Wednesday, 18 May 2016

GCSE Media Exam - Science Fiction Films


GCSE Media – Science Fiction films

Firstly, we have no idea exactly what the exam will contain, but we’ve looked carefully at the preliminary release material and based upon questions from the previous years, we can hazard a few guesses – so, if something else comes up, don’t shoot me! You have, however, done a lot of work on this and you should have plenty of material to work with.
I’m not going over the pre-release material again. We’ve read it in class and you’ve had your own copy for a few weeks.
How do you define science fiction? Films based on scientific possibility/potential, though may seem far-fetched.
The following posts have loads of information to help with the exam.
Make sure you can apply Uses and Gratifications, Narrative Theory and you know how your film can appeal to audience types. Make sure you can refer to existing films when you talk about your own or science fiction conventions - two or three would do.
There are several films that can be accessed on the video server via the school's website.
You’ll get about 22 minutes per question. If you finish early, you’ve done something wrong or missed out something. Try to avoid spending too long on the drawing task.
 

Narrative Theories and Uses and Gratifications

If you want the big marks, you have to know these theories.

Make sure you understand the basics of Todorov’s narrative theory and you can apply it to your film, but don’t forget the idea that a good film – one that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats, will have several moments of disruption and repair before the final equilibrium. Narrative theory will be on the blog here:



Narrative and character theories (2) from HeworthMedia1


Remember to mention the Enigma Code, whereby the audience is attracted to the film because there’s a problem that needs solving or a quest that needs fulfilling and the audience wants to find out how it ends. Your film can have more than one of these. A successful film will have a series of problems or cliffhangers – like a series of disruptions – how will they be solved?
The narrative of the film is often organised around opposite pairs/conflicts and these can create tension to attract the viewer. This is Levi-Strauss’ binary opposition theory. The basic opposition is good v evil and then hero v villain, but you can take this to all sorts of lengths: man v woman; youth v age; survival v destruction; utopia v dystopia; technological v organic; machinery v human and so on…
Uses and Gratifications – how can you apply this to your film? There’s a powerpoint here, but it should be simple when discussing the appeal of your film to the audience. 1. It’s entertainment. 2. People can discuss it with each other, face to face or on website message boards or across social network sites. 3. Fans of the genre will be able to find typical tropes and conventions; some people may even watch the films to find information in the sense that they want to get ideas about aliens and global warming, though I think if you watch fiction films for this sort of thing, you’re probably in trouble, but there is some informative element, I guess, in that you can take some of what you see as a warning or find out about scientific possibilities. 4. Personal identity – you may well identify or aspire to be like or fantasise you are one of the characters (hey, it happens), but you may be such a fan that you watching sci-fi, reading about it etc, becomes a part of your identity – a way you identify yourself.


Your own film. You may have to provide a cast and justify your choices. Possibly a director too. Remember, it’s a British independent company, so it will not have a vast amount of money and you will be in competition with Hollywood films produced by big studios who have a lot of money at their disposal to both make and promote the film. So, you say that after watching Caradog James’ The Machine (2013) and Gareth Edwards’ Monsters (2010), you will be able to create special effects on a low budget in order to give the film a chance at the box office in a genre where fans generally expect to see an event movie.



Science Fiction - a popular genre


Why is the genre popular?
Some of the biggest box-office smashes of all time have been science fiction films - think of the Star Wars film, the Star Trek films, The Terminator franchise

Several reasons why they're popular – many are exciting action movie/sci-fi hybrids (like…?); they attract popular stars (Will Smith, George Clooney, Matt Damon – name their films…) who attract big audiences; they are often action movies with huge set pieces to attract an audience and extensive use of CGI to make things both believable and exciting (examples?);  a typical narrative is the hero’s journey or quest and this offers suspense and enigmas – will he succeed/what will try to stop him/her?
Some of them, like Star Wars and the Star Trek films are franchises and previous films - including their existence on DVD, the games, models, toys, graphic novels, comic books, TV shows - build up huge anticipation for the next instalment.

