Thursday, 7 December 2017
(Several gathered here)
AQA COURSEWORK TRAINING VIDS
A Dr Who vid on uStream, then a YT playlist:
Friday, 1 December 2017
Doctor Strange was criticized for whitewashing with the Tilda Swinton role. Here we see Disney casting an Asian actor rather than a Caucasian (white) star in Mulan.
Hollywood has attracted widespread criticism for casting white actors to play Asian characters. Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone have all played characters who were Asian in the source material.
Liu Yifei gets starring role in Mulan, as tide turns against 'whitewashing' https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/nov/30/mulan-tide-turns-against-whitewash-as-liu-yifei-gets-starring-role?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger
Monday, 20 November 2017
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
For more than 50 years, Ken Loach has been making social-realist dramas tied together by a prevailing thread — the compassionate observation of the struggles of the working class to hold onto such fundamental dignities as a home, a job and food on the table within a hostile system that often views them unfairly as the cause of their own misfortunes. His latest feature, I, Daniel Blake, is quintessential Loach, which means you have a good idea of what you're getting as soon as the core elements are established. And yet while the framework and perspective are familiar, the veteran Brit director's films can still have the power to grip us in an emotional chokehold. (Hollywood Reporter)
This is the type of thing you need to research and analyse: the movie was partly funded by government grants (National Lottery payments through the BFI) - not loans, grants - and is available to stream through platforms such as BFI Player (which is highly selective).
This is the guidance the exam board have given to you on this CSP, which is focused on Key Concept INDUSTRY only.
A NOTE ON BUDGET
In common with many Indie productions, there is no quoted budget to be found online. However, the cinematographer notes they saved £150k by filming digitally for the 1st time; there was a £300k FilmFund (BFI, funded by the UK government/National Lottery) grant and another €100k grant from Creative Europe, as well as tax breaks for filming in Britain and Belgium (as a UK, France, Belgium co-production!). Shane Meadows' 2006 social realist This is England cost Warp Films £1.5m, while Ken Loach's 2009 Looking for Eric was £4m and the 1920s war drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley a similar €6.5m.
Lets estimate IDB at a £2m budget, lacking the expense of Cantona or 1920s period costume, props and action. The important point, and I'm quoting the chief examiner in an email to me, is:
The production budget is unknown but certainly only a tiny fraction of the $165 million it cost to make Dr Strange. ...
Students need to know that in terms of actual production budget IDB costs were low, particularly in relation to Dr Strange.
Director Ken Loach has a long, distinguished career, as reflected in the recent documentary about him and his films:
Here's a BFI 4min overview;
NB: it contains swearing, reflecting the frank, realistic style of his movies:
Loach is known for his social realist movies:
- low budget
- often reflected in handheld cinematography (quicker and cheaper to film)
- no stars (he often even uses non-actors)
- non-franchise (Warp's This is England is a rare exception)
- no CGI/SFX
- minority/underprivileged central protagonist (eg working class/poor, sexual or ethnic minority)
- as such people are under-represented in mainstream, commercial cinema, there is government funding to support such films
- but as Loach usually refuses to write a script, he typically finds the production budget by pre-selling rights to France, Germany and other European markets where his films have a following
- he also usually picks up funding from the BBC or Film4 (part of the Channel 4 group)
- he can struggle to get his films into UK cinemas (theatrical release); they are usually stuck in the arthouse circuit, meaning low box office prospects - but IDB was an exception...
- social realist movies explore serious social issues
- this lack of light relief is another reason these movies rarely make much money, but...
- Billy Elliot, The Full Monty, Secrets and Lies and Slumdog Millionaire are all exceptions to this general rule
- a filmmaker with a recognisable style who...
- tackles serious social and cultural issues in their work
Monday, 6 November 2017
Monday, 23 October 2017
Here's a great article which provides a range of examples, from the big terrestrial channels (thats BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, C4, C5 - though the BBC doesn't carry any ads as its funded by a compulsory license fee of around £150 a year per household) to smaller, niche digital channels...
