale's shows you. Watching the clips and disucssing them in class is only the beginning...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Converting English Students into Media Students

One of the main differences between English and Media Studies is the language we use. This glossary of terms should help you improve your analysis...

On the left is a English expression and on the right is the Media Studies terminology.
  • shows = denotes
  • implies/suggests = connotes
  • a metaphor = symbolic
  • linked/connected = indexical
  • directly resembles = iconic
To achieve well in your written work it is important that you learn to use these terms when analysing texts.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Media @ CCC Blog Update

Current AS and A2 coursework blogs can be found in the sidebar. Please scroll down to see this years' coursework in progress.

There is now a coursework archive with all students blogs created since the introduction of the new OCR 4-unit syllabus. This includes AS blogs from 2009 and 2010 and A2 blogs from 2010.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A2 Coursework: What does an A* look like?

This student got an A* for his A2 coursework.

Check out his blog:

AS / A2: Ringwood Media Blog

A Media Blog from Ringwood school in Hampshire. Some excellent resources and some excellent student blogs. 

Go check it out:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A2: "Violent video games harmless for most kids"

Well timed article on the effects of video games on children.  Click on the 'MSNBC' logo to read the article. Perfect to keep the topic fresh as you prepare for your exam.

Don't forget that we have lesson tomorrow: 12:20 in Room 72.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GCSE Media - Parent/Student Guide to Exam & Revision

This is the PowerPoint that I used for an Adobe Connect Online Meeting with parents of Y10 GCSE Media Studies students. They have their B323 Textual Analysis (Print Topic) exam on the 25th June.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GCSE: Getting Prepared For B323: Textual Analysis (Print Topic)

My Year 10 students used Flip cameras today to make videos about what they need to remember for their exam which is coming up on June 25th.  Here are a couple of them:

Please feel free to share and use.  If you have any questions about how the videos were created please comment, email me or tweet me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A2: G325 - Q1a & Q1b - Round Two

Please respond to the following practice exam questions and submit them for marking on Thursday.

1a. "Post-production is the most significant process in modern media production." Discuss how your own experiences of post-production impacted on your ability to deliver a creatively engaging outcome.

1b. Audiences are at the mercy of media producers."  Explain how your understanding of audience theories influenced and shaped one of your media productions.

Any questions please come and see me or drop me an email.

A2: A Series Of Student Made Presentations on Media Key Concepts

Monday, May 10, 2010

Year 12 and 13 Cover for Monday 10th May

One and all - I'm sorry but I am under the weather and will not be in today.

Year 13, to make up for missing today there will be a lesson this Wednesday P5.

Year 12 I will arrange an extra session for you as well and let you know when that will be.

In the meantine:

Year 13: Continue with your research/revision in to your key conceptual areas and prepare your presentations for Thursday's double lesson. 

Ryan, Lewis and Jamie - you all need to work on your blog today - I can give you 24 hours more to get things looking smarter and then I will have to take what is there as your final work!
Year 12: Please do some revision for your exam.  Watch from 0:33 until 7:02 from the opening of "Kidulthod" - make notes and answer the following question in full please (that means 3/4 sides of writing!)

Dicsuss the way age is represented in the extract considering the use of the following:
  • Camera
  • Editing
  • Sound
  • Mise-en-scene 

Haydn, Shawnee and James - you all need to get your coursework sorted.  You have 24 hours to make sure your blog and evaluation are as they should be or I will mark what's there and you will have to live with the result!

Any problems please e-mail me!

Mr. M.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Just how fast is Google Chrome?

Google get creative with this piece of advertising for their browser Google Chrome:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Year 12 and 13 Cover for Thursday 29th April

Due to my involvement in Functional Skills assessments there are no lessons for Y12 and Y13 today.  Cover is as follows:
Year 12 Media Studies
  • Please continue to work on your FINAL draft of your coursework evaluation.
  • I will discuss and try to resolve any issues you are having in tomorrow’s lesson.
Year 13 Media Studies
  • Don’t forget that your final drafts of your evaluations are due in tomorrow.  Lewis, Ryan and Jamie – I also want your practical work in please!
  • To be handed in to me on Monday: Your attempt at section A of your exam paper.
  • This section of your exam lasts for 1 hour so please spend approximately 30 minutes answering each question.
Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production

1(a) “Digital technology turns media consumers into media producers”. In your own experience, how has your creativity developed through using digital technology to complete your coursework productions?

(b) “Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives”. Explain how you used conventional and / or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces.

Any questions please e-mail me!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Year 12 Homework - Small Island

In your pairs write up your response to the following question... 

"Discuss the way race is represented in Small Island" 

Click to view / download the Mind Map from the lesson.
  • Charlie & James - Camera
  • Louise & Daniel - Sound
  • Maraid & Steve - Editing
  • Lewis & Graham - Mise-en-scene
Please bring your response with you to Monday's lesson (26.04.10)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Year 12 Cover Work From Mr Ford

Please continue researching your second magazine to compare and contrast with NME!

  • Please use the hub in 72 and Chikara/LRC.  Don't forget to actually get a physical copy of your chosen magazine and analyse it too!
  • In preparation for Weds, I want you to present to me briefly what you have learned when comparing the production practices of the 2 magazines. 
  • A brief 2-3 minute presentation is all that is needed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AS/A2: Work Required + Half Term

Due in - Friday: 
  • AS Coursework - a copy of your thriller (whatever shape or form that might be in!)
  • A2 coursework - a copy of your main text + your ancillary texts (whatever state they are in.)

If you need to film during the break, you may collect equipment on Friday.  I am indisposed all day Thursday.

