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VCE Season of Excellence 2014 - Frequently Asked Questions

Top Designs/Top Screen

Q. I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?

A. Please see information in the Copyright guidelines for VCE Season of Excellence (Top Designs, Top Screen and Top Arts) applications (doc - 738kb).

<www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/pages/seasonofexcellence.aspx>

If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website: 7http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-answer/ for specific information.

VCAA staff are not qualified to give legal advice and the information below should be used as a guide only.

Note: If you do seek copyright clearance please attach either the email or letter you sent to the copyright holder and their response to your application. The panel needs to see both to consider your work.

Q. Where do I find the Authentication Form?

A. Students are now required to provide a copy of their Authentication Record Form as part of their application. For school-assessed coursework undertaken outside classroom time, teachers need to monitor and record development of work from planning through to completion, any assistance/external support used etc. Authentication Record Forms are required for the following studies: Art, Studio Arts, Media, Visual Communication Design, Product Design and Technology, Food and Technology and Systems Engineering. Please ask your teacher for the completed form. The forms are available on the study design pages of each study. The original form is to be retained at the school.

Q. Why am I only allowed to submit a certain number of pages copied from my folio/design plan/record of planning. Some of the information runs over one page.

A. The panel will be able to see the quality of your work from the one page required for each part. Select the page which best represents your skills and knowledge in each area. If the panel feels that they need extra pages you will be contacted to supply more information or short listed and asked to bring in your work in early December.

Q. What if I print double-sided?

A. It does not mean you can increase the pages submitted as we are referring to singles sheets. For example: if we have requested 6 pages and you are submitting 3 double-sided sheets that totals the 6 pages required. We need to save paper. The panel will not look at pages over the required number

Q What do you mean by post-marked by this date (16 October) to be accepted?

A. No one needs to hand-deliver their application on 16 October – just make sure you get to a post office by 5 pm as applications need to be date stamped on or prior to 16 October to be accepted.

This provides some parity for regional students as they are not in a position to bring in their application in person. Thus to be fair applications postmarked 16 October will be accepted. Posted applications may take a few days to arrive and we check all envelopes to make sure they were posted by or on the 16 October.

However, be aware that the selection panel meets a few days after 16 October so best not to leave to last minute!!

Q. What if I do want to hand deliver my Top Designs/Top Screen application on 16 October?

A. Security staff at the reception at the VCAA (Level 1, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VICTORIA 3000, Australia) will accept applications between 10 am – 5 pm weekdays but posting applications is preferred as the security staff have other duties and may direct you to deliver at the Department of Education mail room.

Q. Why do I need to include a stamped self-addressed envelope?

A. This is optional but ensures you know your application has been received. If a stamped envelope with the applicant’s name and address is included with the application form we will send an acknowledgement of receipt by December. Unstamped envelopes or envelopes addressed to schools cannot be utilised.

Q. How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?

A. All short-listed students will be contacted by 1 December. (This is why it is important to list student’s contact details rather than school details.) Students who have not been short-listed will not be invited to bring in their work. Successful exhibitors will be notified in writing in January.

Q. Why can't I use my school email address?

A. If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the major way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a “home” email that will continue well into 2014.

Q. Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?

A. Hundreds of applications are received and it takes time to process these and prepare them for the selection panel to view. The panel start meeting a few days after the deadline. In the months between receiving the applications and launching the events we complete a myriad of tasks: convening selection panels, contacting students to bring in short-listed works; processing, storing, and dispersal of works, verifying works after the VCE marks are out; compiling film compiles, checking folios are robust enough for display; catalogue and folio photography, catalogue, program and invitation printing; working on education programs; installing the exhibition, sending invitations, coordinating media launches and openings, etc.

Q. Who selects the work for Top Designs and Top Screen and what are the selection criteria?

A. The six selection panels for Top Designs comprised the State Reviewer, Leading Study Practitioner, a regional teacher and a subject association representative for Product Design and Technology, Food and Technology, Media, Systems Engineering and Visual Communication Design. The VET Interactive Digital Media panel also include an industry representative. The Media panel selects films for both Top Designs and Top Screen.

