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MEST 2

Research

What production evidence do I include?


Students should provide evidence of their research, planning and pre-production
which should be sent to the moderator along with the artefacts and the evaluation but
this should not really exceed 5-6 pages. Moderators will want to see evidence that
matches the mark given by the centre. Thus, after undertaking research, students
should formalise their intentions for production and a rationale for their planned work
should be provided.

Primary sources: 4/5 film trailers analysed for the way they are filmed, the shot
selection, the creation of ‘jump’ moments, use of sound and music, genre, audience,
representations.

Secondary sources: reviews from specialist film magazines, lifestyle magazines


and newspapers, official and fan-based web-sites, audience profiles from media
industry sites, etc, as well as reading more theoretical media texts that engage with
issues of genre and film.

The following headings relate both to your research and your evaluation. You should
already have spent some time considering these areas BEFORE you filmed, as they
informed your choices.

Genre: be clear about the genre of your movie. If it is horror, what kind of horror, and
how does draw on previous texts? If thriller, which kind of thriller: psycho-killer, serial-
killer, teen slasher? Be clear about how your film reflects the chosen genre.

Narrative: in developing the narrative, what examples did you use to guide you. How
is the narrative shown in trailers. How do trailers retain mystery and hide the key
elements which can make sense of the narrative?

Media Language: mise en scene; what has guided your choices of locations, props,
casting, costume and lighting, how do these reflect the genre.

Representation: who is represented in your film trailer? Why did you choose them
and how does this make your film similar and or different from others in the same
genre. Is representation of women/girls different in your film? IS there a reason for
this? What surprises are there in the representations? How is ethnicity represented?
Why? What about disability? Can you caompare the representations you have made
with those in existing films?

Audience: who is the audience for your film? What is the demographic suggested by
the brief and how have your met this? What evidence can you provide for this?

Institution: who are the producers for films in the same genre as yours, what
examples of success can you identify and are there any notable British films in this
group. Research previous UK Film Council funded productions.

Values and Ideology: Think about the ideology of the films you site in your research.
Do they consider issues of fidelity and promiscuity, attitudes towards death, bullying,
friendship? The values and ideology of a film are very important areas for audience
engagement.
Intentions and Pre-Production
The pitch – 25 word (refined)
The synopsis – one page outline of the story of the film
The treatment (optional) – longer detailed story of film.
The script/shotlists/storyboards – evidence of all of these including revisions

Evidence
• A representative sample of their research along with a summary of their
findings
• A full list/bibliography of resources accessed
• Rationale including pitch and synopsis
• Mock-ups and storyboards/shooting scripts

In respect to the research evidence swathes of highlighted text and/or notes should
not be submitted although annotated photocopies demonstrating analysis of primary
texts might be appropriate. Please observe the limit of 5/6 pages. The research you
provide is a ‘sample’ of the wider research you have done.

The Productions

As stated in the specification, the Productions should be as fully realised as possible.


The aim for you is to make productions about which you can explain why
every element is like it is and what you were hoping to communicate through that
element.

Although the Productions (trailer and website) are linked it is envisaged that there will
not be much repetition of images or text between the two. Given the different platform
and audience this is unlikely to be appropriate in any case. (in selecting images for
the website bear this in mind)

The exam board does allow you to make some use of ‘found’ material, that is
material that they have not created themselves; obviously they can use music that
they have not written or performed themselves or short clips of video that it would be
impractical for them to film, explosions for example. However, it is expected that the
Productions should be substantially the your own work and that, where there
is much use of found material, it should be extensively manipulated so that they are
not just re-presenting someone else’s work. Therefore, it is possible for you to use
material from other people’s films IF you rework it and use it differently and as long
as it makes up only a very small percentage of the whole production.

If you do need to include found material, make sure that you keep the originals so
that the moderator can see how the your work differs from the originals.
The Evaluation 1500 words

The function of the Evaluation is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the
Productions in relation to the media concepts and the media context in which you are
are working. You should take care not to slip into simply describing the processes
you went through in the creation of their Productions or finding excuses for they are
not as good as they might have been.
These are the sorts of questions that they should be looking to answer in their
Evaluation:
• What kind of institutional context did the Productions (both trailer and website)
fit into?
• What were the target audiences and what effects did the candidate hope to
have on them?
• What genre(s) are you working in and how would this be apparent to their
audience?
• How do the Productions communicate meaning to their audiences through the
various aspects of media language that have been employed?
• How were the narratives constructed and what part did they play in the
creation of the meaning/experience of the pieces.
• What kind of values and ideologies did the Productions promote or attack?
How were these apparent in the texts?
• What issues of representation do the Productions raise?

In addition there should be some, relatively short, consideration throughout the piece
of how the three different media platforms facilitate communication and audiences’
different relationships with them.

You should try to use the vocabulary of Media Studies throughout your
Evaluation, e.g. writing about the ‘signification process’ rather than the ‘creation of
meaning.’

You should also stick to the word limit, as, unless you do, it is unlikely that you will be
able to hit the top band descriptor which calls for cogency and succinctness.
What are the Assessment Objectives for MEST 2?

AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding when analysing media products and
processes and evaluating their own practical work, to show how meanings and
responses are created.

AO3 Demonstrate the ability to plan and construct media products using
appropriate technical and creative skills.

AO4 Demonstrate the ability to undertake, apply and present appropriate


research.

Research, planning and pre-production work is an essential part of the production


process. This is mirrored in the mark scheme for MEST2 where both AO2 and AO4
are given considerable weighting, underlining the fact that research, planning and
pre-production work is an important part of the process for student attainment
Copyright

Production: AO3 48 marks (75% of total) – production


AO4 12 marks (25% of total) – research

Evaluation: AO2 16 marks (80% of total) – evaluating


AO4 4 marks (20% of total) – research

Thus if the total number of marks for MEST2 is 80, then 32 marks account for the
supporting material which amounts to 40% of the total.

What is the guidance on evaluation?


The evaluation is worth 20 marks (25% of the total). There should be a brief
reference to the third platform that was not produced by the candidate (if only to
explain what might have been done and why it was decided not to). The evaluation is
not simply a description of the production process but should evaluate the success of
the productions in terms of the intentions set out previously with reference where
appropriate to the Key Concepts.

What is the guidance on E-media and Moving Images?


It is essential that E-media products are submitted as working artefacts – on
DVD/CD, memory sticks or even online if possible – and not as computer files and
hard copy print-outs. After much discussion it has been decided that it is going to be
almost impossible to legislate against web design templates that are freely available
in much of the software used in centres. However, it is important to reward students
who use these facilities creatively and are also not heavily dependent on their use
and who make reference to the use of such templates in their supporting materials.

For example, the design elements in publisher templates should be changed


significantly in final productions.

Equally it may well be appropriate for one of the web pages to link in some way to
existing social network sites such as FaceBook or MySpace – but again only where
appropriate and where creatively used and where mentioned in supporting materials.