Here is (I hope) a fairly self-explanatory guide to tackling your homework. It is based on the SQA Higher Media marking scheme (2015). I’ve done my best to explain what the relevant bits mean and hint at what to look at/discuss… the rest is up to you.
SQA ask that:
- Language is decoded in detail using at least two different relevant concepts from within or across technical codes and/or cultural codes and/or anchorage.
- There is insightful comment on the relationship between language and meaning.
- Each language concept is exemplified and discussed by developed references to media content.
What you need to do:
Language: techniques used in media to create meaning
Decoded: analysed/interpreted by you
Concept(s): these are the key concepts we’ve been looking at and talking about since day one!
Technical codes: These are things like how the camera is used (framing/movement), how the shots are edited together, and so on — and how these have been used to create meaning
Cultural codes: This addresses aspects like characters, setting, colours, and so on — and specifically, what and how these add to the meaning created
Anchorage: refers to elements that help create a preferred reading, ie. the meaning intended by the creators (this could be the message/ideology/theme…)
Insightful comment: means you show a good and relevant depth of knowledge and/or understanding of how the language has been used to create the meaning conveyed
The relationship between language and meaning: Remember the basics. Media is constructed… somebody made the artefact, and our job is to identify the choices they made and then come up with reasons (hypothesise) about why they made these choices. For example, if the director chooses a Dutch (tilted) angle shot we need to:
- identify/recognise that it has been chosen, and
- suggest a reason such as to suggest that a character is untrustworthy or doing something wrong.
Exemplified: you have used examples from the text to illustrate what you are talking about (P.E.E. anyone?)
Discussed: your thoughts on the choices/reasons
Developed references to media content: You go in to some depth in your answer… and score added brownie points if you are able to reference other texts that use the same or similar concepts/techniques.
Here’s the help as a handy cut out and keep sheet!