This is my evaluation for A2 media coursework. For my coursework I completed a five mintute extract for a documentary about teenage driving followed by two ansillary tasks of a radio trailer and an advert.
A-LEVEL MEDIA STUDIESADVANCED PORTFOLIO EVALUATION G324 Chloe White
For my A2 media coursework I chose to create adocumentary lasting five minutes followed by two ancillary tasks of a radio trailer and a newspaper advertisement. The subject that my products focus around is teenagers learning to drive.
Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Q1. ADVERTI researched into some newspaper/magazine adverts forchannel 4 as that was the channel I used for my documentary.I found that their adverts use unique conventions on theiradverts compared to other channels such as BBC3. The maincodes and conventions I found on the adverts were that they usetheir logo which is usually disconnected from the rest of theadvert slightly. Also they use a simple font usually in blackcolour over a white background making it easy to read over animage. They also use one main image which relates to theprogramme title. For example the bottom advert on the rightuses a well edited picture which captures the emotion of theviewer and relates to the topic in a less obvious way.Channel 4 also use a colour scheme for some of their advertssuch as the top advert on the right. In this advert, it follows ablue, black and white colour scheme. It uses blue font and logoand have edited the main image to make the picture black whitebut have edited the eye to make it blue, I think this is successfulway of using a colour scheme.I have used, developed and challenged the forms andconventions of channel 4 adverts and adapted them to my ownwork.
I followed the conventions and used one main image which links to the topic of my programme. I used a female teenager for my image however my target audience is both genders so I could use either genders. Q1. ADVERT To improve this I could create two different adverts with two different models , one male and one female so all my target audience can relate to the advert.I wanted my advert to follow acolour scheme like some of channel4s adverts do. I made my advertfollow a red theme which links tothe red L plate. I have used thechannel 4 logo and made it red to I challenged the forms andfollow the colour scheme also. The conventions and made my mainlogo originally had a white picture black and white. I think thisbackground however I edited it to is effective because it makes themake it fit over my image by colour stand out more. I also maderemoving the background from the my image black and white so Ilogo. could fit a colour scheme around it. I used a simple font over aI noticed that in channel 4 adverts white background like channelthey edit part of the picture to 4 do however I have developedmake part of it stand out so I edited this by using bold and italicmy main picture to make the L font as well as normal font. Iplate stand out making that the only used the basicmain focus so it easily links to the information on my advertsubject. This follows my colour because I didn‟t want toscheme. overload the page with textI used a ripped L plate to show that making the image the mainthe girl in the image has passed her component, this makes thetest as she is not a learner any advert rely heavily onmore. aesthetics.
Q1. RADIO TRAILERAfter researching into some radio trailers, I found that they use similar conventions.- Background music- Voice over- Clips from the programme e.g. interview clips- Sound effects- Theme tuneAt the beginning of my trailer I used a sound effect of a car starting before the music and voiceover starts to capturemy audiences attention. I have challenged the forms and conventions by not using a theme tune in my trailer. I foundthat in the radio trailer I researched it uses a theme tune from the programme such as doctor who.I then used background music of Rihannas song „shut up and drive‟ because the song links to the subject of driving,also I use that song in my documentary as well. I have used this convention because it adds more entertainment to thetrailer instead of just having a voice over. This keeps my audience entertained for longer.I scripted my voice over carefully, making sure I used the right words to advertise my documentary successfully. I useda rhetorical question „are you ready to get in the drivers seat?” to address the listener first of all. Followed by “keepcalm, drive safe and dont panic.” This makes the listener aware that the subject is about driving.I used a voice over because it is a vital component of a radio trailer as it informs the audience about a product. At theend of my trailer I inform the audience exactly when and where the product will be shown on television. I made surethat the vital information was at the end of the trailer because the rest of the trailer is to capture the audiences attentionmaking them want to listen on to when the programme will be shown.I used clips from interviews to allow the audience to have a brief preview of what to expect in the documentary. Ifound that using clips from the programme is a common convention found in radio trailers as it advertises the best bitsof the programme persuading the audience to see it.
Q1. DOCUMENTARYMy documentary follows the theme of teenagers and their experiences in learning to drive. This programme isone of a series of six investigative documentaries following the issues of teenagers. An example of another ofthese documentaries is covering the issue of teenage drinking. My documentary is single strand and followsone narrative and theme. Most documentaries are single strand to keep it simple and easy for the audience tounderstand.In my documentary I used a lot of conventions found in real media products to make my programme asgenuine as possible. However, I also challenged some of the forms and conventions to make my productoriginal.These are some of the forms and conventions I found in real media documentaries:-Voice Over-Interviews and/or Vox Pops-Moving and Still images- Text-Sound-Realism-Music-Digetic and non digetic soundI will evaluate my documentary in two different ways. Firstly I will look at the introduction of my documentaryin comparison to real media products. I will then look at how my interviews compare.
