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Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media product? During the process of creating our documentary we researched a range of professional documentaries in order to understand the different types of codes and conventions that are used. At first we looked at different kinds of documentary such as Supersize me A good Smack and Teen Spices to get an insight on the different types of documentary features. For example the use of hand held camera, the worms eye and birds eye view shots and many more. The picture to the right shows some basic notes that I jotted down on two of the Documentaries. Once deciding on the topic of the Documentary we decided to research other Documentaries with a similar Genre in order to get a true focus on the different types forms and conventions we would be following. Most importantly to find what montage similar documentaries follow. The documentary that I looked at was called Mixed Britanna which also focuses on the integration of Multiculturalism in the UK. This link will take you to BBC iPlayer where you can view all the episodes of Mixed Britanna. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b015skx4). Both factual based documentaries carried similar codes and conventions. One simularity was adapted was the Worms eye view shot. Here you can see a print screen of a shot were a black women and asain man are getting married. This shows that mix of cultures and races is possible. The use of the worms eye view can imply that Multicultarlism is superior and truly valued over failed multicultarism. This common code of TV documentary is highly used to show current dominance. Simulally, the use of the worms eye view in our documentary was used to show the diffrence types of cultures entering The 6th form College Solihul. The shot to the left also shows that Multicultralism according to the college is finally accepted and exists. I was very pleased with the look of this shot as it is an important form of real media product. Furthermore, during the introduction of our Documentary we filmed an asain man playing his instrument in the town of Solihul. The aim and purpose of our Documentary was to inform, educate and explain to our target audience about the integration of Society. This original piece of filming adds to the sence of realism showing and informing that Multicultralism is highly valued and does exist in a typically white middle class area. The fact that he has freedom of playing his music represents

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

freedom of speech and freedom of rights. Another simular media form that we used was Cross-Dissolve. This effect was used so that it would allow a rhythmetic flow to the documentary and also allow the documentary to come across as cohenrant.

As you can see from the above still images, the Cross-Dissolve effect was used successfully. I believe we successfully used this effect in our Documentary.

As our Documentary was based on a real, present issue in the UK, it was important that there was a real sense of actuality. One of the ways in which we tackled the actuality was the use of Mise En Scene. Here, the fact that there is a Media Student from a College being interviewed, the class room set up (i.e: she is sat in front of an interactive white board) and the use of the sign on the bottomleft of the screen adds to the sense of realism. In our research of documentaries it was found that being informative and showing realistic footage was essential inorder to give our documentary a true touch of reality.

The use of slight headspace at the top of the screen and the fact that the interviewee eyes are in the top third of the screen are typical media conventions.

Occupation of just over half of the frame is a common media convention.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

The Integration of Society Documentary carries a range of different types of Documentary modes. Bill Nichols (2001) distinguished particular traits and conventions of various documentary film styles. One mode that was used was the Poetic Mode. This also can be originally interpreted as a Soviet Montage Theory which looks at a contrast of photos and the principles of photogenie. Our Documentary has a small element of the poetic mode. For example, the use of the Manuel Focus shots was used to give our footage a bit more of an interesting and nice look. The use of this poetic aspect could be seen as aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, another type of Documentary mode that was in our documentary was the Expositional mode. John Grietson explains that this sharply moves away from the poetic mode in the context of visual practise and storytelling however using rhetoric language. (i.e: the use of persuasive language, the use of factual information and opinions given by interviewees.) Here, you can see that the expositional mode was thoroughly used in our Documentary. Many interviews discussed the positive effects and actions of Multiculturalism in Britain and further stating how we can overcome racism in the UK. In addition the use of an omnipresent voiceover is another aspect of expositional mode which was also used in our documentary. Alternatively, another key media concept that was used in our documentary was the observational mode. Here, no narrative was necessary however this concept is based on what the audience actually sees. This mode helps increase the actuality and realism in the Documentary. We used this throughout the documentary. For example, when Asian Youth Worker Jag Jagdev was integrating and talking to a group of white college students. This footage evidently shows that socialising with people from different backgrounds is not an issue in this particular environment is without having to use narrative. This mode is very strong in showing the true existence of the topic being discussed in the Documentary. The image to the left shows a Manuel focus shot. Here, you can see that in the foreground you have your white man and in the background a group of Asian people. The use of the Manuel focus shot shows an element of the poetic mode. Combined with this, the observational mode is also present at the same time. The footage is typically showing white people at a division from Asian people, negatively portraying Multiculturalism again without the need of a narrative. Although overall our Documentary portrays Multiculturalism positively it is important to show the counter argument and that

