A2 Media Evaluation TV Documentary Sophie Edgington
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>Throughout the coursework each group member bought individual ideas of documentary conventions to our final project. We did this by following the notes we had taken previously to analyse different, real TV documentaries. When we watched real documentaries we took ideas from the ones we had already seen such as ‘Supersize Me’. We each analysed a TV documentary each to give us better understanding and knowledge of how we were going to conduct our own documentary. We saw so many that typical conventions began to look obvious and so we put these in our own documentary. We used 3 expert interviews, which is one of the main forms we saw. This meant our documentary was more realistic but also more informative to the viewer as they were getting information from the person who would know most about it. We also used a voiceover and backing music , we found that a voiceover appeared in everyone we watched to make it flow and to show what is coming next, or to link the next clip to the previous one. </li></ul>These helped us once we had filmed everything and we could see what was in a documentary and we were then able to see what we wanted logging out of our footage that would follow the conventions . By having watched 3 different documentaries it meant that we could compare the 3 and see what were the main forms we had to follow in order to make it a documentary and this meant we can log our footage confidently, knowing that it would fit the documentary conventions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp5y5ifxfvU
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>Documentary Modes </li></ul><ul><li>We followed documentary conventions by including different documentary modes in our own product. Nichols identifies 6 different documentary modes which include the poetic, expository, observational, participatory, reflexive and performative . Each one is used in different types of documentary depending on their subject and their audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly, our documentary followed predominantly the expository mode or the expositional mode. This is because we talk about social problems and real issues. We also had a voiceover on our documentary and narration is a distinct part of this mode and footage is used to strengthen the narrative. For example, we used cut aways in interviews to back up what the interviewee was saying and we also used filler footage so back up the voice over and to show the audience what the narrator is talking about. </li></ul><ul><li>We also had elements of other modes in our documentary, such as the poetic mode . This is all about soviet montage theory . As we included an opening montage at the beginning of our documentary that was fast paced we borrowed from the poetic mode. Other documentaries such as ‘Supersize Me’ includes an opening montage which shows that it is a common convention of documentaries. </li></ul><ul><li>We also used elements of the observational mode , as we used light weight and portable equipment that was easy to carry around so we could do vox pops and interviews outside the college grounds, for example our interview with the police was shot at the police station so we had to take our equipment with us. </li></ul>
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>One of the main conventions we followed was the opening montage before the real thing started. We made a faster paced start and a snippet of all the interviews that were going to be featured in the documentary and to explain what the viewer is going to be watching. We used a catchy opening where students are saying how often they use social networking, which is a way of catching the attention of viewer. This was a catchy start and you had to watch more to see what it is about. We used music in the background and a voiceover explaining more generally what was going on and what was yet to come. We also added statistics that we found from different websites to make it more realistic and believable to the audience. By adding music and a voiceover makes it more attractive to the audience who are watching it as it helps to keep them hooked and the interviews mean that they have already seen some of what is in it but they know there is more to come . </li></ul>Snippets of different interviews Music running throughout the documentary Voiceover that talks generally about what’s to come. Transitions between clips. Cutaway between interviews. Students giving their opinions – helps appeal to a parent to see what there son/daughter might think. Quick clips that go behind a voiceover to emphasise what is being said. More clips that go behind the voiceover.
<ul><li>In all the documentaries we had watched a few had vox-pops in. For example, in ‘Supersize Me’ he went in the streets of New York and asked people how they would define a calorie, then different people came on the screen at different times with different opinions. We put this into our documentary, where students gave us their opinions of how social networking can lead to bad events such as the riots. </li></ul>In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. In our documentary we put a section of student vox pops by which they all answered the same question but gave different opinions . They are only short snippets which change constantly to keep the audience gripped. These also appealed to our target audience of parents, as they can see the opinions of their children to help them get a better understanding. We also followed typical conventions of how vox pops are filmed. By making sure they are on one side, looking across the dead space and not directly at the camera. We also made sure we related the background to what they were saying, by using the sixth form sign, showed that the people in the frame are students, so we used good mise-en-scene . Looking across the dead space from one side. Mise-En-Scene: The sixth form college sign shows that the people are students.
