Saturday, 25 December 2010

MediaGuardian Christmas quiz

Have you been paying attention to the big stories in the media this year? Test yourself with our festive quiz - Guardian online
Take the quiz here.

Joanna Yeates disappearance generates massive hunt on Facebook

Networking sites used to spread pictures and appeals in bid to find answers to missing architect's whereabouts
Whole story here.

What we want from Hollywood in 2011

What we want from Hollywood in 2011
Another year, another avalanche of remakes, dodgy 3D conversions and incomprehensible M Night Shyamalan dialogue. Here's how the studios need to mend their ways:
Read full article here.

Some of the demands made:
1 Fewer sequels and remakes
2 Lay off the 3D
3 More berserk Batman casting rumours
4 Pirates of the Caribbean 4 to be shorter, and actually make sense this time
5 Don't make The Social Network the start of a new trend
6 Stop employing M Night Shyamalan
7 Give us our vampires back
8 Pixar to stop being quite so unremittingly bleak
9 No new Nicholas Sparks movies
10 Jennifer Aniston to either make better films, or bad films less prolifically

Music Industry - Gorillaz give away their new album made on an iPad

Gorillaz give away their new album made on an iPad
Damon Albarn, produced The Fall while on the road touring America. Fans can now download it for free
Whole story here.

Gorillaz are not the first major band to release an album free via the internet. Radiohead put out In Rainbows as a digital download in 2007 employing an "honesty box" scheme. But experts suggest Gorillaz are at the vanguard in recognising how the business model of popular music is changing, with fans able to play games, become an exclusive member of its fan club and buy limited-edition artwork all on the website.

Pearse McCabe, brand consultant with Rufus Leonard, a digital consultancy, said that finding new ways of building relationships with fans is vital at a time when most younger consumers are reluctant to pay for music.

"The point of entry for bands is no longer dependent on buying an electric guitar and an amp and touring for three years before they gain recognition," McCabe said. "You can produce music from your bedroom and publish it online. People are asking what the point of record companies is."

Given the increased competition, successful bands needed to look beyond simply selling records, McCabe suggested.

"It's not just about the music any more; you can sell them merchandise online and hook them up with other brands along the way. It's about building a long-term consumer relationship."

Music industry analysts point to the success of American country singer Corey Smith, who is reported to have made almost $4m (£2.5m) from touring, merchandise and other revenues in 2008 but gives most of his music away free from his website. "We don't look at it as 'free'," his manager, Marty Winsch, told the Wall Street Journal. "When people come to the website and download the music, they're giving us their time, their most valuable commodity."

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Radio Industry + Online Age

More than 8m Britons have downloaded podcasts
Rajar research also finds 6.6 million have listened to radio on smartphones, with many downloading dedicated apps

Read article here.

Music Industry - Piracy

Britons 'downloaded 1.2bn illegal tracks this year'
Online piracy is still growing, says latest BPI research
Read full article here.

Film Industry - Reality sucks in the multiplex

Reality sucks in the multiplex
Parallel universes, dream worlds, virtual paradises – movies today are full of them. Mark Zuckerberg, it's your fault

Read full article here.

BUG is on YouTube with a brand new channel. New shows in the new year...

If you haven't attaended any of the BUG shows hosted by Adam Buxton, you can now watch their BUG YouTube channel.

The show is about showing and discussing music videos and chatting with music video directors.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Illegal downloading cost UK music industry nearly £1bn this year

Illegal downloading cost UK music industry nearly £1bn this yearOnline piracy is still growing, says latest BPI research

Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Audiences and moral panics... Simon Cowell as the evil one...

In the light of our discussion on audiences and those who argue that they are passive, weak and duped, it is easy to see how moral panics can be created. Believing in a susceptible audience being 'injected' implies that the audience is constantly in danger of being 'contaminated'. Therefore, juicy moral panics are created by the media such as this one:

Save our kids from The X Factor!
Phil Hilton worries that 'twisted' TV talent shows like The X Factor teach children to expect easy success, to cry at setbacks and to judge other people harshly. Is he right?

Of course, you might agree with the point made in this article but many will counter argue that this is just an over-reaction. Audiences are not THAT passive and are more discerning than what is being suggested. (Note the amount of emotive language in the article!)

