Q4. How did you use Media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? Sam McMahon
Media technologies have played a large role in all stages of our project, from initial research to producing this evaluation. The first piece of technology I used was the Internet site Blogger , which allows me to display information in a creative and interesting way by posting pictures, photographs, PowerPoints, videos and other presentation files, rather than just block paragraphs. I feel that this makes the process more efficient as certain points can be shown visually rather than described. Pictures Photographs Videos PowerPoints
To carry out my research, I used the Internet as one source of information. When researching other music videos I used Youtube to view and embed music videos onto our Blog. This proved very useful, as we were able to display the videos and evaluation of them next to one another. However, on some of the music videos we embedded, including our own, they did not fit within the display space on our Blog. I think this was due to the blog layout we chose from Pyzam.com. Should be central Google and Wikipedia were also useful websites for sourcing information and images of music videos and artists. Research Stage
Billboard.com was another site which helped during research, as I used it to gather information about the most popular tracks of the last decade. From this, I used the computer software programme Microsoft Word to create a table and barchart; this was an easy and visual way of displaying the information I had gathered.
During my research I also produced a PowerPoint (using Microsoft PowerPoint) and embedded it into our Blog, using the hosting website SlideShare. Using a PowerPoint file makes the text more enjoyable to read, as it is separated into different slides, and images can easily be added, making it visual and easy to digest. A disadvantage of this process, was when being converted on SlideShare, some of the fonts and images were manipulated to a simpler format. This was not a huge problem, however I would have preferred it if the format had stayed the same. e.g
Another piece of technology used during research was a stills camera, mine being a Lumix DMC-FX60. This was used for taking photographs of our example Digipaks, which we then analysed. This was a simple method of showing which Digipaks we were analysing, as we uploaded them onto our Blog.
1. During the planning stage of our project, we experimented with FinalCut Express and Green Screening, as this was something we were looking to use in our final product. 2. To create our Green Screen shots we used key, fill and back lights to light our subject, which was Taylor, and our background separately (this prevented shadows). We used a Canon MD235 Video Camera to film our Green Screen shots. We had no problems using and operating these media technologies. 3. We then ‘Captured’ this footage onto the software programme FinalCut Express on an Apple Mac Computer, where we used the Chromakeyer colour picker tool to remove any Green screen background. After this we imported a BBC news backdrop image from Google images. We found this process quite time consuming as it was difficult to remove all the Green Screen background without distorting Taylor, partly because we used a shiny table which reflected green onto her. 4. We then converted this file using QuickTime Conversion, and uploaded it onto our Blog. Planning Stage Green Screen
To film our main task, which was our music video to the Marina and the Diamonds song Oh No!, we again used a Canon MD235 video camera. This was portable and easy to assemble/ disband when filming on location. However the quality of the image was affected when we had poor lighting, as interference from outdoor lighting caused the picture to go fuzzy. When filming the majority of indoor shots, we used desk lamps to try and light Taylor to prevent large shadowy areas. Although not professional lights, they helped the quality of the shots dramatically as it made them much brighter and clearer. Construction Stage
We also used the Green Screen technology in our main task and we were easily able to operate the lighting and camera. We then ‘Captured’ our final footage onto FinalCut Express on an Apple Mac. Before we began to edit, we sent the song we were using to the Apple Mac using Bluetooth technology, from my mobile phone. This was then uploaded to FinalCut Express. Using the razor tool we then began to edit our footage by cutting it down and matching the lyrics with Taylors lip-syncing. Later on we produced 2 split screens by placing our edited clips onto separate timelines, and changing the size of each one so they fixed together like a puzzle. We also sped up/ slowed down and reversed some of our clips during the editing process.
To fill in our Green Screen images we copied the BBC news and weather backgrounds from Google, and imported them into our Final Cut Express browser. When we finished our music video we used QuickTime Conversion to convert it into a QuickTime movie file and uploaded this to the colleges Youtube page. We found this process simple to do, as within half an hour our music video was on the video sharing site Youtube.com. We used the Chromakeyer tool on Final Cut Express to place Taylor onto a weather background.
To complete our ancillary task we firstly took photographs of Taylor on my Lumix DMC-FX60, against a white background in the photo shoot studio. Just like the Green Screen, we lit the set using Key, Fill and Back lights, which we had no problem using. These lights lit our photographs perfectly, as they looked almost professional. After taking over 200 photographs we uploaded the best to an Apple Mac computer, and began to edit them on Photoshop. As some of us in the group had already had experience using this programme, we were able to show the others and easily manipulate and change our photographs. To make our photographs look modern and contemporary, we increased the brightness and contrast. To create the middle inside panel of our digipak, where there are 3 stages of Taylor jumping, we used the fading eraser, blur and colour picker tool to merge three images together. This was very time consuming, however, it created a great effect in the end. Edited on Photoshop through brightening and increasing the contrast.
We used Adobe Illustrator to draw our outline ruby which is featured on the front cover of our album, we used the simple pen tool to created the outline. We also used the Internet whilst creating our ancillary task products, as we downloaded Brushtip Travis from the website Dafont.com for all the text on our poster and Digipak. This proved to be a great advantage to us, as we did not feel that any of the fonts originally on the computer suited our album and poster.
Evaluation Stage Throughout my evaluation I have used different technologies to create and visually display each question. For question one we created a Directors Commentary, where as a group we answered the question by speaking to a camera whilst visuals illustrated what we were saying. We used many technologies for this question as for the visual aspect, we created 3 PowerPoints and 2 edited music videos. A Noisettes video and ours. After creating these and writing our scripts we filmed ourselves and the computer (with the visuals on), with a Canon MD235. We then uploaded our footage to FinalCut Express and edited down our Directors Commentary to the final product. This was then exported using QuickTime Conversion, and uploaded to the colleges Youtube Chanel.
For question 2 and 4 of my evaluation I have created a PowerPoint, which has been uploaded to SlideShare. In these PowerPoints I included screen shots (print screens) of my music video, pictures of my final poster and digipak, and photographs taken during filming. PowerPoints are more visually interesting than block text, as information can be split up onto different slides and images can be easily added. This makes the information easier to digest and more enjoyable to read. I created a Prezi presentation for question 3, as they are enjoyable to read and visually interesting. Once you learnt the basic steps to producing a Prezi presentation it was quite easy to produce, as well as enjoyable. However the layout and design of the presentation was quite time consuming. Prezi is a zooming presentation editor which allows you to rotate and change the size of text and objects. Then allows you to create a path to form a moving and interesting presentation.
Overall media technologies have helped me incredibly, from researching conventions of general music videos to producing this evaluation. I have been able to display my research, final products and evaluation in an interesting and creative way with the use of many different technologies such as a FinalCut Express and SlideShare.