Thursday, 24 October 2013

TV Drama and Audience and Institution Exemplar with Examiner's comments


Notice that the candidate makes specific reference to what the question asks straight away. They discuss the answer to the question by using a range of specific examples from the case study material. 

Lines like: 

"For example in the 2010 film "Alice in Wonderland" the studio network Disney was certain that the success of the film was guaranteed and it can get a a wide release due to Disney's distribution network and cinema chains." 

Compared with:

"Secondly the recent film, "A King's Speech" was only guaranteed success when it became distributed due to the investment of the UK Film Council by momentum pictures" 

 ... are especially useful as they immediately contrast the major differences between case study films using specific examples. The lines are the bones on which the essay is written and help the candidate make a clear argument that answers the question. 

Read through the essay and draw out:

  • What you think are the top 3 most interesting bits of case study material the candidate uses. 
  • What you think are the top 3 relevant point the candidate makes (that directly answer the question)
  • What are the top 3 uses of terminology? (In context)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Research Task 1

Before you develop your ideas too far you need to know about your competition.

Research, source and analyse at least three film opening sequences of your choice. They should be from different genres. If you are currently stuck for an idea you can use this task to give you inspiration and help you find a genre.

  • Your analysis should be in depth and aim to avaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the opening sequence.
  • You should include a separate post on why you think opening sequences are important generally. What is the purpose of a good openning sequence?
Check the blog expectations grid for other ideas that you can work on. There is always something for you to do!

Blog Expectations


The above grid shows the sorts of information that we would expect to see on your blog as the weeks progress.

Red - Barely Acceptable

Amber - Fair

Green - Good (But not exceptional)


Remember, you are rewarded for your ideas so we would expect you to experiment above and beyond the attached parameters.

Treat this as a competition. You should aim to have more, diverse posts than any of the other groups. There may be a prize for the AS group who has the most posts, or the most creative. (Alongside the bragging rights and grade of course)

How to Blog to perfection...

After a meeting with the BIG DOG of media, he advised us that you must be using MEDIA in your posts every day. 

It could be a print screen...

Or a Sound byte...

or a Video diary...




MAKE IT MEDIA 

Example Openings for G321

Take a look at these examples of what you are expected to produce, make sure that you DO NOT copy them in any way. 









Exemplar Blogs

Take a look at these blogs from previous media students (not RWS) to see how detailed and reflective your blog should be. 


Please note that the work will be different, just look at how they are reflecting on everything...

http://amyholmes3258.blogspot.co.uk

and 

http://georgihonnorasmedia.blogspot.co.uk

Keep Blogging...

Make sure that you are consistently blogging on everything! DO NOT SLIP UP!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Mise-en-scene analysis (Class + Gender)

Analyse the Mise-en-scene in...

12C -  Downton Abbey S1 Ep1 (If you haven't taken notes then you should have! find another episode some how online i suggest ITV Player!) 

12A - Cranford S1 Ep1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZgAkyWonxw



400 Words on Class Representation

400 Words on Gender Representation


Due Wed 19th September

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Welcome to AS Media at Ravens Wood!

This blog will be your central hub for information on the course. Use it to check deadlines and tasks for homework and coursework throughout the course of your studies.

Your homework task for this week: (Due Wednesday 11th September)

Write a summary of why you think British Cinema is important. (1000 words) Include research on the British Independent Film Company 'Warp Films' to use as evidence for your argument.

Think back on the debate we had during your lesson this week, and include how difficult it must be for independents to compete against some of Hollywood's major players. If you get stuck, come and find me by the end of the week so we can talk through some ideas.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

This is for A2 Media - New Media and the Arab Spring

Print of & Read the extract below and make notes. Focus on the role that new media has played in the Arab spring...

Monday, 18 March 2013

A few ways to present with creativity...

USE THESE... (There will be more, these are just a few...)



Online storyboard maker


 
Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.

SlideShare is the world's largest community for sharing presentations.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. 

Glogster EDU is a free educational service that lets you create interactive posters

Share ideas that matter on beautiful topic pages.
Cut through the noise on Social Media.



Diigo is two services in one -- it is a research and collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other.

VoiceThread is a service that lets you create collaborative presentations by collecting comments – both text and voice.

A digital documents library that allows users to publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents in various languages


Animoto is a free service that lets you create videos from your images.

SurveyMonkey is the world’s most popular online survey tool. It’s easier than ever to send free surveys, polls, questionnaires, customer feedback and market research. Plus get access to survey questions and professional templates.

Wallwisher is now known as Padlet.  an online noticeboard maker.  Ideal for making announcements, keeping notes and things you can do with Post-its.


lino is a free sticky & canvas service that requires nothing but a Web browser.

It's fantastic for many things: interviews for your website, wonderful ambient sounds, music you've made, your children growing up, even a full-on radio show. 

Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.


