Sunday, December 29, 2013

A case study in "Parody", "Artistic motivation" and "Laying bare the device."

The following extract comes from Chapter 2: Story Causality and Motivation pp.21-23, David Bordwell, Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style & Modes of Production to 1960, (London: Routledge, 1988.)

Artistic motivation can emphasize the artifi- ciality of other art works; this is usually accomplished through the venerable practice of parody. Hollywood has, of course, never shrunk from parody. In Animal Crackers (1930), Groucho Marx shows up the soliloquys in Strange Interlude, while in Hellzapoppin (1941), Olson and Johnson mock Kane's Rosebud sled. In *My Favorite Brunette (1947), Ronnie Johnson tells Sam McCloud he wants to be a tough detective like Alan Ladd; McCloud is played by Alan Ladd. Parody need not always be so clearly comic. At the climax of The Studio Murder Mystery (1929), the Hollywood montage sequence is parodied when the director explains at gunpoint what will happen after he kills Tony: 'Quick fade out. Next, headlines in the morning papers.' The following exchange from The Locket (1946) parodies the already mannered conventions of the psychoanalytic film of the 1940s. The doctor's wife has just returned from a movie.
Nancy: I had a wonderful time. I'm all goose pimples.
Dr Blair: A melodrama?
Nancy: Yes, it was ghastly. You ought to see it, Henry. It's about a schizophrenic who kills his wife and doesn't know it.
Dr Blair (laughing): I'm afraid that wouldn't be much of a treat for me.
Nancy: That's where you're wrong. You'd never guess how it turns out. Now it may not be sound psychologically, but the wife's father is one of the ...
Dr Blair: Darling, do you mind? You can tell me later.
When an art work uses artistic motivation to call attention to its own particular principles of construction, the process is called 'laying bare the device.' *Hollywood films often flaunt aspects of their own working in this way. In Angels Over Broadway (1940), a drunken playwright agrees to help a suicidally inclined man get money and thus to 'rewrite' the man's 'last act.' The playwright then looks out at the audience and says musingly: 'Our present plot problem is money.' In von Stroheim's Foolish Wives (1922), the susceptible Mrs Hughes reads a book, Foolish Wives, by one Erich von Stroheim. In His Girl Friday (1939), as Walter starts fast-talking Hildy into staying with the newspaper, she begins to mimic an auctioneer's patter; this not only mocks Walter but foregrounds speech rhythm as a central device in the film. The show-business milieux of the musical film make it especially likely to bare its devices. The 'You were meant for me' number in Singin' in the Rain (1952) shows Don Lockwood staging his own spontaneous song; the way he sets up romantic lighting, mist, and backdrops calls attention to the conventional staging of such songs. An even more flagrant baring of this device occurs in 'Somewhere there's a someone' in A Star Is Born (1954).

Classical films are especially likely to bare the central principle of causal linearity. In *One Touch of Nature (1917), when the hero succeeds as a baseball player, an expository title dryly remarks: 'In the course of human events, we come logically to the deciding game of a World's Series.' In The Miracle Woman (1931), a despairing writer is about to commit suicide because, having received a rejection slip from Ziegler Company, he exclaims: 'I've tried them all from A to Z. What comes after Z?' He hears an evangelist's radio broadcast and resolves to try again: 'What comes after Z? A!' *A Woman of the World (1925), contains an amusing image of the story's own unwinding. Near the beginning of the film, two old women sit on porch rockers gossiping and knitting, with their balls of yam smaller each time we see them. At the film's end, the camera shows the chairs rocking, now empty, and the yarn all gone.

Hollywood's use of artistic motivation imputes a considerable alertness to the viewer: in order to appreciate certain moments, one must know and remember another film's story, or a star's habitual role, or a standard technique. To some extent, artistic motivation develops a connoisseurship in the classical spectator. Yet most artistic traditions show off their formal specificity in some way. We must ask what limits classical cinema imposes on artistic motivation. Generally, moments of pure artistic motivation are rare and brief in classical films. Compositional motivation leaves little room for it, while generic motivation tends to account for many flagrant instances. Indeed, baring the device has become almost conventional in certain genres. Comedies are more likely to contain such outre scenes as that in The Road to Utopia (1945), in which Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, mushing across the Alaskan wilds, see the Paramount logo in the distance. Likewise, the melodrama is likely to contain a shot like that in The Fountainhead (1949), in which two characters stand at opposite edges of the frame while the woman asserts: 'This is not a tie but a gulf between us.' In His Girl Friday, Walter can describe Bruce (Ralph Bellamy) as looking like Ralph Bellamy, but in Sunrise at Campobello (1960), no one notices FDR's resemblance to the same actor.

