'Nobody' final evaluation

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Final evaluation of my A2 MEdia Studies coursework.

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'Nobody' final evaluation

  1. 1. ‘Nobody’ Media Short Film<br />by<br /> Alex Allin<br />Final Coursework Evaluation<br />
  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?<br />
  3. 3. Forms and Conventions<br />Filming and Editing Techniques<br />
  4. 4. Establishing Shot<br />
  5. 5. Establishing Shot<br />The typical conventions of establishing shots in films are slow pan shots to give an idea of where the film is located, additionally they usually show scenery or something that isn’t particularly spectacular. <br />However in Thrillers, non-linear structures to films are used and establishing shots can be important scenes from the film. A perfect example of this is in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, this film starts with waves crashing as the camera slowly pans. These shots link to the end of the film and are placed at the beginning in order to confuse the audience, also when the film catches up with this scene the message is made clear. Because the shot is placed at the beginning it causes the audience to think straight from the beginning. <br />The establishing shot in our piece was a scene from the end of our film, alike to Inception. This shows paper flying down a street, we do not pan the camera, thus it subverts the conventions I have observed. However I believe the steady shot adds effect to the shot. There is the sound of rustling paper that gets louder until the scene fades into the opening titles, this sound builds tension, this is a convention of establishing shots from our chosen genre. <br />So, our establishing shot subverts conventions of general films, however it does apply the forms and conventions of our genre. There are many examples of this non-linear structure and we followed this convention in order to add effect.<br />The mise-én-scene of the shot is very bleak, we lowered the saturation a convention we applied due to the depressive theme of our film. This convention can also be seen in films such as “The Book Of Eli”.<br />
  6. 6. Jump Cut<br />
  7. 7. Jump Cut<br />This scene was used to emphasise how excluded from society our main character is. The scene features two other actors who are talking to each other while the main character walks around them. The shot is held still until the main character gets to the edge when there is a series of jump cuts, while the camera pans, this follows the main character to a seat at the back of the room. The use of jump cuts is heavily used in film to show time passing and thus this is a convention we have applied. However in our film we flash to black between our jump cuts and this syncs to music playing. This therefore has more of a music video feel, we therefore slightly subvert the typical conventions of films, we added the black flashes to add effect and make the film more visually striking. <br />The mise-én-scene is once again bleak, the saturation is turned down again in order to emphasise the dark mood of the film. The shot is framed so that the main character is at the other end of the shot to the other actors, this is once again used to represent his separation from society. This technique is used in many films, we have therefore applied another convention of the industry.<br />The music we have used is a dance track it has a mysterious tone to it, we used this as it creates a nice effect with the atmosphere. As I mentioned above we synced jump cuts to the track playing we did this as it created a dramatic effect. The use of music like this and syncing it to jump cuts is primarily seen in music videos, however it is seen in films but not often. We therefore subvert the convention slightly here as it is not a common occurrence in film.<br />
  8. 8. Over-The-Shoulder Shot<br />
  9. 9. Over-The-Shoulder Shot<br />This is one of the most key shots in our film, the use of an over the shoulder shot to introduce the other main character. Firstly we were going to use this shot and then zoom it towards the dark character to emphasise the importance, but we decided against this. Over the shoulder shots are used in films to make it seem like the audience are more involved with the action, another way of doing this is through using a point of view shot. We decided against the use of a point of view shot because we felt the over the shoulder shot was more dramatic. The way we have used this over the shoulder shot applies the conventions that I have mentioned above. Examples of shots like this can be seen in real media products in most TV dramas. And additionally in films in order to give the audience the sense that they are being included in the action as mentioned above, this shot type would therefore be a key feature of our chosen genre Thrillers as it will help build tension and keep the audience involved.<br />The mise-én-scene is once again bleak and how we have framed the shot the main character is at one side with the dark figure at the other side. How we involve this shot into our piece marks the moment, as you don’t see that part of the room until the main character leaves. This is an essential part of the film and I believe we put this across by applying the conventions of over the shoulder shots. The lighting is purposely above the dark figure so his face is obscured by the hood he is wearing, the fact his face is covered is played on through the whole film. The lighting in the scene is similar to most of the lighting in the rest of our film, it is naturalistic, coming from the lights inside the classroom. This is done in order to represent where the film is being shot.<br />During this shot there is music playing in the background, this is the music featured in the jump cut scene, however it is slowly fading out. We could have possibly incorporated a voice over of the main characters thoughts during this shot in order to explain the shot better. <br />
  10. 10. Flashbacks<br />
  11. 11. Flashbacks<br />In this shot as there were just the two of us filming and acting clever camera work was involved. This scene sees the main character (front of shot) walking from the doors to where he is positioned now. In this shot the dark figure had to appear behind main character as he turned round the corner, as there was just the two of us this was pretty difficult to carry out, but we managed it; through the placement of flashbacks to split up the scene. <br />This shot is once again held still on a tripod, following the conventions of film. The shot is framed so the main character obscures the whole centre of the shot until he moves to the side, (which can be seen right). The mise-en-scene as with the rest of the film is bleak, this is done to represent the depressive nature of the film, the saturation is turned down to further emphasise this effect. <br />The music throughout this scene is in a minor key and used to add effect, there is no dialogue or diegetic sound, through scenes like this our film uses conventions of music videos very strongly, we used a lack of diegetic sounds and dialogue to show how our main character was very different to the rest of society. So, this scene is very similar to something out of music videos, additionally shots like this are used frequently in horror movies in order to build tension. <br />For the flashback we used a dip to white to represent the transfer into the flashback, this is a convention of film. The original flashback that we had in our film was edited to have a glow effect, we this is seen in many films to represent the idea of a flashback, this however is not seen in films aimed at an older target audience, or films in our chosen genre. We therefore subverted the general convention and applied the one relevant to out film. In the flashback the camera is held still on a tripod, the flashback is the show the main character receiving a reward for English creative writing.<br />There is a sound effect of clapping to represent the fact he is at an awards evening, there is also a song going on in the background. This song is in a minor key to emphasise the depressive nature of the film. The use of flashbacks are also very common in psychological thrillers as they extend the story and add to the psychotic feel of the film.<br />
  12. 12. Bus Transition Scene<br />
  13. 13. Bus Transition Scene<br />This scene shows how the main character and dark figure start seeing more of each other, I edited this scene so there are jump cuts with the main character wearing different clothes after each cut. I originally intended the scene to be similar to the scene in the film “Spiderman” when Peter Parker is designing the suit, this however did not happen. Jump cuts are widely used to show time passing, therefore the way I have used them applies the conventions of film. The use of shots throughout the scene are mainly close ups of the main character, however there is one close up of the dark character and the long shot shown below. This shot is framed so they are at different sides of the shot. Both characters are facing away from the camera, this symbolises there distance from society, the dark characters face is once again covered up by the hood.<br />Over the top of this scene there is music playing that my partner composed on GarageBand, this is piano music with a slow tempo and in a minor key, this is meant to emphasise the depressive mood of the scene and add dramatic effect when you see the dark character on shot. The way we shot it gives the viewer the idea that the dark character had been there the whole time, he was just hidden. This gives the impression that the dark character is always present, thus adding to his enigmatic character. <br />The mise-en-scene of the shots is very bleak, the colours are dim and the atmosphere of the shot is dark in order to represent the depressive theme of our film. The lighting is naturalistic, it is coming through the window, this casts a shadow on one half of the characters face adding to their enigmatic identities.<br />
