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Transcript of G324 Evaluation
of forms and conventions
of real media products
in our media product
2. The EFFECTIVENESS
of the combination of
3. Learning from
4. The use of
in the research, planning, construction and evaluation stages
Our documentary opened with a long shot filmed from a steady tripod for low lux recording of the busy A6 road in Stockport, establishing either regional identity or enigma within the audience as to where this road is and its significance of being commonly used by teenage drivers (due to the college down the road in shot). This also represents real time and shows the stars (drivers) passing past the still camera, following documentary conventions.
ROAD GENRE is formed allowing for audience expectations to be made.
Diegetic sound of motioned cars combined with the non-diegetic voice over and faint backing track creates realism and the sombre tone of the music establishes a mode of address for the documentary.
As still part of the opening sequence, this long shot with a slow steady (tripod) zoom on students crossing the road and fast edit following them arriving (complemented by VO “...stereotype that stalks...”) creates an initial narrative.
Parallel narratives are introduced to the audience, describing and provoking debate, by following existing documentary convention of foreshadowing.
Relevant title sequences are inserted, understood by the audience that they will be later repeated in fuller detail, whilst rhetorical questions (a feature used frequently throughout filming) are asked in the voiceover highlighting the topics of investigation in the documentary and reinforcing them so as to become memorable. This invites the audience and expresses sophisticated media.
Genre sequences are created with repeated footage of roads which start to include student drivers, explaining the message and topic of the documentary.
The title sequence involves a tyre spin; typical stunt for a teenage driver to perform therefore conforms to stereotypes and establishes the road and driving genre portraying previous genre sequences.
The titles appear in red meaning strong connotations of death and danger come to the audiences minds whilst also being similar to the car in the title shot.
The low volume music is increased approaching the title card, increasing the impact of the indie-ballad upon the audience; a well known (teenage conventional) feature track is an appealing factor for when audiences consume media texts and the low keys and tempo establish the mood for the documentary. Presenter links appear alternatively in turn to appear coherant. The links vary from diegetic and presenter-led to voiceovers to give variety to the media piece and make it more interesting for the audience to watch and follow
Using two female presenters appears as if juxtaposed against a typically male topic, therefore giving the documentary a unique selling point and allows for audience associations and social connections to be made with the presenters and the audience.
Costume and style is typically ‘female’ and ‘young’ allowing for the audience to relate to the stars and acquire a level of social acceptance.
A variety of interviews are conducted all following documentary conventions; no eye contact between subject and camera lens, angled on tripod to left/right of subject, includes shoulders in medium shot.
Point of views are established differently; the interview with Inspector Steve Gilbertson allowed for an authoritative and influential voice to be projected whereas interviews with students provided proof and evidence for the ‘unknowledgeable’ point of view the documentary imposes upon the audience. This gives the documentary another unique selling point.
Mise en scene are suitable, conventional and consistent throughout always maintaining relevant surroundings and settings to the context of the documentary.
Narrative coherence is consistent throughout the documentary; the introductory ‘preview clips’ act as highlighters with later cataphoric reference through either a cut to presenter or a change in presenter voiceover to signal a change in topic and to prepare for the move onto another topic or issue previously mentioned. Editing and sound remains consistently active, with fast cuts to determine change of topic/mise en scene and maintaining a clearly auditable level to show consistency and well constructed media.
Previous topic; ‘theory test’ topic led by presenter Charlotte, ended with [paraphrased] ‘without basic understanding of the roads...little mistakes become a lot more serious when no instructor sat next to you’
VO by presenter Jess “...And it seems the insurance companies are aware of this possibility to” – link to following ‘insurance’ topic
WHY CREATE ANCILLARY TEXTS?
Introduces, establishes and promotes new product
Variety of media formats increase reach, demographic and exposure ANCILLARY 1: NEWSPAPER ADVERT – WHY?
Generally cheapest way to reach mass audience
Can include lots of information/large image
Half or full page – stand out from other visual clutter
ANCILLARY 2: RADIO ADVERT – WHY?
