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Q6: What have you learnt about
technologies in the process of making
this media product?
From the planning to the edit of my opening sequence, I
used many technologies that aided the production process.
I learnt a lot about these technologies – their purposes and
benefits, mainly – which I will discuss in this presentation.
1: Research
IMDB
The technology:
The International Movie Database (IMDb) is a website that aims to compile information about a large number of
movies. It provides a trailer and poster for the film, box office information, user ratings, casting, production
information, as well as a lot of other information relating to the film.
Benefits of using this technology:
•I was able to watch the trailers and view the posters for many thrillers which was useful for my general research of
thriller conventions and opening sequences – I quickly found the resources I needed to analyse aspects of the thrillers,
giving me more time to actually analyse them
•I could gather audience reviews on the films, which I used for my audience research to assess what people thought of
different thrillers within my target audience. Consequently, the reviews I referenced in the audience research were
much more informative as they were voted for by users of the site, removing the bias one might have towards films,
giving me useful information.
•IMDb is a reliable source of information, because it is used by many people and therefore updated by those people to
ensure information on the site is correct. It also therefore provided information about practically any film I needed
information for, removing the need for much further research on the various thrillers.
•This is a free resource, meaning I can gather a lot of good information for no cost.
Impact on opening sequence:
•The vast quantity of thrillers on the site provided me with enough information about the genre to be able to apply
appropriate conventions to my own opening sequence to make it more thrilling.
•Being able to read a large number of user reviews gave me a much greater understanding of the audience preferences
when viewing thrillers – more than questioning a few people could have.
•It might have swayed my opinion on a few ideas, however. This could have lead to
me producing a generic and cliché narrative rather than something new, innovative
and engaging for my audience. The user reviews, for instance, are voted for by the
users, and are therefore going to be common within the audience of thrillers,
limiting the originality of the opinions that I based some of my research on.
Trailer, user ratings and
photos on the site
Additional movie
information
Survey Monkey and Social Networking Sites
The technology:
Survey Monkey is an online survey tool which allows users to create, share and respond to surveys. When the survey is
completed or when enough responses have been collected, the site provides a number or graphs displaying the
information collated during the survey. This is a free resource, and is very easily accessible. When creating a survey,
the questions and responses are customisable. Furthermore, it allows users to create a pre-set list of answers.
Benefits of using this technology:
•With the website being free, I could question people for no cost
•The ability to share this survey to social networking sites allowed me to question people within my target audience
(15-24) as they are the most common users of the site. This provided me with responses that are relevant to the
sequence I was trying to create, improving the overall quality of the production.
•Being able to customise questions allowed me to be more specific with the questions I wanted to ask, producing more
specific and therefore relevant responses that would be actually useful
•Giving the responder a pre-set list of answers allowed me to guide them towards giving me more specific responses,
again producing information I needed rather than digressions which I would get little from. For instance, I asked
“Which locations do you consider most effective in thrillers” – the pre-set questions here allowed me to provide
realistic locations, such as warehouses and houses, as well as suitable locations for the genre, removing the chance of
people responding with “Carnival” or other inappropriate locations.
•The graphs that the site creates for each survey make it incredibly easy to see the results to the survey, allowing me to
see precisely what my audience thought for each question.
Impact on opening sequence:
•Getting responses from people within my target audience allowed me to know exactly what makes them enjoy
thrillers, making it significantly easier to produce a narrative they will engage with and therefore be more thrilled by.
•Being able to tailor responses to realistic suggestions allowed for a more realistic narrative, rather than something
that looked overly unbelievable or too hard to film at.
•The easily understandable graphs made it clear to me what my
audience enjoys, allowing me to tailor the sequence to that.
Tools that help when getting
responses from survey
Graphs of responses,
created by Survey Monkey
Sharing the survey onto Twitter to get
audience feedback, using above tools
YouTube
The technology:
YouTube is a video sharing website, containing a whole range of videos. I used this website to find scenes from thrillers
to analyse during my research because IMDb does not provide these on their site. Videos on the site can be embed
onto other sites, such as Blogger, and shared onto social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
Benefits of using this technology:
•The search tool at the top of the site made finding scenes quick and easy, providing me with more time to analyse the
scenes and find good ideas, rather than wasting time searching for the video.
•This is also a free resource, much like SurveyMonkey and IMDb are.
•Embedding videos allowed me to reference sections of the sequence as I analysed it, ensuring I covered all points I
wanted to in the sequence while also making it clear what I was discussing.
Disadvantages:
•Some videos were hard to find because they had been taken down on a copyright claim, or they were low quality as
to avoid copyright claims. This was a problem with the clip I used of the Dark Knight interrogation scene – the quality of
the video had been lowered, which in turn lowered my ability to clearly analyse some of the more technical sides to the
sequence.
•Some videos could not be embedded, causing me to have to find the same video but with the ability to embed. This is
what lead to the lower quality Dark Knight scene, because the first did not allow for embedding.
Impact on opening sequence:
•The site gave me more time to analyse the clips as I did not have to spend so long finding them, allowing me to
analyse the various scenes in more depth to find better ideas within the sequence.
