Sunday, 21 April 2013

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

Similarly to last year, the use of technological convergence was vital in the research, construction and evaluation stages of my coursework, as I needed to use a range of technologies in order to successfully create a music video, as well as a digipak and poster to go with it. 

Sony Bloggie: Like last year, I used a Sony Bloggie, which records in 1080p HD, throughout the research and planning and the construction and stages of my coursework. 
As part of my research and planning, I used the Bloggie at the start of the year to film my one minute recreation 'Summertime', which made me realise that close up shots became a little pixilated and blurry, due to the Bloggie losing quality as it zooms in. I thought this may cause problems during the construction stage of my coursework, as I planned to use a lot of close up shots in my own music video, however after experimenting with the clips on Final Cut Pro, I realised that a change of brightness and the use of a colour filter would make the clip appear a little less blurred, which although wouldn't fix the problem completely, would help to an extent, leading me to the decision to use filters when constructing my music video. I also used the Bloggie to take the photos used on my digipak and poster.

Apple iMacs: The iMac I used was also a vital piece of equipment throughout all three stages of my coursework; I used it for research elements, such as analysing real life products, the construction of my music video, via the use of Final Cut Pro, as well as the evaluating stages, through the use of PowerPoint, which I used to answer part of an evaluation question. 
Despite learning how to use the macs last year, I did have some problems with them this year, as some of my files kept disappearing, however I overcame this by saving them onto my USB stick, so that I'd have an extra copy of the files. (I'm sure the macs have a grudge against me and delete my things. Maybe it's because me and my friend set all of their wallpapers to pictures of James Franco pulling funny faces?)

Final Cut Pro:

I used Final Cut Pro (FCP) during both the research and planning and the construction stages of my coursework. I first used FCP when editing my one minute recreation of 'Summertime', developing my skills from last year by learning how to add filters and colour corrections faster and more efficiently; I was taught how to copy the propeties used on one clip to multiple clips at a time. (THANKS MR NICHOLA) This came in really useful during the construction stage of my coursework piece, as I wanted to repeatedly used different filters, effects and colour corrections throughout the video and this provided me with a much faster way to do it, rather than enter the correct percentages by hand on every clip. 

MS Paint: 

I used paint during the construction of my digipak and poster. Despite it not being a very 'professional' programme, I used it to create the pink and red roses I used on both my digipak and poster, as photoshop, whilst effective for the other elements of the products, could not give me the effect I wanted for the roses. For example, I wanted them to look 'coloured in' and have a crayon type look to them, as the simple, effortless look would help appeal to fans of the indie-genre, whilst the bright, feminine colours would stand out and attract audiences. I used the simple pencil tool to draw out the rose, then went over the lines using the felt pen tool to make the lines darker and thicker. I then used the crayon tool to colour in the petals. Whilst they may not be the most professional looking roses, I think they worked well on my digipak and poster to create the effect I was aiming for.

Adobe Photoshop:

Photoshop was very useful during the construction of the ancillary tasks, the digipak and poster, as it allowed me to do many things to make them look interesting and effective, such as cut around photos, add layers to create backgrounds, edit the lighting, size and position of photos and add text. As I had never used photoshop before, I learned most of the skills I developed through trial and error, though we did have a lesson on the main elements which taught us the basics, e.g using the magnetic tool, free-transform, adding layers etc.
For example, I learned how to 'merge' layers, which was useful when adding the roses to the digipak and poster, so they would all become one layer, allowing me to change the position of them all in one go, instead of one at a time which would have taken forever seeing as they were all singles. I also learned how to use the magic wand tool, which allowed me to select the entire background of photos much faster than if I had used the magnetic tool, in order to delete it and put the photo onto a new background.

Powerpoint and Prezi: 

Powerpoint and Prezi were important during the research and evaluation stages of my coursework, as they allowed me to present my work clearly and efficiently, as well as make my blog less text-heavy and more interactive. Hopefully my Prezi's didn't give you motion sickness.

Social Networking Sites:

I used social networking sites frequently during the research and planning and evaluation stages of my coursework, as sites such as tumblr allowed me to answer a large number of people quickly and easily on their opinions. They were also useful during the construction stages, as I was able to post the draft versions of my music video, digipak and poster and constructive comments on my work so far, helping me improve the next draft. Tumblr was the most effective, as it is the social networking site where I have the most 'followers', so I could show my ideas to a large amount of people instantly, which would have taken a very long time to do if I were to ask people face to face. Despite this, it did mean that the majority of the opinions collected were from 12-23 year old's as that is age range of people following me, so I don't have many opinions from older audiences.


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

    I'll break, down into a series of bullet points, some of the things you could discuss in this part of the evaluation.

    • Have you made a conscious attempt to promote a brand image or identity when creating your media products? What is this identity?

    • Does this identity establish confrom with the to points outlined in Kapferer's "Identity Prism"? (1) Physique (symbols and attributes). 2) Personality. 3) Culture. 4) Relationship. 5) Reflection. 6) Self image). In which parts of your portfolio are these aspects of branding promoted?

    • How did you go about creating your “brand identity” across all of your products: music video, digipak and advert? (For example, did you use similar imagery, wording, typefonts, pictures, colours, etc?).

    • How does the Digipak design sell the album to the audience(s)?

    • Same as the previous bullet point, but focus on how the advert will sell the product instead.

    • Comment on stuff to do with genre that spands across the products. How does each of the ancillary tasks help establish/consolidate the genre and style of the song and music video?

    Let me know if you would like any more pointers.

    Mr N

    1. Thank you!

      The last bullet point confused me a bit. Should I write about the genre on this question when I've already answered a whole other evaluation question on it?