Audience Feedback on final products – preparation for Ev Q 3

‘What have you learned from your audience feedback?’

In order to prepare for Evaluation Question 3, you will need to do a final evaluation of your products based on some summative feedback from an audience.

You will need to focus on the following areas:

  • The degree to which you communicated a specific genre of music?
  • The values, attitudes and belief (ideology) of your band/star.
  • What is the audiences’ reading of your texts and do they match your preferred reading?
  • What is the meaning/sense in the narrative?

Linked / embedded into the questionnaire will be the products for the audience to consume and respond to.

To complete this, you must work with your group to set up a questionnaire of 10 questions in Google Forms.

Each class will then send it to your allocated media students (see this list for who to send it to) in other classes, so that you will get at least 10 responses. However, you should also circulate the questionnaire to some target audience members too, in order to get 10 responses.

This means that you will all have to spend regular time checking your gmail and helping your peers out by filling in their submissions.

The results can then be collated and summarised in your response.

Task 1:

Brainstorm 10 suitable questions with your group. You will need to get a variety of question types and in particular, include some that will encourage the audience to describe their responses and reactions using adjectives (perhaps give them a choice of adjectives including ones that encompass a negotiated or oppositional reading).

Task 2:

Set up Google forms.

Distribute to your allocated recipients plus others you can think of.

Task 3:

After 1 week, collate the responses.

Task 4: 

Use the results, along with your ongoing feedback to respond to Evaluation Question 3, details of which to come later.

This is a link to a questionnaire from last year – not necessarily brilliant but an idea of how you should structure it.

These are some possible questions:

  • What genre do you think is communicated by the front cover of the DP – pop, rock, reggae, ska
  • What aspects of the narrative make you want to watch the video again?
  • What 3 adjectives describe the star image of the lead singer? (give a choice perhaps using a semantic differential scale)
  • What themes are included in the narrative? (give a choice of binary oppositions – conflict pairs)
  • Do you understand the narrative? (Short response)
  • How conventional is the performance section – MES, location, performance style, editing, filters etc?

This must be done ASAP so that you have time to get responses – WHICH IS WHY YOU NEED YOUR FINAL PRODUCTS.

Digipak templates + PMA (Production Meeting Agenda) + Risk Assessment

This week you should be planning, executing and producing your Digipak.  Make sure your planning is precise and comprehensive. All planning documents should be uploaded to the blog. You will have to organise your group, models and performers. Remember you have fewer lessons this week so you need to work in a focused manner.

Attached to this post are links to shot lists, agendas and digipak templates.

You should also use Adobe Indesign to create your templates. You can choose one from the list.

Use Photoshop to amend, edit and manipulate your photos and Indesign to construct the actual Digipak.

You must also include your contact sheets in the blog and give an overview of which shots you finally choose and why. Make copies of the PMA and RA sheets.

Production Meetings Agenda

Risk Assessment

4 Pane

4 Pane

Front Cover

Back Cover + Folds

Inlay Behind CD

Inlay Front

These links may be helpful in setting up the templates so that your work is the correct size in photoshop.–Using-our-Templates-with-Adobe-Photoshop

Digipack Hand drawn Mockup

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.

You should:

  • Drawn, mock-up design of digipak – 4 panes on A3 paper.
  • Annotated with conventional and technical features.

dp mock updp mock up 2

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.

Digipak – Previous Students’ Work – Print Assessment Criteria

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 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.

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

Digipak analysis – conventions

We now need to have a look at how digipaks and adverts are designed to work alongside videos to support the promotion of a new album.

Consider digipak covers. What do they have in common? What are the conventions?

Here are our notes on the conventions of a digipak. Read them when you get stuck.

Now you must find a digipak cover from the same genre as your music video and annotate it for the design conventions. This must be uploaded to your blog. Make it detailed and use the terms from the sheets below. If you can find the back of it too, that would be great for some of the technical conventions i.e. barcode, publisher logo etc.

Here is an example analysis

You should focus on: images, graphics, illustrations, font, colour, technical conventions (barcode, parental advisory, album title on spine, tracks on the back), register of copy, mise-en-scene, composition, intertextual references, how does the cover communicate meaning, denotations and connotations, image manipulation, filters, generic conventions, how can it be ‘read/interpreted’ by an audience, star image, metanarrative, representation?

