Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

G325 - part 1b - overview of key theories for the exam. Make sure that you have a quotation for each theory that you can use in your essay...

G325 – 1 b - Key Concepts:

Key Concept:
Neal -  difference within genre
Metz – 4 stages
Key signifiers
Dyer – star
Gramsci – hegemonic
Barthes – Codes visual and technical
Levi – Strauss – binary opposites
Todorov – equilibrium/disequilibrium
Propp – spheres of action/ character roles
Dyer – Utopian pleasures
Uses and gratifications
Media Language
All of the above – time to deconstruct and show off!

G325 - more advice to help you prepare...

G325 - Some past questions and brief tips here which is a useful overview.

Yr 13 G325 part 1a - essay structure


Paragraph 1: should be an introduction which explains which projects you did. It can be quite short.

Paragraph 2: should pick up the skill area and perhaps suggest something about your starting point with it- what skills did you have already and how were these illustrated. use an example.

Paragraph 3: should talk through your use of that skill in early projects and what you learned and developed through these. Again there should be examples to support all that you say.

Paragraph 4: should go on to demonstrate how the skill developed in later projects, again backed by examples, and reflecting back on how this represents moves forward for you from your early position.

Paragraph 5: short conclusion

Remember it's only half an hour and you need to range across all your work

G325 Mark scheme for Yr 13 - see how you are marked in the exam. Why not self-mark your practice essays at home!

A G322 example mark scheme. Look to see what you are getting marks for: the TV DRama text changes but the mark scheme does not!

Exemplar essay for TV Drama - look at the mark scheme to see how it's been applied...

Exemplar Student Essay - G322 TV Drama (Primeval June 2010)
This students response achieved a very high grade due to the following points:
  • The student answered the question. This might seem obvious but when a response is unsuccessful the student usually doesn't relate to their answer to the question and so fails to pick up points.
  • The question in this case related to gender (male/female) representation. How the men/women were shown
  • The student gave detailed examples from the clip and then discussed the way in which this made the men/women in the scene "look".
  • The student analysed (pulled apart how the men/women were shown), they did not tell the story or describe the plot which is different from analyzing the clip. Do not story-tell.
  • Finally, they gave examples of technical codes to support their argument i.e. the low angle made her look powerful
Read through the student essay below and use the mark scheme to examine where the marks are awarded. I have typed up this response as written and included the red ticks as they appear on the original script and this would indicate where the examiner awarded a mark.
remember the marks are awarded as follows:

argument/analysis/explanation 20 marks
Use of examples 20 marks
Use of terminology 20 marks

Key Media Concepts (TV Drama)
Wednesday 9 June 2010
Duration 2 hours (30 minutes viewing clip; 45 minutes each essay)

Section A: Textual Analysis and Representation

Answer the question below, with detailed reference to specific examples from the extract only.

Extract: Primeval Series 2 Episode 3, written by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle, dir. Jamie Payne

1. Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of gender using the following:

· Camera shots, angles, movement and composition
· Editing
· Sound
· Mise-en-scene
(50 marks)

The representation of gender in the clip given conveys interesting and thought provoking ideas and contrasts between characters.

The young women called Abbey, her character steers away from the stereotypical image of women, young women, she is portrayed as a strong and feisty female, this is evident in the shots where she is operating a mechanical machine, with much skill and efficiency also. A wide shot is used when we first see her to establish the scene and location (the woods and forest). The close ups also of the end of the digger fortifies the fact that Abbey is experienced in using such a machine again reinforcing her non stereotypical portrayal, she is given the impression of a tomboy. The mis-en-scene used also fortifies this point, she has a short almost boyish hair cut and wears a leather jacket that makes us think of a character like Steve McQueen or perhaps “Greece”, mainly male, strong willed characters.

The fact that she also fights the Sabre-toothed Creature, saving the man’s life shows her tenacity. The shot that this portrayed through is a continuity edit. Also the wide shot of her running after the man being chased reinstates this point again, as the man, who stereotypically is supposed to be strong and courageous is in fact running and being chased, this is a contrast to the women who is running through the forest with a gun to help him for a second time! The dark shape of the gun in her hands, reiterates, power, as a gun, is in this extract, power.

