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A2 Media Studies - Evaluation


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This is my evaluation of my coursework.

Published in: Self Improvement
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A2 Media Studies - Evaluation

  1. 1. Name: Taylor Sabga Candidate Number: 6485 Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College Center Number:64770 OCR Media Studies – A2 Media Studies Unit G324: Advanced Production Portfolio Evaluation
  2. 2. Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My magazine develops some forms and conventions of traditional soap opera magazines, in particular ‘Soap Opera Digest’. Although my magazine is based on soap opera like ‘Soap Opera Digest’ the layout of my page is very different and only a few of the conventions are similar. The conventions that are similar would be that there are loads of different soap operas included on the main cover, each soap opera included on my front cover has its own individual image. This is because I felt that an image for each soap opera will help it stand out on the page. However something I did differently would be the inclusion of the social media logos at the bottom of the page. Also the price of the magazine is clear to see on mine, this is because I have challenged this traditional convention as I am promoting the cheapness of my product. The reason it is priced at this would be because the magazine is aimed at working class people. By researching similar products I was able to create a product that can be easily identified as a soap opera magazine, the magazine can be identified through the use of colors as the color scheme is a bright yellow, blue and black (for some of the text on page). Although my magazine of inspiration does not use the color black for the text anywhere on the page I felt that if I used a bright color on the page it may clash with the existing color scheme. Main Task – Ancillary Products
  3. 3. Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Main Task – Ancillary Products My poster challenges traditional media products, this is because my poster is very dark and focuses on three characters from the trailer. Stereotypical soap opera posters usually focus on one character whereas my poster includes three characters. This is a screenshot of an Eastenders poster, my poster is fairly similar as the color scheme is very similar and has a dark feel to it. However my poster has more writing on it compared to this poster. One convention both posters have is that both include a ‘hash tag’ (#), this is for users to share it on social media sites such as Twitter. In addition my poster challenges conventions from existing media products, one convention in particular would be including social media logos (Facebook and Twitter).
  4. 4. Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Main Task – Trailer The scene of the pub can connote to the audience that the characters are working class lower status people, the use of high key lighting in the scene also connotes that the environment in the pub is happy. Compared to the scene with another character who is in low key lighting which can signify that she may have been the killer. Our trailer used very similar conventions from two trailers, an Eastenders trailer and a new drama called ‘Glue’. Both trailers use different conventions because they are different genres, however both trailers use low key lighting as the theme for the trailers is both about death and mystery which is similar to our trailer. In the ‘Glue’ trailer low key lighting is used in the same way, this can be a sign which can act a signifiers (Ferdinand De Saussure), by using low key lighting the trailer can connote to the audience that the character in the low key lighting may be the murderer in the trailer or a ‘bad character’. The scene in the pub is very utopian as everyone in the scene is happy and having a good time.
  5. 5. Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Main Task – Trailer The use of blood throughout the trailer can connote to the audience that there has been a death or someone has been hurt. In the trailer there is a long continuing shot that is cut down into different parts of the trailer, the shot is an extreme close up of the blood which signifies to the audience that something has happened. Blood is one of the main themes of the glue trailer is blood, this is extremely similar to our trailer as the shot of the blood is shown throughout the trailer. By having blood as a main theme in the trailer can connote that the setting and theme of the soap is dystopian, this is because blood and a woodland setting which is fairly unusual for a soap opera.
  6. 6. Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Main Task – Trailer The BBC 2 logo is visible on a consistent basis throughout the trailer, this is a convention which soap opera trailers usually include . The BBC 2 ident is the first shot of the trailer, this is a convention that is also commonly used in soap opera trailers, however the ‘2’ allows the viewer to see what is behind it which is uncommon and something our trailer challenges.
