G322 Foundation Portfolio in Video Production (OCR Media Conference 2009)
A/S Media Studies
G322 Foundation Portfolio in Video Production
OCR Conference Workshop by Nina Moore
AST/Head of Media and Film at Welling School
Session Aims and rationale:
This session will explore ways in which to deliver the new G322 Foundation Production
Portfolio ‘Video production’ unit, through close analysis of student work from ‘Welling
School’. Reflecting honestly on the experiences for both students and teaching staff, Nina
Moore (AST and Head of Media and Film) will offer experiential insight into the learning curve
afforded this year by offering this pathway, and provide delegates with useful hints and tips
that will help you and your students to realise success. The session will conclude with a Q&A
Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and
sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a
couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot
and the 180-degree rule.
The titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes.
All video and audio material must be original, produced by the candidate(s), with the
exception of music or audio effects from a copyright-free source.
The presentation of the research, planning and evaluation may take the form of any one,
or combination of two or more, of the following:
a presentation using slideshow software such as PowerPoint;
a blog or website;
a DVD with ‘extras’
Key questions the brief raised for my team:
1. How should the continuity sequence be taught? How much time will this take?
2. How can we access quality copyright free music? What resources do we have
access to in order to create original music?
3. What technical skills do we need to develop on the staff team in order to effectively
motivate students to adopt a culture of blogging?
4. Will the school/LEA ICT systems/firewalls support this style of working?
5. Will students be able to access blogging software at school? Will students be able to
access complimentary sites like YouTube in order to embed opening title sequences
into their blogs?
6. How will we ensure that students create content that is appropriate? How will we
quality assure/monitor their content?
7. How will we monitor ‘Research and Planning’ progress and undertake AFL?
8. What about the ‘technophobes’ – how will students not confident with NMT cope
with the demands of blogging?
9. Will all students have access to ICT facilities at home? How can the department best
support those that don’t?
10. How will students complete the main task in order to establish an understanding of
continuity – one day shoots with staff? Implications for staff cover? Impact on
learning and teaching within department and other faculties?
11. What location permissions need to be sought? By when? Who will manage this?
12. Student numbers and impact on technology resources – cameras/tripods etc? How
will we manage equipment loans to ensure that all groups experience equity in
access to filming equipment?
13. Editing time – what systems do we need to put in place to ensure equality of access
to editing facilities? What is a reasonable editing time frame?
14. When will we schedule ‘reflective crit’ sessions to assess completed work? How
much time should students have to refine their work?
15. What methodologies should students employ to evaluate their learning and
Recommendations for the Continuity Sequence
Keep the ‘Continuity Sequence’ simple. Students always want to complicate
matters by turning the sequence into a ‘genre’ piece with props, costumes etc. This is
not necessary and will waste valuable time. This sequence can be shot and edited in a
double (2 hour) lesson once the key concepts of continuity have been explored and
Encourage students to upload their ‘Continuity’ sequence onto their blog. This can be
achieved by saving the footage in a web streaming format and posting it onto the
Recommendations for Blogging
At Welling School, ‘blogging’ has become central to our teaching and learning
pedagogy and this A/S brief was the catalyst that moved us away from our traditional
‘sketchbook’ approach to the dynamic, versatile, multi-media capabilities of ‘blogging’.
Below are some recommendations to help you make a smooth transition into the world
of ‘blogging’ with some teaching and learning ideas that helped my team to maximize
the potential of this fantastic tool.
Use ‘Blogspot.com’ or ‘Word press’ (free blogging platforms) to create a bespoke
departmental blog which will serve as a platform for:
a. the sharing of learning resources, links, opening title sequences (via YouTube),
PowerPoint presentations (via Slideshare) with students and other staff on your team
b. accessing student blogs through a single centralised area
c. showcasing and celebrating student work as it develops
See the Welling School ‘Noodle’ as an example:
Get all students to create a personal ‘Research and Planning’ blog specifically for this
project and to e-mail their blog address to you for entry on the central departmental
Using the ‘Dashboard’ area (Blogspot), select a gadget ‘List’ and paste all blog
addresses into this single area. There is the capacity for blogs to show dates/times
when updated so that you can easily navigate what students are active in their
blogging and those who are not. This saves time and means that you don’t have to
constantly click and visit student blogs in order to see whether or not they have done
what has been asked.
Provide opportunity for one-to-one support at lunchtimes/ after school for students
who are RESISTANT to, or lack confidence in blogging (blogophobics). There will no
doubt be one student who will find ‘blogging’ a tricky concept and need more support
in understanding the technology. It is imperative that you are familiar with the
technology to best support students. If you are not familiar with blogging – begin now!
