3 December 2011

JANUARY 2012 SESSION: Dear Moderator,

Here are the links to our students' blogs for this session.

This year, we opted for individual blogs only to make the assessment fairer -so no group blogs.

Omar Paracha opted to work individually whilst other students worked in pairs and one group as a trio. Because of a bigger class this year, and lack of computers, we could not ask students to do an individual edit of the music video. So...


Omar Paracha [6336] - working on his own.
Omar's blog


Devki Mistry [6144] and Shreyaa Pattni [6190] - working as a pair on their music video and ancillary tasks:
Devki's blog
Shreyaa's blog


Yasmin Amey [6010] and Khushel Valji [6258] - working as a pair on their music video and ancillary tasks:
Yasmin's blog
Khushel's blog


David Hanley [6324] and Hemal Govind [6067] - working as a pair on their music video and ancillary tasks:
David's blog
Hemal's blog


Raju Patel [6183] and Nimesh Devshi [6047] - working as a pair on their music video and ancillary tasks:
Raju's blog
Nimesh's blog


Joshua Stewart [6238], Manan Vekaria [6264] and Matthew Mountford-Brock [6157] - working as a trio on the rough cut of their music video, then splitting to create 2 edits of the music video with Matthew creating his own final cut whilst Josh and Manan finished theirs together. They worked as a trio on the ancillary tasks.
Joshua's blog
Manan's blog
Matthew's blog

Evaluation ideas to keep you busy and inspired

Time to clutch the remaining 20 marks!

Please do have a look at Hasina's and Chloe's evaluations from last year ( links below and on lthe left hand side).

This is another way of dealing with audience feedback - Remember to get as much feedback as possible on your 3 products then evaluate what they say. Even better, have a few questions ready for them to answer (see second link below for examples)

Videoed response to Question 3:

Another good blog:

And another:


28 November 2011


Please complete your Vernallis analysis and make sure all audience research and feedback is posted. (see post below)

If you've lost your Evaluation packpack, you can find a copy here:
UPDATED Music Video Evaluation Tasks

16 November 2011

URGENT - Feedback, audience research, Vernallis analysis

Make sure you post the feedback you received on Monday. There should be a rough cut of your video on all your blogs by now, even if it is only a section of the final video.

Your ancillary tasks must be individual so if you have done the rough draft as a group, remember to finish it off on your own, mentioning the feedback received so far and how you've acted upon it.

Show your work to as many members of your target audience as possible, post polls and other interactive ways you're conversing with your audience.

Finally, most of you need to finalise your audience research posts, including clips from interviews etc. Questionnaires and their results are ok but not sufficient. Check out websites and sales numbers for similar artists and what their audiences are like.

Use the pod whenever you can to work on your edit - Ideally, you would be fine-tuning it at this stage!

Finally, make sure you complete an analysis of a similar video using the Carole Vernallis analysis template and apply Vernallis to your own video, even if it's not finished.


11 November 2011

3 weeks left...

Seems like a good time to remind you to use your guidance packs, particularly the Evaluation section!

Can I remind you once again that the 4 evaluation questions are:
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Assessment: to achieve Level 4 in Evaluation, you are expected to demontrate excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:
- understanding of the forms and conventions used in the productions.
- understanding of the role and use of new media in various stages of the production.
- understanding of the combination of main product and ancillary texts.
- understanding of the significance of audience feedback.
- choice of form in which to present the evaluation.
- ability to communicate.
- use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation.

Here is a example of a level 4 blog (a bit weaker on the Evaluation, particularly question 4, where the focus should really be on Creativity):

6 November 2011

PC2, deadlines and admin

Finalising PC2 grades today. Please look through previous posts to catch up on missing work (that's for several of you...)

Reminder - 4 weeks left to go for this project (2nd December) - that includes all editing, ancillary tasks and in-depth creative evaluation posts. Use your sheets / grids to make sure you cover everything.

Monday 14th November - presentation of your rough cut - period 4. Class feedback will have to be carefully recorded for your evaluation. You need to make maximum use of the Media pod next week to get that rough cut done. I'll be in there as much as I can. James will be there in his usual slot on Tuesday lunchtime.

