Thursday, 19 December 2013

Preliminary activity: Print

Preliminary exercise: using DTP and an image manipulation program, produce the front page of a new school/college magazine, featuring a photograph of a student in medium close-up plus some appropriately laid-out text and a masthead. Additionally candidates must produce a DTP mock-up of the layout of the contents page to demonstrate their grasp of the program .

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mr Smith's Revision Advent Calendar

Based on the following question, and in the spirit of Christmas, I want you to decide upon the most important facts for the US and UK film industry and then create an advent revision calendar!!!!! You have until the end of Friday's lesson to complete this, there will be a PRIZE for the best festive 50.

“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices”. 

To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?


Success = MONEY. It is the film INDUSTRY remember.
Success = CRITICS. How certain films are promoted to awarding bodies (think Kings Speech and the Weinstein's involvement)

Marketing - how a film is publicised (think advertisements, viral marketing, synergy marketing etc, think Mark Kermodes rules of blockbusters,)

good production practices - the way a film is made/the things IN a film (stars, story, SFX, locations, source material, director, newsworthy budget, family friendly etc)


You are going to create two revision advent calendars, one for the marketing of US and UK films and another for the production of US and UK films. IT MUST LOOK LIKE A CALENDAR, THE DOORS CAN BE NUMBERED AGAINST KEY NUMBERS e.g.

3 - The Worlds End is the THIRD in a trilogy
2000 - Dredd is based on a 200AD character

Behind every door will be an image which links to key fact about the respective film industry and film.  Your advent calendar should cover no more than 3 films from each region and should try to cover low budget, medium budget and block buster films.

Low budget UK - Kill List
Medium budget UK - The Kings Speech
Big Budget UK - Dredd 3D

Blockbuster - Star Trek Into Darkness
Blockbuster - One of your choice
Medium budget - Use the extension Variety questions to find a fact why the US are stopping making them

All the information you need can be found on your blogs

Monday, 16 December 2013

12X Schedule: Last Week Of Term

  • Mon 16th: The British Film Industry 30 Questions 
  • Wed 18th: Essay
  • Thu 19th: Revision Activity
  • Fri 20th Essay

The British Film Industry 30 Questions

Follow the links to answer the following questions:

  1. What % of global box office was the British film industry responsible for?
  2. What was this % in 2009?
  3. What might this change indicate about British film?
  4. What films have been responsible for this change?
  5. What % of the British film industry makes a profit?
  6. What % of Hollywood films make a profit?
  7. How does that % differ between £2m and £10m budget British films?
  8. What might we infer from this difference?
  9. Which age group makes up the largest % of UK cinema goers?
  10. Why do you think this might be?
  11. Which 'type' of film has seen an 18% drop in attendance?
  12. Within that 'type' which genre has seen the biggest fall?
  13. What did Charles Grant put this decline down to?
  14. Who is Paul Greengrass?
  15. How did he describe the British film industry?
  16. What did a BFI spokesperson say was the point of less profitable low budget British films?
  17. What was the budget for Filth and how much money did it take?
  18. What advantage did James McEvoy feel £100m films have over low budget films?
  19. What is VOD?
  20. What % increase did VOD see last year?
  21. What impact might VOD have on distributers and Studios?
  22. What impact has it had on Blockbuster rental stores?
  23. What was unique about Ben Wheatleys 'A Field In England'?
  24. What does director of The Machine Caradog James think is the toughest part of film making?
  25. Why have rules been relaxed on what makes a film 'British'?
  26. How has the use of visual effects in films been encouraged?
  27. Name five of these rules and link them to The Kings Speech, Kill List, The World's End
  28. What rules has chancellor George Osbourne announced for tax on British films?
  29. What is the highest grossing film in UK box office history?
  30. How much has it taken and how many screens was it available on?

EXTENSION WORK - Variety links

Why has Sony opened a Digital Motion Picture Centre at Pinewood studios?

What benefit might this have for the British film industry?

Where else have they opened facilities like this?

How many films have been produced using the F65 camera?

What has been the consequence of Blockbusters to US film production?

How big a loss to Sony expect to post?

Which films are responsible for this?

How is Lionsgate different to Sony?

