1) In what ways does your media project use, develop and challengecodes and conventions of real media products?From the onset of our media coursework project, each member of our groupconsisting of Jess, Jacob put in their own interesting ideas and their individualknowledge of documentary conventions to the project and we all had equal roles. Inour documentary we hoped to show many forms and conventions possible. This unit counted as 50% of our final mark and we would have to produce the opening five minutes of a TV documentary, which was the main task which worth 40 marks, a radio trailer for the documentary which was part of the ancillary task worth 10 marks and finally a magazine double page spread advertisement for our documentary work 10 marks. At the same time we have to complete a blog as we worked on the main task and ancillary tasks and this was on the production of out work which would then be submitted as evidence of research and planning. Documentary 40 Marks Radio 10 marks Magazine 10 marksWe looked at many different documentariesbefore deciding what we wanted to base ourdocumentary on. We also watched thesedocumentaries to give us an idea of whatconventions are found in a documentary. Wewatched documentaries including ‘Supersizeme’ ‘Airline’ and in my own time I watched‘One born every minute’ and finally‘Panorama’. We decided what we wanted ourdocumentary to be based on by creating aspider diagram and we then picked out the
subject which we all wanted to base it on and this was EMA and why theGovernment decided to cut the scheme.When we decided what we wanted to base our the cuts of Education Maintenanceallowance we then created several story boards of our ideas for our documentaryand what we would like to see in our documentary. This helped us as it gave us anidea and structure of what to film. We drew images of what we would like to see inour documentary and then wrote about what would be happening on screen andwhat the voice over would be saying. We also estimated how long we thought theshot would last. This helped us a lot as it gave us a structure to stick by. My media product follows conventions of a real media productin many different ways. Firstly, the opening of the documentary starts off with avoice over acting as a dramatic news report expressing how bad the governmentsdecision to cut the Education Maintenance Allowance is and how the cuts havecaused students to take to the streets in anger which signs and banners protestingabout the governments decision. Typically, documentaries use archival footage inorder to show events relating to the subject so therefore on screen in ourdocumentary there are newspapers with dramatic headlines being thrown onto thefloor creating a pile of newspapers. This is an extremely dramatic opening and thiscan be found in other documentaries such as ‘Panorama’. Panorama is a BBCTelevision current affairs documentary programme, which was first broadcast in1953, and is the longest-running public affairs television programme in the world andis shown on BBC at 8:30. My documentary is similar to Panorama as they both dealwith factual issues that have often been in the media and they both follow thereflexive mode. They both simplify a more complex subject for example ourdocumentary is aimed at students and parents who often wouldn’t be familiar withthe terminology used and so we explained issues and dealt with it in a moresimplistic way this is also shown in Panorama.
We also stuck to conventions with having vox pops throughout the documentary. Many real documentaries include these to give an understanding of what everyday people think about a certain topic. Similarly, our vox pops gave us an insight to student’s opinions and thoughts on the Governments decision to cut the Education Maintenance Allowance. The vox pops used were of students in college – aged 16 to 18. We decided to develop these opinions and speak to a professional – college EMA advisor Julie Maitland, who gave full knowledge on why the government have cut EMA. We chose to have multiple expert interviews as this went with our formal theme and the serious nature of our chosen topic. We used Mike Hatton a media teacher and finally Richard Gough, an Economist. They gave their professional opinion on the effects the governments decision will have on teenagers. Expert Interview with Julie Maitland This is a quote taken from the interview with With our professional interview,Maitland Julie we felt we had to keep the whole theme of this part quite formal and so we used a tripod for the interview and made sure we kept within the typical convention of shot framing with the rule of thirds – having eye level in the top third and her positioning in the middle not directly looking into the camera. We also used an appropriate background and setting. Julie Maitland was filmed in a classroom with a poster relating to EMA. We kept with appropriate backgrounds with the vox pops too as we set these up in the corridor of the college where the background was of a picture a random painting placed in the college. Appropriate Background- The title of our documentaryExpert Interview with Richard Gough- Economist Small space above head Medium Close up Relevant mise-en-scene
Although these two interviews have their differences for example the setting they’re in, the generalpresentation is very similar, and hopefully our expert interviews and vox pops have a comparable impressionof professionalism about them. We also used conventions of real media products in terms of sound. We debated whether to use visual narrators or voiceover but went with voiceover as we felt this would make our documentary look better and have a more professional feel and it could also be very time consuming and might not look as professional as we wanted it to be. We also used background music as most documentaries do, we searched the internet for different sites to use for our music, and we also thought about creating our own music on ‘Garage Band’ but after some thought, we decided not to do this as it might have been very amateur but changed it for the vox pops and expert interviews were on, but adjusting the sound levels making it quieter to highlight the importance of the interviews. Here you can see that we changed the sound levels making the music quieter for the vox pops and expert interviews. During Julie Maitlands interview towards the end of our doucmentary we included a up of how we This is a close cutway as she says “We will see a reduction of changed the sound levels students in college” we use a shot of an empty
canteem and this again is common practice and makes our interview more visuallystimulating than they would have been had we just show the interview.Another example of editing techniques that we used is the fading transitions. Wenotices through our analysis that fades-through-black were often used at dramaticor provoking points in documentaries, so they were then featured after vox pops.We also made good use of cutaways, they are very simple but I feel this was veryeffective. We mainly used cutaways after establishing shots especially when we wereintroducing Solihull 6th Form. They were used when moving quickly from one clip toanother for a rapid effect. We also made use of dissolves, in which the next clip issmooth and blended into the previous. These are used in most documentaries.We also added in a title to introduce the expert interviews as this is a conventionthat is seen in many documentaries. We did have some trouble creating the titles asit was very hard to place them in the correct area without them covering theinterviewees face.
