Question Four How did you use Media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?Whilst completing the music promotion brief, I used many different mediatechnologies in order to research, create and edit our final products. Some ofthe technologies were hardware, but most of it was software. The hardwareinvolved the camera and the Macs and the software included final cut, indesign and Photoshop.When we first began we entered the research stage of the project. This mainlyinvolved using the internet to look up well known artists and their videos,album covers and adverts. For this we used the renowned search engineGoogle.We felt Google was the most reliable source of information as it has up to dateinformation, which was useful to us when researching facts and figures forexample the UK top 40. Google images also provided us with a range ofimages when we were looking up album artwork or brand images.A second media technology I used was Microsoft Word. This was to mainlywrite essays for example in our Narrative section and all the questionnaireswe created. I found this the easiest programme to use and had no difficulty asit’s what I’m most used to. Microsoft word is perfect for presenting work as itallows you to change the font along with its size, colour and style. You canalso insert pictures and add bullet points and borders to your work.
Microsoft PowerPoint was also used quite frequently in my research and evaluation. We used it for our audience analysis on ‘The Wanted’ and I used it to create question 2 of my evaluation. Again I had no difficulty using PowerPoint as it is easy to use and was perfect for creating my second question in an easy and presentable way. I was able to change my font colour, size and position whilst adding pictures and video stills to show what I was analysing.After completing the PowerPoint’s, they needed uploading to the blog. To dothis we used the programme ‘Slide Share.’ This was essential as we neededthe embed code to convert the files. I used slide share to convert ouraudience PowerPoint and when uploading my Question 2 to the blog. It’s verysimple and easy to use as you just select the file in your documents and thenwait for it to upload. Whilst it’s uploading you can create a title and description.I had no problems with slide share.As the task was to create a music video, it was crucial for me to watch currentexamples so I could understand the conventions and different techniquesused. The best online website to watch videos is YouTube as its quick, easyand free. YouTube allowed us to look into the videos in our chosen genre andalso pick the song we were going to use.I used YouTube throughout the entire project, mainly in the research stageand also in evaluation questions one and three. For question one we had tolook into real media examples which we found on YouTube and for questionthree I used it to watch Beyonce and Jessie J’s videos and upload them toPrezi. I had no trouble using YouTube as it’s very easy to use. You simplytype in what you’re looking for and it appears in seconds. There is a hugechoice so you’re guaranteed to find what you need.
In order to record the information we found in our research and planning weneeded a blog. For this we used the website blogger, which allowed us tocreate our own page with a background and font colour. I felt this was good aswe were able to personalise it just how we liked, allowing creativity. I think thisis one of the most important media technologies we used because our blognow contains 5 months work from introducing ourselves to the finished piece.It allowed us to upload PowerPoint’s and Prezi’s through embed codes,YouTube videos, photos and publish posts analysing videos and artists. As Ihad used it for last year’s coursework, I found blogger very easy to use. Thereis nothing to difficult as adding posts and uploading videos is made verysimple.Most of our work was done on the IMacs. Theseare perfect for this type of project as they containlots of different programmes for you to edit and fixyour work on. The most important programme isFinal Cut which is what we edited our entire videoon. We had practice with it when experimentingbefore the real editing took place. I found the Macsa little difficult at first as I am used to Windows butafter a few lessons I understood how they worked.I feel they are a great foundation for thecoursework as they allow lots of creativity and formy skills to develop over time through the many programmes available. We filmed our video using a video camera and tripod in the studio. I used one last year so was quite familiar with it but we had tutorials before we filmed our video. We filmed Gabbie to test the green screen. The tripod was easy to adjust once we’d had a bit of practice with it. On the day of filming we used our storyboard and filmed small parts of the song in different shots. We made sure we got plenty of shots so we had lots to work with. The HD camera was perfect for creating an authentic, professional video. On our first day of filming, a lot of time was taken up with trying to figure out
how it worked but after a few tries we understood how to use it. I feel my skillsdefinitely developed over time with the frequent camera use.Another example of hardware we used was a digital camera. This was anessential piece of equipment as we needed photos for our ancillary task. Wetook lots of shots as Franki dressed as a girl and a boy for the front cover,back cover, inserts and adverts. We also used it to take pictures of the studioand studio equipment to show where we were filming and what we’d be using.I found the camera very easy to use and experienced no difficulty as mostpeople have one of their own.Transferring our pictures onto the Mac was quick andsimple. We used a firewire which meant all we had to dowas plug the camera in and copy them into our folder.This meant once we’d taken our pictures we could usethe firewire and then get straight into editing them withPhotoshop and In Design. I had no trouble with thefirewire.Whilst in the studio we used the equipment provided in order to get thelighting perfect. This was essential as we were creating a studio based video.The various lighting equipment helped to balance the light and shadowperfectly and allowed us to move the equipment round till it was just right. Atfirst I struggled getting the lights in the right place whilst being out of shot butafter a while we understood the perfect places for them.