Why is "the new mandate to avoid niche products"?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The World's End Notes

The Basics
  • The World's End (Cornetto Trilogy)
  • Director: Edgar Wright
  • Producer: Working Title (Tim Bevan)
  • Distributor: Universal (Big Six)
  • Budget: $25 million
  • Box Office: $46 million

'Cornetto Trilogy' - repeatability for DVD and BluRay

The Audience
  • The target Audience is male 28-40 (who like sci-fi and comedy and indie music/britpop)
  • Links to soundtrack which is full of late 80s early 90s hits by bands such as: The Housemartins, Blur, Primal Scream, Pulp, James, Happy Mondays, Suede, The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets.
All star 'British' cast

  • Simon Pegg (Gary King): Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul - mainstream and niche appeal.
  • Nick Frost (Andy Knightley) : Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul - mainstream and niche appeal.
  • Martin Freeman (Oliver Chamberlain) : The Hobbit, Love Actually, The Office (TV), Sherlock (TV)
  • Paddy Considine (Steven Prince) : Dead Man's Shoes, Submarine, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (TV) - multiple acting award nominations. Target audience of film buffs/ aficionados
  • Eddie Marsan (Peter Page) : Tyrannosaur, Miami Vice, Happy-Go-Lucky, Sherlock Holmes (Inspector Lestrade). Target audience of film buffs/ aficionados.
  • Rosamund Pike (Sam Chamberlain) : Die Another Day, An Education, Made In Dagenham, Wrath Of The Titans, Jack Reacher
Other  notable cast members

  • Pierce Brosnan (Guy Shepherd): James Bond (1995-2004), The Thomas Crown Affair, The Ghost, Mama Mia
  • Bill Nighy (The Network-voice only): Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Rafe Spall (Young Man): Grindhouse, Kidulthood, Prometheus, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Life of Pi, I Give It A Year

The Director

Edgar Wright: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, The Adventures of Tin Tin (co writer), Spaced (TV)


The film focuses on uniquely British concerns: pubs, 'lad' culture, British nightlife, loss of British identity, the homogenization of the high street, American influence, school, sleepy market towns. The film is also about growing up, the potential of youth and the disappointment of adult life.

The film was a niche product globally and a mass market product nationally.

  • Only 7% of British films make a profit.
  • Of films costing less than £2 million only 45 make a profit.
  • Of films costing £10 million or more 17% make a profit
  • Rotten Tomatoes 89% approval rating
  • Metacritic 81 out of 100

Monday, 2 December 2013

The King's Speech Case Study

Click on the image above to go to a site that contains lots of links that will be useful when researching The King's Speech.

The areas you need to research here are:


  • Box office in the UK
  • The film's reception
  • Criticism of the film
  • Web 2.0 and Exchange
Production Issues
  • The film's origins
  • The finance
  • The production companies
Distribution and Marketing Issues

Major Issues Facing British Film Makers

Friday, 22 November 2013

Colin Firth Winning The Best Actor Oscar 2011

The King's Speech Review-Empire

Prince George (Firth), known as Bertie to loved ones, has been afflicted by a debilitating stammer since his childhood. And when his brother abdicates the throne and war looms, he reluctantly turns to Aussie Lionel Logue (Rush), a speech therapist whose methods are unconventional to say the least.

The King's Speech
Some films turn out to be unexpectedly good. Not that you’ve written them off, only they ply their craft on the hush-hush. Before we even took our seats, Inception had trailed a blaze of its cleverness the size of a Parisian arrondissement. We were ready to be dazzled. If you had even heard of it, Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech looked no more than well-spoken Merchant Ivoriness optimistically promoted from Sunday teatime: decent cast, nice costumes, posh carpets. That was until the film finished a sneak-peak at a festival in deepest America, and the standing ovations began. Tweeters, bloggers and internet spokespeople of various levels of elocution announced it the Oscar favourite, and this also-ran arrives in our cinemas in a fanfare of trumpets.

But for all its pageantry, it isn’t a film of grandiose pretensions. Much better than that, it is an honest-to-goodness crowdpleaser. Rocky with dysfunctional royalty. Good Will Hunting set amongst the staid pageantry and fussy social mores of the late ’30s. The Odd Couple roaming Buckingham Palace. A film that will play and play. A prequel to The Queen.

Where lies its success? Let’s start with the script, by playwright David Seidler, a model for transforming history into an approachable blend of drama and wit. For a film about being horrendously tongue-tied, Seidler’s words are exquisitely measured, his insight as deep as it is softly spoken. Both an Aussie and a long-suffering stammerer, he first adapted the story as a play, written with the permission of both the late Queen Mother (George’s wife) and Logue’s widow. Stretching into the legroom of film, he loses none of the theatrical richness of allowing decent actors to joust and jostle and feed off each other.

