And They’re Off…

The videos we watched in class today were:

And the Independent article about the video is here: The Story Behind Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’

We also looked at:

Yes, it is as bad as it looks. Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia, Spiderman, Hidden Figures) should know better…

And lastly, Evan:

We were using the Handbook  (<= Click the word to find the PDF version. It’s the first one, but you will likely want all of them at some point!) to direct our thinking. We’ll be developing this in class tomorrow. For now, if you have time, have another look at one of the videos and see if you can spot some of the denotations and connotations it uses… Enjoy!

Camera Obscura

Click to download the file

As promised, here’re the slides including the ones you’ve not yet experienced… Mwahahahaha… (Click on the clapperboard to download)

And there is (I’m afraid) a wee bit homework to keep you busy and happy over the weekend…


Watch the John Lewis ‘Monty the Penguin’ advert, and see if you can identify some of the camera shots used, and for added value, can you give a reason or justification for the choices. If you have any questions, just use the comments on the blog. 🙂

The ad is available on the John Lewis YouTube channel, and the relevant task from the full sides is here:


RoM – Full Slides

rom-handout-grabHere is the full slidedeck/handout for the role of media we’ve been talking about in class. Feel free to ask questions, and apply what is in the slides to the pop videos we have looked at … (Click on the beard to download the slides!)

Use the weekend to prepare for attempting to answer a RoM question on Monday. You can find more information about what is looked for on the SQA website here. (Question Paper / Marking Scheme)

Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid!

Just a wee heads up… I’ll be in the hospital tomorrow during the lesson (I may be back in time… I have no longer how it’ll take). Your task is straight-forward is simply to carry out an analysis of the closing scene of Casablanca.

Your focus is up to you, but I’d expect at least one comment and reference (quotation) from each of the starred Key Aspects below. Do your best, and don’t forget the things we’ve talked about with regards the previous clips.

Content-based KA analysis 

Categories: genre, purpose, tone, style

* Language: medium/form-specific technical codes, cultural codes, anchorage

* Narrative: structures, codes, conventions

* Representation: representations, selection and portrayal, ideological discourses

Context-based KA analysis 

* Audience: target audience, preferred reading, differential decoding, mode of address

Institution: internal controls and constraints, external controls and constraints

* Society: time, place

One last hint (and it’s a BIG one)… don’t forget you have a rather wonderful glossary at the back of your course booklet… and that your course booklet is stuffed full of awesome hints and tips and explanations! 😉

Here’s the clip:

Homework 01: Categories

Hopefully you were able to follow everything today. 🙂 But just in case, here’s a quick recap…

When we talk about the media, we can start by considering its category. This is so we can identify with a fair degree of precision just what kind of media it is (which makes it easier to compare/contrast/analyse a particular text… and also, helps you to work out what you could do in order to create your own example).

Categories include:

  • Medium (print, radio, television, film, internet, music)
  • Purpose (inform, persuade, educate, profit, to heighten awareness or politicise, to be rebellious, to advertise, to market)
  • Form (drama, light entertainment, newspaper, magazine, film trailer/promo, television news, above/below the line advertising)
  • Genre (sci-fi, soap opera, documentary, game show, broadsheet, western, chick-flick, romance, horror, rom-com, buddy film, sport, etc.)
  • Tone (serious, comic, ironic, tongue-in-cheek, formal, informal, objective/neutral, subjective/one-sided, personal, scientific, etc.)
  • Style (realistic, unconventional, traditional, modern, dark, fly-on-the-wall, lavish)
  • Other miscellaneous categories (star, director, controversy, cult, viewing figures, box office, awards)

If you have the time, and it’s a really worthwhile exercise, you should see how many of the above you can find examples of.

Anyway, here’re the slides (including ones you haven’t seen yet)… please take your time to look through all of them, and you can download the file for your revision.

Click the Picture to download the file!
The file is a PDF which you should be able to open on most computers/tablets/phones… which means you can (and should) build up a decent library of revision materials.

And finally… the homework…


  • Carry out a survey of your own media consumption. Over the next week analyse the media that you consume or interact with and provide four different examples, from four different mediums from that survey and write them in your jotter using the table provided in the sheets as a guide.

The example in the sheets is from Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1960) which is still one of the best horror/thrillers ever… (Hint, hint!)

As you are no doubt aware, this is an exercise in getting you to start thinking critically about the media… and it’s also an excuse for you to say “But mum, watching this music video/film/TV show/newspaper IS homework… so I can’t do the dishes…” {PS: Good luck to anyone who tries that as an excuse… we’ll send flowers to your hospital ward…}

And finally… if you have any questions please use the Comments on this post to ask!

Lights… Camera… In-Action…

Raptors in the kitchenHi everyone. Here’s a primer for next week’s shenanigans.

As mentioned, you will be filming your ‘scene-stealers‘ (and mahoosive thanks to Ms Lynch of Blairgowrie HS for sharing the idea!) so you’d better be prepared/ready… here’s how:

  1. Choose a scene from a film you will recreate…
  2. Find the script (10 Great Websites to Download Movie Scripts) or transcribe the scene/sequence you have chosen
  3. Look closely at the use of cameras (shots, angles, motion), and also any deliberate lighting effects
  4. Storyboard your own version
  5. Film (you can use your phone(s)/Eng. Dept. iPads/DSLR), but don’t get too hung up on the quality at the moment… it is recreating the shots that is the focus
  6. Edit (using any software you can get access to, like Windows Movie Maker in school, or YouTube editor online)
  7. Get ready for the premiere!

We’ll be working on 1, 2 and 3 in class on Monday, but you can jump straight to 4/5 if you do some preparation between now and then. 🙂

As ever, leave a comment if you have any questions.

Spectre Opening Sequence

Thanks for the question about the Spectre opening. Made me go back and look at it again, and that’s always a good thing. 🙂

Here it is:

And here are a couple of links that talk about how it was filmed…

How They Pulled Off The ‘Spectre’ of Death…

FXGuide to Spectre…

ASC Interview with Sam Mendes

And finally, here are some behind-the-scenes pics of the filming. Enjoy!