TheDrum on TV ad costs.
Examples: a 3-second ad on primetime ITV1 can cost £30,000, but on digital channels such as the Horror Channel and Animal Planet daytime ads can cost less than £50 - you can even get an ad on some of BT Sports' less popular strands for ... £5!!! The article gives the rate for Hollyoaks on C4, a show with a similar audience to BBC3's Class.
Friday, 20 October 2017
Its tempting to suggest viewing the EdS example with the audio off, but sadly you couldn't analyse the editing properly then...
There are many ways to approach analysing one, or comparing two, music videos. The key for you is to ensure that you give SOME consideration to ALL 4 Key Concepts: Media language, Audience, Representations, Industry ['Institutions'] - MARI Christmas!
Lets start with the one that may seem least obvious, INDUSTRY.
THE TWO VIDEOS
THE SMITHS: "This Charming Man"
ED SHEERAN: "Bibia B Ye Ye"
APPLYING KEY CONCEPT INDUSTRY
Your 1st question is: major label or Indie?
However, you can also look at the distribution of the video itself; its number of views; and the same for the track on the likes of Spotify.
Monday, 25 September 2017
The clip below contains a mix of stereotype and countertype for you to consider. This show was broadcast in the pre-digital era on a mainstream channel, therefore it couldn't simply target 'older' people as its primary target audience. How does the use of countertypes and stereotypes widen the potential target audience for this show?
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
CLASS, BBC3 SEASON 4 TRAILER
SOME WIDER CONTEXT:
- a BBC3 (online via iPlayer youth [15-34] channel) sci-fi spin-off from Dr Who, but for YA audience (slightly older than Dr Who)
- here's a BBC summary
- there is lots of content, including fan art and other UGC, on this BBC page
- ...and the Wiki.
- Skip to the bottom for more videos which help put Class in context
NEW DRAMA STORYBOARDING TASK: BBC3 is a youth (15-34) channel. BBC4 goes for an older, upmarket audience, and is launching a new drama series called Home, about the goings on in a retirement ('old folks') home. Your job is to come up with a storyboard of at least 12 shots for a trailer that (1) sets the scene (2) introduces 3 key characters (3) one of which is a terrifying bully. EXTENSION: If you have time, you can also add notes on the non-diegetic music you would use; how costume or props would signify or connote [symbolize] character; and any transitions or SFX you might use.YOUR BBC4 DRAMA - QUICK DECISIONS TO MAKE:
(A) TWIST Like Class, is there a twist or 'hybrid' element? It adds Dr Who sci-fi to the school drama, yours can be outrageous too.
(B) CHARACTERS - decide on the age, gender and position (resident or worker, manager or owner) HERO - a resident or a worker/boss? VILLAIN/BULLY - a resident or a worker/boss? Male or female? Age? 3RD KEY CHARACTER - a sidekick, love interest, perhaps the boss/owner? Male or female?
(C) SCENES TO INCLUDE IN TRAILER You might have one longer scene, but include some shots from multiple scenes just as you'd expect a trailer to. Think about shots that help establish the setting; the nature of characters (eg angles, two shot); create some mystery.
DOWNTON ABBEY, ITV SEASON 1 TRAILER
Shoes like Class arguably exist because of the high school/horror hybrid Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which also blended comedy and romance into its hybrid genre approach. We call an early influential example, almost a template for further efforts, an archetype.
Here's a longer Class trailer (the 19 seconds trailer is a teaser trailer) which should give you a better idea of how the show works.
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
You have two weeks to complete/improve your summer work, submitting for Tuesday 19th September lesson, applying learning from Miley and other examples (as PowerPoint or Word).
The following 5 steps are one simple, quick way of exploring a music video. You should see the link to the Key Concepts (MARI). There is much more you could also consider, and there should be plentiful use of precise terminology as you go.
STEP 1: BASIC MEDIA LANGUAGE
As we view, shout out if you see a shot type or angle we have not seen yet. Make a note, including the timing, so you can easily get a screenshot.