As their two worlds clash, this outspoken “colonial” and this unspoken aristocrat, Seidler mines great humour from the situation. Logue’s outlandish treatments are designed to rock George, whom he insists on calling Bertie (the impertinence!), out of his discomfort zone. He has to lie on the floor, his dainty wife perched upon his chest, strengthening his diaphragm. He has to swing his arms like a chimpanzee, warble like a turkey. And in a sure-to-be classic scene, Logue cracks the dam of his patient’s cornered voice by getting him swearing. “Say the ‘F’ word,” commands Rush, his eyes twinkling at Logue’s front. “Fornication!” howls Firth, like a man bursting. Such naughtiness — escalating to a magnificent chorus of “shits” and “fucks” — landed the film an R rating in America. The silly-billies: the moment couldn’t be more tender or uplifting.

What Hooper sensed of Seidler’s play is that this is not about fixing a voice, but fixing a mind bullied by his father (a waxen-voiced Michael Gambon as George V) and brother since boyhood, a soul imprisoned by the burden of forthcoming kingliness. Between his handsome London backdrops, elevating any potential staginess with sleek forward motion and microscopic historical accuracy (from mist-occluded parks, to the Tardis-sprawl of the BBC’s broadcasting paraphernalia with the death-noose of their microphones), Hooper plays on the idea of childhood. We meet Logue’s scruffy brood and the twee Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret; while in another scene loaded with codified meaning, George begins to open up as he gently completes a model plane. The tragedy is that he never had a childhood. Friendship is a voyage into the unknown for Bertie. Logue is gluing him together.

Hooper, whose own mother recommended the play, knew straightaway here was his cornerstone — the unlikeliest of friendships. To get all zeitgeist on its royal behind, it’s a bromance. One that required two performers to go to opposite places. Colin Firth has found a rich vein of form: A Single Man provided emotional entrapment in repressed grief, but here were greater perils still, treading the perilous high-wire of physical affliction. In terror of mockery or Rainman, he looked to Derek Jacobi’s definitive stammering in I Claudius (Jacobi winkingly cast here as a conniving Archbishop Of Canterbury) and got to grips with an actor’s greatest fear — being unable to find his words. It’s a bristling irony: acting is a craft exemplified in the crystal-clear diction of Shakespeare, but here is a gripping performance where the actor is virtually incapable of speaking at all. Not in a straight line. It is an anti-acting role, yet Firth doesn’t ever stop communicating: pain, sadness, yearning; intelligence and humour demanding escape; and the fierce self-possession of a man born to privilege. When Logue, pushing and pushing, oversteps the mark, Bertie rounds on him, furious, his voice suddenly eloquent in the spate of his fury. The idea of class is never far away; what marks out one’s place in the social network of yesteryear more than how one speaks?

Logue, a psychotherapist before his time (a royal in therapy — the very thought!), finds Rush in equally fine fettle. He locates Logue’s own shortcomings, a failed actor who turns his office into a stage, striding and pontificating, a show-off with a big heart. A modernist trying to break through social prejudice. A colonial nobody desperate to be an English somebody. Stripped walls line Logue’s drafty chambers: the deprivations of pre-War Britain are here, yet warmed by family. The cushioned train of anterooms of Buckingham Palace appear antiseptic in comparison. Life crushed by velvet. Grimacing Whitehall serving as a cold reminder of war to come.

Any behind-the-drapes depictions of British royalty carry the base pleasures of a good snoop. But these were changing times. Helena Bonham Carter makes for a vibrant Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mum-to-be), both devoted wife and teasing wit whirling around the word “contraverseeal” like a figure skater, another modernist in a dusty enclave who takes the risk of contacting Logue. If anything, older brother Edward VIII was the true trailblazer, breaking through the bars of royal absolutes to marry American divorcee Mrs. Simpson, and unthinkably vacate the throne for his timorous brother. In that decision, precedents were shattered and the modern world spilled into the royal household. Guy Pearce (an Aussie in English robes) has enormous fun as the arrogant older sibling, plumbing his voice to the borders of camp, but a flash harry flinty enough to shed a nation for a wife. As George will angrily point out, what use does a king serve anymore?

If we start small, a lonely prince trying to express himself, we end big. History knocks the door down. Edward abdicates just as that unquenchable ranter Hitler gets warmed up, and Timothy Spall drops by as a slippery Churchill (a jar to the film’s subtleties) to sneer about oncoming “Nazzzeees”. A sense of terrible urgency engulfs the therapy, but what an ending it offers. George VI must use his faltering voice to soothe a frightened nation in a radio broadcast, all but conducted by Logue, transformed into match-winning glory. You’ll be lost for words.

Think the blazing joys of Chariots Of Fire where the race is to the end of a sentence. Can it be that the British are coming?

The King's Speech (2010) Trailer

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Film Industry Statistics

Click on image to access figures.

