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Critical perspectives in media

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  • 1. Unit G325: Critical Perspectives in Media Theoretical Evaluation of Production 2009/10
  • 2. Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production
  • 3. Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production
    • Question 1(a) requires candidates to describe and evaluate their skills development over the course of their production work, from Foundation Portfolio to Advanced Portfolio. The focus of this evaluation must be on skills development , and the question will require them to adapt this to one or two specific production practices. The list of practices to which questions will relate is as follows:
    • Digital Technology
    • Creativity
    • Research and planning
    • Post-production
    • Using conventions from real media texts
    • In the examination, questions will be posed using one or two of these categories.
    • Where candidates have produced relevant work outside the context of their A Level media course, they are free to additionally refer to this experience.
  • 4. Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production
    • Question 1(b) requires candidates to select one production and evaluate it in relation to a media concept. The list of concepts to which questions will relate is as follows:
    • Genre
    • Narrative
    • Representation
    • Audience
    • Media language
    • In the examination, questions will be set using one of these concepts only.
    • Whether the candidate applies the concept to the product or uses the production to challenge the concept, it is essential that candidates are sufficiently knowledgeable about the concept for either approach. Candidates may choose to write about work undertaken at AS or A2, main task or preliminary/ancillary.
  • 5.
    • In this section you need to write about your work for the Foundation Portfolio and Advanced Portfolio units.
    • You must answer both 1(a) and 1(b).
    Specimen paper:
  • 6.
    • 1 (a) “Digital technology turns media consumers into media producers”. In your own experience, how has your creativity developed through using digital technology to complete your coursework productions? [25]
    • (b) “Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives”. Explain how you used conventional and / or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces. [25]
    • Section A Total [50]
  • 7.
    • Candidates will need to refer to their work for the Foundation Portfolio and Advanced Portfolio units.
    • • Explanation/ analysis/argument (10 marks)
    • • Use of examples (10 marks)
    • • Use of terminology (5 marks)
  • 8. “ Digital technology turns media consumers into media producers.” In your own experience, how has your creativity developed through using digital technology to complete your coursework productions?
    • Level 4
    • Explanation/ analysis/argument (9-10 marks)
    • There is a clear sense of progression established by the answer, and a range of articulate reflections on the production process are offered.
    • Use of examples (9-10 marks)
    • Candidates offer a broad range of specific, relevant and clear examples of the use of technology in relation to creative skills development.
    • Use of terminology (5 marks)
    • The use of both production terms and conceptual media terminology applied throughout is excellent.
    • 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.
  • 9. “ Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives.” Explain how you used conventional and / or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces.
    • Level 4
    • Explanation/ analysis/argument (9-10 marks)
    • Candidates demonstrate a clear understanding of narrative theories / approaches and relate them articulately to the production process, describing specific decisions made in relation to narrative and expectations of audience response.
    • Use of examples (9-10 marks)
    • A broad range of relevant and interesting examples of the creative process are offered.
    • Use of terminology (5 marks)
    • Both conceptual language and production terminology are applied with excellent results.
    • 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 a few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • 10. Section B: Contemporary Media Issues
  • 11. Section B: Contemporary Media Issues
    • One question to be answered from a choice of six topic areas offered by OCR. There will be two questions from each topic area. The topic areas require understanding of contemporary media texts, industries, audiences and debates. Candidates must choose one of the following topic areas:
    • Contemporary Media Regulation
    • Global Media
    • Media and Collective Identity
    • Media in the Online Age
    • Post-modern Media
    • ‘ We Media’ and Democracy
  • 12. Media and Collective Identity
    • How do the contemporary media represent nations, regions and ethnic / social / collective groups of people in different ways?
    • How does contemporary representation compare to previous time periods?
    • What are the social implications of different media representations of groups of people?
    • To what extent is human identity increasingly ‘mediated’?
    • Candidates might explore combinations of any media representation across two media, or two different representations across two media. Some examples are:
      • National cinema, television representations, magazines and gender, representations of youth and youth culture, post-9/11
  • 13.
    • In order to be fully prepared for the specific requirements of the question, the material studied by candidates must cover these three elements:
    • Historical – dependent on the requirements of the topic, candidates must summarise the development of the media forms in question in theoretical contexts.
    • Contemporary – current issues within the topic area.
    • Future – candidates must demonstrate personal engagement with debates about the future of the media forms / issues that the topic relates to.
