This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1a) Explain how far your understanding of the conventions of existing media influenced the way you created your own media products. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how this understanding developed over time. By researching the conventions of existing media I was able to understand how real media texts target specific audiences and stick to genre, narrative and other conventions. For the Foundation Portfolio I created a thriller opening sequence titled „Dark Summer‟ which was aimed at a young audience and followed the plot of a babysitter who discovers that the child she is looking after has disappeared. At the Advanced Portfolio stage I created a music video for debit artist „Lexi Grace‟ to her new song „Meddle‟. The first project required me to focus on specific conventions which I did through research and development and the use of digital technology. Together with my group we watched films like Scream (1996, Craven) which follows a similar storyline. I noticed that thrillers tend to use dark lighting to connote secrecy or colours such as red to represent danger and blood. We used these conventions to keep to the thriller genre. Todorov noticed a narrative convention of starting with equilibrium, then disruption and finally a new equilibrium. This is clear in films like Prom Night (2008) and again Scream. However, the music video was less about conforming to rigid conventions and more focussed on less serious ones like Mulvey‟s theory of „locking‟ and the „male gaze‟. By having Lexi look at the camera and close-ups of her lips and legs, for example, it conformed to the notion of looking as she was treated voyeuristically. The advanced portfolio had less rigid conventions, as the music video was to establish an image and I used conventions subtly, to construct a brand rather than a genre. In creating the music video, my group had access to a HD digital camera, so we were able to shoot higher quality footage. Since the video is non-linear, the focus was less on continuity (as opposed to the thriller) and we were able to use much more footage as less was wasted. Furthermore, I created an album cover and website so I used iWix to create Lexi‟s homepage. Inspired by sites like Pixie Lott‟s, I used pages that audiences could recognise such as „live dates‟ and „merchandise‟. Looking at other existing media I was able to create a professional looking site that audiences could use. Also, by researching artists in general such as Eliza Doolittle, I could see how she sold her image to a similar target audience. The thriller, however, was focussed more on conventions of the thriller genre and continuity so I didn‟t research other areas as much. By looking online at other artists, CD covers, websites and videos, I was able to get a more in-depth look at this aspect of media. The main theme of „Meddle‟ was the reverse technique. Lyrics allow for different interpretations, such as Goodwin‟s theory of amplification and illustration, so my group decide to interpret the song as meddling with the audience and Lexi‟s past experiences. Therefore, by having reverse footage, she was meddling literally. By using Adobe Premier Pro, I was able to reverse footage, change speeds, edit contrasts and split screens. I didn‟t do most of this in the foundation portfolio since the aim was to adhere continuity but I did have knowledge of the software. I learnt new techniques
at the advanced stage and they added to the quirky image of Lexi. I watched videos like The Pharcyde‟s „Drop‟ and Coldplay‟s „The Scientist‟ which were great inspirations as they used the reverse editing so differently. Furthermore, Lexi wore a Rolling Stones vest which integrated intertextuality which is a common convention in a lot of music. I also shot test footage and created mood boards of London as this was key in Lexi‟s British image. Overall, both projects were influenced by conventions of existing media but to different extents. While the foundation portfolio focussed on rigid conventions, the advanced one was more towards using subtle ones to construct an image and brand. Technically, my knowledge has improved as I researched music more thoroughly and learnt a lot in doing so. This is a level 4 response. The answer clearly describes, and evaluates progression over the course (from following rigid conventions to using more subtle techniques) and combines a theoretical language (intertextuality, connotation) with specific details of creative choices made and how these were informed by conventions. A range of examples of both decisions made and existing media texts provide conviction and substance and the question is answered throughout the response.
JUNE 2011 Q1A ANSWER [AS: FILM, A2: T.TRAILER]
1a) Explain how far your understanding of the conventions of existing media influenced the way you created your own media products. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how this understanding developed over time.
