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G325 critical perspectives in media

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G325 critical perspectives in media

  1. 1. + G325 Critical Perspectives in Media Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production
  2. 2. + Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production Examination 2 Hours 1 Hour on each section Candidates are required to answer two compulsory questions in Section A 30 mins each question Section A
  3. 3. + G325 Critical Perspectives in Media Question 1a
  4. 4. + Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production Section A Question 1a  To describe and evaluate the skills development over the course of the production work from the Thriller to the Music Video
  5. 5. + Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production  You must consider the whole of your practical work:  The preliminary task at AS (the continuity sequence)  The Thriller  The Music Video  The DVD advert and digipak
  6. 6. + Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production  It can also include things you have produced outside the course such as production work in:  Film studies  Art  Photography  Or even things made for fun on Youtube
  7. 7. + Question 1a  How have you developed as a maker of media products across the scope of your practical work?  What skills have you developed?  What have you learnt?
  8. 8. + Question 1a  The skills development needs to be adapted to one or two of the following production practices:  Digital technology  Creativity  Research and planning  Post-production (after filming – including, editing, sound, titles, blog)  Using conventions from real media texts
  9. 9. + Question 1a  You have considered the following areas in your Blog evaluations:  Digital technology  Research and planning  Post-production (editing)  Using conventions from real media texts
  10. 10. + Question 1a  However, Creativity is a new area to consider. Ask yourself the following questions:  How creative have you been?  Would it have been more creative to have a free choice of tasks?  Did the set tasks help you to be creative?
  11. 11. + Question 1a  Were you restricted too much by the task?  Did the task free you to be creative within the boundaries of the task?  Where does creativity come from?  And finally. What does creativity mean?  Try applying all these questions to your practical coursework.
  12. 12. + Definition of creativity  Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.  Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken
  13. 13. + Definition of creativity  Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative:  need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation  need to communicate ideas and values  need to solve problems
  14. 14. + Definition of creativity  In order to be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives. the ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by change; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown
  15. 15. + Question 1a  A good place to begin is by creating a timeline from September in Year 12 showing what you done, what you have learnt and what skills you have developed. E.g.:  Sept – film/media language  Oct – set up blog  Nov – preliminary task etc
  16. 16. + Question 1a  How to answer Question 1a 1. Plan and prepare  Be prepared to write about everything you have done  Remember you only have half an hour  You will be asked to write about one or two of the production practices
  17. 17. + Question 1a  Identify examples from your coursework which you can adapt to different questions  Consider how you are going to cover the breadth of your work in only 30 minutes
  18. 18. + Question 1a 2. Consider the mark scheme  10 marks for explanation, analysis and argument  10 marks for use of examples  5 marks for use of terminology (media language)  Even a brilliant piece of argument can only score 10 marks if not backed up by examples and terminology
  19. 19. + Question 1a 3. Think about where you are at the end of the course  What have you learnt in all the areas of the course?  Don’t just give an account of what you have done but also reflect upon it in the light of all your learning
  20. 20. + Example Question 1a  In your experience, how has your creativity developed through using digital technology to complete your productions?  Introduction  Explain the tasks you have done across the two years of the course and mention anything made outside the course that might be relevant.
  21. 21. + Example Question 1a  Main paragraphs  Start by writing about the technology you have used with some reflections on how you got to grips with it initially  Discuss – your editing package, the camera, Blogger, YouTube, Photoshop, Wordle, Picnik, the HD Digital cameras, the still digital cameras and so on
  22. 22. + Example Question 1a  How easy is it to use the technology?  How did you use the technology in particular tasks?  Creativity – what does it mean to you?  Where have your ideas about creativity come from?  What do other people say about what creativity might mean?
  23. 23. + Example Question 1a  How have the tasks themselves encouraged creativity?  Refer to examples from what you have done?  Conclusion  Try to bring together these strands – technology and creativity – to answer the question
  24. 24. + Example Question 1a  How has the technology allowed you to develop other skills? Such as:  Teamwork  Organisation  Planning  Research  Negotiation  Technological confidence
  25. 25. + Example Question 1a  Final paragraph of conclusion  Digital technology has given media consumers the opportunity to become media producers too (Web 2.0) – particularly via web distribution, and that this, in turn, has allowed creative comment in wider communities such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook
  26. 26. + Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production  Example Questions  1(a) ‘Digital technology turns media consumers into media producers’. In your own experience how has your creativity developed through using digital technology to complete coursework productions?
