As part of our media advanced portfolio we as agroup were intended to produce; an extract froma new documentary TV programme whichlasted approx 5 minutes.) In addition we had tocreate the following 2 ancillary tasks; a radiotrailer which advertised our documentary andalso a double-page spread from a listingsmagazine which focused on our documentary.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?The documentary that we produced had a purpose to ask the audience various rhetorical questions about the topic of legalising cannabis. As a group we decided to name our documentary ‘Why Shouldn’t We…?’ which follows a series, our documentary being ‘Why Shouldn’t We Legalise Cannabis?’ We decided that this would be our chosen title as its catchy and leads to many different ideas to support and go against the argument.Bill Nichols an American documentary theorist propose that there are 6 main documentary modes; poetic, expository, observations, participatory, reflexive and performative. Our documentary doesn’t support or feature the poetic mode as our documentary features continuity of a consequence and is also objective. Therefore the first mode that ‘Why Shouldn’t We’ supports is the expository mode.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?Grierson supports the expositional mode as he states it’s an explanation for the move away from poetic documentary in terms of visual practice and story telling by using various rhetorical questions – this is shown in both our title and also throughout the voiceover. Factual information is also a feature of expositional mode; our documentary supports this as it uses statistics ‘……’ and also in opinions given by interviewees ‘…..’ this helps pass on key information to the viewer.Narration is a distinctive feature of the expository mode, which ties in with our documentary as our voiceover is omnipresent, omniscient and objective. This is used to explain and argue out or documentaries rhetorical content.’ Why Shouldn’t We’ collects footage which aims to strengthen the spoken narrative – cutaways were used to support this. For example in our interviews Julie and mike… . This refers to Nichols ‘evidentially editing’ as the images help to illustrate what the commentary is about therefore helps to persuade the reader.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?Observational documentaries tend to observe, allowing viewers to make their own conclusions, our documentary didn’t contain much features of the observational mode. However we did use the camera while moving with subjects and staying in the action this was displayed in the canteen whereby we left the camera at an anchored point on the tripod. However our documentary features music, interviews and narration therefore doesn’t strongly support the observational mode.Participatory is whereby the filmmaker is visible to the viewer, however we chose not to have a presenter featured in our documentary but just to use a voiceover therefore our documentary doesn’t support the participatory mode.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?Both the performative and reflexive mode doesn’t support our documentary as the performative mode targets documentaries, which involve the filmmaker in the story to give an autobiographical description of the subjective truths made by the filmmaker. Whereas the reflexive mode tends to present the viewer with footage of how the documentary was made. For example In Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929,) he features footage of his brother and wife in the process of shooting footage and editing, respectively.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?After focusing on the documentary modes that our documentary fell under, market segmentation was our next important consideration. An ideal market segment identifies a certain group of customers which have similar needs and demand similar products. Psychographic segmentation aims to divide the market into groups based on lifestyle and social class. Firstly the social class is provided from the socio- economic scale, we decided to focus our documentary on c2, D and E. Reason being is due to the stereotype of those taking drugs are likely to fall under the occupations of these particularly the unemployed and unskilled manual workers. Lifestyle involves classifying people according to their values, beliefs, and interests. Young and Rubican, an advertising agency, provided the Cross Cultural Consumer Characterization known as the 4 C’s – resigned, struggler, mainstreamer, aspirer, succeder, explorer and reformer. ‘Why Shouldn’t We’ aims to attract strugglers – those of which are alienated with a few resources with a heavy consumption of alcohol, junk food and lotteries. Even though this is a low lifestyle and we would like to aim high with the documentary, our audience who is going to watch it are more likely to be struggler than succeeders or aspirers.We chose channel 4 to broadcast our documentary as from completing secondary research we found that BBC three already featured a documentary ‘Cannabis what’s the arm’ therefore this would have been to similar to our documentary. However channel 4 has only featured a documentary on cocaine therefore our documentary targets a gap in the market.Statistics (dated 6thfeb – 12thfeb 2012) taken from http://www.barb.co.uk/ suggest that channel 4 reaches more than 3 times the BBC three, this justified our decision on whether we should choose channel 4 or BBC three. Channel 4 targets a large audience depending on the type of program i.e. soap opera, documentaries etc and through its portfolio including E4, More4, Film 4 etc. However as channel 4 broadcasted a three part series named ‘cocaine’ we can see that this will attract a similar audience.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?Before we started to film our documentary we had to complete various research and planning into other documentaries to outline the main conventions, we focused on Super Size Me. Super Size Me is a direct cinematic documentary that features Morgan Spurlock. The documentary is shaped into the narrative of an investigation as it focuses on how modern society is represented. Super Size Me contains detailed stylistic elements such as voxpops, graphics and location. However as this documentary is cinematic it was hard to relate the conventions as our documentary doesn’t fall under cinematic. Therefore I completed research into a documentary that had similar features and of the same topic ‘giving up the weed’.Giving up the weed is an observational documentary which focuses on J Rock’s, an actor and rapper, power to stop smoking cannabis. Giving up the weed features various stylistic elements such as interviews, vox pops, various shot types and camera movements, transitions.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Shot Types After comparing our documentary to channel 4’s, giving up the weed, we were able to make the comparison about the shots used in the documentaries, the most common type of shot was close up. The helps engage the audience as it is a lot more focused. Both of the shots below are extremely similar – both focuses on the ‘spliff.’