Plan -> Also meant to say music was much improved in A2 as I looked at music specifically in Teen Comedies and replicated the music myself in Garage Band. Creating a much more accurate and specific, original sound than if I‟d looked through the web. In AS media I made a preliminary task and an opening sequence of a fictional film entitled „Hunting Innocence‟. Whilst in A2 media I created a Teaser Trailer for my fictional film „Spinning Time‟ and an accompanying poster and magazine cover to promote the same film. Entering onto the course I wasn‟t used to the idea of using conventions from media texts. As such getting to grips with this in my AS year was definitely a challenge. As a regular consumer of media texts including television, radio and magazine I knew what I expected from the mediums so that did help when putting myself in the position of producer. Towards the creation of my opening sequence I worked with a partner to create a thriller film. Together we knew the conventions of a thriller in terms of „mise en scene, soundtrack and camerawork so we didn‟t look that extensively into already existing media texts, which is probably why there is a vast improvement in the quality of my A2 production. We did however site the thriller „Brick‟ as an influence as we wanted to try and recreate the dull muted colour scheme of that in our own film. We achieved this by filming in dystopic urban landscapes of South East London. We also knew the convention of thrillers was to follow Sergeis theory of using silence. As such we did use it towards the end of the opening sequence to create a tense atmosphere when Abby finally reaches home, before the non-diegetic sound of Abby‟s heartbeat begins to build representing her anticipation and fear. Aside from that we used the thriller convention of having quiet acoustic music which we downloaded from a copyright free music website. The rest of the sequence consisted of ambient and diegetic sounds captured when filming.
However, in my A2 project as I was working on my own I was able to consider everything in my own time to different levels of depth. Pauling and Czimentiniyli‟s theory is that the best ideas spring from the group work as you need to have loads of ideas before you can have one really good idea. However, I found this not to be the case. In AS my partner and I had to compromise on a lot of decision to please us both, whereas working alone in the second year I only had to please myself. Subsequently I was able to produce something I was more interested in, in terms of genre, which ultimately, I think, led to a more successful outcome. Towards the creation process of „Spinning Time‟ I did extensive research into already existing trailers. I browsed teaser trailers on YouTube and IMDB from a variety of different genres before analysing exactly what I wanted in my trailer in terms of genre, structure and mise en scene. This was far more developed than my research in AS which consisted of watching the opening sequences of just „Office Space‟ and „Brick.‟ I decided I wanted to create a voice over for my teaser trailer, complying with conventions of Teen Comedy and specifically „Chick Flick‟ trailers like „Picture This‟, „Mean Girls‟ and „Not Another Teen Movie‟. I wanted the voice over to have the same happy tone but take on the structure of the „Buried‟ Teaser trailer voice over, in which the setting, situation and dilemma of the film are presented to the audience, leaving them in anticipation of what happens. I followed through with this convention, filming the voice over on a video camera and extracting the sound in iMovie, before inserting it into the trailer. With my experience of digital technology increased I was able to do this, but I never would‟ve had the confidence to do this in AS Media. In A2 media the mise en scene of my trailer was considered in more detail than in the AS. In „Hunting Innocence‟ we dressed Abby using only Barthes‟ theory of connotations and denotations as a guide. Her red coat was to suggest danger, whilst the rucksack and art portfolios were to suggest her academia. Whereas in „Spinning Time‟ I focussed much more on dressing protagonist Myles in accordance to pre-established conventions. I drew influence from „Mean Girls‟ in which the girls dressed fashionably and predominantly in pink. I used this convention by dressing Myles fashionably, but also challenged the stereotype by not having her in pink and revealing attire as this would present her to be like the „plastics‟ of „Mean Girls‟ which her character is not intended to be. My set design was another heavily considered aspect. It was based on „Freaky Friday‟ and the design of protagonist Anna‟s room. In her room there are pictures on the wall, and CD‟s and books on display. As such I made these props visible to suggest aspects of Myle‟s character and personality. Comedy „Ramona and Beezus‟ also influenced set design and lighting as I wanted to replicate the happy atmosphere presented in its cinematic trailer. I did so by filling the room with bright props, dressing myles in bright clothes and scheduling filming for sunny days to achieve high lighting – as I didn‟t have the means to create it artificially. In AS media we filmed predominantly outside and so could not change the appearance of our locations, as such not using any real media conventions. In conclusion in AS media my partner did not use many specific conventions of media products. Rather we worked with the general vague things we knew about the thriller genre from being audiences. Whereas in A2 media I immersed myself in the idea of producing. Extensively researching and analyzing the form of a teaser trailer and drawing influences from a wide range of existing media texts. This is a clear level 4, excellent response which meets all of the level 4 criteria. Progression over time is described and evaluated with specific and well-used examples – of real media conventions and creative decisions made that were informed by
understanding of those. Two kinds of theory are deployed – institutional techniques which have become conventional over time, and media theory which accounts for the conventional nature of meaning and its reception.
