In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products?
O ur coursework task was to produce a five minutes documentary, a listings page and a radio trailer. Before starting to produce our documentary, we did some research about codes and conventions, investigating why teenagers are so pressured by fashion and their brands. Our five minutes documentary was set on channel 4, as research showed that this is the most popular channel with our target audience (teenagers). Our documentary opening is a social documentary about teenagers and the ways they are pressured by brands and fashion. We also decided to use Channel 4, because it also broadcasts series and documentaries related to our topic. In our documentary we included interviews with real experts, college students and teenagers, which helped us to create realism. From analysing a number of documentaries, we found out that most of them used flashing images as their montage. In order to add professionalism and realism to our documentary, we tried to follow most of the common codes and conventions that existed documentaries used. We searched on the Internet for some similar documentaries or series that would link to our documentary. We did no find any that were exactly similar to ours, however we did find some that linked to our documentary and shared sort of the same topic. Hollyoaks does not focus on any particular brands, however teenagers look up to their sense of fashion and try to dress in a similar way as they do. There are also documentaries that share our topic, such as ‘The Red and creates therefore peer pressure for them. This documentary and the series ‘Hollyoaks’ are both similar to our documentary, as they focus on young adults and teenagers and show the difficulties teenagers face. Carpet Style’, which influences teenagers to wear a particular ‘brand’, which influences http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CVdllN67OQ (channel 4 ident )
It’s often celebrities and friends who influence teenagers to wear a particular brand. Celebrity brand names have become the embodiment of globalisation. Many teens pick up on fashion trends in an effort to stave off humiliation and mocking from peers. Poor fashion choices in the eyes of others can often be an open door to ridicule. Often, fashion for teenagers is the result of the desire to be like a celebrity. Celebrities are perhaps the greatest influences on teenagers in the modern world, and they can have a huge impact on a teen's ideas about fashion and its importance. D ocumentaries often use images of celebrities, to which their target audience can relate to and look up to. SO IS IT CELEBRITIES FAULT THAT TEENAGERS HAVE TO WEAR A PARTICULAR BRAND? Our montage also included an interview with the teenager Helen, who thinks that it is very important to her “to dress in a certain way in order to fit in.” Furthermore we took some images of Helen, her wardrobe and her shoes, to show how different ordinary people and celebrities are, yet share the same interest of wearing brand names. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-model-agency/4od This hyperlink shows a documentary that is very similar to ours. It shows how people are influenced by celebrities such as models, who are styled perfectly and wear expensive BRANDS of clothing.
Use of codes and conventions; To have an ident is very vital for all documentaries. For our documentary, we decided to use the same ident as Channel 4 uses for its documentaries. The channel 4 ident uses a convention of most TV shows and documentaries and uses a voiceover to introduce the topic of the shows or documentary. The voiceover was used in our documentary to make the content of our documentary, such as facts and opinions more interesting and presentable to the audience. As we included the channel 4 ident for our documentary, it gave it a sense of brand identity of the channel. Ident Voiceover We also used the convention of using a voiceover whilst images are shown. Here we used a voiceover over the clip of a catwalk where the clip is relevant to what the voice over is saying. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-HI94CSV_c Catwalk video from L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival LMFF Unfortunately we had some problems with the voice over, especially with the sound balance levels, as we recorded the voice overs at different times. When reviewing our audience feedback, we found out that the voiceover sounded too much like a monologue, especially when showing the catwalk show.
Another main convention used in real documentaries is the use of having interviews with experts. Part of our documentary was to include real interviews with experts, to make our documentary realistic and believable. The use of interviews meant that we would provide more specific details of our topic to our audience. Having interviews will allow viewers to see the subject in different views and some may sometimes even disagree with the interviewee. We included in our documentary interviews with the student Interviews councillor, an interview with a fashion designer and an interview with a teenagers who is massively pressured by the peer pressure. So by having a consistent interview layout we added professionalism to our documentary. Sound Another convention of a documentary is sound. We used both diegetic sound and non diegetic sound , but also background music throughout our documentary. Diegetic sound was used in our documentary to make the audience feel that the documentary they are watching is real, therefore people often use vox pops, as the sound is not edited and the audience feel like they can relate to them. In addition we used a consistent background music throughout the documentary. For the background music we used a higher tempo and fast track to keep the audience entertained and it also gives our documentary a certain sense of seriousness. Documentaries often use background music to indicate to the audience how the topic should be seen as. I have chosen this track to reflect that this documentary is highlighting the seriousness of teenagers being affected by brands and that they feel that they have to fit in in order to be popular and have friends. However when choosing a few tracks we had to make sure that they were not copyright.