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

not all people agree with Integration of Multiculturalism in Britain. The use of this footage adds to the sense of realism and further the use of the combination of modes interprets the documentary style. In contrast to this, one Documentary style which has not been used was the Participatory mode. We simply used a voiceover rather than an actual author of the Documentary unlike the likes of Supersize me (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2diPZOtty0) or the opinion based Documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chj5R0Izt9s). The Final element of Documentary style that can be used is the Reflexive Mode. This helps the audience to view the text of the documentary in a more objective way, almost helping the audience to understand what exactly the documentary is about. This mode was briefly used during the introduction of the documentary where the narrator explains when immigration roughly started and most importantly why it happened. Here, we had demystified something quite vague and complex into something simple. One of the major obstacles that we had to undergo was the opening of our Documentary. We knew that the introductory scene would create an important first impression. We got together and had a group discussion, further writing down notes and storyboarding ideas. We finally concluded that we would open with a mini clip of Mike Hattons (Media Teacher) interview. Here, we would straight away inform the audience what the documentary is about which significantly relates to the concept of the reflexive mode. Combining our documentary, we also created a radio trailer. Here, we used typical codes and conventions of a radio trailer in-order to advertise our documentary. For example, simply stating why the documentary is a must watch and the date and time the documentary will be showing. Furthermore, the use of diegetic sound in the background of the voiceover shows a real, typical media convention. However, one flaw to using the same sound throughout the radio trailer was that there would be a risk of audience boredom. On the other hand, the same background music used in the radio trailer is the same backing tune used in the Documentary. This adds to the coherence and stability of keeping all our media products similar and noticeable for our target audience.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Furthermore, we combined the backing tune with the voice over in our Documentary. When dealing with these various levels of sounds and volumes we would ensure that all sound levels were consistent and balanced. Although, this skill is not a major code and convention it indeed nevertheless is used in the documentary culture.

Alternatively, we created a double spread magazine article to also promote our Documentary. Initially we drafted our article based on the research and planning we carried out. Here, our intentions were that we followed as many media codes and conventions as possible.

Structured interview Basic Title General text Stand First and Drop Cap

General images and caption

Grab Quote By-line

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

The final double spread article turned out to be layered out in a similar format as our draft. Our plan for the article had worked out well and as a group was very happy with the final piece.

Headline with a Rhetorical question simply displaying what the article is about and making the readers reflect

By-line stating the composers of the article. Typical media convention.

Stand first and Drop cap to introduce the article.

Structured question and interview. Typical way of tackling a common media convention

Drop cap and bright red colour in capital letters to exaggerate the must watch documentary

Grab quotes to inform the audience the about topic of the article, grabbing the readers attention. Captions to interpret and give information about the images shown.

Range of pictures to show a high level of sophistication.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? On an overall basis, I feel that the combination of our main product and ancillary texts complement each other very well. Both the radio trailer and documentary compromise perfectly in the context that the same music is being played. Furthermore, the introductory extract from the documentary has been imported into the trailer which a viewer would instantly recognise had they listened and viewed both the Radio trailer and Documentary. Contrasting to this, a problem with the radio trailer could be the lack of artistic variety choice as we only stuck to one backing song throughout. However, we felt that as Multiculturalism is such a major, present issue in the Britain we felt that going for a straight-forward background track would enhance the seriousness and importance of our Documentary. Furthermore, the snap-shot image of an interviewee in the Article which has been taken from the documentary makes our brand recognisable. Instantly the audience will recognise the interviewee therefore promoting our documentary. The fact that there is an image of a Asian women and White man together as a couple represents unity. This is promoting Multiculturalism positively. This image would seem pleasing to the audience therefore making the audience want to watch and adhere the great outcomes of immigration.