Easy to target audience
On and off -peak advertising
Effectiveness – intimate
ANCILLARY 1: NEWSPAPER ADVERT ANCILLARY 2: RADIO ADVERT All ancillaries establish the ROAD/DRIVING/VEHICLE genre of the documentary. Familiarity can be seen within ancillary 2 as it follows the conventions and style of ‘Think!’ drink driving advert campaigns, therefore the audience also make assumptions and expectations of a charity-appeal genre; audiences are pleasured by hybrid media therefore our project succeeds at achieving this combination of media genres and appealing to its audiences. This repetition of the key themes and representations helps to establish brand.
BRAND is essential to construct in both ancillary products if the documentary is to get maximum exposure and consumption. Continuity is maintained in both ancillary 1 and 2, the programme title and caption is expressed, ‘Dispatches’ is clearly identified as is channel 4 and the time and date ‘Monday 15th March at 8 on 4’.
It is clear and unambiguous from the ancillary products of the POINT OF VIEW of the documentary and its producers as the message is stated, challenging audiences to agree with the reckless attitudes of the ‘passengers’ and ‘driver’ represented in ancillary 2 and feel the effect of the dramatic imposed connotations with the grave stone in ancillary 2.
This therefore meets the audiences needs as media debates are evoked and unified in all 3 products, raising the questions and sub questions through the parallel narratives of the documentary. Although there is no misunderstanding as to the topic of the documentary, enigma is still aroused through narrative.
Both ancillary contain a lot of controversy with the divergence of one message about teenage drivers; this combined with the enigma created from the narratives establishes SYNTHESIS which pleases audiences’ needs and anticipation.
REALITY is represented through the role-play manner of ancillary 2 and also the realism and emotion collated from the typical graveyard scene in ancillary 1. The effect of this is to make the message of all 3 products really impose upon the audiences minds and intends to shock resulting in increased audience interest.
Two female PRESENTERS appears juxtaposed against a typically ‘male’ issue. This was found to be appealing to audience as it prevents bias (females are still included and seen in shot representing female knowledge and interest in cars and driving; establishing two representative figures female consumers will relate to). Regional identities can be established through accent and dialect; Manchester accents can be recognised and again audiences can see themselves reflected in the presenters.
Both ancillaries conform to conventions, developed through research of similar media. From research into the Think drink driving campaigns and audience feedback, realism and drama are an effective combination and GENERIC CONVENTIONS such as the ‘Dispatches investigates...’ introduction as well as when announcing the date ‘____ at 8 on 4’ is also conventional of Dispatches advertising and that of Think campaigns declaring the title at the end of the advert, raising both enigma and interest.
Similarly, newspaper TV programming adverts are conventionally landscape and half page. Following these conventions allows for a large striking dominant image complemented by clear titles, dates and times so audiences consume all necessary information.
Our ancillaries initially exert different MODE OF ADDRESS; ancillary 1 imposes a sobering effect onto the audience with the striking image and non-ambiguous informative text. Ancillary 2 opens with car SFX sounds, open to interpretation by the audience of the seriousness of the topic. Enigma is maintained throughout until the information at the end which is direct and projected in a clear solemn tone and confirms the sinister mode of address and message.
In the creation of this project, one of the technologies we had no understanding or experience with before was the use of a video camera, a DV tape to record our filming onto and tripod.
Lighting remained consistent throughout for outdoor filming (the majority) as all footage was filmed in the daytime before it begins to go dark around 6pm allowing us to create lux level filming conventional of documentaries. Exceptions to this include the filming inside a house for the ‘interview’ and ‘media influence’ topics as well as intention ‘night filming’ to introduce the interview with subject Inspector Gilbertson.
The camera had the ability to zoom in and out and was easy for us to control the speed of the pan in or out, giving us control of the drama created from a slow steady zoom.
Sound on the cameras was sufficient and all diegetic sound or speech was picked up, however if background noise was unwanted or too loud this could be altered once uploaded onto the Mac’s.
The tripod allowed us to frame shots and produce steady filming which appears more professional and conventional of documentaries. However, sometimes a handheld camera actually appeared more suitable; the ‘theory test’ topic filming was recorded hand-held giving it a sense of realism and making the audience feel involved by appearing as if from the point of view of the presenter.
The ability to pause the recording meant it was easier to view and arrange our clips once uploaded onto the Mac computers.
We connected and imported our footage to the Mac computers using a Firewire cable, connecting it to the USB port in the monitor from the camera.
iMovie was the programme we created our documentary project on.