  14. 14. Dark Scene<br />
  15. 15. Dark Scene<br />This is the most key scene in our whole film, it is where the dark character can be understood; throughout the whole film we purposefully made him strange in order to keep the audience guessing. The shots in the scene are a mixture of long shots (seen below) and medium close ups of both the characters. The shot below is framed so that the characters are positioned on opposite sides of the screen. This paired with the dialogue shows how the main character is distancing himself as he is confused. Through the dialogue in this scene we applied the principle of the 180⁰ rule. I believe the exceedingly bleak mise-en-scene further emphasises the mood of the film and as this scene is significantly darker than any other adds an extra focus on this scenes importance. Through the use of bleak mise-en-scene and the framing of our shots I believe we have followed the conventions of thrillers, shots like these are scene and the shadows in the scene add to the tension being created. <br />
  16. 16. Split Shot<br />
  17. 17. Split Shot<br />This split shot has been remarked as the most key shot in our whole piece. This shot happens with the realisation that the dark figure is actually in the main characters mind. We decided to do a split shot as seen below to represent the fact that his personality is split into another person. The audience does not know yet that that dark character is in the main characters mind and would therefore be confused, it is in the shot after next that everything is made clear. The use of a split shot like this, I cannot say I have ever seen in a film. It is similar to what is seen in the television series 24, but we used it in a different way. Therefore we have subverted typical conventions of film, however I would say that through subverting the conventions we have made our film much more individual and visually dramatic. Through having two shots running at the same time it extends the story at a quicker pace, it may be confusing as there is a lot to take in, but this is the idea of the film. I therefore believe that this shot is one of the most key in our whole film. <br />The mise-en-scene is extremely bleak, we searched for a location that would be reasonable to shoot this as we needed a dark room, we then closed all the blinds but one in order to cast shadows. The dark character has his face completely covered for the first time in the film; he is completely in shadow. For the main character we used an over the shoulder shot while he goes through his story to find the dark characters message. This shot of the main character is similar to one of Ewan McGregor in “The Ghost Writer”. We therefore applied conventions of film. <br />Throughout the shots leading up to this one there was music playing in order to convey the fact that this scene is a pivotal moment in the film. According to Todrov’s Equilibrium theory it is the disruption.<br />
  18. 18. Two Main Characters<br />
  19. 19. Two Main Characters<br />This shot took the most time to edit out of any in the film, it shows two main characters, and to carry this out I had to research tutorials on the internet on how to do this. The shot, I believe is very effective. How the scene is structured this shot is shown before the information is shown to the audience, therefore the audience will be questioning what is going on only to be told in the following shot. I believe how we structured this is clever, as it keeps the audience guessing for longer and thus holds their interest longer. <br />The shot is framed so the two characters are sat at opposite ends of the shot, a running theme in our whole film, the copy of the main character on the left is sat in the same position as the dark character is at the beginning of the scene. Prior to the shot above you see the dark character take down his hood. There are only two times where the dark character is seen with his hood down and both times he looks like the main character. I believe this is extremely effective and shows the audience what we intended. Additionally this shot’s mise-en-scene is very bleak, the saturation as with the rest of the film is turned down and as the room is a blue colour it is very bland. The shot is messy with chairs and tables cluttered to show the school location and this additionally represents how confusing the film is and the disruption of the scene. <br />I have not seen shots like this be used in any films, but I have seen it happen in music videos which are using issues such as this. I believe this shot is very visually impressive because of the cloning technique as it is something that is not widely observed in films. This scene had music running through it, as the music reaches a crescendo there is the diegetic sound of laughter from the dark character on the left had side of the shot. This laugh represents the dark characters mockery as the main character finally finds out who the dark character really is.<br />This is one of the last shots in our film. It shows the two characters stood face to face and a car between them driving up the road. I believe this shot is very visually striking, we framed it using the running theme of the two characters at opposite ends of the shot, additionally there is the path between them, this almost acts as a divide showing how their companionship is over. <br />We had to reshoot this scene multiple times as we didn’t get it right, that is why it is slightly brighter than the rest of the film. The mise-en-scene is therefore slightly brighter than other scenes which was partly unintentional and would have been better if we had shot the scene on an overcast day, however I think it is bleak enough and with the saturation turned down colour is drained out and therefore the scene seems bleaker than it is. This desaturation is something we have applied all throughout our film. <br />As the main character is walking into the road there is a song playing in the background in a minor key. The main character then runs off shot to the right and the car follows him- this is paired with the diegetic sound of the car passing, the dark figure then fades and the shot cuts to black. This cut to black is meant to convey the fact the main character got hit by the car. When editing this I thought it best to leave out the sound of breaks squeaking and a thud as this seemed very cliché and ruined the effect the music has. This therefore subverts conventions of film as there would normally be a thus to convey someone being hit, I don’t think our film needs it and it would spoil the effect it has on the audience. <br />The camera all throughout this scene is held still, there is one cut in this scene, and this is when the car goes past. We decided to keep this as one flowing shot so that the full effect of the cloning technique came across to the audience. I believe this lack of cuts, while it doesn’t show a wide variety it does show our skill with narrative as we manage to hold audience attention through a long shot. I would say that this subverts typical shots in real media products, however my audience feedback suggests it works.<br />
  20. 20. Forms and Conventions<br />Media Theory<br />
  21. 21. Narrative Theory<br />Narrative Theories are ideas, similar to conventions, that media texts apply in order to put a certain message across. A narrative theory that my film applies is Propp’s idea of there being certain character types in every film. Our film has the classic hero, princess, donor and villain. However our film subverts this narrative theory in a way, as the hero in our film is also the princess and the donor is also the villain. Due to the nature of our film this was necessary and as we have this subversion is adds to the effect and confusion of our film. This does not happen in many real media products, however a loose example comes from films when someone who is originally viewed as an ally changes sides, this happens in many films a recent example of one of these is the latest instalment in the Indiana Jones series “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.<br />Another narrative theory that we applied in our film is Levi-Strauss’s idea of Binary Opposites, this is the idea that inside media texts there are always opposites, for instance earth and space or good and evil. In our film it is primarily a representation of good and evil. The character that always looms in the shade and hides his face with his hood is the representation of evil, whereas the main character who nearly always dresses in lighter clothes and covers himself up less, is the good character. This representation is crucial to our films narrative. <br />So we have both applied and subverted classical narrative theories in our film. By doing this we will have made our film more accessible to people as it has a general feel to it with the narrative theories applied. However as we challenged and subverted one of the theories it allows for a more personal and confusing feel. This is what we aimed to do achieve with our film. This shows that narrative is essential to films, all films have a narrative structure and thus this is one of the most essential principles we had to include, all films have at least one theory and this is Todrov’s Theory of Equilibrium, this is an essential idea which basically states that all media texts have a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning of our film being the sense of equilibrium where the main character is stuck in the monotony of spending every day alone, the middle being the introduction and development of the second, “dark character” and the development of the relationship between the two, and finally the ending being the surprising and unexpected revelation that the second character is not in fact real, and the main character is once again returned to being constantly alone. This was an essential narrative theory to follow as most real media products do and I think that it was in fact easier to follow this through in a short film as there is less time available for variation in the scenes and a more distinct beginning, middle and ending.<br />