What do you think?

One to follow for A2 students - Untangling the web with Aleks Krotoski

This is really interesting stuff to find out about We Media and Media in the Online Age.
Untangling the web with Aleks Krotoski

About this series:
How has the most revolutionary innovation of our time - the internet - transformed our world? What does it mean for the modern family? How has it changed our concepts of privacy? Of celebrity? Of love, sex and hate?

Recent topics:
Hate and the internet
Does the internet encourage insidious and bullying behaviour? Aleks Krotoski investigates

The internet's cyber radicals: heroes of the web changing the world.
A generation of political activists have been transformed by new tools developed on the internet. Here, a leading net commentator profiles seven young radicals from around the world

Media and Democracy - WikiLeaks backlash

Media and democracy VERY essential reading for students:

This article titled “WikiLeaks backlash: The first global cyber war has begun, claim hackers” was written by Mark Townsend, Paul Harris in New York, Alex Duval Smith in Johannesburg, Dan Sabbagh, Josh Halliday, for The Observer on Sunday 12th December 2010 03.00 Asia/Calcutta

A2 Media in the Online Age - 3 articles

Generation Wiki's web savvy - Institutions have yet to catch up with net natives' instinct both for sharing information and guarding their own privacy
Read article here

Facebook's 2010 trends: 'HMU', Wagner and global disasters. Another day, another end of year list – Facebook unveils most popular status updates of 2010
Read article here

Twitter's 2010 trends: From the Gulf oil spill to Psychic Paul
Read article here

Mapping Facebook friends

Mapping facebook friends: how they did it

UK top 10 video games chart

Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops is, to no one's surprise at all, still sitting at No. 1 spot on the chart

Read the Guardian online article here.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Live updates from this Guardian online page.

Julian Assange urges supporters to protect WikiLeaks. Read it here

Friday, 12 November 2010

BBC Good Shooting Guide - online course

If you fancy listening to some professional advice and follow the short online course (with lots of audio and video materials), then go to this page:

BBC Good Shooting Guide - online course

Then scroll down a little and click on 'Start Module 1'.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Film Industry: The end of MGM as we know it?

The famous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio has been looking for a way out of their financial problems for a while now.
This is MGM Wikipedia entry.

In 2005, MGM was acquired by Sony and other investors.

Back in March 2010, it looked like Time Warner might take over:
Time Warner leads pack in race for MGM (The Sunday Times)

A few days ago, it looked like Lions Gate would be the successful in a merger with MGM:
"The details of Lions Gate's proposal were released just days before MGM creditors face a Friday deadline to vote on an alternative plan to merge with a unit of Spyglass Entertainment. The Spyglass deal would see MGM creditors, owed more than $4 billion, own more than a 95 percent stake in a company worth around half of that."

However, now Spyglass Entertainment is taking over the control of a bankrupt MGM:
"The studio said MGM creditors "overwhelmingly" approved what amounts to a prepackaged bankruptcy plan, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The plan includes having Spyglass Entertainment co-founders Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum take over as co-chief executive officers, the Journal said.", full article here

James Bond fans now hope that production of the next film will resume...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Preparing for the Media Conference

The materials to look at before the conference have been made available and we've been asked to have a quick read ahead of the day in order to better understand the topics dealt with.
You can read them here. (You will also get a hard copy on Monday)

We have been asked to complete one short task in preparation for Julian McDougall's talk. It is to put together a pitch for a new TV Talent Show. We will bring it with us and hand it in on the day.
Here it is below:

Online media: Cleggmania and the Cowell Factor
Your task:
With a partner, or on your own:
• Brainstorm an idea for a completely new TV Talent show
• Give it a title
• Summarise it – in under 140 characters including spaces
• Be prepared to ‘pitch’ your task to the Judges Panel – and win the contract!
Title of show: ...

Number of characters: ...

Finally have a look at this video (or at least parts of it) featuring Tony Benn as he talks about this great principle - DEMOCRACY (Tony Benn discusses the history of democracy, how it has been undermined, and how it can be strengthened).

You need to understand that listening to the likes of Julian and Tony Benn is a real eye opener and treat!