  7. 7. Question 2 How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? There is a symbiotic relationship that has ben used between my two media products, my magazine which is called ‘Soap Guide’ and my poster which is called ‘Forge Lane’. Both my media products challenge traditional media conventions as they have a form synergy, an example would be my two products both have a dark theme which can also be a form of continuity. Our soap opera trailer contains many characters, this meant that I could contain a variety of characters on the front of my magazine front cover and poster. By using synergy throughout my media products it will help promote the soap opera and is also an essential part of securing our soap operas popularity and the success of the show. In addition, our group challenged some of the conventions which are stereotypically used in the soap opera genre, an example of this would be by creating a ‘dystopian’ feel/atmosphere throughout our trailer especially when the character is running through the woodland area. A good example of us challenging traditional methods would be that most of the characters in our trailer have a villain (Propp) look/feel to them. Another aspect which combined my ancillary tasks and the trailer would be that the point of call which was used in the trailer is also used on my magazine as a small logo which says ‘Forge Lane’. I also included social media logos on both of my ancillary products, this is because this will help promote our trailer on social media sites in particular Facebook and Twitter. I also included the #forgeLane on the poster, I did this because it will help the popularity of the trailer and soap.
  8. 8. Question 3 What have you learned from your audience feedback? Audience feedback Audience feedback was a very important part of my evaluation as it helped me know what aspects of my groups trailer our audience liked and did not like. This was done to look at the strengths of my trailer but also the weaknesses the trailer may have. I interviewed a few people and asked them three questions, the questions were as follows – What did you like about the trailer? What did you think of the song choice? What can be improved in the trailer? I felt that these were the only questions that needed to be answered to give me the correct feedback. By asking questions in the interview I was able to get a deeper and more detailed feedback from the person who was watching my trailer. I chose to do a video instead of a survey as I felt that the feedback would be more clear to annotate compared to a survey. The Feedback Liam – From Liam's feedback I found that he liked the use of lots of characters and liked the bland storyline used as it is fairly linear and straightforward which makes it easy for the audience to follow. Liam also liked the the song choice as he felt that the song went well with the trailer and the storyline. However he felt that the length of the trailer could have been longer as he thought that it was too short. Hannah – From Hannah's feedback I found out that she liked the slow motion used from the trailer, also the focus shot that was used in one of the shots in the trailer. There was also synchronous sound that had been used in the trailer which she said she liked as the timing of the shots went in sync with the music. Hannah felt that the song choice was really good as it built up throughout the trailer and then reached a climax near the end of the trailer which kept the suspense. However there was one thing that could have been improved in the trailer which was the use of the blood as she felt that it was easy to tell that it was fake blood.
  9. 9. Question 4 How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Construction For the trailer our group used Adobe CS6 Premier. As I was the director of the group I was expected to organize the group meetings and the times we had to film for the trailer beforehand so that the dates were as organized as possible. To film the shots we used a Digital SLR camera, once the shots were filmed the group then edited the footage on premier to make sure that the footage that we had filmed was as professional as possible to help the soaps popularity. Most shots taken on filming days had multiple takes which meant we had a variety of shots to chose from when the editing process began on Premier. Our group chose the best shots and the shots that fit the purpose well, some shots were ‘shaky’ or out of focus which meant those clips could not be used or had to be reshot on a different filming day as our group felt that it would ruin the continuity of the trailer. On some shots we decreased the colour saturation as some shots were filmed when it was sunny but because our trailer theme was murder and death we made the shots darker, this was only done to achieve a disequilibrium as we needed the shots to be darker than they actually were. In our trailer we included slow motion in particular the shots of the girl running through the woods, this was to add tension to the trailer. Premier also allowed us to edit sound and import songs and lots of different audio files such as MP3 and WAV. Files. This allowed us to use the song we originally planned to use in the planning process which was ‘Lorde – Everybody Wants to Rule The World’. The trailer only includes two non-diegetic sound which is the soundtrack and the voice over which is included at the end of the trailer. Premier allowed our group to cut the song down as it is 4 minutes long but the trailer is 1minute 15seconds long. The trailer is dominated by a non-diegetic soundtrack as there is no diegetic sound used during the trailer. The ability to import different audio files onto premier is a benefit as the file our group saved the voice over at the end of the trailer was an uncommon sound file. For my ancillary tasks (Magazine Front Cover & Poster) I used Photoshop, this is because the software allowed me to edit and manipulate images in a professional way compared to other software. In Photoshop I am able to use tools such as the ‘quick selection tool’ which allows me to select what I want from a certain image and remove the background. As I removed the background from most of my images I was able to add a background of my choice to make sure the image was fit for purpose. An example of this would be an image on my magazine front cover I added a brick wall and linked the two layers together. For my poster I took three pictures in a room with low key lighting, this is because I wanted the poster to have a suspense/conspiracy feel to it as our trailers main theme is murder. Because the room I chose to take pictures in was really dark I used my smartphones torch to light up a side of the characters face, the end result was good for two pictures but for one image I had to increase the colour saturation as it came out a bit too dark and looked odd compared to the other two images.
