Peer assessment sheets for feedback on video and DP/Advert

These are to help you get feedback on your media products. You should seek out 3-5 people with some media knowledge (students in other classes are fine). Make sure they record the feedback in the YouTube for the video. For the digipack a few comments on the areas in the list.

These will be useful for Draft 4 of the Music Video and for your Draft 1 DP/Advert.

Remember, to be reflective, evaluate your progress, include terms and refer to theories as and when appropriate.

Ideas – inspiration – photo albums that might spark an idea!

This website has lots of ideas from artists and media makers around the world. It might just offer you some inspiration for your MES – remember simple but meaningful use of MES could make all the difference: some broken plates, antique books, a bright red balloon, tattered armchair, sleek hair do, interesting window frame, bright red lipstick, beaten up car etc.

However, be careful not to over stretch yourself. Look at previous student’s work and see what is likely and possible. You may have to ‘cut your cloth’ (plan one’s aims and activities in line with one’s resources and circumstances) and do something simple and brilliantly as opposed to attempt something spectacular but badly.

Here are some links to some specific pages that could whet your appetite:

Continue reading

Representation Essay

‘With examples, discuss the central figures in one of your media products and consider how they are represented in the text.’

Use must use the essay template and use the theory booklet.

Remember you are A2 students so need to reflect, analyse and argue, not just regurgitate theories; apply them to specific examples in your media product.

Some help with the theorists for this essay:

Barthes Summary by Mr G
Dyer summary by Mrs C

Click to view

Hall Summary by Mr G

Some More Help

What is representation and what general approach should I take?

Here is some example extracts from previous students’ essays

Your Narrative Idea

Narrative Theory

Narrative is the ‘study of stories’. It includes the following:

  1. The order in which the story is told.
  2. How the audience is positioned in relation to the narrative.
  3. The character’s journey. What epiphany do they have?
  4. The conflict & theme explored and how they are resolved.
  5. The codes in the text which help the audience understand the story and its messages.

Here is a Slideshow which runs through narrative with specific reference to music videos. You should be able to use some of the ideas in the video below, although you will find that because music videos don’t tend to follow conventional narrative structures you might be better off analysing your thriller in terms of narrative, if it crops up in the exam.

The Formalists

A lot of the ideas were are going to explore can be described as ‘formalist’. That means they explore the form or shape of a story, it’s structure, both Todorov and Propp are formalists. Here is a formalist description of a common narrative ‘The Hero’s Journey’:

A Cultural Anthropologist

Levi Strauss is an anthropologist. He is more interested in cultural ideas beneath the story (its themes). He was interested in how messages and values are communicated in the conflict within a narrative.

You will need to refer to theorists and use their terminology in a narrative essay, please use the concepts booklet:

  • Propp – Page 8
  • Todorov – Page 9
  • Levi-Strauss – Page 10

Shaping the narrative in your music video.

Even if your video is thematically based you should consider it as a narrative. This means, however abstract and thematic your video might be, you should show development and progression.

Please develop a simple narrative structure to your video in three parts:

  1. The Beginning – How do you establish the story / theme in the video?
  2. The Middle What is the development of the story or the conflict within the theme?
  3. The End How does the theme story resolve? What end message do you wish to communicate?

You can use this slide to sketch out your narrative idea.

Performance Shot List

Instead of a written list of shots we want you to create a visual shotlist of the kind of shots you want to include in your performance shoot.

You should study other bands of a similar genre and collate @ 10 screen shots of conventional shots, frames, angles they use in their performances. You should look at at least 3 – 4 other music videos and use shots from these. You will then title the shots with an explanation of the shot i.e. close up of guitarist’s instrumental mastery; whip pans between band members looking at each other; master long shot of band performing as a unit; mid shot pan of band members; extreme close up of lead singer’s expressive face and vocals etc. 

Clearly a lot of the energy and dynamics will come from the edit in post-production but you will need a variety of shots of the performer from different angles with different movement to give yourself adequate footage.

Remember:  take at least 2 cameras for your performance shoot and get the band to sing the song several times through and take complete footage of the song being performed from different angles, distances and with different movement.

Also think about shots where movement happens through the frame…i.e. feet or people walking across the screen? What about POVs, hand held, canted, whip pans, pulling focus?

Take a printed version of the screen shots out with you to remind you of what you need to shoot in order to create the right vibe, look and energy. Also take a list of specific shots you need to help create energy and star image.

