Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Question 4 Part 2

At the construction stages these new media technologies don't just become convenient or helpful but essential in achieving the levels of progress we wanted.
First off came the capture and recording of our content. A decent camera was needed if we wanted decent pictures but for the best quality products we'd need high quality equipment. Most people who undertook this project had access to standard full HD cameras but I was lucky enough to have my own camera, the Panasonic Lumix FZ200. This camera is known as a bridge camera as it's not quite the DSLR standard (mostly because of an inability to change the lens) but still had the capabilities to record in full 1080p HD with even the option to record 720p HD at 200 frames per second. With that as well as a 24x optical zoom and LCD display this was quite the piece of kit.
However, limitations of time meant that it was impossible to learn how to access all the best apature, exposure settings etc and so certain light conditions in the video were not catered too. In other circumstances however, the picture was very clear and I had no problem in taking the stills for the print productions.

When it came to editing stages we really had some extemely useful tools. Adobe Photoshop CS5 is a wonderfully versatile program that allows hundreds if not thousands of effects to be created using it's various tools. It was great for solving problems such as red eye reduction. The method I chose involved zooming and selecting the iris with the oval select tool and then going to Image in the tool bar then adjustments and clicking on Hue/saturation. Then it was just a case of sliding until the preview showed the desired colour I wanted. Other adjustments included changing the overall hue.

The adjustments I made however we pretty limited in comparison to the potential I know is possible to acheive but again in my circumstances I didn't have enough time to go out and learn about different techniques or possibilties that would have probably allowed me to form more interesting or possibly individual ideas. I think that my design was probably already somewhat influenced by what I knew I was capable of doing on Photoshop as I have had experience prior to beginning this course.

For the video, Adobe Premier Pro CS5 was the program used for our video editing.This was something completely new but luckily really easy to pick up. What I planned to do with my editing meant that luckily I wasn't going to be using any super complicated editing techniques (although arguably this could have been a subconcious choice due to my little knowledge of the program) and so the tools most useful to me were those allowing me to create super precise cuts and match up the lip synching to an equally precise level. This was managed by using the zoom function to extend the timeline out, making it easier to pinpoint where to cut too. In terms of lip syncing it would have pretty much been 100% trial and error if not for the marker tools that could be used and references when trying to match up both audio and video.

Question 4 Part 1

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

It would have been impossible not to use a wide variety of new media technologies in order to complete any stage of the project. With the arrival of the internet and it's easy accessibility, most notably the development of 2.0 technologies, finding and utilising helpful recources has become much easier. Luckily, my generation have been born quite snugly into the timezone of development and so these technologies are not only widely accessable but in many cases we actively already use them.

Smartphones are one of the most useful tools in this situation as they are veritable hives of 2.0 technology, i.e. the abilty to not only recieve information and content but also to give back.

During the planning stage I used various sites such as Google, YouTube, Blogger and Facebook. All of these apps were already ones I'd downloaded onto my iphone (google in the form of google chrome) and were readily accessible. However in comparison to computer based internet usage I didn't really use them much. Blogger I used occassionally when I wanted to qucikly write out a draft post on the bus to save time but this wasn't very often. The Facebook app however was a lot mre useful in that discussions with focus groups could be accessed anywhere, meaning 'virtual meetups' could be acheived when meeting for real couldn't. Yet despite Facebook's push notification feature that alerts app users when they have a message,I wasn't really able to ralleigh much of any discussion in regards to audience focus group research. This is most likely because of the disadvantage that virtual conversations pose in that ther is no sense of immediacy or obligation to reply. If however we had been able to meet face to face, a response would a seemingly forced prospect.

Where these technologies really began to bloom was during the planning stages and onwards. In planning, very early on twitter gave me the means to casually attempt to contact Paramore's lead singer Hayley Williams for permission but due to her vast amount of followers that message, it was unlikely that I would get a reply.
But towards more legitimate planning, TimeToast became a very powerful asset. Having the ability to create free timelines was extremely useful for organisation as it gave clear, time pointed goals that could easily be edited and equally as easily embedded into blogger posts through redily copyable HTML codes.