Preston Sturges's *Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) permits us to watch compositional motivation take artistic motivation firmly in hand. The opening scene of the film is silent and is announced to be from Harold Lloyd's The Freshman. But this fairly overt reminder of the work's conventionality is undermined by the covert insertion of shots not from the original film. These interposed shots, filmed by Sturges, show a businessman watching the football game. The businessman is compositionally necessary, since he will offer Harold a job in the next scene, but remotivating The Freshman's opening to create a smooth causal link between the two films tones down the silent segment's distinct, palpably conventional qualities.

The classical cinema, then, does not use artistic motivation constantly through the film, as Ozu does in An Autumn Afternoon (1962) or as Sergei Eisenstein does in Ivan the Terrible (1945). It does not bare its devices repeatedly and systematically, as Michael Snow does in La region centrale (1967) or Jean-Luc Godard does in Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980). Compositional motivation for the sake of story causality remains dominant.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

30 Camera Shots Every Film Fan Needs To Know

Empire Magazine has published a guide to thirty different camera shots that any discerning film fan should know. With well drawn images and video-based examples to support, this is a great resource for AS and A2 students alike.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BFI Player

The British Film Institute (BFI) has just released the BFI player. An online service that allows users to watch films that have influenced generations. Most of their films will be offered for free (approximately 60%) and the rest of the films will be able to be rented (approximately 40%).

The BFI Player will launch with seven different collections:

  • London Film Festival Presents; exclusive red carpet action, talent interviews and special behind the scenes access to the UK’s most important film festival
  • Backed by the BFI; the best of British cinema – a showcase of some of the finest films, many funded by the BFI Film Fund
  • Edwardian Britain;  for the first time ever all 28 hours of the extraordinary films of pioneering filmmakers Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon, c.1900 – 1912
  • GOTHIC: The Dark Heart of Film; The BFI’s blockbuster project featuring four compelling themes Monstrous, The Dark Arts, Haunted and Love is a Devil
  • Cult Cinema; a passport to an exciting and surprising world of cult British cinema from the BFI’s Flipside DVD label
  • Inside Film; films about filmmaking for filmmakers and all those who love cinema
  • Sight and Sound Selects (from their Greatest Film poll); a growing selection of the best films of all time

If you are looking for something to do during the holidays or those rainy days and what to develop your film knowledge while watching some of the most entertaining and groundbreaking films of their day - then go and explore the BFI Player.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Everything is a Remix (Catch up & Case Study)

Kirby Ferguson the creator of the series "Everything is a Remix" is back with a one off special on the iPhone and where the influence of both the first iPhone and OS 7 came from.

If your not up-to-date with the series then here are the videos.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Construction of the Female image

Cameron Russell talks about what it is like to be a model, truthfully and honestly. She talks and reveals the secrets behind the female image and its construction.

Useful for when considering ideas of representation and what is perceived, as well as, the ideas of identity and the relationship between people and the media.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Artifice

If you are interested in developing a wider knowledge of the media then The Artifice, an online magazine is the place; from Films to Comics, Literature to Anime and Games to Manga. Furthermore if you are interested in writing about something The Artifice is a place where you can publish work on almost any topic. Go an take a look, you never know what you might find.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Social Media is a Game?

Watch the last 5 Minutes of Charlie Brooker's How Videogames Changed the World and you will find that the argument arises that social media such as Twitter and Facebook are now considered as games.

The idea that is presented mirrors that of Danah Boyd:
“As we Twitter our way to friendship, scoring ourselves based on the numbers of 'friends' we can convince to subscribe to our existence, perhaps we lose track of what friendship and connection mean.” 
What do you think? Are we "playing" a game online? Are you yourself online or offline or both? In fact who are you really?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Talk With Hitchcock

Whether you're an AS or A2 Media student, this interview with Alfred Hitchcock, in which he discusses his creative process, is really useful. It gives a detailed insight into how to tell stories on film. The section on 'cutting' is particularly insightful.

