Caught on Camera Evaluation CissieHeffernan Candidate No. 4094
Conventions In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Although it includes a mix of genres, our documentary is most typical of the Expository genre. Intro - Voice-Over Complying to the expository genre, we have a ‘voice of god’ voiceover (heard but not seen), which addresses the audience directly. Conventionally, the voice over is authoritative, presenting the audience with facts and figures to back up points . Archive footage We included some archive footage of recent news reports to emphasise how topical and controversial the issue of CCTV is. This is very typical of the genre. Images and archive material Expository documentaries use lots of photographs and materials to support the argument put forward in the voiceover. We found press cuttings from newspapers and scanned them in, and then edited them into our documentary. We then edited the voiceover so it matched up with the clips to support and illustrate the argument. Editing We used lots of short joining shots for continuity, These shots link together all our points and interviews and provide a visual to go with the voice over. We also have edited these shots into the interviews to illustrate their points. Stand-up interviews A typical convention of the genre which we have complied to is the use of interviews with the public. As expository documentaries tend to be about current affairs, they usually get the views of the general public to make it more personal for the audience. Anonymous Interview Another typical convention is the use of anonymous interviews. Due to the secretive nature of expository documentaries, many include anonymous interviews as the interviewee may not want to be identified because they are exposing something personal or secret.
Similar media products There are many similar documentaries which are made in the same style and which have inspired us. Dispatches Dispatches is a Channel 4 documentary series, which frequently broadcasts current affairs documentaries. I would classify our piece as a ‘current affairs documentary’, as CCTV is a very relevant and controversial topic at the moment. As Dispatches covers issues such as politics, health. Religion, British society and the environment, I feel that our documentary could be included in a series of Dispatches as it seems to conform to their conventions. ‘Dispatches: Train Journey from Hell’ Our documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPI5tR1G-m8 ‘Dispatches: BP: In Deep Water”’ http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3176547 We used lots of screenshots for example BBC news, Crime watch, and Guardian Online. This was to show how controversial and topical CCTV is. Screenshots of internet sites (YouTube) helping to show that the issue is topical. We used a similar anonymous shot to hide the identity of a pupil. An anonymous shot to hide the interviewees identity because he was a worker from BP who was exposing something about the company. ‘Dispatches: Britain’s Secret Fat Cats’ http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3173562 We also used an establishing shot of the school to introduce the interview. Establishing shots are used to show where the action will take place. On location interviews Location interviews are used to illustrate what the interviewee is talking about Short clips of busy crowds are used. We used busy street shots to break up the interviews, establish a setting and to add some variety to the angles. Shots of the public gives the impression that it is an issue which involves the public directly.
Ancillary Tasks How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Our target audience is quite varied. The style and topic of our documentary would appeal to adults as it is very factual and to the point. However, we talk a lot about the use of CCTV in schools, which would appeal to younger viewers as they could relate to it. Therefore, we have tried to make our advert appeal to a wide ranger of people – the young and the old. My magazine article Because CCTV is an issue which effects everyone, we tried to get this message across in our advert. We aim to appeal to a wide range of ages as we have included a child's voice and adult voices. We think the advert sounds quite mysterious and would make someone of any age intrigued about our documentary. My magazine article is aimed at older audiences, as it has lots of text and is very informative. It uses colours which are subtle and sophisticated so it would mostly attract a more mature audience. This article would be found in a magazine aimed at adults, as this isn’t the type of article which would appear in a celebrity gossip magazine or a magazine targeted at children. It talks about CCTV in schools so it might appeal to parents with children of school age. Group Radio Advert
Ancillary Tasks We started off with a list of places where CCTV is found, and got different people to say each one. This shows the diverse range of people who it effects. Meanings and Messages Because it’s a radio advert with no visual, we had to rely on the sound to create atmosphere and put across a messege , and we did this through the tense music and short sentences. “ In the bank On the train Down my road By my car At my school They’re always watching.. Friday, DocuTV, 9pm” We used fast paced editing to give the feeling of urgency, make the listener feel uneasy and keep it interesting. ‘They’re always watching’ sounds mysterious as we don’t make it clear exactly who is watching and they have to watch the documentary to find out. Although we don’t state exactly who or what is watching, we edited in the noise of a CCTV camera turning, which hints to CCTV. The ambiguity of the advert would hopefully make people want to watch the documentary and find out more. At the end of the advert we give the details of the documentary so listeners know when and where to watch.
Ancillary Tasks I have found a professional magazine article on the internet and compared it with mine to check that mine conforms to typical conventions. Photographs illustrating points in the article My Magazine - Information boxes to engage the read and present facts in a clear, easy to read way. Advertisements for a product/ documentary to try and sell the products. Eye catching titles and a short introduction in big bold writing. These draw readers attention to the article and gives them a quick look into what the article will be about. Important quotes are enlarged and coloured to emphasise and draw attention to them to keep the reader engaged.
