Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Year 12 Se7en titles class analysis


A title sequence is the first thing the audience sees when the film starts, this being that it is very important that it gives of a first good impression. Within the film Se7en there are many things to consider in its title sequence, one of which being the mise-en-scene. Throughout this truly chilling title sequence there is no exterior or landscape shown which automatically leaves the audience with lots of questions in relation to the background information; the basic facts an average audience member would expect to know. We see a constant close up of the characters hands, never their face or body. Although we can see clearly sharp objects being used and there movement is very much the focus when they are involved in the frame. There are many different props used throughout the sequence which include: sharp objects, pen, paper, needle and thread and many old photos. Throughout the entire sequence the colour remains desaturated which we can only interpret as it having some relation to the forth coming events about to take place later on in the movie. The whole title sequence is film in a dark light setting, this suggests that the life is being drained out of the film this is also linked to how the character treats his victims. The final thing that sticks out in the sequence is that various things are highlighted in the props such as “homosexual” and “Transsexual” as well as cutting out the name “GOD” out of a clipping, to perhaps show the theme of religious belief and the connection to the person in the sequence; also the precision the person in the sequence has cold possibly be giving the audience an insight into the characters personality.

Purpose and character

From the close-ups we can’t tell what or where the location is, but we can guess that it is in a confined room. The reason why I think this is because the person who is making this book doesn't want anybody to know about it. I thought that the location was very secretive, and because the shots were so close to his hands and almost zoomed in on everything it makes you feel almost claustrophobic; which I think helped to make it feel eerie and scary. I also thought that the person was a man from the look of his hands. From this title sequence I think that he was trying to get rid of his identity by scraping off his finger prints, which made me feel really uncomfortable because it was an image I really didn't like. This suggests that he could be a serial killer and has planned things through to not get caught also this person seems to know what they are doing. There are images of dead people and it looks like he is creating a scrapbook which he has put the picture in but we aren't sure what the scrapbook is of. I also thought that he would have been a perfectionist because everything was done with his own hands and it clearly showed that he took time and care with his work and it was obviously thoroughly planned, I could tell this from the way everything seemed so precise, he seems to document his work very obssessively, but with patience. I thought that the person was religious, because they cut out a piece of a dollar bill that had the word ‘God’ written on it and also at the end of the title sequence the song ended with ‘gonna get me closer to God’, this made me think that they are killing people for their deadly sins and that they were killing for God. He crosses out words such as "transsexual" which also makes me think that he is religious. I got the idea that it was the seven deadly sins because there are two 'sevens' in the title and because the first shot after the title sequence says 'monday' which could explain one of the sevens.


'Seven' title sequence uses a lot of extreme close ups, this is used to create tension for the audience as it makes you feel very uncomfortable and it puts you in discomfort. Also all of these shots are still, we are only able to see the movement of the peoples body features and some of the objects. Due to the fact of these extreme close ups being still we are unable to see the surroundings and where everything is set, this is to create a big mystery which people may want to reveal by watching the whole film. Most of the lighting in this title sequence is dull; this is to create a scary and an unpleasant atmosphere. Not only the lighting is dull but also the colours included are rather dark such as brown, black, dark blue, grey. These colours give the whole title sequence a very unpleasant effect. Rays of light have been used for the main features and objects to stand out. Some of the photographs are very shaky as well as lightning has been added to them, this is to create a more unpleasant effect towards the audience, as this type of effect may reflect a scary storm at night. Fast pace has been also included to flick through a lot of things creating excitement towards the movie, leaving the audience wanting more. This title sequence also includes flashes of red which create an effect of danger. Layering is one of the things that has been used but not so much, it shows photographs fading out onto other photographs. The letters and numbers are hardly visible as a flash has been added to them which creates a mysterious side of the film. Looking at just cinematography you are able to get an idea of what the film may be about and the uses of cinematography are very strong as they create different emotions towards the audience leaving them wanting to see more, and that is the main aim of the title sequence.


