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Critical evaluation[1]


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Critical evaluation[1]

  3. 3. My media products use, develop and challenge the forms and conventions of real media products. we achieved this by looking at a range of already existing short films, everything we saw was compared together and noted down. we had to produce 3 main media texts, they are: Short film, Short film poster and finally, a double page spread film review.<br />Ourshort film mainly use conventions of real Short films. Our media piece has taken ideas from videos that we analysed. The initial idea of the film was to focus on bullying alone but along the way, it increased into possible outcomes derived from bullying. The first thing we had to do was to classify and choose which genre we want to explore. We chose the “action thriller” since it is an easily recognised genre. I watched several existing films and made detailed analysis and deconstructions. These analyses can be found on my blog. <br />
  4. 4. Overall out think my media product mostly uses the conventions and forms of real media products because I got most of my ideas from looking at the different forms of media available from every available source I could find. I do not think my work greatly challenged it because the film is supposed to convey seriousness and professionalism rather than it being a parody of sort.<br />After this I had to chose the target audience I was trying to reach out to. I carried out researches into different age groups, what and how they consume a media text. My target audience [16+] are used to mainstream films such as kidulthood & adulthood but this time I focused mainly on issues that are socially recognised. They are however not used to films that are “funducational”. So here, I tried to create a balance of incorporating and deterring from certain conventions. I found a variety of different short films to analyse, including ones that are educational even though not a lot exists, also ones that are entertaining. <br />
  5. 5. I attended a poster designing workshop and this is what I got documented from the lesson.<br />The primary purpose of a display poster is to report information. This can be done<br />Effectively by:<br /><ul><li>catching the viewer’s attention,
  6. 6. making the poster easy to read, and
  7. 7. Telling a story.</li></ul>Always keep in mind that if a viewer has to work hard to understand your message, they won’t<br />Bother and your poster will not be effective.<br />Be complete, but concise. Include enough information to provide the whole story, But not so much information that it looks like you glued an actual report to the board! <br />The viewer is depending on you to summarize the important, essential points to tell a brief and interesting story, yet one that is still factual and convincing. Consider your audience; your presentation would be different to third-graders than to scientists who are familiar with your topic.<br />Consider the genre of the film you are making a poster for and also the target audiences. The colour ranges of the poster should also be considered as you do not want to have too many different colours.<br />Also, the fonts used must be relevant to the genre and the type of poster that is being made. Avoid using too many different font types as this will only distract the viewer.<br />This helped me greatly when it came to designing the film poster for the short film<br />
  8. 8. After this, I looked at movie posters and how they are designed. I looked at their layout, colour themes and what images are used based on the genre they are suitable for. I had to create a poster, a double page spread magazine review and a film.<br />I found the magazine and poster easier to do so I started with those and I did it by splitting the work into two sections, the first thing I did was to start with the poster .The poster was particularly easy for me to develop as I have a satisfactory knowledge of using adobe Photoshop cs3. most of the poster was done on my laptop and this made work even faster. I looked at 3 different posters from 3 different genres...I then combined and compared their visual styles and format together. The most interesting poster I could find was the “edge of darkness” poster. The colour theme was sharp and crisp which makes the poster very captivating the image was also very detailed. The Mel Gibson's poster was the inspiration behind my “choice” poster. As you can see, the similarity is apparent but still different<br />
  9. 9. Working on the movie review was much difficult as it was very hard for me to find a genre specific review about an education film. Formatting the layout of the magazine page was easier to do as the image was not the most important thing and did not need much focusing on, however some of the texts had to be reconsidered. Colour themes and word warp and shape were also recalibrated so that the pages look more professional. I made use of “home” style so that the pages flow easily and they don’t look overcrowded and unprofessional.<br />The last thing I did was the film trailer, the trailer was the hardest part of the work as it was very challenging and time consuming, the filming was easy because of the extremely detailed shot list I created at the start of the course but the hard part was getting actors to play the characters for my film and making sure that they stick to the time we have available. <br />For the trailer the hardest part that I found was the editing as we had to create each scene from scratch. I also used two different editing software because of certain effects I wanted in the film..I used adobe premiere element 3.0 and adobe after effects cs4.<br />
