Education Questioning the Quality Evaluation Question 1
Before starting our documentary we did lots of research into different kinds of documentary types/themes. Tofind out more about this we looked into the ‘Bill Nicholls’ theory of Documentary modes (2001), where welooked at modes such as poetic, participatory, performative, reflexive, observational and expositional. Thepoetic mode has a very subjective approach by focusing mainly on mood and tone, rather than displays ofknowledge. On the other hand, the Observational mode tend to just observe subjects and allow for the viewerto make their own conclusions. The Reflexive mode, uses the different approach by making the audience viewthe text in a much more objective way and by considering the implications. One of the documentaries that welooked into was Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me, which used a performative and participatory mode, wherethe film maker features somehow in the documentary. This is what Morgan Spurlock does in his. In ourdocumentary we used a much more expositional mode, which undertook a narrative structure with theincluded use of voice overs to give more information to the viewer. The opening 5 minutes of our documentaryis also very rhetorical, as it tries to persuade the audience with our argument, which was education. Bill Nicholls
For our documentary we used many different conventions to make it look as professional as possible. Toachieve this we had to do research into similar products to find out what the typical conventions were tomake an interesting and informative documentary. Like Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me, we wanted to usea variety of techniques to convey as much information about the subject to the viewer as possible withoutmaking it boring and try to make it as entertaining as possible, but also to put a serious note in about theissues in education . Morgan Spurlock manages to achieve an enjoyable but informative documentaryabout the McDonalds campaign, with a good choice of camera angles, mise-en-scene, graphical devices,cartoons and professional interviews and vox pops and much more. These all aid in making thedocumentary exciting to watch. Spurlock used all of these techniques in his documentary, and we decidedthat we needed to follow these conventions to make our documentary as exciting as Morgan Spurlock’swas.
Introduction…Morgan Spurlock in Supersize Me in the introduction to the documentaryuses on screen graphics accompanied by the use of voice over to straightaway get their point across about the subject. ‘60% of Americans areclinically obese’ and ‘1/4 Americans go to McDonalds everyday. We Supersize Me Introductionwanted to achieve the same in our documentary by grabbing the viewersattention. Right at the start of our documentary we take a slightlydifferent approach to Morgan Spurlock. To achieve the same effect weused a professional interview on its own to create a serious atmosphereand inform the reader straight away of the matter at hand. In SupersizeMe, Morgan Spurlock also featured in his documentary by becoming thepresenter of the show, on the other hand we decided that for our Educating Essex Introductiondocumentary we would use only the power of our voice over,accompanied by other conventions such as professional interviews, voxpops and on screen graphics. I have also looked at other documentariessuch as ‘Jamie’s Dream School’ and ‘Educating Essex’ which also use afamiliar technique to starting off their documentaries. They both usevoice overs accompanied by facts and figures, to highlight the main pointsto do with their subject. These two documentaries and including ours use Jamie’s Dream School Introductiona narrative structure which comes across as being very rhetorical bynarrating to the viewer the problems, where as Supersize me is muchmore performative, as Morgan Spurlock makes himself part of his work. Our Documentary Introduction
Camera…When it came to filming the documentary we wanted to use the classic conventions that are normally seenin a documentary. To help us with this we looked at how the other documentaries had incorporateddifferent camera angles and shot types to make it more interesting. The shot types I saw in ‘Supersize Me’,‘Jamie’s Dream School’ and ‘Educating Essex’ included Close ups, Medium Close ups, Extreme Close ups andEstablishing Shots/ Long Shots. All of these shots were used in these documentaries. The most common Ifound was the use of medium close ups, which we used a lot in our documentary, especially for the expertinterviews so that we could get a better look at peoples expressions. It also helps to get a good idea on howthe person feels towards the situation. Supersize Me Our Documentary
Camera…In our documentary we decided not to use handheld camera because we found it too be too shaky, which wedidn’t want. Therefore we decided that we wanted to use a Tripod to steady the camera. We used this for arange of shots including the establishing shots in/outside of the college, expert interviews, vox pops, booksthrown onto a pile, and of students walking. Having the use of the tripod meant that we could make good useof the stability. This made it particularly good at establishing shots for panning, tracking and zooming intosubjects, which we used in our documentary. To make our documentary even more interesting than just panning across to make the establishing shots, we changed the tilt of the camera. Starting from the top right we tilted the camera down at the same time as panning to make an interesting diagonal shot to feature in the introduction of the documentary.
