Is Fast Food Killing Our Children? By Nisha Singh (Candidate Number: 5184)
In what way does your media product use, develop, andchallenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Documentary Conventions• Expository: Voiceover addressing the audience directly; variety of footage, stills, interviews, and archive footage used; trying to prove a point biased.• Observational: Camera follows the person as the events unfold; no interviews; no voiceover; long takes used; light equipment used.• Poetic: Usually artistic; mood or tone created by music; little narration.• Reflexive: Shows behind-the-scenes footage; voiceover is not authoritive; film maker is in front of the camera; uses techniques from fiction films.• Participatory: Film maker becomes a character, becomes part of the events; use of archive footage; many interviews included; hand held camera used for location shots. Looking at these conventions, you can see our documentary includes both expository modes and participatory modes. We had a specific point we wanted to get across about fast food and we used a variety of footage and archive material to do this, as well as a voiceover. This shows our documentary as expository. We were also involved with the documentary, becoming a character, this also classes our documentary as participatory. Being a hybrid documentary shows it as conventional.
How Is It Conventional?• We chose to do a documentary about the fast food industry and how it is aimed at young children; so when showing facts, we used slow, sad music to enhance the mood created.• We used a variety of interviews to get different opinions from students, teachers, parents etc… and were able to find out why parents take their children to fast food restaurants so regularly.• We both were involved in the documentary and I did the voiceovers to speak to the audience directly and engage them
Opening Titles• We decided to show someone putting a fast food bag down on the kitchen table and then have the credits appearing on the bottom right hand side of the screen.• This is also a familiar scene for people who eat fast food meals – coming home, and putting the food down in the kitchen, ready to eat.
Archive Material• We used a variety of archive material including different news stories about fast food, obesity and the effect it is having on children.• We started our documentary off showing some of these clips and then later on we showed some more.
Images and Voiceover• We then used different images of fast food restaurants to show the amount of fast food restaurants in one town.• Then I added a voiceover to speak directly to the audience and engage them with the use of rhetorical quesitons.
Interviews• We used a variety of interviews to get different opinions and so the audience can make their own opinions on the topic.• We did some short interviews asking people what their favourite fast food restaurants were, and then we had a long interview at the end of the documentary asking a Food Tech teacher about the dangers of fast food and childhood obesity.
Participating• We participated in the documentary by appearing in some scenes to talk about what was happening, and have a look at some facts.• We also appeared in the scene where we looked at what was in a McDonalds Happy Meal, and how unhealthy they really were.
Statistics• We found different facts surrounding our documentary topic, using sites such as BBC news, Bupa, and NHS. This way we knew the facts were legitimate and reliable.• We showed these facts over a scene of people walking into a fast food restaurant sped up, and had a voiceover of myself reading these facts out.
How effective is the combination of your main product and your ancillary tasks?
• Our main product compliments our ancillary tasks well as it is another window of advertising our product.• Our first ancillary task, produced together, is of a double page magazine spread.• Our second ancillary task, completed individually, is of a newspaper poster advertising the documentary.
Double Page Magazine Spread• For this we looked at different magazine spreads in listing magazines to help us decide on the best way to lay our article out.• We used our theme of fast food as a background for our article, having chips as a background on the left page, and being a foundation for columns of writing.• On the right hand page, we had different fast food chips, burgers etc… with facts falling out.• We included an article about the documentary and fast food, and then on the left hand side we had the interview we did with the Food Tech teacher in our school. And we also used some facts we found on the news websites.
Poster Ancillary Task• For this ancillary task I decided to have a large photo of a child eating fast food at the top half of the page. This was done to shock people and almost bring a comic effect to it.• Underneath I wrote what channel, date and time it would be shown on television. I also wrote down a little box saying if audiences wanted to do more research into the topic being looked at, to visit the NHS website address written at the bottom.
What Have You Learned From Your Audience Feedback?
• I learnt that where the majority of it was done to the best of our ability, we did have to fix some aspects of it.• For us, this included the background noise in some of the scenes which prevented audiences from hearing what was being said by the character speaking.• We also needed to edit one scene more clearly where the transition had cut off the end and the beginning of part of the end interview.
Main Areas Of Improvement• As well as what had already been said in the previous slide, we also wanted to be able to film inside a fast food restaurant, and interview a dietician or manager of a fast food chain.• This was originally very difficult to do as for legal reasons ,we were unable to film in these situations.
Most Effective Part of Our Documentary• However we did do some shots that really complimented our documentary and helped create a certain mood.• The use of music worked really well.• The interviews worked well, with the titles along the bottom.• Voiceovers and statistics was another good point that helped us to engage the audience.
How Did You Use MediaTechnologies in The Construction and Research, Planning, and Evaluation Stages?
Documenting Our Work• We use Blogger to document our progress, updating our blogs frequently. We used Slideshare, Prezi, Wordclouds etc… to help make it more interesting to view and show a variety of platforms for documenting our work.
Filming• For filming we used a Sony hand-held video camera to film our indoor and outdoor scenes. For some scenes such as the interviews, we used a tripod to help steady our footage.
Editing• For editing we used the Apple Macbook and iMovie to edit our final piece.• Here we could add transitions, music, voiceovers, edit sound and video clips, add images, speed the clip up etc…• We also used iPhoto to upload our still shots we had taken of fast food restaurants.