Digital Technology Exam Prep

 

To help us be as prepared for our exam as possible, in class today we discussed what may help us answer section 1(a) if the topic were digital technologies. Here is what we came up with:

screenshot-36

To answer this question, I will need to refer specifically to how my skills have improved from AS to A2 by discussing these ideas. I shall relate them to the work I have done and how they have helped my abilities with dealing with digital technology.

Essay plan:

Intro:

Becoming more knowledgeable with the use of equipment

Different techniques with camera

More confident with software

Paragraph 1: Filming hardware

Nikon D3100 with kit lens – AF Mode helps capture moving subjects only used manual focus last year as wasn’t aware of the AF button, is an 11 point autofocus system (quick and accurate). Through my use of autofocus I haven’t had to constantly spending time trying to get everything into focus. Learnt how to use zoom to create extreme close ups without having the camera right up to the object, can also be used to cut things out of the frame. VR system to reduce camera shake – chose to film handheld shots this time to recreate the style of Malick.

Boom pole and microphone – filming outside didn’t use microphone for AS

Paragraph 2: Computer hardware/software

Apple iMac running MacOS. Used final cut pro X to edit. Used colour correction this time to fix any aspects where the shot was dull, as in AS there were shots where light his lens differently.

Also learnt to activate precision editor to ensure that my shots were cut exactly how I wanted them to be and to ensure each cut ran smoothly as AS took a long time to correct.

Used Motion to create motion graphics for title and credits – not used at AS used ones available on Final cut.

Downloaded text from internet rather than using pre set final cut texts which I did in AS but not film festival

Paragraph 3: Genre research

Watched DVD’s last time but this time watched short films on Vimeo – free source of independent films

Used survey monkey to research audience expectations and posted on Facebook – AS only handed survey to people in class. Facebook allows it to get to a large amount of people and survey monkey collates the results for me

slide share for genre conventions

Paragraph 4: Filming techniques

Used YouTube and Vimeo to research how to do Terrence Malick style shots and hitting someone with a shovel – Film Riot – used initiative last year

Used multiple tracks from Audio network to create the sound desired for my film rather than settling with a track that didn’t necessarily suit

Pinterest for how to make the finger look dead – didn’t include any makeup last year

Paragraph 5: Exhibition

Uploaded rough draft onto Facebook to receive feed back from a wide range of people

Essay

The development of my skills between completing the initial preliminary task, and filming my A2 coursework has been huge in terms of the improvement of my use of digital technology. Not only has my ability improved, but also my confidence in using this digital technology which has enabled me to improve each aspect from my AS to my A2 filming.

Most importantly, my competence in using filming hardware has improved greatly. To film all projects during this media course, I have used the Nikon D3100 digital camera with a kit lens. This camera features an Auto Focus mode which helps to capture moving subjects more clearly than a camera with just manual focus. Last year when filming my AS coursework, Mummy’s Girl, I wasn’t aware of how to function the Auto Focus, so I relied on manual focus to help achieve clear shots. During the filming of a project entered into the National Student’s Film Festival, I figured out how to utilise the AF button. The Auto Focus mode is an 11 point autofocus system which works quickly and accurately, so when filming my A2 coursework, I was able to film high quality shots without spending valuable time trying to perfectly focus each shot. When filming Mummy’s Girl, any close ups were filmed by positioning the camera as closely to the object as possible, which ultimately ended up in shots that weren’t as close up as I had planned. Through practicing camera techniques for my A2 coursework, I realised that the kit lens had the ability to zoom in and out of a frame to help achieve the extreme close ups I had planned to film. This helped develop the quality of my film, as I had intended to film a close up of a certain plant but I was unable to get close enough to it to film a close up, without damaging any other plants in the meantime. Through the use of zooming in, I could easily create a clear and attractive looking close up whilst not being as close as I would’ve had to be.

From my AS to my A2 coursework, I have expanded my use of digital technology through using additional pieces of equipment to improve the overall quality of my film. This year, I chose to film handheld shots to replicate the style of director Terrence Malick. This would have initially been an issue as the shot would have been wobbly and therefore I avoided using handheld shots for my AS coursework. However, I decided this year to use a steadicam to create smooth shots but without the restrictions of a tripod. The Nikon camera has a VR system to reduce camera shake, which helped ensure that my handheld shots would be filmed to a professional quality. For my filming of Mummy’s Girl, I had a great deal of trouble with the quality of sound I had recorded, as although the zoom handy recorder was good quality, any pieces of film that were recorded outside were not of very high quality. As the majority of my A2 coursework was filmed outside, I chose to use the Rode microphone and boom pole to produce a professional sound to my film. Through doing this, my skills with handling the digital sound recording technology improved greatly.

My competence in using both computer hardware and software has improves a great deal since filming Mummy’s Girl, and I have also become more experimental when editing my film. For both projects, I used Final Cut Pro X to edit and complete my finished film and therefore my ability to use the software has increased a lot throughout my time studying A level media. When filming both my AS media coursework and the project entered into the film festival, there were occasions where the light hit the lens differently in each shot which made parts of the film look dull. For the filming of my A2 project, Green Fingers, I didn’t want any colour inconsistencies as I felt that it made my film look of a poor quality. I colour corrected each shot to ensure they were all of a similar tone. I did this by using the colour correction feature on Final Cut, which I didn’t know was available until I edited Green Fingers. During the editing process of Mummy’s Girl, it took a great deal of time to ensure that every shot was cut where it was meant to be. With this in mind, for my A2 coursework I learnt how to activate the precision editor in Final Cut to ensure that each of my shots were cut exactly where I wanted them to be and that each cut ran smoothly.

