Evaluation 4: How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?Blog Throughout the course I uploaded the work I had completed onto my blog. Myblog address is www.harrywhitea2media.blogspot.com. I used the blog to post workI carried out for planning and research, construction and my evaluations. I found thatwhen it came to constructing a predominantly text based document on Blogger, it waseasier to create the document using Microsoft word, upload it onto a website calledSlide Share, and then embed the document onto Blogger that way. I found that thistechnique presented my work in a nicer manner as well as making the layout of myblog neater. I organised my work with the use of “Labels”. You can add a label to anew post on your blog by clicking the appropriate label. This allows the viewer tonavigate around the blog more easily and also helps to keep my work in order andorganised. You can see the step-by-step method of how to label your posts from thescreen shots below First, I ticked the post I wanted to apply the label to. Then I moved my mouseto the “Label Actions” tab and pulled the tab down. Here you get the options list ofexisting labels that you have set up. I then selected the label I want and then itorganises that post under the selected label. This technology has been very useful inhelping me organise my blog.Music Video
Camera When it came to shooting our music video we had the opportunity to use oneof the schools Sony HVR-HD1000E video cameras (see picture below) as apposed tothe Sony Handy cams. The fact we were able touse this much higher quality camera enabled us tocomplete shots such as handheld shots, without itbeing too shaky for the viewer. If we were to dothe same shots with a handheld camera it wouldhave looked unprofessional, as the footage wouldhave been too shaky. During filming we usedthree different Mini-DV tapes, as apposed toMini-HDV tapes. We came to this decisionbecause you can run into a lot of different problems with compatibility when you useMini-HDV tapes. Another contributing factor to our decision was the cost factor.Mini-HDV costs around ten times more than a standard Mini-DV. When capturingfootage in HD it is not consistently possible to capture in real-time (depending on thespeed of your processor) and therefore this could have in theory slowed down ourcapturing process. As we had captured over 3 hours of footage this would haveamounted to a lot more than we would have wished to have spend on capturing. Considering this was the first time I had used a Sony HVR- HD1000E video camera, I feel that I picked up its functions pretty quickly. I experimented a lot with the lens to make shots in and out of focus, which we later incorporated into our music video. You can see an example of an out of focus shot from our music video to the left. Lighting As previously mentioned in evaluation 1, we did not feel that the use ofartificial lighting was needed in our music video. This decision came about for anumber of reasons. Firstly we filmed on two separate days, both of which were insummer and had very sunny weather throughout both shoots. Secondly as conventionof acoustic music videos is minimal artificial lighting or none at all. As previouslymentioned in my evaluation 1, we decided against using any artificial lighting so ourmusic video could tap into this convention of acoustic music videos. Another reasonwas that even if we did choose to use lighting, we did not have any lights readilyavailable. We would have needed to rent some, which could be quite costly. Thelocation we filmed out was a park and so had no sources of electricity. This wasanother problem that put us off the idea of using artificial lighting in our music video. One lighting/camera technique that we did usewas using the suns flare in several shots. This was atechnique we found out by experimenting in thelocation on a sunny day during pre-production. Anexample of a flare shot can be seen to the right. Sound
As the footage we had captured was ultimately going to be part of a musicvideo, we had to add our chosen artist’s song into the editing software Final Cut Pro.We imported the song into Final Cut Pro as soon as we started the editing process. During our first shot in our music video, which is an establishing shot ofLewis setting up his guitar and starting to sing, we added the sound effect of a duckquacking. When we originally filmed the shot there was a faint sound of a duckquacking, which when watching back we liked and felt that it added to the feel of thelocation of the music video. The problem was that the duck quacking was a very faintsound so we downloaded a quacking sound off http://www.freesfx.co.uk. We thenimported the sound into Final Cut and editing it to the appropriate sound level by dragging the line from the middle of the sound waves, further to the bottom to reduce the sound. A screen shot of doing this can be seen to the right. Editing We relied heavily on technology when it came to editing our music video. Theediting was completed using the software Final Cut Pro on an Apple iMac. At the startof the course in year 12, I had no knowledge at all about Final Cut, but feel that as thecourse progressed and the practical elements increased, I became more and morecomfortable with the editing software. When it came to using the software in year 13,I had a little refresher session and then picked up where I left in year 12. Using final cut express we used a number of pre-installed transitions, whichenabled us to have a smooth cut between shots, for example the transition “Fade toblack”. We also used an application that Kenny had on his computer than enabled usto use more interesting transitions. For example we used the transition “Focus Pull”quite a lot as we thought it made an interesting cut between shots. Also as we hadbeen using the lens to focus in and out of shots throughout our music video anywaywe felt that the use of a focus pull transition would tie in with this and help to create areoccurring theme. We also used the Final Cut feature of changing the speed to makesome of our shots in slow motion. We felt that as our music was quite slow paced,slow motion shots would tie in nicely, linking the visuals to the pace of the music,which is one of Goodwin’s music video theories. One editing technique we decided to use was the use of sectioning the shots ofour narrative section of our music video. We did this by creating masts on AdobePhotoshop CS3. We also used an application called "Motion" that our friend Robmanaged to get a copy of on Kennys iMac. This application allows us to edit themasks that we created using Photoshop. We then took the Photoshop file with severallayers to create each section of the screen. We then used the separate layers as themask and created several black square/rectangle and applied the footage on the top.Then you have to go on the composition mode and apply the settings " travel matte -Luma". We then dragged and dropped our chosen piece of footage into each section,lined it up, perhaps shrunk it down a bit to fit in the section and then applied it. We