Mind map software

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Location and Casting

Location

The location of your film is vitally important to the tone of genre of your film. Professional location managers work very hard to make sure that a filming location is perfect for filming well in advance of filming taking place.

Things you need to consider:

Are you legally allowed to film where you want to film?
Are there any other access restrictions? (Dates, times, permissions etc.)
Is it safe to film here?
Is it physically possible to achieve what you want to achieve at this location?
Does it suit the genre of the film?
Is it interesting enough?
Will lighting be an issue?
Is it a public thoroughfare?
Is there a lot of road traffic nearby?
Will noise be an issue?

There are a lot of things that could potentially hamper your shoot. Poor location research is likely to be one of them. Make sure you can answer all of these questions in your post and can provide photographic back up where possible/necessary.

Casting
 
Casting is a stressful process for productions companies and for the actors. You will need to consider the following:

Availability - you are totally dependent on your cast. If they don't show up you can't film. Make sure that you have contact details and pre-arranged times and locations booked in. Do not leave anything here to chance.

Screen Testing - In the past AS students have included video screen tests of their actors reading a few lines of the script. This is generally a good idea and will give you more to post to your blog about.

Any actor will have a portfolio of "head shots" for your casting director to peruse. The attached web site explains some of the expected conventions.

http://www.sft.edu/tips/resumes-headshots-portfolios.html

You might like to add your own head shots to your blog and then describe why you have made each of your casting decisions. Be prepared to justify your choices in terms of the following:

Looks
Age
Gender
Style
Voice
Availability
Reliability
Wage
Ability
Versatility

Audience Research

Target audience research can tend to be a little limited, but it is a vital area that many of you can improve by trying to go beyond the basics of simply stating your target audience to trying to add much further depth.


Some tips:

Audience research companies main manner of breaking down audiences is as follows:
Older males (&gt;25) Older females (&gt;25) Younger males (<25 data-blogger-escaped-females="females" data-blogger-escaped-younger="younger">
Some of the giant blockbusters (James Bond, Harry Potter, some Pixar films) attempt to be 4 quadrant films- films that appeal to all 4 of these different groups. Most other films will attempt to specifically target 1 or 2 of these quadrants.

Your starting point should be to identify which of the quadrants would appeal to and why, exploring things such as your genre and theme.

Other things you may wish to consider is whether your film would appeal to a large, mainstream audience or more of a specialised, niche audience.

2. Who is the target audience for the films you looked at when looking at Influences?

While this overlaps slightly with your Influences, you can point out the appeal of certain similar existing films that have appealed to the same sort of audience you are going for. One way to try to 'prove' this is to use the IMDB to look at audience votes and the differences between age group and gender. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392170/ratings is an example from 'The Hunger Games'. If you are planning for your film to be similar to this, you could make your point more convincingly about who the film is for and equally, who the film is not for. PLEASE NOTE: You should pay more attention and spend more time analysing the average score rather than the number of votes, as clearly males are just slightly nerdier and spend more time voting for films.


3. Are there any other audience groups that your film may appeal to?


While it is good to identify your main target audience in terms of age and gender, your film may also have a more specific appeal. For example, Tyler Perry's Madea film franchise is not particularly well known here, but in America the films make tens of millions of dollars, drawing out a huge crowd of African-American audience members but very few white Americans.




4. What other 'niche' factors could be considered about how you might appeal to an audience?

It is worth consulting the http://industry.bfi.org.uk/exitpolls and looking at some of the Excel documents (so this may not work on the MAC computers) for reasons. For example, 25% of people who were asked about the appeal of 4.3.2.1. stated that it had to do with the use of London (and New York) locations (see below). This will help you in terms of looking for more obscure and interesting reasons why your film may appeal.

5. What different 'tribes' of youth may be especially interested in your film?

The website uktribes.com provides a fantastic service in exploring the different types of youth audiences. This can especially useful in terms of judging the kind of 'attitude' that your audience may have.

6. Would your film be limited to a UK audience or might it have a global appeal?

Even though it was Oscar nominated and starred Brad Pitt, 'Moneyball' was only released in select cinemas in the UK. The reason was fairly simple: it revolved around baseball.


The reverse is also true: while having some success in the UK, Anuvahood went straight to DVD in America. It was felt that an urban story quite specific to the UK that parodied other British 'urban themed' dramas that were released straight to DVD in America was never going to have a big appeal.


You need to think about your own production and realistically assess whether the story would be 'universal' or something specific to British audiences?

7. What limitations are there on your production?

Too often with AS blogs, candidates imagine that an audience would magically come to see their film. It would be interesting to consider aspects like the fact that your film is British (traditionally means a struggle at the box office- see http://www.bfi.org.uk/filmtvinfo/stats/BFI-Statistical-Yearbook-2011.pdf)that your film will have no stars (traditionally seen as being important for box office) and to explore how these kinds of factors are going to effect the difficulties in getting people to see it and how you are looking to 'combat' against this. (e.g. Genre or Critical Acclaim).

