Tuesday, 28 February 2012


There are a lot of blogs missing a lot of work. I don't think there is a single blog that is 100% up to date. There will be a catch up booklet coming out in the next couple of weeks once the queue for copying in reprographics subsides. In the meantime I suggest:
1) click on the as or a2 label and go through the tasks that have been set and then compare to what has been evidenced on your blog;
3) keep blogging every time you do something to your editing or filming of coursework. It can be written, a video of you speaking, a presentation...however you want to present it but there must be a record of your work and how it has developed
4) upload all the bits of footage and work in progress pieces to youtube.

Friday, 24 February 2012

A Mini Rant

Love Actually opening scene

NOTE: Typos will be edited at some point. Have fixed my desktop and am trying to get used to the keyboard again.

Embedding disabled on all decent copies I can find, so have a look, above, and then read the following tirade. I'll try and incorporate some audience theory into my scathing assault on Richard Curtis and all who sail in his very naff little boat which I hope gets sunk.

Reasons why I  hate 'Love Actually' (hopefully confined to the first 2 minutes, as per the )

Okay, aside from the fact that Richard Curtis has gone from being the doyen of great British comedy to the keeper and maintainer of vacuous status quo-dom at the same rate that Ben Elton has gone from wonderfully-Thatcher-baiting-if-deeply-condescending-and-nowhere-near-as-clever-as-he-supposes luminary to purveyor of Queen musicals there are a great many reasons to hate this opening two minutes. A great many reasons to be insulted. A great may reasons as an audience to feel, at the very least, aggrieved at the shockingly mindless monkeys we are thought to be. How easily manipulated by trite sentiment does Curtis think a cinema audience is? Judging by the success of the film and all his other offerings the answer is very. And UK audiences are doing sod all to challenge this.

Just be warned, I don;t care if you like it. If you like it, fine. This is a personal rant about the cultural values it supposes and how it treats an audience. If you enjoyed the film, I'm glad (thereby neatly contradicting my previous couple of sentences - I'm trying to be liberal about taste whilst lambasting and that is a difficult skill).

We looked at Monkey Dust in class, here is a Monkey Dust version of every Richard Curtis movie ever* WARNING: a little subversive, don't press play if you might be easily offended. Remember, I'm covered by the spec as long as I'm not showing you anything inappropriate  and if 'Int he Loop' is a 15 according to the BBFC, then this is easily admissible in a court of Media Studies teaching.

But back to 'Love Actually'.

How is an audience manipulated? By setting up a situation where you have to buy into the premise or risk being ostracised. It may even come close to hypodermic needle theory ( see next video) only instead of reading messages in the media and being encouraged to kill, maim, rape we are, instead, forced to go along with an idiotic premise.

"As far as I know, when the twin towers collapsed none of the messages were about revenge".

1) A far as Hugh Grant knows, thereby fallible (start with your least convincing argument first - a sure fire way to alienate your audience, natch);
2) as far as Richard Curtis knows, thereby fallible;
3) if you were on the receiving end of a revenge message from someone about to die on the 11th September attacks, you probably wouldn't let loads of people know therefore making 1 and 2 even less convincing, thereby fallible;

and now we get more convincing...

4) this manipulates an audience to buy in completely to the premise of the film as, if you don't, it is heavily implied that you either don't feel compassion for the victims / agree with terrorism / aren't as lovely as the 300 other people you're sharing air space with in the cinema who have all, en masse, gone 'oh yeah, if 9/11 showed that people loved each other it must be. Therefore everything in this film is both immediately relevant and, furthermore, important**';
5) the whole notion is idiotic - taking a group of people who realise they are about to die as a representative sample and then going through their final messages to their loved ones as proof of the primacy of love is ridiculous. I'm fairly certain there would have been a high proportion of people who died from heart attacks before but it doesn't mean lots of people on planes around the world will die of heart attacks. There was probably, and this will sound crass and insensitive but it is the only way to highlight the sheer offensiveness of the love comparison, lots of people with soiled underwear. Curtis isn't going on about how it makes evacuating your bowels when hijacked and murdered a universal experience we can all relate to is he? No, because that isn't nice. But love is. Love is lovely*** and any audience member who dares now not buy into the whole shebang is, by association, evil. So he uses an atrocity to peddle his insulting little wares and make himself more money to send his kids off to private school with.

Because audiences are base, degenerate and unthinking.

Here endeth the rant.

* apply audience theory to the prevalence of white middle classness and work out who these films are really aimed at and how they're aimed at them.

** they might have thought this using less commas. I like commas, we have established this on numerous occasions.
*** the poem by poet Ann Ziety called 'Before and After Weddiflop' illustrates this perfectly but it is nowhere on the web so can't be shared unless I type it out. Which I'm not going to.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

How have online media developed?


AS Audience and Institution

Monday, 20 February 2012


Understanding Genre
View more presentations from Rob McMinn

Found this fantastic presentation on Slideshare. I've kept the bloke's name below so you can go and have a look.. And here is his blog if you want to investigate for your independent reading http://westudymedia.wordpress.com/ - particularly useful for Year 13 (HINT).

