In what ways does your media product
use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media Products?
Codes and Conventions
• Codes and conventions in media terms are a set of
rules that you may apply to produce your media
text. It’s the way in which something is usually done
through certain techniques to make your media
text more professional.
• Some of these conventions Include:
Mise en scene
• For our documentary it was important to research
the typical codes and conventions used in order to
make our documentary as professional as possible.
• This meant I had to research into similar products
(documentary) which is where I came across
‘Panorama’ who similarly produced a media text
on knife crime. This would help give us an outline on
how to produce our own.
Panorama is a BBC
Television Current affairs
The way in which Interviews were set up was vital.
There are two type of interviews that all documentary’s follow, these are formal and informal
As you can see even though the type of interviews were different there were still some
similarities. We included captions which is another convention so the spectator would know who
is being interviewed.
This shot of a formal interview from another
documentary illustrating how the person is being
interviewed at his own work place which is a
convention that we followed as it made them
Similarly all 3 documentary's including ours, use medium
or medium close up shots to denote the facial expression
and body movement of the interviewee, this made them
clear and easier to understand.
Statistics are facts which means they tell the truth, this again is another form of
convention as it helps the producer to persuade the spectator to follow their
argument or point.
As you can see both documentaries use statistics in a similar way. The
information in both is clear and all the focus is on the information even though
there is background footage.
Not all documentaries use this technique but crime is a serious genre and
statistics help to portray this which is why we used this convention
• We used sound as a form of code and convention that
we research from many documentaries including
• Panorama used Non-diegetic music throughout the
documentary as music helps to attract the spectator
since diegetic sound such as voices may not be as
• Similarly to Panorama we both used serious music within
our documentary as it matched the seriousness of the
topic. This is an important convention that we followed
as it benefits both the producer and the spectator.
• We also used a male voice over as the topic was more
suited for the male gender which is the same as what
• Since Panorama had the same topic, the pace of the editing
was very similar. It was quick and precise. There were no long
takes except for the interviews which was form of convention
that we emulated.
• Both documentaries also use transitions to make the media
text more eye catching as it makes the documentary slightly
more exhilarating. However this wasn’t over done because
crime is not a comical topic so it the editing was kept at a
level similar to Panorama which was a convention that we
Colour and lighting
the art of photography and camerawork in film-making. Within
cinematography we had to follow certain conventions that I learnt
while researching different media texts, one of which is colour and
Just like panorama, our documentary uses dark colours and low key
lighting, we even use black and white as this created a more gritty
and tough appearance which linked to our topic of knife crime.
Mise en scene
Is the arrangement of scenery and stage properties in a shot, its
everything within the frame.
This was an effective convention that helped to create the perfect
When taking a shot certain objects and props are used for
a certain affect just as panorama illustrates by using the
prisoners cell, everything within the frame including the
bed and the plain wall is used to create tension behind
the acts of knife crime.
Similarly we used this code and convention to add to the
professionalism of certain shots, in this case an interview
which is why we used props such as an apple mac as it
linked to who was being interviewed. Similar to panorama
we kept props plain and simple like when we interviewed
the police officer to create tension of the consequences
of knife crime
‘Stock footage, and similarly, archive footage, library pictures and file
footage is film or video footage that can be used in other films. Stock
footage is beneficial to filmmakers as it saves shooting new material’
Almost all documentaries use archival or stock footage and this was
another code and convention that was essential in the making of our
Just like panorama we used footage of news report to emphasise the
issue of knife crime. This technique is effective as news reports are
significantly important and a few shots of this makes our
documentary more professional
Codes and conventions that
Panorama used an on screen presenter however we only used a voice
over in our documentary so we challenged this convention, we did this
as we though it was more effective. Another way in which the voice
over challenges panorama’s convention is the fact that our voice over
is less professional but more related to the topic, this would allow the
audience to relate to what's being said.
Another way in which we challenge certain conventions that
panorama utilizes is through the use of non diegetic music, within in
panorama the music is played In certain scenes whereas in our
documentary the music is on a loop so its playing all the time. We did
this as it attracts more attention to what is being shown on set so the
audience stays focused on our documentary.
