1

Post Production

Describe the most important post production decisions you made for your different media productions and explain why these decisions were significant. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show your skills in post production developed over time.

Plan

Feedback – last year we created a rough cut very quickly and showed it to class, we then developed the film as a group. This year I did a rough cut but made sure it replicated the tone of my final film so that the feedback was accurate. Post production skill of creating rough cut allowed me to get audience feedback, by doing multiple showings. Was able to point out what made sense, how the characterisation was portrayed etc. Through showing different versions was able to perfect my film. Said that there should be more shots of him watering plants, unfortunately I didn’t film enough – had to go out and reshoot

Confidence using Final Cut Pro X – Last year used very basic, taught techniques. wasn’t very experimental so lead to a more basic film, no manipulation of pace etc. E.g. When mum is preparing tea, using special effects may have built tension. This year wanted to create murder scene – reversed shot. Filmed on different days – colour correction to make film continuous

Audio – last year just used sound from camera, wasn’t very loud and changed with how close action was to camera. This year used the microphone and boom pole as it was windy. Wind was very loud, contrast to rest of film. Had to re -record sound – more realistic/ natural sounding. Added in diegetic sounds as well – looked for indicator sound but had to record my own as none were royalty free. More authentic.

Essay

My improved post production skills have been vital to the final outcome of my A2 media studies, as they have lead to a more professional and technologically advanced piece of filming. Without the development of my post production abilities, my A2 film would have been very basic and not exciting to watch.

Through developing my post production skills, I have learnt the importance of receiving feedback on the post production work I have done. Last year, my group and I only presented our initial rough cut for our AS coursework, ‘Mummy’s Girl’. We gained a lot of helpful comments in terms of whether the plot made sense, but as our film was only in the early stages we weren’t able to receive any technical advice, such as whether a shot was too long or if the pace was wrong. For example, Mummy’s Girl featured a shot of the mother making tea for her and her daughter which we as a group felt lasted too long. If we had asked for feedback on this aspect, we would have been able to edit this section so that it suited the desires of our target audience. This lead to my group creating a film from only our perspective, which hindered our final outcome as we didn’t really get an insight into the audiences expectations. Through our poor post production skills, this year, for ‘Green Fingers’ I made sure to do several viewings to a variety of people to ensure that I had an idea what each age group thought of my film. Through doing this, I was able to make sure that the end of my film ran smoothly, as it featured a lot of short shots that were difficult to piece together without ruining the pace. By showing others frequently and asking for feedback, I was able to adapt the ending to ensure it made sense to the audience members, as my peers suggested slowing down the shots to make everything easier to understand. Through improving my post production skills in terms of asking for feedback, I was able to create a short film that was easy to understand by the audience, which if it were a real, released short film, would be an incredibly important factor.

My post production abilities last year have also increased since filming Mummy’s Girl through my confidence in using Final Cut Pro X to edit our film footage. Last year, we were new to the software so we only really stuck to very basic, taught functions within the programme to ensure that we could edit our film quickly and easily. This post production asked let my group and I down, as there was a part of Mummy’s Girl where we had aimed to film a ‘through the wall shot’, but the second half of the shot was filmed from the wrong side of the room which broke up the chronology of the film a great deal. This is because the room is viewed from one angle in one shot, and a completely contradictory angle in the other shot, making it look like the furniture in the room had moved. If our post production skills had been more developed, we would have been able to flip the shot using the available filters to avoid this confusion. With this in mind, I decided to be more daring in the post production of Green Fingers, and to try and use various ways of adapting my shots to make my film more interesting to watch. For example, when creating the murder scene of my film, I needed to reverse a shot of the man pulling the spade away from the woman’s head, so it looked like he was hitting her on the head with a shovel. Final Cut Pro X has a drop down menu which offers a variety of effects, such as speeding up a shot, slowing it down and reversing it. By using this function, I was able to create a shot that was both coherent with the film and interesting to watch, improving the overall outcome of my short film. Without this improvement of my post production skills, I would not have been able to create a realistic murder scene, meaning that I would have had to change the entire plot of my film.

Last year, when filming Mummy’s Girl, my group used the audio recorded on the Nikon camera to add dialogue to our film. This demonstrates a lack of post production skills as the audio was already imported into Final Cut alongside the film footage. However, this was a problem as the sound levels varied depending how close or far away the action we were filming was from the camera. Our lack of post production skills lead to inconsistent sound in our film, causing a poor final outcome. This year when editing Green Fingers, I chose to record my own diegetic sound rather than using the unclear sound from the camera, or royalty free sound effects off the internet as I struggled greatly to find a website which had the kinds of sound I wanted for free, for example the sound of an indicator to make the shot of Andy parking a little more interesting. To create this sound myself, I used a Zoom Handy Recorder from the media department and sat in my car with the indicator on. I made sure to record enough sound to fill the shot, and a little more incase some of the sound wasn’t useable. I then added it into Final Cut, lining up the action of the indicator flashing with each ticking sound. My development of post production skills meant that I was able to create a film that was full of diegetic sound effects that made my short film more immersive.

