A successful media producer will research media texts that are similar to the one they want to produce.
This form of textual analysis is a useful way to determine the codes and conventions associated with a specific genre.
If you were creating a magazine front cover it would be helpful to analyse the codes and conventions of a front page similar to the one you want to produce.
A good way of doing this is to annotate a magazine cover, focusing on the central image, style of fonts used, mode of address, colour choices, anchorage and masthead.
Annotating a magazine cover can help in your research
If you decided to make a comedy feature, it would be important to research comedies from all the comedy subgenres, considering elements such as characters, settings, narrative, plot situations, representations and technical and audio codes.
This form of textual analysis is known as primary research, as it involves the media producer drawing conclusions and forming opinions about the type of media text they want to produce from first–hand analysis.
Secondary research is information researched by others that a media producer may find in books and on websites.
A BBC Research Centre. Research is key to producing a successful media text.
Following a more sophisticated exploration of the key concepts of the subject, media students in Year 10 produce two pieces of extended coursework. The first piece focuses on the study of representation through the deconstruction of print and moving image advertising texts. The second is an analysis of the concept of genre through a number of moving image texts. Additionally, GCSE media students explore a wide range of media across various platforms, gaining experience of different genres and industries. In the summer term, students work on the practical production coursework. They begin by extensive research and planning. They are involved in creating various film/television text products and they explore and evaluate their productions in a detailed evaluative essay.
Students complete their practical productions and prepare for the external assessment topic set by WJEC. Recent topics have included the music industry, television drama, advertising and film promotion. Students investigate various convergent aspects of the topic across a number of platforms. They also study important social contexts and concepts of ideology and industry. Once the investigation is over, students demonstrate their creative skills in the form of various production proposals. The final exam is 115 minutes in length.
WJEC GCE Media Studies
For the exam-assessed unit, students deconstruct numerous media texts through micro- and macro-analysis. They focus on the key concepts of representation, audience, institutions, genre, narrative, and media language. They study texts from a wide range of print, moving image, and emedia platforms. They analyse and apply theoretical concepts to the changing media representations of the teenager. The students explore a number of texts from the film, television, print, music and gaming industries. Students also study representations of the police, and the ways in which the media represents locations. For the coursework unit, students research films and other media associated with their film genre of choice. They then create their own film trailers, spending the spring term planning, scripting, filming, and editing. This process is then evaluated in an extended piece of textual analysis.
For the coursework module, A Level media students complete an investigation into media texts based on the key concepts of genre, narrative, and representation. They also create a corresponding media production, which is then evaluated. For the second unit (exam assessed), students analyze a variety of contemporary texts from three different media industries. For the film industry topic, students study British independent films and Hollywood blockbusters. For the television topic, students study UK television programmes form various genres. For the magazine topic, students analyse three different products and how these are marketed.