They sometimes cast light on present day problems such as the dangers of over-reliance on technology or genetic engineering or a class system where the majority of people work to please a rich minority (examples?) but in an entertaining fashion.  This is called REFLECTION THEORY – they reflect contemporary issues – so, Them! (1954) featuring giant ants mutated by radiation, reflects the 1950s fear of radiation and the atomic bomb, whereas Elysium (2013) reflects the fears that wealth and power are controlled by a few people and the rest of us do all the work – you can see this theme has a long history, because it’s there in Metropolis (1927) too – or District 9 (2009) is a parable about racism in South Africa.

The genre contains a mass of possibilities for storylines which can use the conventions or combine them or combine them with those from other genres. E.g. Terminator 2 is about the dangers of futuristic technology that will lead to a dystopian future. It’s also an action movie starring one of the main stars of the genre, Arnold Schwarzenegger. On top of the that, it’s variant on the Western (specifically Shane) where the mysterious hero comes to town and solves the problem by violence but has to move on because there’s no place for him in that newly lawful society – and The Terminator has to destroy himself to stop more trouble in the future, should scientists get hold of the technology used to create him.

Many of them have elements of comedy and romance – think of the romance in Star Wars; there’s romance between the captain and the female scientist in The Thing from Another World; the romance that develops between the scientist and the ex-Navy man in Jurassic World. What about comedy? Jar-Jar Binks in the Star Wars films – or the bickering between R2D2 and C3P0. They don’t have to be expensive to be exciting - look at Attack the Block (2011) - the plot centres on a teenage street gang who have to defend themselves from predatory alien invaders. The age group of the characters helped the film’s appeal to an audience that age. It only cost $8million to make. The average cost of a Hollywood movie is about $50million. Elysium cost $115 million. Your film will have to be reasonably cheap, near the $8million mark.

