Monday, 30 April 2012


This is not for your coursework (BUT, so long as you do it by Friday when I'll be posting your marks to the exam board, you can add this above your final cut as the 1st post you see on your blog), but rather for:
(1) future students
(2) DVD compilation of your work (including some of the practice exercises)

You can film up to 5 mins for this, and I'll edit down to between 30/60seconds. Film in groups, not individually.
I need these before you go on study leave.
When passing over full quality exported files (shot in HD, both AS and A2) name the file as NAME1-NAME2-NAME3-CWK INTRO, eg JESS-GINA-CWK INTRO

What I'd like to you talk about:
  • Introduce yourselves, and the work you did (eg, Hi, I'm Gina - and I'm Jess - and we created a new music video for Robbie Williams' single "She's the One"; or Hi, I'm Tom - and I'm Georgia - and we created the opening sequence of a new slasher film titled "Tiny Terror")
  • Who was it aimed at? (eg We were aiming our work at an audience aged 15-24)
  • Have you entered it for any competitions? For A2: Have any organisations (fansites, charities, band sites etc) said they'll use your vid?
  • What were the major influence/s on your work (eg certain directors, films, videos etc)? You could say a little about the role of research in this.
  • Did your idea/editing change much from the original pitch/filming/rough cut? You could say something about what factors influenced any changes
  • What are you most pleased about with your production?
  • If you wish to, you could briefly address aspects you'd like to develop further given more time.
  • What can you do now that you couldn't do at the start of the year?
  • What have you gained/learned from this production and the process behind it? That may well be aptitude for directing or organising (producing) a shoot/cast (or other roles: SFX/makeup for example) as well as more technical, software/editing-centred learning
  • Why would you recommend others take Media Studies in the future? [I'll edit out + use anything on this point separately]
  • Anything else you'd like to say
This shouldn't be too tasking; a few mins to think this through, gather your group, get a camera (HD - both AS + A2), find a quiet spot, and shoot. You can pass on the footage to John or do a basic edit yourselves if you want to have a copy of this for your blog/as a memento.

I'd assume such a (by now!) talented bunch as you A2 folk will be heavily involved in producing some whiz-bang materials for your leaving assembly too; you could use this as a means of generating something for that, or just something Media-centred to share with both A2 classes as a memento of two fun-packed, fact-filled years of counter-hegemonic learning!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Applying BritCin lessons to Eval

1.  In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Low-budget film-making & auteurs: Meadows; Monsters + digital film-making. Hybridity + intertextuality. British social realist tradition? Link to Hammer tradition or LHotL? Explicitness of Saw or subtlety of Ring? Blog posts:
·         Birdemic, $10,000 US Indie
·         Colin, the £45 film
·         End of medium budget film?
·         UKFilm best on low budget?
·         Young Brit dir Noel Clarke
Also consider lessons from Monsters.
2.  How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Gender, class, age, regional/national: TisEng v WT rom-coms (Wild Child) v MBL. Link to aud but also either international crossover appeal or sticking within UK social relaist tradition
3.  What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
WT v Warp distribution. Avatar distribution. Costs + implications of digitisation. Optimum Releasing’s link to NBC-Universal as subsidiary of Studio-Canal. UKFC closure + its distribution funds. Also DVD/stream/download + piracy issue. Difficulty of getting ANY distribution – film festivals (Co-Op!) + funding. USA distribution? Look at TisEng figures … but also The Full Monty, Slumdog, even Kings Speech.
4.  Who would be the audience for your media product?
Comparing box office for UK + US horrors; WT/WT2 + Warp films. The case of Mickybo + Me. How BJD + Avatar attracted broad auds. BBFC
How did WT2 films seek to attract male and female, and perhaps a secondary 25-34+ as well as primary 12/15-24?
5.  How did you attract/address your audience?
AliGIndahouse use of UK-specific cultural references (but wrapped in a recognisable US genre framework). TisEng + social realism; slang + nostalgia (Reynolds book). Rarity of active female chars. Hybridity. Marketing. BBFC
There is an overlap with Q3: consider what, if any, specific British (and break down further: English, N.Eng, Yorkshire, Ilkley; youth culture) references you’ve included (may be landmarks or mise-en-scene [eg clothing labels/references] as well as dialogue)
6.  What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Digitisation, editing, SFX; social media (Hot Fuzz pacman, WT website, Avatar). Has digitisation enabled YOU to compete? Colin + LeDonk etc. See links to blog posts for Q1. Also consider lessons from Monsters.
7.  Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Genre knowledge. Role of aud feedback: BJD + jumper; preview trailers etc online + fanboys (own Twitter? Facebook? Company blog?). Reshoots. Practice at filming. Using FCE. Soundtracking.

