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As Media Course Handbook 2009 10

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  • 1. AS Media Studies Student Course Handbook Lecturer: Sam Norton-Taylor
  • 2. - CONTENTS - AS MEDIA STUDIES..................................................................3 Introduction................................................................................................................3 G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media......................................................................3 Tasks.......................................................................................................................3 Assessment..............................................................................................................4 Presentation of work...............................................................................................4 Link to the A2 exam................................................................................................5 G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media - Marking Criteria......................................6 G322: Key Media Concepts................................................................7 Section A: Textual Analysis & Representation......................................................7 Section B: Institutions and Audiences....................................................................8 SO, HOW DO YOU KEEP ON TRACK?.................................11 Priorities....................................................................................................................11 Attendance & Punctuality.......................................................................................11 Class work.................................................................................................................11 Homework................................................................................................................11 Overall.......................................................................................................................11 Useful resources.......................................................................................................12 Books.....................................................................................................................12 Newspaper / magazine / periodicals......................................................................12 Internet sites..........................................................................................................12 Course & Related Personnel...................................................................................12 Student Helpline.......................................................................................................13
  • 3. AS MEDIA STUDIES Introduction For AS Media Studies, you will take two units: G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media (Coursework). G322: Key Media Concepts (2 hour exam). G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media This unit is internally assessed, carrying 50% of the AS marks. Tasks 1) Preliminary Exercise (Video) 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 he / she then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot / reverse shot and the 180-degree rule. 2) Main Production (Video) 1. The titles and opening sequence of a new fiction film (thriller), to last a maximum of two minutes. 2. Evidence of Research & Planning. NB: The maximum number of students in a group is 4. All video content must be original, with the exception of music or audio effects from a copyright-free source. 3) Evaluation You will need to evaluate your production work, including your progression from the preliminary exercise to the main video production. 3
  • 4. Assessment This unit is marked out of a total of 100 marks: o 20 marks for the Planning and Research (main production). o 60 marks for Construction (main production). o 20 marks for the Evaluation (main production & progression from preliminary exercise). NB: Although the preliminary video exercise is not assessed for unit marking purposes, it must still be made available for moderation purposes. Any students not undertaking this task will be penalised by having 15 marks deducted from their Construction stage. Presentation of work Research & Development All the evidence for your group’s Research & Development needs to be collated in a paper clip file under the following section headings: Research Proposal ideas Script Development Miscellaneous Paperwork Once approved by your lecturer, the evidence then needs to be transferred to a blog, using the same headings. Video material Your group’s Preliminary Exercise and Thriller Sequence need to be presented on DVD, as well as being linked into your blog via YouTube. Evaluation This needs to be handed in to your lecturer on paper for assessment, and then transferred to the blog for OCR moderation. Use the following section heading: Evaluation OCR have stipulated 7 questions that need to be addressed in your Evaluation (and used as sub-headings in your blog): 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? 4
  • 5. 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? 4. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? 5. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? 6. Who would be the audience for your media product? 7. How did you attract/address your audience? NB: Your Evaluation must contain an element of audience feedback regarding your Thriller opening sequence. Final Portfolios You will need to keep a hard copies of all your group work and personal evaluations in a single clip file, prepared and submitted according to instructions from your lecturer. Link to the A2 exam  In the A2 G325 exam, you will be asked to describe and evaluate your skills development over the course of your production work from AS to A2. Questions will be posed using one or two of the following five categories: o Research and planning o Post-production o Using conventions from real media texts o Creativity o Digital technology  You will also be asked to identify one production and evaluate one production in relation to one theoretical concept from the list below: o Genre o Narrative o Representation o Audience o Media language So, bearing all this in mind, be very diligent in all aspects of your AS production work. 5
