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Foundation Portfolio

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  • 1. Unit 1 G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media (worth 50% of the marks available at AS) The Foundation Portfolio is a Coursework Unit, consisting of 2 video productions and an online blog. The first video piece will be a short sequence produced to demonstrate basic technical ability and understanding of continuity technique. The second is a fully developed production produced to demonstrate skill development, consisting of the first 2 minutes of a fiction film, based on an original idea developed by the students. The students will work in groups but will be assessed individually on their work in the following stages: Pre-production: research, planning, development of ideas, scripting, storyboarding, Production: shooting, lighting, working with sets, actors and scripts Post-production: editing, special and sound effects, music. Evidence for the different stages will be presented via an online blog. Students will be expected to evaluate the finished film production according to specific theoretical criteria and this will also be presented through the blog. Assessment: Marking is out of 100 (20 marks for research + planning, 60 marks for practical work, 20 marks for the evaluation).
  • 2. LEARNING AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN 1ST 8 WEEKS OF AS MEDIA Leading towards your coursework production: Foundation Portfolio Teacher 1: Still and video camera skills  Framing, shot composition/ camera movement/ creativity  Working with sound and lighting  Editing/ sfx/titling/ consideration of soundtrack, sfx - Photoshop, Premiere, After FX,  Encore, Audition, Garage Band, Final Cut Pro Continuity, storyboarding, constructing a simple sequence, construction of a narrative  Blogging, podcasting, uploading to Youtube  Research, planning and evaluation  Production processes and practices, working in groups, setting up coursework,  project development Teacher 2: Semiotics, signs and signifiers, codes, Barthes, Propp, Todorov, Levi-Strauss  Textual analysis, process of deconstruction, denotation and connotation,  anchorage, dominant and alternative readings Genre codes and conventions, narrative/character/theme/iconography  Film production, style, narrative structure, mise-en-scene, use of sound  Opening sequences: function and form  Audience issues: consumption, pleasures, target audience, audience appeal  Institutions: institutional practices, finance, lifecycle of a film, marketing +  distribution, branding, narrative image This learning will centre around the analysis of: Film stills DVD covers Film extracts Opening sequences Past student work Please ensure you attend all the planned film screenings this term WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR COURSEWORK
  • 3. Must be a group project Must demonstrate clear evidence of individual contribution An electronic portfolio, providing evidence of research, planning, production and  evaluation A preliminary exercise  A 2 minute opening sequence for a fiction film, including titles and a soundtrack  You can make a start on your coursework research and planning straight away. For example: Research:  Genre moodboard  Reading around the films on the screening list  Organise your own group screenings; keep a record  Discussion of films that have inspired you  Storyboard a short sequence from a film and analyse it  Analysis of a selection of genre stills – mise-en-scene, character, camera  Analysis of a film website of your choice  Exploration of Barthes, Propp, Todorov and Propp theory – apply to a film you have seen Planning:  Recces of possible locations for filming  Selection of actors  Test shots and sequences  Brainstorming ideas  Planning a treatment and a script Recommended reading: You can’t go wrong with ‘OCR Media Studies for AS’ by Julian McDougall published by Hodder (Amazon stock this book – it retails for around £15.00) Thinking about the Brief:
  • 4. 2 minute opening sequence for a fiction film, including titles Your sequence must include:  titles throughout  some form of copyright-free soundtrack, including sound fx  evidence of understanding of continuity editing  clear generic signifiers through character, action, mise-en-scene, dialogue etc Your sequence should be based on:  a single narrative event or idea  only a few characters  one location ideally It should be really clear from your sequence who the target audience is (age, gender, lifestyle, cultural tastes) You should avoid:  Anything too complicated  Making a film sequence that only targets you  Lots of confusing cross cutting, flashbacks etc In the planning stage, you should each come up with ideas (keep evidence for portfolio) but should test your ideas first against the following questions. If the answers to the questions are no, or they are vague, rethink the idea before suggesting them to your group 1. Is it practical? 