Throughout the different stages of my A2 Media Studies coursework I have used a variety of different media technologies.
Research and Planning...
In the research and planning stage of my coursework is somewhere where I believe the main advantages of web 2.0 benefited my work. To begin with, when finding an artist whose music I could use and also a band that wanted to feature in the music video, sites like 'Reverbnation' and 'Soundcloud' were very useful. These sites use the full advantages of web 2.0 with all the content being provided by the users themselves.
Due to the global nature of the internet, I was able to access information from all over the world, giving me a large resource bank to base my research on. Once I had decided on the genre for my music video, I was able to begin my genre research. Using sites like YouTube I was able to look into past promotional packages in the 'rock' genre, viewing and analysing music videos. David Buckingham's theory states that "genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change". There is clear evidence of this though my promotional package as there is use of the genre conventions I discovered in my research however i have also developed my own ideas to crete an overall original idea. Without this development in websites my research and planning would have been greatly effected, I would not have been able to research into existing products. Without this new media technology I believe there would have been a limit on the amount of research i could have done.
Another website, using the full advantages of web 2.0, of which I have made great use out of throughout my A-level Media Studies course is blogger. Blogger has enabled me to present my coursework, from research to evaluation, in an eye-pleasing and effect way. Being able to embed YouTube videos, slide shows using slideshare.net and prezi presentations was very useful, combining all these separate media platforms into one presentational database.
When planning and organising photo and videos shoots with the band and actors, I made great use of the social networking site 'Facebook'. I was able to contact the band through their own Facebook page and arrange everything through private messaging.
I also found Facebook's mobile application very useful to be in contact with the necessary people when I was out and about not at a computer.
I also found the use of my iPhone very useful, as it was great platform to view my shot list on when in the video shoots, and also using and iPhone's communication technology benefits, again making it easier to organise and plan the video shoots and locations.
A vital element of my print production was the images. For this I used my Canon EOS 550D. It was very useful using this camera as it allowed me to capture professional looking photographs of a very high quality. Much greater quality than you could achieve from any mobile phone or digital camera. Using this DSLR also enabled me to adjust the shutter speed, which was very useful when creating a slight motion blur effect of the images for the magazine advert, as i just decreased the shutter speed and moved the camera slightly whilst taking the shot. I was also able to experiment with ISO levels to achieve the desired white balance. Also with the manual focus setting I was able to change the focusing again to create a slight blur on the images. The standard 18 - 55 mm lens catered for a variety of shots, so I was able to use the one lens for the close ups as well as the long shots of the whole band for the front and back of the digipack.
I also used my Canon EOS 550D for the music video. As well as being able to take professional photos, the video quality on this camera is also very high. I decided to use this camera as I have previous experience with the video setting on it and felt more comfortable using it. I also knew that I could reach the desired effects from this camera. For the music video, I also used the manual focus setting to achieve the desired focus and also to achieve the focus pull seen in the first scene of the music video.
For my print production work the use Adobe Photoshop CS5 was vital. I used this software to design and produce both the digipack and the advert and it was the ideal media device for the job. As I am not very experienced with photoshop I also used YouTube to view tutorials, so i could reach the effect I wanted to achieve. I used the brightness and contract filters on almost every image to create the high contrast effect. I also edited the hue saturation and created a black and white effect. I experimented with the opacity of images and the duplication of images became a theme throughout my print work. Being able to use photoshop was a great help in making my promotional package, using this professional media technology I was able to create something using the same tools as professionals, giving me the best chance in getting the highest quality professional looking promotional package. Without the use of these new media technologies in my print work I would not have been able to create the work I did. My work would have been far less professional and no where near of such a high quality.
For the video post-production work I used Adobe Premier Pro. Unlike with photoshop, this is a piece of software I know very well, and I believe that I used it to it's full potential. Premier Pro allows you to import your video clips and arrange them using the timeline into your chosen narrative. With my music video I had heavy use of layering and superimposition, and premiere pro allowed me to create the image I wanted. Using the different video layers on the timeline I was able to adjust the opacity of the clips and place them over each other, thus creating the layered effect. Also premiere pro allows you to zoom right in to your timeline, so you can view your clips frame by frame, enabling you to create very precise cuts. This was very useful when creating synaesthesia, I was able to get cuts right on the beat of the music, creating my desired effect. Also other aspects of the video such as the lip sync, were made much easier by the use of this software and the ease of cutting and editing the clips. Without this piece of software, I believe my video would not have been up to such a high standard, however I do feel that my knowledge of the software really helped in this part of the course, as it is one thing having the software to use, but all in all you need to know how to use it.
In the evaluation stage of my coursework, I also made great use of web 2.0, I used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This was a quick and easy way to reach the desired audience and obtain relevant feedback from them. I used this for both my print work and also my music video as it was very easy to upload the images of the print work and also embed the YouTube video. Using Facebook especially made it much easier for the audience to comment below the post and leave their feedback and opinions.
Without these websites, I would not have been able to obtain the feedback that I did. I would have had to create a questionnaire and hand it out personally to people, with would have taken more time. This is clear evidence that Web 2.0 provided a great way to receive constructive feedback, and also allowed my evaluation to run more efficiently.
Also for one of the questions for my evaluation, I have used a website called 'Prezi'. This is another site that uses the full advantages of web 2.0, the content is supplied by the user and it is mainly just a viewing platform. Prezi enabled me to present my work in a more appealing way, I was able to display my ideas through images, text boxes and videos but also present it flowing from stage to stage. I found this website very useful, however it was very time consuming and if I have possibly presented my work in a different way it could have improved the efficiency of my evaluation. I do believe that this software can be developed and with a few improvements it could become slicker and easier to work with.