Critical Perspectives in Media Question 1: Writing reflectively about your production work
Each question is worth 25 marks and requires 30 minutes of exam time. <ul><li>1a asks about the whole of your practical work : </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary task at AS. </li></ul><ul><li>Main task at AS. </li></ul><ul><li>Main task at A2. </li></ul><ul><li>Ancillary tasks at A2. </li></ul><ul><li>Work completed outside the course. </li></ul><ul><li>The question is all about skills and development and will focus on one or two of: </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Research and Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Post-production </li></ul><ul><li>Using conventions from real media texts. </li></ul><ul><li>1b asks about only one of your projects (again could be something completed outside the course). It will ask you about any one of the key concepts: </li></ul><ul><li>Genre </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Representation </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Media Language </li></ul>
Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance <ul><li>For 1a, prepare responses for each of the possible areas. If more than one comes up, you can combine your points to answer effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>For 1b, you may want to have a different production focus depending on which concept comes up. For example: </li></ul><ul><li>AS Title sequences would work well for Narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>A2 Music videos would work well for Representation. </li></ul><ul><li>For both questions your planning will be personal to you and, if done thoroughly, will ensure exam success! </li></ul>
Ten Commandments for Reflective Writing <ul><li>Focus on creative decisions informed by institutional knowledge (you did what you did partly because of what you had learned about how the media produce, distribute and share material) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on creative decisions informed by theoretical understanding (you know you did what you did because of having a point of view in relation to media and meaning, and you can describe that in relation to media theories. </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the process - don’t just describe it. </li></ul><ul><li>Relate your media to ‘real media’ at the micro level (give clear, specific examples of how you used techniques and strategies to create intertextual references to media you have been influenced by). </li></ul><ul><li>Try to deconstruct yourself (don’t think of your own tastes, decisions, preferences, behaviour as just being ‘the ways things are’; instead, try to analyse the reasons for these things - tough to do but worth the effort). </li></ul>
Ten Commandments for Reflective Writing cont. <ul><li>Choose clearly relevant micro examples to relate to macro reflective themes (you can’t write about EVERYTHING you did, so be prepared with a ‘menu’ of examples to adapt to the needs of the reflective task). </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid binary oppositions (your media products will not either follow or challenge existing conventions; they will probably do a bit of both). </li></ul><ul><li>Try to write about your broader media culture (don’t just limit your writing to your media production pieces, but try to extend your response to include other creative work or other media-related activities you have been engaged in). </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt a metadiscourse (step outside of just describing your activities as a media student to reflect, if possible, on the ‘conditions of possibility’ for the subject and your role within it - what kind of activity is making a music video for media studies, compared with making it as a self-employed media producer?) </li></ul><ul><li>Quote, paraphrase, reference (reflective writing about production is still academic writing so remain within the mode of address) </li></ul>
Question 1a: Reflecting on the development of your skills This question asks you to consider how you have developed as a maker of media products across your work, including relevant work completed in other subjects (Film, Photography, Art for example) and anything made ‘for fun’ (videos on YouTube for example). So, what is ‘your work’? Make a Timeline of all relevant work completed over the past 2 years adding a brief description of each piece and noting where it can be found for reference. Use arrows to show connections between pieces.
3 Essential Tips for 1a <ul><li>Plan and prepare before the exam. There is a limit to what can be asked and some combinations are more likely than others (eg. Digital tech + any other or Creativity + any other). You only have 30mins but have to talk about everything you have done so make every word BRILLIANT! </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the mark scheme. There are 10 marks for explanation, analysis and argument, 10 marks for examples and 5 marks for terminology. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about where you are at the end of the course and what you have learnt in other areas of it. You’re not just giving an account of what you did but sitting back and reflecting upon it in the light of all your learning. It is GOOD to utilise things you’ve learnt/are learning in other units. </li></ul>
Creativity Whilst you’ve had to evaluate your work from the perspective of the other four areas, you have not before had to consider Creativity. Where does creativity come from and what does it mean anyway? Let’s BRAINSTORM! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/creativity
Self-Evaluation: Creativity How creative do you think you’ve been? Has a set menu of tasks made it easier to be creative or would you have preferred a free choice? Were you pinned down too much by the tasks or did they free you up to be creative within the boundaries of the task? What other factors affected your creativity? Look over your timeline and write 5 bullet points, with explanations and examples, reflecting on your creativity across the course. Remember to include media terminology where appropriate.
Homework Look again at all the work you have produced over the past 2 years (referenced in your timeline) and ensure that you have access to it all next lesson. Failure to do this will mean your presence in the lesson next week be largely POINTLESS.
Digital Technology <ul><li>Digital technology you may have used includes: </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based such as websites, downloads, YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Digital editing programs (iMovie/Final Cut Pro/music editing) </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop </li></ul><ul><li>Digital cameras/video cameras </li></ul><ul><li>Digital sound recorders </li></ul>
One way of approaching this area might be to imagine you DIDN’T have any of this technology available to you and consider how this would have negatively affected your production work. Look for examples in your production work where your use of each type of digital technology has been particularly successful and/or interesting and/or has led to or shown a development. Try to focus your ideas on your development as a media producer and try to trace a path across the two years.
Research and Planning This is an area in which some of you have been stronger than others across the past two years. The examiner has no way of knowing what you actually did, so some poetic license can be applied if this area comes up in the exam. What were the most useful Research and Planning activities you undertook in each of your projects and how did they inform the production? Find 10 examples.
Post-production <ul><li>AKA Editing. This may be video or still image editing work. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the following for still image AND video (AND sound where relevant: </li></ul><ul><li>How have your editing skills developed over the past two years and what evidence is there of this in your work (give examples)? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the key skills that you have learnt in order to be successful in editing work and when/how did you learn them (give examples)? </li></ul><ul><li>How important has post-production work been to each of your projects? </li></ul>
Using Conventions from real Media Texts <ul><li>You should have some analysis of your use of codes and conventions in your blog evaluations for each production (for media studies projects at least), so use these as a starting point. Find examples of times when you: </li></ul><ul><li>Followed a convention </li></ul><ul><li>Developed a convention </li></ul><ul><li>Deliberately ignored/contradicted a convention </li></ul><ul><li>For each example, explain HOW you did it and WHY. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to ensure you have a range of examples from across the course. </li></ul>