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By Lee Carter
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I would say that our soap advertisement doesn’t challenge conventions of real media, however our soap idea does, we decided to have our soap based on one family and there close friends. This isn’t typical of soaps as soaps focus on a number of family’s living around the same area. Our soap is focused around a street, we were inspired by Eastenders and the Mitchell family, we liked the idea of one family that is know and wealthy and that surrounding people fear/respect. • To come up with the idea/look of our promo and posters/magazines, we did a lot of research, we looked at existing media product and we looked and took inspiration from the ones we liked, we also made some questionnaires and gave them out and looked at the results. So we based our promo and posters on what peopled liked.
• We took our inspiration from the Eastenders/bbc theme of the plain background with text and the logos for the program and the channel. Channel logo website Date, time and program Alot of soap promos use text throughout the promo to build suspense, asking rhetorical questions etc to build the suspense however we didn’t do this and we used our music to keep the pace and to build the suspense. They usually use a voice over at this point as well, this is either a male or female and usually in a soft spoken voice we did this but we used a number of different people to say sections of the text to give the surrounded feel from the characters point of view.
• We took some of our inspiration from the Eastenders, Max’s Judgment day (2008) promo, we have the same walking idea and the meeting of people who he has wronged in the past, however we went for the idea of having our character not know that he is hated, and just walking down the street minding his own business. The typical shots are simple low, wide, crane and mid shots and we used all these in ours.
= Family Inc
• All soap promos have extra-diagetic sound, and some have diagetic sound as well when planning our screenplay our first idea was music, we though of Massive Attacks – Tear Drop (1996), however due to copyright issues we could not use the music so we decided to create our own inspired my Tear Drop (1996). With all the promo we researched they had extradiagetic sound that compliments the feel of their promo, the thing that we liked about Tear Drop (1996) was the ambients and the drum beat, with this in mind the shots and feel of our promo just came to use we could vision how it should look and that the promo should be surreal. We also envisioned slow-mo’s here and there.
• For the magazine we went against the conventions we decided to have it as a special edition all about family inc. we used our research/questionnaire, many people liked the posed shots that all magazines have and the colours, however a lot of people didn’t like the cluttered look of the magazines so we decided to de-clutter our magazine cover.
Existing product Our Magazine Cover
• Soaps do not usually make posters so we decided to look at drama posters as we feel this is the closest genre to soaps. We looked at the drama posters and made another questionnaire, people seemed to like the way the characters are posed and the colours used, we feel that the posters are very plain and simple however stand out and catch your attention.
= Show logo/title
= Channel Logo
= Date/time shown
How effective is the combination of the Main Product and the ancillary tasks?
• I believe that our final product outcome combining the main product (soap Promo) and the ancillary task turned out well and I believe that our group is happy with it, our posters and magazine all link very well as we made sure to have the same characters in the magazine and posters as we had in the actual promo minus one or two less important characters to the storyline. However I do feel that our magazine and posters could have looked more professional in there finish, as we were a little bit behind schedule and we didn’t know how to use Photoshop. If I were to make any improvements that would be it, I would have created the posters and magazines on Photoshop to get a professional look and finish to them. To begin with we all came up with a few rough ideas for our promo, we all hit upon an idea of someone walking down a street, we went off and researched existing soap promo individually and came back to discuss as a group we all found the same features kept cropping up music, recognisable characters, mid shots, text/titles etc. we then discussed more as a group, we then thought about having a slightly surreal feel to it, we liked the idea of a who done it type thing as these are common in soaps, we also noticed that nearly all the promos we looked at were linked to a death and/or a reveal of some sort. We then thought about having our character dead and walking past all the characters that could have killed him, we then thought about having it as he is alive and walking down a street but being oblivious to his surroundings, meeting people on the way, people that hate him and who he might have wronged in the past. After this idea we had to think about shots and scenes after a little while of discussion we liked the idea of starting with a low shot, character out of shot and walking in, but whilst he is out of shot you can hear the rustling of the wind in the trees from a distant, we then thought about music and we all liked the idea of an ambient sound song and all agreed Massive Attacks – Tear drop (1996) would be good as the ambient of the song is what we had in mind. We then liked that idea of having cut to the drum beat to keep up the pace and to keep the promo interesting, we however couldn’t use the actual Tear Drop (1996) so I then had the task of creating the music, with input from the other group members. I feel that the combination of the main Product and the ancillary tasks helped a lot with the overall outcome of our products, soap advertisement, magazine cover and poster.
How did you use new media technologies in construction, planning, research and evaluation?
• We used all sorts of media technologies when creating the final Media Product, we already had knowledge of some of the technologies we used and also learned more when creating the product. When starting this unit we created a Wiki on Wetpaint, which was new to me but quite easy to use as it is similar blogger which we have used for the last two units. We created this to upload all of our research, planning and final products. We did planning/research for three topics, advertisement, magazine covers and posters. We made pages for all of these, we first made a page for research of similar media products. This page was designed for us to upload and put all of our research into existing soaps and soap promos, when doing this we analysed narrative, mise-en-scene, camera angles/editing, sound and titles, we did this to help us with creating our own products, this helped us decide what we wanted to include and not in our advertisement. New media technologies helped alto with research as we could find previous existing soap advertisements with ease due to the fact that they are on youtube and also helped with our fact research as we could find a lot of website with facts and statistics about soaps, soap conventions and soap demographics. New media technologies help also for storage and presentation, we used various websites to store our work and to upload onto our Wiki’s, we used youtube to upload our videos onto and then we embedded them onto our Wiki’s and we also used scribd to store our word documents etc. and embed onto our Wiki’s, I also used Cubase 4 to create and produce the music. This was not new to me however it was to the other group members so I we discussed what we wanted and I went ahead and created it, we then listened back to it and we all suggested improvements which then resulted in the finished product which I believe the whole group is happy with.
What Have You learned from your Audience Feedback?
• We created two questionnaires for our poster and magazine research, we created these to help us create our posters and magazines we learnt a lot about what people liked and wanted to see from posters and magazines. Before creating and handing out the questionnaires we looked at existing products and we researched them ourselves we all came to the same conclusions and we all found typical themes to them, so from this we created our questionnaire’s with the relevant questions.
Poster: We found that the things that stood out the most for people were the characters, colours, and the poses they were in, we found that the background are usually plain and simple, and not much is going on in the posters however something about them catches your eye, we found there is a lot of symbolism and also juxtapositions to them, so with our result we started to create and come up with some drafts for our posters. Magazine Covers: We found with our own research that most of the covers were very cluttered and full with lots of bright, big, bold lettering. However we found that the majority of people did not like this and preferred the plainer, simpler covers so we decided to go against the norm and make our cover plainer less cluttered but still keeping the feel of the soap magazines. We kept the posed photo that takes up the whole cover but we made our magazine as a ‘Family Inc.’ special anniversary edition. And have a few screen shots of the our soap and also include what is featured in the magazine.
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