  • 6. G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media - Marking Criteria 1. Research & Planning (max 20 marks) OCR Level 4 criteria (16-20 marks) o Excellent research into similar products and a potential target audience. o Excellent work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding. o Excellent organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props. o Time management is excellent. o Excellent level of care in the presentation of the research and planning. 2. Construction (max 60 marks) OCR Level 4 criteria (48-60 marks) Excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills: o Holding a shot steady, where appropriate o Framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate o Using a variety of shot distances, as appropriate o Shooting material appropriate to the task set o Selecting mise-en-scène including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting o Editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer o Using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set o Using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set o Using titles appropriately 3. Evaluation (max 20 marks) OCR Level 4 criteria (16-20 marks) o Excellent understanding of issues around forms and conventions (Q1), representation (Q2), institution (Q3), audience (Q4-5) and technology (Q6) in relation to production. o Excellent ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes (Q1-6). o Excellent understanding of development from preliminary to full task (Q7). o Excellent ability to communicate. o Excellent skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation. 6
  • 7. Grading Scale 0-40 41-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-100 U E D C B A NB: You can achieve A* at A2 level (95-100), provided you have already attained 95+ at AS. G322: Key Media Concepts This in an exam unit, carrying 50% of the AS marks. G322 involves a 2 hour examination, in two sections. You are required to answer 1 question in each section, with each carrying 50 marks out of a total of 100 for the unit: Section A: Textual Analysis & Representation This section involves 1 compulsory question dealing with the textual analysis of a 4-5 minute TV drama clip. You will be asked to link this analysis with a discussion of some aspect of representation within the sequence. The clip could be taken from any one of a number of contemporary TV dramas. It is not necessary to have studied the history of the genre. You will have 30 minutes for viewing / note taking, plus 45 minutes for essay writing. In your essay, you will need to undertake a textual analysis of all the following technical areas: Camera Shots, Angle, Movement and Composition o Shots: establishing shot, master shot, close-up, mid-shot, long shot, wide shot, two-shot, aerial shot, point of view shot, over the shoulder shot, and variations of these. o Angle: high angle, low angle, canted angle. o Movement: pan, tilt, track, dolly, crane, steadicam, hand-held, zoom, reverse zoom. o Composition: framing, rule of thirds, depth of field – deep and shallow focus, focus pulls. Editing (Post production) Includes transition of image and sound – continuity and non-continuity systems. o Cutting: shot/reverse shot, eyeline match, graphic match, action match, jump cut, crosscutting, parallel editing, cutaway; insert. o Other transitions & pacing: dissolve, fade-in, fade-out, wipe, superimposition, long / short take, slow / fast motion, ellipsis and expansion of time, post-production visual effects. 7
  • 8. Sound o Diegetic and non-diegetic sound; synchronous/asynchronous sound; sound effects; sound motif, sound bridge, dialogue, voiceover, mode of address/direct address, sound mixing, sound perspective. o Soundtrack: score, incidental music, themes and stings, ambient sound. Mise-en-Scène o Production design: location, studio, set design, costume and make-up, properties. o Lighting & Colour design. You will need to discuss how each of these technical areas create particular representations of individuals / groups of people, places or events … and how they help to articulate specific messages and values that have social significance. Areas of representation that may be chosen in the exam are: Gender, Age, Ethnicity, Sexuality, Social class and status (eg occupation), Physical ability/disability and Regional identity. OCR Level 4 marking criteria (40-50 marks) Explanation / analysis / argument (16-20 marks) o Shows excellent understanding of the task o Excellent knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects used in the extract o Excellent discussion of the extract’s representations, clearly linked to textual analysis o Clearly relevant to set question Use of examples (16-20 marks) o Offers frequent textual analysis from the extract – award marks to reflect the range and appropriateness of examples o Offers a full range of examples from each technical area o Offers examples which are clearly relevant to the set question Use of terminology (8-10 marks) o Use of terminology is relevant and accurate Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Section B: Institutions and Audiences One compulsory question to be answered by students based upon a case study of a specific media industry (music), 45 mins. 8
