1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products?As part of our A2 media coursework project, we were told to work in groups in order to produce a five minuteopening of a documentary, a double-page spread for a magazine article and a radio trailer. This enabled eachmember of the team to combine their skills and allowed us to use our knowledge to follow the codes andconventions of a real documentary. In order to carry out this task, we were given a Canon HD video camera, atripod, a set of headphones and a microphone. This equipment is also used to produce real documentaries. We used it sensibly in order to mirror the codes and conventions of a real media product and to make our documentary as professional as possible.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products? Our task was to produce the opening five minutes of a documentary. After deciding on the topic of Apple, we split up amongst ourselves within the group, organising interviews, doing our research and updating the blog. As part of our research, we watched existing documentaries in order to pick up appropriate conventions we could use in our documentary. Here is an example of the mise-en-scene we used during an interview which follows the codes and conventions of a real media product: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHKCb0_2oD0 Head room Medium close up The frame is occupied with relevant props Costume shows profession Appropriate/formal mise-en-sceneThe mise-en-scene used in both our interview and this real interview elevates the position of the person beinginterviewed and shows significant personal connotations. However, compared to this real interview, our interviewchallenges the codes and conventions as we have included only the expert in the frame where as this documentaryalso has an on screen narrator. On the other hand, a similarity between the two media products are that we haveboth used the rule of thirds in order to create a professional element to the interview.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products?Throughout the documentary, we used a range of camera shots that would also be used in a real mediaproduct. These included: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6m0KwBzOpU Pan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHKCb0_2oD0 Medium close up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHKCb0_2oD0 Rule of thirds Mise-en-scene of vox pops
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes andconventions of real media products?During the editing process of the documentary, we used the following transitions: We used the fade tool to indicate the ending of a particular section (ipods) in our documentary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQj2u4ap5bo In Supersize Me, similar to our documentary, the dissolve transition was used in order to indicate a different setting and to move on to another section of the documentary.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codesand conventions of real media products?After filming the footage for our documentary we wentthrough the process of log and transfer. While doingthis, we cut all the irrelevant footage and kept the clipswe thought would be appropriate to use in ourdocumentary. We renamed the clips so that theywould be easier to find when making the documentaryin order to make it coherent. This is how we placed the title for the interviews for our documentary by clicking on ‘Lower 3rd’ and then typing in our text. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQj2u4ap5bo Titles are written in white, sans serif font and are placed on the lower left of the frame to show the formality of the people being interviewed.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes andconventions of real media products? Move/click toolDuring the editing process of The Apple Takeover, weused this toolbar in order to cut any part of the clip thatwas not needed to be included in the documentary. Erase tool We used the erase tool to indicate Then using the arrow, we clicked and deleted where we decided we didn’t need when section that was unnecessary anymore footage
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products? In The Apple Takeover, we used diegetic sound and non-diegetic sound. An example of where we used diegetic sound is during an interview and an example of non-diegetic sound is the voice over and background music as the people speaking in the documentary are unaware of it. Diegetic Non-diegetic This is how we modified our sound levels and sound mix in order to increase/decrease the tempo and pace of the background music.We also modified the sound levels on selected vox pops to raise thevolume in their speech and make our documentary sound morerealistic. The same applied to the voice over and radio trailer.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products? Magazine Article-SimilaritiesOur product Real media product Sans serif font Bold heading One main image Not too dominated with words Date, time and channel logo are clear Standfirst Similar target audience Black and white colour scheme
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products?Magazine Article-Differences The banner is used to promote the documentary to readers as it suggests The Apple TakeoverOur product is pick of the day Real media product 3 column layout rather than using paragraphs as the columns look more relevant for our audience The fact file informs the readers of products Apple have designed which should interest them in watching the documentary A brief biography on Steve Jobs who made the Apple the brand it is today Paragraph crossheads We used a question and The heading is across both pages of this were used to separate answer format where as double page spread. However, we felt this the questions from the this double-page spread would be inappropriate for our chosen answers in our double- has written an article topic as it would make the article look less page spread formal and contrast with the message we want to give our readers