Q1. DOCUMENTARY INTRODUCTIONTo start my documentary I used a vox pop asking people what their opinion is on learner drivers. I chose to ask a variety ofpeople of different genders but around a similar age to my target audience. I used the question „what is your opinion onlearner drivers?‟ because the audience can also think to themselves how they would answer the question. As the majority of thefeedback from the vox pop was negative of learner drivers, I then hopefully changed peoples minds on their opinion throughoutthe programme. I used a vox pop to open the programme as I didn‟t want to go straight into the opening titles. I did thisbecause after researching into some real documentaries, I found that they do not cut straight into the opening titles but have ashort introduction of some kind to ease the audience into the programme.The camera shots I used for my vox pop were mostly medium shots or close ups. I used a variety of settings for example oneperson in the car and one person at school. I did this to look like I was asking random people from the public as that is whatvox pops usually do.After the vox pop I used a voice over to introduce the programme making the audience aware of the subject I would beaddressing in the programme. I also used background music while the voice over was introducing the documentary to addsome entertainment instead of having someone just talking. I used a song as the background music that links to the theme ofdriving (Rhianna – Shut up and drive), I made sure that the level of music was much lower than the voice over so that theviewer could clearly hear what was being said, however when the voice over stopped I made the music get gradually louder sothat the opening titles were playing to the music.I used a wide variety of shots and moving images however they all linked to driving. For example I used one shot wheresomeone was turning the wheel around when they were driving then I had someone changing gear. I used a variety of movingimages that were quite short in length so the viewer would not get bored so easily and had a lot of aesthetics to look at whilelistening to the music and voice over.I have challenged the conventions by only using a voice over (voice of god) and not a presenter. However some of thedocumentaries I have researched for a young audience use a celebrity presenter who investigates different issues.
Q1. DOCUMENTARY INTERVIEWSIn my product, I used interviews as well as vox pops. I found that in real documentaries, interviews were a main convention as they find out the publics opinions and experiences on certain topics enabling the viewer to relate to them.I included three main interviews in my documentary, two people learning to drive and one person who has passed already. I interviewed people the same age as my target audience as the audience can then relate to their experiences and understand what is being said. In the first two interviews of the girls who are learning to drive, I asked them the same questions and then compared both answers as they had different opinions on driving and were learning at different rates. I used a medium shot for both interviews from the upper body up. I used a similar setting in a car for both to make sure the mis en scene matched the genre of my product. I challenged the conventions of an interview as one of my interviews looked straight to camera although most interviews are faced slightly off to camera in real media products.In the last interview of the girl who had already passed, I didn‟t ask any questions but let her talk about her experience freely so it was realistic and genuine. The mis en scene in terms of location links to the genre of my documentary. All of the interviews were in a car as it links to the subject of driving.I used three different vox pops in my documentary asking a vairety of people in different places. The first one opened my programme with the question „What is your opinion on learner drivers?‟. I also used the question „How many times did it take to pass your driving test?‟. I included this in my programme so the audience could see that not everyone passes first time and they need to keep trying until they do. I made sure that I asked people that passed a different amount of times so everyone could relate to it in some way. The last question I used was „Do you have any tips for passing a driving test?‟. I chose this question to ask people as it is the publics advice on passing your test instead of the presenter talking about how to pass.
Q2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary task?
Q2. ADVERTI believe that my main product and ancillary tasks compliment eachother very well as the ancillary tasks advertise the documentary tomy target audience of 17 – 20 year olds.I think my advert advertises my main product well as it gives clearand simple information regarding the time and channel that mydocumentary will be shown on. There is little information about whatthe documentary is about, instead the advertisement relies oncapturing the readers attention using the image and installing thedate in their mind. By using one main image it clearly links to thesubject of learning to drive by using the learner plate in the pictureand a person of the same age as my target audience. I have used myadvert to promote my main product by using codes and conventionsfound on real adverts such as one main image which captures theattention of the audience and the logo which my audience willfamiliar themselves with.In comparison to a real advert from channel 4, my advert usessimilar elements to advertise my product such as simple, clear fontand the logo to advertise the channel. I have used these conventionsto appeal to my target audience so they watch my main product – thedocumentary. I believe that my advert and documentary go hand inhand as the advert clearly advertises the main product which gets theaudience to watch the programme.
Q2. RADIO TRAILERMy radio trailer is consistent with my documentary as it uses the same music from the introduction and voice clips from interviews. The radio trailer is directly linked to the documentary as it advertises when and where the programme will be shown by telling the audience directly at the end of the trailer.As I could not find many real radio trailers to research into, I drafted my radio trailer from the beginning. I decided to use the music from the introduction of my documentary of „Rihanna – Shut up and drive‟ because its upbeat and the audience will be able to relate the advertisement to the topic of driving.To begin the trailer with, I used a sound effect of a car starting to firstly grab the audiences attention followed by the music which carries on throughout the trailer, however I made the music quieter so that I could put a voiceover the sound to advertise the trailer.Below I have created a word cloud of the script I used for my trailer. As you can see the three main words that were used were drive, process and driving, this shows that my script and trailer advertise my documentary well as they use words that relate directly to the topic of driving.Overall I think that my supporting pieces advertise andcompliment my main product well as they clearly show thetime and date that the documentary will be on and usetechniques that capture the audiences attention and relateboth to the topic and my target audience by using young,fresh elements which appeal to my younger audience.