•Having a resource with such videos improved the quality of the opening sequence. Without it, it’s unlikely that I would
have had the ability to analyse so many different scenes due to the lack of good-quality video sharing sites. This would
have lowered my overall understanding of the genre and hence lowering the conventions I would have adhered to in
my own opening sequence, making it less thrilling for the audience.
Just one of the
thriller scenes I
was able to find
on YouTube, but
not on IMDb
Embedded
video on my
media blog
2: Plan
Prezi
The technology:
Prezi is an online presentation tool that allows users to create interactive presentations on a practically infinite canvas.
Text, images and even videos can be added to these presentations, and then users set a path for audiences to follow,
creating exciting transitions between various sections of the presentation. I used this technology for the “Casting,”
“Prop Changes and Inspirations,” and “Shots, Transitions and Sounds” sections of the planning.
Benefits of using this technology:
•The open canvas of Prezi allowed me to branch off with my ideas. For instance, in the “Shots, Transitions and Sounds”
work, I branched off from each shot with the sounds that were going to be used in that shot. This consequently gave
structure to my work. Furthermore, I was able to lay my work out over a wider area than the confines of a Power Point
Presentation, making my work very clear and understandable.
•Making my work structured and clear allowed me and my group to see what it is we were trying to achieve. Having it
written down on paper or on our media blogs in long paragraphs often made it difficult to see all of ideas as one piece,
but Prezi allowed us to link them all together in this open canvas (such as how I linked together out shot, sound and
transition ideas in the aforementioned presentation)
•The ability to add videos and images to the presentation provided absolute clarity to the points we were referencing
from other thrillers. For instance, in the “Prop Changes and Inspirations” post, I reference several thrillers in which the
murderer wields a knife – I added several images of these murderers holding their knives to the presentation, showing
clearly what I was referencing.
•The Prezis created were easy to go back and edit when items needed to be added as the plan developed
•I could easily embed the Prezi to my media blog (where all of my work is collated) without uploading it to another site,
as I have to do with Power Point presentations.
Impact on opening sequence:
•The structure and clarity that was obtained using Prezi gave us greater direction with the opening sequence, and
made it much clearer my group and myself what we needed to do to produce the best quality opening sequence
•Being able to change the Prezi quickly reduced the time we needed to spend organising our ideas, giving my group
and myself more time to think of better ideas and develop the narrative further, producing a more thrilling narrative
Videos embedded to Prezi
Branching off with sound
ideas, giving structure to
my work
Prezi embedded
to my media blog
Slide Share/Microsoft Power Point
The technology:
Slide Share is an online presentation file-hosting site, onto which users can upload many presentations. In my case, I
used it to upload several Power Point presentations for various sections of the planning, including a prop list, font
choices, locations, story board and a few others. Microsoft Power Point is a presentation software on which text,
images and videos can be added to slides of a presentations.
Benefits of using this technology:
•Slide Share allowed me to add Power Point presentations to my media blog through embedding – without it, I would
have had to upload links to the files for others to download, which would have been far more impractical than simply
uploading the presentation itself. It also reduced the length of posts to my blog, making them less overwhelming.
•Power Point provided me with a simple method of presenting my group’s and my ideas, along with picture that
helped illustrate the points I made throughout the planning.
•The limited capabilities of Power Point compared to other presentation methods, such as Prezi, simplified my
presentation of the ideas, making the plans for the sequence much more clear. For instance, the Location Planning
presentation just had a picture of the location and an explanation, stripping back the complexity of the presentation to
clearly convey my thoughts about the location with reference to the picture.
•Microsoft Power Point has far more formatting options than Prezi does, therefore providing greater organisation to
my work which in turn makes it a lot clearer and easier to read.
Impact on opening sequence:
•Being able to embed Power Point presentations to my blog through Slide Share allowed me to consolidate all of my
planning work in one place. Due to this, it became much easier to see what areas of the opening sequence needed
refining, as I could analyse each aspect of the opening sequence in one place.
•Furthermore, stripping back the complex transitions and adding more formatting for organisation also helped to see
what areas need revision to make the sequence more thrilling. I was not distracted trying to make it look overly
presentable but rather getting the information
onto the presentation to then be able to discuss
the ideas at length and assess if they were going
to work, as I did with the prop presentation.
One of the presentations on Slide
Share – using one of the settings
below, I was able to embed this to
my blog (below).
The stripped-back presentation
is evident here in this post about
location ideas, making it easier
to convey my ideas instead of
focusing on the aesthetics of the
presentation.
Blogger
The technology:
Blogger is a free online blogging website. Users can upload pieces of text with embedded videos and images. It has a wider range of
formatting capabilities than Prezi, and almost as many as Microsoft PowerPoint. I primarily used the site to consolidate my coursework,
but also for some of my pieces of work on the plan for my opening sequence.
Benefits of using this technology:
•As previously stated, This site allowed me to embed and hence consolidate all of my work for planning. As a result, I could clearly
assess all of my group’s ideas so far to see where improvements could be made, as I could compare different aspects of the plan in one
place to see if the idea was feasible.
•Due to the blog being online and my work being uploaded to my blog and this being a publicly accessible blog, I could get quick
feedback on my work from my teacher.
•The range of formatting allowed me to structure my work much better than I could do on Prezi alone
•Due to it being online, I could access work on it from any computer regardless of where files are saved.