Finally, a bit of a reminder / moan: When returning equipment, you need to update the "Release of Equipment" form you signed when borrowing it. If anything is missing, the last person who signed for it will be held responsible.
The sheets are kept in evidence on the wall in the usual plastic wallet. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU COMPLETE ALL RELEVANT PAPERWORK.

31 October 2011

Homework due Monday 7th November

1. Post a mock magazine advert to your blog. *Remember to think about genre and audience and all of the conventions we spoke about in the lesson.
2. Post an analysis of at least one magazine advert relevant to your own advert to your blog.

21 October 2011

Research Task - Record label

Make sure you post your research on who would produce and distribute your artist and why.

20 October 2011

UPDATED - Digipak template and research

For your CD digipack template, shown above, go to;

media drive/media resources/CD COVER PHOTOSHOP TEMPLATES/ digipak 6 panel new.psd

Now improve your research - most of you only have pictures of digipak so far... Please create some interesting analysis... a quick video... a YouTube annotated series of pictures... something!
This one is a little slow but tries hard to be detailed:
This one considers the whole promotional package... Get inspired!

19 October 2011

Check out the competition for early planning...

Reception Theory - preferred, negotiated, oppositional readings

First, a student's handy revision presentation:

Reception Theory - an outline

Uses and Gratifications Theory

Uses and Gratifications

Reminder: Use your booklets for Reference materials and exemplars

For example, this is the example of a shot list I've already provided...
More help... Analysing CD covers and Digipaks - You need to do so in more depth:

Help with... Promoting a Band:

17 October 2011

Inspiration - Effects in music videos

I need to see a little more evidence that you are researching similar products / other videos to find inspiration from, particularly in the mise-en-scene, style and effects. (See mark scheme for Research and Planning - first point)
Remember that we have an extensive playlist on the YouTube channel
I have found a great post from another centre featuring some more interesting videos to learn from:

The Wretch 32 video below use stencilling, depth of field and reflections to good effect:

This Ellie Goulding video uses vintage colour, bokeh and depth of field.

Bokeh effect:

Use of Cyanotype:

Cross Process and stunning colour corrector:

Use of text:

Now look at this student's video - Several of you are using a male and female characters... Look at the lovely framing, particularly when she is walking on the beach at the start and when we see his first close-up.

Plus lots of other effects!

16 October 2011

Monday's lesson (17.10.11) and Shotlists/Storyboards deadline

As you were told last week, should you want to do a photo shoot for your digipak or a bit of filming in school, you can use some of Monday's lessons to do so, provided you can show Mr Molloy your planning for it. Shotlists and Storyboards should really be finalised by the end of the lesson if you haven't yet finished them, and the evidence uploaded to blogs.

An animatic would be a welcome addition; I showed you some from Hurtwood that you can find on their YouTube channel.

If you haven't posted all this (shotlists/storyboards) by Wednesday night at the latest, you'll need to come back at lunch on Thursday to get it done, and if necessary after school.

15 October 2011

SET 15.10.11 Planning - storyboard and shotlist and ancillary tasks

Shotlists and storyboards need to be posted as soon as possible.
You must also post the pre-production work I know you've been doing - sequences, annotated lyrics, costumes and props, locations ...
You need as much evidence of planning as possible on your blog.

Here is a link to examples of album covers and their respective magazine adverts. I'll be adding a few more shortly.
Many of you haven't yet posted your rough digipak design. Please do so. You will be investigating mag adverts after half term but do look at these models now.

Finally, this is an example of a STUDENT'S EVALUATION of their project. It is not perfect but gives you some idea of how much RESEARCH should be done.

6 October 2011

UPDATED: Representation in your music video and planning your shoot

1. REPRESENTATION: Write about Representation in your music video (at least about your intentions) focusing on your artist and on gender representations, or maybe representation of youth (Josh, Mathhew, Manan).
Don't forget to read again the article we looked at in class on representation of women in music videos [Friendly advice if you want to do well next week]
And here's the Prezi I mentioned on representations of masculinity - plenty of ideas here to get you writing.
Remember to mention the conventional representation of gender for your music genre then comment on how far you will be conforming to these conventions in your own video.

Prezi on Representation of Masculinity

2.PLANNING: Meanwhile, make sure that you act on all the things you've planned to do today.
Get on with your planning: costumes, props, locations, schedule, shot list, storyboard.