  27. 27. + Section A Theoretical Evaluation of Production  1(b) ‘Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives’. Explain how you used conventional and/or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces.
  28. 28. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Post-Production  QUESTION: In your experience how have your post-production skills developed through creating your productions?  Introduction  Explain the tasks you have done across the two years of the course and mention anything made outside the course that might be relevant.
  29. 29. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Post-Production  Main paragraphs  Post-production is everything you do after the filming process  Start by writing about the technology you have used with some reflections on how you got to grips with it initially  For the preliminary task and thriller write about the process of editing in detail (using Final Cut Express, Adobe Premiere)  How much of your text was ‘created’ only in post-production?  How much of your footage ended up being unused or rejected and why?  How did you use sound and music? Did you use mobygratis.com or freeplaymusic.com etc to obtain copyright music? Did you add any sound effects?
  30. 30. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Post-Production  Did you use a range of transitions? Dissolves, fades etc. Why? How?  Did you use effects? Black and white, slow-motion etc. Why? How?  What titles did you add? How and why?  After the editing was finished what did you do? Audience feedback, consider ideas around distribution and marketing – DVD, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter.  For the music video do the same, but there might be a lot more to say about the use of effects, e.g. pixellated effects, fast motion, mirror effects, titles etc  You also need to write about the advert and the digipak  Finally about the blog and what you added after the filming – inc. the evaluation and all the examples of technology (e.g. Slideshare, Animoto, Poplet etc) used
  31. 31. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Post-Production  Conclusion  Again write about the technology you have used. What was easy? Difficult? What was effective? What worked/didn’t work?  How has the technology allowed you to develop other skills? Such as:  Teamwork, organisation, planning , research, negotiation, technological confidence  Write about how using digital technology has enabled you to become an effective media post-production producer (Web 2.0, user generated content), and that this in turn has allowed participation in wider communities such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter
  32. 32. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Research and Planning  QUESTION: In your experience how has your research and planning developed through creating your productions?  Introduction  Explain the tasks you have done across the two years of the course and mention anything made outside the course that might be relevant.
  33. 33. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Research and Planning  Main paragraphs  Start by writing about the research about thrillers that you undertook and some reflections on how you got to grips with it initially  Consider the conventions of the genre  Films and directors you have looked at e.g. Alfred Hitchcock, ‘Shadow of a Doubt’, ‘North by Northwest’, ‘Rear Window’, ‘Vertigo’. The opening titles of ‘Seven’ (David Fincher)  Research into potential target audiences (surveys, questionnaires, interviews, Facebook, Vox Pops etc)  How did your research into institutions responsible for production influence your production work?
  34. 34. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Research and Planning  Next move onto planning. What did you do to plan your thriller? Initial ideas, treatment, shooting schedule, location sheet, shot list, risk assessment, costume and props sheet, contingency plan, storyboard, animatic, organisation of time and resources. How effective was your planning – how did it help you in the production stage?  Final research for the thriller was into the audience feedback – what did you do? What did you find out? Then, write about the research and planning for the music video, advert and digipak in the same way.  What did you learn from planning your first production that helped you to improve your planning for the second?  How did you use audience feedback to influence your production work while it was in progress?  VERY IMPORTANT: How have you used digital technology in your research and planning?
  35. 35. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Research and Planning  Conclusion  Try to bring together these strands – research and planning – to answer the question: what have you learnt from the process?  How has the technology allowed you to develop other skills? Such as:  Teamwork, organisation, planning, research, negotiation, technological confidence  Write about how using digital technology has enabled you to become an effective media producer (Web 2.0, user generated content), and that this in turn has allowed participation in wider communities such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter
  36. 36. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Using conventions from real media texts  QUESTION: In your experience how has your understanding of conventions developed through creating your productions?  Introduction  Explain the tasks you have done across the two years of the course and mention anything made outside the course that might be relevant.