Our documentary follows many of Bill Nichols’ (2001) conceptual schemes of documentary modes. Firstly, our documentary aims to be aesthetically pleasing and so following the Poetic Mode in terms of photogenic. EMA is a subject that due to the nature of it can be difficult to make the documentary on this subject aesthetically pleasing however we managed this by making full use out of the ‘Art Block’ in the college as some of the art work featured money on it, for example there was a hand made dress full of money, so therefore we filmed this to feature in our documentary. We also made good use of the canteen area as we placed the camera onto the floor to film people walking, we then sped this up and placed this in our documentary and this is an example of actuality which makes the documentary seem more relatable. However, we also included the rhetoric aspect of the Expositional Mode by including statistics designed to shock and therefore to show how badly the Governments decision has affected teenagers. We had done some research on how the cuts have affected teenagers and we found some shocking facts which we put into our documentary. We discovered that some students are taking part in medicalThis is how we sped the experiments and prostitution in order to fund their education. We also added infootage up on ‘Final Cut some facts and statistics. We went to see Julie Maitland to find out some facts andExpress’ figures on EMA. Our aim was to find out how many students from Solihull Sixth Form received EMA in 2011 and how many students now receive it in 2010. We found out the information which we needed. This was that 1100 students received it in 2010
and now in 2011 only 431 receives it as now the only people who get EMA are the students who got £30 last year. Our media product has a slight downfall compared to real media products in regard to the sound levels, the music worked well but the voiceover was sometimes too quiet. This was not as noticeable on the computers, but once we had burned the documentary onto a disk and played it on a larger screen with louder speakers, I feel the voice over is way too quiet and the music is slightly too loud. We also had to bear media conventions in mind when creating our ancillary tasks, the radio trailer and a double page spread. Before even starting, we looked at professional examples of these so we had a thorough idea of what conventions ours should include. On the media homepage there were examples of radio trailers which we could listen to and this gave us an idea of what it had to include. We also looked at previous students work for the double page spread; this also helped us as it gave us an idea of what worked well and what didn’t work so well. We also looked at some professional double page articles to give us some guidance of what a professional article should have.This is the ‘Moodle’ pagewhere we could listen toprevious students work. Following conventions, we included a voiceover that was the same as that in the documentary to keep continuity. We also included shortened versions of the vox pops and professional interview to give an idea of what to expect in the documentary, so therefore we picked out the most important or shocking things said
in the interviews. We also used background music to help grab the listeners’ attention and started with a quick, upbeat piece of music, reflecting the start of our documentary. At the start of the radio trailer. We introduced the radio by playing distorted music then we recorded a group member saying “Radio 1” This stuck to the conventions of a professional radio trailer. We planned out what time our documentary would start and what channel it would be on; we wrote all of this down so we could add it to our radio trailer. We created our radio trailer on using Garage Band. The downside to our trailer was the sound levels were inconsistent which we tried to combat by re-recording the voiceover however this did not seem to improve the sound quality so we changed the sound levels in Garage band and this seemed to improve things slightly. Vox Pops and Expert Interviews Approximately 40 seconds long We chose to have our radio trailer under Radio 1, but our documentary would be on BB3, we had made a mistake here as radio 1 would not be advertising anything forSeveraldifferent tracks Adjusting sound levels We also added effects to the voice over to make it more professional. We did this by The clicking onto music and on the side bar, these options used in the documentary back ground the file Same voice appeared. We used the ‘Female Voice’ for the voice over explaining what to expect in the documentary, then we used ‘Megaphone’ for introducing ‘Radio 1’
These are the two effects which we used in our radio trailerWe used fast paced music as this would attract our target audience of students. Wehad a range of different music to choose from and these were found here:The final version of our magazine contained the following conventions:
Headline and Byline Main image relating to the subjectA standfirst inlarger print,including adrop capSmaller imagesrelating to thesubject Columns separating the text Pull Quote Page Number Much like our radio trailer, our article follows most of the conventions specified by other products of a similar nature. We added a drop shadow onto the main image to make it more professional and the images below show exactly how to do this