  • 9. The student will be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well a the nature of audience consumption, and the relationship between audiences and institutions. You should become familiar with the following: 1. the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; 2. the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; 3. the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; 4. the significance of proliferation in hardware (ipods, mobiles) and content for institutions and audiences; 5. the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; 6. the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically British) by international and global institutions; 7. the ways in which the students own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. You will need to produce two case studies, one on a major record label (eg SONY BMG) and one on an UK independent record label. Each case study should cover the following points: Institutions o the issues raised by ownership patterns / trends in contemporary media practice o the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing Audiences o the issues raised in the targeting of national / local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions o the ways in which the Students’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. 9
  • 10. New technology o the impact of new technologies introduced in recent years (at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange) on institutions and audiences o the significance of the proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences o the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences Quality of written work The quality of written communication will be taken into account in assessing your work in externally assessed units. Students will therefore need to: o ensure that writing is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate so that meaning is clear o select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to purpose and to complex subject matter o organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate. OCR Level 4 marking criteria (40-50 marks) Explanation / analysis / argument (16-20 marks) o Shows excellent understanding of the task o Excellent knowledge and understanding of institutional / audience practices – factual knowledge is relevant and accurate o A clear and developed argument, substantiated by detailed reference to case study material o Clearly relevant to set question Use of examples (16-20 marks) o Offers frequent evidence from case study material – award marks to reflect the range and appropriateness of examples o Offers a full range of examples from case study and own experience o Offers examples which are clearly relevant to the set question Use of terminology (8-10 marks) o Use of terminology is relevant and accurate Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. 10
  • 11. So, how do you keep on track? Obviously, everyone at Harrow College wants you to get the best possible enjoyment and results from your studies, and sincerely hopes that all students will recognise the essential part that they have to play in achieving such results. The following points, therefore, need to be fully taken on board: Priorities You need to be dedicated to your studies, to prioritise your college commitments over other activities such as part-time jobs and holidays. Attendance & Punctuality You will be expected to attend every lesson and to be on time, every time. If you are unable to attend due to illness, you will be expected to contact the college absence hotline. As far as possible, visits to dentists and doctors etc should be organised outside of normal lesson times. Class work Be courteous. Expect the very best of yourself. Take comprehensive notes, under appropriate headings. Collate these notes systematically alongside any class handouts, in a date / logical order. Build up a comprehensive media studies file. You cannot revise effectively without this essential ground work. If you miss a lesson, catch up ASAP by photocopying someone else’s notes and asking for any missed handouts. Never be afraid to ask if you do not understand anything. Homework As full time students, you will be expected to complete at least 30 hours of study each college week, including homework. You will be expected to complete regular homework assignments outside of scheduled lesson times, handing in each assignment on time. Overall 11
  • 12. Remember, this is your education, an essential step to future success at university and in the work place. So, enjoy yourself, in the right way, by making sure you get the most out of each class. Useful resources Books o McDougall, J (2008) OCR MEDIA STUDIES FOR AS (Third Edition), Hodder Education o McDougall, J (2008) OCR MEDIA STUDIES FOR A2 (Third Edition), Hodder Education Newspaper / magazine / periodicals o Media Guardian (Monday’s o Broadcast. Guardian). o Televisual. o Sight and Sound. o Campaign. o Screen International. Internet sites Selection only: o MediaGuardian (Guardian newspaper – current media issues) o Guardian Unlimited (Guardian newspaper – media section back articles) o BBC (General media interest) o BFI (British Film Institute – general film interest) o ukfilmcouncil.org.uk (UK Film Council – general interest) o Hollywood.com (general info) o Yahoo.com (general info) o The Internet Movie Database (movie credits, reviews, etc.) Course & Related Personnel Lecturer Sam Norton-Taylor Rm 142 Tel: 0208 909 6141 Lecturer Ray Poole Rm 142 Tel: 0208 909 6156 Technical Support Ian Ferguson Rm 142 Tel: 0208 909 6125 Technical Support Vishal Raja Rm 142 Tel: 0208 909 6187 Administration Christina Quinlan Rm 159 Tel: 0208 909 6125 Head of School Chris Spellen Rm 153A Tel: 0208 909 6185 Head of Faculty Sue Wilson Rm 169 Tel: 0208 909 6399 12
  • 13. Student Helpline Student Helpline For confidential advice / support: Tel: 0208 909 6299 13