Evaluation Question 4:
How did you use media technologies in the construction and
research planning and evaluation stages?
By Humayra Suleman
In terms of research and planning, media technologies
have been very resourceful in aiding us to present and
locate information. When it came to research and
planning we used internet explorer on a regular basis
to access websites. Through this we used Google, a
well known search engine in order to find information
or to open up websites. When it came to research we
used Google to source information from websites such
as the BBC and The Guardian. These are news websites
where I am likely to find the latest news and also I am
able to find out information regarding our topic on
underage drinking. These are well trusted sources and
we used these websites because we knew we would be
able to gain good factually true information. With the
information we have the ability to make the
documentary as informative as possible.
When it came to research and planning we were
required to watch a series of existing documentaries in
order to get an idea of the typical conventions and the
features associated with similar documentaries. We
used the internet, BBC iPlayer and the TV in order to use
BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, ITV, Channel 4 and also
Channel Five. This was called channel research, where
we researched and analysed the channels to identify the
types of programs it broadcasts. We incorporated what
the target audience interests are and the typical
channels they are watching and we used this in order to
select a relevant channel. From this research we
gathered that BBC Three would be the most relevant
channel because it airs similar documentaries such as
“Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents” as well as “Binge
Drinking” and other alcohol related documentaries.
In order to upload all of the research we have been carrying out. We use a
website called “Blogger”, it lets us create our own blogs and upload posts.
This includes all the research and analysis of existing media products
alongside channels, audience profiles and topic research documents. The
website allows us to log the research and progress through the process. It
also allows us to organise everything in a chronological order when it comes
to the time and date. Two other websites we used to upload word and
PowerPoint documents are “Scribd” and “Slideshare”. These allowed us to use
embed codes to insert onto our blogs, allowing us to present the work on
As a group we thought it was best to do some research on
existing documentaries by watching them. To do this I used
YouTube and BBC iPlayer to watch programs I was not able to
watch on the TV as they may not be aired when I am available
to watch these. I used YouTube to watch programs such as
“Supersize Me”, “A Good Smack” and “Teen Species”. From
this I was able to acquire professional qualities consisted in
these documentaries. These gave me ideas and I started to
draft in my head how our documentary could be formed and
presented. Using BBC iPlayer and YouTube gave me an
advantage because it had meant that I could rewind bits in
order to look at specific bits n detail in order to replicate
similar techniques used in these documentaries. Another
advantage is that with websites like YouTube I was able to
easily search for similar videos and documentaries in order to
acquire more ideas and research into existing documentaries.
Microsoft word is processing program for Windows and Mac from Microsoft.
It is part Microsoft Office suite, the software id mainly used for publishing
documents, this piece of technology can also be used to research in order to
create questionnaires, by using this programme will make it easier to design,
the reason for this would be the effects and layout which Microsoft office
follows. Microsoft word can be used to create detailed plans for filming
process, which would help stay on track in order to meet targets and
deadlines. The software also allows to be sent via email, the advantages of
this word be work is safer as always have a copy, and other advantage of this
would opening the link on the go, by this taking place it show how effect the
software is compared to other programmes. One other way we made use of
Microsoft Word is by listing down ideas and noting them down when we were
discussing amongst the team. The Microsoft Word program also let us create
the filming schedule; this then meant we would stay on track for each week
of filming so that we wouldn’t get left behind. The plan included the personal
deadlines we set for ourselves in order to get the documents created and
achieved quicker. With Word we emailed each other the documents if we
needed the information or if we needed to edit anything. This enabled
everyone to equally have input from the group. Planning was mostly taken
place on Microsoft Word and was handwritten on paper; meaning that overall
not many technologies were used at all in terms of planning.
Once the research and planning stages were complete we
decided to move onto the filming process. We had
planned the structure of the first 5 minutes of the
documentary. We did this by producing a paper copy of a
storyboard. We continued with this after deciding as a
group what was appropriate to insert into the
documentary as well as maintaning a high standard in
terms of quality for sound and imagery. With the
resources we had created such as the storyboard, filming
schedule anhd plan alongside other information with
facts and figures.; we went onto the filming process.
In order to film the documentary with concise good quality we
used a Canon HG20 HD to film the footage from. The
equipment had all the required features we needed e.g.