Ultimately, my post production skills have improved greatly since the production of my AS coursework, and has allowed me to be more brave when editing my films. Overall this has lead to a higher quality film.

Finished

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1

Media Conventions

Explain the most significant ways in which your media productions were informed by your understanding of real media texts. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to demonstrate how this understanding developed over time.

Plan:

Genre features: Last year I only watched The Machinist and followed the conventions that I’d found from this film. Then, when making my film I realised it didn’t suit the general layout of thriller films as it started with a flashback, when films such as Silence of the Lambs and Shutter Island do not. This year, I made sure to watch plenty of short films so I could get more of a feel for the kinds of things that were shown in them. Focus, From 1994 and Full Circle -only featured a few characters, and are a visual medium – mine is – Sunlight/ 4 characters

Format: based on the one film-  mostly just initiative, featured credits and idents. This year watched short films Musca and Focus and made detailed notes- titles lasted for different amounts of times, showed on black screen/over film – replicated the general rule – showed titles for 15 seconds

Stereotypes: last year tried to create the stereotype of a young girl but our own interpretation – didn’t feel the need to do research. Turned out in our characters not being that realistic. This year watched Gone Girl and A Good Marriage to see how dysfunctional relationships were presented – more convincing

Director: This year followed style of a real director – researched into his typical techniques – hands in grass, two shots, ‘magic hour’ and shots of nature. Last year loosely followed genre let alone director – didn’t really have a particular style

Essay

As of last year’s AS media project, my understanding of real media texts have been greatly developed which in turn has improved the authenticity of my A2 coursework, Green Fingers. Through having a deeper understanding of common conventions, I have been able to create more professional looking film projects.

Last year, I only watched one film opening as I thought this would be enough to inform my groups perception of what was included in the opening two minutes of pre existing media texts. I watched The Machinist, which although contained idents, several credits and very little action, I later found out that it was quite dissimilar to the format of other thriller films. In hindsight, since having watched Shutter Island and Silence of the Lambs I realised that flashbacks were very uncommon to thriller films and they mainly began with exposition of the characters. A flashback didn’t suit the plot of Mummy’s Girl (my groups AS coursework), and ultimately we found ourselves creating a film opening with very little understanding of what actually happens in the opening two minutes. This year for the production of Green Fingers, I made sure to watch plenty of 5 minute short films so I could begin to understand what, in terms of plot, actually happened in the short time period. From watching Focus, From 1994 and Full Circle, I could see common features between all of these films. They only contained a few characters, maximum four, and they are all some kind of visual medium as they were each very interesting to watch. Through watching these 3 short films, I was able to translate these features from the media texts into Green Fingers and made sure that the start of my film was aesthetically pleasing to watch. I feel that this was achieved by the sunlight and the way it flares on the lens, making my film look quite beautiful. I also only included four characters, so that the plot wasn’t confusing to follow. Through watching multiple media texts, I feel that my understanding was much deeper than it was last year which allowed me to create a more realistic short film.

When deciding on the format for Mummy’s Girl, a lot of it was just based on initiative which was informed by films we’d seen in the past as we only watched the Machinist, so most of our ideas came from that film. This lead to a lot of time wasted on deciding when the idents and credits should show and for how long, and also whether or not our opening two minutes should show a title. This meant that time was spent making decisions when it could have been spend editing, and also that out film opening didn’t really replicate the sequence of a professional film. With this in mind, when planning Green Fingers I watched and made detailed notes on multiple short films, such as Musca, The Laundromat and again Focus and from 1994, to help develop my understanding of the conventions found in real media texts. From this I realised several common themes: there are always credits at the end and I made sure to include which credits were given so that I could do the same. Also, the title shows for around five seconds and it can either be shown on a blank screen or on top of the film, and there aren’t usually any idents shown. This helped me to understand which aspects of short film format varied, such as idents, and which aspects stayed the same, for example the credits that are shown. The development in my understanding from As to A2 of the format of professional films allowed me to create a well ordered short film which was in keeping with standards set by the industry.

When creating Mummy’s Girl, the plot was mainly developed by our own creativity and we didn’t really follow the style of a particular genre or director, only thriller films we had seen before such as Gone Girl and Inception. Since we weren’t professional film makers, the plot seemed to be a bit weak and didn’t have anything particularly interesting about it, which which was common in the films we had previously watched. As I wanted to make my short film as interesting and as successful as possible, I chose to follow the style of Terrence Malick as I found his films really beautiful to watch at points. When watching The Thin Red Line, I noticed that there were a lot of shots filmed in ‘the magic hour’ which lead to a golden hue around the actors, making the film a visual medium. Malick also included a lot of two shots in The Tree of Life rather than the typical shot reverse shot. I found this made the film more immersive and I wanted to translate this into Green Fingers. I feel that through watching films by Terrence Malick and specifically attempting to replicate his style at times, rather than just using my own style, I was able to create a plot that was interesting to watch. This development in my understanding of directors ensured that the style of my film was a visual medium, just as Malick’s films are.