  22. 22. Intertextuality<br />Intertextuality is the idea that people bring in their own experiences with what ever media text they are viewing. So basically, people use other media texts in order to find meaning in the one that they are watching at the time. This is also similar to Barthes idea of negotiating the meaning of media texts. <br />My film features intertextuality first of all in the sense that we have used teenage actors. These actors will enable the ability for people external to the film to relate to the action, by doing this we can play on the empathy factor for the characters, this will also result in a better reaction at the end of the film. This technique is used by many mainstream films in the film industry. For example the thriller “The Prestige”, directed by Christopher Nolan, used characters that could be related to very easily, and whilst the actors used in the film were all well known they were scripted and dressed in a way that was different to their normal selves or characters that they had portrayed in other films and thus this technique was effective.Our film doesn’t do exactly this as we are using the actors in their typical everyday dress however the audience viewing the film will take from their past experiences and judge the characters in accordance to these, and the fact that they are dressed like stereotypical modern teenagers will also allow some of the younger members of the audience to relate more easily and more readily accept ideas put forth by the film.<br />However there is one problem with intertextuality, those people who know the actors in the film will see the actors behind these characters rather than that the characters themselves and use their experiences with the actors to govern their ideas of their actions in the film rather than the character developed throughout the film. This is a major flaw in using intertextuality in this particular film as an awful lot of the initial audience will be our fellow classmates and students and thus they will be using a relationship that is not actually with the character in the film and the representation we are trying to give may not come across. <br />Because of this an audience that views the film without knowing the actors would be much more successful and this is why big screen films maybe supply much more intertextuality. We do not know the actors personally and therefore find building relationships with the characters easy. Another example of this can be seen in the fact when we see actors in one film and then in a completely different film we find it hard to relate to that character, however in low budget films such as “This Is England”, directed by Shane Meadows, most of the actors had not been seen before on the big screen; this allowed for the audience to create brand new relationships with the characters. <br />
  23. 23. Forms and Conventions<br />Ancillary Texts<br />
  24. 24. Film Poster<br />The names of the actors in the film are shown at the top, this is a very common convention of film posters as it allows people to relate to the film because they might recognise the actor from something else or might be a fan of the actor and watch this film as a result. The surnames are also shown larger and in higher contrast as actors are often recognised this way more commonly.<br />As opposed to the dark character who is dressed all in dark inconspicuous colours the main character is in a white t-shirt and has very pale skin, which cause him to stand out from the background and make the audience notice him first, this also creates a sense of contrast between the two characters and the light colours of the main character lead us to believe that he is the “good guy” whereas the dark, shady, covered up appearance of the dark person makes him the “bad guy”.<br />The dark character is looking directly at the camera and therefore at the audience and engaging with them, giving him a sense of a stronger more powerful character, despite the fact that he is in the background.<br />The dark character is in the background behind the table and also smaller and therefore this shows that he is not the main character and is less directly important.<br />The title of the film is in a bright red colour as opposed to the more plain black and white of the rest of the poster and is also in a much larger font size so that it stands out more and sticks in the viewers mind.<br />A possible release date for the film is mentioned at the bottom giving the reader a sense of anticipation and adding to the suspense of wanting to find out more about the story and explain the mysterious characters depicted here and their equally mysterious relationship.<br />Credits at the bottom of the poster are in very small print denoting that they are less immediately important than the images and larger text which are placed further up such as the title, tagline and names of the actors, but is still included as it still may cause some audience members to go to see the film based on recognising the name of a famous director etc.<br />
  25. 25. Double Page Spread Article<br />Three images of different sizes have been used to represent the film. The largest one shows the main character, connoting that he is the most important figure in the film, and making sure this is seen first. The second largest then shows the second, more conspicuous dark character, who plays an equally important part in the film, however is not focused on so much. The final image then shows some behind the scenes footage which is mentioned in the article text but does not take up much of the article and therefore this image is the smallest as it is the least important in relevance to the article itself.<br />The small header section at the top of the article summarises all of the most important information that might be required by someone who is just skimming through the magazine and does not wish to read each individual article in depth. This includes such important information as the director, actors and other more mainstream, famous films of a similar genre and with a similar style of storyline for fans of these particular titles.<br />The five star rating given to the film is shown here in a bright red colour and as a result stands out from a distance. This is done because the star rating system is very widely recognised and anyone who sees the five stars here at the end of the review will instantly know that this means that the film has received a very high overall score and therefore must be very good.<br />The text for the article is arranged into two equally sized columns, one down each side of the double page, this gives a good balance on the page as a whole between the amount of the page taken up by the text and the amount covered by the images, making sure that there is not too much of either.<br />
  26. 26. How effective is the combination of your media product and ancillary texts?<br />
  27. 27. Ancillary Texts<br />Film Poster<br />
  28. 28. Film Poster<br />The purpose of my film poster was to advertise the short film in the same style that a theatrical release poster would for a mainstream film, through using the forms and conventions of these existing posters such as symbolism, I did this in a number of ways to appeal directly to my specific target audience.<br />First of all I decided to start with a completely plain black A3 sized page and decided to work my way up from this. The colour scheme for the overall poster design was to be black and white with a bright red used for the title to create a sense of the dark nature of psychological thrillers, whilst the red was to represent the shocking hidden messages often found within this genre of film. I also then used images which had been purposely desaturated firstly as the images were taken and then in more detail to match the lighting in the post production stage using the image editing software Photoshop. I did subvert some of the forms and conventions of mainstream film posters significantly as well as I decided that instead of having one background image and building the poster from there upwards and adding further images and text/titles on top of this I would instead start with a plain black background and the text. I also completely removed the background from all of the images which I decided to use individually before they were imported into this main poster design file, because first of all this meant that there was not unnecessary mise-en-scéne in the shot which would distract viewers from the impact of the images of the characters, and also because this blank space also connotes the sense of emptiness and abandonment present throughout the film, and which can be directly related to the films title of ‘Nobody’.