Q4) How did you use mediatechnologies in the research andplanning, construction, andevaluation stages?A2 Media Evaluation 2013By Ferdous Audhali
Research and Planning• Of course research and planning is a core and fundamental part of the project, it isthe first stepping stone towards the completion of the product and without it,there would be no effectiveness and the end products would never be sufficientenough.• It is at this stage where all the ‘information gathering’ for our documentarybegan.. And where is the first place a media student would go? The Internet.• The internet has such a vast amount of information available for the topic ofUnderage Binge Drinking, and it was due to this extensive amount of informationthat it sometimes became a bit overwhelming. However, we tackled this bysplitting tasks between the 4 of us and researching on specific topics using specificmedia outlets.• For example, at one point, in the beginning stages, my job was to look at shortfilms/clips on Youtube that discussed underage binge drinking and make notes onthem.• Later on in this stage, I was reading article after article in regards to the up to date,accurate, health implications of the topic, statistics or legislation that has recentlybeen passed via websites which host their newspapers online (eg. BBC News, NHSwebsite and the Guardian)
Why the internet?• The internet plays as a huge medium in accessing allkinds of information, from visual, to audio, to written,to transcripts, to PDF files of archival documents..Whatever it is.. The internet will most likely have. Evennewspapers (like I mentioned) are available online(even old papers can be tracked down easily)• However, one must be careful as not ALL theinformation is 100% valid and a lot of inaccurateinformation can be found- hence why when findingstatistics or key pieces of info, I made sure to doublecheck it by looking at other sources to see if they couldsupport the findings I had found. This is very importantas documentaries can only show/provide real facts.
So... what channel?• The choice for which channel we wanted to airour documentary on was quite tricky as eachchannel had their own pros and cons. However,the main 2 were BBC three and Channel 4.• This was because from our research, we foundthat young people tend to watch these twochannels the most and it was through them thatdocumentaries for young people are aired.• We chose channel 4 due to its experience ininformative, ground-shaking widerange of documentary hosting.
How did we access olddocumentaries?• Many of the documentaries we watched via‘catch up’ websites, such as ITV player, BBCiPlayer and 4oD (On Demand)• These are brilliant websites where all shows, bothold and current are accessible to watch onlineand of course when it cameto researching and analysingprevious real media texts, thiswas extremely useful!
Uploading and sharing our work• Without blogger, we would have no way of uploadingour work electronically. Blogger is such an easy andeffective website which allows you to upload almostany file type within a few seconds. No size limits andno waiting around for download/uploading time – withthe click of a button, a slide show, a Prezi presentation,a word document, a picture, a Youtube video, could allbe uploaded and viewable on our blog.• For me, blogger was one of the essentialmedia technologies when it came to everypart of my coursework.Example of scanned instoryboard we made andthen uploaded ontoblogger
Construction• Having the correct hardware is an essential part of documentary filming.. Hardware canhugely effect the quality of the final product. For example, we used a canon HG20 HDcamcorder to film our documentary, and this camera quality was High Definition making ourend product look much more defined and clearer when being watched. Furthermore, thiscamera also allowed us to play with some of the effects whilst filming. For example, we couldzoom in and out (eg. When filming an establishing shot we might zoom into a particularplace to add emphasis) Furthermore, you could drastically change the focus on the camera aswell, allowing us to blur out the shot and hence use it effectively to present statistics orwriting on top of the blurred moving image.• But if we were to just have gone and recorded with a camcorder and none of the extracomponents, chances are, that the clips we had filmed would have been EXTREMELYamateur. Without a microphone, the sound quality isn’t as crisp and is often disturbed byother things such as wind etc. Also, the headphones also play a key role in terms of refiningthe audio to top notch condition because with the headphones on, the soundman whoaccompanies the cameraman can ensure that sound is coming out of both ears,meaning that the audio will be stereo and not one sided. Lastly, the tripod plays a keyrole in maintaining a still shot and keeping things professional (Also usefulfor when filming high or low angled shots, prevents hand-held effect)TripodMicrophoneHeadphones Camcorder
Editing (Final Cut Express)• Once we had recorded all the footage we neededfor our documentary it was time to start theediting- so goodbye camera and hello Apple Mac!• Throughout the weeks of filming, we had already beentransferring all the raw footage from the camera onto thecomputer hardrive (via USB cable), so now it was time to File> log & transfer it all into Final Cut. Once we had transferred all theclips into Final Cut, we thenplayed each of them individuallythen selected (and renamed) theones we wanted and draggedthem down onto the timelineand onto the appropriate tracks.
Editing continued..• Whilst using Final Cut, tools like the ‘Razor’ and ‘Pen’ toolbecame second nature, as these were some of the optionsthat we would regularly use to split and cut clips up into thebits we wanted, and the bits we didn’t want.Sometimes clips would requirespecial effects added onto them,such as a blur effect or a blackand white effect. To the left is anexample of how you turn a clipblack and white. You go to theImage control tab and selectDesaturate. You simply then dragthis tab onto the clip you wouldlike to turn black and white.
Editing continued..Changing the sound levels sothey fade in and out with theindividuals entrance and exit –ensuring everyone’s volumeis the same..(Using the pen tool)Montage made with variousnumber of clips running at thesame time but on separatetracks! All sounds were silenced(deleted) unless it was one of theindividuals turn to speak, thentheir audio was placed at theright place (and made sure tomatch with the mouthmovements)
Magazine (InDesign)• Although InDesign was the main programmewe used, we did use Photoshop and MicrosoftWord in the process..• Microsoft word wasused to construct thearticle and Photoshopto edit the pictures that would then beinserted into the article in InDesign.
Radio Trial (Garage Band)• We started the radio trial off in Final Cut Pro becauseof the fact we needed to create the extracts from the clips inour documentary so we could export them into Garage band.To do this, we opened up a new sequence which opened up a new fresh page of tracks touse that wouldn’t effect our documentary.• Once the clips had been cut down into just a few secondsnippets, these extracts were exported and inserted into atrack on Garage band (along with the already inserted voiceover clips which had previously been imported
Radio Trial continuation..• Following this, we then started to look at the available musictracks in Garage band but most of them were not appropriatedue to their length or the genre didn’t match our style, targetaudience or topic.. Therefore, we mixed and matched with 2different short sounds called ‘dance’ and ‘chordal’ and weplayed with these to make a consistent rhythm that wethought sounded pretty good.
Other software used for Evaluation..Used to upload Microsoft Worddocuments onto blogger. Displaysword documents.. Used to create graphs forevaluation of Audiencefeedback, in order to displaythe results in a visual eyefriendly manner.. A unique way of presentinginformation in a interactiveand appealing way!Used to construct presentations.. a nice wayof displaying information rather than boringessays..Used to upload Powerpoint presentations onto the blog sothat they may be made viewable and can easily scroll yourway through each of the slides..