PowToon was also a website that proved useful in presenting my plans, especially when the largely favoured Prezi persisted in simply just not loading. PowToon also was free and provided a simple interface for creating presentations although the time limitations were something that proved a little awkward to get around at first, but did not affect the end result.
Looking at the almost obvious bigger picture, Blogger is an essential tool for planning as well as the other 3 processes. There's a reason we all use it and it's down to the fact that it gives total editing freedom in terms with when changes can be made as well as allowing a seriously wide variety of content to be displayed through the ability to incorporate HTML, esssential computer code. Without Blogger or programmes like it, we would probably be forced to rely on a majorly text based catalogue of our progression with long winded descriptions of what we did rather than the glorious immediacy of show and tell.

Question 3

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

The following is a video of where me and 3 people from my focus group - Jodie, Carly and Ashleigh - met with me to have a full discussion on what they thought.

To expand a little further I'd say that the Uses and Gratifications theory (Blumbler and Katz) is relevent here. Clearly the girls enjoyed what they saw, especially when it came to the video. This provides for them entertainment through the form of humour as it takes a topic people hate and changes it to appear stupid and not worth the worry without making us feel the stupid one (as it is clearly directed to be Lucy).
And in terms of looking at this from the cultural studies approach I'd say that the girls took the preferred reading and took this as something to be laughed at. They found the humor where I'd wanted it to found.

Question 2

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

In terms of overall coherence I don't think that I managed to stick to a consistent house style. As with most people I think the prospect of creating a music video is a task so big that ideas begin to form straight away in many possible directions before they are refined through planning and research. As a result, creating the advert and digipack print productions can seem to take a clear backseat.

This is most likely why the overall appearance of my digipack and magazine advert fit and work well as a package but seem disjointed when compared to the video itself.

Production of the music video came at a significantly later date than the print productions, both of which were produced at the same time. I made the decision to use the same images for both my advert and my digipack and when immediately asked with both, I had a very clear objective of making sure that they looked like they worked together and could easily be linked if seen separately, which they most likely would be.
The colour scheme is also unified to the point of using the same CMYK codes for both productions.

Of course however the presentation of these colours and images varies between the two productions. The advert of course contains both a picture of a tree with an x and a picture of Lucy, brushed with the eraser tool on low opacity in order to create an overlapping fade. This is not featured in the digipack. However, the digipack does embody some of these qualities as to maintain the house style by having a dark almost black fade border around some of the images.

If the music video were to then coincide with the house style I would say that the  moment before Lucy falls backwards would link due to how that particular lighting creates heavy shade which almost borders her face. In contrast however the majority of the video is very brightly lit  in order maintain the overly garish attitude of the song.

However, I do feel that there is nice little hommage to the images on my digipack in terms of the last shot where Lucy can only be seen from the nose down, just as when she is holding the tape on the digipack. Both give an air of dominance and a little omnipresence but don't really shock too much HOWEVER, both are soon followed with imagery that changes your perception. In the video it's the moment puts the piece of pineapple into her mouth and you come to suddenly realise whatever crazy interpretation you please. In terms on the digipack, the layout means that unfolding the cover flap reveals the picture of Lucy, and the second flap then reveals the picture of oli and peter taped to a tree and gagged and looking startled. This could however have been tied in better if the angle had been the same, preferably if Lucy had been face on in the print productions rather than at that slight angle.

I think it would be fair to say that in majority, the immediate aesthetic of the video is not easily linked, if much at all, to the print productions, but I still maintained a similar emotional response within certain mis-en-scene. This may not have been a particularly conscious decision but at least it shows that I wasn't just thinking from a completely fresh design point of view or attitude.

To achieve a better tie in one of two things probably could have been done:
Either A: I could have tried to emulate more of the colour schemes of the print productions within the video, either with filters on the footage (following the same CMYK code) or with closely coloured mis-en-scene, props, costumes...
B: taking the photos for the print production in the daytime (however at the time, none of the 3 were available during daylight hours at the same time).

Question 1

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Final Video

Here is my final video. The quality for this is not 100% percent but I have placed a link on it within the first few seconds for a better rendered HQ version.