•Despite this not being completely part of the planning, I was able to write fluidly during the research tasks and some planning tasks
(the Changes Made to the Narrative post, for instance) instead of breaking my essays up into chunks as I would have had to do with
other presentation techniques.
Impact on opening sequence:
•Being able to see assess all of the planning in one place made it easier to see which areas needed to be changed in the sequence if
they did not fit in with the rest of the sequence than it would have been if they were all separate files on the computer, therefore
making it easier to exclude the sections of the opening sequence that may decrease the thrilling aspect for the audience. This is one of
the reasons behind our slight change in narrative, because we analysed the work we had done so far to see that some of the sections
did not quite fit, prompting us to change them accordingly.
•Being able to get quick feedback from my teacher made it significantly easier to pick up on mistakes that we may have missed as a
group that would have slightly decreased the quality of the opening sequence. For instance, one comment on the Story Board post
noted that putting a red cross through the victim would be a little cliché, prompting us to replace this with the knife going through the
image of the victim. Such a feature of the technology allowed for efficient corrections to be made, ensuring we made the sequence as
good as we could have done within the time limit imposed.
•By producing organised posts using the formatting tools, the direction my group and I were trying to take became much clearer,
allowing us to see what we needed to change to make the sequence optimally thrilling.
•Being able to work on the planning from any computer increased the amount of work I could do on the planning, therefore helping to
get it done within the given time and provide time to review work to find possible improvements.
•The ability to write fluidly on this site allowed me to condense my work into less overwhelming and more understandable posts, from
which better ideas for the opening sequence could be found, consequently improving the quality of ideas in the sequence (such as my
post detailing my original ideas for the sequence.
One of the aforementioned comments
that helped to point out problems with
the narrative that my group and I did
not notice.
A longer written post for my original
idea – being able to write uninterrupted
produced somewhat clearer
information during the planning.
The formatting options which made
it easier to structure and organise
some posts for the planning.
3: Film
Digital Camera
The technology:
We used a digital camera to photograph the locations we were filming at during the filming of the opening sequence.
This was used when completing the Location planning post, so we could clearly show the places we planned to film in.
We also used the camera to photograph our cast so that we could discuss our casting options with clear reference to
the cast themsevles.
Benefits of using this technology:
•This is a very light piece of equipment which made it easy to carry around with little difficulty, meaning it did not
disrupt our ability to film.
•Being able to photograph the locations we planned to film at made it easier to write about these during the planning.
We were able to weigh up what locations were the most suitable by comparing the images of the two.
•Each of us group members lived apart from one another, therefore we could not all view the various locations we
were considering. The camera therefore aided us in showing each other possible locations, such as the garage and
pathway that we ended up using.
Impact on opening sequence:
•Being able to show the locations we were referencing in our planning made it easier to develop ideas around those
images, using the images for inspiration and visualisation. This resulted in us using the locations to our full advantages,
such as the way we utilised the steps on the public pathway to introduce the murderer to the scene.
•With all of the group members being able to clearly see the possible filming locations, we were all able to contribute
realistic ideas for the narrative based upon those locations and offer feedback before filming. As a results, we could
more effectively pull our ideas together rather than each individual person having thoughts on their own locations that
the rest of us could not see.
One of the location
photographs that we used
to show each other our
location ideas.
Photographs of cast
used in Casting
presentation to
illustrate points
made about the
casting decisions
CamcorderThe technology:
We used a Sony HDR-HC9 Handy-cam camcorder to shoot the opening sequence. Quite simply, this piece of technology
can record footage, zoom in and out, attach to a tripod, rewind the recorded footage and provides users with a small
screen to view what is being recorded.
Benefits of using this technology:
•This piece of equipment was very light, making it easy to shoot shots that require us to move the camera, such as the
sideways tracking shot and point of view shot of the victim running.
•The camcorder was able to capture good quality and detailed footage (better than a digital camera or camera phone,
per se), allowing the audience to make out the crucial details in the scene
•Having a screen to see what was being recorded allowed us to see what the finished clips would look like, reducing
the number of takes we needed to do for each shot as we knew if we had recorded the shot correctly the first time. If
we were unsure, we could effortlessly rewind the footage on the device to get a better idea of what shots needed to
be re-filmed.
Impact on opening sequence:
•The ability to easily move the camera around to create more interesting shots would have engaged the audience
much more than a simple stationary shot. For stance, the tracking shot of the victim running allows the audience to
focus on the actions of the murderer more so than a simple pan as the victim ran past would. As a result, the audience
is more engaged with the sequence, which leads to thrilling aspects being emphasised due to the focus the audience
has on the screen.
•By allowing the audience to see the details in the scene with the good quality footage recorded on this camera, they
had a greater understanding of what was happening within the scene which made it ultimately more thrilling. For
instance, during the murder of the victim, we shot a close up of items on the murderer’s corkboard and superimposed
them onto footage of the murderer. This detail was key to understanding the link between our murderer and Jack the
Ripper (due to the text being about the Ripper murders), consequently making the murderer more of a threatening
presence which ultimately makes the situation the victim is in (trapped in the presence of the murderer) more thrilling
for the audience.
