20 December 2012

Dear moderator,

Here are the links to our students' blogs. They have all completed the brief that asks them to create a promotional music video, a digipak and a magazine advert for that album. The students have worked in pairs to plan and shoot but most have produced their own edit of the music video. Some have produced their own ancillary tasks whilst others collaborated to create them.

Pair 1:
Sharenieka Ketheeswaran - 6113: Sharenieka's blog
Carmela Okofu-Newman - 7145: Carmela's blog

Pair 2:
Mathura Balachandran - 7296: Mathura's blog
Snehal Khimani - 7310: Snehal's blog

Pair 3:
Rahul Horeesorun - 7307: Rahul's blog
Samir Sarwari - Samir's blog

 Pair 4:
Aruran Arulanantham - 7294: Aruran's blog
Aymen Soliman - 7329: Aymen's blog

12 December 2012

28 November 2012

Evaluation ideas to keep you 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)

Also consider doing this:

Videoed response to Question 3:

Another good blog:

And another:

This is a video response to Question 1 but on a different brief. The structure is still excellent.







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):

The following booklet is for guidance. You might have better ideas and be keen to do vlogs instead. That would be fine. AVOID PREZI IF YOU'RE JUST GOING TO STICK TEXT IN IT. THE MODERATORS GOT FED UP WITH THAT LAST YEAR.
OR in this format: UPDATED Music Video Evaluation Tasks

8 November 2012

Digipak work for Friday 9th November

You should be making blog posts on the following:

1. What are the functions and conventions of the album cover? Post a detailed list or illustration of all of the different features of the album cover.
2. Examples of similar artists' album covers - remember to think about genre and audience.
3. Examples on other centres' blogs.

You also need to start designing your own six-panel digipak. Ideally you would have a mock-up posted to your blog by the end of today's double lesson.

Another example of a digipak

Obviously this only has four panels; you should be aiming for six:

7 November 2012

Example of ancillary tasks - Level 4

Have a look at this group's work on ancillary tasks. They achieved level 4.

The magazine advert:

Here is their 6-frame digipack:

24 October 2012

Inspiration - Ancillary tasks

Click to see a good example of the research and planning that should go into your ancilliary tasks: the digipak and magazine advert


And here is the template for your digipak. You can find it on the Media drive in the Digipak folder. You'll need to import it into Photoshop.

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!

Audience Theory - Uses and Gratifications

Uses and Gratifications

Research and Planning

You all know that there are many things to have in placeon your blogs. Target audience research and questions of representation, moodboard, wordle of initial ideas, annotated lyrics, animatic, shot list etc... You should also be looking for suitable location.
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.

Look at this student's detailed analysis of a music video:

You need to invest the time! Good luck.

Example of an ANIMATIC

2 October 2012

Research, Planning, Pitch, Treatment

Next Wednesday you will pitch your ideas to the class for feedback.

You need to have done several things before then. Firstly, agree and post the following as soon as possible if not already done:
1 Who the band/ artist are, their name, their image/ identity (the one you are creating)
2 An outline treatment for your early visual ideas
3 Detail on the target audience
4. The genre of the music and the signifiers of this (within the music and/or linked to the artist)

Your treatment should give a strong sense of the overall style, mise-en-scene, mood and theme of your idea.
There are many things to have in place by next week: 
Target audience research
wordle / brainstorm of initial ideas 
annotated lyrics + timeline

You should be able to discuss your treatment in terms of Goodwin's points (and
if you can, try to reference Vernallis' ideas)

You should also be looking for suitable location. 

If you're planning on holding auditions or have already found your actors, post that too. 
Any research on costumes, props ... (mise-en-scene) should start appearing too. 

Use the reference material you have been given to guide you.

Here are some examples of a good treatment:

You need to get started with some serious audience research as well. Use this to get started:

Then it'll be time for shot list and storyboards.

Star Text - Evolution of a pop star through their videos

Some ideas to help you focus your research. Use this as guidance.
Don't forget to embed relevant videos and lots of screengrabs.
Carmela has made a great start here.

16 September 2012

Home study reminders

Some of you have made a cracking start with your blogs. WELL DONE!

 - All work started so far must be completed including music video analyses.

- Very few have failed so far to complete their evaluation of the prelim tasks. Do it or no lesson for you next week which means you'll be further behind.

