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A2 Advanced Portfolio Guidance 2013
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A2 Advanced Portfolio Guidance 2013

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  • 1. R H S C M E D I A WEB 2013 1 A2 Coursework G324 Advanced Portfolio Brief: A promotional package for the release of an album for an unsigned British band or artist, to include the following: •music promo video; •cover for its release as part of a digipak album (CD/ DVD package); •magazine advertisement for the digipak(CD/DVD package). Weighting: 50% of A2 grade; 25% of total A Level mark. June 2013-March 2014 Written Component: • Planning video and print productions. • Research into potential target audience, focusing on how audiences consume music and popular culture. • Research into an aspect of the music industry. 20 Marks - individually assessed Practical Component (Constructions): • 2-4 minute music video. • Cover for the album release as part of a digipak. • Magazine advertisement promoting the digipak and artist. 40 Marks Video = group assessment (if working in group) 10 Marks each = print productions - individually assessed. Written Component: EVALUATION • 4 compulsory questions answered in varied electronic formats. 20 Marks - individually assessed
  • 2. C O N T E N T S 2 g324 Contents Page Department policy re productions 2 Five key media concepts! 3 Five key media concepts & Goodwin’s theory 4 Blog Labels, assessment details, planning music video 5 Construction of music video the shoot and edit 6 Research into target audience 7 Research into products and aspects of the music industry 8 Construction of print production CD Cover/digipak & note on blog entries 9 Construction of magazine advertisement 10 Evaluation: responding to the 4 key questions 11 Deadlines and suggested working pattern 12 IMPORTANT Material •The band must be British and unsigned at the point of planning. •The policy of the Media Studies Department is that tutors must agree the band or artist that students identify for promotion. If tutors consider a band or artist unsuitable then students must search for another. In the past students who have ignored this advice have consistently achieved poor marks. Lead singers must be audible over the band; the beat and or lyrics must offer plenty of imaginative/visual ideas that audiences can read. •Students are not permitted to promote their own band. Teams The music video may be planned, shot & edited in groups of no more than 4. Students may choose to work on their own. The course tutor will agree groups. Note: Print productions are an individual effort though groups may have a distinct brand style. There needs to be a visual, thematic or generic link between video and print productions
  • 3. 5 K E Y M E D I A C O N C E P T S g324 3 All aspects of research, planning, the productions and the evaluation must draw upon the 5 key concepts and media theories encountered throughout the course. Five Key Media Concepts 1. Media Forms and Conventions In moving image references all visual and aural elements within a mise en scène; in print productions references conventions of layout and design including integration of illustration and written text. This concept focuses on how media texts are composed, structured and organised according to a variety of narrative forms and conventions; that genre is a dynamic form identified by visual and aural signifiers which in the music video include elements of mise en scène, editing, camera shots, generic characters, narrative, inter-textuality; Reading media texts allows for personal and critical/academic interpretations. This refers to student research into real media productions and audience response to their own productions. For higher marks, references in video and print productions, and in planning and research, should reflect understanding the purpose and effect of the following theories: •! Theory of Narrative •! Utilising or challenging generic forms and conventions •! Goodwin’s theory of music video (see overleaf) *Failure to academically and or creatively engage with media forms and conventions will have a negative effect on grades. 2. Media Representations Of gender, cultural groups, place, ideologies (values & beliefs) and to include realistic, accurate and truthful representations using critical and analytical tools in the deconstruction/analysis of all media texts (including researched texts and own media texts). Students should be able to identify and discuss negative messages communicated by crude stereotyping (gender, race, culture, age, disability) in real media productions and in their own productions.
  • 4. C O N C E P T S A N D T H E O R I E S C T D 4 g324 3. Media Audiences All media texts have intended audiences; students should explore the diverse constituency of audiences; how audiences interpret media texts according to their own contexts, and the plurality of those responses; how audiences’ expectations and use for media texts can vary; how audiences consume texts. 4. Media Institutions The structure and influence of media institutions; in this case the influence on marketing, and outlet (television, ipods, CD players, internet, games consoles, magazines, retail). For higher marks students should understand and explain how media institutions are agents of political and cultural influences. 5. Technology The role new technologies play in the planning, construction, post production, marketing, audience consumption, and audience feedback. Reminder: Goodwin’s music video analysis – a useful reference point. Andrew Goodwin writing in ‘Dancing in the Distraction Factory’ (Routledge 1992) 1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (e.g. stage performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band). 2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). 3. There is a relationship between music and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). 4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist, and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style). 5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, windows etc.) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. 6. There is often intertextual reference (to films, TV programmes, other music videos etc).