When creating the titles for Mummy’s Girl, I only used the text settings and fonts available to me on Final Cut which limited me a great deal. This year I decided to create my own title sequence using Motion so that I could create my titles to look exactly how I had planned them to. I also utilised the internet to download different fonts from DaFont, to create a title sequence that suited my film perfectly.

This year, I used the internet a lot more in helping me research and develop my ideas for my film. For Mummy’s Girl, we wanted to show some form of abuse but couldn’t think of anything we could portray without actually hurting the actor. Similarly for Green Fingers, I wanted to show a murder but I wasn’t sure how to do this without hurting anyone. So, to help make the murder scene look as realistic as possible, I searched ‘fake hitting someone over the head’ on YouTube, and came across a channel called FilmRiot. This had a step by step example of how to hit someone over the head, which I then adapted to carry out a successfully run murder scene. This shows my development in ability to use digital technologies, as instead of changing my idea as I didn’t know how to create a murder scene as I did in AS, I used the internet resources to aid my filming.

Ultimately, through the different aspects of digital technologies, I can say that my skills within each of these areas have improved a great deal. Through practicing different techniques and utilising different resources throughout the A level coursework and film festival, I feel a lot more confident in my use of digital technologies.

Second Draft

The development of my skills between completing the initial preliminary task, and filming my A2 coursework has been huge in terms of the improvement of my use of digital technology. Not only has my ability improved, but also my confidence in using this digital technology which has enabled me to improve each aspect from my AS to my A2 filming.

Most importantly, my competence in using filming hardware has improved greatly. To film all projects during this media course, I have used the Nikon D3100 digital camera with a kit lens. This camera features an Auto Focus mode which helps to capture moving subjects more clearly than a camera with just manual focus. Last year when filming my AS coursework, Mummy’s Girl, I wasn’t aware of how to function the Auto Focus, so I relied on manual focus to help achieve clear shots. During the filming of a project entered into the National Student’s Film Festival, I figured out how to utilise the AF button. The Auto Focus mode is an 11 point autofocus system which works quickly and accurately, so when filming my A2 coursework, I was able to film high quality shots without spending valuable time trying to perfectly focus each shot. When filming Mummy’s Girl, any close ups were filmed by positioning the camera as closely to the object as possible, which ultimately ended up in shots that weren’t as close up as I had planned. Through practicing camera techniques for my A2 coursework, I realised that the kit lens had the ability to zoom in and out of a frame to help achieve the extreme close ups I had planned to film. This helped develop the quality of my film, as I had intended to film a close up of a certain plant but I was unable to get close enough to it to film a close up, without damaging any other plants in the meantime. Through the use of zooming in, I could easily create a clear and attractive looking close up whilst not being as close as I would’ve had to be.

From my AS to my A2 coursework, I have expanded my use of digital technology through using additional pieces of equipment to improve the overall quality of my film. This year, I chose to film handheld shots to replicate the style of director Terrence Malick. This would have initially been an issue as the shot would have been wobbly and therefore I avoided using handheld shots for my AS coursework. However, I decided this year to use a steadicam to create smooth shots but without the restrictions of a tripod. The Nikon camera has a VR system to reduce camera shake, which helped ensure that my handheld shots would be filmed to a professional quality.

My competence in using both computer hardware and software has improves a great deal since filming Mummy’s Girl, and I have also become more experimental when editing my film. For both projects, I used Final Cut Pro X to edit and complete my finished film and therefore my ability to use the software has increased a lot throughout my time studying A level media. When filming both my AS media coursework and the project entered into the film festival, there were occasions where the light hit the lens differently in each shot which made parts of the film look dull. For the filming of my A2 project, Green Fingers, I didn’t want any colour inconsistencies as I felt that it made my film look of a poor quality. I colour corrected each shot to ensure they were all of a similar tone. I did this by using the colour correction feature on Final Cut, which I didn’t know was available until I edited Green Fingers. During the editing process of Mummy’s Girl, it took a great deal of time to ensure that every shot was cut where it was meant to be. With this in mind, for my A2 coursework I learnt how to activate the precision editor in Final Cut to ensure that each of my shots were cut exactly where I wanted them to be and that each cut ran smoothly.

This year, I used the internet a lot more in helping me research and develop my ideas for my film. For Mummy’s Girl, we wanted to show some form of abuse but couldn’t think of anything we could portray without actually hurting the actor. Similarly for Green Fingers, I wanted to show a murder but I wasn’t sure how to do this without hurting anyone. So, to help make the murder scene look as realistic as possible, I searched ‘fake hitting someone over the head’ on YouTube, and came across a channel called FilmRiot. This had a step by step example of how to hit someone over the head, which I then adapted to carry out a successfully run murder scene. This shows my development in ability to use digital technologies, as instead of changing my idea as I didn’t know how to create a murder scene as I did in AS, I used the internet resources to aid my filming.

Ultimately, through the different aspects of digital technologies, I can say that my skills within each of these areas have improved a great deal. Through practicing different techniques and utilising different resources throughout the A level coursework and film festival, I feel a lot more confident in my use of digital technologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Digital Technology Exam Prep

  1. Walker, Chloe – Target A

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

    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 4, possibly 22/25.

    – This is a fantastic first exam answer – well written, logically ordered and thoughtful.
    – Take the opportunity, perhaps in your conclusion, to talk about how – in a general sense – digital technology is a step forward.
    – Could you really hand write this much in 30 minutes. Perhaps have a think about how you could convey the same information in fewer words.

    Like

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