IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLANGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONA OF REAL MEDIA PRODUCTS? My media product that I have created is a documentary and the genre is disability . I chose to do disability as I am highly interested in learning new things about how people are different. Another reason as to why I chose to focus on this genre was because I am often in contact with Joanne and Claire and have a strong bond with them both and an insight as to what Joe and Claire were like. Whilst I was doing my research and planning I found a definition of what a documentary was ‘A film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event ‘I then thought how does my documentary fit this definition and thought; ‘My documentary is going to fit this definition because it is facts about real life people and their own personal life's. My documentary is focusing on showing different people’s points of views on the representations of people with a disability yet not all will have the same views and opinions. Even after creating my documentary I still believe that I have stuck to this definition and make my documentary as similar to it as I could. Before creating my documentary I researched some conventions of documentaries and found out what few were, these included: Voiceovers Subtitles Handheld camera work Still images and original pictures Music both diegetic and non diegetic Facts Statistics
In my documentary I have used voiceovers throughout and they are almost constant when there is diegetic sounds, yet I have also included non diegetic sounds. The entire documentary was filmed from a hand held camera which was a convention that stood out hugely and seemed to be very important. I know this from when I researched the conventions of documentaries, and related it to my research and planning, I also made sure that a tripod was used in certain occasions. I have also made sure that I have used still images and original pictures, this is due to when I researched other documentaries and I noticed that these kind of images were highly conventional and needed to be in a documentary to allow the audience to understand what they are being shown and also more of an insight to what a voice over may be talking about for example. Another conventional factor that I have included is facts and statistics, which I found online and from Joanna and Claire. Not only were they facts and statistics about people who have downs syndrome from the internet but also real life facts from Joe and Claire themselves. At the start of documentary it is also a convention that they introduce the characters that are involved, this was important that I included this as it makes the audience feel as if they know the character and allow the documentary to be easier to follow and understand. The way in which I introduced Joe and Claire was by using another conventional shot which was a medium shot. These are often used throughout documentaries and also other many media texts. Another code and convention that I used was at the start of my documentary I used a subtitle for the opening, this is because I though that it could possibly give the audience and insight as to what the documentary was about.
To make sure that I had all the information included in my documentary that my target audience wanted to know about I created a questionnaire before hand my results showed that: -From my questionnaire I can see that I clearly asked 6 men and 6 women their opinions this was to get a fair view from both sexes. When asking what channel most people would turn to if they wanted to watch a documentary my results were: 6 out of 12 – channel 4 4 out of 12 – Bbc 1 2 out of 12 – channel 5 From this I can see that channel 4 is clearly the most popular channel that people between the ages of 20-40 would watch for a documentary. I also asked if they could relate to some of the documentaries that they have seen: 9 out of 12 – yes 3 out of 12 – no To analyse my last question it was very hard as there were several different answers to I chose the three most popular which were: Handheld camera work Home made videos Facts
These results also confirmed my thoughts on what institution I should air my documentary on as I could see that people would watch channel 4 if they were interested in watching a documentary. From these results there are some interesting findings, some that were more important than others. Whilst giving the person the questionnaire to complete I also had a conversation with them about documentaries, but not asking set questions. From this I discovered that people like to watch documentaries that they cannot actually personally relate to but can find interest and learn from. One person also mentioned one that they had watched in the past about a disabled woman and her life. He said that even though he couldn’t relate to it, it was interesting to be put out of his comfort zone and watch something different and unexpecting. Therefore from these questionnaire results I feel that I have tried to include the main things that my target audience wanted to learn about, these included: Their hobbies Their interests How they feel about their support workers I feel that these points have been clearly answered throughout my documentary. This is shown when I interview Joe and Claire and they talk to us about their hobbies and what they have done that day at college. Their interests were also mentioned in this interview when Joe said that she liked going swimming and shopping. Joe and Claire are also asked about how their support workers help them, but they are not called support workers in the documentary but named by Hayley and Joanne. From including all of these things I fill that I may of fulfilled the target audiences knowledge and understanding.
I think that both Todorov’s theory and uses and gratifications are used in my documentary. This is because you can clearly see who are supposed to be looked upon as the ‘hero’ and ‘the villain’. Someone is disrupting the peace and causes a state of imbalance. Within documentaries editing can be used to change the ways in which people read a text, an example of this is the ways in which a clip is edited and put back together. This could change the representations of someone or something. An example of this is the ways in which I have cut certain words out from some of the interviews. These are all positive representations as this was my aim at the start to show positives. I think that my text has focused on the effect that it has on the audience. This could be a good example of the hypodermic syringe, meaning that what the audience does with the text rather than what the text does to the audience. Binary oppositions are also applied in my documentary as Levi Strauss says how the narratives unconsciously reflect the dominant ideologies of a society, in my example people with disabilities, through oppositions in the text. I believe that my text does this by showing different points of views and by asking different people in society, which was a random sample and controlled. Therefore i feel that i have got a variety of views and therefore allows the audience to unconsciously reflect dominant ideologies. I also believe that realism is a huge aspect in my documentary and it is very important to me that people see my text is not mediated leading it to be unrealistic. I think that this is so important when making my documentary as it is focusing on two peoples lives who have actually got a disability and are real, everything that is being shown and said is real and for people to think that it was unrealistic would mean that my documentary would be a failure. This shows that realism is an important area concerned with representation. Yet all texts are mediated and therefore not realistic.