Part 1 and Part 2.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wes Anderson (Follow Up)

Following on from my previous post, Matt Zoeller Seitz has completed the set of videos based on his book 'The Wes Anderson Collection'. Anderson's films make a fantastic case study in postmodern film-making and Seitz's videos do a great job of illustrating this.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


"Editing is manipulative; it forces us to see what the filmmaker wants us to see."  

Hill, J., & Church Gibson, P. (1998) The Oxford Guide to Film Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(via Joshua Gray)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is a fantastic film maker. Without a doubt postmodern, his visual aesthetic and referential style are worth careful study.

This essay by Matt Zoller Seitz is a great place to start. He has been following and writing about Anderson's work since he made the short film 'Bottle Rocket' with regular co-writer Owen Wilson. He recently published a book about Anderson titled: 'The Wes Anderson Collection', and is now publishing each chapter as a short video. The first three are available now on Vimeo.

*If you have never seen a Wes Anderson film, I suggest that you begin with 'The Royal Tenenbaums'.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Han Always Shoots First!

Four Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again (Via Josh)

If this made no sense to you, I have no words... Go watch the Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI now! 

While we're on the subject, I was reminded of this piece of YouTube awesomeness. Enjoy!

Editing and Narrative

Friday, September 06, 2013

YouTube - The Future of TV?

David Gauntlett argues that:

Web 1.0 - The Media where like Gods distributing content to the people.
Web 2.0 - Users produce content and distribute it on social networks to other users to view.

Baudrillard's, Strinati's and McDougall's ideas of postmodernism fit into the idea of Web 1.0. The "Media is Reality" (McDougall), Media Saturated Society (Strinati) and "Hyperreality"(Baudrillard). But Web 2.0 is a push back against this idea of the media's control; individuals create content and thereby reclaim the meaning. YouTube fits firmly in the Web 2.0 category.

This BBC documentary by "The Culture Show" explores the idea of users generating content, the audience and the future of YouTube.

 Click here to watch YouTube - The Future of TV?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

'Every Movie Poster that Saul Bass Ever Made'

For those of you who have chosen the short film brief. Here is an excellent place to start your analysis of film posters.

Saul Bass was one of the greatest designers of both title sequences and film posters. Here you can view all of his posters, including 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', 'Vertigo', 'The Shining' and 'Schindler's List'.

Remember in your analysis of print media to consider all aspects of the composition:
  • Images*
  • Fonts*
  • Language*
  • Colour*
  • Layout^
*Don't forget that your understanding of semiotics should inform/be part of your analysis
^This includes the narrative structure of the poster. Yes! Print Media has a narrative structure.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Catherine Cronin - 'Creating spaces for student voices'

Having connected my students with Catherine Cronin to discuss ideas around digital identity, she asked my students to return the favour and share their ideas about learning in my classroom. They commented on the way they have a voice in the Media Studies classroom. They also discussed the openness of our learning environment and their relationship with me as their 'co-learner', rather than 'teacher'. 

Their comments were included in a presentation that Catherine was giving at #ICTEdu. She wrote up a reflection on the event here, including slides and some feedback on the comments made by my students. 

It was a pleasure to be part of this; I know that my students enjoyed reflecting and sharing their thoughts about the way they learn. Student voice is massively important and I hope that my next group of A2 students will walk away feeling that they had a similar experience. 

Catherine Cronin - Enacting Digital Identity

Posting this for future use with my A2 Media Studies class...

Catherine Cronin on 'Enacting Digital Identity'. Her post includes a useful set of slides including some very pertinent ideas/quotations about digital identity. There are also some very useful links to related articles at the bottom of the post. 

Go check 'em out!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

A Postmodern Case Study into Arrested Development

Arrested Development a short lived American sitcom on Fox, lasting for only 3 seasons, until it was picked up by Netflix for a 4 season; collected a cult following due to its postmodern style of television.  It was, and still is, a ground breaking television show that uses: Intertextuality, Self-Reference, Hybridisation and Bricolage to create cross episode and season narratives, with a firm foundation in the Postmodern arena.

