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AS Media studies exam

AS Media studies exam

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AS Media studies exam

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  1. AS Media studies exam Lesson Objectives: To prepare for the AS Media Studies exam.

  2. Format of the Exam

  3. Exam Format • The exam is 2 hours long. • There are two sections to the exam: • Section A: TV Drama • Section B: Institutions and Audiences • You will be shown the unseen TV Drama extract 4 times. • You will then have an hour and a half to answer the two questions. • This means you should spend 45 minutes on each question.

  4. Section A: TV Drama

  5. Section A: TV Drama • The question will specify that you analyse the representation of one of the following social groups: • Gender • Age • Sexuality • Ethnicity • Social class and status • Ability/disability • Regional Identity Make sure you understand what each social group refers to. How can the four technical aspects be used to represent each of these technical areas?

  6. Section A: TV Drama • You will be shown the extract 4 times, and can make notes after the first screening. • You need to use the screenings to identify a wide range of specific examples of how the specified social group is represented through: • Camerawork • Editing • Sound • Mise-en-scene Make sure you know the key terms for each of the technical areas? How can each technical area be used to construct representations?

  7. Section A: TV Drama • Writing your answer: • You don’t need an introduction or conclusion for this section – just get straight onto your analysis. • Your essay should consist of detailed analysis of how representations are constructed through each of the technical areas. • Remember to have a range of examples from all four technical areas. • Use terminology accurately and consistently. • Use specific examples. • Explain the effect of each example, and relate this to the representation of the specified social group.

  8. Section B: Institutions and Audiences

  9. Section B: Institutions and ... • Both sections of the exam are worth 50 marks each. • Remember to leave yourself enough time to complete the Section B question. • You should spend around 45 minutes on each question.

  10. Section B • You could be asked a question on one or more of the following areas: • Production • Distribution • Marketing • Exchange

  11. You may have to draw on your knowledge of: • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice; • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing; • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange; • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences; • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences; • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions; • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.


  13. Answering Section B • Make sure your answer is relevant to the specifics of the question. • Use specific examples from the case studies. • Develop a clear argument about effects/benefits/disadvantages to film studios and film audiences. • Relate your answer to your own experience as a consumer.

  14. Answering Section B • Introduction – state focus, case studies, and your argument. • In the main body of the essay discuss the implications to films studios and audiences of the specified issue – support this with reference to the Disney and Film 4 case studies. • Conclusion – sum up your argument. Consider how this relates to your experience as a consumer.

  15. Exam • Answer both questions. • Give yourself enough time to answer both questions (even if you find Section B deeply distressing). • Use specific examples. • Use terminology. • Make sure you answer the question you are asked.

  16. Revision • Don’t forget lots of resources for this exam are on the blog: •

  17. Revision Activity – TV Drama • Camerawork • Editing • Sound • Mise-en-scene • Gender • Ethnicity • Sexuality • Regional identity • Social class and status • Ability/disability • Age Terminology, effect, what to focus on. How can these social groups be represented through the four technical areas?

  18. Revision Activity - Institutions • PRODUCTION • DISTRIBUTION • MARKETING • EXCHANGE • MEDIA OWNERSHIP • TECHNOLOGY • PROLIFERATION • Note down: • Key terms • Key points • Questions and Answers


  20. Exchange • This is the point where a media text changes hands from producer/distributor to consumer • For film, what are the possible forms of exchange?

  21. Lots of platforms for exchange • Cinema • DVD / BluRay • Paid downloads • TV Broadcasts • Video on demand (VoD) • Portable devices, e.g. iPods

  22. Cinema • Most prestigious form • Crucial for Hollywood • Important for Independent too but much harder (why?)

  23. Cinema is at risk • Harder for them to make money • Why might this be?

  24. Issues to consider for cinemas • Cost of exhibition to the cinema • Running costs: staff, furniture, electricity, etc • Buying prints of the film • Projection equipment • Taxes

  25. Risk for the cinema in choosing films to exhibit • They want to make a profit: the decision of what films to show will be influenced by money • Showing an independent film is risky since it will only attract a smaller audience • This is particularly true of small-town cinemas with a less diverse customer base

  26. Changing technology • Cinemas are starting to invest in digital projection technology in order to show films distributed by digital means. Proliferation of Hardware • More 3D films presents challenges to cinemas: they can only show as many films as they have the equipment for. Proliferation of Hardware

  27. Challenging piracy • Making a profit • High ticket prices, especially for 3D and peak performances • Advertising • Concessions

  28. Multiplex vs. Independent • Multiplex cinemas = wider variety of films; however, running costs are much higher • Large-capacity screens = only mass audiences able to fill them. They will concentrate on showing Hollywood films

  29. Independent films often only shown for a limited time on smaller screens • Good marketing or word-of-mouth success helps (e.g. The King’s Speech)

  30. Watch the following trailer • This is an independent film with TildaSwinton (famous British actress). • Write down how many screens you think the film opened on •

  31. Now do the same for this one •

  32. Slumdog vs. I Am Love • Slumdog opened in the UK in 324 screens • Distributed by Pathe • Fairly large campaign due to press interest and “strong buzz” at film festivals • I Am Love opened in the UK in 35 • Distributed by MetrodomeDistribution • Small interest, partly due to foreign-language

  33. Independent cinemas are more likely to show independent & arthouse films but to a much smaller audience • Odeon in Liverpool 1 has 67 screenings on Tuesday 22nd November; Picturehouse at Fact has 12. • Some independent cinemas only show films once or twice per week

  34. Effects on Consumers • How do you think exchange at cinema-level affects consumers?

  35. More of Hollywood films limits our choices • Niche audiences need to know where to go to watch films in the cinema. For some audiences, cinema isn’t an option because nowhere nearby shows the films they want to watch • Good for mass audiences: films are on when you want to see them

  36. DVD & BluRay • This is the next platform for exhibition on the value chain • Exchange of DVDs is more straightforward as consumers have more power and choice • Think back to the early 1990s: if you wanted to buy a copy of Die Hard, you had to take yourself off to the nearest town and go to a video store

  37. In 2011, how can you go about buying DVDs?

  38. Wide availability of DVDs means consumers can choose what they want to see with more power and freedom. • Searching for a random independent film will usually be successful, even if you only end up with a second hand copy from marketplace • Worldwide consumption is easier, since large companies like Amazon are more likely to make products available in different countries

  39. Think back to marketing: the DVD stage will only be successful if films are marketed to audiences before they are released on DVD

  40. Downloads • This is an important example of technological convergence • Computing and the internet give us all more power • Distributors have new platforms to market and sell their products; audiences can access the material they want and view it instantly

  41. Some synergy involved here • Companies like Apple help to provide the content on their Apple store which is only available through itunes

  42. This new platform for media exchange has several advantages. Can you think of any? • Some include • Cheaper for distributors for marketing and exchange purposes • Cheaper for consumers (potentially) • More convenient for consumers due to instant access • A wider audience can be reached • Niche audiences can access films quickly and easily

  43. As consumers do you use and/or appreciate the downloads stage of the value chain?

  44. Television • This is at the bottom of the value chain since it makes the least amount of money. • What do you think are the advantages of television broadcasting of film?

  45. Video-on-demand • Can increase the audience for a film, particularly independent films. • BBC iPlayer will often have films which were shown at obscure times of the day – films that BBC Films may have provided money for (synergy)

  46. Proliferation •