Evaluationq1

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Evaluationq1

  1. 1. Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? By Shannen Weller
  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -The brief we were given in the beginning of our A2 course, was to create an opening 5 minutes for a television documentary. Alongside this, was two ancillary tasks; a radio trailer and a double page spread for a listings magazine, to back up our documentary. With an hour’s documentary in mind, we had to research into and find out more about what would go into the first five minutes of a documentary. -Documentaries tend to fall under certain categories , such as lighthearted, optimistic, pessimistic, serious, resigned, uncritical, ironic, condemnat ory etc. -The documentary that we created had aspects of serious , condemnatory and pessimistic throughout the opening five minutes. This is important for a documentary, as it sets the tone for the viewer with the type of documentary they are about to watch - We didn't use any reconstructions within the documentary as we felt it wouldn't benefit our documentary and wasn't appropriate given the topic. - We also thought it would be more beneficial if we concentrated on the other conventions and make sure they were as good as possible.
  3. 3. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Looking into conventions of the genre like actuality, exposition, voiceover, interviews, interviews with experts, voxpops, archival footage and reconstructions, showed us exactly what we had to do overall in order to make our documentary effective and achieve its main purpose. - The use of our 'Voice of God' voice-over was used to address the viewer directly and to present facts mainly for neutral purposes so the documentary wasn't biased and was balanced between for and against legalisation of cannabis for e.g. 'Schizophrenia has been said to be caused by cannabis' and 'Cannabis has also been used for medical purposes to help stop people suffering from pain' -To clarify the options available to us we at the start of the process we researched into Bill Nicholl's theory of Documentary modes (2001): poetic, expository, observational, participatory, reflexive and performative. - The poetic mode is used to put more emphasis on the mood and tone of the documentary as opposed to knowledge and persuasion and is a very subjective style of documentary.
  4. 4. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? - The participatory and performative modes are similar in styles as they include the film maker in the documentary. -'Supersize Me' is an excellent example of this as Morgan Spurlock appears in his own work shown the viewers, it is very personal and more about the film maker and their intentions and this mode is very effective but wasn't suitable for our chosen topic of legalising cannabis. -The performative mode is very much autobiographical, and almost follows the film maker’s life around. -The observational mode follows the subject around, and has a very ‘fly-onthe-wall’ style to it. However, ours was very different to this, as observational documentaries tend not to use any voice-over or music throughout their piece. -The expositional mode was definitely most similar to our documentary style in many aspects. - Having completed the documentary it is clear that ours contains a lot of modes, but mainly the expository mode seems the most suitable for our documentary legalising cannabis as this has a narrative and a voiceover throughout, which is what our opening five minutes had to guide the viewers through. It is very factual which we certainly followed in ours, due to the amount of statistics that we used. This style is also very rhetorical , in the way that it narrates to the viewer, and this we found very effective in our piece.
  5. 5. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Our documentary doesn’t use a Narrative Structure as we thought this wouldn’t be suited given our topic of legalising cannabis. However, we still created a reasonable argument appealing to emotions and addressing the audience directly by voiceover. -Argumentation schemes include problem-solving, history, illustration and comparison. -Another argumentation scheme that we used in ours though, was authority. For example we spoke to experts, and by saying that we came to speak to an expert, this shows authority and they gave across a persuasive argument. -Another scheme that we used was numbers, as we made our documentary very factual and filled with statistics to prove and back up our argument about legalising cannabis, the affect it has on people and the rise in cannabis smokers in young people. -This we were able to prove with numbers, giving us a strong argument as well as the back up of experts. -The overall structure of our documentary used the enigmatic code which is a problem that is only discussed and not solved. This leaves the viewer with questions that cannot yet be solved. It catches the reader’s attention as they are able to realise how serious something could be, and that they want to hear more about these unresolved problems.
  6. 6. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Within the first 5 minutes of the documentary we chose to use some rhetorical devices like ‘should cannabis be legalised?’ -Also we used factual numbers such as ‘3 million users daily in the UK alone. -These opinions coincide with the majority of the opinions in the documentary. -Expert interviews that also take this stance strengthen the rhetorical elements in the documentary.
