Friday, 26 February 2016

GCSE course summary

I will be adding further to this post - TBC.

Read more yourself: all exam board guides are here.
They are free and accessible to parents and students.


There are two units, exam (40%, you sit this in Year 11) and coursework (3 assignments, we do 1 and 2 in Year 10, and start Year 11 with assignment 3).


What you should gain from the GCSE.

What marking is based on - the four Assessment Objectives. See additional posts for specifics on each assignment.

There are four 'Key Concepts', major areas of media theory and learning.
Coursework assignment 1 (Introduction to the Media: currently magazine) requires evidence on Media Language + Audience, but you may also reflect on Representation + Institution.

Coursework assignment 2 (Cross-Media: currently film poster + teaser trailer) requires evidence on Representation + Institution, but you should reflect some knowledge and understanding of Media Language + Audience too.

Coursework assignment 3 (Production and Evaluation: currently website) requires evidence of learning on all 4 KCs.

The exam topic is set in advance, so you can start exploring this as soon as you like - you don't need to wait until we start lessons in this towards the end of Year 11!

 A summary of exam content and each assignment is contained in separate posts


...

EXAM overview including past papers



Read more yourself: all exam board guides are here.
They are free and accessible to parents and students.

This is a controlled assessment.

That means you get the exam paper FOUR WEEKS IN ADVANCE.

You will receive the 2017 exam paper on Monday April 24th, then have 4 weeks to research and draft answers to revise from. EXAM: Tuesday 23rd May, 930-11 (11:22 with 25% extra time) in ZB15.

Your teacher cannot teach directly on answering this, but only on the topic for that year:
2016: science fiction films
2017: TV game shows
2018: serial TV drama
You have 4 weeks to research and prepare your responses to the FOUR exam questions.

You cannot take any notes into the exam - you will get a new copy of the exam paper in there.

This will involve a practical task, such as storyboarding or sketching a layout (of a poster, magazine, webpage etc) and a creative task (coming up with ideas for new texts), as well as requiring evidence of your knowledge and understanding of the Key Concepts, the research you have undertaken to build this, and ability to apply these to the topic.

You will receive the exam paper on Monday April 24th in 2017.

Research resources will appear on this blog well in advance of the exam; you can start exam preparation independently at any time.





MARKING: THE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES
Marks are awarded for the following:



HOW THE EXAM PAPER LOOKS
Below (click read more) you will find images from past papers, including the resource book you get with this.

FILM assignment 2 Cross-Media marking criteria

**CLICK READ MORE AND SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR EXAM BOARD FULL MARK EXAMPLES**

Read more yourself: all exam board guides are here.
They are free and accessible to parents and students.

Below you can find the official marking criteria for the cross-media assignment.

Click image to enlarge.

Click read more to see the assessment criteria (how marks/grades are awarded) for THIS assignment.

These are the 'Assessment Objectives' that marks are awarded for on the coursework unit

A reminder of how this fits in to the overall coursework unit:

How the exam board describe this assignment.
Note - the Key Concepts of Institution and Representation are highlighted:


This is the exam broad brief for the film promotion cross-media task we work on:

THE 200 WORD EXPLANATION
Official guidance on this is very brief:
Candidates should explain in no more than 200 of the 1000 - 1200 words allocated, how their two research, planning and production tasks are connected and how effective they are. They should also comment on how they have addressed representational and institutional issues.
So, you should include:

  • how your research influenced your own production
  • how effective/convincing your productions are
  • apply Key Concept Representation to your work
  • apply Key Concept Institution to your work


Below - click read more for the actual assessment criteria:

FILM teaser trailer

Year 11: Lesson Thursday 9th March
You need to plan and storyboard (filming, editing aren't required) a teaser trailer to accompany your poster; you will then be comparing the two texts, using terms from the Key Concepts Media Language and Audience, but also Representation and Institution to do so.
As always, you need to first research and summarise the conventions of the media format. You will re-pitch your film idea (many of you are changing this from your Year 10 idea) next week (we will look at what is required on Friday).