MAKE SURE THAT YOUR SHOOTING SCHEDULE IS IN PLACE ASAP - test shoots and some of your shoot should happen next week, over half-term and possibly extra shoot in the week after half-term. You will start uploading and editing in the first week back after half-term so you need some footage!

- Audience: Many of you are still missing some basic information about your target audience. This is an early entry from last year: Chloe's early audience research
Of course, all the research you are conducting should be there too, either confirming or reappraising your early findings.

- Similar products: you need to continue studying the conventions of similar artists / videos, using Goodwin AND Vernallis , and many screengrabs for ideas on how to shoot / style /edit your video.

Use the pod when you can and email or see me if there's any problem/question.

30 September 2011

Research and Planning

You all know that there are many things to have in place by next week. Target audience research and questions of representation, moodboard, wordle of initial ideas and picture of your ideas on sugar paper done in class, annotated lyrics... You should also be looking for suitable location. If you haven't yet posted your pitch, it should be there too on your blog. If you're planning on holding auditions or have already found your actors, post that too. Any research on costumes, props etc... Should start appearing too. Email if you're unsure but make sure you make good use of all reference materials first.

Some of you only have one Goodwin analysis; you should have a minimum of 3, preferably of videos / artists similar to your chosen one. Bring a hard copy of your best one for your assessment book.
Look at this student's detailed analysis of a music video:

You need to invest the time! Good luck.


22 September 2011

Research and planning your pitch

It was lovely seeing so many of you finally finding your feet and getting down to business this morning. There is a huge task ahead so make sure you keep the momentum going.
Next Thursday, your group will be presenting your pitch. Look at last year's examples(Hasina amongst others) and look at the guidance document I will be posting below tomorrow. Remember to focus your research on target audience and similar artists/products. Look at the mark scheme to ensure your cover all areas.
It will also be my last chance to amend your PC1 as it's the deadline then for entering them on the system!

Please also make sure you watch music videos from your chosen director in preparation for next Monday's lesson. Watch the DVDs and/or the playlists on the YouTube channel.

Good luck everyone. Keep on top of things and find me or email me if you have any problem or question.

PS: Don't forget to post your Transforming into a Star task.

The Pitch - Examples

Look for more!

12 September 2011

Star Makeover Task on Monday 19th September

In the lessons on Monday 19th September you will be transforming one of your group members into a generic star. Please make sure you bring in any materials necessary for this, e.g., costumes, props, make-up, etc. You will need a name for your star and "before" and "after" makeover shots. You will need to be able to discuss how your star's image reflects his/her genre; what is his/her target audience; with what other "real-life" artists your star is associated; in what format his/her music is released; and to what record label he/she would be signed. You could also outline a video for one of your star's singles. Take a look at "The Transformation of Komal" on Hasina's blog last October if you want some inspiration - though you don't necessarily have to do a Prezi; you can present your makeover in another format. NB You don't need to finish the task for Monday 19th - you will be doing it in the lessons. 

Homework: The Evolution of a Star

Trace the evolution of a star's image as presented through their videos. Some good examples would be Madonna, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Britney Spears, George Michael, Avril Lavigne or even Lady Gaga. You should look at how the evolution of the star's image reflects changes in the star's life, music, record company, or a desire for a new or wider audience. Analyse and annotate screengrabs from videos. Due Monday 19th September.

10 September 2011

To complete for next Thursday

- For those who haven't caught up, catch up. See previous posts (below) to see breakdown of tasks, including artist's website analysis. Failure to do so will result in a Cause for Concern letter, I'm afraid, and catch up on Friday.

- You need to complete your Goodwin analysis started in class. See your packs for the details but here are the headings you can use:
Conventions of music Video/Promo (Goodwin)

There is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals (with the visuals either illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics)
• There is a relationship between the music and the visuals (again with visuals either illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics)
• Particular music genres might have their own music video style and iconography (such as live performance in heavy rock, urban settings for rap)
• There is a demand on the part of the record company for lots of close ups of the main artist/vocalist, and to sustain the established or ‘required’ star-text (see below) – videos must sell the music
• The artist may develop their own star iconography, in an out of their videos which over time becomes their star image.
• There is likely to be reference to voyeurism, particularly in the treatment of women, but also in terms 'in looking' e.g. screens within screens.
• There are likely to be intertexual references, either to other music video, films or TV texts, either in the form of pastiche, parody or homage.