Ultimately, I feel that through doing deeper research into the conventions and styles used in professional media texts, my understanding has allowed me to be able to create projects that are in keeping with typical film conventions. The development of my understanding has also meant that Green Fingers was a well structured and executed film.

 

 

1

Research and Planning Essay

Explain how your research and planning skills have developed over time and how they have contributed towards your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of outcomes in your answer.

Plan:

Story boards – Didn’t do them accurately last year which mean that we were unsure of which shots to film. This year did them as if they were exact shots which made filming more clear. Also created animated story boards this year to get a sense of the pace of the film which mean that I had a clear image of what I wanted to portray before filming. Added music over top to see whether it all worked, saved me time in post production. In AS did music research whilst creating film.

Shooting schedule  – didn’t have much of an idea of what to film as didn’t fill full time- winged it? Made story boards in more detail and very clear shooting schedules so I knew what I was doing – researched shooting schedule from I Have Never (professional)

Location research. AS filmed in Megan’s house – we all struggled to imagine filming there as we hadn’t done the location scout. This year I went to the allotment myself and took photos from different angles to help plan – did the after storyboards so I had an idea of what to film

Filming techniques – last year researched the ‘through the wall shot’ – took a lot of work as no online tutorials for the equipment we had. Was a struggle and took lots of practice – used this skill developed in my film this year which meant I spent less time researching so could include other camera techniques. Hitting someone over head with shovel – used Film Riot, by using online tutorials could visually see how to make it work.

Research into makeup. Last year my group created bruises on a wrist- used the skills last year to create a dead looking finger. Meant that I could adapt the technique of bruises by using darker makeup for the finger.

Essay

Explain how your research and planning skills have developed over time and how they have contributed towards your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of outcomes in your answer.

My media production has hugely developed from my AS film to my A2 production, due to the refinement of my research and planning skills. When planning for out AS production, the storyboards my group created weren’t very accurate and didn’t exactly replicate the shot we’d hoped to to film. This led to us being unsure of what to film, as if we were creating from the storyboards we’d created, each shot would have been face on and therefore very boring. The inaccuracy of our story boards led to a lot of wasted time of the day of filming whilst we were planning what shots to film next. With this in mind, I was more conscious when planning and creating the storyboards for my A2 project, Green Fingers, so that this didn’t happen again. To improve my storyboards, I spent a lot more time on them so they looked exactly like the shot I wished to film. This saved me a lot of time on the day of filming as I knew exactly how to set up each shot, meaning I had more time to repeat each shot, leading to a far better short film. This year, I also planned the pace of my film by inserting my storyboard images into final cut and creating an animated storyboard. After last year, I felt this was essential as a lot of time was wasted in editing to try and make the shots flow smoothly. I found that by creating an animated storyboard on Final Cut Pro X before filming, I was able to see which parts of my film needed refining to ensure the pace and frequency of my film made it interesting to watch.

When researching locations, last year my group spent very little time at the location. Only one person went out to view the area we filmed in, so I personally didn’t really have any idea what the location looked like, besides the pictures that were taken of it. I felt like this was a big flaw and led to us being unsure of the area we were filming in, which slowed down the planning process as it was difficult to visualise how our film would look until the day. On the day of filming our AS production, Mummy’s Girl, a lot of the shots were improvised as we’d found an area in the location that we thought may look good in our film. This year, I made sure to spend a great deal of time at the allotment were I filmed to ensure that I was fully aware of the surroundings and how to utilise them to drive my plot. From my groups mistakes last year, both my research and skills had been improved as I was able to create a more immersive film with very few improvised shots which made my final media production look a lot more professional.

For Mummy’s Girl, my group and I planned to preform a shot where the camera moves through the wall. This took a lot of research and we struggled to find much in terms of online help, which meant that we needed to take a more practical approach. We recorded a practice shot in the class room which was successful, but when it came to filming in a different location, the layout of the room was different and therefore we couldn’t exactly recreate the shot we had researched and planned to do so. Due to this, when planning to film Green Fingers, I wanted to film a murder scene in which a woman is hit with a shovel. I didn’t initially know how to create this effect so I researched this on YouTube. I then practiced my findings multiple times to ensure I could re create it effectively. I feel my planning and research skills have been improved since last year, as I accounted for any possibilities where things could change or go wrong through practicing this shot using my two actors and the spade I planned to use in the film. This meant that very little had changed between the practice shot and the actual shot, meaning very little variables would effect my final production.