Question 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? I feel that our three media products interconnect rather well with each other. We created a synergy between all three products, again to familiarise the audience with our products but also to achieve a greater effect than one of the products alone. The radio trailer features the same voice as used in the documentary and includes significant extracts that the viewer would instantly recognise If they were to watch both the radio trailer and the documentary and also read the article. The listing article features the poster which was used in the expert interview with Julie Maitland. The radio trailer includes extracts from the documentary. We have used clips of the expert interviews and picked out the main thing that they say which were most effective. We used a quote from Julie Maitland which is “I think it will have a significant effect on teenagers” This is found in the documentary, the double page spread and the radio trailer. We also have quotes from Mike Hatton as he says ‘I think it will have a social impact on teenagers” this is also in the radio trailer. This is the double page article and as you can see there is a picture of students in a canteen holding up a poster saying don’t cut EMA. The boy who has been circled features in the documentary as he is part of the vox pops. This links the double page spread and the documentary well.Double pagearticle
The documentary is probably our most successful piece, as it features a variety ofediting types and plenty of information, facts and statistics. Therefore this ispractically something to cater for any type of viewer. The radio trailer is similar inmany respects. In the brief time that it plays, it contains an attention-capturingexample of fast editing and an interesting description to the documentary. This isvery brief but the double page spread has a large amount of text to break down thedocumentary but also go into detail about what to expect to see in the documentary.Overall, I think our ancillary tasks combine with our documentary quite successfully.They look and sound as if they belong together and are clear and effective whenpromoting the programme. The radio trailer is exciting, interesting and audiblypleasing and the double page spread is eye catching and interesting a full of factsand figures.Question 3: what have you learnt from your audiencefeedback?To collect our audience feedback, we created a simple questionnaire, asking ourclassmates to rate our products overall, and also on how interesting and suitablethey were. We handed this out to 15 people and from our results we were able todiscover if our media task was successful or not.
First question: On a scale of 1-10 how interesting is our documentary?1 being poor and 10 being excellent (Circle your answer) On a scale of 1-10 how im form ative is our docum entary?1098765 Series2432 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 S c or eThis is a graph to show the amount of people who thought our documentary wasinformative. Although we added a few facts and statistics, only one person thoughtour documentary was extremely informative, so therefore they scored this a ten.Most people scored our documentary a seven for being informative so this showsthat our documentary is informative but there could be improvements made such asadding more information in. Although we added in a few statistics about theamount of students who used to receive EMA I now feel that there should have beenmore.Second Question: Did the first minute of our documentary grab your attention? Did the first m inute grab your attention? no Series1 yes 0 2 4 6 8 10 s c o reThis graph shows the results of the question which was ‘Did the first minute grabyour attention?’ Six people said no, and I was quite surprised at this result as I feltthe opening of our documentary is very dramatic due to the YouTube footage of theriots due to the Governments decision to make the cuts. I also felt that the openingof our documentary which the newspapers falling to the ground was also very
effective. Due to these results I feel that if we were to create this documentaryagain, I would have had the first minute speed up as due to the results, it is clear thatthe opening was not as effective as It should have been. I would have made thefootage with the newspapers shorter and quicker to keep the interest off theaudience.Do you think the sound levels are consistent in the documentary? Do you think the sound levels are consistant? yes noI was extremely happy with this result; every person whom we asked said that oursound levels were consistent. I was every happy with this result as we spent quite along time changing the sound levels to make sure that nothing was too loud and overpowering and nothing was too quiet. We had some troubles with expert interviewsas they seemed to be a lot louder than all of the other audio files. We spent a longtime making them quieter and luckily this worked well. We also had some troublewith the music as it was very loud so we turned this down. We watched thedocumentary over and over again ensuring that the sound levels were perfect so Iam very pleased with this result.Do you think our radio trailer advertises our documentary well? Do you think our radio trailer advertises our docum entary w ell? 16 14 12 10 8 Series1 6 4 2 0 yes no s c o re