Level 1 0–7 marks

Level 2 8–11 marks

Level 3 12–15 marks

Level 4 16–20 marks
                Excellent understanding of issues around audience, institution, technology, representation, forms and conventions in relation to production.
                Excellent ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes.
                Excellent understanding of their development from preliminary to full task.
                Excellent ability to communicate.
                Excellent skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation

Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. In addition, candidates should be familiar with:
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.
This unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the form of case studies

REP'NS: RegionalAccent: NadineCoyle subtitled

Good example, following on from Girls Aloud bandmate Cheryl Cole being subtitled for her brief stint on X Factor USA, of the commercial challenges of UK accents other than middle-class Southern English: my compatriot, Nadine Coyle, has also suffered this fate on the US edition of Next Top Model.
See reports by Belfast Telegraph + Huffington Post vid (below);

Have you addressed this issue when discussing casting, representations, budgets, distributors, audience (including feedback - did you get feedback from 'non-locals' not so familiar/comfortable with the local Yorkshire accent?) etc?
Here's what the Belfast Tele wrote:
Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle has once again hit the headlines because of her distinctive Londonderry accent.
Currently appearing as a guest judge on reality US TV show America’s Next Top Model, her strong Derry dialect has led to her being subtitled for the American audience.
Beauty Nadine, who is well placed to judge the show’s fledgling models, has never compromised on her love of her home city.
She recently appeared at an event to promote Derry to the American tourist market as part of the Clipper Yacht race and for the 2013 UK City of Culture celebrations.
The American decision to subtitle her has been labelled as simple prejudice.
Linguistics expert Dr Loretto Todd of the University of Ulster said it is tantamount to racism to make an issue out of the way someone talks. She said: “Let us not forget, every single human being has an accent of some sort or other, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Nadine Coyle's accent.
“There is a rhythm to her accent, as there is to all Northern Ireland accents, and it just happens to be a bit faster than the South of England accent, which I think is at the core of why they are making so much of the way she talks.
“I have heard her speak and I think she is very clear.”
Dr Todd suggested that perhaps the continuing onslaught on Nadine’s Derry accent is that because of her profession, she is seen as fair game.
She explained: “I do not think we’d be having this conversation if we were talking about someone from a different profession, but because she is a singer, it seems appropriate to criticise her.”
It’s not the first time that the speech of a member of Girls Aloud has been lost in translation across the Atlantic.
Cheryl Cole's Geordie accent is reportedly the reason that she was axed from the American version of X Factor.
Nor is it the first time Nadine's tones have fallen on deaf ears.
Jonathan Ross, no stranger to speech impediments, said in 2008 that he could not understand a word she said.
Nadine also copped a lot of flak on a recent UK tour for what many people deemed an irritating transatlantic twang after years of living in the US.

Changing blog settings

Some of you have yet to follow up on my feedback on such things as blog layout/colours etc; see below for a tip on how to do so (starting with clicking on the <Design> tag top-right of any blog you manage once you're signed in).
Click on image to expand further

Thursday, 19 April 2012

YT channel views last 30days

Feel free to use this, and previous screenshots of the IGSMediaStudies channel views, when discussing audience/feedback/use of technology etc
Part of the reason your vids continue to get so many hits is the time I spend adding appropriate tags. You can view these tags yourself on any YT vid - just click 'see more' on the blurb below the video frame. Have you used tags to increase hits/views on your own channel? You can use my tags on your vids for ideas.

Q2 Repns + applying exam learning

Just looking at GB's excellent answer vid/post for this, and thought it worth sharing an illustration of how you can apply your ongoing exam-centred learning to your Eval.
When discussing social class, you can discuss how at the low budget end of UK film we often get w.cls protagonists (WTs early films + Billy Elliot, Mickybo + me; TisEng; films by dirs. Loach + Leigh etc), but at the higher budget end (WT...) m.cls characters are predominant (all the WT rom-coms).
Regional identity: again, at the higher budget end, we tend to get S.Eng accents/characters (WT rom-coms!). Regional accents in such movies signify stupidity, unsophisticated etc (eg Spike in N.Hill). Social realist films tend to centre on w.cls characters/protagonists though. Even at the low budget end (WTs Mickybo + me, albeit at £5m low only by WTs standards) regional accents represent a risk (M+me failed to get UK-wide distribution) ... but its not a simple 'rule': Billy Elliot did v well here + US despite the strong regional accents

