Sunday, 29 April 2012

Evaluation Question 4

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

Creating a music video, a digipak and a magazine advert has given us a great opportunity to use a wide range of media technologies. This chance has allowed us to build up a huge variety of skills that will benefit us in the future and have benefitted us during this process. As well as the creation of the three products, we have had to use technology in each part or phase of the whole course, for example the Research & Planning phase and the Evaluation phase.

There are a number of different media technologies that we have used throughout the process. These can be broken down into sections of where we used each individual piece of technology:

Final Cut Express - Using Final Cut Express has been the biggest change and challenge between our AS Foundation course and our A2 Advanced course. It is a far better piece of software than iMovie for the task we had in hand, but is also far trickier to get used to and to use to the top of its potential. The increased amount of transitions, effects and tools on the program make it far superior and a real advance on iMovie in my personal opinion. The key reasons that it is much better for making something such as a music video is that the effects available are far more professional and varied than they are on iMovie, where they are often quite unrealistic and do not seem appropriate for a professional piece of work. Final Cut Express also allows more accurate and precise 'cuts' with the cutting tool than iMovie. Another and very significant advantage of FCE is the ability to use and create layers in a video which is a vital aspect to music videos and is very fitting to our idea.

iMovie - While we have moved on to using Final Cut Express for the editing process, we have still called upon our experiences with iMovie at certain points throughout the course. The main reason for using iMovie has been to upload footage. When transferring footage from the camera to the Mac Computers at school we have had to upload our footage to iMovie before exporting it in to FCE. We have also used it to edit Vodcasts down as it is a faster process than using FCE and we did not need to add effects to our Vodcasts.

Photoshop - Another piece of software that we have had to use throughout the course is Photoshop, which we needed to create our ancillary texts. By using Photoshop we were able to create a professional looking piece of work for each panel of our digipak and the magazine ad. Using such software allowed us to create draft attempts and quickly make alterations that feedback suggested. An example of this came about during feedback on our digipak when somebody suggested we changed a font on the back panel. Through Photoshop we could quickly change the font so that we had an example of what it was like before and what it was like after. We could then ask for which people preferred. If for example, we had designed the product by hand then this would have been very tricky both to replicate the original exactly and to do it so quickly and simply. By using this technology you can also create a really neat and professional product, which we feel we did.

HD Cameras - We were lucky enough this year to have access to HD cameras, a real improvement on the DV Cameras that we used last year. This technology advance allowed us to capture better footage and to focus on more detail. This was very useful for filming and the visual effects are blatant in our footage. Particular shots in our video in emphasise the importance of this improved camera, for example when we use a panning shot to look at the music posters on the wall and when our protagonist is picking up stones to throw in the river. It is without doubt that the camera adds to the effectiveness of the video and make it look more like a real world product.

Mac Computers - As with last year we have had the luxury of being able to use Mac Computers for our coursework, including all the software that we required such as Final Cut Express and iMovie. Macs are generally reliable, secure and allow the use of more advanced technology. Having access to Macs has most certainly given us the technology that we have required and has been hugely beneficial.

New Technologies have been of vital importance for our production of our video, magazine advert and digipak. They have certainly given all three products a more professional look and feel about them, without which they may have looked less impressive and poor, emphasising the importance of using the best technology available to you in this part of the course.

Google Search Engine - Google is a huge tool internationally and is one of the easiest and fastest ways of having access to huge amounts of information. This has been a great asset to us throughout the research and planning phase of this project. It has meant that we have had quick access to information and examples (of magazine adverts, digipaks etc) that we would otherwise have had to pay for (which would have meant needing a bigger budget). There are numerous examples of where we have used this tool throughout the creation, planning and evaluation stages, but it was of key importance in the research phase, for example for finding information about the genre, examples of real world products and general information about the format in general.

Online Forums - There are a number of online forums for the band Muse allowing fans to spread information, videos and stories about the band. They also discuss all things about them, for example songs, lyrics and live performances. This came in useful when we were trying to work out the meaning behind the lyrics. We began the task by looking at such forums to see the views of fans of the band and see what a general consensus was as to the meaning of the lyrics. Online forums also came in useful for the feedback stage with the possibility to post our own rough cuts and sample scenes to these websites.

You Tube - You Tube has been very useful in every part of the project and none more so than the research phase. To get an understanding of the music video format and then a more specific idea on our own genre videos. As mentioned under 'Google Search Engine', providing you have access to the internet this is a free way to see these examples without which you would have to pay for the individual videos from a source such as iTunes or on DVD. For this reason You Tube was very important for the research phase.

Official Websites For Our Band - These were very important when we were trying to establish facts about the band early in the project. By using their official sites we could work out how they work and see examples of their own work. This was vital so that we could try and successfully pinpoint our target audience as well as seeing how the band target their audience in the real world and with real world products. This allowed us to keep our ideas realistic, information factual and products in line with those produced by our band to date.

Post Production:
You Tube - Audience feedback and spreading word of your work is vital for the success of any product. In years gone by getting your work to a wide audience would have cost a lot of money, time and would have been very difficult to do. However with new technologies and in the modern day, sites such as You Tube have given media producers such as ourselves an outlet to screen our work and to show it to audiences across the world. This gives us an increased view from our target audience that we otherwise would not receive. Put simply without new technologies and the emergence of such sites as You Tube and Vimeo, it would be very difficult for very low budget media producers to get any kind of audience to view their work in the way we now have access to.

Facebook/Twitter Pages - Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter were another way we took advantage of the ever improving media technology. Through creating pages on both of these we were able to discuss where we were in the project and show footage to people who were interested in our work, in other words members of our Target Audience! Without being able to do this people may not have known what was happening in our production and may have lost interest; Facebook and twitter helped prevent this from happening.

Making Videos - Modern technology has enabled us to make videos for our evaluation questions and show off our ICT skills. It is not long since that this would have been very difficult and in some cases impossible to do. This part can be linked in with the use of iMovie as well as using cameras. New Technology in the media industry has allowed us to use more inventive methods to put information across and showcase our ability. This is the aim during the evaluation phase.

Voiceover - With recording technology as it is now, we are able to record voices either separately or at the same time as recording the video. This means that we can combine the audio with visuals to show specific examples of what we are talking about. This also comes down to editing and technologies involved their.

Technology available to us has enabled us to make music videos to a high standard. Without such high quality equipment at each stage this whole process would have been made infinitely harder than it was for us. Some of the equipment we have had access, in particular the editing software of Final Cut will be used by real world media industries to edit their work. This has been a significant development for us in the course this year, moving on from the more basic iMovie software that we used last year. Whilst we haven't had the obvious advantages that come with a big budget like in the real world, where they can take advantage of equipment such as lighting rigs, we have had as much assistance as we could possibly have hoped for for little to no money. This has meant that we have had to take advantage of free media technologies available to us, such as You Tube and the internet. This has been a positive thing however as it has helped us to become quite resourceful and helped us to learn how to search and find things that we need with limited to no funding.

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