Wednesday, 18 April 2012

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

Online technologies were particularly useful in terms of research. Due to the nature of our main task, the main technology we referred to was the website Youtube, as this allowed us to deconstruct teaser trailers and find any necessary tutorials for effects we wanted to achieve, such as injury make up . This made it easier to find resources and consider different inspirations that might affect our final piece, from multiple genres. IMDb, the online film information site, was also used in order to find out basic information about films that we were examining, so that we could better relate them to our projects. 
In terms of research, we also used the interactivity of multiple social networking and survey sites in order to communicate with our audience via different formats. For example, one of the first pieces of research that we conducted was the creation of a survey aimed at our target audience, on SurveyMonkey . This form of research was imperative for our project as it allowed us to collate the expectations of our target demographic with our other findings in order to better create a successful and effective finished piece. An example of the importance of the questionnaire can be seen in Question 5, which showed our audience’s expectations that we adhered to conventions of supernatural horrors, and led us to only include one shot of the embodiment of the spirit towards the end of the trailer in order to reflect the majority’s opinion. 

Other technologies that allowed us to communicate with our audience were the social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr. By creating pages on these sites, we were able to involve our audience in the various steps of the creative process, making them feel more invested in the finished product, and maintain a steady course of feedback on our decisions. For example, we posted our various poster designs on Facebook and asked for feedback, leading us to make our final decision of which poster would be most effective and therefore successful with audiences. We posted the webpage development and draft teaser trailer on social networking sites as well, in order to receive a wide range of feedback and make any adjustments that could improve the quality of our work. The use of social networking has also allowed us to advertise our product, and were this a real film we would partake in online advertising on a large scale in order to attract our main demographic of 15-25, who have a large online presence.

In terms of logging our creative process, we also regularly kept a blog on the website Blogger. This allowed us easy access to all of our information so that we could organise our work and become used to presenting our work in an appropriate format. Contrasting this technology with the project of last year, it has helped us maintain a much better sense of organisation and allowed us to experiment with different forms of media that could be useful to us, such as embedded videos and hyperlinks.  

 For the actual creation of our product, we used a range of technologies. This ranged from basic photo and video cameras in order to capture the raw footage, to editing software such as iMovie and Garageband. These editing softwares allowed us to create the teaser trailer easily, making them to the highest quality possible. Through regular usage we became well versed in editing techniques allowing us to test different effects until we had created a piece that successfully portrayed our concept. 
We also used content downloaders in order to take music and sound effects from Youtube, so that we could edit them on Garageband to achieve the sound we desired. An example of the effects we were able to achieve with Garageband is the layering of recorded whispers used throughout the trailer, which we felt was particularly effective. We were also able to use iMovie to reverse the sound of laughter to create unnatural sounds, which when placed with the whisper effects sounded particularly distorted and unnerving. We were also able to edit pieces of music to distort them to make them appear more effective and work in parallel with the images being shown.

The image for the poster was created using various editing software. The initial editing was achieved on Picassa and Adobe Photoshop as references in these posts, creating a base image to experiment with in different ways for the development of the final piece. After this the various different poster possibilities were created using the online photo editing software Picnik, which allowed a wide range of effects such as ‘Ghostify’ and ‘Blur’ to generate different choices for us to consider. By using a few different editing programmes we were able to examine a wide range of possible visual effects so that we could make more professional and informed posters. 

We used the webpage creation site Wix in order to make the webpage for our film as is shown in these posts . Due to the specific purpose of this site, we were able to create a professional product with appropriate effects and layout to support the genre and concept of our film. Although we had difficulty using the site at first, with repeated use and trial and error, we soon became used to the formatting and could achieve the effects that we wanted, such as the slight enlargement of hyperlinks when hovered over with the mouse. Here is our final webpage .

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