The sound of the title sequence creates a disturbing feel. At the beginning it shows the character preparing to sleep, a clicking sound is used as the background which could be connoting a ticking clock counting down, showing that it is a countdown for something that is going to happen. In the sequence the character is crossing out words and pictures, every time he crosses something out you hear a scratchy screechy sound. This could be implying that the things he is crossing out are his next victims, as the screeching sound could be the person screaming and the scratchy sound could be the way they are killed. By putting this disturbing sound track in the background of the sequence with the close up images it creates a sense of confusion, as the audience has to take in the creepy sound and the glimpses of images together trying to make sense of them both at the same time.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Rich Mix trip - links

Year 12 title sequence desiger research task

Useful websites to get you started:

Areas to research & present:
- Brief biography of the designer - how and why they came to work in title design, other areas worked in the industry etc.
- Catalogue of work
- Close analysis of two title sequences with particular attention paid to the use of the titles themselves (typography, how and when they appear, order)
- Comment from designer about at least one of their own titles and about what they consider to be the importance of the title sequence.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Year 13 Music Video Research Task List

Hope you're all having a great holiday, as I am, but at some point you will need to think about school again (dull dull dull I know) and basically, by the time I see you in lessons again, I'd like you to have completed (on blogs) numbers 1 and 2, as well as the tasks given out in the last lessons I saw you (see powerpoint - A2 Media exam-it's closer than you think).

Good luck! Email me any questions or problems.

Tick list of tasks to complete
View more documents from leannacatherina.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Note: This is also available on the W: drive in Media and Film/Miss Whittaker if you can't view it here.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Year 10 Test answers for revision

The answers for the test tomorrow are on MRs Raji's blog, which can be accessed using the link below:

A2 Media Exam tips

Hi Kids,

I have been going through your essays and have found that you are all overwhelmingly making exactly the same errors, so rather than going to the trouble of scanning and emailing you back your own work I've done this general feedback. Come and see me Monday any time after period 1 if you want some 1-1 assistance and to get your own paper.

Leanne x

General feedback:

*Too much focus on research with little mention of planning activities. The question is asking you about both, so you should give examples of both.

*Too much generalised discussion with a lack of specific activities undertaken and their impact on creative decisions. I.e. 'for my title sequence I made an animatic, which allowed me to more fully visualise what my finished production would look like and this led me to realise that there was an inconsistency in the pace of the first few shots which gave it a more lighthearted tone than I wanted, so I changed my storyboards to address this.'

*Research should be divided into Primary, Secondary and Market. Primary = stuff you found out yourself, Seconday = stuff you found out from books/internet articles etc, Market = stuff you found out about/from your target audience/the media market within which your product would fall.

*Planning could include things like: storyboarding, scripting, animatics, location scouting, costume design, casting, thumbnail sketches, production plans/shooting schedules...

*Nobody's really answered the question that was set. You would all do well to write a thorough conclusion where you literally go back to the question asked and attempt to answer it in one paragraph, drawing on everything you've already discussed in the main body of your response.

*Keep looking back at the question throughout your essay as well, so as not to end up waffling about elements that aren't really relevant. The majority of you have ignored the fact that the question refers to creative decision making and have just given an account of your production process. This will not score you very many marks in the exam, you need to be reflective and specific to whatever the question is asking.

1. b)

Most of you haven't attempted this one and where people have, responses are generally not bad but lacking terminology and reference to media theory/critical approaches. I know we haven't done that much on this but you could all spend some time researching and there MUST be loads of exemplar essays by now on other academic blogs (there's one of these linked on my blog I know) which would reference theory that you could 'nick' if it relates to what you've done too.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Year 12 media feedback

Hi kids!

So I've had a look at your practice exams and on the whole, I continue not to be worried. That said, I do have the following tips for you all:

  • Those who split their note-making into categories (cinematography, sound, editing, mise-en-scene) have generally covered the elements better. Although you don't need to split them up in the writing of your response, you do need to ensure you comment on all of them.
  • You will have a few minutes before the screenings start and may want to use this time to write down the key elements and key vocabulary you need to use. See list below.
  • It is VERY important to keep your analysis focused on the representational area in the question (in this case Ethnicity). Most of you have made at least some comments which, although perfectly accurate, would not gain you marks because they don't say anything about the construction of representations of ethnicity. Make sure that for every analytical observation you make, you add a comment explaining how it contributes to representations of _________ in the extract.
  • Use proper, formal, academic language throughout. This is an essay like any other piece of coursework you would write.

