Section A 1B Media Exam

Notes for media exam

  • Created by: amy
  • Created on: 08-06-12 10:42

Digital Technology

Discuss what skills was learnt in terms of digital technology over AS foundation portfolio and A2 Advanced portfolio

Software AS - Adobe Photoshop- This image manipulation programme allowed me to edit images so they were more appropiate for my magazines house style - Marquee tool (magic wand), Lassos tool and colour converters such as the colour variation, burn tool, red eye corrector, dropper and the dodge tool

Photoshop was also was to aid housestyle - Familiar fonts and and shape tools used throughout

Photographs were also manipulated  through lighting effects such as brightness and contrast and shadow effects

The program also uses layers to organise work. This allowed me to create, front cover, contents, and first double page, with an consistent house style

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Digital Technology

Used the weblog to organise planning materials and the evaluation. Blogger is an examples of Web 2.0 technology (O'Reilly 2004). This means that the technology is interactive - audiences can post on the blogs, suggesting any ideas for improvement. Highlights that two-way communication is predominantly uses within the digital technology systems.

Windows movie maker was used to edit a short powerpoint film of our evaluation. This was filmed using  a Canon video recorder. Movie Maker introduced me to timelines and fade transitions, preparing me for my more advanced work with Adobe Premiere. This file was them uploaded to the blog using vimeo - a video sharing site.

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Digital Technology

Hardware AS - Before taking any professional photographs, I used a digital still camera to take photographs for my preliminary college magazine mock up task
I then uploaded the photographs using a usb cable to a desktop computer.
This is where my basic photoshop skills were gained, learning how to crop images, and improve my knowledge on the composition and framing of magazine production.

Used Canon single lens reflex cameras. Learnt how to focus a detachable lens and and learnt how I could achieve a shallow depth of field easily with these cameras.

Some of the images include in my magazine were taken using two studio lights to ensure the subject was not cast in shadow. Taken against a contrasting back-ground of white so hey could be effectively edited during the post-production stage

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Digital Technology

Software and Hardware A2

As filmaker and designer Mark Towse (2002) details digital video to be one of the most important advancements in motion picture technology since television. Film and video production is not now only done in in rich filming companies but can be done at home owing to cheap hardware and software

I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit my footage on a timeline and enhanced my knowledge of layering various footage and audio which was more complex than previously seen in windows movie maker.

An sd camcorder was used to record the footage and was then tranferred to deskstop computers using an SD card reader and was finally imported into Premiere Pro

The non-linear editing software allowed me to edit footage. Split edits to cut the video and footage at different times using the razor tool and cutwaways or cross cuts in order to construct as narrative. Jogger 'dial' to select footage points more precisely

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Digital Technology

To record seperate audio we used a zoom microphone. The audio was then uploaded to the desktop computers using a USB cable

Although I didn't have access to Adobe After Effects, I was still able to edit my documentary to a professional quality as I utilised the video effects and video transition bins in Premiere. I used the brightness and contrast tool to illuminate events and interviews with witnesses

Again I used blogger alongside with my A2 coursework to help with planning

Furthermore I used slideshare to upload powerpoint presentations as efficient easy to read updates on my production work

Cons AS, limited to software materials, didn't have access to desktop publishing QuarkXpress, which would have made it less complex when editing text and image.

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Act of making something
A sense of stylish and artistic development
Challenging conventions or replicating further knowledge of them

'The making of the new and the rearraging of the old' - Bently 1997

Creativity involves behaving or thinking imaginatively

Media Language and Meditation and how i created a preferred meaning

My A2 coursework was influenced by recent social events - The 2011 Summer riots

AS coursework was influenced by current music magazines. Taking conventions and codes seen within these and adding my own individual style and stamp

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Micro Elements - Mise en scene, Camera Work, Sound, Lighting
Composition and Framing
Communications of representations and identities
Consider techonology used and how this has provided me the oppurtunites to be creative

A2 and AS pieces were both knowledge objects. Purpose of them was to provide information regarding the summer riots and gave information about the music scene.

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AS Coursework - A consistent house style to allow my audience realise they are engaging in something featuring a similar theme throughout

Mise en scene - Colours, black, red and white were used as my magazine was based on the conventions of NME and Q magazine

Lighting - Edited the brightness and contrast of the images to make them more appealing with bolder shadows and dramatic highlights. High Key lighting.

The use of the high key images suggested positive connotation of the individuals featured in my magazine. Photoshop helped me to develop flawless images creating the 'ideal' celebrities for my audience.

The language used indicated sterotypical representation of rock stars with terminology used such as 'drugs, sex and alcohol'

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A2 Coursework - Sound - Non diegetic voice over provided a direct address, influenced by current crime documentaries

Used a local voiceover as it allows people to engage with the documentary as they can relate to the dialect of the narrator

A variety of shot types, such as long shots to show the city of Manchester, juxtopositioned with extreme close ups of certain shops that were destroyed during the riots

Mid-shots to get a good clear view of interviewees, providing their feelings and attitudes fluently

Video transitions

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Research and Planning

Learning research skills from AS to A2

Secondary Research - Study of previous music magazines and crime documentaries. Analysis of codes and conventions. The research of the theorist Bill Nichols and documentary modes
Class notes, moodle, internet, viewing and buying figures

Primary Research - Audience questionaires and focus groups
Internet, television and magazines

Pros - Secondary research provided me with a basis into the codes and conventions witnessed within crime documentaries
            Primary research allowed me to gain an insight of who my main target audience should be. Also provided me with the knowledge on any specific events or connections involved within the riots and youth crime

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Research and Planning

Adavantages and disadvantages of

Expense/cost - how much did the research cost? Books? Magazines?

