A2 Media Evaluation Jenna Booth For our A2 coursework we were given the task of creating a five minute opening extract of a TV documentary, and in addition a double page spread magazine article and thirty second radio trailer to market our documentary. For this we worked in a group of three and chose the title of our documentary to be “Appearance: Is it becoming too obsessive?” The target audience of our documentary and supporting products was predominantly women, and we chose a large age range of 14 – 45 as we felt the documentary was suitable for different generations and that aspects of the documentary topic would pull in audiences of different ages. The social class of our target audience was to be ABC1 and for any ethnicity. All of our work – research, planning, and noting of progress were recorded on our blog . We made our documentary and radio trailer in Final Cut Express on the Apple Macs and created the magazine article in In Design, also on the Macs. One documentary that we watched and took inspiration from was Morgan Spurlock’s performative mode documentary ‘Supersize Me’ in which he takes on the challenge of only eating McDonald’s fast food for 30 days and finding out the impact and dangers it has on his health. The full length documentary can be found here .
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? One way in which we have followed the generic conventions of TV documentaries is when we have done or used: Cutaways in interviews: In other documentaries, we noticed that during an interview there was often a cutaway to background footage, supporting what the interviewee was talking about. We incorporated this into our documentary with our professional interviews. It gives a chance for the viewer to carry on listening to the audio of the interview whilst viewing other images on screen, so that nothing stays on screen for too long and risks becoming boring. Establishing shots: In other examples, there were establishing shots of the work place or environment before an interview, to give the voiceover a chance to introduce where they had arrived for an interview and why. This is something we employed into ours as a way of introducing and setting the scene. We filmed all of our establishing shots as a horizontal pan as this was something we learnt from watching other documentaries.
Supporting background footage: Background footage is film that supports the script of your voiceover. This is a common feature of all documentaries, filling up the space between interviews and giving the voiceover a chance to discuss the subject, so we also used background footage. Archive/ other footage: Many documentaries use archive footage or additional footage which they have not filmed themselves but it adds to the documentary as ‘fill in’ footage. We researched footage relating to the topic of our documentary on YouTube looking at channels such as ‘fashiontv’ http://www.youtube.com/user/fashiontv and filmed them to add in as additional background footage which we could talk about with the voiceover. A screen shot from ‘Supersize Me’ which used archive footage in the opening just like our documentary did.
Voiceover: All documentaries have a voiceover to support the clips on display in the film. T he voiceover is necessary to the documentary as it gives vital information of the topic and explains to the audience opinions, facts and concerns. We have made sure that our voiceover gives all the information needed in the documentary including educational, factual, and opinionated information. Voiceover layer Vox pops are informal interviews which aim to capture the opinion of the general public and give them a voice on the matter. We used vox pops in our film to get a different viewpoint than that of those in professions involving the subject of our documentary. We got the views of teenagers, a prime target audience for our film, on different matters. They are generally medium shots which include 1- 3 people, and many include background noise unlike professional interviews which indicates a real life environment. For our college vox pops, we generally placed students around college displays or work to achieve an attractive mise-en-scene which also displayed the real life surroundings and clearly indicate that we are talking to college students. The college mise-en-scene is relatable to the younger part of the target audience. We could perhaps have filmed some vox pops in Solihull which had given a perspective representative of the older half of the target audience. Vox pops: