National 5 exam prep

National 5
One and a half hours
Answer every question!
Total of 50 marks
Questions range from 2 to 10 marks
Catfish – Key Aspects
• Genre (documentary; thriller, horror,
• Purpose (entertainment; profit;
• Tone
Catfish – Key Aspects
• Structures – Todorovian; Hero’s Journey
• Codes – Action codes; Enigma codes,
Referential codes
• Conventions – genre markers for Thriller,
Horror, Romance
Catfish – Key Aspects
• Target Audience (characteristics; needs /
• Mode of Address
• Preferred Reading
• Differential Readings
Exam questions
Two types of question:
• Describe ...
• Explain ...
Describe ...
• One mark for relevant point
• More marks for development of point, including
examples from film
• One documentary technique used in Catfish is
handheld camera. (Point – 1 mark)
• We see this in the opening sequence in the medium
shot of Nev complaining about the progress of the
documentary – the camera is shaky, and the framing
is not always accurate. (Evidence – 1 mark)
• It is effective because it allows the audience to see
events as they unfold, creating a sense of realism, and
it instantly establishes that “Catfish” is a reflexive
documentary (Development – 1 mark)
Explain ...
• Cause and effect or relationships between key aspects
• One mark for relevant point (perhaps identifying the features to be
explained), further marks for development of point, including
– The Todorovian narrative structure appeals to a mainstream
audience. (identifying point – 1 mark)
– It does this for several reasons. Firstly, it is a familiar structure
from mainstream feature films, so audiences feel comfortable
with it as they know what to expect. (development – 1 mark)
– In the case of “Catfish”, it helps a more mainstream audience
appreciate the film, as the narrative is easier for them to follow,
and by the end of it they have discovered answers to the major
enigmas about Angela and the story has reached a satisfying
conclusion. (development with example – 1 mark)
– By using this structure, the filmmakers were able to broaden the
audience for the film beyond the narrow arthouse audience it
might otherwise have had, and therefore ultimately to make
more profit. (further development of relationship between
narrative and audience – 1 mark)
Preferred Reading
• The meaning the filmmakers want the
audience to take from the film:
– Nev is an ordinary person
– He becomes heroic as he goes on a quest to find
the truth about Angela
– Angela is an extraordinary, complex but
sympathetic character
Preferred Reading - How is it created?
At the start of the film Nev is shown as an ordinary man through a medium
shot which chows him eating, dressed casually in a T-shirt, and talking to
the cameraman. This creates the preferred reading because he is relaxed
enough to argue with the cameraman, and the fact that he is eating
suggests that he is going about his everyday business – the cameraman just
happens to be filming him. This is confirmed by the loose handheld
camerawork which shows the scene was not staged or set up in any way.
Nev is shown as heroic later in the film. For instance in the car journey to
Angela’s house we see Nev clipping on a hidden microphone so he can
record his visit to Angela. This makes him seem heroic because, like a
character in a thriller, he is putting his life at risk in order to discover the
truth. He is also shown as heroic in the scene where he investigates the
barn that belongs to ‘Megan’. The camera shows a dark deserted road in
the middle of the night. This reminds us of a scene from a horror film so
when Nev gets out and approaches the barn, it creates the preferred
reading that he is like the hero of a horror film, overcoming his fears in
order to find the truth.

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