Question Four: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
We used a variety of different technologies to allow our documentary to look well researched, the first piece of technology I used was Blogger.com, this is where I documented all of my research and work for the planning of our documentary. This site allows us to upload images and videos onto our blog giving us the ability to store all of our planning and research towards the making of our documentary. We applied numerous codes and conventions to our own documentary through viewing and analysing documentaries shown on television, that have already been made an example of one of the mixed documentary I analysed was “The Devil Made Me Do It”, through watching this I could fully understand and recognise the codes and conventions which were conveyed.
We began our documentary by contacting online retailers such as Ebay, Amazon & Boohoo to receive an interview with them however after a numerous amount of automated emails, the companies declined to give any statement due to publicity rules and regulations. As our first attempt of getting an interview failed, we used Google to find businesses locally, to try and get an interview with a smaller company or business. We also then individually tried to find some research for our documentary, using Google we found important pieces of information such as facts and statistics about the decrease of high street shopping which we could use in our voiceover. We also find archive footage through looking through several sites which we could incorporate into the documentary.
We used high quality cameras, mics and tripods provided to us through our college for the actual filming of our documentary. When using the camera to film, we first had to set up the tripod given to us, this reduced the shakiness of the camera, we had to unfold the tripod and then we had to screw the plate onto the bottom of the camera and then securely placed the camera onto the tripod. We then had to check the camera to make sure it was ready for filming, some checks involved were :- Placing an empty tape inside of the camera, checking if the battery was securely in place and charged, checking that the lens cap was off and if we were filming an interview, we had to check the mic to make sure it was working properly by checking that the volume bar appeared on the screen, this was done to prevent having to refilm due to poor sound quality. After carrying out these checks, we could start recording our footage, which was simple as we only had to press one button when we wanted to start or finish filming. We rarely used zooms in our footage however we did use it when filming a few cutaways.
After all footage was filmed, we then began to edit what we filmed together, we used the programme Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, which we equally took in turns to use so that we all become comfortable with the editing process. We had to create a new project in Widescreen 48hz, we had to use this so that the footage came out onto the screen, the same as we filmed it. The first task we had to do was capture all our footage from the tape onto Adobe Premiere which required us to put our tape into a JVC Video Recorder which was hooked up to our computer, we had to capture all the footage together in big chunks before being able to cut it down into smaller shots.
We incorporated graphics into our documentary which was a necessity as this is a big convention of documentaries; we went to title then into default still which lead to a window popping up to let us modify what we wanted in the title such as font, size, placement etc. We also had to import music into our documentary from a CD which was relatively easy as we just had to import it onto Adobe Premiere and then save it as a .wma file which would later on be placed under our visuals for our opening title. We also have to capture archive footage to include in our documentary by capturing it straight from the DVD instead of from a tape.
For our radio advert, we had to record the voice over through using a camera and speaking into the microphone and then we used Adobe Premiere to capture and edit the advertisement. We then placed specific audio from our documentary into the voice over to create a suitable advert. This advertisement lasted for 30 seconds with a mixture of incorporated audio footage and the voice over which is a code and convention of radio advertisements. For our poster, we used the programme Adobe Photoshop to take pictures of well known retailer bags then we used the Google search engine to find the logo for Channel 4 and then wrote our title, channel and time of our documentary.