Once the panel have made a list of selected works the panel Chair (usually the State Reviewer) meets with the appropriate VCAA Curriculum Manger, the Top Designs Curator and exhibition designer to discuss all works and their presentation, and the final selection is confirmed. Folio pages are also marked up at this stage so that they can be photographed for the CD, online resources and education programs.

CRITERIA

Product Design and Technology, Food and Technology and Systems Engineering
Works are selected that

  • achieve an A+ or A.
  • meet the assessment criteria at a very high standard and in innovative, individual ways
  • are accompanied by an exemplary folio that meets the assessment criteria and demonstrates research and thorough development of ideas
  • present a range of materials and creative uses of those materials
  • demonstrate sound workshop practices
  • are suitable for public exhibition and will fit exhibition constraints including space and safe weight restrictions.

Media
Works selected:

  • achieve A+ or A
  • demonstrate individual and distinctive qualities
  • demonstrate exemplary skills in the media processes used

In regards to screen-based works including film, works are selected

  • that demonstrate a range of genres, formats and content for example: documentary, short fictions, animation, music clips, web pages, games
  • are suitable for public projection and reflect community standards
  • take into account that while some schools have far better technical facilities than others, it is the quality of the conceptual development and the production values within these restraints that are central to the selection process.
  • provide evidence of copyright clearance for all non-original material used

In regards to photography and print-layout, works are selected

  • that demonstrate a range of genres, formats and content
  • that demonstrate a range of approaches to the installation/display of works
  • that are suitable for display purposes: stable enough to be shown for duration of the exhibition, suitable for mounting or framing for example.

Visual Communication Design
Works and folios are selected that:

  • achieve an A+ or A
  • are accompanied by an exemplary folio
  • demonstrate a diverse range of concepts and ideas
  • demonstrate exemplary skills in manual and digital production
  • demonstrate an understanding of design thinking
  • demonstrate significant imagination and flair

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Top Arts

Q. I have used non-original material in my work. How do I apply for copyright clearance?

A. Please see information below.. If you need further information please talk to your teacher or visit the Australian Copyright Council website: http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-answer/ for specific information.

VCAA staff are not qualified to give legal advice and the information below should be used as a guide only.

Note: If you do seek copyright clearance please attach either the email or letter you sent to the copyright holder and their response to your application. The panel needs to see both to consider your work.

Q. Why are we only allowed to submit up to 5 photographs. I cannot show all my work in just 5 images.

A. The panel has six members and they will be able to see the quality of your work from five images. Make a selection that best represents your skills and creativity. If the panel feels that they cannot get a good sense of your work you will be contacted to supply more information or short listed and asked to bring in your work.

If you have sculpture(s) or textiles you may want to include an image which shows the entire work and one that shows a closer view of the surface of the work. This needs to be included in the five images allowed.

Q What do you mean by post-marked by this date (16 October) to be accepted?

A. No one needs to hand-deliver their application on 16 October – just make sure you get to a post office by 5 pm as applications need to be date stamped on or prior to 16 October to be accepted.

This provides some parity for regional students as they are not in a position to bring in their application in person. Thus, to be fair applications postmarked 16 October will be accepted. Posted applications may take a few days to arrive and we check all envelopes to make sure they were posted by or on the 16 October.

However, be aware that the selection panels begin meeting a few days after 16 October so best not to leave to last minute!!

Q. What if I do want to hand deliver my Top Arts application on 16 October?

A. Information staff at the NGV International 180 St. Kilda Road will accept applications only on 16 October between 10 am – 4:30 pm. They will not accept applications before or after Thursday 16 October.

Note: Posting applications is preferred as information staff have many other duties. Staff at the Ian Potter Centre NGV: Australia at Federation Square cannot accept applications.

Q. Why do I need to include a stamped self-addressed envelope?

A. This is optional but ensures you know your application has been received. If a stamped envelope with the applicant’s name and address is included with the application form we will send an acknowledgement of receipt by December. Unstamped envelopes or envelopes addressed to schools cannot be utilised.

Q. How will I know if I have been short-listed for the exhibition?

A. All short-listed students will be contacted by 1 December. (This is why it is important to list student’s contact details rather than school details.) Students who have not been short-listed will not be invited to bring in their work.

