Moving Image Arts – General Certificate of Secondary Education 2014: Controlled Assessment Task

Unit 2: Planning and Making a Moving Image Product



The Externally Set Assignment (ESA) is allocated 40% of the total marks for this examination.
The maximum number of marks for the ESA is 80.

The marks are distributed and weighted across the four assessment objectives as follows:

Assessment Objectives
Demonstrate personal creative goals within a Moving Image context and make connections with the work of others;
10 5%
Demonstrate the ability to organise a range of resources to facilitate the realisation of a Moving Image Product;
20 10%
Use creative and technical skills to construct a Moving Image Product;
40 20%
Analyse and evaluate Moving Image Products.
10 5%

This ESA is divided into four distinct parts:

Part 1: Thinking
Part 2: Planning
Part 3: Making
Part 4: Evaluating

The ESA must be completed within a period of 40 hours, to encompass the complete workflow of Thinking, Planning, Making and Evaluating.

Candidates are required to produce the following six items as evidence that they have completed each part of the assessment. The work undertaken must be entirely the candidate’s own. Teachers should be satisfied that a candidate has full creative ownership of their work and the teacher’s assistance should be limited to advice about technical matters.

Part 1: Item 1 Written Statement (400–600 words with illustrations, must include reference to the work of others)
Part 2: Item 2 Visual Studies Book (10–20 A4 pages or equivalent) which must detail the production design and planning for the Moving Image Product
Item 3 Screenplay
Item 4 Storyboards
Part 3: Item 5 A finished, two-minute Moving Image Product
Part 4: Item 6 An Evaluation (400–600 words)

Candidates may need to collaborate with others, but they are individually responsible for all creative decisions and the production of their Moving Image Product.

This ESA is internally marked and externally moderated.

Please refer to the GCSE Moving Image Arts Controlled Assessment Guidance for further detail on Controlled Assessment requirements.


You should carefully read the instructions below before you begin your Externally Set Assignment (ESA). Your teacher may explain anything that you do not understand.

This Externally Set Assignment gives you the opportunity to create your own two-minute Moving Image Product (either a live action film or an animation).

You are required to:

-Think about the film you are going to make;
-Plan how it is going to look and what the story will be;
-Make your film; and
-Evaluate its emotional and visual impact.

There are six pieces of work which must be submitted for assessment. These are listed below along with the total marks available. Each piece of work represents a stage of the film production process.

(See the “Students’ Guide to the Externally Set Assignment” section of the GCSE Moving Image Arts Specimen Assessment Materials p. 49–52 for further guidance).

Assignment Pieces Project Stage Total Marks Available
Project Outline Thinking 10 marks
Visual Studies Book Planning 20 marks
Film Making 40 marks
Evaluation Evaluation 10 marks

This work must be your own unaided work and should not be copied. All of your editing and post production work must be supervised by your teacher and must not leave the centre.

You will be assessed using these assessment objectives:

-Demonstrate personal creative goals within a Moving Image context and make connections with the work of others (AO1 – Thinking).
-Demonstrate the ability to organise a range of resources to facilitate the realisation of a Moving Image Product (AO2 – Planning).
-Use creative and technical skills to construct a Moving Image Product (AO3 – Making).
-Analyse and evaluate Moving Image Products (AO4 – Evaluating).

Your Moving Image Product must be developed as a direct response to the given theme for the current year.


The theme for this Externally Set Assignment is:


Memory is the great deceiver. Perhaps there are some individuals whose memories act like tape recordings, daily records of their lives complete in every detail, but I am not one of them. My memory is a patchwork of occurrences, of discontinuous events roughly sewn together: The parts I remember, I remember precisely, whilst other sections seemed to have vanished completely.
Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors

“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” says the White Queen to Alice.
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.
Mark Twain

Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker.
Bram Stoker, Dracula

Time’s the thief of memory.
Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Memories are contrary things; if you quit chasing them and turn your back, they often return on their own.
Stephen King, Memory

Memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimises, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else’s version more than his own.
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children

Definition: Memory
noun (plural memories)

1. the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information:
I’ve a great memory for faces

[mass noun]: the brain regions responsible for memory

• the mind regarded as a store of things remembered: he searched his memory frantically for an answer

2. something remembered from the past: one of my earliest memories is of sitting on his knee

• [mass noun] the mind can bury all memory of traumatic events
• [mass noun] the remembering or commemoration of a dead person: clubs devoted to the memory of Sherlock Holmes
• [mass noun] the length of time over which a person or event continues to be remembered: the worst slump in recent memory

3. the part of a computer in which data or program instructions can be stored for retrieval.

• [mass noun] a computer’s capacity for storing information: the module provides 16Mb of memory

Oxford University Press Definition taken from:

What is Memory?

Memory is our ability to make sense of the world around us and store that information for use at a later date. In psychology the concept of memory is broken down into three key stages: encoding or registration, storage and retrieval. The encoding stage allows information from the world around us to be processed by our senses of vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste in such a way as to allow it to be catalogued and stored. Various areas of the brain are thought to be involved in the storage of specific types of memory, for example, the amygdala is where emotional memories are stored. The hippocampus – another part of the brain – plays an important role in sorting and consolidating these memories helping us to retrieve or recall them at will.