For Mummy’s Girl, we wanted to create bruises on the daughters finger to make it appear as if she had been tied up. We did research into bruised makeup using Pintrest and YouTube, but didn’t practice how to apply the makeup until the day of filming. This was due to poor planning and meant that it was rushed. This year, I wanted to create a dead looking hand which required a great deal of makeup to make it appear realistic. My planning skills have developed since Mummy’s Girl, as I practiced applying this makeup several times before the day of filming, meaning that I was confident with how to do it on the day and that I wouldn’t be rushing it, as I could plan for the amount of time it took to create.

Ultimately, my planning and research skills have been hugely developed since preparing for my AS coursework, as I have learnt from my mistakes and been able to account for any problems that may arise.

2nd Draft:

My media production has hugely developed from my AS film to my A2 production, due to the refinement of my research and planning skills. When planning for out AS production, the storyboards my group created weren’t very accurate and didn’t exactly replicate the shot we’d hoped to film. This led to us being unsure of what to film, as if we were creating from the storyboards we’d created, each shot would have been face on and therefore very boring. The inaccuracy of our story boards led to a lot of wasted time of the day of filming whilst we were planning what shots to film next. With this in mind, I was more conscious when planning and creating the storyboards for my A2 project, Green Fingers, so that this didn’t happen again. To improve my storyboards, I spent a lot more time on them so they looked exactly like the shot I wished to film. This saved me a lot of time on the day of filming as I knew exactly how to set up each shot, meaning I had more time to repeat each shot, leading to a far better short film. This year, I also planned the pace of my film by inserting my storyboard images into final cut and creating an animated storyboard. After last year, I felt this was essential as a lot of time was wasted in editing to try and make the shots flow smoothly. I found that by creating an animated storyboard on Final Cut Pro X before filming, I was able to see which parts of my film needed refining to ensure the pace and frequency of my film made it interesting to watch.

When researching locations, last year my group spent very little time at the location. Only one person went out to view the area we filmed in, so I personally didn’t really have any idea what the location looked like, besides the pictures that were taken of it. I felt like this was a big flaw and led to us being unsure of the area we were filming in, which slowed down the planning process as it was difficult to visualise how our film would look until the day. On the day of filming our AS production, Mummy’s Girl, a lot of the shots were improvised as we’d found an area in the location that we thought may look good in our film. This year, I made sure to spend a great deal of time at the allotment were I filmed to ensure that I was fully aware of the surroundings and how to utilise them to drive my plot. From my groups mistakes last year, both my research and skills had been improved as I was able to create a more immersive film with very few improvised shots which made my final media production look a lot more professional.

For Mummy’s Girl, my group and I planned to preform a shot where the camera moves through the wall. This took a lot of research and we struggled to find much in terms of online help, which meant that we needed to take a more practical approach. We recorded a practice shot in the class room which was successful. We filmed the camera moving behind a ridge in the wall, and then it coming out of the ridge facing in another direction to make it appear as it had gone behind the wall. When it came to filming in a different location, the layout of the room was different and there weren’t any ridges we could use; therefore we couldn’t exactly recreate the shot we had researched and planned to do so. Instead, we just passed the camera through an open archway and adding a blank screen in between. Due to this, when planning to film Green Fingers, I wanted to film a murder scene in which a woman is hit with a shovel. I didn’t initially know how to create this effect so I researched this on YouTube. I then practiced my findings multiple times to ensure I could re create it effectively. To film this shot, I recorded a shot of the spade against the persons head, then swinging it backwards quickly. Then, in post production, I reversed the shot to make it look as if the spade was being swung towards her head. I feel my planning and research skills have been improved since last year, as I accounted for any possibilities where things could change or go wrong through practicing this shot using my two actors and the spade I planned to use in the film. This meant that very little had changed between the practice shot and the actual shot, meaning very little variables would effect my final production.

For Mummy’s Girl, we wanted to create bruises on the daughters finger to make it appear as if she had been tied up. We did research into bruised makeup using Pintrest and YouTube, but didn’t practice how to apply the makeup until the day of filming. This was due to poor planning and meant that it was rushed. This year, I wanted to create a dead looking hand which required a great deal of makeup to make it appear realistic. I achieved this by applying pale makeup to the skin, and making the nail look rotted by using liquid latex and dark purple coloured face paint. My planning skills have developed since Mummy’s Girl, as I practiced applying this makeup several times before the day of filming, meaning that I was confident with how to do it on the day and that I wouldn’t be rushing it, as I could plan for the amount of time it took to create.

Ultimately, my planning and research skills have been hugely developed since preparing for my AS coursework, as I have learnt from my mistakes and been able to account for any problems that may arise.

 

1

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.