<ul><li>We used typical conventions when we added the captions to the experts interviews . For example, when we come to the interview with Media Expert Jayson Burns, his name and what he is an expert in appears on the bottom right of the screen. These were seen in all of the documentaries that we watched, including ‘A Good Smack.’ They shows who is being interviewed but also what they are an expert in. This makes the viewer believe that who they are watching knows exactly what they’re talking about. Captions are also used in Supersize me. </li></ul><ul><li>We used cutaways in our documentary. These are when the interview still carries on in the background but a different image or clip is shown over the top. This splits up the interview and it is not just one long clip. It keeps the audience gripped because its something new on the screen. We used this in all 3 interviews, as some of them were long but also they help to explain what the person is talking about. For example – when we interviewed Detective Inspector Neil Thomas, he said in his interview that he had his own twitter account, by showing his account to the viewer proves that its real but also backs up his point. </li></ul>In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. This is the cutaway, it sits in the middle of the interview to split it up. (Click picture to see Supersize Me trailer).
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. The person suits the environment. Person is framed slightly to the left looking across dead space . Looking to the right of the camera and not directly in it. OUR DOCUMENTARY REAL DOCUMENTARY Mise-En-Scene Person framed slightly off centre looking across dead space. Caption to say who the person is and what they are an expert in.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>We also put transitions between vox pops and between different clips to make them flow more smoothly. We added them in Final Cut Express by using the Effects button . Instead of having clips just jump from one to the other we had some that faded into each other and other ones that dipped to black before the next clip was shown. The transitions also helped with our sound, because if we had a slight pop as the clips went from one to the next we could fade them out and in again quickly as it dipped to black which meant that the sound went better with the transitions too. We found that other real documentaries did use transitions but rarely or as little times as possible, so we did the same. We only used them where we felt we needed them. </li></ul><ul><li>We were very pleased with how we had followed typical media conventions because it showed that we understood what needs to be in a documentary and it made ours then look more professional. We developed our skills and understanding of documentaries by watching them before hand to make sure that ours was as professional as it could be. We did not feel that our documentary challenged any forms and conventions of documentaries as we tried to stick to them as close as we could so that the documentary was as best as it could be. When we compare what we have done to other real TV documentaries we can see that it professional and real because of the conventions that have been followed. </li></ul>Here shows you the fading that we used between these 2 clips. We placed it in the middle with a gap in the voiceover so that the sound did not overlap. By having a transition between these two made it flow better and it looks more professional overall.
<ul><li>We included interviews in our documentary as these are a main convention of documentaries. They were with experts who know exactly what they are talking about but are also relevant to our topic. When we filmed our interviews we had to consider the framing of them so that they also followed the conventions of a typical documentary. Here is an example of our interview with detective inspector Neil Thomas from the Solihull Police Station, we had to match the environment we interviewed him in to what he is expert in but also to position him correctly in the frame. </li></ul>In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. We have followed conventions of a typical and real documentary interview to make it look more professional, but also because we have an older target audience, the more realistic the interview is, the more likely they are to watch more as they are going to want a more informative documentary with people who know what they are talking about. West midlands police website. The west midlands police screen saver. In the police station inside a private investigation room. Positioned to the far right looking across the dead space. So the viewer watches him and not just the environment around him. Sat at a desk to re-enforce he is an expert, and important. West midlands police lanyard, to show he is part of the police.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>Real documentaries also had establishing shots of where they are filming their interviews or where it is that they are filming, we used establishing shots when making our documentary as we filmed the outside of the Solihull Police Station when interviewing Neil Thomas and the outside of the media department at college to introduce our interview with Media Expert Jayson Burns. </li></ul><ul><li>We also used filler footage , where we used different shots and dubbed the sound, to basically make it a moving picture. We then put a voice over on the top to explain what was going on or just to introduce an interview or give official statistics. We used filler footage throughout our whole documentary to fill in the gaps between important parts. This is some of our filler footage: </li></ul>Examples of our filler footage in the documentary. The filler footage that will show on the screen and in the order it will appear. No sound from the clip only the voice over on the top of the clip. Quiet music as well as the voice over.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. We had to create a double page magazine article to promote our documentary. We decided that it would be in Radio Times as our documentary is going to be on BBC2, but also Radio Times is a more high brow TV listings magazine and so our target audience are more likely to read this over the other ones on the market. As we have made a polemical documentary , the article also had to draw attention to what our documentary is going to be about. As you can see, our magazine article follows the majority of a real double paged article. Although it could be argued that we have challenged some of the conventions by not having a main image but also the amount of text present on the page. Personally I feel it was quite risky that we did not have a main image as all that we looked that did have one, but overall I think it worked out quite well. Article Title A Standfirst Date and time of showing A subheading A grab quote A final word. Images A page number The article A colour scheme Images taken form the actual documentary
