Thursday, July 13, 2017

Example Research

Hello Year 9 and 10!

For your summer homework you have to finish analysing 6 music videos. 
Some of you have been asking for an A* example of this so I have included 3 for you to look at. 

Do not copy anything from these examples or you will get 0 marks!

Good luck! :)

Miss Fowler

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer project: Music video research and preliminary exercise

Over the summer, you need to carry out crucial research and planning activities for Assignment 3: Music video.

This work will set you up perfectly to achieve a top grade in Assignment 3 - remember, it's worth the same as the first two assignments put together. Work through the following tasks before coming back in September:

Assignment 3: Music video research

1) Complete your music video research over the summer by choosing at least six interesting music videos and writing an analysis of each one (minimum 150 words per video). In total, you need at least 1,000 words of research but many people write more than this. 

You'll find more guidance and an example analysis on this blog post outlining the research task. Ms Fowler has also helpfully suggested potential videos to analyse for each key convention of music video if you're unsure what to choose.

Preliminary exercise: planning and filming

When you first come back in September we'll be completing a music video Preliminary Exercise. This is a brilliant opportunity for you to practice the skills of editing you'll need for creating your three minute music video.

Task: Create a 30-second music video to a song of your choice

1) Choose a song and print / copy and paste the lyrics into Word (must be clean version or radio edit - specified by exam board).

2) Come up with some ideas for potential videos linked to the song and lyrics. Remember, you can use narrative, performance or visual effects - the more creative the better.

3) Film 1-2 minutes of initial footage using your phone or your own camera. Important: you must be able to capture the video files from the device. Remember to film landscape too!

4) Bring the video files into school on a USB or memory card to edit in school in the first week back in September.

This is all due in the first lesson back: Thursday 7 September. Good luck!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Assignment 3 - Research and Planning

Assignment 3 - Research and Planning Task

There are 15 marks available for Research and Planning for Assignment 3 - Music Video Production. 

One of the ways you can earn these marks is by researching existing music videos and analysing them. 

Open a new Word document and call it 'Assignment 3- Research and Planning. Existing Product Research.'  

For each music video, you need to write 150 words commenting on:
  • Introducing the artist / band - what genre they are and a bit about them
  • Mise-en-scene: props, setting, actors, costume
  • Iconography and Genre
  • Narrative element
  • Performance element - artist singing or lip synching / dance moves
  • The camera angles, movements and editing (number of shots)

Find a music video that fits into each of these categories:

1) Creative Concept - contains really interesting, unique ideas or visuals that are not neccessarily related to the song. 
  • First of the Year- Skrillex
  • Naughty Boy- Running
  • Nojahoda- nojahoda
  • OK Go- The One Moment
  • Ok Go- This Too Shall Pass
  • Bjork - All is Full of Love
2) Narrative - a video that has a clear storyline - usually related to the lyrics. This lends a film-like quality to the music video. 
  • Katy Perry- Last Friday Night
  • Ellie Goulding- Love Me Like You Do
  • Ed Sheeran - Shape of You
  • Adele- Hello
3) Performance Element- This is when the music video focuses on a performance from the artist - usually lip-synching and co-ordinated dance moves. 
  • Bruno Mars- Uptown Funk
  • Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
  • Beyonce- Crazy in Love
  • Michael Jackson- Thriller
  • Beyonce- Run the World
  • One Direction- What Makes you Beautiful
  • DJ Khalid featuring Rihanna- Wild Thoughts
  • Progidy- Firestarter
4) Camerawork (use of camera shots and camera movements) and interesting editing (number of shots, how they are cut together)
  • About You-XXYYXX
  • Walk off The Earth- Red Hands
  • Nojahoda- nojahoda
  • Linkin Park- Breaking the Habit
  • Sigur Ros- Glosoli
  • Alt J- Breezeblocks
5) Mise-en-scene: everything you can see in the video - setting, costume, props and characters
  • Imagine Dragons- Radioactive
  • Eminem- Till I Collapse
  • Aqua- Cartoon Heroes
  • Katy Perry- Last Friday Night
  • Missy Elliott- Work It
  • Lady Gaga- Bad Romance
  • Michael Jackson- Thriller
  • Swedish House Mafia- Greyhound
6) Visual Effects and clever editing- This is when the music video features amazing special effects such as CGI.
  • Zayn Malik- Pillowtalk
  • Nosia- Machine Gun
  • Robbie Williams- Rock DJ
  • Gotye- Somebody That I Used to Know
  • Eminem- Rap God
  • Fun- We Are Young
  • Aphex Twin- Come to Daddy
  • Chemical Brothers- Let Forever Be

