In the research and planning stage I used many new media technologies, many of which were internet based.
The main one would be blogger. (www.blogspot.com)
To record our research and planning, and our steps to our final products, I made a blog. This is an online portfolio, accessible both at home and school, allowing you to present all stages of the coursework. It is easily accessible, and can be found by certain google searches, therefore widening the audience of who will view your blog, allowing you to gain more audience feedback. This also means that it is easily accessible to my teacher and peers, again helping gain audience feedback, which is useful for improving your products, and making sure you are suiting your target audience. As I also worked in a group, with Emmie Bryett, it meant that we could keep up to date with each others work, which was useful as you can also share blog posts, saving you time, as long as we titled the post with each others initials, we could share our posts. This saved a lot of time.
Another bonus of blogger, is that you can embed videos into the blog, such as from You Tube or Vimeo, therefore the videos can be viewed on the blog, rather than having to follow a link, again saving time for people viewing the blog, especially if it is to gain audience feedback.
I have embedded many videos into my blog as you can see: http://g324-megan-claydon.blogspot.com/2011/03/first-rough-cut.html
This is an example of an embedded code on my blog:
Another bonus feature of Blogger, is that you can add hyperlinks, taking you to certain websites, this was particularly useful if some videos would not embed, but also to show a range of wider reading, for instance links to articles on boy bands, this shows evidence to what you are saying, using various sources and that you have fully researched what you are talking about.
The internet is also a vital source for information on music today, therefore providing these links shows clear evidence to show information. This can include links to bands websites for instance, or vital websites, such as The Guardian online, which contains a great music segment.
You do this by clicking the "link" icon at the top of the page and copy and pasting the link into the box.
Another internet based technology I used for the research and planning stage was Scribd. Scribd is a social publishing site, where you can share writings and documents.
Scribd was extremely useful for our research and planning stage, as it meant we could upload word documents, for instance our call sheets, story boards and our treatment, all of which we could not do straight onto blog, as they were hand written, so we scanned them in, uploaded them onto Scribd and then embedded the code onto blogger.
Another bonus of this is that when you click on the embedded image it takes you to a full size of the document, making it easily viewable.
It also means that you can do documents in microsoft word, such as our treatment, edit it and then upload it once it is completed. This is also useful for the environment, meaning that you are not having to print off loads of sheets, you can upload them onto Scribd, rather than having to print them off and scan them in.
Blogger as a whole is environmentally friendly, meaning you do not have to print off all these word documents, you can put things straight onto your blog.
YouTube was essential in our research and planning, you can watch, share and upload videos.
Not only did YouTube allow us to watch existing music videos, and find out the key components of music videos and ones for our specific genre, it also allowed us to upload things and then embed it onto our blog, for instance videos on items such as "target audience."
This allowing people to comment your videos, gaining audience feedback. We also subscribed to the IGS YouTube channel, allowing us, and our class mates to watch our work.
However, the downfall of YouTube is that it is not accessible at school, therefore we used Vimeo for our videos that we used within school. Another online website where you can publish your videos.
You embed the code onto blogger, once you have uploaded your video, allowing them to be viewed on your blog and not to have to follow a link to another website, saving time and making the blog more visually appealing.
To produce these vodcasts, we used iMovie, a video editing software for Mac computers.
As iMovie was the software we used to edit our films last year, we were very familiar with it, it allowed us to edit our clips, creating our vodcasts, for instance our vodcast for our target audience. You can also extract audio, allowing you to place it over other images, such as the image you are talking about. You can then export the video, and upload to a video uploading site and embed into your blog post.
You can also add titles onto it, so you can show what the vodcast is going to be about, and you can overlay titles on clips, if you want to make things clear.
Another website that was greatly beneficial was Muzu.tv
Muzu allows you too watch official music videos, documentaries, TV shows, interviews, behind the scenes and tutorials.
This was useful, as stated earlier, YouTube is blocked in school, so this allowed us to view music videos in school, whether it be for inspiration, or to see the codes and conventions of them.
Using original music videos, you could get ideas for things such as clothing, mise-en-scene, common codes and conventions for your specific genre.
Another online technology we used was http://www.divshare.com/, again a website for uploading files, we mainly used this for podcasts, in which we used a voice recorder, this is useful, as it makes your blog include a range of media technologies, makes it more visually appealing and it also means that there is not too much writing that can be seen as "boring."
You again, upload these files from the voice recorder onto the computer, convert it to a MP3 file, upload to divshare and embed the code, making it appear on your blog post, again meaning it is easily accessible, all you have to do is click to make it play.
