Monday, 16 May 2011

Good luck everyone!

Make good use of the resources here and on the film industry blog. Email me any last minute question if necessary.

PS: some final thoughts on past exam texts from the OCR forums - some good points to pick up!
"One approach to both sound and editing is to look at the way in which technical elements are used to create perspective or viewpoint within a sequence - a key element of the process of representation that goes beyond the identification of 'character traits'.
By understanding how screen time, p.o.v. or reaction shots are distributed, even weaker students can see how hierarchies are established, leading to certain representations being privileged where others are marginalised.
Stronger students are able to develop this further by discussing how the audience is positioned in relation to the representations on offer .
The best answers in the June session of G322 offered some great discussion of the way in which editing frequently shifted the viewer's relationship to dominant views of gender in different scenes, for example. Another important factor is the way that the editing of the sequence grants or witholds narrative information from the audience in order to encourage identification or rejection of particular characters/representations.
As far as the Primeval sequence was concerned, I was thinking of those students who were able to build a discussion of the way in which the content/mise en scene suggest that Cutter's masculinity is undermined by being the victim of the sabre tooth attack in which he requires rescuing by Abby, while the editing of the sequence positions him squarely as the protagonist through the frequent reaction shots, the way in which he motivates the editing through his actions and the final slow-mo shot of his relieved expression, rather than cutting back to Abby who's just saved him! Not many male stars would be happy if they missed out on a triumphant close up at the end of an action sequence.

There are some obvious contrasts to be made to the final sequence of the extract, where Jenny is ostensibly the protagonist but the cutting makes it obvious that she controls situations through dialogue rather than action (arguably feminine vs masculine skills) - she motivates the shot/reverse shots, emphasising her manipulation of West. In addition, her lower status in relation to Cutter is emphasised by the fact that her last minute rescue is not signalled by a cutaway to the team arriving with guns and the fact the sequence cuts to their determined expressions rather than to her."

Editing and Sound in TV drama - great Prezi

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Practice writing about representation of disability

Have a last practice! How would you tackle the way disability is represented in these extracts?
Secret Diary of A Call Girl extract

Exam tips and videos of past exams

Pete Fraser has just posted on his blog. He has kindly included embedded videos, including the Monarch of the Glen one (on Age) and others.
Read it here:

UPDATE: In his advice on question B (Institutions and Audiences), the term "Exchange" is used. If you are unsure what it means, go check the Film industry blog now. I am posting a definition/clarification. I have read that some teachers and students are unsure about it...

All relevant OCR documents there, inc. scripts and examiners' comments:

Past papers and candidates' scripts on Age

January 2009 paper
TV Drama: Age (see exemplar below - ADDED: Embedded video at the bottom)
Industry: Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences within a media area you have studied.
June 2009 paper
TV drama: Gender
Industry: How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences within a media area which you have studied?
January 2010 paper
TV Drama: Ethnicity (exemplar answer here - 39/50)
Industry: "Media production is dominated by global institutions and services which sell their products and services to national audiences." To what extent do you agree with this statement?
June 2010 paper
TV Drama: Gender (see video at the bottom of this post - Primeval. I also gave you 2 exemplars on this one)
Industry: What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?
January 2011: Gender again - paper not available but extract from Hustle.

Candidates' reponses - Age (Monarch of the Glen) January 2010 (Find examiner's comments right at the end of each document)
Candidate A:
TV Drama: High Level 3
Script January 09 Age Level 3 4
Candidate B:
TV Drama: low level 4
Film Industry: High level 3
Script Jan 09 4 and 3
Candidate C: That's what an E looks like (levels 1/2) Read carefully to avoid the vague comments made by this candidate. I read a lot of this in some of your practice tasks...
Examiner's Report on G322 TV Drama Unit (January 2010)

Primeval - exam text June 2010

More candidates' scripts including an A grade in this earlier post:

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Further Practice

To practise further, you could write up your answers from the notes you made in class (one or both):
How does the extract from Cutting It construct representations of gender?
Cutting It - series 4 episode 4 (from 46:52)
How does the extract from Skins construct representations of age?
You can watch it here again (though there are ads at the start):
Skins - series 2 episode 1

You could try this one ("borrowed" from Long Road Media) - Question:
How does the extract construct representations of social class and status? (you could also address 'age' in this extract)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Home Learning - Exam Practice for Thursday 5th May

Have a go at one of these - Preferably attempt both!
Anything handed in will be marked promptly. The trick now is to work on your timing as well as the quality! Also check out the 2 top level 4 answers from last June's exam (on Primeval)linked on the right + the glossaries.
First, you can look at this extract focusing on how the representations of ethnicity are constructed. This is a past OCR exam text, and an extract from Hotel Babylon. (Check out past the 2 videos in this post for the Examiner's Report on this past paper - January 2010)

Secondly, you can focus on characterisation in this extract; look particularly at how camerawork, editing and soundtrack position the audience in such a way that we sympathise with some characters and not others.

