AS Media Studies
By Emilia Pearce
Evaluation Task 6…
What have you learnt about technologies
from the process of constructing this
Throughout this entire process, I have come across and used numerous different
types of technology. From websites to physical pieces of equipment, such as the
dolly, I have had to learn how to use these pieces of technology to their best
ability. For some pieces, I had used them before this project and so knew where
to begin. On the other hand, there were pieces of equipment and software that I
had never come across before and so had to get to grips with how to use it. In
some cases, I was a fast learner and could use the technology to it’s best ability;
however, in some cases I found this difficult and took a while longer to work out
how to use it. In cases such as these I often turned to tutorial videos on Youtube
and asking for help from my teachers and peers. By doing so, in the end I
managed to use all of the equipment and software that I wanted to and to it’s
best ability. I have learnt a lot about different technologies throughout this
process and shall keep this knowledge for future use.
The first software that we came across in this process was ‘Wordpress.com’. We began by setting up
our own blogs. At first, I was unsure whether or not I had previously used this software. However,
when entering my details I was informed by the website that an account had already been made using
my email. I then guessed the password and somehow managed to log into my old account first time! I
then remembered that in year 8, it was our homework to make a blog. My blog was called ‘Music
Mania’ and contained a small number of posts about my favourite music. I then deleted this blog and
started my new page, ‘Emilia Pearce’s AS Media Studies Blog’ (https://11pearceemi.wordpress.com).
When creating the blog, we had to pick our own theme and then we created the categories that would
keep our blogs neat and tidy in the future. For the first couple of weeks, we were given the time to get
to know how to use this new software and to make our first few posts titled ‘My Media’. In the ‘My
Media’ section, we could write about anything in the world of media that interested us. However, it
was when we began our coursework that our blogs came into use. We used our blogs to document
and present each stage of the process. The blog posts included in this are fairly varied and include
posts in various forms, such as a pictograph or a Prezi presentation.
I have found the use of our blogs extremely helpful as it allowed me to refer to past pieces of planning
efficiently. From using Wordpress.com, I have learnt various things about this sort of technology.
Before, media in the form of a blog hardly crossed my mind. I had never looked at other people’s blogs
or willingly posted onto a blog myself. However, by using Wordpress to document the process of my
project, I have learnt about the various aspects to a blog and how to run one myself. The many things
that you can do on Wordpress has surprised me and I look forward to keeping a blog running in the
future. By having our own blogs, I have also become interested in other people’s blogs around the
world and will continue to keep up to date with these once this process is over.
In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. Without the use of the site ‘Google’,
Emelia and I would have found this process an awful lot harder than we have. Throughout
the process, Emelia and I have used the search engine to help us with our research and
presentation of our blog. Without it, we would not have come across websites such as Prezi
and Piktochart. The majority of our research into the codes and conventions of various
features of a film opening has been made fairly simple thanks to the help of Google. Because
of this site, we were able to look into and compare the information on hundreds of different
sites and pick out the best for us. Google has allowed the entire process to be carried out in
an efficient manner and without it, Emelia and I may not have been able to have in detail
research or access to some of the dominant sites used in the process. We have also used
Google Images throughout the process in order to display our ideas and to back up our
research. Without the help of Google Images, our blogs would be looking a whole lot more
plain than they do now!
Google has been the root factor in our findings for this project. Without it, Emelia and I
would not have found out and learnt as much as we have. However, from research on
Google we have also learnt that not all sites on a search engine are reliable. From this, we
have learnt to delve deeper into the results rather than just focus on the top two or three.
Without the help of Google, the end product of our coursework may have been a whole lot
Before this process, I had never come across or head of the website ‘Prezi’. Prezi is a presentational
software that allows you to create a somewhat animated PowerPoint. Even though I had never come
across it before, I found it fairly easy to use and got to grips with it quickly. Throughout the process, I
used ‘Prezi’ to help me present my research and findings in an interesting and different way. For
example, I created a Prezi presentation to display the research that I had found on the various
conventions of a Thriller
Prezi has allowed me to present the information that I found when researching in an eye catching,
organised and interesting way. I found it fairly easy to use and am sure that I will use it in the future to
help me present various things. When planning and creating our film, I could easily go back and look at
the results from our research due to the layout and accessibility of the presentation.