EXTENSION: can you link this to any of Andrew Goodwin's points? (He wrote a book in which he set out the features of media language that defines the music video format - you have notes on this)
STEP 2: ASSESSING THE MEDIA LANGUAGE
What is typical about the media language we've seen in this video? [Again, it will boost your grade to draw on theory such as Goodwin's] What media language do we think is typical of music videos?
Is there anything that is unusual (atypical) for the music video format?
Does it make any difference to the media language if we think more about genre?
[As part of your homework, count the number of cuts in the video EXTENSION: work out how many cuts that makes per 60 seconds. HINT: Convert 3:41 to seconds]
STEP 3: WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?
Remember to use your handouts to keep key terms/concepts in mind (eg uses and ...? theory)
Who do you think is 'the' audience, and why? [Think about why I've written 'the' audience, and be specific with your evidence]
STEP 4: STEREO/COUNTERTYPE OF GENDER?
Is this stereotypical, counterypical ... or both?
Would a feminist approve?
EXTENSION: Would a post-feminist approve?
Are there other aspects or themes of representation you want to raise?
STEP 5: WHAT IS VEVO?
Explain clearly who/what this is.
What terms can you use from your film work to help explain the company types? Use these again to denote (state) and explain the type of record label or distributor that Miley Cyrus is signed to.
OPTIONAL STEP 6: CAN YOU IMPROVE NOTES BY MAKING LINKS BETWEEN TOPICS?
Now you have considered some key aspects of the video you might be able to improve, extend your earlier notes and analysis.
Perhaps you can see themes you'd like to write about under your own heading, not the simple single Key Concept-linked headings I've used.
Ultimately you will be submitting 12 pages of evidence which samples or summarises your research AND pre-production work (location scouting, drafting, costume, make-up, audience feedback etc). You don't need to immediately start on laying out beautiful Word documents (PowerPoint may help you to produce good notes quicker) - focus on building up well-evidenced/illustrated research that you will be able to adapt.
Over to you...
Friday, 23 June 2017
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
OPTIONAL: You will also have returned work from assignments 1 and 2, and can get ahead by re-drafting these during the summer.
As explained, email replies will be minimal until late July, but you will get a response. You should use your Office365 account to do so - and look out for new resources being added in August (which will be announced through Office365). You need to access your Office365 mail and click to join the class you've been invited to!
Friday, 26 May 2017
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
AUDIENCE: Everything comes back to this in the end; all decisions need to be justifiable with reference to target audience. Remember you can split up and discuss the audience (type) in many ways:
- primary (main; core), secondary
- mainstream (eg a family audience!), niche
- four quadrant (really a film term - say so if using it - but still a useful concept)
- ABC1C2DE (socio-economic groups: high to low incomes, where ABC1s are targeted with complex, sophisticated media productions and C2DEs with simpler, less sophisticated productions; your range may be any range within this, eg C1C2DE for a gameshow with ANY element of sophistication or audience (intellectual) challenge
- sophisticated, upmarket (ABC1) and tabloid, downmarket (C2DE) is another way of describing these
- Uses and gratifications model!!! Also vital for...
Monday, 24 April 2017
KEY POINTS FROM THE BRIEF
Key points to consider:
- your idea would be pitched to a digital channel, NOT a terrestrial or free-to-air channel
- they've asked members of the public to pitch, perhaps further connoting low budget...
- it must have a USP
- you'll quickly see there are MANY competing game shows
- what will make YOURS stand out?
- look at how shows like Family Fortunes tried to appeal to a family audience
- think carefully about Key Concepts Representation/Media Language: the presenter/s, set, contestants, task or competition - and difficulty level of any questions or challenges (can younger viewers engage, or (U+G theory!) identify?)
- the programme title itself is very important - and, just like a magazine masthead, you need to plan the look of this: you could search for a specific font and mock this up, just be prepared to denote the font (serif, bubble, case, colour etc)
- be prepared to storyboard your title sequence
- research what shows currently hold these slots
- a good sign of success is it coming back for more than one year or season!!!
