Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  1. Who owns Lucasfilm?
  2. Who formed Lucasfilm?
  3. What year was Lucasfilm formed?
  4. Who is the president of Lucasfilm?
  5. What other major films have they worked on?
  6. How much was Lucasfilm sold for?
  7. Who wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  8. Who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  9. What other major films is the director responsible for?
  10. How many Star Wars films have there been so far (list them)?
  11. How much money have they all made at the global box office?
  12. When was the first Star Wars film released?
  13. What does ILM stand for?
  14. What do ILM do?
  15. Who created ILM?
  16. Why did they create ILM?
  17. What do casting directors do?
  18. Where were the first scenes for Star Wars: The Force Awakens filmed?
  19. What format was Star Wars: The Force Awakens shot on?
  20. What types of camera were used to film Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  21. What studio was used to film a large portion of the film?
  22. Where is the studio?
  23. What major franchise is famously filmed at this studio?
  24. How does said franchise link to Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  25. Who was the inspiration for the character Maz Kanata?
  26. What technology was used to create Maz Kanata?
  27. Who played Maz Kanata & what other roles is she famous for?
  28. Who played General Snoke?
  29. What is he renowned for in the movie business?
  30. Where was the final scene filmed?
  31. Who composed the film score?
  32. How many Star wars films has he composed the music for?
  33. What other famous films has he created the music for?
  34. How mant times did John Boyega audition for the film (according to JJ Abrams)?
  35. Over what period of time did these auditions occur?
  36. How many people operated B-B8?
  37. What type of technology was the main version of B-B8?
  38. What colour suit did the B-B8 operator wear?
  39. Whay did he have to wear such a suit?
  40. What type of special effects (SFX) were employed on Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  41. How many people were behind the monitor watching the scene when Han and Chewie returned to the Millenium Falcon?
  42. Why was Simon Pegg thanked in the credits for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  43. JJ Abrams shot part of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in IMAX. What is IMAX?
  44. How many IMAX screens was The film available on?
  45. What was the age rating of the film in the UK?
  46. How much money did the UK government contribute to the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? (Express this figure as a percentage of the total cost and as a figure in pounds).
  47. How much was Harrison Ford paid to reprise his role of Han Solo?
  48. How much were Daisy Ridley and John Boyega paid?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Research

Research the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens directed by JJ Abrams.

Find out about the following:
  • Producers/ Production companies
  • Director
  • Screen writer
  • Actors
  • Budget
  • Locations
  • Greenlight date
  • Screens shown on (opening weekend, peak figure, weeks at cinema)
  • Critical reaction (Rotten Tomatoes & Metacritic)
  • Box office figures: worldwide, US, China
  • Music (composer of score/ soundtrack)
  • Marketing (teaser trailers, trailers, TV spots, posters, websites etc)
  • Tie-in products
  • SFX (special effects - technology used)
  • Any issues
Present the research in a suitable format of your choice. Post on your blog.

Mark Kermode reviews Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Chinese Trailer

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Film Production

Film production is the process of making a film. 

For the exam you'll need to understand all the stages of film production, these are:

Development - This is simply the process of 'finding' a story. Ideas for films come from a variety of sources, they can range from novels, real life events to computer game adaptations. Once you've got an idea you'll need someone to write a pitch for you which you take to a film producer in an attempt to get some funding to make your film. Even at this very early stage you need a very clear idea of who you're aiming you film at so you can include elements that will appeal to them.
Pre-production - Once you've got funding you establish your budget and can begin to get a film crew together, you can storyboard the script. You also need break the script down into individual scenes and identify all the locations, props, cast members, costumes, special effects and visual effects needed.
Production - This is simply the process of 'making' the film. Provided you've done your job properly in the pre-production stage making the film should be straight forward. 'Film' is very expensive and difficult to store so an increasing number of film makers are using digital cameras to save money.
Post-production - During this stage you take all the 'film' you've shot and give it to a film editor. They will then begin putting it together. Special effects will be added, a soundtrack will be added, any missing dialogue will be re-recorded and added resulting in a 'rough cut'. This will be shown to the director and a test audience who will offer feedback. Often this causes scenes to be filmed and added or removed.

In today's lesson you need to find out what the following key roles and areas entail:
  • writer
  • producer
  • casting director
  • director
  • film finance
  • camera operator
  • editor
  • production designer
  • marketing
  • exhibition
You must write a description of each role/area and add a relevant image to illustrate.

