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Media Studies 2015 Coursework

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Unit 2
June 2016

A-Level Media Studies

Advanced Subsidiary Examination
Unit 2

MEST2

Creating Media

Production Briefs
To release to students on or after 1 June 2015
All teacher-assessed marks to be returned to AQA by 15 May 2016

Instructions






Overleaf you will find three Production Briefs.
Each brief contains instructions for three separate tasks, each requiring you to work in different media platforms – Broadcasting, Print and e-Media.
Read the briefs carefully.
You should select one brief.
You should then produce the material indicated for two of the tasks from your chosen brief.

Information





You are reminded that the Production Process comprises the following:
— Research
— Pre-production
— Production
— Evaluation (1500 words)
The maximum mark for this paper is 80.
You will be marked on your ability to:
— use good English
— organise information clearly
— use specialist vocabulary where appropriate.

Production Brief

MEST2

Read the scenarios.
Choose one brief and complete two tasks on that brief.
You should attempt to integrate the productions across the two chosen platforms where possible.
Brief One
You have decided to enter a competition being run by your local arts cinema, The Little
Picturehouse. This cinema, which is part of a small chain of 12 independent arts cinemas across the country, shows a mixture of independent, foreign language and documentary films. The company prides itself on providing access to non-mainstream cinema and seeks to make independent cinema accessible to ever wider audience groups. The chain is running a national film-making competition and your local cinema will be hosting the regional finals.
Entrants to the competition are required to make a short extract from a film they would like to make as well as materials for a promotional booklet.
Finalists from your local area will be entered into the national competition. The competition is open to young people and aims to encourage creativity and technical ambition.
The competition prize in the regional heats is access to equipment and technical support to enable you to complete a 30-minute narrative film for entry into the national competition.
There is also a cash prize to help with production costs.
Entrants are asked to ensure that the content and themes of the films are within the BBFC's guidance for a 15 certificate.
All entrants to the competition must include a short written overview of the film they want to make, including its title and a brief description of the plot. This should include information on the genre of the film and the target audience.
The intended film should be referred to within the print and e-Media productions.
The genre, tone and intended style of the proposed film should be identifiable within the responses to each task.
Tasks
(a) Broadcasting
Select one of the following topics as a general inspiration for the film you wish to create:








Modern-noir
Play!
Urban Life
Summer
The Secret
Romance
Friendship.

Create approximately 3 minutes of moving image footage as an extract from the proposed film.

Production Brief

MEST2

For example, you might choose to create:






the film's opening to establish genre, character and location; a moment of conflict to show your ability to create emotion/atmosphere/tension/excitement; contrasting scenes with transitions to show how you can create changes in tone and pace; a specific set-piece for example: a family conversation over dinner; a training montage; a chase scene; scenes that create or communicate a specific emotion such as unease, wonder, suspense, surprise etc.

You should identify where the extract would appear within the proposed film.
Your production should demonstrate an understanding of the way film uses camera shots, sound and editing to communicate story and ideas to the audience. Care should be taken when selecting locations, wardrobe, make-up and props. If appropriate, you could use post-production effects.
(b) Print
All entrants have been asked to create pages for a promotional booklet which will demonstrate the variety of local film-making talent and provide information on the shortlisted entries. Each entrant is therefore asked to create their own pages for the booklet. You should create two to three A4 pages.
You are encouraged to be creative in your approach and try to make your pages distinctive and visually appealing. You should include information about you, your production team and the film itself.
(c) e-Media
Create at least three pages (or equivalent) of your own film blog site. The site should include information about your proposed film but some of the content of the site could also be used to show your broader insight into films, film-making and/or the film industry. You could include a production diary, opinion pieces, film news, reviews and/or interviews. You are free to include any content that you think is appropriate for a film based blog.
You should consider the visual appeal of your blog site and use original images to illustrate your posts.
You should also consider the use of multi-media and audience interaction where appropriate. You can create your own website or you can use a standard blog creation site such as WordPress. You should attempt to use whichever technology you choose as creatively as possible to create a visually appealing site that showcases your technical and creative skills.

Production Brief

MEST2

Brief Two

You work for Synopticity Productions, a production company specialising in lifestyle programming. The company has had recent success with a cookery competition show and making segments for inclusion within magazine programmes on television. Your company wishes to capitalise on these recent successes and they are interested in generating ideas for new programmes. They are keen to develop programmes in alternative lifestyle areas or to support programming that takes a new approach to an already popular area.
The company sees the benefit of finding and appealing to a strong niche group as this can be a potentially very loyal audience. In addition, productions should demonstrate how sponsorship, product placement, merchandising or other commercial links could be developed. You have been asked to create examples of your lifestyle programming ideas. You should use your examples to show how lifestyle products can be used to promote one another across the media platforms and how the lifestyle area could generate income through wider commercial links.
Below are some potential lifestyle areas although a creative and original response to the brief is encouraged.







Food
Fashion and/or Beauty
Travel
Interior Design
A specific hobby or Another lifestyle area of your choice

Whichever tasks you choose to complete, you should create productions based on your chosen lifestyle topic. Tasks
(a) Broadcasting
Create broadcast materials to demonstrate how the platform could be used to support the promotion of Synopticity Productions’ programming.
(i) Create a concept for a new lifestyle show and produce a series of short broadcast products to promote it. You can create TV spots, some short trailers or other broadcast materials that you think would be suitable when considering the type of programme you are creating and your target audience(s). The broadcast pieces should total approximately two minutes. or (ii) Create a short news report for inclusion in a radio programme of your choice, reporting on a story/feature related to your lifestyle topic. Your report should be approximately three to five minutes long and should include recorded dialogue and some form of sound effects/sound beds. The news report should also include station/programme idents and follow the codes and conventions of the radio station/programme selected.

