Useful resources for Year 11 students

Media Studies (BTEC)

Vocational Media

Vocational Media is the practical, hands-on approach to studying many areas of the media industry. We will of course cover aspects of theory and processes, but our main aim is to apply this understanding to practical work.

The course is your first step to a career within the industry, and during your two years with us, we will explore many of these areas, develop your knowledge, improve your skills, for you to specialise to your career. Whether it is a university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workplace, the skills you will develop during your studies will give you the platform to build upon. We cover many areas such as video production, film editing, photography, graphic design, sound production, film analysis and theory, representations and working to a client commission.

Textual Analysis 

A part of early idea generation is to understand the concepts of a media productions. The conventions that are being applied. A great way to start this is film poster analysis. Looking at how genre is portrayed through layout, colour, imagery, font, lighting, characters, locations, effects.

Film Poster Analysis Task – This task gets you thinking about the content of the posters, and how it will have appeal to the audience. How the genres are reflected in their designs. Understanding content will have beneficial factors when creating your own.

Video Production Planning

Planning and pre-production is an essential part of any production. Ensuring you have thought and considered all stages of the idea is crucial to the success of what you create.

Nine-Shot Storyboard – All video productions require some thought process, continuity, shot size, framing, mise-en-scene, etc. So a simple storyboard is a great way to show your idea in a visual form. Storyboards act as brilliant visual aid. You don’t have to be the greatest artist either. Software like this will let you create a digital storyboard!

Representation Analysis

As part of the one exam units on the course, we explore how gender, age, ethnicity, social groups and places are stereotyped and represented in media texts. Having an opinion and justifying your thoughts for this are key and crucial aspects of this unit.

Moonlight – Study Guide – One of the texts that we have analysed in the past has been the Academy Award winning film – ‘Moonlight’. A powerful film about a man’s life as he struggles with his identity, sexuality and race. Some of the key questions we look at is how the production of the film (camera, editing, audio, characterisation, locations, expressions, emotions) all impact upon the film’s message.

Animation

Animation is more specialist area that some students will explore during their second year on the course. Understanding the concept behind animation (effectively still images blended to create moving image), to design, to practical skills, editing and application of sound.

Make a Thaumatrope – This simple task showcases how if you quickly spin two images, back to back, our brain has the power to blend and merge the two images. The invention is widely credited to John Aytron Paris in 1825 as he developed the concept of ‘Persistence of Vision’

Video Production

A huge part of the course is video production. Whether it is advertising, short films, suspense sequences, documentary, filming correctly and accurately is key. Having the confidence and creativity is the most important first step.

Video Production – Film ShootTry this little tutorial on shot sizes, framing and angles. It’s a brilliant way to begin. You can use your phone if you don’t have a camera. But use the screen. As you look at what you are filming, use the whole length and width of the screen, and replicate each shot on the help sheet. Practice makes perfect.

Video Editing 

The icing on the cake is often in the edit. Constructing the storyline from your shots is often the most enjoyable and fun part for our students. Below are some links to software and some basic tutorials. Give them a go!

Photography

Whether it be landscape, studio, product or sporting photography, confidence and patience is key. There is more to photography than ‘point and shoot’. The best photographers have that natural flair to capture their subject, and this comes from practice.

You don’t need the most fantastic DSLR, a compact camera or a mobile phone does equally as good a job. The best pictures come from the photographer’s creativity. Click to see general photography tips for beginners.

Journalism

If you see yourself working in magazines or newspaper, journalism and reviewing is a great way to go. It’s easy as well. Choose a subject, research the facts, gather the information and talk passionately to your reader.

Try this for starters, review your favourite or most recently watched film. With the current lockdown measures, Netflix has plenty of viewing and reviewing for you.

Short of the Week We use this as research and analysis for the creation of a short film.

ThinkBox We use this as part of research into how companies design their advertising campaigns.

Lynda.com Great source for tutorials in using some of our software.

Affinity Serif Graphic design software we use. This is free for 3 months, or £24 to buy, forever!

The Guardian Well used for the unit 1: Media Representations exam. Great for reading around issues and controversy in UK media.

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