Monday, 10 May 2010

A2: Evaluation Part II: Audience Feedback and New Media Technology

PLEASE NOTE: This is PART II of the Evaluation, Part I will be supplied on disc.

The Importance Of Audience Feedback

The importance of audience feedback in relation to my Media Product is vital. As a producer, I want my audience (being the consumers) to decode the preferred reading that I am trying to encode in my short film and their feedback will signify this. If the preferred reading I am trying to create is not understood by the audience, this will tell me that I have encoded it wrongly and I will need to take this into consideration when creating my next Media Product.

However, if the preferred reading is decoded by the audience, their feedback is equally as important. This will allow me to see what the audience liked and didn't like from a critical response and I will also be able to take their comments into consideration upon creation of another Media Product. I can see what I did correctly and what I lacked in and use this as a learning curve to improve my Media knowledge.

There were many ways in which I was able to capture audience feedback. The first and foremost is being this blogger, which allows people to comment on my work, giving me constructive criticism. This is how my teacher marked my work; by commenting on my blog posts. This is was very convenient as I could see feedback from any computer that had a working internet connection.

The second is YouTube, a worldwide video service where user's upload their own videos. YouTube has sparked success for many short film directors, who have received millions of hits on their short films due to the popularity of the site and word of mouth. The audience feedback is also from around the globe, so if someone from a different country watches my film, then they can give critical feedback, which will allow me to see whether they liked it or not. This will lead me to question whether my film appeals to the masses and people with different cultural experiences from myself.

Upon uploading my short film to YouTube, I received numerous comments from different users of the Web 2.0 service. The most prevalent being the lighting, in which a number of the user's commented on, stating that "it was hard to see anything" in some of the scenes. I hadn't noticed this, as because I produced and directed the short film, I knew the plot line and could easily decode the preferred reading. This led us to re-film certain scenes and after re-uploading, there were no comments on the lighting and there were no comments of people stating that they couldn't see much.

The final method I used to capture audience feedback was a viewing in front of my friends and class at school; this was the most prevalent of the three methods I used as I was able to get direct feedback from them. The comments they made were, is that they couldn't understand the narrative and the camera shots used in conversations were hard to follow. Again, this led us to re-film the scenes using better camera shots and upon next viewing to the same audience; there comments stated that it was a "massive improvement" and that they could understand the narrative properly.

To conclude, audience feedback is very important and shapes my knowledge of Media and creating a Media Product. I have and will continue to use it as one big learning curve to create industry standard Media Products. Without the audience feedback I captured for my short film, it would be a very different product of a lower standard.

The Importance Of New Media Technology

The importance of new Media Technology in relation to my Media Product is that of a great one. The high standard technology of the contemporary world made the quality of my product to an almost industry standard level.

I used software such as Final Cut Express - itself being an industry standard product, which allowed me to cut and edit my film into what it is today. It allowed me to add any desired effects, including transitions, text, slow-motion and increase of speed. It also allowed me to add audio to my film to create a desired effect. The software application is easy to use and has an understandable GUI (graphical user interface). As mentioned previously, I used Web 2.0 applications to enhance the overall experience of my product. These being YouTube and this blog (Blogger), they allowed me to upload my work for either reference or user feedback, which helped the process of creation massively.

The hardware I used was fantastic too, we had access to Sony HD Cameras which made my short film look and sound like an industry standard film. It made my short film look and sound very clear and was aesthetically pleasing to watch.

All of this has tied into how new media technologies have become very important to me. As these new technologies have been made available to me, it has turned me from a passive viewer to an active producer. I am now able to represent what I want using these technologies, the prime example, being my short film itself; a representation of gang life in inner city London. Being an active producer and finishing a product is very satisfactory. Philosopher David Gauntlett states now that we have the tools to create something ourselves, when we create it, we gain a bigger sense of satisfaction that we could if we were given something; for example, the satisfaction I received from creating my short film was far greater than watching something similar on TV or Cinema.

As an active producer, I no longer have to accept what the Media "feeds" me as I am now able to represent something myself, or give my views about a certain topic and get it heard by many different people online.

To conclude, the importance of new Media Technology is massive. From being a passive viewer to an active audience has allowed me to create a Media product to an almost industry standard level. This is due to the new technology and its ease of use which allows me to do this.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

A2: Radio Advert

Here is the script for our Radio Advert:E3 – Radio Advert Script
View more documents from burnsrwsmedia.
Here is the audio and final product of our radio advert:

Sunday, 28 March 2010

A2: Advertisement Poster for E3

The draft of our advertisement poster:

The final product:

This is the advertisement poster for our short film. As you can see it contains many conventions of a typical film poster - a quote from a review from a well known source, the film's name and slogan, an age certificate, release date, director's credited and sponsorship from the UK Film Council.