Today, follow the instructions below; the Word worksheet you need is embedded further down in this post. 

HOMEWORK for Friday: Have completed analysis, using the worksheet, of 3 teaser trailers from different genres. This will be more useful if you discuss with each other and try to look at different trailers.

HOMEWORK for Thursday 16th: Have emailed your teaser trailer conventions summary presentation.

HOMEWORK for Friday 17th: Have emailed PowerPoint for your re-pitch.

TASK: View and analyse 3 teaser trailers from different genres, using the handout for note-taking, then share and add notes for two more from two different students. Summarise your findings.
Use the template below. Seek to apply your media language terms and learning - including some semiotic terms.

Add a summary to the end of each trailer analysed, a good opportunity to use media language and semiotic terms (connote, denote; signifier, signified etc):
HOW AUDIENCE IS SIGNIFIED: what audience do you think this is aimed at (gender, age range), and why do you think this (provide evidence from the trailer)
HOW GENRE IS SIGNIFIED what genre do you think this is and how has it been signified (provide evidence from the trailer)
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PRESENTING CONVENTIONS RESEARCH (Tuesday 8th lesson; complete + email for Monday 14th) 
You are limited in the amount of evidence you can present [see assessment criteria], so you need to combine image and concise, precise text well. This evidence needs to showcase your wider learning, not simply list your observations on the common conventions of a media format.

You will be DRAFTING an outline of your INITIAL findings today - we will later focus on a comparison of the two media formats, poster and teaser trailer. We will also review your trailer conventions findings and look more deeply at how to apply the Key Concepts:
  • (building on Assignment One) Media Language [shot types, angles, semiotics]
  • Audience [primary, secondary, uses + gratifications; gender, age, four quadrant]
  • (introduced through Assignment Two) Representation (stereotype, countertype)
  • Institutions (ownership, budget, box office, distribution, synergy)
SUMMARY: Using Word, Publisher, PowerPoint or Photoshop, extract and save screenshots from the teaser trailers you have analysed to illustrate a list of what you consider to be the conventions of this media format.

SCREENSHOTS: On L17 PCs, use the 'snip' tool to bring up the option of dragging around the area you want to screenshot. Click:
  • Windows [start menu, bottom left of the screen]
  • All programs
  • Accessories
  • Snipping
When you drag round to select the area you want, let go; hold CTRL and press S to save - set up a folder for each film or convention; give the file a clear, specific name so you will know when you come back to this what each image is, for example:
Avatar star billing

If you're making a point about use of ('non-diegetic')* voiceover, a screenshot isn't necessary.
For a point on how sound is used with editing, take a screenshot of the moment when a loud sound effect is applied.
*sound is diegetic if it comes from the world on screen: someone speaking or music through a hi-fi for example (it/they might not be in shot - use your judgement); if the sound is not from the scene on screen (eg music soundtrack, often as an audio bridge linking different scenes) it is non-diegetic [pronounced die-uh-jet-ic]

APPLYING MEDIA TERMINOLOGY
As you put these together in Word (etc), identify the shot type, angle, and seek to apply semiotic terms (denote, connote; signifier, signified etc) where you can.

Where there is a clear link to Institution (stars and budget/box office, director and their previous films etc), include some evidence of research. Don't simply rely on your observations!

RESEARCH RESOURCES:
There are multiple posts on this blog which can help, as well as your handouts and notes.
There are several ways of finding out a film's box office and budget.
The Wiki often gives this, but isn't always reliable - if using this, hover over the link given beside any figure and click through to it to check the figure is right.
BoxOfficeMojo gives you a global figure but also breaks it down by country, which can be very useful.
IMDB gives budget, box office, cast/crew and more - you can find out what else cast/crew (and companies) have done here. 
The-Numbers is similar to BoxOfficeMojo, a data (box office) driven site, but provides more extras.


