Thursday, May 10, 2018

Task 1 Revision clips and questions

You need to know very detailed information about existing TV dramas for Task 1 of the exam.

The following clips and questions will help with your preparation for this crucial task.

Research & Revision



Stranger Things

1) Watch the whole of the opening 8 minutes of Stranger Things. (If you have Netflix at home, watch the rest of episode 1.)



2) Read this Stranger Things Wikipedia entry to get some background to the show. How many seasons and episodes have there been? How long is each episode?

3) How does Stranger Things meet the conventions of TV drama: ensemble cast? Stock characters? Story arcs? Episodic narratives? Enigma and tension? Realism?

4) What would be the sub-genre of TV drama that Stranger Things best fits into?

5) What audience pleasures are provided by Stranger Things? Why do audiences love it? Use media theory here - Uses & Gratifications theory and the 3 Vs.

6) What unusual or particularly effective marketing techniques have been employed by Stranger Things and Netflix to generate interest in the show?



Waterloo Road

1) Watch the whole of Waterloo Road - Season 1, Episode 1:


 


2) Re-read this Waterloo Road Wikipedia entry and write down the number of seasons and episodes broadcast and the channels they have appeared on. 

3) How does Waterloo Road meet the key conventions of TV Drama: ensemble cast? Stock characters? Story arcs? Episodic narratives? Enigma and tension? Realism?


4) Write down three storylines (or narratives) from Waterloo Road - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the first episode above or from the clips below:



5) Why might audiences have enjoyed Waterloo Road?


Doctor Who


1) Re-watch these extracts from the classic Doctor Who episode 'Blink' when the Doctor was played by David Tennant during series' 2-4:


 

 


2) Read the opening of this Wikipedia entry for Doctor Who and make notes on why the show is so popular.

3) Now read this Wikipedia entry for the episode above - 'Blink'. Why is 'Blink' considered to be one of the best Doctor Who episodes ever?


3) List the key conventions of TV Drama that you can find in Doctor Who.


4) Write down three storylines (or narratives) that have moments of Enigma or tension - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the earlier episodes (such as 'Blink' above) or from the Matt Smith series 6 that we have watched this week. 


The following clips are from Doctor Who - The Impossible Astronaut:








5) What audience pleasures are provided by Doctor Who?




Revision pack and useful links

Ms Fowler has created a range of excellent resources to help prepare you for this exam. Use the following to help you:

Revision pack
Use this revision pack at home or in Study Club to help prepare for the upcoming PPE. It has brilliant tips on how to approach each question and what you need to create and revise before the exam. 

Guidance on exam structure
This blogpost on exam structure will remind you of what each task could involve and the different things you need to prepare for.

Example Task 1 paragraph for Stranger Things
This example of how to structure a Task 1 answer is useful in terms of what the examiner is expecting in the exam.

CEEA paragraph structure
If you're not sure on the CEEA paragraph structure you can get an introduction to it here.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Institution: Public service broadcasting

Public service broadcasting is an important aspect of the institution key concept for TV drama.

Public service broadcasting refers to TV channels that are designed for public benefit rather than just to make money. 

The media regulator Ofcom requires certain TV and radio broadcasters to show certain programming as part of their license e.g news, documentary, sport etc. 

All of the BBC's television and radio stations have a public service remit. Indeed, the BBC is the best example of public service broadcasting. It was set up in 1922 with a famous mission statement it retains to this day:

“To inform, educate and entertain.”

The license fee

All BBC content (and some of Channel 4’s funding) is paid for by the License Fee, which costs £147 a year. 

You need a TV Licence to:

- watch or record live TV programmes on any channel
- download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

Some politicians want to scrap the license fee and change the BBC’s funding model.


Public service broadcasting: blog task

Complete the following tasks on TV drama and institution:

1) What is the difference between public service broadcasting and commercial broadcasting?

