Media Studies Course Overview

MS Course breakdown Grid

Year 12 Genre Work

Identify a genre (you must cover at least 4 different genres – one of which should be British social realism)

Find a movie trailer for a film of that genre

Embed the trailer on your blog write underneath about what genre characteristics you have identified in terms of camerawork, editing, sound and mise-en-scene.

You should also identify conventions in the following areas:

  • characters
  • gender roles
  • themes
  • locations
  • iconography
  • title sequences

To help you identify shot types and editing you should also pick one trailer to do a hand sketched storyboard of.


In small groups you should agree on a genre and go out and film shots and sequences typical of that genre. Edit them with sound track on Adobe premiere.

You should also make a ‘genre spoof’ by downloading a trailer from YouTube and re-editing it on premiere to give it different genre characteristics e.g. by slowing down and putting romantic music over an action sequence. You should them upload this film to your blog.

Year 12 into Year 13

A warm welcome back to year 12!

In your lessons you will be exploring the concept of genre, analysing the characteristics of different movie genres and recreating these yourself on video in preparation for your Advanced portfolio work – A promotional package for a new movie including a trailer, poster and  cover of a film magazine. You will be recording your progress on your new A2 Blogs.


AS Film Industry Revision Sheet

G322 Part B Case Study Revision

Ideally you should have a broad overview of the film industry and an awareness of the latest films coming out and who won Oscars etc. However if you’re just looking for a revision ‘crib sheet’ here it is:

Revision for G322 part B (45 mins to write)

The questions you must independently research and be ready to answer:

  • What kind of films do Working Title make?
  • What kind of films do Warp make?
  • What types of problems caused by ownership (money) do film companies Working Title and Warp Films have to deal with nowadays?
  • How do Working Title and Warp films work together with other companies, and use different parts of the company, in making and promoting films as well as getting them to the audience? (synergy)
  • How do Working Title and Warp Films use new equipment and digital media to make, promote and show their films to an audience?
  • How important is it for Working Title and Warp Films, and for you the audience, that there are loads of ways to see films?
  • How important for Working Title and Warp Films is it that things like phones, computers, iPads, etc. can be used for lots of different things – especially watching films on? (cross media convergence)
  • What problems do massive global companies (and WTF and Warp) have in getting their films seen by a British audience?
  • What is it like for you when you go to the cinema, download a film, watch one any other way? How are you targeted by global media conglomerates and WTF and Warp?



  • Discuss the issues raised by an institution’s need to target specific audiences within a media industry which you have studied.
  • Discuss the ways in which media products are produced, and distributed to audiences, within a media area, which you have studied.
  • How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences within a media area which you have studied?
  • “Media  production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  • What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?
  • Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen area.
  • “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?
  • To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the media are you have studied?


Your case studies are Working Title and Warp films.

Working Title in more detail.

An exemplar essay from last summer.  Caroline Reed AS


Vertical Integration – where a studio owns all stages of a films production, distribution and exhibition.

The Paramount Decree 1948 – Tried to put a stop to vertical integration (movie studios had to sell off their cinema chains)

Conglomerates – a collection of diverse companies (usually with an overall owner) not bound by common activity or product, but often reinforcing even promoting each others interests.

Oligopoly – the control of the market for a particular product by a small group of companies e.g. the hollywood film industry: Disney, Universal, Warner etc

Horizontal integration – where companies develop by buying companies in the same section of the market.

Technological convergence refers to the process where new technology is moving towards single platforms delivering multiple media outputs that can be used to reach audiences, for example, a PS3′s primary function is video gaming but you can download and watch movies from on it and also watch catch up TV and music videos.

Convergent technology is technology that allows an audience to consume more than one type of media from a single platform.

Lots of aspects of the internet e.g. social networking, YouTube, online editions of newspapers and magazines are convergent but candidates cannot quote the internet as the sole aspect of their answer. The answer needs to be linked into the media area you are talking about (Film). E.g if talking about film, candidates could, for example, point to facebook campaigns advertising a film or viral marketing spread via the internet.

Digital projection is convergent technology because films that are produced digitally have moved away from the physical film medium and can be supplied to theatres in digital format (lower costs for distribution versus higher start up costs for theatres switching to digital technology). As the film is in digital format there are also cost savings as potentially less work needs to be done on the film to get it onto Blu-Ray, DVD, internet trailers etc as no physical conversion needs to take place because the film is already in digital format.

Cross Media Convergence is really a Business Studies term and refers to companies coming together vertically or horizontally (or both). The example often cited in exams is of Working Title making use of its parent company(s) to gain access to bigger stars and a better distribution network for their films.

