Helen Skipworth A2 media coursework evaluation


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Helen Skipworth A2 media coursework evaluation

  1. 1. In the case of my main task, the research i did in order to establish what the codes and conventions of TV drama's were has very much guided me in the development and look of my final titles. The main conventions i found were that shots of episodes of the show were used as well as animation for the titles. From looking at my final cut, i have used footage intended to look like shots from different episodes. I had originally planned not to do this and have something that was completely stop frame but decided against it as it differed to much from typical title sequences. Close ups also tended to be used to establish different characters, however if the show had a clear main character most on-screen time went to the protagonist. I met this convention in order to better establish characters which was similar to the style of the opening the ‘Hannah Montanna’ (2006) with many having shots of them looking directly at the camera and doing something that tied in with their role in the 'Drama Club'. For example the shot of Sophie laughing (0.22) and the character of Andy taking photo's and smiling at the camera.(0.34) In addition, the name of the show tended to appear at the end as well as the 'created by' title which matches my opening.
  2. 2. There was always an up-beat theme tune and a mixture of sound effects such as canned laughter or in the case of 'Sabrina the Teenage witch' (see blog post 'Sabrina the teenage witch analysis' 25th June '09) sounds were used to connote the magic aspect of her character e.g.. spells/witchcraft. As the character of 'Andy' is the photographer in the club i added camera sounds to it which also helped establish the theme of the titles as more art based. (0.33-36) Similarly, i used applause and clapping for the performance based characters, particularly Sehb and Gemma as i wanted to show that they were part of a group that incorporated all kinds of different aspects including directing, photographing, acting and singing. (0.47)Many of the title sequences I analysed were a mixture of animation and live action. As i didn't really have any animation skills i decided to subvert the typical conventions and use stop frame titles as i though this would make the titles more interesting and attractive to younger viewers than the typical text over the footage. The idea of having cut out letters also added to the arty feel of the titles. The scrapbook Stop frame idea from my objects for each initial animatic, as character inspired by ‘Tracy Beaker’ titles. My original animatic (see blog post 'animatic' Oct. 12th)was for the sequence to include a scrapbook the club had created therefore stop frame would mean i could move different objects and pictures across the page. This would have been similar to the titles of 'Tracy Beaker' (see blog post 'Tracy beaker titles' 25th June) as it used pictures rather than actual footage of the characters. The objects moving in the background were also associated with the characters, i adapted this for my titles as each character has an object that links with their role i.e. microphone, clapperboard, camera.
  3. 3. In regards to my ancillary tasks, i wanted my magazine to be very colorful and attractive to younger audiences. In order to get a better idea of how to design an effective one i looked at some existing covers and analyzed them (see blog post 'Ancillary task Initially i had a relatively plain title research Jan 09) however i did not think this was effective enough in catching peoples eye and advertising the show. I didn't have a logo as many magazines based on television shows do so i decided to use the stop frame letters from my title sequence. This meant i had a text that was recognisable and could be used as part of a brand to advertise the show. It improved the overall look and met the convention of having a big, bold recognisable heading on the top of the magazine.
  4. 4. Many of the magazines i looked at had one main image dominating the cover, mainly the protagonist as seen on the cover on the 'Tracy Beaker' magazine. I met this convention and chose one character from Recognisable 'Drama Club' and used this on the cover as i font work, simple felt an image of all the characters would be and consistent as more suitable for the DVD cover. Normally the well a brand person on the cover would then have an interview about them advertised on the front name. so i chose to do this with the character of Amber. Other teasers included free posters, something that appeared a lot on the cover of children's magazines ,a chance to meet the cast . Similar to the cover on the right, i decided to advertise my DVD to further increase publicity. Most magazines have bar codes and prices so these were added for authenticity. As can be seen on the magazine to the right, the text although bolder in some places and varied in color is the same font throughout. This stops it from being too muddled and distracting so i opted to do the same for my cover. I noticed some magazines based on TV shows advertised the DVD’s of the show on the cover
  5. 5. For my DVD cover the main conventions I found were screen grabs on the back, along with an episode guide. I also wanted to include other things such as bonus features, which are seen regularly on the backs of DVD'S. Other features such as the universal logo and the review were to make the cover more realistic. I decided it would be useful to have the review by an organisation that would probably broadcast my television show. Again, I have used the same font for the title in order to create brand recognition, a convention followed by most DVD covers of series or films. Screen grabs Big, bold, Recognisable title Special features, blurb or episode guide. Protagonist(s) on front cover
  6. 6. I feel the combination of my main and ancillary tasks is very effective, as i tried to make the show a brand that spread across all three through intertextuality. One way i did this was using the same title throughout my main, and ancillary's to create something audiences could recognise. An example of this is the title of my magazine, as i used the same stop frame letters from my titles. I did the same on my DVD cover in so it was clear they all linked. If you saw the title printed in a magazine it would be instantly recognisable similar to the way the font used for the Indiana Jones's movies is very distinctive and specific to those films. Furthermore, the main aspect that connects my ancillary's is the advertisement of my DVD on the cover of my magazine. This increases publicity and is an example of synergy across both print media and my main titles. The overall design of my magazine cover and DVD cover is similar, with paint splats and colour scheme consistent and i feel they reflect the overall look and feel i wanted to create, mainly an art and drama based show.