Stills from real television Stills from my documentary Stills from real television Stills from my documentary A common convention in documentary is to use Close ups. As you can see these Close ups show very little background, to make us concentrate on the facial expressions. In other words the Close-ups take us into the mind of the character. The still from the real television were taken from the documentary ‘ Are the net police coming for you’. The close-ups from our documentary, did not always seem very professional, mainly because of the background.
Another common convention in documentaries is to use medium shots on the main subject who is being interviewed. The viewer feels they know more about the topic, especially as they can see a specific detail of mise en sc è ne. In a documentary, the film maker often uses long shots and then slowly zooms into the frame, to focus on mainly one character. Documentaries often use over shoulder shots, which add interest to the topic, as we are shown the interests of the characters of the documentary. Stills from real television Stills from my documentary
Television Listings Page The main image is spread across the second page Main title in bold and in the colour white Multiple smaller images from the documentary Strap line is used to summarise the documentary summary Page number at the bottom of the listings page. The text is in columns Time and date of documentary Another task was to produce a listings page, which would give the reader a bit more information about the documentary and persuade them to watch it. When looking at that professional listings page, we followed some of its conventions. When we analysed this article, we found out that it was very similar to our documentary and would probably be targeted at our target audience is well.
Our Listings Page We followed the convention of having page numbers at the bottom of the pages. Drop cap The text is in columns, which makes it seem professional and well structured. Quotes relating to the documentary. Time and channel of documentary We used one of the main images from our documentary and spread it across the second page, as the other listings page did the same. Images from our documentary were used to indicate what the documentary is about and who is involved, which creates a sense of interest to the viewers. We followed the same convention of having a bold, white title. The listings page from real television did not have any white or blank spaces, whereas ours has. Unfortunately we noticed that too late and were therefore unable to change that. Extra images from our documentary, which we used to support the text. For our listings page, we decided to use the same layout and conventions as shown in the real television listings page. We used a variety of images as we felt that our target audience (teenagers) would be more interested in the article if it was in that kind of form. However although we made our listings page look professional and appealing to our target audience, we could have further improved it. We could have used images of one of the males in the documentary, which would have expanded our target audience.
Radio Trailer The purpose of our radio trailer was to advertise our documentary and persuade people to watch it. In addition by using codes and conventions from other radio trailers that I analysed, I was able to add professionalism to our own radio trailer. I’ve used the convention of using a presenter’s voice, which was also a fundamental part for our radio trailer, as it introduces the documentary and channel. However when showing the radio trailer, we discovered from our feedback sheets, that the background music was too loud in some areas, therefore we have to take into consideration in the future that the sound level will be on balance. Our Script; Advert presenter’s male voice: “Channel 4 brings you a new documentary looking into a pressure teenagers face with fashion. Interview with teenager: “I think that your friends do have a huge influence on what you wear” Interview with teenager : “ I love fashion I spend about £50 a month on cloth” Advert presenter’s male voice : “It’s often celebrities that seem to influence teenagers to wear a particular brand.” Vox Pop used from documentary: “I guess that celebrities do influence how people dress and cause you see them on TV and you think I want to look like that, I want to have what they have” Interview with teenager : “I think that we as teenagers do have the worst, because there is always like the peer pressure that we got to buy the brand name and what we see on TV. Advert presenter’s male voice: “For full program listing click channnel4.co.uk/brandnewteens. Brand new teens Sunday night at eight o’clock on channel 4.
