Question 1• Question 1a • Question 1b• Requires an evaluation of skills • Requires a selection of one media developed over the time of product and an evaluation in production, must show relation to a media concepts. progression and must relate to the • These media concepts will be: specific production practices Audience, Representation, detailed in the question. Genre, Media Language,• These production practices will be: Narrative. Digital Technology, Creativity, • While exploring these aspects you Research and Planning, Post- must relate them to how they Production and Using effected decision making. conventions from real media texts.
Question 1a• The answer is 25 marks, split into three sections:Explanation, Analysis and Argument (10)Use of examples (10)Use of terminology (5)• The answer must show clear progression from start to finish and how these productions were informed by these issues. The analysis must be articulate reflections on the use of this particular process in relation to more than one media text.• Intro outlines what I will assess in my essay and state how the topic contributed to decision making of the group.• Plan• Detail the change between one state of knowledge to another e.g. from basic editing in iMovie to full use of Edius, basic camera to HDV Camera, Using Youtube to research and from basic Photoshop use to extended capabilities.• Use examples from outside of the A-Level course.
Question 1a• What production activities have you done? This should include both the main task and preliminary task from AS and the main and ancillaries at A2 plus any non-assessed activities you have done as practice, and additionally anything you have done outside the course which you might want to refer to, such as films made for other courses or skateboard videos made with your mates if you think you can make them relevant to your answer.• Music magazine GCSE -> A Level• School magazine -> Music Magazine -> Ancillary Task• Basic home videos -> GCSE -> A-Level films• Planning for GCSE -> Planning for A-level• What digital technology have you used? This should not be too hard- include hardware (cameras, phones for pictures/audio, computers and anything else you used) software (on your computer) and online programs, such as blogger, youtube etc.• Basic digital camera -> DSLR• Camera Phones -> GCSE -> HDV Camera• iMovie -> Edius 4• Photoshop -> Illustrator and Photoshop• No blogging -> Wordpress• Sundance DVD ->Youtube -> BBC film network• In what ways can the work you have done be described as creative? Use examples of your media text which demonstrates how it was informed by other products and personal ideas or ideas of the group.• Bob dylan screen test -> Dylan shot• Six Feet Under -> Fade to white• Spaghetti Western -> confrontation scene, contrapuntal music.• True Blood -> flashback, soft focus, slowed down, disjointed sound.
• What different forms of research did you do? Again you will need to include a variety of examples- institutional research (such as on how titles work in film openings), audience research (before you made your products and after you finished for feedback), research into conventions of media texts (layout, fonts, camera shots, soundtracks, everything!) and finally logistical research- recce shots of your locations, research into costume, actors, etc.• GCSE storyboarding -> A-Level• Sundance Festival DVD -> Youtube -> BBC Film Network• Genre Research• Audience feedback (written -> online)• Location shots -> Google Maps to see how functional they were• What conventions of real media did you need to know about? For this, it is worth making a list for each project you have worked on and categorising them by medium so that you don’t repeat yourself.• Film• Music Magazine• School Magazine• CD Cover informed Music Magazine• What do you understand by ‘post-production’ in your work? This one, I’ll answer for you- for the purpose of this exam, it is defined as everything after planning and shooting or live recording. In other words, the stage of your work where you manipulated your raw material on the computer, maybe using Photoshop, a video editing program or desktop publishing.
Key examples for from film• The chair shot- shows loneliness, absence, occupation, memory.• Alcoholism- vulnerability, pain, anguish.• Pictures- memory, reflection, regret.• Diagnosis- sets a limit for the frame of the narrative, urgency and loss of time become themes.• Ballet- innocence, childhood, femininity• Shirt and tie- dominance, experience, work.• Camera angles in fight- handheld low down shot.• The van- nomadic lifestyle• Music- discussion between father and son is like a stand off, partly inspired by the music of Ennio Morricone and how confrontation is represented by music. Contrapuntal sound.• The idea of memory is shown through the use of filters, slowed down time and soft focus.• Fades to white instead of black, taken from Six Feet Under by Alan Ball, use the last transition to demonstrate death rather than life.
Question 1b• The answer is 25 marks, split into three sections:Explanation, Analysis and Argument (10)Use of examples (10)Use of terminology (5)• There must be evidence of a clear understanding of the approaches, not only in relation to your text but also contemporary media texts and how these informed your text in particular. There has to be emphasis on decisions made in respect to these ideas.• Plan• Detail the use of theory and how it applies to production.
