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Before we did any work on our documentary, we researched three main documentarians, Michael Moore, Louis Theroux and Nick Broomfield. From researching these in detail, I was able to get a clear understanding of what was required for a documentary. I did focus on Michael Moore the most, and created a presentation on him and his work, which is displayed on my blog. There are many links to some of their videos on my blog however here is a link to one that inspired me the most.
Louis Theroux Nick Broomfield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYLepQQNQCU&feature=player_embedded
Question 1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
By doing this research we then decided to base our documentary using similar styles and conventions. My documentary uses many different forms and conventions of real media products. It informs and entertains us about real life situations and issues, such as the rise in tuition fees, which is starting to affect the whole nation. It has many purposes such as concentrating on actual evidence from Kingston University that relates to real events in the world around us.
They way we made our documentary, with the devices and techniques we used to film people and real life events, such as the protests at Kingston University, explained our main aim of our documentary very well as it allowed others to speak for themselves. It also representative of the public as each interview we held, provided a particular different view, interpretation and understanding of the evidence used.
For our documentary we used the expository style which is where we spoke directly to the viewer and by using voiceovers and titles to propose a strong argument and our point of view. Using this style of documentary persuades the viewer, as they can see different views and opinions from a range of different people. We also used images that advance the argument and demonstrate to the audience what really is happening, due to this situation.
Expository conventions in editing, involve a voiceover which shows continuity and puts out main conclusion across strongly. We also had a variety of footage, images and interviews to support our argument and help grab the attention of our target audience. This then persuades our audience to accept our main conclusion, therefore making our documentary’s point of view successful.
These screen shots are just a few examples of how we carried out the conventions for our documentary style. First screenshot shows an interview taken place, with us asking him direct questions face to face, which is a convention of an expository documentary. We also got all our interviewers to sit in the middle of our camera view, which we felt was necessary as it is done this way in the majority of other documentaries that I watched.
The second screenshot shows a flashback of the university, with another convention of expository documentary a voiceover.
The final screen shot shows a photo with a sub title, which is another key convention as it’s a use of an image to show the devastation due to the topic of our documentary.
Question 2 - How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
For my ancillary texts, I have created a magazine double page spread. I have made it clear that it is aimed for the same target audience as my documentary, by making it for a University magazine for students.
By creating a magazine article, I had to make sure I was using the right techniques to grab the attention of students in higher education and above. To do this I got a few university weekly newsletters and analysed them by making a mind map with a few ideas of what I could use for it to be effective. I looked at the type of content, language, images, fonts, colours and quotes used. Here is my mind map that I made with ideas for my own magazine double page spread.
Question 2 Continued… Here is a screen shot of what my magazine looks like. I believe the images I use such as the top right one, provide a message to our students/target audience which was important for us to achieve. I believe the content in my magazine was also appropriate, as it gave a strong message across to the readers, and showed different examples of what ‘mayhem’ had been cause and the consequences that had followed. As a group, my other ancillary piece is a poster advertising a protest due to the rise in tuition fee’s. We felt this was appropriate as many protests and riots have been arranged in London and local universities due to this matter. On the left is an example we saw at Kingston University when we went filming and another example on the right. Before we started to create our own we did some research, by looking at other posters that have been made, to see how to attract our audience and where most of the protests have been held. However, we don’t want to cause violence and mayhem, like some riots have in Central London.
What technologies did I use to create my ancillary pieces?
For my own ancillary piece (newspaper article), I created it on Microsoft Publisher. This programme had many different tools to help me create my article and to make it look professional like a real life newspaper. It let me add columns, text, edit pictures, add different colours and font text/size along with many other tools. This let me give the best effect to make it look as realistic as possible.
For my other ancillary piece that we created as a group, (a poster advertising a riot), we developed this on a programme called Adobe Fireworks. This programme has the best editing and productive effects to help produce accurate photos, colours and fonts along with precise editing such as choosing how big we want to produce the poster. Therefore we looked up measurements for A4 which were 8.5 X 11 inches.
Question 3 - What have you learned from your audience feedback?
For our audience feedback, we previewed our documentary to our target audience which were students in Year 12 who are going to suffer the rise in tuition fees, along with students in Year 13 who wont be affected by the rise but are taking part in protests/riots against the increase. We then filmed our feedback of our audience, by letting them give their opinions on our documentary, along with advantages and disadvantages of the overall product. We also asked them to give us ideas of improvement if we had to create another documentary in the future.
From my audience feedback, I have learnt that the significance of their feedback is a crucial aspect to have. By having this feedback from our target audience, it helps us see if our message has gone across strongly, meaning that our documentary had been successful. It also shows us that the techniques/conventions we had used in our documentary to help put our message across, such as pictures, voiceovers, interviews etc, were successful in showing how bad the situation is, rising tuition fees.
Question 3 Continued… Here is a few screen shots from our audience feedback. We showed clips of people watching our documentary and then their own feedback individually of what they thought and felt about our documentary. Feedback from our audience were strengths and weakness’s which will help us improve future projects. A few comments said were - ‘ I like the way you used live riots in your documentary, it help set the real atmosphere/situation of the increase’ ‘ I think you could improve the voiceover at the start, as it was quieter than the later one in the documentary’
I also created myself a questionnaire to go along with my audience feedback. This helped me get a better understanding of the significance and purpose of the feedback, as it can help me make future improvements. It also gives me a more detailed come back, as it shows me if their feelings and thoughts had changed on the topic and if I had engaged them into watching my full documentary if it was on the TV.
Therefore this questionnaire has helped me get a better understanding of the need to get feedback because its clearer to see if my message has gone across strongly, due to camera angles and conventions of the expository style.
Question 4 - How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Through the creation of my documentary, I used many different technologies to get the greatest effect. My main technologies that I used massively in our production of our documentary were Apple Macs laptops/computers, hand-held Sony digital cameras and camera tripods. We used these for recording and editing our footage, along with programmes on the computers such as iMovie and Garageband. However I used many different technologies for different stages of my documentary, such as planning, research, construction and evaluation.
I have used and learnt many new different techniques creating my documentary which will stay with me in my future. By creating a thriller in AS and moving onto a documentary in A2, gave me a great head start, as I had learnt new skills and techniques, and it gave me the chance to make improvements in the future from previous mistakes.
I decided to use different techniques in our expository documentary, by adding voiceovers along with titles, adding photos and music of our own as a clip in between and learnt a new wide variety of angles shots, such as high angle shots panning out along with extreme close ups.
I believe the experience I had in AS, helped me succeed in my A2 course, therefore helping me create a good strong documentary, with a successful message put across to our audience.
Blog Address - http://victoriaheathsidemedia.blogspot.com/
Overall our documentary has been very successful, as our main message and views that we were trying to put across were accepted by our target audience. I put a lot off effort into researching and planning our documentary before starting the course, so our documentary fitted into the conventions that were needed. This therefore shows our documentary was successful in showing these conventions and persuading our target audience, due to the research we took out.
Our coursework was similar to our AS coursework, however we worked on our skills such as team work, co-operation and learnt how to deal with new technologies such as Prezzi and Garage Band. We had a few problems using iMovie and Garageband, however we worked together as a team to try and expand our skills, to get the best effect possible
I believe we have portrayed our message across in the most succeeding way, as the style of documentary and conventions of Expository Style helped persuade our audience to accept the conclusion.