Wednesday, 14 December 2016

AS Foundation Portfolio Brief


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.

Main task: the front page, contents and double page spread of a new music magazine.

All images and text used must be original, produced by the candidate, minimum of FOUR images per candidate.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas 50: Audience And Institution

Your Christmas 50 homework consists of the following:

Answer the two questions below:

Essay 4

“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?

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Essay 5

"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 media area? 

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Essay 5 - Extract

"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 media area? 

I agree with this statement in some aspects because cross media convergence and synergy are both very vital processes of which have to take place in order for particular films to become successful for the audiences that they are aimed at and marketed for. Cross media convergence is the way in which films and other different products are produced and distributed to other marketing platforms. An example of this would be how trailers for films have leaked onto the internet by accident to websites like Facebook and YouTube resulting in them being further marketed by accident to more people. Another example would be the marketing and distribution on iPhones and iPad apps and how people can access the marketing for films and things through this example of the media. Synergy on the other hand is the interaction and cooperation that two or more organisations have on particular products. This meaning that agents can produce better marketing techniques of which can then be seen by more audiences marketing the products in a more effective and greater way.

The two processes mentioned are important to the success of media products as without them, certain trailers for films or different advertising techniques might not be as accessible to the audience. An example of how cross media convergence affects the success of marketing a media product includes the use of YouTube. YouTube can almost be seen as a streamer for trailers and adverts for films and they quite commonly are found on there from different distributers. What I mean by this is that, members of the public can access film clips and then upload them to YouTube for further audiences to see. These audiences may not have originally seen the trailer and because the leak of the particular marketing techniques, films can become more available and open to more audiences. All this is done by accident and without the help of the film industries distributors. Another example of cross media convergence is how Facebook becomes a marketing technique. People post comments about what they have done and if someone was to go and see a new film, people might see that and become interested therefore watch the trailer of which another person may have shared from YouTube. This would also be an example of synergy. It is an example of synergy because it represents both Facebook and YouTube working together with the film companies and industries in order to advertise a film. It could be advertising the film through many different techniques such as a trailer or a film review.

Relating directly back to the statement of, "Cross media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences," I feel that without the use of the internet film marketing is a lot more difficult as the synergy between film industries and other companies within the internet are strong and are seen as reliant when it comes to films becoming successful or not.

Essay 5

"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 media area? 

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Refer to Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your answer.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Essay 4

“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?

50 marks
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument 
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology

Refer to Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your answer.

Essay 4 - Extract

“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 general, global institutions do appear to dominate media production. For example, in film, Disney is a major player owning over 4 of their own studios like ‘The Prospect Studios’. However, small national companies are not entirely out of the picture. In 2011, for example, Bedlam Productions and See Saw Films, both small UK companies, achieved massive success with ‘The Kings Speech’, proving that small, national companies can reach global audiences.

Disney is considered a global institution it owns its film companies such as Pixar and Touchstone Picture, it has theme parks, crises, radio stations and TV channels. You could say Disney uses all it ‘arms’ to help sell to its target audiences also with horizontal marketing. Disney’s target audience is aimed at children but also adults because their films have a double meaning and has adult jokes.

For example, there new ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film is a fairy tale aimed at children. However, it sets a dark side to the traditional values aimed at the adults. It’s a British story and they use British actors.

Whereas ‘The Kings speech’ has similar strengths where it is a British traditional story, quite patriotic and uses famous British actors. For example, ‘Helen Bonham Carter’. ‘The Kinds Speech’ reached global audiences with a mere production budget of £15m compared to Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ budget of £200m. Bedlam Productions and See Saw film would have had to use vertical marketing to compete with companies like Disney and the success of films like this show that they can achieve success.    

Photoshop Tutorial - logo design

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Exhibition and Exchange

Selected Key Terms for Institutions and Audience

 1.An institution (in the film industry)

Definition: any company or organisation that produces, distributes or exhibits films. The BBC makes films with their BBC Films arm; Channel4's Film Four produces films, Working Title also produce films, as does Vertigo Films, etc. Some institutions need to join with other institutions which distribute films. Vertigo Films is able to distribute its own films, Channel Four distributed Slumdog Millionaire through Pathe. Working Title's distribution partner is Universal, a huge US company which can make, distribute and show films. The type of owner ship within an institution matters as, for instance, Channel 4 and the BBC are able to show their own films at an earlier stage than other films made by other institutions. They are also better placed to cross-promote their in-house films within their media organisations. Use you work on Film Four as the basis for most of what you write, Moon is a good cross comparison as Duncan Jones had to create his own institution just to get the film made.

