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Q1 in what ways does your media products use develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products
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Q1 in what ways does your media products use develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products



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  • 1. By Hoorie Begum
  • 2. For our Media Studies coursework we were asked to create the opening 5 minutes to a documentary, we were to choose the genre of the documentary and what is going to be part of the documentary. We all had many ideas on what the genre of the documentary was going to be on and then we decided that we wanted to do something that was very common but people didn't have much knowledge on so we chose knife crime. We carried out a lot of research into documentaries, the first documentary that we watched and analysed was ‘Supersize Me’ and by watching that we gathered the codes and conventions of a documentary and what aspects we would want to include into our documentary, and the what the layout of our documentary is going to be. By looking at a knife crime documentary it helped us plan out our documentary, and how we should set it out. We knew that for our documentary to be eye-catching we had to have some shocking facts that would draw the audience in. This is a link to the documentary, Panorama Jailed For a Knife Crime. http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_7842000/7842996.stm
  • 3. Camera & Editing One of the, main ways that we followed codes and conventions was with the camera and editing, we made sure that when we were recording an interview, they were either on the left or the right, and there wasn't too much head space above them, as it doesn't look right if there is too much. We set up all of the interviews making sure that the background was suitable for who was going to be interviewed, and it looked as thought they were important. We made sure that our documentary consisted of medium close up shots of the interviewees to show their facial expression and the body language to show the audience how serious of a topic it is. Another key thing that was done was having the name of the interviewee and their profession on the bottom left/right hand side. This is an important convention as it means that the audience know who the person is and what they do.
  • 4. Camera Continued Also many documentaries use establishing shots to show where there are filming, so that the audience can get a sense of what its like for the people in the documentary and what they have to go through. So we decided that we were going to have an establishing shot of Solihull which is where we were filming, we chose to have an establishing shot of Solihull town centre where it is often very busy. Background footage was another key convention that we followed was by having background footage in our documentary, by doing this it allows the on screen presenter or the voiceover to talk about the documentary, without there being something more important happening in the background. The presenter wouldn't be able to talk if it is showing an interview etc. We decided that the background footage that we were going to use was going to be related to the scene that was coming up, so before we showed the interview with the police officer we showed background footage of the police station.
  • 5. A main convention that we followed was that we had many statistics in the documentary, I don't think that a documentary will work properly if it hasn't got any statistics, whatever documentary you watch they will always have statistics from a recent survey . I feel that statistics add a sense of realism to a documentary as you know that the statistics haven't been made up and it even gets you thinking. A way that we followed the conventions of sound was that we used low volume music throughout the documentary, and it was more serious tense music which matches with he genre of our documentary. By having tense music it shows that the documentary is based on a serious topic, and most documentaries choose the music based on the genre of the documentary.
  • 6. We didn't want to challenge too many of the codes and conventions of a documentary as it was the first time that we were creating such a product and we still wanted it to look professional and like an actual documentary. However one of the ways that we did challenge the codes and conventions of documentaries is by not having an on screen presenter, we chose to have a voiceover instead of an on screen, this was because we thought that we didn't need an on screen presenter as the voice over would be just as good as a presenter. The Panorama documentary that we watched had the slide effect hen it went from one scene to the next, however we thought that we wanted to use an effect that shows that it is slightly more serious and intense so when we went from one scene to the next we zoomed into the next scene.
  • 7. We thought that this was much better as it shows the intensity of the documentary. Another way that we challenged the conventions of a documentary was that we made our documentary slightly more informal than formal, as our target audience were young adults and we wanted it to mainly appeal to them so if it is too formal then they wont be interested and it wont appeal to them. A final way that we challenged conventions of a documentary was that we didn't have music playing in the background of the interviews and voxpops. Normally in documentaries they don't stop the music that is playing in the background, however we decided that we didn't want anything disturbing the interview, we wanted the main attention to be on the person being interviewed.
