Media Evaluation: Part 3

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Information about Media Evaluation: Part 3

Published on April 21, 2014

Author: cwatling95



My A2 Media Evaluation: Part 3

By Cara Watling

 During my research and planning I used Google as my main internet search engine. Particularly Google Images which I used to find example magazine covers from Total Film, Empire and Scream among many others and used the “save as” option to save the horror posters and magazine covers I wanted to analyse for my blog. This also helped me learn the generic features needed for my own coursework.  To compare horror films (using their critic reviews and rating system) and/or research important information such as cast members names, the producer or the director of a particular film I chose IMDb. This stands for Internet Movie Database.

 However, the most important website I used during my research and planning stages was YouTube which I used to find and watch trailers which I then analysed in class and independently. These trailers then gave me ideas for my own coursework.  Two trailers (from YouTube) that influenced my main product are:  – 30 Days of Night (2007) = We watched this first in class and it inspired my group to have a quick montage in our trailer to create a flashing and unsettling effect. This is seen in the last half of the trailer and influenced the ‘psychiatric’ montage of Anna, Sophie and myself.  – The Orphanage (2007) = Before producing our trailer my group knew we wanted to have a masked antagonist. After watching this trailer we came up with the design for the mask which became ‘Delirium.’  – This is a fan- made trailer for ‘The Scarecrow’ in Batman Begins. It shows a similar design to Delirium and it flicks between the normal, nice guy and the scarecrow which is similar to my group’s trailer which flicks between Anna and our antagonist ‘Delirium.’

 The media technologies I used during construction were Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects (for my main product) and Photoshop Pro CS6 (for my ancillary products).  When using Adobe After Effects we downloaded some free presets from and modified them to a text that suited our trailer. With some manipulation we feel the final text is ideal.  Adobe Premiere: We used Premiere to layer clips of sound so that we could have parallel music in the background with added sound effects to accompany the shots. For example, when Sophie scrapes her nails across the wall we used a sound effect to emphasize the shot. In this screenshot (left) I am showing all the six layers used to create the Delirium trailer. This allowed us to use several sounds, text, effects and shots to create a professional level of detail.

In certain shots, especially the psychiatric close ups, we changed the brightness and contrast settings (left). This created an effect similar to “chiaroscuro” meaning a high contrast of dark and light. This screenshot (middle right) shows how to change the speed/duration of a clip. We used this to shorten the time of a shot – such as the hospital exterior or “shaking” shots – to maintain pace. The ‘Razor Tool’ (bottom right) was used at the beginning during the exterior shots to cut the individual shots down so that each shot was shorter in duration without speeding the footage up. We also used the ‘Razor Tool’ to cut shots in half and insert close ups etc. For example, the shot of Sophie testing the knife’s sharpness was “razored” apart to fit shots of my character’s psychosis.

 Adobe Photoshop was vital to my ancillary products as you can create hundreds of effects with little effort once you know how to use it. I found that it was easier to use for my coursework this year as I had the experience of last year’s AS Media (magazine) coursework. I took this screenshot (right) to show how I built up layers to create the finished product (Magazine Cover). Above the layers there is a drop down slider to control the opacity of a layer (left). I used this a lot with both of my ancillary products; notably the pill on my poster (below) and the faces/blood spatters on my magazine cover. Finally, the above screenshot shows how I linked layers by selecting two or more layers and clicking on the chain button. This allows you to move the layers as one object.

Another important tool I used in Photoshop is the ‘Brush Tool’ (left). I downloaded the blood splatter presets off a website and then, using the brush button which opens a window for the brush settings, edited the size, angle and repeat pattern for my liking. I used the eraser tool (left) frequently during construction to soften edges of images and I also used it to erase the background of images: eg. To tidy the hair on the image of Anna on the magazine cover. A quick method of deleting huge sections of background is by using the ‘Magic Wand Tool’ (left) and selecting areas or a colour before pressing the delete button. It’s also handy to ‘inverse’ the selection so that you delete the other area of the image instead.

Here’s a screenshot of just a few of the many layers which created my poster (left). To create the CCTV effect over my poster I chose a “Texturizer” filter. The screenshot (left) shows the Filter Gallery which gives you a preview of each of the filters and helped me find the effect I wanted to create. I love filters as it is an easy way to give dynamism to an image and replicate the eerie feel of the trailer. For both my poster and cover I edited the brightness and contrast settings (left) by using sliders to control the light levels. On my poster I used this to make the eye more dramatic with darker shadows and clearly match the “chiaroscuro” feel of the trailer.

 During evaluation I set up a blog on Blogger so that my work is easily accessible for myself, my teacher and the public. Another great aspect about using a blog to store work is that you can compare the standard of your work with other classmates.  The rough cut of the trailer was also put on YouTube so that we could gain feedback and show friends. It also enables us to share on other social networking sites such as Facebook using hyperlinks or an embed code.  I analysed my poster and research products using Flickr however, due to setting changes and glitches in the new system I could not add notes for my analysis on my magazine cover. To complete my work I decided to use Prezi which is just as efficient.  I chose to create my evaluation on Microsoft Office Powerpoint where I could easily organise images/screenshots and my notes. It is also a great program to use for a stylish and effortless layout/design.  Finally, because you cannot upload a Powerpoint straight to Blogger I chose to use SlideShare online using my account from last year to initially upload my Powerpoint which makes it publicly available and gave me an embed code for my blog.

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