Evaluation Stage: Question Four

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

Media Technology is constantly changing and converging so that it can meet user’s needs. In the current age we have a vast amount of technology available to us. The internet with the use of web 2.0 and web 3.0 theories give us the ability to find out anything we really need to know, watch, listen or create. The internet is now converged into many types of hardware technology and this is an added help to get the best out of a production. It isn’t just internet though that gives us this ability, hardware components such as digital cameras and Mac computers allow us to film and then finalise a production. The software, the virtual applications come in a range of products from Final Cut Pro editing software to edit a raw footage to simply typing out a document in word or pages for Mac.

We began with the research and development stages of our production. The internet was the main use for our research stages as it acts as a huge data source for all the information we needed. Our genre for our film was thriller so initially we began searching the internet for how the thriller genre has emerged. Doing so would allow us to see the current stage of a thriller and also give us an idea of how we could challenge the conventions of the genre to give our audience something different. There were many sites available to us including blogs where people had wrote their own articles regarding the subject which is another feature of the web 2.0 stage of the internet. The main site we used was IMDB, The Internet Movie Database. This site gave us information regarding a certain film which we could look at from a certain time period.  As we progressed we would use Google images to find certain images of current movie posters, YouTube to find current trailers and current websites which were held on the internet. We had a range of media we could look at that was directly posted on the internet. Videos and Images were once separate where we would have to see a video or film at the cinema and an image would literally be a photograph or painting. Digital has given us the ability to hold these all in one place, online. From this we could then analyse the certain aspects of these media texts in a pages document which would keep written and image work in one place. Then we could propose ideas for our production.

With the planning stages such as our pre-production documents we used different hardware and software.  The main software we used was pages to type out or fill in our documents but other software such as Photoshop was used. This is a digital photo editing application which we used to create our skeleton and mock-up designs of our poster and website. Along with Photoshop we were able to use drawing tablets which were a piece of hardware we could connect to the Mac. With this we could create a storyboard by drawing free hand on the tablet which would digitally copy into Photoshop. This was a very convenient way to convert our drawing work digitally onto the computer, however after some time we found that the tablet was quite fiddly and we decided to go back to drawing free hand and then taking a photo of the drawings.

Our construction stage used many different types of technology. The main aspect was the camera equipment which we used digital HD cameras to record our footage. The reason the industry uses digital so much in the present time is because of convenience. It is convenient to record in digital and then quickly import it into a digital editing software system. We shot in High-Definition which gives better image quality and is used in almost all films shot in the present era. Along with the camera we used a tripod and boom mic which was connected to give us better sound for our clips.  Once the raw footage had been captured, we conveniently captured and transferred our footage into Final Cut Pro on the Mac, a digital editing software system. From this we could then cut the raw footage to create a narrative of our film which the audience would understand. We could add colours and contrast to the footage, titles over the top and sound which are all different media combined and converged into one. The finished edit could then be exported into a QuickTime file type which can then be uploaded onto YouTube, once again using web 2.0 features.  This allows all users with an internet connection to watch our trailer online; it’s amazing how a trailer created by two students can reach an audience of 2.5 billion people.

Once our trailer had been completed we were then able to create our finalised Poster and Website. To create our poster we mainly used photos which we had taken and then digitally manipulated them together with Photoshop. For our website there was a little bit more to it. We used several software applications available to us such as Dreamweaver, Flash, Flash Encoder and Photoshop. Dreamweaver is an application in which you can create websites using HTML on generic design. With Flash and Flash Encoder, we needed to convert our QuickTime file of our trailer to FLV which would then allow us to put our trailer on our website so that users could simply press the play button to watch it rather than being linked to a YouTube video, etc. Our website uses many different types of media. With our website we have used the internet and included images and video as well as the ability to download the poster and share the website via social networking sites. It shows how the internet has converged many different media technologies and we have used it to our advantage for our products.

In our evaluation stages we used other ranges of media again. For our Q2 I used software called Sony Vegas Pro which is another piece of editing software designed more for the windows operating system for PC’s. With this I could create a video where I could manipulate images and video together so they could be seen at once.  This helps for comparison visually in a moving image state and I accompanied this with audio which I recorded and then imported into the video. I finished with a video combining different media in an easy to understand and more visually entertaining format. For Q3 I created a questionnaire which we used in a focus group to find out our audience’s opinion of our promotional package. With this I then created a presentation using the software PowerPoint.  With the presentation I included a visual slide show of graphs and charts and annotated details of the feedback we received. Doing this once again gave us a more visual and entertaining approach to answer the question. We have also used WordPress, which is a blog site in which we can upload all our documents and finished products into one place instead of having lots of print outs and separate folders. This is another use of web 2.0 and convenience.

We feel that we have used a whole range of media technologies to create a promotional package. There is so much technology out there available to us including hardware and software. With convergence, audiences have been given a convenient way of producing and sharing their own material. The main point about current media technologies is that they are CONVENIENT for users. For our products we have explored professional developments in a convenient way using the media technologies available to us to create a finalised promotional package.

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