2. Is it an idea that works to the strengths of the group? 3. Will it show off the skills you have learnt so far on the course? 4. Is it something you can reasonably shoot and edit in the time available? 5. Can you get access/ permission to shoot in the chosen location at the chosen times? 6. Can you organise lighting to use in that location? 7. Have you included dialogue? If so, will it work to shoot conversation in that location? 8. Do you have guaranteed high quality reliable actors to play the characters? Word of advice: If possible, base your idea around a ‘constant’ – something that will have instant  genre appeal without too much trouble: the perfect soundtrack, the perfect actor, the perfect location. Then build your idea around that, rather than starting with a blank sheet. Don’t get into detailed planning until the practicalities have been sorted –  permissions to shoot, shoot dates and times, actors booked etc Talk to the year above about the issues they faced, what worked and what didn’t  Y12 – THINKING AHEAD –
  • 5. WHAT COULD GO WRONG ON THE SHOOT Key headings would probably be: Organisation Communication Technical Group dynamics Organisation Not having permission to film in location Forgetting to pick up equipment Leaving equipment behind on shoot Returning equipment lateincomplete Not knowing what you’re doing on the shoot or why Coming back to school with hardly any footage Actors/ team members not turning up or being late Absence from school Not turning up to the planning meetings Time wasting on the shoot Everything taking too long Not pre-empting the weather Not leaving enough time for transport problems Communication Not explaining yourself properly Not speaking out and saying how you feel Losing your patience with other people Actors/ team members not answering phones, or responding to group requests Arguments in group Last minute changes to the plan without full group agreement Actors getting bored/ annoyed/ cold/ hungry Teachers left in the dark about changes to plans Not recording notes/ minutes/ agreements on the blog Absence from school, absentees not communicating with group to find out what’s going on Technical
  • 6. Batteries not charged Don’t know how to use equipment Not checking camera settings Poor lighting Poor sound Shaky camera Poor framing Limited variety of shot distances, angles, movement Poor consideration of continuity issues No understanding of technical H+S issues Forcing tapes or batteries and breaking the camera Group dynamics One person doing everything and not delegating Some people being lazy Factions/ divides in the group ‘Spur of the moment’ meetings without everyone there Not sharing the ‘boring’ jobs Not sticking to the rule of everyone doing equal amounts of shooting/editing/lighting/directing etc Not listening Not compromising Getting stroppy Not working as a team/ being supportive of each other Making it ‘personal’ Making excuses rather than getting the job done Not tackling issues in the group as they arise Being rude to another group member and upsetting them Being too sensitive Allowing personal problems to dominate proceedings GROUP BLOGS
  • 7. • Really visual and high standard • Should demonstrate communication between the group • Should be clear on who posted what • Please make a link back to the class blog for easy navigation • Check the links to your indiv blogs work • Check all other links work AIM TO • Remember to post daily (as a kind of running commentary) • Link your film from youtube as soon as possible • Storyboards/ logs/ lists – must have evidence – scanned (high quality) or photographed, lists typed up • Storyboards essential for higher level marks • Footage from locations and photos – actors • You need demonstrate development in the technical process – should select specific shots and test sequences to upload and discuss • Gather audience feedback along the way, needs to relate to genre + plot recognition, character, institutional identity (British, independent etc) – these are the things you will be writing about in your essay so feedback on these is essential • Feedback should be summarised on blog, with your responses as you get it INDIVIDUAL BLOGS • Should demonstrate evidence of individual processes, contribution and reflections • Link your final video • Make a link back to the group blog AIM TO • Update and improve as you go along • Consider any influences along the way that have inspired you • Add feedback results if its been organised by you personally • Make links between your own and real films – compare + contrast • Add some notes regarding your own aims for the project – how it has gone, your own ‘journey’ and development • Make continuous reference to the key evaluation questions