Unit 1 Media Studies Examination
The Unit 1 Media Studies Examination will be held in early June and will contribute to approximately 30% of your overall result for Semester One. The examination will be divided into three sections:
- Outcome One: Representation
- Outcome Two: Technology of Representation
- Outcome Three: New Media
The last remaining hurdle and the culmination of a semester’s worth of work is for you to succeed and do well in the Unit 1 examination. The exam will focus on all aspects of Outcome 1, 2 & 3 and will test your depth of understanding and knowledge of all aspects of Media Studies.
This post will provide students with a broad overview of the examination as well as some example questions to help prepare. Students are also encouraged to refer to the Heinemann Text Book and refer to notes, presentations and assessment tasks presented in individual A4 folios.
The first section of the examination will test students understanding of ‘representation’ in the media. Representations are signs, symbols, words, sounds or stories that stand for something else. Peoples interpretations of representations may be determined by a variety of factors including location or culture – for instance, white in Western cultures represents simplicity, cleanliness, purity and youth; however, in some Asian countries, white is often worn at funerals and represents mourning.
When analysing a representation in a selected media form, audiences read these representations using their knowledge of the codes and conventions that are used to construct them.
The example above is poster advertisement for a fashion brand, Dolce & Gabbana. The advertisement has been criticized for its backwards portrayal of woman. What are your thoughts?
Analyse the representation. Consider the following;
- The female figure. What is she wearing? What position is she in?
- The male figure(s): What are they wearing? Describe their posture.
- The title (textual codes)
Now bring it all together: What is the brands target audience? Is this advertisement effective in engaging its target audience and promoting its brand?
Is this advertisement/representation reflective of today’s values toward women?
Media codes and conventions are not static – they change over time. As societies values change, the media has to change with it.
The exam will include questions in relation to the discourse of same-sex unions. Specifically, students will need to discuss how social values are represented within the texts Degrassi Junior High and Modern Family.
- Refer to the following link for more information: http://www.mylesson.com.au/unit4/outcome2/
This section of the paper will be divided into two sections:
Section One: This section will test students understanding of the production phases associated with filmmaking.
The film making process is usually divided up into three production phases:
- Pre-production: Planning Stage
- Production: Filming
- Post-Production: Editing, publishing and submitting.
Section Two: Students will be expected to analyse a short sequence making reference to story & production elements and how they have been used to engage an audience.
The Media Studies Examination will involve the analysis of a short action sequence from the Bourne Ultimatum (see below). Students will need to comment on specific production elements and how they have been used to convey the narrative.
LONG ANSWER QUESTION
Students will be expected to respond to ONE of the film sequences/scenes studies earlier in the semester in relation to Representations of Character.
Reflect back on your notes, familiarise yourself with production elements and consider what production elements were used to establish/develop characters and engage audiences.
In the examination, students will be expected to analyse a short sequence/scene and describe how story/production elements have been used to engage an audience.
Here are the links to each of the sequences:
- Senator Palpatine – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dATuq8O3920
- Norman Bates – Psycho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv88ASiLmgk
- Kylo Ren – Star Wars: The Force Awakens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlT-sJLfCPU
- Jack Torrance – The Shining: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YBXHmmIZ4g
- Anton Chigurh – No Country for Old Men: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLCL6OYbSTw&t=12s
- Bane – The Dark Knight Rises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9xNy5z8PIA
A successful response will depend on good structure:
- Start with a topic sentence (introduction): In The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan uses camera techniques and sound to…
- Now elaborate (body): provide details about the sequence, making specific reference to the story/production elements you highlighted in the opening sentence.
- Wrap it up! (conclusion): finish with a topic sentence similar to the one you started with.
When studying for this section of the examination, start by watching the clip several times over. Take note of the production elements that stand out to you the most. Develop your media language and get to know each production element a little better, for instance, if camera techniques are a defining element, then what kind of camera techniques are being used? Consider shot sizes, movements and angles. Once you have defined what techniques have been used, ask yourself, why have they been used in this way? What is the director trying to convey? What effect does this technique have on the audience?
In another section in the examination, students will refer to a still from one of the film sequences we have watched in class.
EXAMPLE: Analyse the still from the film Psycho (1960).
One defining production element that is evident in this movie still is camera techniques, Specifically, Hitchock has used an extreme close-up to tightly frame the females eye as she peers through the tiny hole. Extreme close-ups are commonly used to capture tiny details, characters emotions or some intricate activity with their hands.
Learn more about production elements by studying the Heinamann Text Book or referring to this site: lessonbucket.com
Anlayse the movie still from Edward Scissorhands. How have story/production elements been used to convey the narrative?
In Edward Scissorhands, Burton uses visual composition and lighting to heighten the dissimilarity of the two contrasting words and the individuality experienced by Edward. As Pegg Bogg’s enters the gothic mansion, the audience is presented with a large empty room with void of human presence. The elimination of colour (visual composition) and the minimal natural light peering through the open windows accentuates the gloom. The dark interior and exaggerated features contrast significantly to the orderly, colourful neighbouring town to which Pegg resides. The visual composition and lighting combine to establish the setting and comment on the underlying themes of isolation, social uniformity and self-discovery.
For Outcome Three, students discussed creative and cultural implications of new media technologies for the production and consumption of media products. Specially, students investigated the following new media forms:
- Internet (Web 2.0):
- The Evolution of the Internet
- What is Web 2.0?
- How it effects the music industry
- Privacy concerns
- Copyright, moral rights and creative commons. What are your rights as an original artist?
- Digital Photography
- Can you believe what you see?
- Social implications related to airbrushing in the media
- Video Gaming
- The evolution of video games
- Can violent video games influence aggressive behavior?
- Gender roles in video games