Monday, 28 March 2011

Sixth Form Media Studies – Collecting Audience Research

On the afternoon of Monday 11th April, we are holding a special event to ensure that you have every opportunity to complete your audience research in time for the Easter holidays. Unfortunately this clashes with a sociology trip therefore some of you will need to find other opportunities to a) distribute questionnaires b) talk to focus groups. However you will be able to make full use of any footage collected by the group as you may choose to make a short video of the event to post on your blog. This helps to satisfy the multi-media challenge of creating a blog

What is Audience Research
· Every media producer wants to know to what extent their media product has satisfied his or her target audience. Often if it fails to do so the text is modified to accommodate (e.g. endings of films can sometimes be changed)
· You should aim to have your product virtually completed no later than Monday 11th April so you can collect feedback!!!!!
· You will work collaboratively throughout the afternoon with Year 13 to give constructive feedback on their work AND in return they will give you feedback
· Feedback will take many forms: a) open and closed questionnaires b) focus groups interviews c) one-to-one interviews d) producing your own pieces to camera to outline what you’ve learned from the process of audience research
· Those students aspiring towards A and B grades would also be expected to comment on the effectiveness of the research method e.g. does one particular research method give you clearer feedback than another?

Reminder of Key Aims:
1. BY APRIL 11TH -To be as far down the line in producing the final drafts of your music magazine – with plenty of evidence of drafts to show PROGRESS AND PROCESS!!!
2. To begin preparing now for AUDIENCE RESEARCH which forms one quarter of your evaluation – the collection of all your data will happen on 11th April
3. Easter holidays should be spent a) modifying your print projects b) creating your responses to these key questions:
· In what ways doe your media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products
· How are social groups represented in your media product?
· Define your target audience.
· How does your product attract / address your target audience?
· Discuss your use of digital technology to create an authentic product
· Comment on your progress in terms of skills from your engagement in preliminary work through to your completion of the AS practical

Other Key Points
· Where possible you should avoid a standard essay response and present visual materials to support your evaluation e.g. pie charts and graphs to quantify audience response
· Begin collecting research from the Internet with regards to the magazine industry e.g. EMAP (We will provide you with a handout to support this area of your research)
· Begin collecting your ideas for your evaluation NOW but make sure you clearly signpost the above questions as part of your EVALUATION if you begin to write up relevant materials on your blog
· You MUST be in the position by the time you leave for Easter where you have only MINOR CHANGES to apply to your practical work so you can focus on your evaluation AND REVISION FOR YOUR RESIT
· Ryan, Tanya, Shaun and Olivia will be able to concentrate on a) revision for their other subjects b) begin to think about the A” practical with reference to MOVING IMAGE
· Please note that although the summer term is always very busy after the exam season there is a lull and although this can be great we need to use our time wisely to a) have some fun b) really deepen our knowledge / learn new skills
· We’re looking into a) visiting Bradford MOMI for a day trip and b) setting up a MOVING IMAGE PROJECT to get you outside with the cameras

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Digital Technology and Creativity

Question 1a – Reflecting upon A1 and A2 projects with reference to:

Digital technology and creativity

Your answer should be driven by SKILLS. You must write about A1 and A2. You must repeatedly use the terms “digital technology” and “creativity”.

A1 – introduction to blogging through Blogspot. Must mention pro-sumerism - (the notion that everyone is creating their own media) - and global potential of Internet.

Research and planning emerged as a media product in itself.

Could reflect that A1 blog was not as creative – although point out what you did achieve creatively. Arguably in A1 you did not fully realise multi media aspects.

In contrast describe and evaluate how creative in comparison you were with your A2 blog. Detail multi media aspects of your work and how this allowed you to creatively display your progress. Make sure you point out that A2 blogs detailed both PROGRESS and PROCESS. It emerged as a LEARNING TOOL and allowed you to share your experiences on a GLOBAL PLATFORM.


Some members of our group had their work placed on a different site(s). This brings up interesting points about ownership and control. In theory a consumer can take ownership of your product and recreate it with their own creative input. This gives massive creative potential but is also arguably dangerous as increasingly how do we authenticate media products?

Make sure you very specifically outline all the creative choices you made in creating you’re A2 blog. REMINDER: The term PROSUMERSIM is key.

Skill 2: Photography

Make reference to the creative skills you’ve learned in using a digital camera – ( WHICH MODEL OF CAMERA DID YOU USE?????) - effectively to achieve a highly professional end product. Point out that the technology allows a potentially great result although ultimately it is the photographer who captures the image. Control of lighting and framing are MAN-MADE therefore to assume that the camera does all the work is an oversimplification of the creative process.

Discuss with specific reference to the most creative photographs and outline how learning progressed from A1 to A2. You can use semiological terms (denotation and connotation) to discuss meaning. Try to include the idea that good photography can make or break a project. A badly taken photograph cannot be completely rescued by Photoshop. Do you have evidence of any creativity in using Photoshop OR when shooting your film?

Skill 3: Photoshop
An integral part of of A1 and A2 are the ancillary tasks. Photoshop is an industry standard piece of software and requires considerable skill. You are all very skilful in using Photoshop but your answer would benefit from a detailed discussion of some of the more complex processes you engaged in to achieve an authentic end product. Look at the example below:

Photoshopping has emerged in the media industry as a synonym for airbrushing. In our image-obsessed world this software is ubiquitous in engineering culturally specific images of perfection. With reference to my own work, and particularly the front cover of my music magazine, I noticed from my original image that my model’s face reflected a very uneven skin tone. In using the clone stamp tool I was able to copy the pixels from another part of the face and through a rigorous approach create a much more even colour balance. Finally my application of a filter to soften the pixels allowed further blending…………

Skill 4: Shooting film
You need to make specific reference to the technical skills you learned when shooting film. You should comment on framing, positioning, the technical preparation of specific shoots using digital equipment. E.g. steadycam, tripod ……

You can discuss the creative choices you made whilst filming and possibly compare a good take with a bad one. Remember to use the term CREATIVITY and build in references to decision making.

Skill 5: Editing
Post production is an essential component of the production process and you will have made many creative choices in order to construct a meaningful narrative – (remember “narrative” is different to the term “story” dealing much more specifically with the structuring and sequencing of the story). Again try to approach this wearing your “problem –solving hat”. Can you outline the value of different versions of digital editing e.g. IMovie as opposed to Final Cut Pro? What value does Final Cut add?

Again I would make the point that professional editing software cannot correct badly shot film in the same way that a poor photograph cannot be magically transformed using Photoshop. Are there any specific edits that were more creative than others? Can you give a sense of your journey in terms of learning and progress in technical skill?

Conclusion: Important – don’t neglect this. Think of the graph!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall what does digital technology allow in terms of creativity?!?????? Digital technology cannot substitute raw skill and creative talent but it can facilitate. How have YOU as an individual demonstrated your creativity across A1 and A2 (show a sense of progression). How has digital technology helped you on this journey? Finally, are there any disadvantages to using digital software?