I have compared a few shots from ‘half ton mum’ to my documentary: Establishing shot Over the shoulder shot Two shot An establishing shot is usually the first shot of a new scene, it is provided to show the audience the place as to where the action is taken place. An over the shoulder shot gives us a character's point of view Two-shots can be good for establishing relationships between people or even subjects I have also kept the channel four logo in the corner of my documentary as I noticed that it was a code that was usually kept constantly in the left hand corner of the majority of documentaries.
Other ways in which I feel that I could of improved my media product would have been by researching even more into my institution which was channel 4. So why didn’t you? The main reasons as to why I chose to air my product on this channel were: -They are most popular for their documentaries -In recent years they have shown documentaries similar to mine -It is a national TV channel -It appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society -It makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value Usually tackle issues that are current in the media provides programming for schools It has follow up channels such as channel4+1 Gets information from BARB which are very popular and recognizable I thought that these were very important as I wanted it to resemble other texts produced by channel 4 and be recognisable to the audience to be of that institution. One of my aims was also to create a ‘cutting edge documentary’ which I believe I succeed in doing, this is because I think that the topic that I chose to focus on is not common and therefore it is different to what the majority of people may of watched in the past.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR FEEDBACK? From my feedback I have learnt that you need to re-do things again and again when filming something and you need to make sure you get plenty of footage. Both of these things are important as you need them both to be able to create a media product that has the same conventions and codes as a documentary. These are some points that I got back from my feedback: -Tripod in the background of one shot -You can’t use the phrase ‘downs syndromes’, this is because it may cause offence to some people due to different opinions and universalistic values, it is also a very strong term to be used without an explanation. -Lots of sound issues on the interviews - Dull backdrops to all the ‘expert’ interview and poorly framed/ lit and ‘wobbly’ rather than using a tripod well -Ends really suddenly -What are the point/ the key narrative to this documentary? Giving an insight into the condition/ their everyday lives/personalities etc would be interesting, trying to convince us how ‘normal’ they are is bordering on offensive -Your audience want to learn about people with this condition, not to be patronised – a channel 4 audience would be liberally- minded and highly educated -All documentaries have a narrative -Needs some major re-shoots to develop ideas more fully and get technical skill marks I feel that I have managed to change the majority of these feedback points and improve things, I made sure I re-done the shots that needed to be, changed some of the phrases used and tried and made the narrative clearer and stronger throughout.
One of the main issues that I was faced with was making sure that I wasn’t coming across as offensive, whilst talking about Joe and Claire. This is because I referred to them as Down syndromes yet was told I needed to refer to Joe and Claire as sufferers of down syndrome instead. From this I learnt that you need to be very sensitive when dealing with these issues and make sure that you are not being offensive to some people. Yet during my feedback I was given both positive and negative points, one of the main positives that I was given was that people felt that they really knew Joe and Claire whilst watching it and not only learnt a lot about them but also the overall view on them. My feedback from my target audience is that they found it interesting as they could tell that when I spoke to Joe and Claire it wasn’t scripted meaning that it had huge aspects of realism which I felt was very important a I wanted to give people a real insight and not false.
More feedback that I was given was that some of my interviews were far too long, yet a convention of documentaries is to have interviews I realised that mine were too long and would of bored the audience after a short period of time, therefore i made sure that i cut them all down to a reasonable size and just included parts that i thought would appeal to the audience and interest them. At the start I was also informed that it didn’t follow the conventions of a documentary as there were no inter-titles, and my interviewees were not introduced using on-screen titles. Therefore I felt that this was an important factor that needed to be corrected immediately as it was very important for my audience to recognize my documentary as actually being one. Without receiving my audience feedback, I probably wouldn’t have changed all of theses aspects that needed to be changed or re-done and improved, therefore the audience feedback has helped me to improve the strong points in my production and to make things even better by improving them each time and creating new things that weren’t there before. From all of this feedback I have also realised that the audience watching can notice minor issues that yourself cannot notice on your own production, I believe that this is due to myself watching it so many times whilst creating my documentary that the slight details just seemed unseen, an example of this was that in one of my shots whilst talking to Claire you could see the tripod in the background , I didn’t notice this myself yet someone watching did, therefore it had to be changed immediately.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COMBINATION OF YOUR MAIN PRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TASKS? On both of my ancillaries I made sure that I didn’t give too much inside information away about my documentary. This was because I didn’t want to give everything away, as I thought it would therefore make the audience read on. The images that I have used also Indicates topic to the audience. I also thought that If the reader has an interest in disability, then they will read on after seeing these pictures. The ancillary text needed to influence my target audience in order for them to want to watch my main product. As I chose radio times for my double page spread to be produced in, I thought that this may of meant that I could appeal to my target audience of my main product but still attract a wider audience outside of the target bracket as I believe that the photos and text that have been used on both ancillaries will widen interest and want people to learn and explore more about the genre.