  37. 37. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Using conventions from real media texts  Main paragraphs  Start by writing about the concept of genre. What is it? Why is it important?  Talk about the importance of genres for both audiences (easily recognised and understood) and institutions (as a mode of production – to target widest possible & specific audiences)  What research have you done into ‘real’ media texts? What did you find out? From this research what are the conventions of the thriller genre? Give examples from real films. How have you been influenced by producers/directors?  Think about Rick Altman’s Semantic (mise-en-scene)/Syntactic(narrative) approach to the conventions of a genre  How have you used these conventions in your own thriller?
  38. 38. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Using conventions from real media texts  Have you challenged the conventions of the genre? If so, how?  Is your work generic or postmodern, or both?  Then, consider the music video – what research did you undertake into the genre? What are the conventions of the genre?  Also, consider the advert and digipak – what research did you do? What are the conventions of these two forms?  How have you used these conventions in your music video, advert and digipak?  Have you challenged the conventions? If so, how?  To what extent have you used digital technology in your research into the conventions of the thriller/music video/advert/digipak?
  39. 39. + Section A, Qu 1(a): Using conventions from real media texts  Conclusion  How has the consideration of technology allowed you to develop other skills? Such as:  Teamwork, organisation, planning, research, negotiation, technological confidence  Write about how using digital technology has enabled you to become an effective researcher into the conventions of real media texts (Web 2.0, user generated content), and that this in turn has allowed participation in wider communities such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter  What have you learnt about using conventions from real media texts?
  40. 40. + G325 Critical Perspectives in Media Question 1b
  41. 41. + G325 Critical Perspectives in Media Question 1(b) requires that you select one of your media productions (either the Thriller or the Music Video) You are then required to evaluate it in relation to one of the following media concepts:
  42. 42. + Question 1(b) Genre Narrative Representation Audience Media Language
  43. 43. + Question 1(b) In the examination the question will ask you to consider your coursework in relation to only ONE of these concepts and there will be no choice given You should choose to write about only ONE of the pieces of coursework but can also discuss the preliminary or ancillary tasks
  44. 44. + Question 1(b)  Therefore, you must be prepared to write about each of the concepts in relation to either of the pieces of coursework  For example:  The thriller and genre  The music video and audience  The thriller and narrative  and so on
  45. 45. + Question 1(b)  You are studying Postmodernism for Section B of the paper and can include a postmodern consideration of your coursework as part of your answer  The postmodern aspects of the music video are reflected in narrative, genre, representation, audience and media language  For example – the narrative structure of a music video can be viewed as being postmodern in that it borrows from other videos or genres (film, television etc)
  46. 46. + Question 1(b)  It is important to not just apply the relevant theory (e.g. narrative and the thriller) but also to consider the importance and significance of the concept to the product  E.g. why is narrative so important to your thriller?  What does narrative tell us about the genre of the thriller?  What are the conventions of the thriller evident in your coursework and why is this significant?
  47. 47. + Question 1(b)  The key is to consider the task as an opportunity to: really reflect on how your chosen project actually works as a text  You must be prepared to be flexible  It would be a big mistake to pin your hopes on one particular concept coming up in the exam  In advance you should prepare answers for the five concept areas.
  48. 48. + Question 1(b) What do we mean by each of these media concepts?
  49. 49. + The concepts  Genre  Consider the conventions of the genre  How does your production conform/use the conventions of the genre?  How does it challenge/break these conventions?  Apply Rick Altman’s theory of genre
  50. 50. + The concepts  Narrative  How is time and space organised in your production?  Is it linear? Non-linear?  Does it contain enigmas? What are they?  Apply the theories:  Todorov / Propp / Levi-Strauss /Barthes /Three-Act
  51. 51. + The concepts  Representation  How are groups represented in your production? Gender – Men/Women Ethnicity – representation of ethnic minorities Sexuality – gay/straight
  52. 52. + The concepts Age – old/young Class Regional identity Disability Also, consider applying Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze
  53. 53. + The concepts  Audience  Apply the theories of audience:  The effects model  Cultivation Theory  Two Step Flow Theory  The uses and gratifications model  Reception theory  Suture  Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze  How did you target your audience? What was your audience’s response (feedback)?
  54. 54. + The concepts  Media Language  How does your production communicate to audiences through media language? Consider:  Camerawork  Mise-en-scene  Sound  Editing
  55. 55. + The Mark Scheme  The mark scheme for question 1(b) is organised in the same way as for question 1(a)  The question is marked out of 25 marks  Explanation, analysis and argument are worth 10 marks per question  Examples are worth 10 marks  Use of terminology is worth 5 marks
  56. 56. + Example Question Explain how you used conventional and/or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces?
