Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Exemplar Exam Answer

Here's an exemplar Grade A response. Go to SCRIBD to see other examples...

G322 Exemplar Answer Cand A High Level G322 Exemplar Answer Cand A High Level mediamonkey G322 Exemplar Answer Cand A High LevelA great example of what a top level answer looks like for the TV Drama/Film Industry Paper (this not on film industry though :-()

Sunday, 19 April 2009

TV Drama – examiner’s report excerpt on JAN 09

Here's what the examiners said about the January exam - worth reading yourself to see where you can avoid making mistakes and improve on...

The question was on representation of Age – the programme, Monarch of the Glen

JAN 09 (Download as a document HERE)

Question 1 – Television drama

Candidates structured their responses in a number of ways; some began by addressing the concept of representation in the extract and a discussion of the representational differences between Amy McDougall the stereotypical teenager and contrasted this with the Headteacher and the middle-aged character Paul Macdonald. Then the candidates would address the technical areas one by one. Stronger candidates could provide an integrated analysis of the extract through analysis of key examples identified. These candidates explored how the technical features could be applied using a combination of the technical features, for example, in discussion of the argument between Paul Macdonald and Amy. They could then place this sequence of conflict in it’s mise en scène (the stately home), through the use of shot reverse shot (editing), shot types used and through sound, both diegetic and non diegetic in discussion of how Paul’s anger and authority, used as parental control, would order Amy (stereotyped as the teenage tear away) back to school.

Either of these approaches to the structure of question 1 is advisable and centres need to help structure the candidates’ responses in the classroom. Candidates are advised against lengthy introductions about what they are going to say and against theoretical introductions and/ or historical contexts to television drama. Candidates are advised to get straight on with their analysis.

It is also important that candidates move from description of key technical areas to analysis of how representations are constructed. This will enable candidates to achieve higher marks for their responses. The mark scheme enables credit to be awarded to students at three different levels Explanation, Analysis and Argument (20 Marks), Use of Examples (20 Marks) and Use of Terminology (10 Marks). Centres are advised to make the mark scheme available to candidates for the summer session so that they are aware of how the work is assessed. This could also be used for the marking of timed assignments in the classroom and for the marking of mock exam papers.

Camera Shot, Angle and Composition

This technical feature was well addressed by the candidates.. Where candidates used the correct terminology and could describe shot composition, this on the whole was well done. Weaker candidates were able to describe key shots used in exemplification, but would often lack explicit links to how these shots assisted in the construction of the representation of age.

Mise en scène

There was plenty of evidence of candidates’ discussion of clothing and props, visual iconography and character Setting, although a little more problematic for some, was used well in discussion of the range of representations of age used in the extract. More able candidates would move beyond description and use the technical features of mise en scène in order to discuss the signification of the representation of age.


Candidates often discussed this technical feature with some limitations, with some focusing solely on the use of dialogue or accent. Candidates did also relate the use of non diegetic sound to the emotional state of Amy whilst she was in her room and the contrast of non diegetic music showing the adults to be happy in the work they performed. The use of non-diegetic sound to emphasise Amy’s isolation was often commented on, as was the diction of the middle-aged characters that spoke “properly”. Other weaker candidates showed confusion with technical terminology, getting diegetic and non-diegetic sound the wrong way round. It is advised that centre’s do cover the technical features of sound thoroughly in order to give candidates an opportunity to fully engage with the analysis of the extract.


This proved to be the most problematic for candidates and the one technical area of analysis that was often omitted in candidate’s answers. Most candidates who addressed editing were able to address the type of transitions used and could comment on the pace of the editing. Weaker candidates often omitted any discussion of editing or offered quite simplistic accounts of how editing was used, for example in the use of quick succession cuts and short takes when the community takes apart the fishing hut at the end of the sequence. More able candidates could analyse technical issues of editing by way of analysis of the ellipsis, accounting for how the extract collapsed a series of events, for example, in explaining the narrative to represent Amy as a ‘troubled’ teenager who had no option left but to run away from school and then the home of Paul McDonald; then candidates were then able to comment on pacing, the use of continuity, most often through the shot reverse shot compositions in the extract and some through the use of sound as well. These candidates cleverly discussed how soundbridges were constructed through the use of non-diegetic music in the representation of age, for example, the stringed mood music representing the gloomy prospect that Amy faces, or the use of upbeat music to represent the happiness of the small rural community.

