Sophie & Lacey
The Boyz – Dyer
Lots of theorists.
Charley & Jon
George & Traffic Cone
Sophie & Lacey
The Boyz – Dyer
Lots of theorists.
Charley & Jon
George & Traffic Cone
Please give us some feedback on the A Level Media Studies course.
Mr G & Mrs C
The Digital Greenhouse is hosting an event for anybody interested in finding out more about digital marketing.
23rd May, 12.30 at the Digital Greenhouse and the topic is Marketing with Video with speakers from Specsavers and ITV.
It’s a free event, for all the info and to register please visit
Hello all! This is Charlie Brooker…he’s Postmodern. Well not really, but he’s got a good line in deconstructing, criticizing, mocking and lampooning the postmodern media landscape we all inhabit.
This is Lyotard, our last theorist (yay).
Lyotard is a theorist who is a bit more positive about Postmodernism. In so far as rebellion, subversiveness and rejection of big ideas can be described as ‘positive’.
Lyotard was sceptical of anyone who layed claim to ‘the truth’. He felt rather than society was better made up of competing views of the world (discourses).
He suggested that postmodernism ‘signaled the end of the grand narrative’.
Charlie Brooker love to challenge a grand narrative. He critiques the way the media presents the world to us and also he critiques our distorted relationship with the media (as described by Baudrillard). He has also written a series of dystopian (near future) sci fi TV programmes called Black Mirror. In these programmes he challenges the big ideas (grand narratives) that are communicated in the media and Lyotard and quite possibly Baudrillard would approve (I think).
Here is Charlie Brooker happliy and brutally deconstructing news reports
The Simpsons’ use of postmodernist techniques, such as fragmentation, serve to highlight the diversity of our culture and the impossibility of establishing moral authority in the pluralism of postmodern society.
It is a sentiment closely related to Jean-Francois Lyotard’s theory of metanarratives, which involves a distrust of totalizing explanations of the world.
In effect, The Simpsons’ stance is the same as Lyotard’s; to reject systems that aim to exert their authority in order to proclaim absolute truths. Lyotard’s view is that these metanarratives, which purport to explain and re-assure, are really illusions,fostered in order to smother difference, opposition and plurality.Through various implicit and explicit methods, The Simpsons essentially takes the same stance, criticizing any and all who perpetuate such metanarratives. One of the ways The Simpsons does this is by making anti-authoritarianism one of its most prominent recurring themes.
Consider the metanarrative (dominant opinion) that is commonly held about one of the following groups in society:
You will then be allocated a character from The Simpsons. You need to research their characters, narratives and how they represent someone that may or may not, help bring about the destruction of the grand narrative. Create a slide in the shared presentation on google drive that compares the dominant opinion with the one that is actually constructed, conveyed, portrayed in The Simpsons by the various characters.
Mrs Cobb’s classes slideshare is in classroom.
Some reading for anyone interested enough in how The Simpson’s can be described as a postmodern text.
Not only does The Simpsons challenge figures of authority and the grand narratives they embody the show also uses one particular character to represent the voice of resistance, rebellion and pluralism.
Lisa Simpson embodies the show’s anti-establishment tendencies with her unceasing onslaught on the totalizing systems (meta narratives) abundant in Springfield. Throughout the series, Lisa’s innate critical disposition has exposed many of the wrongdoings committed by authorities in The Simpsons.
Lisa combats brainwashing powers in Springfield by criticizing the blind faith which people are wont to have towards myths. Despite Lisa’s valiant efforts, her voice is never heard because her community puts all its trust in authority. This is the kind of system that Lyotard describes and opposes in “The Postmodern Condition”.
COULD LISA BE THE ORIGINAL RUSSELL BRAND?
Jean-François Lyotard is our third theorist. He had some pretty radical things to say about post modern society. Unlike Jameson and Baudrillard, he quite likes the idea of postmodernism!