<br />With regards to the images which I decided to use I chose to keep it simple and stick to images of only the two main characters in the film upon a plain black background. The image of the main character has been placed at the front to show his importance and this image is also generally slightly more central to the pages to show that he is the central character. He is dressed in a white top and has pale skin which in a way could represent that out of the two he is the “good guy”. He is also sitting at a plain white table which covers the bottom portion of the page and bleeds to both sides and allows for a subtle variation in background colours with no defined edges. The second character however, who is not named at all during the film, and who my partner and I refer to simple as the “dark character” is standing as opposed to sitting which could represent the fact that he is more powerful than the main character, although in a subtle and mysterious way as the way that he is stood behind the table and behind the main character shows that he is not such a central focus. Because he is in the background he also appears smaller which further backs up the idea that he is a less important figure. The character is dressed in all dark clothing and has nearly all of his skin covered which directly contrasts with the main character who is all in light colours and pale skinned and this dark feel to him is representative of the fact that he is more the “bad guy” and the main characters opposite. This dark character is also looking directly at the camera, and therefore at the audience and this combined with the dark and sinister expression on his face further leads leads the viewer to believe that he is dark and menacing and is warning you of something dangerous that he may be capable of. The main character however is pictured staring absent-mindedly off into the middle distance ahead of him, and this lack of eye contact with the audience and the more peaceful blank expression on his face leads us to believe that he is not dangerous at all and is a much more pacifistic and peaceful character overall. He is also looking directly in the direction of the dark character, although you can clearly see that he is looking forward and the dark character is behind him, giving the audience the impression that he is maybe vaguely aware of this other persons presence although either not directly able to see him or chooses not to for some unknown reason, and this forms questions in the viewers mind about the relationship between these two people. All of this together along with the catchy tagline and then mention of a possible release date causes a sense of anticipation in the viewer about the film, as well as the list of actors which may further entice a the viewer to go and view the film create an overall image which quickly and effectively grabs the attention of anyone who sees it and instantly forces them to begin to ask question about what is going on and when they can find the answers to these.<br />
  29. 29. Progression<br />This is the first draft of my film poster, this design simply shows a possible layout of the text for the title and the names of the actors at the top of the page, as well as including a tag-line and the words “coming soon” showing that this poster is for a film which is yet to be released. the background for this image is simply a solid plain black as I have not yet decided on the layout or design of the background, however I do know that it will be a dark colour and so I decided to use black so that the light coloured text would stand out well. I also think that the plain black and white fits in well with the general style of the poster and the images which I will eventually use will be in a desaturated sort of style similar to the film and this will fit well with the black and white colour scheme.<br />In this second draft of my film poster I have decided roughly how I would like the background image to look for my poster and I have a couple of ideas for layouts and how this will be arranged, however I have again decided to set the poster on a simple plain black background here to show the rest of the elements of the poster such as the text styles, sizes and position and layout. Here I have added a few more actors names to the top of the poster and arranged these in a different way which I think is more professional looking. The title text and size has been kept the same, but has been relocated to the centre of the page instead of being over to one side, as I am thinking of using a central image of the main character. I have also added a series of credits at the bottom of the page, as well as changing the “coming soon” to something much more specific, as I think being able to give potential viewers a date to focus on will help to build anticipation for the film better. Finally I have resized and redesigned the tag-line for the film, and whilst I prefer the new tag-line I think that the position and size of this on the previous poster was better as here it looks too larger and so I will probably change this again. My second draft is unusual in the fact that it still contains no images at all and this is because on my blog I decided to show the development of images separately.<br />
  30. 30. Final Film Poster<br />
  31. 31. What would I change?<br />Overall I think that out of the film and the two ancillary texts the film poster is the one that I am most happy with, and the one that I think has turned out exactly as I wanted it to, if not even better than I had originally envisioned. Because of this, even if given the chance and more time available to me I don’t think that there would be much that I would change and the new finished product would look very similar.<br />One thing which I would definitely like to at least experiment with changing is the fact that I did in the end decide not to include a background image to the poster and all of the popular posters for existing psychological thrillers which I have looked at during the research stage did include this in some way. The reason we decided not to include this was not because we were unable to but because we wanted to experiment with something different and the film itself already was and so we purposely decided to subvert this particular convention of psychological thriller film posters, and while I am very pleased with the end result and would most definitely consider this little experiment a success the traditional forms and conventions are there because they do work and I would like to try and achieve just as good a result whilst following this particular one.<br />The rest of the poster, the titles and other text is perfectly fine and I am very pleased with how professional looking this has turned out and so would not change any of it apart from maybe the positioning of maybe the tagline to accommodate different images and backgrounds.<br />
  32. 32. Ancillary Texts<br />Double Page Spread Article<br />
  33. 33. Double Page Spread Article<br />For the double page spread article I decided to design the page layout and write the article both in the style of a film review, the sort which would be found in a magazine which catered specifically for this kind of review. I decided to go for a more sincere professional looking feel to the article as well as opposed to the flamboyant and in-your-face kind of article which I had created for my AS music magazine production. For the article I hoped to try and create the sort of article that was written to a standard and in a style that it would be believable that had been written by a professional journalist and the purpose of this particular article was to give the audience an insight into what the film was actually about and to make them want to go see it for themselves, but also to give them an insight into what it was like for my partner and I being the directors as well as the actors whilst creating this film.<br />I chose to keep to the exact same colour scheme as the film poster, using the black and white with the very small amount of red as the base the entire piece as this helped to create a sense of unity between the two pieces, and also the bland and mostly dark colour scheme is representative of the dark nature of the psychological thriller genre and the emptiness and monotony of the main characters life in the film and the sense of being alone which he feels. I also decided to use the exact same editing technique here for the images which were again taken with an initial picture style which increased the sharpness of the images and reduced the colour tone and saturation, and the photos have all also been darkened and had the saturation reduced during post production to give the same atmosphere as the poster and also to match the reduced saturation effect used in the film itself. <br />With the layout of the page I decided very early on that I was going to use a layout that had two solid columns of text and instead of positioning these alongside each other I would place one on each side of the article. The rough layout from which I got the inspiration was from an article I saw in the A3 magazine supplement of a daily newspaper rather than an actual film magazine (although I did also look at plenty of these for inspiration on other aspects) and was part of an article which actually spanned four or five pages, the key, central double page spread containing two columns of text down each side as imitated here, and then also with a series of smaller columns spanning the bottom of the page between these. As I have produced this article as an A3 sheet in total, meaning that each side of the page is in A4 size, I was simply unable to fir this many text columns onto the page and seeing as my article could only span the one double page spread I decided to cut this down to the two basic columns of text. Each of these columns in exactly half the size of the side of A4 which it is on and so this meant that there was an exact equal balance of text and images, a convention of more professional looking magazines as opposed to the “one-third text, two-thirds pictures” approach to more colourful and visually centred magazine articles. <br />For the images used here I chose the majority of them from the exact same shoot as I had done for the poster and edited them to fit with the faded, desaturated feel of the film which they were representing. I also again chose images which were almost identical to the ones on the poster and I know that many of my fellow students actually used the poster itself for one half of their double page spread. The third image however is from an additional photoshoot which was planned especially for this production piece and to make sure this this fit in with the rest and gave the desired look the exact same picture settings were used when taking the image and I made sure that my partner, who was the model here, was wearing very plain shades of clothing which were different to when he was playing the main character in the film, so that this did not disrupt the overall colour balance of the page.<br />Again I have managed to create a piece of work here of which I am extremely proud and I think that I have successfully managed to create a very professional looking magazine article which clearly gives the audience an idea of what our short film is about as well as an insight into our lives as directors and actors of said film.<br />
