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Btec Media Handbook


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The Handbook for everyone starting the Level 3 BTEC in Media Production

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Btec Media Handbook

  1. 1. Media & Film Studies BTEC in Media Production Level 3 Handbook Heath Park Business & Enterprise College
  2. 2. The Media and Film Department What is studying the Media about? From the internet to television, from cinema to video games, much of our waking lives is dominated by consuming, talking about and using the media. This course seeks to broaden and deepen the student’s understanding of the media and the role that it plays in society. Studying Media and Film can be taken in one of two ways – the ‘A’ level route and the vocational route. The ‘A’ Level Route The department offers AS level Film Studies. There is a separate handbook for those starting the course in September. If you require any further information then please go and see Mr. Fletcher who will only be too happy to discuss an outline of the course requirements. The Vocational Route The BTEC in Media Production can be taken as either a double award or single award. It is designed to enable young people to develop creativity and confidence and the ability to think, question, explore, create and communicate. You will learn about the media industries, explore your own creativity, develop skills in critical thinking, and learn practical skills in media production that enable you to apply your ideas in different ways. It is a unit- based course that will take up most of your timetable if you take the double award. What will you study? You will study and learn in a variety of ways, including individual, small group and whole class productions, internet-based research, discussions and contact with media professionals. Much of the time will be spent working with others in making media products, so the course is very hands-on. You will work on productions involving video, desktop publishing, photography, audio mixing, computer games and possibly animation. You may well make products for real audiences, including the possibility of cinema screenings and internet showcases of your work. How will you study this subject? The course will be based here at Heath Park, however some of the production work will take place ‘on location’ at different sites. By necessity you will have to out of school in production teams to complete film assignments and
  3. 3. individually to complete photographic work. Assessment Assessment will be based upon portfolios with tasks set and marked by the teachers. There are no examinations. The single award is worth the equivalent of one ‘A’ level and the double award two ‘A’ levels. Progression The BTEC in Media Production will develop a range of skills that will allow you to go on to a range of specialist or more general higher-level courses, such as degree courses in Media Studies, Film Production, Games Design or Photography. You would also be able to progress to a creative apprenticeship of some sort or undertake training to support future employment. Combination with other subjects You can choose one other subject if you do double award and two if you do the single award. What’s the difference between Film Studies and the BTEC in Media Production? • You will work in a wider range of areas • You will be assessed though coursework and not take any exams • You will spend a much greater proportion of your time studying media topics • You will have more opportunities for work related learning with media professionals Minimum Requirements • Good qualifications are desirable in English, Music, ICT or Business • An ability to respond to media texts and engage creatively with them • An ability to discuss media text in some depth • Be able to work independently • A desire to work with technologies in creating practical production work of a high standard • A desire to work in the media or film industries • To be punctual and attend all lessons
  4. 4. Minimum Pledge • You will have a dedicated area online, which we will all regularly contribute to. All of the basic course information will be available for you to access 24 hours a day - key dates, assessment tasks, assessment criteria and a course outline are all available to download. • You will be introduced to key media texts from a variety of media forms. You will have the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge by learning both in and out of the classroom and by teaching each other about different aspects of the media world. • You will have your academic progress monitored and checked against regular assessment tasks, initially model coursework leading to actual coursework assessed against marking criteria, and providing you with written feedback and targets for improvement. • You will have your general progress assessed through the course’s compliance with the whole school Core Assessment policy, again against the course’s real assessment criteria. • You will be provided with a range of multi-media resources to support and develop your learning. You will in time contribute your own multi- media resources to help teach each other. • You will have both general and specific opportunities to voice your views about the content, structure and delivery of the course and the progress you feel you are making. • You will attend regularly and punctually, appropriately dressed, prepared and resourced for our lessons. • You will meet deadlines. • You will take responsibility for monitoring and organizing your own learning and progress, making effective use of time and resources both in and out of school. • You will work with your peers in an academically productive way, courteously and openly, in a manner appropriate to your senior position within the school.
