Final Draft Senior Project Research Paper
Lights, Camera, and Action! Media Productions
My senior project is on media productions. Media productions is a way for portraying
information through television or movies (Dictionary.com). I chose this topic because I not only
love to watch movies but I love making them too. I have been making videos ever since I was a
kid. I just love to entertain people and show off my skills in making videos. My dad has a movie
making program on the computer which allows you to convert normal and boring footage into
cool movies. I feel strongly about the process I have to go through in order to make a good
video. My freshman year I made a video for almost every single project given to me. Every time
the teachers gave us a project they allowed us to make movies instead of making posters and
speeches. I always chose making a movie over making a poster. Sadly, I have not made a movie
since my ninth grade year. This senior project will allow me to be able to create one last video
for a project before I graduate. The videos were a good bit of work but much more fun than just
making a poster. Working on this topic will be a learning stretch for me because I will learn
more about the history of media productions, the equipment used, and the different varieties of
editing in videos. What I expected to learn from my research was more about the equipment, like
the camera and editing software, that goes in to making a video. In my research I did learn more
about editing techniques to make a video look more professional and interesting to the viewers.
In today’s world of technology it is important to understand the effective way media productions
present information or ideas.
Media productions has changed over the years. Another name for a video camera is a
camcorder. “A camcorder is actually two separate items of video production equipment – the
video camera and the VCR (video cassette recorder)” (Curchy and Kyker 2). The word
camcorder is a combination of two words – “camera” and “recorder” (Curchy and Kyker 2). In
the early days of media production the videographer, someone who operates a video camera,
would carry two pieces of equipment (Curchy and Kyker 2). One piece of equipment was the
video camera and the other piece was the VCR and they were connected by a cable (Curchy and
Kyker 2). “Early versions of this setup (camera and VCR) weighed 25 pounds or more, and even
later versions (around 1992) were still very heavy” (Curchy and Kyker 2). It took a lot of muscle
to work a video camera (Curchy and Kyker 2). Now, in today’s world of advanced technologies
a video camera can fit in the palm of a hand (Curchy and Kyker 2). “Even though the size of the
equipment has changed over the years, the basic functions are still the same” (Curchy and Kyker
2). Editing software has also changed.
Special effects give the video some magic and something interesting to the audience that the
viewers do not normally see in real everyday life. Ten special effects are greenscreen and
bluescreen effects, ghosting, duplicating an actor in the same place, moving objects, forced
perspective, in-camera effects, walking backwards and reverse footage, music promo effects: slomo backgrounds, move slowly and play at faster speeds, and lighting effects (Guardian.co.uk).
Greenscreens and bluescreens are used to add backgrounds or to transfer a part of a movie shot
to another (Guardian.co.uk). Ghosting merges two video clips (Guardian.co.uk). The moving
objects effect is usually used in movies with magic (Guardian.co.uk). Forced perspective is an
effect usually used to make something look different to the audience than it actually is
(Answerjunket.com). Like making someone or something look larger or smaller than that
someone or something actually is, for example (Answerjunket.com). The forced perspective
effect is used in the Lord of the Rings movies (Answerjunket.com). Special effects really create
movie magic. There is more content than just special effects, of course, that goes in to making a
There are different types of image content that can be used in a video.
As two experts state:
Image content may include both visual and semantic content. Visual content can be very
general or domain specific. General visual content includes color, texture, shape, spatial
relationship, etc. Domain specific visual content is application dependent and may
involve domain knowledge. Textual annotation or complex inference procedures based
on visual content obtains semantic content. A visual content descriptor can be either
global or local. A global descriptor uses the visual features of the whole image, whereas a
local descriptor uses the visual features of regions or objects to describe image content
(Siu and Zhang n. p.).
One also needs to think about the tools for making a video.
There are many tools that are useful for making a video. It seems more and more of the
equipment and other things to make a video are being more developed as we become more
technologically advanced. Equipment usually needed to make a video are as follows: a video
camera, digital editing workstation, editing software, portable audio recorder, microphones,
muffs and windscreens, boom pole, steadicam, and lighting (Indie-film-making.com). A digital
editing workstation can just be a laptop or a computer (Indie-film-making.com). Editing software
can help make the video look better and more professional (Indie-film-making.com). There is a
lot of equipment that goes in to making a video and the list just keeps growing. There is also
much information that goes in to making a video too.
There is some information needed before starting on a video. This information is important in
the making and understanding of a video. Making a video takes practice to make it look and
sound great (Bourne and Burstein n. p.). “To produce a high-quality video one needs to learn
about video compression, the technology that makes it work, and the business that makes it
possible” (Bourne and Burstein n. p.). Set up a budget cost before producing the video (Bourne
and Burstein n. p.). The better the look, sound, and quality the better the video and the more
likely it is to get noticed (Bourne and Burstein n. p.). Learn about the audience - their interests
and what attracts their attention (Bourne and Burstein n. p.). The understanding of technology is
a big part of how well the video will turn out, and the more you know about your audience then
the more your video will be able to capture their attention. Knowing all of this information will
go in to helping make the video neat and in order.
There is more than just knowing information to keep the video organized. . The production of
media is becoming more advanced and complex. The three stages in production are
preproduction, production, and postproduction (Musburger 2). In the preproduction stage the
director will prepare, organize, and research information for the production (Musburger 2). The
preproduction stage also consists of creating a plan, or script (Breslin n. p.). A script is a written
version of the production (Breslin n. p.). “A screenplay breaks the story down into scenes and
includes location, time of day, dialogue, and action. Later, a shooting script, which breaks the
action down into specific shots and camera angles, is created from the original screenplay”
(Breslin n. p.). Before writing the script, create a storyboard (Breslin n. p.). “A storyboard is a
series of frames, much like a comic strip” (Breslin n. p.). During the production stage the director
must make sure he or she has all of the equipment needed before he or she can begin recording
(Musburger 2). In the postproduction stage the director will enter in all the data and footage and
edit it by choosing the shots he or she wants and using special effects (Musburger 2). Following
these steps will help the video turn out neat, organized, and professional. Now one must choose
which kind of video to create.