I am also very happy with this result, 15 out of 15 people felt that our radio trailer advertised the documentary well. We took parts of the expert interviews which we felt were the most dramatic and had them in the radio trailer. We also created a voice over of what to expect in the documentary, we included that time and channel which it would be on so therefore I feel this results are fair results which I am happy with. Another question which we asked was ‘would listening to our radio trailer make you want to watch the documentary?’ our results were great as every person we handed a questionnaire to said that they would watch our documentary. We kept an upbeat backing music and dramatic interesting cuts of our documentary to gain interest off the audience. Do you think our double page article appeals to our target audience which are students and parents?Target Audience:The age range which we will be targeting is the 16 to 19 year olds. This is because this is the age you wereintituled to a money incentive before the Education Maintenance Allowance was cut. Also, we will betargeting to parents, whatever ages. This is because parents have also been affected by the recent cutsand they need to be informed on why the cuts have been made. Parents who earn less than £20,000 andsingle parents will be mainly targeted as these are the people who will be affected the most.This documentary will target both male and females and students who are still in Education. Teenagerstend to watch soaps, dramas and comedies instead of sitting down and watching a documentary. This iswhy we need to make sure our documentary focuses on teenagers and parents at all time and we need toensure that our documentary is interesting and will gain the attention off teenagers. Do you think the article appeals to our audience? 16 14 12 10 yes 8 no 6 4 2 0 yes no s c o re
All of the questionnaires given back thought that our double page spread appealedto our audience of teenagers and parents. I think this was due to the large amount oftext which would stereotypically appeal to the parents. I think that the font whichwe used is perfect for an audience of teenagers as it is a stencil style font giving it acollege/school feel to it. The image which we used was taken in the canteen withstudents from the college so automatically this would appeal to an audience of 16-19year old students. I am happy with this result.Question 4: How did you use media technologies in the constructionresearch, planning and evaluation stages?When producing our media products, we inevitably used a wide range of technologyand software both familiar and unfamiliar, but we also used technology during ourinitial research. We analysed several documentaries during the research andplanning stages by looking through newspaper articles, browsing newspaperwebsites, radio trailers and to do so we required a standard classroom and hometechnologies such as televisions and windows PC. We used the computers forinternet research into our topic and also to watch documentaries. We also used theinternet to post our research onto a blog using Blogger.com.YouTube wasextremely helpful forme as it helped me to research in depth my subjectfor my documentary which was EMA. I watchedmany different clips such as teenage riots whichwould give me an insight on how much thegovernment’s decision has affected teenagers. Ialso watched news reports on governmentmeetings and this helped me to have an in-depthunderstanding on why the government decided tomake the cuts and cause all this controversy. We then uploaded all out research
onto Blogger.com. Blogger.com helped me to organise my work and enabled me to share what research i had done. Although Blogger.com was a useful website, it did have some negative points about it. Blogger allowed you to upload images but if you wanted to upload several images this would be very time consuming as it only allows you to upload one image at a time. Also, there are size options on the images, this is small, medium and large, but i felt these were very limited options as sometimes the image would be too large but then the small and medium option were too small. Also, sometimes blogger.com would not allow you to upload YouTube clips and it was extremely time consuming trying to find ways of uploading the clips. I feel this was not the best website to use and there are other websites such as Tumblr.com which would be easier to use as Tumblr allows you to upload larger files including audio and videos. We also used a scanner to upload our research and planning onto our blog. We used this to create digital versions of our paper based work. This enabled us to contently analyse documentaries on Scanner paper, knowing we can easily convert them on to an online format via the scanner. The scanner was very simple to use and it wasn’t time consuming. I feel this specific technology was extremely useful during the research and planning stage.Camera Once we began production, we were given a camera which i was not familiar with. This camera had new technology on it using hard disks in place of a tape deck. This was useful as it meant uploading our footage would be easier and less time consuming, the camera itself was extremely light which meant it was easy for us to carry it around especially when recording in hand held. We did have some troubles with the camera as previously i had only dealt with stills not recordings. Half way through the recording weeks we were given a different camera, which we were not familiar with. This meant that when we were recording our vox pops we had difficulty finding where to plug the microphone and the earphones into. This resulting in wasting a whole lesson as we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to plug the microphone in. We also had some trouble trying to sort the focus of the camera out and this resulted in having an expert interview out of focus as we did not know how to deal with the focus of the camera. The cameras were trip-pod mountable meaning we could ensure that those shots that needed to be still were level. They also had ports for headphones and microphones meaning we could record and monitor the audio that we needed too, which was extremely important during interviews. The process was made easier through our choice of microphone. We used a directional mic, so that we could choose the focus of our recording, we did this Interview with Julie Maitland-Out of focus
