A Level Media Studies - Induction Booklet


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A Level Media Studies - Induction Booklet

  1. 1. Induction Booklet
  2. 2. Course Outline Autumn Term Theory Practical Representation in TV Drama 1. Key terminology 2. Learning to analyse NOT describe. 3. Exploration of typical representations and how they are used in TV Drama. 4. Assignment: Practice essay (using exam question). Creating an opening sequence 1. Creation of group ‘production company’ blog to log your production progress on to. 2. Preliminary practical activity. 3. Research into real media texts. 4. Planning of own production work. The UK Film Industry (Audience & Institutions) 1. Exploration of key audience & institution issues. 2. Case study 1: Working Title December: TV DRAMA MOCK EXAM Creating an opening sequence 1. Filming production task. 2. Completion of rough cut (first edit) of opening sequence. 3. Group presentation of rough cut and gathering audience feedback. 4. Completion of final cut of task. 5. Begin drafting evaluation. Deadline: FINAL CUT OF FILM SEQUENCE Spring Term Theory Practical Representation in TV Drama 1. Mock exam feedback & target setting. 2. Finalise topic and practice exam skill. The UK Film Industry 1. Case study 2: See-Saw Films 2. Case Study 3: Blast! Films March: FULL MOCK EXAM Creating an opening sequence 1. Completion of evaluations and final presentation of work. Deadline - February: ALL REMAINING COURSEWORK Summer Term Theory Mock exam feedback & target setting. Revision of all theory units. All students sit AS Exam – Unit G322: Key Concepts in Media Studies.
  3. 3. Exam – Section A: TV Drama In this unit of the course you will need to develop your analytical capabilities and be able to explore how different areas of representation are addressed within TV Drama. The areas of representation which could be covered in the exam are: - Gender - Ethnicity - Class - Sexuality - Disability - Age - Place (this could be a place like ‘London’ or ‘The North’). Only one of these areas will come up on the exam paper and you will be expected to be able to deconstruct how the four core technical areas (mise-en-scene, camera, sound and editing) are used to create particular representations for that social/cultural group. You will be expected to show an in depth awareness of representation issues and different media language techniques. As always you must NEVER describe and ALWAYS analyse – that means NO TELLING THE STORY. Further viewing: To get ahead in this unit why not familiarise yourself with some of the key texts you will be studying for this unit. Most of them can be found on BBC iPlayer, 4oD or YouTube. They include: - Skins - ER - Shameless - Merlin - Dr. Who - Sherlock - Waterloo Road - Lost - Eastenders - Desperate Housewives - Game of Thrones - Emmerdale
  4. 4. Exam – Section B: British Cinema For this unit you will be studying the UK Film Industry and how it works with a British audience. You will study three British films and explore and compare how successful they were with British audiences as well as looking at the institutions that made the films. You should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. Relevant areas include:  The issues raised by media ownership;  The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;  The technologies that have been introduced in recent years to help production, distribution, marketing and exchange;  The significance of the increase in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;  The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;  The issues raised in the targeting of audiences (specifically, British) by international institutions;  The ways in which your own experiences of media consumption show trends of audience behaviour. Coursework – Film Opening Sequence Worth 50%, your coursework unit will focus on you working in a team to produce an opening sequence for an original teen comedy (or if you’re not very funny, a teen drama). During the unit you will develop a variety of skills such as practical skills including camera and post-production software skills. You will also develop skills such as team work, organisation and communication skills. Before you produce your opening sequence you will be required to complete a short preliminary task – the creation of a 1 minute film to show your understanding of camera and editing rules.