Here are some interesting articles about Arrested Development and Postmoderism.

There’s Always Money In The Banana Stand: A Genre Analysis of Arrested Development

Why Tobias Is the Best ‘Arrested Development’ Character

Top 10 'Arrested Development' Running Gags

Postmodernism in Arrested Development

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rolling Stone's Boston Bomber Cover Is Brilliant

Interesting take on the 'Boston Bomber - Rolling Stone' cover. Draws attention to the intelligence, exploitation and hypocrisy that co-exist in 'The Media'.

cc. @slate

The Pixar Theory

I know I shared this with most of you in class, but I am adding it here for posterity. Be sure to check back in to see how the theory has continued to evolve.

cc. @JonNegroni

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Postmodernism: Design in a Nutshell

Found this a bit too late for the class of 2013 but adding it here for use with the class of 2014.

Postmodernism in a nut shell, part of a series of short videos made by the Open University. This one on Modernism is useful too. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

How do you know?

Another take on some POMO ideas.

The Matrix defence:
News article

Philosophy Now


Sunday, June 02, 2013

[A2] The End is Nigh!

So the journey is almost over. Here be some links, videos and tidbits of advice as you finish preparing yourself for your 'critical perspectives' exam...


Where to begin? This video gives a clear overview of the exam structure, in particular what you need to focus on in Q1a and Q1b:

1a (Looking inwardly)

1b (Applying theory)
And in response to Josh's tweet, if Media Language comes up focus on that theory: semiotics, mediation, camera, editing, sound, mise-en-scene. Do not get tripped up and discuss post-structuralism or postmodernism. Focus on how you used your knowledge of media language to 'mediate' and 'construct' your media text.


#POMO or WTF!?

Don't forget that *postmodernism* is a cultural concept and *postmodern media* refers specifically to media texts.

To offer a full, detailed, conceptual response you must show how other areas of theory are directly connected to postmodern media, including: 'structuralism', 'post-structuralism', 'genre theory' and 'audience theories'.

And it is also an era, and a response...

Baudrillard (as if you need this!?)

And the best answers will make cogent links between historical examples like 'The Matrix' and present/future examples like 'Digital Identity'.

Finally, the chief examiner on answering the #POMO question.


Well done to those of you who emailed me essays or essay plans. Remember, I am here and here, if you need me. And good luck!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

404: Page Not Found

Amber Stubbings is an ex-student. She graduated from CCC in 2010. She went on to study 'TV Production' at Southampton Solent University, and is about to graduate. She emailed me with a link to her final project, a short film titled: '404: Page Not Found'. The concept is excellent and is neatly postmodern.

Working as part of a production team, Amber has excelled in her skill development. In this project she worked on 'Art Direction', a very important feature of such a stylised production.

You can watch the Trailer and the entire film below. I am super impressed with Amber's work. This is what you could be producing in a few years time, should you choose to follow a similar career path.

404: Page Not Found (Trailer)

404: Page Not Found (Short Film)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

[A2] Postmodernism - A Brief Review

A clear and succinct overview of the 'theory' of post modernism (and postmodern media) including key ideas, Lyotard, Baudrillard and remixing (via. Hollyfield Media)

Visit Hollyfield Media's YouTube page to find more videos on media theories, including semiotics, structuralism and Marxism.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

[AS] Final Tips and Good Luck!

As you wind up your revision be sure to remind yourself of the chief examiner's advice in these two previously shared posts:

Also, don't forget to use your revision booklets.

And remember! If you don't know it by 6PM tonight you will not know it at 9AM tomorrow. Get a good night's rest and don't forget to bring a bottle of water with you to the exam.

You are in the hall tomorrow. You should be out in the quad ready to go at 9:10AM.

Good luck!

Mr. Michie & Mr. Ford.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Learning in Media @ CCC

After skyping into our classroom, Catherine Cronin asked us to create some artefacts to document how and why learning in Media @ CCC is different to other subjects. What follows are videos and images created and edited by A2 Media Students reflecting on the '3 tenets' that I have tried to foster in their learning:
"Openness ~ Social Media ~ Student Voice/Choice" - Catherine Cronin
This is very much a reflection of the value I place on Independent Learning. The 'leashes' have to come off!