2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? Our documentary is based on ‘trends’ and how teenagers are influenced by the media’s portrayal of fashion and what we should be wearing. My three tasks were to produce a documentary, a listings page and a radio trailer. My main task was producing a documentary, however the radio trailer and the magazine article were still an important part in persuading teenagers to watch the documentary. Furthermore all three tasks do create a brand image and help us by getting a bigger range of viewers for the documentary. Our tasks combine effectively because I’ve used the same style of layout for each one of them and used images of teenagers from the documentary for the listings page. In addition the main character Helen from the documentary can also be seen in the magazine article and heard in the radio trailer; so they all share having the main character. All three tasks were based around the same target audience, teenagers between the age of 14-19 , however we tried to target both females as well as males, as they also seem to be pressured by the media. “ I love fashion, I spend about £50 each month.” The main character Helen, is also included in the radio trailer. Throughout the project we included interviews with teenagers is well, such as Helen. Her interview is also used in the listing page, which gives the audience an insight to the documentary. The listings page and the radio trailer were both consistent with the documentary due to the fact that they involved extracts from the documentary itself, for example such as the interview with Helen also being used in the radio trailer. Having the main character on all three products gives a brand image and people might recognise the documentary when seeing pictures of the main character. Attention grabber
W e have used the same fonts for the listings page and the documentary. They all target the same audience, because we’ve used the same styles, including images of teenagers to relate it to our target audience. In addition it also targets our audience as we have used bright colours and fonts such as ‘ariel’ and the content itself from the listings page links to teenagers. I think that our radio trailer and magazine article both promote the documentary, because the radio trailer uses the voices of teenagers who share their honest opinions and that would persuade the listener to want to hear more. For the magazine article the reader would want to see the documentary, because of the interesting summary of the documentary and the shocking images of teenagers shopping compulsively and would therefore want to know more about it. So the magazine article uses shocking tactics to persuade the reader to view the documentary. ‘ We are guilty for imitating outfits.’ AND These sorts of quotes influence people, as they were stated by teenagers, which our target audience can relate to. Furthermore our image of the channel 4 logo creates a brand identity, as it is very popular among our target audience and they will recognise it straight away. In addition people will want to know How, Who and What is happening in the documentary when they see the images of how teenagers are being influenced and are starting to get obsessive by having to buy the brand name.
T he purpose of the radio trailer and listings page was to promote our documentary, however they might have no be as popular as we would have hoped to. Our target audience might not read any magazine adds or listen to the radio, therefore it might have not have been such a successful way of promoting our documentary. However if I would decide how to promote our documentary, I would probably choose to advertise our documentary on popular social sites such as twitter or Facebook. In addition I would also probably show our TARGET AUDIENCE documentary during TV adds, for example after popular series such as Hollyoaks, X Factor or documentary during TV adds. This might make our documentary more successful and reach a broader audience, who will hopefully tune in to the documentary itself. In other words making the right choices of advertisements is important, as promoting a documentary in real can cost a high amount of money, therefore making the wrong choices is a waste of money. Our Radio trailer (opens up when you click on the animation image). http://youtu.be/mBs9gJWLd4g This is the radio trailer and TV advert of the popular fashion brand ‘Boohoo’
During the first screening of our documentary From our audience feedback we asked the audience to complete questionnaires about our documentary and either tick Excellent, Very good, Good, O.K, Poor. I found out that our documentary was well received and that people their age would watch it. The interviews were felt to be professional and they liked the way we brought in experts who shared their opinions. Techniques such as transitions and captions were thought to be successful and effective, as it made the documentary look professional and realistic. The one criticism everyone shared was the sound balance. When we interviewed teenagers, the sound balance was inferior to when we interviewed experts at college, and it made it difficult to understand the interviewee, because of the background noise. We were slightly disappointed by the feedback as we hoped for some positive reactions to our documentary. However the criticism about the sound quality was justified and it did spoil our interview. 3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? Our Main Target Audience : Gender: consisted of both genders, however especially females, as they seem to be more influenced by fashion brands. Age: Teenagers, age 14-19
Overall we were very happy with the feedback we gained for our documentary, however although we gained some positive feedback, we also received some criticism.
What did our Target Audience least like about our Documentary?
Sound levels were not balanced, for instance the voiceover was inconsistent in sound.