Set-up a ‘Code of conduct’ or ‘Guidelines’ that students sign to ensure that blog
content is appropriate, clean and adopts a ‘professional’ mode of address. Some
students see the blog as an extension of social networking sites and will use
inappropriate names in their blog title (nicknames), inappropriate language in their
postings and put unnecessary widgets/games and links on their blog. They need to
know from the outset that this is a ‘work area’ rather than a personal blog and that it
must therefore conform to a set of ‘school/college’ expectations. Your students are
visual to the online community and in this capacity must be ambassadors for your
Establish a framework of expectations in terms of language, grammar and
punctuation. Students have a tendency to use ‘txt’ speak and adopt a casual and
informal tone and mode of address that is not always appropriate for a blog that
essentially is their showcase and window into their production processes.
Show students how to add labels in order to ‘ZONE’ their blogs making it easier for
external viewers to navigate their way around the various postings.
Create ‘Blogger of the Week’ Awards to celebrate active and creative blogging. At
Welling School this took the form of a collection of badges that students fought to
collect! (Cheap, fun and creates some healthy online competition)
Use student blogs to undertake regular peer assessment. A great starter activity is to
get students to log onto their respective blogs and then in pairs to ‘Critique’ each
others blog by adding evaluative comments on a particular posting.
Ask students to post a weekly ‘critique’ of a title sequence on their blog OR get
teams/individuals to present a different sequence at the start/plenary of each lesson.
Create your own blog assessment criteria that allows students to understand how they
can improve their blogging. At Welling we used a fun system – a set of definitions
labeling student blogs as those that suffer from ‘Blogstipation’, ‘Blogorrhea’,
‘Blogopotumus Syndrome’ and those that are ‘Blogbusters’. See the following urban
dictionary for more ideas to personalise your success criteria:
Encourage students to personalise their blog pages in Photoshop with ‘Saul Bass’
graphics, a genre theme or palette/visual style/background inspired by film. This
provides greater ownership of the online journal and allows students to experiment
with representing their chosen genre.
Share best practice and celebrate creativity by regularly showing blogs as part of your
Provide students with a differentiated stepped model of ‘blogging success’ criteria. I
like to use the MUST, SHOULD, COULD approach as outlined here:
YOUR BLOG MUST INCLUDE:
Critical analysis of the work of Saul Bass
Evidence of research into similar media texts and analysis of their forms and
A logline for your film idea/concept and or a mind-map exploring narrative/character
Draft storyboards and plans
A comprehensive set of posts outlining the processes in the development of your
film and the decisions and revisions made
YOUR CONTINUITY SEQUENCE
YOUR BLOG SHOULD INCLUDE:
A filmed animatic with camera movement/cuts and sound
Second/third draft storyboards
Music choices discussion and analysis with audio extracts
The first cut of your sequence with analysis
Detailed critique of the developmental process with reflective commentary on the
decisions and revisions made.
Exploration of why opening title sequences are so important to the film industry?
Photographs of the shoot - you in action!
Mini-evaluative postings showing reflective thought processes throughout the
Evidence of audience profiling
YOUR BLOG COULD INCLUDE:
Thorough audience research exploring the relationship between opening title
sequences and spectator responses to film.
A detailed audience profile drawing upon sociographic and psychographic profiling
Audience responses to your finished film.
Evidence into 'Film Production' processes undertaking a case study into a specific
studio or film and tracking its production, distribution and marketing strategies.
Ideas for integrating ORIGINAL or COPYRIGHT FREE MUSIC
Students from Welling School really enjoyed the challenge of sourcing music, and or
creating an original soundtrack. This process afforded an opportunity for dynamic skill
acquisition when students worked alongside music students in the composition of
original scores. It afforded a unique opportunity to really explore how deeper meaning
could be achieved through music and how emotive responses to the visuals could be
There are a wealth of copyright free music sites online. However, we found the best
one to be through lgfl (London Grid for Learning): http://www.lgflmusic.org.uk
Try to negotiate access to music facilities in your school /college particularly if you
have ‘Music Tech’ facilities. This is a nice opportunity to undertake some meaningful
cross-curricular work and have other students compose, perform and record original
scores for Media students.
Encourage media students already in bands and or groups to compose and record
their own music.
Opening Title Sequence Sites:
This is a fantastic site dedicated to showcasing the art of title sequences. Each image
captures the essence on the sequence and when clicked provides access to the streamed
sequence. Each title is accompanied by an short analytical commentary and
‘Thank you for Smoking’ and ‘Juno’ title sequence site:
Free Blogging platforms to set-up departmental and student blogs:
‘Blogspot’ Tutorial for content creation
Sixth Form Blogs
Welling School Blogs
Keynote Speaker Details:
AST/Head of Media and Film
Tel: 0208 3048531