Category Archives: Creative Critical Reflection 1

CCR4 – How did you integrate technologies in this project – hardware, software and online?

You have used a lot of technology over the last few months.  Technology that has helped you research, plan, produce, edit and then evaluate your progress.  It is hard for one technology to exist completely on its own – it usually relies on another one, although it is worth considering how Converged Technology (i.e. your phone) is able to do multiple tasks (film, edit, collaborate, organise…)

In this CCR question technology is split into 3 categories:  hardware, software and online.

  • Hardware:  DSLR, Point and Shoot, Phones (converged technology), Studio Lights, Desktops, Chrome Books etc
  • Software:  Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Bridge.
  • Online: YouTube, Edublogs, Google Drive, Voicethread, Emaze, Screencastify, Prezi, Pinterest, Gomoodboard, Lucidchart Mindmaps…etc

A few of these technologies have been used in isolation as they have very specialist functions, such as InDesign, but most have also been used in conjunction with other technology – their reliance on each other provides a synergy – they compliment and work with each other. For example your shots taken on a DSLR camera (hardware) were then uploaded to the Desktop (hardware) and then onto the programme Indesign (software). The Adobe suite is also a converged technology, changes made in Photoshop automatically update in InDesign.

Most of these technologies are part of a chain and rely on other technologies to perform their task.  You have integrated them into your production process – almost without thinking and some you have used at multiple stages of the production process i.e. YouTube in Research and Planning and also in Evaluation as a platform to show your CCR2.

Your challenge is to create a FLOWCHART to show the process of different technologies and how they have been integrated with each other as you made your magazine.

  • You need to categorise which group the technologies belong to and explain how and where you used it – mentioning a specific example of how it impacted on your product.
  • You then need to link it with an arrow to show how it synergises with other technology to show how they are all integrated within the production process.
  • You need to highlight which stage of the production process you used it in: Research and Planning, Production, Post-Production, Evaluation
  • You can use:  lucidchart  on chrome.
  • You will need to colour code your annotations/comments into the 3 categories – hardware, software and online and create a key.


Technology Example – When did you use it (stage) – How did it impact on your product (specific example – see your blog posts) and link it to other technologies with a connecting arrow.

The images should be from your own work i.e. the camera in use, the indesign programme in use if at all possible.  Try to avoid stock google images although these shots can be substantiated with brand icons i.e. Id logo etc.  A LOT OF THE IMAGES AND IDEAS AND COMMENTARY WILL ALREADY BE IN YOUR DESIGN SKILLS POSTS.


CCR1 – How does my product use or challenge conventions and how does it represent social groups or issues?

How does my product use or challenge conventions and how does it represent social groups or issues?

This question is asking you to be a detective. There are two elements to this case:

  1. What are the clues in my magazine?
    • The clues are the conventions
  2. What meaning is suggested, implied or connoted through those clues?
    • The meaning is the representation.

We have done work on the conventions of magazine and you may need to revisit the lessons in the departmental blog blog and the important posts in your own. These will refresh you memory about the key concepts and terminology you need to use in the reflection.

The work we did on identifying conventions (clues) are in these posts:

The work we did on representation (values, attitudes & beliefs) are in these posts:

Task 1:

Identify all the (conventions) clues on your magazine pages by using the template in classroom.

You should complete this briefly and show to your teacher before completing the presentation to make sure you are on the right lines.

Task 2:

Present your ideas using Prezi or EMAZE.

  1. Sign up to a free account
  2. Copy and rename this prezi or EMAZE TEMPLATE.

  1. Replace the images in the presentation with examples from your own magazine (use the snipping tool).
  2. Replace the words in the presentation with…
    • …description of your examples (used or developed) and
    • …analysis the representational meaning the examples communicate.
  3. Make the presentation your own and delete all the instructions etc.

OR…….A SIMPLER AND EASIER WAY IS TO USE…..sign up with google, open create…click on this link and then duplicate.

and you should have your own copy to individualise and make your own.

or you can start from scratch and choose your own template: Sign in with Google: Go to Create: Presentation:Choose a Template:Soho/Gallery/Breaking News/Illustrated and then set up all the slides in advance of copying over your analysis from the classroom template.