Introduction to Learning in Media @ CCC

Josh on being able to make mistakes:

Alice on equality between learner and teacher:

Alice on using 'social media' to learn and progress:

Danielle on 'openness' and 'student voice':

Lucy on death by PowerPoint:

Hannah on being an independent learner and 'choice':

Friday, April 26, 2013

Digital Identity Resources (vis @catherinecronin)

Here are the links from Cathrine's presentation on Digital Identity that I think will be most helpful in terms of postmodernism.

Social network sites as networked publics (2010) by danah boyd (@zephoria)

Digital identities: Six key selves of networked publics (2012) by Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart)

Digital dualism and the fallacy of web objectivity (2012) by Nathan Jurgenson (@nathanjurgenson)

The IRL Fetish (2012) by Nathan Jurgenson (@nathanjurgenson)

You are not your name and photo: A call to reimagine identity (2011), Wired article by Tim Carmody (@tcarmody)

We, our digital selves, and us – YouTube video (2012) by Alan Levine (@cogdog)

Please read and make notes!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Media in Minutes

Not all of the videos in the playlist are relevant and some are name differently to the terms we use e.g. The Reinforcement Theory is also known as Selective Exposure / Selective Perception.

PLEASE NOTE: These videos are just introductions to theories and not an exhausted list. Further research is needed to gain a greater understanding.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reading and annotating an article [Screencast]

After today's revelation, that some of you are not actively reading and annotating articles as part of your preparation for the Audiences and Institutions section of the exam, I decided to create a screencast to show you how I expect you to read and annotate an article. It's a bit rough and ready but it does the job!

Link to the original article:

Where to look for articles about the Magazine Industry...

To help you get to grips with reading around the topic of the magazine industry, I thought it would be helpful to share a few websites that you can trust (to an extent).

MediaMagazine - Remember to ask me for the username and password.

Guardian Newspaper (Media Section)

Independent Newspaper (Media Section)

The Association of Magazine Media

The Economist



Please remember that even sites like these are open to bias and should be handled critically.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Keep up with your case studies!

You must remember that the Audiences and Institutions unit is a case study and as such is an active, evolving topic. With that in mind, you need to keep up with events.

Playstation Magazine which I gave out as a case study has since shut down. This follows the closure of Nintendo Power, a long running Nintendo-related magazine. Both magazines were published by Future US, Inc.

A quick glance at Future's website suggests that they are concentrating their energies in the digital market, significantly updating GamesRadar, as well as launching a new weekly interactive digital tech magazine.

While I was looking through related articles I also came across this article about the fact that Newsweek is going 100% digital.

You have got to keep researching and reading. This topic is alive, kicking and is never not interesting. There is always something to learn!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Catherine Cronin on Digital Identities at #pelc13

Hey, Josh, Hannah, Alice, Lucy, Danni and Alice, this one's for you...

While some of her presentation will be directed towards educators, just glancing at the slides, I can see there will be something for the six of you to take away about digital identity in our postmodern age, not least slide 13 <-- go check it out!

So, I know you all have awesomely exciting lives, but perhaps on this rainy day you can spare a little time to watch the live stream at 12:00 (BST) and listen to what @catherinecronin has to say about digital identities.

*The link to click on is GILL GRAGIE CINEMA (ALL KEYNOTES) - Day 2. Sign up and follow instructions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

G322: Audiences and Institutions - Awesome Revision Booklet

Need help revising for the Audiences and Institutions section of your AS Media exam? Then look no further.

Download this awesome revision guide, courtesy of Mr. Ford.

It includes a detailed glossary of key terms, an example case study, advice on how to revise and how to approach the exam.

G322: TV Drama - Awesome Revision Booklet

Need help revising for the TV Drama section of your AS Media exam? Then look no further.

Download this awesome revision guide, courtesy of Mr. Ford.

It includes a detailed glossary of key terms, links to example clips, advice on how to revise and how to approach the exam.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Thinking through audiences and institutions...