  11. 11. Both texts work excessively well together in terms of allowing the audience to interpret the media texts. My main task depicts all the characters and the typical action thriller theme through a range of camera works and editing. Also, the characters ages are similar to that of my target audience, thus making a connection between the text and the audience.<br />“choices” screenshot<br />These stills from the movie “kidulthood” and “adulthood” depicts male characters between the ages of 18-22. this suggests the intended age group<br />
  12. 12. This magazine helped me to identify different ways of constructing a review magazine. Layout and font types to use and colour themes.<br />This review page helped me with the information that can be included in a review.. How to write and structure a film review. It was very difficult to find short film review but I had to make maximum use of the ones I was able to eventually find.<br />The double page review was designed from scratch using Microsoft word. I used similar formats and layout as the other magazines I've looked at. The images depicted are from the actual film poster. This will help the audience to identify this as a “choices” review.<br />my film poster and film magazine both have similar images of the main characters depicting violence and submission making it seem as if the film will be worth watching.<br />
  14. 14. These are screenshots of the different surveys and questionnaires I carried out in order to gain a detailed audience feedback.<br />
  15. 15. The short film was gracefully approved by my target audience. The first scene prepared them for something they weren't really expecting. The use of fast cuts and camera transitions helps to maintain the pace of the film and this was apparent in the result I got from the questionnaire I designed and gave to different groups of people to complete.<br />As we know, in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives, they need to have shared experiences with the producers and directors. It is assumed that the audiences recognise the forms and conventions and share cultural aspects with the producers. In my productions, I decided to incorporate the original forms and conventions of real life. I tried to re-present the ordeals of what appears to be an ordinary teenager in this modern day and age. I also decided to look at other causes of knife crime and what situations that can actually lead to them if not tackled properly.<br />Following the footstep of narrative theorist Todorov, we incorporated theories like “equilibrium”. <br />In our film, a new equilibrium is achieved based on what options the viewer chooses. The film is interactive so that people get to choose how they want it to end/continue.<br />I personally thought that my film was highly successful in terms of establishing the genre, the main characters and the narrative of the show. We also used the conventional approach of all narratives. This is the difference between narrative plot and story. The narrative story includes what has happened in real life, the order of the event and how it was reported. In our movie, mark was the victim. The events depicted was mainly structured and presented because we wanted it to be that way. This is the narrative plot.<br />
  16. 16. The structure of our production was also based around the theory of Levi Strauss. He stated that narratives are structured around the conflict between opposites. In our production, the case was Good v Evil. He also talks about how the opposition is resolved, in the sense that who wins. Does good triumph over evil? In our production, we don’t have a set resolution because we gave the audience a choice of how they want the movie to end. The choice of the audience determines the final resolution between the opposing binaries. <br />Through out the production of our piece, we concerned ourselves with how meaning will be created. This was a very great issue for us because we made use of limited dialogue. The extent of our cinematography had to be immensely detailed and structured. Therefore I carried out a survey.<br />We included texts to help with the narration of the film and help the audience<br />
  17. 17. Most of the responses stated that they would like more dialogue. This means that the initial idea wasn't as captivating as intended but with the use of carefully planned out cinematography, the audience can easily interpret what they are viewing.<br />In terms of the ancillary texts, my film poster was praised for its colour scheme, content and presentation. Even though the quality of the picture used wasn't as good.. I managed to blur out certain parts of the picture thus making it less detailed. This worked very well with the overall colour theme of the whole poster. From a very first glance, the poster is dark, the characters are not very revealed which signifies a hint of mystery and anger.<br />My double page review was immensely praised. Because I produced it from scratch using a totally different software, i got more praises. The review helped the audience clarify what type of genre they are viewing. <br />
