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A2 Media Evaluation

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Media Evaluation Portfolio

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A2 Media Evaluation

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  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  3. 3. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? ‘ So you think you can drive’ follows a lot of the forms and conventions of documentary production. We have kept to these guidelines due to the serious message the documentary is trying portray, therefore making standard conventions the most appropriate format. However, there are camera shots that, if not defy the conventions, then certainly challenge them. Inspiration has been drawn from a range of documentaries and even media work we did at AS Level. In the next few slides I will be explaining the research we conducted and how it influenced our own work… When You roll over an image and see the hand icon click it to view the video Archival Footage and Photographs Archival materials include old photographs, newsreel footage, and even shots from fiction films. Talking Heads Talking heads are people interviewed to explain or comment on the text's subject. These people usually are shown in their offices (sometimes with a wall of books behind them) or in their homes. Handheld Camera A wobbly camera is often attributed to documentary. As cameras became more portable and more affordable, filmmakers did more on-location shooting, and keeping the camera steady was somewhat difficult when it came to following the action. The fiction film The Blair Witch Project makes use of the jiggly camera as a means of reinforcing its documentary-like style. Voiceover Narration Voiceover narration occurs when a voice is heard on the soundtrack without a matching source in the image. In other words we hear the voice speak but we cannot see the speaker utter the words. The voice often explains or comments on the visuals. Re-enactments A re-enactment stages real events that already have occurred. Sometimes they include the people who experienced the events originally, but more often they incorporate actors playing parts. Most documentary filmmakers shoot events where they actually occur. Real People For the most part, the people we see in a documentary are real people. Documentary Conventions
  4. 4. Weird Weekends: Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends is a television documentary series, in which Louis Theroux gives viewers the chance to get brief glimpses into the worlds of individuals and groups that they would not normally come into contact with or experience up close. In most cases this means interviewing people with extreme beliefs of some kind, or just generally belonging to subcultures not known to exist by most or just frowned upon. Survivalist: In Idaho, Louis meets military enthusiasts and right-wing patriots who are preparing for a global catastrophe, including trips to survivalists' store Safetrek and a mountain refuge for conspiracy theorists called Almost Heaven. Louis also visits the Aryan Nation Church and helps to build a straw-bale home. The episode focuses on the survivalist movement and communities formed around it. The fact that several self-proclaimed survivalists were also hippies and environmentalists is a recurring theme. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? In the early stages of the project the group and I had never really considered how documentaries were structured. Louis Theroux seemed like a good place to start our research as he is a renowned for his documentary work. Theroux’s work was helpful to introduce us to documentaries, however, his work is quite light hearted, we now needed to study something that had a more serious tone in order to learn how to effectively capture and audience. Jungle Siege Find out more: http://jhammondmedia-heathside.blogspot.com/2009/11/jungle-siege.html
  5. 5. 'An Inconvenient Truth' is a unique and rare style of documentary making. The feature film consists of Al Gore addressing an audience in a lecture/seminar style. Gore's presentation identifies the danger of global warming and the imminent threat that earth faces. The presentation is broken down through the use of archive footage of Al Gore's life and images of earth's changing environment. The use of this footage gives the audience a better overall idea of the presentations meaning and purpose, it also enables Gore to back up his claims with physical evidence. Archive footage makes the documentary more appealing to the audience because it stops the documentary becoming dull, this is important because the location in which the documentary is filmed is not particularly interesting, however the subject and the way in which it is presented is compelling. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? As a group we were intrigued by how this documentary used archive footage to break up the seminar, this was a technique we felt we wanted to incorporate into our production. The archive footage was a subtle way for Al Gore to get a serious point to the audience, by using clips of his time in devastated countries he touches on the viewers emotions
  6. 6. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The ‘Think’ series of advertisements is one of the most effective and dramatic ways to engage an audience. The advertisements do not hold back on showing the consequences of peoples mistakes on the road, the adverts are often graphic and brutal, driving home the facts of road accidents. We undoubtedly felt that the audience we were trying to grasp would only take note if we had a documentary that was hard hitting and factual, we decided we needed footage and interviews that note only were factual but emotional as well. Our documentary does stay true to the conventions by including interviewees who have been affected by a (fictional) real life situation. The use of actors playing these roles added a sense of realism.
  7. 7. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Variations in lighting plays a large part in interviews on documentaries. Lighting immediately notifies the audience of the situation, for example, this dark lighting covers the identity of the person, therefore telling the audience that this is a serious interview situation. In this interview we have tried to recreate that effect, whilst mixing it in with a reconstruction, it works well and is in keeping with the documentary style This type of lighting is conventional of documentaries covering tabooed or tragic events. Archive footage can be a very dominant part of a documentary, there are cases where an entire documentary is pieced together with archive footage and then a narrators voice addresses the audience. This form of documentary is more suitable for occasions where the event has already happened and it was a one off occasion. The archive footage used in our documentary consists of movie clips and images, there are relevant to the topic but do not show the event in question, this challenges the forms and conventions by allowing the audience to create their own image of the event, the archive footage lets the documentary flow between interviews. This footage of the 9/11 attacks is a good example of archiving, the makers had to use scenes already filmed as they weren't there at the time
