Real Media Texts

Explain the most significant ways in which your media products were informed by your understanding of real media texts. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to demonstrate how this understanding developed over time.

Essay Plan:

Real products:

  • We watched three Korean and Japanese commercials and short films. Each featured a heart warming story that was filmed with either a narration or some melancholic music. We found that the majority had a narration.
  • This was an improvement from last year because we didn’t have many films to go by when using real media products to inspire our own.
  • Used films at AS such as Children of Men and Never Let Me Go to look at the beginning two minutes of a film that suited our genre.


For the AS final product we researched into the first two minutes of films of a specific genre, and saw what they contained:

  • Idents
  • Credits (actor names)
  • Company logos

At A2 researched into short films and their form, to see how they were different to the opening 2 minutes of a full length film:

  • Layout; need a start, the dilemma and the end
  • The timings of certain aspects
  • Different music styles
  • The most common genres
  • More experience in how to find specific genres and timings


  • During the national film festival (a film based off a Korean myth called sesame cosmetics), we didn’t do too much research into genre because we had to base it off a word instead. This lead to no genre expectations or features, leaving it failing to meet any audience expectations.

Technical conventions:

  • Camera work- lots of over the shoulder shots to show the situation from their point of view and make the situation seem more relatable. As well as this, we saw in the Asian productions that they used lots of hand held shots. We replicated these shots, by using hand held shots in our own production- it makes the viewer feel like they’re in the situation. At AS we found that when researching into our genre, not many camera techniques were frequently present. This lead to further improvement at A2 because we found lots of videos that were similar. In each they often had handheld shot.
    • Therefore, we decided to use lots of handheld shots to replicate the inspirational videos, rather than using shots to suit us.
  • Editing- slow pace editing, holding shots for a long amount of time to create emotional atmosphere: in the commercial, showing the father crying, in ours, showing the eldest sister crying for a long amount of time.
  • Sound design- the music styles. At AS when looking at 2 minute film opening we did little research into the music used because most of the time their music does not start playing until after two minutes into the film.


  • Presenting the little girl as innocent and helpless, but aware of the fact that her older sister does everything for her.
  • Like with the daughter in the ‘Daddy lies’ video, the girl who gets money to go to school in the Japanese TV commercial, and the boy who tries to steal medicine for his mother in the third video. Each of the girls and the boy are portrayed as innocent, but are still one of the main focuses of the film because they eventually wise up to what is going on.
    • ‘Daddy lies’: she realises that her dad has been working a lot to help her when he isn’t happy
    • TV commercial: The little girl eventually goes to school after receiving money from the man everyday and she shows him her in the uniform because she knows what he has done


  • AS: during the 2 minute opening, we used real media products to find the stereotype for women. We watched clips from films such as James Bond to see how women are commonly objectified in modern day media.
  • At A2 we used this to further develop our skills into how to find these expectations.
  • We used costumes to portray the girls.


Essay Draft One:

Explain the most significant ways in which your media products were informed by your understanding of real media texts. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to demonstrate how this understanding developed over time.

Real media texts have informed my media products through inspirations, symbolism, representations and other factors such as form. The main way in which they have aided my development process over time, is that they allowed me to see what is expected of small scale media productions.

In the more broad sense, real media products acted as inspiration for what we were going to make. This applies to both AS and A2 media. For example, at AS, we watched films such as Children of Men and Never Let Me Go, which inspired us to chose the genre and general plot of our film, which we then went on to produce a two minute opening of. This understanding then informed my media products, as it showed me that films have common features depending in the genre or their audience. This enabled me to see at A2, that these are the things that I should have been looking for, rather than having the production suit my own standards. For our A2 project of making a five minute short film, we looked at some Korean and Japanese television commercials, and short films. Our ability to do this had improved over time, due to the fact that we had last years practice.

