BTEC Creative Media Production allows students to analyse and create powerful media products that engage an audience and generate meaning. Students are taught that to do so, media products need to evoke feelings and thoughts in the audience and that these feelings and thoughts change depending on the audience characteristics. A young child for example will engage with a media product in a different way to a grown adult.
Many of the practical elements of this course builds directly on from skills taught during the creating digital products units students undertook during KS3 Computing.
The content and nature of the course lends itself to some interesting connections with students personal, social and emotional development. Categorising audiences by age, gender, income etc evoke strong reactions in students who grapple with how stereotypes and representation of groups can be used to specifically target them. Much of the learning allows students to question the messages they are receiving through the media and allows them to become educated to how manipulation of thought of mass audiences may happen. Something which is extremely relevant given the current economic and political climate.
There are three components with the first two preparing students for the third:
Component 1 covers Media theory. This introduces students to the methods and techniques that media producers use to engage their audience and is assessed with two summative essays. Students will learn audience identification theory, representation, genres, purpose of products amongst other topics. To prepare students for the essays much preparation is undertaken during the delivery of the component with practical application of essay writing skills using a variety of engaging media products from magazines to movie trailers. Students have many opportunities to practice the skills needed to write at distinction standard and are given regular teacher feedback and opportunities to reshape their learning through a variety of practice activities. Therefore, by the time students sit the final assessments they will have undertaken many practice attempts.
Students are allowed to choose their own products to analyse for the final assessment. Learning how media producers engage and generate meaning for audiences is crucial for success at components 2 and 3. Students need to know the techniques used by media producers so that they can reenact them for themselves during component 2.
Component 2 covers pre-production, production and post-production skills and techniques. This is a practical unit whereby students will be using computers, cameras, scanners and other equipment to combine and refine content to create imaginative media products. They will learn how to create dynamic logos, take powerful photographs, create media products such as movie posters, newsletters, magazine front covers and inside pages for a specific media audiences. Students will produce two skills logs and an evaluation for assessment of this unit.
Students are taught these practical skills initially through a series of workshops whereby students get to experiment with a variety of hardware and software. Then students are given a client brief. Successful students will carefully select and develop the skills they have learnt during the workshops to fulfill the brief. Much freedom is given to students at this stage to exactly how they tackle the brief allowing for very creative and individual outcomes. Past students have really enjoyed undertaking this component.
The final component 3 is an externally set brief that builds directly upon the skills taught in components 1 and 2. There is no new learning during this component. The challenge is for students to tackle a design brief entirely on their own. They will use the knowledge learnt in component 1 to research ideas for a suitable solution to the problem and then the skills from component 2 to plan and create the solution. Students will get two opportunities to sit this external component. Once in year 10 and then a resit opportunity (if needed) in year 11. To prepare students for each sitting, both component 1 and 2 have been split into two. Half of component 1 and 2 is undertaken in year 9 ensuring that students have experience of both media theory and practical experimentation to give them the best chance in year 10 to tackle the first attempt at the externally set task. Then students complete the second part of component 1 and 2 during the end of year 10 and beginning of year 11 before they undertake their second attempt (if needed) at component 3.