  • 5. B L O G I N S T R U C T I O N S A N D A S S E S S M E N T g324 5 How to set out your blog for G324 Labels as follows: •Research into music videos •Research into digipaks •Research into magazine advertisements •Research into potential audience •Research into aspects of the music industry •Planning music video •Planning digipak •planning advertisement for digipak •Evaluation * make sure that you have a G325 label so that you can separate out your exam work. You may even prefer to start a new blog for that aspect. Assessment • All elements of research and planning are marked individually and based on blog entries, and tutor observations of student commitment during the planning, shooting and editing process. • Tutors must explicitly explain to OCR external examiners how marks are awarded for all elements of course work. All written work must be in student’s own words. Any quotes from other sources must be highlighted and referenced. Information from websites is for student research and does not contribute to marks. • The video production (shoot and edit) is given a group mark but this mark is based on strength of how individual students have contributed to the shoot and edit. Marks are deducted from individual students who have been consistently absent, unreliable, uncooperative (within the group) during the construction process. If students have any group problems they must voice their concerns to their tutor, confidentiality is taken into account should the circumstances be awkward.! Planning Music Video: • Storyboards to include all primary elements of mise en scène to include colour/lighting,, camera angles, synchronisation of image with sound/lyrics/beat. Storyboards need to strongly reflect your technical understanding of film language within a mise en scène, e.g. camera angles and movement, sound, editing transitions etc. • Organisation of time and equipment and shooting schedule. • Use of actors (casting). • Settings/locations, costumes, make up, objects and props. • Individual responsibilities. • EVALUATION planning ideas, particularly how your plans have been informed by some of the following: research into similar music videos, films, t.v. texts, aspects of the news, audience research. Intertextual references in written work and or productions strongly strengthen grades. • Technical requirements - note down type of camera and editing software.
  • 6. T H E S H O O T A N D E D I T 6 g324 Students must not include any found images in music video. All footage must be original. Videos should reflect research and confidence with genre. Understanding real output is evident. The music video is not judged on the music but on the following: The Shoot: • Creative/imaginative quality of all aspects of mise en scène to include utilisation or subversion of generic codes and conventions and deliberate inter-textual references to other media texts or contemporary British debates relating for example to a political movement or fashion or aspects of youth culture or popular culture. • Steady shots • Composition of mise en scène to reference or challenge generic conventions. • Variety of mise en scène • Variety of camera angles and movement • Utilisation of Britishness in mise en scène. • Quality of sound. • Use of special effects (only utilised if appropriate). Some students utilise animation. • Appeal to primary target audience, either mainstream or niche. • If using live footage of band a variety of camera angles and movement are important e.g close-ups of artists or instruments, zooms, low angle shots to signify status, pans of the band., pans of the audience if appropriate. Out takes of the band if students can access them. EDITING: •This is where the art of film or video is evident and takes most time. •Synchronisation of sound and movement •Editing that is generic, jump cuts are associated with the medium though cross fades or fades to black are important, but the type of editing utilised must be appropriate to genre and lyrics and beat!
