What have you learnt about technologies in the process of constructing this product?
What have you learnt about
technologies from the process of
constructing this product?
During the first portion of this project, me and
my group had to do a lot of researching.
Everything from codes and convention of
horror films, to The Rule of Thirds and how to
frame our shots.
We also had to present our findings in a
clear, engaging and organised manner. As well
as having to communicate effectively between
each other, in order to collaborate our efforts
on certain tasks.
YouTube proved an invaluable source in more
than one way. It is a video-hosting site, which allows you to
share videos that you’ve found or made on social networks, as
well as embed them into blogs or presentations.
I found that YouTube helped in researching the conventions of horror openings, as I could
watch and take notes of a number of openings to a number of different films, I could also
take these videos as examples and share them with my group, to develop a better idea of
what our film could turn out like. In addition to this, we as a group could use YouTube to
upload draft cuts, or research videos that we had made.
However, since the content on YouTube is uploaded by users, there is no quality guarantee
and it’s not always possible to find what you’re looking for. In addition to this, embedded
YouTube videos in Blogger had a tendency to not work, although I do not know if this
problem lay with Blogger or YouTube.
Artofthetitle.com is a site full of title sequences for
films, as well as reviews and information about the films themselves.
This website was very useful when researching what a horror opening sequence
should consist of. It provides both opening and closing credits, and is much
more refined for its purpose than YouTube. You can browse by designers &
studios, or use the search function. The site also has extra information such as
detailed synopsis and even interviews with creators
The downsides to the use of this site was that it wasn’t always clear whether
you were watching a beginning or ending sequence, and it was sometimes
difficult to find the films you were looking for. Also, the videos could not be
embedded into Blogger, which meant that to illustrate any research, I would
have had to substitute an embedded video with multiple screenshots.
Blogger was the tool we used most as a group. It is a blogging site that allows
you to create and shape your own blog, as well as read the blogs of others, and
contribute to other people’s blogs.
By creating our own blogs we were capable of collating all of our research into one
place, which helped to keep things organised and on track. Blogger was great for the
integration of videos and pictures into blog posts. It was also useful to be able to connect
to one another’s blogs within our group, as we could keep track of each others work, share
work in a flash, and access all of our collaborative work from anywhere. Blogger was very
easy to get used to and provided many design options for beginners.
My biggest complaint about Blogger would be that I had to create a Gmail account to use it.
I would also say that it was a lot of hassle to get connected to each other’s blogs, and using
pictures in your blog posts was generally a disastrous experience. As a suggestion I would
also have liked the option to incorporate Word or Publisher documents into blog posts, as
this would have cut down on a lot of Copy&Pasting.
Facebook is a social networking site, designed to make communication and
sharing as simple as possible. It has a very fluid and simple Instant Messaging
The biggest advantage of using Facebook to communicate is that it is incredibly popular.
Everybody in our group had it, was well versed in it’s use, and had access to it not only from
home but from their mobile devices. We organised ourselves into a ‘chat’ which allowed us
to have instant, rapid conversations about our work at any time in the day, and from
anywhere. It was much more efficient to discuss things this way than it was to use Blogger.
Facebook also allowed us to share Word documents and research so that it could be
instantly accessible, and we could receive instant feedback.
The problems we faced with Facebook are derived from it’s advantages. The pace of
conversation is so quick that sometimes a member of the group would miss important
discussions, and pieces of research which were attached to messages would be buried by
chit-chat. This led to a lot of repeating ourselves.
Presentation of Research
Prezi is a website which allows you to create and design dynamic and engaging
presentations in an infinite number of ways. It’s a great way to present
An extremely useful technology. Prezi was easy to get started with and allowed for the
presentation of information in a less boring way. There are a number of templates to
choose from but you can get really creative with where your presentations go. It was also
very easy to embed Prezis into blog posts, and share them around the group. All of your
work is stored online, so it can be accessed anywhere.
There were occasions when Prezi didn’t work or wouldn’t load, which was a pain. Also, the
User Interface does take a little bit of getting used to- it isn’t as smooth
as, say, Powerpoint. In addition, I had technical problems in trying to import an image from
my flash drive into my Prezi, so it wasn’t an entire success.
The second portion of this project involved
actually filming, and editing the film. For
this, we needed filming equipment and editing
software. This was important because we were
tasked with creating a piece of ‘professional
quality’ so we would have needed to use
technology that could keep up.
We had to be able to record our shots, upload
them to a computer and edit them into
For the filming, we used standard definition Sony cameras, as well as tripods.
The cameras that we used proved to be good in the sense that they were very user
friendly, and compact. The footage was of reasonable quality and the camera battery
lasted long enough for us to film the entirety of our piece in one day. These cameras also
allowed for immediate playback, so we could watch what we had just filmed and determine
whether we would need to reshoot, which was very important for the quality of the
The cameras, however, only filmed in standard definition, which did lead to limitations on
what we could do to the footage in terms of editing. Also, the footage proved to look
different on the camera than it did on screen, which resulted in us having to reshoot our
project at one point. I would have preferred to use a HD camera, despite the fact that it
would have led to extended upload times.
iMovie was our choice of video editing software. It is the standard
software that comes with Mac’s, and allows you to save and edit
multiple different projects simultaneously.
iMovie was very easy to use, and allowed us to precision edit our piece, as well
as add in music and text overlays. As inexperienced editors, iMovie was a lot
more easy to get the hang of than Final Cut. It also kept all of our progress
saved, which put our minds at rest, and kept all of our raw footage stored so
that it could be reused in case we needed it. It was simple and effective.
What I liked about iMovie’s simplicity is also what I didn’t like about it. It
seemed that there were a lot of things we couldn’t do, the process of editing
felt quite ‘guided’ or ‘constricted’ and we did not have the tools to do whatever
we liked, so to speak.
The computers we used to edit all of our footage were iMacs. Fully
compatible with iMovie and with enough RAM to handle video editing
The iMacs were fast, and effective when you know how to use them. The Mac
OSX allowed for fluid and easy editing, and the Macs themselves made it very
easy to handle multiple tasks at once. It was easy to upload our footage, and
easy to import it all into iMovie. By using a portable USB flash drive we were
able to very easily share information and files across multiple Macs, which
helped us to split the workload.
Using the iMacs for the first few times after only having used a PC before was
quite difficult, some of the controls left me confused. It was not uncommon for
the flash drive we used to not be recognised by the Macs, which was indeed
problematic, and it was also oddly complicated to access files on our student
drives. We also could not access our e-mail accounts, which was an issue for