Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Eval Q4 Use of new media tech

Q4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Here's a good example from 2015 (Conal's too) to kick off with:


KEY POINTS:
  • The emphasis is on NEW MEDIA, which you should have used to research conventions/industry (YouTube etc) and present this (Blogger), plus to organise/research cast, shoots, mise-en-scene (props, costume...) and locations (FB, Google Calendar/Maps etc); to get audience feedback on rough cuts and actually distribute final cuts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Blogger etc); and to present Evals (Prezi, Blogger, YouTube, Google...). There are lengthy lists of suggestions later in this post. Give concrete examples of how you found material (costume, editing, whatever it may be) which directly influenced your choices.
  • Just as in the exam, back up points/analysis (EAA) with specific illustrations/examples (EX)
  • Lots of opportunity to engage with theory, especially the web 2.0 (and other audience-related theory, even postmodernism too) theorists. Its that audience interaction that's key; lots of overlap with Q3. Was Gillmor right to write of "the former audience" or Gauntlett to declare the "end of audience studies" as convergence has dissolved the producer/audience divide?
  • Your use of QR codes and viral style campaigns generally is central. Make sure, even if separate to the main answer video, you include a short, simple demonstration of this working, explaining its purpose (why it links to that site etc)
  • Podcasting is part of that audience interaction; what tech did you use? what content did you focus on? 
  • Try to draw some parallels with existing examples (I've blogged a lot on this; Elberse's case studies of Jay-Z and Lady Gaga are ideal; both used interactivity)
  • Don't be shy in discussing the limitations of new media: Andrew Keen sees this as a disaster for society; John McMuria argues the supposed level playing field for Indies is a myth and conglomerates still dominate; Elberse has demolished Anderson's long tail theory
  • FCPX and recording on digital SD cards is part of new media, so do reflect on your recording and editing (likewise for print products and Photoshop and any additional sites/software used)
  • Sum up; do you think new media technology has been an advantage, or even pivotal? How do you think your work would compare if you were using old, analogue media only? That would mean recording on film or VHS for example!

Can this Microsoft survey really be true?

SOME PAST STUDENTS' ANSWERS:
2014 GROUPS: ATOMIC KITTEN + FAITHLESS

Kate, Tilly, Millie and Poppy's responses used a common script and video which they changed the voiceover on (likewise the guys for Faithless). As the Eval should be an individual response, you should avoid collaborating to this extreme.
The video was well produced, though some of the voiceovers were absurdly rushed through and difficult to follow as a result - likewise with the guys.
As with Q3, the girls included the 'script', which was really helpful for marking purposes. Dec, Curt and Jake did too, but there's a clear difference: the girls created clearer sub-headings and included lots of images to break up the text, which helps considerably. Both groups could have been more thorough with their responses, and should be more specific with both spoken use of examples and direct visual illustration of this, but these were good videos generally. 

EMMIE: Its a looooong post, but a good one: annotated images are used to comprehensively establish the wide range of points/topics addressed ... including the Evaluation itself!!!
BETH: Where Emma (below) created a long text-based post, Beth's post is simply a video - but one which keeps putting up relevant imagery. About 130 in, nice illustration of how band websites offer exclusive content to subscribers; worth watching the whole thing, and remember, if you watch it on a YouTube page you'll also see several more suggested videos at the side.
EMMA: Good for creating a sense of the sheer range of technologies involved and utilised, tho often needs some more specific detail on how they were utilised, and more explicit evaluation of pros/cons, or strengths/limitations; also needed more frequent screenshots. Neglects the Evaluation itself.
JONNY: In an overall excellent Eval, it was frustrating that there was no video for this particular Q! There is though a lot of detail about software/hardware and how it was used ... but missing images/clips which make it hard to follow the points. Some nice detail on using web for research, including a useful screenshot of an advanced search in Google, and points on using Google news (you might cite RSS feeds, eg of tagged Guardian articles).
CHRIS: The 1st vid is a little bit ... unusual! But just the kind of thing that'll bring a smile to a weary examiner/Media teacher after endless hours marking! Don't be afraid to be quirky!!! The basic point is well made in this vid. In the 2nd vid there's also some humorous background music - a little high in the sound mix, would be better used for a brief montage, and would need to be checked to ensure it doesn't get the whole vid blocked by YouTube on copyright grounds. Go to 430 in: good point about how software skills (in this case Flash) can actually detract from the design task.

