Production Techniques for the Visual Texts

Some of you want further clarification about production techniques. In the visual text questions they are discussed at levels 1-3. Here is an example of a question from level one:

Describe at least ONE important idea in the text. Explain how the director used at least ONE of the following to show you that the idea was important. Support your points with specific details from the text.

Camera-work, Colour,  Special effects, Narrative point-of-view, Lighting,  Music, Editing, Costumes, Dialogue, Structure,  Props,  Sound effects

Production techniques are the features used to make the film interesting and unique. Techniques may include: music, dialogue, lighting, colour, special effects, soundtrack and camera work. By looking at the production techniques closely you will gain a better understanding of how the text has been produced in order to present the themes, characters, settings, and plot.

For information to help Year 11, 12 and 13 students read more here.


Making connections beyond the text

In a literature essay what are connections beyond the text? I know that teachers wrote on lots of scripts in the recent prelims that students needed to make connections beyond the text – but what does that mean?

Here is a comment from the 2008 Level One Assessment Report:

Candidates can be assisted to develop the skills and knowledge required to achieve by: practising applying their knowledge by making comparisons, evaluations, and judgements within, between and beyond texts.

Making connections beyond the text basically means adding in a stronger personal response, commenting on how the issues raised in the text, or how a character acts, made you think about something in your world. You need to relate the studied text to your own life, your own experiences and opinions. Ask your teacher to help you with this!

When you discuss connections beyond the text remember they are an extra layer in your essay. Make sure that these connections do not dominate your description and explanation in your answer to the question.  It is crucial that you always remain focused on the question asked and that you only add in personal response where it enhances your answer and not just for the sake of it.

Level One NCEA questions on an extended text

Over the holidays Year 11 students should be revising their work on extended texts if they have studied one.

In the exam you might be asked about:

  1. how a character changes and develops
  2. a character’s role in the text
  3. how the ideas in the text are presented.

There will be questions about other aspects of the text but we will start with character and theme. For instance, if you chose to answer a question on a character’s role in the text you could use Simon if you studied Lord of the Flies. You could discuss:

  • Simon’s part in the plot
  • how Simon is different from the other boys
  • Simon’s strengths and weaknesses
  • the ways in which William Golding uses Simon to convey his ideas.

To write a good answer you need to understand what the question requires.

For each question, go through the brief but vital process of checking that you have understood what it requires you to do. This process has two parts:

  1. Check that you understand what the key words are. You could underline or highlight them.
  2. Put the question in your own words, making sure that you do not distort or change its meaning. A good way to practise this is to imagine that you are explaining it to someone else.

You could use the following prompts:

‘This question is asking me to write about …’

‘In answering this question, I will have to focus on …’

How to understand NCEA

If you are about to enter Year 11 either you or parents may wish to find more information about NCEA. Career Services has a quick guide to NCEA that you may find useful. The site covers:

  • NCEA quick facts
  • Background to NCEA
  • How the system works
  • What you can do as a parent

You can get to Career Services and the NCEA page here.