He made the remarkable assertion that: All ideas of ‘the truth’ are just competing claims (or discourses) and what we believe to be the truth at any point is merely the ‘winning’ discourse.
So essentially, he is saying there is no such thing as any absolute universal truth (or meta narratives) on any subject .
The first thing to realise is that when Lyotard talks about ‘meta-narrative’, he is not using it in the sense of a narrative as we have studied it so far, i.e. a story that uses characters, conflict, events, structure… To Lyotard a ‘meta-narrative’ means, a view of the world and what is considered natural, right or inherently true.
Here is a great image which looks at the recurring ideas underpinning of Hollywood films, which have seem to suggest a simplified / mythical view of life and how things should resolve and which perhaps also communicate ideas which are widely held as being ‘true’, or in other words ‘meta-narratives’
What are the meta-narratives of school life – what do you, the teachers, the public perceive to be universally accepted truths about what happens here between 9 and 4 each day? How far are those preconceptions met or not met during the day?
Now, watch this video with Russel Brand talking to Jeremy Paxman about the phone call scandal which got him fired from the BBC & now the story was exaggerated by The Daily Mail, edited by Paul Dacre.
To develop Lyotard’s ideas. He said these meta narratives (sometimes called ‘grand narratives’) are large-scale theories and philosophies of the world, such as the progress of history, the knowability of everything by science, and the possibility of absolute freedom… Lyotard argues that we (society) have ceased to believe that ‘narratives’ of this kind are adequate and are true for all of us.
The result of this rejection of single universal ideas being true for all of us is reflected by and explored in media texts that are rebellious and subversive towards widely held views and ideas, as well to figures in positions of authority and a distrust of what they claim is right or true.
Think also about the various different shows that feature different types of families, groups or individual’s – we will be looking at The Simpsons in more depth.
I think that the way that football spectatorship has been copied & recopied by a succession of media texts has lead us to a state of hyper-reality. I’ll try to illustrate:
Grass roots / local football (The Real Thing)
The real thing, standing at the touchline watching a football game in real time, with no media to enhance our experience.
Stadium Football (The Real Thing Max)
A spectator watches a football match from a static position in a stadium, often far away from the action, although the size of the occasion adds to the emotional impact of the spectacle. They watch the match in real time, although their spectatorship is enhanced by replays on a large screen. Also there is music and other entertainment to keep people occupied.
Football on TV – A copy of stadium max, maxed
Football on TV follows the action as if we were a spectator in the stands, but also cuts between different camera angles, gives us replays, a running commentary with extra information and ‘expert’ opinion gives us insights into the style of play and management decisions. Also creates player/celebrities and heightens drama .
Fifa – A copy of a copy of stadium max
Fifa simulates the football on TV experience, but goes further. The spectator is now the player, from the POV of a fan in the stands. Except now the camera tracks with the player that the audience is on control of. It includes the voice over commentary to simulate the TV watching experience. Players can play any team they like, play the role of the manager and also enter leagues and goals of the month competitions.
Here is a community page about Fifa in which players organise Fifa tournaments, chat about Fifa, give each other tips, compare management strategies, compete in leagues with each other and other groups. Baudrillard would say that these people are in a state of Hyper-reality, where they feel involved in football but completely removed from the real thing and that don’t really understand football as it is in real life, only as it exists in the media.
Baudrillard is the next theorist we are going to explore in the unit on Postmodern Media.
He takes Jameson’s ideas about media and starts exploring what impact these will have on the audience. He suggested a number of key ideas:
Consumer Culture: We are living in a world in which we define ourselves through the product we buy and the brands we support. Consumption is not just about need, it’s also about personal identity.
Hegemony: That we are controlled / conditioned by the media, which encourages us to buy into a culturally dominant set of ideas, as Russell Brand said, ‘..to keep us spell bound and stupid, it’s bread and circuses.’
Simulacra: As Jameson says we have lost contact with the original idea (or referent) through the continued recycling of ideas and images. Baudrillard takes this one step further and suggests that we now believe that the copy of the copy of the copy is reality. We are like the prisoners in the Allegory of Plato’s Cave.
