Sunday, 15 May 2011

Clarification of "Exchange"

The term ‘EXCHANGE’ in the spec has worried students and teachers. Here is some help.

The spec says:
‘The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange’

The word exchange was used in the January exam 2011.
Here are some views on what it means from people who know on the OCR forum.

Brief Definition
The way in which texts are not only consumed by media audiences, but the way media audiences interact with media text in the digital age (issues of piracy, technologies, user-distribution/promotion).

In this digital age we can say exchange refers to the ‘converged’ relationship of audience ‘prosumers’ (i.e. those who used to be consumers but who now produce content) and institutions i.e. to what extent do audiences contribute content, that the institution then uses, and that other audiences then consume.

In the newspaper industry the ‘point of exchange’ means transaction between producer and consumer. Below is an extract from some revision notes:

Identifying the precise point of exchange between publisher and reader is interesting in the case of newspapers as they run parallel online and printed content. An online reader might have seen a headline on the website encouraging them to buy the print edition, or have been encouraged to go online by an advert seen in the print version. And with subscription models to consider, how might exchange be usefully understood?

For example, an online reader might be sent email content or be paying for access to subscription only content, even when they neglect to check their emails or use the site.

Of course, buying a printed newspaper does not necessarily mean you’ll read it either, so any discussion of exchange must be complicated as we distinguish between the physical product and its content.

The transaction between publisher and consumer, of this product and its content is further complicated when we look again at the issue of APIs and their role in distributing content through other media.

A simple way to describe exchange is to say it is the exchange of money for a product at the point of consumption. However something else can be exchanged in the financial relationships where a text is part of an industry. For example the audience is exchanged for money between commercial TV and advertisers.

Pete says:
‘Exchange’ is an old Marxist term in Media Studies really, but we used it as a catch-all for the moment when money changes hands for a product. It would be slightly different for different media in media-specific language, so for print it might be point of sale of the newspaper, for films exhibition, but for many goods these days it is of course online and for some no money changes hands anyway.

As far as technology goes, this is the key bit in relation to exchange- so examples might be what difference does something like iTunes make for the music or film industry or the internet for Rupert Murdoch selling The Times, etc.

(Source: OCR Media Studies Forum)
FROM Media edusites

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Current issues facing exhibitors

current issues facing exhibitors


Convergence overview impact questions

Friday, 8 April 2011

Homework for Monday 9th May

Answer the question below in exam conditions (i.e., in one hour):

"Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences within a media area you have studied."

You should also be making essay plans. Use the handouts we looked at in the last lesson. They cover everything you need to know. The seven topics that can come up on the exam are:

1. The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
2. The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
3. The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
4. The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
5. The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
6. The issues raised in the targetting of national and local audiences (specifically British) by international and global institutions;
7. The ways in which your own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.

Remember the importance of examples in your essay plans - examples from the case studies and from your own media experiences.

[See mark scheme below]

Mark scheme for Section B - descriptors for Levels 3 and 4

Level 3
Explanation/analysis/argument (12-15 marks)
• Shows proficient understanding of the task
• Proficient knowledge and understanding of institutional/audience practices – factual knowledge is mostly accurate
• Some developed argument, supported by reference to case study material
• Mostly relevant to set question
Use of examples (12-15 marks)
• Offers consistent evidence from case study material
• Offers a range of examples from case study and own experience
• Offers examples which are mostly relevant to the set question
Use of terminology (6-7 marks)
• Use of terminology is mostly accurate

Relatively straight forward ideas have been expressed with some clarity
and fluency. Arguments are generally relevant, though may stray from the
point of the question. There will be some errors of spelling, punctuation
and grammar, but these are unlikely to be intrusive or obscure meaning .

Level 4
Explanation/analysis/argument (16-20 marks)
• Shows excellent understanding of the task
• Excellent knowledge and understanding of institutional/audience practices – factual knowledge is relevant and accurate
• A clear and developed argument, substantiated by detailed reference to case study material
• Clearly relevant to set question
Use of examples (16-20 marks)
• Offers frequent evidence from case study material – award marks to reflect the range and appropriateness of examples
• Offers a full range of examples from case study and own experience
• Offers examples which are clearly relevant to the set question
Use of terminology (8-10 marks)
• Use of terminology is relevant and accurate

Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of
writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and
paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Examiner's comments on past exam

General Comments on Section B - the question focused on production/distribution and reaching audiences.

Although the question was a wide one, many candidates still failed to focus their discussion and case study material on the production and distribution phases of media production. The best answers showed awareness of the ways in which institutions shape and distribute products in order to meet the demands of their audiences and to make profit; they were able to illustrate this with detailed reference to case study material.

Those candidates who could use their case studies and really focus on the question rather than simply regurgitating the whole case study, wrote some interesting and well-founded answers. One centre on video games provided some good examples of case studies and the candidates had obviously been thoroughly prepared. The case study provided enough depth, by looking at three manufacturers and individual games developers, for the candidates to show a breadth of understanding in their answers. Overall the best candidates related closely to the focus of the question, writing about the relationship between audience and industry with particular emphasis on the production and distribution side of the industry. Centres are advised to refer to and use the questions on page 20 of the Specification and to ensure coverage of key institutional concepts such as synergy, cross media convergence, media technologies and audience consumption. This will aid the candidates’ conceptual understanding of institutions and audiences. It is also necessary for candidates to address the question set, rather than offer a general address of institutional practices across the board.