Conventions of Science Fiction Films

There is always a question on conventions of the genre. You will need to be able to reference other films when you answer this. Over the last few weeks, there have been any number of sci-fi films on TV and we have a selection of the video server that you can access from outside school. You have been reminded several times to watch some.
Let’s say the question gives you FOUR typical science fiction conventions and asks you to write about them. To ensure you get some marks, you’ll need to refer to TWO actual films. Some of these categories will blend with others
Dystopian futureMetropolis (1927), Elysium (2013), Terminator 2 (1991), I Am Legend (2007) – and many more… How is the idea of a Dystopian future used in these films? A little bit of Wikipedia research will soon answer that, even if you haven’t seen the films. Dystopian films are often meant to be a warning against something – class division (Metropolis, Elysium); increasing technologisation of society (Terminator2 – but I’m sure you can think of other examples)
Alien InvasionIndependence Day (1996), The War of the Worlds (1953 and 2005), The Thing From Another World (1951), The Mist (2007). Do the same. Why do the aliens invade? How are they defeated? Talk about a couple of significant points – all these films, for instance show Americans overcoming the alien forces, though The Mist has a tragic ending. Independence Day had Americans from all walks of life united to defeat the invaders; in The Mist, they bicker and quarrel and remain divided so many are killed; even at the end, the ‘hero’ kills his son and the survivors (but doesn’t have the nerve to kill himself, as they had planned), fearing that the aliens are about to get them – but it turns out that the sounds of alien craft they heard were from the army who were in the process of defeating the aliens.
What do these films have in common – big set pieces – think of the battles in Independence Day or the scene where the scientists put the virus on the mothership - and special effects, CGI in the more recent films. Most – The Mist being the exception, seem to extol American ideology in that people pull together to defeat the bad guys.
A lot of alien invasion films depict the aliens as bad guys without much in the way of a motive, like the way Indians were depicted in countless Westerns in the past, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) shows mankind willing to benefit from alien knowledge and the aliens returning people they had abducted in the past and allowing people from earth on board their ship for further study.
Many alien invasion films of the 1950s symbolise the threat America felt from Russian invasion – in The Thing from Another World, the scientist who wants to befriend the alien is dressed in a fur hat and has a Lenin beard. In The War of the Worlds (1953 version), the people initially approach the Martians to be their friends, but are instantly killed, as if warning people what would happen if you befriended the Russians. As in other genres, not all films were like this. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is a stark warning against arms build-up. When the alien arrives, he is shot by a panicky soldier and a huge robot emerges from the alien craft and disintegrates the army’s vehicles and weapons, but he has come to earth to warn them about the creation of weapons and their use and reminds them that if they don’t join the other planets in peace, earth will be destroyed and left as a burnt out cinder, which, of course, the fear of many people who were against the build-up of nuclear weapons.
Space travel/other planets – way too many and too many variants to mention, but, come on, think of the Star Trek movies, exploring space and trying to create peace amongst warring peoples but not before getting involved in some serious CGI action of their own. Star Wars (1977)? Battles between rebels and various regimes – and we can see this in some of the dystopian films where a rebel force or a rebel group or even just a rebel hero (Elysium) fight the system. More ‘realistic’ space films, like Gravity? Space films that take a different turn of events, like Alien (1979), where the crew of a space cargo ship are diverted to another planet and unknowingly, pick up another life form which escapes onto the ship, grows and terrorises them, picking them off one-by one until only the Last Girl – in this case, Ripley – is left to use her ingenuity to kill it. This is also notable for involving conspiratorial elements, because the company the crew work for forced them to pick the alien (though it’s not made clear why) and one of the crew is a lifelike robot, whose treachery isn’t discovered until later. So… this one ticks off the artificial life/dangers of advanced technology box too.
Again, in these films, you’re looking at big set pieces and mostly CGI, although earlier films relied on more primitive special effects. Forbidden Planet (1953) features a group of Americans who land on a planet occupied by a stranded scientist, Morbius and his daughter. Morbius claims his craft. Morbius has been using the technology of an extinct native race, The Krell, which he discovered in a vast underground complex. He refuses to turn it over to the astronauts, but that night an alien invader (no CGI, but animated by Disney animators on a special contract because the film was made by MGM) attacks their ship. Later, they realise the Krell machinery was built to materialize anything the Krell could imagine and this has affected Morbius who has unwittingly created the monster to keep the earthmen away. Eventually, they start an irreversible reaction in the Krell machine and escape the planet to see it blow up from space – though not before Morbius has perished. A major feature of the film was Robby the robot, created by Morbius using Krell technology – though he’s a good ‘guy’ in the film. He was so popular that he tuned up (under a different name) in other films of the period.
Technology – think of technology gone wrong. The Demon Seed (1977) – Proteus, an advanced artifical intelligence programme, takes over the house of its creator, trapping his wife inside, where he forces her to conceive (don’t ask the details…). Although the programme is destroyed, the resultant child, initially encased in metal, turns out to be a clone of the couple’s existing child but speaks with Proteus’ voice.
Terminator 2 (1991) – in the future, an army of robotic warriors terrorises the remaining human population, so the humans send a good terminator (Schwarzenegger) back in time to protect the future leader of the resistance and his mother while the robots send an evil, more advanced terminator, to kill them. This is the second film in the sequence and in the first, Schwarzenegger played the evil terminator, so, at first, people assume he’s evil here and he dresses all in black and rides a motorbike to add to that feeling; ironically, the real evil terminator initially disguises himself as a policeman. It’s best not to think of the logic of this, but the arm of the terminator (who had also come from the future) in the first film will be used to by the company SkyNet to create artificial intelligence so Schwarzenegger and the rebels – they’re rebels because no-one in authority will believe them – have to destroy the arm – and after destroying the it and the evil terminator, the good terminator has to sacrifice himself to stop his body being used to develop an artificial intelligence that will turn evil.
Environmental disaster/genetic engineering – it was a common theme in 1950s film, reflecting the fear of radioactivity and the atom bomb, that things would mutate and create havoc – hence the giant ants of Them! (1954) or the sea monster awoken from the depths of the sea (Godzilla – a Japanese film (1954)). These are strange films that warn of the dangers of science but often like Them!, use science to defeat them. Same happens in The Thing From Another World, where the soldiers and scientists use science to create an electrical field that destroys the alien, even though the chief scientist is represented as a traitor. Of course, this theme is picked up in films showing the dangers of technologisation.
Look at the Jurassic Park/Lost World films for the dangers of genetic engineering gone wrong. Look at Mimic (1997) – a plague carried by cockroaches is destroyed by Dr Susan Tyler when she uses genetic engineering to create a Judas breed in which the metabolism speeds up so they starve themselves to death, but… this genetic engineering has created a breed that can grow and mimic humans. Susan’s husband manages to destroy the eggs of thousands of the creatures, but the male leader is lured by Susan into the path of an oncoming subway train and is killed.
I Am Legend – do some research…

