Monday, 30 April 2012

Question - Digital Technology

This answer will look at how skills in the use of digital technology had an affect on the creativity of choices made during production. The answer will look at both the foundation portfolio, a 2 minute thriller opening sequence, and the A2 advanced portfolio, a 4 minute music video.

Our first task was to get used to gathering footage by use of a Canon HD camera. We thought the camera performed well and was efficient in capturing good quality footage. We found out that we shouldn't capture in high definition (HD) as the footage size would be far too large. High definition would also not be required. In the foundation portfolio our skill with the camera was not great and we had found it difficult to gather some shots but had the help of some other equipment such as a tripod to help us gather harder shots, such as a tracking shot. We had not really used any other footage for our video capture and relied on natural light for our lighting (not an amazing thing to do in a thriller sequence). I used a different camera for the advanced portfolio. A Sony SD camera was chosen. As HD was not required an SD camera would work well, the Sony SD camera also integrated with Microsoft computers well as well as Adobe Premiere Pro which was the editing software i was using at the time. Like in the foundation portfolio a tripod was used to gather most of the shots. But for the darker shots lights (torches) were used to brighten some of the shots taken in darker areas. Spotlights were also used to make silhouettes of the band members when getting pictures for the CD cover.

Integration with the Mac computer troubled us at first as none of the members of the group were comfortable using a Mac computer. But after some help we had figured it out. We used Final Cut Express, a Mac only video editing software, to edit the opening sequence together. We were able to learn many different skills which included the fundamentals of editing as well as some of the basic effects one could add to video. These included colour correction, changing the scene colour of the footage or parts of the footage, as well as effects that affected text. This meant moving the text, changing the colour and size of it. But i had not got the hang of using effects on Final Cut and had changed to something i had been a little more comfortable in, Adobe After Effects. This software was made to integrate effects into footage and i had used it to add text as well as change some brightness and contrast of some footage as we had let too much natural light into our scene. I had learnt a lot in After Effects and what you could do with it, i had used a masking effect which could cover the scene like darkness creeping up on you.
My skills in using After Effects and Final Cut improved when moving into the advanced portfolio, but during the year i had changed my video editing software from Final Cut to Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro was very similar to Final Cut in it's layout, but there were some differences which made it easier for me to use. I could use effects with Premier Pro more effectively and i could also edit footage better. Premier Pro had a cut, drag and drop footage where one could just cut a piece of footage and drop the visuals, audio or both into the timeline. This made it much easier to edit the music video for my advanced portfolio. Both Premiere Pro and After Effects were made by Adobe which meant integration between the two would be good. This gave me a peace of mind where if any complicated effects were needed i could make them on After Effects and then easily transfer it to Premiere Pro.

Over the last two years, digital technology has been a vital factor in making the production and allowing me to be as creative as i could be in both portfolios. I have gathered many skills in relation to using digital technology which has made me more effective at editing and gathering creative footage. I learnt much during the transition between foundation and advanced and this has allowed my skills in digital technology to grow and enhance my ability in filming.

Question - Post-Production

The answer will look at the development of post-production skills from the foundation portfolio, a thriller opening sequence, to the A2 advanced portfolio, a music video. It will look at how post-production skills affected creative choices made during the final stages of the production.

Gathering footage is an important part of post-production as it controls how creative one can be. The amount and type of footage one collects is what affects the choices one can make during post-production. The quantity of footage that was collected during my foundation portfolio limited my choices as I did not collect enough. Our footage consisted of specific shots we thought we wanted. Other angles or shots were not taken and we did not experiment with what we could have done. This stifled our choices and creativity in post-production as we had to work with the limited footage we had. My approach changed when working on the advanced portfolio. I gathered more footage which included many different types of shots, (close-up, medium etc), experimented on-site as well as gathered specific shots we required. By experimenting on-site, we got different shots and angles for the same verses of the song. I could then be much more flexible in the editing process as i could use different shots of the same scene if there were mistakes. Having more footage allowed a more creative outlook and chance as i had more to work with. I could mix and match different shots together and see which one worked well with each other which is something that could not be done in the foundation portfolio.