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes andconventions of real media products? Radio Trailer Similarities Our radio trailer was produced for BBC Radio 1. It followed the codes and conventions of a real media product as we mixed the sound levels appropriately. The tempo of the background music was upbeat as the topic of our documentary was aimed at students and young people from the broad age range of 16-40 (ABC1). The purpose of using upbeat music was reference to technology as being new and improving. We also used a clear, informative voice-over and included clips from the documentary as this is what a real media product which promotes a TV show would do in order to attract the listeners attention. Differences In contrast, our radio trailer challenged the codes and conventions as the BBC would not normally include clips of dialogue from the actual documentary.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes and conventions of real media products? Documentary Overall, we are pleased with all three of our media products as the topic of Apple was original. The first few opening frames of the documentary were of various ways in which Apple products are used. We felt this would be an effective opening as it gave viewers an insight of the aspects of Apple we chose to discuss in our documentary. In relation to real documentaries, we also dubbed the background music while mixing the sound levels when appropriate. This was to ensure the interviews and vox pops were loud and clear. The use of straight cuts and relevant background footage throughout the documentary was coherent as the jump from one clip to another kept the viewers interested.However, if we could make any improvements to our documentary: The Apple Takeover, they would include...•Some shots could have been better quality•More background footage (as we only had 3 weeks to film the documentary during college hours, we had to make sure thelocation(s) we chose were close to college)
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codes andconventions of real media products?Magazine Article We decided the publisher for our magazine article would be Radio Times as they are Britains leading TV listings magazine with a similar target audience ours. Our documentary follows many codes and conventions of a real media product. For example, our text is placed in columns. Correspondingly, although the Radio Times articles normally contain more text, we have made it simpler by using one main image and a page of text. The text is separated into different sections: the article; the fact file about Apple products; and a small biography about Steve Jobs. We manipulated the Apple logo by placing it in a canted angle on the edge of the heading. We also manipulated the two banners, by putting them in a certain angle. For the article, we presented it in a question and answer format. To make it clear for the reader, we decided to provide colour identification to each member that produced the documentary The Apple Takeover.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge codesand conventions of real media products?Radio Trailer Like actual radio trailers you would hear on the radio, our radio trailer was consistent and informative. We chose BBC Radio 1 as our broadcaster in order to link the documentary and radio trailer as we came to the conclusion the topic of Apple would interest the BBC and BBC would appeal to our target audience which is young students and employees from the ages of 16-40. In media terms, this would be ABC1s because they are sociable, up to date with the latest trends and are most likely to be able to afford Apple products. In our radio trailer, we included short clips from the documentary such as vox pops. We used the same voice- over from the documentary and made sure all the information mentioned in the radio trailer was persuasive and necessary. In contrast to real radio trailers on BBC, our radio trailer challenged the codes and conventions as the BBC would not normally include clips of dialogue from the actual documentary. If we could improve our radio trailer, I suggest we should use more interesting sound effects and snappier vox pops.
2. How effective is your combination of your main product and ancillary texts? The purpose of our A2 media coursework was to produce a documentary along with a double-page spread for a listings magazine and a radio trailer. The two ancillary texts were produced in order to promote our documentary: The Apple Takeover. We linked all three products in order to form a concise brand identity. One of the main similarities between all three media products are the target audience. We agreed that our target audience would be ABC1s (usually ages 18-25) as they are expected to listen to BBC Radio 1 due to the variety of music it plays and watch BBC Three as the shows they view range from documentaries, dramas, stand-up comedy and news. All this would be aimed at our target audience as we chose an age group starting from young adults who take great interest in the latest trends. We felt the combination of our main product and ancillary texts was highly effective as they had an obvious brand identity. Choosing Apple as our topic came to us at a great advantage as the Apple logo intrinsically instantly has its own brand identity. We proved this to a further extent as we included clips from the documentary in the radio trailer and an image from the documentary in the double-page spread.
2. How effective is your combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Magazine Article Article Documentary We used this image from the documentary on the first page of our double-page spread as it is an effective image. It shows the Apple logo on top of the iMacs which links both these pieces by giving them brand identity. Also, the stacking of the iMacs symbolises the way in which Apple as a brand alone are taking over other products, hence our title: The Apple Takeover. Another thing the double-page spread has in common with the documentary is the font. In order to keep the brand identity looking formal and professional, we kept the font as sans serif.
2. How effective is your combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Radio TrailerWe decided the BBC were the producers of both thedocumentary and radio trailer as our target audienceappeals to the BBC. Because the majority of our audience is16-25 (the broader range being 16-40), we concluded wewould launch our documentary on BBC Three as most youngpeople are likely to watch documentaries BBC Three asopposed to channel 5. Another thing the radio trailer Both the radio had in common with the trailer and documentary is that they both documentary were included the same clear, male produced in final voice-over and quotes from vox cut express, the pops that we used in our radio trailer being documentary. This was a major sequence 1 and link between our main product documentary and ancillary texts as it created being sequence 2. definite brand identity.
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? Target AudienceWe agreed that demographics prove our target audience would beABC1s (normally ages 18-25) as they would be most interested inthe development in technology.The reason we have such a broad target audience of 16-40 year oldsis because Apple is aimed at a variety of people depending on theirproducts. For example, an iPod is most likely to be aimed at an 18year old as they would be more interested in music then a 38 yearold. However, an iPhone is more likely to attract someone who isemployed at the age of 30 and has a good profession. Their jobcould be a businessman/woman, teacher, PA, architect, ICTtechnician or even self employed.