2) What type of TV programme does each of the following channels usually offer: 

BBC1
BBC2
ITV1
ITV2
Channel 4
Channel 5

3) Choose three of the channels above and find a TV drama that is broadcast on that channel that you feel represents the type of channel it is. Embed a clip or trailer in your blog and explain why it fits the channel it is broadcast on.

Example: BBC1



Doctor Who is the perfect fit for BBC1 as it is a long-running, much-loved mainstream series aimed at a family audience. It has been running for over 50 years and is considered a national treasure in the UK. It is generally quite innocent, family-friendly and features highly regarded British actors.

Make sure you've also completed the last work on institution - Netflix and the impact of new/digital media on TV.


Monday, March 26, 2018

FINAL TV drama PPE - April 2018

Your FINAL Media Studies PPE will be taken in class when you come back from the Easter holidays. 

You will have received a copy of the preliminary brief in class.

You MUST complete OR revise the following research and planning tasks before the exam after Easter.


Research & Revision



Stranger Things

1) Watch the whole of the opening 8 minutes of Stranger Things. (If you have Netflix at home, watch the rest of episode 1.)



2) Read this Stranger Things Wikipedia entry to get some background to the show. How many seasons and episodes have there been? How long is each episode?

3) How does Stranger Things meet the conventions of TV drama: ensemble cast? Stock characters? Story arcs? Episodic narratives? Enigma and tension? Realism?

4) What would be the sub-genre of TV drama that Stranger Things best fits into?

5) What audience pleasures are provided by Stranger Things? Why do audiences love it? Use media theory here - Uses & Gratifications theory and the 3 Vs.

6) What unusual or particularly effective marketing techniques have been employed by Stranger Things and Netflix to generate interest in the show?



Waterloo Road

1) Watch the whole of Waterloo Road - Season 1, Episode 1:


 


2) Re-read this Waterloo Road Wikipedia entry and write down the number of seasons and episodes broadcast and the channels they have appeared on. 

3) How does Waterloo Road meet the key conventions of TV Drama: ensemble cast? Stock characters? Story arcs? Episodic narratives? Enigma and tension? Realism?


4) Write down three storylines (or narratives) from Waterloo Road - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the first episode above or from the clips below:



5) Why might audiences have enjoyed Waterloo Road?


Doctor Who


1) Re-watch these extracts from the classic Doctor Who episode 'Blink' when the Doctor was played by David Tennant during series' 2-4:


 

 


2) Read the opening of this Wikipedia entry for Doctor Who and make notes on why the show is so popular.

3) Now read this Wikipedia entry for the episode above - 'Blink'. Why is 'Blink' considered to be one of the best Doctor Who episodes ever?


3) List the key conventions of TV Drama that you can find in Doctor Who.


4) Write down three storylines (or narratives) that have moments of Enigma or tension - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the earlier episodes (such as 'Blink' above) or from the Matt Smith series 6 that we have watched this week. 


The following clips are from Doctor Who - The Impossible Astronaut:








5) What audience pleasures are provided by Doctor Who?



Planning: BLUESKY PRODUCTIONS

Complete the following planning tasks to ensure you are prepared for the BLUESKY PRODUCTIONS brief.


1) Brainstorm ideas for a new TV Drama for a mainstream audience demographic using one of the three TV drama sub-genres provided on the brief. Plan out the following:
  1. Sub-genre - which one of the three are you choosing?
  2. Title and tagline - how will you sell the drama to an audience?
  3. Format - how many episodes? How long is each episode? What channel will it appear on and why (remember the brief - 8pm - 9pm slot)?
  4. Setting - how will you use the setting provided in the brief?
  5. Main characters and why audiences will like/dislike them. Note that you need a balance between male and female characters.
  6. A minimum of three narratives or storylines - at least one should cover the series arc (a narrative that continues across the whole series) and one should be resolved within an episode (episodic narrative).
  7. Your TV drama's USP - unique selling point
  8. Your show's detailed target audience (demographics and similar shows they might watch). Remember: the audience specified by the preliminary brief is a mainstream audience - but how are you interpreting that?
  9. Three reasons your TV drama will appeal to that target audience.
  10. Three audience pleasures that your TV drama will provide - using media theory (Uses & Gratifications; 3 Vs etc.)
2) Design the website homepage for your TV drama on A3 paper.