A different exam board but lots of wonderful stuff on there. Get on there and have a look. Very impressive.

Final Cut Pro Joy

You ask, I answer.

For a useful guide on adding text to FCP then look here http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/creating-text-with-final-cut-pro-hd-and-adding-it-.html

For how to overlay

For how to use colour correction in the advent of Shatter Resistant's unasked for but given anyway access to the big green tick of doom and having watched the Oliver Fox group turn Radhika's hand purple then giggling maniacally: Oh, and some more on adding text: And some more on layering:


All the tasks are here and are all things which will give you evidence towards 20% of your coursework mark.


You also need to make sure your digipak design is up and complete as you'll be moving on to the second ancilliary task soon.

The minute extract exercise must be finished next week otherwise you'll fall even further behind.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Half Term Homework

16:59 Sunday, no-one is asked for any help thus far. Hope all is, therefore, crystal clear as opposed to the transparency of mud.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Gramsci and Bakhtin

Year 13 might find the pop culture bit interesting too!


Herbert Marcuse

A2 Half Term Homework

IN ADDITION TO the need to film footage as a group to recreate a minute extract from a music video of your choice (it doesn;t have to be edited, you can bring the raw footage, that is fine) you must also:

1) ONGOING - Keep blogging about the filming and editing process of your music video. EVERY time you do ANYTHING to do with your musci video, there must be a post about it. The moderator will use this as evidence to award you 20% of your marks for the coursework element (research and planning).

2) ONGOING - Coursework filming must be finished soon. You only have about 2 months to go before you need to move on to the evaluation stage and if you're STILL trying to edit your coursework you will NOT GET DECENT MARKS because you'll just have to submit your first draft - possibly an unfinished draft at that. You've had the cameras for over two months now.

3) Your storyboard MUST be posted to your blog by the end of half term since it this has been ongoing since December (fine to scan it / video it / take photos / be creative like Marissa's plan) and it must be accompanied by a post including a shot by shot explanation of what is going on in each shot. You don't have to write it - a video blog is fine. For each shot consider explaining:
  • What is being shown and why;
  • What shot type is being used and why;
  • What transition will be used between each shot and why;
  • How long each shot will last and why;
  • How it adds to the narrative of the video.
You can also think about:
  • How it will be lit and why;
  • How you have used costume appropriately;
  • How you have used setting appropriately.
The moderator will use this to justify 20% of your coursework mark (research and planning).

4) Your group's YouTube channel must be set up and I need to know what it is called. This will be invaluable for the moderator being able to see your work as it has progressed (and use it as evidence for 20% of your coursework mark (research and planning)) as well as you being able to use it for the evaluation mark (20% of your coursework grade).


As a blog post  (again, can be you videoed talking about it or a Prezi or a PowerPoint presentation or any other way you wish. It doesn't have to be written) choose AT LEAST two music videos from your chosen genre and for each analyse the use of:
  • Camera angles, camera movement and shot type;
  • Editing; and
  • Mise-en-scene (prop, costume, lighting, setting, make up)
in the video.


a) How camera angles have been used to create an egaging video / develp the narrative / position the viewer;
b) What camera angle and movements have been used;
c) What the prominent or main focus of the video is;
d) How editing has been used to create an egaging video / develp the narrative / position the viewer;
e) What transitions have been used and why (such as wipe / fade /dissolve / rapid cutting etc);
f) How mise-en-scene has been used to create an egaging video / develp the narrative / position the viewer
g) What happens in the video;
h) Whether you think it is an effective video.


Discuss how your planned music video is similar or different to the music videos you have just analysed.

If you do it as a video post I'd expect it to be about 10-15 minutes of you talking. Feel free to go longer if you need though!

This will also be very useful for the moderator to see when they come to decide on your research and planning marks (20% of your coursework grade)

ANY PROBLEMS - post a comment!


For Thursday's lesson.


Friday, 3 February 2012

Louis Althusser

Media in the Online Age

Year 13! More usefu things for your media in the online age work:

Impact of Smart phones on Nintendo's profits http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/26/nintendo-profits-fall?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Mobile technology and Facebook http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/02/facebook-ipo-mobile-risks

Open journalism and The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/feb/02/open-journalism-how-to-get-involved-today

Scottish TV's online offering http://www.nma.co.uk/news/tv-production-company-pilots-online-drama/40587.article

ITN News and social media http://www.nma.co.uk/news/itn-productions-uses-facebook-to-unite-online-communities/3027377.article










http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/type/gce/amlw/media_studies/documents/ - sample answers

Thursday, 2 February 2012


You'll have seen this in class p5, so if you're looking at it it before the lesson and thinking you;ve forgotten something, you haven't. Just me being organised. And a little bored. More topics than pupils so, hopefully, we'll be able to give everyone a choice in their top three.

You need to do the following tasks:

1) A presentation using whatever media format you like (including vlog if you wish) on the theory, what it is, what it means, and how it applies in general to Media Studies; then
2) if you can, extend your presentation to apply the theoy/concept to representation in British TV drama; and then / or
3) if you can, extend your presentation to apply the theory/concept to the film industry and/or the films you are researching for your Section B case studies. It can be any stage of the process from production to exhibition. Probably lots you can do just on marketing. And a lot could be applied to the notion of the audience too.

