Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Representation of ability / disability - past exam

Link to exam paper

Representation of Ethnicity - Hotel Babylon with exemplar and examiner's comment

How does the extract construct representations of ethnicity? Refer to the 4 micro-elements.

Read the exemplar answer again.

Here is an exemplar response, marked 39/50 (B+):

Hotel Babylon Grade B answer

Examiner's Report - Take the time to read this carefully! It is detailed and should very helpful when you seek to improve your response.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

13.11.14 Downton Abbey extract online - Updated with examiner's report

This is a link to the exam extract you were given on DVD in class for your work on representation. You can use this if you prefer or later on after you've returned the DVD.

Examiner's Report: 
General Comments:
The paper itself was well received and offered a plethora of opportunities for candidates to engage with the technical analysis of the extract taken from Downton Abbey. The representation candidates were asked to discuss was social class and status. For question two candidates engaged with a range of media areas whilst discussing the impact on media institutions and audiences of increasing hardware and content. Those candidates that achieved well offered sustained and detailed responses to both questions set. These responses were frequently punctuated with detailed reference to contemporary and relevant examples. On occasion, candidates were fully rewarded for some insightful and academic use of key media concepts pertaining to media representation for question one and to institutional and audience practices for question two. Candidates who did not meet the highest levels often lacked detail in the arguments presented and offered a basic response to the questions set. Where work was minimal, or there emerged issues of time management, candidates struggled to achieve a higher mark level.

Question No. 1
On the whole candidates answered the question well and with reasonable accuracy, though there was some variation in the quality of the answers. The choice of Downton Abbey as the focus of the investigation seemed to have been a popular and engaging choice and it was heartening to see far more integration of terminology in candidate responses. The majority were able to show that there were a variety of class groups represented and that characters' status within the sequence fluctuated according to narrative events. Many candidates tackled the sequence in order, which worked for the strongest candidates who were able to provide a balanced, integrated analysis, covering all the micro-elements. However, lesser achieving candidates struggled to achieve a satisfactory balance with this approach, frequently omitting coverage of editing or lapsing into passages of description or analysis without reference to class and status. These candidates would have been better advised to adopt a more structured approach, basing their analysis around each technical area in turn or focussing upon the working class and aristocracy in turn.

Camera shots, angle and movement – Many candidates dealt with this technical area well especially with regards to the principles of pull focus, framing and camera movement, examples include the tracking shot of Lord Grantham, and some excellent discussion about the composition of the house juxtaposed to the set-up of the kitchen area. This in-depth discussion by many candidates moved away from the usual discussion of low angle/high angle shots which usually dominate these kinds of responses, a sort of ‘spot the camera shot’ approach. This session candidates seemed more prepared and confident to try much more detailed analysis and this was pleasing to see.

Mise en scene – This was one of the strongest areas of response for candidates. Although there was a lot of obvious ‘costume’ analysis between the servants and the ‘master’ of the house, many of the more engaged candidates focused on the choice of attire for Carson and how this subverted the expectation of a worker in the house. Comments were also drawn to performance, as well as the choice of lighting and the differences in set d├ęcor between the two areas of the mansion. Many candidates compared and contrasted the class and status differences between the kitchen quarters and the master’s home to a very good degree. Some candidates are still wedded to deterministic colour analysis, leading to clearly inaccurate analysis, for example, stating that ‘the lady's white dress signifies her purity'; this approach should be discouraged and candidates should be able to understand that analysis is contextual rather than universal in value.

Sound – In this session there were a lot of detailed responses discussing the use of diegetic dialogue, for example the response by Lord Grantham to the deaths of the lower class led to some worthwhile discussion with regards to him breaking the supposed stereotype of the upper classes of not caring as much for the lower classes in society. However, candidates tended to cover dialogue as an element of sound rather than concentrating on the technical use of sound. Some good candidates were able to show how the sequence creates a specific soundscape and linked this to issues of class and status. Most candidates are able to distinguish between diegetic and non-diegetic sound. The sequence offered plenty of relevant examples of soundtrack and ambient sound features connected with class and status.

Editing –This technical area remains an area for development with regards to candidate responses. The more able candidates, however, did make some excellent comments with regards to the use of editing in the scene. The long tracking shots of Lord Grantham ‘motivated’ by his status within the household were excellently dissected by a number of candidates, as was the use of parallel editing between the rich aristocracy and the lower servants. On occasion excellent candidate responses would relate the technical features of editing with examples of how different perspectives are constructed and how the diegesis constructed a hierarchy of meaning. There was the repeated mistake of using ‘jump cuts’ to mark a difference between scenes, which was a common error. On many occasions editing was again marked by its absence or a few lines being sporadically applied with generic use in referring to continuity and seamlessness without application to the issue of representation. Candidates should be encouraged to examine how editing techniques set up perspective within the sequence and encourage the audience to identify with a number of different characters in different environments. Unfortunately, too many candidates simply omitted an analysis of editing in the response. Centres should ensure that candidates are prepared to address editing, at least in relation to pace, perspective and match on action of the extract. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

13.11.14 - Representation of social class - Shameless

Analyse how the producers construct representations of working class in the opening credits

You can watch the episode here

Make sure you address all 4 areas: 
- Camerawork; 
- Mise-en-scene; 
- Sound; 
- Editing. 