3) Storyboard the opening (length: 30 seconds) of your new TV Drama. Use this AQA storyboard sheet if you don't pick up a paper copy in class.

4) Storyboard a 30 second advert or trailer for your chosen TV drama idea. Use the storyboard link above.

5) Come up with a variety of ways to promote your new TV Drama to your target audience. Plan out the following:
  • Official website for the TV drama that allows audiences to meet the characters and find out more about the storylines.
  • Ideas to feature your drama on social media e.g. hashtag, video content, Instagram filters, Twitter feeds etc.
  • Any other creative or unusual ways to promote your new TV drama to the audience.
6) Write a three-paragraph answer for why your new TV drama will be successful in the incredibly competitive marketplace of modern television.


Revision pack and useful links

Ms Fowler has created a range of excellent resources to help prepare you for this exam. Use the following to help you:

Revision pack
Use this revision pack at home or in Study Club to help prepare for the upcoming PPE. It has brilliant tips on how to approach each question and what you need to create and revise before the exam. 

Guidance on exam structure
This blogpost on exam structure will remind you of what each task could involve and the different things you need to prepare for.

Example Task 1 paragraph for Stranger Things
This example of how to structure a Task 1 answer is useful in terms of what the examiner is expecting in the exam.

CEEA paragraph structure
If you're not sure on the CEEA paragraph structure you can get an introduction to it here.


All tasks MUST be completed for Thursday 19 April for the final mock exam.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Institution: the impact of digital media on TV Drama

The internet has had a huge impact on the television industry in the last 10 years.

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have fundamentally changed the way we watch television. In just 10 years, Netflix has gone from a mail-order DVD company to a giant in the television industry. Next year, Netflix plans to spend $8 BILLION making original TV programmes.



TV Drama

One of the key genres for Netflix and Amazon Prime is serial television drama. Many of these dramas now have the budgets and production values of Hollywood movies and many top actors are choosing to work in television rather than film.

For audiences, streaming has changed the way we watch television. 'Event TV', when millions of people around the country would tune in to watch the latest episode of a drama at a set time, is far less important now. Many people now 'binge-watch' TV dramas by watching several episodes back-to-back.


Digital media and television: blog task

Read the Media Magazine article on Netflix and the Cultural Industries (MM63 - page 45). Our Media Magazine archive is here - this is aimed at A Level Media students but this article will give you a brilliant introduction to the kind of ideas you'll explore if you continue Media Studies in sixth form. It also looks at the internet, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Stranger Things - so perfect for our exam topic.

Read the article and answer the following questions:

1) What has been the biggest change in media industries in the last 30 years?

2) How did Amazon and Netflix begin before they were streaming TV services?

3) How much does Netflix and Amazon plan to spend on making original TV material next year?

4) What other companies have recently joined the digital TV market (or are thinking of doing so)?

5) How many countries are Netflix and Amazon available in?

6) What did Netflix do to make sure Stranger Things would translate easily into other languages?

7) How has the internet changed the way we watch television?

8) Do you think streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have improved television for audiences or has quality gone down?

You should consider these institutional factors when responding to your next exam brief - discussing these kinds of issues and audience habits will demonstrate you are a top-level student.

Monday, February 26, 2018

March PPE - Revision and preparation tasks

Your PPE Media Studies exam is on Tuesday 6 March at 1.20pm in the Hall.

You will have received a copy of the preliminary brief in class.

You MUST complete OR revise the following research and planning tasks before the exam on Tuesday 6 March.


