The media production design is the blueprint for the media production that you complete in Units 3&4 Media.
Your media production design must be clear, detailed and well-organised. The mark of a good plan is when someone familiar with that media form, such as another filmmaker, can use it to plan the film just as you had intended.
Don’t waste time decorating your plan. Although many schools purchase A3 or A2 folios for the media production design, you will not be awarded additional marks for glitter, gel pens or bubble writing. When Quentin Tarantino is writing his latest screenplay, he doesn’t pop down to the scrapbooking supply store to buy glitter. It’s not industry practice. Don’t waste your time.
The following plans were completed by students at East Doncaster Secondary College. The title of the film is linked to the production design. There is also a link to the completed project.
Contents of the media production design
Your plan will be divided into the following sections:
- Ideas. An outline of four or five different ideas that you’d consider developing for your major project. All work must be your original writing.
- Pitch. Select one of your ideas and pitch it to the class. While a pitch isn’t required as part of the school-assessed task, it’s a terrific way to clarify your ideas.
- Research portfolio. Research into the narrative, genre, style, codes and/or conventions of your selected media form.
- Production experiments. In VCE Media, the production experiments that precede your major project are an opportunity to develop your skill in the use of media technology—exploring technical equipment, media processes and the aesthetic qualities of the media form or genre you’ve decided to work in. Keep in mind that your production experiments are not mini-productions. They should be contained activities that develop specific skills. You need to complete at least two production experiments.
- Intention. Your intention should include a discussion of your purpose, impact and the desired outcome of your media product.
- Audience. Your description of audience should cover their attitudes, expectations and knowledge.
- Genre and style. Describe the genre and style of your film. How does it relate to your intention and audience? How does it relate to audience engagement?
- Written planning document.
- Narrative film. Log line, treatment, screenplay, shotlist, call sheets, schedule, copyright clearance, location permissions.
- Documentary. Script, pre-interview questions and responses, interview questions and anticipated responses, shotlist, call sheets, schedule, copyright clearance, location permissions.
- Music video. Shotlist, call sheet, schedule, copyright clearance, location permissions.
- Animation. Log line, treatment, screenplay, shotlist, schedule, copyright clearance.
- Radio drama. Log line, treatment, screenplay, call sheet, schedule, copyright clearance.
- Print. Articles, interview questions.
- Photography. Annotations, copyright clearance, model release forms, location permissions.
- Visual planning document.
- Narrative film. Storyboards, animatic, blocking diagrams.
- Documentary. Storyboards, animatic, lighting diagrams.
- Music video. Storyboard, animatic, blocking diagrams.
- Animation. Storyboard, animatic.
- Radio drama. Flowchart detailing music, sound effects and dialogue.
- Print. Mockups, typography, annotated lighting diagrams for photoshoots.
- Photography. Mockups, lighting diagrams.
- Codes and conventions. Depending on which medium you have selected, your plan should cover codes and conventions relevant to that media form. For example, if you are creating a video, you would comment on, where appropriate, how you intend to use camera techniques, acting, miss en scene, editing, lighting and sound.
- Roles, tasks and timelines. The planning documentation for your production which includes production and post production roles (such as camera operator, boom operator, editor), tasks to be completed (call sheets are a great way to address this, and timelines, such as calendars. Production documentation could include: call sheets, schedules, risk assessments, talent releases, location fact sheets, location releases, personal releases and copyright clearance.
- Production notes. While you are undertaking your production, you are expected to make notes and keep a record of your progress. This might take the form of a dedicated production notebook or the dog-eared, annotated screenplay and shotlist that you were carrying around on location. These additional documents can be added to the back of your plan after production wraps but they must be clearly differentiated from the media production design itself. You are not permitted to change your plan in any way.
- Reflection and feedback. Once your product has been completed, you will engage in reflection and feedback. Reflection involves watching your own production several times, taking notes and writing a formal evaluation of what you need to change before you submit the task. Seeking feedback involves sharing the product with your teacher, peers and others to determine ways the product can be improved before submission. Once students have refined the product, I ask my students to complete a final reflection indicating how they changed the product as a result of this reflection and feedback.
The criteria for the VCE Media School Assessed Task can be found on the VCAA website.
Media production designs are presented in a variety of different ways. Your teacher will tell you the way they prefer to have it organised – some schools use folios, others use folders with plastic pockets. How you organise your this document will depend on your school and your teacher.