Final Cut Express was used in the editing process in the foundation portfolio. I had never owned a Mac computer so had never used the program Final Cut as it was a Mac only application. But i was able to get the fundamentals of editing after some practice. However, due to the lack of knowledge i did not know how to utilize effects effectively and used another application instead, Adobe After Effects CS4. I had used this program to try and add more flair to the texts (credits) in the sequence and to fix some footage by changing the brightness and contrast settings. I tried to remedy this problem when working on the advanced portfolio. At first i had continued to use Final Cut as my non-linear editing software, and as i more accustomed to the software it was easier to use and edit my music video. But i was still finding it a little difficult to use the effects. Since i had used Adobe After Effects the previous year i had tried Adobe's non-linear editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro, and had found it easier to use than Final Cut. I could integrate the effects with the video better than i could with Final Cut and since both Premiere Pro and After Effects were made by Adobe integration between them were good. If i needed any complex effects that could only be made on After Effects i could make them and easily transfer that to Premiere Pro and edit the rest of the video. Using Premier Pro made it easier to edit the video and since it could be used on a Microsoft PC i could also use it at home (on a trial bases). This allowed more flexibility and gave me more time to work with the footage and with the final stages of production. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Discuss how you used genre in one of your products - music video

The media production i am going to discuss in relation to genre is my A2 advanced portfolio, which was a music video for the song 'Lovestruck' performed by the band 'Madness.'

The genre of my music video was a hybrid between pop and ska. The genre gave us a target for what the visuals of the video should look like, the conventions it should and should not include. It allowed us to be creative in what we wanted our visuals to include, but limited us due to the generic conventions required.

The ways in which such a world should accomplish this feat has not been discovered. Many eons shall pass before man finds a way to tackle such monstrosity, but one cannot be certain that man will exist in that time. But there must be a way so that man can carve a future for the children that live in it, and one must find a way to destroy it, to eliminate it, to kill the one known as Hemal.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Long Tail Theory & Wikinomics

Long Tail Theory
Chris Anderson's 'Long Tail Theory' suggests that people are becoming more interested in 'niche' products rather than just mainstream products. Modern culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus of mainstream 'hits' which are on the head of the demand curve. Instead, the focus is shifting toward the niche products at the tail. Anderson points out that online retailers only used to stock bestsellers or highly popular products. But this has changed. Now most things can be bought online giving the costumers a wide range of products to choose from whether its old or new.

This means that more people are likely to to shop online as there is more chance that something will be in stock online and there is more of a chance that a less popular product or an old product will be in stock online rather than the mainstream market. Therefore, more people will search the online market for tracks and albums that are not in the peak of the long tail graph.

Explores and explains how mass collaboration is reinventing the way businesses and popular social websites communicate, create values and compete in the new global market.
Wikinomics is based on 4 main ideas;
Peering, sharing, thinking globally and openness.  


Monday, 6 February 2012

Task 1 - The Ideas Of David Gauntlett

1. According to Gauntlett, what was "the media" like in the past and what changes have now occurred?

Gauntlett talks about the differences between 'old media' and 'new media.' He states that in the beginning people could only get their news from what he calls 'Media Gods.' These media gods controlled the news and broadcasted it to the 'little people.' In earlier times people needed big machinery, equipment and studios to produce and broadcast any type of media which meant only companies could be able to broadcast. Equipment was far too expensive for everyday people to get their hands on. Gauntlett also said that the media corporations usually had big, powerful buildings as their headquarters to promote the idea of their superiority over the 'little people.'   

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism is when private individuals from the public play a role in collecting and reporting information. It is very similar to what professional journalists do.
New media technology, such as social networking sites, has allowed citizen journalism to be more accessible to people around world. The convergence of media has also made it easier for public individuals to gather that information, an example would be being able to take video footage and pictures with a phone.

The information gathered can take many forms; text, audio, video and pictures. With the use of the internet it can be spread across the world via podcast, blogs, personally created websites etc. It's basically about the public communicating information to other members of the public.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Utopians and Dystopians

The historic battle between utopians and dystopians, optimists versus pessimists... only with a more modern twist which includes the media.

The introduction of new media and web 2.0 have allowed former audiences of media to turn into producers  in their own right and use forms of media to their own accord for different purposes. This, of course has instigated the battle between the new types of media, or citizen journalism, and the old traditional ways of doing things.

Utopians, or optimists, believe that this new way of using the media is an empowering force which can be used for good due to the freedom it gives the people. The world's knowledge is made accessible to the world allowing a plurality of voices, the voices of many can be heard. It's a more democratic system. Some use their computers to show what they can do with their creative juices and share it with the world via websites such as youtube.