After uploading all our footage and clips onto the programme and watching them through, we then decided the clips we needed to edit.
Using the keyboard command Apple Shift and Control to cut clips at selected points positioned by the pointer, we were able to split clips up either to be spaced out later in the iMovie or placed into Trash.
Stills of our documentary project were needed for the evaluation stage so by using Apple Shift, Control and 3 we were able to take print screens our project and crop them in the PowerPoint.
To follow documentary conventions, we made interviews more visually appealing by extracting part of the audio track through selecting this option by right clicking to place the voice over the top of other footage.
Through clicking on the MEDIA tab, we were able to record voiceovers by speaking into the microphone at the top of the Mac.
Clicking on the EDITING tab was where we were able to add titles to our project (title card and interview subject’s name) and also add transitions (such as fade in and out and slow zooms in and out) and any SFX needed.
“The Ken Burns effect is a popular name for a type of pan-and-scan effect used in video production from still imagery”
It is applied onto the image through selection on the Mac and creates a slow zoom into the still image. This creates impact and reinforcement of the image, evoking further thought from the voiceover and following strong documentary conventions.
We used this effect with our 3 still images; the ‘cool sporty’ car, the ‘unstylish’ car and our own image of a crash involving a fairly typical teenage car, used for our ending to the 5 minute part of the documentary as to establish a narrative for the oncoming ‘part 2’.
The audio levels were manipulated and edited to ensure a consistent sound level of presenter/diegetic voice was heard but varying levels of background noise and soundtrack were synchronised so as not to impose upon the speaking but to continue to establish realism and the documentary’s genre and mood.
Pixilation and definition remains sharp throughout our filming. The mobile phone footage appears slightly pixilated but this is expected and conventional of mobile phone recording, showing intertextuality and is unable to avoid if realism is to be attained.
Advanced clip montage editing was used with the sequence of road signs introducing the ‘theory test’ topic. This was done by creating a montage of 1-second clips with fast cut editing producing a fast tempo, and introducing the documentary with a less serious part to the primarily sinister and ‘charity-appeal’ message of the topic and issues surrounding teenage driving.
The Mac computers, having such high power and memory, were frequent at freezing and sometimes even crashing from an ‘unexpected error’ therefore we repeatedly saved our project (Apple Key and S) to ensure nothing of our project was lost.
To burn our documentary and ancillary 2 (radio advert), we put a disc into the Mac and used the iDVD programme to burn our project.
GARAGE BAND Again, this media format was unfamiliar to me and therefore had to learn how to use it in order to create our radio advert.
Creating a new music project meant we had to add New Track (through Edit) to create bars in which we would insert either special effects or voiceover clips.
Voiceovers were recorded using the microphone at the top of the iMac and sound levels were altered by increasing or decreasing to suit the structure of the ad (eg. Quieter ‘background chatting’ so as to hear front ‘passengers’ and louder ‘Dispatches’ introduction to create impact).
SFX were downloaded from internet sources and saved into iTunes then dragged into the music project.
We moved the audio clips around to create audio layering to create an order and structure for the advert, even overlapping the horn sound and tyre skids to try to recreate realism and make it believable to the audience.
RECORD PLAYBACK MIC. LEVEL DOWNLOADING AND SAMPLING SKILLS
Google search allowed us to conduct all our research for the planning stages including scripting, similar media, statistics from websites such as the BBC News and the AA, and information on the crash in Cheadle Hulme for the ‘dangerous roads and consequences’ topic.
YouTube was used to watch similar media (Desperately Hungry Housewives) to see the angles, types of shot used and voiceover style, and for the ‘media influence’ topic of our documentary in which we film the screen on Fast and Furious and Top Gear clips.
We also used YouTube to find and sample suitable music choices, then downloaded at home onto iTunes to be put on a memory stick and then imported into our iMovie project.
For instrumental versions of music tracks, I entered the YouTube link video link into www.mediaconverter.org which then converts the file into an MP3 to download and put onto a memory stick.
STORYBOARD CONSTRUCTED FROM HYBRID SOURCES
This drafting stage of the planning involved scans of written work, internet downloads of future filming ideas and digital camera still images to represent the mise en scene and piece together to create the narrative(s).