There is an example below this for OK Go's video- This Too Shall Pass

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mr Halsey cover work: Tuesday 4 July

Year 10: apologies - I'm out on a course so will miss our lesson on Tuesday.

The work is very simple: use this additional lesson to check everything is up-to-date in your coursework folder and print any improved work. Remember: put a post-it note on any improved version so I know to re-mark it.

If your coursework folder is up-to-date, you can make a start on your research for Assignment 3: Music video. Your first research task will be to write 1,000 words analysing six music videos so you can begin selecting the videos you will focus on and making notes on why they are so effective.

I'll be back Thursday to make an official start on Assignment 3. Good luck in the meantime!

Assignment 3: Existing product research

The first part of Assignment 3 is Research and Planning. This begins with existing product research - analysing existing music videos and learning from them for our own productions.

Existing product research: task

Research six music videos, writing a minimum of 150 words for each video. Try focusing on a different aspect for each video:

Video 1: Creative concept / visual effects
Video 2: Narrative
Video 3: Performance element
Video 4: Camerawork (shots/movement)
Video 5: Mise-en-scene (everything you can see in the video - setting, costume, props etc.)
Video 6: Editing (inc. counting the shots in the video)


Writing analysis

You should embed a screengrab from the video into your Word document along with the title of the song and artist. In addition, you need to identify the specific aspect of media analysis you are focusing on to make it clear what you are analysing (e.g. camerawork, editing, narrative etc.) 

For each video you need to make sure you don’t just describe what is happening, but instead are making analytical comments about the following features using key media terminology:
  • Camera movement, shots, angles
  • Editing transitions, special effects
  • Mise-en-scene (costume, props, location, facial expression, lighting and colour etc.)
  • Representation – how the artist / band / characters are represented through these technical elements above
  • Genre of the music and how this is signified in the video (eg iconography, colour, people etc.)
  • Intertextuality – whether the video features any intertextual references, where and why? Intertextuality is when another media text (e.g. film, TV programme) is referred to or suggested in the video.
  • Audience reception – how might an audience react to or view the video?
  • Audience pleasures - why might an audience watch / enjoy this video (Uses & Gratifications theory - Blumler and Katz).
You can use videos of your choice, but if you need some guidance these are some memorable videos that you could use as inspiration:

Creative concept: OK GO - Here It Goes Again

Narrative/editing: Coldplay - The Scientist

Visual effects: Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be

You will need to complete this research for homework as a summer project - deadline set by your Media teacher.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

GCSE Media Studies PPE preparation: TV Drama

Your PPE Media Studies exam is on Tuesday 27 June at 8.30am in the Lecture Theatre.

The preliminary material that gives you the brief you need to follow in the exam is available here. You will also be given a printed copy in class.

You MUST complete the following research and planning tasks before the exam on Tuesday 27 June.


Waterloo Road

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

2) 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?

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 another season if you wish.

5) Why might audiences have enjoyed Waterloo Road?

Doctor Who

1) Watch these extracts from the classic Doctor Who episode 'Blink':

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) from Doctor Who - note which season the storyline appeared in. They can be from the earlier episodes (such as 'Blink' above) or from the most recent series if you wish.

5) What audience pleasures are provided by Doctor Who?


1) Brainstorm ideas for a new TV Drama for a 15-24 audience demographic. Plan out the following:
  1. Title
  2. Tagline - how will you sell the drama to an audience?
  3. Setting(s)
  4. Main characters and why audiences will like/dislike them
  5. At least three of the narratives or storylines - at least one should cover the series arc (a narrative that continues across the whole series).
  6. Potential TV channels and timings to broadcast your new TV drama
  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 age group specified by the preliminary brief is 15-24.
  9. Three reasons your TV drama will appeal to that target audience 

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

3) 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 etc.
  • Any other creative or unusual ways to promote your new TV drama to the audience
4) Write a three-paragraph answer for why your new TV drama will be successful in the incredibly competitive marketplace of modern television.