There are many more possible examples of how you can apply your exam learning to your blog and espec Eval Qs...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Screenplays and narrative

This isn't absolutely essential, but is worthwhile and all adds to the air of professionalism: a screenplay. As its just the opening two mins - including approx 30secs of idents - this shouldn't take long to do!
The document embedded below guides you through and includes a range of additional web and book resources links/references. Pass on any screenplays for me to check. Also looks good when you've assembled your cast!
Even if you don't create a screenplay, there's a lot f useful material in this doc about narrative.
Narrative and Screenplays With Sample Screenplay and Guide                                                            

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Does Eval have to be all vids?/R+P points

In response to an A2 student's question, I wrote a detailed response including many points on the R+P and how to best maximise marks for it. I've just updated that, and most of these points apply equally to the AS and how its marked; see

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Blogging on AUDIENCE

See coursework guide section, and use the audience tag.
The BritishCinema blog tag on audience (and more) too.

The DCMS (UK government Department for Culture, Media, Sport) did a lengthy report on film audience in 2012.

The BFI also gives data on how populare genres are, very useful for audience research too. From 2013:
You can see why the hybrid rom-com is preferred to the romance film!
From Sophie's research (I can't find the report link), a great table breaking down audience demographics and genre:

Written for A2 work, so the example comes from that, but generally most of this applies to you guys as well...

I've covered aspects of this in many posts - use the Q3 links list, and look at past egs linked in Q3 guide for example.
Lets take one of the better examples I've seen and consider any issues that prevent it from being assessed as excellent (criteria: 'research into a similar target audience')
Here's RobS's post on audience (NB: when copy/pasted I thought I'd better check font size + sure enough, as copied it came in as small; I also adjusted the colour from grey to black - you've got to look out for this when sharing posts. I've also had to move a few pics to try to make it fit in my blog's frame width, but its still pushed out wider than my frame):

RS - Target Audience

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Blog Gadgets/Layout/Positioning Pics

The split-column makes the archive more
difficult to access/use quickly. Also note
the poll: lots of responses, so worth a post.
If yours hasn't, delete it, try again + this
time push harder to get responses!

Trying to position the 2nd pic below proved
a nightmare - tried 2 browsers (Safari +
Firefox); might be a Mac issue? Blogger
support forums were useless. Every time I
tried 'add caption' to pic below it moved. So
my solution was to type more into the caption

The point I wanted to make with pic below:
neat/small playable MP3; + group pic is
hyperlinked to 'meet the group' post
See Picture captions for tips on positioning pictures in Blogger - and utter pain, but there are some workarounds...