  34. 34. Progression<br />This second draft of my film review double page spread now shows the final layout and positioning of all of the elements of the page which I will be using including the two columns of text and all of the images. I have also now added the finished images which I have edited and captions to go with two of the images, as well as a quotation which I will include in the review when I write it. The only things which I have now got left to do to the article are to write the text for the actual review which will be pasted into the two black text columns along each side, and also create the logo which I am going to add in the small space at the bottom between the images. As you can see this is still very lacking in colour and the images which I have used are all very desaturated as this both fits with the film and also gives the sense of the article being from a more serious, professional looking magazine.<br />I created this first draft of my double page spread film review in order to show the layout of page, including the text boxes, titles, images and quotations. This is a very basic draft and so does not actually show any of the images which I will be using yet, simply the places where they will go. It also shows a basic overall colour scheme of the page and will be very helpful when I am selecting and editing my images to make sure that the page stays balanced colour wise and that the images are the right sizes to fit onto the page. I have chosen to use three images as this allows me to show a selection of both characters from the film as well as previews from within the film and possible also exclusive behind the scenes images.<br />
  35. 35. Final Double Page Spread Article<br />
  36. 36. What would I change?<br />If I were to have the chance to do the double page spread article again with the experience I have gained from doing it the first time round I do not actually think that there is anything which I would wish to change. As with the poster I am extremely pleased with how the finished product has turned out and I have followed a lot of the forms and conventions of the existing film reviews which I have looked at in magazines to create a very professional looking review for my short film which I think give the audience a perfect idea of what the film is about and reveals just enough about the storyline to get us interested enough to want to go and see the film for ourselves, without actually giving away any of the key elements of the film which are designed to make the audience think, and are the most important elements of a psychological thriller.<br />If I did have to mention things which I thought could maybe be improved I think that if given the chance to redesign the page or possibly to present it as either more pages or as a larger double page spread I would also include a wider variety of images of myself and my partner on set as we only used one of these from the shoot. I would also possibly include another section separate to the article itself in the form of an interview with the directors of the film, as I think that this would provide more variety of reading to the audience as well as a better insight into the minds of my partner and I as directors as well as actors, as this is one of the initial points which I wanted to address in the article but in the end did not get quite as much coverage as the film itself.<br />
  37. 37. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?<br />
  38. 38. Short Film<br />For the film itself we have been collecting audience feedback right from the start of the course before we even began the filming of the initial mock up scenes. The first feedback which we received was when we had just decided on the genre of our film and we decided to design a questionnaire to hand out to a large number of people who were in the age group which we had specified for the film, those of a similar age to us. This first questionnaire was designed to collect basic information about the possible content for our film before we finalised the script. The first questions were about the age and genres of film that the person in question watched so that we would easily be able to rule out any results from those people who did not choose thriller or psychological thriller as one of the genres, and therefore the rest of the results would relate directly to our film. The questions included such things as whether or not elements such as gratuitous violence and sexual activity were necessary in a good film and about whether or not things such as good music improved the viewing experience, and if so what kind. The results from this were mostly positive in the sense that they only helped to support the ides we already had for the basic story line and script of the film. The thing I personally think that this questionnaire helped the most with was deciding what kind of music to include in the soundtrack to our film and in the end we decided to go for quite a mix of genres but to only use each track in short clips where appropriate. <br />The next significant bit of audience feedback which we collected was when we showed the first, finished cut of our film to the rest of our media class and asked them to fill out a sheet which asked questions about their own personal opinion on a number of various different aspects of the film. This included such vital questions as to whether or not the plot of the film was easy to grasp and how high the overall quality of the editing was. The final question then asked each of them what changes they would advise us to make to this rough version of the film to create a high quality finished short film. Some of the problems were simply to do with minor technical issues such as sound clips being missing and for example one of the actors being too quiet to be heard in relation to the rest of the film and so these were quickly sorted out and the film was re-uploaded. Some more pressing issues however included the fact that the film was difficult to understand. While this would initially seem like a hugely undermining issue with the film it wasn’t at all; our film is designed, not necessarily to be hard to understand, but to get people thinking, and for the twist in the story not to be obvious until right at the end. As only a small proportion of the overall feedback said it was hard to understand however I would assume that was from people who are not overly interested in the genre of the film, as whilst asking the members of our media class did allow us to get more technically accurate and useful feedback, not all of them were at all interested in the genre.<br />Another way in which we asked for audience feedback was through the use of the internet. The first way in which we did this was though the video sharing website YouTube which we uploaded the film to in order to embed it in the Wordpress blog. This site allows other users on the site (of which there are millions each day) to post comments about the video or more simply vote the film either up or down to state whether or not they liked it. The other website which we used for getting audience feedback was the social networking site Facebook and we did this by both my partner and I posting a link to the video on YouTube on our “wall” on Facebook, which then allowed an of our friends to either watch and comment directly on the link on Facebook or follow the hyperlink to YouTube and watch, rate and comment on it there. Again this feedback was for the most part positive although we did receive a reasonable amount of constructive criticism which allowed us to continue editing the film scene by scene and asking for feedback until it was at the stage it is now.<br />