You should select 10 frames minimum to screengrab as examples for your analysis. I expect 700-1000 words. 

- What social class is being represented? How do you know?
- What are the usual stereotypes associated with this social class in the media?
- Are these stereotypes used here?
- How are the audience positioned by the producers? Why? (Think particularly about the use of camerawork and editing - as well as soundtrack - to create humour). 
VERY different representation here from what we are used to; usually, this social class is portrayed through realism / gritty representations.
- Screen grab key shots that you think will help you in your analysis.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Independent study - Representation of the Law - Comparison - due in 13.11.14

You will examine and compare the way the "law" is represented in different dramas. Issues of representation to analyse: class/status/authority, gender, race/ethnicity as well as whether the representations are sympathetic, realistic etc... How do the producers position the audience in relation to the detectives / officers?

Start by going through the PPT and watch the opening credits for both shows.

TASK: Write a comparative essay (or produce a detailed Powerpoint or Prezi or any other relevant site/software, perhaps doing a detailed director's commentary voice-over analysing screenshots) analysing the representations of the ‘law’ in the 2 extracts from The Wire and A Touch of Frost.
This should be ready for the next time I see you.

Intro and credits, The Wire, series 1, episode 1.

Frost, Series finale, "If dogs run free".

Finally, make sure you read the article below. The section on The Wire should be very useful in particular:

REMINDER: Post a few notes on your wider reading!!! I need to see that you are doing it and gaining extra knowledge from it.

6.11.14 - Representation of Ethnicity

How does the extract construct representations of ethnicity? Refer to the 4 micro-elements.

6.11.14. Representation of Age - Frost

How does the extract construct representations of age through the 4 micro-elements?

Frost, Series finale, "If dogs run free".

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Primeval - Student Response

Here is T's essay which is showing much promise.

We still need to explore Sound and Editing in more detail but there is much to learn from this.

Post-Assessment - Improving your work on Ashes to Ashes

You will learn much from this Media magazine article!

Please add to your own initial responses. Write a new post or redraft in a DIFFERENT COLOUR please so we can see the progression in your work.

Ashes to Ashes0001 by hgaldinoshea

Happy learning!

Assessment - Ashes to Ashes

What representations of gender have been constructed in this extract through the 4 micro-elements?

And here are the stills that we looked at in class:

Ashes to Ashes Episode One Screen Grabs.docx by hgaldinoshea

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Private Study for this week

And here are a few shots of you in action…

Learning camerawork and editing through practice - 25.9.14

Read and watch what follows... There is a lot to learn from it! This will consolidate what you did n lesson time.

NOW START HERE: A fantastic film made by a film student to teach you all you need to know. Flawless editing. Watch and learn!


You can learn an awful lot about making a film on a tight budget from Robert Rodriguez, director of El Mariachi. You can also find more of his videos on YouTube as well as extracts from his films.

And here is the trailer for El Mariachi (1992).

Back to Basics: CAMERAWORK
Easy to follow guide to learn the basics of the trade! Click here.

These videos from OCR are also useful.

Ocrmediaas_basics of Video Editing
Ocrmediaas_making Your Video

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thursday 18th September - Gender representation


What does this extract teach us about stereotypical gender representations?

1. Students' presentations around Berger's quotation.

2. More food for thought - Recorded students' responses:

3. What about representations of masculinity? Some help here:

4. Practical: Editing your presentation in Final Cut.

5. So what about TV Drama?
This is a past exam text. The question is:
How does the extract construct representations of gender through the use of (the micro-elements):
- Mise-en-scene
- Camerawork
- Sound
- Editing?

To be finished as home learning. Do use the booklet provided for support.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

TV Drama Revision Pack

Very useful and comprehensive revision pack for TV drama!

Revision Booklet

Tuesday, 6 May 2014



Many of the extracts can be watched here: OCR Exam extracts playlist or in this post.

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 paper
TV Drama: Gender again - Extract from Hustle.
Industry: Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area.

June 2011 paper (see two high level 4 responses below + examiner's comments)
TV Drama: Class and status - Merlin extract
Industry: “Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices.” To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?

January 2012 paper
TV Drama: Sexuality - Fingersmith extract
Industry: To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the media area you have studied?

June 2012 paper
TV drama: ability/disability
Industry: “Cross-media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences.” To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your chosen media area?

January 2013 paper
TV Drama: Age - Extract from ER
Industry: What impact does media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media area you have studied?

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:

Strong answer for June 2011 paper:

Another strong response to the June 11 paper - high level 4 for both TV Drama and Film Industry

Friday, 2 May 2014

Useful reading

Please check out the links below for useful articles pertaining to your module.