Evaluat ion A2 Media Studies By Johnny Fonseca
QUESTION 1 - In what ways does your media product use ,devlop or callenge forms and conventions of real medai products? Once I finally decided to create a short film and shy away from the stereotypical music video I had to really familiarize myself with the conventions of short films and watch as many as possible. I then began thinking about creating a short film and what I wanted the message to be – I also thought about
products I went through the same brand identity for “A Vida Doce”, it was a very simple and simplistic look which connotates my short film and the film poster. My review follows a majority of the conventions such as using the pull quotes from the review to grab the reader’s attention. The overall layout is
the overall image/design of the products.
very professional, with three columns per page all in ratio. I also used joyful screen grabs to sell the film and to represent to the audience that the short is an enjoyable film filled with various cinematic elements, the review as a whole is very captivating with multiple cinema verite shots to really illustrate the type of film it actually is. A documentary on family life which everyone can relate too. I also gave extra subtitles to each photograph to tell the audience to give them an insight into the film and make them live parts of the film. Lastly I also added a section dedicated to the film poster of “A Vida Doce”, this is very unusual for a review double page and its film poster is there to boast the publicity of the short and also use the convergence of advertising.
A Vida Doce
The overall image of my article basically sets my short with a very clean thought – mixed with the images the audience begin to understand basic information of the short. Each magazine has their own image even if the same film is being review the different magazines could demonstrate the short as something completely different. In a sense there is no professional/convention film double page spread review. In my opinion especially with my background of freelance photography I knew a thing or two about brand image. I first did some research looking at many different articles and seeing their magazine image. Upon viewing several magazine I came to a conclusion on the type of base layout I was after. Throughout each of my
Film Posters are simply there to sell the film in any way
possible. The layout of the poster features all the relevant information with regards to where to view the film. Film posters are usually packed full of information so they can use the poster to its full potential, however I did the complete opposite and I wanted the film poster to be a front image for my short film – something beautiful with a bit of information. I chose a different font which weren’t very common and for most people a bit plain – that was the whole image I was trying to create, by using fonts like “Calibri” and “Times New Roman” I was able to get that authentic look. I wanted the image to grab the audience’s attention as the image represents pars of my film in one image. I didn’t use any crazy colours instead I used the colour white on top of the sunset image which made the text stand out due to the difference in contrast. The photograph I used was an old man taking a
photograph of the sunset – the image gives that nostalgia feeling. Also for the age rating instead of using an official BBFC certificate I opted for a more elegant age restriction which
consisted of a simple box with the information about the age restriction in it. As it’s a white it won’t stand out as much, especially if I am using white text everywhere on the poster. The main objective for the film poster is so that everyone seems the image behind the text – that will explain the short. With these changes I was able to grab my audience at a surprise – seeing a clean, spacious film poster is rarely seen and I would take it as far as that it’s shun upon. My short film is just like any other in a sense of most conventions. I shot the film with a cinema verite aspect however some of the shots are of people who are actually aware of the camera and clearly face the camera. I am facing the stereotypical conventions of a short film but including two well-known but separate conventions of cinema verite and camera aware. By mixing two common conventions to form my short film. It sort of changes the aspect of documentary in my film to more of a drama documentary/digital storytelling. My short film also challenges the following the convention of linear narrative structure, it challenges the forms of a linear narrative as it doesn’t have a set equilibrium or disturbance, my short film merges each section together to creates a constant equilibrium due to having a continuous narrative. My film follows the convention of a omniscient narrative and this was done purposely so that the audiences could feel just as important as
the people in the film – no one was different, we are the same people and I really wanted the emphasis of removing social grades, class and status out of the picture and make my audience all on the same level, equal. Due to the unplanned shooting arrangements my short film is very natural, unlike most videos where they had to think about costume and miseen-scene. I wanted to work against that and create a short film which hold a natural and in the moment element. My short film holds universal themes such as love, friendship, relationships, celebrations and religion. One example of this is the shot of the wedding which not only shows love but also friendship for the people who are there to witness the religious ceremony - these are all elements of the grand ideas, which can be linked to meta-narratives. My modernist text strikes the moral centre of the notion of family and the Cartesian self. There are multiple motifs in “A Vida Doce” – from the musical instrument of the accordion or the religious signs such as the rosary which are displayed all throughout the film.