2.Distribution and Marketing

Definition: the business of getting films to their audiences by booking them for runs into cinemas and taking them there in vans or through digital downloads; distributors also create the marketing campaign for films producing posters, trailers, websites, organise free previews, press packs, television interviews with the "talent", sign contracts for promotions, competitions, etc. Distributors use their know-how and size to ensure that DVDs of the film end up in stores and on supermarket shelves. Distributors also obtain the BBFC certificate, and try to get films released as the most favourable times of the year for their genre, etc.


Definition: showing films in cinemas or on DVD. Media attention through opening nights and premieres How the audience can see the film: in cinemas, at home, on DVD, through downloads, through television, including premieres, the box office take in the opening weeks; audience reviews which includes those of the film critics, ordinary people, cinemas runs; awards in festivals, The Oscars, BAFTAS, etc.


Definition: The unintended use of an institution’s media text (i.e. a film) by OTHER PEOPLE who use the film or parts of it to form new texts. What happens to a film, etc. after the public get their hands on it using digital technology.  Also relates to the selling of the product to the audience.

Examples: People unconnected to the institution/ film using WEB 2.0 applications such as Youtube, Blogger, reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, buzzfeed to discuss the film or edit parts together to form a new text which they may then put a new soundtrack to and publish on Youtube, etc. When you add a trailer from a site like YouTube on your blog you have been engaging with exchange. 

5.Vertical and Horizontal Integration

Definition: Absorption into a single firm of several firms involved in all aspects of a product's manufacture from raw materials to distribution.

Example: Vivendi Universal have integrated film, music, web and distribution technology into the company, including owning big stakes in cables and wires that deliver these services. Therefore they are vertically integrated because they own all the different companies involved in film, from production to distribution to exhibition. They are also horizontally integrated because they have all the expertise for producing media content under one roof – films, TV, magazines, books, music, games thus being able to produce all the related media content for one film under the same roof (see synergy). This is important for the control the institution has over their product/film.


Definition: The interaction of two or more agents (institutions/companies) to ensure a larger effect than if they acted independently. This is beneficial for each company through efficiencies in expertise and costs.

Examples: Working Title know how to make films and they have formed a business partnership with Universal, a massive US company, who have the experience and size in the marketplace (cinemas, stores, online, etc.) to distribute them. (They create the marketing campaign to target audiences through posters, trailers, create the film’s website, free previews, television and press interviews featuring “the talent”, drum up press reviews, word of mouth, and determine when a film is released for the best possible audience and the type of release: limited, wide, etc.) Channel Four’s Film 4 and Celador Films (Celador also produce Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and films, too) benefited by pooling their know-how, experience and expertise to jointly produce Slumdog Millionaire. These companies formed a business relationship with France’s Pathe to distribute this film. In the UK Pathe helped create the poster, trailer, website, etc. In the USA the film found another distributor after being nominated for the Oscars.

7.Viral Marketing

Definition: A marketing technique aiming at reproducing "word of mouth" usually on the internet and through existing social networks. YouTube Video pastiches, trailers, interviews with cast members, the director, writer, etc. You can find interviews of “the talent” trying to gain publicity for your case study films on YouTube. Find some clips from the films we have studied to help you in the exam.

8.Guerilla Marketing

Definition: The use of unconventional and low cost marketing strategies to raise awareness of a product. The aim is usually to create “buzz” and “word of mouth” around a film. Unusual stunts to gain publicity (P.R.) on the film’s opening weekend, etc.

Examples: Sasha Baron Cohen created “buzz” before the release of his film “Borat” by holding fake press conferences. The studio also accessed the popularity of YouTube by releasing the first 4 minutes of the movie on YouTube, a week before it’s release, which can then be sent virally across the nation. At a special viewing of “Bruno” Cohen landed on Eminem “butt first” from the roof MTV Awards venue, dressed in as an angel outfit with rents in the rear end.

9.Media Convergence

Definition 1: Convergence of media occurs when multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of all of them.