•Seeing what was being filmed allowed us to produce a better set of clips during the edit of the sequence. For
example, the sideways tracking shot of the murderer walking down the stairs was challenging to shoot correctly,
therefore both the rewind tool and the small screen allowed us to see if this shot was looking as intended.
Camera used to film the opening
sequence – the side of which flips out
to provide a viewing screen.
Superimposition of the Jack
the Ripper information on the
murderer footage. Evident
here, the camera was able to
pick up both the text and the
murderer’s actions in detail.
Sideways tracking shot of the
murderer – one of the shots in the
sequence made possible due to the
light weight of the camera, making
the scene more engaging.
4: Edit
Final Cut Express
The technology:
Final Cut Express is a piece of video editing software created by Apple. This professional piece of software was used to import and sort
clips and sounds for our opening sequence, as well as editing the sequence down into a final cut. It has a range of tools which we utilised
to create our finished opening sequence including fade-outs, brightness enhancements and a text editor (with text effects).
Benefits of using this technology:
•The fade in effect (dip to colour dissolve, as it was called on Final Cut) allowed us to seamlessly transition between two sections of the
opening sequence. This was most notably used when the victim was captured, signifying that they have fallen unconscious.
•Being able to add a variety of sounds in this sequence provided a level of audio engagement for the audience, completely enveloping
their attention in their sequence as well as enhancing some aspects of the scene (such as the synchronous, diegetic twig snap sound
effect).
•The text capabilities of this software allowed us to create and add titles to the sequence – far better ones than we could have created on
other editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker. These titles were a key part to helping us adhere to title conventions of opening
sequences, noted in my response to the first evaluation question, therefore making this section of the technology important. The text
effects, such as making the text move outwards using the tracking option and the key frames (both of which cannot be done on lesser
software) also made the text engaging and a greater part of the sequence, as opposed to an obstructive and obvious smear on the
production – especially the main title.
•One of Final Cut’s most useful features was the brightness enhancement for clips. The second section of the sequence was filmed in a
garage, which turned out to be far darker than expected and as a result many of the clips were too dark to see. By enhancing the
brightness using this feature, the clips were far more visible.
Impact on opening sequence:
•Being able to seamlessly transition between clips helped the narrative flow in places it might have slowed and lowered the audience’s
engagement with the narrative, preventing their tension from dissipating as they watch and consequently making the eventual death of
the victim all the more thrilling.
•Much like the fade transitions, enveloping the audience in the opening sequence through the use of sound enabled us to keep the
audience’s tension from dissipating, making the thrilling end to the sequence all the more thrilling.
•As I discussed in many planning posts, making the main title representational of the themes and ideas within the narrative was important
in making these themes and ideas apparent to the audience. For instance, our main title used a jitter effect using the text effects,
representing the unstable condition of the murderer – this was made possible due to the capabilities of the software, and would have
been difficult to recreate in other software.
•Being able to enhance the brightness of various clips allowed us to improve the visual quality of the clips as the audience can now clearly
see exactly what is in each of them, meaning they can take in more of the sequence and hence be more thrilled by what they can see.
One of the brightness-enhanced clips,
in which the victim’s emotions are more
visible than they were beforehand
(settings for enhancement above)
Dip to Colour Dissolve transition (fade out/in)
added to the title.
Key frames used in
conjunction with text
effects to produce
engaging, moving title
Sound added to the
sequence. This
section is lined up
with the above clip,
emphasising
sections of the clip.
Garage BandThe technology:
Garage Band is another piece of software produced by Apple. This lets users create music using a library of royalty free
sounds, or using sounds they have recorded or imported themselves. We used this software to produce the fanfare for
our production company in the beginning of the sequence, as well as recording various sound effects we needed and a
soundtrack.
Benefits of using this technology:
•The vast array of stock sounds in Garage Band’s library gave us enough inspiration to be able to construct a
soundtrack that suited our opening sequence, producing something better than we could have done by making
something from scratch.
•This would not have been possible on other editing software, such as audacity where we could have only edited
imported sounds
•It also decreased the time we had to spend sourcing sounds from all over different websites, such as YouTube, as all of
the sounds we needed were in one place. We used the stock instruments for the most part (such as the violins and
drums), therefore we didn’t need to source many sounds
•The software had a few noise enhancements that aided our creation of the various sound effects we needed. Our twig
snap sound effect, for instance, was too quiet initially – using Garage Band, we were able to boost the sound of this so
that it was more audible, making this section of the sequence more apparent to the audience and therefore making the
narrative make sense.
•The software permitted the usage of an external microphone, somewhat increasing the quality of the sounds recorded
in the sequence.
Impact on opening sequence:
•Using the aforementioned stock instruments, we were able to produce a unique piece of music that was timed to our
narrative, making the music better suit what was happening and therefore making it aid the development of the
narrative rather than being a distracting item to focus on.
•The lack of need for importing sounds gave us more time to focus on the visual editing rather than the auditory,
consequently making the visual side to the sequence much better as we had more time to tweak sections that didn’t
work as intended (such as enhancing the brightness of the clips to ensure they were visible to the audience).