Camera…The main use for the tripod in our documentary was for doing the professional interviews. Having the tripodallowed us to set up the camera in a much more professional way. It also gave use the option to get theperfect height between the interviewee and the camera, and also obtain a good steady angle on the expert incorrelation to the camera. Educating Essex Our Documentary The main convention which we wanted to stick by is the rule of thirds which is shown here. To make this technique work the interviewee must be positioned in at least one third of the shot. As well as this they should be looking into the dead space, with their eye level being s third of the way down the shot. To line the shot up correctly we also kept in mind mise-en-scene. We made sure everything in shot was relevant to the job the expert was working in, to keep everything in context.
Sound…Sound is another really important part to documentaries. We wanted to make our documentary as professionalas possible. To do this we included Diegetic, Non-Diegetic sound, Background Music and Voiceover. Ourdocumentary was very similar to ‘Educating Essex’ and ‘Jamie’s Dream School’ as they all use the same soundtechniques, where as ‘Supersize Me’ also used the Presenter for sound as well. The use of a presenter is goodfor the documentary because it makes the whole programme feel much more personal and involving for theaudience. However we found that we didn’t need a presenter because our documentary was much more linearand informative than ‘Supersize Me’. This is an example of some of the sound recorded from the camera. We used an external microphone and headphones to capture the best sound while we were shooting. We then inserted the sound into Final Cut Express where we did any fine tuning to the sound such as centering the sound and changing the volumes so they are all constant throughout the documentary.
Background Music…Like all of the other documentaries that we looked at, we included background music to make the documentarymore professional. It was made to be simple and not overpowering to the documentary, as we wanted to createa quiet music which didn’t distract the audience from the viewing. ‘Supersize Me’ unfortunately usedcopyrighted songs which we couldn’t use in our documentary. However, the music used in ‘Jamie’s DreamSchool’ and ‘Educating Essex’ isn’t copyrighted, so we chose to do the same thing by using garage band. When we were in GarageBand, we picked out one of the beats which we found catchy and interesting to put into our documentary. We then imported the track as MP3 into Final Cut Express. We found that the music worked really well with the documentary. The sound levels were good and not overpowering, however it became slightly too repetitive towards the end of the documentary.
The Facts and Figures…The research into the chosen topic is incredibly important to the documentary, in giving specific and relevantinformation to the viewers. Like my documentary, ‘Supersize Me’ uses lots of facts and figures to inform theaudience of the problems and the statistics. This is known as second hand research. These kind ofdocumentaries tend to be very informative and tend to be filled with lots of information. On the other hand‘Jamie’s Dream School’ is very primary, with most of the information being formed from opinions and theteaching of the students in the programme. Supersize Me Our Documentary
Special Effects…Special effects aren’t used very much in the‘Educating Essex’ and ‘Jamie’s Dream School’,however they are used more in ‘Supersize Me’ This isan example of Morgan Spurlock using the same imagemultiple times to create an emphasis on the scene heis showing to the audience. They are very effective atmaking a scene more interesting. The special effectused in our documentary was to speed up the walkingand blur the students walking. To do this we took a section of the documentary and went to modify > speed and altered the speed to make it faster. We them moved it out of focus to create the blurred look. The shot was sped up to emphasize the amount of people that walk through the canteen.
Montage/On Screen Graphics…Because ‘Supersize Me’ uses a lot of second hand research, Morgan Spurlock also uses lots of on screen graphicsto convey more information to the viewer without boring them, as second hand information can because itinvolves lots of fact and figures. The one which our group was particularly interested in was the use of montageduring the documentary. We wanted to implement the same into our documentary to make it more exciting andprofessional. Supersize Me We made the montage by taking pictures on the camera, and inserting them into Final Cut Express. We then laid them on an individual tracks and stretched them out to make them appear at different times. This was very effective because the pictures matched the voice over, which gave the viewer a more exciting visual experience.