I had never created my own survey before this process. However, when looking into what an audience
would expect from a film in the thriller genre, I felt as though a survey would be the best way to present
this. By creating a survey, we would be able to get answers easily and efficiently from all types of people.
The results from the survey would also be easy for us to compare and analyse. Although I was sure that I
wanted to create a survey, I had not done this before and so did not know where to start. It was then when
I came across the website, ‘Survey Monkey’. On here, you could create your own surveys for free. At first, I
found the process fairly fiddly and long winded. However, once I had got the hang of it the process became
easier and more efficient. When I had finished creating the survey, I was asked to reduce the survey to 10
questions otherwise I would have to pay. Although I felt as though this should have been made clearer
before creating the survey, once I had cut it down I sent the link to friends and family.
5 days later, we had had 51 responses to the survey. We managed to get so many responses due to how
easy it is to complete the survey. It was then when we decided to analyse the replies. The website allows it
to be really easy when analysing the results as you can choose how to present the results. Often I chose a
bar chart as this clearly displays the most popular answers. I then took the most popular answers and took
this into account when planning our film opening.
Before this process, I had taken part in only a couple of surveys and had never before created my own.
Survey Monkey helped me to create a professional looking, efficient survey. From this, I learnt the various
aspects to a thriller film that is expected from the audience. I also learnt about the various codes and
conventions to a survey and how to share it effectively. I can see myself using Survey Monkey again in
When Emelia and I began to write our screenplay, our teacher recommended the website ‘Writer Duet’ to
us. Neither of us had ever come across or heard of this website before and so we decided to have a
practice first before creating our screenplay. Writer Duet allows you to work on the same screenplay on
two computers at the same time. It also offers a feature that allows you to video call your partner who is
working on the screenplay also so that you can communicate easily. At first, I found Writer Duet quite
complicated to figure out. Because of this, I decided to watch a tutorial video on YouTube…
https://youtu.be/EHeApVgS1FY. After watching this, I attempted to use the software once again and
found it much easier. Not only does this site allow you to work on the screenplay together, but it assists
you with the codes and conventions of a professional screenplay. For example, the font of 12 point, 10
pitch Courier Type-Face is the font used in all professional scripts; this was set up automatically on the
website and so left little room for mistake. When creating our screenplay, Emelia and I wanted to be able
to come back and edit it easily once we had received feedback. Writer Duet allowed us to do this easily
Before this project, I had not created my own screenplay. Because of this, I found the task quite daunting.
However, Writer Duet really helped us and allowed the process to be as simple as possible. I was happy
with our final product as it looked professional thanks to the features on Writer Duet. Although Emelia
and I researched into the codes and conventions of a professional screenplay before creating our own,
Writer Duet also taught us some features that we had previously missed out. We also learnt how to sync
two computers onto one screenplay thanks to Writer Duet. Without the help of this website, the process
of creating our own screenplay would have taken a whole lot longer! Writer Duet taught me what a
professional script should look like.
Emelia and I used YouTube throughout the entire process. We used it for a various of reasons.
Arguably, the main reason as to why we used YouTube was for help with other websites that we
could not understand. When finding a certain software difficult, Emelia and I used YouTube to look
up tutorials. YouTube allowed us to watch and compare hundreds of tutorial videos and each video
was different and useful in it’s own way. We also used YouTube to watch various openings and
trailers of existing thriller films. Due to the vast array of videos on YouTube, Emelia and I were able
to watch and analyse hundreds of thriller openings and trailers at the touch of a button. We found
this extremely helpful when creating our own opening as we could easily link back to these
professional examples and incorporate various features in our own. We also used YouTube for
research purposes, such as when we were looking into which nursery rhyme to use. Without the
help of YouTube, Emelia and I would have no doubt found the entire process a whole lot more
difficult and long winded. The easy accessibility to YouTube also allowed Emelia and I to imbed the
videos into our blogs; this allowed the presentation of our blogs to be much more interesting but
also allowed us to use examples to back up our points.