Representation in Science Fiction Films

Representation – there’s a slideshare on this blog to look at –

http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/representation-in-science-fiction-films.html

 But think – are these people stereotypes (the screaming, attractive, vulnerable female, the evil scientist etc) or is there more than meets the eye? To give an example, Dr Susan Tyler in Mimic manages to be both. She is the counter-stereotype in that she is the intelligent , attractive, young female scientist who stops the plague, but she is also used as the victim in some scenes (the lonely traveller on the subway). At the end, however she is the one who defeats the male head of the Judas insects. The fact it is male, makes her even more of a countertype.


Look at Ripley in Alien. She is extremely attractive and at the end, parades around in underwear to show off her figure, yet she is the lone survivor of the crew. She outlasts all the macho men and she is the one who uses her ingenuity to defeat the alien and send it hurtling into space.

The soldiers and scientists in The Thing From Another World seem like a typical group of American macho men who will defeat the stereotypical evil alien who has not motive but to destroy, but they are an inclusive group, including women who take part in the final destruction of the alien. Even the scientist, who is a stereotype, though more gullible than evil, is welcomed back in the fold after the alien is defeated when he is referred as having sustained wounds in the fight.

What about the casting of Will Smith in several science-fiction films. Once upon a time, this kind of role would have been given to white actors. The two previous versions of I Am Legend featured white actors in that role. He has, along with Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Matt Damon, become an actor associated with the genre.

Science Fiction Films - Drawing Task

Drawing Task

There is always a drawing task and it’s an opportunity to pick up an easy set of marks. Based on the pre-release material and the fact it was storyboarding last year, I would guess a website to promote your film is the likely task. There will be coloured pencils there, but I would advise you to bring your own. However, you may not have time to use them; you may just have to annotate it and say where you would use the colours.

Look at the official website for BatmanvSuperman and base yours on that. 

http://batmanvsuperman.dccomics.com/

You will need to annotate it – i.e. explain how everything works and what exactly is in that set of links down the left of the page. You will need to produce a drawing where the mise-en-scene screams science fiction movie, either in terms of the background, the character(s) or both. You’ll need to talk about social network links AND how they could be used to market your film – how they could affect your audience. Mention some music track that you can have playing over the video – tie it in to your marketing campaign. Think about annotating it for synergy – like the links across the top of the BatmanvSuperman page that tie in with DC Comics and other Warner Brothers films.

If it is a storyboard task, a trailer is the most likely one. Vary shot distances – don’t draw everything in long shot. Remember to have a final scare near the end; remember to set up an enigma/puzzle that can only be solved by going to see the film; remember to show some explosions etc to attract the action fan. You should begin with a production logo (Reel Film Productions) and end it with a card with the name of the film, a website link and COMING SOON. You’ll only get ten shots. You must put in edits and times and sound. Make sure the timings get shorter towards the end.