All can (and must) do part one, and depending on what you choose, you might be able to do part 2 or 3 or maybe even both (some of them can be applied to both).

These must be posted to your blogs by Thursday 9th Feb.

The choices were (I'll add your names next to each one when you've chosen):

1) POST STRUCTURAL THEORIST - Jacques Derrida, looking specifically at his notions of 'difference', 'violent hierarchies', 'Edenic nature' and 'fallen culture'.
2) POST STRUCTURAL THEORIST - Jacques Lacan, looking specifically at his notions of 'lack', 'the mirror phase' and his Freudian roots.
3) MARXIST THEORIES - A general piece of research on the general principles of Marxist cultural theory;
4) MARXIST THEORIST - Theodor Adorno and his concept of 'the culture industry';
5) MARXIST THEORIST - Louis Althusser and his specific interpretation and theory of 'ideology';
6) MARXIST THEORIST - Antonio Gramsci and his concept of 'the organic intellectual';
7) MARXIST THEORIST - Mikhail Bakhtin and his theory of 'the carnivalesque';
8) MARXIST THEORIST - Herbert Marcuse and his theory of 'the one dimensional man';
9) FEMINIST THEORIST - Laura Mulvey and her concepts of 'visual pleasure and the male gaze';
10) FEMINIST THEORIST - Janice Radway and 'Reading Romance';
11) FEMINIST THEORIST - Ien Wang's 'Watching Dallas';
12) POSTMODERNIST THEORIST - J-F Lyotard and 'The Post Modern Condition'
13) POSTMODERNIST THEORIST - Jean Baudrillard and his concepts of 'hyper-reality' and 'the simulacrum';
14) POSTMODERNIST / MARXIST THEORIST - Frederic Jameson and his concept of the 'consumer society'
15) POSTMODERNIST THEORY - What is postmodernism and what is meant by the 'plurality of value'?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Music Video Homework NUMBER TWO

In your groups choose a music video from the same genre as your coursework piece and recreate shot for shot a one minute excerpt of it in your own inimitable style. You can aim to competely conform to each shot or you may choose to subtly subvert it if you wish.

All footage must be filmed ready for the first Monday back (20th) as an additional editing task on top of your coursework. It'll give you more to write about in Section A and will be a useful thing for you experiment on if you don't want to risk trying something experimental on your carefully collated coursework footage.

Exam Prep Homework PART ONE

You came, you sat, you thought, you wrote. And now you peer assess!

Look at the person's answer and mark them againt this mark scheme:

Level 2
Explanation / analysis / argument (8-11 marks)
Candidates offer a response to the topic area with limited ability to adapt to the specific requirements of the chosen question. A partially coherent, basic argument is presented.
Use of examples (8-11 marks)
The answer offers some examples of theories, industry knowledge and / or texts and debates, with some basic evidence of an attempt to connect these elements. Inclusion of history and / or the future is limited.
Use of terminology (4-5 marks)
Some of the material presented is informed by media theory, articulated through a basic use of theoretical terms.
Some simple ideas have been expressed in an appropriate context. There are likely to be some errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar of which some may be noticeable and intrusive.
Level 3
Explanation / analysis / argument (12-15 marks)
Candidates adapt their learning to the specific requirements of the chosen question well, in the main. The answer offers a sensible, mostly clear balance of media theories and knowledge of industries and texts, with a proficient attempt at personally engaging with issues and debates.
Use of examples (12-15 marks)
Examples of contemporary texts and industry knowledge are connected together in places, and a clear argument is proficiently developed in response to the question. History and the future are discussed with relevance.
Use of terminology (6-7 marks)
Material presented is mostly informed by media theory, articulated through use of appropriate theoretical terms.
Relatively straightforward ideas have been expressed with some clarity and fluency. Arguments are generally relevant, though may stray from the point of the question. There will be some errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar but these are unlikely to be intrusive or obscure meaning.
Level 4
Explanation / analysis / argument (16-20 marks)
Candidates adapt their learning to the specific requirements of the chosen question in excellent fashion and make connections in order to present a coherent argument. The answer offers a clear, fluent balance of media theories and knowledge of industries and texts and informed personal engagement with issues and debates.
Use of examples (16-20 marks)
Examples of contemporary texts and industry knowledge are clearly connected together in the answer. History and the future are integrated into the discussion with conviction.
Use of terminology (8-10 marks)
Throughout the answer, material presented is informed by media theory and the command of the appropriate conceptual and theoretical language is excellent.
Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Give them marks for their:
Explanation / analysis / argument out of 20.
Use of examples out of 20.
USe of terminology out of 10.

Leave three comments WWW (what went well) - one for each of the three marking criteria above.
Leave two targets you think they need to do to improve to make it EBI (even better if).

Bring it to next Wednesday's lesson to return to them, and then to me for me to mark too.

Level 4

TV and Film in the Online Age