The background image we used is directly from the film. Instead of taking a separate image, we decided that cutting one from the film would be more appropriate as it adds to the realism and nothing is glorified or set up.

Friday, 19 March 2010

A2: Timeline of Progress

Here is the timeline of progress in regards to our short film. Please note that the dates presented on the following document do not correspond with the dates of posting on this blog. This is due to the organisation of information on this blog - a lot of things were posted on the same date.

A2: Script

We created two scripts for our short film. The first script we created contained ideas that wasn't feasible to shoot due to the lack of funds or actors we would of had to use. We began filming this script then cut the majority of it, realising that no real narrative could be created. This is when we rewrote the new script, which was feasible and easier to shoot.

Here is the original script:

And here is the script that made the final cut:

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A2: Storyboard

We made this short sequence of the storyboard to visually represent how our film moves from scene to scene. The hand drawn images and annotations describe the camera movements that occur and how we are going to film each scene. However, the events in the video do not represent the film 100 per cent accurately, but show the major events that occur in it. This is due to the changes we made from the old script to the new script and can be shown as a learning curve to see what differed from our ideas to the final cut.

Monday, 1 March 2010

A2: Analysis of the technical elements used in four short films

A2: Target Audience Essay

Who are the target audience for short films?
The target audience for short films are usually those who are interesting in writing and directing their own short films. They are showcased at Short Film Festivals such as the 'LA Shorts Fest' ( to harvest and breed new talent in filmmaking. Many major filmmakers started their career in the short film industry. As well as new filmmakers, investors are a big part of the target audience for short films to look for and employ new talent into their business. In terms of the VALS system, short films could be aimed at 'experiences', people who like new products and styles but soon tire of them and search for novelty - which will lead them to watch a broad range of short films.

Who are the target audience for the films you looked at?
The target audience of the films I looked at slightly vary but mainly remain the same - young adolescence who experience poverty, loneliness, isolation, crime, drug use and a hatred towards the norms of society. I chose films that have similar themes to my short film and a lot of these are portrayed in it

Who are you making your film for?
The age range that my short film (E3) is aimed at are young males between the ages of 11 and 19. The reason behind this is that the characters in the film are around the ages of 17-19 so those of a similar age can relate to them. As for the younger audiences (11-14), they can relate to the older male role models in their life and to see if they want to take the same path as they did. E3 is aimed at males rather than females as all the characters in the film are the former. Young teenage women will not be able to relate to the film as such, as the actions of a teenage male may be different to that of a female.

The educational background of my target audience is likely to be either very small to none. The reasoning behind this is due to the area of which the film is set (Bow, East London) and the poverty surrounding it. Bow in East London is a largely poverty stricken area with high rates of gun and knife crime and drug use. As the area is rundown, the schooling and work ethic has been affected by this, leading many of the youths of the area to abandon school and turn to crime and drugs. There is little help being provided to the youth of the area and there are major problems of unemployment for the residents of the rundown estates. The youth who are in such situations can relate to the characters in E3 as they are in a similar predicament.

The social status of E3's target audience are likely to be categories D and E - semi-skilled/unskilled manual and subsistence income/pensioners/widows/casual labour/unemployed respectively. This is due to the lack of education the target audience might have as I explained previously and the lack of a good income is what may turn them to drugs and violence. This also explains their economical status - living in a rundown estate with little to no education or income.

According to the VALS system, the target audience may be considered as 'Strivers' - who tend to be unsure of themselves and have a low income. They are striving approval from others, which they feel they could gain by ownership of possessions, most of which they cannot afford. This matches with the demographics which I detailed about my possible target audience and also are like the characters in my short film, who steal the drugs in which they want to sell on and to gain approval from their friends.

In terms of psychographics and young people my film is aimed at Rebels who want to remake the world in their image, Groupies who just want to be accepted, Drop-Outs who shun commitments of any kind and Cowboys who want easy money. These are all common themes with the characters in E3.

How will you measure your success in having made a product which to appeal to this audience?
I will upload my film to youtube, using tags that will apply to my target audience's interests and see the comments and constructive criticism that the viewers post. I will also arrange a viewing for those who wish to watch the film and interview a few of them after to see what they thought of it and if they could relate to the themes portrayed in it.