Q1a Prep Points

You can add to this list; some of the pertinent points you may wish to describe/discuss in answering Q1a. I’m taking the headings from the Chief Examiner’s list of questions, as included in the Q1a pack. To make it fit better, I’ve added some points [generally highlighted] in the AS column about A2 work. All the questions for 1a tend to include TWO of the 5 DCRUP. Note that the wording typically includes two key words: describe & evaluate. For the last of these prompt Qs I’ve suggested 4 possible questions and how they might be worded. I’ll also flag up some suggested theory/concepts you could apply at various points (I’ll try to do this more comprehensively following on from the revision class), which obviously overlap between different DCRUP areas, so each is only written once. You want to avoid repetition between the two, but you should also consider some of the suggested theories from 1b here.

A FEW THEORY/CONCEPTS TO CONSIDER HERE: General media lang + semiotics (Hall (1980) dominant readings + Umberto Eco (1981) open/closed readings [Stuart Hall (1980) – Dominant/Hegemonic reading. Preferred Meanings. Stuart Hall detailed that texts have preferred meanings, but the decoder will not always necessarily read them as intended by the producer as everyone has a different social/ cultural background. Texts that are meant to communicate hegemony will be encoded so that they are easily interpreted and understood by a mass audience.// Umberto Eco (1981) – Open and Closed Meaning. Texts aimed at large audiences (mass) will be encoded so that the majority of the audience can only decode a preferred meaning. This is known as a closed text. An open text is one that has many meanings, or is deliberately ambiguous, and can be understood in different ways by a number of different audience members.]; narrative theories (Propp, Todorov, Barthes, Levi-Strauss etc), web 2.0 (O’Reilly 2004), impossibility of originality (Baudrillard + postmodern theory). GENRE THEORIES!!! The "Bechdel test", which appeared in Alison Bechdel's comic strip in 1985, goes like this: does the film have at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something besides a man? (See here + here) …

SHOT TYPES – gathering examples of main shot types + angles

MINI-VID – groupwork; taking 1 of 3 possible briefs having quickly pitched ideas to each other; producing different cuts within a group using the same footage; getting familiar with FCE; working to tight deadlines BRITNEY REMAKE – thorough prior dissection of the original vid, shot-by-shot breakdown; practice at planning a challenging shoot, with added time pressure of one day to produce; producing a single edit from within a large group; acting & lipsynching practice; role of props, costume & makeup, and

MICRODRAMA – applying Propp, Todorov, LeviStrauss, Roland Barthes (character archetypes, narrative structure, binary oppositions, narrative enigma)

importance of R+P; did YOU get any hands-on producing/directing experience (or learn from the absence/success of any such)? PRELIM – learning basic aspects of continuity editing technique (match-on-action, shot-reverseshot, 180 degree rule) CLASS VID – this year, Hello/Threw It: working in team & with large cast; production/planning (costume, call sheets etc): did someone take charge of organising (producing) shoot, instructing (directing) performers/cameraman, filming (cinematography)? Editing your own version; learning & experimenting with FCE FX. EXTRA-CURRICULAR – did you film/edit anything extra? SAMPLE SCENE – given the more challenging nature/larger scale of music vid production, an initial 30-60secs sample scene was shot + edited; did feedback on this see anything change? ANIMATIC – expressing your storyboarded idea POD/VODCASTS/EVALs – carefully edited multimedia productions? Were your A2 efforts superior, taking advantage of FCE? ROUGH CUTS & RESHOOTS – how many did you do, how radical were the changes? Most of you produced many more drafts at A2; had you learned from AS the importance of feedback? Did you push harder for wider feedback from more sources, using new media? Identify at least one specific example of a significant change made. MUSIC VIDEO, PART OF A PROMOTIONAL PACKAGE – You should mention the print texts, and be clear on the point about producing a package, but needn’t necessarily say too much more; its advantageous to be directly comparing two moving image productions. How does this compare to your AS, and assuming its superior, how/why? Did the greater creative freedom make any difference?

EXTRA-CURRICULAR – did you film/edit anything extra, eg Ben Rhydding Primary nativity? SWEDE – taking direct influence from existing text but putting your own stamp on it (postmodern parody) ANIMATIC – expressing your storyboarded idea POD/VODCASTS/EVALs – carefully edited multimedia productions? ROUGH CUTS & RESHOOTS – how many did you do, how radical were the changes? [do reshoots and rough cuts for audience feedback undermine or enhance creativity?] FILM OPENING, WITH TITLES – Genre, length, target aud (notional BBFC); major strengths & weaknesses (looking back, what most needed developing? Was R+P as good as it could have been? Was software/hardware an issue? Etc) [perhaps the range of software used for AS idents was a unique element which was equally challenging as A2 work? Did you ‘brand’ your A2 work – think company names/blog/logo]


