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Evaluation

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  • 1. Evaluation Tom Brook
  • 2. In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products?
    • In the planning stages of our documentary we watched through and took notes of other types of documentary so we could realise and get to know the usual codes and conventions of a TV documentary.
    • Before starting, we watched ‘Supersize Me’ ( Link here ) which is a documentary about the affects of the fast food chain McDonalds on the health of people in America. This helped us get a feel of what documentaries are all about and some of the codes and conventions we could use in our own documentary.
    • We noticed that all of the interviews in the documentary had a few things in common. These things were, the positioning of the interviewee in the shot, where the interviewee is looking, what they are wearing and the mise en scene of the shot.
    Smart looking clothes showing they are professionals We used the rule of thirds to help layout the interviews The shot includes their working environment The interviewee is always looking across the camera Nick Waring from our documentary Lisa Young from Supersize Me
  • 3.
    • Another thing we found with a lot of interviews is that they use a medium close up shots. This is half way between a mid shot and a close up and shows the face clearly without getting uncomfortably close. As well as this being a widely used shot in many documentary interviews, we decided it would also be a good idea to use it so we could include a bit of their working environments too to show that they are professionals.
    • A popular convention in a lot of TV documentaries is including a title stating the name and profession of the person being interviewed at the start of an interview. This is to introduce the person and are generally only used for formal interviews. We used this on our interviews to give them an extra sense of professionalism. We wanted to make a distinct difference between the formal interviews and the vox pops as the vox pops are generally opinions from people the target audience can relate to whereas formal interviews are usually hard facts given by professionals in the area.
    Formal Interview Vox-Pop
    • Shows working environment
    • Work clothes
    • Rule of thirds used
    • Title to introduce interviewee.
    • Same location as most other vox-pops
    • Casual clothes
    • Placed in the middle of the shot
    • No title
    • Not made feel professional.
    Medium close up
  • 4.
    • The first thing we thought about was the opening of the documentary. After watching another documentary ( Link here , Link to blog post here ), we noticed that most openings were in the form of a montage of clips with a narrative over the top. These clips would usually be small sections of interviews and background footage that would be shown fully later in the documentary.
    • After deciding to go along with this popular technique in documentaries, we had to decide on our opening clips. We chose to not mention that the documentary was about ‘Facebook’ until the title was shown so it was quite difficult cutting out sentences from interviews where they did not actually mention ‘Facebook’. We did this so the audience could try and figure out for themselves what the documetnary was going to be about, just by hearing what people had to say about it.
    These are the storyboard and logging sheet we used when deciding what clips we would use in the opening montage of our documentary.
  • 5.
    • A convention sometimes used in TV documentaries is including an on screen narrator which is something we noticed in the documentary ‘Supersize Me’. However, we decided against using this. Supersize Me is a documentary telling a personal story of the narrator Morgan Spurlock as well as informing the audience about the topic. This means that it is probably more suited for an on screen narrator than our documentary which is more informative than anything.
    • Supersize Me also uses a lot of animations and interesting facts throughout the documentary. This is a convention we decided to also use as it shows our target audience of people aged 13-30 that the documentary is not too serious and boring and adds a sense of fun to the documentary. We found a video on Youtube which contained a lot of interesting facts and animations which we used throughout our documentary ( Link here ).
    - Appealing colours - Shocking facts to keep the audience interested - Animation used - Colour scheme fits with the rest of the documentary
  • 6.
    • Our main title for the documentary was originally just black text on a white background and did not really stand out at all. During the later stages of production, we decided it would look much better if we changed the colours and font of the title to blue and white. This relates the title to the theme of the whole documentary and looks much more appealing.
    • To create the title, we angled the camera so it was pointing directly at the computer screen, set the background of Microsoft Word to a blue that matches the blue of the Facebook logos and typed out the title while recording. We felt that this looked more effective than just having a static title that didn’t really have an introduction. This way of putting up the title can also relate to our target audience of aged 13-30 Facebook users as they will be very familiar with typing.