It is a way of connecting with viewers of the blog, our teacher and examiners.
Many of the technologies listed above were also used in the construction stages, but for different purposes.
Our main construction technology was Final Cut, this is a more advanced editing technology than iMovie, which we used last year. It shows the progression we have made since last year. It can be edited, processed and output to a wide variety of formats.
Final cut has allowed us to use a lot more editing techniques than iMovie. The ones that we used in our music video were slow motion, "rewinding" actions, over lays, using black and white as well as colour, speeding clips up, changing the brightness and contrast of clips, adding transitions between shots, de-saturating clips, ghosting and changing the filter colour.
To save time, we actually created a basic timeline of clips on iMovie, and then imported these onto Final Cut, and edited them on there.
It gives us a much better final product, and makes it a lot more professional, in 2007, Final cut made up 49% of the US professional editing marketing, showing its professionalism.
Black and White
Fade to black
To actually produce this footage, we used a Canon MV920 Digital camcorder, this was the same as last year, so therefore it was very simple for us to use, this was beneficial as it made footage easy to get, however, we would say this is one of the weaknesses in our product as a whole, had we used a HD camera, the footage would be better quality.
This would of been better for us, especially as some of the shots we took were when it was raining, this would make it have a better focus, and some of our footage we produced it to look like back scene footage due to the quality, had we used a HD camera, we may not of had to do this.
We also used a tri-pod for the majority of our shots, this was to make sure the shots were steady and tightly framed, this was especially important for shots of our band dancing, otherwise they would look "jerky." Again, we used a tri-pod last year, so it was easy for us to use.
However, it was not just physical equipment that was important in the construction stage, again we used online technologies.
Facebook, allowed us to gain audience feedback, which is needed for improving our products, it also allowed us to publish our files on "The Backstreet Boys fan page" which will be our primary audience, as we are trying to attract them.
This allowed us to know what people liked, what was good and what needed improving on.
It also allows people to comment on our footage or our adverts and digipak, which is easily obtainable audience feedback.
However, as we could not upload our video directly to facebook, we uploaded it to YouTube and then pasted the link to facebook, allowing us to get feedback from facebook but also on our YouTube video. This is an easy way of gaining audience feedback from a variety of people, and as they are our friends they were willing to tell us the complete truth and they knew we would benefit from it.
A YouTube comment:
A Facebook comment:
To create our digipak and magazine adverts we used Photoshop, with many thanks to my group member Emmie, as she had background knowledge of the software, she mainly produced these products.
Photoshop allowed us to edit images, to make the quality better, we also edited our images to black and white.
It also allowed us to add text, in different fonts, sizes and colours.
We could also edit the members of the band in our pictures to make them stand out more.
It also allowed us to show a variety of skills, for instance with the advert above, we cut out the images of our band members from another image, and placed them on top of the background image, this being a seperate layer. We could experiment with different colours.
For instance we tried this magazine advert with a blue sky, but from audience feedback realised that black and white was preferred and kept all three magazine adverts in sync with one another.
With our digipak it allowed us to import our net of the digipak
And then add images to each sleeve of the net, we could also add text on top of the image, this was useful as it meant we could create a realistic digipak, with information including items such as a bar code, track list, production logo and "with thanks too."
To print our digipak, we used card, like a real digipak, and used an A3 picture, this allowed us to print on card. We then used a trimmer knife to trim it down and used glue, actually creating the digipak allowed us to ensure it was of the right size and that everything was wear it is meant to be.
To gain our images, we took photos on shoot.
Before we had to change our cast members, we used an SLR camera, a very high quality and focus camera with great results.
Here are some of the images we produced.
However, due to changing two cast members, as explained previously in the blog, we unfortunately could not use these images. We just used an ordinary camera, in which we thought that this would pull us down, as the images would not be as strong and high quality.
But after editing the images in Photoshop, they turned out well, and we were happy with them.
To gain this strong image, we
-cut out the background using magnetic lasoo tool-changed the boys and rocks into black and white
-lightened the boys using paintbrush with a low opacity
-added more text to the bottom in white.
Many as said above were also used in the evaluation stage, as this is tying the whole coursework together.
Again I used iMovie, to create vodcasts, these are beneficial as they are more appealing, and easier to watch and listen than to read large chunks of writing, they are also more attractive, again I used vimeo to upload these too as they were created in school, I then embedded the code in the blog post, which is ideal as they are there in front of you, there is no hassle in finding it.
Another useful resource on the computer is the print screen button, to show evidence of what I have done I have print screened various images, from the actual websites, the software and our final video, this is to also show exactly what I mean and make my blog more visually appealing.