Use 3 main sub-headings:
  1. R+P
  2. Construction + Exhibition (split these if you wish)
  3. Evaluation

NB: I'll refer simply to tech'y below, not 'new media technologies'
Remember, you MUST use multimedia to answer each Eval Q; for this one you can use a variety of videos, pics and even podcasts (perhaps to summarise each section), though it is helpful and a good idea to provide brief text summaries too to show your learning at a glance.
Screen-recording software has been installed on all Macs [needs confirming] to enable you to show how you achieved certain results with technology, from extended google searches to particular FX using FCE. You can easily add voiceovers to these (and/or use jpgs and talk over these using iMovie or FCE).
You'll find yourself referring to a lot of ground covered in your blog; don't simply state 'you can find it there'; provide a clearly set out hyperlink to any relevant posts, with some basic info on what you're pointing to (and could also copy/paste then edit such material, though this might result in an unwieldy post!)

TIP: if each time you post a new rough cut, as well as commenting on your views/thoughts on it BEFORE any feedback, you also note any new software tools/FX used, this Eval Q will be much easier! ...Or you could work backwards inserting this detail!

STEPS:
1: Take a sheet
of paper for each (DON'T use a computer yet) and brainstorm/list technologies used, leaving a blank line after each for further notes
2: Write in 2+ egs of how you used each technology (you can add more specific details later)
3: Beginning with R+P, start writing/typing up answers to each of the 3 section.

For each section, you could use the following Qs as a framework:
    (i) Start with a list of technologies used for this part of your work
    (ii) Give 2+ brief egs of your use of each (you can provide greater detail in accompanying video/s)
    (iii) Discuss/evaluate your use of each
    (iv) (if appropriate) Discuss how tech'y enabled you to collaborate as a group
    (v) (if appropriate) Discuss how tech'y enabled you to get aud feedback
    (vi) (if appropriate) Discuss how tech'y enabled you to learn about conventions from real media texts
    (vii) (if appropriate) Discuss how tech'y enabled you to identify and access useful 'old media' (film, music video, newspaper, book, mags etc)
    (viii) Discuss what difference it would have made if, like Media students from a decade+ ago, you'd had to rely solely on 'old media'
    (ix) Evaluate (summative comment) how well you've utilised the available resources; could you have made more/better use of any particular technologies? What have you learnt about these techs and their usefulness?