  7. 7. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -We made sure that we used the right mise en scène in the background like props for example in the expert interview with Mike Hatton we put pictures of cannabis on the computer due to the fact our documentary is about legalising cannabis. -Another feature incorporated within the interviews in the documentary was the use of graphics, particularly throughout the professional interviews. -By using graphical labels or tags, it helps to inform the viewer as to who the interviewees were and their occupation. -We chose to use this convention throughout our interviews/vox pops and also use the conventional white serif font so that it was easy to read.
  8. 8. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? - We also used animated graphics called Key Framing in final cut for our title sequence which contributed very well to our documentary.The lighting throughout the majority of the documentary is natural lighting, similar to all the other documentaries that I have watched. - We also used diegetic and non-diegetic sound throughout our voice over, which are conventions that play a big part in a documentary. - It was appropriate to include some non-diegetic sound to reinforce that insight and well-rounded element and it is quite hard to avoid during vox pops and interviews. Diegetic sound such as people walking past and talking during vox pops and students talking in the canteen. - Although this contributed positively in our documentary, we had to manage these levels and make sure they were audible but not overpowering.
  9. 9. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Since the beginning of the A2 course I have watched many documentaries in preparation for creating our own. -They can all be very different, however will use many of the same conventions as each other. -I spent a lot of time analysing documentaries such as‘ Supersize Me ’, ‘ Britain's Secret Farms’, ‘ Welcome to India’ and ‘Death row’. -Many of the conventions that I picked up from these were the uses of Camera . This included the shot types such as Close ups, Medium Close ups, Establishing Shots/Long shots and Extreme Close ups . -In ‘Britain’s Secret Farms’ the most commonly used shot was the medium close up, which we then used a lot in our documentary to get a good look at people’s expressions and how they feel towards the situation. -We used a handheld camera a lot in our documentary the viewer feel as though they are there, and get a feel for what is going on. This was used a lot in ‘Supersize Me’ and we found that it was very effective for our documentary.
  10. 10. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -The other type of use of the camera, is by using a Tripod. We used this on various occasions such as establishing shots of the college, for showing college equipment such as computers, classrooms, and of students walking in and out of college. -The tripod meant that we could have various steady shots, and use skills that we know such as Pan, Tracking and Zooming, in a professional way. The main use of the tripod was for expert interviews, which enabled us to set up the camera in a professional manner.
  11. 11. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Supersize me Our documentary -A main convention used when interviewing experts, is using the rule of thirds to set up the screen. The interviewee should be looking out into an empty space which we have done here, and positioned a third of the way in, with their eye level at a third of the way down.
  12. 12. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Sound is another important part within the documentary and this included background music, voice-over, presenter, diegetic and non-diegetic sound. ‘Death Row’ uses an on screen presenter in their documentary, as well as a voice-over, which is very effective and makes the documentary fell a lot more personal for the audience. However, as our documentary was more informative we chose to just use a voice-over, like in ‘Airline’ where the narrator guides the audience through the documentary. This is part of our script that we recorded using the microphone and headphones and it was then put into final express.
  13. 13. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Background music was something we also used in our documentary, the same as all the others we had looked at. -We wanted the background music to be minimalist and be at the same level throughout and not crescendo and over power the voiceover as the voiceover was very important in our documentary. -When looking into other documentaries such as ‘Supersize Me’ they tended to use copyrighted songs, which we wasn’t allowed to use. -In ‘Airline’ they didn’t use so much music, just the theme song that is used at the beginning and end of the documentary. Again this was copyrighted music, and for our documentary we needed something that wasn’t. -So we looked on the internet and used a site called Freemusicsfx.com which gave us an instrumental of a well-known cannabis song called ‘Because I Got High’ which wasn’t copyrighted so we was able to use this. -The music worked effectively for using real media conventions and we thought overall that the voiceover and background music worked very well together.
  14. 14. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -The research into the topic is very important to a documentary, especially if it is to inform the audience. -In ‘Airline’ their research is first hand and primary, no facts/statistics, but upfront with the customers and their views/opinions. -In ‘Super Size Me’ it is filled with first and second hand research. The beginning of the documentary is very informative, and filled with so many facts said by the voiceover. We used this in our documentary and filled our opening with statistics ‘Super Size Me’ in the first 5 minutes of the documentary. Our documentary in the first 5 minutes showing facts and figures and found that the large numbers worked well coming up on the screen with large text.
