Friday, 15 June 2018

Year 12 --> Year 13 Summer Bridging Work

1. Revise all set products for Component 1. Create crib sheets / detailed mindmaps / flashcards for each one (use the format you find most helpful).

2. Complete the following questions. Please complete on paper and hand in on your return.

Media Language questions:
For the 'Unseen', simply buy a copy of the relevant newspaper on the day.
Mirror + Times
How is media language used to encourage audience interpretations? [15]
Mirror + Times unseen
How does media language incorporate viewpoints and ideologies in these newspaper front pages? [15]
Guardian + Sun unseen
How is intertextuality used in this music video to communicate meaning? [15]

Film Posters

K.O.T.V + Tomb Raider teaser poster
How do the media language used in these posters promote a particular genre? [15]
2 unseens
Black Panther
Jungle Fever
How does media language communicate multiple meanings in these two film posters? [15]

Representation question:

WaterAid + Homelessness Awareness campaign (below)
Compare how the attitudes and beliefs about the world are reinforced through representations. [30]
In your answer you must:
·         Consider how media language is selected and combined to construct particular representations that reinforce attitudes and beliefs
·         Consider the similarities and differences in the representations
·         Make judgements and draw conclusions about how far the representations relate to relevant media contexts

Work hard! Do us proud.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

NEA: Music video treatment, Slideshare, and class feedback

Post your treatment / pitch by this Friday morning . Mr James and I will look at them periods 3 and 4 since my year 10s are on study leave.

Embed your presentation on your blog. Add visuals!! If not on the slides then in the blogpost.

Give each other plenty of honest and constructive feedback.

Start filming! Recce footage, mise-en-scene including costumes, rehearsal with your artist, experiments with shots, with lighting, with locations.
Give your artist plenty of time to rehearse! Film them on multiple occasions as test shoots.

Embed your ppts.

If you have made separate notes, handwritten perhaps, take a picture of them and put them on your blog too.



Good background research.
Good use of visuals and embeds to show us what you are thinking of.
Good grasp of conventions for your given genre.

Generally, you need to think more carefully about the representation you are constructing, the messages you are embedding.

IMAGINE THAT YOUR VIDEO IS BEING ANALYSED IN THE WAY WE ANALYSE 'RIPTIDE' AND 'FORMATION'. What would the key encoded messages be? What would a negotiated reading of your video be? What would the theorists say about your constructed meanings?

Additionally, define what conventions you are adhering to and WHICH CONVENTIONS YOU ARE SUBVERTING.

So generally, we need a bit less predictability and a bit more originality.

FOR EXAMPLE, Almira's ideas could be enhanced further by layering ideas around social media, notions of hyper-reality etc


1. What's the narrative? What representations (age, gender, social class or group, ethnicity, location...) are constructed? What are my key (encoded) messages?
2. How will I communicate these messages? 
3 What would Butler, Van Zoonen, hooks, Gauntlett, Gilroy, Hall, Baudrillard and others say about those messages?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Context and Intertextuality in 'Formation'

On your set text fact sheet, you are asked to consider how the combination of elements of media language influences meaning and intertextuality. 

Watch the Superbowl performance by Beyoncé of 'Formation', as this was the day after the single was released and therefore will have intentionally influenced the public at the time.

One of the intertextual references that you need to have knowledge of is the footage about bounce taken from That B.E.A.T, a short documentary. 

You can view this documentary on Vimeo.  Make notes as you watch to consider how this text affects the meaning of Formation.  That B.E.A.T Documentary

You may also like to do some reading around the genre of 'bounce music'.  Wikipedia - Bounce

Social and Cultural Contexts

There is also a suggestion that candidates could explore surrealist film and how that might help to explore sexual desire in the music video, by watching scenes from Un Chien Andalou (1929).

Guardian Review of the Un Chien Andalou (1929).

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Work to be completed on Wednesday 14th March (triple)

Music Videos

1. 'Formation' -  You should have written an analysis by now, using Goodwin and Vernallis to explore to what extent the video adheres to or challenges conventions of music videos.

Add the following to your work: 9 frames from the video that exemplify these conventions / your remarks.
It usually looks like this:

If you're not sure about Vernallis still, refer to the guidance sheet I gave you last week.
Also, this is an ex-student analysis of a Dizzee Rascal video (Love This Town)

And here is an ex-student analysis of a Beyonce video using screenshots to illustrate Goodwins's points (Prezi created):

2. You need to answer the following: (AO1 AND AO2)

Describe and analyse the ideologies conveyed through the representations in this music video (Formation). In your answer, you must:
- consider how representations convey ideologies (gender and race/ethnicity)
- make judgements and draw conclusions about how far social and cultural contexts affect the representations.

(This is Component 1 section A phrasing - except that in the exam you will be ask to do this and compare with another - unseen - text)
Here again, you can illustrate your work with relevant screenshots.

3. Apply theories to help you analyse the music video's messages: (AO2)

- bell hooks' feminist theory
- Paul Gilroy's theory

Draw conclusions (AO2) using Hall's Reception Theory: what are preferred and possible oppositional readings?

- bell hooks: Feminist attention should be directed at the 'inter-relatedness of sex, race and class oppression" (hooks, 1984)
Key word to use in relation to bell hooks' message: intersectionality

Key idea: The idea that race and class as well as sex determine the extent to which individuals are exploited, discriminated against or oppressed (hooks). 'Formation' explores notions of both race and gender as the video includes references to Beyoncé’s cultural identity and celebrity status, as well as broader references to historical and contemporary oppression of minority ethnic groups.