  39. 39. Film Poster<br />In order to collect audience feedback for my film poster I decided to go with the more traditional method of asking people face to face what they thought of it as this allowed me to have a two way discussion about the topic rather that simply reading statements about it as I would have done had I used the internet for my feedback in the same way as the film, this also meant that nothing got lost in translation as it could have done and often does on the internet and I could not accidentally take a piece of constructive criticism the wrong way.<br />The first comment which I received from a number of people and which led me to try and experiment with changing around the layout of the poster was that the tagline was in the wrong place and did not look as effective as maybe it could be. This feedback also fit in with the information which I had learned from looking at existing posters as one of the most common conventions which I noticed with regards to the tagline was that it was nearly always in the very centre of the page at the top in order to be noticed quickly and to give the most impact. Because of this I decided to open my poster back up in Photoshop and spent a long time rearranging everything to tray and do this. In the end the only way which I was able to achieve the desired effect (the tagline in the middle) was to significantly shrink the image of the dark character so that I was able to stretch the tagline out onto a single line across the page, but the only way I could do this with enough space above and below the tagline left the image of the dark person far too small and as a result left me with far too much dead space in the centre of the image. In the end, and based on some further audience feedback it was agreed that this was not as effective as the original position and so the tagline was moved back to the left, and as it is still also at the top this did still work very effectively. <br />Only one other point was continually brought up by people whom I asked about the poster, and that was to do with the fact that I had chosen not to include a background in the poster images and there were quite a few people, who thought that the poster would look more professional if I did and that I should even if only to completely eliminate the dead space. I did however decided to leave the background as it is because as I mentioned before this was done on purpose to subvert that particular convention.<br />
  40. 40. Double Page Spread Article<br />The audience feedback which I received for my double page spread was also very positive as it had been for the film and the poster previously. I again collected the majority of the feedback by showing people the finished product printed out onto A3 and then folded as it was designed to and as it would be seen if it were in an actual magazine, and then asking them to look over the design and read through the article and give their views on the piece as a whole.<br />I have to say that I think the feedback for this was more positive than both the film and the poster as I did not actually get a single comment about a problem or a significant change which they thought that I should make to the layout of the page, and neither did I about any of the images used or the quality of these. The only advice which I did receive from a couple of people who I asked about this was that they said that the quality of the article would possibly be improved if there was more variation to the actual article text, and the most popular suggestion on how to achieve this was to also include an interview with the directors, something which I would definitely have done if I had the chance to create the article over a larger area, as all of the best articles which I looked at covered a minimum of three or four pages and I was simply not able to do this.<br />Overall I think that because of the amount of positive audience feedback (and also the lack of negative!) received, that the double page spread has been a huge success and in the end I have not changed anything from the original design.<br />
  41. 41. How did you use media technologies in the research and planning, construction and evaluation stages?<br />
  42. 42. Use of Media Technologies<br />The Internet<br />
  43. 43. Wordpress Blog<br />We were required to use a “blogging” website called Wordpress for<br /> the research and planning side of the coursework and also for<br /> uploading hyperlinks to videos of the various scenes of the film and<br /> also images showing all of the various stages of the production of the<br /> ancillary texts.<br />Before this I had never had any experience with any blogging websites of any kind and so this entire process has been a learning experience for me.<br />The preliminary task of creating the short film “Cookie” was also very useful in regards to this side of the coursework as it not only helped us to prepare for creating the actual final film and ancillary texts, but also gave us some much needed time to grow accustomed to using the blog on a regular basis to record and document the progression of our research and planning.<br />Overall I think that my experience in using this website has increased more than with any of the other programs or equipment used during this project, even if only because of the fact that I had no previous experience at all. I have learnt to keep my work up-to-date with regular updates to the blog and also to make sure that I do all of my work in the correct order so that everything flows together better and is uploaded to the blog in the correct linear fashion.<br />Using this blog as opposed to a more traditional method such as a simple portfolio or coursework folder has also provided a great advantage because of the fact that it is accessible from any computer  I may be working on and which has an internet connection, which prevents the risk of any forgotten or lost work. Finally it also means that I was able to include videos or other such influences which I would not have been able to use at all otherwise, and seeing as the main task this year has been to create a short film this has been the most important part of the blogging process. <br />Wordpress also allows each of its users to customise their blogs and this has been another thing which my partner and I have used extensively and we have adjusted the layout of our blogs to conform to the genre of our short film.<br />
  44. 44. Wordpress Blog<br />This Screenshot shows some of the “behind-the-scenes” workings of my Wordpress blog. Here you can see the clear well structured and organised layout of the sites user control panel or “dashboard” as it’s known. It also shows an example of some of the HTML code used by the site to insert images and format text, and while some of the basics are easy enough to learn, everything can be fully automated and done using the sites more friendly “visual” interface. It also shows how it is possible to edit the actual date a post was created on, a feature which can be extremely helpful in organising posts and inserting things you maybe forgot or decided to include at a later date.<br />Another very useful feature of the Wordpress blog is the ability to categorise each post into a series of custom categories and sub-categories, which can then in turn be used by readers to filter out information when reading the blog. I decided to divide my posts into “Music Magazine”, “Student Magazine” and “Research and Planning”, with sub-categories within thee for each of the magazine cover, contents and double page spread.<br />From this page you can also access the customisation options for the blog through the “appearance” tab in the left hand column. This allows you to choose from among hundreds of layouts and also choose which tabs and additional features you want to include on your blog, making it as personalised as possible.<br />
  45. 45. YouTube<br />YouTube is a well known video sharing website which is used<br /> all over the world by millions of people every day. It<br /> allows you to create a free account and then upload<br /> videos up to 10 minutes long and so was the perfect<br /> choice for us to upload our short film. It then allowed us to embed these video clips into blog posts on Wordpress by using simple preset HTML coding.<br />We also used the site to upload a video of every single one of the draft copies of each of the individual scenes as we filmed and edited each one, so that we would be able to embed these in individual posts on the Wordpress blog and then write about each one and thus show how the short film was progressing. <br />We decided to use YouTube over any other video sharing website as this is by far the most famous and has the highest amount of online user traffic meaning that the possibility for our video to be seen by a wider audience was much higher. For this project we decided to create a new account which we would use to upload all of the video clips to, instead of using already existing accounts, despite the fact the both my partner and I had one, as this new account would make it easier for us to organise the videos, and could be specifically customised to advertise our media work.<br />We were also able to use this website in numerous different ways to collect audience feedback as other users are able to vote the videos either positively or negatively and also leave comments. As this was all online we were also able to post a hyperlink of the video to the social networking website Facebook and receive audience feedback in that way.<br />One issue which we did find with using YouTube however was the fact that the videos did take a long time to upload, around four hours and this combined with the time taken to export the videos from the editing program we were using brought the total time up to around six hours, meaning that we had to devote a lot of our own time to this as we did not have this much time during lessons at school. <br />
  46. 46. Facebook<br />Another website which I have used extensively<br /> over the course of this project is the widely<br /> famous social networking site “Facebook”. I<br /> think that out of the key websites which I’ve<br /> used during this project this is actually the only one with which I have any previous experience, and this was of course very useful considering the way in which I used the site in relation to my project. <br />I used this website mainly as an easy way to receive audience feedback in a relatively short space of time and without having to actually go out and ask lot and lots of people in turn. Doing this also made the process of gathering my results to be able to analyse them a lot easier, as with a questionnaire I found that a lot of time was spent collating the results and manually typing them up to be able to use them on the blog or into tables to create graphs. However by using an online social networking website such as Facebook I was able to simply copy and paste the information into a Microsoft Word or Excel document in a matter of minutes.<br />
