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Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level GCE Media Studies AS G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media

Brief: Preliminary exercise 1: using Photoshop produce the front cover of a new college magazine, featuring an original photograph of a student in medium close-up plus some appropriately laid-out text and a masthead. You must also produce a contents page that lists the main features of your college magazine, helps orientate the reader and maintains a consistent house style. *if you fail to complete the preliminary tasks you lose 25% of you total mark for the main task

Main Task: using Photoshop produce the front page, contents page and double page spread of a new music magazine. All images and text used must be original, produced by the candidate, minimum of four images per candidate.

Marks for the AS G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media: Research and Planning (20 marks) You are marked on your research into similar products and potential target audience; organisation of models, props, photo-shoots, bands/artists; drafting and screen grabs from Photoshop that illustrate how your ideas have developed; time management and ability to meet deadlines; use of digital technology or ICT in the presentation of results. *All research and planning must be presented digitally and uploaded to your blog. Construction (60 marks) For this category you are marked for the main task only. The aim of the preliminary task is to give a sense of progression and to prepare you for the main task. As such the preliminary task need not have a high degree of ‘finish’ nor will it detract from the overall mark. However, in the event of the preliminary task not having been undertaken, you will be marked out of 60 using the OCR marking criteria and then have 15 marks deducted as a penalty for not completing the preliminary task. This is an OCR requirement and can be found on page 57 of OCR specification Appendix B: Sample Marking Criteria (go to and hit on specification link). Evaluation (20 marks) You will evaluate your main task electronically. The evaluation MUST contain audience feedback – either questionnaires and/or a filmed focus group. In addition you must address the following questions set by OCR in your presentation. The questions that must be addressed in the evaluation are: 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? 4. Who would be the audience for your media product? 5. How did you attract/address your audience? (Include evidence of audience feedback) 6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? 7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? The evaluation is NOT and extended essay; the presentation must include screen grabs of your work and notes under the key evaluation questions with examples from your creative work to illustrate your points. Remember that we are working in a visual medium. You are welcome to integrate audio/visual material; the evaluation can take the form of a director’s commentary with JPEGS/MPEGs that you edit.

In the evaluation you will be marked on: •

Your understanding of the forms and conventions used in the productions.

Your understanding of the role and use of new media in various stages of the production.

Your understanding of the combination of main product and the preliminary tasks.

Your understanding of the significance of audience feedback.

Your skill in choice of form in which to present the evaluation.

Your ability to communicate.

Your use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation.

*The Research and Planning and Evaluation should be seen as an exciting way to present information; people working in the industry have to present their work to clients before they get paid; it is essential that they present the information in a lively, creative and engaging way; this is not a boring old essay; it is a piece of creative work in its own right.

For design ideas make sure you look at “The Art Directors’ Handbook of Professional Magazine Design”; also have a look at for ideas on magazine layout, typography and design.

The deadlines below have been agreed by the academic staff. They have been set in stages so that you can monitor your own performance during your Foundation Portfolio in Media. After submitting work on time you will receive detailed feedback on your progress during the project and you will be given an individual action plan on ways to improve your work. The deadline dates are final, however please feel free to submit work before the deadline dates and move onto your next task.

Friday 8th October 2010 Complete Production Tasks 1 -12 (College Magazine)

Friday 5th November 2010 Complete Production Tasks 13 – 16 (Magazine Analysis)

Friday 19th November 2010 Complete production tasks 17 - 18 (Audience Research)

Friday 17th December 2010 Complete production tasks 19 - 22 (Planning)

Friday 11th February 2011 Complete production tasks 23 - 28 (Production)

Friday 7th March 2011 Complete production tasks 29 - 30 (Evaluation)

Below is a complete list of all of the tasks for the AS G321 Advanced Portfolio in Media:

1) Set up your google mail account at 2) Set up your blog at 3) Join Survey Monkey at 4) Join Issuu at 5) Do some research on existing college/university magazines; what features do these magazines contain; How are they laid out; Why would they appeal to students. 6) Decide on the main features and house style of your college magazine; begin initial flat-plans and sketches for your college magazine; include examples of magazines or photo-shoots that have inspired you. 7) Design a suitable masthead for your college magazine – go to for font styles; take a range of original photos to include in your contents page. 8) Take an original medium close-up photo of your model for the front cover of your college magazine. 9) Complete your college magazine front page in Photoshop; copy Photoshop screen grabs of your college magazine into a word document during production. 10) Complete your college magazine contents page in Photoshop; copy Photoshop screen grabs of your college magazine into a word document during production. 11) Cut and paste all college magazine planning work (including screen grabs) into a Powerpoint and upload to your blog. 12) Export completed college magazine front cover and contents page as a JPEG and upload onto your blog. END OF PRELIMINARY TASK: upload to your blog by Friday 8th October 2010


Fashion Junkie - college magazine front cover by Loren Aldridge

13) Buy three music magazines. Scan the front page, contents page and one double page spread article from each of the magazines you have bought; 14) Analyse the three front covers using technical language. 15) Analyse three music magazine contents pages using technical language. 16) Analyse three music magazine double page spreads using technical language. * For help analysing your three magazines look at the worksheets in Appendix A

END OF PRE-PRODUCTION TEXTUAL ANALYSIS: upload to your blog by Friday 5th November 2009