Things to write about/Key Vocabulary

Close-up, mid-shot, 3/4 shot, long shot, extreme close-up
High angle, low angle, birds-eye view, worms-eye view, canted angle
Pan, tilt up, tilt down, track, crab
Hand-held, point-of-view shot, steadicam

Cut, dissolve, fade
Match-on-action, cutaway, shot-reverse-shot, jump cut
Continuity, time lapse, slow/fast motion
*Remember that editing refers to the way in which shots are arranged so think about what's next to what and how this affects meaning

Incidental sound, music, voice-over

Facial expression

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Sweet Sixteen - great review site

A2 Media Studies Practice Questions

1(a) "Digital technology turns media consumers into media producers". In your own experience, how has your creativity developed through using digital technology to complete your coursework productions? [25] Describe the ways in which your production work was informed by research into real media textx and how your ability to use such research for production developed over time. [25] 1 (b) "Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives". Explain how you used conventional and/or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces. [25] Analyse one of your coursework productions in relation to genre. [25]

Sunday, 18 April 2010

AMAZING A2 Critical PErspectives paper website!

Year 13 Media students PLEASE browse this and use it as we go through the prep of your Critical PErspectives exam questions:

Friday, 26 March 2010

British Newspaper Politics

Check out this great summary of the main British newspapers and their political alliances:

Film Studies Reflective Analysis - Guidance

This is following my marking of Year 13 Reflective Analysis essays but some of it applies to those of you in Year 12 as well. The people who have done WELL tend to have the following:
  • A short introduction outlining their intentions when they started the project.
  • A good outline of their target audience.
  • A clear understanding of the codes and conventions of their chosen genre and discussion of how they used/developed/ignored them.
  • A focus throughout on how successfully their film achieved what they set out to do, through specific references to micro elements.

People who have done LESS WELL have generally done so for the following reasons:

  • There is little or no focus on their specific role in the production and its impact on the finished film.
  • They have purely written a description of the production process with little or no analysis of micro elements.
  • They have failed to identify a target audience or mention audience feedback; therefore failing to assess the success of the finished film.

The focus for this essay at A2 is very much on how well your film achieves what you set out to do in terms of communicating meaning/eliciting response in an audience (micro analysis) and on showing your understanding of the conventions of your genre and how your film uses them. The specification suggests focussing on particular, key parts of your film rather than attempting to do the whole thing and analysis of the impact of your particular role (even if it's a fabricated role) is crucial.

At AS the focus is purely on how the film uses micro features to make meanings for audiences. It is just another micro analysis!

Hope this is helpful to you.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Pan's Labyrinth - Excellent Info!

Year 13 Film - Holiday tasks

The research titles are as follows:

1. Historical context (date, location, relevant social/historical factors - SPANISH CIVIL WAR, and how these are represented in the film)

2. Director - Guillermo del Toro (life, other works and positioning of this film in relation to them, what he intended to achieve with the film and any information on his views on gender)

3. Critical reception (how was the film received by audiences and critics, any interesting critical insights)

4. Genre - Myth/Fantasy/'Gothic fairytale' (what are the conventions and does the film follow or develop/change them, how are women generally portrayed in this type of film and does this one break away from the traditional portrayals)

You must present your findings on your given topic in the first Friday lesson after Easter. Powerpoints are good but paper-based handouts or a verbal presentation would also be fine. NO EXCUSES WILL BE TOLERATED AND IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT YOU WILL NOT BE WELCOME IN THE LESSON.

Pan's Labyrinth - Guillermo del Toro Interview

Narrative And Genre

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Reality TV Lesson 1

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Lesson 2

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Popular Press Lesson 1

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Year 12 Film Studies- Reflective Analysis of your film

As you're nearing completion of your short films it is time to think EVALUATION! What is required is essentially a micro analysis of your own work, focussing especially on the impact of the element that you were particularly responsible for. You can do it as a blog or as an essay. Exam board guidelines below:

Reflective analysis approximately 750 words or equivalent
(10 marks)
The reflective analysis should select key micro features of the
sequence and demonstrate how they make meaning(s) and aim to
provoke response(s)
in audiences. Candidates working in a group
should focus on the construction and impact of their chosen micro
The analysis can be presented:
• as a continuous piece of writing, with or without illustrative
• in a digital form such as a suitably edited blog or another webbased
format or
• as a focused DVD commentary.