  47. 47. Scribd<br />One final additional website which we used during the<br /> process of creating the film was a website called<br /> ‘Scribd’. The site can be described as a web based<br /> document-sharing site and the website is linked with<br /> Wordpress in some way, allowing you to upload<br /> documents to a personal Scribd account and then insert them directly into a post on the blog for viewing.<br />It is possible to upload any kind of document to Scribd for sharing, from Microsoft Word (or other word processing software) documents to PowerPoint Presentations and Graphs. As we are however of course already able to insert and format text directly using the blog itself there was not need to use Scribd for this and I have only found the site necessary for slideshows (in fact you might even be reading this right now through Scribd!), and also for uploading a blank copy of the questionnaire used for my audience feedback.<br />Again, similarly to Wordpress this was a website which I had no previous experience with at all and so every single time I have used this right from creating an account and uploading my first document, has been a learning experience and my knowledge and usage of the site has inevitably increased.<br />Scribd can also be used to acquire basic audience feedback as other users can view and rate your work and let you know what they thought of it through leaving “likes” and comments on each piece.<br />
  48. 48. Use of Media Technologies<br />Software<br />
  49. 49. Apple iMovie 9<br />The first program which we decided to use to edit together the clips which we had <br /> filmed into scenes which could be comprised into a finished film was a program <br /> created by Apple Inc. Called iMovie. As this is an Apple program it was available to <br /> us only at school when we had access to the Apple Macs there. The school also <br /> owned a newer version of the program called iMovie HD, which was able to work <br /> with full HD video such as that which we were able to film using the video camera, <br /> however due to some technical difficulties in importing the first files and compatibility errors between the software an the camera we were only able to use the older iMovie 9 and were not able to produce clips in full HD<br />This program did still allow us to produce clips up to a resolution of 720p however and did still contain all of the necessary basic tools which we needed to cut down and adjust the clips to place them in the right order, as well as other features such as adding titles and transition and fading in and out or cutting out sound completely which allowed us to make the film seem more professional, it was also linked to Apples sound editing program GarageBand as well as a readily installed library of basic background music tracks and sound effects.<br />Whereas my partner had quite a bit of previous experience in video editing using a very high end program called Final Cut Pro, I was far less experienced and the only knowledge I had was the very basics from previously messing around with a couple of programs which I owned or had access to in the past. Because of this, we decided that for the editing work during the film my partner would focus his attention slightly more on the video editing side of things so that we could get things done quicker, and doing the actual work however we would both give equal input into what he actually did. <br />We were originally planning on making our whole film on iMovie as this was at the time the only program available to us, however due to the fact that we became constantly frustrated with how well the program was running and constant errors we decided to discontinue use of it after we had produced the initial first drafts of a few of the scenes. We also encountered other much more pressing issues such as the fact that were only actually able to access the program for a few short hours each week as it was installed only on very few Apple Macs which were located at school and we only had access to these during lesson time. Furthermore the school is not well equipped enough in terms of hardware for editing large amounts of video footage, and so the computers which we were able to use always ran very slowly and often lagged and crashed and this slowed production even further. The school also did not have anywhere near enough hard disk space for us to store all of the unedited footage and we filled up our original disk quota after filming footage for only the first couple of scenes.<br />
  50. 50. Apple iMovie 9<br />The two columns to the left hand side of the page shown here both allow you to very easily keep all of your video footage organised. The topmost one is for organising different “projects” and allowed us to keep each scene within it’s own project within the main file meaning we did not have to have a lot of individual files, just the one. And the bottom window allows you to easily browse through video footage on the computers hard drive without actually having to import the clips into the program itself, only onto the system.<br />The video window in the top corner allows you to see exactly what you’re doing by showing a reasonably sized video of the selected clip allowing you to edit footage visually by stopping it wherever you want rather than having to rely on knowing exact timings, all part of Apples tradition of making everything smooth and easy to use.<br />The icons over to the right hand side allow you to easily switch the bottom half of the page to a window which allows you to insert custom titles as well as using pre-installed sounds or importing your own custom tracks from GarageBand<br />Please note:<br />The screenshot shown here is not from my own version of iMovie and the scenes shown are not from our own media film, the image used was found on google images as I was unable to access a Mac with iMovie at the time of making this presentation. All the video footage and images shown here are copyright of their respective owners.<br />
  51. 51. Adobe Premier Pro CS5<br />After iMovie we decided that we were going to try and find a different,<br /> and a better program for editing our video clips and so we decided<br /> to try out Adobe Premier Pro CS5. Both myself and my partner have<br /> previous experience with using programs published by Adobe Systems<br /> and we have always found them to be of a very high standard. <br />I have briefly used a trial version Premier Pro CS4 before myself and found that the professional standard piece of software did not run very well on my own laptop due to it not having the required system specs needed to perform properly. My partner however has a far more up-to-date laptop and so we decided to download a trial version of the latest version of the program.<br />We instantly found that the program was of a much higher quality than iMovie and that despite only having the trial version of the program the time period for which it was available to us, a total of two months between us using one trial each, was more than enough to finish off all of the rest of the scenes and complete the film to a very high standard. <br />There were initially a few problems in getting to grips with the program as while it is of a much higher standard, it does have a more complex professional looking user interface. We did however learn the basics very quickly through a combination of my partners previous experience in other professional programs such as Final Cut Pro, our joint experience in using iMovie and my brief forage into using the previous version of Premier Pro.<br />Because we were now also using my partners personal laptop as opposed to the school Apple Macs we were able to access the program at all times and able to make the most of the two months of free usage we had. This also completely solved the issue with disk space which we had previously encountered as the hard drive on the laptop as well as my own external hard drive had over 1TB of hard disk space between them, thousands of times more than was available to us on the school network.<br />
  52. 52. Adobe Premier Pro CS5<br />This screenshot showing our film under production in Premier Pro highlights some of the more important features of the program such as the easy access to the files stored on the computers hard drive and the multiple channels available for editing multiple video tracks simultaneously as well as the separate track for audio.<br />
  53. 53. Adobe Photoshop CS4<br />The main piece of editing software which we used in the<br /> construction of our ancillary production pieces was an image<br /> editing program called Adobe Photoshop. This program allows<br /> you to do an extremely wide range of things to multiple images<br /> at once and can even be configured to perform certain processes on a large amount of images automatically without the user actually having to do anything.<br />I was already at quite a significant advantage when we started the project in this respect as I had already been teaching myself in the use of this program for the past couple of years and I also had a lot of experience from my AS level photography the previous year.<br />I decided to use this particular program as opposed to others which were available at the time for a number of reasons, first of all and the main reason why I chose Photoshop was because I had a large amount of previous experience with this particular program and have not actually ever used any others. It was also extremely useful that the both Apple Macs which were available for us to use at school during lesson time, and also my own personal laptop, had the exact same version installed and so I was able to quickly and easily transfer files between the two via my USB stick.<br />Since the beginning of the project my skills in using Photoshop have again improved even further and I enjoyed being able to use the program for a much wider variety of processes, as I did in fact use the one program for the production of my entire film poster and double page spread, as opposed to using it for only the film poster and then using another program, Adobe InDesign, for the double page spread as many other people have done.<br />