R+P
Some technologies used (Italicize all site/software names + hyperlink): blogger, Facebook, YouTube (and other video-sharing sites), googlebooks, Amazon/Play + other retail sites (with user reviews or 'look inside' feature on Amazon), IMDB, search engines, newspaper + mag sites, other blogs, e-zines, fan sites, online Lib catalogue, Scribd, divshare, vimeo, Mac/PC + software, scanner, USB sticks, email, mobile phones, digital audio recorder, still + video cams, iMovie (versions), FCE 4, Photoshop, VLC (for screenshots?), Grab
Do include clear detail on the range of resources you used in your research and how you located these (avoid stating 'they were on a trolley in the classroom'!!!!!!!)
  • Have you already created a links list for 'useful resources'/'main sources for research' (whatever brief description best fits)?
  • Have you written a post summarising the resources/tools you used for R+P?
  • Have you evidenced any advanced googling, rather than simply stating 'I used search engines'?
  • If you're going to critique Wikipedia, have you any egs of info you found on it which you distrust (or eg of an entry being hacked to say something silly)?
  • What role did 'old media' (books, mags, papers, DVDs) play? Did you actually access their content online in most cases? (Perhaps cost is an issue here?)
what role did your company blog play ... plus Facebook page/Twitter etc? did you keep it active + updated with news of progress? did you announce the release of the digipak (even countdown to it); have teaser posts revealing bit by bit what tracks/DVD extras would feature on it, share the magazine ad, tell your readers to look for the ad (which you'd then share, so it can be virally spread by them, same way as vids can); did you add design features/gadgets? a Facebook 'like' link/icon, or G+/Twitter link? competition, poll... (its never too late to sort this out with thought given to post dates - take care that language is appropriate: there should be zero mention of school/students etc!!!)
  • You could assess how far/little your research skills have advanced - do you think online-only research is sufficient?
  • Address how new media helped with planning - its not just about research. Did you use Twitter, blog, email, FB to communicate as a group? 
  • The same point applies to aud feedback [which spans across planning/construction] - if you cover this in greater detail for Q3 say so, but still briefly address the point
  • How did tech'y enable you to work collaboratively within a group? [include sharing research, but note how you denoted individual contributions thru post titles; also company blog, FB etc]
  • How you go about drafting designs/ideas? Discuss the extent to which you used new media and simple pen/paper; looking back, did you get the balance right here/could you have approached this in a more productive manner? [I firmly believe computer-centred brainstorming is very limiting, as you tend to get closed down in your thinking as soon as it starts to appear on screen; I still believe initial planning/idea generation is best on pen + paper, with follow-up research and experimentation to test these before full production. Perhaps thats down to being a generation older than yourselves, but I do think its a much better way to work creatively]
  • Were you able to experiment with video-making using any of the technologies you've already discussed? Do you think you could tease out what you've learned along the way (going right back to June)?
  • Do you think the ability to experiment cheaply (in time as much as financially) with ideas (test footage) is/was a significant factor? Did you make enough use of this opportunity?

Construction + Exhibition
Filming/shooting, uploading, editing, adding FX, exhibiting
Also relevant for R+P, but espec here: with exam Qs in mind, its worth highlighting how technology influenced your Creativity + Use of conventions from real media texts
  • Overlapping with above, what experimentation were you able to undertake prior to commencing the full shoot, and how did you this help with streamlining the process of the shoot itself?
  • Were you able to review footage on set, and organise re-takes?
  • Was there any difference in shooting with HD (recording onto SD cards) versus mini-DV (onto tapes)? [most 2011 blogs featured test footage comparing shots taken with each type of camera, but this is about ways of working as well as image quality/framing]
  • What technology did you not have access to (which would have made a difference [detail how])?
  • Was your way of working comparable to industry standards?
  • How important was it to get to a full initial rough cut? Were your initial plans all you needed, or did the idea evolve [detail how] through the editing + feedback process?
  • Did technology enable you to overcome reshoot issues (such as changing light/weather)?
  • Did technology enable you to overcome weaknesses (or gaps) in the material you shot? [cropping/reframing + artificial zoom; cutting to remove shake + other stabilisation tools; layering to disguise low-res/quality footage etc]
  • Is/was editing a creative process, or simply a matter of mechanical construction? Were there scenes/sequences/shots you ended up using in a very different manner than intended [explain why if so]?
  • Where were your vid/drafts/texts seen? Did the feedback this enabled make any difference? How did you gather feedback? Do you have any viewing figures/data? [you get this on your YouTube channel, + Vimeo, + search my channel + you can screenshot/note each cut too]
  • Have you any plans to enter this work into competitions/festivals? (worth noting how the vid is physically entered: DVD, URL?)


Eval
A podcast or fairly simple vid would be fine for this, perhaps focussing on logos and talking over: blogger (eg how to create hyperlinks), + tools for audio/video editing (including screen capture/recording). Stress how blogger enables you to make your Eval interactive; you've included links to content elsewhere on your blog and vids hosted on YouTube etc
  • What technologies have you used for this Eval? [bearing in mind each Q will be looked at separately, it is worth some screenshots for this]
  • Has tech'y enabled you to draft and revise this Eval? [access to past egs useful?]
  • Did tech'y enable you to collaborate on any aspect of the Eval? [be careful here: you should have shared pics/clips/ideas, but not final answers]
  • How have you used tech'y creatively? [you really do need to consider this question at some stage within this Q!!!! See Chris' vid eg in the Q4 guide]
  • Is tech'y, espec in the context of this Eval, an aid to communication, or would an essay produced in Word be a better means of addressing these Qs?

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