    • In addition, candidates will need to offer a balance of media theories, knowledge of texts and industries and personal engagement with issues and debates. For example, a candidate studying British Cinema for ‘The Media and Collective Identity’ should discuss theories of film representation and realism in relation to the history of British cinema, a range of British films from recent years, funding, Government and industry practices, and offer a critically informed point of view on how Britain is represented to itself and to the wider audience at the present time.
  • 14. Specimen paper
    • 6. Discuss the contemporary representation of a nation, region or social group in the media, using specific textual examples from at least two media to support your answer. [50]
  • 15.
    • 6 Indicative Content
    • Candidates might explore examples such as Britain in film and news programmes or the Midlands in local papers and films or disabled people in news coverage compared with magazines.
    • At the highest level, responses will be characterised by accuracy, detail and a strong grasp of the issues.
  • 16.
    • 7. How far does the representation of a particular social group change over time ? Refer to at least two media in your answer. [50]
  • 17.
    • 7 Indicative Content
    • Candidates might explore examples such as how the representation of Britain in film and television has changed over time or how the Midlands has been represented in local papers and films over time or how the representation of disabled people in news coverage compared with magazines has changed over time.
    • At the highest level, responses will be characterised by accuracy, detail and a strong grasp of the issues.
  • 18. Media and Collective Identity
    • (Generic mark scheme: applies to questions 2-13)
    • • Explanation/ analysis/argument (20 marks)
    • • Use of examples (20 marks)
    • • Use of terminology (10 marks)
  • 19.
    • Level 3
    • Explanation/ analysis/argument (12-15 marks)
    • Candidates adapt their learning to the specific requirements of the question well, in the main. The answer offers a sensible, mostly clear balance of media theories and knowledge of industries and texts, with a proficient attempt at personally engaging with issues and debates.
    • Use of examples (12-15 marks)
    • Examples of industries, texts and theories are connected together in places, and a clear argument is proficiently developed in response to the question.
    • Use of terminology (6-7 marks)
    • Material presented is mostly informed by contemporary media theory, described through use of appropriate theoretical terms.
    • Relatively straight forward ideas have been expressed with some clarity
    • and fluency. Arguments are generally relevant, though may stray from the
    • point of the question. There will be some errors of spelling, punctuation
    • and grammar, but these are unlikely to be intrusive or obscure meaning.
  • 20.
    • Level 4
    • Explanation/ analysis/argument (16-20 marks)
    • Candidates adapt their learning to the specific requirements of the question in excellent fashion. The answer offers a clear, articulate balance of media theories, knowledge of texts and industries and personal engagement with issues and debates.
    • Use of examples (16-20 marks)
    • Examples of texts, industries and theories are clearly connected together in the answer, with a coherent argument developed in response to the question.
    • Use of terminology (8-10 marks)
    • Throughout the answer, material presented is informed by contemporary media theory and the command of the appropriate theoretical language is excellent.
    • 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.
  • 21.
    • Theoretical Evaluation of Production
  • 22. Post Production
    • LIZ PD17: Post Production: Editing, Music and Visual Effects
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd9-bM_fSvw
  • 23. Post Production
    • While watching answer these questions:
    • What skills were developed?
      • Existing skills? new skills?
    • How were the skills developed?
      • Give examples
  • 24. Digital technology
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO1bSakyIPs
  • 25. In your lifetime
    • 1990 SLIP/PPP (Serial Line Internet Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol): We've forgotten about this now, but SLIP/PPP ' mostly PPP ' is what got everyone on the Internet via dial-up modems back when broadband was an obscure industry term. 1991 HYPERTEXT MARKUP LANGUAGE: You send the instructions to the remote computer and let it figure out how to render the layout, dummy! 1992 THE BROWSER: It made the Web work for the rest of us. 1993 E-MAIL: Electronic mail goes back to the 1960s, but it really started taking off with Web use. By 1997, the volume of business e-mail surpassed that of regular mail. ADOBE PDF: Lawyers and other control freaks love it! Also, it was perhaps the first truly effective document- sharing technology. 1994 JPEG: Lit up the Web with images. 1995 WINDOWS 95: 32-bit pre-emptive multitasking made possible everything that has come along for the desktop since ' including the graphical Internet and Mac OS X. 1995 WIKIS: They may have taken a while to catch on, but wikis are becoming a dominant collaboration tool. JAVA: Write once, run all over the Web. 1996
    • MP3 AUDIO FORMAT: A file format that pretty much leveled an entire industry ' and movies are next. FLASH: Scripting your Web page like a movie, or anything else, with almost zero-client footprint. 1997 BROADBAND: Cable and Digital Subscriber Lines start to make an appearance in homes, and telecommuting becomes a real option .