QUESTION 2 - How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? My A2 Media Studies coursework required me to come up with and create a short film alongside ancillary tasks, creating a double page spread film review and a film poster. Each of these production tasks are fit for a purpose as they all follow conventions in some way. I had to make sure that each of my products had clear synergy. I needed each product to follow the same theme, texts and colour scheme. For all my products to go successful I had to know exactly what sort of image I wanted each of my products to look like, I wanted the theme to be quite pure and real – no major colour splashes. When I began to create my film poster I knew that I had to keep the same mentality of clean, fresh look whilst designing the poster. For my base photograph I had to take an image which represented the film as a whole. Whilst on holiday I took over 100GB of footage but on the side I took a vast amount of photographs Lucky enough I found this picture I took of an old man capturing the sun setting on his camera, I was also extremely lucky to have captured this photograph both portrait and landscape. I also had to keep in mind the purpose of the short film – to promote the short film and give information about the short, this information doesn’t have to be a block of text explaining the short – the reviews and style of the poster already tells the audience enough information. The overall purpose is for the poster to represent the short as a whole and interest the target audience to watch the film. The main font “Scriptina”
was found on www.dafont.com I then downloaded the font and checked the copyright rules. I decided to use this font style because I felt that it really expressed the sheet beauty of family whilst maintaining the professional fresh
theme. The font had so much power in the film poster that is still stands out from the edited photograph, which is exactly what I wanted to get from a font. I also added an award to the film poster to give it that professional look and also for the audience’s purpose – people will be more likely to watch a short film which has won an award then one that hasn’t. There really only is three different fonts on the overall poster which was exactly what I wanted. I used a bold different font for the title of the short and then for the reviews I used a plain “Calibri” font for the reviews as I felt that name the reviews seem more natural, if I chose the “Scriptina” font for the reviews it would feel as if the reviews are too childish and not important to the poster. I also kept the theme of clean and simple so I felt it was best to leave all information on the poster as plain. However saying that I used “Times New Roman” for the sub heading “Remember, happiness is a choice”, this was purely due to me want-
ing a real formal approach to the meaning. I didn’t want the audience to feel that that line was a joke or not important. Ultimately the film poster did the job with a professional and consistent theme running through it – I continued this for each of my products. I took exactly the same approach when designing my double page spread film review. However for this task I had much more space to design. I mixed and matched different elements from other magazines and combined them to create my double page spread. The main purpose of the double page spread was for potential viewers to understand people’s opinions/reviews on the short. In the case of my short film review article I had to keep the same vibe that the audience would receive when watching the short. I did this by designing a professional and realistic article, I chose images and quotes from the actual short and made sure they represented the short as a whole – such as “Two sing louder than one” and screen grabs of some of the visual progressions such as the music instrument of the accordion. I also included a credits/film poster section to demonstrate that the short isn’t just a random short someone created, the film poster illustrates a professional side to the short. I also made the double page spread
– even if it’s a simple phone call to an old relative.