Map - From Euston station to the Institute of Education:

All instructions are ON THE LETTER (see post below).

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Media Conference - AS and A2

Many of you simply must bring your EV7 and payment as soon as possible as it is making the booking process a nightmarish logistical problem.

The expectation is that you are all to attend.

If you have lost the letter, here is a copy of it below. If you have lost your EV7 form, please get one from reception.
I have already put a link to the outline of the day and the Conference details in a previous post here:

Please act promptly. I will need to phone home this week otherwise.
Thank you.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Brand new OK GO video (A2 Students please have a look)

Here is a news story from NME.Com about the band OK GO's amazing new viral video which is stacking up the hits as we speak on Youtube. The video is at the bottom of the story. It is another choreographed masterpiece featuring the band and some dogs! Have a look......................................

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Dear all,

We are booking seats for everyone to attend the Mediamag Conference on Thursday 21st October. The cost is £20 per person and all the details can be found by clicking the following link:

The letter to parents comes out this week and you are asked to pay promptly and bring back the EV7 form at the same time.

Everyone is expected to attend. It will be a great opportunity for all to hear different views and voices. Furthermore, Pete Fraser and Julian McDougall are key speakers that day; Pete Fraser is Chief Examiner for OCR Media Studies and McDougall is a principal examiner for A Level Media Studies and authors of the official OCR Media Studies book.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Article on "Toy Story 3"

Here is a story about Toy Story 3, how it has become the highest grossing animated film of all time.

There are also some links to a whole host of TS3 related media, including "The Making of Toy Story 3". Please click here for the full article.
James Hiett

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Hollywood Most Bankable Stars

Read the full article here.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Wikileaks - a good thing or not?

This is such an important topic! Should we have such documents leaked onto the internet? Is it putting informants and soldiers at risk?

Listen to Julian Assange, creator of Wikileaks, by clicking on this link from

You will find number of divided opinions in newspapers and online about this debate.
Besides being a fascinating story (and controversy), it also makes a great case study for A2 Media in the Online Age.

Information from about this debate:
The controversial website WikiLeaks collects and posts highly classified documents and video. Founder Julian Assange, who's reportedly being sought for questioning by US authorities, talks to TED's Chris Anderson about how the site operates, what it has accomplished -- and what drives him. The interview includes graphic footage of a recent US airstrike in Baghdad.

A2 story - a spoof video pulled from YouTube

This is an interesting story from many angles for A2 students. Read the story of the spoof video pulled from YouTube; the culprits were thought to be EMI but the spoof's writers were actually the ones who took it down. Many debates emerge...

The first headline from guardian online said:
Newport State of Mind forced off YouTube
Music publisher issues takedown notice to video for Jay-Z and Alicia Keys spoof Newport State of Mind

Now the update:
Newport State of Mind: songwriters pulled the video from YouTube
We've identified the culprit behind the Newport State of Mind takedown – and it wasn't EMI Music Publishing

Read the full story and see the video for "Newport" (spoof of Jay Z and Alicia Keys' New York).

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Post-Raoul Moat. What happened next?

Raoul Moat GTA story makes Daily Star look like idiots
Wednesday 21-Jul-2010
Read the article here:

Charlie Brooker's Guardian column:
Offensive Facebook groups such as Raoul Moat's are 10 a penny. Yet sympathy is in short supplyRaoul Moat group is idiotic on many levels – not least for calling him a 'legend'
Read the column here:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

EMI - especially for A2 students

Start researching record labels such as EMI. EMI's story is an interesting one.
You will find an excellent archive of recent goings on at EMI at the guardianonline.
Receny headlines include:
EMI defends Duran Duran remasters
EMI go into reverse
EMI boss resigns after three months
Terra Firma close to finding £105m to keep EMI
and so on...

An older article from The Telegraph online is also an eye opener:
EMI and Warner Music should simply bite the bullet and merge
It is the story that's been running for a decade and once again the "will they, won't they" talks between EMI and Warner Music have failed to reach a deal.

Read the full article here.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

How the internet really affected the election -

A very interesting article, particularly for A2 students, since it is an interesting case study for your Critical Perspectives - Media in the Online Age unit
How the internet really affected the election

Adam Buxton - keep an eye out for him!

