AS Exam Revision


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AS Exam Revision

  1. 1. AS Media Studies Exam Revision More resources are available onmediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.comAS Media Studies G322 Key Media Concepts RevisionThe AS Media Studies exam is 2 hours long. There are 2 sections to the exam, Section A: TV Drama,and Section B: Institutions and Audiences. You must answer both questions. In the exam you will beshown a 5 minute extract from a TV Drama 4 times. You will then have 45 minutes to answer aquestion on representation in the extract. You will then have 45 minutes to complete a secondquestion on the film industry. You will not be told when to move onto the next question – you mustmake sure you leave yourself enough time for the second question.Section A: TV DramaYou will be asked to answer question on how one social group is represented in the extract throughcamerawork, editing, sound, and mise-en-scene. The question will specify which social group tofocus on from one of the following: • Gender • Age • Sexuality • Ethnicity • Social class and status • Regional identity • Disability/abilityIn order to do well you should: • Use a wide range of specific and relevant examples from the extract • Explain how the examples construct representations of the specified social group • Use a range of examples from all four technical areas • Use terminology consistently and accuratelyThe four technical areas:CameraworkCamerawork can be used to represent characters in a variety of ways: • High/low angles/tilts to show dominance/inferiority • Point of view/over the shoulder to encourage the audience to identify with the character • Camera movement to suggest the character is fast paced and energetic, or chaotic, anxious, etc. • Two shots to emphasise the relationship between characters • Zooms for emphasis • Close-ups to show emotions/reactions • Long/establishing shots to show setting/costumeEstablishing shot Shot showing the location the scene is taking place.Master shot Shot showing where characters/objects are positioned in a sceneClose-up Showing someone from the shoulders up.Mid-shot Showing someone from the waist up.Long shot Showing someone from head to toe.Wide shot Showing a wide view of the scene.Two-shot A shot showing two people.Aerial shot Shot filmed from the air.
  2. 2. AS Media Studies Exam Revision More resources are available onmediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.comPoint of view shot A shot showing the perspective of a character.Over the shoulder shot What it says.High angle The camera looks down on someone.Low angle The camera looks up at someone.Canted angle The camera is at a slanted angle.Pan The camera moves from side to side.Tilt The camera moves up and down.Track The camera follows a person or object.Crane The camera moves up or down on a crane.Steadicam The camera is strapped to camera operator’s body, creates a gliding effect.Hand-held A shaky handheld effect.Zoom The camera zooms in or out.Reverse-zoom The lenses zooms in or out whilst the camera moves in the opposite direction, creates the impression that the background is constantly moving.Editing can be used to construct representations by: • The pace of editing (fast paced – young, energetic, slow –old) • Contrasting characters or settings (crosscutting, shot/reverse shot) • Creating links between characters or settings • Showing us what a character is looking at • Showing us what a character is thinking about (cutting, superimposition)Cutting The process where one shot is replaced on screen immediately by the next.Shot/reverse shot Cutting back and forth between people in a conversation.Eyeline match Cutting to show what a character is looking at.Graphic match A similar shape or colour linking two consecutive shots.Action match Cutting to show another angle of the scene.Jump cut Cutting out the middle section of a shot.Crosscutting Cutting back and forth between two or more scenes happening simultaneously.Dissolve One shot fades out as the next shot fades in.Fade out/fade in The image fades out to a blank screen, or fades in from a blank screen.Superimposition One image is placed on top of another image.Slow motion What it says.Long take A single continuous shot that does not cut for an unusual length of time (e.g. over a minute).Fast paced/slow paced When the editing is fast paced the action will cut rapidly from shot toediting shot with each shot lasting only a few seconds. Slow paced editing will involve limited cutting from shot to shot.Sound can represent social groups in a range of ways: • The language and accent of a character • Use of music can tell you about the character • Ambient sounds can tell you about the settingDiegetic Sound originating from a source in the scene, e.g. dialogue.Non-diegetic Sound added in postproduction, e.g. background music.
