Practice Questions for Section A Question 1

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Practice Questions:

Research and Planning:

Describe how you developed research and planning skills for media production and evaluate how these skills contributed to creative decision making. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

Conventions of Real Media Texts:

Explain how far your understanding of the conventions of existing media influenced the way you created your own media products. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills have developed over time.

Digital Technology + Creativity:

Describe how you developed your skills in the use of digital technology for media productions and evaluate how these skills contributed to your creative decision making. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills have developed over time.

Post-Production + Creativity:

Describe how you developed your skills in post-production and evaluate how these skills contributed to creative decision making. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

Research and Planning + Conventions of Real Media Texts:

Describe the ways in which your production work was informed by research into real media texts and how your ability to use such research for production developed over time.

Post-Production and Digital Technology:

Describe how you developed your skills in using digital technology and evaluate how these skills contributed to your ability to apply post-production techniques. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

Essay Structure

Standard

Intro:

Introduce key area (digital tech/post-production ect….)

Introduce AS + A2 Coursework pieces

For example:

During my A level media course I have worked to create several different media products, in my AS year I created a Music magazine in the genre of ……… . In my A2 year I created a music video for the song ……., I also created a digipak and advert for this project. My skills in …………. have grown and developed since the start of my AS year, this improvement has allowed me to drastically improve the quality of my A2 coursework.

Paragraph 1:

Skill 1 – AS starting points

Skill 1 – A2 developments

 

Paragraph 2:

Skill 2 – AS starting points

Skill 2 – A2 developments

 

Paragraph 3:

Skill 3 – AS starting points

Skill 3 – A2 developments

 

Conclusion:

Summarise how your skills have developed in the key area

For example:

My skills in ……….. and ………… have clearly developed from my AS music magazine to my A2 music video, digipak and advert allowing me to better understand the (digital technologies and post-production techniques etc….) necessary for producing a professional quality product.

Using Conventions of Real Media Texts

Standard
Using Conventions from Real Media Texts:
 
Think about the different types of texts you have looked at:
  • Magazines
  • Film Trailers
  • Music Videos
  • Album Covers
How did you find the conventions for these texts?
Did this process get easier as you progressed through the course?
Think of the different ways these conventions were applied in your own work:
  • Editing
  • Photography
  • Font
  • Layout
  • Mode of Address
  • Camera Angles
  • Characters
  • Lighting

How did your ability to use and understand conventions develop over the 2 years?

Were you able to experiment with the conventions?
Did your ability to recognise them increase?
Did your ability to apply them to your work increase?
How did this affect the quality of your end products?

Post Production

Standard
Post-Production:
 
Think about the different ways you have used Post-Production techniques over the course:
  • Editing Photographs
  • Editing/Creating Fonts
  • Editing Filmed Footage
  • Adding Transitions/Effects
  • Adding a Soundtrack/Voice over
How have your skills in the use of Post-Production techniques developed over time?
Have you become more confident?
Have you been able to experiment more because of this confidence?
What effect has this had on the overall quality of your production?

Research and Planning

Standard
Research and Planning:
 
Think about the different types of research and planning you have done throughout the 2 years:
  • Researching real media texts
  • Looking at previous students work
  • Looking at codes and conventions
  • Research into theories
  • Mock ups
  • Audience feedback
How have your skills in research and planning developed over the 2 years?
Are you now more efficient with your research and planning?
Have you learnt to better apply your research and planning to your product?

 

Creativity

Standard
Creativity:
 
Think about the creative decisions you have made throughout the course:
  • Photography
  • Layout
  • Font
  • Masthead design
  • Editing
  • Camera Angles
  • Blog technology
How have these developed from AS to A2?
Did you find yourself becoming more creative as your confidence grew?

Digital Techology

Standard

Digital Technology:

Think about the software you used when completing each of these units:

Photoshop
InDesign
Final Cut

  • How did your skills in using this software develop from AS to A2?
  • Are you now more confident using this software?
  • What effect has this confidence had on the quality of your final product?