  5. 5. Summer Holiday Task Your task: Task 1: Using the most creative means at your disposal, produce a response to a teen comedy/drama opening sequence. You will need to analyse the opening 5-10mins of a teen comedy/drama film of your choice and explain how you know that the film is a teen comedy/drama. You must try and identify as many clues as possible from the opening sequence that tells you what genre the film is. You must cover the following areas:  Use of sound  Use of props, setting (location), costume  Introduction of storyline  Introduction of character If you don’t know any teen comedy/drama films here is a link to a list: If you are struggling to find a film to analyse, you can use the opening toJuno: http://vimeo.com/13107046 How to present your work? Please choose one of the following formats.  A video of you analysing the film, can be recorded with a mobile phone or flip cam – no longer than 2 mins. This video needs to be uploaded to YouTube.  A Prezi - presentation (www.prezi.com). You’ll be using this site a lot, so give it a try.  An audio file uploaded to www.Soundcloud.com - no longer than 2 mins Task 2: Search the following in YouTube: ‘OCR G322 - The Hustle (Gender) Jan 2011’ – watch the clip. On the grid below analyse how different technical elements (camera, editing, sound and mise-en-scene) are used to create representations of gender. Remember you are NOT allowed to tell the story. You should try and focus on the technical elements ONLY (use the glossary to help you). Camera Editing Sound Mise-en-scene (costume, props, lighting, setting)
  6. 6. Next – choose one example from each area and analyse in one paragraph for each element how your chosen example represents gender. For example: Sound “The extract from ‘Skins’ begins with Jal playing a traditional classical piece of music on a clarinet. This connotes that potentially Jal, identifies more strongly with a ‘white’ middle class background as opposed to her black upbringing. The sound of the clarinet is abruptly interrupted by the loud bass sound of her brother’s hip hop rehearsal on the floor below. As the hip hop over powers the clarinet sound this could connote to the audience that although it is Jal’s wish to be seen as more ‘white’ she cannot escape her black roots and will always be partly judged based on black youth stereotypes. It could also be argued that the two sounds of the hip hop and clarinet coincide harmoniously and this could signify that her two identities could co-exist within a Western culture. However, due to the character’s stubbornness this is not possible.” Media Terminology Glossary Terminology What it means... Editing Continuity editing The system of cutting used in most mainstream films. The intention is to establish the illusion of continuous action and keep the audiences’ attention on the story. Non-continuity editing Use of editing style which draws the audience attention to the film making process to reveal that film is ‘constructed’, not ‘natural’. Shot-reverse-shot This is when one character is shown looking at another character (often off- screen), and then the other character is shown looking "back" at the first character. Cross-cutting Cross-cutting is an editing technique most often used in films to establish action occurring at the same time in two different locations. In a cross-cut, the camera will cut away from one action to another action, which can suggest the simultaneity of these two actions but this is not always the case. It can be used to build suspense. Fast-paced editing When scenes are edited together using lots of shots cut together quickly. Has the effect the action is taking place quickly and can build tension. Dissolve The gradual transition from one image to another. Cut An abrupt transition from one shot to another. Usually it is used to maintain continuity editing. Wipe A transition from one image to another. One image is replaced by another with a distinct edge that forms a shape. For example a simple edge, an expanding circle, or the turning of a page. Makes the audience more ‘aware’ they are watching a film. Fade Transition generally used at the end of a scene to signify to the audience an end of action. Generally action will fade to black. Jump cut Two shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly. It causes the subject to appear to ‘jump’ in an abrupt way, drawing the audiences’ attention to the editing. CGI Computer generated imagery. Any still or moving image created using software. Slow motion A post-production effect in which time seems to slow down.
  7. 7. Camera Establishing shot A shot which establishes the setting for the scene. For example: A long shot of a building exterior. Ariel shot Sometimes called a ‘bird’s eye view’. This is an extreme high-angle shot. Point-of-view shot A shot intended to show the action from the perspective of a particular character. Hand-held camera A shaky effect created when the cinematographer just holds the camera. Has the effect of the audience feeling as if they are ‘in’ the action. Steadicam Used to achieve a smooth even shot when shooting action. Crane shot A shot created using a large camera mounting, capable of achieving high elevations and movements. Tracking shot A shot in which the camera moves to follow a sequence of action, placed usually on a dolly or specially prepared tracks. Shallow Focus Part of the image is in focus while the rest is out of focus or blurred. This draws the audiences’ attention to a particular action/character. Canted Angle (or Dutch Angle) The camera is placed on a slant. Often used to portray the psychological uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed. Dolly Zoom A cinematic technique in which the camera moves closer or further from the subject while at the same time adjusting the zoom to keep the subject the same size in the frame. The effect is that the subject appears stationary while the background size changes. Sound Diegetic sound Sound which has a source on-screen. For example: dialogue. Non-diegetic sound Sound which does not have a source on-screen. For example: music or voiceover. Sound bridge The sound from one scene continuing to the next or the sound from the next scene being used before the audience see the relevant images. It gives the sense that the film is ‘linked’ together. Synchronous sound Sounds which are expected with what is viewed. For example in a birthday party you expect to hear laughter, singing and music Asynchronous sound Sound which does not match or is unexpected with the images on the screen. Can be used to build tension, suspense or emotion. Voiceover Non-diegetic sound of a person speaking over a scene.