Different media technologies allowed us to conduct thorough
research before constructing our documentary.
We used the internet to browse through topics which were
current and appealed to a young audience, which is how we
came up with the topic of knife crime.
We also used the internet to research into cases of knife
related incidents that have occurred recently and we focused
on the stabbing of Depzman in our documentary as it was a
relatively high profile stabbing and caused a massive uproar
with the youth of Birmingham.
The vast amounts of information of the internet
allowed us to collate lots of content in order to
make our documentary as informative as possible.
However, with the large amount of content
available on the internet, we had to consider the
reliability of the source which is why we opted to
mainly use BBC as it is a trusted source with
reliable information. This is proven by an Ofcom
report which found that the BBC was rated UK’s top
source for News with 53% of adults using it.
Microsoft word and Microsoft PowerPoint were
essential pieces of software throughout our
project, especially the research stages.
By using Microsoft Word we were able to create a
questionnaire, which could be customised to a
clear layout so it was easy for people to complete
Microsoft PowerPoint allowed us to create
slideshows on our findings from research and
incorporate the graphs which we created in
To keep all of our research in a chronological order
and in one place, we used Blogger. This meant that
we could all see what each individual in the group
had done which prevented duplicates of research
and also made all of us knowledgeable on the
To upload pieces of research to Blogger, we used
websites such as Scribd and Slideshare so
documents could be embedded onto our blog.
We also used Prezi and PowToon to present
information in a creative way.
To get a better idea of the type of
documentary we wanted to create, we did
research into documentaries which were of a
similar style to the initial ideas we had.
YouTube and online catch-up services (such
as BBC iPlayer and 4OD) allowed us to do this
easily and it meant that we could watch a
range of documentaries to develop our
understanding of codes and conventions of
Furthermore, watching these documentaries
gave us an idea of the channel we wanted to
use to broadcast our documentary.
Watching Dispatches on 4OD helped us in our
decision to pick Channel 4 as our
Without the availability of these media
technologies we would have found it very
difficult to make an informed decision.
During the planning stages, media
technologies were not really used
as we planned in the form of paper
based mind maps and storyboards.
We did, however, use Hotmail to
email pieces of planning work to
each other over the Christmas
holiday so that we could all
individually begin to write scripts
etc. based on our plans.
After all our research and planning had been completed, we
felt we were ready to move onto the filming stage. We used
all of the information that we obtained during the research
and planning stages to ensure we got the most out of our
time with the equipment and filmed appropriate content.
To film our documentary, we used a Canon HG20 Camcorder.
This was an excellent camcorder for us as it had features
such as a manual focus ring, HD recording and Super Range
Optical Image Stabilizer. All of these things combined
produced high quality video clips.
The Canon HG20 allowed us to capture high
quality still images too, which was useful for when
we wanted to take photos of locations for risk
The microphone port was essential for us as we
wanted to record diagetic and non-diagetic sound.
We were able to insert an external shotgun
microphone with a directional cardioid polarity
pattern whilst filming interviews. The polarity
pattern meant we could point the microphone
where we wanted which would give us better
sound clarity than if we used the built in
A headphone port was useful too because we were
able to listen to the audio being recorded in real
time and correct things immediately if sound
quality was an issue. We used Sennheiser HD201
and Beats Studio™ over ear headphones because
they provided us with a deep level of sound so we
were able to pick out any background noise which
was especially useful when we were filming in
To record the voiceover for the documentary we
used a voice recorder as it provided a clear sound
Throughout all the interviews, we used the
camcorder alongside headphones and a mic. We
mounted the camcorder on a tripod to ensure that
the shot being filmed was stable which gave the
shots a professional finish. The tripod was effective
when we wanted to create pan shots and tilts eg.
Pan of the college.
After filming our footage we copied the clips onto an Apple
iMac into a local folder. This meant we would have all of our
clips in one place ready for editing.
We watched the clips using VLC Player and labelled the clips
accordingly so they were easy to locate. We also deleted the
clips which we did not want to use in our final documentary.
Once we had sorted out our clips, we used an Apple iMac to
‘log and transfer’ our footage into the editing software called
Final Cut Express.
An advantage of using Final Cut Express was
the ease at which we could edit. The tool bar
was a key feature whilst we were editing. The
razor blade tool allowed us to crop exact
parts of extract which gave a smooth
transition between shots, especially because
our documentary consisted of many straight
However, we did use also transitions such as
cross dissolves. Final Cut Express allowed us
to easily incorporate these into our
documentary because we could drag the
effect and place it where we wanted it and
crop it to our desired length.
Final Cut Express enabled us to use text overlays which we used throughout
the documentary, mostly to add names to the interviews so the viewer would
know who is being interviewed.
The ability to edit the speed of clips was a real advantage to us, especially
when creating our reconstruction. We placed 2 clips (of the reconstruction)
on top of each other, then when editing we made the two clips different
speeds. This created a blur effect which was really effective because our
feedback showed that people appreciated the professional finish of the
The wire frame enabled us to position clips exactly
where we wanted them to be in the frame. This tool
allowed us to also correct filming errors. For
example, in one of our shots the microphone was
visible which did not look professional. By dragging
the frame outwards, using the wire frame tool, we
were able to remove the problem.
Once our clips had been put into order and all the transitions
were in place, we moved onto editing the sound levels.
The main priority was to get all of the decibel levels
consistent. Our voiceover sound quality was very clear so we
did not need the edit that. However, some interviews had
quieter/louder sound than others so we used the pink
velocity line to make the sounds consistent.
To make the transition between sounds as seamless as
possible, we manually automated the levels using the pink
velocity line and created a smooth downward or upward fade.
Our research mainly consisted of buying TV Listing magazines
like Radio Times. We indentified key codes and conventions
and picked out other features which we wanted to adapt and
use in our own double page spread.
We used Microsoft Publisher to create a draft layout by
inserting shapes which represented different parts of the
double page spread. This software allowed us to easily move
things around which was a major advantage over using the
traditional method of using paper to draft.
We used Adobe Indesign to create the magazine double page
spread. This software was excellent to use because we had
used it in our AS project so we were familiar with it, unlike
Final Cut Express.
Before starting the project we took all of the screenshots
because we wanted to use still images from the documentary
in our magazine page.
We also typed the article in Microsoft Word because it has a
spell and grammar check.
Firstly, we created boxes on our blank canvas on InDesign.
These boxes represented different areas and where things
will be positioned. Creating these boxes helped us to create
the magazine efficiently as we knew here everything was
going to be placed.
We fitted the main image and resized it to fit approximately
two thirds of the page.
We then pasted the article into Indesign from Microsoft Word.
Finishing touches included inserting images, writing and
formatting text and adding features such as page numbers
We used YouTube to listen to radio trails which we
analysed and presented our findings on Microsoft
Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. This was very
helpful as it gave us an idea of codes and
conventions needed to make a successful radio
When planning the radio trail we used Microsoft
Word to create a script because it was easy to edit
We used Final Cut Express to create our radio trail.
We recorded the voiceover of the Radio Trail using
a voice recorder and used the same woman we
used for our documentary voiceover to keep the 2
products consistent with each other.
We did not need edit the sound but we changed the
decibel levels using the pink velocity line.
We inserted the documentary music and clips of
audio from interviews by dragging them onto the
timeline. Once again, decibel levels were adjusted
using the pink velocity line.
We then added cross fades and manually
automated levels using the same process we used
when doing it for the documentary. We did this to
create a seamless transition between different
For the evaluation, I used Microsoft
PowerPoint, Prezi and
I felt that using a variety of
different software to complete my
evaluation really demonstrated my
technical ability and creative