Foundation Portfolio – Autumn Term 2015
The Foundation Portfolio is the coursework unit which is worth 50% of your AS grade.
The front page, contents and double page spread of a new music magazine. All images
and text used must be original, produced by the candidate, minimum of FOUR images per
Your marks for this unit are broken down into:
Research and Planning 20 marks
Production 60 marks
Evaluation 20 marks
You will be working on the Research and Planning element of the coursework until half
term. The deadline for your Research and Planning is Thursday the 22nd of October.
Your coursework and homework will be assessed every two weeks, and current working
grades placed on GO.
Your coursework will be presented on a blog using the bloggerwebsite.
Record your blog address here:
7th of September-11th of September
Task One – Research into Music Magazines
Your first task is to find out about the music magazine market in the UK. You need to
identify examples of leading music publications, and find out about their genre, content,
target audience, and publishers. You do not need to complete detailed analysis of these
magazines, but should outline key points in relation to the areas above. You should
include information about a minimum of three music magazines.
Summarise your findings – try to make this as visual as possible, including images of
magazine pages, mastheads, logos, and information from the internet. Detailed
information about the target audience can be found if you google for the media pack of
Task Two – Detailed Analysis of Music Magazine
You now need to decide on the genre of the magazine you intend to produce, and
complete a detailed analysis of a magazine from that genre. You will need to analyse the
front cover, contents page, and a double page spread fromthe magazine. Make sure you
include annotated images of the pages you are analysing. Your analysis should focus on
the effect of:
images (including shot types, and mise-en-scene)
conventions (including convention of form and genre)
Deadline - Friday 11th of September.
Tasks 1-2 must be completed and handed in by Friday the 11th of September.
14th of September-25th of September
Homework One – Content Analysis
Summarise the content of one issue of a relevant music magazine. What are the main
sections? What are the articles about? What bands and artists are included? What types
of products are advertised? You can present this as a mind-map, list, collage, written
summary, or any other suitable method of presentation. Due 25/9/15.
Task Three – Brand Identity and Mode of Address Analysis
Analyse another issue from a relevant music magazine including reference to the front
cover, contents page, and a double page spread. These should be different pages to the
ones you used for your first analysis, but can be from a different issue of the same
Focus on how the magazine creates a brand identity and uses a house style across the
pages, and consider how the magazine constructs its mode of address. Consider how this
helps it appeal to a specific target audience. Try to make this as visual as possible, e.g.
select specific examples of a font style or use of language which you can annotate.
Task Four – Representation Analysis
Analyse a relevant music magazine in relation to representation. Representation is the
way in which the media portray people, or groups of people. You should consider how
the bands and artists are represented by the magazine. What impression is created of
them? You should also consider how social groups such as gender, age, or ethnicity are
represented and how this relates to stereotypes about these social groups. Consider how
language, images (shot types, body language, mise-en-scene), font, and colour contribute
to these representations.
This analysis must include detailed analysis of the use of photography – how do the
elements within the photographs construct a specific image of the artist.
Task Five – Summary of Research into Similar Products
Summarise what you have found out from the three analyses of music magazines you
have completed. Identify key findings in relation to:
conventions of form
conventions of genre
mode of address
use of technical elements
Task Six – Questionnaire and Results
Write a questionnaire to find out about your target audience, and how to make your
product appealing to them. Remember you only want to find out about people who are
the target audience for yourmagazine. You should ask questions to identify the
demographic of your target audience (age, gender) and the psychographic of the
audience (what their interests are). You also need to ask questions to find out what
would encourage your audience to buy your magazine, e.g. the types of stories, bands,
images, font styles, colour schemes you should use. You will need to summarise the
answers you receive and identify the key points. You may want to use an online survey
site such as surveymonkey.com. If you do make sure you make a note of your login
Task Seven – Focus Group Interview
A focus group involves you interviewing two or three members of your target audience in
detail. You should discuss their views on the genre of music, related music magazines,
and what they would expect to see in a music magazine. It is a good idea to show them a
relevant magazine and ask them to discuss what they like and dislike. Before you
complete the interview you should write a series of prompt questions. Presenting this is a
video or audio recording will help you to achieve a higher mark. Explain key findings.
Task Eight – Audience Research Summary
Summarise the key findings of your audience research (questionnaire, focus group). What
have you learnt about the target audience? What have you found out about how to
appeal to this audience? How will this information help you?
Deadline – Friday 25th of September.
Tasks 3-8 and Homework 1 must be handed in by Friday the 25th of September.
28th of September-9th of October
Homework Two – Institutions Research
Using a relevant music magazine complete research into the company that produces it.
You should aim to find out what brands they produce, what audiences they target,
examples of cross-media ownership, and information about the ownership structure of
the company, e.g. are they a subsidiary? Due 9/10/15.