Think about the hardware you used when completing each of these units:

Digital SLR’s (Still image/Photographs)
SD Camera’s (Moving Image)
DV Camera’s (Moving Image)

  • How did your skills in using this hardware develop from AS to A2?
  • Where you able to experiment with different camera angles/lighting techniques?

Think about your blogging skills and the online programmes you used for this:

WordPress
Prezi
Slideshare
YouTube etc…

  • How did your skills in using these online progammes develop from AS to A2?
  • Are you more confident with using them?
  • Have you been able to experiment with different programmes and ways of presenting your work?

Level 4 – Research and Planning Answer

Standard

Describe the ways in which your production work was informed by research into real media texts and how your ability to use such research for production developed over time.

1a) Over the two year media course we had to produce both a foundation portfolio of a school magazine and music magazine as well as an advance portfolio of a horror teaser trailer, film magazine – developing foundation skills further and a poster to advertise our trailer.

In the first year we researched existing music magazines and analysed each one so that we could gain knowledge of particular layouts, fonts and key elements that need to be contained in our production to make it successful. Research and planning allowed us to recognise ‘mastheads’ on magazines as being the most important and therefore the need to focus on a font more detailed to keep continuity with the contents page and double page spread which we also had to create.

Personally I researched ‘Rock’ magazines such as Kerrang, NME and others because I had chosen after carrying out a questionnaire to use Rock music as my theme. The real life media texts allowed me to visualise my favourite parts from each magazine – ripped sticker graphics and broken font on my own work which I then attempted to recreate within Photoshop CS4. In year 1 we were limited to what we could research because magazines were the only theme however, in the second year I was able to develop my ability to research real life media texts much further because we had a range of products we needed to create all under the ‘horror’ genre this time. I was able to research teaser trailers analysing my favourite and least favourite parts allowing me to plan with a mood board which I produced from a range of stills from previous horror films my ideas for my own trailer which helped me to develop my production of my products in relation to real life media texts and techniques such as restricted narration and handheld camera found in the ‘Blair Witch Project’ trailer which inspired my trailer ‘Laquem’ which is also set in the woods. Research into film documentaries like the ‘American Nightmare’ inspired me to create a product which reinforced fear and went against usual horror conventions to make it more interesting. Over the second year research became so important to achieving a product which was realistic and is now like my own distributed on YouTube as a real life media text of its own.

Real life media texts like advertising film posters were able to help me develop my Photoshop skills further because I was able to push myself with the ‘colour burn’ filters and want to create the scary atmosphere of my trailer from just an image and text which I found really fun.

Research into film magazines allowed me to develop my work from AS level so much further because I was able to produce a high standard piece of work in two weeks this year when the magazines took over 3 months last year which shows how much my skills have improves just by being able to constantly refer back to real life media texts for inspiration and even colour schemes that work well together such as black and red which in the first year I just found experimenting with. Research into horror trailers allowed me to recognise different styles of film and how we like Alfred Hitchcock could be an auteur creating new angles and ideas using generic conventions as well as unconventional representations that I have picked upon when watching films and analysing certain techniques which I have then attempted to do in Final Cut Pro when editing certain shots together to create collision cutting and changes in pace which my trailer does extremely well. I was inspired initially by the hand held camera in the trailer REC and the fact I want as an auteur to change the stereotyped representations to be able use a female psycho killer.

Research also allowed me to produce text and inter-titles that shook in order to capture my audience but narrating the story slightly so the shots when together made sense. Research into types of camera movements needed were really helpful and allowed me to completely change the pace with tracking shots and handheld camera which I noticed was used in Silent Hill and American Werewolf in London which I analysed and placed on my blog for reference as some pieces of footage I wanted to recreate including the final girl representations.

EAA 8/10
EG 8/10
T 4/5
(20/25)