RESEARCHING CONVENTIONS (Monday 7th lesson)

TASK: View and analyse 3 teaser trailers from different genres, using the handout for note-taking, then share and add notes for two more from two different students. Summarise your findings.
Use the template below. Seek to apply your media language terms and learning - including some semiotic terms.

Add a summary to the end of each trailer analysed, a good opportunity to use media language and semiotic terms (connote, denote; signifier, signified etc):
HOW AUDIENCE IS SIGNIFIED: what audience do you think this is aimed at (gender, age range), and why do you think this (provide evidence from the trailer)
HOW GENRE IS SIGNIFIED what genre do you think this is and how has it been signified (provide evidence from the trailer)




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More will be added! TBC
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Alongside the film poster, to evidence a cross-media campaign, and a grasp of the conventions of this, you need to also work on a teaser trailer for your film concept.

You do not need to actually produce this (but can do so, and this would be useful experience); clear planning materials, particularly highly detailed storyboards, will suffice.

You can research conventions by finding a range of examples to view
I will be gathering resources below to help you with this, an ongoing process.

I briefly maintained a blog on the dual topics of short films and teaser trailers; there are various resources, including links lists. In time, I will port anything useful from there to here.

You can go to the major film studios' YouTube channels and search for 'teaser trailer' in these, for example, I did this with Warner Bros.

If you have a google account you can set up your own YouTube channel - useful for creating your own playlists of trailers you want to study, as I have done:



...

WEBSITE assignment 3 Production-Eval marking criteria

I will be adding further to this post - TBC.

Read more yourself: all exam board guides are here.
They are free and accessible to parents and students.

Below you can find the official marking criteria for the cross-media assignment.

Click image to enlarge.

Click read more to see the assessment criteria (how marks/grades are awarded) for THIS assignment.

These are the 'Assessment Objectives' that marks are awarded for on the coursework unit

A reminder of how this fits in to the overall coursework unit:

How the exam board describe this assignment. .
Note - all 4 of the Key Concepts of Media Language, AudienceRepresentation and Institution (MARI) are highlighted:







This is the exam broad brief for the website task we work on:
This describes suggested minimums.

Below - click read more for the actual assessment criteria:

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

FILM poster, redraft, reboot, research...

We will use these resources in today's lesson...
(there is also a planning table at the bottom of the post)

Each of you will review TWO others' posters, and each of you will sum up changes you might now make as a result.








...

FILM the AIDA theory

Along with semiotic terms (signifier, signify, signified, denote, connotation etc) and media language terms (shot types, angles etc), you can also challenge yourself to use a little bit of theory.

'AIDA' is a common concept within the marketing and design industry - the resources below will help you identify what this is, and should help you create a smarter poster that is higher impact with your audience ...

WEBDESIGNERDEPOT
This page uses lots of very clear examples and builds 'AIDA' into a 7-step design process.

Think about how the examples below use smart semiotics to tell the story; they encode the meaning through smart use of imagery which work as signifiers, connoting the genre and the theme of sex appeal. The image choice also suggests, or denotes, a female lead. The tagline helps, but isn't too obvious and doesn't clumsily provide anchorage for the otherwise polysemic meaning.

[if any of that is confusing, just ask me to go through it!]



The PowerPoint below uses elements from this website to look at the same idea.



Read more here and here.
The Wiki.
It is used far beyond film posters - see here and here.
...

FILM what goes in a poster

We will work on a final checklist together, but here are several suggestions that should help you draw up an initial list.

To do so, paste a poster into Word  or Photoshop and draw arrows to where you see these clearly described (denoted) features.

Has the list below missed anything? Are there any more terms you might use?

An example of how you might evidence your research into conventions - is it really comprehensive enough, or is it missing features? Are these the best examples (do they demonstrate all the conventions?)?


there are more examples - click on read more below

FILM finding Photoshop guides for impressive FX!

You can find very specific guides online to create all sorts of effects and types of text, and this includes lots of guides for film posters generally, and also for particular film styles or FX.

