How did you use mediatechnologies in the construction ofresearch, planning and evaluation stages?
• Media theorist Bentley once said: "The making of the new and the rearranging of the old”. Reflecting this quote, to some extent digital technology does turn media consumers into media producers because it enables them to consume current media products via cross- media. This is known as ‘we media’ utilizing technology institutions’ target audience to create and apply their imagination instantly. As an A-Level Media Studies student, I have become more exposed to the technology spectrum that one can access and become part of this interactive and online community where it is negotiated and circular.
• Therefore, for my main coursework project, the music video is an example of independent production as a media consumer. I worked in a group of three and as we have been newly introduced to new and advanced technology at AS level we shared a primary objective to focus on achieving advanced effects as an aspiring professional team.
• As our team filmed over the course of 2-3 days, I became more proficient at handling the camera and organising the necessary equipment on demand. I worked in the same group as my AS coursework project, which benefited us to share the same motivational work ethic as an ensemble.
• We used two cameras: one Canon HD camera and a SLR camera. Unfortunately, one was of higher quality than the other which we eventually became acquainted to, yet the SLR camera’s wide angle lense allowed me to increase the shot-size and space of the setting and multiple characters. Using the shooting schedule during filming, I successfully set up equipment such as the tripod and wire cables as well as the white-balance on the camera to ensure the best results.
• I constantly updated my progress blog on ‘Blogger’, which helped me document my thoughts and development from the pre-production stage all the way to the end. Using social media networks on our mobile phones helped us update our peers and even ourselves in our created online group where we shared and expressed our ideas when not together.
• During the production process, the benefit of using two cameras for filming gave us the opportunity to increase a variety of angles, shot-types, change of footage and double set-up to achieve the best outcome possible. Applying the same transitions made it more expert and slick, achieving a ‘less is more’ impact.
• Filming from a birds eye view and extreme close ups, allowed us to play with the different spaces available. Having a more matured perspective, I incorporated stop motion and photographic animation using a Canon EOS 110D camera to constantly take individual pictures which I uploaded to Photo-edit on my Mac computer in order to produce a more avant-garde effect that suits the indie- genre having researched other music videos like Sia’s ‘Breathe Me’ and Oren Lavie’s ‘Her morning elegance’.
• The chosen song: Five Years Time by Noah and the Whale is a indie/hipster song which permitted me to have more freedom with including many characters and once collating all the required footage, I could freely build more structure and a hipster styled sequence.
• For instance, I incorporated silhouettes and casting shadows using redhead lights and soft light gels, which was inspired by avant-garde cinema films like Un Chien Andalou to create a vintage effect. I wanted to achieve image manipulation yet steering away from airbrushing and image perfection, as it was vital to create a sense of verisimilitude throughout our video.
• In the post-production process, I found it challenging to compliment the lip-synching of the song’s lyrics with the exact timing of the song on Adobe Premiere. Therefore, using software programmes like Garage Band, YouTube converter and Sound cloud, they facilitated me throughout the editing process.
• During the post-production process, it was important to focus on adjusting colour controls with a vivid palette creating a summer/hippy-like feel. Once uploading the final video onto YouTube, I felt that the quality appeared weaker than on the Adobe Premiere screens yet it was successfully transmitted via my USB memory stick.
• I used my USB frequently during the editing process to save photography and any other extra shots that would be sufficient to use. When designing my ancillary tasks, the Digipak cover and website homepage which promotes the band, Noah and the Whale- it was at times difficult to transform my chosen images using Corel- Photo paint as I felt overwhelmed by the variety of options etc.
• Wix, the website homepage software is particularly good to find a suitable template so I could experiment with format and presentational devices, yet at times I felt I could have reconsidered the layout. For example, the homepage is simple yet effective, however I doubted that it may lack important details, which is where I could have improved in order to achieve a more expert-like product.
• Overall, the basic key concepts of Media Studies including: camerawork, lighting, editing and mise-en- scene were very much developed. I have gained a more diverse and creative approach and have ultimately learnt more about potential filming issues, public locations and editing software over the course of 2 years. Whilst evaluating my work, this was the first opportunity to experiment with a challenging and alternative music genre.