  3. 3. AS Media Studies Exam Revision More resources are available onmediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.comSound motif A sound or piece of music associated with a character, place, or theme (like the JAWS).Sound bridge Sound linking the end of one scene and the beginning of the next.Dialogue Words spoken by actors.Voiceover Dialogue spoken by an unseen character over related images.Direct address When the actor speaks directly to the camera.Sound mix The way in which the different sounds in a scene are mixed together.Ambient sound Background noiseMise-en-scene is very important to representation: • What a character wears • Where the scene is taking place and how it appears • Props can signify information about characters • Lighting connotes certain meanings about charactersLocation Where the scene takes placeSet design How the setting is designedCostume Clothes worn by the actorsMake upProps Objects used in the sceneHigh key lighting Bright lightingLow key lighting Dark lightingTry analysing sequences from TV dramas in relation to how they represent one of the social groupsthrough their use of camerawork, editing, sound, and mise-en-scene. BBC iPlayer and 4OD areuseful resources. Extracts for this topic are on the Media Department blog.Section B: Institutions and AudiencesYou need to be able to discuss issues of production, marketing, distribution, and consumption in thefilm industry in relation to the following topics: • Media ownership • Cross-media convergence and synergy • Technology • Proliferation of hardware and content • Technological convergence • Marketing • ConsumptionMedia ownership, Cross-media Convergence and SynergyConcentration of media ownership – over the last 50 years the number of companies owing mediaoutlets has shrunk, and the media industry is now dominated by 6 conglomerates.Oligopoly – a market that is dominated by a small number of companies.Cross-media ownership (or cross-media convergence) – a company that owns different types ofmedia (film, TV, radio, etc.)Conglomerate- a large parent company that owns a range of smaller subsidiary companies.Subsidiary – a smaller company owned by a conglomerate.Synergy – when 2 or more elements of a conglomerate work together to promote a brand.Ancillary revenue – revenue made from merchandise, DVD sales.
  4. 4. AS Media Studies Exam Revision More resources are available onmediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.comDisney are the largest media conglomerate. Their total revenue in 2010 was $38 billion. Disney aremade up of four subsidiary divisions – The Walt Disney Studios (film studios, record labels); Parksand Resorts (theme parks); Disney Consumer Products (merchandise, publishing), Media Networks(TV, radio, internet).Disney are an example of cross-media ownership. They own a wide range of different types ofmedia (film, TV, music, internet, publishing, radio, etc.). The benefits of this for Disney is that allowsthem to use synergy. Disney have developed a range of cross-platform brands such as ‘High SchoolMusical’, ‘Hannah Montana’, and The Jonas Brothers. These brands allow a wide range of productsto be produced which make the most of Disney’s broad range of subsidiaries including televisionprogrammes for the Disney Channel, films for theatrical releases, soundtracks which are releasedthrough their record label, merchandise, books, and magazines produced by the consumer productsdivision, video games and online games developed by the Media networks division. Each of theseproducts works to promote the other products (constant media synergy), the TV programmepromotes the film which promotes the soundtrack which promotes the merchandise, etc.Disney used synergy to promote the release of ‘Tron: Legacy’ (2010). The soundtrack by Daft Punkwas released through Disney’s record label. The album generated publicity which encouragedpeople to see the film, and buy the album. ElecTRONica dance parties were held at the Disneylandresort before the film was released, which included previews of the film. This would encouragepeople visiting the resort to go to see the film, and may encourage fans of the film to visit the resort.Synergy was also used in the promotion of ‘Toy Story 3’ (2010). The first 2 Toy Story films were re-released in digital 3D. These screenings included previews of ‘Toy Story 3’. This would make peopleaware of the release of ‘Toy Story 3’, and encourage them to watch the first 2 films. The BluRay/DVD release of ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Toy Story 2’ included a ‘Toy Story 3’ featurette. The Disneyowned ABC channel included a dance number from the film during an episode of their programmes‘Dancing with the Stars’. Sneak peeks of the film were shown on the Disney Channel. The DisneyChannel had a special Toy Story day prior to the films releases, when they showed the first 2 filmsand previews of the new film. This would make people aware of the release of the new film, andencourage them to watch the Disney Channel. Both elements of the brand are working to promoteeach other.Technology, Proliferation, and ConvergenceProliferation of hardware and content – the idea that media technologies are now commonplace,most people own a range of devices that allow them to access media products. Because of thisthere is now a wider range of media content available.Technological convergence – 2 or more types of media coming together in one device.New technologies are used by Disney in the production of their films. Tron: Legacy was filmed indigital 3D. This reflects the popularity of 3D technology with film studios. Studios like 3D for anumber of reasons. Several recent 3D releases have been hugely successful, such as ‘Avatar’ whichmade $2.7 billion. Cinemas can also charge more for tickets to see 3D films. 3D also helps to tacklepiracy and encourages people to pay to see the film at the cinema, as pirated copies will not be in3D. Filming in 3D is more costly than 2D. Tron: Legacy used the Pace Fusion rig, a 2 camera rigwhich films the images simultaneously. The size of the camera rig makes it difficult to move around,meaning camera movement is limited. As a result of that much of the camerawork in Tron: Legacy isstatic.Tron: Legacy also used CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to produce a range of special effects.Most of the shots are in Tron are 90% CGI. Many of the backgrounds are completely computer
