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