  57. 57. + Example Question How might you go about answering this question? You will need to select the piece of coursework that best suits this question – either the thriller or the music video For the purposes of this example lets consider that the music video is used
  58. 58. + Example Question  The question can then be answered as follows: 1. Make some general points about how music videos work and that they don’t need to tell a story 2. Define the term narrative – how a story is organised 3. Sometimes music videos do tell a story – does yours? Describe here what you decided to do with your music video
  59. 59. + Example Question 4. A brief account of the video, the artist, the genre of music 5. Consider the idea of structure and how you chose to organise the music video if not through a chronological narrative 6. Then consider to what extent a narrative structure appears in the video
  60. 60. + Example Question Consider the following questions 7. What governs the beginning, middle and end? Is it the music? Or the performance? Or is there a story? 8. How have you played with time and space in the video? 9. How will the audience have understood it?
  61. 61. + Example Question Apply the narrative theories: 10. Todorov – Equilibrium > Disruption > Resolution > New Equilibrium 11. Propp – the 8 character types – Hero, villain, princess, donor, father, dispatcher, false hero, helper 12. Levi-Strauss – a series of binary oppositions 13. Barthes – Open/closed/polysemic/enigma codes 14. Three Act Model – Set up/Confrontation/Climax
  62. 62. + Example Question There is no single right answer here Whatever you write will need to be justified and explained with close reference to your production 14. You will also need to consider it in relation to other examples that you have seen, to show how you either followed or broke conventions
  63. 63. + Example Question 15. The concepts can overlap – so you can also discuss genre with relation to narrative 16. This will also overlap with the concept of audience 17. Remember – it is your production work you will be writing about, so you should know about it!
  64. 64. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Genre  QUESTION Explain how you used genre in your ‘thriller’ production piece  The question can then be answered as follows:  Define the term genre  Make some general points about how the thriller genre works  Describe here what you decided to do with your thriller. What happens? What characters are involved? Setting? etc
  65. 65. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Genre  Consider the conventions of the thriller genre  How does your production conform/use the conventions of the genre?  How does it challenge/break these conventions?  Identify icongraphic/structural paradigms  Apply Rick Altman’s theory of genre  The Semantic approach – mise-en-scene. conventions  The Syntactic approach – narrative, situation, issues, themes  The Pragmatic approach – institution/audience
  66. 66. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Genre  You should include the following theorists:  Daniel Chandler – genres create order  John Fiske – a way of categorising texts  Barry Keith Grant – hybridity and sub-genres  Rick Altman – genre and pleasure  Jason Mittell – genre and institutions
  67. 67. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Genre  David Buckingham – genres and change  Steve Neale – genres and evolution, genres and audiences  David Bordwell – genres and themes  Genre and Uses and Gratifications – Deborah Grant  CONCLUSION  What have you learned about genre from your coursework?
  68. 68. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Audiences  QUESTION: Analyse one of your pieces of coursework (either the thriller or the music video) in terms of audience. You should consider:  Briefly describe what you have done in your video. What it is about. Where you got the music from.  Then write about the fact you planned your video with audiences in mind.
  69. 69. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Audiences  Then write about the Text>Audience>Institution Model and how you cannot think about texts (the music video) independently of audiences and institutions – they are all inextricably linked.  Audience research before you made the video (surveys, questionnaires, interviews, etc)  The effects model (passive, hypodermic syringe, Bobo Doll – Albert Bandura)  The uses and gratifications model (Active, use text for own pleasure)
  70. 70. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Audiences  Reception theory (meaning encoded by producer – dominant, negotiated, oppositional)  Two-step flow theory – using opinion leaders  Cultivation Theory  Suture – ‘stitched’ into dominant reading by narrative, mise-en-scene, editing, music etc)  Laura Mulvey – the male gaze, the triple gaze, agency, the object of erotic desire
  71. 71. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Audiences  The use of digital technology – Youtube/Facebook/Twitter/Blog/surveymonkey etc to widen access for audiences  Web 2.0 (user generated content, audiences empowered – become creators in own right)  Audience feedback – surveymonkey, questionnaires, interviews etc – who is the audience? (Gender, age, class, sexuality, ethnicity etc)  Marketing to audience – the advert, digipak  CONCLUSION: What have you learned?
  72. 72. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Media Language  QUESTION Analyse one of your pieces of coursework (either the thriller or the music video) in terms of MEDIA LANGUAGE. You should consider:  Briefly describe what you have done in your video. What it is about and where you got the music from.  Compare it to other examples that you have seen, to show how you either followed or challenged conventions  Then write about how you used the following in the video:
  73. 73. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Media Language  Camera Angle, Shot, Movement and Position  High, Low, Tilt  Long, Medium, Close-Up, Extreme Close-Up  Wide Shots  Over the Shoulder, two-shots  Crane  Zoom, reverse zoom  Point-of-view  Tracking, dolly  Pan  Steadicam  Rolling  Hand-held  Deep focus, pulling focus
  74. 74. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Media Language Editing Speed – long take/short take Style - straight-cut, dissolve, fade, wipe, jump cut Shot/reverse shot Eyeline match Action match Montage Slow motion Graphic Match Ellipsis and expansion of time
  75. 75. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Media Language Sound Diegetic/non-diegetic – soundtrack, themes, ambient sound Parallel/Contrapuntal On-screen/off-screen Sound effects Sound bridges Pace Dialogue Music
  76. 76. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Media Language Mise-en-Scene  Setting/location  Props  Hair, make-up, costume  Positioning of characters in frame (deep-focus)  Body language/facial expressions  Colour – denotation/connotation  Lighting – high key/low key etc  Special effects – CGI, back projection, pyrotechnics etc CONCLUSION: What have you learned?
  77. 77. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation Richard Dyer – Typography of Representation  Richard Dyer – The Typography of Representation  Richard Dyer describes the typography of representation as consisting of:  1. Re-presentation, which consists essentially of media language, the conventions that are used to represent the world to the audience; “representation insists that there is a real world, but that our perception of it always mediated by [the media's selection]“  2. Being representative of, for example, “to what extent are representations [of groups] typical of how those groups are in society?”. In this, the use of stereotypes is very important.
  78. 78. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation Richard Dyer – Typography of Representation  3. Who is responsible for the representation “that is, in the sense of speaking for and on behalf of”. in this, we must consider how the institution creating a media text influences representation.  4. What does the audience think is being represented to them?
  79. 79. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation Tessa Perkins Stereotypes  Stereotyping is not a simple process and can contain a number of assumptions.  Tessa Perkins identifies five such assumptions: 1. Stereotypes are not always negative eg the French are good cooks 2. They are not always about minority groups or the less powerful eg ‘Upper class twits’ 3. They can be held about one’s own group 4. They are not always rigid and unchanging 5. They are not always false
  80. 80. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation  QUESTION: Analyse one of your pieces of coursework (either the thriller or the music video) in terms of REPRESENTATION. You should consider:  Describe what happens in your video/thriller  What groups in society are represented in your production?  How are these groups represented in your production?  Are the depictions positive or negative?  Do they reinforce or challenge stereotypes?  Or are they archetypes (typical examples)? Generic types (only found in certain genres)?  Does your coursework maintain or challenge hegemony?
  81. 81. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation  The following are possible groups to write about:  Gender – Men/Women  Ethnicity – representation of ethnic minorities  Sexuality – gay/straight  Age – old/young  Class (upper/middle/working/under)  Regional identity (Northern/Scottish/Welsh/Irish etc)  Disability (as opposed to ‘able’ people)
  82. 82. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation  All the above are examples of Levi-Strauss’ idea of BINARY OPPOSITIONS with a dominant group and a subordinate group. How is this evident in your coursework?  Genre – what are the conventional representations of characters in the genre e.g. Femme Fatale in the thriller  How is representation constructed in your production (camera, editing, sound, mise-en- scene)?  To what extent is the representation of the characters in your production postmodern?
  83. 83. + Section A, Qu 1(b): Representation  Also, consider applying Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze - the gaze of the camera is the male gaze, the triple gaze, agency, the object of erotic desire  How did your audience respond to issues of representation in your video (consider your audience feedback)  CONCLUSION  What have you learned?

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