Evaluation: Question 4

Throughout all stages of production, I have used a variety of different media technologies in order to make my documentary and ancillaries the most pragmatic and relevant as possible. I decided to adventure out during this period using a variety of different hardware and software in order to adapt my knowledge and be able to gain as many marks as I could.

*EVERY MEDIA INSTITUTION OR TECHNOLOGY MENTIONED THROUGHOUT IS IN BOLD*


Pre-production

Google was my main use of media technologies for most of my research as by choosing to do a documentary I would be entering a world in which I have never attempted to undertake before and wanted it to be a learning curve on my knowledge for the media and film industry. I hagoogles-new-logo-5078286822539264.3-hp2x.gifd to use Google in order to research many aspects that I had no existing knowledge for beforehand, for instance this would be where I learnt about the significance on narrative documentary structures e.g Freytags’ pyramid. This significantly helped me to really visualise what I was going to film and it placed all my ideas together within a structure. I used the following websites to seek my knowledge of this:

http://www.ohio.edu/people/hartleyg/ref/fiction/freytag.html

http://www.desktop-documentaries.com/documentary-structure.html


51132886b5cd6fa1f51c00e9686d56b9.jpg.gifAnother way in which I used Google for my main task research was to research the most popular institution for my documentary and which channel it would fit into best. I did this by using the Channel 4 website and their tips on how to produce something to their standard without giving away their exact secrets. This was a huge help to me as I could only see what I saw visually in magazines and tv, I had no idea that everything such as; colours, aspects, positioning etc was so well thought out. I believe that when taking into a count, these are 2 aspects which really foreshadow my outcome as they have placed both my poster and double-page spread onto the successful and profession channel 4 standard. Here is some links I used during my research:

http://www.channel4.com/about_c4/styleguide/downloads/C4StyleGuide1.1.pdf

https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/channel-four-television-corporation-a12-197451.html


giphy.gifWhen looking into actual documentaries and the ideas behind them to inspire me, YouTube was very useful in showing me a wide range of documentaries in both quality and in topics helping me understand a variety of different outcomes and how they might shape my own documentary. Not only did I find a variety of real-media documentaries during this, but also some made by teenagers of my age and A2 other media students. I mainly used YouTube to analyse mistakes that people have made- a significant one which I found was lighting and sound- therefore this is something I focused on making perfect throughout my production.

Short of the Week was a very useful website during my research as it provided me with the most inspirational and unconventional documentary that I found really reflected my desire to make a documentary, and this was BAR. BAR itself is a short, self-made documentary that focuses on the life of an elderly man narrated by his Grandson through pictures and metaphors rather than just filming a man constantly talking and making it look good through editing. Joe and I loved almost everything about BAR, including the nostalgic undertones to the warm mode of address which was used throughout and this quickly became something we wanted to give our audience on the outcome of Passage Of Time. Below you can find the links to my analysis of documentaries:

https://amyhomewoodmedia.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/documentary-analysis-of-following-heart-the-artist/

https://amyhomewoodmedia.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/main-task-research-documentary-analysis-of-a-place-like-this/

https://amyhomewoodmedia.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/main-task-research-documentary-analysis/


Survey Monkey is another website that I found online in which Joe and I used to create our own questionnaire and send it to whomever you want through email to respond to it which then allows you to access what what was said and which answers were picked online, making it a lot easier to corrolate quantitative and qualitative data. Using this website, gave both Joe and I many benefits as there was no risk of losing the data as it was all saved on the website rather than losing pieces of paper and having to do everything again.

surveymonkey_logo_380.jpgHowever, there were a few slight disadvantages of using Survey Monkey which Joe and I quickly realised. For example; as we wasn’t a paid up member, we was limited to only ten questions which meant we had to cut several important questions out which could’ve been insightful in helping us create a better product. Despite this disadvantage, we placed the most important questions first, and did many other research tasks to ensure we left nothing out- such as a variety of audience feedbacks.

Another slight disadvantage was that being an online questionnaire not everyone answered it/successfully received it making our responses limited, and due to it being online, we couldn’t get many answers off people over the age of 50. To fix this problem, we focused another aspect of our research onto the older population which was the creation of a second questionnaire for the title of our production. For this we gave our audience a standard physical copy that I created on word guaranteeing responses from every single candidate.


Production

Camera

The camera I used was mainly a Canon 600D which I borrowed from the school, however I did use my own Canon 1100D for photos and some of the cutaways. Using this camera in my production allowed me to get familiar with all of its features, including the manual zoom focus which I had never discovered I could do beforehand that made each shot look even better when editing then it did on the camera screen during filming.