  • 8. Overall I feel that we followed many of the codes and conventions of documentaries and the conventions that we did challenge worked well with the documentary. We used the same effect when going from scene to scene which is what the Panorama documentary did as it looked consistent. The effects that we used were just straight cuts and we felt that this was appropriate taking into consideration the topic of the documentary. We felt that the conventions that we did challenge were appropriate as it all worked well together and weren't too different to typical documentaries. The changes that I would personally have made was if we had voxpops of people outside of college however it was fairly difficult and time consuming taking all of the equipment from college to Solihull town centre.
  • 9. For us to create a successful double page spread we had to look at other magazine spreads to see what kind of things we should include and what our magazine should look like. We analysed two magazine articles, and took ideas from that on how we should make our double page spread. By researching these it helped us gain knowledge on how we could make a magazine that is better than what we created last year and we chose what codes and conventions we were going to follow and which we were going to challenge.
  • 10. We saw that in many magazine articles the main image takes about ¾ of the page and should be very eye-catching and appealing to the audience . The first thing that is looked at when you open a magazine is the main image, if the main image isn't appealing then the audience wont even want to look at the rest of the magazine. So we made sure that the main image was eye-catching and took the majority of the page. We also made sure that the title was very large as that is also one of the main things that is looked at in a magazine, if the title is small then the audience wont know what the title is, so by having it very large and in bold writing it is very eye-catching, and you notice it straight away.
  • 11. Another convention that we used was that we placed our article in paragraphs, by doing that it structures it very well and you can tell that it flows and you can see that it flows. We also added the date, time and the channel that the documentary was going to be aired, and this is another convention as the audience will need to know when the programme is going to come on television otherwise they wont be able to watch it. Another convention that we used was that we had subsidiary images on the double page spread, most spreads, have the main image and then they have either 1 or 2 smaller images. This is something that we decided to do, and we added an image of the police officer that we interviewed and we got that from the documentary, and we decided to add an image of the Solihull Sixth Form logo.
  • 12. Normally the subsidiary images that are used on a double page spread aren't from he actual documentary, however we decided to use images from the documentary so that the audience can see what the documentary has install and they get to gain a bit more knowledge of the documentary without even watching it.
  • 13. Overall I feel that we followed the majority of the codes and conventions of a double page spread. We made sure that we had the main image taking up most of the page, we made the masthead big bold and eye-catching so that its the first thing that catches the audiences attention, and I think that all of that works. I think that the conventions that we did challenge still worked well with the rest of the magazine spread, and didn't look too different that it doesn't look professional.
  • 14. Before we created our radio trailer we had a listen to previous radio trailers to see what the conventions were and what aspects we could include into our radio trailer. We found that the majority of radio trailers don't last too long, they have background music, and say the date, time and channel that it will be broadcast on. By gaining this information we planned out our radio trailer, to try and match these conventions.
  • 15. We decided that as this is the first time that we are creating a radio trailer we wanted to mainly stick to the conventions, which is why we decided to make our radio trailer 40 seconds long. This is a typical convention of a radio trailer as they don't tend to be longer than 5o seconds long, and they aren't shorter than 3o seconds otherwise they couldn't be very memorable. We also added a background music which was the same background music in the documentary so that it is continuous, and this is another convention as you don't just want to listen to speech, if it has music then you are more likely to remember something. Another main aspect that our radio trailer followed was that it had parts of the documentary in the radio trailer, by having aspects of the documentary into he trailer, the audience are bale to hear some if the documentary and that will make them want to watch the documentary. By having the date, time and channel of the programme it informs them of when they can watch it, which is another convention that we have followed.
  • 16. I feel that we didn't challenge the conventions of the radio trailer too much, however I do think that we did one thing slightly different, we found that when it came to a serious topic then the voiceover is a male. However we went against that and decided to have a female as the voiceover and this was because I think that the double page spread was mainly aimed at males, so we wanted to balance it out and bring in the female audience. Most of the radio trailers that we had listened to had parts of interviews within it, however we decided to use voxpops from the target audience to show that we did ask the target audience and didn't just have professional interviews throughout.
  • 17. Overall I think that I followed the majority of the codes and conventions of the radio trailer, to make it sound like a professional radio trailer that would actually be aired on Capital FM. We made sure that the sound levels were right and weren't too different, we made the trailer 40 seconds long which followed another convention, and we also gave the date, time and channel that it will be broadcast on.