Production Brief

MEST2

or
(iii) Create a two minute segment from a television magazine programme that focuses on a lifestyle issue. You could create:






a video news report on a lifestyle based issue an interview/discussion segment based on the lifestyle topic a review of a lifestyle related event a ‘makeover’/advice segment any other format that you feel would be appropriate for the programme/topic.

(b) Print
Create examples of print products related to the lifestyle area you have selected. You should consider how print could be used to raise interest in Synopticity Productions’ programming.
(i) Create two to three pages from a weekend newspaper supplement (equating to approximately three pages of A4). You should create a feature article on a subject related to your lifestyle area. The supplement should be for an existing national newspaper and your feature should follow the house style and codes and show an awareness of target audience. or
(ii) Create the front cover and at least two pages of a specialist magazine demonstrating an understanding of design and conventions and a clear focus on the target audience.
(c) e-Media
Create e-media pages related to your lifestyle topic. You should show how e-media could be used directly or indirectly to promote Synopticity Productions’ programming. You should create approximately three pages.
(i) Create pages from the lifestyle section of an existing magazine’s website to demonstrate how your programme could be promoted in other media products. Your pages should deal with your lifestyle topic and include some aspect of promotion for your programme. If the magazine site you are creating the pages for does not have a specific ‘lifestyle’ section, you may find it helpful to use the existing style of the site to influence the way you will present information. Your choice of magazine site should reflect an understanding of your target audience. or
(ii) Create approximately three pages from a marketing website based on your lifestyle topic.
The site is to demonstrate a promotional strategy for Synopticity Productions’ programme based on encouraging audience interactivity and participation as well as supporting the sponsorship, merchandising and other commercial links the programme could attract. When creating the pages, consider the visual appeal of your site and try to include features that encourage audience interaction and/or show the multi-media capabilities of websites.

Production Brief

MEST2

Brief Three

You have connections with a local band/artist who is achieving some success playing live but is not signed to a record label. The band/artist currently controls their own promotion and marketing as well as the distribution of their music. The band/artist has an existing fan-base and uses social media quite successfully to communicate with them. There is access to some funds for promotion based on income from merchandise, self-released music and live show fees. You have been asked to help produce promotional materials for this band/artist. The promotional materials need to construct a very specific brand image whilst also communicating the band's/artist’s musical genre. Your materials should aim to appeal to existing fans of the artist/band and also reach out to a new audience.
The band/artist is keen to ensure that all promotional materials are part of an integrated campaign. The hope is that multi-platform material will be more interactive and encourage sharing across the target audience.
Note: Whilst you may choose to use the recorded music of an established band/artist to indicate genre, style, image, etc all other aspects of the band should be created by you. You will need to select a specific music genre for the band/artist.
Tasks
(a) Broadcasting
Create a 2 minute promotional music video for a music track. Longer songs can be edited at the 2 minute point.
The band/artist will be making a downloadable MP3 of the track available on their website and the video will be a feature of the site. This video will be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo, it will be embedded on social network sites and will be referred to in the band’s marketing materials.
It will also be used when approaching record companies, journalists and agents as part of the band's attempts to attract investment and wider media interest.
As the band/artist does not have much money and they cannot create a video with production values that match professional producers, they would like to try and create a video that will clearly communicate the musical genre, generate audience interest and encourage fans to share the video. They are looking for a creative approach despite the lack of money available.
(b) Print
Create a newsletter for the band’s/artist’s fans. You can choose to print the newsletter as four
A5 or two A4 pages.
The newsletter should be conceived as a print production that could be distributed at live shows. It would then be converted and sent as an email newsletter to fans on the mailing list.
Try to make sure that the newsletter has a good balance of images and information.
Creative approaches to designing newsletter, using a fanzine-style for example, can be rewarded as what is most important is creating a product that is appealing and engaging for the target audience and communicates the ethos of the band/artists.

Production Brief

MEST2

(c) e-Media
The band/artist wants to come up with a strategy that extends their use of Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Techniques need to be used to attempt to increase the fanbase and to ensure that social media is used in a way to maintain and build on the audience’s interest in the band.
Create some examples of social media use for submission as e-media products. The social network products should be emulated and created so they can be accessed using a browser.
Your approach should use two or more social media platforms and your work should equate to approximately two to three A4 pages.
For example you might create:

• A Facebook page that links to a YouTube channel and a Tumblr account
• An Instagram account that links to a two page extract from the blog written by your artist/a member of the band
• Two pages from a MySpace area and an extract from the band’s/artist’s Twitter account
• Pages from the band's own website that focuses on audience interaction, creating a sense of involvement that connects to a social network site
• You can select combinations of social media that you feel would be relevant for this task.
The band/artist wants to be sure that fans feel that their loyalty is rewarded and that there are reasons why fans should return to the website and encourage others to visit it.
The materials you create should communicate the band’s image and ethos, the musical genre and should also encourage audience interaction in some way. The aim is to create materials that will encourage the audience to talk about the band/artist.

Production Brief

MEST2

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