After taking our still image for our newspaper ancillary text, we uploaded it and used it in PUBLISHER to allow us to drag text and icons onto it to follow conventions and make it appear professional.
In Publisher, we were able to edit the colour of the picture to ‘greyscale’ creating a dramatic black and white effect. Dulling the colour made the advert appear sinister, complementing the consistency of the sombre mode of address throughout the whole topic and project.
To add to the drama and create impact, we then uploaded the greyscale-d picture to PAINT where we coloured the leaner L plate back to red. The bold colour appears striking against the dull background, creating impact and emphasis on the prop (representing the message) and allows for audience expectations. Red holds strong danger connotations that are highlighted again when used in the title card of the documentary, showing consistency.
POWEPOINT was used for original planning and evaluations. It enabled me to write down notes and ideas that were easy for me to copy up and later put into Prezi formats
Word was used for scripting and note purposes, becoming advantageous over paper with the ability to delete and re-write/script text easily.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AUDIENCE FEEDBACK
Create interactivity between producer and consumer
Easy to target audience (consider primary audience then question through selection)
Collect valuable opinions and views from the audience the product is primarily targeting
Build from comments and turn into constructive criticism
Learn what audiences and consumers find appealing, keep/enhance upon positive features
Find out points of improvement directly from the consumers themselves
OUR AUDIENCE ENIGMA sustains audience interest through teasing, challenging and stimulating
STARS audiences search for new stars – unfamiliar faces, representative figures
GENDER AND AGE creates debate and competition
STORYTELLING is a narrative pleasure – the characters and plot matters
COMDEDY/CONFLICT/REPETITION another audience pleasure
GENRE HYBRIDITY creates pleasures and gratifications and widens the demographic
USEFUL MEDIA PRODUCTS audiences want to find media products useful
EDUCATION AND EDIFICATION audiences want this
FAMILIAR/REGIONAL audiences recognise, understand and respond to the familiar and regional
EFFECT ON THE AUDIENCE genre creates audience segmentation, preferences, anticipation, predictions and expectations
REFLECTED IN PRODUCTS audiences want to see themselves reflected in media products and establish social and collective identities
CONSTRUCTED REALISMS audiences expect authenticity and authority
INTERTEXTUALITY audiences are flattered and excited by net screens, print quotation, phone screens and film
REPRESENTATIONS OF VISUAL PAST enhances audience interest
MEDIA DEBATES AND MORAL PANICS audiences respond to the ideologies and messages raised in controversial media issues
New drivers DEMOGRAPHIC:
16-19 year olds LIFESTYLE: 'Reckless' drivers LIFESTYLE: Typical 'teenage culture' LIFESTYLE: Worried Parents GENDER: Male Teenagers Questionnaires shown before showing of DVD - to establish AUDIENCE and their INTERESTS WHAT AUDIENCES WANT... ...AND HOW 'GONE IN LESS THAN 60 SECONDS'
GIVES IT TO THEM ENIGMA - enigma is seen from the very beginning as the establishing shot is of a busy main road in daytime. The introducing voiceover 'Britains teenagers seem to have it all worked out when it comes to driving" continues the ambiguity and sparks audience thought with the choice of word 'seem'. The message then come clear through narrative voiceovers and the camera shots showing teenagers crossing the road; the coherence starts to appear and is confirmed when teens can be seen driving along the off-road to the main road originally seen, showing it as a college road and establishing the mise en scene. Enigma is used again in the interview with 'anonymous teenage driver' to create the impression of the teen being ashamed or scared to reveal his identity, as he knows his driving styles are wrong.
STARS - the use of 2 presenters introduced two new stars to the audience, immediately establishing themselves as representative of the female teenager who is wary of the dangerous and issues surrounding teenage driving, complying with stereotypes and audience expectations.
GENDER AND AGE - debate is created when female presenters interview male subjects, putting the female gender in power and control of the topic/situation in hand and making this ideology become representative.
STORYTELLING - the documentary uses parallel narratives and highlights 6 topics all surrounding the moral dilemna that is teenage driving, varying from the dangers and consequences (high interest from the parents) to insurance prices and modification (more interest likely from the drivers themselves). Our documentary can be interpreted as having the sinister BINARY OPPOSITION 'teenagers vs. death' (young road users vs. the road) which propels the narrative and collates interest from the audience. It also appears to have a 'chase' plot line in the definition that the presenters of the documentary attempt to meet their end 'goal' (safer teenage drivers/ clear their bad stigma/name) but through a difficult and timely journey (the persistence of the stereotype).
