Section 1a: Digital Technology

JUNE 2013:

EXPLAIN HOW YOUR SKILLS IN THE CREATIVE USE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED OVER TIME. REFER TO A RANGE OF EXAMPLES FROM YOUR MEDIA PRODUCTION IN YOUR ANSWER [25]


INTRODUCTION

GCSE Media:  Music Video
AS:

Preliminary Task with 180 Rule & Match on Action
Reservoir Dogs recreation
2 Minute Film Opening – ‘Be Happy’ a Musical opening about somebody coming out the closet.

LAFTA’S: A short film entered into a completion with the buzz word of ‘Shampoo’

A2:

5 Minute short Film – Comedy about a girls day and the comedy is portrayed through the cinematography
A Film Poster
A Magazine spread and Article on the Film

All done with Apple iMac on OSX

PRE-PRODUCTION

– During AS, I did not take research seriously, we didn’t use the equipment to do test shots prior filming, nor did we use sites like Vimeo to get inspiration.
– For my LAFTA’s film i did slight research on fashion films and then for A2, I have researched Crash Zooms and Dolly Zooms and have used the cameras to the practice the technique. Further use of internet services such as Pintrest to really research genre and become to understand genre.
– For A2 I have also researched the BBFC’s guide lines on rating films, which is something I could apply to our film after it was made as my research has created an understanding.
– Writer Duet has allowed me to understand script writing more, and once again for A2 I have used the internet to researched script writing to truly understand it, and Kieran and I both log onto and use Writer Duet in order to make a collaborative script. We both live in different places, so we could edit the scripts and put our pieces in and then come back together and read it through and discuss reversions.

 

PRODUCTION

– OSMO DJI during AS to make smoother filming rather than the use of a Steadicam. Smoother
– Prior media, I was used to using my Lumix Bridge Camera and basic Video Recorders from GCSE. This year, we have been using a DSLR Nikon 3100. Over time I have become to fully understand how to divert from using the basic automatic modes, to manual modes whereby I can alter the Aperture Focus and Exposure. This means that I could control the image in the view finder and the way the viewer sees it, giving me full control. Crash zoom tests

 

POST-PRODUCTION

– Use of Final Cut Pro X for creating our film, creating rough cuts, matching audio to clips (ft. newly added Synchronisation  of clips to audio). First used for preliminary tasks for making a sequence and importing clips. Then for reservoir dogs which requires time management; so trimming and speeding up clips and then adding text and audio. For AS, editing our short film allowed us to play with colour palettes and then LAFTA project, using transitions (colour to black and white) and marking the audio to match the video transitions. With understanding how to do things quickly, for A2 we could efficiently create rough cuts to get feedback and improve our film.
– Use of Motion 5 and Pixelmator for the Idents – conforming to the conventions of a film.


The Essay

The first thing I did in media that required the use of digital technology was our first set preliminary task of making a person walk into a room and sit on a chair and exchange dialogue, all using the 180 degree rule and match on action. This required in pre-production to research and watch videos on youtube on what match on action was and how the

180 degree rule. However during AS, in pre-production we did not research shot types and media conventions. However for our AS 2 minute film opening (a musical about being gay), we researched and watched films within the musical category. But then for our A2 media 5 minute short film, in preproduction, we researched techniques like Graphic matching and Dolly zooms. And then used the cameras to film it and then in Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, edited the shots.

Also as part of pre-production, we used the internet service of ‘Writer Duet’. I first used it in AS when writing the song for our short film but it wasn’t until A2 that I became to understand its usefulness. The way that Kieran and I used Writer Duet for our short film, was to each contribute at home (as we live in different places) and we could review it together and make a collaborative script. This is much alike in AS when we made a Google account and both submitted our research to the shared Google Drive, this was helpful as we both could understand what our intentions were. 

During production of our AS Film opening, we were using a steadicam with the Nikon D3100 which we found too shakey and not smooth. After this we used the OSMO DJ which was simple to use and had a positive outcome on our short film, as it made it smooth and we had full control of the camera’s actions and movements. Prior A Level Media, the main camera i would use was my Lumix Bridge camera, but by the end of year 1, I switched from an automatic focus to manual, as I now have a strong understanding of it, along with changing ISO and exposures. The use of a Dolly zoom in our A2 film, enabled us to not only keep the camera in focus, but zoom in as a dolly zoomed out.