  19. 19. Research and Planning.<br />Since i have never produced a short film before, the first thing i had to do was carry out different researches into what they are about so i can get a basic idea of what i am getting into. I mainly used Google and YouTube to find secondary sources of information to help support my ideas. This allowed me to effectively note down the generic forms and conventions, denotations and connotations of other short films and how i may incorporate or subvert from them if i chose to. My initial plan was to make a documentary style programme talking about hip hop culture but this was at the very start of the course when i was indecisive about what i really wanted to do. I used Microsoft PowerPoint to make class presentations as well. Microsoft words was used to type out all my researches and analyses. The film review also started in Microsoft publisher but was soon moved to MS Words due to certain limitations<br />
  20. 20. HOW RESEARCH AND PLANNING PRACTISE IMPACTED ON MY CREATIVE OUTPUT<br />In the first year of the course, I was working at a very basic standard; my research wasn’t as detailed as it should have been thus making my final outcome less prestigious. In A2, my competence level has greatly improved and this can be seen in most of the work that I did this year. I carried out extensive research and analysis, compiled planning schedules and lists and this greatly improved my final outcome.<br />In the first year, I produced a storyboard which was completely hand-drawn and because of my limited drawing skills, it wasn’t up to a satisfactory standard. I decided to use a range of media formats for the storyboard I created in the second year. I used hand-drawn images, photos and a range of (ANIMATIC) for the storyboard, the entire thing was then uploaded onto the editing software and played back as if it’s a movie, this is called “Animatic”. This gave me a general view of possible outcomes of the final movie and what it will look like. The storyboard had to “tell a story” which is very important. The process of going from a hand-drawn storyboard to an Animatic one increased my creativity level in the sense that I learnt how to present ideas/thoughts on paper and through other media means. Creating the storyboard was the first level of channelling my ideas into a short film. Because I also used the editing software called adobe premiere element, it taught me how to edit, trim, add titles, add images and themes to a film thus developing my editing skills even further.<br />The research I carried out in AS was very basic in nature, it was brief and not very detailed which made my final piece less significant and outstanding. This greatly affected my ability to challenge or incorporate generic conventions of other existing similar products. I didn’t know how to adapt the results of my textual analysis. The research was mostly primary-quantitative research. This included questionnaires I made and passed around and interviews I carried out. I realised that most of my results were very predictive in nature but they simply did not give me a full understanding of the topics I researched. My analysis was very vague because I didn’t know what types of questions to ask as I have never carried out a media based questionnaire before and this made gathering information a bit of a challenge.<br />
  21. 21. In A2, I decided to carry out extensive research into audience, other similar media products, generic conventions of those products, and how I could challenge/ use/ develop those conventions in my own work. The idea behind this research is that I will have a detailed understanding of how to go about making my media piece, so I used a mix of both primary and secondary research methods. I also incorporated qualitative and quantitative reasoning so I can get valid and reliable results that will make the process of constructing the short film easier. This included textual analysis to establish the forms & conventions of the products as an artefact & also genre specific, audience research to establish ‘target’ audience profile and how to reach them. <br />The research into genre was the first research I carried out as it is the very foundation of my project. If I didn’t know anything about the genre, I would not be able to produce any work. In AS, I only looked at two genres, [thriller and action]. At the time, my judgement was clouded, I just wanted to make a Hollywood style film with lots of intense scenes but I realised later on during A2 that you do not need to have the best moves to make a film interesting. I learnt that you do not even need dialogue in a film and you can simply make use of the cinematography and camera works to pass across a message. This is because the human mind interprets information based on subconscious level. <br />I decided to challenge the conventional films made for entertainment and produce an educational one. I wanted to reach out to the public and raise awareness of knife crime and how to tackle it. I looked at other similar products for forms and conventions and most of all, inspiration. I carried out detailed analysis of these films and noted down the connotations and denotations that were included in the piece. I looked at over five similar products as opposed to looking at just two during AS. I looked into institutions that can help distribute or exhibit my films, I didn’t do this for AS because I was only concentrating on creating an opening title sequence. I looked at how people within the 15+ age group consume media pieces and by doing this; I had an overview of how to reach out to them and what they expected from a media piece that is targeted towards them.<br />During A2, I compiled research into camera work from AS and A2 so I could have a more detailed understanding of the different types of shots, movements and angles I could use to create my film. I had to make the research very detailed and informative because I was concentrating solely on cinematography and making minimal use of dialogue. <br />