under the magazine “Sight and Sound” which is a very big magazine for both music and film. Not only did I think about the image the magazine had and portrayed to its readers but also the amount of readers they actually have. I could have gone down the road of choosing a more unknown magazine and giving my short a more indie look however I want my short to be mainstream – it should relate to everyone and anyone. Ultimately “A Vida Doce” was the core of the production tasks – everything revolved around it. The purpose of the short film was to send out a message to people. A message about family and friends and the importance of them – quotes such as “Family are like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions but our roots will stay as one!” and “Remember, happiness is a choice”. Through these quotes I am basically try-
ing to tell people to not take their family for granted and that if you do one day you will regret it. They are important – cherish them. Another purpose of the short film is to give audi-
Lastly I feel that I have created a perfect theme and house style which I ran through each and every product. I used the same fonts throughout the each product such as “Scriptina”, “Time News Roman” and “Calibri” – which all have a plain/simple look which I wanted each of my products to ences a better understanding of include. I also used the same set the meaning of family and what of colours throughout each of my families should be like, after products, such as the colour white, watching the short people will black and light blue – The only most likely think about their own colour which was used for only family and reminisce. However it one product was the double page also depicts how each family will spread film review, however every be completely different in their other product included black and traditions and festivities, in my white. I also used the same screen case my family have a Portuguese grabs such as for the film article I background and that’s what my had an image of my cousin playing short is based around. Furtherthe accordion and that same shot I more, the editing and technical used as the short films thumbnail. aspect of the video itself is sucFor each product I kept the mescessful as the combination of sage through using photographs cinematic and party celebration which connect with the short or footage creates a very emotional, quotes which represent the short. authentic and honest tone and The brand for my products are makes the short true to its mesclearly identified through the use sage. In the end another reason of synergy as all three products for this short film was to entertain have symbiotic family relationship. people and think about their own Leading to and overall creation family. It was to bring back memoof a well-combined and successries and really have a good feeling ful short film with a double page after watching the short. I think review and a film poster which that my video will emotionally efgives the film a professional feel fect the viewer in the sense that it and overall telling people a simple would make them look at themmessage – love your family. selves and the way they connect with their family. I feel that my final product is of a high standard and that it will evoke emotion from others and that it was created and formed perfectly. My products are emotionally engaging on a personal level to everyone in every social class/grade and as far as the creativity goes, I believed that what I created will touch many people including me. I also believe that people will change things in their life from watching this short
qUESTION 3 - What have you learned from your audience feedback? Throughout the whole project I took feedback as a major aspect through each production, without some sort of feedback I feel that my final pieces would not be as strong as they are without any form of feedback. I personally feel that one type of feedback isn’t enough, the more versatile feedback you are able to acquire the better. My feedback usually consisted of q uantitative and qualitative which mostly came from my surveys/questionnaires. The target audience for my media products will be for 16+ both male and female, from every social grade A,B,C1,C2,D and E – This is prominently due to my products being relatable to everybody from any background. However my target age for my short is 16+ as younger audiences might not understand the meaning of the short however this does not mean they cannot enjoy the short as well. Taking psychographics into consideration, every group will receive a different type of enjoyment from the short film. My short film is not limiting itself to only one set of people- instead an age restriction, this was implemented as I feel that anyone below the age of 16 will not understand the overall message for the short and in fact not receive the full effect of the short film, however saying that does not mean they can’t watch the short, it just means they might not understand the whole concept 100%. Each different psychographics will interoperate the short film to their own and that’s what I think is one the beauties of film – it’s all about your interpretation. To ensure that my final products meet my own expectation and of course my audience , audience feedback had to be generated throughout the process of creating the products, for example throughout my blog I gave myself feedback and acquired feedback from class mates and teachers about each of my im-