•Being able to record better quality audio made it clear to the audience what the sound was, improving the sound’s
Tool to change the volume of audio being recorded
– one we used to either lower or decreased the
volume of the sound effects recorded (scraping of
the murderer being dragged backwards, twigs
snapping)
Library of sounds which were
manipulated and merged to create
thrilling soundtrack, in conjunction with
ability to create new loops using stock
instruments
Apple iPad used with Garage
Band to play the stock
instruments, creating the
soundtrack we used.

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Thriller evaluation question 6 - technologies

  • 1. Q6: What have you learnt about technologies in the process of making this media product? From the planning to the edit of my opening sequence, I used many technologies that aided the production process. I learnt a lot about these technologies – their purposes and benefits, mainly – which I will discuss in this presentation.
  • 3. IMDB The technology: The International Movie Database (IMDb) is a website that aims to compile information about a large number of movies. It provides a trailer and poster for the film, box office information, user ratings, casting, production information, as well as a lot of other information relating to the film. Benefits of using this technology: •I was able to watch the trailers and view the posters for many thrillers which was useful for my general research of thriller conventions and opening sequences – I quickly found the resources I needed to analyse aspects of the thrillers, giving me more time to actually analyse them •I could gather audience reviews on the films, which I used for my audience research to assess what people thought of different thrillers within my target audience. Consequently, the reviews I referenced in the audience research were much more informative as they were voted for by users of the site, removing the bias one might have towards films, giving me useful information. •IMDb is a reliable source of information, because it is used by many people and therefore updated by those people to ensure information on the site is correct. It also therefore provided information about practically any film I needed information for, removing the need for much further research on the various thrillers. •This is a free resource, meaning I can gather a lot of good information for no cost. Impact on opening sequence: •The vast quantity of thrillers on the site provided me with enough information about the genre to be able to apply appropriate conventions to my own opening sequence to make it more thrilling. •Being able to read a large number of user reviews gave me a much greater understanding of the audience preferences when viewing thrillers – more than questioning a few people could have. •It might have swayed my opinion on a few ideas, however. This could have lead to me producing a generic and cliché narrative rather than something new, innovative and engaging for my audience. The user reviews, for instance, are voted for by the users, and are therefore going to be common within the audience of thrillers, limiting the originality of the opinions that I based some of my research on.
  • 4. Trailer, user ratings and photos on the site Additional movie information
  • 5. Survey Monkey and Social Networking Sites The technology: Survey Monkey is an online survey tool which allows users to create, share and respond to surveys. When the survey is completed or when enough responses have been collected, the site provides a number or graphs displaying the information collated during the survey. This is a free resource, and is very easily accessible. When creating a survey, the questions and responses are customisable. Furthermore, it allows users to create a pre-set list of answers. Benefits of using this technology: •With the website being free, I could question people for no cost •The ability to share this survey to social networking sites allowed me to question people within my target audience (15-24) as they are the most common users of the site. This provided me with responses that are relevant to the sequence I was trying to create, improving the overall quality of the production. •Being able to customise questions allowed me to be more specific with the questions I wanted to ask, producing more specific and therefore relevant responses that would be actually useful •Giving the responder a pre-set list of answers allowed me to guide them towards giving me more specific responses, again producing information I needed rather than digressions which I would get little from. For instance, I asked “Which locations do you consider most effective in thrillers” – the pre-set questions here allowed me to provide realistic locations, such as warehouses and houses, as well as suitable locations for the genre, removing the chance of people responding with “Carnival” or other inappropriate locations. •The graphs that the site creates for each survey make it incredibly easy to see the results to the survey, allowing me to see precisely what my audience thought for each question. Impact on opening sequence: •Getting responses from people within my target audience allowed me to know exactly what makes them enjoy thrillers, making it significantly easier to produce a narrative they will engage with and therefore be more thrilled by. •Being able to tailor responses to realistic suggestions allowed for a more realistic narrative, rather than something that looked overly unbelievable or too hard to film at. •The easily understandable graphs made it clear to me what my audience enjoys, allowing me to tailor the sequence to that.
  • 6. Tools that help when getting responses from survey Graphs of responses, created by Survey Monkey Sharing the survey onto Twitter to get audience feedback, using above tools
  • 7. YouTube The technology: YouTube is a video sharing website, containing a whole range of videos. I used this website to find scenes from thrillers to analyse during my research because IMDb does not provide these on their site. Videos on the site can be embed onto other sites, such as Blogger, and shared onto social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Benefits of using this technology: •The search tool at the top of the site made finding scenes quick and easy, providing me with more time to analyse the scenes and find good ideas, rather than wasting time searching for the video. •This is also a free resource, much like SurveyMonkey and IMDb are. •Embedding videos allowed me to reference sections of the sequence as I analysed it, ensuring I covered all points I wanted to in the sequence while also making it clear what I was discussing. Disadvantages: •Some videos were hard to find because they had been taken down on a copyright claim, or they were low quality as to avoid copyright claims. This was a problem with the clip I used of the Dark Knight interrogation scene – the quality of the video had been lowered, which in turn lowered my ability to clearly analyse some of the more technical sides to the sequence. •Some videos could not be embedded, causing me to have to find the same video but with the ability to embed. This is what lead to the lower quality Dark Knight scene, because the first did not allow for embedding. Impact on opening sequence: •The site gave me more time to analyse the clips as I did not have to spend so long finding them, allowing me to analyse the various scenes in more depth to find better ideas within the sequence. •Having a resource with such videos improved the quality of the opening sequence. Without it, it’s unlikely that I would have had the ability to analyse so many different scenes due to the lack of good-quality video sharing sites. This would have lowered my overall understanding of the genre and hence lowering the conventions I would have adhered to in my own opening sequence, making it less thrilling for the audience.
