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Author Topic: Tips + Resources for VCE Media!  (Read 5961 times)  Share 

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Tips + Resources for VCE Media!
« on: March 30, 2019, 04:51:52 pm »
Hello. For those who haven't checked out my other thread (which you can access here: https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=183239.0), I'm LJ and I'm fresh out of VCE Media 3/4. Completed it last year with an A+ average for all of my internal assessments (Both SACs and my Production Design). That being said, I only got a B+ on my exam (which I still thought was REALLY GOOD) which heavily weighed down on my results. Then scaling turned my study score from a 38 raw to a stupid 34.50 (I'm sure that extra 0.50 means a lot, VTAC...). Woefully average study scores aside, I do call myself a VCE Media expert and I am fully willing to help strangers pass/do better than me in VCE Media over the internet!

Considering that most resources on this site predate the current study design (2018-2021), I thought I'd give a bit of an update with information that's actually relevant. Of course, the old stuff is still gold too and I reccomend checking it out. One of the pinned posts if from a Pink Floyd fan who managed to scrape a 49... impressive!
No, I am not internally screaming
Here are some tips and resources I have for you after a year of fun, suffering, existential dread and anguish. Enjoy!  :D

Top Tips for getting Top Marks in VCE Media:
  • Do well on the exam. Take it from somebody who learned the hard way, the Exam will make or break your results. It's the only externally assessed task in the whole subject so the people at VCAA who determine your final marks will compare it with everything. If you get a low score on the exam but do well in everything else, they will assume your teacher is a soft marker and you will be penalised for this by being placed below other students on the bell curve. They don't care if you weren't in the right headspace during that stressful 2 hour exam, or if you're just not a theory person. It sucks, it's not fair, but you're gonna have to work around it.
  • Actually study for the exam. I "studied," but not enough (CLEARLY). Put in as much time as you would for other subjects (or more, if you're not studying enough for them either). Go to exam preparation seminars.
  • Stand out (in a good way). For all of your internall assessments, your class is marked on a bell curve. This means that only about 2 people in the class will get an A+ for any given assignment (depending on how many people are in your class). This is definitely not fair, but it's the way it works. If everybody's work sucked but somebody was slightly better than everybody else, THEY will get the A+. If your teacher has to decide between two people competing for a particular mark, they will choose the person who has work that is slightly better in comparison in with the other person. The message is - go the extra mile to make sure your work is free of typos and spelling mistakes and make sure it is well formatted and professional looking.
  • Prepare for your SACs and nail them. If you're reading this in 2019, it's too late for you to do anything about SAC 1. If you're from the future, SAC 1 is honestly the easiest thing to prepare for. You're even given time to create your own set of notes in the form of an analysis. SAC 2 is not as nice, but it's a lot easier to get right than the exam. Trust me, you need all the extra marks you can find, especially when scaling is involved.
  • Create a classy layout for your folio. Remember what I said about standing out? The more professional your folio looks, the more likely you are to get better marks. That being said, you can't skimp on the content! Priority 1 is making sure you have done the bare minimum in completing all required material such as brainstorms and research pages. THEN you may decorate. I highly reccomend creating a digital design software for this (reccomendations for free and paid options are in resource list below)
  • Ask lots of questions!!! Ask your teacher, ask an ex student you know, ask your filmmaker uncle - just ask! If you want to learn more about VCE Media, the best way to do so is to ask someone with more expreince to give you some advice or to tell you what you're meant to be doing. The worst that could happen is that they'll say no, which isn't that bad. The best that could happen is you get a 50. The odds are worth it.
Here are some resources that I used/found that are very useful for VCE Media! I have divided this section into subcategories for your ease!

The Fan - Free VCE Media Tutorials from a past student
Wow, if this isn't a shameless plug for my own content then I don't know what is. But seriously, this YouTube series is helpful. Every 2 weeks on a Monday I upload a video about VCE Media, covering topics from picking your Production Medium to advice on the SACs. I'm also here to answer any of your questions if you leave them in the comments below each video. It's cheaper than hiring a tutor and more fun than wallowing in existential dread alone!
Ask me anything
Do you have a VCE Media question? A suggestion for a future video on my YouTube channel? Want to know if that moss green shade really goes well with your sunflower yellow background? Whether you're looking for honest advice, someone to tell you everything's ok (even though it's probably not) or you want to hear the perspective of a past student, you can shoot me a question by...
I don't reccomend leaving any questions here, because I don't check this forum regularly...