Some of the interviews were too long
Good variety of shots for the footage, which created realism for the target audience
Liked the use of interviews with professionals
Good amounts of statistics and the topic itself was thought to be good, because it was original
Seemed very realistic and professional
What did out Target Audience like most about our Documentary?
75% of our target audience gave our Radio Trailer 7/10 25% of our target audience gave our Radio Trailer 8/10 10% of our target audience gave our Listings Page 7/10 65% of our target audience gave our Listings page 8/10 25% of our target audience gave our Listings Page 9/10
Too much white space
Used a variety of images
The layout looked very professional
The article was well linked to our documentary
They thought that the sound level was inconsistent
The voiceover was too much in the form of a monologue
The radio trailer was over 45 seconds
They thought that the background music was to quiet, it needs to be a bit louder
Good use of interviews
Our target audience liked the sound bytes we used from our documentary
They said that is was very similar and realistic to a real radio trailer.
They thought that the start of the radio trailer was very interesting and that it captured straight away their attention.
Radio Trailer Needs Improving Good
Audience Feedback I decided to create another focus group to gain some more feedback about the documentary. The feedback was given by a group of teenagers that matched our target audience. From the feedback I asked to give me some positive feedback about our documentary, but also asked them what we should improve about it. The purpose of this audience feedback was to find out if teenagers who do not know anything about codes and conventions would just be watching a documentary to be entertained. I wanted to see if our documentary seemed realistic enough for them. Nicole said about our documentary “I really liked the documentary, because it was interesting to listen to teenagers opinions and what they think they are mostly influenced by. I also felt like it related to me, after all I am a teenager myself. Chandra thought that the documentary “was professional”, however she didn’t like at all “the sound, because there was a lot of background noise with some interviews.” Shaun said that he liked what the presenter was saying, however he thinks that “some of the transitions and cuts were too fast” Launa said “I really liked the documentary, especially the opening when a variety of shots were shown, that looked really cool”.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? We used a variety of media technologies in the production process such as comic life, YouTube, garageband, final cut express, audio, Photoshop and indesign. We found final cut express most useful, as it enabled us to edit the documentary and produce it to a high quality. The hardware we used for our production were a video camera for the documentary and a voice recorder for our radio trailer. The video camera was useful, because it allowed us to edit the images on the camera, for example we could choose the colour contrast. When using garageband, I did struggle with using it at the beginning, but once I used it for a couple of lessons I felt more confident with it and learned some new skills. I also learned some further skills when using Photoshop and indesign for the editing of images. The Internet An important part of our research and planning was the Internet, as it enabled us to access important web pages such as ‘YouTube’ and the channel 4 website. YouTube was very useful and is very popular, so everyone in our group knew how to use it. It enabled us to upload short video clips that linked to our topic into our blogs, by embedding the video. Furthermore we also used a 9 seconds clip from YouTube for our documentary, to make it look professional. We also used GOOGLE to find out some statistics for our blogs. At the beginning of our documentary we knew, that we were going to use channel 4. We used the web page of it, to analyse different documentaries and had to do this to get a similar documentary that would share its code and conventions with ours. In addition we also used channel 4 to get the ident, which was a very important part of the documentary's identity.
Digital Technology (filming equipment) The tripod was a very essential part of filming. Using the tripod we could film interviews and take sill images, without worrying about the camera not being on balance. In other words the tripod enabled us to take steady shots. As a group we did find it sometimes challenging using a tripod, as it was very heavy and also sometimes required some time to set it up, however we managed it well. With the tripod we could take more focused images. We used several digital technologies including a video camera and a tripod. Using a video camera was not always easy to use, mainly because of the shakiness of the camera footage and we had to consider is well the sound levels. Using a video camera helped us to develop our planning and research, for instance it helped us in our documentary for our blog. It enabled us to easily upload video clips and images into our blogs, to support any important statements we made about filming. Furthermore we could take handheld footage and stills for our documentary and we could use different effects such as zoom in or zoom out and pan shots when required. To record an interview we had to use a headphone and a microphone and plug it into the camera, which resulted in having an excellent quality of sound.