  • 8. Just one of the thriller scenes I was able to find on YouTube, but not on IMDb Embedded video on my media blog
  • 10. Prezi The technology: Prezi is an online presentation tool that allows users to create interactive presentations on a practically infinite canvas. Text, images and even videos can be added to these presentations, and then users set a path for audiences to follow, creating exciting transitions between various sections of the presentation. I used this technology for the “Casting,” “Prop Changes and Inspirations,” and “Shots, Transitions and Sounds” sections of the planning. Benefits of using this technology: •The open canvas of Prezi allowed me to branch off with my ideas. For instance, in the “Shots, Transitions and Sounds” work, I branched off from each shot with the sounds that were going to be used in that shot. This consequently gave structure to my work. Furthermore, I was able to lay my work out over a wider area than the confines of a Power Point Presentation, making my work very clear and understandable. •Making my work structured and clear allowed me and my group to see what it is we were trying to achieve. Having it written down on paper or on our media blogs in long paragraphs often made it difficult to see all of ideas as one piece, but Prezi allowed us to link them all together in this open canvas (such as how I linked together out shot, sound and transition ideas in the aforementioned presentation) •The ability to add videos and images to the presentation provided absolute clarity to the points we were referencing from other thrillers. For instance, in the “Prop Changes and Inspirations” post, I reference several thrillers in which the murderer wields a knife – I added several images of these murderers holding their knives to the presentation, showing clearly what I was referencing. •The Prezis created were easy to go back and edit when items needed to be added as the plan developed •I could easily embed the Prezi to my media blog (where all of my work is collated) without uploading it to another site, as I have to do with Power Point presentations. Impact on opening sequence: •The structure and clarity that was obtained using Prezi gave us greater direction with the opening sequence, and made it much clearer my group and myself what we needed to do to produce the best quality opening sequence •Being able to change the Prezi quickly reduced the time we needed to spend organising our ideas, giving my group and myself more time to think of better ideas and develop the narrative further, producing a more thrilling narrative
  • 11. Videos embedded to Prezi Branching off with sound ideas, giving structure to my work Prezi embedded to my media blog
  • 12. Slide Share/Microsoft Power Point The technology: Slide Share is an online presentation file-hosting site, onto which users can upload many presentations. In my case, I used it to upload several Power Point presentations for various sections of the planning, including a prop list, font choices, locations, story board and a few others. Microsoft Power Point is a presentation software on which text, images and videos can be added to slides of a presentations. Benefits of using this technology: •Slide Share allowed me to add Power Point presentations to my media blog through embedding – without it, I would have had to upload links to the files for others to download, which would have been far more impractical than simply uploading the presentation itself. It also reduced the length of posts to my blog, making them less overwhelming. •Power Point provided me with a simple method of presenting my group’s and my ideas, along with picture that helped illustrate the points I made throughout the planning. •The limited capabilities of Power Point compared to other presentation methods, such as Prezi, simplified my presentation of the ideas, making the plans for the sequence much more clear. For instance, the Location Planning presentation just had a picture of the location and an explanation, stripping back the complexity of the presentation to clearly convey my thoughts about the location with reference to the picture. •Microsoft Power Point has far more formatting options than Prezi does, therefore providing greater organisation to my work which in turn makes it a lot clearer and easier to read. Impact on opening sequence: •Being able to embed Power Point presentations to my blog through Slide Share allowed me to consolidate all of my planning work in one place. Due to this, it became much easier to see what areas of the opening sequence needed refining, as I could analyse each aspect of the opening sequence in one place. •Furthermore, stripping back the complex transitions and adding more formatting for organisation also helped to see what areas need revision to make the sequence more thrilling. I was not distracted trying to make it look overly presentable but rather getting the information onto the presentation to then be able to discuss the ideas at length and assess if they were going to work, as I did with the prop presentation.
  • 13. One of the presentations on Slide Share – using one of the settings below, I was able to embed this to my blog (below). The stripped-back presentation is evident here in this post about location ideas, making it easier to convey my ideas instead of focusing on the aesthetics of the presentation.