JUNE 2011 Q1A ANSWER [AS: MAG, A2: T.TRAILER]
1(a) Explain how far your understanding of the conventions of existing media influenced the way you created your own media products. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how this understanding developed over time. Identifying codes and conventions of media texts is essential when creating a successful text of the same genre. In my AS coursework I created a school magazine cover and contents page and a music magazine cover, contents and double page. I then used these developed skills in identifying conventions of texts and creating my own work in my Advanced Portfolio to create a horror film poster, magazine cover and horror film trailer. Textual analysis was essential for identifying convention for my foundation portfolio. I found a range of examples of existing school magazines cover and contents and compared and contrasted them. Conventions that I identified were a school environment in front cover photographs, many bright colours but a consistent house style, the use of a school logo and happy facial expressions on the student model. The contents pages were very simplistically formatted with basic text and contents lists and perhaps one or two smaller images. I used these conventions when creating my school magazine; I took a mid shot photograph which was required of a happy student in school uniform (typical and identifiable iconography). I then used Photoshop computer editing software to create the other parts of the contents and cover. I used a bold font in bright colour (red) for my masthead. I used my logo from Southfields which is blue, red and black as the main colours for my housestyle and I think this made it look more effective and professional rather than using many colours. I incorporated my school logo on the cover as it makes the „school‟ genre recognisable and this was a generic convention that I identified. I also used small, basic font to create text of a „date of issue‟, which I think was effective as it wouldn‟t draw attention from more important aspects of the cover. I also used this simple font to create simple text on top of my image which I used as cover lines and plugs, such as „summer prom photos inside‟ which I believe would make a student reader want to read the magazine. The contents was created using simple headlines, black colour boxes containing page numbers and article information and three smaller, framed images of a library, school food, and girls at a prom. All of these aspects were conventional. Although I stuck to the conventions in this piece I created did not look as professional and realistic as I had hoped. For example, I used a digital camera with 8 mega pixels which did not produce a good quality image compared to real life media products. I also think that the fonts were very simplistic and the layout was not creative. I still created a genuine conventional school magazine but perhaps my skills were limited at the start of my course. Progressing into my Advanced Portfolio there was more work to be completed to a high degree of professionalism. One if my preliminary tasks was to create a magazine cover for a film magazine which was very similar to my AS coursework. I noticed that was able to more thoroughly identify conventions and also apply them to my own text much quicker. I created a print cover in one hour whereas my AS coursework took much longer. This is because my skills with technology and my knowledge of the media has greatly improved. I found examples of many film posters to complete textual analysis on and created a moodboard of conventions. I also asked a target audience for their preferences in this area
which I think is essential in order to successfully attract your consumers. Conventions that I identified were bold, graphic fonts for both mastheads and straplines (such as a glowing effect) very glamorous photography with fashionable costume, hair, make up and body attitude, good quality photography, many smaller framed photographs and barcode and edition information. The language created focus on the on the film industry. Using these conventions I created my front cover. My photography was taken on SLR camera in order to make it look better quality, which was successful. I used a long shot of my main character looking glamorous and beautiful but scared. This fits the convention of the front cover using the theme of the main featured film. To follow this I created the masthead with a glowing font and superimposed it onto the character so that her head appeared to be placed on top of the text using cutting, cropping, copying tools and different layers. This made my cover seem professional I think. The glowing font was a deep shade of red to connote blood and danger and fit in with my horror genre. I used more impressive graphic fonts, such as „cracked‟ fonts to stick to my horror genre theme. My barcode and date of edition were essential touches which I created through scanning in an existing magazine and copying it into my text. This is extremely conventional as all real media magazines include a barcode for the sales side of the industry. Overall, over my 2 year coursework I became more confident in identifying generic conventions of a product. My technology skills and knowledge of the media both developed and allowed me to create a more realistic and professional piece in my Advanced Portfolio. This is a high level 3 response. There is a real sense of progression and a chosen theme – genre conventions is sustained in detail, along with a wide range of examples of creative techniques that led to conventional outcomes. The answer doesn’t quite meet the criteria for level 4 because conventions are sometimes dealt with in a reductive way – eg a barcode, as