portant decisions which would affect my short film – posts such as the type of background music for my short film was important and could really affect the image of the whole short film which will lead on to my target audience not enjoying the short and end up closing the video as they can’t stand the backing track. Even thought something like a backing track seems simple however when you think of it – it’s a major aspect of a short and a wrong track could affect the meaning and overall image of the film. It’s crucial to receive feedback because, at the end of the day I created a short to tell a message to an audience – If my short film has nothing for that audience they will simply not watch the short which means they won’t actually receive the message. Therefore receiving this feedback ensures me that the short will receive views and ultimately reassures me that the audience understand the overall message of the short film. Also feedback ensures me that the product is of a high and professional standard and. By gaining feedback and different stages of the creation process abled me to make sure that I didn’t do any drastic changes that won’t fit with my audience desires. If I didn’t receive feedback at the early stages of creation I would most likely be re-tracing my steps later on in the project which could overall waste more time and actually make me fall behind. The usual feedback was given by the same people who were all Media Students ages around 17-18 both female and male.However this could mean that the feedback would be bias so therefore I ensured I received feedback from both my Media Studies teachers, which meant receiving feedback from an older generation and also from both gender aspects. Their feedback is crucial during each creative process as it allows me to make any necessary changes which will help to produce the final versions of the products that will meet cus-
tomer expectations. Ultimately I used several different media platforms; from focus groups to surveys/face-to-face I was able to get feedback. However due to the nature of interviews being upfront the respondents are more likely to show demand characteristics – they want to please me so are less likely to be brutal, which in sort terms means I couldn’t really receive effective feedback. Whereas on my surveys/questionnaires there was less of a chance of social desirability bias as they can be as honest as they want due to the anonymity which overall gave me the best feedback. As soon as the ancillary products were created, peers were asked their professional opinions as Media Studies students; however I also wanted to acquire feedback from non-Media students (such as family and friends) as I knew they would give me a whole complete new side of my feedback which I wouldn’t be able to get from media students – more on a normal feedback which will represent everyone and not just media students who are all working on their own projects and have an intellectual side to their feedback. Through my product creation phase feedback was needed – and not quick stereotypical feedback like “It’s nice and looks very professional”. I needed depth something I could work with. That is why I felt I needed to space out when I would ask others for feedback and when I gave myself feedback. In this case I felt that it was best to get feedback when I created the 1st draft of my products as this is when the product was at its early stages so if something was not appreciated by the target audience then I needed to adjust some things. I acquired qualitative data from 4 different people – 2 of each gender and 2 being younger than 20. This is so I could get a variety of opinions and especially as my target audience
is very open and browed I needed to make sure I didn’t go overboard with feedback as I could be there all day. Interviewees were asked open ended questions such as “What do you like about this music video?” or “What do you think needs to be improved?” These types of questions allow the respondents to elaborate on their answers and produce qualitative answers. I felt that for my 2nd draft I needed to use my own feedback here – this meant I could begin to learn a brand new skill I learnt and practised during the year, criticising my own work. I felt that in this draft I was able to use my critiquing skills – I am so use to analysing other work that I felt I was too generous to my own work as I put huge amounts of efforts in the work and to flaw the effort and hard work seems odd. I was able to see if my own critical feedback worked when I received feedback for my final outcomes. I did two different types of feedback for my final – each product has its own post and below the product I asked people if they could leave me a paragraph about what they thought of the short, each product had at least two quick feedback paragraphs. I then went into depth and did a whole google docs questionnaire on my short film. The questionnaire included a range of questions that resulted in both qualitative and quantitative responses. A range of different types of questions were used, such as ranking the different aspects of the video, rating each aspect on a scale of 1-5 and picking their favourite part of the video. Additionally, qualitative responses came from questions that asked things like what needed to be improved, so that the responses were not limited in any way as the improvements were believed to be the most important information to retrieve from the questionnaire responses. I was able to acquire several responses which varied from ages of 16-26+ (who fit into the target audience). Most of the responses were from Media Students however
some of the respondents were family members and friends who had no knowledge of media studies and were therefore giving feedback purely from an audience member’s perspective. I shared the short film with a link to the survey on multiple social networking sites however Facebook stood out the most. The status I posted on my own Facebook
began getting shared by multiple family members which then got the attention of their friends (so on and so forth). This is when I could see that my family enjoyed the short and that overall made me beat my main accomplishment with this film – to represent my family and illustrate the how important we are for one another. The quantitative data was then analysed and the qualitative data was dealt with using content analysis to make it easier to review the audience’s views on the video and any aspects that needed altering. Mostly all my comments were very positive – questions like “What message did you receive from the film?” had paragraph long answers, this is when I knew that the short must have really hit them and each response for that question apposed the same response, some in more detail than other – family is the most important thing in the world. I also got multiple comment on the cinematic look and how it really gave the short film that professional look. I did have a few comments on some shots being a bit too fast however that most of the sped up shots was done for a reason – to be a blur to the audience, it all ties in with the message of the short film. Saying that I understand that some shots could be a little fast.