In deeper terms, real media products inspired several areas of the film, not just singularly. As further illustration from the last point, it has to be said that large scale, professional productions acted as a template for the basic format of the film. There is a significant difference between the first two minutes of film, and the entirety of a five minute short film. During our AS production, we had very little choice and variety when it came down to the form of the film, as all films typically start similarly if it is only the first two minutes. However, at A2 we were able to utilise the idea of having a different form, and manipulated the many options, thus creating a more advanced piece. Because little research was required at AS level, into real media products, the final product was a film based around a vague template that the majority of the class had to follow. We then made improvements on this it A2 level, because of our ability to vary from the norm. We performed extensive research into a vast amount of short films, before shortening our range to the drama genre that we had chosen. Using real media products to inspire the form really informed our knowledge because when it came down to filming, we were aware of all the form expectations. Similarly to form, we also used real media products to inspire our genre, as mentioned previously. During last year’s National Student Film Festival, we made the mistake of choosing a genre that was far too specific, leaving us with little material to go by, even though the material that we did obtain was good for looking into plot lines. We based the film off of a Korean myth, called Sesame Cosmetics, rather than using existing media products to guide our decision making. Using real media products became more useful in our second year, as we allowed ourselves more leeway to discover which genre would be most suited to a five minute short film. We chose the genre drama based on the fact that whilst surfing through short films, we came to the conclusion that drama carries plenty of genre expectations, as well as being well suited for a five minute short film. All of the knowledge and understanding came from our access to real media products, and larger scale projects.

Our understaing from real media products informed our knowledge of representations and symbolism within our genre. For our AS media examination, we did a substancial amount of research into representations and symbolism within modern media. This usage of real media products embellished our understanding of how techniques are used to subconsciously portray the stereotypes of certain objects or people. For example, at As we used films such as the James Bond series to look at the representation of women, as we needed to blatantly objectify them the most that we could. We wanted to show women as they were portrayed in the 1920s etc, and thereofre, went for a real media product that often carries a discriminations against women. We used this information from the real media products to design costumes and do makeup on our actress, do subliminally show the audience that she was the inferior gender. This use of real media products aided in improving our final A2 production as it showed us what we need to be looking for.

Finally, another large part of the development process was looking into the technical conventions of our chosen genre. Our skills in this department have improved since our preliminary task at the beginning of AS, by tracing real media productions. Whilst making the two minute opening to our AS film, we hadn’t really established a standard to go by when considering the technical conventions. We had done research into what usually happens in the story line, but there was little substance in the filming industry that showed common expectations of the ‘alternate history’ genre that we had chosen. On the other hand, our most recent project was an improvement, because we saw common camera work, editing and sound design traits that reoccured through the genre we used. We had three heart warming Asian television commercials; one in which a father lies to his daughter about being happy to ensure her happiness, another in which a man goes about everyday doing little things to help others and they all end up repaying him, and the final in which a boy tries to steal medicine for his mother but is caught, until a man pays for it. Later on this man is then dying in hospital and his daughter cannot afford to pay for the operations. Upon this, the viewer is shown that the little boy was inspired to become a doctor, and did so, in reutrn paying for the mans charges and saving his life. In all of these videos, we saw that the most common charactersitic within camera work, was the the majority of the shots were hand held. This informed our knowledge, and lead to us filming our five minute film with a multitude of hand held shots, replicating those of the real media products. In each of the clips, we also saw that the shots were held for long durations of time, with slow pace editing. Amd therefore, when editing our adaptation, we ensured that we had film long sections, and kept the jump cuts to a very minimal. Finally, as an improvement in technical conventions, we used the real media product to look into music styles and charaectiristics. We found that the most common instruments were the piani and violins. Furthermore, for our final production, we used royalty free music that contained a mellow sounding piano and soft violins. 

Essay Draft Two:


One thought on “Real Media Texts

  1. Ms Cannon,

    The following is the exam board’s description of a level 4 answer, from the January 2012 mark scheme (

    Level 4 (21-25 marks).

    There is a clear sense of progression and of how examples have been selected, and a range of articulate reflections on creative media practice. There is a fluent evaluation of progress made over time. Candidates offer a broad range of specific, relevant and clear examples of real media conventions in relation to creative practice. The use of media terminology and production terms is excellent.

    Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

    I would mark your current answer as being Level 4, possibly 21/25.

    – This is well written and covers the right stuff, but I would still like to see more specifics. I would hope to see lots of films referenced, with explanation of what you took from them. For example, “During the opening sequence of Reservoir Dogs the camera dollies around a circular table as the characters…. To replicate this, we….”
    – Remember to show progress. You need to ensure you word your examples in such a way as to suggest you have got better over time.
    – Proof read!


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