- The tracks to choose from are now online in a post below. Listen and choose. Come to the lesson with a preferred track or at least a top 3. Write a short post about your choice(s) and a brief justification / early ideas for the video.

- You should still be looking for inspiration from a range of music videos with lots of screengrabs. There needs to be a lot of visual evidence in your blogs.

- Use the list of tasks you've been given in class to get ahead.

 Remember to bring all handouts so far to your lessons - you will need them.

13 September 2012

Analysis of Music Video Conventions

Task to be done in lessons on Friday 14th September

Pick one of the three videos – all of which feature different female artists. Identify and discuss the conventions of the music video evident in your chosen video. You can present your work as you see fit, e.g., a video voiceover, screengrabs with essay style answers, etc.  

The questions below will guide you:

-          What camera shots are used and why? Long shots? Mid shots? Close ups? ECUs? Try to identify different shot types but also explain why you think these shots are used.

-          Does the camera move? How does it move? Why? Can you identify tilts? Pans? Whip pans? Tracking shots? Crane shots? What is the overall effect of the camera movement? How does the camera movement interact with the music?

-          Is there an overall concept or theme (or even a colour scheme) in the mise-en-scene? Are there any patterns in terms of props, costumes, setting? Is expressive lighting used? What is the overall effect of the mise-en-scene?

-          What kind of editing is used and what effect does it have? Can you identify montage editing, wipes, fades, dissolves, jump cuts, etc.? How does the editing interact with the music? The lyrics? Does the editing give a sense of narrative continuity or not? Why?

-          Is the sound of the song always foregrounded? Are there any changes in the levels of the sound? Is the sound diegetic or non-diegetic?

-          Are there any special effects? What are they? What impact do they have?

-          Is the video intertextual? (In other words, does it contain references to other texts? Other videos? Other musicians? Films? Novels? TV shows?

-          Does the video feature any voyeurism? Does it feature any screens or pictures? At any point do we climb inside the picture or screen or do the characters in the picture or screen climb out?

Tracks to choose from...

Here are the tracks to choose from:

Female artist 1:

Female artist 2:

Female artist 3:

Female artist 4:

Female artist 5:

Female artist 6:

Female artist 7:

Female artist 8:

Male artist 1:

Male artist 2:

Male artist 3:

Male artist 4:

Male artist 5:

Male artist 6:

Male artist 7:

11 September 2012

Amazing student video - full marks

Past work from other centres

You might want to check out some of the music videos produced by other students, for example the ones below from Latymer school. Talk about sharp editing skills! It's an amazing job. (Look at more vids from Latymer here)
Our playlist needs updating but here is more work from other centres.
Here is our playlist to watch a wider range of music videos.

This one from Ringwood got a level 4 last year. It's beautiful. (but embed not working...)

Voodoo Child Presentation

MUSIC VIDEO ANIMATIC - Yas, Ali & Jahmal from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

YASMINE, JAHMAL & ALI - '1234' FINAL VIDEO from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

16 August 2012

Research and tasks to be done for September


1. Complete the  Evaluation of your preliminary tasks (see earlier post)

2. Complete at least 2 analyses of music videos using Goodwin's points as sub-headings.
Example 1: Analysis of Rihanna - Disturbia (using Goodwin's Ideas)
Example 2: Analysis of Marina and the Diamonds- Oh No

3. 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

4. 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 from last year: "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!!!)

AS results... WELL DONE!!!!

We're really pleased withe the results! Well done and now let's look ahead.

If you are continuing at A2, there is research to be done for September. Remember that we enter the coursework for the January session :)

15 August 2012

Liven up your blogs

You all know how to use Prezi and Slideshare but do investigate some of these other tools to make your blog more appealing.

A better alternative to Scribd, try Issuu.

Want to show a timeline of behind the scene shots or other planning? Try Dipity.com

This great tool is perfect for visual planning - an alternative to Glogster. It creates stunning collages.

Finally, remember to post your audience research - use some of these tools or create a vlog as some of you did last year.
In the meantime, do check out UK Tribes if you haven't yet done so to refine your target audience.

8 June 2012

Evaluating the Prelims

Well done most of you for completing your tasks. Some still need to be exported properly. 

