Sunday, 10 March 2013

Evaluation Question 4

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

I have used a large range of technology throughout the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages of my work. The technology that I have used has not only enabled me to create three products that are similar to that of real media products but it has also allowed me to research, plan and evaluate my work in a variety of ways.

During the research stages of my work I relied heavily on the internet in order to be able to obtain an adequate amount of information and then develop my ideas based on this information. Websites such as Wikipedia and Slideshare became extremely useful to me and once I had gathered the information I used websites such as Prezi which is a presentation software and storytelling tool for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas and Premiere Pro CS3 which is a timeline-based video editing software application. The vast amount of technology available meant that I was able to present my work in creative ways on Blogger which is the blogging website that I used to post of all my work.
In the planning stage of my work creating videos one was one of the main methods I used to document my work. I use both Premiere Pro CS3 and Windows Movie Maker depending on how I was going to go about editing the video. For videos that required little editing such as my ‘Intial Planning Ideas’ video, I used Windows Movie Maker because for the entirety of the video I was simply talking to the camera however in videos such as my ‘Planning for Digipak’ video, I used Premiere Pro CS3 due to the time manipulation used in the video. It is not possible to edit the speed of a video in Windows Movie Maker because in comparison to Premiere Pro CS3, it is a very basic programme.
The construction stage of my work was the most time consuming and I believe this is because it was here that I used the most amount of technology, although I had previously used the majority of the technology for my foundation portfolio, I was forced to use the technology in more depth therefore I had to have a better understanding of how it was these media technologies worked and this took some time. When I filmed my music video, I used a Nikon D3200 camera because it was the most suitable camera for a shoot that takes place outdoors in addition to this I also used a fish eye lens to capture interesting and intriguing photos that would accompany my video footage in the music video. Due to the fact that I was using more than one lens, I had to learn how to remove and add lenses to the camera and although this was relatively simple it increased my awareness of how to use the media technologies.
When taking pictures for my digipak and magazine advert I used a Canon DSLR camera because I knew that the pictures taken would be in high definition quality. Another reason that I used this camera was because I was easily able to adjust the focus using the manual focus ring, it was critical that my photos were not out of focus because it would have been easily noticeable on my digipak.
Whilst constructing my work, I also used a combination of technology to create a post, an example of this is when I used CamStudio in my ‘Cutting out letters for my digipak’ and then placed this video onto the Premiere Pro CS3 timeline and then proceeded to edit the video. Camstudio is a programme which records screen activity from the Windows desktop into standard AVI movie files; this was particularly useful when I wanted to demonstrate the different tools I was using on Photoshop CS3 to cut out the letters for the track listing on my digipak.
When editing my music video I used Premiere Pro CS3, the programme has many features that make editing music videos a much quicker process such as the multicam tool which allowed me to watch my music video on half on the computer screen and then edit certain clips on the other. Due to the use of stop motion in my music video, I needed to be very precise about how long each photo would and Premiere Pro CS3 allowed me to zoom in one the timeline to ensure that each photo was shown the same amount of time as the others, creating a fluid motion when the entire stop motion sequence was played back. Adding effects to video clips and photos was also extremely simple when using Premiere; it was a simple drag and drop motion from a list of different effects to the desired clip. The Premiere timeline is made up of layers and it is useful to this when using reverse shot reverse in a music video because rather than having to layout the footage onto one layer, I was able to use many layers which means that it easier to swap and change clips without disrupting the sequence of my music video a great amount.
Not only did I use Photoshop for my digipak and magazine advert, but also for my music video. I made the mistake of forgetting to tell the person who starred in my video to remove her identification badge meaning that it was visible when I was taking pictures of her for the stop motion effect. I removed this in Photoshop using more than one tool, when the shirt appeared bright white, I needed to use the colour picker and the brush tool, this was the easiest method because the colour picker chooses the colour that you need to use in order for both colours to be exactly the same and with the brush tool I just needed to colour in the area of the ID badge that the colour picker had selected.  When the shirt looked darker, I needed to use the patch tool and not the colour picker or the brush tool. This is because when the shirt looked darker, there were different shades of grey that could be seen therefore it was not possible for the colour picker tool to select one colour. Using the patch tool was very simple as long as I was very precise with my movements- this tool required a lot of focus. During the process of creating my magazine advert, I used basic tool on Photoshop such as the magnetic lasso tool when cutting out the chatterbox and the contrast tool which I used to make the crumpled paper brighter on both products.
In the evaluation stage of my work I have been able to illustrate my skills by using different ways to present my work including an Indesign document and a Prezi. I used Indesign which is very similar to Photoshop except it is better suited for creating text based products such as magazines. Using this website allowed me to quickly set my work out into columns and add pictures which illustrated the point that I was making. My Prezi presentation is similar to Indesign presentation except when using Prezi I created paths which means that I already the person simply has to click a button and my Prezi will move form element to element without the person having to zoom in and out and decide what to read next.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Evaluation Question 3

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

My target audience is between the ages of 18 and 24 and consists mainly of females- with only a small percentage of it being male. The song I chose is sung by a woman therefore I thought that it would be appropriate to have a female lead in my music video; additionally I believe that because the majority of my target audience is female it was important that they in particular could relate to the music video.

When creating my main product and ancillary texts my main aim was to please my target audience therefore if they did not find them appealing, they would have been unsuccessful. Gaining feedback from my target audience was critical because without it, it would have not been possible to know whether they would enjoy the products. Feedback helped me understand what it was that my target audience wanted and how I could go about meeting their expectations. I decided that I would gain feedback during the most important stages of making my three products; these stages were initial ideas, construction and final products. Throughout all three of the production stages I decided to gain feedback in a variety of ways; one of the main reasons that I did this was because people generate feedback differently depending on the ways that they are asked to give it. When people gave written feedback they were very clear about how the overall product could be improved, for example when I handed out slips of paper to my target audience and asked them to write  down comments about my music video, many of the comments were very general such as ‘more interesting transitions’ or ‘a wider variety of camera angles’. These comments were very useful because they helped me understand how I could ensure that the overall product was something that they would be interested in. I used comments like the ones above to create a more visually appealing music video, initially I planned to use stop motion consisting only of close ups of the female lead however after reading through the advice from my target audience I went against this idea and presented her using different camera angles such as mid shots and long shots and this is an example of how general feedback is just as useful as specific feedback.

However when I needed feedback on my ancillary texts I decided that speech was the most effective technique for me to receive it because my target audience would be much more specific about what it was they felt I needed to change. A prime example of this was when I gained feedback on my digipak, the people asked, expressed very clear suggestions such as ‘change the background colour of the back side of the digipak to something bright and vibrant’ which I then did.

I purposefully gained feedback from both males and females’ ranging between the ages of 18-24, this was because I wanted my music video to appeal to my entire target audience rather than a small fraction. I gained feedback from the same people more than once, this was most effective with my digipak; I asked the same two people to give feedback on my initial digipak ideas and well as my first draft of my final digipak. This was effective because these two people had seen my ideas progress and change; hence my vision would be better understood by them. I acted upon the comments in a productive manner; the method that I adopted to improve my work was to make certain improvements a priority, the feedback which was mentioned by more than one person became my main concern and it was this feedback that I worked on first.

Last of all gaining feedback for my digipak helped me create my magazine advert much quicker, due to the fact that my magazine advert was very similar to my digipak it was unnecessary for me gain feedback during the process of making my magazine advert as I was safe in the knowledge that my audience would like the product.

Evaluation Question 2

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

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Evaluation Question 1

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