- You must write a post explaining the pros and cons of your top two or three potential tracks. Embed the tracks. Post lyrics or at least bring them to the lesson. See previous posts for links to exemplars or just flick through last year's students' blogs. We will finalise track choices and groups next week.
NB: You can use bullet points instead - pros / cons
Conclude with your winner.

To prepare for next lesson, you can read through your pack of reference materials, focusing on what Carole Vernallis says about music videos conventions.

Aim high; work hard.

1 September 2011

Welcome back and get posting... UPDATED

Special mention to Khushel for her great work on the blog. Please complete work before we meet again.

Learn lessons from last year. Most of you who got a C lost the marks on coursework... You did do brilliantly in the exam though! Conclusion: Build those marks through research/planning and evaluation posts. It is a subject where the split coursework/exam is 50-50!
See previous posts for details of what to do and bring folders to next week's lessons.

Looking forward to the year ahead :)

11 July 2011

Summer tasks- Advanced Portfolio

1. Complete the research task on an artist's website (MySpace or other) set last week - No one had time to complete it.

2. Select your tracks - please see your guidance booklet. Blog pros / cons, details of the artist, signed / unsigned, initial ideas etc...
Look here for ideas:
Example: Possible tracks post(s) (though it doesn't have to be in just one post - could be as you go...)
When you come back, you must have a short selection of possible tracks and will be sharing this with the class. MAKE SURE YOU PROVIDE THE TRACK: Embed the mp3 for example - you could use soundcloud.com or embed a player with your selection of 2-4 tracks.

3. Complete at least 2 analyses of music videos using Goodwin's points as sub-headings (some of you have already done one in the last lesson)
Example 1: Analysis of Rihanna - Disturbia (using Goodwin's Ideas)
Example 2: Analysis of Marina and the Diamonds- Oh No

4. Watch as many past students' videos as possible - select a few to embed and write a comment (or a few notes)on - this might be features you like or don't like and some screengrabs of interesting shots. GATHER AS MANY IDEAS AS POSSIBLE NOW.
PHM YouTube Playlist - other schools' videos

5. Watch as many varied videos as possible, embed some / screengrabs interesting ideas + few bullet points to comment.
Park High Media YouTube Playlist - Range of music videos plus playlists focusing on important directors (Jonze, Williams, Fincher, Gondry etc.): Playlists.

6. You could start your CD cover / digipak research now. Hit the shops and look at your own collection... Prepare a collage of interesting CD covers.

EXTRA - CHECK OUT: http://www.bbc.co.uk/introducing and also there on Twitter (bbc.co.uk/introducing We support unsigned, undiscovered & under the radar musicians No need to Tweet us links, just upload your tunes at bbc.in/Uploader)
[last year's] BBC Norfolk Music Video Festival

This year's BBC Music Video Festival Facebook page - some fantastic videos!

Finally, if you don't subscribe to COUP online magazine yet, you really should! Great article this month: "The Soap Girls - A Branding Exercise"

Have a great summer. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter - we mainly send relevant links for your Exam units: start reading about We Media, Online Age and Media Regulation (SO MUCH ON THAT AT THE MOMENT!!!)

30 June 2011

Work to be completed in lieu of today's triple - to be completed by next Thursday

1. Evaluation of your prelim tasks so far (see below) - It's Reflective writing preparing you for the first section of the exam as well as counting towards the Research section of your coursework (you will add relevant screengrabs and upload the tasks that are not there yet next week)

2. You should analyse at least 2 more of your favourite videos with screengrabs (total of 3 by next Thursday - see guidance provided on worksheet - embedded below in a previous post; look also at some of Matthew's and Yasmin's analyses for some ideas). Aim for different types of videos (and possible music genres)

3. Explore / research / report and evaluate the MySpace page or website of a band you like, with appropriate links and grabs. What content do you find? What evidence of branding and positioning can you find? Is the music genre of the artist made obvious through the design?

4. Complete all the work that is missing from your blog so far - several of you have already fallen behind.

Evaluation Questions for prelim tasks:
- What skills have you developed through completing the preliminary tasks? (4 tasks for most, 3 for some - animal costumes, lip synch / your song, advanced effects with footage from either of the above, Radiohead mash-up)
BE SPECIFIC and refer to techniques used during filming AND POST-PRODUCTION, i.e. editing (you will illustrate with grabs from vids and FCE timelines)

- What are you most happy with in your lip synching task and why? Whay would you have done differently in hindsight?