  • 7. T A R G E T A U D I E N C E R E S E A R C H g324 7 RESEARCH INTO THE POTENTIAL TARGET AUDIENCE through qualitative or quantitative research or remote research on the internet Written commentary should include: 1) Research method/s explained. 2) Demographics of focus group/s to include how many interviewed, details of gender, age, occupation and media interests. 3) Purpose of research; 4) For qualitative research explain where interview carried out, day, time of day and any variables that my have influences outcome; 5)! Evaluation of graphs or other diagrammatical forms to be evaluated. 6)! Demographic profile of potential target audience must be included (age, gender, occupation, social glass, media interests,) Students are advised to include whether the audience for their productions is mainstream, niche, alternative, art house etc. The profile must be related to research. Quantitative Research ! Design and give out a number questionnaires to either a random or selected group of who you expect will be the target audience (try to have equal male and female) how they consume music and other aspects of popular culture. ! This can also be done on the internet via social networking sites or via email. You can set a survey on you blog using the gadgets function and then invite friends to complete. http:// www.surveymonkey.com/ is useful as well Qualitative Research ! Interview 1-3 interviewees of potential target audience with more in depth questions about how they consume music and other aspects of popular culture. ! Interview an employee of a music retail store ask questions about which genres are popular, how bands are marketed and the status of British bands with customers. You may also have access to a member of a signed or unsigned band and may wish to interview this person about performance, touring, stresses and strains and place of British bands in the British or world market. Evaluation To be supported with an evaluation of results using graphs or other diagrammatical forms and a written summary/commentary explaining what the research revealed about the way music/popular is consumed by your participants. Students may wish to include the usefulness of their methodology. Explore whether the audience for the video production is mainstream, niche, art house, or underground/alternative.
  • 8. R E S E A R C H I N T O P R O D U C T S 8 g324 Independent research into existing media practice through case studies, with reference to comparable texts *Research must be linked in some way to the artist/band students are promoting. •! About 1000-2000 words with graphics if appropriate. Any information off the internet must not be included unless briefly quoted in commentary. The discussion must be written up in your own words, any quotes must be referenced •! It is important that research is linked to productions either generically or thematically, or linked to similar artists or bands. •! Information off websites or biographical details about artists and are not part of coursework mark, thus should not be included. Task 1: Analysis of Music Video Productions (One at least must be British) To achieve a satisfactory pass students are expected to analyse a minimum of 2 music videos. Students can include graphics in their analysis. For highly proficient level some students may wish to analyse two music videos (one male/female or mixed band) and compare how gender is represented. Task 2: Analyses of CD/Digipak & magazine advertisement promoting band All students must produce at least 2 analyses of CD/digipak covers and magazine advertisements. Try to look for links between music videos and print productions. Students can include images. Task 3: Case Studies – Independent research into an aspect of the Music Industry Suggested topics: •! The Norwich/local Music Scene – researching unsigned British bands in Norwich, to include performance, venues, problems of getting signed, messages and values in music. How they represent aspects of contemporary Britain. Researching the ups and downs of a local unsigned band. •! Researching aspects of summer music festivals: audience, performance, ratio of British bands to bands from USA, representation of gender & race in play lists. •! A Case Study on MTV or other television music channel and its audience. •! The importance of radio in the promotion of British new artists/bands. This could include researching radio schedules and listening to radio programmes that focus on unsigned artists. Information could focus on the ratio of male and female artist, artists from ethnic minorities and genres. Also quotes from DJ’s would be useful to support points. •! How TV talent shows (for example Britain’s Got Talent) reflect cultural identity and market Britain to international audiences. •A topic of your choosing (to be negotiated with me).
  • 9. P R I N T P R O D U C T I O N S g324 9 Very important: •! Planning and research of print productions needs to be as detailed as that for the music video with ideas evaluated in note form. •! It is important that any scanned written text is readable. •! It is important that composition and design make an impact use old ideas (if appropriate). •! Students must not use any found images in print productions. 1) Digipak(CD/DVD package this is not group work but groups could utilise a specific brand style. Each student must submit this artefact. Students are advised to email tutors to get immediate feedback on design ideas. This is important. Rejected ideas need to be included in planning aspect of blog with comments about why design not submitted. •! It is important that this production has a professional finish and looks like a real product. It is strongly advisable to design front and back covers, some students include inserts about the artist/ band •! Measurements, the finished product must fit neatly into any casing. Rough work that is ill-fitting loses marks. •! It is advisable that the product links generically or visually to the music video and should endeavour to feature the artists or mock-up artists as this is part of a strong promotional campaign where the purpose is to establish a fan base and thus the fans need to recognise the artist/band members. •! Stills from the music video can be utilised. •! The impact of design and composition is important. Originality is rewarded if appropriate and polished. •! Graphics and text should be well integrated. •! Slogan “The Short Cuts – The Best British band since The Beatles; “Gentleman’s Walk” Norwich band to storm charts..or something much better. •! Name of band/artist and album needs to be clearly readable. •! Institutional information need to be included, price, any information about special offer, slogan, and details of company band/artist is signed up to. •! If possible to include aspect of Britishness. •! Avoid stereotyping any social group, for example demeaning representations of gender or race or age, though irony if intelligent and appropriate is rewarded. BLOG ENTRIES FOR PRINT PRODUCTIONS ! Digipak: Research into real productions needs to be evaluated. This should include images and discussion; Planning should reflect the development of your ideas. Any abandoned ideas need to be justified.
