Saturday, 20 September 2014

Useful resources, events and opportunities

If you've just started Media or Film Studies, you might find it useful to know about some of the resources available to you. In this post, I'll explain how to use this blog, how to use both MediaMagazine and the archive of material available on the MM site and suggest some people on twitter who post useful links.

One thing that's a bit different about Film and Media as subjects is that you are encouraged to use contemporary materials and to draw upon what you know from outside school or college. They are not 'textbook' subjects where you are led to believe that there is a 'right answer' or limited examples to use. Ideally, every film or media student will be able to use material covered in class and material from their own experience, so that every piece of coursework and every exam answer will be different. This means that you can draw upon lots of different ideas and find things for yourself.

There is an excellent article in the current MediaMagazine (issue 49) by Jonathan Nunns, about how to use back issues of MediaMagazine- accessible via the MM site- for research into all manner of topics for A2 Media and Film. Depending on which exam board you do, research takes different forms; so it may be that in your course, research is part of the production project or it may be that it takes the form of a long piece of writing. For all the exams, research into your own examples will be useful too. Whatever form it takes for your course, there will definitely be something for you on the MM site. Your school or college should have a password for students to use to login. There are searchable archives on there and in MM extra materials that didn't appear in the magazine itself which give further background to particular topics.

This blog is searchable too, using tags or 'labels', and I'm in the process of updating these. If you click on a particular 'label' at the bottom of a post, you can bring up all others with the same label, so 'music video' or 'AS exam'. But as with any blog, just like visiting a library or bookshop (anyone remember those?!) having a browse back through previous posts might bring up something that turns out to be unexpectedly of use to you.

I have a massive amount of bookmarks saved on my laptop, many in a folder called 'mediamag', of things that I think I might be able to use in a future blogpost. Lots of these are things that I find via twitter, when people I follow retweet stuff or tweet links to articles. I might not read the whole thing straight away but if I think it might be useful, I'll keep a link. If I were more organised, I'd use some kind of bookmarking site to help me keep track of it all, but every now and then I have a look at what I've got and link a few things together in a blogpost. You could follow a whole load of media departments and media teachers on twitter, which would help you stack up a lot of resources, but to save you the trouble, follow my twitter and I'll retweet their best stuff for you!


Finally, opportunities and events...

If your school hasn't signed up to bring a load of you yet, do it! The Media Magazine Conference on December 16th in London:

We've got great speakers including Owen Jones, Jon Snow, Destiny Ekharaga and Jake Wynne. It is always a great day! Look back through my blog for past conferences.

And if you haven't heard about it, check out the BFI Film Academy: here  It is an amazing opportunity for aspiring film-makers at over 40 centres around the UK. Some places still have spaces and their application date has not passed.

Being on one of the network academies gives you a greater chance of making it to one of the residential courses, but anyone can apply to those too: here

And best of all (though I am biased, because I help run it!) is the national two week residential held at the National Film and Television school at Easter, here. Applications for most specialisms don't open till November, but if you are interested in being a screenwriter, you can apply NOW! Deadline is 3 November.

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