On the other hand, a problem we considered in the design of the article is the use of the simplistic colours of black and white. These colours can seem very dull and may not catch the readers attention very well. However, after careful consideration we decided to stick to the basic colours. We felt that more colourful, eyecatching colours would eliminate the seriousness of the topic being discussed in the article. The use of structured interview type of text from The Editor of the Documentary seems to make the documentary very interesting and informative. It also allows the Editor to un-ravel the core meaning and message they are trying to send to the viewers. The target audience for our media product is generally an upper-market, affluent, educational, sophisticated audience. Nevertheless to say that the younger audience age ranging to 19-35 also would benefit in watching this educational, informative documentary. Therefore, it was essential that our Brand Identity would meet the majority of the widerange target audiences needs. We chose to show our documentary on BBC 2 as it is a mix genre channel appealing to a broad adult audience with programmes of depth and

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

substance. Furthermore, many educational, informative documentaries are shown on this channel. Many people would question whether the BBC 2 channel would be viewed by a younger audience. Generally as mentioned above the upper-market older age would view the channel. However, BBC 2 is a Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) which means that the programmes are by far suitable for a slightly younger audience of ages 19-35. Combining with this, to play our radio trailer, we nominated BBC 2 Radio. Again, this radio station appeals to the upper-market, affluent audience nevertheless to say that the slightly younger audience who are interested about the life of Britain would be just as well intrigued to tune into this Radio Station. Also, it would only seem logical to play the Radio Trailer on BBC 2 Radio as it some ways would allow the audience to easily remember what channel the Documentary would be on. Finally, we chose to display our Article in the Radio Times Magazine. Research has shown that Radio Times is one of the most current leading magazines in the UK. Furthermore, it is known for advertising and displaying different types of programmes including educational, informative documentaries. Also, they channels including BBC 2. We thought that this would combine perfectly undoubtedly creating a brand identity. To conclude, I think that our ancillary tasks and documentary combine successfully well together. The use of similar images and sounds creates a fantastic match. The article is well structured, easy to read and well-focused on the promotion of our documentary. The use of different opinions on the radio trailer originates un-biased views. Having said this, one thing that could be improved to help promote our Documentary further would be using a range of background music in-order to avoid a risk of boredom. However, the combination of these three products I believe, do truly create a significant and important Brand Identity.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

What have you learned from your audience feedback? To collect our audience feedback we created three simple questionnaires based on our Documentary, Radio Trailer and Magazine article. The first question that was asked on all three questionnaires was based on if the all three Brands fulfilled its aim and purpose. The following graph illustrates what our classroom of 9 students thought.

In all cases, you can see that the everyone considard our products to successfully fulfil its aim on purpose which was to discuss, inform and edcuate the importance and change of Multicultralism in Britian.

Article Questions:
Did the first minute of the documentary hold your focus and interest you enough to want to watch the rest of the remaining minutes of the documentary?
10 9 Number of people asked 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Yes Response No

Here, you can see that all 9 of our classmates felt that the first minute of our documentary held their focus. Furthermore, it interested them enough to want to watch the remaining minutes of the Documentary.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

How pleased were you w ith the edit of our documentary?

Poor

Response

Satisfactory

Good

On a whole you can see that the majority of the people rated the edit of our documentary good and also excellent. No one had rated the edit poor. This implies that the edit of our documentary was successful.