then used the masks to make each section appear at a different time. An example ofthe finished sectioning editing technique we used can be seen in the screen shotbelow. During the pre- production stages we experimented with this editing technique by creating a short video. The video can be seen by clicking “here”. Another software we used as part of the post-production editing was “MagicBullet Looks”. We used this software to colour the first edit of our music video tomeet the demands of our audience feedback and to tap into the summery feel oftenassociated with existing acoustic music videos. As you can see from the screen shot to the right, there are a number of colourfilters you can use. We scrolled through many and then selected which one we feltwas most appropriate to represent a summer feel to our music video. Internet
In addition to Blogger and Slideshare as previously mentioned, I also usedwebsites such as Facebook, Youtube and Survey Monkey throughout the course. I used the social networking site Facebook to post the link of our first edit ofour music video. Along with the link I requested that people watch the music videoand then write a little comment about that they thought of it. This played a big role ofour audience feedback and I feel was a successful measure in helping to improve ourmusic video as well as giving us confidence in it. I used the video sharing site Youtube to upload evaluative videos as part ofpre-production discussing areas such as locations, characters and shot types. Then Iembedded them onto my blog using the code given on the Youtube video. I used the free online survey creator as an alternative means of gettingaudience feedback, as apposed to consistently relying on handout questionnaires. Thismethod allowed me to create an online survey from which I distributed the link onFacebook and to people who were both in my target audience and outside of my targetaudience. I think this method was successful in obtaining audience feedback as theperson’s identity was hidden so they were able to say what they really felt, withoutfeeling obliged to be polite, which they might have done in a typical handoutquestionnaire.Print Productions I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 to construct both of my print productions. As theoriginal photo I used was not the correct size or format for both a digipack cover or amagazine advert I manipulated the image to the correct format. First of all I changedthe canvas size to make it a square shape. I was now left with the rectangle pictureand a blank area that made up the square shape. I addressed this problem by using theclone tool to make the picture bigger but still have the same scene. Using the clonetool I dragged the photograph out to the right. This made the size and format of mydigipack cover correct. You can see the transformation of the format and size of thedigipack in the two photos below. The next thing I decided to do to edit the image was to flip it over so it wasbasically a mirror image of this. The idea behind this was so that the blood on hischest was now on the left side of his chest, representing a bleeding heart. I decidedthis would make the digipack cover be more metaphorical and would allow my targetaudience to relate to the album cover. You can see these changes I made by looking atthe original photo (On the left) and the edited version (on the right)
Another edit I did to the image was to change the sign that Lewis was holding.In the original photo Lewis is holding a sign saying Monsieur Lewis. I thought that itwould be better for the digipack cover to use his stage name of The Next Forever asthis would enable my target audience and his fans to notice his name and recognise it.Another reason for changing the name is to stop any confusion arising to the viewers.I then developed the idea of changing the name to change it to the actual song titlename and then have The Next Forever in another area of the digipack album cover. Sonow I changed the sign he was holding to say the tracks name - "Upstream". I did thisby using the brush tool and then the colour select function to select an area of the signin which the sign hadnt been written on and then I coloured over the writing. I thenused the brush tool and a graphics tablet to handwrite the word "upstream" on thesign. You can see the changes I made to the sign in the two images below. The firstimage is the original photograph, the second image is of the edited photograph so itsays the tracks name – “Upstream”. Next I had to create an album title. This process involved going onto“www.dafont.com” and from there I downloaded a font that I thought would be idealfor the album cover. I then installed the font onto the iMac and then opened it onPhotoshop. I used the text tool to write the text. I then positioned at the top left area ofthe digipack as I thought this would be an appropriate position. I then decided to change the colour of the text. When it came to selecting acolour for the title, I decided red would be an appropriate colour for the album cover.This is because red connotes thoughts of romance and this is what the songs theme isabout, so I thought red would be appropriate. I then decided to use the colour of thefake blood from Lewis heart in the image. To do this I extracted the colour from theheart using the pipette tool. Then I selected the font and changed the colour. I thoughtit would be a good idea to link up some of the text to make it flow more. I did thisusing the graphics tablet and the brush tool. I drew lines to link up some of the letterssuch as the letter "x" in the word "Next" and the letter "v" in the word "Forever". Ithought this looked nice and made the title more interesting looking and visuallyappealing. You can see the letters I joined up using the graphics tablet in the imagebelow.