Also, please make sure that your blog is updated and if you have been remiss in keeping it up - this is your opportunity to sort that out!  There will not be time to do this at the end, the evaluation for both AS and A2 requires time and effort!

On top of all of this please ensure that you complete any work that Mr Ford has set you.

If you have any questions please e-mail me.  It is very easy to bury your head in the sand at this stage of the game, please do not do this!  I am here to help you.

Mr. M.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A2: "The Armchair Assassin"

Click on the picture below for some some must read material on video games and violence, particularly the controversy surrounding 'Manhunt'.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A2: Google V China - The dispute continues...

Google have postponed the release of two "Android" mobile phones in China - see the BBC article here...and the Guardian's perspective here!
The question is: When and how will this dispute end? And what will the consequences be - for Google, it's employees in China, the Chinese public and the Chinese government?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A2: Only Google Could Leave China

Article from Wired Magazine reflecting on and putting into context Google's announcement to not censor the search results of "" and the likely-hood that they will be forced to abandon a market of "340 million users"!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A2: Essay Reminder...

...don't forget your response to the following essay question is due in on Monday 18th January:

"As a medium video games offer an inherently active and addictive experience.  Because of this games such as Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt 2 pose a more significant threat to society than films such as Natural Born Killers and Base-Moi" To what extent do you agree with this statement? 

Should you have any questions or need support feel free to e-mail me!
Mr. M.

A2: More on Google, China & Censorship!

Here are some links to articles and opinion pieces from The Guardian and The Independent newspapers about Google's decision to enter into a stand off with the Chinese authroities over the censorship of their search engine and apparent hacking of google e-mail accounts.

While I like many find China's level of regulation and censorship wrong in the extreme it does bring the "Internet Regulation Debate" right to the forefront of the news and our collective thinking - can the Internet continue to exist in its current form unregulated?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A2: Porn star Ron Jeremy says violent video games are "worse" than porn!

Read the article here:

A2: Homework - Censorship & China & Google!

Reminder - tomorrow's double is the last lesson on Media Regulation & Censorship. You will be moving onto Media & Collective Identity with Mr Ford next week.
Please make sure you read the rest of "Electronic Child Abuse" by David Buckingham from the book: Ill Effect, BARKER et al, 2001
Then read / re-read the Google Blog Post here: "A new approach to China" and answer the following questions:

  • What issues / moral implications are raised by China’s “Internet Firewall”?
  • What do you think about the Google Blog Post: “A new approach to China”?
  • What links can you make between this form of censorship and the forms of censorship we have encountered in the unit so far?
  • How would you feel as a British citizen if our government imposed similar censorship upon us?

You could also look at the following website (thanks Sehb / Sophie!): "Great Firewall of China".
You also need to read "Video Games" from the book Censored, MATTHEWS, 1994
See you tomorrow and well done to those of you who made in today, inspite of the snow!
Mr. M.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A2 (Year 13 - That's You!): Snow Day Work!

As school is cancelled again here is some work for you:
1. If you did not see this on Wednesday - please read this Guardian Article and make notes.
2. Read this article from and this article from NewScientist and this one from mediawatch-uk - make notes.  I'm trying to offer a little perspective from the anti-media side of the fence.
3. Listen to the "classifying video games" podcast from the SBBFC website.
4. Finally, prepare (DO NOT write the essay - I wish to give your last essay back first!) a response to the following question:
"As a medium video games offer an inherently active and addictive experience.  Because of this games such as Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt 2 pose a more significant threat to society than films such as Natural Born Killers and Base-Moi" To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Make notes; draw primary and secondary evidence together; try to incorporate a balance of material from the work we have done on both film and video games.

Your coursework deadlines have been updated and are available 2 posts down or just click here!  If you have any issues you can e-mail or tweet me @media_at_ccc!

Enjoy the snow!
Mr. M.

AS (Year 12 - That's You!): Snow Day Work!

As school is cancelled again here is some work for you:
1. Please complete the "Waterloo Road" essay from the Long Road Media TV Drama Blog here!
2. Then complete the "Crime Drama Title Analysis" Task in Topic 4 on the VLE course here!

Your deadlines for your coursework have been updated see post below or click here! Should we not be back in on Friday - you could explore the other resources available on the VLE course and don't forget to work on your coursework blog!

If you have any issues you can e-mail me via blogger (click on "Email" in the contact box on my profile page); my school e-mail or you can tweet me @media_at_ccc

Enjoy the snow!
Mr. M.

AS / A2 Coursework Deadlines Update!

AS Coursework Deadlines:
Rough Cut: Friday 29th January
Final Cut: Thursday 25th February
Completed Blog / Evaluation: Monday 22nd March

These deadlines are also visible on the calendar/upcoming events blocks on the right of the VLE course!

A2 Coursework Deadlines:
Final Cut: Thursday 21st January
Ancillary Media Texts: Thursday 11th February
Completed Blog / Evaluation: Thursday 11th March

These deadlines are also visible on the calendar/upcoming events blocks on the right of the VLE course!

A2: Davina McCall: "Television is 'not good' for children"

Guardian Article - Wednesday 6th January 2010 - provides some interesting and related ideas about young peoples exposure to media.
Please read and make notes! - This is what we would have read / discussed in today's lesson, which is canceled due to the snow.
Mr. M.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A2: Extra Lesson With Mr. M. Every Wednesday Period 5 In Room 79.

There is now an extra media lesson every Wednesday P5 with Mr Michie.
This is not optional but a requirement to make sure that all A2 students achieve their full potential!
Mr. M.