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>In our radio trailer we also used typical forms and conventions. We each analysed a radio trailer each so we knew exactly what we were doing and how we could make it professional. Personally, I analysed Radio 1’s Newsbeat which was useful as we could experiment with conventions from the different ones we had each listened to . </li></ul>We used music in the background which made it catchy for the listener. We used 2 different pieces of music to make our backing sound which were already on Garage band. We made sure all the sound levels were the same too so that there was not any bits that were louder than others, which we noticed the other radio trailers did too. We also decided to fade out the end of the both the music and the sound. This made it more professional and it does not come to a complete sudden stop. The sound levels that fade to nothing at the end of the trailer. The music in the background. The actual trailer voiceover. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wkry
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. <ul><li>We added snippets of the vox pops that we had done during filming in our radio trailer as we knew that from analysing real ones they all used different sound bites to put their radio trailer together. We also took snippets from our interviews with experts as this was something different to just using sound bites of students. We used a student journalist and detective inspector Neil Thomas, which showed that our documentary included real information from people who knew what they were talking about, this would advertise it well. Newsbeat also had a narration , so we recorded a voiceover to go into it which went in between our different sound bites to link it all together. Just like other radio trailers we wanted to advertise when, what time and where our documentary was showing and to do this we added the information at the end in the voice over so that we had advertised what was going in it but at the end we reveal the name and where it is going to be on at. This could be challenging radio trailers as they may introduce the name at the start instead of the end. I personally think that this worked well and we caught the attention of our listeners by making a catchy opening. This is how the voice over looked in final cut express, before we exported it to Garage Band. </li></ul>The voice over was split up between the different sound bites so it was not one long voice over clip, we found that all the other radio trailers did the same. Sound bites that are louder than others all ended up being the same volume. So that it sounded more professional. Sound level bar.
2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? <ul><li>When putting our 3 products together we felt that we combined them all well although we could have done this better in some places. The article used quotes from our interviews to attract the audience, as our audience is to parents, the quote from an expert would make them see that our documentary has statistics from people who know what they are talking about. For example, if we use Detective Inspector Neil Thomas, he said something really relevant in our interview so we put the quote into all 3 of our products. </li></ul>We also made all 3 suit our target audience by putting them on and in things that our audience would be watching, reading or listening. But we included people of an older age into the documentary to help it appeal to an older market, obviously this was quite difficult in a sixth form college but we made sure our experts were older and knew what they were talking about. It could be argued that it is appealing to teenagers because of the amount that we feature in the documentary. We did this for a reason as we wanted the documentary to be more of a warning to parents to show them what their children really think of social networking and how often they use it for certain reasons. In the radio trailer we included sound bites of our professional interviews and of young people which helped to combine the two as we feature them both in both the radio trailer and documentary. Images of both older and young people are featured on the article. We have combined both an older and younger perception in one documentary and this could be seen as quite a bold and risky identity. This appeals to our target audience because it shows that we have an experts opinion as well of ones of a younger age. We put this quote in all 3 of our products so that you can tell they are from the same documentary.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? <ul><li>We tried to make all of the products appeal to the same audience. Although looking back now I would have changed how the radio trailer was done as we used Newsbeat as an example, but this is a flaw in our research because Newsbeat is on Radio 1 and appeals to a much younger audience than we are trying to target a high brow and more sophisticated audience, therefore should have researched radio trailers on Radio 2. Although it could have suited our audience because it was catchy so could have been hard to avoid listening to. It could also have appealed once they said the channel at the end which shows that it is a documentary aimed at an older generation as it will be on BBC2, where informative programmes are usually aired. </li></ul><ul><li>We did research into the magazine that we wanted our article to fit into which is Radio Times, this is because it is read widely by an older audience and would be best suited for our promotion to go into. However when we analysed a double page article each some of them did not seem to fit this audience, such as a Doctor Who article featuring in there. Although the article did suit the older audience well, it had lots of text and smaller pictures that were not to distracting from the text. </li></ul><ul><li>The documentary was appealing to an older audience because we used long interviews with interesting cut aways of news stories or of social networking pages, which explain s what they are if people do not know already. It definitely holds an interest for parents as they can see the dangers of what their children are using. And all 3 of our products promote the same message of our documentary being a warning about the obsession of social networking and they all do this well in a similar way, making it easy to know they are for the same documentary. </li></ul>With lots of text and smaller pictures it would appeal more to our C2-B audience . Also an article with more text is common in Radio Times. We combined are 3 products by making sure they all suited the audience as best we could.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? <ul><li>We thought that the radio trailer and article promoted the documentary well as they both gave the message across well about what the documentary was going to be about and also what it was going to consist of, for example the article having a grab quote from Detective Inspector Neil Thomas which is featured in all 3 of our products to show his view point on social networking increasing the crime rate. </li></ul><ul><li>They also promoted the documentary well by using students to talk about what they think of the subject matter . This was important because it let us know but more importantly let the audience know what people of that age think and discover about social networking. We used students again in all 3 products to promote the documentary. The radio trailer included a sound bite from a student which we found was very effective. We used lots of vox pops in the actual documentary too to show the influence students had and the opinions they hold on social networking increasing crime rates. </li></ul>We were able to use the same vox pops as we just deleted the image and kept the sound to go into our garage band trailer.
