I highly commend the web page 'Nine top tips for Media students'. From the people behind theory.org.uk, its worth a read!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


I'm after a recording of any episodes of the series currently on C4 (and presumably repeated on E4 etc), CastOffs, which is ideal to develop as an example of representation of dis/ability, my own DVD recorder having long since died under the strain of developing a bank of UK TV dramas; would be much obliged to anyone who could proffer a shiny disc of this

Monday, 30 November 2009

General tips on using Macs

There are many free guides on the web; if anyone can suggest any they've used I'll add details. I had a quick look at http://www.uwec.edu/Help/MacOSX/files-opts.htm and have reproduced an exerpt from this below

Working with Files: Additional Options

Working with files is an important part of managing documents. For the basics of working with Mac OS X files, see Working with Files. This document explains some additional options:

return to topViewing Options

You have several options for displaying files in a folder. The View options within a folder will allow you to select settings that best suit your needs. You can adjust the file display or the file arrangement.

File Display

Mac OS X usually lists files as icons. However, it can also display this information in lists or columns. The toolbar of any folder contains buttons for you to easily change your folder view.
View buttons
  1. Navigate to the desired folder
  2. Click the desired view option
View as Icons button
This is the default view option. Your files will be displayed as icons.
View as List button
Your files will be displayed in a list. The list will include the filename and size, the date last modified, and what kind of file it is.
View as Columns button
Your files will be displayed in columns. The various columns will be arranged in a hierarchical structure, so you can easily navigate backward or forward one level.

File Arrangement

In addition, you can choose to arrange your files in order based on one of the following:
  • name
  • date modified
  • date created
  • size
  • kind
To change the way your files are arranged, click the header (e.g., date modified) that you want to use for your arrangement order. The files are sorted from newest to oldest. To reverse the order, click the header again.

return to topSelecting Multiple Files

For each of the following options, you can work with more than one file at a time. For instance, if you want to delete ten files, you can delete all ten at the same time. To do this, you must select the files together.

Selecting Contiguous Files

  1. Click the first file you want selected
  2. Press [shift] + click the last file you want selected
    All the files in between the first and last file are selected.

Selecting Non-Contiguous Files

  1. Press and hold the [command] key
    NOTE: For more information about the [command] key, see Keyboard and Mouse Options.
  2. Select each of the files separately
  3. After you have made all your selections, release the [command] key

return to topRetrieving File Information

This section will tell you how to find information about a file without having to change the folder viewing options. Use these steps to retrieve general information about a file or to check your permissions for a file.

Retrieving General Information

  1. Click the file icon
  2. From the File menu, select Get Info
    Press [control] + click the file » Get Info
    A dialog box appears with general information about the file.
    Get Info dialog box

Checking Your Permissions

If you are unable to open a file or folder, you may not have permission to open it. However, this section will explain how you can change permissions for an item.
  1. Click the file icon
  2. From the File menu, select Get Info
    Press [control] + click the file » Get Info
    A dialog box appears with general information about the file.
  3. Click the small arrow next to Ownerships & Permissions
    A new list of options appears.
    Ownership & Permissions dialog box
    NOTE: The first Access item shows the owner's permissions, the second shows any group permissions, and the third shows permissions for everyone else.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Parents Evening and A/S RE-SITS

Can everyone who is re-sitting the AS exam, or re-submitting the AS coursework see me by the end of breaktime on Friday please. I also need to see those who, following discussions on the parents' evening, said they would be re-sitting - otherwise I need to ring your parents to make sure they've agreed with any change of mind.
The AS exam is on Weds 13th Jan, from 1.15pm in B Hall.
Any resubmitting coursework - 3 of you are officially entered - need to get this to me by Tuesday 15th December.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Details of Met Film School courses

The following is an email forwarded to me:

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I’m writing to introduce you to the Met Film School, London’s leading provider of practical filmmaking programmes. I have included information below for interested students who are looking for a practical, fast-track media qualification.

The Met Film School is London’s leading provider of practical filmmaking courses. We offer a range of short and long-term study programmes, including our One-Year Practical Filmmaking course. This course offers students the chance to gain a solid foundation in the practical discipline of filmmaking, giving them a unique insight into the industry and the ideal launching pad for a further career.

Our courses are taught by industry professionals, ensuring the most up-to-date practices are developed and students gain a realistic understanding of the working media industry. Subsequently, our one-year courses are ideal for those looking for a vocational, fast-track media qualification.

In addition to our One-Year courses, the Met Film School also offers two-year BA qualifications, which equip students with a practical and theoretical understanding of film.  These study programmes offer students the chance to learn the skills necessary for a career in the media industries, with the option to specialise in; television production, visual effects & animation or cinematography.