The gentleman who is in a sky blue t-shirt is portrayed as more of an intelligent man, brain rather then brawn. When the sabre-tooth attacks there is a close-up of him in the hole cowering, this goes against the usual stereotypes of a man, a contrast between him and Abbey. Despite his cowering he does show an instance of courageousness, when he lures away the creature from Abbey. Despite this brave act he still is running away from the sabre tooth tiger, a continuity edit is present when he is running and also when he uses the zip wire, close ups show fear and exhaustion on his face. The fact that he also uses his belt on the zip wire again shows his brains over brawn. The mise-en-scene of his clothes convey a more stereotypical view of the man, they are neutral and earthy colours and are dirty and strained, this helps paint more of a picture of a mans man, or someone who is not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

The non-diegetic sound of the ambient sound-track helps convey the tension and fear and also helps make the pace of the action a whole lot faster, especially in the chase scene, a combination of this music and also the fast pace of the editing raises the tempo and tension. The blurring and wipes X between each edit gives the action the impression that it is too fast to see and fortifies the fact that the creature is very fast. The music becomes slower, but is ramped up with tension as (sounds?) drove on through the scene with the man with the shotgun, creating a sense of dread and anticipation! This along with the wide shot and the man’s face, riddled with anger and malice, conveys a tension filled shot.

The man who is wearing pink attire is portrayed as more of a pretty boy, lover not a fighter, the pink colour is more common to girls, women therefore gives him an air of effeminacy. The rest of the cast wear mainly earthy colours or smart suits etc, whereas he wears feminine colours turning the stereotypical image of a man on its head. The fact that he also doesn’t have a gun and instead, quite comically pulls a spade out, whereas the other two people in the shot both have guns, one a man and the other a women, this gives the impression that the women is almost more reliable than the man wearing pink.
The wide shot showing the tree in the barn gives a very theatrical feel to it, almost tries to emulate a sense of bravado and coolness that other films use e.g. the opening shot of Reservoir Dogs. Also the fact that there are three of them may portray symbolic qualities, like the three musketeers etc.
The lady who is talking to the gentleman who breeds dogs is portrayed as a pristine, more of a stereotypical view of a lady. This is conveyed through the sequence “My Best Coat”! This provides a clear insight into her personality. She is strong whilst using words but when the man pulls out a gun a close up reveals her devastation and fear. Even the colour of the ladies “Best Coat” is white, which provides the thought of purity and pristine.
The over the shoulder shot and the cross cut editing reveals the rising anger of the gentleman breeding the dogs. He is weak when the pristine women threatens him but has much more power when he picks up the gun. The line “won’t be pushed around anymore” indicates his explosion of anger. The diegetic noise of the barking dogs also convey a sense of threat and hysteria. This shot conveys the power of a weapon and also the power of words and how gender can be powerful.
This extract turns a lot of ideas mostly stereotypical views of gender on its head, which therefore gives the viewer an interesting watch.


Level 4

Use of examples
Use of terminology

Some more useful revision - try re-writing in relation to your case studies 'Gravity' and 'In Our Name'.

Planning a response to G322 Section B: Film.
Example question: Whatsignificance does the development of digital technologies have for media institutions and audiences?

Whilst there is no golden rule to writing a correct essay answer, you can effectively plan and map out a successful response in little time, thus giving your writing a clearer focus and opportunity to respond to the question using all of your knowledge and ideas.

This writing frame is a six point guide to approaching an exam question.

1 Introduction: Don’t just launch into the question, you must define certain parameters, including what industry you intend to reference and what areas of that business you will explore in relation to the question. You should also define your success criteria and what you interpret as ‘significant’. You have studied two or three media texts, therefore you need to explain to the examiner how you intend to shape your response the pattern you follow should then make more sense both to you, adding to your flow, and aid the examiner.

2 Try and complete this response in a linear way; you should address the impact of digital developments in technology at the various stages of production, unless the question gives you a particular focus. Why not start with preproduction and how institutions use technology to create a buzz about their forthcoming product. If a film is going to be filmed in 3D or have a particular star name attached to it, this can attract the attention of investors and distributors. Once contracts/deals are signed there may be a press release. Take, Skyfall; a year before production there was an online buzz about who would be in it. Youtube is full of fanmade trailers which add to publicity; therefore this is significant for institutions and predicting popularity. Audiences trawl new media websites to discuss and share thoughts about production. Directors and actors also now use Vlogs (short for video blog) to keep audiences wanting more. Also Vines are used in this way - to create a buzz. 

3 Production: think about the technologies used to create the film. If it’s a Hollywood, high concept film it may have a large part of its budget dedicated to CGI, which is significant to digital technologies. You can contrast this against your British Film, which may or may not use CGI you could also discuss affordability of special effects in editing today (verisimilitude) and productions made 510 years prior. Imax and 3D camera technology may have been used, again this is linked to profitability at the box office and drawing new audiences in; however, they may not want to visit the cinema because of improved technology at home (think HD, 3D TV) so institutions may be responding to audience demands. REMEMBER to highlight the link/relationship between institutions and audiences; the development of Apps and virals; trailers and fan pages; interactivity and games to raise awareness.