Q3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Q3. FEEDBACK For my audience feedback, I asked members of the sixth form and some adults to comment on the things they did and didn‟t like about my documentary. After showing peers, teachers and parents my potential beginning to an hour long documentary I gained some valuable information about how I could improve and what I did well in my products. I have taken each of their pieces of feedback and separated it into what they liked and what I could improve on. These were the main points that they picked up on: What they liked What could be improved•Clear points of information about •Subtitles looked blurry and unclear the driving test •Volume was varying •Real people‟s experiences and •Shots could be steadier thoughts •Interview a wider variety of people •Good flow between footage •Quality of camera varied •Stayed on topic
Q3. SIXTH FORM FEEDBACKI asked people from sixth form to begin with as they would be my target audience. I firstly asked them a question of what did they enjoy best?After asking my peers the question of „What did you like about my documentary?‟ I made a graph showing the answers from the students.From looking at the graph, it shows that my target audience enjoyed the fact that I used real people and their own experiences and thoughts about driving in my interview.One person commented “I liked how you used people from the age group that you want to target. It made me relate to them more because I know that they have had the same experiences driving that I have and I am able to connect to programme more. Also what they were saying didn‟t feel forced or scripted because they were talking freely about their own experiences which made it more realistic.”
Q3. SIXTH FORM FEEDBACKI also asked sixth form a question about what could be done to improve my product. These were the results:From looking at the chart, it is clear that the main thing that could be improved is to interview more ages, including some adults to give more variety of opinions and experiences so that more people can relate to the interviewees.One person comments: “I liked that you used teenagers through out your programme because it is for teenagers. But I think you could improve it by including some adults to give a wider variety of feelings towards driving and how they coped when learning because the text has changed since they took it. It might also make adults watch it which would broaden your audience.”
Q3. WHAT I HAVE LEARNTAfter looking at all the feedback I received, I have taken many aspects into account and learnt so that in future mistakes are not made again and things are improved.The main things I have learnt are:- I should pay more attention to who I include in my documentary to make sure all my viewers can relate to my programme in some way.- I need to use a higher quality camera to gain steady and clear images- I should use a programme I am comfortable with to edit my film so I can create better use of text and graphics.
The technologies I used in the construction, research and planning stages.
Q4. CONSTRUCTING MY PRODUCTFILMINGDuring the filming stage I decided to use my own digital camera which is able to capture moving images as well as still shots. I used a normal camera which came as a downfall during the construction of my documentary as the quality was not as good as using a video camera. From the feedback I got, I need to use a higher quality camera in future to gain steady and clearer images.VOICEOVERAs I was unable to find a microphone that I was able to use, I decided to use my laptop which has a webcam and a microphone that can pick up sound. I found a simple accessory on my laptop that allows sound to be recorded. This seemed to work well as I had to use very simple equipment, however the sound did come out clear, it could have been better if I used a microphone.EDITINGTo edit my project I went out of my comfort zone and I was encouraged to use different software to gain a creative/professional standard. I initially wanted to use windows movie maker to create and edit my footage however my footage would not work on there. I found a new software called Power Director which allowed me to create more effective editing than the simple movie maker. Overall Power Director was better to use because I could use different techniques and programmes, but I found it quite difficult to handle and produce my work finally when uploading it to youtube.
Q4. RESEARCHWhen developing the ideas for my products, I firstly had to do some research in order to understand documentaries and what their codes and conventions were. To do this I used the internet to look firstly for the simple conventions that documentaries share. I looked online for some documentaries from a variety of channels like channel 4‟s Embarrassing Bodies and BB3‟s Young, Dumb and living off mum.I used websites to view these programmes like 4OD and BBC iplayer which allowed to watch them when I want instead of watching them on the television at a certain time. By looking at real media products, I was able to analyse them and see what conventions they share so I could then ensure my own documentary followed the same rules.As well as researching into real documentaries, I researched into distributors and channels that would be likely to show my programme. For this I used the internet and google to search for the companies and what they do. I looked at channel 4 and BBC3.
Q4. PLANNINGTo plan my products, I used my wix website to type some proposal ideas and document the journey I went on when planning what I was going to do. I used wix to present my coursework as I think it is creative and well presented. It is also easy to navigate to different parts of my work by putting tabs at the top of the page.When planning my work, I separated my main piece and two ancillary tasks into different tabs to allow me to document my work in an orderly fashion. By doing this I was able to research and plan each of my coursework pieces separately and in detail.
When completing my coursework I can say that I have been determined even when I have had technical difficulties and trouble with editing. The experience of using different technologies experiences have helped me understand how media texts are made and how they appeal to an audience. I also feel that when making my film, I have learnt a great deal about how to use digital technology to my advantage. I feel more confident now I have completed my coursework and I will take the feedback that I have gained and apply it to my work in the future.Since AS, I feel I have progressed in media and skill development which has enabled me to create a product of higher quality as the technology available has changed and I have learnt a great deal from my past coursework. I have learnt how important it is to plan and research products efficiently so I can create a media product to my best possible standard.