17) Audience research and questionnaires; find out what magazines your target audience read; what bands they are into; what websites they regularly use; how much do they spend on music magazines per month; do they go to gigs or festivals; how much do they spend on physical and download music; where they access new music; do they illegally download music; do they live stream tracks – if so which sites do they use; where do they watch music videos – TV/online; what music TV shows do they watch; what do they look for in a music magazine etc. Use to upload questions and email/Facebook your survey to your target audience. 18) Type up a reader profile for your target audience; present your reader profile in a visually interesting way; the reader profile must be based on the results from your survey; Google ‘NME Reader Profile’ for an example. END OF RESEARCH AND PLANNING: upload to your blog by Friday 19th November 2010


19) Pre-production sketches – early names for your magazine; masthead designs; photo-shoot ideas; flat-plans; examples of early Photoshop design work. 20) Pre-production mood board(s) – photo shoots, interviews, design and layout that has inspired you. 21) Upload your pre-production sketches and mood board(s) to your blog. 22) Type up a five line paragraph that states what your new music magazine is all about and why it will appeal to its target audience; what is the USP of your new music magazine; what is the house style; what is the tone and register; upload to your blog. Upload tasks 29 – 33 to your blog by Friday 17th December 2009

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------23) Plan photo shoot; upload ideas and test shots to your blog. 24) Organise interview for your double page spread. 25) Write double page spread article. 26) Draw flat plans and organise original images for your contents page.

27) Copy screen grabs of your music magazine as it develops in Photoshop. 28) Complete front page, contents page and double page spread; upload finished work to your blog.

END OF CONSTRUCTION: upload work to your blog by Friday 11h February 2010


Verse by Demi Drummond

Amplified by Jordane Roberts

Airstrain by Joe Pearson

Forcast by Billy Barnes

29) Detailed audience feedback – this can take the form of a target audience questionnaire and/or a target audience focus group; if you decide on a focus group you must film the discussions; you need to decide on the feedback questions and present results in a visually stimulating way; feedback results then inform your evaluation comments 30) Decide on an interesting and engaging way to electronically present your evaluation; remember you must use visual material to illustrate your points; you can also choose to combine audio/visual material to illustrate your points. The evaluation is not an extended essay; it is a presentation of your thoughts and responses to the set brief. The evaluation must include results from audience feedback and address the following questions: •

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? (Include evidence of audience feedback)

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?

END OF EVALUATION: upload tasks 30 and 31 to your blog by Friday 11th March 2010


Booking & Care Guide All stills cameras and camcorders are available from your media teacher. We have a selection of digital SLR cameras for you to use during this project. Please make sure that you save all of your pictures before returning the camera. The media teacher will erase all pictures once the cameras are returned.

When you book the cameras you will need to fill in a booking form. It is advised that you do not book the cameras out for more than 3 days as it will prevent other students from using them.

You are responsible for the safety and upkeep of the camera and/or camcorder whilst it is your possession and will be held accountable should you lose or damage the camera, tripod or any other equipment you have borrowed. It is the responsibility of the student that hired the camera to return it in its original condition irrespective as to whether you’ve worked as part of a group.


Main features of a Contents Page There are various factors that determine the design of a list of contents. The main one is the character of the magazine itself: special interest and current affairs magazines require a different approach than that of, say music magazines. The form is dictated by the function. Generally there are two levels; one pictorial and one textual, with the emphasis again dependent on the nature and house style of the magazine. Pictures may be used to emphasise certain themes, but they also help to attract the more visually orientated reader to one particular subject or article. For this reason pictures must be supplemented with captions and page numbers. The contents page is particularly attractive to advertisers, as most readers will turn to it, and lengthy lists are often spread over two full pages so that they can be split by two full-page adverts. For the reader though it’s easier to have the contents on one page. The page numbers themselves must be clearly laid out, either to the right or left of the subject matter. The main role of the content page is to help the reader navigate the magazine. Therefore the highest priority of the content page should be clarity and ease of use.

Main features of a Double Page Spread (DPS)

Questions to ask when analysing a Double Page Spread (DPS) 1. Layout and Design How is the DPS laid out? Is it mainly text-led or picture-led? How many columns of text in the DPS? How are the columns organised? 2. Images used – what photographs are used in the DPS and why? How is the lead singer positioned in the photo? How is the band or artist portrayed in the photographs? Does this portrayal tie-in with the band’s image? What are the connotative meanings of the photos? Give reasons for your answer. 3. Headline – what language is used in the headline? Do they use a direct quote? What language features can you spot? What font style, colour and layout have they used for the headline? Is this consistent with the House Style of the magazine? 4. Pull Quote – do they use one? If so what does the Pull Quote state? Who is it from? How does the Pull Quote relate to the whole article? 5. Standfirst – how does the journalist introduce the article? What descriptive language does the journalist use? 6. Copy – How many direct quotes does the journalist use? How much do we find out about the artist? Do you think that the band or artist would be happy with the DPS? Give reasons for your answer. 7. VALS – having read the DPS what comments can you make about the VALS of the target readership? 8. Photoshop CS3 techniques – list a few Photoshop effects that you like from the DPS and tell me how you could achieve the effects you like.

Please turn over for:

Music Magazine Workbook  

Music Magazine Workbook for 2010/2011 OCR Foundation Production

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