  5. 5. AS Media Studies Exam Revision More resources are available onmediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.comgenerated. One of the characters in Tron was also completely computer generated.New technologies have benefits and disadvantages for companies like Disney. Proliferation ofhardware and widespread has lead to increased piracy, as well as offering a wider range ofentertainment choices competing for the audience’s attention. A consequence of this has beendeclining DVD sales. Disney’s sales of DVDs fell by 15% last year. This is significant as on average46% of a studio’s revenue from a film’s release comes from DVD sales. In order to combat thisDisney have developed their use of digital distribution and electronic sell-through. Disney recentlylaunched Studio All Access which allows consumers to purchase a copy of film and then access it in avariety of formats on a range of devices. The DVD release of ‘Toy Story 3’ came as a special multi-pack featuring DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, and digital download copies. Disney are also planning tolaunch a Video on Demand service to allow consumers to instantly access their films through cableand digital television. Disney have also developed a product called Second Screen which allowsusers who have bought Blu-ray editions of certain films such as Tron: Legacy to download an app foran iPad, iPod, or computer. Whilst they are watching the film consumers can sync this app with thefilm allowing them to access a range of additional content (trivia, games, storyboards, etc.). This isan example of technological convergence allowing the experience of the consumer to be moreinteractive. It also benefits Disney by encouraging consumers to purchase their products.MarketingDisney use a range of techniques to promote their products including synergy. When usingtraditional forms of marketing Disney use their release of similar products to help target theiraudience. The first trailer for ‘Toy Story 3’ was shown at screenings of ‘Up’. This helps Disney toreach their target audience.New technology has also changed the way in which companies market their products. Viralmarketing has been used very successfully by a range of films to generate publicity, including ‘TheBlair Witch Project’, ‘The Dark Knight’, and ‘Cloverfield’. Viral marketing is cheap, and is spread fromone consumer to the other. It also makes consumers feel more involved in a film, and can generateword of mouth. Viral marketing was used to promote the release of Tron: Legacy. A website aboutthe main character was launched, and contained information about the film as well asorganising events to encourage fans to get involved. Viral marketing was also used by ‘Toy Story 3’,various viral videos were posted to Youtube, including a fake 1980s toy advert about one of thecharacters in the film. These videos were seen by millions of people, generating interest in the film.Social networking sites such as Facebook are also used by film studios to promote their films. Beforethe release of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Disney created Facebook pages for three of the main charactersand encouraged fans to choose which character was their favourite. The most popular character’spage received a premiere of the first trailer for the film. This encourages people to feel involved,and to forward on marketing information to their friends. Before the release of ‘Toy Story 3’ Disneyorganised special Cliffhanger screenings of the first hour of the film at college campuses. In order toreceive a ticket people had to sign up to the Disney/Pixar Facebook page. This meant Disney couldthen send people regular updates about the film’s release. This type of marketing is usually bettertargeted (as people have signed up for it) and much cheaper than traditional marketing.Distribution and ConsumptionElectronic sell-through – selling a film in a digital format.Video on Demand – allowing the user to watch a video instantly, e.g. Film4OD.Near Video on Demand – allowing users to access content on demand at certain times, e.g. Sky BoxOffice.
  6. 6. AS Media Studies Exam Revision More resources are available onmediastudiesnwcc.blogspot.comDevelopments in technology and proliferation of hardware and content have implications for theways in which films are distributed. Proliferation means there is now a much wider variety of waysin which films can be consumed, e.g. cinema, DVD, Blu-ray, Video on Demand, Near Video onDemand, digital download, digital television. This is one factor in declining DVD sales. To try toboost DVD sales of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Disney shortened the distribution window between thetheatrical release and the DVD release from 17 weeks to 12 weeks. They hoped that the marketingcampaign for the theatrical release would still be fresh in people’s minds. They also hoped it wouldreduce the number of people who watched illegal copies. In an attempt to tackle piracy and boostrevenue some companies use a day and date release where the film is released at the cinema, onDVD, on VOD and NVOD simultaneously. Most people expect new technologies to lead to shorterdistribution windows.Digital theatrical distribution allows film companies to distribute films electronically as digital files.This saves money and resources. It has boosted Disney’s market in China and Russia, as digitaldistribution has allowed for a big expansion in the number of cinema screens in those countries.Despite the emergence of new technologies such as digital downloads most people still do not useinternet platforms to purchase films. In 2009 the biggest source of revenue in the UK was the sale ofDVD/Blu-ray (£1.3 billion), followed by cinema (£944 million), Pay-TV, free to air TV, video rental,and VOD/NVOD (£124 million).To do well: • Develop a clear argument about the benefits and disadvantages to film institutions and audiences of recent developments effecting the film industry • Include detailed reference to case study material • Make sure you use relevant and accurate factual information • Use terminology consistently and accurately • Refer to your own experience as a consumerSection B Exam QuestionsDiscuss the issues raised by an institution’s need to target specific audiences within a mediaindustry which you have studied.Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences, withina media area you have studied.How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences within a mediaarea which you have studied?“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and servicesto national audiences.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have formedia institutions and audiences?If you have any questions about the exam email me at: