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

Friday, 1 October 2010

Template for shotlisting

Many of you are about to make some alterations to your AS work - and all of you need to take a detailed look at your AS work in the context of Q1a + Q1b for your A2 exam.
A key first step to successfully understanding the strengths, weaknesses and the media language used (by now you will have forgotten many of the creative (think DCRUP) decisions made, so need to revisit this!) is to break down precisely what you put on screen the first time around.
Use the AS exam framework as you add notes under denotation: consider sound, editing and mise-en-scene as well as general cinematography.
The 4th column in the doc embedded below boils down to one word: WHY ... although you could extend this -
WHY did you select the shot/sound etc?
WHAT were you trying to signifiy?
WHO were you thinking of as your target audience?
You could also note shots rejected, and also use this to note ideas for changes + improvements.

Having undertaken the process once, you should be able to work much faster; the key is clear, precise planning. Take this task very seriously indeed: its highly beneficial for any resubmission (even if that is limited to R+P/Evaluation) and half your A2 exam. Push yourselves to use precise, specific shot terminology and semiotic terminology. We will spend some class time revising this key aspect of the course.
Breakdown of a Media Text                                                            

Friday, 7 May 2010

Free book!

You can read an entire book free at http://oreilly.com/catalog/wemedia/book/index.csp. It looks at the blurring of the divide between news media and audience through the development of new media

Monday, 3 May 2010

Elm St remake shows horror appeal

One of the basic tasks you have to fulfil for Media coursework is to show that there is an established audience for the genre you've chosen to work in, whether film or (for A2 from 2010-11) music video (+ poster + mag). Many of you have worked in horror; I've highlighted many examples from this regular FilmGuardian box office overview which you can check on the BritCinema and coursework blogs, but here's an excerpt from a very timely one:

A Nightmare On Elm Street scares up good business to take US No 1

Freddy Krueger's return is a sweet dream for Warner Bros as it prepares to mop up horror-film fans in the coming weeks when Iron Man 2 is expected to dominate
A Nightmare On Elm Street
He's back … Freddy Krueger in the new A Nightmare On Elm Street
The winner
Warner Bros' remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street, from its wholly owned production company New Line, went top of the pile on an estimated $32.2m (£21.1m). The studio has got to be happy with that, bearing in mind that the movie features no A-listers, would not have cost the earth to make, and will remain the only big horror in the market for a while. A few more weeks of modest holdover business beneath the radar of Iron Man 2 and Warner Bros top brass should be expecting a theatrical run to the order of $65-75m before they unleash it on DVD.

Friday, 30 April 2010


G322 - AS EXAM Wednesday 9th June, p.m.
G325 - A2 EXAM Tuesday 15th June a.m.

I'll post details of revision classes for both below. Any resitting AS exam need to see me to get some revision guides

Media Studies Revision Classes Summer 2010                                                            

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Vote Rupert

Interesting feature from The Guardian, in which they asked for alternative political posters, this being one of them. See more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2010/apr/26/election-2010-poster-politics?picture=361890219
[Lest you haven't worked it out, that is indeed Rupert murdoch, media magnate, pictured]

The Guardian is traditionally pro-Labour (though has been discussing backing the Lib-Dems this time) it should be noted. Roy Greenslade here (and many of the comments that follow) looks at The S*n's partisan coverage:
Somehow, I don't think The Sun favours a hung parliament. Front page: WELL HUNG.. AND SHAFTED with a merged picture of the faces of Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown (same copy online, but better headline: HUNG, DRAWN & THWARTED).
The inside spread article begins: "Nick Clegg was last night accused of setting the country on a collision course for political disaster by saddling us with a lame duck coalition government FOREVER."
Got the message? No? OK, here are extracts from the paper's leading article:
We need decisive economic leadership - which we WON'T get from a hung parliament. If the election produces chaotic deadlock, kiss goodbye to recovery...
Our futures rest on getting the economy right. That won't happen without a clear Conservative majority. A hung parliament, squabbling over every point, will be a disaster.
What's that? No-one reads Sun leaders? Fair enough, but I bet a good number read the caption accompanying the Page 3 girl.
So take heed of Becky's concern at the prospect of a hung parliament. "In legislatures with proportional representation," she says, (oh yes, she does) "minority or coalition government is often the norm. I'd hate to live in a country like Italy that has had 61 governments in 65 years - even if I do love Italian food."
And, for good measure, a left-field attack on Lib Dem law and order policy: No prison for Glitter under Libs: Fiends 'helped'
Surely, you've got the message now? Vote Tory - or else you'll be hung out to dry.

[The S*n is tagged as pornography by the school filter, so you can't click through to read the stories cited]

Monday, 1 March 2010

Volunteers wanted...

I'd like to be able to film one performance of the Jekyll and Hyde show (on this Weds-Fri, 730-930ish), perhaps including some behind-the-scenes footage. Any volunteers to film this, and/or operate the boom mike (we'd really need a team for this, as a couple of hours holding this up continuously would be a bit much!). Please add a comment if you're interested, and I'll confirm names tomorrow.

[UPDATE: I've provisionally got Joel, Emmie and Beth for filming on Weds, with Lucy + Helena doing behind-the-scenes material; another 1 or 2 would be useful though]

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Media satire

You may have seen his (quite poor) Big Brother/zombie comedy on C4, or read his weekly column in ... The Guardian, and now he's back on TV highlighting the ludicrous patterns weaved by our news providers.
Very, very funny show (it is post-watershed, so expect some challenging material), and exceptionally useful for any Media student, covering ground we don't often get time to look at, and currently available to view on the iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00qbyth/Newswipe_Series_2_Episode_2/

Lessons Friday 29th Jan

There will be no Media lessons tomorrow; there are details of a task for you to complete (for Monday) over on the Representation of Britishness blog.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Request for aud feedback on music vids

[have a look at the following if you wish...]

