Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


Also see Chief Examiner's guide (for UK spec, but very similar, as is exam) 

This question provides an easy opportunity to elevate the level of your response using theories you'll need to engage with for exam Q1a/1b; have you thought of how you can discuss genre theories here for example? 

Take a moment to consider carefully the question (I've added 1a/b), and the very specific terms selected:

Q1: (1a) How do your products use or challenge conventions and (1b) how do they represent social groups or issues?

(i) demonstrating your knowledge of conventions - summing up the conventions your research uncovered - using some theory to do so (e.g. Goodwin); 
(ii) analysing (includes justifying choices) how your choices reflected or challenged conventions (including providing detailed denotation of each of your own texts); 
(iii) summing up! An overall response to the question. (here's an overview)
You are likely to struggle with exam preparation if you do not work with your MANGeR theory guide to look for concepts to apply here - analysis and specific examples you can then practice applying within the short 30-minute essays required, marked by examiners who do not have the benefit of being able to view your productions.
Any element could apply, but MEDIA LANGUAGE and GENRE are especially important here.
  • it's identical to a Q you answered for AS cwk!
  • you will need to make detailed comparisons between each of your productions and existing vids, digipaks, websites (and any TV shows etc you've also referenced as influences)
  • BUT its not just how you've reflected these conventions; you may have chosen to change, undermine, flip round some of these (perhaps countertypes in place of stereotypes for example) ... maybe even seek to take an established genre in a new direction
  • the word 'rules' is NOT used. 'Conventions' means commonly occurring; frequently seen - elements which when combined help an audience to identify the genre or type of media text. Many books + articles will discuss 'rules' of a genre; what they really mean is 'conventions' - if a genre stays completely rigid it will be doomed
  • I suggest a 6-step structure in my UK-based post
  • This is the most semiotics-based of the four questions.
As is the case in the exam, it is crucial that you provide very precisespecific examples, using specificprecise terminology as you do so (you are marked on this in the exam, so practise using it now!).

As is the case for the Evaluation overall, you should aim to use some combination of hyperlinks, images, video and audio to ensure your post on this is multimedia and well illustrated - you are marked on use of technology and creativity. 
You have to consider whether you'll tackle all 3 texts in a unified way, or perhaps discuss each separately. 

I heartily recommend looking at past student work for ideas and inspiration - next up I provide some examples of Evaluation answers, but you look at the blogs overall. First, some vodcasts I've done linked to A2 coursework:

CIE Q1a is very similar to the OCR (UK) Q1. Here are some examples:
compare the thoroughness of links lists with yours...
Amber: popstar/Madonna clone Lady Gaga 
Clear, well illustrated, some theory. The separate Mag Ads video was completed very last minute, but made a significant difference, helping Amber to full marks overall. The structure is very simple, one that you may wish to follow. Just make sure you engage thoroughly with both Genre and Media Language theory.

Paige: Indie rock band Sly Antics
Detailed, well illustrated vodcast, making plentiful clear references to theories that will be very useful for her exam preparation.

Curtis: dance act Faithless
Detailed and largely well illustrated.

Kate: '00s pop girlband Girls Aloud
A detailed post with 2 vodcasts and a Prezi:




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