Monday, 21 March 2011

Evaluation Q6 - What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

During the process of making our film, we used a wide range of different techniques and technologies. This included using technology when filming, when editing, when recording sound and more. For example, we used the cameras as a use of technology when we filmed, we used programs such as iMovie and LiveType when it came to editing the footage, and we used audio devices like Audacity to record the sound for our soundtrack. 

Evidence of using iMovie (an editing program) to edit our film.

Evidence of using video cameras (in this case a Sony DCR-DVD403) to get our footage.

Evidence of using Audacity (an audio program) to record sound.

Tools that we as a group found useful included the previously mentioned ones, especially iMovie HD - it was easy to use, simplistic yet effective, and it greatly helped us with editing our footage. The timeline and cutting tools were very useful, as well as aspects lik
e the trash feature and the trim feature, and these things helped when it came to refining each part it great detail so we could get it exactly how we wanted and needed it. Another helpful tool included LiveType, that we used to make the company idents. Like iMovie, this program was very straightforward and easy to use, and could be used by a total novice with only a few minutes spent on getting to know how to use it. This means that we could create high-quality idents for our film quickly, but while maintaining a high quality to each one. There were lots of different options to choose from concerning themes, layers, fonts and more, and we used these to our advantage and created some very attractive things using LiveType. 

Admittedly, we were very surprised by what we could achieve using these programs. When we were first presented with the task of editing our footage, we thought it would be either extremely hard and difficult software to get to grips with, or it would be difficult to record the footage in the first place. But, as it transpired, all the programs we used were remarkably easy to use, and we got acquainted quickly with all the tools and got started working with them straight away, and we were very surprised with what we could do once we knew how to use them. Technology helped us get our vision onto the screen in a number of ways. Primarily, without the use of all the aforementioned programs and tools, we wouldn't have been able to edit or record our footage, making our production obviously impossible. Another reason is the way we took inspiration from films such as Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001), Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997) and American Psycho (Marry Harron, 2000), all psychological thrillers. We watched these on DVD and meticulously analyzed and deconstructed them to a fine degree, and working out how to replicate certain parts and use them in our own production; we used video cameras and iMovie for this, and without this technology, we wouldn't have been able to get our vision up for others to see.The idea of using analogue technology rather than the current technology that we actually ended up using is an intruiging one, purely because of the things we wouldn't have been able to do without the sufficient tools and devices used nowadays, and the ones we used in our production too. For example, we wouldn't have been able to do our idents as well/as quickly, and we wouldn't have had the means of editing it properly; the thing would've have to have been done in one continuous shot, using only the pause button between takes, so yes, it would have indeed made a difference as there would have been a few problems that hindered the production.

We also found that technology was a great help when it came to audience feedback for our rough cuts. We used the audio records to record what they said about each one, then relayed the information back to everyone through a podcast. We also used video technology to record audience feedback, by documenting vodcasts about the feedback. We videoed ourselves in the group talking about the audience feedback to the camera, then edited it with iMovie HD on the Macs. Here's an example;

Technology itself didn't really place too many limitations on what we could achieve, and we found it to be a very critical aid while we worked on our product. However, there were a few issues that hindered us while we were trying to work. For example, there were problems such as the Mac we were working on shutting off at frequent points; luckily, the autosave/trash feature installed on iMovie meant that we were (mostly) always able to cover our work without a fault.

The message telling the user to restart the machine. This was the biggest problem we had.

If we could use any other technology, we would probably have used an HD camcorder rather than a SD one, obviously so we could get better quality footage, making our film look better. We would also have liked to have used GarageBand in order to create a soundtrack as well, as this has a lot more options and editing modes than Audacity did, meaning we could probably have made the soundtrack more like the way we really wanted it, rather than having to settle for whatever settings certain programs had already installed. Using these possible options, we could have made our film look more presentable to the viewer as the footage would've been more crisp and detailed, and using different programs for audio would ensure that we would have more possibilities and options in which to create our soundtrack.

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