The advice offered to centres is to encourage as much practice on the concept of editing as possible and how this assists in the construction of representation. Again begin with identifying the techniques and encourage students to apply these to a range of examples in class and importantly, test them on this


This key media concept was either addressed at the beginning of the candidates or at the end, but sometimes when at the end, the analysis was all too cursory. Candidates were able to relate the representation of a variety of age groups closely to the textual elements of the extract. There was some solid analysis of age and how it can be stereotyped in a variety of ways: teenage emotionality; adult authority; caring nature of the older female adult and other sensibly reasoned representations. Weaker candidates failed to focus on the representation of age, relating their analysis to the region or the gender of the characters.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Gene Genie is back!

BBC press pack HERE

Gene Genie is back..20th April 2009 on BBC1 Monday 9pm

Date: 26.03.2009
Category: TV Drama; BBC One; Wales
The Quattro's fired up and fashion sense has been thrown out of the window as the second series of hit BBC One drama Ashes To Ashes returns!

Winner of the Best New Drama category at the 2008 TV Quick Awards, series one of Ashes To Ashes cemented its position as one of the TV highlights of 2008 after more than eight million viewers tuned in to see DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) arrive with a bang in 1981.

Series two kicks off in 1982 where leg warmers are cool, fluorescent is the colour of choice, Thatcher is in her element and bullish DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) is back, policing the streets in his politically incorrect and loud-mouthed style. Sassy Alex Drake, with whom Hunt shares a fiery working relationship, is by his side, desperately trying to keep him in line.

Though no nearer to getting back to her daughter, Alex believes she is suspended in time and finally understands how the world around her works. But when she starts hearing news from the future, she realises nothing is as it seems.

Clinging on to fast-fading hope, she discovers she may not be alone in her predicament. A mysterious stranger who also seems to be stuck in 1982 is making Alex doubt that her current world is merely a figment of her imagination. Is he a friend who can help her get home or a foe who will destroy all she knows?

And while Gene Hunt saved her younger self from the car bomb that killed her parents, can she ever trust him enough to share in her extraordinary scenario? As she struggles to stay alive long enough to find a way home, it appears she needs him more than ever before.

Produced by Kudos Film and Television in association with Monastic Productions, this new series also sees the return of Gene and Alex's top team: DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews), DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster) and WPC Sharon "Shaz" Granger (Montserrat Lombard).

Chris and Shaz couldn't be happier. He's still trying his best to be the perfect "feminist" boyfriend and wants to take his relationship to the next level, but predictably Ray continues to tease him about his romantic gestures.

Ray is also struggling to contain his emotions about the Falklands War, blaming the "Argies" and throwing his weight fully behind Maggie Thatcher. However, more testing times lie ahead for the trio...

Producer Beth Willis says: "The new series moves in a slightly different direction and we've really enjoyed developing the characters and Alex's journey further. Gene and Alex's relationship is so complex; it is very sparky and they obviously care for each other in a begrudging manner so it's interesting to see how this evolves.

"Ray and Chris are still by Gene's side, but when force legend Detective Superintendent "Supermac" Mackintosh (Roger Allam) starts working with the team it looks as if Gene's equilibrium could be broken."

The arrival of Supermac seems like a blessing to the team because he's been hailed as a star within the force and someone not to be messed with. However, it's not long before Gene's gut instinct tells him something isn't quite right. Could this cop legend be up to no good?

Piers Wenger, Head of Drama, BBC Wales, adds: "Last year, Ashes to Ashes was a highlight of the BBC One drama schedule and delighted over eight million drama fans and 1980s devotees alike.

"Series two combines the same mix of compelling crime stories, outrageous fashion and blistering one-liners with some bold and brilliant new plot twists.

"Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah's scripts continue to thrill while bravura performances from Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes mean that Ashes is back with a bang!"

Ashes To Ashes is written and created by Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, two of the creators of award-winning drama Life On Mars. It is produced by Kudos Film and Television, in association with Monastic Productions. Executive producers are Simon Crawford Collins and Jane Featherstone for Kudos Film and Television, Ashley Pharoah for Monastic Productions. It was commissioned by Piers Wenger for BBC Wales.