PERFORMANCE SHOOT – Production Meeting Agenda

It is vital you are prepared, organised and ready to film your performance.

Remember to complete a Production Meeting Agenda and consider the following:

  • Carry out and complete risk assessments and get relevant permissions
  • Do your performer’s know their lines (have you printed them out in large print?)
  • Do you have your planning documents?
  • Do you have cameras, tripods, shoulder mounts, quick release shoes, batteries, SD cards (take at least 2 cameras and check they are charged etc)?
  • Do you have costumes, make up, accessories, shoes?
  • Do you have musical instruments?
  • Do you have microphones?
  • Do you have everyone’s contact numbers?
  • Do you have food and drink?
  • Will you set up in advance of your actors, performers arriving to cut down on hanging around time.

Risk Assessment – REALLY IMPORTANT




You will have got an adult to authorise your filming off school premises and hopefully this has been submitted to your teacher.  If your performer’s are under-18, if they have not already got their guardians/parents to sign the parental permission form, then they danger-2will need to fill one in too – regardless of whether they are at this school or not.


Before you go on shoot you must complete a specific shoot risk assessment. You must discuss this assessment with your teacher before the shoot and describe to them exactly what you intend to do and ask your subjects to do.  Each time you go to a new site, venue, location you will need to produce a new specific shoot risk assessment.

We will not give permission or our approval to any of the following:

  • Filming near the edge of a cliff or drop that could cause injury
  • Working with fire or combustible materials
  • Working in a location which is a designated building site or has been fenced off to public access
  • Filming in any private property, unless you have permission from the owner
  • Allowing someone to swim or play in open water which is more than 1 meter deep
  • ‘Stunt’ work that includes physical action sequences & includes reckless car driving

If you happen to have a responsible adult who is also a lifesaver or fireman then there may be exceptional circumstances allowed if they accompany you on the shoot but it all needs to be discussed well in advance.





Representation of your Star Image

How the star/band/performer is represented in your video and on the digipak and poster is really important.

Music videos are made primarily to promote the star, in order to sell their music, in order to make money…simples!

Star image is crucial in terms of raising a star’s profile in the media. They should be studied as ‘products’ to be advertised, publicised and be ‘sold’ to the fans. They have to remain constantly interesting to keep the fans intrigued – the star evolves! It could be seen as its own special kind of ‘species’.

Richard Dyer Handout

Richard Dyer is a theorist you need to learn about. He came up with some concepts about how ‘star image’ works in the media. Here is a Theory Booklet about his ideas – go to page 7:

PINTEREST/GOMOODBOARD.COM TASK – STAR IMAGE (you can use any other collage app of your choice but you must be able to annotate it)

Your task is to take the ‘star’ (performer, duet, band, group) you analysed with the music video and digipak and create a ‘pinterest page’ on how they are ‘represented‘. Find examples of news stories, incidents, events, digipak covers, music videos, articles, blogs, tweets that all contribute to their ‘star image’. The way they are represented is called their metanarrative (over arching story about them).


Image result for pinterest

And remember, just as you did in your TV drama representation – you must add ADJECTIVES to how they appear through that particular event, story, picture etc. You can do this task as a group but must all equally contribute to the page.

This is a link to an excellent example. You should have at least 15 – 20 images and comments.

Planning for Success

This is a really great article about how to be successful in A level production projects. The advice comes straight from the chief examiner and so it is well worth spending time on.

Please spend time this lesson working on your Production Group Agreement. Think about the general (transferable) skills your team will need: diplomacy, organisation, compromise, creativity… as well as the technical skills like choreography editing, costume design & lighting…

Think back to the dummy mash up and your thriller production group: What technical and personal qualities did your group possess that helped you deliver the product and on reflection, where were the problems and what did you lack as a group?

Upload it to you blog and remember to use a thumbnail to attach the link to. Also, please include a brief commentary on:

  1. What is the document that you have uploaded?
  2. In what ways will this discussion help you manage the project?

Remember to use pdfs and jpegs – NOT LINKS to GOOGLE FILES!

Dummy Mash Ups

Here are the fabulous dummy mash up videos we made as a preliminary exercise for the music video.

Please reflect on the product and process. What have you learned that you can take into the real video you’re going to making next half term?

Block C

Block B

Block A (Group 1)

Block A (Group 2)

Block A (Group 3)

MV – Your music video ideas (Synesthesia) – links to music sites – INSPIRATION

Synaesthesia is a way of generating ideas from music – effectively ‘seeing sounds in your head’.

