Saturday, 31 March 2012

Q1b on Audience - due in Thursday 19.4.12

1. Complete your essay on Audience.
2. Make sure you improve the previous essays on Narrative and Genre, as well as your WeMedia essay on the extent to which new media can enrich democracy.
3. Use the page to do some reading / watching in order to improve your work on New Media.
(Check out this link - PDF of a book called We Media focusing on journalism is available)

When adding/ redrafting already-posted essays, it would be good if you changed to colour of your font or underlined to signal your amendments. Or copy/paste first then improve into a new post clearly marked Redraft.

Please see below for Mr Molloy's task due in on the first Monday back.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Q1a: Digital Technology/Creativity - Essay Due First Lesson Back after the Holiday

Describe how you developed your skills in the use of digital technology for media production and evaluate how these skills contributed to your creative decision making. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

Remember you only have 30 minutes to write this answer in the exam.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Genre Q1b - Due in Thursday 29.3.12

1. Continue your reading (see below about 'net pessimists' and updated page) and amending your WeMedia essay using feedback to improve.
2. Complete your q1b response on Genre.
3. Peer-assess another student's work on Narrative. BTW, the missing ones must be uploaded by the end of tomorrow. You've been warned!

Here is that exemplar answer from OCR on genre (Q1b)- 25/25

The media production I am going to write about in relation to genre is my favourite piece from the whole course which is my horror teaser trailer.

The genre of the trailer is obviously ‘horror’ and this in itself allowed us to be creative with narrative etc but limited us because we had to stick to a certain amount of generic conventions in order for it to be recognised by it’s existing target audience. Steve Neal said that ‘genre is a repetition with an underlying pattern of variations’ which meant certain generic features had to be included and repeated which in my case was the use of a creepy location of the woods as well as hand held camera and restricted narration to cause disorientation and suspense within our trailer. However, the pattern of variation Neal describes also links to my horror teaser trailer because we were able to creatively push the boundaries by twisting some generic features in order to make the trailer interesting and therefore cause the audience to want to watch the full movie. For this my group chose use a female psycho killer I order to subvert the stereotypical male dominated role. This female identification through point of view shots etc captured our female audience because were providing them with power and this is unusual for the horror genre although it is known for its forward thinking approach as it often attempts to focus on subcultural views instead of targeting the mainstream. Genre encompasses many parts and the trailer links to it in more ways than one. Its use of enclosed location and the fact the woods attempts to reinforce our society’s fear of loneliness and isolation which the woods creates when the three friends get lost. In these sections of the trailer we used a lot of heavy cross cutting between the female victim who is running anxiously through the woods in order to find her friends and get home safely. We also used the Kuleshove and collision cutting methods as the pace began slow as the friends head our in the car unaware of the danger before them and once they are in the woods we deliberately quickened the pace of editing to cause tension and to show that something is not right, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

Editing and mise-en-scene is really important to genre and reflects very quickly certain moods and atmospheres. Levi Strauss and Roland Barthes argued that the horror genre like many others used ‘binary oppositions’ in order to show the contrast between good and evil in order to force the audience to be constantly questioning the trailer for example; in my trailer I used light and dark to connote their happiness and carefree attitude in the daytime and the darkness to emphasise their fear and reliance on their senses. This is particularly important to the horror genre as characters are often shown in high angle shots to appear vulnerable and therefore under threat.

Gore or ‘body horror’ is also a common generic convention used by most horror films that we studied including Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero who used it to make the audience feel sick by forcing them to see extreme violence. In my own trailer we were inspired to use gore differently by showing a hanging scene in slow motion to create tension and the centoring in on the face and neck which had been broken and this was shown by the rope burn we had made from latex and the blood pouring down her chest. This shot moves clockwise and slowly zooms in to force the audience to see what the hang (woman) has done. In our final two shots we finish the trailer with the male anti hero being lifted off the ground with blood pouring out of his mouth which causes the audience to assume no one survives because the final girl is stabbed by her friend accidentally which quickens the pace and adds tension but she is the survivor who as Carol Clover suggests will be terrorised throughout the film and finally overcome the monster. This plays with the audiences emotions and links back to the horror genre well by creating our own style of horror. Andrew Sarris argues because it encompasses so much and is key to explaining a film. Genre is the ideas that collectively make a particular recognisable style that draws in its existing target audience. My horror trailer had expressionist camera angles as the female victim desperately trips over the camera and we see her running above it as well as close ups of her facial expression that causes us to identify with her fear and therefore makes us scared. This meant the audience also were forced to objectify the female victim from the high angle camera shot down her top in which we can see her breasts slightly after watching other Hitchcock movies which use the male gaze theory by Laura Mulvey to force us to take a male’s viewpoint.