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Extreme Close Up This shot type gets right into the subject and shows extreme detail, however this shot doesn’t show emotion or general reactions as just in both of these images focuses on the eyes. In order to improve this shot we could of used the choker shot to show the mouth, this will help to express the emotions of the character.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Cutaway / Establishing Shots Cutaway’s are a shot type which are often show something other than the current action i.e. picture. We used cutaways in our documentary over our expert interviews to add interest and information to break up the interview – to keep the audience interested. Established shot is used of image 2 as it shows the audience where the action is taking place.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Archive Footage We filmed archive footage off The Focus Pull YouTube. The video was a This is a creative camera music video which featured clips technique which allowed us of cannabis. We used this as a to change the focus of the closure to our documentary as it shot. gave time to allow audience to The image below displays assess their views on our this as it focuses on the chosen subject – should tree and not the subject – cannabis be legalised. smoking. This works very effectively.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?Expert interviewsExpert interviews are a key convention of documentaries as it allows people being filmed to speakdirectly about the subject. Interviews were conducted with experts to give various fact and optionsrelated to the legalisation of cannabis. However our interviews may be put across as being bias – onlyshowing one side of the argument. A convention we followed was the use of text outlining who theinterviewee was and what there role was.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Voxpops Another typical convention similar to interviews are voxpops – voice of people. We asked various people around college ensuring we gathered a range of open ended questions, it was important that we considered the shot type and framing. Medium close ups were the most frequent shot types that were used throughout, we also added text with a freeze frame enabling the audience to read the question.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Scrolling text One of the amendments we made was adding text to our achieve footage. Therefore we added a text which scrolled down the footage – either over the existing footage or just a plain black background. Both worked extremely well as it engaged the reader in what the footage was showing.
In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? The majority of documentaries contains exposition at the beginning whereby it introduces the important themes of the documentary. However our documentary challenged this form of convention as we used a picture of an error message and then it suddenly went onto a voice recording of ‘talk to frank’ whilst footage was shown of the talk to frank website. In other documentaries the voiceover often states what the documentary is called and what the documentary was about. In my opinion our opening sequence was very successful as it was interesting and engaged the reader.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Images relating to subject Headline Fact file Caption image Pull Quote anchored by textByline PageNumbers Rule of thirds
How effective is the combination of your main productand ancillary texts?After completing the three tasks the question we had to ask ourselves was whether they all attracted ourtarget audience and whether our article and radio trailer promote our documentary.In my opinion I feel the tasks all interrelate extremely effectively through the use of images, voiceover musicand captions. Firstly the article features various aspects of the documentary – images of cannabis, pull quotefrom the documentary etc. This therefore engages the audience in finding out more about the documentary,furthermore this leads the audience to read the fact file which gives brief but precise information about thedocumentary. Therefore if someone is just flicking through the radio times and they come across our article ifthey just look at the images but not the text they can find out more from the fact file.In addition to our article the radio trailer features the same copyright music however the voiceover haschanged to a girl this gives the documentary variation. We created a montage of voices which layered overeachother at the start of the radio trailer this worked effectively as similar to the start of the documentary itgave the trailer individuality and creativity.Our documentary mainly featured our target audience 17-25 year olds, however the only difference was theexpert interviews. The positive of using people that fall under our target audience is the audience can relatethemselves to the individuals in the documentary.Both the article and radio trailer work in favour in promoting our documentary.
How effective is the combination of your main productand ancillary texts? IMPROVEMENTS After assessing all of our media text I feel that we could of improved the way in which our article and documentary related. Therefore instead of using new images we could of used images which was featured throughout our documentary – this would create a stronger brand identity. BRAND IDENTITY Brand identity is an extremely important element of our documentary as it is important that our brand identity is clear so consumers can easily perceive our brand. Therefore in order to ensure that our brand identity was always met we used the same sorts of image, texts and clips for all 3 media products. Our title ‘Why Shouldn’t We’ was constantly used as this rhetorical question was extremely catchy and after a point was made through our documentary the audience could re address the title asking themselves ‘Why Shouldn’t We.’
