Production Evaluation My documentary is called ‘Why they do it’ and focuses on Teenagers and there representations/stereotypes. Therefore my audience is aimed at 15-24 year olds. My documentary follows many key conventions of a real documentary including a variety of shots, characters, titles, colours, set, lighting and information.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Through lots of research of Channel 4 documentaries I found it was very easy to pick out conventions of real media products of my production which are similar to any documentary shown on television. Firstly, the amount of different shots used is very important. These can vary from a simple close up or medium dairy shot of an interview or a over the shoulder or Ariel shot setting a new scene or changing a scene. I found a lot of documentaries try and do this as often as they can and obviously they do use a wide range of different shots because this is the most obvious thing that makes the original product itself seem real. My documentary uses Todov's theory as my main character is good, gets better, something bad happens again and then ends in a positive way. This process happens throughout most of my production as even when people are narrating or being interviewed there are either talking about positive or negative things. This was very easy to research as I could just use Google in which I could look through images of different shots which could be used in my production. It was also easy to watch more of Channel 4 productions and see how long these shots went on for making me aware of the different shots I need to include but also how long that will go on for. Introducing characters was one of the main convention that I have used in my production, every programme does this as this allows the audience to personally identify the characters and familiarise with these characters throughout the documentary. I did this by simply adding a title where needed of a new character as a younger audience were my target audience this direct address needed to be important and easily recognisable for them. Examples from Channel 4 documentaries: Examples from my documentary.
Titles is another real convention that is used a lot through documentaries, this can also link in with introducing new characters as this is done through the use of titles. Titles can be used to tell part of a story or something which needs to grab the audience’s attention. I also found a lot of documentaries use titles in which this helps them change there scene or topic. These can also provided values and ideologies in which the audience could relate to. Diary shots are often used a lot throughout documentaries too as they are a close up shot but constantly showing that the person is directly talking to the audience, this helps the audience engage with my characters and be familiar with these characters to make it less confusing for them during the whole Documentary. Channel 4 logo: I have used the Channel 4 logo throughout my whole production showing conventions with the real documentaries. My audience My audience are both genders ages 15-24 mostly because the documentary is about these sorts of ages. I think I will get more of a larger audience as families/parents will also watch the programme as it is on at 9pm. The time scale was important because I had to make sure I didn’t broadcast the programme either too late or too early as people wouldn’t watch it. Examples from Channel 4 documentaries: Examples from my documentary.
My Institution: This was a very important part of my research and planning as everything you do in your production some however needs to be significant to my institution and recognisable. I firstly sent a questionnaire around to people asking them many questions about my institution but also about my programme. In my questionnaire I found that half of my people liked Channel 4 the best and they mostly watch programmes around 7-10pm and about half of these are documentaries. This is why I chose to put my programme at 9 therefore it is after peek time so doesn’t matter what kind of things I present but also a good time for my target audience. I also think that Channel 4 is a good institution for my target audience as it seems to have a younger audience already. I watched a number of Channel 4 documentaries before starting to plan and film for mine. I watched ‘The Family’, ‘How to look good Naked’, ‘Only human’ and ‘Big fat gypsy wedding’ not all of these being documentaries but this still helped me get a clear understanding of there original texts. Whilst watching there programmes I was constantly writing notes on scene changes, how often they change shots, what different shots they use and what kind of things they present. <ul><li>Channel 4: </li></ul><ul><li>well-liked with the younger audience </li></ul><ul><li>Often shows morals for the audience </li></ul><ul><li>Always appeals to a wide audience </li></ul><ul><li>Always show a fair representation </li></ul><ul><li>Always entertaining </li></ul>My documentary: -Suited with its target audience representation teenagers. -Showing the bad and good side of teenagers. -Shows a range of people, all different ages appealing to a bigger audience. -My documentary is Common therefore Will be popular.
As well as doing research for my documentary I think it was good to also research Channel 4 itself and there background. I firstly did some research on there website to see what kind of programmes I could find, then did more information about the whole institution itself, how long they have been going for, all of there logo’s and programmes. This helped me also get a clear understanding of my target audience and what sort of people would be watching my documentary. Whilst doing research for the production itself it was also important to make sure that I was c constantly looking at posters and double page spread’s of Channel 4’s advertisement for their programmes. I had found it very difficult to find double page spreads as they do not advertise very much for there programmes apart from using build boards in which they usually advertise on.
I needed to include some characters in which my audience would be familiar with, my main character is called Bob in which he is classed as a stereotypical ‘Chav’. He wears a Red hoody which connotes Low status, low class and scruffiness. If I was to do longer than five minutes I would also show someone who would be the opposite of Bob. I think my target audience would like the character Bob however as he is like most teenagers who hang around on the streets which is something I talk about in my production whilst applying the hyper syringe model as the audience are being injected with messages about teenagers. The reception theory could be applied to my character Bob as my audience could have different opinions of Bob and think differently of him. Bob has a personal identity, Prop theory- he could be seen as a Villain who becomes a hero throughout the programme, he could be used for people who are similar to Bob but would like to change there life's just like he is doing.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? I found this task difficult as Channel 4 do not have any double page spreads of any of there programmes to advertise it as said earlier. They do a lot of there advertising on billboards or posters taking up one A4 side of a magazine never on a double page spread, therefore for my double page spread I had to research other institutions that were just similar to the programmes I was going to be doing. A very good one that I looked at several times was Radio Times as they are owned by BBC and often advertise a lot of BBC programmes. Apart from the double page spread the other advertising I found were very helpful as they were simple but well presented.