Hyper-Reality: By living in a world of recycled images and ideas that have lost the connection to the original idea/image we are the boundaries between reality and media reality are becoming blurred and confused. In other words, we are all residents in the media reality, which are merely shadows on the wall.
Here is a PowerPoint on these ideas and which gives two thought provoking examples:
Chained to the Rythmn, which you have already examined, includes many references both in its comments and the way it is constructed that would fit with Baudrillard’s criticisms of Postmodern Media and Postmodern times. Try and identify where she seems to be referring to Hyper-reality, Consumer Culture, Simulacra & Hegemony.
What other ones are present?
There are three broad areas of research to help you give Postmodernism a framework, a context which will help you understand Postmodernism:
individually research one of the key contextual areas. Find images and single sentences try and explain the meaning or significance of the following.
Use the links and presentations in the following post to help you with ideas. We will go through the powerpoint in the next lesson.
Create 2 google slides, for each subsection of your research. It should include one or two images and at the most one sentence per image, which explain why they are significant in understanding Postmodernism. Find examples that illustrate the findings too.
Your teacher will be around to discuss your research, but don’t ask for help until you have explored at least three research sources.
As you know we will be holding our annual awards ceremony for AS & A2 Media Studies students on Tuesday 13th March at The Performing Arts Centre, starting at 7.00. You will all receive and invitation for yourself and a +1.
All the music videos will be entered for one category, such as cinematography, post production, production design…There will also be an overall Music Video of the Year, into which you will all be entered. We are really pleased that guests from Specsavers, Blue Diamond, Guernsey Press will be along to present some of the awards.
As we introduce the categories and nominees we would like to play a 30 – 40 second clip from your music video.
The winner in each category will have the music video played in its entirety.
To this end, we need you to put your production work into the P Drive:
Year 13 Media Students
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Task: A VoiceThread on the audience feedback you have received during production and your response(s) to that feedback. The specific feedback and the specific impact it had on your products.
You are working in your production group for this and will submit the same product (all must contribute equally to the power point & discussion). You must introduce yourself when speaking and say what you have been considering and looking at.
You may need to register a new account with VoiceThread.
Then you should create a Slideshow presentation, which refers to each set of feedback you have received and uses screenshots to link the feedback to the details of the production work under discussion. You should have received the following feedback:
The PowerPoint should include:
Use this document to help you prepare your PowerPoint and discussion
You should then save your PowerPoint as a pdf document and upload it to VoiceThread.
Create a new VoiceThread and in the recording you should explain/develop the feedback featured in the Slideshow and also go into detail about how you responded to the feedback you received:
You can use the highlighter tool in VoiceThread to draw attention to specific details in the pdf document that you are referring to.
A link to Adam Le Gallez’ VoiceThread:
A link to another version, not done on Voicethread but the contents is good.
Here is just some of the terminology you should aim to include as they are all linked to what you considered in the construction of your product and how it would have been received by your audience:
This is an examiner’s report on how to address this question – reflect, context, impact, limitations.
The most successful answers to Q3 explored the entire process of production, with candidates
reflecting clearly on how they had used feedback during as well as after completion of their work,
with links made both to research/ planning and outcomes in the products.
Task: A directors’ commentary which discusses the relationship(s) across your media products.
You are working in your production group for this and will submit the same product (all must contribute equally to the voiceover and you will be assessed on the contributions you make in the voiceover).
Please answer the following questions in your voiceover:
You may, of course, discuss other links and relationships; you should however try to show how there is a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship between the three products and how this is achieved.
Whilst your DP and Advert will not be directly linked to the actual song in the music video, you must focus on the links between them regarding visual style, genre, star image, representation, ideology and brand packaging of the performer, which will be the same.
