Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Evaluation 4 - How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?

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Adobe Premier Pro - Once the pre-production and filming stages of our project were completed, Adobe Premier Pro was our primary resource in creating our film. The majority of our film was edited and exported using Premier Pro, and by experimenting with the various effects available we discovered the ‘Luma Key’. We found this helpfull to provide a darker and gloomier hue to our footage, to further enhance the gritty atmosphere we were aiming for. We also used premier pro during the evaluation stage of our production to edit the footage for both the audience feedback section and ancillary task evaluation.  

Garage Band - We had a clear idea during the planning stages of the music and ambience that we wanted to create for our film.  We used Garage Band to produce an original and suitable piece of music, a blend of jazz like rhythm and rock, similarly found in films such as Ocean’s eleven. We also wanted to create a more gloomy and dramatic section of music for the ending of our film, effectively helping to darken the tone and atmosphere. Whilst it was relatively easy to construct a soundtrack, we had to use the pre-detirmined tracks provided by Garage Band, as creating our own melodies from scratch proved to be quite difficult. However, by combining several different tracks we were able to compose suitable music whilst avoiding any difficulties posed by using any copyrighted music. 

Facebook - We utilised Facebook to obtain a wider range of audience feedback post-production. By posting our finished film onto Facebook we were able to recieve a lot of helpful feedback, which has helped us to critically evaluate how successful our product is and the ways in which we could have improved it.

Microsoft Publisher -Microsoft Publisher was used to create both our Teaser poster and our magazine review. We firstly created the poster, utilising a black backround and a minimalist approach to our poster to connote the ambiguity of our film, inspired by the poster for the film 'Buried'. We also used Publisher to create the magazin review, which we were inspired to create by prestigious magazines such as Empire and Total film. By using Publisher we were able to easily emulate a similar style, using font stylings and text boxes to our colour specifications. We found Publisher fairly easy to use, providing a simple way to produce what we wanted. However, there were complications when trying to produce a hard copy as the text and borders tended to merge together due to the size of the printer paper. Whilst Publisher was very useful in creating our ancillary tasks online, it posed problems when trying to produce hard copies.

Adobe After-Effects - So that we could include a suitably ‘explosive’ Afghanistan scene, our group used Adobe After-Effects to add In extra sound, motion blur, bullet effects and the explosion. By getting footage of our main character running through an area that could (with some FX tweaking) be passed off as Afghanistan, the lighting was altered to create the effect of bright sunlight and heat. After-Effects was very useful in adding to the realism of our Afghanistan scene, and helped us to break the boundaries of what would we would normally be able to produce, and challenged us to break the limitations that we would otherwise have had when trying to create a believable war scene. By watching several online tutorials we were able to grasp the techniques to create the explosion. - We frequently used during our production stages to obtain appropriate sound effects. To create a realistic explosion for our afghanistan scene we found a suitable explosion sound effect and the 'ringing in the ears' noise that we decided to use after the explosion for shock value. was extremely useful for obtaining any non-copyrighted sound for us to use in our film, specifically any musical tracks and sound effects.

Youtube - We also utilised Youtube as a quick and convenient way to upload our evaluations, finished film and pre-production tasks to our blogs. This was similarly helpful in uploading our production to Facebook, allowing us to gain useful feedback both from the social networking site and from any Youtube comments. We also found Youtube useful during the planning stages of our film to research any similar films to ours. By having access to trailers to films such as Rock n Rolla, 23 and Casino Royale we were able to gain inspiration for our own project.

To create a more diverse presentation for our evaluation tasks, we have used several different professional slideshow creators and other technologies to respond to each question.
For example, we used the presentation maker 'Prezi' to create a much more interesting and diverse appearance to our answer. Prezi also allowed us to include photos, videos both ours and from youtube and text to go into detail regarding our finished product. Whilst Prezi was useful for creating a quick and easy to use presentation, the tools to manipulate font size proved unwieldly, making it difficult to include all the text needed on a single slide, however we were able to combat this by breaking up the text with images and videos.

We also used 'Animoto' as a way to quickly and efficiently show the different technologies used in a short image led powerpoint set to music. Whilst Animoto allowed us to create an interesting and fast paced slideshow, the absence of any text function meant that we had to provide seperate analysis of our various technologies. Furthermore, the fact that we had to use a free trial version meant that we were limited to a 30 second slot.

Panasonic NV GS230 - For the majority of our filming we used a Panasonic NV GS230 to capture our footage. It proved to be very easy to use, and efficient for our purposes, and the only criticism would be over the short battery life, which on several occasions interrupted our filming process, costing us valuable filming time. However, on the whole it was very useful, as it was portable, reliable and produced good quality footage.

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