Research & Revision



Stranger Things

1) Watch the whole of the opening 8 minutes of Stranger Things. (If you have Netflix at home, watch the rest of episode 1.)



2) Read this Stranger Things Wikipedia entry to get some background to the show. How many seasons and episodes have there been? How long is each episode?

3) How does Stranger Things meet the conventions of TV drama: ensemble cast? Stock characters? Story arcs? Episodic narratives? Enigma and tension? Realism?

4) What would be the sub-genre of TV drama that Stranger Things best fits into?

5) What audience pleasures are provided by Stranger Things? Why do audiences love it? Use media theory here - Uses & Gratifications theory and the 3 Vs.

6) What unusual or particularly effective marketing techniques have been employed by Stranger Things and Netflix to generate interest in the show?



Waterloo Road

1) Watch the whole of Waterloo Road - Season 1, Episode 1:


 


2) Re-read this Waterloo Road Wikipedia entry and write down the number of seasons and episodes broadcast and the channels they have appeared on. 

3) How does Waterloo Road meet the key conventions of TV Drama: ensemble cast? Stock characters? Story arcs? Episodic narratives? Enigma and tension? Realism?


4) Write down three storylines (or narratives) from Waterloo Road - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the first episode above or from the clips below:



5) Why might audiences have enjoyed Waterloo Road?


Doctor Who


1) Re-watch these extracts from the classic Doctor Who episode 'Blink' when the Doctor was played by David Tennant during series' 2-4:


 

 


2) Read the opening of this Wikipedia entry for Doctor Who and make notes on why the show is so popular.

3) Now read this Wikipedia entry for the episode above - 'Blink'. Why is 'Blink' considered to be one of the best Doctor Who episodes ever?


3) List the key conventions of TV Drama that you can find in Doctor Who.


4) Write down three storylines (or narratives) that have moments of Enigma or tension - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the earlier episodes (such as 'Blink' above) or from the Matt Smith series 6 that we have watched this week. 


The following clips are from Doctor Who - The Impossible Astronaut:








5) What audience pleasures are provided by Doctor Who?



Planning: Luminous Productions

Complete the following planning tasks to ensure you are prepared for the Luminous Productions brief.


1) Brainstorm ideas for a new TV Drama for a family audience demographic using one of the three titles provided on the brief. Plan out the following:
  1. Title - which one of the three titles are you choosing?
  2. Tagline - how will you sell the drama to an audience?
  3. Format - how many episodes? How long is each episode? What channel or streaming service will it appear on and why?
  4. Setting - how will you use the setting provided in the brief?
  5. Main characters and why audiences will like/dislike them
  6. A minimum of three narratives or storylines - at least one should cover the series arc (a narrative that continues across the whole series) and one should be resolved within an episode (episodic narrative).
  7. Your TV drama's USP - unique selling point
  8. Your show's detailed target audience (demographics and similar shows they might watch). Remember: the audience specified by the preliminary brief is a family audience - but how are you interpreting that?
  9. Three reasons your TV drama will appeal to that target audience.
  10. Three audience pleasures that your TV drama will provide - using media theory (Uses & Gratifications; 3 Vs etc.)
2) Design the website homepage for your TV drama on A3 paper.

3) Storyboard the opening (length: 30 seconds) of your new TV Drama. Use this AQA storyboard sheet if you don't pick up a paper copy in class.

4) Storyboard a 30 second advert or trailer for your chosen TV drama idea. Use the storyboard link above.

5) Come up with a variety of ways to promote your new TV Drama to your target audience. Plan out the following:
  • Official website for the TV drama that allows audiences to meet the characters and find out more about the storylines.
  • Ideas to feature your drama on social media e.g. hashtag, video content, Instagram filters, Twitter feeds etc.
  • Any other creative or unusual ways to promote your new TV drama to the audience.
6) Write a three-paragraph answer for why your new TV drama will be successful in the incredibly competitive marketplace of modern television.