It is a really helpful technique to use when listening to music in order to come up with visual ideas.

When listening to a piece of music you should concentrate on each of the following features in turm:

  • Sense of subject matter
  • Grain of voice
  • Arrangement
  • Suggested Stories
  • Cultural references

Here is a Prezi which explains and illustrates these ideas:

Task 1 (done collectively)

  • You will listen to two songs and write down the images, ideas, colours, adjectives, themes, subjects that come to mind when listening to the lyrics, beat, grain of voice, tempo etc.
  • Then we will watch the videos and see how close you were to how the music was interpreted in visuals.

Task 2: you have @ 5 lessons and independent study to complete this.

Independent Study – Develop and present a music video idea for one song.
You need to short list some songs (see below the guidance on choosing songs) and, using synesthesia, develop some tangible ideas for one of them.
You should present your ideas as a inspiration board of found images / videos. It should include:
  • The genre of music & repertoire of elements associated:
    • The look of the band / lead singer
    • Locations for performance / narrative
    • Style of Performance
    • Costume / Make Up / Hair
    • Instruments
    • Colour Palettes
    • Narrative Events
You may use whatever digital format you like: Google Slides, Prezi, Pinterest, Photoshop, InDesign…or something else…(please check with your teacher)
Choosing a Song
  • Start with thinking, ‘Who will perform this?’ and work from there.
  • Perhaps opt for a solo performer to make organisation easier
  • Don’t choose a song by your favourite band/star.
  • Don’t choose something that is well known.
  • Don’t choose something too long, 3 – 4 minutes is plenty.
  • Album tracks or cover versions are useful options
  • Beware of Warner Music Group and its associated record labels

Please listen to music on these site for inspiration:

This presentation should include:

  • a moodboard – to encompass genre and star image
  • annotated lyrics (like you’d annotate a poem – with visual / thoughts / themes)
  • an embedded mp3
  • extended step outline in terms of a description of the narrative
  • Introductions of your ideas for narrative and performance to include key terms for genre and star image and narrative (use the terms in context and refer back to previous blog posts for theorists, ideas, concepts).

MV – Just some more inspiration….

Just some inspiration!


It is always worth looking at OTHER ART forms for inspiration. Photos, art, websites, films, theatre – they could all spark a moment of imagination.

These are just a few links to ‘weird and wonderful’ youtube videos:

Beckett play – Theatre of the Absurd – Quad

Not I – Beckett

Beckett – Acting without words – I High

The Bed Experiment – Theatre of Cruelty

DV8 – Physical Theatre – 3 ballets

Enter Achilles – Dv8 – physical theatre

MV – Dummy Mash Up Evaluation questions

  • What lessons did you learn about planning and the use of Shot Lists and Production Meeting Agendas? Why are they important when out on shoot? 
    • TARGET:
  • What lessons did you learn about directing people in front of the camera? What information do they need to know about their character / their performance style? How can the director get them to relax and have confidence in front of the camera in order to perform well? 
    • TARGET:
  • What lessons did you learn about filming the performance for your production?
    • TARGET:
  • What did you learn about editing and post-production?
    • TARGET:
  • What did you discover about the use of conventional Mise-En-Scene for music videos? (Refer to the completed Dummy Mash Up with all the various genre’s included).
    • TARGET:

Cut and paste the questions above and give some detailed responses to them – what did you learn from the task? what will you take away? how will your production benefit from this exercise?  Flag up what went wrong too – this was a learning experience so make sure you have learnt valuable lessons in readiness for your own production.

Remember to use as much media lingo as you can that you have learnt so far – include the terms (conventions, repertoire of elements, blueprint, contract, predictable pleasure, star image, paradox of the star, metanarrative, extraordinary, ordinary, present, absent, genre, narrative, disjunctive, amplification, illustrative, performance, break the 4th wall etc…) and also refer to the product/text with specific moments, examples, outcomes.

MV – Star Image for the Dummy Mash Up

Create a shared pinterest post on how a star of a similar genre to your DMU section is conveyed in the media. How do they come across in their music videos? How are they represented in the media? on Twitter? On Facebook? On fanzones?  On websites? In interviews?  All of these ideas should help fuel how you are going to represent your star in your section.

How are they connoted, portrayed, represented?  This is their star image; Their meta-narrative.

