Q4. How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation?

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Q4. How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation? by Mind Map: Q4. How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation?

1. DSLR Camera

1.1. I made use of both Nikon D3200 and D3300 cameras to film the footage within my project, such as the wide city scape shots and the sports action footage, as well as all of the interviews.

1.1.1. I also used the D3200 in my research practice tasks, such as the Spellbound themed mock documentary. I also used the camera to capture all the images used for my newspaper advert ancillary task.

1.2. I also used the D3200 to film the shots featured in the montage sequences, by using the manual focus control to create effective bokeh on shots such as the close up on the golf bag.

1.3. I had used the D3200 in my AS production piece; At AS I had little experience with operating the camera effectively, but throughout the course of my A2 piece I have been able to access different technical functions of the camera, such as setting exposure levels and F-stops. This has allowed me capture crisp, focussed footage compared to my AS piece, as seen during fast paced sports sequences.

1.3.1. My use of the camera for photography has also progressed; I found over the duration of the course that shooting in RAW format opened a wider range of editing options in postproduction, improving my creative abilities.

1.4. A advantage of the DSLR is that it is compact and allows for high quality, professional footage to be captured at an affordable price, without the need for a large, chunky video camera.

1.4.1. However, an issue with using the DSLR is that the extent to which can be edited is limited; the camera can only film at a low frame rates, limiting the capacity for slow motion editing in post production. Furthermore, the lenses on the DSLR only have a limited magnification, and therefore need to be switched on set which can slow the filming process

2. Laptop

2.1. I used Apple MacBook Air to complete all of my documentation within the productions, such as my research tasks on Newspaper Adverts and Radio trailers, as well to edit both of my ancillary tasks final production.

2.1.1. I also used my laptop for internet access to conduct research on websites such as Youtube, as well as to upload all of my work online on the blogging website Jimdo.

2.2. During my AS production, I never really considered using my laptop to complete work, as I did not have the access to appropriate software such as Adobe Premiere Pro to complete my work. Working on school computer felt like the norm.

2.2.1. Using my laptop more opened up a number of new outlets during production; I could work on my project whenever I wanted and didn't have to worry about booking out stations at school. I could take my laptop on set with me when filming to review filming plans/interview plans, as well as review footage and re-film immediately if necessary. Plus the general overall performance of the hardware succeeded that of a normal school monitor eg. faster processing speed. I feel like my increased use of a laptop for work is reflecitve of new trends within the media production sector.

3. Hard Drive

3.1. I used a Seagate 2 Terabyte Hardrive to store all of my original documentation from research and planning (scripts, storyboards, footage, practice tasks, research notes) as well as save all footage, edits and project files across my final production and ancillary tasks.

3.2. During my AS production, I tended to save most my work either directly onto a main computer hard drive or on memory sticks. This caused problems for 2 reasons: 1) Saving large amount directly on mainframe hard drives limited the processing capability of the computer, slowing the production process 2) Memory sticks have a very small memory space, which was incapable of catering for the sheer increase in work for my A2 production. Using a portable hard drive helped compensate these issues.

3.3. Using a hard drive proved advantageous as it allowed for large amounts of data to be stored or different formats, all in once place. This helped free up the processing on my computer, making the editing of my production and ancillary tasks smoother and quicker.

3.3.1. However, hard drives can become easily damaged/corrupted. This would have been disastrous problem for my project as all of my work across all areas would have been lost. Therefore, I had to take care when storing the drive and moving it around, by placing in a protective case and backing it up of a separate drive.

4. Adobe Premiere Pro

4.1. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the footage for my final piece, as well as to edit my Spellbound themed practise task during my research and planning.

4.1.1. I then went onto use Premiere Pro to construct the draft and final sequences of the main product. Premiere Pro has been used to edit real media texts that are well renowned within the industry, such as the film Avatar (2010) and The Tourist (2010). Thus, have used Premiere Pro to similar effect in oder to produce a professional film of high quality. However, Avatar (2010) was edited in conjunction with Avid in order to achieve special effects, which I have not progressed to.

4.2. At AS level, I had made use of Final Cut Pro to edit the footage for my final piece. However, I found problems working with the software; the range of effects and graphics available was limited (e.g. Text generation) and all files needed to be rendered before they could be previewed.

4.2.1. This is why at A2 I went on to use this more sophisticated software, as it allowed fro a greater range of editing effects and did not require all files to be rendered. What's more, the editing process proved simpler and more efficient when organising files and constructing sequences.

4.3. An advantage of using Adobe Premiere Pro is that it allows for a simple, concise work area whilst providing a wide range of creative effects. An example of this was warp stabilisation, which was useful for stabilising shaky footage and creating effective pans.