What have you learnt from audience feedback? After completing our documentary, we carried out field research by handing out 20 questionnaires to our target audience in order to find our their thoughts and opinions on our three media tasks.
What have you learnt from audience feedback?We asked our audience which feature they thought worked the strongest in our documentary. Themost popular answer was the opening sequence, this supports my own opinion as I think this wasthe strongest part of the documentary – as it shows actuality.As music and the voiceover had the lowest value these may need to be improved – therefore wecould ask open question to our target audience to find out how to improve. What do you think the strongest feature of our documentary was? Voxpops 4 4 Voiceover 2 2 Opening Sequence Music 8 Interviews
What have you learnt from audience feedback?I feel this question is important as it gives us feedback on whether or not our trailer attracted ourtarget audience. Our results show that 13 people rated our trailer 9/10 for attracting our targetaudience. Therefore this suggests that by varying shot types, framing, mise-en-scene etc we haveengaged our audience and completed our aim and purpose. Out of 10 how suitable do you think our trailer is for our target audience (17-25 year olds) High 9 8 7 Rating 6 5 4 3 2 Low 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 No. of participants
What have you learnt from audience feedback?Similarly this question reflected the audiences thoughts about our double spread article – this was ageneral overview. 8 people out of 20 rated out double page spread 7 out of 10, even though 8 peoplerated higher than 7, this suggests there is room for improvement. What are your first impressions of our article out of 10? High 9 8 7 Rating 6 5 4 3 2 Low 0 2 4 6 8 10 No. of participants
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages?HARDWARE FOCUS WHITE BALANCEEach lesson we were The focus button was a bit Before recording, George setgiven a different tripod of a pain when recording up the white balance on thethis was sometimes a our footage as when video camera by getting a whiteproblem when zooming into the subject piece of paper and placing it inadjusting, as some of the the object became out of front of the camera whilstdials were different. For focus. In order to recording. This ensured thatexample one had cog- overcome this problem the objects, which appear whitelike dials, which were when zooming in we used in person, are rendered white inharder to control than the manual focus to adjust it the footage.pull mechanism used on so the image was clearermany of the tripods. and sharper. If we were toHowever as long as we improve this for the futureensured the sprit level it would be interesting towas correct the framing find a video camera withwould be in the correct auto-focus automaticallyposition built in this would save a lot more time and make the footage look far more professional.
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages?SOFTWARE FINAL CUT PRO Final cut pro is a video editing software which enables people to create their own videos, there are many features of final cut pro which differ from other software such as apple’s I Movie. At the start of the project I was unfamiliar with this program and it took a lot of getting used to however I was able to develop my skills through adding text, adding transitions, changing the speed of footage, adding a voiceover/music and build up layers etc. Firstly to open all of the footage which we had taken we had to ‘Log and Transfer’. This is shown in both of the images (right). File > Log and Transfer, then to browse the files to find the video format (.mov) files.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Final Cut Pro - overview Viewer Preview.mov files Layer - Footage Layer - Sound
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages? TEXT The arrows represent different Input of features that relate to text. The text text shown was used over the top of our voxpops. We changed the font and colour to suit the background so it stood out and used a suitable size so it didn’t take up to much of the frame. Font Size of font Colour of font
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages? TRANSITIONSIn order to create a flow for our clips from one to another we used a variety of transitions. Firstly we went to the effects tab and were able to browse the available transitions into categories.Cross dissolve is the default therefore this was our favorite and the most popular throughout our documentary. We found that the transitions that were in bold could be played into real-time without rendering.ORGANISATIONWe organised the clips in logical order to Finally we dragged transitions to thehelp us manage and find our assets easily into folders. By edit point ensuring that there were extrachoosing ‘new bin’ from our project tab in the browsing frames each side of the edit point.window, this meant that we could drag an item into each binsorting them into subjects and topics.TRIMMING After resembling the clips into order we trimmedthe clips to try and make the 5 minute mark. We clicked oneach clip and used the shortcuts I (input) and O (output).I being at the start of the cut and O being where the clip cross dissolveneeded to finish. The eraser tool or the scissor tool both effectenabled us to cut the clip. We then put the clips onto thetimeline, repeating these stages for each of our clips.
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages? RENDER Once we moved or edited a SOUND LEVELS piece of footage we had to Below is an image of how to edit the render it – Sequence > sound levels, this allowed us to change Render All > Video. This the pitch, speed and length of the enabled the footage to work particular clip. once being played back.
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages? GARAGE BAND Garage band is a program specific to apple, which allows people to create their own music through adding existing sounds and sounds which are defaulted to the program itself.
How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages?EDITINGBelow is an image of how I split a piece of footage so that it allowed me to cut a section out. Edit> Split, I then deleted the section I no longer wanted.