  7. 7. In addition, The review featured on the back of my DVD cover my 'CITV' would likely be who would market and broadcast my show as they have a target audience (12 and below) similar to mine. The show would be advertised in many children's magazines such as 'Toxic' or other magazines for children's shows such as 'Ben 10' or 'High School musical’. The context of consumption would be through these other magazines or advertisements on TV, after or before already established shows on 'CITV.' I feel it is a uni-sex show so it could be advertised in both girl and boy magazines, however it could be manipulated more easily to attract girls due to its dominance of female characters and aspects such as singing and performance and lack of action and adventure more associated with boys. 'Drama club could be compared with shows like 'Tracy Beaker‘ as it has a similar multi-media approach through a complimentary magazine and DVD releases of the show. Overall, I feel the degree of synergy I created between my magazine and DVD cover was fairly good. Obviously, had there been actual articles in the magazine there could have been further advertisement of the DVD inside. The main aspect i feel is the strongest example of synergy across all three texts is the ‘brand name’ of the show. It is recognisable and is featured in both my main task and my magazine and DVD cover, therefore brand recognition similar to shows of its type was created.
  8. 8. Emily aged 11 – 'I could tell from the 'starring' at the beginning and the The target audience for 'Drama Club' was 10-12 credits that it was year olds, possibly slightly younger. This meant the opening to a the Year 7's would be the perfect age group to give me feedback on my titles and whether show.' they are effective. I used my brother who his currently in year 7 and sent out emails to get a group of five other students together. I tried to spread them evenly and have a mixture of boys Joe aged 11 - ' I and girls (3 were boys, 2 were girls) and asked them a series of questions after viewing my title think it's about sequence. I have picked out the main points, group of kids who and some interesting comments they made. create a drama group and all have their own Jack aged 10 - ‘I parts.' thought the hand wiping it way and moving objects were really clever.’
  9. 9. Positives comments, t looks like a title sequence Liked the use of sound, music sounded like it was from a real TV show. Liked the stop frame animation Mixture of stop frame and footage made it interesting, found it engaging. Accepted it was a title sequence, worked this out without being told. They could understand what the show was about could understand the role of most of the characters had within the show. Liked some of the shots used- particularly the shot of Sehb moon-walking with Gemma in the foreground.(0.7) Negative comments,  The main issues they had with it were that at times it was unclear what the characters of Sehb and Sophie were, however they did get the basic idea that one was a dancer/performer and one was a 'Joker'. The end stop frame where the title 'Drama Club' appears could have been more interesting, they suggested having a clip of the group all together. The most interesting thing they picked out was that although it did meet their age range, which contrasted my idea that it was to young, they felt the actors should have been younger and more their age then they would have indentified with them more.
