AS Media Studies
G321 : Foundation Portfolio
What is the point of this unit?
The purpose of this unit is firstly to assess candidates’ ability to plan and construct
media products using appropriate technical and creative skills (AO3); secondly to
assess candidates’ application of knowledge and understanding in evaluating their
own work, showing how meanings and responses are created (AO2); and finally to
assess candidates’ ability to undertake, apply and present appropriate research
(AO4). The unit requires candidates to engage with contemporary media
technologies, giving them the opportunity for development of skills in these
This is a coursework unit, internally assessed and externally moderated.
Candidates produce a media artefact in response to briefs set by OCR plus some
appropriate evidence of research and planning. The task provides progression from
a pre-production, preliminary exercise to a more fully realised piece in the same
medium. This offers the opportunity for skills development to be assessed, as well as
a final finished piece.
Research and Planning
Completed First Draft of Main Task
Presentation of Work
You will use a blog to present your work. You should choose an easily memorable
username and password and sign up to blogger at blogspot.com.
Your Coursework : Video
Preliminary exercise :
Continuity task involving 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.
The titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes.
All video and audio material must be original, produced by the candidate(s), with the
exception of music or audio effects from a copyright-free source. Both preliminary
and main tasks may be done individually or as a group. Maximum four members to
The Preliminary Task
You must complete a preliminary task in order to develop the necessary skills to
succeed in the Foundation Portfolio. For the preliminary task you will produce a
piece of footage which demonstrates a focus on continuity and demonstrating an
ability to produce certain shot types.
Research into Shots and Continuity
You will need to identify these shots and examples of continuity in order to full
appreciate and understand their impact, through different Media texts (film,
On your blog, you will identify and analyse the effect using specific examples,
embedding youtube clips and screen shots to support your analysis whilst using
Planning your Footage
You will need to create a series of materials to evidence the planning of the
preliminary task including;
Shooting the Footage
Can be carried out in groups of up to four people, or individually if you wish. Will
need to meet the criteria listed above for the preliminary task. Consider attributing a
particular genre to your footage as this will help to shape the shots you are using
toward achieving a particular effect i.e. crime genre – this could be an office
interrogating a criminal in an interview room. A genre will give the piece a sense of
Once you have completed the footage, you will need to produce an evaluation. The
following questions should be addressed with the preferred format being a vlog
(video blog) filmed evaluation.
How have you used media conventions in your preliminary task?
How have you used media language in your product? (what is the intended
effect of camera shots/angles, mise-en-scene, costume, prop etc...)
How does the footage appeal to an audience?
What skills have you developed through the preliminary task? (Analytical,
research, planning, production)
The Main Task – Research and Planning
Research and planning is worth 20% of your coursework grade. In order to attain the
top marks for this section, you need to show evidence of the following:
Planning and research evidence will be complete and detailed;
There is excellent research into similar products and a potential target
There is excellent organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props;
There is excellent work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or
There is an excellent level of care in the presentation of the research and
Time management is excellent.
You will need to conduct research into a target audience to find out who they are (the
demographic), what their interests are (the psychographic) and how to make your
product appealing to them. In order to do this you should:
Complete an initial questionnaire to find out who your target audience are for
your film (age, gender, interests, what they find interesting about the genre of
film you wish to focus on)
Use the internet to research films which share a similar target audience and
try to identify why and how they appeal to audiences;
Complete a focus group (film select audience members) to get feedback on
the initial ideas you have for your filming and the storyboards and drafts you
You must complete detailed summaries of each piece of audience research you do
and explain how this information will help you.
Using a website such as www.surveymonkey.com will help you to mass produce a
questionnaire and produce results rapidly for your initial questionnaire.
Research into Similar Products
You will need to analyse at least three other films from the genre you have selected.
You should focus on the titles and openings as this will be the final thing you will
need to replicate in your own project.
You should focus on:
Camerawork – shots, angles and movements. What has been used and
Mise-en-scene – props, costumes, settings etc...what has been used and
Mode of address – how does the product appeal to, and attract its
Genre – what genre characteristics are repeated in all of the examples you
have looked at?
Titles – fonts, colours; how have the titles been embedded and what (and
who) have been prioritised in those credits? What phrasing occurs?
Pitching your Film
Your pitch should summarise the key findings of your research into similar texts and
the target audience. Explain why your film opening will be successful in following
conventions and appealing to the target audience. Use this as a focus group
opportunity and record to thoughts of your audience, making amendments for the
Main Task – Construction
Your coursework is worth 60% of your total coursework mark. The criteria to achieve
to top marks for this aspect are as follows:
There is evidence of excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical
material appropriate for the target audience and task;
using titles appropriately according to institutional conventions;
using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
shooting material appropriate to the task set;, including controlled use of the
camera, attention to framing, variety of shot distance and close attention to
using editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer and making selective
and appropriate use of shot transitions and other effects.
It is imperative that you:
use a tripod;
use only original material;
retain unused footage to use later, and to update your blog with;
evidence your individual input.
Before you evaluate your final product, conduct one last interview with your target
audience, showing them your final product and filming their responses. Target
questions at them to see how far they believe you have produced a credible piece of
The evaluation is worth 20% of your final coursework mark. Your evaluation should
take the form of a blog entry but should not just be a written response. OCR like
interesting evaluations embedding a video of you verbally responding to questions,
adding a director’s commentary over parts of your finished product etc...will add
interest and therefore up your marks.
The following are compulsory questions:
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this
7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the
progression from that task to the full product?