Rode and wearable mic

Similarly to the camera, I thought it would be useful to do several tests with the mics as 2.jpgthrough my research of analysis of documentaries, I found was vital if you wanted to produce a successful documentary. From the mic-tests we did, I found that despite being in a quiet environment the rode mic still picked up a  lot of background noise that sounded absolutely horrible when coming to edit it. This completely contrasted with the  the wearable mic’s as the s
ound was so very clear providing it wasn’t too close to the interviewee- this also helped as we got to listen to headphones whilst Brenda was talking therefore we always so careful on the placement of it. This another very useful learning curve as the sound is one aspect of our documentary that I am very proud of.

Final Cut Pro

This is definitely an area I could’ve improved on as the only time I used Final cut pro during planning was when we composed the first cut of our documentary. This shows poor planning as when you look at the other7d6de862c2190e989ff9080becc33ccb.jpg
technologies that I used I practised with them and planned out how I would use each one. This potentially meant that because of the lack of planning/testing I wasn’t able to use the editing software in a more complex way which might’ve helped subvert the genre compared to the very conventional  documentary that was made.

I made a variety of adjustments to my documentary whilst editing as there were many faults that I managed to picked out. This began with colour correcting and colour matching difference scenes of the documentary. I decided to use a filter, made with a combination of purple, yellow and blue colours to make the cutaway image look vintage and superior. I believe that this worked well as the documentary is all shot in one specific colour, making it look more professional and high-quality. At the beginning of the editing process, colour corrections and colour matches was not something I felt very confident with at all, but is now however a skill I have gained from the whole process and is something I will use in future editing schemes.

Similarly to the colour correcting adjustments I made in the editing process, I also became very familiar with many of the tool options available on final cut pro that I hadn’t used much beforehand. It goes without saying that the cut tool was used throughout editing, this is something I believe I became very quick and efficient at as I found out you could use the arrow keys on a keyboard to jump between key frames, which became very useful when placing my cutaways over the place-holders. I did use many Ken-Burns’ throughout editing, specifically on the photos. I engaged a lot of time in the start and end points of each cut away image, and quickly came to the realisation that I didn’t need the image to zoom all the way in for it to be affective, this is one aspect that I am very proud of in terms of my finished product.

One tool I became very familiar with was being able too enable/disable clips- making the music and the images separate. This isn’t something that largely impacted the documentary itself but made it very easy for me to adjust the volume of the dialogue over the music. This was something very important as otherwise the music would have overpowered the dialogue and make the documentary itself seem very improper.


Sound

For the making of the music, I used a variety of different software and instruments to make this whole documentary to have such a nostalgic background.

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The instruments used was mainly a combination of a Fender Strato-caster guitar and a Cajon drum played by Chris after we sat and made the guideline of what I wanted, and how it would sit into the documentary. Although I would love to say I played the music, I didn’t. But Joe and I did however try and get involved as much as we can with Chris.

Other equipment we used throughout this process was an Orange Crush Pro AmpReverb and Whammy Pedal whilst the music itself was written in Open G tuning with a partial capo on the 7th fret. Again, Chris had to help us gain knowledge in this as Joe and I are not music makers but using this really helped me adapt to the way in which I view music and the effort we all put in really paid off in the end as the musicaudacity_logo_r_450wide_whitebg.jpg turnt out very original with both minor and major keys’ being hit throughout the piece.

The software used to edit the music was mainly the Audacity Music Software, however we did decide to Final Cut Pro for any additional tone adjustments we had to do at the end. This is one aspect that I believe really paid off as I wasn’t familiar with Audacity beforehand, and now from being shown through YouTube tutorials, I know how to use quite well.


Ancillaries

Camera

For my ancillary photos, I used a Canon 600D that my school did in fact lend me. However, I did switch between from an iPhone 7 camera and an Canon 1100D for various reasons throughout the ancillaries. I used this camera in a completely different way, as I found out a lot more about photography and the way photos can speak a bigger picture through my own research at home. I decided to try out different shutter speeds, lighting types, focus types and filters on the camera in order to create both my ancillaries’ photos. I believe that this was successful as overall I am very happy with the clearness of the photos themselves.

Double page spread

For my double page spread; I mainly used Photoshop and Adobe Indesign as I feel like my knowledge of both softwares made it the easiest to produce this work. Indesign was one software I wasn’t as confident with at all at the start, until I quickly same to realise that it was fairly similar to photoshop after needing assistance from Joe. This is one aspect of this whole process that I am very proud of as I tried to use many different softwares to adapt my knowledge and this is where I personally feel it paid off.

Photoshop.jpg

Documentary poster

In order to produce this, I used a combination of photoshop as well as Pi
c-monkey 
to produce my final product. I used photoshop for sharping up the photo, white balancing it and making sure it was clear as possible, including the placement of the channel 4 logo. Whilst I used pic-monkey to place the text and the textbook. I didn’t have to do much to this ancillary as this was very basic and easy to do which helped due my knowledge of both programmes.


