105 key concepts                                          72 hour project


Coombe abbey park

Country park


Not near the hotel



Audience-free choice

Teenagers/young adults (our age)





Family history





Structured reality

Two friends talking about going to the park


Young children – teenagers with friends – with partners – going with their own children – seniors picnic.


Parents broken up – happiest memories before


Audience –our age

Genre – Structured reality

Narrative – past experience at coombe Abbey Park

Representation – Family history





[Establishing/ long shot of two girls walking to a bench]


Amina – How nice is it to be back here?


Beth – I know, it hasn’t changed a bit.  It’s a happy place for me.


Amina- Yeah… How is everything going with your parents?


Beth – Urm well my mum has filed in for the divorce now so I don’t know how long it’s going to take.  Coming back here reminds me of when we were a proper family.


Amina – [laughs] Do you remember when we had a picnic over there? [points towards the lake]


Beth – Yeah…


Amina – That time when we were feeding the ducks with your dad and then that one white duck just wouldn’t leave you alone. You were so scared you tried climbing up your dad for protection and he lost balance and fell into that big pile of duck poo.


Beth and Amina – [laughs]


Beth – Ahh that was such a funny time.  I do really miss family life.


Amina – Yeah, I wish we could come here more often.  It’s a bit chilly, lets go and get a coffee.


Beth – yeah I’m freezing.


[Gets up and walks]





The diverse landscape makes it ideal for everyone, from families to wildlife enthusiasts and those just looking for a quiet stroll in the woodland. There’s plenty to for all the family.


Our 500 acres of parkland offer a stunning and varied backdrop for photographs and filming. Please be aware there is a charge of £83.50 for using the park for any professional/commercial photography (filming location charges on request). Please contact the Visitor Centre on 024 7645 3720 orcoombe.countrypark@coventry.gov.uk to make a booking.


After contacting Coombe Abbey and speaking to the the sales manager we were told that there is no charge for filming within the country park but the hotel was off limits as it is a private location.




have a picnic next to trees planted in Victorian times – Coombe Abbey Country Park is a tranquil retreat from all the hustle and bustle of city life.

which apart from the usual shop and restaurant hosts a video about the history of the abbey and a discovery centre where kids can learn about the different habitats of the park

The adjoining arboretum features a collection of 100 year-old trees and wandering around it you really feel like you’re stepped back in time with a slight magical touch included. History is indeed alive in the park which took centuries to reach its present form.

The Cistercian abbey adjacent to the park dates back to 1150. In the early 17th century the abbey and its surrounding lands were purchased by the Craven family who owned it for the next 300 years. In the 1960s the park was opened to the general public and now the old abbey has been transformed into a hotel.

To turn a dead historically important tree into public art is a remarkable way to conserve it. Sadly, one display that showed the children of the Craven family and their pet monkey “Jacko” has been vandalized with a chainsaw – only the little girl remains.




Coombe Abbey was founded as a monastery in the 12th century. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century it became royal property.

Elizabeth of Bohemia, the daughter of king James I, was educated there in the early 17th century. Had the Gunpowder Plot succeeded she was to have been abducted from Coombe Abbey and proclaimed as Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1682, the West Wing was added by architect Captain William Winde, who also designed Buckingham House, which later becameBuckingham Palace. In 1771, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown redesigned the gardens, incorporating the Coombe Pool lake.

Coombe Abbey was used as the outside of the Mayor’s house in the 2009 film Nativity!, starring Martin Freeman


Structured reality conventions (genre)


The only way is Essex.

The show starts with a disclamer stating that ‘something’s have been set up purely for your entertainment’.

The narrative structure for a structured reality documentary is always liner, the stories may have happened in the past but the events are always in chronological order. For example when talking about a event in the past there will be no flash back or use of archive footage. The characters also tend to concentrate on one or two things going on at one time.

These types of documentaries seem to be more of an observational view on society and its stereotypical characters based on geographical locations rather that a research process of searching for an answer like other types of documentaries might use.


Long establishing shot.

mid shots of characters.

Close up of the character who is speaking, switching between.

Over the shoulder shot.

In and out of focus


Pop music when necessary


Representation and narrative

Our documentary will be a representation of family memories/history that might be created at coombe abbey. To do this we are going to have to people local to Coventry meet at the chosen location (coombe abbey) and have a conversation about what they might have done as children with their families or with friends when they were a little younger, revisiting their own histories.



As we got free choice when we spun to decide who our audience was we decided to target our documentary to teenagers/young adults around the same age as ourselves because not only is this is an audience we will definitely be able to relate to but it is also the most common audience of structured reality documentaries.  I also feel that this audience will be able to relate to the stories as they will be the same age as the ‘characters’ therefore are likely to be at similar points in their lives.


The questions we explored today were:

1. What is representation?

2.  Why do the media use representation?

3.  How do the media use representation?

4. What does the audience do with representation?

Representation is a symbol or depiction, allowing us to understand something,  An image can be represented in different ways having a varied result then the one that is desired. This may vary on the culture of the media producers and audience, ‘The circuit of culture’ shows how representation fits into culture.



The representation techniques media helps uses helps us makes sense of the world, each other, our values and make judgements. Media is not always natural it often has an agenda such as political intentions, directing the lens and limiting the scope.


The audiences understanding of medias use of representation relies on the cultural conventions and and representation of stereotypes which are historically determined.

Window on the world

The idea that a film maker points a camera inside of a window on the world and shows it, this view is limited and only shows a part of the reality that exists around the world.

Reality -> representation -> Ideology

We did a semiotic analysis of Miley cyrus’ music video for ‘Wrecking ball’ by looking at the video frame by frame and noting down the denotation (the first things you think of), connotation (the symbolic meaning) to come up with a myth (the gathered meaning) shown in the table below.