    • We used this same style in the introduction of our names and also with a few of the interesting and shocking facts displayed at certain points in the documentary.
  • 7. This is the final version of our magazine article including labels showing the codes and conventions we used… Headline introducing the name of the documentary Standfirst – A short introduction to what the article is about Images taken from the documentary A pull quote Captions A footer including the magazine name and the page numbers New questions highlighted a different colour to show it is now talking about a different topic Credits Time, date and channel of the documentary Small interesting facts box to keep the reader interested Same colour scheme as the documentary
  • 8.
    • Our article does follow most of the codes and conventions used in other media products of the same type for the most part, however there is one aspect in which we have slightly challenged these. It is the amount of text in our magazine article compared to the number of images. Although this may be common in a magazine such as the Radio Times, I feel as though it may not suit our target audience of 13-30 as younger people like this tend to prefer an article to be more about looks than actual content, so if I was to change the article, I would have included more images and less text.
    • Another thing I would maybe change is the amount of space between the columns of text. I feel this is mainly due to the fact that the text is aligned to the left rather than justified. If the text was justified, it would have filled in a lot of the empty space to the right of the columns and therefore looked a bit better.
    This is an article found in Radio Times and differs greatly from ours, for example, the use of a large image taking up most of the double page spread and very little text. Radio Times
  • 9.
    • This is the timeline of our finished radio trailer. It includes the same soundtrack as our documentary with a voiceover over the top. It’s purpose is to inform the audience of when the documentary will be showing and the kinds of things that will be covered in it, and most of all, to attract the audience into watching it.
    • Most of the radio trailers we had analysed before starting our own had included at least a couple of clips from interviews and vox-pops from various parts of the documentary. This is something we picked up on and decided to use in our radio trailer. We picked out quotes that would really engage the listener. Also, our vox-pops were interviews with young people so our target audience can relate to what they are saying and this may also keep the listener interested.
    • We decided we would air our radio trailer on BBC Radio 1 as our documentary is on BBC 3. BBC 3 plays a lot of documentaries aimed at the same target audience as ours (age 13-30) so this would be a good channel to air our documentary on as it already has a huge audience.
    Soundtrack Voiceover Clips from interviews and vox-pops A section of our radio trailer in Final Cut Express BBC Radio 1
  • 10. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
    • Overall, I feel that all three of our media products combine and link very well with each other. They work well together to appeal to our target audience and by using similar features in our documentary, magazine article and radio trailer we have created a unique brand identity.
    • Throughout the documentary and magazine article we used the same font styles, and colour schemes to link it all together and to make each product recognisable to our audience. We designed the article to include the actual Facebook logo so the audience could easy relate to it and know exactly what the documentary is about. The colour scheme we used in both the documentary and magazine article is also the same blue as is used on Facebook which creates a sense of familiarity.
  • 11.
    • Another link between our documentary and magazine article is the use of images in the article. These are taken from the documentary itself and sort of give the reader a preview of what is to come.
    • As well as the links between our documentary and article, it also has links with our radio trailer, made to advertise our documentary on the radio station BBC Radio 1.
    • The music that is played in the background throughout the whole of our documentary is also played throughout the radio trailer. We picked the soundtrack because of it’s lively, upbeat feel and hoped it would give off this sense while playing in the documentary and radio trailer. We also chose it to help relate to our young target audience.
    • Another thing that links these two products are the quotes used in the radio trailer. These were also taken from the documentary and give an insight into what the listeners can expect to see in the documentary.
    • The same voice is used for both voiceovers which gives a sense of continuity between the two pieces.
  • 12. What have you learned from your audience feedback?
    • After the completion of all three of our media products, we needed to get some feedback from our target audience. We gave out questionnaires to our classmates, who are all in the range of our target audience, and asked them to look at each of our media products. We asked them to tell us what they liked, what they disliked and what they thought we could improve on. We had one questionnaire for our documentary and one for our radio trailer and magazine article. This is our documentary questionnaire:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  • 13.