Excellent

Number of people asked

How do you feel about the effects and transitions used in the documentary?
8 7 Number of people asked 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Excellent Good Response Satisfactory Poor

Majority of people rated the effects and transitions in the documentary as Good. No one had rated it as Poor again implying that our Documentary according to the transitions and effects was successful.

How well does the documentary compare with the real television documentries?

Poor

Response

Satisfactory

Good

Excellent

Again, you can see that no one had rated our Documentary comparison with real TV Documentaries as Poor. Majority of people had said it was good suggesting that our Documentary was successful in carrying similar media codes and conventions.

Number of people asked

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Do you think the voice over and background musi c levelled correctly?

No Response

Yes

3 Number of people asked

Here, you can see that most people said that the voice-over and background music levels had levelled correctly. However, a minority percentage said they had not. This shows that our documentary could have been improved so it could sound more professional and coherent.

What do you like most about the documentary?


6

5 Number of people asked

0 Variety of shots Informative Response Images used Interviews

Many people answered this question differently. The most popular answer was that our documentary was mostly liked because it was informative. We were very proud of this feedback as our formal proposal had stated that the aim of our documentary was to inform. The results also show that much of our audience was intrigued by the interviews.

The feedback suggested to improve our documentary was that 4.5 the opening should have had sound 4 rather than just showing the title. 3.5 This was a fair point to make. If 3 we added music from the very start 2.5 2 it would have made our 1.5 documentary sound more 1 appealing and exciting. One major 0.5 problem that occurred in the 0 Titles too slow Opening sound levels Too many interviews More interviews process of our documentary was Response the fact that our titles appeared to slow. We found that this was a major flaw to our documentary due to the software that was used (Final Cut Express). Unfortunately, as a group we were unable to change this. In future, we would know not to use the Typewriting effect on Final Cut Express for our titles.
What changes would you suggest in order to improve this documentary?
Number of poeple asked

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Radio Trailer Questions:

Did the radio trailer hold your focus and interest you enough to want to w atch the documentary l ater?

No Response

Yes

The majority of our classmates felt that they would want to watch our documentary later. This shows that our Radio Trailer successfully promoted our documentary. The one person that dis-agreed with this concept to us seemed quite surprising.

Number of people

How well does the radio trail compare w ith real radio channels?

Poor

Response

Satisfactory

Good

Excellent

Majority of people rated our radio trailer as excellent and good in the context that it compared well with real radio channels. No one had rated it as Poor implying that our Documentary had successfully followed media codes and conventions.
4.5

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

Number of people asked

How pleased were you with the sound levels of the radio trailer?
4.5 4 Numner of people asked 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Excellent Good Response Satisfactory Poor

Here, you can see that majority of people were pleased with the sound levels of the radio trailer. This shows that our radio advert had successfully tackled the volume control of sound.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

3.5 Number of people asked 3

What do you like most about the radio trailer?

2.5 2

1.5 1

As you can see many people answered differently in this question. Many people liked different things which made our group proud. The most popular answer was the use of good scripting.

0.5 0 Music Range of voices Good script Excellent interviews Informative Response

Magazine Article Questions:

How well do you think the layout of the double page spread is?

Poor

Response

Satisfactory

On a whole, majority of our classmates rated the layout of our article Good. This shows that the creative part to our double spread article was composed very well.

Good

Excellent

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

Number of people asked

How well does the double page spread compare with real double page arti cles?
6 5 Number of people asked 4 3 2 1 0 Excellent Good Response Satisfactory Poor

Here, you can see that the majority of our classmates thought that our magazine article followed aspects of a real media magazine very well. This shows that our group successfully followed the typical media codes and conventions successfully.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

What do you like most about the double page spread?


6

5 Number of people asked

Here, you can see that the audience liked a range of things on our double page spread including a good layout. This made our group feel proud of the work we composed.

1 0 Good use of images Good layout Response Nice colors

What changes would you suggest in order to improve this double page article?

Add page numbers Response

One flaw to our magazine article is that we forgot to add a major, key media concept of adding page numbers. If we could go back we would add this on.

