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Using the internet as a resource for researching aspects for the film and the other products is something that is easy to do and gives out quality and accurate results that can be documented and worked with. For the research stage I looked to use the internet to access resources that allowed me to view short films so that I could pick them apart and see how they are constructed; this would include some of the key aspects that need to be considered when producing our film. There were a range of available websites on the internet, some that specialised in short films whilst other were video sharing sites in general, the ones I used are; YouTube which is a general video sharing site, ShortOfTheWeek who specialise in providing exposure to talented amateur film makers, and IMDB which has an entire database for movies in general. Each had an advantage for that I could use. The first site I visited was YouTube which had a huge database of videos that include full length films, short films, music videos and much more. The reason for me using YouTube was to access their wide range of short films, this was a great way to access the content and it meant that I could sift through tonnes of films that related to my audience and carry out research required to move

forward with our short film. By using youtube I could access the short films and start to understand what it was about that certain film that made it popular. Another advantage that I discovered whilst using Youtube was that there was a comment system that I was able read through to understand tha audience and see what sort of feedback the film was getting if they were getting any. This website was available to me previously but it seems that this time round I was able to use it increasingly effectively. The reason being that since my first year there has been a lot of changes to the Youtube system and it has been improved so that you can use easily. This meant that I was able to take advantage of features like Youtube analytics that allowed me to develop a better understanding of my audience.

styles which are used to make the footage look better, I opted to keep this on neutral as I was intending to import this footage into the Premiere so that I could colour grade it myself. All these settings directly affected the overall outcome of the footage. The footage I got from this was clean and clear with enough light and having minimum grain. The other advantage I had with using this camera was that I knew my way around this camera so I knew how to work it and therefore get an effective shot if needed. I think that this camera gave me a huge advantage and increase in quality compared to last year’s opening sequence. This was because last year I was using the school camcorders which I wasn’t as good at using and didn’t have near as much control over the camera settings as my camera does.

The next website I used was called ‘ShortoftheWeek’ which I used in a very similar way to how I used Youtube. The site specialises in short films which therefore means that the content is all short films, this helpful when looking for that content fast. The site is something that I previously never had access to and it was partly due to the fact that the last project wasn’t a short film but an opening sequence. Therefore there was no way that I would have found the site. On the other hand the use of the site for the research on short films was a treat as I was able to research into detail about better quality films.

The next piece of hardware that I used in conjunction with the camera was a rode microphone provided by my school. The microphone was used to pick up sound clearly and crisply with not a lot of background noise. Unfortunately it was not the case when we filmed as we came to the realisation that the microphone was picking up static too which was ruining the shots. We had to remove this in post productions. Although this was the case the audio when cleaned up was a lot clearer and to higher standard than in comparison to the audio from the opening sequence where the audio was horrendous as we were using the in-built microphone that was in the school camcorder. The Rode mic was a great advantage to use as the audio quality was improved, but overall I think that the potential of the microphone was lost on us as we increasingly rushed to film and didn’t take the time to optimise the sound capture of the microphone.

Finally was IMDB which I thought wasn’t as useful as it is made out to be. This was down to the fact that the site is dedicated to the full films and doesn’t pay as much attention to the short films part, this is disappointing but understandable. In terms of how it helped me was that the site did have some useful information on more mainstream short films. This was helpful in identifying some facts about the film but other than that it didn’t help with much else.

The filming involved using other pieces of technology instead of the online or virtual tech; we used media hardware such as cameras, microphones, and lighting equipment. The use of the hardware enhanced the quality of the production dramatically. For example, for the camera I used my own Canon 600D which can shoot in 1080p at 30fps. This meant that we were able to produce a film in clear HD which was a pleasure to watch on a big TV. The camera also had something called Magic Lantern on it which allowed me to use the camera to its fullest potential and gave me a lot of control over certain features on the camera. The settings that I used in terms of the camera itself was that I tended to stick to around 800 ISO as it was the average for most of the footage, I topped out at 1600 ISO as it was the threshold where the footage started becoming grainy. The shutter speed was set at around the 15 mark as I wanted to get as much light into the camera lens as possible. As well as all these technical settings, the camera also had features like picture