Synergy basically means working together to achieve an objective that couldn’t be achieved independently. Cross-media convergence can help with synergy if companies are wise enough to take advantage of the links they have forged. Disney is an obvious example of a synergistic company from the top down from Film Studio to Kids’ TV Channel (where it further plays and promotes its films) to the Disney Store (in the street and online) where your kids can pester you to buy all the merchandise and DVDs/CDs they’ve seen on the TV/Web or in the cinema.

Synergy – using a range of diverse companies to promote a single product e.g. Warner – spiderman film and ride in theme park.

Disney’s Pirates of the Carribean started out as a ride in a theme park then promoted throughout Disney’s conglomerate including in Disney stores.

WTF used synergy to promote The Boat That Rocked through web site and music CD/download/playlists.

Viral campaigns

Cross Media Convergence -  We no longer live in a world where TV, phones, films, games exist seperately on seperate devices.


AS revision tips

After you have answered the questions on the ‘film industry overview’ tab you can look at previous essay answers

scroll down this page to find previous papers written by students in exams.

Beware that while all answers are for the ‘TV drama’ in section A some have not answered ‘film industry’ in section B.

Y12 Media Theory 24th April

LO: To recap how characters are represented through editing

Follow the link.

Read the article, watch the clips and make notes

We will then watch an unseen clip apply what we have learned and analyse representation through editing.

**Revision lessons for y12 and y13**

This is what you should be doing in your lessons this term:

Y12 Practical: Film Industry Revision – ensure you answer all the questions in the Film Industry Overview. Remember it is up to you to develop your case studies and support them with details and examples.

Y12 Theory: TV Drama Revision - we will recap TV drama and set a number of practise essays. We will cover any of the possible categories of representation we may have missed. The categories are: Gender, Age, Social class/status, Ethnicity, Sexuality, Ability/Disability, Regional Identity.

Y13 Practical: Exam section A Q1 (a) You should research and write 4 essays which refer to how you have used your CREATIVITY with regards to DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH AND PLANNING, POST PRODUCTION AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIA TEXTS. You will need to have 4 possible essays ready to write during the exam for which you only get 30 mins. You should look at creative theorists and have a quote from one of them in each essay.

Y13 Theory: Exam section A Q1 (b) You should research and write 4 essays which evaluate one of your productions with reference to a media theory. The possible theories are: Genre, Narrative, Representation, Audience and Media Language. You should look at media theorists and have a quote from one of them in each essay. You will need to have 5 possible essays ready to write during the exam for which you only get 30 mins.

and Exam Section B Postmodern Media

Prezi fail and missed deadlines.

Many of you have used prezi’s in your evaluations. These look awful and are not embedded properly so the marker has to wait ages for them to load. To improve your marks you should remove the prezi and simply repost the text and images on your blog post. Anything you can do to improve your presentation and help the marker will get you more marks.

Several of you have failed to post your coursework and/or evaluations on time and as a result your grade has been badly affected, in some cases resulting in and Ungraded mark.

If you know you did not submit your work by the deadline you must contact me immediately to explain why I should give you any more time to submit your work.

We are moderating work immediately after the easter break and sending off marks imminently.

Audience research and evaluation tips.

1.What is recommended for audience research for AS/A2? How can this be presented? Should we discourage the numerous questionnaires approach?
The practice of students giving out questionnaires and putting all the returned examples in their evidence has been discouraged for a long time. The main problem with this approach is not the survey method per se but the limited nature of the questions and the claims made for the responses. For example, asking ten fellow students their favourite genre of film, finding that seven out of ten say ‘horror’ and then using that to justify making a horror film opening as a result. Audience research is more productive if it addresses the following:

·      What do real audiences consume?
·      Who are the specific audiences for particular products?
·      How do media industries target those audiences?

Those questions require research of a different kind to the local questionnaire method; initial research online looking for data about the industry students are dealing with, such as box office figures for films or circulation figures for magazines would be a good starting point. Part of research involves looking for examples of how marketing works across a range of media- for films this includes considering posters, trailers and their selling points, for example.

Later audience research should be considered in a series of stages, each involving formative qualitative feedback. So, for example:

·      Pitching the product to the rest of the group and taking feedback, noting the responses from this and deciding how to act as a result.
·      Showing early drafts of the work (such as an animatic of the storyboard or a mock up front cover) and asking some carefully framed questions about them to get a sense of the audience’s understanding of the product rather than just a measure of whether the audience liked it.
·      Taking peer feedback at later stages and then again on the finished product; asking things like “can you tell me what happened in that sequence, what the relationship between the characters is and what do you think will happen in the rest of the film?” to look for audience readings of the work. ‘

These approaches can be presented in a variety of ways- video extracts with framing commentary from the makers; audio, written. All would help move away from the pie chart of responses model which tends to be fairly unproductive.

Deadine of 11th April applies to all students, even those going in the ski trip!