The suggestion of using different colours was taken into account. However, as a group we thought it 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Number of people asked was important to stick to a simple and sophisticated look to our article rather than a mix and range of different colours. This was done in-order to exaggerate and enhance the real importance and seriousness of our Documentary.

Different colours

To conclude, if I was to take on the same project again, I would take a lot of the advice suggested by my peers. I have found that it is very important to gain audience feedback as it critically analyses different aspects of your work both positively and with suggested improvements. From my audience feedback, I have learned that it is important to never to rush your work as it is always important to remember all the common media codes and conventions. Furthermore, it is important to consistently listen to your media product so that you can ensure that your sound volumes are correctly levelled.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stage? During the process of our documentary we integrated with a range of different types of media technologies, both Software and Hardware, familiar and unfamiliar products. Firstly, in-order to conduct our research we used standard college PCs, Macs, home Laptops, TVs and DVDs to look at a range of different styled documentaries.

We also embedded ourselves with a range of websites relevant to gain essential, appropriate research. As part of our research, the link takes you to a prime example of a You tube clip that we looked at, in-order to jot down notes about the types of codes and conventions used in Documentaries. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JELossiyi9o&feature=fvst) We scrutinised the Internet service by viewing and using a range of websites in-order to research and plan for our documentary project. Common, key websites used were:

Through the process of research and planning it was important to Blog everything we did to inform the examiner of the hard effort we put in. We used the website Blogger.com to construct a range of Blogs to demonstrate the different types of methods and processes we dealt with. Blogger.com also allowed us to upload written planning material. We used a scanner to upload paper based documents. This allowed us to analyse other documentaries on paper conveniently knowing that we could convert them onto an online digital format. I feel that Blogger.com is a user friendly website allowing individuals like myself to really show off our broad knowledge and skills involving media technology. To convert these handwritten documents into a digital format we used a Scanner. This hardware was available to us in the collage environment.

Scanner used to upload written documents onto the blogger. (HP Scanjet 5370c scanner)

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Software: Final Cut Express

During the construction of our Documentary we used a range of different programmes and Software that served different purposes. To edit our product we used the programme Final Cut Express located on the Apple Mac. This programme was new to all of us although it did not take me long familiarise myself with this software. The link takes you to a slideshow that I created. It examples some of the key features that I used in the making of our Documentary. (http://www.slideshare.net/AnekaAhmed/final-cut-express-skills-development-powerpoint11301037). My knowledge on how to use this software has expanded dramatically. Exemplar of the Final Cut Express workspace:

Menu Bar to locate different things

This allows the viewing of different clips and sequences before transferring it onto the timeline

The Canvas displays the video as it is on the timeline

Browser containing sound files, still image files and video files. These files had earlier been log and transferred.'

The tool bar consists of different tools and options to manipulate clips.

The timeline shows the different types of clips being played and layered. Different layered of sound showing both diegetic and non-diegetic sound. This line allows you to view what, where and when is being displayed.

These bars allow you to visualise and control the sound levels

The black lines and dots allow manipulation of the appearance of moving images

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Abode InDesign

During the production of our magazine article we used Abode InDesign. Here, we further adapted our skills. We were already familiar with this programme as we used it in the production of our AS level project. Our entire group felt comfortable to use this software. Exemplar of the Abode InDesign workspace:
Location for essential codes and conventions such as Drop Cap . The slide bar containing the user s preferred tools. This shows that this software is user friendly

Menu bar to change options and modify the programme

Toolbar containing the different tools and options used to edit the layout.