Essay Question Help-UK films urged to be more 'mainstream' in new report (January 2012)

The British film industry should back more mainstream movies, a report is expected to recommend next week.
Ahead of a visit to Pinewood Studios on Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron said the film industry should support "commercially successful pictures".
His comments come before the publication of Lord Smith's review into the government's film policy on Monday.
The review was commissioned to find out how the industry could offer better support to UK film-making.
Mr Cameron praised the UK film industry but said "we should aim even higher, building on the incredible success of recent years".
He acknowledged the British film industry had made "a £4bn contribution to the UK economy and an incalculable contribution to our culture".
Lord Smith, the former Labour culture secretary, is also expected to recommend developing an export strategy to increase the profits of British films.

Speaking to the BBC, director Ken Loach said it was important to have a diverse film industry with a wide range of films to choose from.
"If everyone knew what would be successful before it was made, there would be no problem," he said.
"What you need to do is fund a lot of different, varied projects and then you'll get a really vibrant industry."
Loach added he would encourage more independent cinemas, saying: "The market does not provide choice if you don't intervene."

Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who was a member of Lord Smith's panel, said it was necessary to support mainstream films.
"There has been the thinking in the past that public money should only go into films that can't get any investment anywhere else," he told Sky.
"When you actually analyse that it means it should only go into films that nobody could conceivably want to see and there's no logic in that - you want to make a film-friendly, audience-friendly industry.
"It's not a question of not having minority films, it's just opening it up so we're also getting behind films that people might want to see."

Grassroots support
Mark Herbert, chief executive of Warp Films, which has made films including This Is England, Submarine and Tyrannosaur, said it was impossible to predict which films would be commercially successful.
He said the company's biggest commercial success had been Four Lions, a comedy about inept suicide bombers.
"It took £3m at the box office, won festivals, did brilliant business in Germany and France and is up there with big studio films in terms of DVD sales.

Bafta rising star nominee Adam Deacon 

 Adam Deacon wrote, directed and starred in the comedy Anuvahood
"Yet nobody backed that. There was no public money in that. When I was trying to raise the money, I had very experienced funders and producers saying 'Nobody will go and watch this film.'"
He also pointed out that black and white silent film The Artist was making more money per screen than any other film currently on release in the UK and is favourite to win best picture at the Oscars - but would not have looked like a hit on paper.
"You can imagine people saying 'Who's going to watch a black and white silent film?' But they are, and people are loving it," he said.

Mr Herbert added that independent regional film-makers must continue to be supported as well as major film studios, and that new talent must be nurtured by supporting low-key, low-budget films.
"For talent to get to the stage where they can pull off [making] a blockbuster, they need to support the grassroots. It's like having an elite England football team and not supporting any young players."
Speaking at the announcement of this year's Bafta rising star shortlist, nominee Adam Deacon, who wrote, directed and starred in Anuvahood said: "2011 was a great year and our films like Attack the Block and The Inbetweeners were competing against America.
"It shouldn't all be about The King's Speech and these sort of films. We need fresh talent and fresh ideas."

The Inbetweeners movie 
The Inbetweeners earned more than £45m at the box office

Film critic Mark Kermode, at the same Bafta event, said it was "impossible" to judge what was going to be a commercially successful film.
He said that independent cinemas and adventurous programming were an important factor.
"There are loads of great British films made every year and only a fraction of them actually find a foothold in cinemas. If you really want to address the way the British film industry works address exhibition and distribution - that's the answer."

The British Film Commission welcomed the prime minister's recognition of the economic impact of the movie industry.
Chairman Iain Smith said: "It is reassuring to hear the Government understands the role big budget, international movies shooting in the UK plays in building a world-class skilled workforce, while boosting the UK economy."

The report follows the abolition of the UK Film Council last year, which handed over its funding responsibilities to the British Film Institute (BFI).

11th January 2011


Monday, 18 November 2013

Essay Question Mark Scheme

Essay Question

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

In what ways do global institutions (like the Big 6) dominate the film industry?To what extent is the film industry basically about  selling a global product to different national audiences?

Audience and Institution Exam Questions 2009-2013

June 2009

How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences within a media area you have studied?
January 2010
“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
June 2010
What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?
January 2011
Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area?
June 2011
“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices”. To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?
January 2012
To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied?

June 2012

"Cross media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences". To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your chosen media area?

January 2013

What impact does media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media area you have studied?