Notes for Directors Commentary
Structure of the commentary: Timeline Map
You will need to plan some bullet points for a script of this voiceover, but you must not read it out word for word! It feel like a well informed discussion between you and your partner/s. Plan the script first and then divide it up between the group – ensuring you have covered the main theorists and links to be discussed (see above). Once you have the script, you can think about the visuals that you need.
Number the images in the collage and then beneath or between write a brief (1-2 sentences) comment explaining what the conventional features are:
You should use at least three professional videos to draw examples from:
This is one layout with a separate commentary but is more complicated to navigate.
This layout is easier for the examiner to read.
This is an alternative version done in slides:
Refer to your analysis of the conventions of a digipak and advert as research for this section.
In your collage of the digipack and poster you should consider the following generic & design conventions for the FRONT and BACK covers:
Top Tips & More Help
Here is a link to a document on conventions broadly and some conventional features of some genres.
Aim to include as much terminology as possible and some theorists, where applicable.
Some of the concept / micro terms you should include…remember to use the terms related to Genre:
…conventional, generic, typical, usual, frequent, unusual, subvert, unconventional, challenged, used, applied, developed, manipulated, exaggerated, amplified, increased, augmented, + repertoire of elements, genre, blueprint, contract, ingredients, star image, audience expectations, paradox of the star, ordinary, extraordinary, semic codes, cultural codes, symbolic codes, mise-en-scene, camera, lighting, font, integration of copy and images, shot distances, composition, editing, camera movement, narrative structure, disjunctive/amplified narratives, character types…
You should also regularly use ‘analysis words’ such as…
…represents, implies, suggests, connotes, reflects, signifies, emphasises, highlights, underlines, illustrates, shows, contributes to…
And always have…
…apply, develop, challenge or synonyms such as extend, subvert, amplify, exaggerate, increase, improve, extend, copy, contrast, contradict…
Revisit your concepts and theorists (particularly ‘Altman’ but also ‘Hall’ , ‘Barthes’ and ‘Dyer’ for more buzz words and read their handouts for ideas.
Remember to answer the question on every example. So, how was this an example of the convention? A development of convention? A deliberate subversion / rejection of the convention?
What is conventional about your music video as a form of media? And what isn’t? What did you ‘use, develop, challenge?’
What is conventional about your genre of music video? And what isn’t? What did you ‘use, develop, challenge?’
To complete this you should use Pinterest or another up to date, innovative picture pinning and commentary app that can be embedded and accessed on your blog. See separate post for suggestions on alternative moodboards.
In your online collage / collection you need to include actual images of and/or links to the technology which you have used and comments that say what use you put them to. Your own photos/screenshots would be best and in particular you using the technology.
You have used technology in every stage of production and this should be evident in your collage so HIGHLIGHT IN BOLD what stages of construction they relate to.
Hardware & Software technology could include:
Websites & online technology could include:
You should be specific about how you employed the technology. Be specific in terms of what you were able to achieve creatively & organisationally with these various technologies, such as…
Think about how you are going to get screenshots / images which illustrate how you have done these things at the various stages of production. Please do not simply use logos / generic images, rather use images of you actively using the technology. Also your comments must be specific in terms of what you were able to achieve by using the technology – highlight the effect, moment, event that was possible due to the technology – how did the technology specifically impact on star image, genre, narrative, audience and representation (concepts!). Please avoid: made it more appealing/eye catching/interesting!
Buzz words: copy and paste and then delete as you use them.