Basic Design Points
Already repeatedly covered, but a reminder:
  • Sub-headings are vital for a well-presented blog; don't use the Blogger defaults though (the drop-down list with Normal/Minor Heading etc are fairly useless: use a different font (never Courier), colour, size, bold - just as I've done above
  • Check for + avoid blank space: there are so many posts with 2 blank lines between sentences, or random chunks of blank space, or a stray photo at the bottom - this looks simply awful
  • Use caption tool: its quicker and tidier than trying to make general text fit below. It also helps any posts with multiple pics look less messy
  • Don't type beyond the width of the pic once you've set it to the size you want; hit at the end of the line + carry on writing (as I did with the pic to R)! Once you start writing beyond the pic width you'll see margins being adjusted.
  • Position pics to R of text - not always possible/desirable (size should generally be the decisive factor), but you should have noticed that I rarely position pics so that there's no text either side. Moving pics is fiddly within blogger, but in general allow text to flow round them - keep to right so that bullet lists/sub-headings aren't messed up. Double up (1 L, 1 R) where need be.
  • Proofread your blog - it shouldn't take me to point out things such as the above; check + adjust your blog/posts.
  • Don't use split-column R-column; it makes the Blog Archive, the most important gadget on the blog, and the one I/the examiner will use most, a pain to use!
  • Never post a vid/pod/vodcast/image/s without a clear title + text to explain what it is/contents, and provide context/commentary where appropriate. Proofread your own blog
  • Post titles: there are so many awful eg's from your blogs despite this point being made ad nauseum: ensure your post title clearly explains the post content. Far, far too many still simply do not. Proofread your own blog.
  • Post order/dates: tidy up your blogs by adjusting post publish dates - see pic at end. There are lots of examples where you've added a post which should replace an earlier post, but you've left both in. Proofread your own blog!
  • When copy/pasting each others' posts, check your blog hasn't imposed a colour background fill, or put grey/blue text on a black background, 2 common egs of where things go wrong - proofread your own blog.
  • Be particularly careful if your blog is set to have a black background in the main posting frame; it may be easier to change this than wade through dozens of posts which are rendered hard/impossible to read.
  • Posts on individual films/vids analysed should follow the template I've set out, starting with basic institutional info. These are a waste of time if you don't summarize your learning, summarize the conventions based on these individual examples, and keep showing your application of this learning by making references to these in your posts on ideas, planning, filming, rough cuts, aud feedback etc
  • An unreadable post copy/pasted from a group partner
  • If you've changed the blog background pic, post on this with screenshots: good idea to do this, changing it to a pic from your own work! Just check its not pixellated and that your post text is easily readable. 
  • Feedback posts: always either embed pic/vid OR give a link to post where it can be seen - and respond to the feedback: do you dis/agree? why? what do you intend to do now? Remember, YouTube annotation tool can be v useful for this.
Podcasts are especially useful for getting marks on 'Time management' + possibly 'Organisation of resources' (for which you need to evidence how you've controlled + imposed your creative choices on resources including cast, costume, props, locations...). If you've been slack in creating these, consider whether its really beyond your wit to create some now which show a regular reflection on what you've done. Podcast posts must have some detail on contents, and post titles must be clearer than 'Podcast 4' - so maybe try 'Podcast4 Nov4-Nov18' indicating the time period covered? IF YOU TRY THIS, you've got to make sure your claims are backed up by general blog posts!!!

Quick, simple note: you need a lot of these, but you also need to get the order right. Click into and you can drag gadgets up/down in order on your blog. You should have a top (horizontal) links list for group members blogs/YouTube channels, company blog, + any FB/Twitter etc. Follow this order:
  1. Group pic
  2. [for A2] playable MP3 of track (adjust player size if necessary - many of you have a huge player on there which stretched the entire blog)
  3. Blog archive - this MUST be quickly.easily accessible
  4. 1 poll (if you have more, add within 'you decide' - see below)
    GeorgeG's blog:2 blog columns
    sized to enable background pic
    to be seen; company logo is
    hyperlinked to company blog;
    QR code prominent - good idea
    as this will impress any examiner
    Even the pic is personalized!
    Shame that background pic is
    pixellated though!
    1. 1 RSS/news feed (if you have more, add within 'you decide' - see below) If you have your own FB/Twitter for this, make its updates your selection here
    2. Links List: Eval Qs (make sure titles in this, and of posts themselves, clearly identify the Q - i.e., not just by number - use the short names I use on my guide posts)
    3. [A2 only] Links List: Final Cut/Ad/Dpak
    4. Links List: Rough Cuts
    5. [A2 only] Links List: Mag Ad/Digipak Drafts
    6. Links List: Audience research/feedback
    7. Links List: Podcasts [ensure title, including post title, is not just a number - see note above]
    8. Links List: Vodcasts [ensure title, including post title, is not just a number]
    9. YOU DECIDE - you should have many more links lists (and maybe some further gadgets), as indicated in the coursework guides; use in any order you wish. These should include:
    • Key influences on our production (links to posts + other external resources; think of directors, maybe specific scenes uploaded to YouTube, other film/TV/vids or any other media type, might even be past IGS work, a book or a concept - perhaps even an ideology, eg feminism)
    • Genre resources: research into genre is key at both AS + A2, so link to your own posts and (you could separate this) wider resources you've used for research
    • Vids/films analysed: you should be able to separate this into 'general' and 'genre' examples. Include any summary post/s, + vodcasts (don't worry about repetition between links lists, just use them to showcase your work on certain aspects, which will help you secure marks). This is an utterly key part of the 40% of marks for the R+P/Eval; if your work on this has been lax your marks will suffer accordingly.
    • Planning + organising resources: posts which help with marks on 'Time management' + 'Organisation of resources': screenplay, storyboards, call sheet/s, filming updates + schedule/s; locations, cast(ing), props, costume, mise-en-scene, FX (you've got to go beyond saying Jemima was cast because she was available, and we used the clothing/hair/appearance she turned up in, and certainly didn't provide any direction for her (or film this), or do any set dressing, because we were determined to get low marks on 'organisation of resources'!!!
    • Learning on software + other technologies: if you haven't already, add in a few posts on this topic (eg a post where you've used a new FCE tool, or you've added your 1st links list, set up a FB page, a blog poll/Polldaddy poll...). Both AS + A2 have Eval Qs (ASQ7, A2Q4) on this, plus 'Use of ICT' is assessed for A2 blog and both AS+A2 Evals.
    • ...and more besides!
    Another workaround tip: I tried bringing this (initially at a smaller size) + couldn't move it from the top, or from the middle of the 2 pics I'd already put in the post. Solution? I added a stack of presses, creating blank space which then enabled me to shift this pic where I wanted it - once positioned, I could remove the presses.

