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

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Website task

You're going to create a draft of a vodcast - VERY quickly.

Use the screenshots and links from this post, and open/screenshot the homepage of 3 more OFFICIAL artist websites from different genres.

Assemble your images and QUICKLY comment (using VO or titles) on these 3 basic elements, including a summary of what you now think is the typical (or best) approach:
  • BANNER this should tie in with icons/banners for all social media, and will often change to reflect the latest album release or tour
  • TOP LINKS any decent website has clear, specific top-links, accessible on every page for quick navigation through the site. 4 or 5 (sometimes 6) is the norm. Some will include dropdown menus with sub-pages. 'Contact' or 'social media' shouldn't be one of these as those icons should also be on every page AND their content featured heavily throughout EDIT: JUST DO THIS ONE, THE TOP LINKS, OTHERS IF THERE'S TIME
  • COLOURSCHEME/OVERALL LOOK there should be a clear feel throughout the site. That doesn't necessarily mean the same background colour/image, but there should some clear feel of consistency

Publish your quickfire draft vodcast 10MINS BEFORE THE LESSON ENDS for viewing + initial discussion.

I'm sure you'll have observed the link at the top of musividz for follow-on work...

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Key dates up to Xmas 2017

For Xmas you should have:
  • completed blogs (bar Evaluation), including thorough proof-reading, presentational improvements (eg NO posts with video/podcast only, no textual summary/explanation), comprehensive links lists, clear post titles using numbering system where relevant
  • posted provisional final website (video/PowerPoint with screenshots/recording), digipak, video
    • there will be brief opportunity in January for final improvements: NONE permitted after January 22nd, when Eval will be the exclusive coursework focus
  • gathered resources for all Evaluation Qs, eg through folders of named screenshots/recordings, post tags, unpublished notes posts, ideas for creative presentation


All things which should have been completed earlier:

Up to date with podcasts
Links lists up to date
Post titles, publish dates checked as part of this
Tagged posts
Incomplete posts/needing improvement tagged for follow-up
Updated, comprehensive pre-production summary video, which should feature evidence [vodcast/video clips, blog/YT/website screenshots etc] (not long discussion of) work on such aspects as:
  • Audience moodboards (1 male, 1 female), wider primary and secondary research, definition
  • Character, especially performer, moodboards + clear costume/hair/make-up/props summary
  • Cast/ing, rehearsals (this will help make shoots go MUCH faster)
  • Locations, scouting, planned set dressing
  • General conventions research (all 3 texts)
  • Genre/artist conventions + wider research
  • Track analysis, idea updates
  • Lyric timing sheets featuring possible edit structures
  • Scenes list
  • Storyboards
  • Shoot planning (eg call sheets)
  • Equipment list
  • Health and safety review (list ALL possible risks, and actions to reduce risk, eg driving: keeping within safe speeds, not distracting the driver; train station: personal items/equipment in bags/zipped pockets to avoid theft, keeping clear of platforms)
  • Permissions to use footage of cast (hard copy of signed forms for each performer/actor handed to me; its enough to splay out your sheets, take a single photo, and use this as blog evidence; you don't need to embed every signed sheet)
  • Production schedule

VODCAST x 2: GENERAL digipak conventions; ARTIST/GENRE digipak conventions. Remember to highlight POSSIBLE INFLUENCES (= 'applying research')
The digipak format
My digipak ideas and initial mock-ups
How my promo package will be linked (clear summary of how you'll make explicit links between the 3, which links to the next point...)
My Social Media (sample your posts, especially highlight links to website + viral concept; discuss the branding (including user icons, YT banner etc), making clear links to any of the 3 texts. Make sure they're in top links list)
Sample scene 2 (still RD's 1st) of 60secs+, no gaps, with some evidence of audience feedback

Up to date with podcasts and general blogging, including links lists
VODCAST x 2: GENERAL website conventions; ARTIST/GENRE wesbite conventions. Remember to highlight POSSIBLE INFLUENCES (= 'applying research')
Digipak draft + evidence of aud feedback + reflection on this; Also note technologies used (including how you found video tutorials etc).
Full rough cut + evidence of aud feedback + reflection on this; use YT comment tool to denote planned changes

You have the questions; 2 practice exam Q1b (see wording below), one without notes (Audience: 30/37.5mins), one with (but limited to 1 side, no full sentences) on Genre (up to 1 hour for both). RD typing. You are welcome to submit a practice essay on any of the other 3 MANGeR topics by Friday 8th for marking over the weekend.


Up to date with podcasts and general blogging, including links lists
Industry summary [you should have already done this; refer to my Bicep Ppt to help, and use musividz posts to help]
My Website: Key Design Choices Explained
Website full draft (as screen recording/VO video and/or annotated screenshots in PowerPoint or alternative), including evidence of aud feedback and your response. Also note technologies used.
My Promo Package (summarise links between your texts; effectively drafting the Eval Q. You must include clear evidence of social media, viral elements)

In January we'll do a full blog review, and final text feedback for final improvements by Jan 22nd.
You'll be drafting 1 Eval Q (2 where I suggest splitting a single Q) each week, with no further changes to any component after Monday Feb 19th. No exceptions - final marks will be based on whats on the blog then.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Summer tasks

To commence the A2 we resume lessons to explore the conventions of the music video format, and plan your initial idea.