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? In order to gain audience feedback, we produced 30 copies of a questionnaire. We asked or audience (students) what their views were on our documentary, double-page spread and radio trailer. In our questionnaires, we included both open and closed questions. An example of an open question we used for our documentary questionnaire is ‘Name two facts you’ve taken from our documentary’. This enabled to tell us whether or not the audience were concentrating when watching the documentary and if they found it informative or not. Asking open questions was a good method of gaining audience feedback as it gave us an insight of what the viewers gained from watching The Apple Takeover. On the other hand, we also asked closed questions in our questionnaires as giving the audience a series of options to circle/tick made it easier us to analyse and for our audience to fill in. An example of a closed question we used for our documentary questionnaire is ‘Do you think the sound quality was of a professional standard?’ We then gave the audience the following options: ‘Not very’, ‘Professional’ and ‘Very’. Regarding our documentary, double-page spread and radio trailer, we were more interested in quantitative answers rather than qualitative answers as the figures counted were the ones that mattered because we used more closed questions in all three of our questionnaires rather than open questions. This was because of our wide range of audience all three media products were produced for. We also considered gathering a focus group in order to explore the opinions of our target audience. However, we decided this approach would be time consuming and would not be much use to our media products due to the quantitative nature of audience feedback we were interested in receiving. But if we had another chance, we would try a focus group as it would help explore the audiences opinions of our media products in greater detail.
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? Documentary Closed question Open question
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? 1. How would you rate our documentary on a scale of 1-5? (5 being the best) 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 2. How effective and professional do you think our camera shots are? Very poor Poor Okay Good Very good 1 2 3 4 53. For vox pops and professional interviews do you think the mise en scene isappropriate?Not very Professional Very 1 2 3
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?4. Do you think the sound quality was of a professional standard?Not very Professional Very 1 2 35. We selected an upbeat, electronic choice of background music. Do you think thiswas the right decision, and did it work well? Yes No 1 26. Were the changes in sound levels appropriate throughout the documentary?Not very Appropriate Very 1 2 3
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? 7. How informative and helpful did you think our vox pops and interviews were on a scale on 1-5? (5 being the best) 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 3 4 58. Did you find our voice-over clear and easy to understand?Not very Satisfactory Very 1 2 39. Do you think the editing and transitions of footage was appropriate?Not very Appropriate Very 1 2 3
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? 10. Name two facts you’ve taken from our documentary ............................................................................................................ ............................................................................................................ “Easy to use” “Superior quality” “Apple is the best” “Clear brand identity”These were the top tenmost popular answers “Forefront of technology” “Apple sales have boomed” “Windows take ideas from Apple” “iPod is the most successful product” “Macs designed with visual programmes” “Most think they would be lost without the product”
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? Magazine Article
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? 1. What do you think of the colour scheme that we used on our double page spread? Excellent Good Poor 1 2 32. Did the article persuade you to watch the documentary? Yes No 1 23. Was the layout eye-catching? Yes No (If not, why?).......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1 2
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? 4. Do you like the idea of one main image or would you prefer a number of images? 1 Main Image Number of Images 1 2 5. Did you find the fact file on Apple products and short biography about Steve Jobs useful? Yes No 1 26. Do you think the way we separated the questions from the answers was effective? Yes No 1 2
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? 7. On a scale of 1-5, how attractive would you say the double page spread looks? 1 1 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 8. To what extent would you say our double page spread follows the codes and conventions of a real media product? Excellent Good Poor 1 22 39. Do you feel the article was appropriate for the target audience? Yes No 1 2
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?10. What would you change in order to improve our double page spread?.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. “More Images” “More Colour” “Bit Simplistic” These were the most re-occurring answers in our questionnaire “Picture On The Left” “More Font Variation” “New Colour For The Fact File”
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? Radio Trailer The advantages we received from our radio trailer audience feedback was that our audience were impressed with how concise and informative the information on the radio trailer was. They were also impressed with the sound levels and the fact that the voice over was clear. An improvement we were given, however, was that our backing track could be changed as it did not impress our listeners. Overall, we are very pleased with the audience feedback we received regarding our radio trailer.
