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Question 1.

In In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The simple outline that we were all given at the start of the year, was to direct our own documentary on a topic of our choosing. We wouldn't film a whole documentary, but in fact the opening 5 minutes. As well as this, we were asked to create a double paged spread magazine article and radio trailer to promote the documentary. Documentaries often fall into specific categories with connotations of being hard hitting, fun or mind breaking. With our documentary, we chose to go for an approach which was serious but fun at the same time, as our target market was teenagers. Due to this, we wanted something that would appeal to a wide variety of personalities within the teen demographic. We began to look at the theory and documentary modes associated with Bill Nichols. Expository, observational, participatory, reflexive and performative are the modes that often surround documentaries. and Observational were the modes chosen, as they felt the most dynamic when coming to our documentary. Expository being most known for an omniscient narrator and observational being know for images speaking for themselves. Panorama is a popular documentary series that often deals with controversial topics and looks at both sides of the arguments. This was a good start point when thinking about how we were going to put forward our documentary. We were able to have a direct approach where the voice over directed the documentary but we did not give a polemical view. We looked at both sides and allowed the audience to make a fair judgement based on evidence that was acquired throughout the documentary. Ours would most likely be shown on BBC Three


When deciding what way to take the documentary, we were very interested in Morgan Spurlock's, Supersize Me. The documentary used elements of comedy, as well as serious tones. It is based around health and includes segments in schools where Spurlock talks to students. Our documentary is based within colleges, so that particular part of the documentary was useful when comparing how close ours fitted real media products. We also asked questions people may have or may have not know. The way we filmed shots and used titles in vox-pops and formal interviews were helped by this. Editing, such as, cut aways and depth of field was used to focus on important statistics.

1. As we can see, both titles for the documentaries include people who the documentary is about. They both have a big bold title with a subtitle aswell to show one of the main topics they will discuss. The colours match the tone that each was going for and the picture relates to the title, with Teens of course being Teens and Supersize Me of course being food.. They are both looking at the camera to show they are trying to get a response out of you. One is more close up than the other which means one might be more personal.

2. Both documentaries begin with long shots of the people the documentary is about which is more useful than a close up as it shows how many people are involved. Teens uses a depth of field as we wanted the title to stand out more at the beginning.Some people are walking towards the camera and some are walking away to show the busy lifestyle both have. Both titles include a range of ethnics.

3. Both formal interviews include people of high status who will know a lot about the topic. They both have medium close up shots or medium shots and have a title telling us who they are. Both sit on a big chair and have a desk with their work and with editing a cutaway is used for both to show us them at work which is more productive. 4. Both include establishing shots of schools and colleges to show the base of the new scene in the documentary. The first image uses a zoom before the college is entered whereas the second image uses a pan so we can see the exterior of the scene 5. In both documentaries there was footage of the footage in question that children in schools and colleges tend to eat. This was important as we needed people who didn't attend to see what kind of options were available and make their judgement. Both healthy and nonhealthy food was filmed with the reasons for it told by the principals in both documentaries.

6. We both used two shots in documentaries. This gave the vox pox more diversity as it wasn't just one person. Both people in each could look at each other for moral support and agree on ideas with each other and both used a medium shot. 7. Secret filming was also used to show the problem at action. They both showed people eating food. 8. For our vox pops we set them up as either medium shots or medium close ups. We didn't need to use a tripod and put the person in the left third for the framing. 9. In both documentaries formal interviews with sports specialists were arranged. They both were medium close ups and one a tripod with the person in the left third. There was also cut aways to them teaching their course.

In both documentaries, adverts were used. We chose to go with a cartoon advert promoting change for life. It processed information fast, while being factual and fun. Also it might be known so it is spreading awareness to different health schemes that can be used. In the first picture taking from Supersize Me we can see all the corporate bosses are fat, showing us their greed. In our Change for Life advert we see the protagonist is green which shows he was most likely originally healthy as that is what the colour is normally associated with.

Documentary Evaluation: Blur

We decided to add blur to this scene in particular because we felt the statistics on the screen were more important. You can still see in the background that the student is being taught by the teacher and the voice over also tells us this in more detail. We went into blur and set down levels on defocus.

Documentary Evaluation: Settings

We put the export settings to 1280 x 720 to make sure the video came out as a 720 file at 24fps. We made it a quicktime movie and made sure the sound settings were correct at 48.000 hz

Documentary Evaluation: Speed, tools and timeline

The speed of some videos were changed for a specific effect. We either sped up scenes to show the capacity of something in a scene or slowed down a scene for a more important scene. The percentage was changed and then frame blending was clicked. We also unlinked the sound from the video so it could be moved for cut away shots. Throughout the editing process on the timeline we used a variety of the tools on Final Cut. We used the razor tool when wanting specific parts out of a clip and we also used the split tool.

Documentary Evaluation: Youtube

When editing the clips, we came across a problem. One of the scenes was too shaky for our liking. This resulted in uploading to an account on youtube, stabilizing the clip to remove the shake, then re downloading it still in it's HD format.

Radio Trailer

With the radio trailer we made new sequences to record different audio in the radio trailer. We also split part of the file to add in music and exported the audio to the disk. The flow of the music was very upbeat and engaging as that is what the documentary was about and it reflected on the life of teens. We wanted to keep the same feeling we had within the documentary and magazine.


Firstly I made a double paged spread and then added a picture box.

I then added colour to the boxes to start giving it it's brighter look and added in columns to make it look more professional.

More pictures that where then used in the documentary were put in to show people the kind of things that will be discussed with captions explaining in further detail.

The finishing titles were then added in aswell as well as the actual article. We used striking white bold text and a drop cap at the beginning of the paragraph to give it that look often seen in professional looking magazines.

In both magazines we see that they both have the main picture take up about a third of the page. They are both positioned on the left hand side of third. Both also have sub title, columns, and pictures from both documentaries. Both are based around life of teens.

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