Sunday, 17 November 2013


Industry Analysis by Anthony Leong, Lara Kalins, Oren Levy, Marion De Marcillac, and Annekatrin Scholze
© Copyright 1996

Wide ReleaseThe most common release pattern, in which the film is released nationally in all markets. This is the pattern used by the majors, since this type of release pattern requires a heavy investment in prints and national advertising, which while having reach into all markets, is expensive. With a wide release, the producers and distributors can realize revenues to recoup their investment in a shorter time period (provided that the film is successful). Finally, revenues from DVD sales can also be realized faster from a quickly-executed theatrical release (the shorter the time period between the theatrical release and the DVD release, the greater the potential for DVD income).

The Modified Wide Release
The film will open in a few major markets and expand week by week to build awareness and allow positive word-of-mouth reputation to develop. This type of release would initially be supported spot advertising (advertising in a specific geographical area, such as a city) and may move to national advertising once it expands to other markets.

Exclusive and Limited Runs
Exclusive and limited runs begin with engagements at a limited number of screens, traditionally in large urban areas, such as Toronto. Based on favourable reviews and positive word-of-mouth, the film may move slowly to additional theatres. This release pattern is almost always used for upscale 'art-house' or foreign films and may be part of a platforming strategy, where critical acclaim in an important market will assist in providing momentum for a wide release.

Territorial Saturation ( a territory is an geographical area in which the film is released, i.e. Europe, the UK, USA, etc.)
Territorial saturation involves saturating a territory with bookings, heavy advertising and promotion, before moving on to another territory. This method would be used for films tailored to specific markets. In Canada, this would be seen with French-language films, which primarily would be well-received only in Quebec. It is also used by independent distributors for exploitation or family movies.

Universal Release – the film is released in several countries on the same day. For instance a major blockbuster is sometimes released in the USA and the UK on the same date.

Film Distribution

The history of film is usually related through the achievements of producers, directors, writers and performers. Making films, production, has always been perceived as a glamorous pursuit.

Alternatively, our personal understanding and appreciation of film is shaped by our experiences at the cinema. The exhibition of film is a commonplace, shared cultural activity highly visible in every city and town in Britain, constantly feeding the popular memory.

By contrast, distribution, the third part of the film supply chain, is often referred to as 'the invisible art', a process known only to those within the industry, barely written about and almost imperceptible to everyone else.

Yet arguably, distribution is the most important part of the film industry, where completed films are brought to life and connected with an audience.

So what is involved in this invisible process? Distribution is about releasing and sustaining films in the market place. In the practice of Hollywood and other forms of industrial cinema, the phases of production,
distribution and exhibition operate most effectively when 'vertically integrated', where the three stages are seen as part of the same larger process, under the control of one company. In the UK, distribution is very much focused on marketing and sustaining a global product in local markets.

In the independent film sector, vertical integration does not operate so commonly. Producers tend not to have long-term economic links with distributors, who likewise have no formal connections with exhibitors. Here, as the pig-in-the-middle, distribution is necessarily a collaborative process, requiring the materials and rights of the producer and the cooperation of the exhibitor to promote and show the film in the best way possible. In this sector, distribution can be divided into three stages - licensing, marketing and logistics.

Click on the image to go to the BFI Screenonline site. This has lots of valuable information on distribution and marketing.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Kill List Review by Philip French

Suburban thriller meets The Wicker Man in Ben Wheatley's cleverly unsettling British horror movie

A year ago last month, Down Terrace, the first film for the cinema by the British director of TV series and commercials, Ben Wheatley, was given a limited distribution. Made on the thinnest of shoestrings for an alleged £6,000 (the same sum that in 1998 was said to be the notional budget of Christopher Nolan's Following), it was a highly entertaining black comedy largely set in the cosy suburban house of a Brighton gangster, his devoted wife and surly, grown-up son who has recently been acquitted of an unnamed crime.
A succession of low-life characters comes and goes, semi-improvised euphemistic small talk flows, and several people disappear to end up in graves on the South Downs. I described the film as "Brighton Rock reworked in the style of The Royle Family", and it made me eager to see his next film, Kill List, which has now arrived with a larger, though still extremely modest budget.
If you are one of those people whose lips start to shape an explosively sibilant form of the word "spoiler" whenever you start reading a film column, I suggest you put this page aside until you've seen Kill List, though, interesting as it is, I wouldn't necessarily urge anyone to stop whatever they're doing and rush to see Wheatley's movie.
Like Down Terrace, Kill List is an edgy, mysterious thriller that begins in one generic mode and jumps, or modulates, into another. The latest, rather disappointing deployment of this form is Cowboys & Aliens, which starts out as a western before being transformed into a horror picture. Earlier ones include Michael Mann's The Keep, a second world war movie that becomes a horror flick when an SS unit encounters evil forces from the distant past in a remote Romanian castle; and John McTiernan's Predator, where a punitive US expedition in a Latin American jungle is turned into a fight for survival when Arnold Schwarzenegger's special forces platoon is stalked by an extraterrestrial monster. But once horror has been embraced there is no turning back.
Kill List conflates two fashionable movie characters – the troubled veteran of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan adjusting to normal life, and the hitman coolly going about his business in the interstices of society. Jay is an ex-soldier living in a comfortable suburban home with his pretty blonde wife, Shel, and seven-year-old son, Sam, who prefers playing at medieval knights with his dad rather than hearing bedtime stories about the ambushing of armoured cars in Baghdad.