BLOGGER - did you get into the spirit of making the blog a showcase for your work as a young filmmaker (if so, how)? Did you do anything to publicise your blog, attract followers [some of you had high visitor numbers]? Consider blogging as a

BLOGGER – See the points for AS, but also: what did you additionally do at A2? This was new to you at AS, so it should be a safe bet that you utilised a wider range of tools. That includes the Eval: perhaps you used Prezi? Perhaps you simply

potential marketing tool, as well as its advantages for group productions: did it help in communicating and sharing ideas/research? Use it for audience feedback/research (eg poll)? What use did you make of having previous completed blogs to look at? Some features to consider: embedding video + audio/Word/Ppt (how, via what upload sites?); links lists; RSS feeds; Twitter feed; tweaking blog design eg background image, widths + fonts used; polls … YOUTUBE – for research into conventions. Was this your primary source of textual research, or loaning DVDs? As ever, be specific.

organised it better, using links lists for example to make it easier to find your work on certain areas

YOUTUBE – for research into conventions. Surely your primary resource? Worth mentioning the school block as a barrier to this: what other videosharing sites did you use, and how did these How did you use YT for your own work? Did you compare to YouTube? Were you able to utilise YT get any useful feedback from your own uploads? [At A2 did you apply any lessons from AS uploads for your own R+P vodcasts or Eval vids (perhaps you ‘ripped’ some to use clips from to get more views and more feedback, eg these?). How did you identify useful videos to by more use of FB or Twitter, or fan analyse? Did you use the YT recommendations on forums?] the right of the screen, or use playlists? Were there [At A2 did you make any further use of any videos you simply couldn’t access? Did you the analytics tool to see who (age, always access YT on a computer, or perhaps on gender, nationality) was accessing your phones, iPads etc? work?] Did you use tags for your uploads, a key means of Did you use the annotation tool? driving traffic to your videos/site? (feel free to look at the tags I applied to your work) DVDs – How many film openings did you watch? All from the same genre, or did you start more generally? As well as loaning from school, how did you go about identifying and accessing DVDs? Did you also stream or even torrent any? DVDs – perhaps a secondary source, eg the directors collections (did you use the Corbijn/D Mode collection for example?) Taking into consideration YT as well, were there any issues at As or A2 in accessing existing texts? Perhaps with the A2 format it was actually easier in this one regard? GOOGLE – Did you try any more sophisticated Boolean searches? FORUMS NEWSPAPERS ETC HARDWARE – HD camcorders recording onto SD card [720p resolution]; USB SD card reader; cheap tripods; digital audio recorder. Desktop Apple Macs (screen size?). Did you also use still camera and your phones/own kit? Did you experiment with selfmade snorricam?

GOOGLE FORUMS NEWSPAPERS ETC HARDWARE – mini-DV camcorders + tapes (unreliable?) [480p resolution]; cheap tripods; boom mic, 10m extension pole, dead cat; digital audio recorder. Desktop Apple Macs (screen size?). Did you also use still camera and your phones/own kit? Did you experiment with self-made snorricam?

A FEW THEORY/CONCEPTS TO CONSIDER HERE: “The making of the new and the rearranging of the old” (Bentley, 1997). “this particular understanding of creativity involves the physical making of something, leading to some form of communication, expression or revelation”. (David Gauntlett) “Creativity results from the interaction of a system composed of three elements: a culture that contains symbolic rules, a person who brings novelty into the symbolic domain, and a field of experts who recognize and validate the innovation.” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996) “If creativity is not inherent in human mental powers and is, in fact, social and situational, then technological developments may well be linked to advances in the creativity of individual users” (Banaji, Burn and Buckingham, 2006). Roland Barthes (1979) – Anchorage and Myth: Images can be polysemic and Barthes argued that the meaning of images can be pinned down to give a preferred meaning through the process of anchorage (text/music). Barthes also argued that all texts are encoded in such a way to reinforce dominant, cultural ideologies or values. The way that a text is encoded makes the representation seem ‘natural’ or ‘common sense’. This is the concept of ‘myth’.

