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

Brief: Preliminary exercise 1: Design a CD front and back cover. *Preliminary exercise 1 does not contribute towards your overall grade however the academic staff will use the task to judge your suitability for the course.

Preliminary exercise 2: Design and 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. *Preliminary exercise 2 does not contribute towards your overall grade however if you fail to complete the task you lose 25% of your total mark for the main task

Main Task: Plan, design and produce the front page, contents page and double page spread for a new music magazine aimed at a specific target audience. All images and text used must be original and produced by the candidate. Absolutely no ‘found images’. Found images are Google images, band logos, pictures of famous artists, pictures taken from Tumblr etc. The new music magazine must have a minimum photographic images.

of four original


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 two preliminary tasks is to give a sense of progression and to prepare you for the main task. As such the preliminary tasks need not have a high degree of ‘finish’ nor will it detract from the overall mark. However, in the event of the Preliminary Exercise 2 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 tasks. This is an OCR requirement and can be found on page 57 of OCR specification Appendix B: Sample Marking Criteria (go to www.tinyurl.com/lgxasq 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?


You can use Powerpoint or Prezi for your evaluation presentation; 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 cannot just cut and paste a word essay. You are welcome to integrate audio/visual material; the evaluation can take the form of a director’s commentary that you edit in Movie Maker or iMovie. You can record a Podcast if you prefer to talk about your work rather than write about it. Movies and Podcasts must be a maximum of ten minutes long! 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 www.issuu.com for ideas on magazine layout, typography and design.


It is really important that you keep an up-to-date record of the skills you learn during the project. You need to evidence the things you have learnt and the skills you have developed in both your Research and Planning and Evaluation. You can choose to present your skills development in a series of Powerpoint presentations that are uploaded to your blog. For example:

Your Skills Development Journal must give specific examples of Photoshop techniques that you have learnt during the course. Think of it like a diary that you add to every production session.


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.

Wednesday 26th October 2011 (5pm) Complete Production Tasks 1 -9 (College Magazine)

Wednesday 9th November 2011 (5pm) Complete Production Tasks 10-13 (Magazine Research)

Wednesday 30th November 2011 (5pm) Complete production tasks14-16 (Audience Research)

Wednesday 7th December 2011 (5pm) Complete production tasks17-22 (Pre-Production Planning)

Wednesday 8th February 2012 (5pm) Complete production tasks 23-31 (Construction)

Wednesday 21st March 2012 Complete production tasks 32-33 (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 www.google.co.uk 2) Set up your blog at www.blogger.com or www.tumblr.com 3) 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?

Fashion Junkie - college magazine front cover by Loren Aldridge

4) 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. 5) Design a suitable masthead for your college magazine and take a range of original photos to include in your contents page. 6) Take an original medium close-up photo of your model for the front cover of your college magazine. The Fashion Junkie front cover is an example of a medium close up. 7) Complete your college magazine front cover in Photoshop; copy Photoshop screen grabs of your college magazine design work and paste into your Skills Development Journal.


8) Complete your college magazine contents page in Photoshop; copy Photoshop screen grabs of your college magazine design work and paste into your Skills Development Journal. 9) Export completed college magazine front cover and contents page as a JPEG and upload onto your blog. Upload to your blog by Wednesday 26th October 2011 (5pm)

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10) Buy three music magazines. Scan the front page, contents page and one double page spread article from each of the magazines you have bought; 11) Analyse the three front covers using technical language (see Glossary of Key Terms at the back of this pack) 12) Analyse three music magazine contents pages using technical language (see Glossary of Key Terms at the back of this pack). 13) Analyse three music magazine double page spreads using technical language (see Glossary of Key Terms at the back of this pack). Upload to your blog by Wednesday 9th November 2011 (5pm)

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14) Join Survey Monkey at www.surveymonkey.com 15) Audience research and questionnaires; find out what magazines your target audience read; what bands they are into; what websites they regularly use; how much they spend on music magazines per month; do they go to gigs or festivals; how much do they spend on physical and download music; what do they look for in a music magazine etc. Use www.surveymonkey.com to upload questions and email/Facebook your survey to your target audience. 16) 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.

Upload to your blog by Wednesday 30th November 2011 (5pm)


Make sure that your Blogger, Google Mail and Survey Monkey passwords are not ones that you use for online banking, Facebook, MSN etc. Make your passwords for these sites easy, safe and memorable. Jot down your log-on details for the sites below:


17) Pre-production sketches – early names for your magazine; masthead designs; photo-shoot ideas; flat-plans; examples of early Photoshop design work. 18) Pre-production mood board(s) – cut and paste photo shoots, interviews, design and layout ideas that you really like and have inspired you 19) Upload your pre-production sketches and mood board(s) to your blog. 20) 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. 21) Plan photo shoot; upload ideas and test shots to your blog. 22) Organise interview for your double page spread.

Verse by Demi Drummond

Amplified by Jordane Roberts

Upload to blog by Wednesday 7th December 2011 (5pm)

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Airstrain by Joe Pearson

Forcast by Billy Barnes

23) Design original masthead for your music magazine 24) Type up your double page spread article in Word and spell check. 25) Take original images for your front cover, contents page and DPS. 26) Copy screen grabs of your music magazine as it develops in Photoshop; paste screen grabs into your Skills Development Journal. 27) Complete front page – show front page to target audience and respond to feedback 28) Complete contents page – show contents page to target audience and respond to feedback. 29) Complete double page spread – show DPS to target audience and respond to feedback. 30) Upload all completed design work to your blog 31) Complete your Skills Development Journal

END OF CONSTRUCTION: upload work to your blog Wednesday 8th February 2012 (5pm)

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32) 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 33) 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 to your blog by Wednesday 21st March 2012 (5pm) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Booking & Care Guide All stills cameras and camcorders are available from the media technician Holly Morrison. 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. All pictures will be erased once the cameras are returned.

You are responsible for the safety and upkeep of the camera 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.

Please turn over for:



Foundation Magazine Booklet