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Evaluate your use of new media technologies in research and planning, construc8on and evalua8on. TowerHouse Produc8ons
What is ‘new’ media technology? Up un8l the 1980’s, media relied upon what we would now consider ‘old’ media forms ie not digital. The prin8ng press was also a key part of the produc8on of media products. It had nowhere near the edi8ng capabili8es of modern technologies.
How can we deﬁne ‘new’ media technology? 1) ‘new’ media technology is digital. This provides it with an interac8ve and collabora8ve nature, par8cularly because of the internet. 2) It is also global. This relates to the ways audiences can interact can interact but also has an impact on ﬁlm industries as the poten8al audience is even wider. 3) It has also changed ideas about ownership. Audiences have become producers and there are no longer clear boundaries. 4) It is also controversial. This relates to the theory of W.Russell Neuman (1991) who suggests that whilst the “new media” have technical capabili8es to pull in one direc8on, economic and social forces pull back in the opposite direc8on.
Use of the internet Advantages of using search engines: -‐ The informa8on is easily accessible -‐ There is an extensive amount of research available e.g. sites like IMDB -‐ Use of ﬁlters can make searching for speciﬁc informa8on easier -‐ All informa8on free and simple to access, usually just a few clicks and a li[le amount of typing. -‐ Useful links can direct you to other relevant sites
Easy Access We can easily search for ﬁlms relevant to our genre and view trailers for ﬁlms that will help us with our genre codes and conven8ons and establishing a sense of non-‐ chronological narra8ve. Sites such as IMDB allow us to easily access useful informa8on and stats along with links to ﬁlms closely linked to our genre.
Useful Sites Sites such as Wikipedia can be useful in a sense that they provide a good basis of informa8on from a variety of diﬀerent sources, yet these sources are no always completely reliable. IMDB can also provide important stats. By looking at how popular a ﬁlm in our genre is, we can look at techniques used to make that ﬁlm successful and apply it to our trailers. Popular search engines such as Google can also provide a good basis to look for ﬁlm stats that indicate popularity and a good use of media techniques.
Double Checking By looking at host sites of media products such as trailers e.g. YouTube and comparing it to the oﬃcial site, we can see if our research is oﬃcial and reliable for reference. YouTube Oﬃcial produc1on company website
Checking Sources Websites such as IMDB allow us to check how reliable this research is as the sources are supplied. E.g. sources for ar8cles We can see from the website that there is a mixture of sources such as the Guardian (rela8vely trustworthy, regulated site) and ‘WeAreMovieGeeks.com’ (poten8ally unregulated).
Following Links When searching for images of the ﬁlm ‘The Hurt Locker’, we came across ﬁlms that are in a diﬀerent genre e.g. ‘Django Unchained’, but also deal with conﬂict. Branched out our research in unexpected ways.
Following Links When searching for general psychological thrillers and war ﬁlms related to our chosen genre, we came across a link to a page displaying the ‘Top 100 war ﬁlms’. This turned out to be useful when we wanted to collect data and examples from a variety of diﬀerent references.
Thoughts Around New Media #1 SEEMS GREAT! Clearly seems to make life much easier Biggest obvious beneﬁt is the sharing capacity – we could access informa8on on anything from anywhere The fact this info was free was also a huge advantage We were able to access from home, from school, on the go. HOWEVER At 8mes we were overwhelmed with the volume – new media technology has no in-‐built quality control and this can be an issue There has to be a lot of trust – we did not always know whether to trust our sources – new media is not easy to regulate in the way old media was.
Sourcing Music The pressure to create our own soundtrack was key. We wanted to mix this from copyright free tracks and found many many sources on the internet e.g. freeplaynusic.com. Music is easy to ﬁnd and categorised well. Also the website has been re-‐ designed to make it easier to navigate. However, sheer volume available can be overwhelming.
Using Blogger for Research / Planning Useful for keeping our research and planning ac8vi8es in one easily accessible place which could be looked at at school and at home. Posts ordered chronologically and stored in a logical order using useful post 8tles. Makes it easy to keep track and look back on work
Keeping copies of work Made sharing work easy as we could look at each other’s posts. Also able to keep digital copies of all the paperwork we produced for our coursework.
Diﬀerent media formats We were able to embed video, use hyperlinks, upload text and images, so we had a wide variety of formats available for presen8ng our work.