  • 14. Blogger The technology: Blogger is a free online blogging website. Users can upload pieces of text with embedded videos and images. It has a wider range of formatting capabilities than Prezi, and almost as many as Microsoft PowerPoint. I primarily used the site to consolidate my coursework, but also for some of my pieces of work on the plan for my opening sequence. Benefits of using this technology: •As previously stated, This site allowed me to embed and hence consolidate all of my work for planning. As a result, I could clearly assess all of my group’s ideas so far to see where improvements could be made, as I could compare different aspects of the plan in one place to see if the idea was feasible. •Due to the blog being online and my work being uploaded to my blog and this being a publicly accessible blog, I could get quick feedback on my work from my teacher. •The range of formatting allowed me to structure my work much better than I could do on Prezi alone •Due to it being online, I could access work on it from any computer regardless of where files are saved. •Despite this not being completely part of the planning, I was able to write fluidly during the research tasks and some planning tasks (the Changes Made to the Narrative post, for instance) instead of breaking my essays up into chunks as I would have had to do with other presentation techniques. Impact on opening sequence: •Being able to see assess all of the planning in one place made it easier to see which areas needed to be changed in the sequence if they did not fit in with the rest of the sequence than it would have been if they were all separate files on the computer, therefore making it easier to exclude the sections of the opening sequence that may decrease the thrilling aspect for the audience. This is one of the reasons behind our slight change in narrative, because we analysed the work we had done so far to see that some of the sections did not quite fit, prompting us to change them accordingly. •Being able to get quick feedback from my teacher made it significantly easier to pick up on mistakes that we may have missed as a group that would have slightly decreased the quality of the opening sequence. For instance, one comment on the Story Board post noted that putting a red cross through the victim would be a little cliché, prompting us to replace this with the knife going through the image of the victim. Such a feature of the technology allowed for efficient corrections to be made, ensuring we made the sequence as good as we could have done within the time limit imposed. •By producing organised posts using the formatting tools, the direction my group and I were trying to take became much clearer, allowing us to see what we needed to change to make the sequence optimally thrilling. •Being able to work on the planning from any computer increased the amount of work I could do on the planning, therefore helping to get it done within the given time and provide time to review work to find possible improvements. •The ability to write fluidly on this site allowed me to condense my work into less overwhelming and more understandable posts, from which better ideas for the opening sequence could be found, consequently improving the quality of ideas in the sequence (such as my post detailing my original ideas for the sequence.
  • 15. One of the aforementioned comments that helped to point out problems with the narrative that my group and I did not notice. A longer written post for my original idea – being able to write uninterrupted produced somewhat clearer information during the planning. The formatting options which made it easier to structure and organise some posts for the planning.
  • 17. Digital Camera The technology: We used a digital camera to photograph the locations we were filming at during the filming of the opening sequence. This was used when completing the Location planning post, so we could clearly show the places we planned to film in. We also used the camera to photograph our cast so that we could discuss our casting options with clear reference to the cast themsevles. Benefits of using this technology: •This is a very light piece of equipment which made it easy to carry around with little difficulty, meaning it did not disrupt our ability to film. •Being able to photograph the locations we planned to film at made it easier to write about these during the planning. We were able to weigh up what locations were the most suitable by comparing the images of the two. •Each of us group members lived apart from one another, therefore we could not all view the various locations we were considering. The camera therefore aided us in showing each other possible locations, such as the garage and pathway that we ended up using. Impact on opening sequence: •Being able to show the locations we were referencing in our planning made it easier to develop ideas around those images, using the images for inspiration and visualisation. This resulted in us using the locations to our full advantages, such as the way we utilised the steps on the public pathway to introduce the murderer to the scene. •With all of the group members being able to clearly see the possible filming locations, we were all able to contribute realistic ideas for the narrative based upon those locations and offer feedback before filming. As a results, we could more effectively pull our ideas together rather than each individual person having thoughts on their own locations that the rest of us could not see.
  • 18. One of the location photographs that we used to show each other our location ideas. Photographs of cast used in Casting presentation to illustrate points made about the casting decisions
  • 19. CamcorderThe technology: We used a Sony HDR-HC9 Handy-cam camcorder to shoot the opening sequence. Quite simply, this piece of technology can record footage, zoom in and out, attach to a tripod, rewind the recorded footage and provides users with a small screen to view what is being recorded. Benefits of using this technology: •This piece of equipment was very light, making it easy to shoot shots that require us to move the camera, such as the sideways tracking shot and point of view shot of the victim running. •The camcorder was able to capture good quality and detailed footage (better than a digital camera or camera phone, per se), allowing the audience to make out the crucial details in the scene •Having a screen to see what was being recorded allowed us to see what the finished clips would look like, reducing the number of takes we needed to do for each shot as we knew if we had recorded the shot correctly the first time. If we were unsure, we could effortlessly rewind the footage on the device to get a better idea of what shots needed to be re-filmed. Impact on opening sequence: •The ability to easily move the camera around to create more interesting shots would have engaged the audience much more than a simple stationary shot. For stance, the tracking shot of the victim running allows the audience to focus on the actions of the murderer more so than a simple pan as the victim ran past would. As a result, the audience is more engaged with the sequence, which leads to thrilling aspects being emphasised due to the focus the audience has on the screen. •By allowing the audience to see the details in the scene with the good quality footage recorded on this camera, they had a greater understanding of what was happening within the scene which made it ultimately more thrilling. For instance, during the murder of the victim, we shot a close up of items on the murderer’s corkboard and superimposed them onto footage of the murderer. This detail was key to understanding the link between our murderer and Jack the Ripper (due to the text being about the Ripper murders), consequently making the murderer more of a threatening presence which ultimately makes the situation the victim is in (trapped in the presence of the murderer) more thrilling for the audience. •Seeing what was being filmed allowed us to produce a better set of clips during the edit of the sequence. For example, the sideways tracking shot of the murderer walking down the stairs was challenging to shoot correctly, therefore both the rewind tool and the small screen allowed us to see if this shot was looking as intended.