- Paul Gilroy: Theories around ethnicity and postcolonial theory
 Background to theory - colonialism refers to the period between the 16th and mid-20th centuries when many European countries colonised parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas. Colonial discourse relates to the notion that the colonising countries tended to view people in the countries being colonised as, for example, ‘other’, ‘primitive’, and ‘inferior’.
Postcolonial theory studies and reflects on the impact of this period of colonisation on cultures and societies.
So, focus on:
The idea that colonial discourses continue to inform contemporary attitudes to race and ethnicity in the postcolonial era.
The idea that civilisationism constructs racial hierarchies and sets up binary oppositions based on notions of otherness.
'Formation' explores issues relating to race and identity. There are historical references to slavery (the slave trade developed when European settlers in North America began to use African slaves as a source of labour) as Beyoncé and other female characters subvert the notion of white power during this period by taking on the role of the rich, powerful property owners. Contemporary identity is also explored as the video directly references the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (when, it has been argued, the black population was more adversely affected than any other ethnic group) as well as broader references to civil rights (e.g. the newspaper photograph of Martin Luther King ‘More than a dreamer’) and the power relations between the black community and the police (the young boy dancing in front of the line of riot police officers). This establishes multiple binary oppositions, although Beyoncé is consistently represented as dominant, successful and powerful.

4. PRACTICAL WORK: If there is time, you may want to do some further work on your lip synch edit.

a/ Write an analysis of Riptide, first focusing on the media language / conventions, then teasing out possible readings.

b/ Your NEA brief states that your artist should be signed to a independent record label.
Do some preliminary research into independent record labels (aim for 3) and some of the artists signed to them. Start researching possible songs you could use for your production; make a selection of 3 or 4 possible tracks, with a brief reason why it might be suitable.

And to give you a taste of what you need to research in the couple of weeks ahead, here is an extract from the specs. I will give you further detailed guidance.

Students should undertake research to develop their understanding of the theoretical framework in relation to their intended production including:
- Analysis of the use of media language in similar media products to identify the codes and conventions of the particular genres and forms. Analysis should focus on:
o how specific techniques such as: layout and composition; editing; sound, etc. are used to create meaning,
o the way in which representations of events, issues, individuals and social groups (as appropriate) are constructed, considering how the choice and combination of elements of media language influences meaning and conveys viewpoints and ideologies.
- Research into how the industry context – the media organisation, production processes, distribution and marketing, scheduling/positioning, regulatory issues etc. – impacts on a production.
- Research into the ways in which media industries use digital convergence across different platforms – how media products are interrelated and how different media platforms can be used to promote and distribute products, and engage audiences in different ways. Identify examples from similar products analysed.
- Research into the methods used to target and address audiences, including analysis of the techniques used to appeal to, engage and position an intended audience.
Identify examples from similar products analysed.
- Research into audience responses to, and interaction with, media products.
- Secondary research - academic theoretical research appropriate to A Level to develop understanding and support analysis.
- Primary audience research such as focus groups research prior to completion of production work.

Lots to do! Good luck, everyone,

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Music Videos - Getting started

First of all, you will need to watch some music videos critically and start some early analysis of a few videos.
Issa James has written a great post LINKED HERE with plenty of links to music videos that we want you to look at. It is crucial that you spend time becoming familiar with different genres and that you pick up ideas from a wide range of videos. Of course, there are other sources of inspiration such as films, TV drama and books!

1. You need to understand that there are many genres of music videos, usually dependent on the music genre being promoted. Overall, there are Performance videos, Narrative-led videos, but the majority include a mix of both.
Two key theorists who will help you deconstruct and analyse videos are Goodwin and Vernallis. I will provide templates summing up the main conventions they have come up with to support your analytical work and we will of course go through their key points together.

2. Starting with Goodwin, here are the key points:

Andrew Goodwin has identified a number of key features which distinguish the music video as a form:
- There is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, with the visuals illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics.
- There is a relationship between the music and the visuals, with the visuals illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.
- Genres are complex and diverse in terms of music video style and iconography
- Record companies will demand a lot of close-ups of the main artist or vocalist. Videos allow artists to present and modify their 'Star Image' to the public.
- Voyeurism is present in many music videos, especially in the treatment of females, but also in terms of systems of looking. Some examples are screens within screens, cameras, mirrors, etc.
- There are likely to be intertextual references, either to other music videos or to films and TV texts; these provide further gratification and pleasure for the viewers/fans.

Please use these to get started with your music video analyses. It goes without saying that you will need plenty of screengrabs!

3. We will be completing some preliminary tasks to teach you a few skills in preparation for shooting and editing your own videos. The lip-synch task next half-term. You will need to be ready to shoot a lipsynched song of your choice. You can work in pairs.

You must:
- bring the printed lyrics
- have learnt the song lyrics before the lesson
- bring any prop you might want to use
- be able to play the song during the shooT.

We will finalise the date after half-term.

Here are examples from previous years:

4. And here is an important presentation which you must go through to get an understanding of technical codes in music videos. This will help you analyse a range of music videos.

Reference Presentation: Technical Codes in Music Videos

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Home-study due in by Saturday 20th January and Wednesday 24th January

1. By this weekend, make sure I have your work on the 2 set front pages (Mirror and The Times), either via your blog or email me.

2. For those of you who do not have a copy of the paper on Genre Theory, you can find it here:

Read it carefully (not the night before). I know most of you have done so already. You will need to answer questions on it next week.

3. Read the notes distributed today on The Times. Not everything will make sense as we have not covered all the theory mentioned yet but make sure you look at the product context and the section on Media Language and Representation. You can use these notes to complete you analysis (see 1. above).

Next week, we will do a little more work on Photoshop, complete our study of the Mirror set text (the transcript of the copy - inside pages) and work on the Genre paper linked above.

Ask if you are unsure about anything.