A level Media Studies support site

A level Media Studies support site
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Thursday, 8 October 2009

G322/3 Key concepts

Any ideas how to approach the area of ethnicity within a multi-cultural classroom? Any ideas for teaching ability/disability, regional identity?

Loads of TV drama has a good range of representation- a good resource is the English and Media Centre TV Drama pack. It is hard to find a TV drama that doesn't provide you with something! From 'Skins' to the soaps, from 'the Street' to the hospital dramas, it's worth keeping a stock or buying a few box sets.

Is it a good idea to set up a thesis before starting the question?

No point- just get on with it!

Can we get marks for individual questions for examined papers from OCR? To know which questions are eliciting stronger responses.

yes if you request the papers back, but you will have to pay a fee for each paper.

Terminology – is it based primarily around technical codes?

no, it's around codes AND representation. Think of terminology as language you wouldn't use if you were talking about the subject with your parents

As a case study would it be viable to compare independent cinema house(s) vs multiplexes?

yes but not on their own, as you need to consider all aspects of the process for a media product, not just the final stages .

Can we have the actual marks for the exemplar essays?

We prefer them to be distributed as examples of particular levels.

Although OCR can’t produce a TV drama compilation on DVD, can anyone suggest some good episodes of programmes available on DVD which they have used.

Suggestions welcomed- e-mail me and I’ll put them on the blog!

Can we have an example of how editing specifically informs representational issues?

We will try tfind something which provides a good illustration and post it here

Can we use soaps or not?

Yes- may not turn up in the exam, but in theory they could. Doesn’t hurt to use them anyway in your teaching.

Does examples refer to examples from the exam text or from examples from programmes studied in class?

Just from the exam text

Is the mark scheme totally separated e.g. could they get full marks for terminology yet only 2/20 for examples


Why is there no markscheme for the exam in the specification?

It is on the OCR website and has been for a long time; a copy was also given out in the INSET pack

How can a student achieve 10 out of 10 for terminology without going OTT?

Using technical terms appropriately and with relevance enables them to access the top band.

Our students are always asking ‘how many terms do I need to get the 10 marks? we explain that they need to use terms across the four technical elements. they then ask how many of each? Is it better to use five terms correctly than use 20 and get a few wrong?

There really is no fixed number, but if they use a couple of terms for each they will be well on their way! Better to use them all correctly, but if they have a go they would not be penalised- marking is positive.
How would you link match on action, eyeline match, shot/reverse shot to issues of representation?

Issues of power in a sequence would make these relevant- how we are positioned as viewers in relation to the characters? how are they positioned in relation to each other are all relevant. A good book on all this is Bordwell and Thompson's 'Film Art'.

we want to use 'Skins' in our teaching- is this ok?

Yes fine

How much representation or narrative theory should a student be expected to apply for the analysis?

Depends what we mean by 'theory'. It is unlikely to be useful to include abstract theory. An understanding of issues around representation would be essential for the exam, but it is not really about application of abstract theory.

Section B

Can we have some resources for section B?

there is now so much material on the web it is hard to know where it stops! James Baker has provided the following links and comments:

changes in the nature of audience behaviour over the past 25 years

UK audience behaviour - research by the UK Flm Council

Patterns of film consumption in the UK

excellent online guide to all aspects of film production, distribution and exhibition

guide for aspiring filmmakers into aspects of distribution and exhibition

use of IMAX in Hollywood feature production

guide to film distribution from the FDA

BFI guide to film distribution and exhibition

Film Council distribution statistics

great, analytical account of Hollywood marketing campaign for the Dark Knight

What does significance of proliferation of hardware mean in relation to film?

It can refer to the changing ways of distribution and exhibition (e.g. digital projectors in cinema, people having mobile devices on which they can watch films, growth of 3D and IMAX) or even changes in production (high quality digital cameras)

I cover 4 case studies, can students refer to as many as this in the exam?


Last summer's section B question frightened off my unsophisticated students. Language like 'technological convergence' is too hard for an exam paper- ok for the spec (for teachers)but not for the students. Please use simpler vocab.

It is legitimate in any subject for any term from the spec content to turn up in the exam. We are careful with difficult non-Media language in the exam, but terms from the spec will come up.

Could a case study for magazines be two large rival firms?

It could, but ensure you cover the seven aspects in relation to them

is it ok to compare Working Title with a genuine UK independent production company e.g. Vertigo films?


Can we see an A grade on newspapers?

We'll try to find one from january and post it here

Can we introduce a choice of questions for section B?

Usually changes to the spec have to go through QCA and this can take a long time. After a full run of the whole spec we will consider whether changes to any papers should be requested.

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