  22. 22. This is one of the evidence of my research and planning activities. How I carried them out and different questions I had a look at. The mind map helped me structure my research tasks and also made the whole process faster.<br />
  23. 23. ConstructionDuring the process of constructing my Animatic and editing, I used adobe premiere element 3.0 to structure the scene, add titles and transitions as well as certain effects like Gaussian blur. I used the “add title” function to add the fonts in the movie. I also used it to change the film contrast, opacity and color tone. It was easier for me to work with a partner because of division of labor. It was much easier that way for us to choose different tasks and carry them out. This way, knowledge and expertise is shared . Even though there were disputes about certain things that should be put into the film, we came to conclusions and carried out our tasks diligently. For my continuity task in AS, one of the group member decided to take credit for the tasks he did rather than share with the group, this greatly reduced my trust but since my partner is also a good friend I had nothing to worry about.<br />Define digital technology: <br />Digital Technology has a powerful defining impact on all important aspects of our lives and hence our culture. It is a ‘defining technology’. The Digital Technology revolution is a part of a group of intertwined revolutions that in the past 20 years have been transforming Western culture from a modern into a postmodern culture. (Aviram & Talmi, 2004, p.4). <br />Lists of digital technology that has been used for post production.<br />Video camcorder<br />Camera<br />Adobe premiere element<br />Adobe after effect <br />Adobe Photoshop cs3<br />Windows movie maker<br />MS paint<br />Blogger<br />PowerPoint<br />Internet<br />
  24. 24. Video camera: the specific camera that I used was a very useful piece of technology in the sense that it has a variety of functions ranging from 10X zoom, Night vision, steady cam, different image quality and still camera. In AS, I had no idea that the camera has so many functions let alone how to actually use them. Now in A2, I found out how to use this functions and I also incorporated them into my work. This greatly increased the final outcome of my short film. The zoom was mostly used as I had to do a lot of close-ups to show facial expression and convey the messages I was trying to pass across to the general audience. Following the forms and conventions of similar products, I also used the steady cam function to make the shot appear smoother and less ‘jerky’- an effect I was trying hard to get rid off from my movie because I was trying to create a semi-professional standard of work. I used the still camera function to take pictures I uploaded to the blog. These pictures include poses for the movie poster, pictures showing thought processes through the storyboard and also pictures for the movie DVD cover. The only negative thing about this device is that it needs constant charging, otherwise, it will run out of power and shooting has to be discontinued. How has your skills developed from AS to A2 – Through a process of experimentation and through the experience of creating your title sequence for AS your digital video camera skills have gone from a ‘basic’ skill level to a semi-professional skills level.<br />Adobe Premiere Element: this is the most important software I have used during the course of my project. This is the editing software and without it, I wouldn’t be able to process my movie from the initial idea into what can be viewed on a screen. To make using and modifying video effects easier, Premiere Elements comes with a collection of effect presets. Each preset is a collection of settings that perform common tasks like panning across a still image or creating a picture-in-picture (PiP) effect. Rather than spending minutes or even hours fine-tuning motion controls, key frames, and other effect settings, you just drop a preset onto the clip, thereby applying a raft of predetermined settings instantly. These presets are incredible timesaving tools even veteran video professionals could appreciate. The software enabled me to organise the shots and scenes accordingly so that they can be translated by the viewer. It is relatively easy to use now that I have progressed from AS. Back then, I hadn’t used this software before and it took me quite a while to figure it out. I had to carry out a research into the functions it had and how to use them to my advantage. This paid off really well as the result can now be seen in my A2 project. I found out I could also use special effects in my movies such as pixilation, blurring and Gaussian sharpen<br />Adobe after effect: I used this software to create the opening/title sequence of the short film. This is software that is professionally recognised world wide. In AS, I used abode premiere elements but it had basic functions and presets, on the other hand, after effect allows you to make your own effects and customise it to your satisfaction.<br />
  25. 25. Evaluation.<br />To record my evaluation and thought processes, i had to use Blogger. This meant that i had to log onto the site more often so that i can update as soon as i can. I found this to be easier because i created a physical blog as opposed to an online blog in AS. A lot more detailed in my blogs as well. It took a while to get used to the interface but after a while, i was very competent with using this software.<br />