How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Research• In the research stage of my coursework project I used many different technologies.• I frequently used web 2.0 services such as YouTube to research existing products and discover the conventions of my chosen music genre.• I also used online blogs and forums to discuss ideas with fans of country music. I read their posts on what they like and dislike and what they have come to expect from the genre. I also posted my own discussion topic during later stages to gain audience feedback however unfortunately got no response. The Forum site I used was truecountry.com• I used ‘Premiere Pro’ to create test videos. This enabled me to try out different techniques such as ‘green screen’.
Planning• I used a digital slr camera to take some test shots of location and to try out different camera angles.• Again, I used ‘Premiere Pro’ to create various video sequences. I placed hand drawn images on the timeline along with my track to visually show a plan of the storyboard. I also removed the sound on an existing music video whilst the file was an uncompressed audio visual type on the timeline. I then replaced it with my own track ‘Waiting On You’ to get a clearer idea of what my video may look like.
Production: Digipak• I used a digital slr camera to take many photos that could be used on my digipak.• I then used Photoshop to manipulate these images and position them carefully as a digipak design.• One of the main tools I used was the ‘opacity’ tool. I lowered the opacity in order to make the images look more ‘real’. I did this most effectively for the graffiti imagery.• I displaced the image of graffiti over the horse. To get this effect, I had to first create a ‘map’ by using the magnetic lasso tool to select the area I wanted to use and then desaturating the image. I altered the shadows and highlights to make the outline more vivid. I then opened this map with the image of graffiti and joined the two layers together. I altered the opacity to make the image of the horse show through the graffiti.
Production: Magazine Advert• Similarly to my digipak, I used a digital slr camera and photoshop to take and edit the images.• I used the magnetic lasso tool to select the horse image and place them on the background.• I used the slider tools to alter the shadows and highlights within the text. This made the images blend together to soften the lines where the two images were joined.
Production: Video• I used a video camera to record the footage within the video.• I then edited the clips using Premiere Pro.• I used techniques such as speeding up a clip or slowing down to create interesting visual effects. In order to achieve this, I used the speed/duration option in the drop down menu. I also used this tool at the end of the video to reverse a clip. In the settings box for speed/duration, I ticked the reverse speed box to flip the clip and make it run backwards. This gave the effect of the paper ‘unburning’ itself.
Production: Video• I used the crop tool to make images smaller within the frame. This allowed me to create the split screen effect as now I could fit more than one image in the frame. I used this to put both band members in the frame at once and also show three different images of mouths singing.• I also used the movement tool to make the image move within the frame. This technique is used a number of times within the video, sometimes in conjunction with another technique. For example, the split screen of the band members was created using both crop and movement. I toggled points within the video where the movement would change. I was able to easily manipulate this to make it flow with the music.
Production: Video• Another interesting technique I used within the video was the opacity tool.• I used this to overlay images and have them in the frame at the same time but on top of each other rather than side by side.• This technique suggests anchored meanings to the images as they are placed together.• I also used the toggle tool to fade the opacity in and out and blend clips together more subtly.
Evaluation• The media technologies used for my evaluation are heavily focused around web 2.0 services.• The include internet sites such as Blogger and YouTube.• I also used Prezi and Slideshare to present my ideas in a more interesting way.• I used a video camera to film myself responding to one of the questions. This allowed me to be more descriptive as I could discuss verbally in more detail much easier than in writing.
How useful were these technologies?• Whilst the technologies made all the work easier for the most part, I did come up against some struggles.• I found it easiest to use Photoshop for the production of my ancillary texts as I have previous experience of this software and so was familiar with the tools. This meant that I was able to experiment more comfortably and more successfully to achieve effective results (such as the displacement of graffiti imagery).• I found that relying on the internet to conduct production or research can be limiting as it is not a consistent service. I had to delay creating my ‘prezi’ because of issues with the software and internet connection. It would have been easier to produce my evaluation if I didn’t need to rely so heavily on technology.
Technological Determinism• The quality of my work was heavily determined by the technology I was using and my knowledge of it.• Had I been more experienced with Premiere Pro, I could have created more interesting effects and therefore improve the overall video.• However the technology helped to enthuse my creativity. By watching YouTube tutorials on using Photoshop, it inspired me to try out new techniques and manipulate images in innovative ways.