Question Six: Alex Griffin What have you leant about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
YouTube Personally, I found YouTube very helpful when researching different existing media products as part of our research. We found that we referred back to YouTube for inspiration a lot as we found it very useful to find inspiring clips of footage either from existing films, or even fan movies, which had interesting ideas. Advantages: Using YouTube had good advantages because it was so accessible whenever we needed it. We usually came away from a browse on YouTube full of ideas, which helped us work out where our Film opening was going. Disadvantages: The disadvantages of YouTube are that the footage that is published is sometimes very limited. For example, we wanted to find a clip from a harry potter film, but this was not available. What I have learned: As I was already very familiar with YouTube through my own experiences, I didn’t really learn any new skills, however I did learn how to browse through video’s I wanted to see rather than others that came up by tactfully using different phrases when searching. For example, when I was trying to find the film opening for Harry Potter, my first instinct was to search ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow’s film opening’, but as I progressed, I learned that you have to use other phrases such as ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’.
Blogger Blogger was a new concept to me when I first joined Media Studies, although I soon got to know my way around and began to enjoy blogging. I used Blogger to present my Foundation portfolio and all my evidence for my media product. Advantages: Blogger was very simple and easy to use, and I had no problems with it. The layout and the use of tagging made it very easy to sort the posts. Disadvantages: the main disadvantage with using Blogger is that your very restricted with what you can show on your blog and how. For example, to place a large photograph meant that you had to have it small and then click to enlarge. What I have learned: the main things I have learnt is that you can upload information in various different formats rather than just plain text all the time. This helped me to expand my creativity as well because I was able to create something different every time.
IMovie We decided at a group that we were going to use Macs to edit our film opening seeing as myself and Alice had our own and are used to the controls of them. This also meant that because we were going to edit the footage on our Macs, we could edit anywhere seeing as they were macbooks! Our first problem we encountered was that each take of a shot we filmed, they all had slightly different colouring which was annoying. To solve this, we altered the contrast on each shot to match them together. When it came to physical editing such as transitioning, we used a lot of the effects in Imovie already. This was not only much quicker, but they looked more effective.We found some brilliant sound effects built into Imovie as well which proved useful too! Because I have a mac and I have past experience on Imovie, it was a lot easier to start, however I do feel that over the time of creating this film opening, my capability has grown a lot. We found ourselves learning off of each other from what we know, and collectively, we managed to create our final film opening!
Wikipedia is a charity based website which offers good quality information about topics or people. We found Wikipedia especially useful when researching Josef Fritzl, as we needed to know the basics of what happened and at what time so we could base our film opening in a good amount of detail. On the Josef Fritzl page, it has a timeline which has the dates of every event which happened. This was particually useful to know as we found it could get a bit confusing about what happened. It also gave us a lot of information about other things about him which we could possibly add to our film opening in some way which gave us more freedom. I have previously used Wikipedia in other research in my other lessons at school, but during this media task, I feel that I have learnt how to search for the exact piece of information easier because I know where to look.
Camera As we were told that we had to collect a number of pieces of evidence of our production and film making, we decided a good way of documenting our work was to photograph us working. This was a good idea to us, not only because it perfectly illustrates how we worked, but also because Me, Alice and Georgie all study Photography as well, so we were very clued up on using cameras. We primarily used the camera to grab a photo after some filming took place. I feel like I have learnt more about what it would really be like for a film director to be documenting their work, and how much time it uses up.
Video Camera The video camera we borrowed from school was called Sanyo Full HD Dual Camcorder. At first when we were playing around with the camera and getting used to it, Me, Georgie nor Alice was familiar with the controls of it. However, after experimenting for a few hours, we taught ourselves how to use it a bit more. As Alice was acting in nearly all the scenes, the filming was down to me and Georgie. We took it in turns to film scenes with the directions of the other person, and after a while, we became quite good at it! At one point, when we were trying to film the close up of Alices eyes, we were struggling with the focus, so I had a play with it, and found how to change it to manual focus. This meant that our scene could work. I feel like I have completely learnt how to use a video camera in the last few weeks as I had never used one like this before, even in our preliminary task, we used a completely different camera. Now I feel much more able to film and much more confident.
SD Card As I study Photography and particually digital photography, I was fully used to the concept of a SD card, however in Media and filming it was quite different. We decided to use our own SD card rather than use a school one as we may have to give it back and this may get lost and we didn’t want to take risks like that with our work. We were also glad we shot our film onto an SD card because it was a lot more convenient to download the clips to the computer rather than having to capture the footage from a camera which can take a long time. Overall, I have learnt how much easier using an SD card is, and I will definitely be using one again in the future.
Photoshop As we all were used to the controls and effects you can create on Photoshop, we found that this was taking a lot less time than planned which was good. When we came to creating our logo, we found a royalty free image from FreeImages.co.uk and used Photoshop to manipulate it into a more appropriate style for our production logo. After much experimenting, we found a perfect combination of editing and photo, and we loved it. I have learned from photoshop usage that Photoshop can be used a lot more than just photo editing, but also in film production.
CONCLUSION Overall, through out our creation of Amstetten and using all the different types of media that we did, I feel like my progression through technologies has really improved. I also feel like following tight limitations of conventions of an art house film has helped because I have learnt what it really is like rather than just making a film opening like anything we enjoy making. These technologies have significantly improved the standards of our film opening because of the depth of research we could do, and the amount of mock ups we were enabled to create before the real thing. Overall, I feel that my progression has really taken off, and for my A2 media, I feel like I will know a lot more for when we start.