  • 20. Camera used to film the opening sequence – the side of which flips out to provide a viewing screen. Superimposition of the Jack the Ripper information on the murderer footage. Evident here, the camera was able to pick up both the text and the murderer’s actions in detail. Sideways tracking shot of the murderer – one of the shots in the sequence made possible due to the light weight of the camera, making the scene more engaging.
  • 22. Final Cut Express The technology: Final Cut Express is a piece of video editing software created by Apple. This professional piece of software was used to import and sort clips and sounds for our opening sequence, as well as editing the sequence down into a final cut. It has a range of tools which we utilised to create our finished opening sequence including fade-outs, brightness enhancements and a text editor (with text effects). Benefits of using this technology: •The fade in effect (dip to colour dissolve, as it was called on Final Cut) allowed us to seamlessly transition between two sections of the opening sequence. This was most notably used when the victim was captured, signifying that they have fallen unconscious. •Being able to add a variety of sounds in this sequence provided a level of audio engagement for the audience, completely enveloping their attention in their sequence as well as enhancing some aspects of the scene (such as the synchronous, diegetic twig snap sound effect). •The text capabilities of this software allowed us to create and add titles to the sequence – far better ones than we could have created on other editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker. These titles were a key part to helping us adhere to title conventions of opening sequences, noted in my response to the first evaluation question, therefore making this section of the technology important. The text effects, such as making the text move outwards using the tracking option and the key frames (both of which cannot be done on lesser software) also made the text engaging and a greater part of the sequence, as opposed to an obstructive and obvious smear on the production – especially the main title. •One of Final Cut’s most useful features was the brightness enhancement for clips. The second section of the sequence was filmed in a garage, which turned out to be far darker than expected and as a result many of the clips were too dark to see. By enhancing the brightness using this feature, the clips were far more visible. Impact on opening sequence: •Being able to seamlessly transition between clips helped the narrative flow in places it might have slowed and lowered the audience’s engagement with the narrative, preventing their tension from dissipating as they watch and consequently making the eventual death of the victim all the more thrilling. •Much like the fade transitions, enveloping the audience in the opening sequence through the use of sound enabled us to keep the audience’s tension from dissipating, making the thrilling end to the sequence all the more thrilling. •As I discussed in many planning posts, making the main title representational of the themes and ideas within the narrative was important in making these themes and ideas apparent to the audience. For instance, our main title used a jitter effect using the text effects, representing the unstable condition of the murderer – this was made possible due to the capabilities of the software, and would have been difficult to recreate in other software. •Being able to enhance the brightness of various clips allowed us to improve the visual quality of the clips as the audience can now clearly see exactly what is in each of them, meaning they can take in more of the sequence and hence be more thrilled by what they can see.
  • 23. One of the brightness-enhanced clips, in which the victim’s emotions are more visible than they were beforehand (settings for enhancement above) Dip to Colour Dissolve transition (fade out/in) added to the title. Key frames used in conjunction with text effects to produce engaging, moving title Sound added to the sequence. This section is lined up with the above clip, emphasising sections of the clip.
  • 24. Garage BandThe technology: Garage Band is another piece of software produced by Apple. This lets users create music using a library of royalty free sounds, or using sounds they have recorded or imported themselves. We used this software to produce the fanfare for our production company in the beginning of the sequence, as well as recording various sound effects we needed and a soundtrack. Benefits of using this technology: •The vast array of stock sounds in Garage Band’s library gave us enough inspiration to be able to construct a soundtrack that suited our opening sequence, producing something better than we could have done by making something from scratch. •This would not have been possible on other editing software, such as audacity where we could have only edited imported sounds •It also decreased the time we had to spend sourcing sounds from all over different websites, such as YouTube, as all of the sounds we needed were in one place. We used the stock instruments for the most part (such as the violins and drums), therefore we didn’t need to source many sounds •The software had a few noise enhancements that aided our creation of the various sound effects we needed. Our twig snap sound effect, for instance, was too quiet initially – using Garage Band, we were able to boost the sound of this so that it was more audible, making this section of the sequence more apparent to the audience and therefore making the narrative make sense. •The software permitted the usage of an external microphone, somewhat increasing the quality of the sounds recorded in the sequence. Impact on opening sequence: •Using the aforementioned stock instruments, we were able to produce a unique piece of music that was timed to our narrative, making the music better suit what was happening and therefore making it aid the development of the narrative rather than being a distracting item to focus on. •The lack of need for importing sounds gave us more time to focus on the visual editing rather than the auditory, consequently making the visual side to the sequence much better as we had more time to tweak sections that didn’t work as intended (such as enhancing the brightness of the clips to ensure they were visible to the audience). •Being able to record better quality audio made it clear to the audience what the sound was, improving the sound’s
  • 25. Tool to change the volume of audio being recorded – one we used to either lower or decreased the volume of the sound effects recorded (scraping of the murderer being dragged backwards, twigs snapping) Library of sounds which were manipulated and merged to create thrilling soundtrack, in conjunction with ability to create new loops using stock instruments Apple iPad used with Garage Band to play the stock instruments, creating the soundtrack we used.