The swatches tab, used to detect the different colours the user has chosen

Abode InDesign also shares similar aspects with Abode Photoshop which my group have also dealt with in the past. The use of the Swatches bar (image to the left) demonstrates a prime example of the programmes fine features as user friendly. Furthermore, we used a range of tools including the Drop Cap tool which is a typical media code that we chose to import into our magazine article. Button used for drop cap To make our Article look more presentable and appealing we used a range of effects such as Drop Shadow. This was mainly used on the behind of our images we chose to enhance an electrifying look.
Button used for Drop Shadow

When viewing our article you can see that all our text has been typed in upper-case letters. The image the left shows the button we used to activate our text to become capital letters.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

When importing images into the layout of our article it was important that we drew the frame of our picture first. Thereafter, importing the image from our files. This would allow us to manipulate our image by changing the layout, positioning and viewing of the image. This also would allow you to edit images without jeoprodising the original file. Here, Abode InDesign demonstrate a high level of professionlism.

Garage Band: During the process of creating our Radio Trailer, we chose to use Apples Garage Band. This is because it is fairly straight forward to use. Also, I felt comfortable to use this software as I have composed my own piece of music on it in past school projects. Exemplar of the Garage Band work space:
Allocation of different types of instruments

List of audio and tracks used in our radio trailer

Bar to show what and when something is being played

Menu Bar allowing you to do a range of things such as loop a sequence.

Track volume controller

Button to allocate different tracks

Controller to play, stop, pause, rewind, forward and record audio.

Area to show close up of frequency volumes for each audio

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Garage Band can be seen as one of the most straight-forward, easy to use Softwares ever created. A product that is accessible at home with a high use of professional features anybody is able to create songs, remixs for any sort of genre and purpose. The picture to the right shows the different types of files and music we selected to compose our Radio trailer. Here you can see that we re-named files as well as controlled the sound track volumes. The Auroa Bell and Acoustic Guitar were one of the hundreds of instruments we chose to undergo in our advertisement.

Garage band carries a range of instruments and sound tracks making it software suitable for any style of music. This versatile programme allowed us to easily compose a Radio Trailer in minutes.

To conclude, the three main Softwares we dealt with in the production of our project was Final Cut Express, Abode InDesign and Garage Band. Other types of Software we used included: Microsoft Word for the writing up of our evaluation Microsoft PowerPoint to present presentations and then upload on to slideshare.com Microsoft Excel to import information and then convert them into graphs QuickTime Player to export our documentaries into a quick time movie

Websites that I have also visited to construct and demonstrate my work include Slideshare.com and Scribd.org.

Aneka Ahmed A2 Course work Media evaluation

Hardware: During the construction of our Documentary, Article and Radio Trailer we used a range of Hardware products that my group were both familiar and not familiar with. The video cameras that we used were easy to hold allowing us to take hand held shots and footage in-order to incorporate realistic, natural footage within our Documentary. Furthermore, the use of the Tripod would allow us to take still images and footage. This also included camera pans left to right and top to bottom (or visa-versa) and camera tilts which we as a group found very convenient. What we found very helpful was that the video camera we used had a hard disk allowing us to easily upload our footage on the computer. This made it less time consuming and less complicated. The camera allowed us to manipulate footage in many different ways. For example, the uses of manual focus shots. We also were able to control our white balance which meant as a team one of us would always carry a plain piece of paper. To create our Radio trailer we used a voice recorder. This was the 'MAUIDO microtrack ii'. (Picture to the right) As a group we were familiar with this recorder as we all had used it before. In-order to process the recording and audio we needed Headphones and Microphone. Not only did this process the recording and audio it nonetheless made the process much easier. The use of the directional Microphone would help the audience to stray focus on the interviews and voice over imported in the documentary rather than the background noise. The use of the Headphones would help monitor the assurance that no background noise was taking over the individuals voice.

Overall, I feel that we used a variety of different media technologies in the construction, research, and planning and evaluation stage of the production. I have learnt and adapted my technical skills a lot further and on a whole very proud of our media products. In all honesty the most difficult part of this production was the evaluation stage and through my audience feedback if I was to do this project again I would change a lot of things to make my media product more appealing, effective and memorable. However, I believe that our group have successfully combined our media products together, familiarise ourselves with a range of hardware and software and successfully followed the typical media codes and conventions.