Evaluation

WordPress

Having used WordPress and Blogger throughout my Media A-Level, having WordPress made it very easy for me to keep organised as I have made blogposts I need to make during this process and simply ticked it off as I go. The technology as a whole is so easy to use, you can use a range of media-technologies onto this website which helped me throughout and allowed me to adapt my knowledge into the app itself.

Powerpoint

Having used powerpoint thousands of times before this evaluation, I used my skills and knowledge of the programme to make one of my evaluation questions. I did this because the app is very easy to use, and can present a variety of information in a eyeunnamed.png-catching and suitable way. From this, I could organise my information very clearly and was able to point out where I could place new info, and where to delete others.

iMovie

For my evaluation question 2, I used iMovie to edit my evaluation together by using a variety of different screen grabs and cutaways, overlapping my narration that I recorded using an iPhone Mic and sound effects I found on Garage Band, I personally believe that this made the evaluation a lot clearer as an audience wouldn’t have to read loads of writing, instead they watch something that I have made visually pleasing for them. As I have a lot of knowledge on iMovie already, I found making my evaluation very easy as I drafted the script several times beforehand, however I did have to re-edit a lot but I think this 175x175bb.jpgended up as successful as it could have been.

And that is how I used media technologies within each stage of my media production and I believe all in all, it turnt out successful and is something I am very proud of.

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Evaluation: Question 1

Here is my podcast I have made answering Evaluation Question 1. I chose to do a podcast because I believe that an unedited and unstructured piece would work well when answering this question as it makes the feedback a lot personal:

During my overview of the podcast, I quickly realised that I did not comment on the feedback I got back from my ancillaries. Again, I asked people within my demographic of what went well about both ancillaries and what would they like to change. From this, I could gather a qualitative data response and allowed me to reflect on my work.

Ancillary 1- Double page spread

Feedback comments:

Frank: “I like the simplicity of the documentary double page spread, the use of the black and white colours worked really well with relation to the image, it is very easy to look at. I also like the structure of the spread and the image chosen”

“I believe that the only thing you could improve upon in the documentary double page spread is that maybe it is too simplistic? It would only fit within a certain magazine rather than any, if you needed publicity on it, I don’t think it would do it justice”

Charlotte: “I really like how you have picked a cute image to use for this double page spread, with relation to how simplistic the page is, it works well as it is the first thing that you stare at when first coming across the page”

“The only aspect I would say to improve on is the amount of text on the page, despite the fact that it is an interview, I would have tried to sell your product a lot more than you did”

Arnold: “I like how basic this double page spread is, it is very easy to over do it and over sell the documentary. After viewing your documentary, I believe that your running theme of basic perfection is shown throughout your final product and this ancillary, so it therefore relates back very nicely”

“I would say that possibly you could add more images and information in however, it is very basic which is great but it might be too basic that people skip past it when flicking through its magazine, maybe add some colour so that it is more eye-catching”

From the comments, it is easy to see that the respondents really liked the image I used was the highlight of the double page spread as it was seen to be very a nostalgic, happy and heartwarming photo. Also from the audience feedback, you are able to see that the respondence really liked my unconventional approach to a simplistic, basic double page spread. From the audience feedback, if I was to remake my magazine spread, I would ensure that I took that feedback on board and kept the theme as it has managed to pay off in the long run. Despite this, from the feedback I did take, it is clear that there are a few problems with it too. For example; it is clear that respondents would like more text to be placed on the page and more colour to appear as they feel as if the page is very easy to skip past if it was within. From this feedback, if I was to redo my spread, I would use a lot more blue tones within the spread as it links with my other ancillary very well and would make it a lot more eye-catching and high-quality.

Ancillary 2- Channel 4 Advert

Feedback comments:

Ronan: “I really like the way this follows the guidelines well for the channel 4 advertisements, I would have honestly thought that this was a real one! I really like the blue colours you’ve used, its very eye catching”

“I would say possible use the face of George and Brenda so that audiences can recognise the interviewees’ more”

Izzie: “I really like the way this honestly can relate so well to the real media channel 4 posters, I really like the colour of the blue used and I especially like the way you have not given much aeay but have through metaphors”

“You could possibly do better in this by possibly using different text or using a catchier tagline?”