Successfully responding to the audience and institutions section of the exam is about being able to link your case studies to the theory. This needs to be thought through. Here's an example...
NME is one of the longest running music magazines. It has expanded horizontally (Melody Maker merged with NME in 2000) as well as diagonally multiple times: 
  • (1996)
  • (2011) - replacing the defunct TV channel
  • NME TV (2007 - 2010)
  • NME Radio (2008)
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) 
Each of these expansions can be seen to be in response to a number of factors including consumer demand for converged content, and the desire to turn NME (the weekly indie-music magazine) into a recognised Brand at the heart of the British music industry. 
Moreover, each of these expansions have caused changes in both production and exchange. 
Production has evolved moving from a concentration on written content even into the launch of but that soon changed as web technologies improved. With the move to high speed broadband connections  NME has sought to make the most of streaming audio and video online through their websites. Moreover, they have launched several apps that do the same. This suggests that they have recognised the power of these mediums. As such, NME as a production company has grown to include a diverse mixture of roles beyond the traditional journalists. Moreover, the magazine itself has become integral to promoting the online arm of the brand through intertextual referencing to the website and apps on every single page.  
Exchange has also certainly been effected. In their efforts to meet consumer demand they have developed a more direct relationship with their target audience. Events such as a Nirvana Nevermind Listening Party (2011) organised through Twitter shows how the company is seeking to leverage social media to keep readers engaged in the NME brand. In part due to the success of this event the magazine has continued to produce content related to classic albums including self-produced documentaries...
This is unstructured and would need to be presented more eloquently in your essay, but what I am trying to show you is how you need to be thinking this through... you have to connect the theory: expansion, convergence, social media etc, with the case studies, in this case NME.

You should be able to do this for three magazines to support different arguments within your essay.

I'm posting this because I care!

Part of me does not want to post this as it will only contribute to perpetuating dependency... but I guess some of you are not ready to think for yourselves. However, I only want to see you do well, so if this helps you take the next step...

Your current essay question is asking you what factors have affected institutions within the magazine industry and what decisions have they made in response to those factors that have affected the processes of 'production' and 'exchange'?
Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts.
What are those factors you ask? And my knee-jerk response would be seriously!? But alas... those factors are:

  • Expansion (particularly diagonal expansion)
  • Which is arguably a response to the continued growth and impact of multi-media convergence.
  • Which has grown significantly because of the WWW
  • Which has also seen the growth of social media

So in other words how have the above areas affected the magazine industry and how have magazine institutions responded to them? And specifically how have they impacted on the way magazines are produced and how have they impacted on the point of exchange?

Now, the next bit you have to do for yourselves. I am not going to do it for you. Your essay structure is there in the bullet points. You need to develop each of those points with 'secondary' and 'primary' (3 magazines and their owners) evidence that you explore and discuss.

*This is the last time I will help you in this way... The problem I fear for a number of you is that you simply do not know the content well enough. You need to read, digest, discuss and then read some more. If you were more confident with the content and the concepts you might not find putting the essay together such a struggle. Please think about that.

Mr. M.

Did you know 4.0

Monday, April 08, 2013

Eternal moonwalk #meme #FTW!

Eternal Moonwalk is a never ending moonwalk made up of user-submitted videos. It's an awesome #meme, a great example of the power of the viral web and is also exceptionally #pomo! 

*You can hit the buttons below the video for some added MJ sound effects!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A2 Easter Homework

Respond to the following #pomo question

  • Explain why the idea of ‘postmodern media’ might be considered controversial

Delve into the resources related to Q1a and Q1b.

Work on your evaluation.

You know where I am if you need me! :-)

AS Easter Homework

Please respond to the following exam question:

Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts.

Additional resources:

Mind Map

Pete Fraser (Chief Examiner) Advice

Friday, March 22, 2013

A2: G324 Evaluation & G325 1a / 1b

What follows is info and links to support you in writing your coursework evaluation and beginning your preparation for Section A of the exam.

G324: Advanced Portfolio in Media (Evaluation)

Your evaluation requires you to respond to the following questions:
  1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  2. How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?
  3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?
  4. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
This is to be presented electronically in one of the following forms:
  • a presentation using slideshow software such as PowerPoint
  • a blog or website
  • a podcast
  • a DVD with 'extras'
You may have noticed that there are less questions compared with your AS evaluation. However, the expected response to each of these questions should demonstrate a far more technical and detailed approach.

