In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?• One documentary I looked at was ‘Supersize me’ A US documentary created by Morgan Spurlock which looked into the effects of fast food on the American people. One main convention we adopted from ‘Supersize me’ into our documentary was the interviews with professionals in the field of interest. For example in ‘Supersize me’ to track the effects of the food of his body, Spurlock got help from Gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu.• This was helpful as it provided a professionals opinion which grabbed the audiences attention as she is a professional and therefore must know what she is talking about. It also makes the documentary look more professional as a professionals opinion means that the documentary is serious about the point that it is making. We also used a professional’s opinion in our documentary, asking a psychology teacher about her opinion on the effects of video games on young children.• We also followed the codes and conventions of actually filming the interviews by using the correct filming angle of having the interviewee looking across the camera into the empty space, with their head being in either the top left or right of the screen.
• ‘Supersize me’ also made use of various facts and statistics as a way of quickly firing information at the audience in a way designed to shock and be memorable. We adopted this in our documentary as a way of showing the audience some shocking facts about video games in the UK. Although the facts and statistics were interesting I don’t believe we presented them in an interesting way, and this is where we could have improved. Instead of having them showing up in front of a still image we should’ve made the background more lively or presented them in a way more interesting such as in the supersize documentary.
• Another code that we followed is the voiceover. In supersize me there is a almost constant voiceover from Spurlock. This is appropriate as it is him who is eating all the food and therefore the audience feels more connected to the documentary as it feels as though Spurlock is talking to them specifically. In our documentary we used a voiceover to help tell the audience what we were investigating and what was going on. We could’ve improved on this by having the same person on screen presenting the documentary and talking to the audience so that they felt more connected.
• Another convention we used was ‘real’ footage of events. Supersize me used a lot of real footage as the camera followed Spurlock around as he went from different McDonalds. We tried to incorporate real footage using the different interviews and also footage from the columbine high school massacre. I think we used a fair amount of real footage although I believe we could’ve done more. For example we could’ve filled any still images with real footage relating to that specific part of the documentary.• Another convention we used was the use of non-diegetic sound. In supersize me a various amount of music tracks were used, most notably was the song at the very start of the documentary ‘Fat bottomed girl’ by Queen. This is effective as the documentary is about food and obesity and the song reflects this. In our documentary we were allowed to use Garage Band to produce our music and I believe our music was suited to our documentary as it was fast and catchy.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?• I feel as though our documentary combined with our double page spread and radio trail targets the same audience well as they are all very clear on what our focus was, which was to see if video games effect behaviour in teenagers. Our documentary achieved this as it shocks the audience at the start with the scenes from the columbine high school massacre which relates to our topic as it is thought that video game violence caused their actions. We also ask people what they thought about the topic, which engaged the audience with the documentary as their peers gave their opinions.• Our double page spread combined well with the documentary as it starts by using the name of our documentary and pun ‘video shame’ to draw attention to it and make it clear what the documentary will involve. The use of images of video game Call of Duty, front cover of video game Doom and a photo of someone playing the game. The text then goes on to explain in detail what the documentary will explore and asks rhetorical questions to try to capture the readers attention. (Next slide)
• The radio trail also combines well with the documentary and the double page spread as we took the background music from our documentary and used it in the trail to connect the two so they can be related to each other and be remembered. I truly believe that both the radio trail and the double page spread combine with the documentary in a way that creates a good brand identity because of the clear way that each section has been put together. Also combined with the fact that the effect of video games has not been covered in a documentary before, we were able to touch on a topic that many weren’t aware could affect their children and so we could then be recognised as the first brand to identify this issue.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?• The audience feedback from our documentary showed that although many of them enjoyed the documentary, they also felt as though it lacked quality. Many picked up on the fact that there were too many still image shots which made the documentary seem slow and sometimes boring. However when the still image shots weren’t on the screen, the audience responded well and enjoyed it. From this feedback it is clear that to improve the documentary we need to get rid of the still images and replace them with something more interesting and enjoyable for the audience to keep their attention.• The audience feedback of our double page spread was widely mixed with some marking it at a 4 and a 5 and some marking it at a 7 and an 8. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what the audience would feel would make a better double page spread as all of them are different. It could possibly be improved by having more pictures and a bit less text to make it more eye catching at first glance.• The audience feedback from our radio trail was that it was widely enjoyed by the audience. They felt as though it was interesting and easy to listen too. From this it is clear that our radio trail doesn’t need improving.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?• Research and Planning: As a group , we planned what we would base our documentary on. To do this we used a storyboard for planning the main shots of the documentary. To reasearch if there would be enough to talk about for video game violence we used various internet websites such as google, bbc news and various newspaper websites.
• We also researched what channel and what time we would put our documentary on TV. To do this we researched both the Channel 4 and BBC three websites and from their websites we could see what times would be appropriate for the documentary.
• When we had found out information that would affect how our documentary is portrayed we uploaded our notes onto Blogger.com. Which allowed us to show what work we had done into the research of our documentary.
• Filming: The part of the making of our documentary that required us to learn the most was the filming. We learnt how to use the Cannon Hg 20 Camera, Tripod and microphone to give us the most professional looking documentary as possible as we were using a fair few voxpops.
• The editing of our documentary was also challenging as we had to learn to use the Apple iMac to design our documentary on final cut express. On which we were able to add our different clips together combined with our still shots and real footage to make the documentary fit together really well.
• For my magazine I used InDesign to create my double page spread. It was also possible to edit images in Photoshop that we took from our camera and then export this onto our double page spread.