Q. Why can't I use my school email address?

A. If students leave school after the VCE exams their school email is often discontinued. Email will be the major way of contacting exhibitors/filmmakers during event preparation so we need a “home” email that will continue well into 2014.

Q. Why are you so strict about this deadline when it is such a busy time of year for students and schools?

A. Hundreds of applications are received and it takes time to process these and prepare them for the selection panel to view. The panel start meeting a few days after the deadline. Top Arts opens in April 2014. In the months between receiving the applications and launching the events we complete a myriad of tasks: selection meetings, contacting students to bring in works; processing, storing, and dispersal of works, verifying works after the VCE marks are out; compiling film compiles, checking folios are robust enough for display; catalogue and folio photography, catalogue and invitation printing; working on education programs; installing the exhibition, coordinating media launch and opening, etc.

Q. Who selects the work for Top Arts and what are the selection criteria?

A. The panel comprises the State Reviewer for Art, the State Reviewer for Studio Arts, a regional representative teacher, two representatives from the National Gallery of Victoria from the Education and Public Programs department, and the curator.

Works are selected on the following criteria:

  • achieve an A+ or A
  • fulfill the assessment criteria for VCE Arts or Studio Arts
  • demonstrate strong conceptual development
  • display imaginative and individual qualities
  • demonstrate technical excellence
  • demonstrate an awareness of aesthetic considerations
  • demonstrate an awareness of past and contemporary art practices
  • have copyright clearance on all non-original material used in screen-based or other works
  • provide a range of media, themes and approaches
  • are suitable for public exhibition
  • fit exhibition constraints including space and safe weight restrictions
  • are suitable for display purposes in regards to fragility and power needs, are stable enough to be shown for duration of exhibition, for example that works on paper are suitable for mounting, framing or pinning.

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Top Class

Q. How are Top Class performers selected?

A. Selection for Top Class Dance, VET Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies concerts is by audition. These are held in January and February.

For Drama, Theatre Studies, VCE Dance and VCE VET Dance, students who receive a very high grade in the A+ range in the October performance examinations are invited to audition after VCE results are made public in mid-December.

Invitations to audition are mailed out during the week the results are mailed and there is a very short turn-around for students to return their acceptance to audition In 2014 the forms will need to be returned by 4 January. Auditions are held soon after this so late applications cannot be accepted.

For Music concerts, selection panel members listen to the examination performance recordings of students who received a high A+ in the October performance exams. The panel select from these recordings.

Top Class Sound applications are received by mail and selected by a panel. Applications for Top Class Sound 2014 are due Thursday 16 October.

Student results are confidential and cannot be disclosed or discussed over the phone. Examination Grade scaling ranges are published on the VCAA website after results are released in December.

Names and the program are published on the Season website two to three weeks prior to each performance. Please check our website for updates from mid February.

Q. What is the difference between Top Class and Top Acts?

A. Top Class concerts focus on a performing arts study, or multiple studies as with the three Music concerts. They are compered by the Chief Assessors for each study who may highlight assessment criteria demonstrated in each performance. Top Acts follows in May or June each year and includes a representative sample of every performing arts subject in one evening concert. Up to 20 performances are selected from the Top Class concert series.

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Tips for taking photographs for applications to Top Designs and Top Arts

A successful application relies on you presenting the best possible image of your work. Initial selection is made from your photograph. A poor quality photograph limits your chance of selection. Please note the following recommendations for taking photographs.

  1. If one work is comprised of multiple pieces it is recommended that you photograph works individually as well as showing the work as a whole. Only one application form is required for this work.
  2. Place the work of art against a clean, one colour background, preferably a light coloured wall.
  3. Use the best camera available to you. Use a good quality 100 ISO colour print film. Black and white film is acceptable for black and white images only.
  4. Make sure the image is sharply focused and fills as much of the frame as possible.
  5. Don't take the photograph on an angle that distorts the image. Stand squarely in front of it.
  6. If a flash is used, beware of strong reflections caused by glass and other reflective surfaces. Photograph before framing if you can.
  7. If the work is generally very dark or very light, it is difficult for a camera to automatically calculate the required exposure. If you can, take a number of photographs using different exposures. Try to bracket the exposure by trying one stop more and one stop less as well as the exposure setting indicated by the camera.

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Last Update: 15 October 2014