Film Industry

Popular case studies included the study of UK film companies such as Working Title and Film Four, which provided plenty of promising material, particularly when their working practices were contrasted with Hollywood equivalents. Some centres had prepared candidates for this unit with single text studies (i.e. of an individual film), which clearly did not provide candidates with sufficient knowledge of wider institutional and audience contexts to tackle the question set. Institutional questions, which dealt with a comparison of successful American institutions versus less commercially successful home grown UK industries often worked well. The contrast of a large US studio like Time Warner versus DNA Films was useful.

Candidates with an entirely British view, Working Title on its own, or Big Arty Productions and independent British film making, for example, Bullet Boy and ‘This is England’ also fared very well, but would benefit with some comparison to Hollywood practice. Examiners noted that up to date referencing of the new boom in 3D films was done very well by one or two centres and candidates were able to discuss the download of movies through home communication networks and the impact of Blue Ray DVD on film consumption.

Advice offered for the summer’s exam session:
- Do encourage students to link analysis of the technical features of television and radio drama to the key concept being examined
- Ensure that all the technical elements are covered and that a discussion of the key concept takes place
- Avoid lengthy introductions on context or misapplied theory
- Candidates should time manage responses carefully to avoid brief answers, particularly for question 2
- For question 2 candidates need to address the question set
- Encourage candidates to use a wide range of contemporary examples
- Do cover all the possible issues of an institution and its audience

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Last year's script - Section B on Film Industry

Overall script: 75 marks (Grade B overall) - Section B Film Industry: 39 marks out of 50 [Section A TV Drama: 36 marks out of 50]
G322 75 Marks - Section b Film

Changes at the UK Film Council

Yes, the cuts are affecting the Film Industry!
Great article from The Media Magazine (English and Media centre):
all change at the film council

Monday, 28 March 2011

Here's the prezi we looked at on The Dark Knight and This is England...

Homework for Monday 4th April

Create a word cloud (e.g, using containing as much terminology relevant to the "institutions and audiences" section of the exam as you can think of. Aim for at least 50 words. Find out the meaning of any terms you are unsure of.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

2nd Piece of Homework for Monday 21st March

A research task for Monday 21st March. Find out as much as you can about your assigned topic (below) and be ready to present to/share with the class.

Yasmin, Ashwin, Nimesh, and ghostly David, please find out as much as you can about the production, distribution, and consumption of The Dark Knight.

Viraj, Devki and Matthew, please find out as much as you can about the production, distribution, and consumption of This is England - the film more than the TV spin-off.

Omar, Raju, Shreya and Harshiv, please find out as much as you can about Warp Films, with a focus on production, distribution, and consumption.

Josh, Khushel, Keval, and Manan,  please find out as much as you can about Warner Bros, with a focus on production, distribution, and consumption. ( is helpful.)

You can work individually or as a group.

Thank you.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Homework due Monday 21st March

Write a 2-4 paragraphs discussing how convergence is changing the nature of audience. In your writing, include the terms ‘fragmentation’, ‘duality’, ‘push media’ ‘pull media’, and ‘long tail’. Try to refer to specific films.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Monday, 14 February 2011

Homework due March 7th

Choose any film released this year. Find out the distributor and track the distribution of the film. Did it have a blanket release or a staggered release? Was it distributed digitally? Was there a teaser campaign? Either through trailers or posters? Analyse the poster/trailer – who are they targetting? How? Where was the premiereheld? Did the film go to festivals? Did it receive any other publicity? Was there any merchandising attached to the film? Include any other information you can find related to the distribution of the film.
The films I mentioned that you will need to watch by March 7th are "The Dark Knight" and "This is England". If you can watch the tv spin-off/sequel "This is England '86" too, that'd be no harm (or any other films directed by Shane Meadows, especially "Dead Man's Shoes"). "Batman Begins" and any other Christopher Nolan films would be helpful too, particularly films he has made for Warner Bros, like Inception and the Prestige.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Film Industry - In praise of … publicly funded British film

In praise of … publicly funded British film
What is needed is policy and a body which will support films that can secure European co-funding

The crowning of The King's Speech at the Bafta awards was indeed a bitter-sweet moment for the UK Film Council, which funded it and is now being axed. The council had its critics – it was too top-heavy, with a wage bill to match; it tried to compete with Hollywood instead of funding the sort of film that would never attract attention from the big studios; and besides, it picked its fair share of lemons. Anyone remember Sex Lives of the Potato Men? For all that, the goal of a "self-sustaining UK film industry", which was the council's brief when it was set up 10 years ago, remains as elusive as ever. The rolling caravan of British actors, scriptwriters, producers, cameramen, special effects wizards exists – but somehow never at the same time and in the same place... Read here

The video produced by the UK Film council is here.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Institutions and Audiences - First Homework Task

Homework task due Monday 14th February:

Create a factsheet on the film industry based on what you learned in the lesson on Monday 7th February. You can return to the skillset website for help: