Media and film are relatively new subjects for me. I only learnt that media was a viable option when deciding what A-Level courses to choose from. Media soon became one of my favourite subjects as there were no major restrictions in both the practical and theory side of the subject. My eventual media teacher would often advertise on open days that “media has no right or wrong answer” which was an inspiring thing to hear as many times in the past I would not answer a question in class due to fear of saying the wrong thing. I was surprised by how diverse the subject was as I had originally presumed that media was just newspapers and magazines, but it turns out media can be a whole variety of things such as television, video games or music. The laid-back attitude of the subject was also an appealing thing for me when deciding to choose the subject. The ability to work in groups frequently as well as having a break from traditional paper-based work made the subject feel less draining and made the subject more enjoyable. When I found out that media accommodated games, film and television I was eager to get stuck in as those things have been a big part of my life and it made me realise that they aren't mindless forms of entertainment and ways to pass the time but rather important industries. For my first year in media studies, the main coursework task was to create my own newspaper front cover and double-page spread. This excited me as I had the creative freedom to base the stories on whatever I wanted. My stories were fairly music-based as I had recently got into buying Vinyl records. So, one of the main stories was the resurgence of vinyl records and how a format that was considered dead is now making a comeback. This creative freedom made me enjoy the subject even more as it allowed me to create things I was passionate about.
As for Film Studies, it's a different story. Again, the story revolves around college. Film was not one of my first choices when deciding my A-Levels; it hadn't even crossed my mind and I never attended an open day for the subject. It was only when I wanted to drop Politics when I started looking for a replacement subject. Eventually, the idea of checking out Film Studies grew more and more until one day I met and spoke to my current film teacher for the first time. At first, I was anxious. This was new territory for me. I never even realised that Film was a subject and thought that the industry was reserved for celebrities and people with natural talent. As the initial conversation progressed, I grew more confident in wanting to choose the subject and was already passionate about the subject despite not taking it before. On my first day as a film student, my film teacher made me feel very welcome and ensured I wasn’t overwhelmed. It also helped that I had two friends I already knew in the class so I had people I could work with when it came to group work. I was fortunate to join the class when they were starting a new film: Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Immediately I was taken aback. It actually felt like I was in a cinema watching a film. This was due to my college being fortunate enough to have a room dedicated to film by having a large screen and accommodating sound-system. By the end of the first lesson, I was overjoyed; I had found a subject I could combine entertainment with education. I always loved going to the cinema and now I could “go to the cinema” as a subject with people who were all passionate about films. As the first year progressed, I grew more confident with my film analysis as well as becoming more knowledgeable and appreciative of films that if I had not taken the subject, I wouldn’t know about or watch. I learnt that films were more complex than I originally thought and that a lot of time goes into films. Two particularly interesting directors that I learnt about were Alfred Hitchcock and Ridley Scott. I had watched several of their films by that point such as Vertigo, Psycho and Gladiator. Vertigo was the first time I experienced the classic Hitchcock cliff-hanger and realised why he was often called the master of suspense. Gladiator was a film I originally glossed over and considered boring. However, when I actually watched the film, I soon realised the greatness of the film. The technical competence of Scott really shined through the film and every shot and camera angle was like a painting. Going into the second year of the course, I get to make my own short film which is something I’m looking forward to doing as I have never done anything like that before, so it will be interesting and exciting to see how that turns out.
For the collage I have created, I wanted to show my perspective of the two subjects and what inspires/inspired me. I wanted to show the various forms of media and film and how many different routes and pathways it has. So, for example, I have included newspapers and magazines alongside radio, games and much more. By showing the different types of media, it allows people to realise that the thing they enjoy as an entertainment platform may well actually be something they can work on in an industry or pursue in education. I think it is important that people (particularly older generations) realise that films and other forms of media aren't simply for consumption but rather contribute a lot to society. On a final note, I think it is important that people pursue their dreams and passions rather than being confined to something they don’t want to do and aren’t actually passionate about and I think Media and Film are a great gateway for people discovering their passions or if someone is ever unsure about what direction to go in. I’d recommend Film and Media as there is lots of creative freedom given as well as combining entertainment and education.
Post created by Morgan during his visit for work experience.