There's a tense atmosphere in the household because Jay (Neil Maskell) hasn't worked for eight months after some terrible incident in Kiev, which turns out to be a botched killing involving Jay and Gal (Michael Smiley), his former comrade-in-arms and subsequent partner-in-crime, as assassins. There follows a brilliantly staged drunken dinner party that ends up with Gal, an amusing, laid-back Irishman, luring the disturbed Jay back into further lucrative contract killing.
They stay at anonymous, ominously silent hotels beside motorways, meet a strange, unnamed client with a suitcase full of banknotes and embark on a series of murders in which the victims appear to welcome their fates as some form of retribution. This only serves to make Jay's behaviour more violent and unprofessional.
Wheatley, his co-writer and editor Amy Jump, his cinematographer Laurie Rose, and his small cast create an unnerving sense of malaise that seems to start in the family and spreads out into the desolate, slimly populated world around them. There are odd, creepy hints of other forces at work. The woman accompanying Gal to the initial dinner party (her job apparently involves sacking people in the current recession) takes down a bathroom mirror and inscribes on the back a diabolic or necromantic symbol as if putting a curse on the house. Part of a dead rabbit is found on the lawn, which Jay cooks and eats with relish like a form of roadkill, though he's less happy when a dead cat is left hanging in the porch.
The duo's client is played by that commanding, somewhat sinister actor Struan Rodger, a familiar TV face but best known for the role in Chariots of Fire as Eric Liddell's closest friend, the deeply religious Sandy; he suddenly insists on the contract being signed in blood and cuts a deep, suppurating wound into Jay's hand. A wraith-like woman in white waves at night from the wasteland across from Jay's hotel.
Gradually, we are being drawn into a different genre from the one we embarked on, and quite suddenly we are in a horror movie where the supernatural challenges the realistic and the moral and political stakes are altered. The films that immediately come to my mind are a British film that everyone knows, The Wicker Man, and a less familiar American picture I greatly admire, Jack Starrett's Race With the Devil, in which Peter Fonda and Warren Oates have satanic encounters in rural Texas. From the start the dialogue is often obscure and not always easy to catch, and the film gets darker and murkier as it proceeds, with some scenes so obfuscated that it's difficult to follow what is going on. This is no doubt intentional. Mystification and disorientation are his objects, not catharsis, and Wheatley, a moviemaker of great individuality and imagination, ultimately leaves us to make what connections we will.

The Observer,

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Seven Key Areas of Audience and Institutions - Star Trek Into Darkness

In pairs, pick a key area and research Star Trek Into Darkness in relation to that area. Make sure you provide clear examples linking the area to the film. Add images, graphs, figures to illustrate your points.
  1. Do the work on word (font Verdana size 11) and email to me by the end of the lesson today.
  2. Post your section on your individual blogs.
  3. I will complie all your work and upload to scribd (this evening). You need to copy document to your blog.

The Seven Areas:
  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 targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; 
  7. the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. 
The Seven Areas (Translations):
  • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; (how does who owns a media company influence the type of film made and its potential success? For example do BIG companies make BIG films and therefore make all the money? Is it possible for small companies to succeed?) Which companies made Star Trek into Darkness? How did this impact on the type of film that was made?
  • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; (how do companies work together to produce, distribute and publicize a film? How can Disney use their size to promote and publicise a film? How can small companies work together to promote their business' when making and promoting a film?) Who publicised and distributed the film? How did these companies work together? What roles did they undertake?
  • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; (how has the introduction of digital film, 3D, DVD, Blue Ray, internet streaming, downloadable content, home cinema influenced the types of films made, the way we watch them and the way we 'buy' them?) Research the types of technology utilised during these stages of the film production process of Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; (how and why have film companies had to alter the way they work now everyone has web enabled phones, PC's, consoles etc? How have audiences changed their viewing habits now we no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a film) Link this area to Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; (can you think of examples of how different technologies have come together to help the film industry?)  Consider, amongst other things, the many ways that the film was marketed.
  • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; (how do film companies try and attract their audience? Do they do different things in different countries?) How was the film marketed in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world (particular focus here on China).
  • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour. (what is your opinion on the above? Do you see the developments as a good or bad thing?) Link this area to the film. Find figures for audience consumption on the different platforms for Star Trek Into Darkness.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Seven Areas of Representation (12X)

In pairs prepare a handout on one of the seven areas of representation that you need to cover this year. The seven areas are:
  1. Gender
  2. Regional Identity
  3. Class and Status
  4. Sexuality
  5. Age
  6. Disability and Ability
  7. Ethnicity
All seven areas must be covered by the class. There are fourteen of you so it's one area per pair. Please leave a comment in the box below or tweet @luttmedia which area you are covering.