JUSTCREATIVE - THE PROCESS, AND A SAMPLE TEMPLATE TO EXPERIMENT WITH
This designer includes images you can work with to follow his instructions, and he guides you the design process - including drafting, getting audience feedback, and then re-drafting, making it clear what changes were made and why!

You too should be able to picture your final poster as a huge display in public!




VANDELAYDESIGN - 39 SPECIFIC GUIDES
There is a very wide range of step by step tutorials: sci-fi, 80s, 60s, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones ...
Making a convincing action poster is challenging; this guide could help you achieve that!

CLICK READ MORE below TO SEE MORE LINKS AND EXAMPLES

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

WEBSITE WIX creating a splash or landing page

Many of the online instructions for this refer to the Wix editor which is now termed the old editor as it has fundamentally changed ...

I haven't tested the following out, so if any of these works for you let me know via a comment.

In this 2015 link, the Wix support team reference a specific landing page menu option:
There are also shorter guides here, here (using a splash video), here (using a button workaround) and here.

Bear in mind that you can request technical help from Wix directly!



Monday, 15 February 2016

FILM box office, budget,production practices

As we'll see, there are some key choices made at the production stage that heavily influence the chances of a filming becoming a hit. We will consider only some of these here.




SUMMER 2015 US BOX OFFICE TOP 10
This 3-minute video runs down the top 10 biggest hits (box office is the total amount of money they took in from cinema ticket sales).

As you view this use your handout to note any success factors (or good production practices) you can think of.


Gallery with 2 posters for each, and a main cast list.



FILM BUDGETS
Why do you think such films usually cost so much to make?
What choices are made that raise the budget?
(You will shortly be considering what choices to make for your proposed film)

FAMILY FORTUNES...
Time to take a break and play a game...


COMPARING WITH 5 UK EXAMPLES
See if you can match these films to the budget provided and the box office, and work out why they didn't do well.
HINT: cast, genre (they all use 'social realism', a genre that doesn't use stars ... or CGI ... or familiar 'posh' characters ... or the usual UK settings [London/South of England!] ... and can be a bit grim, 'downbeat').
There is ONE positive marketing element for all of these, involving places like Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, and newspapers like The Guardian...
How many of these have you heard of or seen?
How many of the 'stars' have you heard of?
They're all award-winning films!
'k' = £000 (so £22k = £22,000)

CTRL-CLICK to view full-size (CMD-click on a Mac)



Here's the trailer for For Those in Peril - what 'success factors' do you see? Stars? CGI? A popular genre? Franchise?





Here's the trailer for This is England - what 'success factors' do you see? Stars? CGI? A popular genre? Franchise?
NB: the full film is 18-rated, but the trailer is cut to enable it to be shown with 12-rated films.



WEBSITE 2016 Year 11 websites

Websites:

Evie (Illenium [rapper])
Orla (English Theatre Company of Luxembourg)
Aubrey (AK Photography)
Ismini (MiniChef: TeenCook)
Ben (Blackout Studios [gaming])
Harry (The Imperial Dog [rap artist])
Adam (Death Claw Game Studios)








Sunday, 14 February 2016

FILM Hybrid genres and pitching

We started with this (PG-13) trailer; listening only to the opening 50 seconds, viewing the rest.

It is an example of a hybrid genre film.

Others are illustrated in the PowerPoint below.




Your task today is this:

You have been invited to pitch a film idea to the world's most successful film distributor, Universal International Pictures.
They are especially interested to hear of any hybrid ideas you might have - no matter how outrageous.
You could combine two existing film franchises (series) or attempt a more original idea.
Either way you need to detail:
  • the budget
  • the main cast
  • the genres
  • which film/s it can be compared to (it should be clear they are successful films!)
  • the title
  • at least one tagline
  • a summary of why you think this film would be box office gold
It would be to your advantage to have some visual aids (maybe even a mock-up poster) to boost your chances of successful pitching and winning funding - but focus on the content first!












Classic taglines; filmsite selected taglines; shortlist poster gallery of great taglines.