  10. 10. Question 4 How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Research In the research stages of our trailer and into the genre I made a production log, in the production log it has a lot of information about the soap opera genre. The production log also includes analysis of soap opera magazines, by doing this I gained information about what conventions are used on soap opera magazines. Conventions stereotypically used on a soap opera magazine are bright colours and lots of images. By researching into the genre I was able to replicate a soap opera magazine and make it look professional yet unique, this is because I used ideas from different magazines along with my own ideas. In the research stage I used technologies such as Powerpoint as I am familiar with the software, PowerPoint also allowed me to present my research and lay it out in an easy way. For our trailer we used two trailers of inspiration which we found through our research, we used Youtube and typed in ‘New Soap Opera Trailers’, this was so we found the latest soap opera trailers. By watching a variety of different trailers such as Hollyoaks and Eastenders we found a new soap called ‘Glue’, the trailer was very fast paced and included lots of characters. Our group then researched into the trailer and we decided that the ‘Glue’ trailer would be our main trailer of inspiration. From my own research I noticed that a lot of the trailers had a theme of death but there was a multi-stranded narrative so it was’t always the main theme. Our trailer focuses on one murder and a lot of characters who are suspects.
  11. 11. Question 4 How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Planning In the planning process of our soap opera we had to plan what was going to happen on filming days to make sure the days ran as smoothly as possible. Our group made a group chat to communicate with one another outside of school time. We had to create a storyboard, this included an analysis of the technical codes which had been used in our trailer. We also had to create a shot list, the shot list included the camera angles, camera movement and the length of the shot. By making these documents it greatly helped our group as we were well organized and prepared on filming days. For extra preparation our group created a prop list which included all the props that were going to be used in the trailer an example of a prop that was used would be the knife which was used in two shots in our trailer. This really helped us organize all of the aspects that needed to be sorted out, all aspects of our mise-en scene which was necessary for a professional look and effect. Another part of the planning stage was our group sending a letter to the council asking for permission to film in the park as it was owned by the Surrey Council, without permission we would not have been able to film in that particular location as we would not of had permission to do so. This is one reason why planning beforehand was crucial to making the filming dates as organized as possible. The final part of our planning stage was creating meeting notes every time our group had a meeting, by doing this we were able to recap what we discussed in that meeting and what actions needed to be taken from each meeting. An example of an action that was needed would be purchasing certain props like the ‘Fake Blood’. I also completed hand drawn tasks, by doing this I was able to refer back to them whilst I was creating my ancillary products, I also did this to ‘repeat’(Steve Neale) certain conventions of the soap opera genre.
  12. 12. Question 4 How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Evaluation By using PowerPoint to complete my evaluation it allowed me to create a neat and presentable evaluation which includes images and a clear layout. It also allowed me to reflect to whole production process of both our groups trailer and my ancillary products (magazine Front Cover & Poster). In conclusion I personally feel that my ancillary tasks are both effective at helping to promote the new soap opera ‘Forge Lane’ which will be broadcast on BBC2 to my target audience which is 15-25 year olds. This is evident through many different aspects of my work such as my research, production and the planning stage.