Q1) In what ways does your mediaproduct use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
• When given the task of creating our documentary, the first thing we did as a group was discuss possible ideas of what the documentary will be about. We had to do research on different documentary genres in order to get an idea of what we wanted to do. However, in the end we decide to base our documentary on ‘Underage Binge Drinking’, we thought this would be very useful as our chosen target audience would really benefit from it. In order to follow conventions of a real media product we watched a documentary titled ‘Supersize Me’. The documentary highlights the growing problem of obesity in America. This documentary clearly is warning and advising the public on the negative aspects of eating fast food. It also emphasizes the bad eating habits of the Americans. It shows that it’s not just a problem in America but it’s a worldwide issue. The documentary was targeted at parents, adults and fat people; this is an investigatory and an informative documentary.
• As our chosen topic was ‘Underage Binge Drinking’ we wanted to investigate the cause and affects of ‘Underage Binge Drinking’, and the impact it has on young people today. Thus, we then concluded that the structure of our documentary would have an enigmatic code. This is when a problem is discussed but can’t be solved. However, we also had to look at Bill Nicholls’ theory of Documentary Modes (2001), they include poetic, participatory, reflexive, performative, observational and expositional.• Seeing as we were investigating the cause and affects of ‘Underage Binge Drinking’ we were certain that occurred the modes of our documentary would be investigative, informative and expository. Furthermore, as a group we had to watch several documentaries that were similar to ours in order to get and incite and also some idea. The documentaries we watched included ‘Supersize Me’, ‘999 What’s Your Emergency’ and ‘Teen Trouble. There were several feature that caught our eyes in each documentary and we wanted to implement then into our own.• One feature we used from supersize me was a medium close up of alcohol bottle outside a well known pub. This was very significant because we had to make sure that everything was relevant to our documentary.
In order for our documentary tofollow the forms and conventionsof a real media product, we had tobe very accurate with our shots.This meant that we could obtainideas from other documentary. Oneffective camera shot we used wasfrom the documentary ‘SupersizeMe’. This medium shot wascarefully thought out we had toconsider the right setting and themise-en-scene in which we wouldtake the image. Similarly to the‘Supersize Me’ documentary ourmid shot was relevant to our topicarea.
Moreover, sound is another important aspects of adocumentary, examples of this would be; voiceovers, a presenter, Diegetic and Non-Diegetic sounds. Documentaries like ‘Supersize Me’exhibit all the feature above. The use of a presenter gives the audiencea more personal opinion of the topic, it could also engage the viewersand make the documentary more appealing. However, ‘Teen trouble’uses features such as diegetic and non diegetic sounds, a voiceover butnot a presenter. This is expected because if a program were to have apresenter it would be dependent on the genre of the documentary.Background music was another important aspect of ourdocumentary, the whole idea of background music is to set the sceneand make the documentary all the more appealing. Our backgroundmusic was exported from garage band. The music we chose for ourdocumentary was very effective seeing as it worked well with thegenre of our documentary.
• Additionally, in order to make our documentary proficient and for it to follow the codes and conventions of a real product we had to add special effects. We used feature such as montage of our target audience giving their opinions on Underage Binge Drinking. For this particular shot we wanted to challenge the forms and conventions of a student documentary, the reasons for this were that we wanted to make our product as proficient and accurate as possible. We changed the colour to black and white and each time a person speaks the original colours comes back on. This was proven to be effective because fro our audience feedback we found that most people enjoyed this montage.
• Magazine Article This was our final magazine double page spread, which was produced for ‘More’ magazine. During the process of producing the magazine, we looked at various magazines in order to gain an in sight of the different magazine types and there conventions. However, seeing as our documentary was targeted at young people we decided to keep the magazine simple but make it effective by using an useful image.
Imagefrom‘More’Magazine’ Captions are used commonly in magazine articles, they are used to give the reader more information on the image The Masthead is the headline of the article, this is a feature that is always used in magazine articles. Pull quotes are another feature that are commonly used in magazine article, there main purpose is to attract the reader. Columns are used in every article, this is a feature that as been preserved
Radio Trail• When producing the radio trail we had to listen to a variety of professional radio trail , in order to gain a clear idea of the main conventions of a radio trail. We listened to radio trails from BBC R4, Radio 1, Capital FM etc. As our radio trail was for a capital stations, it would be listened to by a wide audience so we had to make it as effective as possible as well as appeal to its target audience. When listening to the radio trail we as to fill in sheets as part of our research.• However, even though we had a serious topic we had to make the radio trail more up beat and appealing, we also used music that suited our target audience.• The time, date and channel of the documentary was key and we had to get it right. We added this to the end of our documentary, by saying ‘Tune in at 9pm this Friday on Channel 4’. Most of the radio trailers that we listened to were around 30 to 40 seconds long, our trail was 40 seconds, this was long enough for us to include everything tat needed to be included. We also used the most effective clips from our documentary, this included the opinions of both adults and young people on our topic area. Whilst making the radio trail we wanted the audience to guess the topic through the interviews and vox pops rather than telling tem, this is a feature that is used in radio trails.• Overall, we stuck to the main conventions of each product, and as a group we were satisfied with our work.
Question 2) How effective is thecombination of your main product and ancillary texts?
For our coursework we also had to create a magazine article as well as a radio trail. The primary purpose of this was to promote and advertise our documentary.Target AudienceOur target audience for the documentary was young people, both male and female. We don’t target a particular race or gender or religion, we target people a cross the board.
Documentary• Mise-en-scene is an important factor of any documentary, when taking a camera shot of anything we ad to think of the mise-en-scene. Mise-en-scene is vital in conveying the topic of the documentary.
• Moreover we decided to broadcast our documentary on channel 4, this is because Channel 4’s remit is it to innovate and appeal to everyone- different genders, nationalities, ethnicities race, ages etc. This is illustrated through the variety of genres that are broadcasted.• Channel 4 targets everyone rather than a specific audience and its based in the UK.
• MagazineWe chose to produce our magazine for ‘More Magazine’ because it publishes avariety of magazine targeted at young people. Like ‘More Magazine’ we wanted touse effective magazines tat illustrated our article clearly, we used very similarfeature just like the professional More Magazine’.
Radio Trail• For our Radio Trail we used clips from our documentary to make it all the more effective and appealing for the target audience. We wanted our target audience to guess the topic through the clips used. However, in order for it to be as effective as a real radio trail our music had to be appealing. We used up beat music to engage the audience.
• Additionally, we didn’t discuss which station we would broadcast our trail until a later stage. We chose Radio 1 because it as a wide audience, most people who listen tend to be young people and our target audience is young people.Overall I think we did enough research for all 3 products and in the end they wereeffective and fulfilled the primary purpose which was to engage and inform thetarget audience