    Social Media + Fans: Doors FB e.g.

    If you switch the music e.g. for a filmic e.g., this post is worth considering for Eval Q1/Q4/Q5 (interacting with potential aud; this interaction helping to shape the product; getting demographic data on aud through social media e.g. YouTube), Q3 (marketing is down to the distributor, tho WT are an e.g. of a production co who get involved with marketing directly) + Q6 (obviously: technologies!): View

    Friday, 6 April 2012

    Final R+P pointers/feedback

    pointers; other schools' work; further points; tips for high marks; good eg of post on sample film opening; genre vodcast (+ instructions); YouTube annotation tool; YouRTube; pod/vodcasts guide; exam board report on past IGS work; the brief, Eval + how its all marked; Polldaddy; call sheets + production logs; storyboard templates; changing post dates; eg of behind-scenes vid; post titles in groups; blog intro; post titles + openings analyses; film opening presentations; screenplays + narrative; casting + creativity; treatments; mise-en-scene task (+ decon); being creative with blog vids; BoxOfficeMojo; quoting/referencing sources; adding audio to your blog; class of 2009 tips; image rights; [ALL egs FROM THIS BLOG ONLY; MANY MORE ON DBHORROR + BRITCINEMA BLOGS; UPDATED 8TH APRIL 2012]

    You've now all received detailed feedback and marking. If you look through this blog's archive you'll find previous posts detailing key points. Here's a few that kept coming up with yours (much of this is in the cwk guide...):
    • use the coursework guide!!! you're missing a lot of what's covered/detailed/suggested in there
    • use past blogs to help (quality is variable) - have you applied what you learned from looking at a past student's work way back in October? (look back at what you wrote!)
    • The Eval and R+P, as I've kept saying in lessons after lesson, are closely interlinked - as you improve your Eval feed any useful points/materials/research back into your R+P posts
    • You should be collaborating on the Eval, but need to be clear on what it is you're aiming to achieve. Pass on everything new (email links to each post you update so each can use it); sit down and split up prep on the Eval Qs so that each is sourcing images/vids/links for 2, 3 or 4 of the 7 Qs, plus any initial brainstorming (bullet list) of points to make which each person can add to/modify – you really should try to help each other out, just voice/write final points yourselves
    • Its vital you build up a stock of screenshots for using in both Eval and R+P (in some cases you might need to list screenshots to get when we're back and you can access the DVD, but in many cases a google search might find what you need, and many openings are viewable on YouTube)
    • Company blog should never mention 'the class': its written by professionals for a potential audience for their new film: tweak your posts so they're clearly written from this perspective, and ditch any 'ALL' or initials in post titles
    • Post titles are too often a mystery or mis-leading. for film opening analyses its worth considering a numbering system: OpeningEG1: Warriors (and so forth)
    • Too few links lists. You should be able to create links lists for each assessment criteria. Having posts which summarize major elements of you work (each of these can include links to relevant posts too) would help.
    • Too little evidence of wider research/reading - it should be easy to add a links list on 'Useful research sources used'
    • Too little consideration of audience - use cwk guide, and in posts on RCut + planning always address the tgt aud, including both core/primary and secondary. The info you need for Q3/4/5 should all be fed back into earlier posts!!!
    • No evidence of storyboards, call sheets etc = marks thrown away. Scan/photograph + embed. If necessary, re-create these. In most cases too little detail/evidence of any work done to modify mise-en-scene, direct cast, creatively control costume etc etc
    • Needed for Eval Q1 never mind the R+P - are clear, detailed summaries of what you consider to be the main conventions of (1) the format of film openings (2) slasher openings; which you should then be referencing when you're posting about your idea/updates, filming + response to aud feedback (to show you're applying this learning). Thats an absolutely fundamental aspect of the blog
    • scary movie is well worth re-viewing (espec the opening killing of scream queen) as it explicitly shows up the dubious representation of women and how this is done for a male audience's pleasure, but also as it exposes the conventions of the genre full stop
    • Proofread!! Check your blog for simple spelling errors - espec in post titles - and excessive blank space, or images/text/vids going over the main blog frame into the right-hand column.
    • Make use of caption tool when adding images, and generally put in with text, don't sep out so that text is above and below - and especially don't dump them all at the bottom of a post

