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11 May

By clicking on the appropriate links at the top of my blog, under the title,¬† you will find my posts organised into specific categories; Research and Planning, Evaluation Questions, Ancillary Products and Uncategorised. This will help you get around a bit easier ūüôā


How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

28 Feb

Media technologies in Construction:

We used Apple Mac’s (iMac G5s) as our main¬†computers¬†for research and the¬†editing processes as these are the computers used in the media room although Bevan also has a MacBook Pro at home which allowed him to edit certain parts from home and do all the editing and work on the audio throughout the production of our film.

Final Cut was¬†the programme on the Apple¬†Macs used¬†for the editing of the footage, we are all familiar with this programme¬†from the AS course and therefore feel confident using its¬†facilities. Adobe Photoshop was also used for editing to edit the newspaper article so that it had a picture of Oli¬†(who played Ed) and his face on the front with a headline stating he had been in a tragic accident. This was used in the ‘Ed Dies’ subplot part of the film.

Celtx was used to produce the script for the production both for planning and during the construction because there were a lot of edits and changes made to the script as we went along.

Tripods to secure the cameras and alter height, position etc, Video Cameras were used to record all of our visual footage and Still Camera to take picture of the filming process. Microphones were also used to enhance the sound quality complete with microphone stands to keep them steady and Garage Band was used to create some of the sound. was also a website used for special effects. We got the effect of the puff of smoke from this website and then imported it into out final cut edit to create the desired effect.

Technologies used in Construction

Media Technologies in Research:

We did a lot of research into our film concept as it was fairly unfamiliar so we used a range of media platforms to watch helpful programmes, clips, films such as Youtube, Tv, Cinema, DVDs, and then we also used the internet largely on the computers.

Media Technologies Used for Research

Media Technologies in Planning and Evaluation:

I used my Epson Sylus DX3800 scanner/printer/photocopiers to scan work and pictures during the planning process so that I could transfer the data onto my blog. I used Wordpress obviously to blog all of my work over the course. I used Paint and Microsoft Office Picture Manager to edit, resize or construct pictures to plan and evaluate such as in the picture below to illustrate the technologies used. Celtx was used to write, edit and produce the script and Youtube/BlipTV. I also use my own lap top to evaluate my work (Dell Inspiron1525).

Planning and Evaluation Technologies

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

28 Feb

From our rough edit feedback¬†we generally¬†received very positive comments which was a¬†nice¬†piece of encouragement.¬†Most people’s issues with negative¬†feedback¬†were with sound dips in the audio track (as shown below).

We knew that audio would be an issue from the start and we tried to combat this before we even started filming with the use of Bevan’s microphones that we set up around the central table, out of shot, to try to produce a clearer and better sound quality. Therefore by the stage of the audience feedback we hadn’t added in the actual audio that we intended to use, instead we were relying on the original camera sound. This meant that¬†the problems that people had pointed out¬†were already being addressed so we weren’t worried¬†about the overall outcome.

However, when it came to the final viewing, the constructive criticism we received was still about the audio levels. However this time the issues were with background noise or ‘buzzing’ from the equipment in the media room rather than dips in dialogue. We thought that we had addressed all the problems before the feedback however over the weekend we had to look at the sound again. We went back to Bevan’s garage/recording studio to re-record all of the dialogue again. This meant we had to re-listen and then try to copy our voices from the original sound as accurately as possible to try to keep overdubbing as un-apparent and discrete as possible.

I think as a group we have learnt from this that although we thought we took into account all the problems that we may have faced during the pre-production process, in future we need to allow for more time before the deadline of the film to allow for unforseen issues and externalities.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

28 Feb

The article¬†“Characteristics of a great short film” ,taken from the Yahoo site pictured above, states five specific conventions¬†that¬†a real¬†short film should include. I have compared our short film Deadline in relation to conforming or going against these general characteristics.

“Simplicity: A short film does not have the same length and funding that a feature film would have, so it is best to keep the film simple, but meaningful. A complex and detailed storyline can always be implied through simple gestures and great screenwriting without the unnecessary overkill of dialogue and back story. A poignant and moving short film can best be achieved with an unpredictable ending, a quirky conflict, a decent score, and a reasonable time frame.”

In terms of simplicity our production may seem unclear and confusing with the use of different metanarrative constructs and quicky switches in genre and narrative subplots, however the general concept of the film is simple; A group of students making a film about making a film.

“Interesting Characters: The importance of dialogue is crucial to a short film because the dynamics and sustainability of a character/actor will be very apparent within the first few minutes of the film. These characters do not have the time to be surrounded by a great deal of depth about their life. Instead, paint pictures about their life using lighting, music, and selective dialogue. Do not waste a word on unimportant interaction. The character should pop off the screen from the moment the lines are delivered.”

The characters themselves do not give any details away about their charcaters however there is extensive dialogue about their situation and task which is in school. Therefore mise-en-scene and costume tend to give aspects which are important to the narrative away although the dialogue is very self explanitory. Despite this I don’t think our characters are uninteresting although unusually we do play ourselves.