  15. 15. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Special Effects are used several times throughout the documentary ‘Super Size Me’, they work very effectively, a lot done with special graphical effects, and some done with the camera. -We used a few effects in ours on the camera such as changing the focus and zooming. -When we came to edit the documentary, we looked at real documentaries on ideas of how to edit our footage to make them effective. -We also looked at speeding up some of our footage as most the documentaries had this element in, however, we thought it wouldn’t be suited for our documentary. -Therefore we just stuck to using our out of focus and zoomed in footage, also show in supersize me. ‘Super Size Me’ Our own documentary using the focus in order to make the footage look aesthetically pleasing Using this button to zoom in and out and changing the focus
  16. 16. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? TV listing magazine: -Here is our final magazine double page spread, which we has to produce for the magazine ‘Radio Times’. We looked at various different magazines first in order to achieve our finished product and we got a lot of inspiration from the ‘Eric and Ernie’ article which we then chose to use a similar layout. -We also looked as a lot of magazines in order to get an idea of conventions and how effective they are. -Magazines range from ‘TV Mag’ and ‘Radio Times’, but each with similar conventions. As our documentary was based on serious and controversial topic, we chose to keep the layout simple and straight to the point.
  17. 17. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Magazine articles for television documentaries tend to have a more than one picture. -These tend to be shots from the documentary, showing still clips, of the main people that are involved in the documentary. -We put in a still clip of a past-smoker of the drug that we interviewed in our documentary to show the readers what do be expecting to hear from. Our magazine The caption is essential to an image on a magazine and are always used to explain what is going on in the image or who the person is in the picture. Radio Times
  18. 18. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -The masthead is the headline/ title of the page and is always used in magazines/newspapers. -Magazine article or television articles are sometimes headlines based on characters/puns/plotlines, but sometimes the title of the programme, especially when it is one of them documentary/series. Drop caps are essential in magazine articles at the beginning of the text, this is why I used it in my article to make it look more professional. A pull quote is a clip of the article showing something that may interest or pull in the reader to the article. We used an interesting line that was said by one of the interviewees. Most magazines use pull quotes in order to grab the attention of the reader.
  19. 19. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The date, time and channel are essential to a magazine as they tell the reader when the programme is going to be on. We liked the way this was laid out, therefore we chose to do something quite similar as it makes it clear to when the documentary is on. Articles are always written in 2 or 3 columns, which is why we used it in ours when talking about our documentary. Stand firsts are also conventional of a magazine article and we chose to use a rhetorical question is order to engage our reader and to involve them more, which will persuade them to want to read our article.
  20. 20. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Radio Trail: For our radio trailer, we listened to various real ones to get an insight of the conventions that they use and what makes them effective. We have listened to radio trailers off radio five, BBC one, capital radio, Radio 1 and different radio stations that play advertisements. As our radio trailer is for radio 1, it needed to be something to appeal to the audience, and reach out to young people/students. We filled in these sheets to analyse radio trailers including the music, target audience, tone of voice, effects, sound levels and length. Even though the documentary is on a serious topic, it is for a younger generation who could get bored easily. Therefore, we added a good beat to the background, and had a serious voice over reading the script to show how serious the matter is. This pulls the listener in and catches their initial attention.
  21. 21. The time, date and channel of the documentary is something that all radio trailers will have in them, to make sure the reader knows when it is going to be on. We added this to the end of our documentary, by saying ‘Thursday at 9pm, on Channel 4. Most of the radio trailers that we listened to were around 20 to 40 seconds long, as they don’t go on too long, yet are long enough to get their point across. We made ours about 41 seconds long, as this was long enough to say what we needed to say to sell our documentary. We also used clips from our documentary, including something a interviewee says, and some shocking facts from the voice over. We used ambient sound such as people talking between clips in order to keep it fast pace and realistic.
  22. 22. We created our radio trailer on logic pro, as we thought this was the best and easiest software to use. Overall we stuck to the main conventions of a television documentary. The most common cut in a documentary is the straight cut, and is used far more than any other, so this is why we chose to stick to this transition. We also used some dissolves, as we found that it put our clips together effectively and looked effective and aesthetically pleasing.

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