  5. 5. BTEC in Media Production Level 3 – Course Overview The BTEC in Media Production offers students an in-depth look at the world of media production. It allows learners the opportunity to gain an understanding of employment opportunities, job requirements and working practices. Furthermore it gives students to start building the technical skills and knowledge relevant to a sector or sectors of the media industry. Qualification Structure The course being offered at Heath Park is the Edexcel BTEC in Media Production. To achieve this course students are required to study a total of 6 units (4 lessons a week) for the BTEC National Award or 12 units (8 lessons a week) for the BTEC National Certificate. The units are made up as follows: National Award 1. Research Techniques for the Media Industries 2. Pre-Production Techniques for the Media Industries 3. Understanding the Television & Film Industries 4. Film & Video Editing Techniques 5. Single Camera Techniques 6. Music Video Production National Certificate Students on the double award will replace unit 3 – Understanding the Television and Film Industries with Understanding the Media Industries They will also study these extra six units: 1. Production Management Project 2. Working to a Brief in the Media Industries 3. Television & Video Studies 4. Film Studies 5. Page Layout and Design 6. Web Authoring Assessment All units are internally assessed by the teachers and externally moderated by a visiting moderator. There are no external tests or exams, and ongoing assessments and moderation will take place throughout the course.
  6. 6. Certification All units are individually graded as PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION. The overall certificate is also graded in the same way. For the National Award the ‘A’ Level equivalent in UCAS points are: PASS – ‘E’ Grade (40 points); MERIT – ‘C’ Grade (80 points); and DISTINCTION – ‘A’ Grade (120) points. For the National Certificate double the points shown above.
  7. 7. Summer Assignment You will need to complete a piece of research based work that will directly lead into the beginning of your course in September. 1. Research a film of your choice (a recent one may well help). You will need to demonstrate your research by finding out the following: (a) What company (or companies) made the film and how much it cost to make? (b) How much it made at the box-office? (c) What methods of marketing were used in the distribution of the film? (d) What various people thought about the film? 2. Research a television programme of your choice. You will need to demonstrate your research by finding out the following: (a) What company makes the television programme? (b) How popular the programme is? (c) What various people think about the programme? We will consider the following points when marking your research: • The way that your results are presented: These can be done in any way that you see fit – such as written and typed, via a blog or a podcast. Please be as imaginative as you want to be. • The detail in which you discuss the topics above: Be thorough in your research and don’t just accept the easiest answer. For instance with 1(d) above think about the variety of people that might have watched the film. People you know, people online, people in newspapers or magazines, people in different countries or people of different ages are a few ways of splitting ‘people’ into different categories. The limits are very much up to you. The more thorough you are the better marks you will get. • Referencing you research: All good researchers will leave an accurate ‘breadcrumb’ trail of where they have been. Good referencing is a bit of a chore but it is absolutely vital if your research is going to mean something to anybody reading your results.
  8. 8. 3. Summary of Year 1 for BTEC Media Production Term National Award/ National Certificate National Certificate (Extra Units) Unit 1 Unit 49 Research Techniques Page Layout & Design Autumn Half Term ↓ ↓ XMAS Unit 21 Unit 3 Single Camera Techniques Production Management Project Spring Half Term Unit 15 Film & Video Editing Techniques ↓ EASTER Unit 7 Understanding the TV and Film Unit 57 Industries Web Authoring OR Unit 6 Understanding the Media Industries Summer (For Nat Cert students only) Half Term ↓ ↓
  9. 9. Summary of Year 2 for BTEC Media Production Term National Award/ National Certificate National Certificate (Extra Units) Unit 2 Unit 4 Pre-Production Techniques Working to a Brief Autumn Half Term ↓ ↓ XMAS Unit 28 Unit 24 Music Video Production Television & Video Studies Spring Half Term ↓ ↓ EASTER ↓ Unit 25 Film Studies Summer Half Term