A poster is a possibility – strong and relevant image with some kind of action going on in the background. Make sure the mise-en-scene has obvious connotations of the science fiction genre, title. Come up with some kind of tag; two members of cast at the top or come up with a billing block and PG certificate. 

There are some ideas for storyboards and a poster here: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/ideas-for-poster-and-storyboard-fior.html

You’ll have to annotate this as well, pointing out poster conventions, use of colour, conventions of the genre.

Marketing and Promoting Your Scjence Fiction Film


Marketing and promotion from HeworthMedia1

Marketing – there’s likely to be a question on how to market your film. Use the powerpoint here for revision http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/marketing-superhero-films.html (yes. it’s about superhero movies, but use your imagination) and see if you can come up with some ideas to promote your film and reach its target audience – which, as stated in the pre-release material, is a FAMILY audience so the film needs to be a PG certificate, so you can have some tension and excitement and some frightening material.

Look at this powerpoint on Marketing the Martian – see how it was marketed – especially how they used digital technologies, including the website, social networks and viral marketing – think of a viral marketing campaign for your film: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/marketing-martian.html

You might also get some ideas from this slideshare on marketing The Inbetweeners – an inexpensive money that was hugely successful in this country: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/marketing.html

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Marketing

Science Fiction films - possible question types

Marketing The Martian

Marketing superhero films

Superhero Films: Drawing Task

Ideas for poster and storyboard for science fiction film

Science Fiction film posters

Representation in Science Fiction films

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Year 11 GCSE Media homework for Easter

This is for over the Easter holidays. They have ALL been given two drawing tasks. The first is to storyboard a trailer for a science fiction film in ten shots. They've been given the specifics in class and in the work sheet.


Task two is to look at the official website for the new Batman V Superman film and design a website for their science fiction based on that, annotating it in detail.


There is always a drawing task in the exam and these are likely contenders.



Wednesday, 3 June 2015

TV News - 15 key points to pass the exam!

1.  Conventions of two or three different news programmes - because you will be expected to refer to actual examples to explain why you made certain decisions. There is no excuse for not having watched some news programmes.
Think about colour-coding your set design and lighting - just as the real shows do. What about the way we are allowed to see the busy newsroom behind glass screens, implying news is coming at us thick and fast? What about the pulsing music used at the beginning of news programmes, often during the run down of the day's news agenda to emphasise the constant flow of information in and out of the studio and between studio and viewer?
2. Mise-en-scene - think about the position (standing? Behind a desk? On a couch? - You could lie and say you conducted a survey of the target audience range and found they preferred...), dress and age of the presenter(s), If it's for a young-ish audience, your presenters should be within that age range. Remember, you might get a series of images edited together (a montage) and the images may come from a variety of sources (see the storyboard example, below). Use of screens? Use of state of the art CGI graphics, as seen on the opening credits of Sky News, for example.
3. Don't forget to use some User Generated/Citizen Journalist material - i.e. mobile phone footage - and to stress the moving camera, usually zooming in, over still images to give the effect of constant motion and busy-ness. Where possible, stress the role of the expert - used in the studio or at the scene

4.  Be careful how you draw the storyboards or website design  (or Twitter page or Facebook page - whatever comes up). remember what you are being asked to do - remember to annotate then carefully, to provide edits, camera distances, to use the studio ident, ticker, time, email, twitter links with the astons (name captions). If you don't have time to add colour, just note down what the colour scheme is.

BBC News website:
 

5.  Perhaps you should allow for some colloquial language to make it easier for your target audience to relate to the show. You will need to show how your programme will attract an audience.

6. What's on the other channels? News programmes? Quizzes? Hollyoaks? What about other channels? Remember, you're competing with them, which is why you need a lively set design, lively young presenters, possibilities for interactivity to give the audience a sense of ownership so it will be more likely to watch it.