  54. 54. Adobe Photoshop CS4<br />2.When using the computers available to us at school we were unable to install and use custom fonts and so having the same version of Photoshop installed on my own laptop was invaluable in the creation of my production pieces, as the fonts were a central point of all of my work.<br />3.I used an extremely wide variety of editing techniques in my production which were not taught to us, for example the use of masking, custom brushes, filters and ready stored actions, all of which helped to greatly speed up a series of complex procedures and this allowing me to spend far more time on the other less familiar aspects of the production.<br />4.When using Ps I always like to keep all of my work as organised as possible, with each different part of the complete image on it’s own layer. This particular piece had around seventy layers in total, far more than I had ever previously worked with on Photography or personal projects, and so this experience has reiterated the importance of organisational skills when working on such a large scale project.<br />1.As we were only taught the function of the most basic tools in Ps (lasso, selection, marquee, crop etc.) my previous knowledge allowed me to easily and professionally use more advanced tools such as the dodge / burn, clone stamp and healing brush right from the offset with no technical difficulties at all which allowed me to get everything done a lot quicker in the end.<br />2.<br />3.<br />4.<br />1.<br />
  55. 55. Apple GarageBand<br />Another additional program which we decided to use during the<br /> production of our short film was a piece of Audio software<br /> available to us on the Apple Macs which allowed us to create our<br /> own music tracks by combining various different premade audio<br /> loops of varying lengths. We decided to use this to create a series of<br /> basic soundtracks to some of the scenes in our film. <br />In the end we only used the program to create two different audio tracks, one which was used at the end of the film and another calmer, piano piece which was used at various stages throughout the film, each version differing slightly in background sounds and length. <br />The program also allowed us to add in sound effects such as the ones which we had used in iMovie and the finished tracks were also able to be exported directly into iMovie. When we did switch over to using Adobe Premier Pro instead this did make the process slightly more complicated as it meant we now had to export the tracks to .mp3 or .wav format and then transfer them to the laptop via a USB device but this could all still be done very quickly and was merely a minor inconvenience.<br />I myself did have some minimal experience in using this particular program before we decided to use it for this project, although I had only used it in the past for messing around and creating experimental music tracks by trying out each of the different instruments. Whilst this did not really give me much experience in creating technically professional sounding audio tracks even what little prior experience I had proved to be very useful as I did indeed already know my way around all of the unique features of the program and its layout. <br />The tracks we decided to use in the end consisted only of loops from piano tracks and while we did have the possibility to connect a real electric piano to the computer and input our own sounds we stuck to using the premade loops to create the tracks. We did also experiment heavily with synthesiser loops and trying to create a track using these, however we decided in the end that it would not fit in with the overall feel of the film.<br />
  56. 56. Use of Media Technologies<br />Hardware<br />
  57. 57. Panasonic HDC-SD5<br />For this project we were given the option of using video cameras available to us through the school by means of loaning them out whenever we needed to film scenes and a lot of the other groups did this and still managed to do very well. My Canon DSLR also has the capability to shoot film in full HD however my partner and I decided that we would use our own purpose built video camera throughout this project. <br />The camera which we decided to use was my partners Panasonic HDC-SD5 HD video camera. We decided that this would be the best choice because it was able to record film in full 1080p HD and it saved the video clips straight to an 8GB SD card which we could then either insert directly into a laptop or leave in the camera and transfer the data via a cable to one of the Apple Macs which we were also using.<br />As well as the extremely high quality the camera had a reasonably good built in microphone which was more than good enough for our film as only a few of the scenes required us to record sound. As well as this it also had 10x optical zoom which allowed us to film the same scenes from a number of distances, whichever was practical for the location, as well as shooting a few shots which actually included the zoom within them, although we did try to limit the use of this. The camera did also have digital zoom although we decided not to use this at all as it reduced the quality of the video footage and was not ever necessary.<br /> This particular model of camera was also particularly useful because it was so small, light and compact and as it was only the two of us doing both the filming and the acting we did not want to be carrying a large amount of equipment everywhere. The only other equipment which we did make sure that we always used was a basic tripod to hold the camera in place and to stop any movement which would occur if the camera was hand held during filming, this was also a compulsory piece of equipment for when we were filming scenes which involved both us acting at the same time as it was not actually possible there for one of us to hold the camera. Another feature which helped with regards to the scenes where we were both on shot was the live view screen on the camera which we were able to pop out and then rotate to face us, meaning it was easily possible for us to both be on shot and still able to see exactly what was going to be recorded, rather than having to get up and position the camera without us on shot.<br />
  58. 58. Canon EOS 550D DSLR<br />For the production I was also required to take still images which would<br /> be used for the production of the film poster and the double page<br /> spread article. We also took a series of photographs near the<br /> beginning of the planning stages of the film in order to help us to<br /> decide on possible locations to use, and a couple of the final<br /> scenes were actually developed from these images.<br />The video camera which we were using was able to take still images as<br /> well as filming video clips, and we also had video cameras<br /> available to us at school, however both of these were only able to<br /> take pictures at around one or two megapixels and I knew that this<br /> would not be anywhere good enough to create a high quality,<br /> professional looking, full sized poster and double page spread. Because of<br /> this I decided to use my own personal camera for all of the photographic work<br /> during the project, a Canon EOS 550D DSLR, a camera which is able to take images at a resolution of 18 megapixels, which was perfectly acceptable for editing and reproducing at a large resolution.<br />One of the other A-level subjects I am currently studying is Photography and I have taken a keen interest in this for quite a few years now, and as a result I was already at a considerable advantage when starting this project in terms of actually taking photographs.<br />Overall my technical knowledge in terms of the use of cameras and the hardware itself has not improved a significant amount as the photography was not a major part of this project and I already possessed all of the skills required for taking the photographs themselves. One thing which I have however improved quite a bit on is the ability to work as a Photographer alongside the production of a video, as we often took the photos at the same time as filming scenes for the film so that we would be able to produce images which realistically documented the process of creating the film, which would then in turn be used in the double page spread. Both myself and my partner also significantly improved our skills in setting up planned photoshoots over the course of this project as all of the images had to be carefully set up to fit in with the video footage. I also heavily relied on using certain settings for the “picture style” setting on my camera in order to take images with a certain colour balance and saturation to them rather than leaving all of this to the post production work. This is something which I do not usually try to do in Photography as you are unable to undo this once the photo has been taken without retaking the photo with neutral settings, however I think that this really helped here as it allowed me to match the atmosphere of the images to the lowered-saturation effect of the film.<br />
  59. 59. END<br />Thank you for your time.<br />

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