Double Page Spread…This is the final of our magazine which we created in the style of ‘What’s on TV’ magazine. We looked at manydifferent magazines to begin with, but decided that we wanted to base out final double page spread on ‘What’son TV’ magazine because we really liked the variety of colours and interesting layout. To get an idea of whatlayouts the magazine used we had a look at previous issues of the genuine magazine to get inspiration for thisarticle.
Double Page Spread… Like many other magazine’s such as ‘What’s on TV’ and ‘Radio Times’ they feature many different pictures in the articles. Some are taken and other are screen shots from the documentaries. After doing research into many different magazine providers, we also wanted to take the same approach.What’s on TV Radio Times These are the pictures taken from our double page spread, which are all taken from the montage used in the documentary. Furthermore, like the pictures from the professional magazines, the pictures also have a quote to back them up with a small bit of information to tell the reader what they are about.
Double Page Spread…Like our choice of magazine (What’s on TV) we wanted to make it look as realistic as possible. To add to theprofessional look of the magazine article we also included the main image (cover photo), which was taken froma camera, not from the documentary. This makes the picture much sharper, making it much easier to postprocess in Adobe Photoshop. To make the picture more vivid, we brightened up the picture with thebrightness/contrast tool on Photoshop. What’s on TV Our Double Page Spread
Double Page Spread…In all magazines it is important to have a catchy Masthead. Like ‘What’s on TV’ magazine, We wanted to makethe Masthead yellow, to match the layout of their magazine. We wanted to make it as bright and as vibrant sothat it stands out against the main image. The Masthead used in What’s on TV is bright and uses very bold text, so that it stands out. The Masthead is normally based on characters/ puns or plotlines. We wanted to make ours similar to this magazine. To do this, I made the text on Adobe Photoshop using the text tool. I then selected the ‘Good’ and took away the fill. And added a stroke. We decided to do this because it made the text more interesting. It also helped to highlight the text.What’s on TVOur Magazine
Double Page Spread… What’s on TV Our MagazineOne convention which is used throughout What’s on TV magazine is how they display the name, time andchannel of the TV programme. We decided that to make it as realistic as possible, we would replicate it for ourmagazine.Our Magazine We also used cover lines in our magazine, as this is a classic convention used in all magazines. To make it as realistic as possible we also used the sane colour font and used drop shadows to make it stand out more from the main image.What’s on TV
Double Page Spread… What’s on TV Our MagazineA Drop Cap is used in most magazine articlestoday. We wanted to make or magazine more Like other magazines and newspapers, our magazine alsoprofessional by doing the same. They are often uses columns for the text. They are normally split into 2 orseen right at the beginning of the text. 3 columns. In our magazine we used 2 columns which contain further information to do with the documentary. To make our magazine more authentic, we also added the logo of What’s on TV magazine. I think that this was a good choice to use because it shows the viewer exactly what magazine we were using.
Double Page Spread…To make the ripped paper we took a photo of some paper, the loaded it into Photoshop. We then changed thecolour to white by altering the levels. After we exported it into InDesign to add to the magazine article. Wereally liked this as a background for the text to be put on because it reminded us of school. It also made thedouble page look a little more interesting.
Radio Trailer…Before we made our own radio trailer, we looked at different Analysisexamples of professional made trailers. We listened to radio trailers sheetsoff Radio 1 and Radio five live to get ideas and inspiration for our trail. that weWe needed to make a radio trail which would be appealing to the used toaudience. analyze the radio trailers.We made a radio trail on GarageBand and took extracts from the documentary as the speech in the radio trail. Wemade sure that we picked the most interesting and informative extracts so that its more exciting for the listener.We also created some more voice over to inform the listener of the documentary date and time that thedocumentary is being screened.
Radio Trailer… Most of the trailers that we listened too were short and concise, to keep the listener interested. To keep it professional, we decided to do the same and made the documentary 40 seconds long. To make the radio trailer more realistic, we also added some catchy background music to make the trail memorable to the listener. As well as this, to make it sound as good as possible, we fine tuned the sound levels of the voice over, so that they were all equal. We also bought down the sound level of the music so that it doesn’t overpower the voice over.Editing the sound levels of the voice over for the radio trailer.