Ancillary Tasks Camparing our radio advert to an existing product This is a Government safety compaign, broadcasted on the radio which uses similar techniques to our advert. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q01owJIMOFs A government road safety campaign on the radio. Although the topic is very different and it’s not essentially advertising anything, it uses some similar techniques to grab the listeners attention. They use a constant sound of a car indicator in the background, behind the voiceover, which is similar to the way we use the sound of the cameras turning. This gives the listeners a clue to what they’re talking about. The editing is very fast paced, and at the end a kind of rhythm is established creating an effect which would make listeners uneasy and put across a message. This is similar to how we edited the voices so they overlap each other and create a rhythm with the camera shutter noise and the music.
Audience Feedback What have you learned from your audience feedback? “I really liked the music and it was typical of a documentary” From our audience feedback we could see that we needed to make a few changes. Nearly all of our audience said that the volume of our voice over needed to be louder. Unfortunately we don’t have time to re-record this, but we have turned down the music to make it less obvious. We had mixed comments about the transitions, with some people really liking how smooth and effective the transitions were, and others saying they were a bit monotonous. We have left these as they are probably a matter of opinion. Lots of people said that the interview with Mr Scully went on too long, and when we observed the audience watching it everyone seemed to loose interest by the end of his interview. With this in mind, we have now made his interview shorter. “Some of the effects seemed a bit monotonous and the interview is a bit too long” “I liked how you used newspaper cuttings and news reports” “some of the interviews went on too long” “I liked how smoothly edited it was” “the voice over was quite quiet so the music drowned it out a bit” “I liked the content and the transitions that you used” “the voice over was a bit hard to hear”
Media Technologies How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Planning & Researching Slideshare enabled me to upload PowerPoint presentations to my blog I used this to find videos to research other existing documentaries I used Blogger.com to create my blog as I used this last year so I know it was effective and easy to use. Similarly to Youtube I used this to watch other documentaries for inspiration I used worditout.com to make a word cloud which illustrated my ideas I used Windows Movie Maker to practise editing and put little clips together for my blog. I used timerime.com to create a timeline about the history of documentaries. Construction We used a ‘Yeti’ microphone to record the voice over to produce a clear, professional sound We edited our footage in iMovie to create a professional effect We used GarageBand to make the music for our documentary We used an Apple MacBook to edit all our work. We used Kodak HD camera to film our documentary. We used a tripod to keep the shots steady.
Media Technologies Construction cont. I used screen grabber to print screen shots to put on my blog and to use in my evaluation. I used PhotoImpact whilst making my magazine article to edit photos I used a scanner to scan the press cuttings in We used a Nikon digital camera to take some of the still shots I used Microsoft Publisher to make my magazine article We used Fireworksto edit some of our images Evaluation I used the search engine Google to find out information and research similar products I used Microsoft PowerPoint to make my evaluation presentation I used word to draft my ideas
Use of Technologies How the use of technologies improved our piece We used Garage Band last year in our thriller, but only very basically. This time we explored more of it’s functions whilst using it to create our radio advert. We wanted to record lots of different voices, but we weren’t able to find voices that were suitable. We used garage band to manipulate our own voices (changed the tone/pitch and used effects), to give the illusion that the voices are of a variety of ages and different genders. We used a Kodak HD camera to film our documentary. This was a great contrast from our foundation thriller which was filmed on a standard Sony camera where the image was much less clear and sharp. I used PhotoImpact, which was another program that I used last year, but only to do very basic things. This year I used lots of new tools, for example the smudge tool to make things blend into the background, the hue & saturation tools and the clone tool which made my work look more professional. Last year I used Paint a lot to edit images, and those looked much less professional than ones edited on PhotoImpact. We used a Yeti microphone to record our voice over and radio advert. This took some time to get used to as we had never used a Yeti before. Once we had figured out the settings, we found it simple to use. It was a great improvement from the Macbook in-built cameras and provided a much clearer, professional sound.
How I have progressed I feel we have progressed a lot from our foundation portfolio: - Our use of technology has improved as we now know how to use the editing software etc, so we have been able to be more daring and interesting with our effects. - In last years coursework we used a very limited amount of camera angles, which let down the overall effectiveness of the piece. This year we tried to use a bigger variety of shots to make it more interesting. - Last year we included a section of our thriller which was just photos, and it ended up looking very monotonous and too much like a home slide show. This year we wanted to include pictures again, but we made sure we edited it in short sections, and added lots of effects to make it more interesting. - When we watched our AS Thriller back, we spotted lots of little mistakes that we didn’t pick up on in the filming process. This year we were very vigilant to look out for small errors whilst we were filming, for example continuity and the steadiness of the cameras. -This year we framed the shots better as we were more aware of the importance of framing. -This year challenged us more as we made a radio advert, which was something none of us had done before. It was interesting having to create an atmosphere and put across a message without any visual help.