Although YouTube was useful at home, we are unable to access it when at school and so because of
this Emelia and I decided not to use it as the site to upload our videos onto. YouTube also acted as a
root/underlying factor within this process as it gave us access to hundreds of videos that taught us a
lot. Without the help of YouTube, we would not have learnt much about the various websites that
we were struggling with. Although I have used YouTube before, using it during this process also
taught and showed me how large the site actually is and how much it really contains! It’s never-
Before animating the image of the dandelion or orchid on Motion, Emelia and I had to
draw/trace the image on a software called Pixelmator. Although I had previously used this at
GCSE when creating the album cover, that was quite a long time ago and so I could not quite
remember how to use the software to it’s best ability. In an attempt to remind myself on how
to use the software, I watched a tutorial video on YouTube… https://youtu.be/rgt576TlPWE
Once I had reminded myself how to use the software, it all came back to me and I found it
easy to navigate and use. In order to help us with drawing our dandelion and orchid, Emelia
and I used a ‘Graphics Tablet’. This allowed us to draw the images more accurately and easier
than with the mouse. Neither of us had used one of these before and so found it slightly
bizarre at first but managed to get to grips with it with practice. Without the use of this
technology, the process could have taken a lot longer. On the other hand, for the more
intricate details Emelia and I decided to use the zoom and the mouse as often the Graphics
Tablet was jolting and so the line was not as smooth as we had hoped.
The use of the application, Pixelmator, allowed Emelia and I to trace an image found on
Google Images into our own version for our idents. Without this feature, our drawings for our
idents may have been significantly worse as neither of us are particularly talented with
drawing. Pixelmator helped us with the Graphics Tablet and vice versa, together we managed
to use both pieces of technology to a high standard. Pixelmator is useful for editing and
creating photos and I expect to use it again sometime in the future…
In order to bring our idents to life, Emelia and I used a new software called ‘Motion’.
Neither of us had used this software before and so we had to look into how to use it before
we attempted to bring our drawn images to life. At first, we had a look around the
application and tried to work out for ourselves how to use it. However, we simply could not
figure it out. We were not the only ones, everyone found Motion tricky to begin with. In an
attempt to get over this, we watched a tutorial video on how to use the software to it’s best
After watching the tutorial, Emelia and I tried again. Although we understood it a little
better, we were still slightly confused and so asked our teacher to show us how to use it.
Once he had shown us, Emelia and I were ready to start animating our idents. With
practice, we began to get the hang of it and were able to animate our idents successfully.
Overall, Emelia and I found this piece of technology the most difficult to get to grips with.
However, after watching various tutorials and getting help from our teachers and peers, we
managed to create our idents. We are happy with the end result of our idents and so it was
worth all of the hassle. At the beginning, Emelia and I were going to opt out of using an
animated idents as we could have simply recorded and used Final Cut Pro X for both,
however, we wanted to be able to show a range of skills and were keen to learn how to use
the technology. With perseverance, Emelia and I are happy with out end result and will no
doubt use Motion again at some point in the future. We will be able to use the knowledge
that we learnt from using it this time and hopefully learn even more!