There is no absolute judgement. All judgements are comparisons of one thing with another (Donald Laming – this argument reflects postmodern thinking: there is no inherent difference between a Nicki Minaj lyric and a Shakespeare sonnet goes the argument). The following come from http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/pomo.html Lyotard attacks many of the modern age traditions, such as the "Grand" Narrative or what Lyotard termed the Meta(master) narrative (Lyotard 1984). In contrast to the ethnographies written by anthropologists in the first half of the 20th Century, Lyotard is stating that an all encompasing account of a culture cannot be done. Jean Baudrillard [famous for] statements like, “everything has already happened....nothing new can occur, “ or “there is no real world” (Rosenau 1992: 64, 110). I’ll try to put these in plain English… Lyotard argues that the meta-narratives [grand, organizing principles or stories through which we conceive the world and our existence/nature], such as religions, capitalism, democracy, which dominate how we perceive ourselves and the world around us, have lost their validity in the postmodern age. We cannot talk about nations as having a culture when postmodern life has become so fragmented and individuated. Baudrillard pushes the idea that

what used to be seen as the symbolic (film images, Disney rides etc) ARE reality; there is no deeper reality than the things we once took as ‘referents’ to reality or signifiers of this. Disneyland is not a symbol of America … it is America. For Lyotard, you could: discuss how your vid/film appears to represent a unified culture, but such a concept is questioned by postmodern theorists such as Lyotard, who argues that the meta-narratives of the past have lost any meaning, and that we cannot talk of unified ‘cultures’ in the postmodern age. You could go on to bring in Judith Butler, a queer theorist who takes on such ideas as these and argues that gender is actually a meta-narrative (or what Michel Foucault might refer to as a discourse) with no basis in reality. She argues that gender is ‘performed’ not based in nature or any deeper reality; when some aspects of gay culture (the ‘butch’ lesbian, the camp gay man or transvestite) ‘perform’ against gender expectations this is seen as transgressive and challenging to the social order. Our cast could be seen as ‘performing’ their gender roles without requiring any direction from us to do so, although… [etc] Baudrillard is useful for the most fundamental point about pomo: the notion of intertextuality – meaning of one text tied into previous texts, and even the argument that originality is impossible. Postmodern aesthetic: Irony, Parody, Pastiche, Bricolage, Intertextuality. Bricolage is the process of deliberately ‘borrowing’ or adapting signs or features from different styles or genres to create a new mixture of meanings (O’Sullivan et. al, 1998). Pastiche: Bog standard copying of conventions or can be done for bricolage effect. Whichever, this ultimately reinforces their importance in culture and society. Parody is a kind of pastiche which makes fun of the subject. Intertextuality is the way in which media texts gain their meanings by referring to other media texts that the producers assume that the reader/decoder will be familiar with and recognise (O’Sullivan et. al 1998). PICK OUT SOME CREATIVES + FIND USEFUL QUOTES FROM THEM, EG: Ken Loach 2009: Loach noticed that his idea of film-making had a lot in common with Cantona's idea of football: "As a player Cantona judged himself on his risks, and I could relate to that. Football is very much like making films in that you have to live dangerously. Some directors do everything to storyboards; that is like a manager telling his players exactly what they have to do, preventing them from improvising or making their own decisions. There is something dead about that - it produces mechanical teams and mechanical films. We always want a sense of danger on the set." Paddy Considine 2009 [censored by me]: "I can't deal with all the f--king waiting around," he says vehemently. "I'm writing a script at the minute, and the stipulations are mental. Six weeks to write it, five weeks for them to look at it. Then another little bit of money to go forward. All this constant stalling. It's all geared towards how the industry people work. Well, you know what? Creativity doesn't work like that." He pauses for a moment as Meadows nods his approval, then he says: "I think a lot of people in the industry, the business people, they take the energy that we possess for aggression, and they're frightened of it. But it's not, it's f--king passion. When I'm ready to go, I don't want to wait around

for ever, I want to get on with it."



This topic naturally overlaps with the rest and is best approached from that perspective. For example, note below how you used editing software to ‘rescue’ weak/insufficient footage – what could you do with shaky shots, shots of differing aspect ratios, lack of coverage/shot variety? AUTEUR? GROUP v INDIVIDUAL VISION INFLUENCE OF AUD FEEDBACK INTERTEXTUALITY INFLUENCE OF GENRE + CONVENTIONS RESEARCH RANDOM/UNPLANNED CHANGES EDITING AS CREATIVE PROCESS RESTRICTIONS – the actual brief; target aud + notional BBFC (and/or watershed); secondary school aud; equipment; time. AUTEUR? GROUP v INDIVIDUAL VISION INFLUENCE OF AUD FEEDBACK INTERTEXTUALITY INFLUENCE OF GENRE + CONVENTIONS RESEARCH RANDOM/UNPLANNED CHANGES EDITING AS CREATIVE PROCESS RESTRICTIONS – the actual brief; target aud + notional BBFC (and/or watershed); secondary school aud; equipment; time.

A FEW THEORY/CONCEPTS TO CONSIDER HERE: Primary research is material uniquely gathered/generated by you: your individual (or group) textual analysis, aud feedback, q’aires, vox pops, opinion polls. Secondary research is where you’ve read and used existing writing: books, web, newspapers, blogs etc (plus video: YouTube features, DVD extras etc).