When I uploaded my files, I had to upload them first to iTunes, before putting into my project. I had to use iTunes as a backup to store my music tracks on, in case someone deleted them by mistake on our radio trailer or documentary. Sound Using a headphone, audio recorder and a microphone, enabled us to record the voiceover for our documentary and radio trailer. For example when listening to certain shots we used a voice over to include some statistics. After recording the sound we uploaded it into our project. We used a microphone to make the sound clearer when filming any interviews.
Blogging We worked as a group, however we were all given different tasks. All of our planning and research was uploaded into our blog. We were able to access the blog at home and college, so we could upload work at any time. I never used a blog before, so I had to make myself familiar with it and know how to use it. After a short time I enjoyed working on the blog a lot, as I could upload work whenever I wanted to and decide in what form I could upload it, for example include hyperlinks and images. However time management was still important, as there were specific deadlines I had to meet. It was important to add as many visual components into our blogs such as images, hyperlinks and use different fonts to make our planning and research more interesting. This is a link to our blog: http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=813249854941850407
Indesign+Photoshop Indesign and Photoshop were used to create the listings page for our documentary. I think that they were not difficult to use, as we already had some experience with using them at AS media. We used both soft wares for the editing of photographs that we had taken and sometimes added some effects to them. For example to make one of the images look more professional and of a higher quality, we decided to adjust the levels within Photoshop. Indesign allowed us to place drop cap letters at the beginning of the article, which made it look more professional. However the only criticism I would have is that also Photoshop and Indesign are very similar soft wares, they are both very different and complex to use. Although we had some experience with using them, we still did not know most of their features. A simple task such as changing the font colour took us some time, however they were both still fundamental for our production of the listings page. Overall we enjoyed using Indesign and Photoshop and also leaned some further skills.
GarageBand GarageBand was used for the production of our radio trailer, which would promote our documentary. We used the program to upload voiceovers and other sound files from our documentary to create a 30 seconds trailer. We adjusted the sound levels, so the background music would not be too loud. Once I imported the sound to GarageBand, I could easily adjust the sound levels. This sound file contains the background music, which we used throughout our documentary. I found it very difficult to find a suitable sound track that would match our topic, however at the end I did find one. This is the sound file of the presenter’s voice. These are the sound files from different teenagers and from our documentary. Although I used it for the very first time, I found it very easy to use. I used this file from GarageBand, which is about 3 seconds long. GarageBand also enabled me to change the sound effect of the track.
Comic Life Comic Life was another programme we used for our planning. We had to use it to create a storyboard that would summarise each minute. We did not have long to use it and learn more of its skills, but it was for me the simplest software of all to use. When using Comic Life, I had to first import some images from my computer. It enabled me to use different layouts and have an overview of the whole page. For instance at the bottom of the page we could choose different types of auto shapes, which we could use to analyse the images. http://c02documentary11.blogspot.com/2012/02/final-documentary-storyboard.html (links you to our blogs, where you can view the storyboards)
Channel 4 ident with voiceover and soft music introducing the documentary. Montage of images to do with the topic including this one with voiceover and music. Introducing the area after the montage - no more music. Vox pops with teenagers in the area about peer pressures. Statistics about fashion and young people Interview with college counsellor Interview with Helen about Fashion influences Interview with fashion designer End of five minutes, making the viewer want to watch more Nine Images from our documentary to summarise our five minutes opening
Final cut express Final cut express is where we produced our documentary and did all the editing to it. Final cut express has helped me develop new editing skills and allowed me to come across a software that I have never used before. I learned new skills, for instance using Sound level: Final cut express allowed us to edit the sound on certain clips. For instance we increased the sound level of the clip with Helen a teenager, as she was too quiet. Video Viewer: Having two different video viewers did confuse us at the beginning. However it enabled us to view our opening five minutes as how the audience would see it. This was very useful, as it also enabled us to take print screens for our storyboards. Captions (adding text): We interviewed a couple of very important people. Our audience would not have known who these people were, therefore we used captions to introduce them. It enabled us to change the font format and add other techniques to it such as foreshadowing. commands such as ‘I’ from where we wanted the clip to start and ‘O’ from where we wanted the clip to end. Before transferring clips to final cut express using ‘log and transfer’, we had to first cut down on some clips that were not needed anymore.