especially during our expert interviews and also when we recorded the voice over. The microphone helped to highlight what was meant to be heard and it reduced some of the unnecessary background noise. The microphone needed very little preparation. It was as little as plugging the microphone in and start recording which saved us a lot of time and made the process easy for us.Microphone Most of the work took place on an Apple Imac. I was not familiar with using an apple imac computer; i have always been used to working on a basic simple computer. So this was quite challenging for me. To edit our product we used final cut express. What is Final Cut Express? Final cut express is software which has been re built from the ground up to offer unprecedented speed and superior quality through every part of the post production work flow. It allows you to import files, organise them and edit the files. You can also add effects to the files such as speeding them up or slowing them down. The software was new to me but i familiarised myself with the program and i found the layout became quite easy to work allows Underneath is the final cut work space, and The viewer with. the previewing my documentary. and trimming of video before its The browser contains and added to the timeline organises raw files (video, audio, titles etc) The canvas displays video as it appears in the timeline The toolbar houses options for clipping, moving, and otherwise manipulating This is where the logging clips and transfer takes place a timeline on how This is This is all our audioThesewhere wethe sound files monitor long our documentary is can turn the volume up or down levels
The first step we took when starting post production was to log and transfer our clips, during which we selected and named our clips. We sorted out our clips by going through all our footage and getting rid of the footage that we didn’t need and keeping the footage that we thought would work well. Once the footage had been selected, organised and watched over and over it appeared in the browser and wasavailable to use anywhere in oursequence.
This is our footage which had been logged and transferredThis is our log and transfer sheet We then worked from our storyboard, we placed our clips onto the timeline in format which we could change is we wanted to. The involved all the opening sequence, we did this by dragging the file onto the timeline and the audio and the footage would then be on the timeline ready to edit. Final Cut Express allowed us to edit our footage by making the footage faster or slower, this was easily done and it made a huge impact on our footage, it made our documentary look more professional and it also would help to keep the interest of the audience. This was noticeable during the footage of Solihull 6th Form students as they’re walking around college in which they are portrayed as being in a rush, it was also used to sped up the opening of our documentary where the newspapers fell into a pile. We also used this to speed up introducing the name of our documentary which was ‘EMA-Stealing from teens?’. We placed money onto a text book and one by one the money was taken off to reveal the title of our Documentary. This is the title of our documentary which we speed up. We were also able to create a This is the tool which we used to speed up our footage cutaways and this was during Julie Maitland’s interview. As she was talking she mentioned that there have been a huge reduction in the amount of teenagers coming to college and as she said this, we produced a cutaway of an empty canteen area. We feel this was very professional and worked very well as it emphasised the reduction of teenagers coming to college.
This image shows the cut away during JulieMaitland’s interview When it came to producing our Radio trailer we used Garage Band, i was familiar with this software and it is fairly simple to use. Track volume settings Tracks contain chunks Combining smaller automatically raise or of audio from segments can create a lower a tracks volume different sources new fuller clip at a set point This is where we Garage band is what might be described as a prosumer program as it is an accessible, added an effect onto home computer product that has a plentiful amount of professional features.controls the Here you can change the This a normal audio file We were able to choose from a range of different backing tracks by using this tool: the entire volume of one specific volume for piece audio file either making it louder or quieter
We picked:We were then able to change the way the audio sounded to make it more serious togo with the theme of our documentary which was thecutting of EMA. We did this by first of all clicking ontothe file which is shown below...After clicking onto the audio file, in the corner these optionsappeared we then chose what effect we wanted. We chose touse the megaphone as this added a dramatic effect whichwent with our theme.When designing our listing magazine article, we chose to useAdobe In Design Here is the list of all the different effects
Another feature of In Design we found useful was the effects panel, from here wecould greatly enhance the visual impact of our layout and images with minimaleffort. The most noticeable examples of such enhancement are the shadows createdby the main image.