Q4 was often successfully covered, with some excellent responses exploring both the technologies used and the processes candidates had gone through to use them. Such answers linked clearly to research, planning and production, with detailed reflection and consideration. The weakest responses were, once again simply lists of technologies used with little or no analysis or discussion; sometimes weak responses only discussed the technologies used for construction rather than all aspects of candidates’ work. Q4 is an ideal opportunity to consider issues of convergence, but such debates were rarely seen – 2017
Question 4 was sometimes more successfully covered this session, with some very detailed responses which covered not only the technologies used but the processes candidates had gone through to use them. The best answers linked clearly to research, planning and production, with detailed reflection and consideration. The weakest responses were, once again simply lists of technologies used with little or no analysis or discussion. – 2016
Question 4 was again often the least detailed answer, with a number candidates simply presenting a list of technologies used, with little commentary or reflection. The best answers linked clearly to research, planning and production, with detailed reflection and consideration. – 2015
Question 4 was often the weakest answer, with candidates simply presenting a list of technologies used with little commentary or reflection. The best question 4 answers linked clearly to candidates’ research, planning and production, with detailed reflection and consideration. An effective model seen was a centre whose candidates had packaged this question in the style of a DVD-extra, following a “making of” model; this allowed candidates to consider their use of technology in context as well as in an entertaining and engaging manner.
WARNING: THE BETTER YOU DO THIS, THE EASIER YOUR DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY QUESTION FOR THE SKILLS SECTION 1A WILL BE SOOOOO MUUUCCCCHHHH EASSIIIEERRRR! because you can choose just 4 DT skills stories to focus on in your essay response.
You need to annotate an advert for a digipak from your performer or a similar artist from your genre. Find the advert for the DP that you annotated if you can, if not find another advert that has a DP cover that you can include in your annotation to highlight the similarities. Whatever happens, the advert should be for your Genre/Performer. Deconstruct it for meaning – why colours, fonts, composition, images, register have been used in the way they have. Some of the DP analysis were not particularly detailed enough as textual analysis so take this chance to show the examiner that you can decode, read and understand how media language is used in print texts.
Conventions of a Magazine Ad for an Album
ALWAYS CONSIDER AIDA:
Please use the next lesson(s) to produce a hand drawn mock up of the digipack you are going to make in the next 2 weeks. Collate the best ideas from your moodboards.
Annotate the designs with the conventional technical elements (barcode, song titles, publisher etc) but also label the designs with how the Media Language of print will help encode the star image and metanarrative of the performer – font, colours, design, graphics, illustration, framing etc. What are the conventional design features for your genre that you will be including? What are you using to encode meaning – what media language will you be employing – font, text, colour, images etc?
In your introduction remember to use the terms for genre, star image, encoding, decoding, preferred readings etc. The more you use the terms now, the easier it will be in the exam to talk about the DP in the Concepts section 1b.
PDF the design into your blog.
Choose a DP cover from the display on the wall. Mrs Cobb will point out the ones that achieved Level 4 as clearly it is this level that you will be aspiring to achieve.
Then search for that blog so that you can use the images in your post.
Go to www.blogs.grammar.sch.gg and search for the site in ‘blogs’. There are some paper copies around but you will still have to find the images on their blogs to copy and embed.
Using the four general assessment criteria in the slideshow below, explain how the students skills are evident in their digipacks. Be specific with examples from their texts and what they have done.
Then you need to go to the Big Think!
There will be a presentation by Adie de Putron from The Big Think this Thursday 5th October at lunch time. She will be in room 73 at 1.00 pm to introduce the event and show you how to apply, places are limited, so hurry and get your application in.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This year our students are making music videos. Last academic year the Media Studies department organised a filming day, this year the students are responsible for planning and coordinating their own video shoots.
As part of any out of school activity students need to be aware of the risks and put in measures to mitigate those. As parents and guardians it is essential that you are aware of their planned shoots, so that you can be involved in the risk assessment process and are aware of our departmental policy regarding risk assessment. That policy is laid out in this letter:
Our generic risk assessment form is below. This is provided, so as to make you aware about the ground rules, our expectations and any sanctions we may put in place if the rules aren’t followed.
Furthermore will be require students to complete a site specific risk assessment, which must be discussed with teacher prior to any agreement to shoot being given. We would also like an email confirmation from you to inform us that you are aware and that your consent is given. This site specific form is below:
We have sent paper copies of the first two documents home with each of the students, we require a parental signature before we can permit shooting during school hours.
Thanks for you continued support,
Ed Gregson & Jess Cobb