This is a textual analysis – decode it!  Use connectives like connote, infer, imply, represent. This is another way MEDIA LANGUAGE is used to communicate an idea, message, image etc.

In the introduction to the blog post we want you to do a bullet point list of the conventional and technical features that are common to digipaks too – include the spine, inside covers and back cover – what is commonly featured? Bar code?  Parental advisory?  Name of the album and performer on the spine?  Song list on the back? etc

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.





CONCEPTS – Audience Ideologies – who is your target audience?

In order to understand audience you should understand what makes them tick, especially what reasons they have for consuming media at all. A couple of theorists who considered this were Blumler & Katz, who suggested that there were four reasons collectively known as Uses and Gratification. Their theory describes the active audience and suggested that four reasons for people to actively seek out and consume media:

Information Self education to suit personal needs; advice on practical matters; information on events or issues of personal interest; curiosity or general interest
Personal Identity Media reinforces personal values; models of behavior; content explored to challenge, adjust or affirm sense of self
Social Interaction Identify with others to gain a sense of belonging; find basis for real life interactions; substitute for real life relationships
Entertainment Escape; diversion; emotional release; filling time; aesthetic enjoyment

Here is a powerpoint on Stuart Hall and his ‘Reception Theory’. Consider what he says about audience.  He argues that an audience decodes what the producer encodes in a text. However, how they read the text will depend on their demographics and psychographics and general cultural competence.  Here is the Theory Booklet with all of Hall’s ideas on Pages 11 and 12.


In order to pitch, produce and promote a music video successfully, you need to know your ‘target audience’ and why they are going to buy into your product, the artist. After all, if you don’t understand your target audience and their preferences your music video will not be a commercial success.

As a group consider what broad groups they fall into (Gender, Age, Occupation, Marital status, cultural background) as well as: other bands/artists they would be into, other media they would consume, fashion tastes, musical genre preferences, and then finally some of the attitudes and beliefs they hold about the world including politics. Think also of which ‘communities’ you are hoping to attract. Where do they live, work and play?  Consider their DEMOGRAPHICS AND PYSCHOGRAPHICS.

Here is a handout we gave you last year which describes different audience groups / communities which might be helpful in reaching some conclusions.

Task – Design your perfect audience member

Use the blank Facebook template to describe the ideal audience. Give them an image, name, gender, relationship status, groups, status, likes, dislikes…all of this should be through the filter of music and should help describe your audience profile. Make it as detailed as possible – why not consider someone you know (do not actually use them) who likes the music, is a fan of that music/band and use them as inspiration.

Facebook template – word – take a copy and annotate accordingly

Each group member should complete their own ideal fan .

YOU SHOULD ALSO USE THIS WEBSITE: and mention it in your introduction or even better, take a snipping tool screen shot of the profile target audience for your performer. Scroll down to yougovprofiles when you can put the name of your artist or a similar one to find out lots of data about your target audience.  For example this link gives information about fans of Beyonce.

REMEMBER TO USE TERMINOLOGY IN YOUR BLOG POSTS AND TASKS! – preferred reading, encode, decode, oppositional reading, demographics, psychographics, cultural experience, uses and gratification, target audience, producer, target audience, entertainment, education, social interaction and personal identity etc.

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!

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 – 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 – 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.

Test Shoots/Proof of Concept

Many of you will remember that Jack and Elliot showed how they had made sure they ‘tested’ their ideas before filming.  They spent time and effort ensuring the lighting and location was exactly what they wanted to prove that their ideas, concept was achievable.

Some of you have fairly challenging ideas in terms of lighting, location and camera work and FX so we are asking you to do some test shots over the coming week and weekend.  This means finding the ideal locations and setting up with any required lighting and trying out the shot to see if the vision works.

You will need to complete a risk assessment before you do this so make sure this assessment has been discussed and agreed with your teacher & parents.




You do not need to involve your cast/performers/actors at this stage as you can use each other as models.  Also remember that anyone under 18 who appears in your video must get their own parents/guardians to sign the parental consent form.

Here are some very basic Concept videos that Mrs C tried out this summer to prove that she could use the camera for movement in a specific way and also that there were the relevant filters, FX she wanted to use and use of the Prem Pro presets for an imaginary ‘flower music video’ (!).  There are also some random photos taken this weekend on a walk around the lanes near her house. The kind of exercise you should be doing this weekend to show where and how you will be shooting your video.