    • These pie charts show that the majority of people we asked ticked either agree or strongly agree, with a few ticking neutral and very little ticking disagree. We were happy with this outcome as it shows our documentary was very good according to our target audience, however, they did suggest a couple of improvements.
    • When asked how we could improve our documentary, the most common answer what that we should decrease the sound levels in some interviews as it went a bit too high and the music was generally too loud in some sections. This is something I would change if we were to edit the docuemtnary after seeing audience feedback.
  • 14.
    • This is the questionnaire we used to gain audience feedback from our radio trailer and magazine article:
    Again, the questions will be numbered from 1-9 in the order they are already in on the pie charts showing the results.
  • 15.
    • Again, these pie charts show that the majority of people ticked strongly agree and agree. There were a few who ticked neutral and disagree but still not many. There were also improvements suggested for the radio trailer/magazine article.
    • Some people suggested that we should have chosen better music and that the voiceover should have sounded a bit more enthusiastic as it didn’t sound as energetic as in the documentary.
    • These are all things that we would take into consideration if we had to carry out this project again so we could make our media products appeal to our target audience just that little bit more.
  • 16. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
    • We used a huge amount of media technologies through the production of our three media products. These ranged from using websites on the internet to gather information to small adjustments in the editing stages of our documentary such as transitions.
    • Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer and Safari helped a great deal throughout our project. We were using the internet pretty much every day we spent making the three media products so we relied a lot on it.
    • Search engines like Google and Yahoo helped us research everything we needed to know about Facebook before starting our documentary.
    • We spent hours scrolling through search results finding out everything we could about the social networking site. Things such as it’s history, founder, shocking and interesting facts, statistics etc.
    • Google helped link us to many more different websites which aided us greatly and contained a lot more information about Facebook.
  • 17.
    • YouTube – this helped us greatly with finding out all sorts of statistics and gave us access to other documentaries about Facebook made by other users.
    • BBC iPlayer / 4oD – these sites were also very useful as we could watch many different examples of documentaries and find out the usual codes and conventions.
    • Wikipedia – this site gave us a lot of information about the history of Facebook and it’s founder Mark Zuckerburg.
    • The Guardian / Telegraph – these gave us some real life stories about Facebook and how it affects the world which were useful to us.
    • AvoidFacebook – this was an interesting site as it gave us the opinions of people from the other side of the argument, the people who do not like Facebook.
    • Facebook – Facebook itself is also something that helped us greatly as we have all had experience with Facebook and therefore already knew a lot more about it than we would have if we did not use it.
  • 18.
    • Perhaps the most important site of all that we used was Blogger . This was the site we used to upload all of our work so we could easily keep a record of when we did each individual thing to the documentary and it was a good way of storing our work as we did not have to carry around lots of paper with the risk of losing it.
    • Having all of our work stored on the blog also meant that every member of our group could access everything at home which solved a lot of problems we would have had without it. Another feature of Blogger is that we could put our names in the tags of a post when we had finished it which meant it was easy to identify who had done what piece of work.
    • However, we did sometimes have problems uploading images to the blog or copy and pasting a word document to it, but overall, it was a very useful website to have access to.
  • 19.
    • The kit we used to begin our filming consisted of; a Canon HD video camera, a tripod, a microphone and a pair of headphones.
    • When we first received the video camera, none of us had ever used one properly before so we had to come to terms with how everything worked. It had various different settings that we had to use in order to make our recordings look good for example, focusing, white balance and managing the sound levels.
    • The tripod was used to keep the camera perfectly still while recording. The one we use was large and designed for much bigger cameras than the one we were using, however, this meant it was extra sturdy and therefore we had no camera shake.
    • The microphone was for recording sound during our interviews and had to be pointed directly at the interviewee to achieve maximum sound quality.
    • We used the headphones to check the sound quality during and after the recording. If we were not happy with the sound quality or the volume was too high or low we would ask the interviewee if we could repeat that section.
  • 20.