Powered by emaze


Some additional resources that may help:

Premiere Pro – getting started and trouble shooting

Help Yourself!!!

Here is a help document on Adobe Premiere Pro:

Premiere Pro Help

You should use this document to see if it can help you before you ask for help from a teacher.

You can also use this extremely helpful site – Adobe TV, which has excellent videos on how to use all Adobe applications including Premiere Pro:

Premiere Pro Help

In order to help you edit we have attached various ‘guides’ to editing. They contain the ‘basic’ instructions to creating a new project, importing, editing and exporting. Get in to the habit of referring to these if you get stuck.


  • Create a folder in the D Drive (in your existing folder) – CCR2 Dragons Den
  • To to the P Drive and find the Dragons Den file in Media called DD inserts as well as the DD opening section and copy them over to the D Drive folder.
  • Download all your footage from your pitch to the D Drive folder.
  • Then you can import both your footage and the inserts/noddies to the Premiere Pro project for editing.

CCR2 – Research and planning tasks

How does your product engage with audiences and how would it be distributed as a real media text?

There are a number of concepts that need to be addressed to answer this question fully.

  1. Who is you audience?
  2. How did your product fulfil your audiences needs and expectations?
  3. What is meant by distribution?
  4. Who owns and controls magazine distribution?
  5. How are real media texts distributed in the online age?


You must define and describe your audience in these ways.

  1. Demographics and Psychographics – audience segmentation
  2. You should also use your Yougov findings to explain what other media texts they consume as well as other information.
  3. Refer back to your dating profile to remind yourself.

Uses & Gratification

  1. You should link specific elements of your magazine (contents, bands, representation, language, design (fonts / graphics) to specific uses and gratifications that you think your audience have.
  2. What will entertain and inform the audience?  What will enable them to talk and swap ideas with friends and family?  What ideologies are present in the magazine that will help craft the reader’s personal identity?


  1. Complete this work sheets in classsroom.
  2. Read the the articles and watch the videos you are allocated in classroom to share with the group.
  • Institutional (Distribution) Issues
  • Quality (factual) journalism is expensive and so is traditional print and distribution.
  • However, it’s hard to make money out of online content. Most of it goes to FB & Google, leaving everyone else scrabbling for the scraps.
  • Exclusives remain ‘exclusive’ for about 10 seconds before it’s all over social media.
  • How do you square this circle?


A Dragon’s Den style sales pitch to a distributor for your magazine:

You must address the following questions:

  • Describe your brand values / mission statement?
    • How will your magazine be distinct from or similar to others?
  • Who are your target audience?
    • Use Yougov, image and profile + other details.
  • Why would that audience buy your magazine?
  • Who would you want to work with to distribute your magazine?
    • Which of the big magazine groups would you hope to work with?
    • How does your magazine fit with their existing publications?
  • What sort of advertiser would you hope to attract?
    • Link to your two selected ads & explain.
  • What strategies do you have for distribution? How will you link your print content with online content?
    • How can a print magazine survive in digital world?
    • Some answers & thoughts 
      • Increasingly sensational celebrity gossip stories – Churnalism (cheap and easy)
      • Freebies.
      • Reduce cover price (free) & rely on ad sales.
      • Link to enhanced digital content on website.
      • Employ social media to promote our brand.
        • Audience participation & interaction (Uses and Gratification)
      • Link digital content back to print, whet the audience’s appetite, require the audience to buy print version to get full details.
      • Use a paywall for online content.

CCR3 – How did your production skills develop throughout this project?

How did your production skills develop throughout this project?

You have reflected on your skills , just like Napoleon Dynamite

You have thought about and evidenced your production journey in Cambridge International A Level Media Studies and all of the reflection is in your blog – in Creative Critical Reflections (all the green posts in the league), Print Preliminary Tasks and Music Magazine.

Most of the work for this question has already been done! So…Hooray & Hoorah!

This CCR will require you to reflect on how far you have come this year. In particular it will require you to reflect on the production skills you have acquired and how they have helped you become a more skilled (both technically and creatively) media producer – such as photographer, Photoshop(er), designer and journalist….

