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Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
Before you choose a genre
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Before you choose a genre

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  • 1. Before you choose a genre….
  • 2. You should….. • Read examiner reports • Watch loads of films in your genre – inc indie! Not just the obvious blockbusters • See what’s out there – youtube search! Search: -G321 -Film opening sequence or title sequence -AS media • Know what genre and subgenre you want to do……not just ‘horror’
  • 3. Examiner reports – June 13 Video There were several examples of highly proficient/excellent editing and more work is being done on creating an opening with some sense of enigma rather than trying to create a condensed narrative. There was still an over-reliance solely on actors’ names and film title to constitute film titles, showing a lack of understanding of the range of titles expected of a film opening and of their construction, appearance and timings. Candidates need to be encouraged to create their own soundscape rather than sourcing an existing well-known track, which is not permitted for this specification. There were some excellent examples of film openings where candidates had clearly worked hard to establish a sense of enigma and atmosphere. However, more often, candidates did not focus well on what the narrative was. Many film openings ended abruptly; candidates had put some thought into what they wanted to show in the opening sequence but not enough into how they would close the sequence. The combination of effective use of images and sound, titles and lighting worked extremely well in some of the better work. There were many examples of highly proficient editing and excellent camerawork, the outcome of work on skills development. However, in some cases there was little sense of control of the camera, with an over-reliance on zooms and shaky material without tripods. Mise en scene was often well chosen, but weaker candidates still tended to focus on the chase in the woods. Some submissions were very shortthe target should be as close to two minutes as possible; there is no penalty for being either over-length or significantly under, but candidates cannot expect to do themselves justice in a piece as short as one minute unless it contains immense complexity. Some openings contained far too much action- centres could advise candidates not to be over-ambitious in this regard. Titles were still often rather limited in terms of understanding of institutional conventions, and often featured non-existent job roles.
  • 4. Examiner reports – Jan 13 Video There were several examples of highly proficient/excellent editing and more work is being done on creating an opening with some sense of enigma rather than trying to create a condensed narrative. There was still an over-reliance solely on actors’ names and the film title itself to constitute all the titles in the film opening, showing a lack of understanding of the range of titles expected of a film opening and of their construction, appearance and timings. Candidates need to be encouraged to create their own soundscape rather than sourcing an existing well-known soundtrack or resorting to familiar sounds attached to IMovie. Some candidates who imported 3 non-diegetic MP3 files from Garageband into Final Cut Pro need to be careful not to compress files before sharing to ITunes; there were numerous examples of audio ‘popping/ticking’ sounds connected to this import error which can be easily rectified by un-ticking the box. There were some excellent examples of film openings where candidates had clearly worked hard to establish a sense of enigma and atmosphere. However, more often, candidates did not focus well on what the narrative was. Many film openings ended abruptly; candidates had put some thought into what they wanted to show in the opening sequence but not enough into how they would close the sequence. The combination of effective use of images and sound, titles and lighting worked extremely well in some of the better work. There were many examples of highly proficient editing and excellent camerawork, the outcome of work on skills development. However, in some cases there was little sense of control of the camera, with an over-reliance on zooms and shaky material without tripods. Mise en scene was often well chosen, but weaker candidates still tended to focus on the chase in the woods.
  • 5. June 12 Video There were some excellent examples of film openings where candidates had clearly worked hard to establish a sense of enigma and atmosphere. However, more often, candidates did not focus well on what the narrative was, although the convention may have been clear there wasn’t a clear idea about the story that was being told. Many film openings ended abruptly; candidates had put some thought into what they wanted to show in the opening sequence but not enough into how they would close the sequence. There were some very short submissions, often less than a minute in length; such work is unlikely to be developed sufficiently to score above level 2. At the other end of the scale, some openings lasted four or five minutes, which meant that they tended to lack focus and made many technical errors. This, and a tendency to tell too much of the story, demonstrated a lack of relevant research. The combination of effective use of images and sound, titles and lighting worked extremely well in some of the better work. There were many examples of highly proficient editing and excellent camerawork, the outcome of work on skills development. However, in some cases there was little sense of control of the camera, with an over-reliance on zooms and shaky material without tripods. Camerawork was often good, indeed excellent in some cases, but centres should encourage candidates to check a shot is in focus, the frame is filled and that lighting is consistent (and there’s enough light to see what is happening). The most popular genres were thrillers, horror and rom-com. The better centres allowed candidates freedom in their choice of genre and the process of pitching and selecting film ideas (with teacher input) was clearly present in the research and planning. Mise en scene was often well chosen, but weaker candidates still tended to focus on the chase in the woods or the school grounds, with the white masked stalker. Soundscapes have improved, with original sound to match original film in the best cases, but there were still relatively few candidates experimenting with foley or using any diegetic sound. Many centres chose to ignore sound altogether- though any film-maker will say it represents 50% of the production. Much attention is needed to this area, to move away from the view that only music is needed and that sound editing can be an afterthought. Titles remain an area of concern. Given that the task is ‘the titles and opening of a new feature’, a very high proportion of candidates showed no grasp of the institutional conventions of titles. This reflects an absence of research in this area. Production company idents were much more frequently seen, which was good, but in many cases this was the highlight of titling. Some candidates appeared to include titles either as an afterthought or as a formality without researching the conventional running order. Titles need to be integrated into the planning from the outset. Where this is done, candidates show a clear sense of design and tend to include the key production roles in an appropriate order. It was also very disheartening to see so many careless spelling errors in titles, particularly ‘staring’ actors; not only is this a typographical error, but films rarely, if at all, use ‘starring’ before an actor’s name.
  • 6. June 11 Construction There were a number of very strong submissions for both the video and print tasks. The best candidates demonstrated a good understanding of generic conventions from their study of real media texts, the ability to use artistic and creative flair to subvert or extend the conventions and high levels of technical competence. There was still some serious over-marking within this area with teachers pushing candidates too easily into level 4. The film opening was the most popular task, usually submitted as a group project. Key to the success of this project is a proper consideration of the function, purpose and conventions of titles; the best projects had taken care to look closely at titles in real film openings and learnt from them. A number of centres produced production company logos and idents which helped in the process of establishing an institutional context. Soundtracks at best featured layered sound, with foley work and attention to dialogue and atmosphere. Centres are reminded that audio should be original or be from a copyright-free source. Where candidates had considered the conventions of film openings rather than trying to tell too much of the story, the projects tended to work best. The stalk and slash narratives usually lacked careful planning and consideration of camera, editing and mise-en-scene. More creative productions thought carefully about the impact of sound and lighting and variety of shot types as a way to create enigma and atmosphere. Ideally, productions should be as close to two minutes as possible. Those which are considerably over-length usually do not meet the needs of the task. In a few cases, openings featured unacceptable language, given the context of an external assessment.
  • 7. Youtube examples Yikes! Wow! http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=vDmzKmB-tHE http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=24nQdBL8M3w http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=DUPnSe7-UEQ http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=HH0_lPscsD0&list=PL426 C4E4F7D73EE3A http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=AZJzLzpkgaU http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=YRO6WxATptM (good mark though) http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=vLsiGGF9DPc http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=TzefKbMKMF0 ok
  • 8. Others….. • All videos on media magazine http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/mm/prod_co mp/filmopenings_home.html • All videos on OCR website • http://ocrmediastudies.weebly.com/courseworkwith-levels.html • http://examplesofwork13.weebly.com/as.html

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