    • The majority of our research and editing was carried out on the Apple Macs. It was quite a challenge using these at first as our group was not used to using these machines, however, we quickly learned and found it easy to use them after a few days using them.
    • The programme we used to edit our documentary was called Final Cut Express. I found this ok to use as I have had experience with video making before. We used this to log and transfer our shots for editing.
    • Log and Transfer
    • This is where we selected all the clips we actually wanted to use in our documentary and gave them appropriate names to transfer them to a clip pool in Final Cut Express.
    • We had to choose the exact length of our clips down to the nearest millisecond and name them so we could easily find them when we needed them.
    • This was a useful method of sorting our clips as you have full control over what clips you choose, how long they are and what you name them etc.
  • 21. Final Cut Express interface Timeline – where all of the video and sound clips can be arranged and layered to create a video Browser – where the clips from log and transfer are stored ready to be used Toolbar – an easy way to find any tools needed Canvas – can be used to view and edit clips in the timeline Tool palette – selection of tools for editing clips in the timeline
  • 22.
    • The clips stored in the browser could be dragged down into the timeline where we could edit them in the canvas. For example we could zoom in on the clip, increase or decrease sound levels, shorten the clip or add text over the top.
    • The clips stored in the browser could be dragged down into the timeline where we could edit them in the canvas. For example we could zoom in on the clip, increase or decrease sound levels, shorten the clip or add text over the top.
    Final Cut Express contained a lot of features which could all be used to our advantage while making the documentary, however, we did not have time to learn how to use everything, so we just got to grips with the basics.
  • 23. Playhead Ruler Zoom slider Scroller Playhead – this shows the current frame location in a sequence Ruler – this represents the total duration of your edited sequence, from the first frame to the last Zoom slider – this allows you to zoom in and out of a sequence in the timeline, making minor changes that would be difficult to judge while zoomed out Scroller – allows you to scroll through the sequence in the timeline The tool palette contains tools for editing, zooming, cropping, and distrorting items in the timeline. You can modify a clip’s speed or duration using this tool. This is something we used quite a bit in our documentary in order to fit quite lengthy pieces of background footage into a smaller gap in the timeline. You can add a transition by selecting an edit point in between two clips in the sequence and then choosing an effect. We used this tool to mark the end of different sections of the documentary and stuck to the cross dissolve transition to keep it simple. Edit point between two clips Transition added
  • 24.
    • We used the programme Adobe Photoshop when we created our magazine article. I had had a lot of experience using Photoshop before starting this project so I found it fairly easy to get the outcome I wanted. This is the main reason I had chosen to use Photoshop over InDesign. InDesign may have be easier to add text to but I have found that Photoshop makes it easier to control the overall layout.
    • In Photoshop, layers are used to control different items. These can be rearranged so that one piece of text or image is on top of or behind another. Layers are also a good way to select the correct item you want to edit or move.
    • I also found the rulers on Photoshop helpful. They made it possible to measure up everything exactly so the layout looked even on each side.
  • 25. The crop tool was helpful when creating the magazine article as it made it easy to get rid of any unwanted parts on images and logos. The colour swatches tool helped as it meant we were able to get the exact same shades of blue throughout the article which helped keep the theme of Facebook flowing. This is the text tool which we used to write up the article. It is not as easy to use as it may have been in Adobe InDesign but we got the hang of it eventually. We used the autoshape tool to create boxes to put text in for example for the captions on the images and the ‘fact box’ in the bottom right corner of the article. The transform tool made it possible to move around, resize and rotate all of the items in our magazine article.
  • 26. When creating our radio trailer we used Final Cut Express again as we now had a basic understanding of how it worked and decided it would be a good idea to stick with it rather than having to learn how to use another programme. After recording the voiceover for the radio trailer, we logged and transferred the clips just like in the documentary and dragged them into the timeline where we removed all of the video leaving just the audio and adjusted the sound levels When creating the radio trailer, we used the same soundtrack as we had used in the documentary. This was to create a sense of brand identity and link the products and also so the audience would then recognise it when watching the documentary.