  10. 10. Key Subject Terminology ARTEFACT A thing created by human hand. In the media field, this term can refer variously to a radio broadcast, an advertisement, a page of a newspaper etc. AUDIENCE The unknown individuals and groups to who mass communications are addressed. Audience in culture is defined as an ‘individual or a group of persons’. Audience is an umbrella designation which identifies members' socioeconomic, class, lifestyles, motivation, disposable income, fantasies etc. and that knowledge enables institutions and producers to "target" their audience precisely. AUTEUR THEORY One approach to film theory is to consider the film as a work of art created by and representing the viewpoint of its director, who is then seen as its author or auteur. Auteur theory is applied to directors with a very distinctive style e.g. Hitchcock CLOSURE This concept refers to the textual strategies by means of which a viewer or reader is encouraged to make sense of a factual or fictional narrative in a particular way, or according to a particular ideological framework. CODE A code is a system of signs. (There are also codes of behaviour such as the rules of cricket, or dining-room etiquette). Codes are signifying systems and are therefore ways of communicating meaning. All codes must have a systematic and a paradigmatic dimension. CONNOTATION Connotation is the meaning of the sign interpreted subjectively by the reader and is dependent on the reader's own values and culture. CONSENSUS The word means a generally shared agreement. CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY In media studies, this idea emphasizes that there is no single 'reality', rather a range of definitions of 'reality'. Reality as presented by the mass media is therefore not a picture or reflection of 'reality', but, rather, a constructed interpretation of reality for just about every aspect of reality seems to be considered a social construction. CONTEXT Used extensively in text analysis with its simple meaning - text must be read or interpreted under certain conditions, or in a certain context. CONVENTION A textual or social practice shared by members of a culture or subculture. Conventions are usually understated and taken for granted. They derive from the shared experiences of those who adopt them and create shared expectations. In media studies, the term convention is applied to those typifications of a specific genre which differentiate it from others. For example, in a Western film, convention dictates that 'baddies' wear black hats, gamblers wear bootlace ties and women are either virginal school teacher or saloon bar whores. CULTURE The term culture can be used to characterise a society as a whole, or the particular life-style
  11. 11. of a social group within the social structure. In the broader sense, it is used to refer to the pattern of ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge that the members of a social group or society have about themselves and their social and physical environments. DECONSTRUCTION Deconstructing a text involves identifying the levels of meaning which are either implicit or repressed within its overt structure but which nevertheless provide a key to its operation as a discourse. DENOTATION This is the inherent, obvious meaning of the sign, simply what it depicts. This meaning is objective and refers to the sign itself. FEMINISM Feminism is often viewed simplistically as a version of female suffrage - a perpetual struggle by women to obtain equal rights in social, political and economic spheres. THE GAZE A transformation of the notion of looking or ways of seeing, the concept of the gaze suggests that the activity of looking is structured by conventions of representation. This implies that when we look, for example, at the countryside, what we see is governed by the convention of landscape, itself rooted in the historical convention of historical art and architecture which is informed by the notion of perspective. Feminist writers, notably Laura Mulvey and Rosalind Coward, have suggested that looking involves power; that typically, this way of looking is invested in the male gaze which refers specifically to the look of men at women; and that in this convention, men have power over women. Men objectify women and women take on the identity of objectification by making themselves up, by constructing themselves as an object for the male gaze. In Mulvey's argument, this male gaze takes two main forms, voyeurism and fetishism. GENRE Literally a type - of film, novel, broadcast etc. that follows recognized conventions. For example, the Western, the detective novel. Genres may overlap, examples being, the musical western, comedy-horror. HEGEMONY or DOMINATE IDEOLOGY Traditionally this describes the predominance of one political power over another, of one social class over another. The effect that the beliefs and 'world-view' of the dominant class are incorporated into the ideas and beliefs of the traditional majority therefore lead to ideology being imposed through coercion by the dominant group. ICONOGRAPHY Iconography is concerned with the use of visual images. Although the term can be applied to many fields, it is commonly employed to refer to sets of visual images found in films. Genre films often display certain kinds of visual images which are recognizable and trigger the reader's expectations. These can be associated with the mise-en-scene - the saloon fight or the stagecoach in westerns. IDEOLOGY Ideology is concerned with the influence that ideas have on social organization. It refers to patterns of ideas, both factual and evaluative, which purport to explain and legitimise the social structure and culture of a particular social group or society, and which serve to justify social actions which are in accordance with those patterns of ideas. They are usually seen as centring on political or religious Issues.
