Monday, 28 February 2011

Evaluation General Guidelines

You must employ a range of multimedia to access the higher marks
Evidence what you're referring to: screenshots, video clips etc
When writing, use specific media language and semiotic terminology - be precise
You can access existing examples from past IGS students and current students at other centres
Each time you sit down to work on any of the Eval Qs, re-read the assessment criteria first, keep this fresh and prominent in your mind as you work!
Critique your work - its no good saying its perfect; you get rewarded for discussing aspects you'd like to have been more polished/different in some way ...
But that doesn't mean you can't show off a little too!
Make links into existing texts

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Being Human

(cross-posting this from the Horror blog as it has wider use beyond the genre...)
The BBC show is very useful to look at as an example of the contemporary horror production. Postmodern to its core with characters questioning all the traditional cliches of horror roles even as they live them, aimed at a broad 15-34 (despite the post-watershed timing its 15-rated by the BBFC) youth audience, with characters and plotlines to attract both genders, infused with humour to leaven the horror, and with its own online-only spin-off or companion series, it truly is 21st century horror.All the episodes from the latest season (S3) are available on iPlayer as I write.
You will see that moral issues and debates are rehearsed through the issues and disputes; the situations (dis-equilibriums if you like) the protagonists get themselves into, and the efforts and attitudes of the antagonists they face. Horror has always been a platform for exploring moral codes and issues, not just a means to shock and appal; titillate and terrify.
In S3 Ep2 we see a great example of the representation of age - a teen vampire who starts out as the amoral teen thug of tabloid headlines but, through the episode's narrative arc, is transformed when given a chance by initially dismissive adults.
In S3 Ep3 we see a great exploration of the zombie - worth looking at for various reasons. Watch it to see how vital a role sound plays; the zombie is only made truly disgusting and horrifying with the overdubbing of bones cracking and rotting flesh 'sloshing' - strip these away and even with the effective music the zombie lacks verisimilitude; fails to convince let alone scare. Furthermore, as always with zombies, the character is a metaphor for part of the zeitgeist (the spirit of the age; common features or values of our time): the wealth-obsessed WAG, and the focus on celebrity culture and material goods/brands in the 21st century Western world. Critics of globalisation (an issue we look at in A2) argue that our media, from hip-hop videos to the various national editions of Hello magazine, are a conduit for spreading these vacuous, empty values across the globe.
As a UK TV drama, looking at and applying the semiotic terminology and framework of analysis is useful for your AS exam, and work into A2 Media (this technique lies at the core of all Media Studies work across the 2 years).

Friday, 18 February 2011

Call sheet + production logs

You can download and modify these, or simply print off

Sample Call Sheet2                                                            

Db Production Log Details of Shots Taken Quality of Outcome and Follow-ups                                                            

Thursday, 17 February 2011


have added a number of rough cuts, vodcasts and behind-the-scenes from both AS and A2 today to playlists on the IGSMediaStudies channel
I'll try to arrange some feedback from students elsewhere in the UK for the week back after half term, but it would be good to see you commenting on each other's work!
For curious AS, you can get a snapshot of what A2 folk have been working on, and for curious A2 you can compare the crop of 2010-11 to your prestigious selves (and maybe pass on some tips from your own experience filming for AS)!
There are many, many examples of top-notch work; two are embedded below:

There are more rough cuts etc on music vids for Gorillaz, Doors, We Are the Ocean and more, plus a range of material on the AS slashers, psychological thriller, zombie and rom-com productions!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Rasam Productions' new blog

Excellent example of an idea raised in your coursework guide, lessons and this blog: Rob, Asa and Sam P. have set up a sep blog for their production blog, packed with behind-the-scenes features!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Issues with filming in darkness

There are of course health and safety issues to consider!
What I want to flag up here - and I urge you to get some test footage to test this out and show you've done so - are problems with the cameras as regards shooting in darkness.
If you look at several of the past examples of AS coursework you may notice shots at night seem to blur, and movement, whether walking or running, seems odd or unnatural. This is because, without natural light levels, the camera - digital remember - is struggling to both capture and process the footage, giving the effect of skipping frames.
If you have some footage shot at night, try shooting something similar in daytime, so you compare the two versions side by side. You'll likely see the quality greatly improved in daytime.
While nighttime may be the ideal for your ideas, think about the consequences of shooting in darkness (and/or innovate a lighting rig!).


I've realised there IS a way to change the publication dates of posts; its a little cheeky but...

Here's how: if I clicked PUBLISH now on this post its date would be 3rd Feb 2011. For ever!
BUT ... I can click in POST OPTIONS and change the default setting at POST DATE AND TIME to SCHEDULED AT and type in the ideal date!

See pic below

Word doc not printing as we designed it

Working on the treatments, many of you had issues with the design you'd worked on being altered once I received it (other than me making various changes!)
Typically this comes down to a font you've used not being on the Macbook I use, or another computer you've tried to access. 2 egs: Hannah/Rebecca used Chiller font for a nice large heading; my computer doesn't have it so replaced this with a font which, as its a different size, destroyed the positioning of every single image in the 8-page doc! Hattie/Maddie used a font called HfW cursive in theirs - my Macbook doesn't have it and substituted the loathesomely ugly Courier font instead!

The solution?

When saving, go:
[make sure its as Word doc, NOT Word 2003 etc which saves as a .docx and NOT the universal .doc]
[check the box for] EMBED TRUETYPE FONTS
That means that the Word doc contains the font files too, so it wouldn't matter if another computer didn't have these installed.

The image below shows how this works.
I haven't yet checked 'Embed TrueType fonts' here; doing so ensures my formatting and design will stay in place!

Treatments - update + probs with formatting

Now have most of these in, and generally they're rather splendid! When time permits I'll be creating a display from these which I think will represent yourelves, the subject and indeed the school for any visitors really well..
I hope you've each learned a few useful pointers about using Word to create attractive documents, but I'd also be interested in your thoughts on the concept of treatments - did you find doing them useful? did they help to organise and bring together your thoughts/plans/ideas? above all, I'm thinking of bringing these in at an earlier point next year, with class time set aside to work on these - would it have been useful to work on these earlier?
In three years the way we've done Media coursework has been substantially different each time; your feedback is listened to and does influence planning for the subject, so your general thoughts are also welcomed at any time, whether by email, blog comment or informal chat!

I'll add scribd links to all the treatments when I get time.

Many of you had probs with your nicely arranged text/images jumping around - I'll outline a solution in a sep post

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Treatments - VERY overdue!

Can you all look again at the original post:

I've updated the eg on there and added more on the basic design aspects I'm after.
This one aside, I need all the rest to be revised and re-emailed with ALL the details above, including group pic, URLs, ident/logo pics etc