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a2 Production Blog Checklist Compressed

a2 Production Blog Checklist Compressed

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Published by: DB3@IGS on Feb 19, 2010
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 A2 PRODUCTION BLOG A2 PRODUCTION BLOG CHECKLISTCHECKLIST
As you’ll recall from last year, your blog is a major production in itself. When your work is being marked, thisis based partially on your teacher’s observations of how you’ve approached this task, not least how thoroughand organised you’ve been, and partially on the blog. What goes in your blog will impact on the marks for allthree parts:
 Research & Planning (20%), Products (60%), and Evaluation (20%).
You really must therefore treat it as it intended – a live, accurate record of your production process and constantreflection on this. Your blog should note what decisions you’ve made and why you’ve made them, and serveyou as a key tool later for the exam unit.If you start leaving large sections to do ‘later’ you will inevitably struggle. Please remember that a hyperlinkedlist of all new postings appears on my blogger ‘Dashboard’ as they go up, so it isn’t hard to discern when the blog is being neglected! You can edit, revise and add to your posts as you go, and needn’t use paragraphs for the most part – bullet points are absolutely fine.Do try to add a few multimedia bells and whistles though: record presentations, casting sessions, locationshoots, set dressing, make-up sessions, audience feedback, or even simply a podcast of your individual thoughts(or group discussion) on how its turning out at the end of a week.This blog can be a huge asset beyond the A-Level, especially if you are applying for any Media-related course.
There is a huge amount to do for this blog – remember, you should be aiming to demonstrate a stepup from the level (as much in terms of quality as quantity – this isn’t about dumping reams of text,especially continuous quotes from articles rather than your own notes, onto a blog) you were at onthe AS. Aim to add to your blog as soon as practical after each decision/activity/reflection, andcertainly ensure you review it each week.
SOME GENERAL POINTS
DON’T SET UP EMPTY POSTS
: Your blog is a log of the work you do day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, so please don’tstart by setting up empty posts with nothing but a title.
 Don’t post until you have something to post!!!
DON’T WAREHOUSE DRAFT POSTS
: If you’re not quite finished working on a post, publish it and add [DRAFT] to the post title; don’t hold them all back. If you do, you’re simplycreating the impression that you’re not doing any work, and risk being marked down on theResearch & Planning.
COPY/PASTING PARAGRAPHS DOES NOT = RESEARCH!!!
: Finding useful material onyour genre, format, industry etc is only the starting point (always try to briefly explain how youwent about finding info, eg search terms/engine used). If you simply copy/paste in large paragraphs of material you find on the web – or type in chunks of a book you’ve read – you’renot actually demonstrating any understanding of the content itself. You absolutely must quotesparingly, using quote marks when you are quoting and giving full details of the source
A2 PRODUCTION BLOG CHECKLISTMedia Studies @ IGS1
 
(including a hyperlink or page numbers where relevant), but in general be summarising what youfind into your own words.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR RESEARCH
: You should be engaging in reading round film,magazines, genres etc as you go. Yes, you can summarise this in specific posts, but whenever you come across a useful new resource you could blog on this separately, maybe adding a bullet point to your earlier post on this area of research too.
AVOID LONG PARAGRAPHS
: The visual presentation of your blog is important: avoidhaving over-long continuous text. Make sure you leave a blank line between paragraphs. Use thequotation tool in
blogger 
to indent any quotes longer than a line or two, and use a different fontfor quotes to help highlight them. Other than screenplays, there is almost never a good reason touse Courier font!!!
PROVIDE A SUMMARY WITH LONG POSTS
: Where you’ve got long posts, it is generallya good idea to summarise the key findings or points (probably best at the start of the post, not theend). Remember…
IT’S OK TO USE BULLET POINTS
: You don’t always have to write in paragraphs. Indeed, brevity is generally preferable: always ask yourself if you can make the same point with fewer words!
MAKE IT MULTIMEDIA
: You are partly assessed on the presentation of your blog, so take every opportunity to makeit visually attractive – and easy to navigate. If you’re makinga point about a movie or mag, include an illustrative image,and maybe links to further resources.
EMBED DOCUMENTS/CLIPS
: Don’t just include links toScribd docs, mp3 podcasts etc, but whenever possible embedthe document. This point was highlighted in the report on theJune 2009 AS coursework: examiners want to be able toaccess everything directly in the blog, not have to click through to other sites. Any time you’re doing this, put insome text, hit return 3 times, add more text and only then paste in your embed code in betweenyour text. Otherwise it can be very difficult to position text once you’ve embedded an object.
DON’T BE A DRAFT DODGER 
: Very simple, but fundamental point: if you’ve managed your time well and managed the project well you will end up with a slew of posts for drafts of animatics, print work, rough cuts, specific scenes, title sequences etc. One quick way to make aninitial judgement as to your Research & Planning mark is to look for evidence of this on your listof posts. You could also add notes here on specific software tools used in the drafting process.
PROOF READING
: It doesn’t create a great impression when your blog is riddled with spellingerrors; if you’re not so hot on spellingtry asking your parents or a friend to proof-read your blog looking for typos, but also sections that don’t seem to makesense. Checking that the language is setto UK,
not 
US, English, you can alwayscopy/paste into
Word 
and use the spellchecker, though you will find that itsdictionary is very limited and doesn’tinclude many terms used in MediaStudies.
A2 PRODUCTION BLOG CHECKLISTMedia Studies @ IGS2
 
ATTRACT A FOLLOWING
: Try to sign up ‘followers’ to your blog. Start commenting onothers’ posts and encourage them to reciprocate.
USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!
: I’ve provided you with a list of likely post topics, and notedthat the headings given are not official. Please desist from asking what to call a post: your heading should describe what is in the post. Not very complicated really!
SUGGESTED POST HEADINGSSUGGESTED POST HEADINGS
COURSEWORK OPTIONS
 
[detail both trailer + s.film tasks] Take careful note from the outsetthat your task is to produce
THREE
texts: one film-based and to print-based (mag cover or review page/s + poster). What made you decide to do SF or TT? If SF, have you watched many SFs before starting thiscoursework? It would be good to add a bullet-pointed list of what, prior to researching this, you think are themain codes & conventions of SF/TT, citing examples if you can. Which SF/TTs really stick out in your mind? Do you think either SF or TT gives you more scope for creativity? Maybe you want to produce a SFas a ‘calling card’ showcasing your film-making talent for a Uni course or the industry itself?
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
 
 – copy/paste key details from the syllabus (pages 70-75) of how the production is marked, and how the marks are divided up. Pay close heed to the marks for the three productions.
 THE EVALUATION QUESTIONS 
– it is vital to keep the core questions you haveto address for this in mind as you go. It would be a useful task to add in relevant EvalQ’s at the start of each posting (or on this document, which you can download andadd to/modify), from:
The questions that must be addressed in the evaluation are:
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms andconventions of real media products?How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? What have you learned from your audience feedback?How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?
Think carefully about each of these before you proceed. Notice the stress on audience feedback,and how these questions neatly overlap with some of the issues highlighted in the exam questions1a & 1b. Note how the last question requires consideration not just of software and hardware inthe recording and editing of your productions but also in planning and even evaluation. Do reflecthere quite specifically on how the blog itself has been a key factor, enabling you, for example, tolay out examples of revised scenes or multiple drafts of print products within your Evaluation, andto gauge audience response – try to make some use of 
YouTube
and to get fellow students topost comments on your blog (you can check a box to enable you to see and vet all of these beforethey appear!).
A2 PRODUCTION BLOG CHECKLISTMedia Studies @ IGS3

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