Next I create the back cover of the digipack. Again I used Photoshop CS3 andimported the picture into the program. This photo was already the correct size for adigipack so I did not need to edit the size of the canvas. First of all I changed the colour and brightness of the picture. I went on the tab“Image” and then “Adjustments” and then selected “Colour balance”. From there Iincreased the levels of yellow. Then I selected the “Image” tab and then“Adjustments”, “Brightness/Contrast”. I increased both the brightness and the contrastto a suitable level. The purpose of doing this was to match the colour scheme andbrightness to that of the front cover image. I thought this was important so it makes itmore professional, as the original image was dark and greyer than the front cover sowould not flow very well. You can see the changes I made to the brightness, contrastand colour in the transformation below. I then used the brush tool to paint the sky the same colour as it was in the frontcover image. I decided to do this to increase the level of continuity and make thedigipack flow better as a whole product, as apposed to two individual images. Again Iused the pipette tool to select the colour of the sky in the front cover image and thenused this colour and the brush tool to paint the sky the same colour. To finish the digipack I used the same font to write the track listings and awebsite address where you can find more of my chosen artists work. When it came to creating my magazine advert the process wasrelatively similar to the one I carried out to create my digipack. First of all I openedmy digipack album cover into Photoshop. I then made the size of the canvas biggerand a rectangle shape. I made sure that the extension to the canvas would be added ontop of the existing digipack cover. This way my album cover would be at the base ofthe rectangle with a white section above it that I could use, instead of the extensionbeing added either side of the original album cover making the album cover in themiddle. Next I used the paint tool to make paint the extension. When it came tochoosing the colour I decided to use the colour select tool by clicking on an area ofthe existing sky on the album cover. I came to this decision because I thought it wouldbe a good idea to continue the colour of the sky in the extension of the canvas as thiswould make the magazine advert flow and look professional. I thought using the samecolour as the original sky would be a better idea than using a new colour and seeingan obvious difference from where the original album cover stops and the extension tothe canvas was added. When I finished painting the sky I selected the layer of the text "The NextForever" and decided to move it to the top of the canvas. I decided to this because it ispredominantly the most important piece of text of the magazine advert. As we read
from the top, left to right, to the bottom, I thought by placing the artists name at thetop would make this the first piece of text the audience would read. I then added anew piece of text and selected the same font as I had used in the artists name to createa recurring theme that the audience could recognise. From audience feedback of myoriginal album cover, they stated that they liked the colour of the text, so I decided touse this colour again in the new text. After typing out the words "Presents" and"Upstream", I highlighted the text and clicked on the colour squares at the bottom,this opened a new box with a colour wheel. I used the colour selection tool andclicked on the original text of "The Next Forever" to get the same colour. This thenmade the new text the same colour as the existing text, again reinforcing the recurringtheme of the font and colour scheme. I think this also makes it more professionallooking and appropriate for my artists genre as using a variety of primary colourswould look a bit tacky and misleading of the genre of my chosen artists music.Conclusion Overall I feel that the technology I have called upon throughout the course hashelped me create professional looking media products. I feel that I have improved myknowledge of technology particularly when it came to using software such as FinalCut Prod and Adobe Photoshop CS3. Modern technology such as the socialnetworking site Facebook has also helped improve my product by allowing people tocomment on videos and say what they thought about them.