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3.1 AS G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media

The purpose of this unit is firstly to assess candidates’ ability to plan and construct media products using appropriate technical and creative skills (AO3); secondly to assess candidates’ application of knowledge and understanding in evaluating their own work, showing how meanings and responses are created (AO2); and finally to assess candidates’ ability to undertake, apply and present appropriate research (AO4). The unit requires candidates to engage with contemporary media technologies, giving them the opportunity for development of skills in these technologies. This is a coursework unit, internally assessed and externally moderated. Candidates produce two paired media artefacts in response to briefs set by OCR plus some appropriate evidence of research and planning. Set briefs are paired in order to provide progression from a pre-production, preliminary exercise to a more fully realised piece and will be in the same medium. This offers the opportunity for skills development to be assessed, as well as a final finished piece. The brief for AS Media Studies is: Print Preliminary exercise: using DTP and an image manipulation program, produce the front page of a new school/college magazine, featuring a photograph of a student in medium close-up plus some appropriately laid-out text and a masthead. Additionally candidates must produce a mock-up of the layout of the contents page to demonstrate their grasp of DTP. Main task: the front page, contents and double page spread of a new music magazine (if done as a group task, each member of the group to produce an individual edition of the magazine, following the same house style). All images and text used must be original, produced by the candidate(s), minimum of four images per candidate.

Projects are marked as follows: 1) Planning = 20 marks 2) Production = 60 marks 3) Evaluation = 20 marks

1) Planning: You must buy an A4 art book for your planning, sketches and design ideas. Include the following in your art book: 1) Analyse the front cover of three music magazines; include the front page and analyse using technical language. Try to explain why the magazine looks the way it is. Does it have to do with the genre of music? The people who buy it? 2) Analyse the Contents page of three music magazines; what information is included in the contents page? How is the contents page laid out? How many pictures are included? How much writing is included? 3) Analyse three double page spreads – how are they laid out? What images and graphics are used? What colours are used? What language is used – do they use formal language or colloquial (slang) language? 4) Mood boards and sketches: cut out bits you like from magazines. Remember that most magazines are produced using Photoshop – if you see something you like – put it in your Art book and ask how to achieve the look or effect. Also print screen your Photoshop pages during production – we need to know how your ideas have developed 5) Audience research – find out what your target audience would expect to see in your music magazine? Design a questionnaire that will help you to decide what to include in the contents and the front cover. For example one question could be - do you like celebrities on the front cover? Do you like freebies? 6) Pre-production paperwork – Treatment Sheet, Proposal and Production Schedule. * has a useful overview of the main features in magazines; also the AS OCR Media Studies text book has a chapter on the Production Portfolio.

2) Production: All work must be completed using Photoshop CS3. For the preliminary task you must produce the front page and contents page for a new college magazine. The front page must have an original photograph in Medium Close Up (MCU). You must also produce a contents page for the college magazine.

The Ting Tings

Examples of Medium Close Ups – Medium Close Ups are shot from the waist up. Pharrell Williams

Your Music Magazine A brand new, original Music Magazine that uses a minimum of 4 original images. You need to produce a front page, contents page and double page spread for a new music magazine. The music magazine must have a house style. It must use language and imagery that would appeal to the target audience. You also need to consider how you want to represent your musicians in your magazine. Are you going to represent them as hard rock n’ roll rebels or pale and interesting EMOs? What look are you going to give the band in the photo-shoot? What themes are you going to have? How are you going to style the band?

3) Evaluation

In the evaluation the following questions must be answered: • 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? • 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? The production element and presentation of research and planning may be individual or group work (maximum group size is four candidates). Where candidates have worked in a group, the evidence for assessment may be presented collectively but centres will still assess candidates on an individual basis for their contribution to aspects of the work, from planning, research and production to evaluation. G321 Foundation Portfolio is marked and internally standardised by the centre and marks are submitted to OCR by a specified date, a sample is then selected for external moderation. The unit is marked out of a total of 100 marks: 20 marks for the presentation of the planning and research; 60 marks for the construction; 20 marks for the evaluation.


Submitted by:

Preliminary task:

17th November 2008


8th December 2008


23rd January 2009


20th February 2009

>Double Page Spread Analysis You are required to produce an original DPS for your new Music Magazine. To help you design your DPS you should first look at a few examples from existing magazines. Use examples from magazines that have inspired you; and magazines that are similar in terms of content and layout to the one you want to produce.

Some magazine terms you should know: Colour Depth = number of colours used in a picture file. The more bits available for each pixel, the more colours available: 4 bits for 16 colours; 8 bits for 256; 16 bits can generate 65,536; 24 bits can describe almost 17 million, more than can be distinguished by the human eye Columns = the organisation of text (copy) into columns; DPS usually have three columns of text per page; Drop Cap = when the first letter of the first word in a DPS is in a massive font size! Flush Left/Right = when text or an image is aligned to one side of a page or column; Folio = the magazine’s page number; Guttering = the space between columns on a DPS; Hanging Indent = where the starting line stands proud of the rest of a paragraph Header = the information line at the top of a page; Justified = when a column of text is parallel both sides; Pull Quote = a phrase or sentence taken from an article and used to attract a reader's attention by setting it in a larger type size – a pull quote is a direct quote from the artist being interviewed; Standfirst = a sentence after a headline and before an article begins that 'sells' a feature to a reader VALS = Values and Lifestyles – US method of segmenting consumer markets using psychographic (personality) attributes. The principle behind the system is that people express their personalities through their behaviour. Based on answers to a questionnaire, consumers are placed in one of eight segments. Segmentation is based on three primary motivations (ideals, achievement and self-expression) and resources. The segments, called VALS types, are: Innovators; Thinkers; Achievers; Experiencers; Believers; Strivers; Makers; and Survivors. VALS system was created by Arnold Mitchell and developed by SRI International as a commercial product in the late 1970s; White Space = use of white spaces around images or pictures for design purposes;

>Double Page Spread Analysis Use this sheet to help you analyse your 3 chosen double page spreads (DPS) Can you spot the following features? Why are the features used in the 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 is the magazine introduced to the reader? What image of the band is sold in the standfirst? 6. Copy – how has the journalist organised the story? How does the journalist introduce the band? What descriptive language does the journalist employ? 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.

>Contents Page Analysis 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.

AS Coursework  

Overview of AS magazine coursework

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