Evaluation Question 1 In what ways does your media productuse, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? George Loftus
Documentary• When we began to research our materials for our documentary, we focused on following key codes and conventions to support the realism that we needed to match other ‘real’ documentaries. We had to connect through the seriousness of the documentary whilst being pessimistic throughout the opening 5 minutes. This is important for the documentary as it sets the tone of what is being put across in addition of the narrative that it wants to portray.
Bill Nichols Theory• Bill Nichols’ Documentary Modes (2001) believes that even though there is different types of documentaries such as; poetic, participatory, reflexive, performative, observational and expositional. These all establish the different types of documentaries that there are in modern society.• The performative and participatory modes are very similar as they both include an on screen presenter which is found in documentaries such as Supersize Me.• The observational mode is more of a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ type of documentary so shows a lot of information and knowledge but without the direction that is sometimes needed with a presenter.• The expositional mode is most similar to our own as it includes a voiceover and narrative, This style is very factual which we include throughout the opening 5 minutes.
Real documentaries – Supersize Me and AirlineSince the start of A2 media we watched an abundance of real documentaries having all differenttopics to discuss, however all using very similar techniques to establish their documentary.The supersize me documentary was a great example of the performative mode which is shownthrough Morgan Spurlock appearing in his documentary showing authority and a direction towhere it is heading. It uses interviews as a way to get a public understanding of the issue acrosswhich establishes an idea of support for the documentary. The documentary has a sense ofrealism creating a connection to the public and the audience of it.In addition we watched other documentaries such as Airline which uses other techniques todeliver there information and performance. In this they use Voice of God narration to deliverthere facts and figures but focuses more of primary research from first hand customers whoappear on the show.
Camera• We used many codes and conventions similar to ones found in many other documentaries such as supersize me:-• we used a variety of shots in our documentary such as establishing shots, close ups, mid close ups and long shots. The main code that we used was the use of medium close ups to express feelings so that the audience can connect with what is being said on screen. In addition, to centrally structure the documentary for interviews and Vox Pops using the idea of using the rule of thirds meant that it created a professional view on the opening of the documentary. As you can see we have used the idea of the rule of thirds to our benefit , with the interviewee on the left side of the shot and the eye line a quarter of the way down establishes a view of authority which we have matched with supersize me.
Camera• We have followed conventions from Bill Nichols with the use of an on screen narrator i.e. the voice of authority. This is commonly used in documentaries such as supersize me which gives the audience guidance and direction to where the documentary is going. OUR DOCUMENTARY SUPER SIZE ME
Camera• Another use of the camera was using a tripod. This allowed us to create various establishing shots of the college to portray to the audience what we are talking about and also connecting one shot to the next. The tripod also meant that we could use shots such as Pan, tracking and zooms to create a professional look in our documentary.
Editing• The main cuts in our documentary were straight cuts to keep the documentary flowing at a quick pace, however we did include a variety of other cuts such as fade to black and dissolves. These were used to break up one topic from the next so the audience know that we are talking about something different.• In addition we used cutaways in interviews to keep the documentary interesting so that its not an interviewee talking for a whole minute. This also stopped the use of jump cuts so the documentary would flow similar to Supersize Me and Airline.• Questions for the Vox pops and expert interviews were edited out so we just had the answers, this is very similar to other documentaries. OUR DOCUMENTARY SUPER SIZE MEBoth these shots are using a fade to black to go from one topic to the next therefore followingconventions of original documentaries.
editing• In addition we used a fast opening montage to introduce entertainment and excitement straight away into the documentary. this was used to grab the audience’s attention making them carry on watching the rest of the documentary. All of these shots were used in the space of 8 seconds. Indicating the fast pace of the opening.
Special Effects (Editing)• We used a variety of special effects some that we used with the camera such as altering the focus and zooming. These were just basic effects to create variety and difference in the shots to display facts. These two shots both are out of focus with the shot from supersize me it is being covered over by a voice over to establish what is going to be said. i.e. the Voice of God narration from Bill Nichols. In our documentary we are also using a voice of God narration but with the addition of facts on the screen. The Out of focus shot makes the audience not get distracted from something that is on the screen that is not important towards what is being said.
Special Effects (Editing)• However we did use Final Cut Express to enhance some of our shots such as the speed of it to create emphasis or to speed the documentary up. We used a shot that had been sped up when talking about something not related to what was on the screen so that the audience could not focus on a nonrelated part of the clip and get distracted.
Sound• Sound is a very important part of a documentary which includes specifics such as narration, backing music, Diegetic, Non-diegetic and Presenter.• The use of Voice of god Narration and Voice of Authority which is similar to other documentaries establishes authority and direction towards the documentary. We realised that with both types of narration the audience can connect with the presenter and follow what he is saying with confidence and leadership with facts and figures especially.
Research• We packed our documentary with loads of research as we followed many other documentaries and it seemed that this convention is the mostly used one out of them all. We have used a variety of second hand research and primary research from our questionnaire and interviews. In supersize me it uses a majority of second hand research of information that they have found out prior to the documentary which is similar to our own: OUR DOCUMENTARY SUPER SIZE ME
Research• In addition we also used primary research what is used in Airline with first hand interviews and research from questionnaires that we did ourselves. The interviews establish a first person view and gives the documentary a more personal touch to do with audience feedback. We have also used interviews to create a more personal touch to the documentary and it gives the audience something that they can associate themselves with.
TV Listings Article• This is our Finished article for the double page spread, we followed similar conventions used in many other TV listings articles. The magazine that we produced for was Radio Times so we tried to follow the house style and layout in other examples that we looked at to keep the conventions of this magazine going throughout the page.
TV Listings ArticleMasthead Pull QuoteWe have used a masthead We used a pull quotethat connects the topic of to pull the reader intoSmoking with thedocumentary and Article the text withouttogether. Mentioning having to read it allSmoking and Young before hand. In thisportrays what we are case we used a fewtalking about and pull quotes to grabestablishes the view the readers attentionstraight away. to themes they might enjoy.Drop CapDrop caps are used in Date/Time/Channelnearly every magazine You will always find aarticle which makes itlook professional and fits TV listings article withthe style of Radio Times. the date/time/channel of the documentary. It is Columns Main Image usually found at the Most articles have 2 or 3 We have included a few images top of the article but columns so we have followed similar to every magazine . we have challenged the convention and gone However they usually use stills the conventions and with 2 columns as this is from the documentary but we put it at the end of familiar with the radio times have not done this and have the article. house style. gotten original images instead.
Radio trail• We have listened to a number of radio trails from stations such as; Radio 5 live, Capital, radio 2, radio 1 etc. and many others that include advertisement. We had chosen BBC Radio 1 as our radio station so it had to be something young and entertaining to sit the target audience we are aiming at. We used Garage band to create the radio trail and put it together with a backing beat so that it appealed towards the target audience.
Radio Trail• We used a backing beat on our radio trail to create tension and interest into what is being said on the trail. The start of the trail is very shocking and different to many other radio trails.• We have included clips from the documentary but not as many as we should have to create a link between the documentary and the radio trail.• We also used a lot of loop tracks which are just played quietly in the background to keep the radio trail ticking over. this is a convention of a radio trail and will appeal to the younger generation.