4 Distribution: the companies responsible for publicising and marketing the film. New technology now plays a greater part than ever in attracting the eye of cinema goers. The careful selection of social network sites like Facebook and Twitter is now seen as the norm. The impact of likes, trending and retweets is significant in today’s media. You should have a detailed knowledge regarding marketing campaign, whether it was a saturated release and how critics and fans received the film. There may well have been synergistic processes involving video games and other media industries to reflect upon perhaps made significant by digital technology. How TV spots, theatrical trailers, posters offering digital content and product tieins use the web to extend and attract niche audiences or enforce marketing strategies to hook their primary and secondary audience.

5 Exhibition: Focus on the performance at cinemas and on the home entertainment market (DVD, BluRay, download). What factors, e.g. piracy and cloud based exhibition systems are changing markets (lovefilm, Netflix). You should think about new concepts like Ultraviolet and Phenix, designed to allow audiences to have access to legitimate copies of films for portable media devices (borrowed from gaming). Think about what devices audiences now use to watch films, relate this to the significance of new technology developments.

6 Conclusion: Draw together your findings from paragraphs 25 and conclude just how far digital technologies have made significant developments for media institutions and audience. Level 4 responses would make predictions about future trends affecting either party.

Free resource taken from

Key concepts

  • Convergence – the coming together of digital initiatives to form a single platform for media technologies, for example the television to use digital shopping services, the phone to use the internet, listen to the radio and watch TV.
  • Synergy – the institutional practice which creates multiple and secondary forms of marketing of a single sourced product to many audiences, formed as a campaign. For example, the use of a film which can be promoted through licensing, promotional tie-ins and other media. An example of media synergy is a Disney film which is easily promoted through fast-food deals, the use of a soundtrack and the sale of toys.
  • Cross-Media Ownership – the ability of media institutions to own different media to diversify their interests and provide multiple profit points; fot example, Disney owns four TV channels, the ABC television network, a record label, a chain store, an internet business ( and for film Production and Distribution: Walt Disney Pictures (includes Walt Disney Feature Animation and DisneyToon Studios), Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, Pixar Animation Studios, Hollywood Pictures, Buena Vista International, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Buena Vista Home Entertainment International, Disney Theatrical Group, A&E IndieFilms (37.5% equity)… This makes the media institution very powerful.

Key Points


Smaller companies have to be creative in order to secure the best deals. For example, Bedlam secured one of the film's stars, Geoffrey Rush, after taking the unorthodox step of posting the movie script through his home letterbox in Melbourne, Australia. Rush's management wrote the filmmakers a furious email for their impertinence. Despite this, Rush accepted the role of Lionel Logue, the King's speech therapist.


Bedlam Productions formed an alliance with See Saw Films, who had a first-look deal* with Momentum Pictures (also known as Alliance Films UK), an Alliance Films company, one of the leading independent motion picture distributors in the UKand Ireland which releases approximately 20 theatrical films a year. International Sales were handled by The Weinstein Company and Film Nation.
· First-look deal: an agreement between a production company and a film studio for the right to see a new film before others in the industry, and to buy or distribute that film.


UK exhibitors (Vue, Cineworld and Odeon cinemas) threatened to boycott Time Burton’s ‘Alice In Wonderland’s’ release because of Disney's proposal to release the DVD within 90 days of its cinema release. Usually, there is at least a four-month window between a film's arrival in cinemas and its debut on home video. UK release was particularly vital for Disney because the movie has such strong British roots. Burton, who lives in London, shot Alice In Wonderland largely in Devon and Cornwall. Apart from Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska as Alice, the film features a largely British supporting cast, including Helena Bonham Carter, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee and Barbara Windsor.

Disney felt that narrowing the release window was vital in the battle against home video piracy. It argued that most people see movies within two months of their theatrical release, but there is then another two-month gap before they can buy the film on DVD, which is exploited by pirates. However, distributors were concerned that they would lose business if the release window was allowed to narrow further, and were also angry because they had recently spent millions of pounds upgrading thousands of screens to show 3D movies.

Bob Chapek, president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios, said, "We feel that it's important for us to maintain a healthy business on the exhibition side and a healthy business on the home video side," he added. "We think this is in the best interest of theatre owners, because a healthy movie business is good for them and allows us to invest in high quality, innovative content."

They eventually came to a compromise: Disney reportedly agreed to break the four-month theatrical window for only three films (including ‘Alice’) over the next two years. The film took £10.56m in the UK the first three days; overall£42million).