Combining Image and Text • Being able to upload pictures on to the blog meant that we could go back and look at these images at any given point in 8me. • It also allowed us to look at comments that were speciﬁc to an image or a gallery of images to help us choose the right one out of a selec8on or in how to change an image.
The use of a label ﬁlter • This allowed us to choose whether we wanted to see everyones work or just our own. • Also meant that we could search for a speciﬁc piece of work.
AnimaVc We were able to use Final Cut to make an anima8c from our storyboard. We ﬁrst drew the pictures on post-‐its, then took photos of these so we could make an animated version. This helped us move images around easily, experiment with the order and 8ming and add music / voiceover.
Thoughts Around New Media #2 SEEMS GREAT! • Blogging seems a natural way to store this kind of work • Being able to work remotely was the key beneﬁt • Also being able to look at other similar blogs from the past – we felt one step ahead in the process because of this HOWEVER At 8mes we found ourselves reverVng back to ‘old’ media – drawn sketches, wri8ng to-‐do lists, torn out illustra8ons from magazines – throughout the whole process we had a folder of ‘old media’ work that we referred to regularly and at 8mes felt more comfortable using. Some8mes these ways seem quicker and easier or just make you think in a diﬀerent way. We found hand drawn sketches par8cularly useful.
ManipulaVng Images • JPEGS taken from HD card and imported into Photoshop • Lassoo tool used to extract images from backgrounds • Use of zoom to smooth extrac8on using rubber and blur tools • Use of clone stamp to replace missing pixels
ManipulaVng Images • Reduced opacity of background to allow main image to stand out. • Created smoke eﬀect to convey sense of a ba[le happening in distance.
Layering Images • For complex projects, layers essen8al as then each separate element can be edited separately without eﬀec8ng whole. • For e.g. magazine cover, there were many layers so labelling them was important for eﬃciency.
ManipulaVng Photos • Photoshop allowed us to sharpen certain images when we zoomed in making the overall image more vivid. • We were also able to resize images to make them ﬁt our print product. For example the picture of our characters was stretched a li[le bit almost making our characters look taller than they really are.
Adding Eﬀects • Can be added to images and text. • Here is the layer code for the masthead which has a number of eﬀects added.
Adding Shapes • Photoshop allowed us to add in shapes that split up our images, making them more graphic in style. • This can be seen predominantly in our magazine where we have experimented with using diﬀerent shapes in diﬀerent colours. • Some of these are lek as ﬁlled in shapes • With others the opacity is reduced • The smudge and blur tools have been used to add a ‘torn’ eﬀect.
Disadvantages of Photoshop • Has a wide range of pre-‐ packaged tools and eﬀects, but we are s8ll not en8rely happy with our 8tle font. In the ideal world, we would create exactly the font we want. • Can be awkward and 8me-‐ consuming – image extrac8on, for example, takes a very long 8me to do properly. • Working with layers can be confusing as we had to re-‐order them several 8mes as we con8nued working.
Trimming, ordering and layering • We were able to cut and trim our clips, without the risk of losing any data if we disliked the cut as the changes made are reversible using the undo bu[on. • We were able to change the order of shots or music with ease as all changes were not permanent and it was easy make many diﬀerent versions of our piece. • We are able to layer shots or music to create complex sequences that either fade in or out without having to use fade to black to transfer.
Ability to return to original source material • Using Final Cut Express we were able to keep all the original ﬁlmed clips that were taken so if we ever had to revert back to a scene that we needed to completely recut, or use a diﬀerent sec8on from a scene the ﬁles were always available. • This means that Final Cut Express is very user friendly and any mistakes can be undone because you can revert back to the original raw ﬁle.
Merging diﬀerent versions • Final Cut Express allows diﬀerent people to work on diﬀerent sec8ons of the ﬁlm on diﬀerent computers and then later merge them together by impor8ng one ﬁle into the other. This meant we were able to work on several diﬀerent compe8ng versions at the same 8me, which was a be[er use of 8me and manpower.
Use of pre-‐packaged tools • Final Cut Express came with many tools that we were able to use. • One of these is the fade to black tool which allowed us to transfer from one scene to another without the join feeling sharp or choppy but looking smooth and ﬂuid.