  • 10. M A G A Z I N E A D V E R T I S E M E N T 10 g324 2) Magazine advertisement for the digipak (CD/DVD) package: (No smaller than A5 and no larger than A3 size. It would be advisable to design an A4 advertisement. It is important that the design makes an impact.) Each student must submit this artefact. All images must be original and constructed by the student. Copies of unprocessed/un-manipulated original pictures/images must be included on blog. All the advice for the digipak re: elements of design, composition and marketing of the artist/s, are also relevant to the assessment of this production. •! Students need to identify which appropriate magazine the advertisement would be printed in. Examples: Specialist music or film magazine, life style magazine, Radio Times or similar magazine. •! Students need to research aspects of the magazine through a case study and identify the demographic target audience. •! Students may wish to identify whether the advertisement should be placed near the beginning, the middle or back page of the magazine. •! Date album released and where product can be accessed •! Details of where music can be accessed, i.e. website information very important for establishing a fan base and to find out tour dates etc. •! Details of cost of album or any special deals. •! Any other information that would strongly promote the band. BLOG ENTRIES FOR PRINT PRODUCTIONS ! ! Magazine Advertisement: Research: A case study on specific magazine/s which would appropriately host the advertisements would be advisable focusing on target audience; copies of similar advertisements to include their source; evaluation why this particular magazine would be appropriate to place your advertisement. Planning should reflect the development of your ideas. Any abandoned ideas need to be justified.
  • 11. E V A L U A T I O N g324 11 In the evaluation the following questions must be answered: (points should be illustrated with utilisation of graphics/images). 1. ! In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (Music video: compare aspects of mise en scène of your production with a minimum of 2 music videos of a similar genre; CD/digipak cover & magazine advertisement: compare aspects of illustrations and text with similar generic productions. 2. ! How effective is the combination of your main product with ancillary texts? (Explain how effectively you have combined visual aspects of your music video with the print productions. Focus on how you have utilised a particular brand style). 3. ! What have you learned from your audience feedback? (Objectively evaluate feedback on all 3 productions, explaining research method and demographic of participants). 4. ! How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Guidance as follows: I. Blog: Explain how you used the blog to record all aspects of research and planning for all 3 productions. II. Music Video: explain what camera and any lighting, sound, equipment you used for shooting the music video, if appropriate explain the technologies you used for special effects; explain editing software you used in post production to include any specific effects, for example cross dissolve, fade to black, slow motion, jump cuts etc). III. Print Productions: Explain what software you used for both productions to include any special effects like cropping or manipulation of image. Also explain (if appropriate) how you technically utilised any stills from the music video or any of your own photographs to include what stills camera you used. If you drew your own graphics then explain how you transferred these onto your production.
  • 12. W O R K I N G P A T T E R N 12 g324 Advised timings. Feel free to complete the tasks earlier if you like! Tick once completed... Time Task Complete June/July Search for unsigned band & secure permission Complete analysis of music videos Start audience research Start research into an aspect of the music industry Summer Holidays Ideas for music video Liaise with artist/band Complete further music video analysis Begin to explore digipaks September Planning music video (all aspects inc. scheduling & casting) Research into an aspect of the music industry Research into target audience Start shoot (include stills for possible digipak/poster material) October Shooting music video Research audience Continue Research into an aspect of the music industry Analyse digipaks & magazine covers November Complete shoot of music video Completion of research tasks Begin edit of music video December Continue editing Screen rough edits for audience feedback Complete research into print productions January Complete final edit of music video Start planning print productions (if not earlier) Mock exam February Complete drafts of print productions Start answering evaluation questions March Re-draft/adjust print productions (where necessary) Re-draft evaluation questions and complete blog