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2016 WJEC AS Media Studies MS1 Representations and Responses A* Exemplar Response Summer Exam

Rob Miller | Friday September 02, 2016

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies

Time Allowed – 2 hours 30 minutes

Audio-visual extract

  • The audio-visual extract will be played three times.
  • For the first viewing just watch and listen.
  • During the second viewing you may make notes.
  • You will then be allowed ten minutes to make further notes and to think about your answers to the questions.
  • During the third and final viewing you may make additional notes.
  • You should spend approximately 50 minutes completing your answer to Question 1.

Study the opening sequence of the BBC1 Panorama documentary, Apple’s Broken Promises, broadcast in December 2014. The programme deals with the issue of poor working conditions.

Answer all three questions.

1. Analyse the opening sequence commenting on:

  • Visual codes
  • Technical and audio codes
  • Narrative (40)

The sequence starts with classic narrative exposition – problem, setting and characters introduced. Using documentary point of view, the problem is introduced as Apple’s exploitation of its workforce. Apple employees are the characters, with the initial setting being Chinese factories where Apple products are made. Later on in the extract, and in complete binary opposition to the oppressive factory settings where employees are seen falling asleep with exhaustion, is the iconic high tech Apple store in London’s Covent Garden. This becomes the main setting in this particular sequence.

Dramatic non-diegetic voice over underpins the sequence, leading audiences into a dominant preferred reading suggesting an expository or ‘voice of God’ type of approach. The conventions of secret filming are established using blurred focus, unconventional cameras angles and framing and whip pans anchored by text stating: “Secret filming?.

An us and them narrative becomes obvious immediately as we see Chinese workers complaining about how tired they are during covert interviews that are textually transposed at the bottom of the screen. Panning shots show rows of workers asleep against the...

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