Handouts must be at least 2 sides long and include the following:
  • A definition of the area.
  • An explanation of the stereotypes associated with the area of representation.
  • A selection of TV dramas that include the stereotype
  • Analysis of how the stereotypes are represented
  • Images from the TV dramas you use that illustrate your points.
  • Issues or problems that arise from the representation or the stereotype involved.
I've added a few resources in the posts below to help with ethnicity, disability and common stereotypes.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Disability-individual and social models

Dominant notions of disability: the individual model

The societal view of disability generally conforms to the individual or overcoming or medical model of disability. This holds that disability is inherent in the individual, whose responsibility it is to ‘overcome’ her or his ‘tragic’ disability.
Often this ‘overcoming’ is achieved through medical intervention, such as attempts at ‘cures’. For example, top wheelchair athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson was forced as a child to wear heavy leg callipers which gave her blisters, rather than being offered the simple and practical option of using a wheelchair.

This approach to disability aims for the normalisation of disabled people, often through the medicalisation of their condition.

The social model of disability

This distinguishes between impairment (the physical or mental 'problem') and disability (the way society views it as being a negative). It holds that impairments are not inherently disabling, but that disability is caused by society which fails to provide for people with impairments, and which puts obstacles in their way.

Examples include access: the built environment often does not allow access for people with mobility problems. Discriminatory attitudes are also disabling: for example, the idea that disability is a personal tragedy for the ‘sufferer’ impinges upon disabled people in a variety of negative ways, from their social relationships to their ability to get jobs.

"Disability is produced in different forms, and in different proportions, in different cultures" (Oliver, 1996).


It has been argued that dominant notions of ‘normality’ and beauty do not allow for the natural range of difference in human form. These notions are not only prejudicial to the acceptance of disabled people, but also increasingly impact on non-disabled people. Charlotte Cooper, for example, applies the social model to obesity, and concludes that there are some important categories through which obesity can be defined as a disability:

• A slender body is ‘normal’
• Fatness is a deviation from the norm.
• Fat and disabled people share low social status.
• Fatness is medicalised (e.g. jaw-wiring and stomach-stapling).
• Fat people are blamed for their greed and lack of control over their bodies.

Consider why it is that fat people or disabled people are rarely portrayed as sexually attractive.

Use of disabled stereotypes

The media continue to enforce disability stereotypes portraying disabled individuals in a negative un-empowering way.

In his 1991 study, Paul Hunt identified 10 stereotypes that the media use to portray disabled people:

The disabled person as pitiable or pathetic
An object of curiosity or violence
Sinister or evil
The super cripple
As atmosphere
His/her own worst enemy
As a burden
As Non-sexual
Being unable to participate in daily life

Shakespeare (1999) presents a potential reason behind the use of one of these stereotypes:

"The use of disability as character trait, plot device, or as atmosphere is a lazy short-cut. These representations are not accurate or fair reflections of the actual experience of disabled people. Such stereotypes reinforce negative attitudes towards disabled people, and ignorance about the nature of disability"

In other words, the disability itself is often used as a hook by writers and film-makers to draw audiences into the story. These one-dimensional stereotypes are often distanced from the audience - where characters are only viewed through their impairment, and not valued as people.

Shakespeare (1999) continues:

"Above all, the dominant images [of disabled people] are crude, one-dimensional and simplistic."