  12. 12. INDEX An index sign has a direct relationship to that which it represents. For example, a thermometer is an index of temperature. INSTITUTIONS (SOCIAL) A social institution is an aspect of social life in which distinctive values and interests, centring upon large and important social concerns, are associated with distinctive patterns of social interaction. The social institutions distinguished within a society usually consist of: the family and kinship political institutions economic institutions religious institutions educational institutions (i.e.. the process of schooling) social control institutions (judicial, policing, military) INTERTEXTUALITY This is an idea that stems from, though standing in contradiction to, the notion that great works of art and literature are discrete entities, owing their greatness to their singularity. Intertextuality suggests that within popular culture, meanings circulate through different texts, each feeding off the other. Texts exist in a relationship to one another in a process of circulation. METALANGUAGE Literally - beyond language, but usually means a language about language. In its wider sense it covers all forms of textual analysis. MISE-EN-SCENE A term used in film and television which refers to the process of arrangement on the set and therefore to what appears on the screen in a single shot, as opposed to montage which is concerned with the ordering of different shots. MYTH Barthes suggested that myth is a form of speech, by which he means that it is a discourse and has form rather than content. He develops this notion by suggesting that myth is a second order signifying system. That is, when a sign becomes the signifier-part of a new sign (a second-order sign), then a myth (a second order meaning) is constructed. NARRATIVE A narrative is a sequence of events that constructs a story. It also refers to the means or act of telling a story. Film and television texts can be analysed as narratives in the same fashion as literary or other texts and this is a major component of media theory. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION (NVC) Communication between people by means other than speech. NVC derives from the following major sources : Eye contact, mouth (e.g.. smiling or grimacing), posture, gesture, orientation (of the body to the addressee), distance (from the addressee), smell (including perfume), skin (blushing etc.), hair and clothes. There are many cultural determinants and variations in NVC. No simple predictions about non-verbal behaviour can be made, since variables such as, types of relationships, impact on the individuals understanding. NOSTALGIA A yearning for the past or some past condition or state which can be sentimental or excessive, going beyond the desire for a 'return home'. PATRIARCHY This is the structural, systematic and historical domination and exploitation of women. The concept is widely and generally used to refer to the total social organization of gender relations, institutions and social processes which produce and reproduce women as socially, politically and sexually subordinate to men.
  13. 13. POPULAR CULTURE Popular culture is an inter-disciplinary subject which has a great deal in common with media studies but extends that field to cover not only cultural artefacts, but also social institutions, leisure activities and lived experiences. PROPAGANDA The deliberate attempt by some individual or group to form, control or alter the attitudes of others by the use of communication with the intention. REPRESENTATION or Re - presentation Rather than being a simple mirror image of a real thing, a representation, in Communication Studies, is seen as constituting an object of enquiry in itself - with its own internal structure and rules. SEMIOLOGY This is the name for the study of signs and sign systems. Semiology suggests that all cultural artefacts can be regarded as signs or sign systems. SIGN A sign comprises two components - a signifier and a signified. SIGNIFICATION The signifier is the actual 'thing' that conveys the meaning, the signified is the meaning conveyed. For example, if the signifier is a lamb in a field, the signified is springtime, youth, freshness, a new beginning. STEREOTYPE A fixed conventionalised representation of a type (usually a type of person) often to the point of caricature, and is held in consensus by the dominate ideology. SUBCULTURE Subcultures are subdivisions within wider cultures. They correspond with the particular positions of certain social groups. SYMBOL Used in general terms to mean an object that represents or stands for something else. It has a more specific usage in semiotics. TEXT Traditionally referring to the printed word, the term is extended in the media sense to include any media artefact. USES & GRATIFICATIONS Developed from the Effects Tradition, it inverts effects research by asking not what the media does to people, but what people do to the media, what uses they make of it and what gratification they expect and get from it.