The overall final question-
naire feedback was very effective however now seeing it I wish I was able to get more than 21 responses. If I had around 50 responses I would have been able to use the feedback more effectively as I would be able to understand the reoccurring problems/issues which only certain audiences, e.g. speed of some clips. Overall the feedback allowed me to understand the exact issues of improvement which needed to be worked on/fixed. However, it could be argued that due to the feedback being given by people who were close to me, the replies may be slightly biased as the respondents may feel the need to be more positive when giving feedback rather than harshly critical. Through my feedback I was able to understand that the theorist Stuart Hall connected. Hall came up with a model suggesting three way in which we may read a media text; Dominant reading- audiences will read the text the way the author intended them to. The negotiated reading – the reader party l believes the code and broadly accepts the preferred reading. But sometimes modifies it in a way which reflects their own position, experiences and interests. The oppositional reading – the reader’s social position places them in an oppositional relation to the dominant code – they reject the reading. All my feedback which was received demonstrated to me that the audience are dominant readings and that I created the short film for the purpose of telling a message to people and I know that they received the correct message through the feedback which they gave on my questionnaire made with Google Docs. Even though feedback was needed and asked for I still would have carried out feedback throughout my whole blog – without feedback my final products would not be where they are right now. This project really illustrated to me the importance and that in the future if I do any projects I know how to effectively carry out feedback and make it worthwhile. Overall I wouldn’t say I was independent of depend on feedback I was sliced right in between them both.
qUESTION 4 - How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Using blogger throughout the project allowed me to re-trace steps and go over previous work and ensure that the project is following the right directions. The good thing about blogger was I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted and however I wanted to do it (within boundaries). I really wanted my blog to stand out and really be an interesting read no matter what post you are reading. Sometimes I feel that simple text is perfect to give the blog that diary post format. I didn’t want all my posts to be the same as it would end up being a blog which people end up scrolling and never stopping because it’s just simply a block of text. Throughout the project I used multiple new media technologies in which I never thought I would learn. I didn’t learn everything simply from my teacher, some software/programs I wanted to venture into myself and learn by myself, of course with the help of books and the internet. I was able to embed multiple videos which I have either found online or recorded myself then uploaded to YouTube, not only this but I was also able to upload PDF’s and slideshare’s which I create – which meant I could embed all my planning documents. I feel that in today’s generation we take YouTube for granted, the vast amount of content and knowledge we can gain from people around the world sharing videos is immense. YouTube was probably one of the most viewed sites for me during this whole project. It is where my inspiration came from – by watching other short films I was able to enter a path of my film. That’s why I felt the need to
upload my short to YouTube to help others like I received when I was in need. Vimeo is the same basics at YouTube however has a much more professional look and feel, the only videos uploaded there are usually HD quality films – films being a very broad category for example behind the scenes, short films, films, etc. Whereas YouTube you will find pretty much anything.
For the most of my research and planning I used quick and easy software’s such as Prezi, PowerPoint and of course the standard format text which is built into Blogger whilst also embedding YouTube videos. Prezi is a simple online presentation website which allows you to create a free presentation all on a base of one big sheet – you are able to add videos, images, shapes, texts, themes, I mean the possibilities are endless. In my opinion I feel this is one of the best and more effective ways to present information. This is probably due to how easy it is to break up text compared to giving a complete fully text PowerPoint. However saying that I did use PowerPoint for a few of my blog posts. One of the most effective ways in which I used PowerPoint was to demonstrate the feedback
I received from surveys. I was able to dedicate one page to one question and really have enough room, due to PowerPoints simple design I was able to get straight into creating the presentation and didn’t spend a majority of the time playing around with the settings and themes to make it look pretty – PowerPoint was used when I wanted to publish something RAW and straight to the point. This year when I began my blog I took complete advantage of the Blogger application for my IPhone. Not only did this mean I was able to make a quick post to the blog such as production diaries. Ultimately the internet itself is one of the most important media technologies for my A2 Media Studies specially services like Google Docs – this is where I created my questionnaire for my final products. I used this service to acquire my feedback and I was easily able to see my results straight away. This then leads to my explanation on how capturing moving images has evolved completely, just by using YouTube and viewing old media studies final products I could instantly tell that the quality of footage has increased dramatically – from some of the video I saw quality was as low as 240p whereas my footage is at 1080P, the quality difference is almost sickening to see that quality was that low back then. Good quality has now become affordable, I shot my whole short film on a 550D Canon DSLR which is very affordable for such high quality combined with a F1.8 lens aperture lens I was able to record crisp and