There are many different types of video. There are informational, educational, entertaining,
etc. videos. An informational video has facts and sometimes has someone voicing his or her
opinion on a certain issue (Miller n. p.). “The key is to provide enough useful information to be
of practical value to viewers” (Miller n. p.). In other words the viewers you are trying to attract
need to be able to use this information.
An educational video usually shows the viewer how to do something useful (Miller n. p.).
“Generally, educational films deliver useful information and are based in credible research.
Some educational films might be called documentaries, news reports or broadcasts, opinions and
debates, edutainment, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), interviews, experiments, training,
etc.” (Edtech.guhsd.net.). Educational videos should show a step by step process (Miller n. p.).
Each shot should show how to do something in order with a narrator and with text to explain
what is being done in each shot (Miller n. p.). Educational videos should have an image of what
the finished project should look like (Miller n. p.). Educational videos are very helpful to viewers
trying to learn something or for someone trying to teach something. It is good to put some
entertainment in the video so it will not get too boring.
Everyone loves to be entertained. Entertaining videos usually have some type of humor in
them. “Like art, entertainment is often in the eye of the beholder” (Miller n. p.). Entertainment
has many subcategories other than humor it could have drama, romance, action, horror, etc.
(Miller n. p.). “The video needs to educate, entertain, or inform - or no one will watch it” (Miller
n. p.). Media productions has many advantages.
There are many methods to teaching and presenting information. Two methods are videos and
posters. A video is “an element of television, as in a program or script, pertaining to the
transmission or the reception of the image” (Dictionary.com). A poster is “a placard or bill
posted or intended for posting in a public place, as for advertising” (Dictionary.com). “A poster
design must have a clear simplicity of motive and a vigorous, sometimes bizarre, conception in
design and treatment” (Price 3). Posters can be made by one or more people. Posters are usually
very colorful to catch people’s attention. The materials people usually use to make posters are as
follows: poster board, paper, construction paper, markers, glue, tape, and sometimes a few other
materials. A poster presents information in typed words or pictures. They are usually placed in
public places on walls, poles, or even in businesses. Posters not only attract people’s attention
with colors and pictures but with some type of message. The poster could display a question,
statement, fact, opinion, or a joke about an issue to get an audience to read and think about it.
Like posters, videos should have a clear motive. A good video is not usually made by just one
person. “Video work is group work, and it relies on the combined efforts of a good team”
(Mollison 1). There are many more materials needed to make a video than to make a poster. The
usual materials needed to make a video are as follows: a camera, video tape, microphones, lights,
a computer, and some type of editing software (Indie-film-making.com). Videos have a variety
of different ways to give information. Videos can have text, cartoon or real characters, skits,
pictures, and many other things. They are usually shown online, in movie theaters, or on
television. A video can show and hold more information than a poster can but a video would take
more time to make, cost more, and you would need technology, whereas a poster does not.
Both posters and video have advantages and disadvantages. As one expert states:
The disadvantages of video are that they are extremely expensive and time consuming to create
and require special audio visual equipment to show to large groups of people. The downfall to
posters is that they are not large enough to be seen by groups of people and posters can be
chaotic if not properly done or written so classes can read what is on them. The advantages of
posters are that they are cost effective. These only require poster board and markers. They are
also easy to transport from location to location and easy to interact with. The advantages of video
are that they are extremely professional in appearance, easy for people to understand and watch,
and more captivating for large groups who have problems paying attention (Ebna.org).
There are many benefits to media productions. “In a multimedia production, video can be an
important part of your media mix since video can significantly enhance learning. With respect to
teaching, video is excellent for demonstrating procedures, changes, or processes, teaching
attitudes or values, making abstract concepts concrete, classifying information, and comparing
information” (Fenrich 152). Videos also hold an audience’s attention more (Fenrich 152). Using
a video is also helpful to “motivate learners, introduce topics or procedures, presenting visuallyrich material that would otherwise be hard to explain, and testing” (Fenrich 152).
2008-09 and 2009-10 Comparison of Media Vision Productions and Caption Videos
The bar graph above shows:
Media Vision productions were nearly constant from 340 to 376, respectively for 200809 and 2009-10. However, increased effort and funding were applied to captioning
videos in conjunction with the goals of the Accessibility Technology Initiative from 220
to 766, respectively for 2008=09 and 2009-10. This chart shows a comparison of 200809 with 2009-10 media vision productions and captioned videos (Csupomona.edu).
Media productions are an effective way to present ideas and information. I will be recording
sports, interviews, and other things that have to do with Pineville High School to get footage for
my video I am making about the school. I will use the knowledge I have gained from my
research to tape and edit my video. My opinion has not changed about media productions since I
have begun researching it. I still think making videos is and still will be fun. I do believe it will
be a lot more work since I will have more footage than usual and I will have learned about more
equipment and editing tools I can use for the video. I think the knowledge I gain from my project
hours will differ from the knowledge gained through research because I will learn more about the
camera and editing software by working with them. I learned about the equipment used in
making a video from my research. I hope to learn more about editing techniques and the
importance and usefulness of media productions from my project hours.
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