In my trailer we also used an iconic symbol of the noose because obviously as a hangwoman she needed the prop but also as a female the circular shape suggested female power and this is something the horror genre often does but for male characters using guns etc as phallic symbols which we also used as the male anti hero takes out a knife and stabs his friend frantically when she walks up behind him. The horror trailer was made much darker in Final Cut Pro using the brightness and contrast menu and also dragged the saturated colours towards the blue in order to create a dark, dusky night time atmosphere a generic convention of horror trailers.
The generic conventions we chose to use were all important to the success of our product and since distributing it on YouTube we have over 4000 which I am really pleased with and gives me the confidence that we obviously stuck to the genre enough to capture our intended target audience but were creative enough to make people want to keep watching the trailer and virally sharing it with others.

Genre places a media text into a grouping giving it an identity which can be recognised by the mainstream society and I believe my product is successfully fitted to the horror genre using the narrative that todorov argued was important to the horror genre by following an equilibrium at the beginning then a problem which in our case was the male anti hero playing a joke on the soon to be female victim making jump running after him causing their separation then a pathway to resolution – as they attempt to find each other and then a new equilibrium at the end which we deliberately left as an open ending to capture our audience effectively.
EAA 10
EG 10
Term 5

And finally:

Monday, 19 March 2012

A2 WeMedia - Were the net pessimists right?

Do read this, retweeted by Morozov.

Arab regimes embrace Twitter and Facebook - for their own ends

Also this (in case you haven't yet heard about Mike Daisey) ABOUT THE PERILS OF CITIZEN JOURNALISM.
Learning from Mr Daisey
"The bigger question is what we've learned about journalism in the age of what the writer Andrew Keen has called the "cult of the amateur". I believe the whole affair has reinforced the value of journalism as a profession. Because it was professional journalists at This American Life who uncovered the truth about their own programme, and professional editors who had the courage and integrity to make a very public admission of their errors." [...]
"That's not to say that citizen journalists and bloggers haven't contributed greatly to the flow of information, comment and insight that the digital age has brought us. Nor is a professional training any guarantee that a journalist will prove to be accurate, honest or ethical.
But to listen to the forensic job that Ira Glass does in his interview with Mike Daisey is to come away convinced that the values to which professional journalists aspire are worth preserving."

Finally, the big news is that you can now read the afterword of Evgeny Morozov's book, The Net Delusion, How Not To Liberate The World, online for free. AT least try to skim it and collect a couple of gems for your essays! You can read it here. (and the ebook here!)

But first, this is an accessible Guardian article penned by Morozov:
Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go
Cyber-utopians who believe the Arab spring has been driven by social networks ignore the real-world activism underpinning them

And as a bonus, this is a review of his book from the New Stateman. It's hard to read but the last 2 paragraphs will do! Now what do you think is a 'cyber-realist'? Clue = rather the opposite of a cyber-utopian!

New Statesman's review of Evgeny Morozov's Net Delusion
For the A/A* of this world, there is also this article discussing the ideas in the book in more detail:
The Internet: For Better or For Worse

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Due in Thursday 22.3.12

I want to see all folders - particularly your notes on the MediaMag articles.
These should feed into your essays.

As we're now revising for Section 1 of the exam, don't forget to use the link on the right to help you (blog from Long Road).
You need to write (and hand in or post) your essay on Narrative in one of your productions - either your thriller opening or your music video. The set question is:

Media text rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives’ Explain how you used conventional or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces.

You can read an exemplar answer that was awarded 47 marks to guide you- q1b on Narrative.
G325 Section a January 2011 II

Friday, 9 March 2012

UPDATED - Independent Study - Due in Thursday 15th March

- Complete any reading you haven't done with relevant notes.
- Revise from class notes and overview sheet (+ attached theory notes)
- Clarify your ideas about Shirky and Morozov (the latter is interesting to follow on twitter! He doesn't hold back and doesn't seem to like Shirky and Jeff Jarvis too much! @evgenymorozov)
I'd like to see some quotes from theorists on your blogs; you need to start learning them.
- Post main points from what you investigated and presented in class.

Nearly there!

LISTEN TO THIS: Today's (Tuesday 13.3.12) PM programme on Radio 4, last 13 minutes (from 46:40) - GREAT ANALYSIS OF KONY 2012. EXCELLENT RANGE OF VIEWS, PERFECT FOR YOUR ESSAYS!

Plus this great article:

Monday, 5 March 2012

WeMedia and Democracy

You can now find many relevant articles and links mentioned on the blog in one neat place:

WeMedia and Democracy

Friday, 2 March 2012

Due in 8.3.12 - WeMedia work

You need to finish and embed your "movie" on Jenkins, Wesch and Gauntlett. We'll watch them in the first lesson on Thursday. Prize will go to the best one.
Here's Yasmin's and Manan's (doesn't have to be about the music industry BTW):

Terrorz - Yasmin and Manan - Gauntlett and Wesch Video:
by: yasminamey22

You also need to continue with your reading and watching.
Next Thursday, I will need to see the notes you have been making on the Media Mag articles. I assume you keep them in your files since they're not on your blogs. You will be discussing your findings in class so make sure you have the main points down.

David, we are also waiting to see your Research which should have been ready for last Thursday...

Finally, check this out (Devki and Shreyaa will briefly talk to us about it next week):
Guardian Online New Open Journalism Page

Three Little Pigs Guardian advert: