How did you use media technologies in the construction,research, planning and evaluation stages? The process of constructing our products, including our music video and ancillary tasks, involved us using a variety of programmes, some of which were new to us and required us to practise and play with the programme. My use of variety, in terms of media technologies is also reflected in my evaluations questions as I have presented them using different media technologies. By Zainab Oyenuga
RESEARCHYouTubeOne of our most used sources for research for our music video was YouTube. This is because, being the most popular video-sharing website, ithad the advantage of unlimited access to music video’s. Therefore, I was able to access wide-ranging videos as well as specific videos withsimilar themes to what we intended to portray. Another advantage of YouTube is that it had a suggestions bar which was significant and useful inprovided us with more videos based on the genre we were initially researching, therefore, exposing us to videos that we initially would not haverecognized ,whilst expanding our knowledge on media conventions. However, despite this, our access to YouTube was limited based on the factthat student user were not permitted to use this website. In addition, at times, it was difficult for us to research music video’s as a group andeffectively conduct our research, as we were forced to carryout this research at home. Yet, most times we were able to overcome this issue via theYouTube account which was set up by our schools technicians , allowing us to effectively access YouTube. This programme also helped meunderstand and observe how to make video flow smoothly and make sense through the use of editing.GoogleOur most used website for carrying out our research was Google- the most popular search engine. This source was particularly more useful forcarryout out my ancillary task research as gave me a broad selection of music digi-paks and posters, at the same time it allowed me to broadenmy research by looking closely at specific artists and their inspirations for their products. I also had the advantage of researching how makeupartists achieved different looks to reflect different moods and persona’s, also the way they dressed protagonist to achieve a certain look. However,like YouTube, we were prevented from accessing to some Google sites, therefore, restricting from working effectively as a team through directcommunication as we had to carryout research independently, and combine which was a lot more time consuming. An alternative forms of media technology that I chose to use was the Television, through sky which provides a huge channel of music from MTV to channel AKA. This came to use for my music video as I was able to input ideas based on what I viewed on TV, also different music channels provided different genres making my process of research easier. Music magazines also came into use for our research such as Q magazine, as their focus was music, allowing us to familiarise with different media conventions in music. At the same time normal music magazines also helped as we could observe general conventions and examine clothing style and makeup.
Constructing our music video To construct our music video we used the Lumix Fz48 which was a lot more convenient compared to using the schools camera as it was owned by a member of our group. This meant that the camera was more accessible giving us time and some to help the rest of us to familiarise ourselves with it, which was more time productive. The quality of this camera was also better than the schools, making our film better quality and its size made it easy to carry around. After quickly familiarising ourselves the camera was easy to operate and we were able to take full advantage of it attributes such asfilming in black and white and changing the exposure levels, which was particularly useful for when we were filming the night scenes, as changing the exposure levels helped block out the daylight. However, this camera did not have theadvantage of a fold our screen meaning that we were limited in terms of shots from various angles and it was difficult to hold the camera for a long time- preventing a strong focus in shot. Yet, we to an extent, were able to solve this problem by using a tripod, which, allowed us to capture various shots and keep the camera focused, however , it was heavy and hard to carry around.
Editing the film In order to edit our film, we used Serif MoviePlus X3. This allowed us cut clips, link clips, add effects, includetransitions and add music; all of which were conventional elements that make music videos look more professional and attract their target audiences.Prior to my A2 coursework, I had no experience using this programme, or creating a video in general. I therefore, put my self up for a challenge and used the programme to create my own, personal first draft music video. This experience certainly benefitted me later on in the year when it came to creating our final music video as I was then familiar with effective use of cutting and inserting transitions. This programme became easier to use the more I familiarised myselfwith it and its tools, however, the only problem with it was the quality of the videos once uploading on this programme, which took a while to improve because the programme was pretty slow. When an issue occurred, or I did not know how to do something, I had the benefit of the help button which was veryuseful and specific- helping me overcome my problems. Yet, it was unable to help us rewind the clip which we wanted as one of the aspects in our music video, but were unable to accomplish.
Constructing our ancillary tasks We used a professional camera, a form of technology, in order to construct our ancillary products. This was for our various photo shoot’s as we decided to use a photo of our protagonist in our music video for the digi-pak products.The camera we used for our photo shoot was the same camera we used for our music video which was good quality and could capture quality and un-pixelated photos. I mainly learnt how to control the exposure levels and use the zoom ring to capturethe photos I wanted and the different effects. We also took photos with the camera inblack and white mode, highlighting a clear connection between our ancillary productsand our music video. We found that the flash on the camera was not always effective, with it sometime running the quality of the photo, and learnt that two lamps were better as they were not directly effecting the picture. However, we decided that one lamp was better than two as it effectively captured an picture with contrasting shadows, an effect that we all liked as it created mystery in the picture, whilstemphasising the models features as too much lights, as experienced, made the models features a blur.
Following the photo shoots we carried out, another form of technology we used was Adobe Photoshop . My experience using Photoshop for my AS coursework made me familiar with the programme and its attributes. We used this programme for allour ancillary products, due to the fact that we could insert duplicate layers and lock them to prevent anything from happening to our original copy. Of our photos. I mainly used the programme to make our models face more flawless, using the clone stamp tool and the healing tool to get rid of any blemishes and dark circles on the models face and generally increase the quality of the photo as a whole. Thesoftware also allowed us to place in texts, barcodes and icons which make our product look more professional, this meant that we could edit any alternative images such as the barcode, to match what we wanted. I could of used Adobe illustrator to change the filters of the photos, however, because I was not familiar with the software, Ifound it difficult to use, and therefore chose to stick with what I knew, which was also time productive as I was familiar with Photoshop. A problem I encountered was locating the picture history in order to go back to my last edit. Although, I tried to use my initiative to solve the problem, I found that I was wasting time and therefore had to seek help from the ICT technicians.Furthermore, after playing with the exposure levels, although, the colour of the picture was one I liked, a section of the photowas too dark and therefore removed the emphasise of the models features. To overcome this problem, I decided to change the contrast of the picture until I was satisfied.
Presenting my construction, research, planning and evaluation stages Blogger was a vital programme as I used it to present and store my entire process of construction, research , planning and evaluation stages .If I had the opportunity to do this work again, I would use this programme again as I foundit easy to use especially as I became familiar with it due to my AS coursework, specifically its different features, enabling me to use to programme effectively.A disadvantage of the programme was that I had to make the pictures smaller in order for itfit properly onto my blog and it was difficult to move pictures around, I therefore had to use alternative softwares like Microsoft word, making the entire process longer. I also had toupload videos vie YouTube before placing them onto my blog. Yet, using other programmes made my blog more diverse and therefore interesting.
In order to present and store my process of construction, research, planning and evaluationstages on blogger in a simple and understandable way I used alternative programmes such as, windows movie maker, Microsoft PowerPoint and word. Both windows movie maker and Microsoft PowerPoint were programmes that I was already familiar with and I was able to use them effectively. I mainly used them to create slideshows presenting my evaluation questions as it divides my work and makes it more organised and easy to read. I could also present and layout my work the way I wanted to. However, I could not directly upload my PowerPoint to my blog, I therefore had to use slide share to do this. I also used PowerPoint to paste images and save them as pictures, also to crop photos, beforeplacing them onto my blog. This process was less time consuming than trying to directly place pictures onto blogger as I could lay pictures out in any way, also blogger did not have the advantage of cropping pictures. I used Microsoft word to create spider diagrams and combine pictures together whilstanalysing them, using shapes, such as arrows and circles, to make my process of constructing my products clear- highlighting the process of the stages of my products .
I used slide share to upload the presentations that I made on Microsoft PowerPoint, as it allowed me to directly upload it to my blog. This programme also had more options interms of presentation styles, giving me the opportunity present my work in different ways, making my blog more interesting. However, accessing the programme involved me asking the technicians to log into the schools YouTube account which was often a long process as they tended to be busy. I used Picasion a lot to present my pictures. The fact that it created an animation made itmore creative and simplistic with its transition device, as opposed to uploading a range of pictures which make my blog look unorganised and difficult to read.However, the software was limited in the sense that it had a limited amount of pictures that could be uploaded, and some of the photo’s I uploaded lost their quality as it made them more pixelated. Also the programme could not be used to effectively annotate pictures. I therefore, used the programme for pictures that were slightly less significant. I used voki to present parts of my evaluation questions as it was an alternative way to present my response, other than writing. Voki also made my blog look more diverse andcreative as I was able to create my own character and give them an identity to read out part of my response. However, this programme only had a limited amount of words that thecharacter, I created, could say. I therefore had to use my voki to mention brief elements of my evaluation question.
In order to present part of my evaluation question one I used Glogster as it allowed me to effectively analyse one of my ancillary products, using arrows, pictures and textboxes. A disadvantage of Glogster which I encountered was that it did not have a spell check. I therefore had to type all my comments on to Microsoft Word, before copy and pasting it onto Glogster. Yet,considering it was my first time using this programme, it was quite easy to use. I particularly liked it as it had various gadgets and many icons and aspects- making my work look creative and interesting.
Our main source of indirect communication was via phone, email and poppletallowing us to share ideas effectively which was very productive especially whenconsidering the fact that we all had different timetables.I used my Yahoo account mainly to share and send documents to my team members,ensuring that we all had access to the same files, such as research and the constructionprocess. This form of web 2.0 was particular useful as it meant that files wereinstantly saved in our inboxes- allowing us unlimited access to documents. Also, thefact that we each undertook different roles and different time made this programmeuseful as we were not all directly involved in every process of construction. ThereforeYahoo allowed us to communicate more and share files.Popplet was another form of technology that we took advantage of as it we could allaccess one popplet allowing us to share ideas and research. This allowed us to use ourtime wisely and work more effectively as a teamMy main source for indirect communication was via phone. Through my phone I wasable to text and call members of my groups to arrange meetings and inform them ofdecisions and ideas. I also used my phone to show, through picture messages, some ofthe products that Lalita and myself had created for our ancillary products to receivetheir opinions.
Receiving feedback from audiences (Evaluation question 3)In order to receive non-biased audience feedback I decided to post our music video ontoPadlet, previously known as wallwisher. This programme contains a virtual wall whichallows you present particular topic or item, like a music video, and receive the thoughts andopinions of the public. This was helping in allowing me to receive non-biased feedback.Another form of social media or Web 2.0 that we used to present our product (music video)to audiences and receive their feedback was twitter. The fact that it is social networking sitemeant that our product could be seen by a broader audience, particularly those who fitted into the category of our target audience, as teenagers, are more active with this form of Web2.0. Due to the fact that I do not own a twitter account we poster our video onto Lalita’stwitter account, therefore, we had a limited audience and an audience who were likely to beunreliable as they were Lalita’s friends. This highlights the significance and usefulness ofprogrammes such as Padlet which were open to the general public.
Another form of web 2.0 that we used to receive audience feedback was YouTube. Like Padlet, YouTube was useful for receiving reliable and no-biased feedback as it is also open to the general public. Also, YouTube is site that has easy access, for example , it can be accessed through mobile phones, (some phones, like IPhone have already stored YouTube) therefore, giving audiences more options of where they can view our music video.Web 2.0 technology was hugely significant in our process of research. Through Web 2.0 we could engagewith our target audience in the interactivity . YouTube was the main form of Web 2.0 that I used in myprocess of constructing my music video and receiving feedback from the audience. Using YouTubeallowed me to receive feedback from a broad audience , making the feedback I received reliable as it wasopen to the public rather than just my friends. Whereas, using a form of Web 2.0 such as FaceBook , toreceive feedback, would be pointless as my FaceBook friends would be less critical.