Cinecom.net: Lots of great filmmaking tutorials, from basic camera operating skills to instructional videos on replicating awesome visual effects you may have seen in major films/music videos. https://www.youtube.com/user/petermckinnon24
Peter McKinnon Lots of great filmmaking AND photograpy tutorials. He does a lot of vlogs and other stuff too but has great tutorials for budding filmmakers and photographers. https://www.youtube.com/user/YapperDesign

Folio Design/Print Media Editing Tools:
When putting together your folio, you should use software that is versatile and allows you to drag your text and images to wherever you want them to go on the page. That being said, some options are more expensive than others but make up for it with DELICIOUS advanced tools. I'll start with the pricey options and work my way down to some FREE, but still VERY GOOD alternatives.

I used Adobe InDesign to create my folio layout. It is designed specifically for print layouts and is the industry standard, used by most professional magazines and publiciations. It can take a while to get used to it but there are many great tutorials out there. It requires a paid subscription but there are student discounts avalailable.

Adobe Photoshop is also a great alternative. It's easier to use but still requires a subscription. It's more aimed at photo editing so isn't quite as good for this stuff as InDesign but is still VERY good. You probably can't even notice the difference. I wouldn't know - I didn't use it for this particular job.

DO NOT use Microsoft Word or a similar word processing tool for your folio design. These can't handle the awesomeness of folio design. The inability to freely move images and text around is so woefull that memes have been made about it. MEMES! I can reccomend it for writing up and proofreading/spellchecking your text but that's about it.

And now, the best FREE option is... canva.com[/b]
Canva is a great design website. You can make anything from buisiness cards to... well... Magazines and Folios. You will need to set up an account and there ARE paid options available but you probably won't notice. The free elements are SOOO good that you don't need to pay a cent to get the best out of it. It's very easy to use and there are very professional pre-made templates available for you to use, or you can create your own using shapes, classy fonts and royalty free clipart (that is classy too).

Film Editing:
For my VCE Media film project I used Adobe Premiere Pro. It's the industry standard and allows you to achieve high quality effects. It's not cheap though, and you need an Adobe Subscription. You can get a student discount too and a bonus deal for your first year of using it!

I also reccomend Final Cut Pro (for Macs only) and DaVinci Resolve (for Mac and PC)
  • Final Cut is VERY easy to use. It isn't as advanced as other editing programs but it gets the job done! I've been using it to edit my YouTube series. You do have to pay for it, and it isn't cheap, but it's a one time fee and then you own it FOREVER!
  • DaVinci Reslove, as far as I know, is FREE to download from BlackMagic Designs. It is becoming globally recognised as an industry standard and is used by many professionals. You can configure it to be set up like Final Cut or Premiere if you're used to these workspaces already too, which is a bonus! Highly reccomend if you want a free option or something that kicks butt!

If you're desperate, iMovie is woefully adequate. It comes with every Mac (and you can download it on ios devices) and is very simplistic but you can't do a lot with it. In fact, you can ONLY really use it to cut clips, add transitions and the odd "Ken Burns Effect."

I have nothing good to say about Windows Movie Maker. It's your funeral.

Photo Editing
Photoshop and Lightroom are great progams from Adobe for aspiring digital photographers. Not cheap though, of course...
The next best thing for Macs is to just use the "Photos" app and edit from there. There's lots of great tools.
Otherwise, there are some great mobile apps that are MUCH cheaper than computer programs (sometimes even FREE. Just upload your footage to your phone and edit from there. Here is a list of apps I reccomend (I have an iPhone but I'm sure these would be on Androids too)
- Snapseed (for general editing! It's fantastic! I think it's free??? or at least very cheap)
- Touch Retouch (costs a bit, but is the best clone stamping/retouching tool around for getting rid of objects in your photos)

Audio Production
There are no resources here because you probably should NOT do audio for your production design. Find out why in Episode 1 of my YouTube series... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAgPj8A1kuA&t=1s

Thanks for reading! Good luck, and don't forget to ask me anything! I know a lot about this subject and am happy to help! Leave your questions on YouTube or DM me on Facebook Messenger, but remember that I WILL NOT check this thread regularly. I swear that if I don't recieve any notifications (which I won't with this forum), I won't remember!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 05:24:11 pm by ljparko »