- What are your "favourite bits" from some of the other groups' videos and why? Illustrate where possible (though not all have been embedded in blogs yet)

While you're at it, look at the Gateway blog to keep up with changes at MySpace and see below:

28 June 2011

Keep up to date with the music industry

FIve minutes to spare? You could do worse than taking a peek at Music Biz Academy.com, read the updates and explore the links on the side such as
Guerrilla Marketing Tips
Music Marketing Plan
Yes, it is a US site... The link is also on the right under Useful Links.

Understanding key marketing terms - thinking of the audience

I have found this PPT which I know will turn out to be VERY useful when you look more closely at audiences and marketing strategies. Have a quick look for now then ask yourself: 'Can I explain the terms "segmentation", "targeting", "differentiation" and "positioning" to someone else?'

Source: Michael Cloke's page

Another example of a good blog

This one is uneven in places but also contains strong posts:
Alexander's blog

24 June 2011

Independent study and work due in

Well done to those of you who have completed all prelim tasks! They look fabulous so far.

- Research and Factfile on album releases to be completed for Monday. I will collect your handout / factfile on Monday at the start of the lesson. The aim is to demonstrate your understanding of the industry and the varied marketing strategies used to promote a new album. Use examples to illustrate. (This is for assessment - will go in your book)

- Use worksheet to complete the second task properly - analysis of your favourite music video with grabs and comments. Do at least 1 for Thursday.

- One group is really behind and will need to find the time to use the pod BEFORE next Thursday to complete at least a minute of their Lip synch task. You will show some of your work in the first lesson.

Any question, let me know ASAP - NOT the night before.

You should also start checking out the competition from other centres. I have saved some music videos from other schools on the YouTube channel. Click here and look through the playlist.

For example, take a look at this amazing one - Got full marks for the main task (ie. the video = 40 marks out of 100)

1 May 2011

June session: Dear Moderator,

Here is the work of Evangelia Zanettou (candidate number - 5324):

Evangelia's individual blog

Group 2 blog

Having started the course later than her peers, it was decided that she would be entered for the summer session. She did work as part of a group for some of the planning and for the filming. As with all the other students, she created her own edit of the music video and her own ancillary texts.

30 April 2011

Research- Album Release

Quick Assessment - most of you still have a bit to complete for Thursday.
See emailed details.
Copy of the Research worksheet:
Research Task - Album Release

Winners of first edit task

Well done, Harshiv and Keval! Fantastic job!
See them here:
Harshiv's version
Keval's version

PS: Harshiv had a good instinct: upload to YouTube first then embed - such better quality. We can do it for you through ParkHighMedia YouTube channel or get your own channel. Do put a title on all your posts though and start labelling now (here you could use the label Preliminary Task)
(Keval, change the title of your post; it will be confusing later on otherwise)
You can also upload to Tumblr to share your videos more easily - details on that next week.
Park High Media Tumblr

Essential Research - Choosing a Track and other initial research

You will be expected to come back in September with a selection of 2 to 4 titles so that you we can discuss them and agree.
Your selected track must conform to the following:
- it should have plenty of scope for creativity;
- it must be available as a digital download or CD, and have been mixed and recorded to a high standard;
- it must NOT have been promoted successfully (in the last 10 years) by a professional music video;
- it must be clearly identifiable as a genre / sub genre;
- it must have a clearly definable audience;
- it must be suitable for public broadcast so no swearing, no sexually aggressive language / imagery, no drug-related lyrics.

PS: MySpace is full of new artists who have a webpage very much like the one you might choose to do as one of your ancillary tasks. Start searching here for instance.
You could also investigate less well-known song covers. See links on the right.

Chart everything on your individual blog:
- research potential tracks - link them to your blog; explain why they would be good choices and what the bad points might be (see above);
- research into similar products (artists and record labels, album covers, artists' websites, music videos, artists' looks/ fashion and iconography)
- exploration and analysis of the forms and conventions of similar products
- research target audience for existing artists / videos / music genres, particularly the ones you're interested in.