After filming our video it needed to be edited. For this we used the programmeFinal Cut. I thought I would struggle with it but I found it surprisingly easy. Youare given 99 tracks so there’s plenty of room to add your footage withoutmessing up the work you’ve already edited. You were also able to lock a layeronce you were done with it which ensured your editing would stay the way youleft it. This meant we could experiment with different clips and add and deletestuff at ease. We transferred all our footage using a hard drive and thenimported it all into final cut.As we had chosen a very fast paced song we needed ourediting to match which meant a lot of cutting and trimming usingthe razor tool. We had lots of 5/6 minute clips where we only needed a coupleof seconds from it so we just selected what we needed and dragged it into anew track.An advantage of Final Cut is the various editing techniques you can use. Weused effects such as split screening sometimes with two clips and other timeswith four, at the start for example.Another effect we used was the one where we gave our artist and the dancers‘halos’ and changed the colour. This was easy to do and created a nice effectwhich changed with the beat. Effects such as this reinforced the creativity andallowed my skills to develop throughout the editing process.
Final Cut also allowed us to colour correct the entire video. This enabled us toremove the green bits created by the green screen by using the chromakeyer.We used PhotoShop to edit our photos for our ancillarytasks. After inserting the picture, we were able to cut itout and then edit it. I used tools such as the pen tooland the crop tool. For the album cover, I chose twopictures of Franki one dressed in the girl’s clothes andthe other dressed in the boy’s clothes. I knew they hadto be similar as they needed to fit together. I then cutthem both our carefully and began to edit them. I felt asI was using coloured backgrounds they would lookauthentic if they were black and white. I simply went to‘Effects’ and chose the black and white option. The backgrounds we createdwere also done on PhotoShop. I googled ‘PhotoShop brushes’ anddownloaded the ones I felt were appropriate for our video. I then added themto the PhotoShop pallet and played around with them till I found the ones I feltworked.With most of our images we cut them out on PhotoShop and then importedthem into In Design by saving them as a JPEG.Personally I found Photoshop very difficult to use. I did the PhotoShoprefresher a few times and still couldn’t quite grasp it. After many goes Ieventually got the hang of it but found it the hardest technology to use.
In Design was very helpful to us. I had never used it before so I decided tohave a refresher before I started which didn’t really help but after I’d had a fewgoes it became easier each lesson. I found it much easier than Photoshopand again feel my skills developed through time. I tried to use a bit ofeverything including the swatches which allowed me to play around withcolour and the different fonts on offer. We created the ‘Franki’ font on our frontcover using In Design as we thought the font looked like a signature. Weadded the two hearts over the ‘I’ using PhotoShop.I used the box tool when creating the albumcover. I made a box, filled it in and then tookthe opacity right down so you were able tosee an image behind it. I then cropped eachimage in half and placed them together.We also used In Design to create some of themore difficult backgrounds. We got our ideafor these backgrounds from ChristinaAguilera’s video ‘Candyman.’ We liked herbackground so much we decided to try andcreate them ourselves. We chose thedifferent shades of pink for the girls and blue for the boys.It took awhile but we felt it worked better than just a plain block colourbackground.
For question three of my evaluation I used Prezi. I had never heard or usedthis programme before and was baffled by it when I first logged in. I found itdifficult however after a few tries I finally got the hang of it. It doesn’t offer asmuch colour/font variety than programmes like PowerPoint but it does allowyou to create ‘paths’ which link each slide together so the whole presentationis all on one big page. I put my Prezi presentation on the blog using theembed code.In conclusion i feel that we have had success with our video and ancillaryproducts. Our aim was to create a typical pop genre video and artist which wehave done as shown in our audience feedback. I thoroughly enjoyed filmingthe video although it was time consuming. Standing behind the camera anddirecting Franki what do was really fun and then picking different shots andangles was also enjoyable. Editing the video was also time consuminghowever I feel that looking at the finished product it was all worth it. In Designand PhotoShop were sometimes challenging, but after a while they becameeasy to use for our ancillary tasks. I feel we reinforced the brand image ofbeing ‘young, fun and lively’ throughout the entire project through mise-en-scene, cinematography, colour and editing. That was another one of our aimswhich I feel we’ve fulfilled successfully. Our audience feedback was verypositive with few improvements advised which I am very pleased with and canbe used as proof that our project was a success. I feel that me and my twofriends worked very well together and had no disagreements. We all used ourmedia talents and combined them to work at the best of our ability. Althoughstressful at times, I feel our hard work has paid off and I’m delighted with ourfinished video and ancillary tasks.