A Week in Reality TV
In a single week (w/c 2nd May 2009):
– 41 different reality titles were broadcast on Freeview channels alone
– at least 12 of these programmes were screened daily
– a number were repeated in different time slots throughout the day.

– A range of TV listings magazine, preferably recent.

Using a TV listings magazine, compile a list of all the reality shows on air over the course of a single week, both free to air, and non-terrestrial.

– calculate the number of hours per week given to reality TV on different channels
– evaluate the type and range of programmes on different channels to see what patterns emerge in their scheduling
– investigate whether different types of reality show predominate at different points during the day

Week 1 Lessons - Codes & Conventions

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Reality Tv Intro

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Reality TV: Added Value For Broadcasters

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Friday, 5 March 2010

Music Video Evaluation

I've decided that you will each present your video and evaluation of it to the class in lessons during the week commencing 22nd March. You should, therefore, in your pairs or groups, construct a powerpoint which addresses the questions below and includes your finished video as well as your digipak and poster. You may also want to include screen shots from your video to exemplify your evaluative points.

The powerpoint should then be uploaded to your blog and should be the final posting.

The questions that must be addressed in the evaluation are:

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

All About My Mother - Critical reception

An insightful review in The Guardian:

A more critical review, also from The Guardian:

Some critical comments from the US:

Janet Maslin of the New York Times called it Almodóvar's "best film by far," noting he "presents this womanly melodrama with an empathy to recall George Cukor's and an eye-dampening intensity to out-Sirk Douglas Sirk." She added, "It's the crossover moment in the career of a born four-hankie storyteller of ever-increasing stature. Look out, Hollywood, here he comes."[2]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times observed, "You don't know where to position yourself while you're watching a film like All About My Mother, and that's part of the appeal: Do you take it seriously, like the characters do, or do you notice the bright colors and flashy art decoration, the cheerful homages to Tennessee Williams and All About Eve, and see it as a parody? . . . Almodovar's earlier films sometimes seemed to be manipulating the characters as an exercise. Here the plot does handstands in its eagerness to use coincidence, surprise and melodrama. But the characters have a weight and reality, as if Almodovar has finally taken pity on them - has seen that although their plights may seem ludicrous, they're real enough to hurt."[3]

Bob Graham of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "No one else makes movies like this Spanish director" and added, "In other hands, these characters might be candidates for confessions - and brawls - on The Jerry Springer Show, but here they are handled with utmost sympathy. None of these goings-on is presented as sordid or seedy. The presentation is as bright, glossy and seductive as a fashion magazine . . . The tone of All About My Mother has the heart-on-the-sleeve emotions of soap opera, but it is completely sincere and by no means camp."[4]

Wesley Morris of the San Francisco Examiner called the film "a romantically labyrinthine tribute that piles layers of inter-textual shout-outs to All About Eve, Tennessee Williams,

Truman Capote, Federico García Lorca and Alfred Hitchcock, and beautifully assesses the nature of facades . . . Almodovar imbues his Harlequin-novel-meets-Marvel-comic-book melodramas with something more than a wink and a smile, and it's beguiling. His expressionism and his screenwriting have always had fun together, but now there is a kind of faith and spirituality that sexcapades like Law of Desire and Kika only laughed at . . . [I]t contains a host of superlative firsts: a handful of the only truly moving scenes he's filmed, the most gorgeous dialogue he's composed, his most dimensional performances of his most dimensional characters and perhaps his most dynamic photography and elaborate production design."[5]

Jonathan Holland of Variety called the film "emotionally satisfying and brilliantly played" and commented, "The emotional tone is predominantly dark and confrontational . . . But thanks to a sweetly paced and genuinely witty script, pic doesn't become depressing as it focuses on the characters' stoic resilience and good humor."[6]

All About My Mother - useful links

Official website:

IMDB entry:

Queer Theory

Queer theory is a field of critical theory that emerged in the early 1990s out of the fields of gay and lesbian studies and feminist studies. It is a kind of interpretation devoted to queer readings of texts. Heavily influenced by the work of Michel Foucault, queer theory builds both upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self and upon gay/lesbian studies' close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities. Whereas gay/lesbian studies focused its inquiries into "natural" and "unnatural" behavior with respect to homosexual behavior, queer theory expands its focus to encompass any kind of sexual activity or identity that falls into perverted, normative and deviant categories.