COMEDY/CONFLICT/REPETITION - the documentary could be seen as lacking in comedy due to its serious nature/message but there is evident conflict surrounding the topic of teenage driving, but not so much in the documentary; the conflict is more 'off-screen' between a percentage of the existing teenage driver audience and the statistics and information seen on the documentary. This off screen conflict strikes controversy and opinion amongst households and friendship groups and makes the piece of media a memorable and successful one.
GENRE HYBRIDITY - by creating a documentary that is both of a dangerous driving/action genre and a charity-style appeal genre, the demographic is widened and it is more appealing and interesting for the audience to consume.
USEFUL MEDIA PRODUCTS - the secondary audience would be the most likely to find this documentary useful as it backs up the typical 'worried parent' in the arguments and conflicts that exist between teenage drivers and danegrous driving.
EDUCATION AND EDIFICATION - similarly, consumers are faced with statistics, opinions and authority and the key issues surrounding the perisitent topic are highlighted allowing the audience to educate themselves with information they may not have known.
FAMILIAR/REGIONAL - the area of Stockport will be familiar to a sector of the audience and recognisable to a lot, as will the Buxton 'Cat and Fiddle' road, making the audience respond to the scenery and problems existing around it.
EFFECT ON THE AUDIENCE - the controversy of the topic will create segmentation and preferences in opinion - some supportive, some against the ideas shown. Anticipation, predictions and expectations as to what the documentary is about are met due to the revealing pun title and are maintained throughout with the portrayal of the majority of teenage drivers as 'bad' or 'wrong'.
REFLECTED IN PRODUCTS - audiences want to see themselves reflected in their products, therefore our documentary acheives this through the primary targeting of teenager drivers themselves. This allows them to establish social groups in agreement or disagreement with the documentary in turn establishing a collective identity amongst the consumers/drivers.
CONSTRUCTED REALISMS - the ideas and opinions in the documentary are presented as 'real' along side the statistics used. The documentary attempts to speak on behalf of the students in the introduction when highlighting their main reasons to drive "...longer mornings in bed, road trips with friends...". This becomes representative of the views of the audience and is deemed 'real' by secondary audience and other consumers.
INTERTEXTUALITY - our documentary uses intertextuality quite frequently, including computer monitors, mobile phone screens, YouTube and Facebook - all of which are recognisable products and of high appeal to the teenage generation and will please and interact with the audience.
REPRESENTATIONS OF VISUAL PAST - Editing is used to establish time and how the producers want the audince to consume it. Flashforwards allow for foreshadowing and audience expectations to be created. The use of repetition not only propels narrative but follows conventional documentary structures and appeals to the audience. The editing used in the beginning as well, showing a learner driver followed by road user, attempts to represent time passing inbetween which the audience can easily pick up on.
MEDIA DEBATES AND MORAL PANIC - our documentary's topic and message is a highly established and persistent controversial media issue and a variety of demographics (parents, middle aged, older road users) will be tuned in and interested in this topic. Even the teenage drivers themselves are tuned in to the issues in a mix of agreement and disagreement; the idea of a shared moral panic creating more diverse collective identities. The following are all features of interest and appeal to a consumer of a media piece such as the documentary, GONE IN LESS THAN 60 SECONDS Giving your audience what they want to see will result in a positive feedback and a successful documentary.... We showed our finished media product to the PARTICIPANTS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRES
(the students were gathered out of college hours together and the parents were shown the disc at home) WHAT THEY THOUGHT "good reflection of some teenage drivers we see around college or we know" "I know a lot of people who go on the Cat and Fiddle who drive exactly the way described in the documentary - it gives a really good reflection on reality" "I'd actually seen that Facebook group" "I'm always worried when my son goes on the road, if this was on TV I'd definitely make him watch it with me" "It is very representative of the majority of reckless teens I see on the roads" The similarity between the driving in those films and that people were copying was scary and the documentary promotes this type of driving as bad" THE COLLEGE STUDENTS THE PARENTS proves intertextuality works for audience