Denotation Connotation Myth
  • Crying
  • Red lips
  • Makeup – lashes
  • White background
  • Naked
  • Hair
  • Blue eyes
  • Earring
  • Wrecking ball
  • The hammer
  • Body positions
  • Sexual
  • Sad
  • The walls
  • Tattoos
  • The boots
  •  Emotional, Feminine
  • Seductive, sexy, dangerous, contrast with the white walls
  • Doll lashes, flirty
  • Purity, innocence, empty, lonely
  • Exposed, vulnerable, porn imagery
  • Boyish
  • Perfect, calm, pure
  • Rebellious
  • Tool, heavy
  • A man- ‘riding’ (sexual)
  • Her emotions being broken
  • Rebel
  • Industrial, masculine
An emotional women who is exposed to the world.

We also looked at the social media’s representation of the video as it has made quite an impact and well known for is explicit content particularly from a former disney channel star. The following table shows a few comment that were made on the video among different social media’s. A vast majority of what was said on social media was negative although there were some people who accepted the video.

Twitter Facebook Miley Cyrus’s website Other places
“I like Miley Cyrus’ new song but I don’t like her”“Miley Cyrus comes on the radio and my sister asks to turn it up. I don’t want a sister who licks hammers and swings on wrecking ball thanks.” “Miley is the business!! Stop hating on this woman’s success!!”“NO Miley is famous and popular!!! ❤ her!!!”“I wish I could kiss her neck……. J”  Official Miley team twitter account- “And the Wrecking Ball parodies continue… This one looks pretty funny though!!” “Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” stays at #1 in the US Spotify and moves up to #1 in Worldwide Spotify!”  Tumblr- “Last time i checked the number of views has nothing to do with the quality of the music video.” ” really want Bruce to do a video for Wrecking ball based on Miley’s video.” “Just saw and heard wrecking ball for my first time and I can say I don’t get her video really, but I know her feels. God, it kind of hits home run.”

Family in film

Cinema is the home of the hero and TV is the home of the family.

Television shows almost never transfer to cinema because a film generally concentrates on the main characters journey and same vise versa, films secondary characters have to be developed futures in a way that the existing audience will accept.

Suspension of disbelief – Knowing something isn’t real/realistic but excepting it during the film or TV show.

[Fade In] COVENTRY BLITZ [Fade Out]

[Music- Sirens, Images of the scene before and after during voice over]

‘On the 14th November 1940 a dreadful disaster hit Coventry which shook the community up forever. The bombings went on for 12 hours destroying the city piece by piece. Homes, shops and even the beloved cathedral was flattened. All that remains today is the ruins and the memories of that terrible night.’

[Clip of the bombed areas] ‘515 German Bombers brutally attacked coventry resulting into 1500 people either injured or killed.’

[Eye Witness- 13 year old boy said- Voice Clip] ‘I remember realising how bad it was getting and when i looked out the shelter the noise was deafening and i looked like a big giant firework display’


After the bombing Jock Forbes saw two wooden beams what looked like a cross in the rubble. He set them up in the ruins and the cross was later placed with the words ‘Father Forgive’ on the Sanctuary wall. This gave the people of coventry hope.



This week our group had to study about genre and how is used in media and how it has genres changed over the years. Genre means types, which most media text is. Genre is used in media because it makes it easier for communication possible. It also guarantees an audience e.g. if you liked Godfather your more likely to like Scarface and Gangsta Squad. We also learnt about different conventions such as in westerns some of the conventions include historical setting, body language and the plot.

Due to the day and age we live in genre is repeated over and over again which makes audiences lose interest and wanting change. Nowadays genres conventions have changed slightly to attract a new audience, which generally ends up successful. However sometimes audiences may decide to reject this new sub-genre because the cross over didn’t really connect with a fix fan base.

One of out tasked today was to make our own horror film, which incorporated all the traditional conventions of a horror but try add our own twist to it to gain a wider audience.

We called the film District Lake, which is based in the UKaround a group of friends who diced to visit a haunted lake on Friday the 13th.  The myth is that a 12 year old girl downed in the lake over 100 years ago and every 20 years on the day she died she comes back and kills all the people around the lake on the day, this is because she is seeking for revenge for all the people who didn’t help her on that day. She starts with all the men first then the woman.


We had to answer questions on out poster and ideas:

Why/how does the poster fit in with the conventions of the horror genre?

  • Close up of the eyes-unknown
  • The reflection of Laker house- bad things happen-upside-down
  • Red eyes-colour of the devil, blood and death
  • Water dark and mystiques

Why/how your poster fits the audience’s cultural assumptions?

  • Water-depth, darkness, unknown
  • Eyes underwater-unnatural
  • House freaky

Denotation/ Connotations

  • The girl has not face just red eyes- she could be lost trying to find her-self and thered in her eyes shows her frustration
  • Upside-down house- this could indicate her world is upside-down
  • Lack of writing on the poster- adds to the mystery because is not information about the movie apart from the tittle.


The Similarities we have found are:

  • the target audience
  • People enjoyed it
  • People could relate to the real life situation

Differences we found are:

  • Somethings may have been staged
  • The head teacher wanted to change the negative views people had on the school.

After watching the documentary and giving our own opinions we decided to research who the documentary was actually aimed at. We found out that based on the BAFTA award winning series Educating Essex which was very successful. The documentary is located in a secondary school in Dewsbury called Thornhill Community Academy. The broadcaster aimed the documentary at parents and teenagers that are doing GCSEs or have done them in the past. The reasoning behind this is because its a popular audience and this is a market that hasn’t been tapped into. However there are TV programmes such as Waterloo Road show what schools goes through but over exaggerate different scenarios such as messing around in the classroom.