Final Cut Pro X…
Arguably the most used piece of software throughout this process, behind Wordpress, was Final Cut Pro X. I used Final Cut
for various aspects of the process. I used it to animate my storyboards, create idents, edit the preliminary tasks, edit our film
opening plus much more. Both Emelia and I had used Final Cut Pro before this project, we used it when making our music
video for GCSE and for the various preliminary tasks for AS Level. Because of this, Emelia and I were not totally new to the
software like we were with Motion. However, we had forgotten how to carry out many of the aspects that we had previously
used. Because of this, we chose to watch a tutorial video on YouTube in order to prompt and remind us…
Once Emelia and I had reminded ourselves on how to use Final Cut Pro to it’s best capability, we could begin editing our film
opening. However, there was a new update and lots of the functions had changed. Because of this, some of the functions
that we had previously learnt were different and so we had to spend a bit more time learning the new functions to the
application. We then created a rough cut of our film opening which simply included the various pieces of footage in the
order that we felt was best. We then showed this to the class and decided to refilm. Once we had done so, and created our
second rough cut we were happy with the order of the footage. We then had to add in the sound and match it perfectly to
the footage. Although this was a fairly lengthy process, we remembered functions such as pressing the ‘m’ key to mark the
footage at a specific time. After that, we decided to look into the sound effects part on Final Cut. From here, we found a
piece of sound playing noises of birds. We included this within our film opening in order to set the scene and create a tense
atmosphere. Before this task, I was unaware of the sound effects part to Final Cut and so this was a good and useful find! We
then imported our idents and added them to the beginning of the film. After this, we spent a fair bit of time finding the
perfect font for our opening. In the end, we chose DIN CONDENSED. We then added slight colour to the end of the film. I
decided to add a slightly negative and cold filter containing blues and purples as I wanted to represent the feelings and
emotions of the young girl as she found her dead mother. At first, I was unaware on how to place the colour in and have it
build gradually. However, my teacher showed me how this was done and I wished that I had asked earlier on as I could have
used this method for other aspects of the film. We then showed our film opening to the class and decided that it was
Final Cut Pro was a key aspect to creating our film opening. Because of it, we managed to edit together and add various
features to our film opening in order for it to be to the best quality that it could be in the limited time frame that we had.
Thanks to the efficiency of the app, Emelia and I were able to come back and change things at any point. Although I had used
the application before, when using it for this project I learnt a lot about the technology that I previously did not know.
After looking through many free music sites, Emelia and I could not find the perfect
soundtrack for our film opening. We also faced various problems on other free music sights
with copyright and downloading etc. It was then when we came across Audio Network. There
were thousands of songs and various categories to help you find the perfect soundtrack.
When searching in the ambient/instrumental/piano section, I found the perfect soundtrack
for our film opening… ‘Empty’ by Helen Jane Long. I then played the song to Emelia and she
agreed that this was the soundtrack for our film opening, however it was then when we
came across a problem. Audio Network only gave us the option to buy the song. We the told
one of our teachers about this at school, it was then when he informed us about ‘Audio
Network LGFL’. This version of the site is for schools and schoolwork only. Luckily, when
searching on this version of the site, Emelia and I found the song that we wanted for our
opening. On this version of Audio Network, we were able to download the song and use it in
our opening for free!
Before this project, I had never used a free music site. I was also unaware of the copyright
rules and problems when using music in projects such as these. From research into music for
our film opening, I learnt that you can not use any song you like due to copyright laws and so
websites such as Audio Network LGFL are the safest option as all music on there is okay to
use! Now that I know this, I will keep this in mind in future projects and most probably re
visit Audio Network LGFL.
Although I had used Sound Cloud prior to this project, I used it solely for listening to music. I
had never even considered using it for uploading my own sounds. However, when coming
across the problem of getting sounds from my phone onto the computers at school and then
presenting them on my blog, Sound Cloud seemed to be the best idea. In order to keep the
music I listen to and my recorded sounds for this project, I decided to make a new account
that I shall use just for media. Although at first I was fairly confused and could not upload the
selected sounds, after a while I managed to figure it out and upload the selected sounds.
From here, it was easy to access from the school computers. It was also easy to share the link
and embed the sounds into my blog posts so that when editing I could easily access the
sounds and have evidence of them on my blog.