These sites (alongside wikipedia) will help (click on images):

Complete the work in Word, Illustrate with relevant images, upload to Scribd and then post to your blog.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Mark Kermode's Blockbuster Rules

Mark Kermode's Rules

Mark Kermode believes it is impossible for a Blockbuster to lose money if they just follow some simple rules. Those rules are

1. A newsworthy budget
2. Spectacular visuals
3. NOT be a comedy
4. Include an 'A list' star

These rules can be seen to fit into the five categories of film production
Pre Production (all the stuff that happens BEFORE you begin filming)
Production (all the stuff that happens whilst filming)
Post Production (all the stuff you do after filming to put the film together)
Marketing (advertising your film)
Distribution (how the film is sent to cinemas, how long its on in cinema and how many screens is it on)

World War Z

Budget $190 million
Box Office $540 million

After Earth

Budget $130 million
Box Office $244 million

Monday, 5 September 2016

Year 12 Media Introduction

You need to complete the following tasks:

1.Set up a blog using Blogger. You'll need a Google account for this.

The address needs to be

2.Add the following gadgets to your blog (as a minimum):
  • labels
  • blog list
  • link to teacher blogs (also follow both teacher blogs)
3.Start the 5x5 activity HERE & HERE

5x5 instructions

  1. Choose five areas of the Media that you like (see my attempt for help).
  2. Within each area pick your five favourites. 
  3. Add a description/explanation/justification.
  4. Add images to illustrate.
  5. Post on your blog.


TV Dramas

Halt and Catch Fire (Amazon) - the early 80s, the advent of personal computers and hard core punk on the soundtrack. What more could you want?

Stranger Things (Netflix) - a sci-fi series that borrows heavily from films of the 80s. Brilliant acting, a great script and an ominous synth soundtrack.

Daredevil (Netflix) -  a intelligent, adult and bone-crushingly violent reboot of the Marvel comic book character. Makes recent cinematic Marvel efforts look pathetic.

Mr Robot (Amazon) - computers again - this time hackers plotting the downfall of 'The Man'. A brilliantly unreliable main character who is a delusional drug addict. Compelling and at times awkward watching.

Preacher (Amazon) - a version of a little known comic book character. All the sex, religion and drugs you need in one place. Great soundtrack too.

Favourite albums 2016

Frank Ocean - Blonde - 17 songs of postmodern r 'n' b. One of the best songwriters in the world at the peak of his artistic powers.

Field Music - Commontime - more art rock? avant rock? indie whatever from the Brewis brothers. Whatever it is, it's brilliant. Even Prince liked it.

Tim Burgess & Peter Gordon - Same Language, Different Worlds - a stunning piece of work from Tim and one of Arthur Russell's key collaborators. The best thing Mr Burgess has ever done.

BADBADNOTGOOD - IV - album number 4 from the musical prodigies. Lavender with Kaytranada is a particular standout track.

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake - slacker indie brilliance from ex Smith Western and Unknown Mortal Orchestra band members. A short collection of short songs - never a bad thing, especially when the songs are this good.

Favourite recent films

John Wick - hitmen, gun-fu, Keanu.
Drive - gangsters, revenge, postmodern.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night - a vampire, Iran, mesmerising.
Deadpool - messed up, funny, ultra-violent.
The Revenant - gritty, disturbing, a bloody great big bear.

5 Comedians

Louis C.K.
Bill Hicks
Stewart Lee
Josie Long
Daniel Kitson

5 Favourite Albums (All Time)

  1. Panda Bear-Tomboy (2011)-a heady mix of reverb, woozy synths, droning kraut-surf-ambient-pop with lyrics that almost make heart-breaking sense. A modern classic. (Key Tracks-Last Night At The Jetty & Scheheradze)
  2. Can-Ege Bamyasi (1972)-the most streamlined, funky, gritty work from these free-form, jamming, krautrock masters. They even had a hit single in Germany. (Key Tracks-Vitamin C & Sing Swan Song)
  3. Beach House-Bloom (2012)-Songs about uncertainty, doubt and feeling beaten down by the world. It's also ethereal and angelic, the sort of music to inspire vivid dreams. (Key Tracks-Myth & The Hours)
  4. Prince-Parade (1986)-12 tracks of a genius at work/play. Some songs are little more than one man demos and none the worse for it. (Key Tracks-Mountains & Kiss)
  5. Japan-Gentlemen Take Polaroids (1980)-Cult British singer David Sylvian's first band. 8 tracks containing the sort of idiosyncratic vision you don't find too often: swooning,hyper-elegant and polished. (Key Tracks-Gentlemen Take Polaroids & Taking Islands In Africa)