4.3.1. A disadvantage of using Premiere Pro is that while being simple to use, it takes a while to learn the finer intracacies of the software. The wide range of effects available can distract from the creative process, as you feel like you want to try everything out, hindering the process. However, I'm sure this passes as experience grows.

5. Slideshare + PowerPoint

5.1. I used Slideshare to upload Powerpoint presentations that I had made for research tasks, such as my Analysis of the documentary "Blackfish" and my deconstruction of Newspaper adverts in Ancillary Task 2

5.1.1. I also used Slideshare when presenting parts of my evaluation.

5.2. Whilst I had used Slideshare in AS as way of uploading presentations, my use of he website developed in A2: I look at using the site as an online resource for information and research on topics such as Target Audiences and Audience Theory.

5.3. An advantage of using Slideshare in this way was that it allowed for me to connect with a range of people, such as professional in the industry or similar media students, and for us to share our ideas and information via comments. This provided me with a greater range of feedback.

5.3.1. However, a disadvantage os using such information is its reliability; such information can be limited and unreliable, as a researcher cannot be sure where it was originally sourced from and the effect this could have. Therefore, I had to subsidise all research from this site with other resources in order to check reliability and make sure it didn't effect the quality of my work.

6. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

6.1. I used both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop synergistically when creating my newspaper advert ancillary task.

6.1.1. I used Adobe Lightroom specifically to adjust colour schemes and lighting within the images. I then used Photoshop in order to add text and box graphics to the advert. Photoshop and Lightroom are used to similar effect within the professional industry in order to produce newspaper and film adverts, such as Batman vs. Superman (2016), which has been distributed all over the world. I have endeavoured to sue these programmes to produce a product of similar quality and desirability.

6.2. Before starting my A2 production, I had very little experience with using either piece of software, and had only used basic photo editing software such as Fotor or iPhoto.

6.2.1. Over the duration of the course, I came to realise the sheer capabilities that both pieces of software provided in terms or editing. For example, Lightroom allowed for a range of colour effects to be installed via adjustments of levels and enhancing certain colours hues, whilst Photoshop allowed for text and shapes to be inserted into an image, which I implemented for my ancillary task.

6.3. An advantage of using this software is that they were both designed to work mutualistically together.; photos can be edited in Lightroom before being exported directly into Photoshop from the original software to continue editing.

6.3.1. Whilst I found Lightroom simple to operate due to its familiarity and similarity to there photo editing software, I found Photoshop difficult to operate to begin with. I struggled with understanding the concept of layers and how to construct exactly what I wanted in the project; The sheer range of tools made it difficult for me to concisely pinpointed what I needed. To counteract these problems, I used online tutorials available on Youtube and on the Adobe website in order to identify how to insert text and shape graphics. This in turned allowed me to access other ideas, such as content sourcing of a photo, which I can implement in future projects.

7. Google Drive

7.1. Google drive has been pivotal in the presentation of my research and planning tasks throughout my A level productions.

7.1.1. I used Google docs to present documents such as my rough and final scripts, as well as present notes on documentaries that we analysed, such as "Triumph Des Willens" and "Spellbound".

7.1.2. I used Google slides as a way of presenting other analysis tasks, such as the analysis of the documentary "Coffee Shop Hot Shots", where I combined images and text to present the conventions of the piece.

7.1.3. I used Google sheets to present complex documents, such as my Gant chart and audio storyboards, where the gird like structure was effective in conveying progressive/compartmentalised structures.

7.1.4. I used Google forms in order to construct my market research questionnaires; using this online format made it easier to distribute my questionnaires to a wider audience.

7.2. Google drive is very advantageous: It allows for simple written documents to be uploaded and shared online to a wide range of audiences, which that can easily be embedded into blogs such as Jimdo and Tumblr for further exhibition

7.2.1. Furthermore, the creative capabilities of the various programs are wide ranging and non-restrictive; for example, google forms provided as wide range of question types, such as scales and open text boxes, allowing for a greater range/quality of data to be collected form subjects.

8. Jimdo

8.1. I used Jimdo as an online outlet in order to share and organise all of my across my research and planning, production and evaluation stages within the project.

8.2. At AS level, I had used Tumblr in order to blog all of my work, as I had used Tumblr before and felt as is this was the norm. What's more, the design and exhibition of Tumblr would have allowed people easier access to my work and enable a wider exhibition of my work online.

8.2.1. However, as I progressed to A2, I realised that presentation and the ability to easily embed content was the most important aspect of my blog, which Tumbl made very difficult. Therefore, I switched to using Jimdo, as it allowed for striking designs and layout that were simple to use, as well as the ability to embed various online presentations from programmes such as Prezi and SlideShare within to my other documentation.