See the sheet below for some theory on star image, representation and meta-narrative and The Paradox of the Star:

Richard Dyer & The Star Image


Here is an example Pintrest Board for Michael Jackson


MV – Dummy Mash Up Planning documents x 3

TASK 1 – Visual Shot List – Joint task

  • Visual Shot List – Using your section, take screen shots (or snipping tool sections) of each and every shot used.  Transfer to google slides and then make sure you list the following:
    • Shot term:
    • Description of shot:
    • Time:
    • Transition to next shot:

This is to ensure you understand just how many shots are involved in a short 30 second segment.

  • shot list exemplar

Reflect: so what do you notice? Is there a predominance of certain shots, edits, transitions?  What can you see might be conventional for that particular genre?

Additional: Then look at  least 3 other videos of the same genre and find 3 other exciting, inspirational shots, edits that you could use as well in your filming of the performance and add these in at the end of the presentation.

TASK 2 – Annotated Lyrics – Joint Task

  • Annotate the lyrics with ideas on where and when you might use the different shots i.e. instrumental section might have a close up on the instrument, solo section might have an extreme close up of the performer?

TASK 3 – Production Meeting Agenda – Joint task

You need to really start to think about co-ordinating locations, props, sets, costumes and make up. Think about this now so that you have time to get it together for next week’s filming.

MV – Dummy Mash Up – Genre analysis

Your group will now have been allocated a specific ‘generic’ section of the Dummy Mash Up that you need to research, plan, film and edit.

Taking your ‘genre’ (acoustic, pop, rap, indie rock, girl band etc) you must now research what are the conventional features that are associated with this genre of music video? This ‘repertoire of elements’ (recipe of ingredients) is something you will need to research in your own video and be able to write about and analyse in the exam, so the sooner you start thinking in media term and focus on genre, the better.

Conventions are Crucial. Why? They give predictable pleasure to the audience who will have certain expectations that they want satisfied – the music producers will follow a pre-established ‘blueprint’ (map) that they follow which will form part of the ‘contract’ (mutual agreement) with the audience. However, audiences demand novelty and in order to be creative and to ensure that the video is watched again and again, there has to be something that goes beyond conventional boundaries in order to make it watchable, entertaining, intriguing – new.

Genre document – terms and theorists

Task 1:

Create a collage of images taken from music videos of similar artists of the same genre. Find conventional features – what style of costume, narrative (themes), location, performance style, cinematography (camera & lighting), editing regularly feature in music videos from this genre of music? A clear understanding of these conventional features will inspire you for your Dummy Mash Up section.

Annotate your collage with appropriate adjectives, nouns, adverbs that relate to that genre – edgy, rebellious, emotional, romantic, canted angles and any other words that you associate with the genre I.e. Bass guitar, ripped jeans, festivals, live performance, cover versions, countryside  etc.

Once you have done this, discuss your findings with the group so that you can start to iron out and focus on how to make your section ‘conventional‘ yet ‘contemporary‘ or in other simpler terms, ‘the same but different’?

Here’s an example:

Elements of punk, grunge, indie & rock.

MV – Dummy Mash Up – Introduction

Your research and planning into Music Video conventions will include a ‘practise’ performance shoot for a specific genre of music.

We have allocated ‘genres’s to specific groups and each group will perform for their partnered group.

Above is last year’s valiant effort.  The aim is to produce a performance video that shows you understand how genre is conveyed and communicated through the use of MES, Camera and Editing and how the star image of the band/performer is represented.

Here are the groups and allocated sections of songs that you have got to work with!

Your first task is to convert the song to an MP3 and place it in a folder in the D Drive of your production computer. Then download a copy of the lyrics and highlight the section you are working with.

MV – Previous Students’ Work

Here is a playlist of some of the best music videos made by students from The Sixth Form. They are an example of what is possible and moreover – what works: 


Here are the assessment criteria.

Independent Study Tasks

  1. Embed the video (not the whole playlist), copy the level ladder and evaluate your chosen video in terms of how it reaches (or doesn’t) level four.
  2. Address each section in turn and using sub headings for your evaluation.
  3. Remember to EVALUATE the success of the video with reference to  the assessment criteria with SPECIFIC EXAMPLES from the video  and use  TECHNICAL TERMS.
  4. Remember to try and get in theoretical terms too (SIGNIFICANCE): ‘brand, break the 4th wall, genre,  code, star image, representation, narrative – almost like a mini textual analysis.