In order to help my students with an audience feedback task that I have set them this term, I'd be grateful if any members of this board community would encourage their students to have a look at the latest projects uploaded to our department YouTube site and to leave some constructive feedback on the music videos:


We are particularly interested in any feedback to the latest 15 music videos posted and happy to reciprocate by arranging for our students to comment on other centres' work if you would like to send me the details.

Any help in this would be much appreciated!

James Baker

Head of Media Studies, Hurtwood House

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Coursework resubmissions, resits

I'll take a list on Monday of anyone wishing to resubmit their A2 coursework, and/or resit any AS unit.
If you are resubmitting, you've got until the end of February to submit it; I won't accept anything beyond that date, no exceptions - so get cracking!
I've got detailed notes on all your coursework components which I'll pass on once typed up, but make sure you see me asap to work out where you can pick up marks through improvements

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Library DVDs update

With the funds raised by selling 8 copies (so far) of the AS 2008-9 coursework DVD, I've ordered some additional DVDs for the library, primarily with the A2 exam topic of representation of Britishness in mind, but also for AS/A2 coursework ideas and the AS British Cinema exam question.
The latest additions (just ordered, so at least a week before they appear in the Lib) are:
Withnail & I
Danny Boyle Collection 3DVD: Sunshine/Beach/28 Days Later 
Hammer Collection: 5dvd The Devil Rides Out, Dracula: Prince Of Darkness, Quatermass And The Pit, The Nanny, + Frankenstein
Powell and Pressburger Box Set: A Matter Of Life And Death / The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp / I Know Where I'm Going
 This adds to the existing stock: a range of short film and music video compilations plus primarily Working Title and Warp Films/X movies (I need to double-check this list, especially the titles in upper case):

About a Boy
Ali G Indahouse The Movie
Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason
Coen Brothers’ Collection 4DVD – Big Lebowski, Blood Simple, Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink (see this blog for an overview)
Definitely Maybe

Four Weddings and a Funeral
The Guru
Hot Fuzz SE 2DVD
Love Actually
The Matchmaker
Mickybo and Me
My Beautiful Laundrette
My Little Eye SE 2DVD
Notting Hill
Pride And Prejudice
Sense And Sensibility
Shaun of the Dead
Wish You Were Here


A Room for Romeo Brass
Dead Man’s Shoes
Donkey Punch [kept in F6]
Twenty Four Seven
This Is England 2DVD

SOME ADDITIONAL DVDs STOCKED (bold = set in/about N.Ireland)
An American Werewolf in London
The Boxer
Breakfast on Pluto

Bullet Boy
The Crying Game SE
The Frighteners
Hidden Agenda
In the Name of the Father
Resurrection Man
[in F6]
Shakespeare In Love [UNIVERSAL/MIRAMAX, not WT]
Several of these are directed by Neil Jordan, an Irish director who has frequently worked with the actor Stephen Rea, but who has also directed the likes of Tom Cruise in mainstream Hollywood flicks. Hidden Agenda is by Ken Loach, and these two much-respected director's varying representations of this corner of Britain make for an interesting contrast, and an especially useful bit of viewing for A2 students!

We still have some of the AS coursework DVDs for sale - your folks may be interested, you might even enjoy one yourselves! Any money raised from these will go directly to adding to the Library stock you are able to borrow for the grand Yorkshire fee of nowt!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The BritRep blog

I'll start posting materials onto the blog at http://britrep.blogspot.com/, which you should start following!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

AS Media Exam: Instructions if school closed

If the school is closed on Wednesday, there are slightly different arrangements for the AS Media exam: this will not be held in the sports hall. Instead the exam will take place in B Hall if the school is closed (otherwise there is no change to the original exam timetable).

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Some resources for intro task

Do make full use of the British Cinema book (copies in library but also one in F6, alongside books such as that on Social Realism) and the Media/Film Guardian sites.

Don't just use the company/movement name as a search term; try adding words such as britishness or representation or business/economics...

Some further suggestions:

http://www.newi.ac.uk/rdover/medcult/Content.htm - includes links to most of the 6 studios/movements
http://www.screenonline.org.uk/ has articles on most of these too









Monday, 4 January 2010

G325: Intro task

Work on this is to be completed for Monday 11th and emailed to me in advance of the class.
I'll add a worksheet on this later, but the basis of this task is:
(1) individually or in pairs, pick one of several key British production companies or film movements:
(2) thoroughly research this co/movement, focussing on one particular film which you feel sums this up - you can always buy a DVD, though you will find plentiful clips for each of these on YouTube (and some of the Media DVDs in the Library were chosen for this)
(3) prepare a summative handout - a report in essence, with some attention to visual appeal but not massive pictures and/or copy/pasted text. Some quotes are fine, if sourced, but try always to use your own words.
(4) using a clip or clips totalling no more than 5 mins, be ready to do a presentation on your findings starting from Monday 11th.

This is the start of our work on unit G325. This section is summarised as follows:

Media and Collective Identity

How do the contemporary media represent nations, regions and ethnic / social / collective groups of people in different ways?

How does contemporary representation compare to previous time periods?

What are the social implications of different media representations of groups of people?

To what extent is human identity increasingly ‘mediated’?
Candidates might explore combinations of any media representation across two media, or two different representations across two media.

a2 Brit Film Movement Rsch Task Worksheet