1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions. For our project we had to create the opening 5 minutes of a documentary on a topic of our choice. In order to get an idea of what our documentary we would have to be like we watched a few examples of documentaries in order to learn some conventions that are common in documentaries. The examples we watched were A documentary by Morgan Spurlock “Supersize Me” in which he investigated the effects of fast food by only eating McDonalds for 30 days.And Spinal Tap. This was a fake documentary that follows a fake rock bandcalled Spinal tap. And although this was a fake documentary we still took a lotaway from it as a lot of the common conventions we see in documantaries arethere.
Existing DocumentariesWe decided though the twoi documenatries we viewed had some feaurtes we would like to include, there were things we wanted to do different, as supersize me uses a particapatory mode we wanted to an expesontional mode.
Initial IdeasOur next step was to begin to plan what our documentary was going to be on we came up with a few potential options but decided to choose smoking as our topic.
Documentaries on our topicAfter we decided our topic we then viewed existing documentaries on topic in order to get an idea of what our documentary should be like. We watched 2 examples• BBC Horizon• Talking Butts smoking Documentary
ConventionsAfter watching examples of documentaries we had a good idea about how to make an effective documentary•Opening montage: The first part of a documentary is a feature of the poetic modethe opening montage. This is a series of fast pace clips used in order to attract theaudiences attention and give them and idea of what the documentary will be about.It does this by use of short clips from interviews both professional and vox pops,clips of other things related to the topic such as videos of cigarettes etc andinformation shown through graphics and graphs. All this is accompanied by a voiceover to help give more information.
Conventions• Voiceover: A key feature we used that features in most documentaries especially those of an expositional mode which is the mode ours leans most towards. The voiceover is a sound only voice we do not see the speaker but she is often heard throughout. The voiceover is important as it helps to narrate the documentary and explain to the audience who people are and give key information and facts to help the audience understand the topic.• Establishing shots: Establishing shots of a location the shot often is taken from a distance and pans in order to give the audience a wide view of the location. We used establishing shots in our documentary to show our audience where we were helping to set the scene.
Conventions• Interviews: Another important feature that features in many documentaries we used 2 different types of interview in our documentary• Vox pop: a vox pop interview are short fast interviews with members of the public, this allows the public to give there view on the topic.• Professional: interviews with professionals on the topic for example we used a nurse, these interviews allow us to get an in depth detail on the topic. This is usefull as it allows the viewer to get scientific facts about the subject from a reliable source.
Conventions• Shot composure: The way we composed our shots in interviews was Important we set up the shot so that the interviewee would sit to one side looking across the dead space this reduces the amount of the space that’s wasted, we also stressed to our interviewee not to look at the camera. Looking Lab coat and across skeleton clearly dead space show she’s a scientist.•Mise en scene: The mise en scene is a way of showing a persons role in aninterview this is because we pick up various signs from the background and whata person is wearing so a good mise en scene helped us show people ourprofesinals can be trusted.
Conventions• graphics: Titles and graphics helped us to show other information we could not portray, such as questions for vox pops, graphs. It also helps makes good background footage for our voiceover to speak over• Titles: Titles help us give information about our interviewees as well as showing the name of the documentary.
Conventions• Cut a ways: We used cut a ways to make our interview more interesting, by cutting a way to another clip whilist the interviewee is speaking we cut a way to a video related to what they were saying keeping our audiences’ attention as the pace of the fast pace clips is maintained.• Background footage: We gathered various clips of footage such as over the shoulder shots of people looking at something related to smoking in order to use as background footage, background footage is used so we could have some footage for while our voice over was speaking.
2) How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?
House style• Throughout making our documentary, radio trailer and TV listings magazine we tried to maintain a constant house style. In order to do this we used the music and speech clips from our documentary in our radio trailer as well as using the same person to do the voiceover for both. And we used images from our documentary in our article.• Target audience: It was important that we knew our target audience in order to make our 3 products appealing. We chose an audience we felt the subject would be important to in the end we decided smoking most effects teenagers so we choose a target audience of between 16 and 26, we felt that the topic effected all genders and ethnicity however so we decided to aim it at both males and females of any ethnicity.
Channels• Knowing our target audience the selection of where we would put our three products was important as the three we selected would all have to correspond with one another• Documentary: We felt the best place for our documentary was BBC3 we chose this channel as BBC is a public service and shows many documentaries and BBC3 often shows aimed at our target audience.• Radio trailer: We selected Radio 1 for a radio trailer as it is the BBC which works well as our main product is being shown on the BBC and like BBC3, Radio 1 is a station aimed at our audience.• Magazine article: The magazine article was our hardest choice as we felt our audience would not read a TV listings magazine but we opted for the Radio Times as its owned by the BBC so it was consistent with our other choices.