    'Jockey' + 'Mis-en-scene'

    Sigh... note the correct spelling of mise-en-scene please!!!
    Also, the conventional descriptor for sporty alpha-males in a school/college (youth) setting is 'Jock' ... NOT 'Jockey'. There are no horses involved!!!

    Tech Tips

    I've added a couple of basic tips (eg toggling between multiple windows/tabs in one programme) to
    If you've got any, whether its using a specific software tool or anything else, please add as a comment to this post or to any on the MediaTechTips blog

    Thursday, 5 April 2012

    DIGITISATION 'The Face Book'

    Great video here - not sure if you'll follow the full preferred reading as the technology it mimics goes back as far as 1996, but the basis of the satire is clear enough
    Raises some nice points about the limits to/dangers of digitisation and new media (and, indirectly, about the speedy obsolescence that befalls many once giant new media/technology names):

    Wednesday, 4 April 2012

    Pod/Vodcasts - a guide

    For a guide on divshare, see this post. This post builds on previous posts (and there is a links list on the AS cwk blog too).

    The two formats are quite different beasts - podcasts, as audio only, are more basic while vodcasts are for aspects which really need/will benefit from visual material. Thats not to say podcasts can't be sophisticated: mini-radio shows in effect!
    Podcasts, named after iPods (remember, these were initially audio-only), are typically MP3 audio files provided by websites to attract, entertain and inform an audience. (This tripartite list has a lot in common with the classic definition of public service broadcasting)
    There have been some phenomenally successful podcasters - Ricky Gervais' podcasts for The Guardian broke records, and eventually saw him hive these off to subscription only, making a bundle of cash in the process!
    Film production companies (and bands too) commonly use podcasts to get people talking about a film long before it hits the screen.
    Podcasts usually incorporate some discussion, though solo podcasting isn'tunknown! At its simplest, you'd initially podcast on your group, your individual pitches, what your production idea is, and how (research...) you settled on this, noting key influences (films, directors etc), then discussing upcoming pre-production steps. You'd then post (at least) weekly updates on what you've done/whats happened since your last podcast, and whats upcoming (you can podcast on any specific aspect at any stage though!).

    You can make it more interesting by working with other groups, interviewing them (properly introduced as the director, cinematographer, producer [or other roles] and their production company name given [state "film title" is to be distributed by Indie outfit "company name"]). You interview them for your podcast, they interview you for theirs...and both share the files, presenting their podcast as an interview feature (possibly on a separate standalone production company blog - I'll do a separate post on this!).

    The key to podcasting? Remembering to include both info and entertainment; think of your blog not simply as an academic exercise, but a realistic web presence for YOUR actual film production! Like any blog in the real world, you've got to incentivize an audience to listen to your work...and be so gripped they'll be counting the days until the next episode!!! Not least, that means a post title that includes some basic info on what the podcast is about, and some text in the post to help coax your blog reader (again, think of the world beyond your Media teacher!!!) into giving up their time to click play and listen!
    Podcasts are about info, but also...
    Will (m)any people really want to listen to your 5+min stream of consciousness???
    Make sure you edit the mp3, take off any "right, are you ready" - "are we recording" comments and blank air.
    Aim for around 2mins (tho' some will justify longer, up to around 5min podcasts).