I made sure that I used the same font of the title on both of my ancillary task, I though that this was important as many people would recognize this as being a channel 4 product. I also thought that it fitted the connotations of channel four from looking at my planning and research as it has the same simple style and the same colours, from using these on my ancillaries I decided that it fitted the audience that I was targeting at and also held an ideology. Direct mode of address is used here to attract the audience in my ancillary tasks, and i have also used these throughout my documentary for the same reasons. This shot also gives the representation of a happy family bond between two sisters. For this image to be represented in the same way in my production I have tried and made it clear that both girls have a strong connection and also a friendship.
The language used on my double page spread is simple yet informal in some parts, yet I have also took a feminine approach as they are my main target audience and I want to attract them to my double page spread and poster. Even though I feel that I have chosen the correct magazine such as The Radio Times to put my double page spread in I feel that I should of researched more into the magazine itself, and also more of its codes and ideologies. This is because I only looked at a small amount which were not subjected on the same topic as mine, therefore I now feel that they may of change the style of the double page spread depending on the topic. I also feel that I should of linked my ancillary tasks more with my production, this even includes the colours used on the ancillary tasks, on my double page spread I used orange yet I think that I now should of used black as there is nothing to link black with my documentary or with my poster, therefore I do not feel that it has any connotations with my other two productions or it does not link to channel 4 either.
As I have now realised, I established my double page spread in the Radio Times, which is produced by the BBC rather than channel 4 which is the institution that I chose. Due to this I have now realised that both of these different institutions have different audiences and do not share the same target audience. I think that I should of researched more into whether BBC magazine readers would watch a channel 4 production or stick to the same institution on TV as they do on magazine. I would of also researched more into if channel 4 had their own magazine as I could of then used the same institution for both rather than just one. If i would of researched this before I feel that I would of been able to produce a better link between my magazine spread and poster and also my actual production.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES? Whilst I was constructing my research and planning I had to use many media technologies. I researched many different institution and I found that the internet was the best source for this, this was because I could find statistics and information on the websites. The ones that I focused on the most were the radio times and The sun, this is because at the start I was unsure as to what institution I wanted to use. I found that both of these papers had websites: I found that by looking at these websites they helped me discover what target audience they aim at.
I think that Radio times appealed to my target audience as opposed to ‘The sun’ as I think that it targets a middle ages audience which is mainly women, I could see this as whilst reading though issues of The sun I felt that there were many more masculine storylines and images included rather than feminine. From researching two different institutions and different medias, I feel that this expanded my understanding and also expanded my thoughts on my main production. From researching these two papers and websites I feel that they also gave me a strong idea as to what the articles and posters are created and the way in which they are formatted.
Whilst creating my documentary I used ‘YouTube’ and iplayer constantly, this is because I felt that they showed my good examples of what a channel four documentary looked like. I also found documentaries online which had the same genre as mine I felt that this was useful as I was able to look at the speech they used and also the ways in which people were represented. Due to this I felt that this allowed me to conduct a very detailed analysis of the programmes watched from ‘YouTube’ and iplayer. I felt that these were my most useful sources as I was able to watch them at my own pace.
Whilst constructing and editing part was taking place I used Adobe cs4 to help me edit and change things that I was creating. The ways in which I done this way by cutting things and changing the brightness, this allowed my to change the atmosphere in my photo to the one that I wished to create. I felt confident using Adobe cs4 as I had used it previously in year 12, this helped me greatly as I felt that I already knew how to use tools and therefore didn’t have to waste time learning as I could just get on with creating instead. As I was appealing to mid aged women , it was important to keep them entertained throughout my production and keep them wanting to watch till the end, the ways in which I feel i achieved this was by using different effects such as a range of transitions and special effects such as blending colours and titles. On this image I have been able to crop it and change the background
Yet throughout all of the technologies used I feel that my main source and most important item was my digital camera, with out this I would not of been able to catch images or footage which has allowed me to create two ancillary’s and a production. I felt that as it was digital it was more useful as I was able to carry it around with me easily and could also use it more secretive and it was smaller and more compatible. I also felt that the resources on the camera were very useful as it aloud me to vary my shots such as zoom. My camera also allowed it to be very easy for me to import my images on to my computer as it had a USB lead with it, without this it would of taken longer and been more hard to transfer images.