• Representation: If the topic is representation, then your task is to look at how those representations work in your video. You could apply some of the ideas used in the AS TV Drama exam here. Discuss how your text forms constructions of characters and how they reference certain issues. Most likely talk about representations of age and how those apply (or contrast) in your film. Talk about The Male Gaze, Binary Opposition and Role models.• Genre: Reference it to my music magazine at AS level, an analysis of the magazine would need to set it in relation to the forms and conventions shown in such magazines, particularly for specific types of music. For film assess how I looked at the genre of drama possibly tragedy and assessed this through characters plot, music. Even how I acted contrary to genre with inclusions of other genres. Talk about how genre is not solid and how it is adaptable, such as multi genres to accommodate for a wider audience.• Narrative: Narrative would be a godsend, talk about Todorov’s narrative functions of Equilibrium, Disequilibrium and Resolution and state how we have not only subverted these ideas but addressed them. Furthermore use the work of Vladimir Propp and his 31 narrative functions, then with relation to our film talk about linear and non linear narratives and how they shape meaning. How our non linear narrative in flashbacks uses Barthes Proairetic Code to reveal elements of character and plot to the audience, especially concerning the protagonist.• Audience: Every media product has to have an audience, otherwise in both a business sense and probably an artistic sense too it would be judged a failure. In your projects, you will undoubtedly have been looking at the idea of a target audience- who you are aiming it at and why; you should also have taken feedback from a real audience in some way at the end of the project for your digital evaluation, which involves finding out how the audience really ‘read’ what you had made. Talk here about reception theory, how a piece gains validity through reception but also a viewing of a text may differ due to personal and cultural differences and how creators of media engineer their products for a certain reception. Involves 3 different readings, Hegemonic (where the opinion is dominant and is accepted due to the code being ‘natural’), Negotiated (where generally the text is accepted but is sometimes rejected due to beliefs – involves contradictions) and Oppositional (where a text is fully resisted due to prior commitments of beliefs). Uses and gratifications theory states how audiences are made up of individuals who actively consumed texts for different reasons and in different ways. Such as Diversion, Personal Relationships, Personal Identity and Surveillance. Also talk about Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy Of Needs.• Media Language: For moving image, the language of film and television is defined by how camera, editing, sound and mise-en-scene create meaning. Likewise an analysis of print work would involve looking at how fonts, layout, combinations of text and image as well as the actual words chosen creates meaning. This is a semiotics argument how a sign is created through is cultural encoding. Talk about how meaning is received by an audience and how the media then ‘talks the language’ of the viewer. Roland Barthes’ work illustrated how, for example, a picture of a full, dark bottle of wine is a signifier that relates to a specific signified: a fermented, alcoholic beverage. However, the bourgeoisie relate it to a new signified: the idea of healthy, robust, relaxing experience. This is cultural signification or as Barthes calls it, cultural ‘myth’.
Key theory• Todorov’s narrative: the equilibrium, disequilibrium, resolution.• Hypodermic syringe model: suggests information is absorbed into the brain without thought and that we are vulnerable to absorbing dominant ideologies as our own through the will of media producers.• Two-step flow theory: criticism of the hypodermic syringe model. Says how content of a media is not ‘absorbed’ directly, but suggest that a social class or demographic get their interpretation of the media through a representative of that class, known as an opinion leader.• Proairetic & Hermeneurtic codes: the two ways of creating suspense in narrative, the first caused by unanswered questions, the second by the anticipation of an actions resolution.• Barthes 5 codes: as well as the Proairetic code and Hermeneutic code we have the Semantic code which refers to connotation within the story that gives additional meaning over the basic denotative meaning of the word. The Symbolic Code which acts at a wider level, organizing semantic meanings into broader and deeper sets of meaning. And the Cultural Code which is anything that is founded on some kind of canonical works that cannot be challenged and is assumed to be a foundation for truth.• Laura Mulvey ‘male gaze’: ‘gaze’ refers to how the audience views characters, this is based on feminist theory which asks 3 questions. How men look at women? How women look at themselves? How women look at other women? Mulvey argues that audiences have to view characters from the perspective of a heterosexual male. Women are presented in context to a males reaction, objectified and they view the narrative secondarily by identification of the male.• Binary opposites: the way we understand certain words depends not so much on any meaning they themselves directly contain, but much more by our understanding of the difference between the word and its opposite or, as they called it binary opposite.• Semiotics: The study of signs and signs systems.• Uses and gratifications theory: States how audiences then were made up of individuals who actively consumed texts for different reasons and in different ways. Such as Diversion, Personal Relationships, Personal Identity and Surveillance.