sharp footage, I used my photography aspect and was able to use my experience with manual focus and make sure I was recording in focus with all the correct settings from ISO speed, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, resolution and of course FPS – all these affect the exposure and colour temperature of the footage. Going back to DSLR changing the way in which we create films – back in the day there was a limit on how much they could record due to low film space, in today’s day we could film for hours with multiple SD cards, however in my case I used a 32GB Extreme Pro SD Card. This is a very big SD card which means max quality and also due to the extreme pro part of the SD card the recording speed for the footage is crazy fast, which means it was less likely for my footage to be choppy. Another good point about the DSLR was the flexibility. I had the option to use multiple lens such as wide angle lens and prime lens which varies the style of the footage as well as being able to change the FPS (frames per second) 25fps being the standard and being able to bump it up to 50fps which records more frames which is useful for slow motion scenes whilst still remaining smoothness. Lastly not forgetting the instant playback after shooting a scene which was impossible back in the day, now we can view the recording and if any problems occurred in the scene all I had to do was press delete and re-record. The main reason I choose to shoot nearly my whole short film with the aperture lens was purely because I love using depth of field as an effect and emphasis on scenes. This lens was also very good in low light due to the 1.8 letting more light into the camera, this lens prepared me for any type
of shot I needed to shoot whilst at the same time giving me that cinematic effect. Moving on I used two different camera mounts – one being a tripod which I used for panning shots and stills. I was also able to use the tripod as a monopod by closing the tripod and just leaving the legs open, this was mainly used to stabilize any shot. I also used a steady cam for shots with movement, I could have filmed hand held however all the shots were very shaky and just looked so unprofessional and in my opinion ruined the whole look I was going for with the short. For the postproduction side to my products I used multiple Adobe software: Lightroom/Photoshop: These were two programs which I used to edit my photographs for both the magazine double page spread and also the film poster. I used certain tools like layers, filters, selection tools to isolate elements which I didn’t want in the photograph. I also then went on to enhancing the photograph which tweaking the exposure, contrast, clarity, colour temperature, etc. This is why I always shoot in RAW as the file holds more memory when the photo is taken so when I edit the photograph I have more freedom to tweak areas such as the colour temperature. I also used tools such as the burn, blur, dodge and many more to tweak the photos in certain areas – for example I used the blur tool to blur the background for my film poster so that the man would stand out. Indesign: I used Indesign for both my film poster and double page spread article.
I would edit the photographs on either Lightroom/Photoshop and then move them over to the laid out spread that I prepared for the photographs and then I worked around that. For example for the film poster I placed rulers and guides everyone to know whereabouts I wanted everything to go. I was able to keep my texts centred and also arrange my photographs as I pleased. On InDesign you are able to create alternative layouts, so when I produced the portrait version of my film poster, I used this tool to make a landscape one too which allows it to be used and advertised in various ways. Adobe Premiere CS6: It is a timeline-based video editing software application and supports many video editing cards and plug-ins for accelerated processing, additional file format support, and video/audio effects. It is a native 64-bit application for Mac and Windows making it one of the few cross-platform non-linear editing systems available. Premiere is the base of the creation for my short film. I imported all the usable clips into Premiere and through there I dragged and dropped each individual clip into the time line. From there I added different transitions and also colour corrected each shot which tied the whole short together and gave it that fresh professional look. I also imported all the audio clips I was going to use such as the dialogue voice over and the background music. I also created all the subtitles and ending credits through Premiere. For the wide screen bar effect I had to create an image in Photoshop and as Photoshop files can be integrated with Premier it was easy to slot the image on top of the footage to give it that wide cinematic professional looking short film.