Research & Planning | 21.11.2017

Jan 2013: Explain how your research and planning skills developed over time and contributed to your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of examples in your answer.

Plan:

Research

– Conventions

AS, of a film opening – structure of events and screen time- i.e. idents, credits
A2, of a short 5 minute film – Structure of events again, but this time it is a full story, so watched short films on Vimeo and analysed what happens.
Idents, what they are and what they show,

– Conventions of Genre

Audience Expectations
What it features, i.e. stereotypes- determines the mise en scene and dialogue.

-Shot techniques and rules

AS, 180 Rule, Shot reverse shot and Match on Action were preliminary tasks set by our teacher, applied in A2 as well
Step further in A2 and watched how a certain thing is filmed, i.e. so A2 watched Girl, Interrupted and watched how a psychiatric appointment is filmed
A2 also lead into cinematography research of filming styles, so Edgar Wright in our initial idea with crash zooms to portray comedy.

Planning

-Story Boarding

AS, They were not stuck to and upon reflection were not properly done and were limited as they lacked detail
A2, I researched the conventions and what certain camera movements mean so that when looking at story boards, I can follow them. Animation shows pace and tone of film.
Then during planning stage, gained feedback.
Watching real media texts compared to story baords

-Scripting

AS, it was just a song, that I had written for the script, So it didn’t involve much effort to script
A2, More in detail and important as this time it is filmed there and then. Research was also put in along with a read through and revisions.

-Sound

AS, wrote a song- requires research, and redrafts
A2, needed a mix of then diegetic and non diegetic sounds and the wonders of Royalty free music -> Understanding royalties

-Locations

Scouting, planning ahead using the location
Risk assessments


Jan 2013: Explain how your research and planning skills developed over time and contributed to your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of examples in your answer.

Research and planning is key to making any media product, is establishes the audience, the expectations and what simply looks good. Research and planning is something I have got better at and especially the research.

At the start of both set projects for AS and A2, I researched the conventions of film. This meant for AS, researching the codes and conventions of the first opening two minutes of a film. I found that the short films starts with idents, credits and an introduction to the narrative and characters. For my film opening, I worked with another class mate and we made the opening two minutes a musical. We research films such as Grease and God help the Girl, which taught us that within the opening two minutes of a musical there is a song sang that foreshadows the film and introduces the characters. And this is something we then planned to do. For our AS project, we also had to do research into what an indent is, how they are used and how long they last for. This then also meant further research on how to use Apple’s Motion X as it was a new programme to me and I had no clue where to start with it.

For my A2 set project, a lot of the research from the AS film opening was already quite helpful. But this time, for A2, I had to create a 5 minute short film, which meant watching short films and creating timelines of how a full narrative can fit into 5 minutes of film- which then also includes possible idents and credits.

As A2 is an actual story, the research on genre had to be more in depth and relevant. For AS I researched expectations of the genre, the audience, how large the audience is and what is typically expected via not only the plot, but also the characters, speech, camera work and locations. Especially for locations, planning was crucial. I visited all my locations prior filming, as being in the environment inspired new shots and ideas. Also writing risk assessments and a shooting schedule for the day of filming is an important part of planning.

In AS, we were set preliminary tasks to research the 180 degree rule, shot reverse shot and match on action. We then had to utilise these fundamental rules with a filmed sequence of someone entering a room. And this is something that after my research, I have stuck to the whole way through media. In A2 year, I wanted to focus on  a more aesthetically pleasing film that is inspired by other notable directors techniques. For example, when having the intention to do a Comedy as my short film, I research Edgar Wright’s method of filming and how he portrays comedy though the crash zoom, which is then something I not only researched, but then practiced and planned to do. I then did further research on how a certain sequence should be filmed, i.e. a psychiatric appointment, by watching girl interrupted, and how the camera shows.

For planning, story boards and the scripting is essential. In AS, the story boards were not stuck to properly and the initial drawing of them lacked detail and were limited, which meant that when it came to filming, I didn’t use them. For A2, I decided to research how they are used, gain feedback along the way and do them properly. Through my research, I found how to show the movements of the camera and I stuck to them, something that helped was watching real media texts compared to their initial storyboards. I gained feedback, and re-drew them and animated them to see the pace and tone of my film.

Then for scripting, in AS the task of scripting was a lot easier as the script was a song, therefore all that was needed was lyrics and then actions, and so script read through’s were not necessary. For A2, it was a different matter, the scripting this time was for a 5 minute film, which then requires multiple pages, as my research found roughly one page per minute, and then read throughs and revisions.

The difference between my AS film opening and A2 short film is quite big. AS required me to actually write a song, which meant a lot of experimentation, feedback and research around how to write a song and jolly chord progressions. Then, in A2, I decided that a musical was a very bad idea, which meant this time i had the choice to either use royalty free music, or write my own. This meant as part of my A2 project, I had to research what the term ‘royalty free’ actually meant. I finally found a song that I could visualise with my intentions of a Shane Meadow’s inspired opening, which meant I could plan shots to suit my song.