3)What have you learned from your audience feedback We showed our documentary, radio trailer, and article to a group of 23 students, then gave them a questionnaire asking them what they thought of them.•The students we asked were all 12between 16 and 22 which was 10appropriate as this was our 8target audience. 6 4•Of the 23 we asked 15 were 2female at the other 8 were 0male. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Scores out of 10 •We asked people to rate our documentary out of 10 on average we scored 7 suggesting our documentary was of a good quality.
Main productWe asked if they thought ourdocumentary followedconventions of documentariesthe results are shown bellow. Doesnt follow conventions (20) Follows conventions (3) More people felt our documentary followed conventions that people who did not. This was good as it meant our documentary had a professional look.
Combination of products • We asked our 23 students felt there as clear brand identity between our 3 products. 18 felt it did whereas only 5 said it did not showing the brand no identity was fairly clear. yes 0 5 10 15 20• we also asked if the trailer and article wereeffective at promoting our documentary 14 said yes noand 9 said no. we would of prefer for more people tosay yes than at perhaps our other task could havebeen improved to better promote the product. yes 0 5 10 15
4)How did media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stage.
BloggerWe used Blogger, a bloggingwebsite to upload any work that wedid for a documentary onto. Thiswas useful as it allowed us to keeptrack of all our work such asresearch and planning. However wefound uploading things to bloggercould be somewhat difficult attimes. Though other websites suchas scribed and slide share madethis slightly easier allowing us toupload in different formats we evenhad problems with these websitesat times.
Recording equipment• Camcorder: we used a handheld camcorder to film our footage a long with a tripod to enable us to take steady shots and make our documentary look more professional. We found the camcorder simple and easy to use and thought it gave us good results when we viewed our footage• Microphone: We used a rifle microphone with our camcorder to capture the sound. We did this as the sound recording quality on the camcorder was not very high. The mic however managed to record good quality sound.• Sound recorder: We used a sound recorder to record our voiceover this is because for the voiceover we only needed sound not video. We used the same mic we used with the camcorder with the sound recorder.
Apple MacsWe used apples Macs for the editing stage of our project. At first I struggled to get the hang of them as I had not used one before and was unfamiliar with it but then we eventually got the hang of them and found them fairly easy to use though we still would of preferred to use a windows computer that we were more familiar with.
Final Cut Express We used Final Cut Express to create our main product. This is a professional editing software designed for Apple Macs.Log and transferThe first procedure we did before we started editing usingthis software was to log and transfer our footage, thisinvolved looking at all our footage and deciding which partswe were going to use and which bits we werent, then wetransferred all the footage we decided to use onto to theFinal cut Software.
Final Cut ExpressvideoOur next task was to put the video clips we wanted to use onto our timeline.Once our required footage was on thetimeline we arranged it into anappropriate order, then if needed wecould edit the clips length and speed
Final Cut Express Final cut also allowed us toTransitions, graphics and still images add transitions this makes the switch between different clips We could also add still We could also add graphics and images such as a graph titles to show information in a however to make a still textual form. image more interesting we chose to add movement and zoom into it
Final Cut ExpressAudioOur next tasks was to adjust the audio. When dealing with audio final cutallowed us to remove existing audio of our video clips and add separateaudio clips such as music and voiceover. We found this useful as wecould remove sounds from one video clip and replace it with sound formanother, this allowed us to make a cut away which we used to maintainthe audiences attention when an interviewee is speaking for a for a longtime. We used a separate video over the sound of interview removing part of the original video.
Final Cut Express Audio-music and voiceoverWe could also add voiceover and sounded to our documentary.Final cut was useful for adding this non diegetic sound. Audio-normalisation It was also important that all our sound was level. To make sure it was we had to normalise all our sound. Then by setting each clip to the same level it prevent changes in volume throughout.
Garageband We used apples garageband software to create our radio trailer. We recorder a separate sound file using the same recorder we used for the voiceover to record the voiceover for our radio trailer. With garagebandWe used pre we were able torecorded music add a newfrom the voiceover clips asgarageband well as soundlibrary for our clips of videosbacking track, from ourwe used the documentary tosame music create our trailerfrom ourdocumentarysound bed.In general we found making our trailer very easy to do with the garagebandsoftware.
Photoshop/In Design • Firstly we had to manipulate our images in Photoshop by changing the contrast and quality of the images. • Then we placed our images into in design so we could place them into our double page spread we desired them to create the best possible effect•In design also helped to manipulate ourtext where we wanted it on the page.•Have a masthead and strap line.•It allowed us to pit our text into columns.•Have drop capitals.•Put our text into boxes.