Shae: “I like the way that the poster is looked at, its really nice to stare at as the photo is very clear and every detail is presented so nicely. I like the range of blues in the photo and I like how they all combine together”

“I would say that without knowing what this documentary is about or understanding the metaphor of that image that it might not grab an audience as much as you’d hope it would so you need a strong tagline to do that for you”

From the comments, it is easy to see that the respondents really liked the way in which I adapted to the channel 4 standards well as they repeatedly said that they would have thought it was real if I didn’t tell them otherwise. Also from the audience feedback, you are able to see that the respondence really liked my metaphorical approach to a simplistic yet over-riding photo that can suggest a variety of aspects about the documentary- for instance: the clock symbolises passage of time. From the audience feedback, if I was to remake my poster, I would ensure that I took that feedback on board and kept the theme as it is now as it has paid off quite well as it visually follows the codes and conventions very well. Despite this, from the feedback I did take, it is clear that there are a few problems with it too. For example; the tagline is not strong enough without not knowing the reason why it is ‘a new reality’, as the photo is so metaphorical and simplistic, I would need too go through stronger tag lines and get audience feedback on each one.


Target audience research I did:

PRE-PRODUCTION:

  • 3 different demographics
  • Questionnaire
  • Live Feedback
  • Statistical feedback (questionnaire data)

PRODUCTION:

  • Camera test shots (all 4 productions) – what went well, even better if
  • Mic Test 1 and 2- what went well, even better if
  • Music mock up- what went well, even better if

POST-PRODUCTION

  • Questionnaire (including open questions to gain qualitative data)
  • Live feedback (family members of Brenda and George)
  • Ancillaries: range of people to comment on what they believe went well and even better if

Short Evaluation Plan- All Questions

Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Uses

  • Mid shot angles
  • Cut aways
  • Basic simple narrative
  • Natural colour scheme
  • Lighting- cross between natural and saturated
  • Focus on nature- link to the documentaries I have researched

Challenge

  • Most prominent challenge- subject matter of the documentary
  • How we used sub-genre
  • Stereotypes of the elderly typically

Question 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

ALL CORRELATES TOGETHER

  • going against the norms
  • linking all the prominent stereotypes together
  • links together by the title and camera work

Question 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Planning

Final products- both ancillaries


Question 4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Research

  • Google (documentary sub-genre etc)
  • Youtube (self-made documentaries)
  • Film marker inspiration documentaries
  • Short of the week
  • Sound analysis
  • 3 TYPES OF RESEARCH- questionnaire and visual feedback, statistics
  • Importance of lighting
  • Looked at the following subject areas: Audience, Narrative, Genre, Form/Media Language, Representation, Ideology and values, Institution

Planning:

  • Planned the cutaways
  • Equipment listing
  • Filming timeline
  • Font text mock ups
  • Music mock ups
  • TEST SHOTS- 4 types (as well as the set up etc)
  • Sound test x2
  • Lighting test

EXPLAIN HOW THE PROGRAMMES USED HELPED WITH CREATING ALL OF THE ABOVE

Evaluation

Question 1: What have you learned from your audience feedback? PODCAST

Question 2:  In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? POWERPOINT

Question 3: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?YOUTUBE VIDEO

Question 4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? WRITTEN WITH PHOTOS AND GIFS

Final: Audience Feedback

Audience Feedback 1

Questionnaire:

When creating the questionnaire, Joe and I wanted to produce open questions for people to comment detailed responses of what they think about it. This questionnaire has been passed out to those in which take an interest in media and film and therefore know what they are looking out for:

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 1.09.20 am.png

The responses

  • 6 people
  • 3 male, 3 female
  • Those interested in Media and Film

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Short Evaluation

Overall, from the audience feedback we have gathered, we seem to have done well in focusing the documentary on a subject that isn’t typically touched upon- a positive representation of the elderly. This is proven by many of the respondents commenting on how Brenda lives a positive and regret-free life that makes them personally feel nostalgic and calming. 

In terms of the music feedback, a lot of the respondence were happy to see a change in tone and key throughout the piece as it made the documentary as a whole come across as calming and natural, which is similar to the representation they saw of Brenda. 

Some improvements that were suggested were mainly to do with the amount of shots added in within the whole documentary, meaning we possibly needed to add in more cutaways, or more shots to set the documentary up at the beginning. Or they suggested that we needed to lower the camera level down when filming Brenda, so that the camera is eye level with her, this therefore would make the documentary more personal to the audience as it feels as if you’re in conversation with her.

If i was to do this whole documentary again I will pick up onto what my feedback has taught me and change significant aspects that would make the audience have a better understanding of the documentary as a whole- e.g. make the theme of the documentary a lot clearer in the outset and throughout. One big change I would make if I was to re-do the documentary would be placing the mid-close ups at an eye level angle to Brenda as I agree this would make the audience feel more inclosed and involved in the documentary rather than seeing the setting behind her as it would therefore be viewed as a higher quality documentary.