3. What have you learned from your audience feedback? After we received our feedback on The Apple Takeover‘ from the questionnaires we handed out, the feedback was predominately positive as our audience rated the documentary either 4/5 or 5/5. A majority of our sound, editing and camera was seen as being professional and appropriate in comparison to real media conventions. We are very pleased with the information we have received from the questionnaires. However, the only major improvement we were given was to work on mixing the sound levels at the beginning as a minority of our audience thought the documentary started of quite loud. Overall, we are happy with the feedback given on our documentary.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?Throughout this project, we have used a huge range of media technologies and equipment to carry out histask. These included: •Apple Macs •Microphone •InDesign •Microsoft word •Final cut express •Tripod •Blogspot.com •Internet/ Safari •Canon HD video camera •Headphones •Log and Transfer
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?It took a lot of planning and research to produce our media products as we used a variety ofsoftware, equipment and media technologies both in which we were familiar with from our AS yearand unfamiliar. For example, last year we used normal PCs in order to complete our preliminary taskand main task. However, this year we used Apple Macs in order to produce the documentary,magazine article and radio trailer. The reason we used Apple Macs this year is because our projectwas bigger than last year, therefore, caused fewer problems when saving work than PCs. Also, Macsare creative. The main advantage of using an Apple Mac in A2 is that it is monopolising in the way inwhich we could export something from Final cut express and place it into InDesign. AS A2
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?DocumentaryWhen we started filming our documentary, we We included these shots because during ourwere given a Canon HD video camera as the research and planning, we watched and analysedquality of the camera was brilliant and the existing documentaries on YouTube, BBC, Channel 4camera was easy to use. We used a range of and ITV. We also did the same for our magazinecamera shots when filming the documentary. article and radio trailer.These included zoom, pan and tilt.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages? Tripod Setting up the tripod was a new skill I learnt this year as it was vital we got the height of the tripod right in order to gain a good shot/camera angle. We also had to ensure the camera was well balanced on to the tripod as if the balance of the camera was askew, the camera was in danger of falling off the tripod and breaking. The handle of the tripod was significant because in order to achieve a variety of shots such as a tilt, crab or pan, we has to move the handle.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?Microphone (sound) It was very important we had the right balance when it came to sound levels and placing the right leads into the appropriate part of the camera. Throughout the process, the microphone and headphones we used worked well. However, a problem we had with the microphone was that it was picking up background sound when filming vox pops. Overall, we were pleased with the sound levels we achieved after our three weeks of filming.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages? http://www.blogger.com/ Internet/Blog Using the internet was a great advantage to us as it was easy to From the start of this whole task, blogger was a access and played a great part in significant part of our research and planning as our research and planning. We we put every detail of our ideas, research and gained a huge advantage as we tasks we carried out during lessons. It was a watched documentaries, looked at great advantage as it kept our planning examples of magazine articles and organised and we didn’t lose papers unlike AS radio trailers via the internet. We media studies. It was also very easy to use and also decided the publishers for our easy to access. However, when we tried to place media products using research we images onto the blog, we had to change the did through the internet. image to JPEG which was time consuming. Also, print screens didn’t work on the blog which was a problem at times as we lack a few images to support what we did in some lessons.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?Construction When I first started using Final Cut Express, personally, I found it challenging. However, as the days went on, the more I used We produced our documentary and radio it, the easier it became. Also, once we understood the tools trailer in Final Cut Express as it consisted of and features of Final Cut Express, it was simple to use. a range of features which enabled us to edit our footage sufficiently throughout the An example of how using Final Cut Express was useful in editing process. producing a professional documentary is that we used a fade transition from Final Cut Express in order to end a certain section of our documentary (iPods). This enabled the documentary to be coherent in the way that it told our target audience we were going to move on. Mixing, editing and modifying sound levels in Final Cut Express was a simple procedure as we could see the sequence was organised. Adding and deleting clips was also simple as once we understood the toolbar, everything became efficient and easy to use.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?Magazine Article Our magazine article was produced in InDesign. The two main features we used when making our double-page spread was InDesign and Microsoft word. We used Microsoft word in order to write our script for the documentary voice-over, radio trailer and magazine article (Q and A). This was because we could then upload the final pieces onto the blog. We also used a number of different tools in InDesign in order to change the colour of the pages, font and text boxes. The function of InDesign participated in the overall quality of our final product as each tool had a different affect on the product. For example, we decided to have a banner across the first page saying ‘pick of the day’ as this promoted our main product to a higher extent. To enable this, we used the rotation tool at 7 degrees to the high-right of the top of the page. This is a convention that would also be seen in a real magazine article.
4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Radio TrailerSimilarly to the documentary, we produced our radio trailer in Final Cut Express as we were already used to thetools and efficiency of Final Cut Express. Because it was more or less the same as what we did for our documentary,mixing, cutting and editing the sound was very straightforward. Overall, we were very impressed with Final Cut Express as it is a highly professional production programme and gives anyone the potential to produce a documentary, radio trailer and possibly other media products once you get used to the tools. In conclusion, compared to last year, our A2 task was much more enjoyable and helped us develop a variety of new skills regarding Apple Macs and Final Cut Express.