Useful Links:

G325: Critical Perspectives in Media (1a / 1b)

Moreover, this is not your only chance to evaluate your coursework. You will also have a synoptic evaluation of your coursework in your final exam. This will be in essay format responding to two questions. You should spend 30 minutes on each one.

1a - You will be required to describe and evaluate your technical skills over the course of your production work, from Foundation Portfolio to Advanced Portfolio. The focus is for you to reflect on and evaluate the way your skills have developed. You will be required to adapt your response to two of the following production practices:
  • Digital Technology
  • Creativity
  • Research and Planning
  • Post-production
  • Using conventions from real media texts

1b - You will be required to select one production and evaluate it in relation to a media concept. The list of concepts are as follows:
  • Genre
  • Narrative
  • Representation
  • Audience
  • Media Language
Useful Links:

Media Theory presentations 1, 2 and 3

Media Language - Huge Resource

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Saturday, March 02, 2013

AS: A&I Essay Planning

One of your peers emailed me unsure of how to get started with the Audiences and Institutions essay. If this particular student has questions, then I am sure that the rest of you do. So here is a copy of my reply:


Have you used the mind map to plan the structure of your essay? My first question if I was doing this essay is which parts of the mind map are going to go into my essay.

So, read the question. What are the possible answers?

Well, some magazines have fully embraced the use of 'converged media'. Some have had to in order to keep up with audience needs and changing tech. Some have not.

Therefore, my arguments are:
  • Argument 1: Yes, media convergence is important. 
  • Argument 2: In fact it is now integral to success for some parts of the magazine industry. 
  • Argument 3: But there are some magazines that do not yet need to adapt 
Now I have a plan I need to use my mind map to flesh this out.

Arg 1: Convergence
  • Pg 1. What is it? Why is it important? What case study can I use to illustrate that? 
  • Pg 2. Can I build on that? Is there another case study? Another quotation? 
Arg 2. Some mags have no choice? 
  • Pg. 3: Audience expectations - location, time, multi-media content... quotation? case study? 
  • Pg. 4: Keeping up with the competition. Quotation? Case study? 
Arg 3: Not important. 
  • Pg. 5: People's Friend - importance of knowing your TA 
Now, surrounding this I need an intro and a conclusion. 

Intro: In a few sentences set out the arguments. Don't mention any specific case studies. Keep it general.

Conclusion: What is your opinion? What does the future for the industry hold in relation to technological convergence? Hypothesise.

I hope this helps?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Audiences & Institutions: The Magazine Industry [Mind Map]

Here is a PDF of the mind map (as far as w got in the lesson). Your HOMEWORK is to complete the mind map adding more info to the various sections; in particular: Challenges, NMT and Synergy. 

I have added a few extra bits of info already so do look at the document carefully. I really want to see you add features from your case studies and also quotations from your wider reading on the topic. 

You need to be prepared to share and feedback what you have added in our first lesson after half term.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Magazine Industry Research

While we work through presentations, I want you to develop your understanding of the key issues through 'secondary' research.

Investigate and make notes on...

Magazine Industry
  • How is it changing/evolving?
  • What does the future hold?
Audience and Institutions
  • How do audiences benefit from changes in the magazine industry?
  • What challenges are magazines (and publishers) facing?
New Media Technologies
  • How are NMTs impacting on the Magazine Industry?

Further to this, you need to find and analyse an article that comments on the current or potential future state of the Magazine Industry.

Investigate and analyse the article:
  • Source?
  • Who write it?
  • What is the line of argument?
  • Key quote? - This needs to be carefully critiqued.
  • How does it link to the wider concepts in the unit and your case study?

Next, in groups of 4/5, share your articles making notes. This will give you a range of opinion on the topic.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

AS/A2 Snow Day Work!

School is closed on Monday 21st January.

Please work on the following tasks...

Year 12

1. Continue working on your research/prep for your Magazine Industry presentations.

2. Take the opportunity to update your coursework blog.

Year 13

1. Read this article about the Coen Brothers: Coughlin, P., 2003, Joel and Ethan Coen, Senses of Cinema, Issue 26:

2. Take the opportunity to update your coursework blog.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learn Adobe Premiere Pro

For those of you embarking on your first video-based editing project and for those of you who need a refresher, Adobe have put together a useful set of video's to help you learn to use Adobe Premiere Pro.