7. An understanding of the way audiences consume TV news. For this you need to understand Uses and Gratifications and how a news programme can meet all FOUR needs - that is, how your programme attracts its target audience (you'll also need to talk about eMedia here). It's pretty easy, really. . Not only will you have to be able to apply Uses and Gratifications but you will also be able to talk about how your show and the way it approaches news stories appeals to/attracts its audience - i.e. uses some citizen journalist material, perhaps has a "And finally" section that consists solely of User Generated material that has been submitted by the audience (though obviously cleared by your gatekeeper).

See here: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/tv-news-audience-and-theory.html

8.  You will need to be able to apply Galtung and Ruge's News Values to your story selection to explain WHY a particular story is worth broadcasting. See here: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/tv-news-news-values-why-stories-make.html

9. Interactivity - the exam paper will stress the importance of eMedia - that is, new technology - the internet, social networks (Twitter, Facebook, websites etc). Remember that Buzzfeed is an enormously popular website with the target audience but also remember that your brief talks about a news channel that takes pride in what it does, so you can't go that downmarket.
Note that this is the homepage; the news page has more, well, news...


You want to keep above the level of sensationalism that Buzzfeed also relies on, but you also need enough links (possibly non-straight forward news links...) to engage the audience.. You will need to reference the fact that your show has a website with a message board for people to leave comments and feel that they are contributing. A Twitter and Facebook link - and anything else you can think of. Maybe the last, "And finally" section on your programme can be one for which the show invites User Generated Content. Maybe audience tweets or emails can be invited for some stories and put on the screen, as with the Newsround examples posted below. Stress that you'd have to be selective about this because you can't do this with major tragedies.

10. 24 hour rolling news programmes need to have ticker - so make sure you draw it in. You must use the studio ident - probably top right, like Sky; perhaps the time at the top left - 24 hour clock, if you can manage it. The ticker can be used for breaking news!

11. Bias - you may need to point out the dangers of bias - look at the YouTube videos posted so you can at least refer to actual examples. You will also need to refer to the kind of regulations that exist for the BBC and non-Public Service Broadcasters (so look at Ofcom) - look at the slideshare on bias and representation below and look at the videos..

All news is biased to some extent. It's in the nature of the format. The very selection of stories implies bias against others - look at bias by selection here: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/tv-news-representation-and-bias.html

12. Does regulation always work?

The BBC is supposed to be regulated by its Public Service Broadcasting Charter; commercial channels are supposed to be regulated by Ofcom. See here: http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/tv-news-regulation.html

However, there are still claims of bias.
video

Evidence of bias - Labour politician Tony Benn went to Orgreave, a scene of confrontation between striking miners and the police in June 1984. BBC news showed miners hurling rocks at the police and then the police counter-charging. Benn spoke to a number of people, including BBC journalists who said what really happened was that the police charged first. When he challenged the broadcast version, the BBC admitted a mistake had been made but put it down to editing under pressure.

Evidence of bias - Here's another view of the BBC from Russia Today, an English language rolling news programme sponsored by Russia that is generally critical of UK and US governmental policy - in other words, it too is biased and here it, ironically, reports bias:



Evidence of bias - However, the BBC is also criticised from the right as being too biased against them too.



The poster of this YouTube video was a UKIP supporter.

Evidence of bias - UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed the BBC showed bias against UKIP during the 2015 election debated by filling the audience with people who didn't support his party, so it was generally critical of him! It would seem that BBC News is critcised by all political sides of the coin, despite being governed by its public service charter...