Accessability - Had a tough time finding the relavent news paper ads for my documentary. This added to the expense as I was having to purchase more and more magazines and newspapers to find the relavent resources

Time - Took a number of days to find the appropiate materials to analyse for our research. Time consuming as we had further tasks to undergo such as producing material for our primary research

Reliability - As all my secondary research was done by me myself, taken straight from newspaper and magazine articles I felt the reliability of this research was of a high standard. However, some of the primary research in A2 portfolio was conducted by other team members, which could have been conducted lazily. May have not produced the most accurate results

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Research and Planning

Organisation of Research

Blogger was used to organise all of my production research

A created a design layout with labels indicating what part of my research was where.
Dates and times allowed me to easily find a previous research task if I ever needed to reference it again.

An improvement I could of made within my research is the referencing of materials. For example I should have included a biblography of where all my posters and magazine articles were found, as some of them were missed

Adequate research
Drafting - Flat plans for magazines and ancillary tasks and a storyboard for the production of the documentary

Gaining audience feedback

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Research and Planning

Organisation of time, personnel and equipment

The majority of our production deadlines were met on time, however there were occasions of which they wasn't. This was down to illnesses within the production team, or previous tasks that we had found time consuming, such as finding the appropiate research materials

Communication with a team has to to be clear and direct. On occasions team members wouldn't cooperate leading to missed deadlines and having to work out of hours.

We ultised digital technology to aid with planning, as we made PDF format storyboards, shot lists and a detailed production plan and diary. We attempted to stick to a strict timetable of events throughout the production so we didn't fall behind and lose any unecessary marks

Working individual (AS) is much more efficient as miscommunication isn't a problem, however more work had to be completed solely by me, making it difficult to finish before set deadlines

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Research and Planning

How did I ultilise the blog more at A2 level then AS

It allowed other people in my group to look at what I had placed on my blog, giving them inspiration on to what in include on theirs, and vice versa.

All members of the group were supplied with productions schedules and storyboards, so it became clear to each indivdual who assigned to do what and the objectives we were hoping to aim for.

My AS coursework used a paper questionaire, whilst in my A2 portfolio I used a online survey website 'surveymonkey', which helped gather feedback much quicker and more efficently

Using creativity and digital technology how did I present my research and planning on my blog? Using powerpoint presentations, to provide information in a brief, yet descriptive format. Creative use of charts using Microsoft excel to provide visual representations of research, both A2 and AS

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Post Production

Production at AS consisted of taking the photos for my pre-lim and music magazine, creating text
Post-production was editing these images and text on Photoshop and creating layers to design my front cover, contents page and double page spread layouts

Production at A2 consisted of filming the documentary, making a billboard and tv magazine review.
Post Production at A2 consisted of editing the footage and audio in Adobe Premiere Pro and manipulating any graphics such as our production teams logo in Photoshop

Think about how I have become more technically competent in terms of my use of digial technology to work creatively at the stage of post production

Should make reference to the key media concepts -
Media Language, Representation and Audiences

Why did i use certain editing tools to communicate meaning and mode of address

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Post Production

At the stage of post-production during my A2 advanced portfolio there was more advanced transisitons effects in Adobe Premiere Pro than previously seen in windows movie maker. I used the cross-cut video transition to signify a new area of discussion of the riots, so it's clear that the narrative is moving forward. It was also used to signify an introduction to interviewees, indicating the the audience that these were filmed after the riots took place and not during. During the interviews I enhanced the stereotypical representation that older people are more mature, with the use of formal wear and in an office location. Interviews are also a common convention of crime documentaries as they give personal opinions, thoughts and feelings.

Particular editing tools that were used:
Brightness and Contrast Tool - Photoshop/ Premiere
Magic Wand Tool - Photoshop - Remove Backgrounds of Images
Layer Style -Photoshop - Edit text in an indivudual style. More Interesting for audience

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Post Production

Particular editing tools that were used:
Brightness and Contrast Tool - Photoshop/ Premiere
Magic Wand Tool - Photoshop - Remove Backgrounds of Images
Layer Style -Photoshop - Edit text in an indivudual style. More Interesting for audience
Organised research and planning on blog so it was easy to look back at post-production design layouts
Burn Tool and Dodging Tool- Darkens pixels, this helped to remove any flaws of my 'celebrities'. Used it to deepen eye colour, to create an intense direct mode of address
Insert Title Tool on Premiere to provide names, gave our interviewees an identityand include contact details for helplines
Importing footage into premiere - CCTV Footage
Rendering Tool
Arranging video on a timeline
Razor tool - Cut the timeline into seperate clips, allowing to manipulate the footage how we wished using, montage editing, interviews and recorded footage of Manchester City Centre to provide a valuable meaning

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Post production

The preliminary project served as a helpful practise run as it helped me learn the basic skills necessary for work using Photoshop. At first I found errors where my text and images were not aligned correctly. I then chose to use grids and guide lines to show a higher standard of magazine professionalism. Using the brightness and contrast tool also enabled me to create more appealing images, creating more of a attraction for the audience

During the production of my advanced portfolio I gained further knowledge on how to use complex computer applications, in particular the film editing equipment Adobe Premiere Pro.
Title Tool
Razor Tool
Importing audio and film files

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Generic Media Conventions

Genre Theory - What are the codes and conventions of crime documnetaries
Opening Music Sequence
CCTV Footage
Archive Footage

In what ways did my product adhere to these
Contained them all.

Mise en scene

Expository documentary mode - Typically used for television news documentaries
Conventions such as direct mode of address and logical argument with conclusion featured in 'Manchester Riots 2011'

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Dominic Simmons


This is good but it's for Question 1a not 1b!!

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