Mic, manual focus ring etc... Another feature the camera held
was the display screen. This gave us the ability to play recorded
footage, delete footage and in general it enables the users to
manage the storage and the settings of the camera. We used a
USB port in order to connect the device into the computer
letting us import all the recorded footage ready for the editing
As I have demonstrated below, the cameras enabled us to zoom in and out
and also change the focus via the manual focus ring giving softer imagery.
The tripod came into good use when it came to the professional expert interview and the voxpop
interviews. They consisted of a similar set up through the use of a tripod. We used the tripod
because it holds the shot steady meaning that the filming is done from your preferred angle
steadily instead of the film being shaky when handheld recording. The tripod was very effective in
helping us achieve and capture general shots which includes, pans, tracks or tilts.
During the documentary we were required to insert and manage the use of diagetic and nondiagetic sound. We did this through the use of a shotgun microphone. We used this type f
microphone because of it’s portability it had meant that we could film and interview wherever
we wanted without the equipment being a major issue. As well as this we found that the
microphone outputted better quality sound in comparison to the microphone attached within
the video recorder itself.
Thirdly we also had made good use of the SennheiserHD201 headphones. We used these
headphones to plug into the camera port. A reason for why we did this was to manipulate the
positioning of the microphone so that we captured good sound levels through out the
documentary. This is important because unclear sound levels can affect the quality and result of
the documentary itself. One other reason was due to the fact we wanted minimal background
noise , the headphones allowed us to judge how well the sound is being recorded and we were
able to make arrangements in order to satisfy win terms of sound quality. The headphones saved
us a lot of time because this had meant we are preventing from mistakes and unclear clips to be
In order to record the voiceover we made use of a
tape recorder. We recorded this in a quiet room in
order to avoid any background noise. We then went
onto upload this onto Final Cut Express. We did this
because we found that it was easier to manage just
under the clips. We found it difficult to manage
because when we heard the clips on the
computer, some were distorted or did not work as
planned so we had to get the voiceover to be
rerecorded for some of the clips.
After uploading all of the recorded footage onto the computer
we were required to log and transfer on Final Cut Express. As
a group we went through the clips and deleted the
unnecessary ones, we kept the remainder of the clips and
renamed as appropriate to make it easier for us to find.
Having done this it made the process easier to put them all
into a sequence in accordance the previous storyboard we
had produced as a group. We put everything in sequence but
gradually moved clips around, meaning that we did not
exactly follow all of the original storyboard.
Whilst editing the documentary the toolbar became an essential part of the
software because it enabled us to perform tasks in terms of editing and
extracting clips from the documentary. An example of this can be the razor
blade tool; this enables us to cut exact parts of clips in order to use this to
extract bits wanted. This tool aims to improve the accuracy because it
gives a smooth edit. When performing straight cuts this is a good tool to
use to do so. Alongside straight cuts we also used a variety of transitions
including cross dissolves, this was the transition that we liked most. We
picked this from the menu available where there was a large variety of
One effect we made use of on Final Cut Express during
the editing process is text overlay. This enabled us to
add the professional looking banner to introduce and
name the expert talking in the interview. As well as this
we have used general text on the documentary
whether it be to present the facts and figures. During
this process we altered the wireframe. This the
positioning of the screen and we used this alter the
shots in case the shotgun microphone came in the way
of the filming. We found it came across as
unprofessional and so keeping the microphone hidden
away was an ideal option.
One other element of editing has been the management of sound levels. One
main priority was to maintain the sound levels fro the voice-over, recorded
clips and background music to a level of being clearly audible and
balanced because if they overpowered each other then this would not
sound good and would seem unprofessional not to sort this out. In order
to maintain sound level management we used the pink velocity line to
drag the decibels up or down.
Another software I made use of during the production process for the documentary
was Garageband. When it came to using sound I had to use original music and
tunes from this software to avoid taking someone else's song for copyright
reasons. In terms of the background music I used a calm but professional sound
which lead the documentary on almost like in a contents of a story. We ;looked at
a number of other sounds but felt this was best suited. Moving on, we wanted a
upbeat tune for the title sequence of the documentary, so we chose something
really loud but unique; meaning that the audience may remember the
documentary through the unique sound.
We also continued to make use of the software Garageband for the radio trail. We
chose a different upbeat tune because we wanted to make the documentary seem
exciting and interesting to watch. After choosing these we uploaded and saved the
sounds. We then had the opportunity to log and transfer these onto the
Moving onto the Radio trail, we began with the research and planning stage.