    Some key points on podcasts:
    1. check its an mp3 file; if not, convert into mp3
    2. use upload sites such as divshare to put it online, then...
    3. embed the file into the blog (so that your blog user simply has to click play)
    4. edit off any pauses at the start/end; edit out other pauses halfway through too!
    5. limit the length - have mercy on your audience! pithiness is a challenge, also reflected in the miserly 2mins you get for your film openings when you've all seen most actual openings are much longer!
    6. use podcasts to keep your audience up to date with whats happening in the production - if you subscribed to the podcasts but never looked at the blog, could you still have a fair idea about you've been blogging about?
    7. you can also have a lot more fun though: experiment with radio-show style podcasts, including presenter/s, perhaps even jingles; consider interviewing others and then being interviewed, as film-makers, yourselves!
    8. check your blog post includes description of whats in the podcast, and...
    9. try to include persuasive language, give people a reason to listen!
    10. 3 key words: attract, entertain, inform - the first refers to the fact that podcasts are typically...
    11. a marketing tool

    Okay, so thats some points on podcasts; what about vodcasts?
    The previous posts include a series of links and embeds; you can also look at past blogs from IGS students and students from elsewhere.
    Obviously the key difference is the added aspect of visuals.
    This doesn't mean plonking yourself in front of a webcam, hitting record and rushing to upload a half hour of your insights into film!!! As a Media student you need to be a little more ambitious. Basically, this means combining some possibly simple, single-take of yourself/group discussing some aspect of your work, then editing into this still images and/or video clips to illustrate whatever you're rambling on about discussing with great style, knowledge and eloquence!
    You might look to replicate a studio set-up, a discussion-show format - a couple of comfortable chairs, pot plants, bottle of water and you're flying! Again, examples are provided on the previous vodcast posts:

    As with podcasts, not only are these attracting marks, but they should help to drive real-world traffic to your blog! Promote your work on Facebook etc! Once on YouTube think about the tags that will help your videos come up in search results!
    Videos on your blog can be very brief updates - a few seconds on how a shoot went, how you've achieved a special effect, a software tool you've used - the possibilities are endless. Vodcasts are more challenging undertakings, fusing your voiceover/commentary with a range of inserted images/video clips/footage to illustrate your topic and content of your speech.
    Again, think about length, and what would reasonably sustain someone's interest - if you've recorded waffle, edit it or re-record!
    There are many, many themes you could pick out for vodcasts, listed below. Many sites - not least Film Guardian etc - feature weekly or monthly vodcasts with star commentators, often discussing specific topics but frequently also with special guests; you could of course invite some other young filmmakers to appear as special guests!

    Some possible vodcast topics/themes:
    • shoot diary
    • the director's vision
    • a guide/visit to locations
    • applying make-up/creating SFX
    • set dressing/mise-en-scene/costume
    • shooting a [specific, eg killing] scene
    • cast(ing) and characters
    • rushes [ie, early footage]/test footage/audience feedback
    • the evolution of a film idea!
    • sample audience response
    • our favourite films/the films which most influence us [in general]
    • influences on this production
    • genre overview ['an overview of the slasher genre' - following ideas would have sim titles]
    • genre: key directors [or even just one!]
    • genre: key films
    • genre: cinematographic conventions [framing, colour filters, steadicam, dutch anngles etc]
    • our top 5/10 [genre] films/posters/DVDs/actors/taglines/themes/soundtracks/killers/locations/comebacks/sequels/remakes...
    • a guide to [genre] in 2011
    • why do people watch [genre] films? We ask...[state range of people asked! you could always vox pop outside a cinema...or ask your fellow 6th formers]
    • marketing a [genre] film
    • [any other specific aspect of genre: use the books, even a single chapter from one could help greatly inform - even inspire! - a vodcast]
    • the editing process
    • new media and the contemporary film-making process
    • film distribution + exhibition in the digital age
    • company idents/designing our idents
    • the role of titles/our titles
    • the role of a producer/director/cinematographer [or other]
    • our top tips on researching, planning, shooting, editing, marketing and exhibiting a film opening
    • AS Media coursework: the steps involved
    Each group should aim for 3+ vodcasts.
    Please pass on full quality .mov files to me once you complete each!
    Again, there's plentiful scope here to be creative - have fun and balance the entertain and inform!

    Two final, but important points:
    1. you'll find yourself exploring issues around many of the above in your Evaluation - you can certainly recycle (ideally re-edited of course!) vodcasts from your R+P for the Eval!!!
    2. yes, vodcasts help garner higher marks, but your work on these has a value beyond Media Studies - these are potentially brilliant marketing tools in the promotion of YOU! Whether for Uni or job applications, you're demonstrating an impressive skillset with polished multimedia such as this, all available on your own blog AND YouTube channel!!!

    After all that you deserve a quiff-centric's about an Elvis podcast?! Click through to