- this could also be about monetising: SMS/premium rate phone voting or competition entry, but also (freemium?) apps, board games, DVD games etc
- be prepared to draw a website, app or social media home page (or more)
- research existing examples
Friday, 31 March 2017
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Your pitch should be backed by a PowerPoint or video with plentiful, frequent, relevant illustration.
This needs to be emailed (a YouTube link if video) before the Friday 7th April lesson. You will also Monday's lesson to work on this.
It should address:
In no more than 2 sentences, sum up the narrative.
State at least 2 films this has similarities to (explain how), noting their box office + which audience/s you think those examples appeal to.
RESEARCH TIP: if you google 'film title box office https://www.theguardian.com/uk/film' you might find useful analysis on the audience, or just try 'film title audience' - Avatar example1; example2.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
BBC game shows Wiki;
UK Game Shows (site dedicated to this);
EVERY SECOND COUNTS 1993
PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT 1996
THE WALL 2011
STRIKE IT LUCKY
FAMILY FORTUNES 2000s
SPORTS/PHYSICAL CHALLENGE GAME SHOWS
There have been many of these, from It's a Knockout to Channel 4's disastrous The Jump, a hybrid with reality TV in which contestants kept getting seriously injured (so it was axed).
This became a successful international format/franchise, and even saw international spin-offs, with various national champions facing off against each other.
THE KRYPTON FACTOR 1980/90s + SPECIALS
A classic format, with Blind Date the queen of the format, fuelled by 60s pop star Cilla Black's catchphrases delivered in a broad scouse accent. Take Me Out is a more modern version, losing all the gentleness of its predecessors and putting an unsubtle meat market on screen. Mr and Mrs was a long running, very old-fashioned show.
TAKE ME OUT 2010s
BLIND DATE 1980s
MR AND MRS 1970/80s + 2010s CELEBRITY REMAKE
KIDS/TEENS GAME SHOWS
The format is adopted not just for mainstream mass 'family' audiences (primetime, teatime and lunchtime slots, not to mention endless re-runs throughout the day on channels such as Dave or Challenge, with very occasional post-watershed 'adult' shows too), but also for younger niche audiences. Runaround and Crackerjack are two classic examples, combining quiz and physical competition elements, and Crackerjack being something of a hybrid, almost a variety or chat show with its special guests.
Blockbusters was a hugely popular quiz show in the 80s and 90s with school and uni students, featuring sixth formers (Year 12/13; age 16-19). Slightly older university level students have become a key part of the audience for other daytime quiz shows, not least Countdown.
Monday, 13 March 2017
|These A2 students created a video survey, embedded below|
As this is a new topic for GCSE here, there aren't any past examples to show you - but you can take inspiration from some A2 Media work.
This document, aimed at A2 students, sets out some of the ways you can evidence audience research:
Here's the video questionnaire created by some past IGS A2 students, the greenscreen dream team of Amber and Conal; you see further down an example of other students answering this. A video questionnaire is a great way of organising this: it creates buzz, you can open it up to others by sharing the link (ask respondents to simply to note their answers (numbered!) including DN for don't know), and it helps to get a specific focus on music video.
You need to show you TESTED your initial judgement on a suitable target audience, and gathering SOME survey data on whether teens (or others) recognise your genre, artist or specific track is a good starting point. Getting some brief descriptions of what those vaguely familiar with the genre/artist expect to see is also useful.
Monday, 6 March 2017
We'll watch and compare these two trailers shortly
You can find additional resources in these posts:
- Video of summer 2015 hits + the (UK Indie) posters/trailers from page2 of the handout
- Pitching pointers and gallery of hybrid movies
- Working Title is owned by a huge US conglomerate (company that owns other companies), and so can make high budget movies
- Warp is an Indie (not owned by a larger company), and so makes low budget films
You can see the trump cards below for a selection of these. NOTE: I've blogged on many of these films in much more detail over on my Cinema blog.
