Media practical product evaluation

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After completing my practical product I am now going to evaluate it and comment upon reasoning’s behind choices, trials and tribulations and the product creation as a whole. Firstly, after choosing a group we then came up with ideas and themes for our project and then drew up a brief. The brief generally consisted of all our ideas put together and then put into a set plan of how we were going to go about constructing our piece of media.

It also talked rather in depth about the subject of our practical product (this being popularity) and its effects and causes amongst younger generations, mainly those who attend the college in which we are currently students at. After the initial plans and the brief, we began to put such amenities into action. We knew that we needed to conduct interviews and also get rough and real footage of everyday school life, thus having both controlled and uncontrolled environments within our documentary for added variation.

We filmed such realism with a camcorder and equally shared this role amongst the four of us. Throughout all of our filming we aimed to show, as previously stated, reality and we specifically attempted to avoid showing any participants using our documentary as an ‘acting platform’ as we did not want any rehearsed drama within our documentary. We attempted to avoid this by rerecording what we thought to be important footage if this ever occurred and asking the participants if they would be themselves and be natural in order for us to gain an accurate and truthful portrayal.

We filmed especially in places where popularity is an issue such as the sixth form common room, pavilion, yards and corridors, we filmed different groups of people, some speculatively popular and others not and watched how they behaved when with ‘people of their own kind’ so to speak. After gaining our entire natural around school often secret footage we then began to devise questions for interviewing purposes. Such questions included: ‘How would you define popularity? ‘, ‘Would you consider yourself to be popular? , ‘Do you think people judge others on looks rather than personality? ‘.

Questions such as those previously stated were often directed at the student generations that we interviewed, for the teachers we often included questions such as ‘Do you think popularity is a big issue amongst students in your school? ‘, ‘Do you think students in sixth form often adopt fake personas in order to make themselves appear more popular? ‘ and also ‘Do you condemn actions taken by a lot of pupils in order to make themselves more popular? ‘.

Relating to the brief we did ask such questions to a wide variety of both students and teachers thus collecting a range of varied viewpoints and ideologies about popularity and indeed its consequences and attributes. After maintaining all the interviews and natural footage that we needed in order to construct our documentary, we then began to edit the raw footage. The editing process was probably the most tasking of all as we were all relatively new to this process. After drawing up a plan of where all the footage would slot in separately within the documentary we then went about doing it.

Firstly we timed all of the scenes that we wanted to put into the documentary and then placed them in order. After doing this we gained a rough idea of how our final documentary would fair. We then added subtitles and all other minor details in order to achieve a professional looking final product. As well as this we used fades and a variation of colour perspectives in order to be reflective of the mood we were attempting to portray (ideally being negative, reflective, contemplative and in some places saddening).

We decided to stray away from an average opening title and used our own idea of having a mobile phone screen with the word ‘popularity’ typed across it as mobile phones are becoming increasingly popular with younger generations and are a huge accolade to popularity as it allows youngsters to always be able to stay in touch with all social happenings, so this is why we thought it would be apt for our documentary.

We then added our background music, which is louder in some areas and then quietens in order to hear people speak on interviews etc. The background music we chose was ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera’ as we thought the lyrics fitted perfectly and related to our documentaries purpose, such lyrics included: ‘I am beautiful no matter what they say, words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way, so don’t you bring me down today’.

Thus showing, in our eyes, the effects of popularity and just exactly how it can make individuals feel. After adding the music our editing was complete and we processed all the footage onto our final tape. Many problems were experienced throughout our project. Some of which included, group members sometimes being absent, un-availability of camcorders, editing suites not available and often not matching our initial criteria often became to be something of a problem.

I also believe that in the beginning we may have been slightly to optimistic when choosing a group of four as as it is a large group the sharing of the roles could often become a problem due to the fact that one person may want to do what another was doing at the same time, thus causing friction within the group. Also as our group consisted of three females and one male, the male was often overruled by the female vote, which now looking back was unfair.

As well as this due to the large group it was inevitable that opinions and personalities would clash when constructing our project, yet we managed to get around this effectively by giving someone a different job to do each session and thus avoiding unnecessary conflict. Within our group, time management was also a bit of a problem as we generally were slightly too blasi?? about the amount of time we had to complete the project, often due to laziness confessingly on all of our behalves, though we in my views effectively overcame such obstacles.

The documentary due to its often slightly after watershed pretences would be screened around this time, as part of a news bulletin on a channel such as channel 4. Overall I think we have successfully produced a powerful and emotionally effective practical product that met all our initial hopes and ideologies. Despite the trials and tribulations that we have gone through throughout the whole process, it has been indefinitely worth it due to the outcome that we have collectively achieved.

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