Similarities: Each all have a Channel 4 logo, The poster has information in the text box which stands out from the background colour and the Double page spread is simple but has many conventions of a real double page spread as it is full with writing one page and the opposite one bold picture. The pictures are both similar and don’t give to much away however tell it’s target audience that it is about teenagers, good and bad ones! Both of the posters also have some sort of sponsor, I thought this was very important and it is just one convention in which it makes the whole thing look much more realistic. I had to research into who and what kind of companies actually sponsor Channel 4 programmes, and beyond that there documentaries, I found most of them were actually big well known companies and surprisingly most of them being car companies.
Double page spread: I wanted firstly my double page spread to be obvious to my target audience what the topic was going to be about but not give to much away. I wanted to keep it interesting but at the same time simple! The language and writing needed to be very clear as my target is aimed at teenagers therefore they had to be able to read my text but at the same time not find it boring. This meant I had to do a awful lot of research on as many double page spreads as I could find on Documentaries, I wasn’t even bothered if they weren't the same genre or institution as mine any more I just needed something that was going to help me structure my double page spread and suit my target audience. Poster: I definitely found my poster the easiest job as Channel 4 posters seem to be very simple but at the same time very interesting, this is where my research came into place. It was obviously the pictures that Channel 4 were always making a good job of because nothing else ever seemed to stand out as it was so simple. As said above I didn't want to make anything boring and not give away to much. I wanted my target audience to know the documentary was going to be about teenagers and that’s when I thought about showing to stereotypes of a teenager. One being a ‘Geek’ and the other a ‘Chav’. The ‘Geek’ holding a folder and wearing glasses both being obvious ideologies obvious symbols of each characters and connotations of a ‘Geek’ a person known for doing well whilst my ‘Chav’ a person known for being very low class and low status holding a Vodka bottle and a packet of cigarettes and also wearing a grey hoddie- the key connotations of a ‘Chav’! This is when it became very interesting for my target audience. These two people show a binary opposition as they are the complete opposite to each other, this is where my target audience also comes in as both of these groups of people are going to watch the programme. My production: My production includes a lot of information and voice over’s about teenagers themselves and what people think of them. I think this helped with my target audience as they need to be constantly told who people are and what they are going to be doing whilst also talking about what the media and everyone thinks of teenagers! If I overall had more time this would be spent on making my mise-en-scene for everything much better and giving my production itself a better narrative.
What have you learnt about your audience feedback? Each lesson my teacher would make us all aware of the grading for the work making us constantly aware of what we need to be improving. For our first and second drafts we each individually showed each other our productions in which we were always given negative and positive feedback from both students in the class and teachers. This would help because you would have many opinions and know if something did or didn't work. We would always make sure we were fair with each other and always say the truth even if it was something very small. Most feedback was often the same: -Too many of the same shots -Keep the camera still -Change the music -Delete a certain clip -Re film a clip If there was something big or obvious to change then you would normally know already therefore would be prepared to start it. If ever I changed something I would always make sure I had extra or more opinions on it so I was sure it was or wasn't working. I am glad I always did this because even if I really liked something and others didn't it would make me think about things more and that's where most of my idea’s started to adapt. I am very glad I always had people near me for opinions or advice as this helped throughout the whole coursework.
Overall a lot of media technologies were used throughout all my stages of my coursework. Firstly when doing my Ancillary tasks I had to research newspapers and magazines. I mainly focused on Radio Times, Daily mail and other sources which were mostly television prints. This was constantly helping me to decide my layout for both my tasks but at the same time help me with audience theories and what kind of genre I was looking at whilst also helping me recognise what exactly an audience is looking for in a magazine article or poster that attracts there eyes. How did use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
I found that firstly the Radio Times was targeted at either a male audience or older audience as it is full with new information on new programmes or programmes that are doing well and have been going for a while where as magazines like The Times and TV Choice were aimed for at females and again a older genre as this is more to do with soaps, where as Radio Times looks at more Documentaries and off going programmes- This was more of my target audience. The website obviously had more information on and was full with information on a wide of programmes which was interesting. Daily Mail again had a male target audience as it is fictional with more documentaries and drama’s whilst also showing off a lot of football and representations of males whilst showing the odd Star theory and advertisement.
Channel 4 helped me throughout my production as it made me able to watch programmes and documentaries whenever I needed to through there website on 40D. This was mostly useful as I could stop it and pause it when ever I wanted to whilst writing notes and also print screening shots to update to things like my blog or show my teacher techniques which I would like to include. If I missed anything or though something was interesting it was so easy to just go back a few seconds and watch the same clip over and over again literally watching every move and transition that is made. Without these sources it would have made everything much more complicated and confusing. It also made me aware of how much Channel 4’s audience use this website giving me a much better and clear understanding of both my institution, production itself and just information on Channel 4.
YouTube: YouTube also helped me throughout all of my production, it gave me the chance to access Channel 4 documentaries if either 4OD was being slow or I just wanted a short clip that was easier to use from YouTube. It was very similar to websites such as BBC and 4OD where I could pause when needed, stop or print screen key images.
Having my own digital camera and video recorder I was able to go out and take shots where ever possible and needed. This made me able to plan everything out including my locations, size shots and different shots. It helped to be able to take photos before I filmed in the place whilst making me 100% positive that this was a location that I wanted part of my production to be in. Photoshop made both my ancillary tasks stronger and parts of my production work as I was able to made parts of pictures different and more creative. Photoshop helped me make both of my pictures for my Ancillary tasks lighter and darker in some places and in my production work made me able to add in a Channel 4 logo at the top left hand corner representing a Channel 4 documentary throughout the production. Adobe Encore and Adobe Premier Pro made my skills throughout my production much better as I was able to add in transitions or cut sections which were not working or sections I needed to improve on. If I had more time I would have liked to experiment with this programme more and develop my knowledge even further.