Moreover, you have also learnt some valuable production skills that are easily transferable to other parts of your life, education and ultimately career:

  • Time management
  • Directing and Management
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Writing skills
  • Research and Planning


You will write a letter to a future A Level Media Studies student in order to prepare them for what lies ahead. You need to advise them to learn from your experience and perhaps also your mistakes.  Your teacher will assist you in making a comprehensive list of what you might include.


Create a slideshow and create the following slides. Use the template one in classroom but make it your own!

  • An Introduction – Dear Future A Level Media Student etc
  • Technical Skills
  • Creative Skills
  • Transferable Skills
  • A sign off and good luck.


Develop each slide with screen shots, logos, photos and captions that add visually to your letter by illustrating your points. Much of this work has already been done in your blog so you have the examples & screenshots already.  Use your images as opposed to google ones unless.   Save it as a pdf.


Recording your letter.

  • Open a Voicethread account
  • Import your presentation as a pdf.
  • Print out your letter notes/script.
  • Record your letter over the slides so that the commentary coincides with the visuals.
  • Save and embed on your blog.




You will need to use the comment box underneath each slide in order to make notes for your presentation.

Much of the content for this is already on your blog so just copy and paste it in initially and then edit to answer the question – which is the most important lesson learned in each moment of reflection.

Be sure not to make it a list – instead ensure each skill has an example attached to it and how that skill specifically impacted on the product – how it affected star image, or genre, or narrative, or the audience.  I need specific scenes, shots, frames, angles, fonts, colours etc and how that particular production skill impacted on them.  Remember, making the result ‘more professional’ is not enough – what do you mean by that?

Make it chatty, exciting and personal – anecdotes are always good.  Submit to classroom for feedback before recording.




Reflections – how to

Read this document on how to create your Creative Critical Reflections for your blog posts.

Your first reflection is on your Media Collage.


Always look back and consider what you have learnt and how this knowledge and understanding could impact on your own magazine  production.

For example, understanding why and how people engage with media will impact on your own decision making process for your magazine. In other words, you will need to make your magazine entertaining, informing, full of opportunities to react with people and also will reinforce their personal identity.  If you only hit a couple of these Uses and Gratification, then you will be limiting your commercial return.  It needs to be ‘all singing and all ringing’.

You should also include TERMS and THEORY if you can so refer to Blumler and Katz and how their ideas will impact on your magazine design.

Textual Analysis – Tour Poster deconstruction

Remember, what is it ‘saying’?  The denotations (things) all have connotations (meanings).  Use terms like these in your introduction to the post along with decoding, deconstructing, signs, symbols etc to show that you are getting to grips with how to analyse a media text.  You can use synonyms for represent too – portray, suggests, infers, implies, indicates etc.

Use Call Outs on your slide to evidence the comments…

Use this link to open the slideshow, take a copy, delete all the images you’re not going to use and then complete your analysis.

Here is an example from last year:

My Media Consumption Collage

Create a collage with a minimum of 15 – 20 pictures that illustrate what you read, watch and listen to.  In other words what media do you consume? When you watch, listen and read, you are called a CONSUMER.

Also, what media do you contribute to?  What apps, blogs, social media do you add texts, status and click and likes to?  When you interact and contribute to the media, you are called a PROSUMER.

Here is the exemplar we showed you in class: Click on the thumbnail to get a bigger version.


Then using the Uses and Gratification terms from Blumler and Katz, indicate which of these media you use for ENTERTAINMENTPERSONAL IDENTITY, SOCIAL INTERACTION or  EDUCATION AND INFORMATION.  Just add in a E, PI, SI, I – remember some of them you engage with for multiple reasons.

You only need about 6 of these to show that you understand how media is used for various reasons.

You should complete the collage using a google slide and then save it as a pdf – it will be your first blog post!


Remember always to introduce the post but do not be tempted to start ‘in this task we did….’.  Try and weave in some personal observations, reflections and most of all some terms to show you ‘get it’, you understand why you have completed this piece of research and what you have learnt from it.