From using Sound Cloud for this project, I have learnt a whole new side to the website that I
had previously no idea of. After a few attempts, I managed to upload the sound tracks
efficiently and could access them from wherever whenever. The use of Sound Cloud in this
project has been extremely helpful and I will keep the account up running for use in the
future in future projects…
I used the website ‘Dropbox’ for a similar reason to why I used Sound Cloud, however I used it to
transfer video footage rather than sound. My laptop at home does not have a USB port, in fact it
contains only the port for charging and a headphone jack. Because of this, it would be extremely fiddly
for me to transfer footage on a USB stick. However, I still needed to get footage from my phone and
laptop onto the computers at school and so I used the same website that I had used at GCSE in order to
get over the problem… Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to upload footage into your account and it stores it
there. It can be accessed from any device and then downloaded onto that. In order to keep the footage
from GCSE separate to my AS footage, I decided to make a new account. I then was able to access the
footage on my phone, laptop and on the computers at school. Although this was extremely helpful, it
took me a long time to individually download each item. It was then when one of my teachers showed
me how to download multiple items at once. I wish I had known this at GCSE when making our music
videos! However, now that I know this I can use this knowledge in future projects. Without the use of
Dropbox, the process of transporting the pieces of footage would have taken an age! Even though I had
used Dropbox before, from using it in this process I learnt more about this piece of technology that I will
be able to use in the future!
Before this project, I had heard of Vimeo and used it but only very briefly. Vimeo could be
described as similar to YouTube in the idea that videos can be uploaded and viewed from
anywhere at anytime. However, there is a significant difference between Vimeo and YouTube
that proved critical in this process. YouTube has been blocked on our school system and so if
Emelia and I were to upload our videos onto YouTube, we could not have accessed this at
school. Because of this, we chose to use Vimeo. For using this during this project, I decided to
make a new account. Throughout the process, I have uploaded many videos onto my Vimeo
account in order to store and share them. Due to the accessibility of the website, I have also
been able to incorporate the videos from my account into my blog posts so that I have physical
evidence of tasks completed during the process. For example, when writing blog posts about
our idents, I have been able to get the link of the idents off of Vimeo and imbed them into the
blog as evidence and a visual aid. Without the use of Vimeo, Emelia and I would have been
much more limited as we would have only been able to do these blog posts and uploads at
home due to the school network not allowing you on YouTube. I have also been able to use
Vimeo to view past years film openings as inspiration. During this process I have learnt that
there is a limit into how much you are allowed to upload weekly onto Vimeo. Because of this, I
have had to plan out when to upload the videos in order to avoid exceeding this limit. On the
other hand, Vimeo has been extremely helpful and I aim to use it in the future and so have
kept open the account for media.
Various Forms of Social
Throughout this process I have used various forms of social media in order to communicate with Emelia,
to share photos for our blogs etc. The social media site that I have used the most is Facebook’s
Messenger. I have used Messenger to communicate with Emelia and to share photos with her. I have also
used it as a method in getting the photos off of my phone and onto my laptop. I have also used Snapchat
as a form of communication with Emelia and we have used the feature of sending Snapchat photos to
each other in order to show each other our progress, locations when location scouting and actor profiles
etc. I used social media the most as a form of communication when we decided to re film but Emelia
could not come. I used it to show her the process, inform her about changes and get her opinion on
shots etc. I also used social media sites to share the link of our survey on. By doing so, my friends and
family could complete the survey easily resulting in 51 helpful responses. Without the help of social
media, the communication between Emelia and I would have been much slower and more staggered.
The Camera…During this process, we have also come across physical pieces of
technology. For our filming, our school provided us with a camera
to use, Emelia and I were given the Nikon D30100 SLR. Before this
project, both of us had never used a professional camera such as
this before. Even for GCSE we used an iPhone and so this was a
brand new experience for us.
During the preliminary tasks, Emelia and I both recorded sound and so this was the first time that we
would be using a professional camera such as this. Unlike others in our class, neither of us have been
into photography in the past and so had a lot to learn! At first, we asked one of our teachers to go
through the basics with us. He showed me how to set it up, how to film, how to take a picture and how
to focus. There were two options for focusing, automatic and manual. For manual focusing you had to
use the turning end of the lens, previously I did not know this. After this, I then watched a short video
on YouTube showing the various functions of the camera… https://youtu.be/ptiTruEXkGk
After watching this, I felt confident for filming. However, the night before I asked my Dad and Sister for
extra help as they have been interested in cameras and filming before. My sister also owns a Nikon
camera and so was able to help me with the various specific functions and characteristics. I then had to
charge the battery and check that the SD cards worked with this camera ready for filming the next day.