“Conflicts: Screenwriters and directors are always seeking ways of reinventing storylines. However, for short films, it is perfectly normal to take a basic conflict and add your own creative twist to it. Research award winning short films and look at examples of what those basic conflicts may be. Many short films revolve around self discovery of adolescents, divorces, suicide, or any other generic topics that make for a good drama. Whatever the conflict may be, keep it simple and make the resolution a creative and unique one. The resolution is — in many cases — almost more important and significant than the conflict, especially with short films.”

The only conflict really present in the film is that the characters are trying to create a A-level media studies project and are limited to the generic mark scheme. However, this is resolved as the production turns out to be a film about a film.

“Emotion: Short films are less focused on entertainment and more focused on the emotion that it evokes from the audiences. For this reason, most short films are not comedic or satirical, but dramatic and moving. Seek out the dramatic emotion of the film, whether it be romantic, somber, or ambiguous, and mold your characters around the colors of emotions that the film is implying. A defined mood for the film will set a strong preface for a theme and emotion.”

In terms of emotion our film is not particularly dramatic or moving apart from the subplot ‘Ed Dies’ which was conveyed with emotional music and extreme close ups portraying character emotion. However, even this part of the film was dealt with in a comedic way. The film is largely a comedy with little or no emotive focus. Insead we set out to engage the audience with the complex nature of the film and the continuous changes in narrative leaving it nearly impossible to portray an emotion that runs throughout the entire sequence but I still think that we we’re very successful in engaging the audience as our feedback told us that people largely enjoyed what it had to offer.

“Originality: Short films are the one type of film category that does not require a set standard or formula in order to be successful. Short films can take all different types of directions; the director and screenwriter’s vision of the film will determine how original and unique it is. Maintaining originality is hugely important for a successful short film, so it is crucial to dig deep into the caverns of creativity and seek out the unique elements of the film and make it stand out.”

I think that our film is a very original cencept that makes it stand out from most standard linear narrative short films. We we’re very experimental with self-reflexivity, genres, special effects and the outcome was very effective.

Special Effects
Self Reflexivity. What is Reality?

Generally, our film goes against codes and conventions of real media products. However in deliberately doing this is it conforms to the movement or form of postmodernism.

Postmodernism is the movement in any media where the boundary between reality and representational media construct becomes hard to distinguish. Postmodernism is where artist of the media experiments with the idea of reality and representation through pastiche, parody and intertextual references. When media texts of products deliberately set out to explore and play with the state of hyperreality, they are defined as intertextual or self-referential whereby they break the rules of realism to explore the nature of their own status as constructed texts.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

28 Feb

The ancillary texts that I created to be combined with the main product (the film) are a film poster and a film review. I took inspiration from Adaptation for my film poster as I wanted it to be simple and the film review layout was mimicked from a review on Paranormal Activity taken from the media magazine, Empire.

I think that the film review compliments the main product, the Deadline film, appropriately and effectively. The review highlights all the postmodern aspects of the film, explains the structure and gives an insight into what the film has to offer. The mise en abyme image highlights the self-reflexivity of the film as well as a visual enforcement of what is talked about within the review.

I also think that the poster compliments the film, because although it’s simple by design, the features that i have included illustrate self-reflexivity and postmodern aspects such as the title in a handwriting style font, the central image showing mise en abyme (a technique in which an image contains a smaller copy of itself, the sequence appearing to recur infinitely), the widely renowned apple icon which has been changed to a pear, the typewriter font which symbolises the planning pocesses involved in the film e.g the script and the overall P.O.V look of the poster.

Together I think that¬†the combination of the main and ancillary texts are compliamentary to eachother and therefore are effective as they have a recurring theme thoughout and include the most significant aspects of the main product. However, if¬†I were to do it again¬†I¬†would experiment more with the poster¬†and the composition¬†of the images because the perspective,¬† from a point of view pespective, could be altered¬†to make it¬†seem¬†less unusual¬†although I like the fact¬†that the¬†perspective isn’t perfect as¬†I think it conveys¬†to the audience that the whole film is from the characters’ perspectives therefore the composition of the film may be more of an unusual nich√© film that doesn’t conform to the expectations of a main stream short film. Despite this,¬†¬†personally i’m really pleased with the final outcome and think that they work well together.

Draft Film Feedback Sheets

23 Jan

We have learnt a number of things about the edit of our film from these brief feedback sheets that Phoebe and I constucted.

Question 1 : Everybody agreed that the film was amusing, mostly the ‘Ed Dies’ subpot and the photoshopping.

Question 2: Most people thought that the photoshopping was convincing, excluding the Queen picture, however this was said to add to the humour.

Question 3: Everybody understood the concept of the film to be a self-reflexive piece ‘a film about making a film’.

Question 4: Most people’s favourite parts were the choice of music, the ‘Ed Dies’ subplot, the change from¬†Ed to Oli in the puff of smoke¬†and the Photoshopping.

Question 5: Nobody noticed any continuity errors.

Question 6: We didn’t have many suggestions for a film title, so we came to the conclusion that our preliminary title couldn’t be too bad!

Question 7: Everybody’s comments about the music were really positive.

Question 8: Any other comments were comments of praise apart from problems with sound which were already being adressed before the film sequence was shown.