Our memories are unique to us and as a result our memory or interpretation of an event is often likely to differ from others who experienced that same event. Memories can also be somewhat unreliable as thousands and even millions of them begin to run into one another. Other factors such as disease, dementia, amnesia or brain injury can also impair our ability to make new memories; store memories, either in the short term or long term; and recall past memories.

Another key aspect of our memory is that sometimes it completely fails us; we forget things. This is often when we need our memory most; as a result we do not trust to memory the important facts we use in our daily lives. We rely on aids such as diaries, planners, calendars and more and more frequently digital devices like our phones. If it is an important event or experience that we want to remember then we document these with photos, video clips or keepsakes; these help us to recall in vivid detail our memories even many years after the event.

How can you use the concept of memory to create an engaging scenario for your short film?

The quotes on the previous page and the information that follows are only here to aid you in developing your two-minute short film. They will help you distill your thoughts into a single idea suitable for developing into your production and pre-production materials.

In storytelling and film-making terms, what does ‘Memory’ mean to you?

You can use the questions below to explore your initial ideas before settling on the idea that you feel has the most potential. Remember to select a topic, theme or story that will suit the duration of your completed film. You are not making an epic movie with a huge budget; you only have two minutes to tell your story. Simple, well-constructed ideas tailored to the resources you have available will work best.

• From whose point of view do we experience the memory or memories?
• How are the memories accessed or recalled?
• What triggers the recall of the memory?
• Is there a barrier to accessing existing memories or creating new ones?
• Is the memory accurate or is it a distorted or manipulated version of the truth?

The words, phrases and ideas on the following pages are to help you to respond to the theme ‘Memory’. They are not intended to be questions. Choose to work from one of the ideas suggested or use one of your own ideas in response to the theme ‘Memory’. Try to be as creative and imaginative as possible. Your Moving Image Product must focus on one or more of the genres or film language areas studied within the GCSE specification. These are:

Film Genres Film Language Areas
The Western Camera Technique
Romantic Comedy Sound and Music
The War Movie Mise-en-scène
Action/Adventure Lighting
Crime Editing
Horror/Science Fiction Animation
Post Production

Within your development work (Thinking/Planning) you must also make reference to the work of a relevant film-maker, artist or photographer. Some suggestions have been included at the end of this section.

Related Words
Remember, Reminisce, Contemplate, Nostalgia, Mindful, Recollect, Cognitive, Recount, Store, Evoke.

‘Memory’ Mind Map

Story Ideas

Stimulus ideas to start you thinking about your story:

• In Memory of …
• From Memory
• A Trip Down Memory Lane
• DéjàVu
• Jog Your Memory
• Treasured Memory
• Eidetic/Photographic Memory
• Goldfish Memory (4 sec memory)
• Memory Loss (Dementia, Amnesia)
• Retrospective Memory
• Prospective Memory
• Cognition/Precognition
• Premonitions
• Stolen Memories
• Shared/Collective Memory
• Altered Memory
• Repressed Memories
• RAM (Random Access Memory)
• ROM (Read Only Memory)
• Memory Corruption
• Memory Stick/Hard Drive

Story Structure

Your film or animation may have a linear narrative, for example, with a beginning, middle and end


a parallel narrative which cuts between two or more stories taking place at the same time.


a non-linear narrative, where the film starts with the main event and then jumps about in time through the use of flashbacks or flashforwards, revealing parts of the plot so that the viewer can piece the story together.

The possibilities are endless and the choice is yours. Select a story structure that is going to develop the narrative of your Moving Image Product in the most exciting way. Think about how you want to make your audience feel. Also think about how much information you want to reveal to your viewers at each stage of your story. Does the audience know everything from the beginning or are you keeping the main event as a surprise or shock at the end of your movie?

Film-Making Techniques

How are you going to portray the concept of ‘memory’ in your story? Here are a few techniques you may want to try:


Continuity Editing (invisible editing): Events flow together and one action logically follows another. The editing does not draw attention to itself and lets the viewer move seamlessly through your story.

Montage Editing: Shots from many different angles are pieced together, but not necessarily in the right order. This works well when you want to distress or disorient your audience or to show your character’s state of mind, for example, apprehension, anxiety or fear.

Jump Cut, Flashforward and Flashback: These are used to jump to different points of time in your story. Flashforwards and Flashbacks can be used creatively to visually represent the passage of time.

Freeze-frame: This is where the action stops on a particular frame but the sound continues under the freeze-frame. This allows the viewer to imagine what might have taken place had the action continued.

Time-lapse: The normal frame rate for cameras in the UK is 25 fps. In time-lapse sequences frames are captured at a much lower rate, when these frames are replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.

Colour Correction: Colour correction can be used to enhance or distort your footage. A sepia tone instantly transforms images into old memories, while a highly saturated look gives a dreamlike appearance to shots.