Evidence of bias - Here's Labour politician Alistair Campbell clashing with Sky News' Adam Boulton because he heels he is biased against Labour and in favour of the Conservative Party in the 2010 election:


13. The exam will undoubtedly imply that people of the target audience range no-longer prefer to access news via the television though overall, TV, especially the BBC, remains the number one source of news for the vast majority of people, and while television is still the major platform through which to access the news, the proliferation in hardware means it is increasingly accessed on a variety of other platforms, including handheld devices. BBC news remains the most popular because of its long history of broadcasting and the trust it hias established over the years. All traditional news broadcasters also use eMedia to help maintain or increase their audience. See http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/news-and-internet.html
and http://heworthgcsemediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/journalism-in-new-media-age-key-debates.html

14. The examiners seem keen to push the idea that in the age of Web 2.0, ordinary people can become prosumers with a potential audience of millions and challenge the hold TV news (and by extension, radio and newspaper) has over the country, by using social networks to post news, by re-blogging news, by challenging stories on YouTube, by uploading their own User Generated Content onto their own blogs or social network sites. BIG problem here is that this is unregulated. Take the example above of the UKIP supporter criticising BBC coverage. Look at it on YouTube and view the half-baked comments below.

If you want to scare yourself, try looking at The Guardian website at any political or foreign news story and then look at the comments by the members of the public below the story. They range from the sensible to the totally unhinged. In the age of Web 2.0, where anyone can create a blog, get Facebook or open a Twitter account, they can act as their own gatekeeper and surely there is the danger of biased and even dangerously unhinged people 'broadcasting' their version of the news...?

15. Remember to start each part of the answer by addressing the person who sent the email/letter that will form the basis of the exam. You must respond in role e.g. Dear sir, let me tell you what I think are the three major conventions of a television news programme Dear sir/madam, here are my ideas for a TV news programme aimed at a target audience of... And so on...

TV News

Monday, 1 June 2015

Opening of a News Programme

If yiou right-click and open in a new window, you can blow them up so they're readable.
 
Whatever the task turns out to be, present the storyboards as YOUR idea - dead dimple: this is my idea for the opening of "Starburst". Don't throw away marks by not addressing the tasks to the person who writes the letter/email in the exam sheet.
  
Stress the age of the presenter - early twenties - keep it in the target audience age because the audience will find it easier to relate to someone that age.
 
Remember, it's a 24 hour news channel that prides itself on breaking news, so have a ticker running across the screen that will recap the current stories and allow you to switch to a breaking news story - and point this out and the reason for it in your annotation.
 
Presenters need to be identified by Astons (their names and, in this case, email/twitter contacts).
 
The studio ident (TNN) should be visible on screen and you should have the time at the top right. Look at examples from Sky News.
 
You may feel the need to have the word, "Newsburst" either on the screen or visible elsewhere.
 
Other possibilities - show the presenter sitting from the start and make sure you emphasise the fact that you can see a busy newsroom at the rear, as if the news is happening all the time and it's a busy atmosphere.
 
There may well be no time for colour, but all the TV news you've seen sticks to a colour scheme, so at least annotate the storyboards to indicate a colour scheme.
 
Suppose you're asked how to broadcast a particular story. Start with the presenter, the cut or dissolve to a montage of images with the presenter's voice over. Make sure you have some user-generated content - someone at the scene has captured images and sounds on their phone. Have a reporter in the scene and have an expert, either in the studio or on the ground (at the scene) or possibly even both - a politician at the scene and another expert in the studio. You will also need to show how you present the story to reach your audience - so it needs to be at least in part a human interest angle - interview families, show images of suffering kids, have interviews with people the same age as your target audience.
 
Remember that in ALL the news we watched, the camera would zoom in across still images, so try to fit in something like this - You can indicate it on the storyboards even if you can't figure out a way to draw it.
 
You may have to sketch out a studio design. Do you have a desk or are you going to be more informal and have a couch? Dress of the presenter - casual/smart - you don't want then too smart of looking like a slob - you have to treat your audience with respect. You need to have a bank of screens that will feature images from the day's stories. You also need to show the busy newsroom in the background. Think about a colour scheme... and stick to it.