Prior to this project, I had never held a camera such as this let alone use one as I have just always relied
upon the camera on my phone! Because of this, I had a lot to learn about how to use a professional
camera to it’s best ability. However, I am now much more confident and would be happy to use one
again in the future.
In order to get the best sound possible, we did not want to rely on the sound off of the camera. Because of this, we
needed various pieces of sound equipment such as the boom pole. The school provided us with this equipment and
gave us a Zoom sound recorder, a Rode boom pole, a Rode microphone and an AUX cable to connect the sound recorder
to the microphone at the end of the boom pole. By using this equipment, Emelia and I were able to collect high quality
sound. However, before this project neither of us had used this before as at GCSE we did not need to record sound and
so had a lot to learn. At first, our teacher showed the whole class how to use the equipment effectively and then we
were able to ask individual questions. However, after using this equipment during the preliminary tasks, I was confident
and excited to use it for our film opening.
On the day, in order to cut out all surrounding noise and to focus on exactly what was being recorded, I brought my
Beats headphones. When filming, Emelia worked with the sound equipment whilst I operated the camera. However,
after our first day of filming we noticed that none of the sound had recorded; this was because the sound recorder’s
memory was full. When refilming, we learnt to check the memory and managed to record the sound. However, Emelia
could not make it to the refilming and so I had to teach my friend, Tom Scullion, what I had just learnt about the
equipment. In a way, I feel as though this helped me to understand it further.
As the project went on, I learnt more and more about using the sound equipment such as the
difference the angle of the microphone can make. However, in the end we got high quality sound
that we could incorporate in our end product. I feel much more confident in using this equipment
and look forward to using it again in future projects…
Equipment for the Camera…
Emelia and I were offered further pieces of equipment in order to assist the camera. We were offered the use
of a dolly, a mini dolly, a tripod and a Steadicam. Once again, before this project we had never used any of this
equipment and so had to learn how to use it effectively.
Emelia and I were given a Tripod alongside the other equipment. This proved to be critical in our filming as
each of our shots was a static, still shot. The Tripod allowed us to film these steadily without shaking or
movement. The Tripod also allowed us to film from varying heights, however we kept it the same height most
of the time as we filmed our opening from the height of a young child in order to connect the audience with
our main character. It also allows the audience to view the film opening from her perspective, therefore
allowing them to empathise with her more. Without the Tripod, our film would have looked unprofessional and
rushed as it would be shaky and unstable. Although at first we were confused as to how to set up the Tripod,
we soon learnt and found it easy and portable.
Emelia and I were also offered the use of a dolly. On our first day of filming, we chose to use the dolly for a
dolly shot through a field to reveal the dead body at the end. It was fairly complicated to set up, but we
managed to figure it out as we had previously done so in the Reservoir Dogs Preliminary Task. The dolly is
rather large and so was hard to transport. When refilming, the dolly had already been booked out for use and
so I was offered the mini dolly; this was much easier to set up and transport and was fun to use. However, I had
to use magazines to create a smooth track for the mini dolly and use a hair bobble to pull it. I did these two
things in order to keep it smooth and constant. In the future, I would be confident to use both dollies.
Emelia and I were also offered the use of the Steadicam. Although we did not plan to have any non static shots
in our opening, we wanted to learn how to use it in case of use in the future. We found it fairly easy to use but
hard to keep the shots as steady as we had origionally wanted! However, I would feel confident in using this
piece of equipment in the future.
Throughout the process of this project, Emelia and I have come across various
pieces of technology. Although we had used a few of these before, the majority
of the technology that we have used was completely new to us and so we have
learnt a lot about them from using them during the process. For example, before
this process I was an A Level Media Studies student who had not used a camera
to film before! However, now that I have learnt all about the camera and it’s
properties and characteristics I am confident with filming and am excited to use it
again in the future on upcoming projects. At the beginning of the process, I
thought that we would only be using two or three websites and applications
alongside the equipment. However, to my surprise we used many. Due to the
help of all of this equipment, Emelia and I were able to create a film opening that
I am happy with. I have learnt an awful lot about the different technologies in this
process and am excited to use all of my new knowledge again in the future…!
By Emilia Pearce.