I have found that having done more research and detailed planning has caused a greater outcome for my A2 film, as I then knew what I was doing.


Final Essay

Research and planning is key to making any media product, it establishes the audience, the expectations and what simply looks good. Research and planning is something I have got better at and especially the research.

At the start of both set projects for AS and A2, I researched the conventions of film. This meant for AS, researching the codes and conventions of the first opening two minutes of a film. I found that the short films start with idents, credits and an introduction to the narrative and characters. For my film opening, I worked with another class mate and we made the opening two minutes a musical. We researched films such as Grease and God help the Girl, which taught us that within the opening two minutes of a musical there is a song sang that foreshadows the film and introduces the characters. And this is something we then planned to do. For our AS project, we also had to do research into what an indent is, how they are used and how long they last for. This then also meant further research on how to use Apple’s Motion X as it was a new programme to me and I had no clue where to start with it.

For my A2 set project, a lot of the research from the AS film opening was already quite helpful. But this time, for A2, I had to create a 5 minute short film, which meant watching short films and creating timelines of how a full narrative can fit into 5 minutes of film- which then also includes possible idents and credits. But for A2, I made the wise decision to not go down the path of a musical. This meant that I had to do sufficient research regarding different Genres that interest me in order to work out which would be best. Subsequently, I went with the broad genre of drama. This was because for my genre research, the film I looked at was ‘Girl, Interrupted’, which is based around mental illness which inspired me to film and create a short drama film on the topic of Schizophrenia. As A2 is an actual story, the research on genre had to be more in depth and relevant. For AS I researched expectations of the genre, the audience, how large the audience is and what is typically expected via not only the plot, but also the characters, speech, camera work and locations. Especially for locations, planning was crucial. I visited all my locations prior filming, as being in the environment inspired new shots and ideas. Also writing risk assessments and a shooting schedule for the day of filming is an important part of planning.

In AS, we were set preliminary tasks to research the 180 degree rule, shot reverse shot and match on action. We then had to utilise these fundamental rules with a filmed sequence of someone entering a room. And this is something that after my research, I have stuck to the whole way through media. In A2 year, I wanted to focus on  a more aesthetically pleasing film that is inspired by other notable directors techniques. For example, when having the intention to do a Comedy as my short film, I research Edgar Wright’s method of filming and how he portrays comedy though the crash zoom, which is then something I not only researched, but then practiced and planned to do. I then did further research on how a certain sequence should be filmed, i.e. a psychiatric appointment, by watching girl interrupted, and how the camera shows.

For planning, story boards and the scripting is essential. In AS, the story boards were not stuck to properly and the initial drawing of them lacked detail and were limited, which meant that when it came to filming, I didn’t use them. For A2, I decided to research how they are used, gain feedback along the way and do them properly. Through my research, I found how to show the movements of the camera and I stuck to them, something that helped was watching real media texts compared to their initial storyboards. I gained feedback, and re-drew them and animated them to see the pace and tone of my film.

Then for scripting, in AS the task of scripting was a lot easier as the script was a song, therefore all that was needed was lyrics and then actions, and so script read through’s were not necessary. For A2, it was a different matter, the scripting this time was for a 5 minute film, which then requires multiple pages, as my research found roughly one page per minute, and then read throughs and revisions.

The difference between my AS film opening and A2 short film is quite big. AS required me to actually write a song, which meant a lot of experimentation, feedback and research around how to write a song and jolly chord progressions. Then, in A2, I decided that a musical was a very bad idea, which meant this time i had the choice to either use royalty free music, or write my own. This meant as part of my A2 project, I had to research what the term ‘royalty free’ actually meant. I finally found a song that I could visualise with my intentions of a Shane Meadow’s inspired opening, which meant I could plan shots to suit my song. The Shane Meadow’s inspired opening came from my extensive research on his moving film montages that he opens his films/tv shows with. In my research, I found this a great way to introduce the setting, and for my film, schizophrenic life. 

I have found that having done more research and detailed planning has caused a greater outcome for my A2 film, as I then knew what I was doing.

 

 

 

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One comment

  1. Katie

    The following is the exam board’s description of a level 4 answer, from the January 2013 mark scheme (https://hijackersandconverts.com/a2-g325-past-papers/):

    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 research and planning. There is a fluent evaluation of progress made over time. Candidates offer a range of specific, relevant and clear examples of research and planning and creative decision making. The use of media terminology and research, planning and production terms 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 2, possibly 15/25.

    – This is a reasonable start, but you still need more specifics. You explain how a musical typically starts, but you don’t do the same for A2. You start to talk about genre, but you don’t say what your research led to or how you implemented it.
    – You visited locations, yes, but how did that help? How did you learn from this experience? How did you do things differently at A2?
    – Mentioning Edgar Wright is good, but go a bit further — maybe graphic matches, etc.

    Like

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