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Work that should be on all 12X and 12V Blogs

The following pieces of work need to be posted on all blogs for the first lesson back after half term:
  1. 5x5
  2. Representation of 3 people
  3. Self representation
  4. 12 stages of Film Production
  5. Blockbuster research
  6. Blockbuster presentation
  7. Dredd review
  8. Dredd research
  9. Dredd presentation
  10. Dredd essay

You also need to post the following on your blog (click on words for link):

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer

Star Trek Into Darkness


Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2013 American science fiction action film. It is the twelfth installment in the Star Trek film franchise, and the sequel to 2009's Star Trek. The film was directed by J. J. Abrams from a screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof based on the series of the same name created by Gene Roddenberry. Lindelof, Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams are also producers, with Bryan Burk. Chris Pine reprises his role as Captain James T. Kirk, with Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy, John Cho and Bruce Greenwood reprising their roles from the previous film. Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller and Alice Eve round out the film's principal cast.
The plot of Into Darkness takes place one year after the previous installment, with Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise sent to the Klingon homeworld seeking former Starfleet member-turned-terrorist John Harrison. After the release of Star Trek, Abrams, Burk, Lindelof, Kurtzman, and Orci agreed to produce its sequel. Filming began in January 2012. Into Darkness' visual effects were created by Industrial Light & Magic.
The film was converted to 3D in post-production. Star Trek Into Darkness premiered at Event Cinemas in Sydney, Australia on April 23, 2013,[6] and was released on May 9 in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Peru,[7] with other countries following. The film was released on May 16 in the United States and Canada, opening at IMAX cinemas a day earlier.[8][9]
Into Darkness was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than $466 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of the Star Trek franchise.[5]

Source: Wikipedia

Friday, 20 September 2013

Skins Series One Episode One (12X)

Write about the representations of age in the clip you watched (up to the 'James Blunt' comment from Tony's dad).
At this stage focus on: music, mise en scene, characters (Tony,Effie, Mum, Dad) and camerawork (shots and angles).

Click on image to go to the Channel 4 OD page for episode one.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

12V Blockbuster Choices

  1. Jess-X Men First Class (2011)
  2. Emily-Thor (2011)
  3. Abbie-Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
  4. Bryony-Knight And Day (2010)
  5. Chloe-Avengers Assemble (2012)
  6. Sophie-Skyfall (2012)
  7. Fraser-Oblivion (2013)
  8. Tarun-Man Of Steel (2013)
  9. Brad-Inception (2010)
  10. Bronte-The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  11. Jake-Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
  12. Morgan-Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2012)
  13. Phoebe-Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2012)
  14. Mel-

12V Media Lessons Timetable (Wednesday 18th-Wednesday 25th September)

  • Wednesday 18th September Period 2: research and prepare presentation
  • Wednesday 18th September Period 5: research and prepare presentation (complete for homework)
  • Friday 20th September Period 1: present to class
  • Wednesday 25th September Period 3: present to class

Monday, 16 September 2013

12X Blockbuster Choices

  1. Zoe-Skyfall (2012)
  2. Adam-World War Z (2013)
  3. Lauren-Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
  4. Millie-Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  5. Oli-The Great Gatsby (2013)
  6. Amy-Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
  7. Lauren-Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
  8. Sophie-Tron: Legacy (2010)
  9. Will-Inception (2010)
  10. Chloe-Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011)
  11. Jack-Fast Five (2011)
  12. Michael-The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  13. Angus-Avengers Assemble (2012)
  14. Callum-Man Of Steel (2013)
  15. Callum-The A-Team (2010)

12X Media Lessons Timetable (Monday 16th-Friday 20th September)

  • Monday 16th Period 4: research your chosen blockbuster (complete for homework)
  • Wednesday 18th Period 1: compose presentation in chosen format (complete for homework)
  • Thursday 19th Period 3: present to the class
  • Friday 20th Period 4: present to the class

Friday, 13 September 2013

Blockbuster task

I want you to pick a BLOCKBUSTER from the last 3 years and research HOW it made its money. I am NOT interested in whether it was a 'good' film, I just want to know HOW it followed the rules and WHY this meant it was a success.

Your research MUST be broken down into the following categories

Pre Production
- is the film an original idea, a remake, a sequal or an adaptation (or a combination)?
- who is the director?
- which studio(s) are making the film?
- what size budget did it have?
- which 'stars' signed up to be in the film?
- how long did it take from 'green light' to filming commencing

- where was it 'filmed'
- how was it filmed (3D, 2D, CGI)?
- any problems it faced

Post Production
- does it rely on special effects?
- what sort of special effects are used?
- was 3D added AFTER filming?
- did it require any RE SHOOTS

- How was the film marketed (find AT LEAST 5 different promotional tools)
- Where was the films premier?

Struggling for facts?

Add the term "Variety" to your google search. Variety is the Hollywood trade magazine that reports nothing but film news. You will need to register for more but it is worth it. Don't believe me?

'Fast Five Stuff'

Thursday, 5 September 2013

12X Work-Representation

  1. Compose a post containing your notes on the representation of the three people from last lesson: Doug Bihlmaier,Ted Bundy & Anna Piaggi
  2. Construct a representation of yourself. Use UK Tribes to help categorize yourself. Illustrate with relevant images.