All tasks MUST be completed before Tuesday 27 June. Complete them on your GCSE Media blog.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

TV Drama: Key conventions and NCIS

The most important aspect of Media Language that you need to learn is the key conventions of TV Drama.

In order to analyse existing TV dramas and create your own, it's vital you understand the components that make up a TV drama. A lot of the work we completed for Assignment 2 on film genre and conventions will help you here.

Key conventions of TV Drama

  • Multiple characters played by an ensemble cast (often each character with their own storyline)
  • Specific technical codes e.g. realistic lighting and editing for social dramas
  • Use of stereotypical characters to introduce lifestyle and motivation quickly
  • Narrative formula that is followed in every episode e.g. Casualty (3 Strand); Homeland (multi-strand narrative)
  • Common use of flashback, point of view shots, dialogue and voice over, enigma and action codes

A good way to analyse TV Drama is to use NCIS - exactly what we used for film genre in Assignment 2:

N = narrative (storyline)
C = character (people/character types)
I = iconography (what we can see)
S = setting (where it takes place)

These four aspects will provide enough evidence to identify the subgenre of TV Drama (or a hybrid of genres if the TV drama fits more than one category).

TV Drama subgenre

One of the key details TV broadcasters use to market a TV Drama is subgenre.

Remember, a film or TV genre is made up of a repertoire of elements. That repertoire could include particular iconography, lighting, sound, or actors associated with the genre. This list of features is known as a ‘repertoire’ because any given TV Drama within a subgenre may not use all of the possible elements, but it will use some.

Blog task / Homework

Your blog task today is to analyse this short clip from the BBC1 TV Drama Waterloo Road:

Answer the following questions on your blog:

Narrative: What does the clip suggest about this particular storyline for Waterloo Road? What do you expect to happen? How might the new character impact on existing storylines?

Character: What school-based stereotypes can you recognise in the clip? How does the clip introduce the new characters in the show?

Iconography: What elements of the clip help to quickly introduce the school subgenre of TV Drama?

Setting: How does the clip quickly introduce the school setting?

Example: The Night Manager (BBC1)

The trailer for The Night Manager cleverly introduces several narrative strands. There is the main series arc introduced with the government agents trying to bring down the villain, Richard Roper. However, within this overall narrative there are clearly many other stories including romantic relationships, a boy being kidnapped, the main character going undercover with Roper and a war in a foreign country. At one point, a character actually lists some of the narrative strands: "Murder, theft..." while an American agent emphasises the threat to the main characters: "Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?" It is clear to the audience that there is an overarching good v evil storyline but plenty of other narrative strands in each individual episode. These are all classic conventions of TV Drama.

The characters are typical of a TV Drama in the subgenre of a spy thriller and largely follow Propp's theory of character types. The villain, Richard Roper, is established in the very first shot with ominous music accompanying a shadowy close-up: "War is a spectator sport." The trailer then goes on to introduce other key characters - the hero, who is going undercover to bring down Roper, the intelligence officer who is running the operation, a love interest (Propp's 'heroine') for both the hero and villain and various other minor characters.

There is plenty of iconography of the spy drama genre - and at points the trailer almost feels like a James Bond movie. The props include guns, private jets and yachts to quickly introduce the money and power of the villain Richard Roper. Costumes such as sharp suits reinforce this. Alongside the costume and props, glamorous international locations feature throughout - snowy mountains, island villas or war-torn cities. All of these are typical of the spy subgenre for TV Drama and offer the audience excitement and action.

Some locations are designed to be familiar to the audience - the office of the British intelligence officer is a good example of this. However, the main settings are international and glamorous - hotels, yachts, island villas and war-torn foreign countries. This promises the audience a variety of vicarious pleasures as they get to travel the world with the main characters as they find out if the hero succeeds in his mission. These settings may remind audiences of action or thriller films such as James Bond, Taken or Fast and Furious that feature exotic, international locations. 

Anything you don't finish in the lesson is homework.

Due: Tuesday