Across time, my understanding of Final Cut has developed. When I first used Final Cut, all i needed to do was import clips, move and trim them and export the piece as a master file, this was for the preliminary task. After that, I next used final cut for our set task of recreating Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’ opening. This then allowed me to make precise cuts of clips, add text and the movement of text and adding titles. For my LAFTA’S production (a short film made around the buzz word ‘Shampoo’ which was entered into a competition), I played around with Final Cut and learned how to make a moving image transit from colour to black and white. Also as there was a song I had recorded in the background, I learned how to mark the sound to create a synchronization between changing clips and the music’s beat.


Final Essay

The first thing I did in media that required the use of digital technology was our first set preliminary task of making a person walk into a room and sit on a chair and exchange dialogue, all using the 180 degree rule and match on action. This required in pre-production to research and watch videos on Youtube on what match on action was and how the 180 degree rule works and is applied. This is something that throughout AS and A2, had made a great outcome to my films as these conventions have been applied, and after my research are always at the back of my head.

However during AS, in pre-production we did not research shot types and media conventions.  But then for our A2 media 5 minute short film, in preproduction, I researched techniques like Graphic matching and Dolly zooms and Focus Pulls.  Then used the cameras, along with the suitable equipment, i.e. dolly and tripod to understand and use the technique. Then in Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, edited the shots and posted them on my blog. In some cases, i.e. the focus pull, I  had many experiments to get my desired affect, enabling me to know what I want on my day of filming. 

As far as pre-production goes, in A2 I used my online blog as a holder for my thoughts and inspirations. However for AS, the only real research that was done was watching and analysing musical films and research from online and papers on LGBTQ people. Nonetheless, our AS 2 minute opening was a musical, which meant writing a song. This meant creatively using Soundcloud and YouTube to gather inspiration as to what sounds good as a chord progression, and from the previous research around LGBTQ, that is how the lyrics were then formed along side the chords.

Also as part of pre-production, we used the internet service of ‘Writer Duet’. As mentioned, AS was a musical, and so the scripting programme was not fully used as it just contained the lyrics. It wasn’t until A2 that I became to understand its usefulness. The way that Kieran and I used Writer Duet for our short film, was to each contribute at home (as we live in different places) and we could review it together and make a collaborative script, meaning we could access 0this anywhere and make alterations. This is much alike in AS when we made a Google account and both submitted our research to the shared Google Drive, this was helpful as we both could understand what our intentions were. 

During production of our AS Film opening, we were using a steadicam with the Nikon D3100 which we found too shakey and not smooth. After this we used the OSMO DJ which was simple to use and had a positive outcome on our short film, as it made it smooth and we had full control of the camera’s actions and movements. Prior A Level Media, the main camera i would use was my Lumix Bridge camera, but by the end of year 1, I switched from an automatic focus to manual, as I now have a strong understanding of it, along with changing ISO and exposures. The use of a Dolly zoom in our A2 film, enabled us to not only keep the camera in focus, but zoom in as a dolly zoomed out.

Across time, my understanding of Final Cut has developed. When I first used Final Cut, all i needed to do was import clips, move and trim them and export the piece as a master file, this was for the preliminary task. After that, I next used final cut for our set task of recreating Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’ opening. This then allowed me to make precise cuts of clips, add text and the movement of text and adding titles. For my LAFTA’S production (a short film made around the buzz word ‘Shampoo’ which was entered into a competition), I played around with Final Cut and learned how to make a moving image transit from colour to black and white. Also as there was a song I had recorded in the background, I learned how to mark the sound to create a synchronization between changing clips and the music’s beat.

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One comment

  1. Katie — Target A

    The following is the exam board’s description of a level 4 answer, from the June 2013 mark scheme:

    Level 4 (21-25 marks).

    There is a clear sense of progression and of how examples have been selected, and a range of articulate reflections on the use of digital technology. There is a fluent evaluation of progress made over time. Candidates offer a range of specific, relevant and clear examples of digital skills and creative decision making. The use of media terminology is excellent.

    Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

    I would mark your current answer as being Level 3, possibly 14/25.

    – Proof read! There are some very clunky sentences in here.
    – Try to write a bit more — read Kieran’s answer if you need some inspiration — you need to give multiple examples of your skills improving over time.
    – Focus on outcomes — how has your increased skill impacted on your practical productions.

    Like

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