8.3. As well as the elegant design and simplicity to embed, another advantage of using Jimdo was that it allowed for the a clearer process to be shown. I was able to annotate all my work in different colours in order to show amendments and reflections, which Tumblr did not allow.

8.3.1. However, there was a drawback of using Jimdo; it didn't possess the viral capabilities and the ability to share online that Tumblr did, as Tubmlr operated in a similar way to Twitter in its capacity to share. Regardless, the point of the blog was to effectively present content, and Jimdo allowed for this.

9. Adobe Audition

9.1. I used Adobe Audition to edit my radio trailer ancillary task. I also used it to edit sound in my final piece in order to improve quality, such as that from my interviews with experts.

9.2. To start with, I constructed my original rough draft using the programme Audacity; this was the programme I had used at AS and it was available for free online so I just felt like this was the norm.

9.2.1. However, I found Audacity very robotic and rigid in layout, making it difficult to analyse exactly which layers of sound I wanted to use and which were effective. What's more, the ability to edit sound and remove background noise was limited.

9.3. Deciding to progress and use more advance software such as Audition helped improved my production work; I was able to edit sound more sophisticatedly and apply a greater range of effects to improve my piece, such as dehummer, which levelled off irritating background noise.

9.4. An advantage of using Audition was the ability ti import sound from Adobe Premiere Pro directly into the software, allowing for easy editing and the application of sound assets from my final video; this improved the synergy of the two pieces.

10. Prezi

10.1. I used Prezi to present some of my other research tasks, such as research into the Codes and Convention of Documentaries and Research into ASA.

10.2. Prezi has been a useful outlet for my planning and research tasks across my A level course; at AS level, I feel as if my use of press was more limited. I only used basic presentation ideas and was afraid of branching into other designs.

10.2.1. However as I progressed throughout he AS course and into A2, I experimented more with Prezi, by using different designs, such as Process and Infinity, as well as incorporating different media types like videos from Youtube to support my ideas .

10.3. An advantage of using Prezi is that it allow for creative presentation, as well as excellently conveying the idea of a process. This is particularly useful when reflecting or evaluating pieces of work or looking how a media text is built up.

10.3.1. However, a disadvantage of using Prezi is that it limits the capacity of information that can be presented due to the design. It is mainly designed as a presentation tool rather than main information source, such as that in Padlett or Slideshare.

11. Emaze

11.1. I used Emaze for presenting some of my research tasks, such as my research on the 6 Modes of Documentary and my research on Typography in Documentaries and Newspaper Adverts.

11.1.1. Emaze was used to list specific conventions and elements of the 6 modes of documentary whilst backing up the information with visual aids, such as pictures.

11.2. I had never used Emaze before producing my A2 piece, but wanted to find ways of diverting my creative presentation. I found that Emaze was effective in doing this, as it provided a range of animated presentations in which to convey the information I had gathered.

11.3. An advantage of Emaze was the sheer creative capacity that it offered; The website had range of styles and designs with different animation which made the research more engaging for audiences. Plus, it was a free resource and available online.

11.3.1. However, I found Emaze was difficult in conveying large amount of information. Only a certain amount of information could be applied to each slide, which in turn lead to long winded presentations. Across the duration of the course I have found that online presentation is usually constrained from he interaction of content and creative presentation.

12. Youtube

12.1. I used YouTube as a research source in order to analyse similar media texts that could influence the conventions used within my piece, such as the documentary film 'Coffee Shop Hotshots' as well as the film "Triumph Des Willens".

12.1.1. I also used YouTube to distribute my rough and final versions to my audience via an online medium. This method of distribution was used to similar effect in the real media text 'Four Lions", a film that was distributed via YouTube directly rather than going to cinema. This made it easier for an unknown film to be shared to a wider audience at a low cost. To some extent, I have attempted to share by film on the same scale.

12.2. YouTube had been an integral part of my lifestyle before completing the course, as I regularly used Youtube as an entertainment source.

12.2.1. However, my understanding of uploading videos vida YouTube developed over the duration of the project, as I became more aware of how to design an upload in such as way to make it more discoverable to an audience. I will be able to take these skills into my future projects.

12.3. An advantage of using YouTube is that it provides a wide range of texts from which to learn from and analyse, which are easy and free to access. This helped to improve my creative doeskin making by gaining inspiration from other ideas.

12.3.1. However, a disadvantage of YouTube is that it is a public access medium, and therefore there can be a large number of texts that are either irrelevant or not of a high standard when trying to gain inspiration, which can hinder the creative process.