ManipulaVon of sound • We were able to cut and re-‐order any sound ﬁles in Final Cut Express • We were also able to layer sound, adjust volume and add audio eﬀects.
ManipulaVon of sound This shows the many layers of sound that we built up for our piece to create the overall soundscape / eﬀect We are beginning to merge two tracks here
TransiVons Here you can see that we made a lot of use of transi8ons to smooth the trailer and in par8cular the audio. Adding a fade in to the audio helps smooth out diﬀerence in background camera sounds.
LiveType commentary We were able to use the LiveType text func8on to make notes to ourselves on the project. We were also able to get feedback from other people this way.
Ability to lock tracks As we reached the end of the project, it was useful to lock tracks. This meant the basis of our work was held in place as we experimented with small changes and addi8ons.
Problems with Final Cut Express • Can take a long 8me to learn where all the tools are and how to use them eﬃciently • Requires some exper8se to know how to edit properly (i.e. no hints on how to use tools) • Can be very 8me consuming to get a good product
Thoughts around New Media #3 SOUNDS GREAT! • For our generaVon it is quite hard to imagine edi8ng in any other way, par8cularly ﬁlm, so some8mes it is hard for us to appreciate the advantages as we take them so much for granted. • The ability to manipulate and copy material without permanently changing the source footage has to be the key beneﬁt as it allows for so much experimentaVon. HOWEVER • At 8mes it was frustraVng not to be able to access the packages from home – they are expensive and we do not have them. • This must be the case for a lot of people, so maybe new media is not as wide spread as you might think from looking at text books and ar8cles. • We got caught some8mes between what we wanted to create and what we knew Photoshop would let us create. Of course, competence is part of this but we are wondering whether new media technology is less creaVve than old media in some ways – or just crea8ve in a diﬀerent way? • We think we would have to be really expert to be able to debate this point fully which shows that new media is as hierarchical as old media in some ways – you have to be good at it.
Use of Slide Show Technology We used PowerPoint to evaluate the use of new media technology because we wanted to support our ideas with a lot of images and slideshows are based around images rather than text. We were able to add brief comments to the images to explain the value and use of new media technology to us. We were also able to work easily as a pair, creaVng separate slides and then merging them and correcVng and extending what the other had produced.
MulVmedia PresentaVon We decided to present our audience feedback evalua8on as a discussion as we felt this was an area where there could be opposing views so debate would be interes8ng. We uploaded the To make it easier for a reader to have a quick overview of presenta8on to our discussion, we added in cap8ons explaining the main Blogger. points being made. We also added images to back up these points, making this a mul8media presenta8on that can be watched in a variety of ways.
MulVmedia PresentaVon 2 To comment on how the diﬀerent products worked together, we made a DVD extra in the style of a YouTube tutorial, explaining how to run a promo8onal campaign eﬀec8vely. This again uses the mul8media poten8al of digital technology and allows us to incorporate sound, image and video with various eﬀects to make our points clear.
Contact Sheet with Notes This is an example of a contact sheet – a series of images which we used to illustrate decisions we had made because of form and genre conven8ons while making our products. This was a visual way of showing our decisions and we were able to upload these to blogger and annotate our choices beneath. Again, the mul8media format worked well to make our points clear and easy to read.
Ability to Receive Comments • All evalua8on work is online so anyone with access to the internet can see it. • Everyone can leave feedback at any 8me • This allows us to receive feedback from people and also converse with them on how to improve using the reply bu[on.
Availability to others • Comments which were unhelpful were also posted. • The only way to stop this is to limit who can comment • This reduces the feedback opportuni8es available to readers.
Thoughts around New Media #4 IT’S GREAT! • The capacity to present work in diﬀerent mulVmedia formats is obviously very valuable and allowed us to be quite creaVve with our evalua8ons. • Has all the advantages described in the planning and research process HOWEVER • Not always a feeling of control – we found our presenta8on was not as good quality once uploaded to Slideshare; we had to reduce the quality of ﬁlmed presenta8ons to comply with Blogger maximum upload limits; we had to buy extra space for our picture uploads. Our blog was removed once in error. You are hostage to the hosVng sites’ policies and regula8ons. • Raises issues about ownership – there is an accepted opinion that new media gives more ownership to audience – but this is limited by the major players hos8ng that work and their ways of working.