Firstly, very similar to the documentary I had used template on a Microsoft
Word document which I used to fill in when analysing similar existing radio
trails during the research stage. Whilst doing this we sourced this from
YouTube because the website has a long range of videos and radios it
broadcasts. We found this useful as we were able to take in consideration
the style and presentation of the radio trail and we compared this to the
date , time and channel of broadcast.
We used Google in order to search for the typical conventions of radio trails
as none of us in the group are particularly keen on listening to the radio
stations. This gave us a insight and improved the understanding we held
on the typical features and conventions of radio trails.
When we planned out the radio trail we began with writing out the script.
This was completed through writing it out on paper as we came up with
ideas. After a couple of attempts we had a number of ideas in which we
results in changing around to incorporate into the radio trail. This turned
out to be successful because it helped us in terms of getting the sequence
right and from doing this we also came up with ideas in terms of sound
and the sound effects going into the radio trail.
Recording the radio trail was pretty simple. Similarly to the
documentary, we made use of the voice recorders. We took
the speakers to a quiet room in order to speak clearly and
concisely with limited background noise. After a couple of
attempts we had successfully recorded the sound. In order
to process this we uploaded the device via the USB port
and we uploaded the content that we had recorded.
Fromthis we transferred and logged everything onto Final
When it came to editting the radio trail we put the clips in
sequence with accordance of the script we came up with.
From doing this we added the relevant clips from the
documentary onto the radio trail. We did this in order to
link to the documentary seeing as the radio trail is
supporting the documentary through its role of being an
During the project we also created the TV listings magazine
article. In terms of researching we looked at existing TV
listings magazines in order to highlight and identify the
typical conventions of these magazine articles. We did this
by comparing articles from the “Radio Times” and “TV and
Satellite Week” magazines. In order to gain a further
understanding I used Google to research and learn more
about the codes and conventions of magazine articles. This
was very efficient because I made use of Microsoft
PowerPoint in order to analyse existing articles.
When we planned the double page spread we used pencil and
paper to draw up paper drafts of how we will be utilising
the layout and structure of the article to follow the codes
and conventions. We found that with this method it would
be quicker and also we could input ideas as a time and
changes can be made and the draft can be slightly altered
easier than on the computer which may have taken up
more time to do.
The final TV listings magazine article was created in Adobe InDesign.
However, we made use of Microsoft Word in order to type up the
article because we were more familiar with the program in
comparison to Adobe InDesign. Once we had typed up the article
we began to construct the article by copy and pasting the article
into InDesign. We structured the page to look similar as to how the
drafted article looks like. Once we had done this we ensured the
conventions were met by going through a checklist in order to make
sure we did not miss anything out.
We then moved onto using Adobe Photoshop to edit the main image
for the magazine article. We wanted to do this because we found it
would look presentable and much better if the image was of a
dull/dusky colour which typically represents underage drinkers in
today’s society. After we were happy with the contents of the main
image we went back onto Adobe InDesign and inserted this onto
the page in order to complete the whole magazine together. We
made a few minor adjustments e.g. Tilted the pull quote to gain
interest and also to add an image of the writer of the article at the
start f the article in order to acknowledge whose work it is.
In terms of the evaluation for questions one and four I made use of Microsoft
PowerPoint. I used this because I liked the way I could illustrate and present
the information onto the slides. The imagery and colours can make them
engaging and makes a change in terms of forms of presentation. However, for
question four I will be using PowerPoint to convert the file into a video, I have
included various effects in order to compress and combine it. I am doing this
to make a change of presentation, I wanted to continue to use PowerPoint but
to change the presentation I think the video works well. For question three I
made use of a online Prezi document. This is a engaging and interesting way
of presenting your work. However, the evaluation for question two I have
chosen to present in the form of Microsoft Word. I stuck to Microsoft more
because I am aware of the programs and also the quality of my work is likely to
improve because I was able to insert imagery, effects and sound. I could have
used other programs other than Prezi however I was unaware of these
methods because I am not used to doing so meaning the level of my work
would probably drop.
Using Slideshare I have embedded the evaluation for question one onto Blogger.
Using Scribd I have similarly embedded the evaluation for question two onto
Blogger. Through the Prezi website I was able to embed the document onto
Blogger. Lastly, I have used YouTube in order to embed question four of the
evaluation onto Blogger.