Some of the background and stock footage we used was different to
panorama, we challenged this as when recording the news footage
we used actual cases, for example Joshua Ribera who was rapper
that was stabbed, this increased the importance of the issue. However
the way in which we used the news reports challenges panorama’s as
we create a montage in the intro to ‘break the news’.
• Even though in our documentary we use a lot of low key
lighting and dark colours to illustrate the seriousness of knife
crime, we also challenge this code and convention as we
used brighter colours and high key lighting in certain shots,
e.g. vox pops of students, background footage, some of the
interviews. This was to illustrate that its not all bad but only we,
the people can reduce knife crime and crime in general.
• Panorama doesn’t use any vox pops however we do so you
can say this is another convention that we challenged even
though vox pops are popular amongst other documentaries.
Panorama focuses on just the prisoners yet with give the public
a voice on knife crime which I thought was effective.
• To understand the codes and conventions of
double page spreads, we had to research and
analyse certain magazine articles. This would help
and give us information on how we could make our
double page spread as professional as
possible, whether we challenged or emulated
specific codes and conventions
Codes and conventions
that we emulated
Our target audience was mainly teenagers and young adults so when
researching for magazine articles we came across ‘A diary of courage’ which
is a teenage TV listing article, since the audience was similar, we followed
As all double page spread articles must include, a main title. This was clear
and large, we emulated this convention as attracts the audience and
promotes the significance of our article.
• One main convention of a magazine article is
having a main image. Both our magazine article
and a diary of courage use a main image which is
large and takes a lot of space. We emulated this
code and convention as the image is really
effective and makes the magazine more attractive.
Columns and paragraphs
• The information in the article is vital so the way its set
up is just as important. A diary of courage uses
columns and paragraphs to lay out their article
towards the bottom of the double page spread.
We emulated this convention as it made the text
more clear and professional
• Towards the bottom of the double page spread, A
diary of courage uses captions to promote the
magazine article. We emulated this convention as it
would make our article look just as professional.
• We also used captions to inform the reader of when
you can listen to the radio trailer, this includes the
date and time.
Note: This was just under an image
• Sometimes, one image is not enough. You may
need subsidiary images to support your article
which is what a diary of courage illustrates. We
emulated this code and convention by using two
other images to help promote our media text..
Throughout our magazine article we used quotes however a diary of
courage didn’t so we challenged this convention as we thought
some of the quotes were really effective in catching the attention of
The use of drop caps is code
and convention that both articles including ours use. However a diary
of courage uses this technique multiple times. Whereas our article
uses it just once at the beginning so in a way where challenging their
convention as our article is more serious and straight to the point.
Within our magazine article we use subsidiary images from our
documentary which is different to a diary of courage’s article. We
challenged this convention as it would show the reader a glimpse of
what to expect which may convince them to watch the
• For our radio trailer, it was just simply listening to
other radio trailers and understanding what the
codes and conventions were so our media text
could be as successful.
Codes and conventions
• While researching radio trailers learnt that they all
had voice overs. We emulated this convention as
Voice overs create a different perspective and can
make things more easy to understand.
• Another important convention that many radio
trailers include are the date, time and channel of
what is being promoted. We emulated this
convention is would inform the audience when and
how they will be able to view the documentary
which of course is vital.
• Background music is an essential part of a radio
trailer which makes it a convention therefore we
emulated this technique. It kept the audience
interested and active.
• Another convention that we learnt while listening to
radio trailers is that they have sound clips from what
there promoting. We emulated this convention by
including sound clips of vox pops to give the
audience an insight of what's included.
• We didn’t really challenge many typical code and
conventions of radio trailers.
However When researching other radio trailers, we learnt that the
voice over used in their radio trailers was the same voice over from
their media text (documentary). We challenged this convention as
we used a different voice over, in fact it was a female’s voice. This
kept the gender differences balanced so our documentary focuses
on both genres.
Another way in which our radio trailer is different and challenges
typical conventions is through the sound clips used from our
documentary. We only used vox pops from our media text but other
radio trailers used more, e.g. sound from interviews and background
footage. So we actually challenged this as we tried to keep ours