Adam Buxton knows a lot about the media and music. I keep an eye on his blog and I can only urge you to do the same! For example, did you know about the fabulous screen writing software Moviemaker? Do have a look; it's really funny.

Adam Buxton also hosts the regular BUG gigs where artists come to talk about making music videos among other things. Get some tickets and go see the next BUG show. Below is a link to the BFI website with a clip from BUG 17 where Buxton interviews some video directors about their "crowd sourcing" technique for their latest video.

You can also check out the BUG site's archives to see some unusual and low budget music videos.

Charlie Brooker

Yes, he is irreverent and might use too much foul language for your taste, but he does make a good point. You really should watch his series Screenwipe and particularly Newswipe (most of it can be found on YouTube), all good materials in preparation for A2 Critical perspectives. His take on reporting the news is already a classic. If you still haven't seen it, here it is, followed by today's column in the Guardian's Guide on how the media reported on Raoul Moat.

Ah! the future...

In today's Guide (The Guardian), you can see pictures from artist Alex Varanese's Alt1977 project; he imagines going back to the 70's with technology from 2010 and advertising it in the style of the 70's. More pictures here; look out for the supercomputer that sits on your lap, the Laptron 64!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Watch and Learn - A fantastic piece from a Film Student

Ok, I know I have already embedded this on the Induction blog, but we can all learn from this young man, even at A2 for the Video project. It starts with basics and goes on to cover more advanced techniques.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

BBC 6 Music is saved!

Once again, a victory for the people! Well, maybe not completely as the Asian network seems doomed...
After the announcement that BBC 6 Music was to be axed, many disgruntled listeners fought a hard campaign to save it. Cue in websites such as the 6 preservation society, blogs, Facebook pages like this one, Twitter, interviews with some of the radio station presenters on the news and support from major artists.

Read The Guardian article ( about "6 Music saved from closure" from 5 July.

BBC Trust says that 'the case has not been made' for digital station's closure – but no reprieve for Asian Network

Blog: is this a triumph for social media?
In pictures: who's who at 6 Music
In pictures: 6 Music protests

Adam Buxton, 6 Music presenter, also made a spoof video as part of the campaign, parodying David Bowie's song Changes, Changes (for 6 Music).

And here is the Channel 4 News announcing that the digital only radio station was saved after all. Do listen to the whole report; some key ideas to grasp.

A perfect case study for A2 Critical Perspectives!

Science of the Movies - One to watch!

I found myself watching an episode of Science of the Movies after reading Charlie Brooker's enthusiastic review. I wasn't disappointed!
Here's how the website describes what the series is about:

Science Channel invites you on a geektastic journey to the cinematic intersection of art and science in the all-new "Science of the Movies."
Appealing to the movie junkie in us all, the new series explores the remarkable - yet rarely celebrated - scientific world that exists behind the screen, spotlighting the visionary artists, entrepreneurial spirit, innovative technology and remarkable techniques responsible for creating unforgettable, edge-of-your-seat moments in blockbuster films.

And here's the episode guide. I'm recording the series in case anyone's interested.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Interesting videos from - featuring Coppola on using FCP for his latest film

Do look at their videos and articles; there is also a list of tutorials to help you with Final Cut.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A2 Sample Blog - Music Video Portfolio

Here is an example of an A2 blog for Music Video Coursework. Have a look here.

A2 Regulation and censorship - Pete Fraser

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Looking forward to A2 next year!

If you're still unsure about continuing Media Studies at A2, you might want to check out some of the music videos produced by other students, for example the ones below from Latymer school. Talk about sharp editing skills! It's an amazing job. (Look at more vids from Latymer here)
Talking of which, I've practised and practised and feel ready for any lip synching exercise you might want to throw at me!

Apart from the Production work, we are taking the debate about media issues to the next level and will also aim for visits and guests... See me if you'd like to discuss next year.

Voodoo Child Presentation

MUSIC VIDEO ANIMATIC - Yas, Ali & Jahmal from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

YASMINE, JAHMAL & ALI - '1234' FINAL VIDEO from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Channel 4 - Breaking the News

Create you own news bulletin. Learn about journalism and TV production.

Do check out the following page if you're interested.