Revision pack and useful links

Ms Fowler has created a range of excellent resources to help prepare you for this exam. Use the following to help you:

Revision pack
Use this revision pack at home or in Study Club to help prepare for the upcoming PPE. It has brilliant tips on how to approach each question and what you need to create and revise before the exam. 

Guidance on exam structure
This blogpost on exam structure will remind you of what each task could involve and the different things you need to prepare for.

Example Task 1 paragraph for Stranger Things
This example of how to structure a Task 1 answer is useful in terms of what the examiner is expecting in the exam.

CEEA paragraph structure
If you're not sure on the CEEA paragraph structure you can get an introduction to it here.


All tasks MUST be completed before Tuesday 6 March - the PPE exam.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Assignment 3: Evaluation

We are now at the very final piece of work for our coursework folder: the Assignment 3 evaluation.

This is a crucial final piece of Assignment 3 and is worth 10 marks. There is no reason why you can't pick up the vast majority of those 10 marks simply by writing a comprehensive essay that covers each Media key concept.

Evaluation guidance

The AQA specification says that your evaluation should include:
  • how the aims of the production have been met
  • how the product applies appropriate codes and conventions and uses appropriate media language
  • how the product represents people, places or events
  • where and when the product would be exhibited 
  • what regulations and controls might be applied to the product and how these have been taken into consideration
  • the strengths and weaknesses of the product in terms of meeting the needs of its audience.

Regulation and control on the internet

One aspect of the evaluation we have not yet covered in class is the regulation and control of the media.

Regulate definition: Control or supervise by means of rules and regulations.

The media in the UK is regulated by Ofcom: the Office for Communications. Ofcom is responsible for regulatory devices such as the Watershed - which makes sure inappropriate content is not shown on TV before 9pm.

Does Ofcom regulate the internet?

No. The internet is self-regulating, which means individual service providers are responsible for content. 

In addition, websites such as Google offer ‘safe search’ options to allow parents to filter out offensive material. Similarly, YouTube safety mode is used to block videos that might be inappropriate for younger viewers. Would your video be appropriate for children? How did you make sure your video wouldn't be flagged as inappropriate?


Evaluation: essay guidance

You can find the full evaluation guidance here - make sure you cover each aspect.


Homework reminder
  • Complete any unfinished Assignment 3 planning, filming or editing
  • Write your Assignment 3 Evaluation
Due: Thursday 1 February

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PPE prep exam reminder

GCSE Media exam: know your enemy!
  • Pre-release briefing material issued 3-4 weeks before the exam.
  • Exam will involve responding to this brief on series of creative tasks.
  • Notes cannot be taken into exam.
  • Time: 90mins
  • Four Tasks: Equally weighted – 15 marks each (maximum mark /60)
  • Spend equal amount of time on each – 20 mins

Task 1: Case study task
This task will test your knowledge of TV Drama and involve writing in detail about at least TWO TV dramas that you have researched in class and at home.

Task 2: Pitch task
This will involve pitching your new idea for a TV drama in response to the preliminary brief.

Task 3: Creative task
This will involve designing some kind of media product for your new TV drama - for example a website homepage or the storyboard of the opening scene of your drama / trailer for your TV Drama.

Task 4: Audience or Marketing task
This could test any aspect of the brief but usually involves audience pleasures (why the target audience would enjoy your new TV drama) or how you would use new technology to promote your TV drama to the audience.

Please note that question 1 will always be about conventions of TV Drama and our case studies but Task 2-4 are all about your OWN TV Drama that you are pitching and these questions can be in any order on the exam paper. 
Important note: you CANNOT just turn up to the GCSE Media exam and hope to wing it on the day - the students you are up against will have done up to a MONTH of preparation in response to the preliminary brief. The positive side is that if you complete all the preparation tasks you already know you will have a brilliant exam!