 1. You must embed your 2 videos and screengrabs, briefly explaining what you did, what you learn including key techniques in preparation for your future production.

2. Below is a video that includes several extracts from your work and some evaluation questions. Embed the video into your blog and answer them as best you can. Remember to screengrab!!!!
And the first lip synch task to be uploaded (will be saved in the Lipsynch Tasks playlist on the YouTube channel):

7 June 2012


Welcome to the A2 Advanced Portfolio in Media Studies. Ready for the challenges ahead? Of course you are!The Advanced Portfolio 's chosen brief is Music Video.

This will be managed in a similar way as the Foundation Portfolio through a blog which the moderator will then have access to.
Individual blog for:individual (and group-based) research and ideas, reflections and evaluation, planning and production work.
You will get the relevant guidance.

ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES for the coursework:
1. Apply knowledge and understanding when analysing media products and processes and evaluating your own practical work, to show how meanings and responses are created (20 marks)
2. Demonstrate the ability to plan and construct media products using appropriate technical and creative skills (60 marks)
3. Demonstrate the ability to undertake, apply and present appropriate research (20 marks)

The unit requires you to engage with contemporary media technologies, giving you the opportunity to develop in these technologies. It also enables you to develop the skills of presentation that are required for further study at higher levels and in the workplace.

Candidates will produce:
a media portfolio, comprising a main and two ancillary texts
• a presentation of their research, planning and evaluation in electronic format

Brief: A promotion package of the release of an album, to include a music promo video, together with 2 of the following 3 options:
• a website homepage for the band
• a cover for its release on cd
• a magazine advert for the cd
Note: Original imagery, (including publicity stills for the ancillary products) must be included on all products. You are expected to shoot stills specifically for use on your print materials rather than merely relying on extracts from your MV footage.

Assessment: to achieve Level 4 in Research and Planning, you must demonstrate
• excellent research into similar products and a potential target audience
• excellent organisation of actors, locations, costumes and props
• excellent work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding
• excellent time management
• excellent level of care in the presentation of the research and plannning
• excellent skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the presentation
• excellent communication skills

Assessment: To achieve Level 4 in Production you are expected to demontrate excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:
• holding a shot steady, where appropriate
• framing a shot, including and excluding elements where appropriate
• using a variety of shot distances, where appropriate
• shooting material appropriate to the task set
• selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting
• editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer
• using varied shot transitions, captions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task
• using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task

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.

In the evaluation the following questions must be answered:
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?

Where a candidate has worked in a group, an excellent contribution to construction is evident. Differences in the contributions made by individual candidates must be clearly indicated on the teacher marksheets. When marking the production, teachers must focus on the quality of the brand identity across the promotion package as a whole, as well as on the indidvidual productions.

In other words, a lot to think about and lessons to be learnt from last year and along the way.

Enjoy it!

This is not perfect but demonstrates well how to embed technologies and really document your journey over the whole production process.
See Emma's music video blog.

This blog got a top level 4 for research/planning and for evaluation. Do have a look.
Alex's music video blog.


The points below should help you to analyse your chosen videos in a more focused way. Use them to get started. Start building up marks.

  • Music videos work around 3 codes - music, lyrics and iconography. The relationship between these codes is key to understanding how music video work. Take some time looking at whether the video illustrates the lyrics or not, and in which ways, as well as whether the video helps you to understand the lyrics better or not, and in which way. Does the song belong to a particular music genre and does it come across in the video?

  • Music videos are designed to provide pleasure in order to keep the viewer (particularly the intended audience) watching and to encourage repeat viewings. How is it achieved? How are the performers shown? What do YOU LIKE about the video? Can you screengrabs favourite shots and comment?

  • Explain whether the video is primarily performance-based, narrative-based or concept-based, or is it a hybrid? Explore how it is done and presented. Look at Lauryn Hill's Everything is Everything for example.

  • Does the video refer to / draw upon other texts (book, film, other video, advert...)? Is it a parody or tongue-in-cheek video?

Finally, this is an example of evaluation video tackling all 4 questions to give you a feel for the work ahead...

8 May 2012


The following students are submitting their coursework:

Devki Mistry - 6144 - Devki's blog
Shreyaa Pattni - 6190 - Sheyaa's blog

They have worked as a pair on the music video but produced different ancillary tasks.