Here are the boxofficemojo links for each (this site gives budgets, box office figures):
|2 contrasting companies in trump cards (gallery further down)|
Sequel to Bridget Jones' Diary and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason
Green Zone (Greengrass, 2010)
Marketing of this action/spy thriller tried to tap into the Bond rip-off Bourne's success by focusing on Matt Damon, with disappointing resultd
Hot Fuzz (Wright, 2007)
Second of the 'Cornetto Trilogy' this cop buddy satire was a sizeable hit despite its low budget.
Legend (Helgeland, 2014)
International audiences just weren't familiar with the Kray Twins (real life post-war London gangsters), and so box office was low outwith the UK
Les Miserables (Hooper, 2012)
|Global IP/brand + A-list stars = global hit!|
Notting Hill (Michell, 1999)
The company's second global hit rom-com starred megastar Julia Roberts, and made a star of Hugh Grant, fresh of Four Weddings and a Funeral success.
Paul (Mottola, 2011)
Featuring the (British) Cornetto Trilogy leads, this sci-fi/comedy hybrid used an A-lister (Seth Rogen) and a US setting to boost its US and international appeal
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004)
Still popular with today's teens, the zom-rom-com that kickstarted the Corentto Trilogy
The World's End (Wright, 2013)
The budget was much higher than the previous Cornetto Trilogy movies, but the box office wasn't - I've blogged on why in detail
Theory of Everything (Marsh, 2014)
Typical Working Title: well off white southern English characters in a grand setting, with the romance framework boosting appeal to this biopic of Stephen Hawking.
|Budget: just £48k!|
'71 (Demange, 2014)
Set at the start of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles' (armed conflict verging on civil war), this action/thriller could have been a hit with a star or two
Four Lions (Morris, 2010)
Such a bizarre idea: a comedy about a su*icide b*mber! A suprise hit in the UK, but it didn't do well in the US
She a Chinese (Xiaolu, 2011) [no entry]
You can't get much more uncommercial (unlikely to make money) than this: a Chinese woman illegally stays in Britain after running off from an official tour
Submarine (Ayaode, 2010)
Ingenious Welsh teen rom-com
This is England (Meadows, 2006)
The franchise continued on TV, with 3 series of sometimes brutal social realist drama
Tyrannosaur (Considine, 2011)
Another dark drama, despite the (sort-of) romance, it proved a hard sell with its two unglamorous middle-aged leads
Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee (Meadows, 2009)
Shane Meadows shot this mockumentary in just 5 days! Its entire budget wouldn't cover the catering on some tentpole Hollywood shoots!
Friday, 10 February 2017
If you're really stuck, I can give you a list of the words used for answers - though you'll still need to match them up to the right answer!
2017 Y11 crosswords are below the read more link...
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
The choice of a white bubble font signifies a less serious tone, and a target audience that includes teens, even though the uses and gratifications theory suggests teens might not so easily identify with the mature adult pair.
Saturday, 28 January 2017
|Just above this caption you'll see 'Media Pack' - this is for advertisers, detailing the readership of the magazine (Conde Nast Britain)|
Most magazines take in more revenue from advertising than from the cover price (from which, don't forget, distributors and retailers get their cut!).
In a very real sense, if you go out and buy a magazine, you're not buying anything ... you're being sold to advertisers!
|Giant multinational conglomerate Time Inc. UK boast to advertisers of their music mag Uncut readership's spending habits|
At A-Level we look at theories such as Noam Chomsky's 'propaganda model' which argues advertisers play a highly ideological role in the media industry, acting as a 'filter' to keep out radical ideas that might threaten the rich and powerful.
|Part of Dennis Publishing's blurb on 1 of their many titles|
For GCSE, just be aware that they play a key role in magazine branding: every title is seeking to attract an audience that will appeal to certain advertisers. This might be niche (narrow, specific, highly selective) or mainstream (broad, general) but the bottom line is that advertisers will not risk wasting valuable resources paying for space in a magazine that doesn't fit their customer profile. They MUST know who they'll be reaching with their ads - the age range, gender and income levels at a minimum.
