A2 Media Studies Question 1A

Here are my notes on Question 1A of the OCR Media Studies exam. I hope this will show you what examples to gather on your AS and A2 coursework.

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Question 1A

Here is a rough essay plan to go by in the media exam.

- An intro on what you did for the foundation portfolio and advanced portfolio.

- Talk about AS coursework and then A2 coursework. (include specific examples)

- Discuss the progression from AS to A2 (comparison)

Typical elements in the Thriller Genre - uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements.

- typical themes include violence and crime by showing the mise-en-scene as dark, corrupt and dangerous, as well as isolation, revenge and death.

- uses literacy devices such as plot twists and cliffhangers.

- typical characters include criminals and stalkers.

- typical settings include cities/suburbs.

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- iconography - confined spaces, guns, alleyways and low lighting.

- typical camera shots include close-ups, POV and extreme shot.

Titles in opening sequence - we used 'shaun of the dead' font, thought it was typical of the genre, as well as being similar to the font in the film.

- our titles reflected the genre by the use of colour of the font being white because we wanted it to stand out and be clearly visible.

Titles in trailer- we used a couple of fonts in our trailer to keep the audience interested as well as reflecting the different reviews from different magazines etc.

- included intertitles such as "from the director of", reviews from magazines, award nominations, coming to cinemas.

- used same font that was used for the film name for the poster because we wanted it to be easily recogniseable to our audience.

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- used a different font for the magazine as we wanted to keep to the style of Little White Lies.

Typical of Thriller - establishing shots are important e.g. establishing shots of the shed to show what the killer is doing in there.

- atmosphere created by the mise-en-scene, music, camera shots e.g. used a dark setting which is typical of the genre and the use of tense music.

Typical of Post-Apocalyptic - establishing shots only show briefly what to expect in the film, whereas in an opening sequence it is focused on more.

- based around a disaster e.g. alien invasion, end of world, typical scenes of destruction e.g. streets, houses.

- filmed through establishing shots of disaster, long shots, mid/wide shots as well as close-ups of characters facial expressions.

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- more characters are shown in trailer than in the opening sequence, due to the trailer having to skim through the best bits of the film.

Digital Technologies used in AS - Internet - used the internet to help us learn more about the thriller genre. Mostly used Youtube to find visual examples, as well as finding some of the soundtrack on there.

- Digital Camera - took recce and filming photos for evidence when writing evaluation, as well as using one of the images for the poster.

- Editing - used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit our footage into an opening sequence. learnt the basics such as how to capture footage, also learnt how to add in and create titles.

Digital Technologies used in A2 - in A2 we used YouTube a lot more for research such as watching previous film trailers and posting our recce photos.

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- Internet - we used the internet a lot more in terms of initial research, looked at a variety of websites including fan sites e.g. roleplayerschronicle.com, to allow us to understand the genre and conventions more.

- Digital Camera - as before in AS we used the camera to take photos for the recce and during filming, as well as using some of the images for the film poster and magazine.

- Social Networking - we didnt use this in AS as much before. Examples include posting our film trailer on Facebook and Twitter in order to promote and get feedback.

- Editing - used Adobe Premiere Pro and developed our skills by learning new effects such as making the font slightly distorted and moving, also got screenshots to post on blog.

- Photoshop - didnt use this in AS, we created magazine and poster. I made the credits by looking on the internet on how to do it, sources include a blog and sighthousefilms.com

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as well as using sharpen and divide effects, in order to give the post-apocalyptic look and feel. also added grunge texture and cement texture and blending them with the poster image.

 How our skills developed in AS - we learnt how to edit in a professional piece of software e.g. never knew how to capture footage before.

- learnt how an opening sequence works e.g. looked at examples on YouTube.

- learnt how hard it was to film each particular shot, due to some stuff being in the way.

- learnt how to set up the camera and tripod, taught how to set up the camera correctly e.g. setting white balance and focus etc. and how to put the camera on the tripod.

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How our skills developed in A2 - learnt a lot more about how a trailer works e.g. did research on looking at how a film trailer is structured by looking at trailers on YouTube and writing about them e.g. how the trailer builds up to a climatic end by using fast paced music, quick cut editing and close-ups.

- Photoshop - by using different effects and methods when creating our magazine and poster. e.g. using two different textures in an image.

- learnt about the process of re-shooting - had to keep on going back to the locations to reshoot some old and new shots in order to make our trailer make sense and catching our target audience (15-19 year olds).

- we learnt about the conventions of a voiceover and how important it is in a trailer. one of our group members did the voiceover.

- we learnt that planning was even more vital in A2 as we had to plan each filming day e.g. where we would shoot and what time by using a shot list and checking we had all the equipment.

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Using digital technologies to be creative (AS) - used photoshop to create film poster. e.g. added the font at the front in the middle and using the magic tool to get rid of white background and a lighting effect to make it stand out.

- taking photos for the recce and during filming and putting them on our blog.

- used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit our opening sequence, added effects to darker scenes by using saturation and contrast.

Using digital technologies to be creative (A2) - used photoshop in order to make magazine and poster creative and suitable for our target audience as well as relating to the genre. used the internet to find textures to use on poster 'deviantart'.

- took photos of filming process and during recce photos to use in magazine and poster as well as putting images on Youtube.

- Adobe Premiere Pro - added effects such as cross fade when the students are walking through the college to show that they were there.

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also changed the colour tone in some of the shots as well as adding sounds and being able to change the pitch and tone.

What research did you do? - (AS) - we looked at production/distribution companies that have previously made thriller films. then we looked at what films under those companies mostly appealed to our target audience.

- Audience - decided for our target audience to be 15-25 year olds. one of the main reasons we did this was due to the age of the characters in the film. we also looked at typical hobbies/activities they do and the places they go to e.g. shopping centre.

- research of forms and conventions - looked at thriller genre by searching the definition on the internet, this moved us on to looking at sub-genres e.g. supernatural thriller. also looked at history by looking at videos on YouTube. also went into detail about Alfred Hitchcock.

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What research did you do? - (A2) - institutional - we looked at many factors to see why our film would be mainstream including looking at typical release dates, awards and how they were marketed, this also included in some instances the same company producing and distributing.

- Audience - did some research into target audience, we looked at how often each age group goes to the cinema both male and female as well as identifying their typical hobbies/activities. also looked at readership and circulation figures for a variety of film magazines e.g. Empire - we found out that most of the audience is male (15-24 year olds).

- research of forms and conventions - researched more into the post-apocalyptic genre. we found out some of the conventions including end of the world, zombies and alien invasions. also did a timeline of how the genre had progressed since it first started. also looked at typical settings including empty streets, green spaces and forest.

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What conventions of real media did you need to know about?- AS - needed to know how to market a film properly and professionally such as using word of mouth and advertisements in public places.

- A2- needed to know how the process of dsitribution worked so we could look into how our trailer could be distributed. not to include knowing the conventions of a magazine and a film poster in which we analysed.

What do you understand by 'post production' in your work? - AS - we used premiere pro to create our opening sequence to our film.

- A2 - post production is the process after planning and shooting or live recording. e.g. we used photoshop and premiere pro to create our products.

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