    1998 GOOGLE: We'd call it the portal to the Web, except portals aren't this easy to use. The search bar is rapidly becoming the sippy cup of culture ' with more than partial thanks to Wikipedia, Google's query shortstop. EXTENSIBLE MARKUP LANGUAGE: Data that tells us what our data is. But this data is in brackets, so we know what it means, more or less. 1999 WI-FI: The network computer Libre! BLACKBERRY: Life support for your government executive, with its push technology making the difference. VIRTUALIZATION FOR X86 ARCHITECTURES: Making the most of what you have. OPEN SSH: Telneting securely, saving untold fortunes in KVM switches. 2002 MICROSOFT.NET FRAMEWORK: A virtual machine independent of programming language. The future of Microsoft development. 2003 SERVICEORIENTED ARCHITECTURE: SOA and Web services pave the way for a new generation of online government services. 2004 WEB ONTOLOGY LANGUAGE: The beginning of the Semantic Web. ADOBE FLEX: Flash development, open-sourced in 2007, for Rich Internet Applications. 2005 ASYNCHRONOUS JAVASCRIPT AND XML: Launched Web 2.0. MULTICORE PROCESSORS: More performance, less energy use; a wave of the future. 2007 FACEBOOK API/GOOGLE OPEN SOCIAL API: Social network programming goes mainstream.
  • 26.
    • Draw a timeline for your own use of digital technology. Include your first:
        • Photo
        • Record? CD? MP3?
        • Email account
        • Mobile phone
        • Camera
        • Use of internet – what was the first word you typed into google?
        • Computer/ laptop
          • What else..?
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29.
    • Have you used any new technology in your production work, from Foundation Portfolio to Advanced Portfolio ?
    • Have you developed skills you had?
      • Give examples:
        • Hardware? Software?
        • Use of applications/ interfaces?
    • Has your thinking about technology changed?
  • 30. Using Conventions of Real Media Texts.
    • Each of your practical projects had a specific set of conventions. For this topic, you need to consider how your understanding has developed over the course. Begin by make a note of the conventions of each of the genres you created. Then pick 2 or 3 of these conventions and say how you used (or challenged ) them within your own work: eg. A Convention of the Thriller genre is the theme of identity. In my own project I created mise en scene that included different types of mirrors. These gave different reflections to imply that the protagonist's identity wasn't fixed and could change depending on which context he was in... Don't forget to ask yourself how useful it is to understand and apply real conventions AND why you ability to apply this understanding has improved over the course.
  • 31. C R E A T I V I T Y
    • It is important not to assume one answer to any question! Rather than ask yourself the question, " How have I become more creative during my A level course?", ask yourself, "Have I become more creative?". If you answer the second question, then you will evaluate your progress much more thoroughly. F or example, the pros and cons of using MYFONTS might be: Pros Allows me to create my own font – more options than Premiere. It's an easy to use programme with a pre-existing set of fonts. I can easily save and import to Premiere. The process is quick and straight-forward. But, the cons could include: The fonts available are limited. I can't fundamentally change the fonts. My fonts look like a lot of other student's work.
    • Possible improvements might be:
    • ...?
  • 32. RESEARCH AND PLANNING
    • Begin with a timeline of all of the production units you have covered for this area: Thriller opening sequence/ Opening sequence/ Music video.
    • For each of these projects, note down all of the technologies and methods you used. Be very specific! Eg. Don't just write 'blogs'. You have used blogs in many different ways:
    • 1. To review real text examples and discuss conventions. 2. To analyse old student work and discuss marking criteria. 3. To get peer feedback on the progress of your project. 4. To plan micro elements. 5. To discuss audience expectations. 6. To review your own progress and update your plans
  • 33. RESEARCH AND PLANNING
    • THEN, for each of your technologies and methods, make a list of pros and cons. Ask yourself some questions. Eg. for blogs and their content, you could ask: What advantages do blogs have over 'paper planning'? Are there any disadvantages to using blogs? Are they easy to 'read'? To access? What are the pros and cons of getting peer feedback? Did I find getting qualitative or quantitative information most useful? How useful are storyboards and shotlists? How important is research into audience experiences and expectations?
    • When you have completed your timeline of notes, you should be able to see how your research and planning skills have developed during your A level Media Studies and what factors have helped them to develop.