|Part of Haymarket Media's advertiser pitch for glossy footie mag FourFourTwo|
Therefore, magazine publishers are under pressure to provide detailed information, including demographic data (the % of readers within categories such as age, gender, income) to advertisers. This can often be found on the main websites of publishers, and accessing some examples should help you make your own audience analysis much more sophisticated.
|Bauer, one of the leading UK publishers, provides advertisers with an interactive tool to match their needs to magazine brands!|
|Just a few of the many magazine brands owned by Time Inc. UK|
To find these you need to know who the major magazine publishers are. In the UK, the focus for this blog, these change over time as there are mergers, closures and launches of new titles and categories too, but at the time of writing that includes (with examples of their publications):
Future (MacFormat, PC Gamer - here's a full list)
Bauer UK (Empire, Grazia, Kerrang! - audience finder; case studies)
Conde Nast Britain (Vogue, GQ - here's the GQ Media Pack)
DC Thomson (WWE Kids Magazine, Shout - Shout [girls mag] Media Pack - scroll to the bottom of main site for full list of titles)
Dennis Publishing (Cyclist, Cross Stitcher, PC Pro)
Haymarket Media Group (Autocar, FourFourTwo, Senior Living)
Hearst Magazines UK (Good Living, Hello, Cosmopolitan, Inside Soap - rate card for Elle)
Time Inc. UK (NME, Golf Monthly, Yachting World, Women's Weekly)
Find more magazines by using online shops such as this.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE COMPONENTS OF A MAGAZINE COVER
There are many terms to learn, from straplines to masthead to hyperbole ... you need to be able to apply the correct, accurate industry label to each of these common elements of cover design.
STEP 2: BEGIN TO EXAMINE HOW EXISTING MAGAZINES VARY THESE COMPONENTS FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES
Throughout your Media Studies journey you'll be asked to research existing examples to learn industry conventions before constructing your own. You need to learn how media language choices are made to target different audiences.
STEP 3: RESEARCH A MAGAZINE SECTOR
Gather details of what magazines are available (we will focus on the UK market) in print of a magazine sector you think you would like to focus on for your own production. That might be music (if so, any specific genre?), fashion (men's, women's, girls?), technology (gaming - which console/platform?; futurism; general computing - or Windows, Mac, Linux...), consumer/lifestyle (homes, holidays, boats...), celebrity (usually considered women's magazines), film/TV (genre, time period...), sports/hobbies ... there are magazines covering most things you can think of.
See what ideas these examples give you - you might decide it does not seem such a good choice after all!
STEP 4: WRITE UP ANALYSES OF TWO MAGAZINE COVERS
You should by now have an idea of what type of magazine you will work on, so should pick two from your sector. You need to carefully and accurately apply a wide range of relevant terms. You also need to use the full range of audience terms, and engage with any theories that help to explain how audiences make their choices.
STEP 5: DEVELOP + PITCH YOUR MAGAZINE IDEA
|You can find details of the many closures with a simple google.|
Every media industry has faced massive, often brutal, change as a result of digitisation. New forms of distribution are transforming ways of operating, with new names like Spotify and Netflix rising to threaten the old, established giants.
The term used to describe this phenomenon and process is disruption, or digital disruption - the smooth ways of doing business have been challenged, changed ... disrupted.
USEFUL TERMS: DIGITISATION; DISRUPTIONINDUSTRY AWARENESS: Because of the challenge of digitisation (young people preferring screens to print, and advertisers moving online, taking their money away from magazines), many titles have closed recently, unable to survive the double whammy of falling circulation (sales) and loss of advertising revenue*. If you really can't find current, ongoing titles, then you can use titles that were published during this current decade. *magazines generally rely more on advertiser fees than the cover price to make money!
The story seems simple: digitisation means that print magazines are doomed - but there is, possibly, one exception - luxury magazines ... [article link]