A FEW THEORY/CONCEPTS TO CONSIDER HERE: Feminism + post-feminism v useful, whether slasher/rom-com or music vid. Scream queen + final girl. All the narrative + genre theories. Bechdel Test. These two aren’t quite so straightforwardly comparable, so the two columns aren’t always directly linked.

COMPANY IDENTS TITLES OPENING/ESTABLISHING SHOT NARRATIVE STRUCTURE (TODOROV); ROLE OF NARRATIVE ENIGMA – also Blood Money book. False scare relevant here. Tensions between need for anchorage/exposition + some enigma/polysemy to draw audience in. Was your ‘equilibrium’ underdeveloped?

COMPANY IDENTS – Not usually seen. TITLES – some vids do use these OPENING/ESTABLISHING SHOT – just as important (ditto final shot) for music vids? NARRATIVE STRUCTURE (TODOROV); ROLE OF NARRATIVE ENIGMA – most of you were directed to add some enigma after sample scenes; a lot of the feedback centred on narrative aspects + whether they were too mysterious or polysemic, or exposition + anchorage was overdone. MVids often refuse to provide narrative closure, and are more likely to adopt non-linear approaches CHARACTER ARCHETYPES ADDRESSING AUDIENCE (incl BBFC, REPRESENTATIONS, INTERTEXTUALITY) SETTINGS + OTHER MISE-EN-SCENE ISSUES USE OF VISUAL/SFX -


EDITING STYLES – Pace (length of takes) + EDITING STYLES audience/genre. Use of colouring FX, perhaps to signify flashback. Continuity editing? Linear? Framing + focus on single character to signify central protagonist, + direct audience sym/empathy? Layering not available on iMovie, but perhaps less seen in such films anyway? Cutting to beat? Transitions MICRO-BUDGET PRODUCTIONS – Was the production context (budget, equipment, crew size) of your work entirely alien to industry practice? [NO!!!!] MICRO-BUDGET PRODUCTIONS -

MUSIC/SOUNDTRACK DISTRIBUTION + EXHIBITION – Which company might distribute your work? Co-Op film fest.


A FEW THEORY/CONCEPTS TO CONSIDER HERE: General media lang: linear v nonlinear; (dis)continuity editing; layering; length of takes + pace; sequence bins + other aspects of FCE layout/workflow; specific FCE tools/FX; ‘We Media’ (Dan Gillmor, 2006); Towse (2002) argues DV has democratised filmmaking, enabling the microbudget producer to compete with studios; Sergei Eisenstein was a 1920s Marxist film maker and teacher of film theory. - Intellectual/Dialectical Montage – process of putting images together so that a new meaning is created through the juxtaposition. It identifies a struggle between opposites. It is like putting an image of bankers quaffing wine next to an image of pigs in swill – it creates a meaning: bankers are like pigs (metaphorical). Vertical Montage Create meaning through the juxtaposition of an image with some other element (text anchorage or music). This aspect meshes well with all 4 other areas, and it might be as well to prep this one in that style: answering four questions [my wording; the describe/evaluate could be flipped either way] – 1: Describe your post-production process and evaluate your application of digital technology. 2: Describe the post-production work you undertook and evaluate to what extent this defined your creativity overall. [that implies brief comparison with R+P/conventions] 3: Describe the research and planning you undertook, and how this influenced your work at the post-production stage. 4: Describe the post-production stages, and evaluate the influence of your plans to use conventions from existing media texts in this.

UPLOADING, COLLATING, ORGANISING FOOTAGE – Also checking though this, identifying any reshoots needed. Early linear edit? iMovie 06 offers limited functions for organising material (iMovie 11 is a different story), but FCE’s sequence bins enable tight organisation. RESHOOTS/ADDITIONAL MATERIAL – This is only post-production if you’ve already produced a complete cut and realised there are gaps/issues requiring fresh footage. PAIRED/GROUP EDITING – its worth addressing the mechanics of sharing work on the editing front.


REFERENCE TO R+P MATERIALS/CHECKING + APPLYING CONVENTIONS – these should continue to play a role, whether storyboards, feedback on sample scenes, notes on audience + aud expectations, but especially conventions + your annotated examples of comparable texts. Looking closely again at examples you may not have glimpsed at for weeks or more (+ perhaps even seeking new inspirations) important? PRODUCING SAMPLE SCENES FOR FEEDBACK/TEST IDEAS/TRIAL SFX & GENERAL EXPERIMENTATION DISTRIBUTING ROUGH CUTS/SAMPLES ONLINE FOR FEEDBACK + GENERATING INTEREST FINAL CUT DISTRIBUTION + EXHIBITION – Co-Op, YT + all means of promoting it, generating hits (incl. YT tags, FB etc). One-off special screening event June 2012.

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