  10. 10. From looking at my feedback, i feel my work did fit the brief in that it was an effective title sequence. I would also consider They understood it and seemed interested which changing the way I did was my main goal, and were willing to accept that the 'created by Helen it was the opening to a show which shows i got the Skipworth' title (0.50), I like style right. I would say it does meet my opinion of the paint splats but rather my work in some areas, i think the stop frame works than have them appear well and the use of the hand is effective however i one at a time, perhaps a wouldn't agree that my use of sound was splat that got gradually particularly good. I felt i could have played around bigger or all the splats on with this more, and found some better sound one page would have effects. For instance, have had Gemma actually been more effective. singing during the opening shot (0.5) I do like the camera sounds during Andy's credit and would keep this if I was to do it again. I completely agree I think I would keep the ‘drama club’ title with the idea of using actors that were the same age as my target audience and would say this is stop frame but maybe have some of the one of its biggest flaws as its simply not realistic to objects featured during the sequence re- have 17/18 years olds in a show for 10 year olds. If i appear around 'Drama Club.' I had tried this could further improve on it, I would add more previously when doing my initial stop frame interesting transitions. I would say the best transition is the dissolve from Andy's credit to him taking but it looked to cluttered. If I had more time i photos in the library (0.31) I could perhaps have would have done as my target audience experimented more with this and used it in other suggested and had an additional shot of the places during the sequence. For example used a club together at the end, perhaps jumping zoom into one of the objects such as the clapper board and faded into the footage of Amber and freezing on the image of them in the air. directing. I would definitely use younger actors, as this would have made it far more convincing as a children's TV drama and perhaps tried to incorporate my original idea of having a scrap book with photo's.
  11. 11. I used new media technology a lot during the planning stages of my coursework, particularly 'Google' and 'Youtube' as these were the main tools i used for the research. In order to get a better understanding of children's TV i found some videos of various openings to children's programs (see research based blog posts during June/July) and analysed them. From this i was able to construct an idea of what the codes and conventions were and the typical style of the genre i was working on. I also researched how to do certain tasks in Photoshop through 'Youtube' as my skills were limited and the video tutorials helped me learn some basic skills. Free play music was a site I used for the music for my titles, I knew I needed something upbeat and this was a good site to listen and download copy write free music. I use facebook initially to get people to answer my questionnaire, however the opinions expressed were not from my target audience so a lot of the information I gathered from this was not relevant. During the evaluative stages this would have been a good technology to use in order to get feedback, but due to the younger target audience facebook was not such a suitable technology for me to use. To combat this problem I had to send out emails, and get feedback from my younger target audience (year 6/7) to actually view my product and tell me their thoughts.
  12. 12. Another technology i used for both AS and A2 was Blogger. I used this to keep an up to date record of the whole process including initial planning and research, post-production and the finished product. I felt it helped me mange my time better and i was able to use it much more effectively this year, as many of my posts were more detailed and certain aspects such as my storyboard which were absent from my blog last year were added. It was very useful in the planning stages, as it meant i could upload videos and images of existing products and analyse them before creating my own work. Below is an example of a post i did which focused on DVD cover research. Having a blog to refer back to during the process was very useful, particularly at he half-way mark, where I uploaded two different rough cuts. As I progressed to my final cut I was able to refer back to both these and my animatic, storyboard etc.
  13. 13. The program i used to create my main task was Premier Pro. I had some skills that i picked up from AS but as i was in complete control of everything this year, i had to improve my skills dramatically if i wanted to produce some good quality work. The reason i chose the children's TV drama brief was because i didn't want something that included the use of flash, as my skills were non-existent. Premier pro was a program i was familiar with and throughout the process i feel my ability to use it has greatly improved. Importing the images for my stop frame and getting the timing right was a big task, as at times it was too quick and you couldn't didn't get a chance to take in what was happening on screen. To combat this problem i had to copy a lot of the images in order to make them last longer, and change the shot duration. The area i feel most comfortable with is shot duration and cutting shots appropriately, editing the footage was something i got a lot better at as time went on as i could see more clearly where things needed to be changed. Towards the end i decided that i needed to add some better transitions between stop frame and footage, one way i used the program was to add a zoom and a dissolve effect (0.31) Looking back i would have including more of this so I had more variety of transitions. I used Photoshop, a program i was unfamiliar with in order to design my Magazine cover and DVD cover. I asked other students who knew it better to show me how to do certain things whilst constructing my magazine cover, and once i knew how to edit text and cut out pictures i was able to play around with it more and make it look more professional. I managed to work out how to put an image of my DVD cove onto my magazine and crop and move the image to where i wanted it. I also added certain effects such as shadowing and outer glow and gave the background a paint-like effect. Google was mainly a source for images whilst practicing with Photoshop, through doing the coursework this year, I learnt how to use search engines better and find appropriate pictures that i can work with in Photoshop.