<ul><li>I felt that our radio trailer really helped to promote our documentary because it featured all the important parts that would be in the documentary and it also told the listener what it was going to be about. By connecting the two with a catchy song running through the background, both the documentary and the radio trailer combined well together and helped to promote it. </li></ul><ul><li>Personally, I would have done our magazine article differently, simply because I do not think it suits our target audience as well as it could have. It promotes the documentary well as it features the important information but I feel it lacks some of the main conventions found in double page spread articles. Although, it does lack in some important conventions, I feel it promotes the documentary well on the whole as it shows off the interviews that the documentary is going to contain and also when it will be on and it has the blue and white colour scheme which Facebook has, giving it a nice link to what the documentary is about. </li></ul>How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Blue and white colour scheme to promote that its about Facebook. Music that runs throughout the whole radio trailer. We have a similar sound on our actual documentary.
3) What have you learned from your audience feedback? We were pleased to find out that are documentary was rated on average an 8 our of 10. We took this as people enjoyed it but also thought it was good from a media perspective. We were pleased to see our other ancillary products were rated quite highly too, which we thought was very positive feedback. We asked whether our opening montage grabbed their attention. We were quite disappointed to see that a lot of people said that it did not. We tried to be as similar to the actual TV documentary montages as we could but comments like ‘it should have been more fast paced’ were made which made us think that it could have been better if we had decided to speed it up or make it shorter so it did not go on for as long as it did.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? Most of the people who answered our questionnaire said that the article did follow typical conventions of a real double page spread. This was good as initially we had some doubts whether the article would suit our audience. Unfortunately when people were asked who our products were aimed at only a small percentage said our correct target audience . Most people said it was aimed at teenagers, which was the target group we were trying to avoid. This showed us that we should have maybe done a little more research into our target audience instead of the channels or magazine that they would be in. Although there was a small percentage that did say it was aimed for parents, the documentary may have been misunderstood by other people making them think it was for a younger audience, maybe just because it was about social networking.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? We did have a few results that we did not expect to get from our audience feedback but overall we were pleased with our results. People said that our documentary was informative enough and that there was continuity between all 3 of our products. Everyone we asked said that there was a clear brand identity between the products, which was a surprise to read. Only 1 questionnaire said that our documentary was not informative and 1 that said there was no continuity. This did not bother us as most people said that overall they enjoyed the documentary and from our feedback we think that it was a successful project.
4) How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? <ul><li>When producing our media products we used a range of different technologies , some that we had used several times in the past and others that we had never used before. We started using technologies in our planning stages where we had to watch and analyse real TV documentaries, therefore we used classroom facilities and computers. We used the computers mainly for research and went on different websites to find documentaries to analyse. For example www.youtube.com and www.bbciplayer.co.uk which allowed us to view any documentary. We also watched documentaries from the colleges virtual learning site . We also used the internet to upload our planning stages to blogger.com where it is all neatly kept. </li></ul>Although we had to use www.blogger.com for our blog posts . I sometimes felt it to be quite restricting when it came to uploading images and how it displayed them in the actual posts. It was difficult to change the size of photos and we could not upload word documents; which we had created to go on our blog as part of research . This meant that we had to re write what we had done and put the images in separately. Blogger.com was useful as it kept all our work organised and we never lost any work on it either. The video on demand websites were really helpful as they gave us a wider range of documentaries to the ones that we watched in college. In our own time we were able to catch up on any documentaries and analyse them using our notes we had in class to better our knowledge of documentary conventions. Our documentary is seen as a public affairs documentary because it explores public affairs, that’s why we put it on BBC2 because it’s a public services broadcaster . An example of these sorts of documentaries would be panorama or dispatches. These can be found on the catch up websites too, which made them more available to us.