Although many people[who?] believe that queer theory is only about homosexual representations in literature, it also explores categories of gender, as well as sexual orientation. In fact, it could be argued[by whom?] that queer theory's main project is not the interrogation of homosexuality, but the subverting and challenging of heterosexuality as 'natural' and 'unmarked'. Some[who?] argue that queer theory is a by-product of third-wave feminism, while others[who?] claim that it is a result of the valuation of postmodern minoritizing, that is, the idea that the smallest constituent must have a voice and identity equivalent to all others.

Queer theory's main project is exploring the contesting of the categorization of gender and sexuality. Theorists[who?] claim that identities are not fixed – they cannot be categorized and labeled – because identities consist of many varied components and that to categorize by one characteristic is wrong. For example, a woman can be a woman without being labeled a lesbian or feminist, and she may have a different race from the dominant culture. She should, queer theorists argue, be classed as possessing an individual identity and not put in the collective basket of feminists or of colour or the like.

Queer theory is derived largely from post-structuralist theory, and deconstruction in particular. Starting in the 1970s, a range of authors brought deconstructionist critical approaches to bear on issues of sexual identity, and especially on the construction of a normative "straight" ideology. Queer theorists challenged the validity and consistency of heteronormative discourse, and focused to a large degree on non-heteronormative sexualities and sexual practices.

The term "queer theory" was introduced in 1990, with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Adrienne Rich and Diana Fuss (all largely following the work of Michel Foucault) being among its foundational proponents. Queer theory should not be confused with queer activism, although there is overlap between the two.

"Queer" as used within queer theory is less an identity than an embodied critique of identity. Major aspects of this critique include: discussion of the role of performance in creating and maintaining identity; discussion of the basis of sexuality and gender, either as natural, essential, or socially constructed; discussion of the way that these identities change or resist change; and discussion of their power relations vis-a-vis heteronormativity.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Year 10 Press Releases

Some of you have been struggling with writing your Press Release; see below for some websites which may help you, and remember these key points:
  • You are SELLING the band/artist, not just describing them - make them sound appealing!
  • Communicate information about their IDEOLOGY - what are they all about? What makes them interesting and unique?
  • Include conventions such as: image of the CD, record company logo, details of the release date, details of other upcoming releases, quotes from band members and/or fans and/or industry insiders, details of other things they've done recently, website

Yr 12 Media Evaluation guidance

See below for the guidelines given by the exam board. We are asking you to do INDIVIDUAL evaluations but you may discuss your ideas. Note that I will have to mark you based on my perception of YOUR contribution though, so you may PREFER to write it without input from your group:

Candidates will evaluate their work electronically. This MUST contain an element of audience feedback and may be either integrated with the presentation of the research and planning material or may be presented separately. Where candidates have worked in a group, the evaluation may be presented individually or collectively but the teacher must allocate a mark according the contribution/level of understanding demonstrated by the individual candidate.

The questions that must be addressed in the evaluation are:

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Who would be the audience for your media product?

How did you attract/address your audience?

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Friday, 15 January 2010

Organisation of a Record Company

Here is the link to help you with today's research task into the organisation of a record company:

Remember, if you want to make your research page in Photoshop or Publisher you can access the image of the Record Company structure on the W: student resources drive. Remember to 'save as' into you own user area though.

W:\Media Resources\Assignment 2

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Year 10 Assignment 1

As we near the end of this coursework project, you need to make sure you have completed the following to hand in next week:

1. Blog (write down the address to include:
-Dexter notes
-Spooks notes
-General Textual Analysis theory notes
-Details of the new school-based TV drama show that you devised, such as the name, settings, character profiles (you could include images here), example storylines/what happens in the first show and PREMISE (what's it all about?)

2. Coloured and completed storyboard of the opening sequence of your new show

3. Written analysis of the opening sequence of a TV drama show (to be completed in class tomorrow)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Year 11 Section B Pitching your idea

-5 mintues.
-5 powerpoint slides.
-Everyone in the group must speak.
-Describe the process you have gone through so far in researching and planning your production.
-Explain what you are going to make, how you plan to make it and what the finished article will look like (you may use images).
-Describe who your target audience is and how your production will appeal to them.