  8. 8. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Interviewees are typically placed to the left or right of the camera frame when being interviewed, the person on screen then talks in the direction of the interviewer, situated just off screen. This convention is most effective when the interviewee is recapping a scenario as opposed to appealing/addressing the audience directly. This is exactly the reason why we have conformed to the conventions in the majority of our interviews. The audience is a ‘bystander’ to the interview as opposed to directly involved in it, therefore, in this particular interview, the viewers feel a sense of helplessness and remorse as they can only sit and listen to the interviewee’s story. This interview challenges the conventions of documentary making, it goes against a lot of the forms mentioned with the above interview (person to the side of the frame, talking to an off screen character) because we wanted to create an intimate interview where the audience is being engaged directly.
  9. 9. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Statistics always put facts and figures into perspective. Referring back to Al Gore’s ‘An Incontinent Truth’, there is a lot of hard science involved in his research, however he is able to ‘normalise’ the information for the general public to understand by using statistics. Seeing as stats are a fundamental part of documentary making, and the immense impact they can have, we felt that there was potential to develop a selection of statistics and include them in the product. When we conducted audience feedback they felt that the statistics were one of the most effective parts of the documentary, this is because they could easily ‘digest’ the information. Fast forwarding the clip and bleeding some of the colour makes it slightly abstract
  10. 10. ‘ So You Think You Can Drive?’ is a title that is meant to challenge and almost provoke the audience, it makes them question something they may not have thought about. ‘ What’s You Opinion?’ is very much meant to create the same emotion, at the point in which this question is asked in the documentary the audience should have an idea of how they feel about the topic, by raising these questions we are involving the audience and making them consider their driving habits. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  11. 11. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
  12. 12. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? The magazine article has been created in way that does not directly refer to the documentary but instead delves into the overall topic of teenage driving. Audiences read about events that have occurred due to young driver errors, public opinions and perceptions. “ Should we be on the field at all? I think that’s what’s being looked at,” said police spokesman Lt Frank Vanore. “I’m not sure we should be chasing people around the field.” An extract from The Times which shows an expert (Police Officer) giving his opinion. By using characters such as Mr and Mrs Smith I have tried to create and emotional introduction, this does link in with attitude of the documentary and caries it on successfully. PC Adams is a figure of authority adding a sense of credibility to the article, it is common practice for journalists to use experts in their news to back up or enforce claims and statements used. In conclusion this ancillary task does not address the documentary directly but allows the audience to hear other peoples opinions, when they see the documentary themselves they can form their own opinion.
  13. 13. Radio Advert: So You Think You Can Drive How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? The radio advert is directly linked to the documentary as it advertises what it is and when it is. It works well because of the simplicity, an almost eerie feel, that is designed to intrigue the audience. This is one of the most effective ways to advertise the documentary, if the advert is played in the right places at the right time it could be directly broadcast to the target audience.
  14. 14. What have you learned from your audience feedback?
  15. 15. What have you learned from your audience feedback? The audience were very positive about the documentary. They gave honest feedback and described what they liked and what could be improved. The car crash scene at the end of the documentary was the most talked about point, the audience felt this was a good, yet brutal, way to portray the consequences of careless driving, in this case texting. From the feedback we received the group have learned that a ‘shock value’ is possible the best way to affect and hold an audience, especially of this age. It is important not to lecture and patronise the younger drivers but instead teach and show them.
  16. 16. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
  17. 17. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Apple iMovie: One of the most vital tools throughout the process of making the documentary, not only in producing the final product but also the development stages. The software is easy to familiarise with, this to me is one of the most enjoyable aspects of using editing software such as iMovie. Cameras are now so accessible and portable that they can be used in any situation. Such is the quality of modern cameras we only needed to stick with one, it coped with a range of lighting and environments making it an invaluable part of the product construction. Designed to be used ‘on the go’ makes them user friendly, as a group we couldn’t find a fault when it came to filming or uploading with our Sony Portable Camera. The internet, a source of information that seems to be endless. As a group most of our research was carried out via the internet, we were able to search for documentary conventions through to current documentaries and how they were constructed. http:// jhammondmedia-heathside.blogspot.com/2010/01/archive-from-youtube.html Click the link below to be directed to my blog about the YouTube Downloader

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