If you wish to engage in some independent reading over the holidays, then see this post for suggestions - but of course my 3 main blogs for the A2 would be useful! The book Money For Nothing is especially recommended as light reading that links into industry, audience and audience, and should help you with some ideas too (especially if you look up some of the videos or directors discussed in it).

ALL my blogs are listed here, with links for YouTube coursework playlists by year in this post. Student blogs here.

For 2017 the focus is on advancing your main proposal. To this end you should return with:

  1. Your blog set up and formatted as instructed.
  2. Initial Posts completed (see below for details)
  3. Posts on a minimum 5 videos you've analysed. See 'Conventions Research' below for details, and go through this guide before completing these posts. OPTIONAL: work on the initial general video conventions vodcast. You could also begin OPTIONAL posting on the industry or any other aspect.
  4. Posts on your idea/pre-production planning - see the list below. You should return with some sample footage and a highly detailed revised pitch, backed up by the specific posts listed below.
  5. If for any reason you cannot finalise a clear idea at this stage, you must then complete the general conventions posts + vodcast AND the industry research posts and vodcast.

Follow instructions here. Note one change: use the 'simple' template. NOT picture window. There are lots of minor changes to follow through, so read the post carefully.

1: Welcome to my blog! OR And so it begins again!
[whatever you want to call it] Introduce yourself. Address the following:
  • say a little about yourself and your media profile: experience, skillsets, strengths, interests, ambitions.
  • your hopes for the A2
  • 5 key lessons/things you'll approach differently from the AS
  • embed your AS opening + link your blog

2: The Brief 
music promotion package  A promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music video (major task), together with a website for the band and a digipak for the album’s release (minor tasks).
3: Thoughts on some past A2 Media Coursework
View and reflect on at least 1 past (IGS or StG) final video - as we will view chapters from my 2014 documentary on the 2014 work, they (Storm Queen, Faithless, Atomic Kitten) might be a good choice (blogs; YouTube). The 2016 StG A2 videos are here (blogs here). 
  • embed each video being discussed, and provide student blog links
  • did they make any mistakes you can learn from?
  • are there any clear differences from AS film brief to A2 music promo package brief?
  • were you impressed/inspired by any feature of each vid?
  • does your developing editor's eye see anything you could improve?
  • any other thoughts/points?
  • sum up: what do you think you'll need to work on to create a successful music promo?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Press links

Current ABCs (March 2017): Press Gazette.

ROUGHLY what % of NATIONAL DAILY circulation is accounted for by the Murdoch press?

Does ownership (ignored by GCP, PC, PCC and now IPSO) matter? Would it bother you if, say, Donald Trump or Marie Le Pen owned the biggest selling papers in your country, with no laws to prevent them from ensuring they represented their political views? Does it matter that Silvio Berlusconi attained a position of media dominance in Italy then political and legal dominance? Does it matter that Murdoch has successfully backed every election winning party for 40 years, and seems to get privileged access to the PM and government ministers in the UK? Maybe he should be allowed to make SkyNews into a political mouthpiece for right-wing ideology like Fox News in the US (not allowed under much stricter impartiality laws for TV enforced by OfCom - there is no equivalent for the press)? This opinion piece certainly thinks it does.

Do the web readership figures match the narrative of falling circulation? Does this suggest any more or less urgent need for regulation of OWNERSHIP, and/or to ensure PLURALISM?

What is the Editors' Code? Save a full copy for yourself. What does it have to say about children? What does it have to say about ownership? Advertising?
Do you think this is a sufficient basis for press regulation?

Have a look at rulings - any useful cases on children?

Now have a look for Guardian reports on IPSO and children - anything to add?


Monday, 1 May 2017

BBFC background and cases

Main blogging is on the MediaReg blog (BBFC tag), eg this overview post.
A new overview will be added.


Question: why is there is a separate 12A for cinema only (12 for DVD/Blu-Ray)? [BBFC guide]

Very student-friendly, and also intended to be highly parent friendly, this has details on every new rating, detailed explanations of the current ratings, and case studies on controversial rulings.
For now, visit the site and note:
  1. the names of each BBFC age rating
  2. the key differences between the 12/12A, 15 and 18 rating: focus on the issues of SEX, VIOLENCE, SWEARING

Friday, 10 February 2017

Crossword Challenge 1

The 1st of a series of crossword challenges - also a way, with a bit of thought, of adding some creativity to your evaluations ...

This combines some easy and some not so easy questions, and will increasingly require hunting through your exam pack for answers ...

See https://crosswordlabs.com/view/some-major-media-terms

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Eval Q1a prep

Have a look at Joe (2016 StG) + Amber's (IGS 2015) answers for this. 'Creative' is not part of the UK requirement.

For Qia you need to clearly evidence (summarise) your research into conventions: general, then genre specific.

We'll start with the general, using Goodwin.

Can you find examples to reflect Goodwin's arguments in Joe's NIN video?
Do you think you list 5 or more genre signifiers? (use your best judgement as to what might apply within industrial/gothic metal)
Note each specific term you use on the terminology log sheet.

Next: identify at least 5 (but try for 10) format conventions from your latest draft, and be prepared to talk us through the precise media language.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Genre task

2 lessons today to complete this
Including specific illustrations/relevant links

POST: Reflections on genre theory
[you may follow this up with more later - use a numbering system if so; feel free to include theorist surnames in title]

Outline a minimum of 5 theories linked to the concept of genre, and discuss in the context of your A2 production and existing texts you've researched.