Examples: More and more films are being marketed on the Internet and on mobile phones. You no longer need even to buy the DVDs or CDs as you can download films and music directly to your laptop, Mac or PC. Blue Ray DVDs can carry more features than ordinary DVDs and can be played on HD televisions and in home cinemas for enhanced/cinematic picture quality. You can save films on SKY digital, Free-box digital players, etc. You mobile phone has multiple features and applications. With media and technological convergence this is growing year on year. Play-Stations, X-Boxes and the Wii can can connect with the Internet and you can play video games with multiple players.

10.Technological Convergence

Definition 2: The growing interractive use of digital technology in the film industry and media which enables people to share, consume and produce media that was difficult or impossible just a few years earlier.

Examples: For instance, the use of new software to add special effects in editing; the use of blue-screen; using new types of digital cameras like the one Danny Boyle used in “Slumdog Millionaire” (The Silicon Imaging Camera to shoot high quality film in tight spaces); you can use the Internet to download a film rather than go see it in the cinema; you can watch it on YouTube; you can use special editing programs like Final Cut Pro to edit bits of a film, give it new soundtrack and upload it on YouTube; you can produce illegal, pirate copies on DVDs from downloads and by converting the film’s format; you can buy Blue Ray DVDs with greater compression which allows superior viewing and more features on the DVD; distributors can use digital software to create high concept posters; cinemas can download films to their projection screens and do not have to depend on a van dropping off the film! The is also the Digital Screen Network. There are tons of ways in which technological convergence affects the production, distribution, exhibition and exchange by prosumers. ( A prosumer is someone who not only consumes (watches films) but also writes about them the Net, blogs and make films out of them, often uploading them on sites like YouTube, etc.

11.A Mainstream Film

Definition: A high budget film that would appeal to most segments of an audience: the young, boys, girls, teenagers, young people, the middle aged, older people, the various classes in society. Distributors often spend as much or more than the film cost to make when distributing mainstream films that are given wide or universal releases.

Example:The Boat That Rocked was a mainstream idea and was given the mainstream treatment on wide release. The film flopped at the UK box office on release ( and has not done too well since mid November 2009 on release in the USA. This was mostly because of its poor reviews, particularly from “Time-Out”. However, when young and older audiences see the DVD they generally like the film because of its uplifting storyline and the well-chosen soundtrack.

12.Art House Films

Definition: A low budget independent film that would mostly appeal to an educated, higher class audience who follow unusual genres or like cult directors that few people have heard of. Therefore it is usually aimed at a niche market. Foreign films often come under this category.

Examples: The low budget film, Once (2007) which found a specialised, boutique distributor in Fox Searchlight fits this label. (FOX the mainstream company usually distributes big budget film and blockbusters); So does “Juno” from 2008 which began as a low budget film about teenage pregnancy that the big studios thought too risky to touch – but it found popularity through its touching storyline, engaging music and its Oscar nomination for best script. Like “Slumdog Millionaire” the film crossed over between art-house cinemas and audiences to mainstream ones because of the recognition it received from Canadian film festivals and award ceremonies like Britain’s BAFTAS and the Hollywood’s Oscars.

13.Ratings bodies 

BBFC - The British Board of Film Classification

How your institutions films are rated will affect audiences in so far as WHO can see them. Remember that sex scenes, offensive language, excessive violence, the use of profanity, etc. can affect the rating and certificate the film receives and therefore affect who is able to see the film.

Thursday, 8 December 2016


The 25 Best Movie Moments of 2016, According to IndieWire Critic David Ehrlich.

Monday, 5 December 2016

12V/MS1 - Film case study

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - Rosie & Tegan
Under the Skin (2013) - Alfie & Will
Furious 7 (2015) - Cam, Alex & George A.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) - Steph & Ceri
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - Isabel, Frank & Ben
Captain America: Civil War (2015) - George S.
Skyfall (2012) - James, Harri & Charlee
Kingsman: The Secret Service - George G. (2014)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) - Rhiannon & Amy
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) - Jasmine & Nieeve

Film case study

  1. 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?)
  2. 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?)
  3. 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, Blu-ray, internet streaming, downloadable content, home cinema influenced the types of films made, the way we watch them and the way we 'buy' them?)
  4. 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, tablets etc? How have audiences changed their viewing habits now we no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a film)
  5. 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?)
  6. 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?)
  7. 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?)
  • Choose a suitable presentation format.
  • Add trailers, images, clips (make it look interesting)

Present to the class:
  • Wednesday 7th December (12Y/MS1)
  • Thursday 8th December (12Z/MS1)
  • Tuesday 13th December (12V/MS1)

Friday, 2 December 2016