opposed to being opened up to an analysis of their more symbolic qualities. JUNE 2010: VIXENS VID 1a) Describe how you used your research into real media texts for your production work, and describe how you developed your ability to use this research over time. I feel that my production skills from foundation to Advanced have greatly improved. My thriller opening sequence was about two men who prey on suicidal teenage girls on the internet, titled “Caught in the Web.” The men rape and murder their victims but frame it as a suicide, using the suicide support website (where they preyed on them) as evidence of this suicide. It is a dark enigmatic and gripping film which captivates the audience (according to my feedback). My music video (Advanced Portfolio) is to the song “Voodoo Child” originally by Rogue Traders, but our girlband uses the name The Vixens. We used 4 girls and our video transports the audience to the mind of the main girl, where her alter-egos (dressed as the deadly sins) corrupt her. It is a racy funky video that creates a strong band image. My research for both projects included researching genre conventions (horror/thriller opening sequences such as “Se7ev”, and electropop-rock/dance/glam music videos such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry) and was expanded to include components that didn‟t specifically relate to genre. For my thriller I researched films where they have internet conversations (as in our opening sequence, the girl is talking to who she thinks is an agony aunt over an internet forum) which led me to films including “The Holiday” and “Something‟s Gotta Give”, showing me how to successfully change from filming the person typing the words on the screen and then reading their message aloud. I developed this skill in my music video
research by looking at other media texts, not just other music videos. I started with trying to be inspired by original music video concepts such as Radiohead‟s video for “Just” in which a man lies down in the street and the audience can‟t hear what he‟s saying to explain himself to passers by. This inspired me to create ambiguity in my video which differs from standard pop videos where a lot of the visuals illustrate the lyrics. I expanded my research to fashion magazines and photographs of different eras, since a major concept in this video was the power of women as confident, independent, sexual beings. Our costume was very important in constructing meaning and without in-depth research into the 7 deadly sins the audience would not have grasped why we had girls dressed in bold outfits to symbolise the sins; red, velvet leotard and back combed hair for “wrath”, a Marie Antoiinette inspred look of a pale blue and pink corset, white face make-up, an [cannot read text] with one long curled piece of hair, and a chunk of chocolate cake that signified “Greed”, a black corset with leather leggings to signify “Lust”, and a green dress, heavy green eye make up and glittery diamond jewellery connoting “Envy”. I think that without doing research into character types, character costume, and genre conventions for my thriller I wouldn‟t have known what to look for when researching for my music video because they can be so abstract and there aren‟t many constraints. I also learned to be open minded. Since I was one of the performers in our music video, it pushed me to think more practically – our ideas had to be creative yet do-able on our small budget and time constraints. After watching several videos on YouTube of thriller opening sequences and music videos I realised that it is good to have layered meaning a production because it makes it more interesting for the audience as it challenges them to come up with their own interpretations and gives the production playability. In the Thriller project, after researching storylines and narrative themes, my group and I had a strong idea of what our film was about. Despite the fact we created enigma, we still wanted the audience to understand our dominant reading, however in my music video, I realised that it is better to- people to have different interpretations as I found that the most popular current music videos are those that are quirky, different and weird, like Lady GaGa. In conclusion my foundation portfolio greatly aided my advanced portfolio because my skills were refined and I have produced an ever better end product. EAA 8 EG 8 T4 (20) MARKSCHEME: Level 3
Explanation/analysis/argument (6-7 marks) There is some sense of analysis and progress is described with clarity. Use of examples (6-7 marks) Candidates offer a reasonable range of examples from research into real media texts in relation to the process and outcomes of production. Use of terminology (3 marks) The answer makes proficient use of media terminology throughout, with conceptual language and production terms handled very well. Relatively straightforward ideas have been expressed with some clarity and fluency. Arguments are generally relevant, though may stray from the point of the question. There will be some errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar but these are unlikely to be intrusive or obscure meaning.
Level 4 Explanation/analysis/argument (8-10 marks) There is a clear range of articulate reflections on the relationship between research into real media texts and the candidate’s own productions. There is a fluent account of progress. Use of examples (8-10 marks) Candidates offer a broad range of specific, relevant and clear examples for research into real media texts in relation to the process and production outcomes. Use of terminology (4-5 marks) The use of media terminology and conceptual language is excellent. Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.