For more information on our BA or One-Year courses, please contact our admissions team on info@metfilmschool.co.uk or 0208 280  9119. You can also head to our website at www.metfilmschool.co.uk for more information on all of our courses.

Ailsa Caine | Marketing Executive | Met Film | Ealing Studios | London W5 5EP | Tel: +44 (0)20 8280 9116| www.metfilm.co.uk <http://www.metfilm.co.uk/>

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

(twinkle, twinkle, little) A* [ie info on the A star grade]

There are several of you with realistic prospects of achieving an A* grade for your Media A-Level. Just to be clear on this, this requires the following:
To be awarded an A*, candidates will need to achieve a grade A on their full A Level qualification and an A* on the aggregate of their A2 units.
Candidates achieving at least 320 UMS marks in their Advanced GCE, ie grade A and who also gain at least 180 UMS in their two A2 units will receive an A* grade.
Remember, you have 4 units in any A-Level, 2 at AS, 2 at A2; each is marked out of 100. Grade C = 60-69%; B = 70-79%; A = 80-100%. An A* means getting a combined average 80%+ across the entire A-Level, plus an average 90%+ for your two A2 units. Not easy, but I'm hopeful to see a few A* in there come August 2010!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Exam date

For those re-sitting: the AS G322 (TV drama/British cinema) exam is in B Hall, 1.15, Wednesday 13th Jan 2010.

The A-Level spec

You can read through the full syllabus if you wish by accessing it here

Monday, 28 September 2009

***READ ME!!!*** FILM FESTIVAL updated Monday 5th

  1. payments need to be made by Monday at the latest for all tickets
  2. payments go to Jan, NOT me
  3. all forms must be in, signed (doesn't matter if you're 18, still must be signed by parent) by Monday
  4. this includes medical forms from Sept which you may need to chase up with your tutor
  5. I must have a full programme from you so I can find you in case there are any problems; if there are large blank spots in your personal programme, pick out sessions with tickets available and confirm details with me - tomorrow, Friday. YOUR CHOICES ARE HERE: 13A 13D 12C 12D
  6. in addition, I'll be looking for a write up & photos (where permission is given) from each session & screening; I'll say more about this on Friday
  7. FINAL LIST OF SPARE TICKETS - CLICK HERE - 1st come 1st served; once you let me know I'll pass any relevant details on to Jan
  8. if your travel intentions involve anything other than leaving school at 8.35 your form must be signed accordingly
  9. if you've signed up for the Final Cut masterclass you need to ensure you've familiarised yourself with the basics before Thursday!!! John will be in for the A2 lessons, when available, until Thursday to help you with this
It may not be too late to get tickets for workshops you didn't initially sign up for; ring the National Media Museum box office directly on 0870 70 10 200 (payment is required; you'll need a debit/credit card).

A list of any paid-for workshops you signed up for can be at point 5 above- please make sure you get the money in for these this week, or I'll offer these tickets to others, though you're still responsible for the cost until someone else takes it up.

The festival website has the full programme.
As its next week, start speaking to subject teachers about any work you might miss so you're not faced with unexpected homeworks or other deadlines when you're back in school on the Monday.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


You'll find all the exam board's (OCR) documentation on the Media syllabus - which includes the assessment criteria for your coursework and exam, plus examples of question papers and exam essays - at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/type/gce/amlw/media_studies/documents/index.aspx
The latest version of the specification can be found here
The summary of the A2 Media course at IGS issued at the start of the year is here

Significant signing signifying agreement

Please don't forget to get those letters signed and back in tomorrow! Denote your diligence! I did try to stress on those the importance of each of you having a high-capacity memory stick (ideally 16Gb - you'll find your film files will creep above 4Gb in time), though forgot to also mention headphones.
In a utopian universe, you'd also all have an Apple Mac, camcorder, tripod, boom mike and all the rest too! Good luck with that! We are now very low on tripods, so it may be worth discussing within a group or just with friends chipping in for a tripod as you will often find none left to borrow following the damage to many of the existing tripods we had to loan to you

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Your new blog + new blog on your blogs

Check back later for details on this over at http://a2mediablogs.blogspot.com, and an overview of the coursework process. You'll already see some thoughts on coming up with ideas - as well as being a straight chase for grades your Media coursework should be centred round an idea that really excites YOU, not just someone else in a group. You may not get too many more opportunities in the future, depending on Uni/career choices, to indulge your creative side to such an extent so grab this chance with both hands!!!

Remember, your blog URL should be surname-forenamea2.blogspot.com, and its name Forename Surname's A2 Media Production - alas, for E-Unit and the likes, lets leave out the production co names etc this time! (You can always create an image and add a banner to your blog with your production co. logo)