Use lighting in creative ways to make your shots look beautiful or ugly, harsh or soft, artificial or real. Lighting can also help integrate shots of people or objects shot in different locations, for example, moving a piece of card in front of a light can give the impression of car headlights reflecting on someone’s face. This is particularly effective when combined with POV or Cut Away shots of traffic on a road.

Lighting is also useful in creating a sense of movement. Experiment with moving light sources through your scene or in front of the camera. Shining a light into the lens of the camera often causes lens flare; sometimes these flares can be distracting but they can also be used creatively to give an expressive quality to your Moving Image Product.

Camera Technique:

Camera movement and camera angles can be a very effective way to reveal information about ‘Memory’ in your Moving Image Product.

Think about:
• Tracking shots that follow an object or person through your shot.
• Long slow zooms, or fast zooms, that show us the setting of your film and move in on the action.
• Slow motion sequences that emphasise a dramatic moment or make a familiar action seem strange or magical.
• A Hand-held camera that can give the impression of chaos or a sense of immediacy. Adding camera shake can also simulate crashes, falls or explosions.
• Point of view (POV) shots that place the viewer in the shoes of your character can work particularly well as memories or visions.
• Long shots that let the viewer see the location or setting of your film. This can help them better understand your character’s situation.
• Aerial or High-angle shots that give the viewer a bird’s eye perspective of events as they unfold.
• Extreme Close Ups or Macro shots of reflections, interesting textures or other elements when overlaid on your footage that can create surreal, beautiful or haunting effects.
• Soft Focus or Selective Focus that tells the viewer where to look. It is an effective way to distinguish memories of the past from current events.


The sound you use is a very effective way of giving your film a sense of place or portraying otherwise difficult to shoot scenarios like car crashes or gruesome murders. Some simple sounds edited together can be as powerful as some very complex special effects shots at conveying information to your audience.

Direct sound: This is the sound recorded at the time of filming. These are very naturalistic sounds and can help create the appropriate atmosphere in your film.

Sound effects: These are sounds caused by something in your film that you want to draw the viewer’s attention, for example, a passing train or a creaking door. You will have to record these sounds or find suitable sound effects. This will help when creating a multi-layered sound track for your Moving Image Product.

Voice-over narration: Narration is an excellent way of giving the viewer extra information about characters or events. Narration can also take the form of a commentary.

Silence: The power of silence in films is often under estimated. Moments of silence can make us feel apprehensive or focus our attention.

Sound bridge: This is a great way to transition from one scene to another or one time to another. We often hear the audio from the next shot before we see what is happening, for example, in Apocalypse Now (1979), the sound of helicopter blades are used to overlap with the next scene showing the spinning blades of a ceiling fan.


The location, costumes and props you use are a key part of making the world of your film or animation seem believable. Creative use of locations and camera angles can be combined to transport your viewers to another time or place. Think creatively and make full use of the people, places and objects you have available to you.

Reference to the work of others

Film Texts:
Inception (2010) Christopher Nolan
Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles
Memento (2000) Christopher Nolan
Minority Report (2002) Stephen Spielberg
The Vow (2012) Michael Sucsy
50 First Dates (2004) Peter Segal
While You Were Sleeping (1995) Jon Turteltaub
Twelve Monkeys (1995) Terry Gilliam
Shutter Island (2010) Martin Scorsese
Spellbound (1945) Alfred Hitchcock
Men In Black (1997) Barry Sonnefeld
The Bourne Identity (2002) Doug Liman
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Michel Gondry Finding Nemo (2003) Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
Hancock (2008) Peter Berg

The Memory of Water (1996) Shelagh Stephenson
In Memory of a Happy Day in February (1842) Anne Bronte
To Flee from Memory (1872) Emily Dickinson
False Memory (1999) Dean Koontz

The Persistence of Memory (1931) Salvador Dali
Summer Memory (2005) Coreen Steinbach
In the Café (Absinthe) (1875) Edgar Degas
The Scream (1893) Edvard Munch
The Day the World Turned Auerbach (1992) Glenn Brown
Death Dance (1943) Felix Nussbaum

Photographs of War (1938–1954) Robert Capa M
igrant Mother (1936) Dorothea Lange
The Soul (1930) Drtikol František
Edith Piaf (1946) Cosette Harcourt
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Strim Returns Home (1973) Sal Veder
Grandmother, Brooklyn (1986) Eugene Richards

Video/Short Film:
Memory Loss (2008) Lee Sarter
Memory Tapes Yes I Know (2011) Eric Epstein
Apricot (2009) Ben Briand
Lost Memories (2012) Francois Ferracci

Print Making/Graphic Art/Illustration:
Bad Blood (2007) Frank Stockton
Mother Nature’s Son Two (2006) Cathie Bleck
The Sandman Dust Covers (1989–1997) Dave McKean
I’m Dreaming of a White Chistmas (1967) Richard Hamilton
After Us the Flood (1995) Rob Scholte
Cinemascope (1962) Mimmo Rotella

Repository (1961) George Brecht
Ecce Puer (Behold the Child) (1906) Medardo Rosso
Host (1996) Peter Burke

GCSE MIA Live Controlled Assessment

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