Examiner's Report on G322 TV Drama Unit (January 2010)

G322 Exam Tips - Article from Media Magazine and Examiner's comments on past exam

G322 exam0001

Below are some of the comments made by the examiner after the January 2009 TV Drama exam (find the comments for section B on the Film Industry blog)- Focus: Representation of AGE.

Question 1 – Television drama
Candidates structured their responses in a number of ways; some began by addressing the concept of representation in the extract and a discussion of the representational differences between Amy McDougall the stereotypical teenager and contrasted this with the Headteacher and the middle-aged character Paul Macdonald. Then the candidates would address the technical areas one by one. Stronger candidates could provide an integrated analysis of the extract through analysis of key examples identified. These candidates explored how the technical features could be applied using a combination of the technical features, for example, in discussion of the argument between Paul Macdonald and Amy. They could then place this sequence of conflict in its mise en scène (the stately home), through the use of shot reverse shot (editing), shot types used and through sound, both diegetic and non-diegetic in discussion of how Paul’s anger and authority, used as parental control, would order Amy (stereotyped as the teenage tear away) back to school.

Either of these approaches to the structure of question 1 is advisable and centres need to help structure the candidates’ responses in the classroom. Candidates are advised against lengthy introductions about what they are going to say and against theoretical introductions and/ or historical contexts to television drama. Candidates are advised to get straight on with their analysis.It is also important that candidates move from description of key technical areas to analysis of how representations are constructed. This will enable candidates to achieve higher marks for their responses. The mark scheme enables credit to be awarded to students at three different levels Explanation, Analysis and Argument (20 Marks), Use of Examples (20 Marks) and Use of Terminology (10 Marks).

Camera Shot, Angle and Composition
This technical feature was well addressed by the candidates.. Where candidates used the correct terminology and could describe shot composition, this on the whole was well done. Weaker candidates were able to describe key shots used in exemplification, but would often lack explicit links to how these shots assisted in the construction of the representation of age.
Mise en scène
There was plenty of evidence of candidates’ discussion of clothing and props, visual iconography and character. Setting, although a little more problematic for some, was used well in discussion of the range of representations of age used in the extract. More able candidates would move beyond description and use the technical features of mise en scène in order to discuss the signification of the representation of age.
Candidates often discussed this technical feature with some limitations, with some focusing solely on the use of dialogue or accent. Candidates did also relate the use of non-diegetic sound to the emotional state of Amy whilst she was in her room and the contrast of non-diegetic music showing the adults to be happy in the work they performed. The use of non-diegetic sound to emphasise Amy’s isolation was often commented on, as was the diction of the middle-aged characters that spoke "properly". Other weaker candidates showed confusion with technical terminology, getting diegetic and non-diegetic sound the wrong way round.
This proved to be the most problematic for candidates and the one technical area of analysis that was often omitted in candidate’s answers. Most candidates who addressed editing were able to address the type of transitions used and could comment on the pace of the editing. Weaker candidates often omitted any discussion of editing or offered quite simplistic accounts of how editing was used, for example in the use of quick succession cuts and short takes when the community takes apart the fishing hut at the end of the sequence. More able candidates could analyse technical issues of editing by way of analysis of the ellipsis, accounting for how the extract collapsed a series of events, for example, in explaining the narrative to represent Amy as a ‘troubled’ teenager who had no option left but to run away from school and then the home of Paul McDonald; then candidates were then able to comment on pacing, the use of continuity, most often through the shot reverse shot compositions in the extract and some through the use of sound as well. These candidates cleverly discussed how soundbridges were constructed through the use of non-diegetic music in the representation of age, for example, the stringed mood music representing the gloomy prospect that Amy faces, or the use of upbeat music to represent the happiness of the small rural community. The advice offered to centres is to encourage as much practice on the concept of editing as possible and how this assists in the construction of representation. Again begin with identifying the techniques and encourage students to apply these to a range of examples in class and importantly, test them on this
This key media concept was either addressed at the beginning of the candidates or at the end, but sometimes when at the end, the analysis was all too cursory. Candidates were able to relate the representation of a variety of age groups closely to the textual elements of the extract. There was some solid analysis of age and how it can be stereotyped in a variety of ways: teenage emotionality; adult authority; caring nature of the older female adult and other sensibly reasoned representations. Weaker candidates failed to focus on the representation of age, relating their analysis to the region or the gender of the characters.

Hope this is useful! HO