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? thorough quality of the script. The way that it did this was that it would have saved presets, for example when you clicked enter, it would give you an option on whether to put in a new scene, or if you were typing dialogue and you press enter, the software would make suggestions on the existing characters so you would have to constantly be typing up the names. This was the main media technology that I used for the planning and it was effective in improving the workflow for the production of the film. I think even though I did use this software to my advantage, there was a lot more I could get out of it that I neglected. The main feature was the character profile typing ability. This is something that would have increase the quality of the planning as I would have had a back story to the character that would have justified his actions. When it got to the planning stage, I was able to extract the information I had gathered during the research and arrange it into what I could include in the production and what I needed to avoid including. The planning also involved making up a script, for that I used an online app called Adobe Story, this is a scriptwriting app courtesy of adobe who provide access to this software free. It comes with extra features like being able to write up character profiles and organising scripts too. This app was easy to understand and straightforward to use. I was able to get an outline of a script in the software and then develop that gradually to create a comprehensive and useful script that was laid out in the standard way and had all the information needed for the actor to recreate the script and the characters actions. This software was something that I had only recently discovered and so wasn’t available to me in the last project and as previously I had to resort to creating the script using word. There was actually nothing wrong with using word but the advantage of using this software was that as it was designed for scriptwriting, it was able to dramatically decrease the time spent on the scripting whilst keeping the same

The post production stage of the production was where we had access to a wide range of software as well as some hardware too. To start with was the hardware that I used; this was the computers that we had at school. These were powerful computers that have high specs so that the editing process of the footage was seamless and without issues. The power of the computer also meant that I was able to render the video out pretty quickly even if it was at 1080p. These are new computers that were not available to us previously; this means that when we were producing the opening sequence we had less powerful computers that weren’t as quick or stable as these new ones. I think this was an aspect that allowed us to be more adventurous with the editing as the computer would be able to handle the strain of a heavy render. In terms of whether I used the computer to its potential, I think that I definitely did because I did a lot heavy work using the computer. The software side of things was slightly different though, the computers that we had access to have the Adobe suite loaded onto it as well as access to the Media Server which held all of our footage on it. The main pieces of software that I used for the production of the film was Premiere and After Effects; these are both software from the adobe collection and are powerful industry standard pieces, Over the two year course I have gradually increased the skills I had with using these pieces of software. For example with Premiere, I had access to with both the opening sequence as well as the short film. But my skills in it increased which was why I was able to be a lot more confident and adventurous with the software. I used the software with the film and was able to use it to a fuller potential as I had more experience with it. An example would be where I was able to create mood with the colour grading in pre-

miere, this was something that was always available but it wasn’t something that I embraced as easily as I was still more experienced with After Effects. That is an example of how I used the software to a fuller potential compared to the previous time of use. The same can be applied to After Effects, all the titles for the film were done in After Effects apart from the production title. The titles were done with After Effects after I learnt that I could link movement from one layer into another, this means that when one layer is moved up, all the layers that are children to this layer would move up too. This was something that I had only learnt to use recently and I think that was one of the reasons that I made that particular title, it was because I wanted to implement the new techniques that I had learnt into the film. After Effects is a vast piece of software that takes years to fully master, there even though I’d like to say that I had used the software to its fullest potential, it wouldn’t be true as there is so much more you can do with software like that. Finally is the software that I used for the production title. The name of the software is Cinema 4D, it is a powerful piece of 3D software that can do a lot of different things as well as simulation. This is what I used for the title; the pieces were cloned and tagged to be simulated. This software then created a simulation where the pieces came together to produce the logo then followed up by rendering it out. The software was something that I was definitely aware of back when we were producing the opening sequence, the reason I didn’t use it was because it back then I didn’t have the time or skills to use it for anything worthwhile so I didn’t use it. But this time I did use it and I was able to produce something that was worth including, it wasn’t something that I would say was used to its potential, but that was because this software has excessive features that I haven’t even touched yet.

Question 4  

4. How did you use the media technologies in the construction, research, planning, and evaluation stages of your coursework?

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