It is worth noting that the mark scheme explicitly addresses the need to have a clear target audience- these questions are to provide some guidance as to how you might achieve a Level 4 rather than be prescriptive.


Monday, 11 February 2013

25 Word Pitch


You are required to write a pitching sentence in 25 words. 

THATS ONLY 25 WORDS

Here is an example for Wonka.

"Everyone wants the secrets of the reclusive Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but only one courageous boy will get them during a wild and hilarious adventure."


Now its your turn!


BE CREATIVE

Treatment


For your film opening we will need a treatment for the story, which sells the story and explains the context of the opening sequence.

What Is a Treatment?

A treatment is a two to five page document that tells the whole story focusing on the highlights. 

How To Write a Treatment

This two to five page document should read like a short story and be written in the present tense. It should present the entire story including the ending, and use some key scenes and dialogue from the screenplay it is based on.

What Should Be in the Treatment?

  1. A Working title
  2. The writer's name and contact information
  3. A short logline
  4. Introduction to key characters
  5. Who, what, when, why and where.
  6. Act 1 in one to three paragraphs. Set the scene, dramatize the main conflicts.
  7. Act 2 in two to six paragraphs. Should dramatize how the conflicts introduced in Act 1 lead to a crisis.
  8. Act 3 in one to three paragraphs. Dramatize the final conflict and resolution.

The Three Act Structure

Act 1, called the Set-up, The situation and characters and conflict are introduced. This classically is 30 minutes long. 

Act 2, called The Conflict, often an hour long, is where the conflict begins and expands until it reaches a crisis. 

Act 3, called The Resolution, the conflict rises to one more crisis and then is resolved.

Logline example

And Then Came Love is a character-driven romantic comedy about a high-powered Manhattan single mom who opens Pandora's box when she seeks out the anonymous sperm donor father of her young son.
BE CREATIVE

Production Context

You will need to think about what production company your film is 'made' by...

Do you create your own logo and make it a back to basics 'Indie' film?

Do you go with an existing independent studio? 

Do you try to make a blockbuster hollywood style opening? Like Warner? 

For all these questions you will need to research and find what fits your idea best. You will need to say how the choice of production company will effect the style and feel of your opening sequence.



BE CREATIVE

What is an Opening Sequence?

Using your research to date, define what an opening sequence of a film is and looks like. 

You should look at...

Structure
Presentation of titles 
Order and importance of titles
Narrative structure
Genre codes
Conventions (& also unconventional)
Purpose

The ultimate question here is...

What does a typical opening sequence look like?




BE CREATIVE

Friday, 1 February 2013

Influences



Having looked at various opening sequences of your choice, it is crucial that you find additional sources of influences that are more interesting/ personalised for you. At this stage, you are looking to focus on:

(1) influences in terms of genre

(2) influences in terms of opening structure (i.e. title sequence, enigmatic sequence)

(3) influences in terms of style/'look' (e.g. camera shots, titles)

Again, these should be shown on your blog with visual elements included (stills from the opening of the film or at least posters). Discuss why the images, videos, songs, influence you and how you might incorporate the ideas in to your own projects. Again, find interesting ways of presenting this post.
 

Moodboards

For your opening sequence, the precise storyline is not assessed. However, a poor storyline often will make it a struggle for you to obtain the higher marks in your production.

While we will focus on more specific aspects of storyline next week, one way to assist the process of coming up with a suitable story is to do a mood board.

A mood board is a poster that consists of images, bits of text, objects or anything else that may convey ideas of design for a project. It is used by many people within different creative occupations in order to begin to get ideas of the tone and look that they wish to bring into their projects.

You will need to design some kind of mood board in order to ensure that your story ideas are not just guided by a one-sentence story but also informed by a visual style you want to incorporate. Each group member should do this separately to allow for an exchange of ideas. Below are two examples of the kind of thing we are xpecting to see. You can experiment with ways of presenting your storyboard. Interactive storyboards using prezi or even video will show that you are thinking more creatively.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Blogger's Guide

Hello AS Media Cohort 2012-2013.

You should regularly check on the Ravens Wood Media Blog for ideas and guidance surrounding your current practical tasks. You will find lots of useful ideas and advice including links to the chief examiner's blog and twitter feed and our veyr own RWS twitter feed.

Preliminary Task

This week you have been working on your preliminary task in which you must demonstrate an understanding of the following:

  • Rule of thirds
  • Match on action editing
  • Shot reverse shot
  • 180 degree rule
Mr Jackson will be giving you a tutorial on how to use blogger, however the best way to learn how to use it will be to experiment for yourselves. Creative use of blogger and other interactive content is rewarded for the practical unit, so push yourselves to come up with some creative presentaton ideas.