Task Nine – Production Ideas
Create a mood board of your ideas for your magazine. This should include possible
names, content, images, etc.
Task Ten – Draft work
You now need to begin planning your magazine. You should produce at least one draft
layout for each magazine page you are producing (front cover, contents page, double
page spread). The draft layouts should show how you intend to lay each page out, and
the types of fonts and colours you may use. Ideally you will produce more than one draft
of each page. You should also identify ideas for font styles you may use for different
types of text in your magazine (e.g. masthead, coverlines, body copy, headlines).
Task Eleven – Photography Plan
You need to plan the photographs you will use in your magazine. Remember all
photographs must be original (taken by you) for use in this magazine. You cannot use
any found images. Your magazine must include at least four images. The exam board
recommend using images from a different photo shoot for your front cover and double
page spread. Photography will have a big effect on the mark you receive for your
magazine, so you need to think carefully about casting, locations, body language, shot
types, angles, and use of mise-en-scene. Plan each photo shoot including a table listing
dates, locations, props, costumes, personnel, and equipment. You should also include
some discussion of shot types and angles you may use. Remember when you take your
pictures, take more than you need so you have a choice.
Task Twelve – Pitch
Write a pitch for your magazine to the publishing company you researched for homework.
You should discuss what your magazine will be like (mode of address, house style), the
genre, target audience, and content of your first issue. Explain why your magazine will
appeal to the target audience. As part of the pitch you should produce a media pack
similar to the ones produced for magazines like NME and Kerrang by their publishers.
You should use your pitch to get feedback on your ideas for your magazine. Write a short
questionnaire to accompany your pitch, and complete a focus group with members of
your target audience to get their views on your ideas.
Task Thirteen – Audience Feedback
Obtain a range of audience feedback on the planning you have completed so far.
Summarise what you learn from your feedback and explain what changes you may make
to your magazine based on the audience response.
Task Fourteen – Pre-production Planning
You need to ensure you have evidence of planning on your blog in relation to your ideas
for potential models, props, costumes, locations, and photography. Make sure you have
completed a detailed production plan.
Deadline Friday 9th of October.
Tasks 9-14 and Homework 2 should be completed and handed in by 9/10/13.
12th of October-22nd of October
Homework 3 – Test Shots
Create a mood board to show the types of photographs you want to use in your
magazine. Take a series of planning photographs to show the locations, props, costumes,
and people you intend to use in your magazine. If you are able to, start taking your
pictures for your product. Due 22/10/15.
Improving Research and Planning
Using the feedback you have been given by your teacher complete the improvements to
your research and planning.
You should now be ready to begin production on your magazine pages. Make sure you
regularly upload work in progress drafts to your blog and use these to obtain audience
Research and Planning Deadline – Thursday 23rd of October
The final deadline for your Research and Planning is Thursday 24th of October. You need
to ensure all work is completed and improvements are made by this date. All completed
research and planning must be uploaded to your blog by this date. Make sure all
content on your blog is public and can be accessed to be assessed. A mark for this work
will be placed on GO.
Headline The main title of the article.
Standfirst Lines of text after the headline that give more information.
Byline Journalist’s name at the beginning of the story.
Caption Text printed below a picture to describe it.
Coverline Captions on a magazine cover.
Cover Story Leading story used on a front cover.
Feature Longer, in-depth article.
Kicker First sentence or first few words of a story’s lead, set in font
size larger than the body text of the article.
Layout How the page is designed and formatted.
Masthead Main title of publication on the front page.
Pull Quote Selected quote from a story highlighted next to the main
Serif Font Font styles with curls attached to the letters.
Sans Serif Font Plain font type with no curls.
House Style Consistent style/mode of address used by a magazine
including use of same font styles, colours, etc.
Demographic Who the audience are in terms of social groups such as age,
gender, social class, ethnicity.
Psychographic The interests and lifestyle of the target audience.
Assessment Criteria – Research and Planning
Level 4 (A grade) 16–20 marks
• Planning and research evidence will be complete and detailed;
• There is excellent research into similar products and a potential target audience;
• There is excellent organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props;
• There is excellent work on layouts and drafting;
• There is an excellent level of care in the presentation of the research and planning;
• Time management is excellent.
Assessment Criteria – Production
Level 4 (A grade) 48–60 marks
There is evidence of excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:
• Producing material appropriate for the target audience and task;
• showing understanding of conventions of layout and page design;
• showing awareness of the need for variety in fonts and text size;
• accurately using language and register;
• using ICT appropriately for the task set;
• appropriately integrating illustration and text;
• shooting a variety of material appropriate to the task set;
• manipulating photographs as appropriate to the context for presentation, including
cropping and resizing.
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