<ul><li>We had to get our paper based work onto our blog from class. For this a college scanner proved really helpful and meant that our initial ideas could just be put in as a picture instead of being typed up. This meant that we could make notes in our lessons knowing that we could get them easily and efficiently onto the blog when we had a free chance. </li></ul>How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? When we came to filming, the cameras that we used had advanced technologically to the ones we were used to. They how saved everything to a hard disk so we did not have to use tapes. This made it easier for us to upload our footage as we only had to use a cable to connect it to the Mac. It also meant that it was easy to delete clips and there was not a risk of filming over what you had already done. The camera also had other features like adjusting the white balance so that the frame did not look yellow. We attempted to use this whenever we could so that the footage was not an off colour. These cameras were extremely useful because they mounted onto a tripod so that we were able to film straight and steady shots which was more professional and we didn’t need to adjust angles in editing. It was also light weight which meant we could carry it around easily. We also used a directional microphone , which meant that we attached it to the camera by a lead and it was ready to use. This microphone was good for interviews as we could get closer to people if the sound was not loud enough. It was also very easy to set up which made it less time consuming and we could be out filming with more time.
<ul><li>When it came to editing we did all of it on an Apple iMac . The Mac offered us lots of new software which we had not used before, enabling our knowledge of the hardware and better our understanding of other ways and technologies to edit a project. The Mac had a more professional editing system than Windows . Although the Macs were good for this sort of editing, I found it difficult to familiarise with it as it is so much different to a Windows PC . The editing software took us a while to get used to, but eventually we got there with it. </li></ul>How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? An Apple iMac. Final Cut Express – the editing software we used in post production. Final Cut Express was the software that we used on the Mac to edit our documentary. This was new to all of us as we had never used it before. It took us quite a while to get familiar with the programme as it was very different to what we were used to. Eventually we got to know what we were doing and the programme was very useful when we had to change sound levels in some areas, we were able to change it easily and did not affect any other parts of our documentary. It was also useful when adding text and we were able to move the text to anywhere on the screen we wanted by only moving the origin , it was fiddly at first but a lot easier once we knew what we were doing.
<ul><li>The first thing we did in final cut express was to log and transfer our footage. This meant that we had the bare material we need to make our documentary and everything we thought was useable was logged. </li></ul>How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? This is the logging screen where we had to chose from the folder our footage was saved in and it went into the box on the left hand side  . We then had to add it to queue [ 2] and it formed a list of what needed to be logged  . We could preview what we were logging by the viewing box on the right  and this helped us see what was good footage and what we did not need. Once all the list had gone, it meant that the footage had been transferred and we could edit it.    
<ul><li>This is the final cut express window, here it has just the sound. Once we had logged and transferred our clips they came up in the left hand top box  and then we could drag them down to the timeline at the bottom  to start editing and adding to make our documentary We could delete the sound of the clip or just turn it off  when editing so we could test our sound levels and that they were all the same, we did this by using the bar on the right  . We could preview a clip by double clicking on it and it came into the middle viewing box  where we could see if anything needed editing or just to see if we had the right one. Once it had been put into the documentary, we could watch it through the right viewing window  . </li></ul><ul><li>Final cut was very useful for us as it set everything our for us and we were able to make our documentary the best it could be, although sometimes we did struggle but we were able to overcome it. </li></ul>How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?      
<ul><li>We used garage band to create our radio trailer . We started the editing for it in Final Cut , by adding in all the sound and exporting it so we could put it into garage band straight away rather than in little sections. </li></ul>How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? This is the garage band screen, we exported our voiceover onto it so that it was all together  . Our voiceover included extracts from our documentary such as the key facts and also important parts from our interviews. It also included vox pops and the information the listener needed to what channel its on and what time. We then chose our background music from the sound samples on the bottom left  . We timed how long the trailer was by the clock in the centre as we had to make it 30 seconds long  . When it was all put together we had to fade out the end so that it did not come to a sudden stop  . Garage band was very useful as it was simple and quite easy to use. It also allowed us to use a more advanced editing software which meant we could experiment with different types of editing.    
How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? When creating our magazine article we had to use InDesign . This is the screen with our article in it. We added the title by making a box  and adding text over the top afterwards . We had to make 3 columns  so we could split are text up neatly making it look more professional. We added our images and gave them all captions , again using the text tool. We also added frames around our images such as number 4 , by using the draw box tools. We changed the colours of everything using swatches  and we kept the same colour scheme throughout because it looks more professional. We added a drop shadow behind pictures  to make them stand out. We used the grab tool  allowed us to move different text boxes and images around, but it edit them we had to go back to the black mouse .