Key theory (cont)• Reception theory: Producers are able to engineer their products to position audiences to accept the preferred reading of a text. However, people are all different and have different sets of ideals, beliefs and values (ideology), which can create oppositional or negotiated readings.• Genre theory: how a text can be classified by key codes or elements, these become ingrained ‘conventions’ when repeated in similar texts. Genres are never fixed, they are constantly changing and adapting to audiences tastes, reflecting changes to society and driven by profitability• Web 2.0: the internet viewed as a medium in which interactive experience, in the form of blogs, wikis, forums, etc, plays a more important role than simply accessing information.• Hegemonic theory: demonstrates the ideology or view of an organisation showing it to be the most referenced and believed. In terms of news hegemony, most people will tend to trust and believe the news of the BBC when comparing it to other sources because of their firm ideological commitments. However when Web 2.0 comes to contrast this hegemony then we are presented with an interesting situation of citizen journalism.• Soviet montage: Eisensteins generally accepted view that "montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent thoughts" wherein "each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other“. Originates in the "collision" between different shots in an illustration of the idea of thesis and antithesis. Frequently breaks 180 degree rule.• Homage: is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by the use of semiotics.• Mise en scene: refers to almost everything that goes into the composition of the shot, including the composition itself: framing, movement of the camera and characters, lighting, set design and general visual environment, even sound.• Moral panic: coined by Cohen, S, how media was often seen as the trigger for a decline in moral standards in society.• WeMedia: the idea that dominant ideologies can change over time, moving away from heritage and tradition if enough audiences/groups enforce their own discourse.• Bobo dolls: Shows how influence and imitation can be carried out by role model figures, an example of the effects debate.
Question 2: Contemporary Media RegulationExam board success criteria:• “Adapting their learning to the chosen question, making some connections in order to present a coherent argument, utilising well chosen examples and dealing with relevant media policy. The BBFC and PCC are well handled, contrasting ‘case studies’ and the candidate is able to contextualise both – historically (e.g. the BBFC’s adapting of the discrimination criteria”.• “For a higher mark, this script would been enhanced by a more explicit engagement with media theory relating to audiences, effects, notions of protection and responsibility” Talk about reception theory, role models, gratifications, hypodermic syringe, etc.• For higher marks candidates need to discuss regulation in contrast with previous practices and also need to discuss wider social issues which are raised by the notion of media regulation, this should be explored through theory.Suggested structure:• Intro, talking about areas which you will discuss e.g. PCC and BBFC, also how they have been effected by social and cultural change.• Talk about the future and past of regulation especially the rise of online news and how it comes to undermine laws that print media has to abide.• How to regulate the web?Points:• PCC, its failures (examples), the Leveson inquiry (examples) and future• BBFC, its successes (examples), failures (examples) and future• Online vs PCC (examples)• Online vs BBFC (examples)• Media and power• Media and ownership• Corruption in media (police, government interference)
Case study for Q2• PCC, Press & Leveson Inquiry:• Talk about the nature of post-publication as whether a newspaper apologises or not.• Mail on Sunday printed information about J.K Rowlings home address when it was already online to see, showing how the internet contravenes written law.• John Terry who took out a legal injunction to stop newspapers printing an article about his adultery but the courts believed it was in the public’s best interest for the story to be released.• Scottish newspaper Sunday Herald revealed the identity of Ryan Giggs as it abides different national laws.• Jan Moir wrote a fairly distasteful article about Stephen Gately shortly after his death the PCC received more than 20,000 complaints although nothing was done as the PCC does not cover taste issues.• Tony Blair “With any of these big media groups you fall out with them and you watch out”.• John Major admitted how Rupert Murdoch had attempted to influence a change in his European policy while he was PM, when resisted we could interpret Major’s loss in the next election to loss of press support. “He wished me to change our European policies. If we couldn’t change our European policies his papers could not and would not support the Conservative government“.• Details of a stalking case featuring Bryan Adams managed to make it into the press possibly through corruption of the police.• Correspondence between David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks via texta and also the appointment of her husband Andy Coulson as his communications director.• BBFC & Film:• Classification of The Dark Knight where MP’s criticised a 12A certificate.• Platoon which was given a 15 classification due to it not glorifying the violence and atrocity of war.• Adrian Gill – Criticises the BBFC stating that we either don’t need regulation or that the BBFC are ineffective.• The 13th issue of regulation ‘discrimination’, shows that the BBFC are adapting to a wider social change.• In 1994 the Video Recordings Act adapted to include the ‘Harm Test’ after it was said that the murderers of Jamie Bulger in 1993 watched a horror film (Childs Play 3) and ‘copied’ parts. Effects debate & Bobo Dolls Bandura• Success of the BBFC is surely highlighted by the extension of their responsibilities to games classification.• The introduction of the 12A in 2002 was a very effective move by the BBFC who received complaints when ‘Spiderman’ (2002, Sam Raimi), a children’s comic, received a 12certificate they decided to introduce the 12A certificate allowing children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult.• Online:• Deaths and violent material are shown online whereas it is forbidden everywhere else, contravenes not only law but cultural acceptance.• The rise of social networking sites and blogs mean the people no longer need the press, nor do they themselves need regulating. Views can be spread over Twitter e.g. John Terry, Patrice Muamba, Ryan Giggs.• Online video’s are easily accessible and no body can effectively regulate who watches these when online due to its open format.• The naming on Twitter of the victim in the Ched Evans rape case of a Sheffield United footballer.
Example essay• http://www.scribd.com/doc/50894846/G32 5-Sect-B-Contemporary-Media- Regulation-Jun-10
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