Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2. Existing adverts/campaigns I have researched and how these have influenced my ideas

For my first advert:

1. 'This Girl Can' campaign by Sport England

This advert has influenced me due to its strong, empowering message for women. I would like to convey a similar message regarding equality and diversity in my own advert. It also promotes being active and being yourself which relates to my Big Idea for my adverts. I also like the use of match on action, upbeat music and cutting to music which I will incorporate into my adverts.

2. 'Apple Watch Series 2 Go Time' advert by Apple

From this advert I was inspired by the use of matching on action as well the montage effect and editing to music. I think this made the advert snappy and memorable as well as entertaining for the audience. The colour grading and scheme also contributed to the overall appeal which is an element I will utilise.
I feel this particular advert appeals strongly to a variety of people, especially those who are active, which is a key element I would like to focus on within my first advert. I would like to create a similar montage style in my own advert, matching on action and cutting to a fast-paced soundtrack. This advert also appeals to both men and women from a variety of backgrounds and race, which is key to my Big Idea.

For my second advert:

1. 'Like a Girl' campaign by Always

From this video I took inspiration from the blank background (which is also the colour of the brand logo) with a combination of different shot angles featuring someone wearing contrasting clothes which reflect their personality. I also liked how this campaign challenged the stereotype of girls being weak, sending a very positive and inspiring message for young women and girls, targeting the youth market. It also included a young man and boy, addressing the male viewers as well in order to promote equality, and show how this stereotype is everywhere. I would like to make my advert more upbeat and less serious than this advert, however I would like to incorporate the powerful message it portrays.

2. 'Dry Spray Antiperspirant' advert by Dove America

From this advert I took inspiration from the blank background and straight-on shot style with sole focus on the product and people, using an informal style which engages and uplifts the audience. I also like how this advert shows diversity, both through race and personality which relates to my Big Idea.
This is a typical and popular deodorant advert which I have taken inspiration from to develop my USP and understanding of how to engage my audience as well as successfully advertise/promote my product.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Homeland Continuity Task

1. What was your role in the task and what did you actually do?
I was the director during the filming, and I co-planned the storyboard and shot list. I had to direct the actors and camera during the filming process, using commands such as 'camera roll', 'mark-it', 'action' and 'cut'. I then created an individual edit of the sequence.

2. What factors did you have to take into account when planning, filming and editing?
When planning our task, we focused on our brief which outlined the importance of one character entering a room whilst two others sat at a table. We used this as a starting point for our plot-line which also had to incorporate themes included in Homeland. We outlined our story arc before writing a script and making a storyboard; all of these helped us clearly know how we wanted our film to progress during planning and filming. It was also useful to have these for editing to help us edit a clear story. We created shot list so that we could easily plan which scenes to shoot first for practicality and convenience. In addition to this we drew a floor plan so we knew where we wanted furniture placed on the day of filming.
When filming I as the director had to communicate what was needed for each shot to the camera operator and actors. Through my direction I had to anticipate about how each shot would link to the next through match-on-action and continuity. We had to make sure to mark each shot with scene and take so that it would be easier to order our sequence when editing.
When editing it was important to prioritise continuity and how each shot flowed to the next to create a story through match-on-action. It was also important to make the story snappy and smooth by not have large gaps or dramatic jumps between shots.

3. How successful was your sequence? Did you manage to demonstrate match-on-action, shot-reverse-shot and the 180 degree rule? Did you achieve continuity overall?
I think that as a team we filmed a wide range of shots in an efficient way whilst maintaining the 180 degree rule and a continuous background, props and costume to provide effective continuity. This was very useful when I came to edit the sequence as there were many shots at my disposal which were all suitable for use, also including a range of techniques and perspectives which created a dynamic story. We incorporated elements of action in all our shots which made it easy to edit match-on-action effectively.

4. What have you learnt from completing this task?
From completing this task, I learnt about how to direct a filming task as well as the processes of planning which are necessary for a successful shoot. I also learnt to anticipate how shots can be cut together and what can be done pre-edit to make this task easier and more effective for a continual flow of action and continuity.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Daily Mirror News Task

1. Explain your role/responsibility within the team and the task. What were you required to do?
Riana and I were in charge of creating The Daily Mirror's social media pages within our team. We collaboratively researched our stories and chose images we agreed were appropriate for the Mirror's social media pages. We then created headlines and wrote posts for each page.

2. For one media form, describe the codes and conventions you chose to follow and explain their intended impact.
For Facebook, we chose to feature the story about terrorism in Iraq as this was the most serious and our research showed that Facebook is often used for more severe or impactive stories. The story was also featured on our Daily Mirror online webpage and so by promoting it on Facebook we connected the two platforms as well as increasing the likelihood of the story getting more views. We also used a 'breaking news' caption, commonly used on the Daily Mirror's Facebook for the most important stories. On our Twitter page we decided to feature the story about Donald Trump. We decided this was appropriate as the story was about his posts on twitter, linking the article to the news platform. We featured the story in a comical way which follows the conventions of tabloid news, in particular the Mirror. Similarly, in our Instagram post we featured a light-hearted style, up-keeping with the Mirror's style. We also used a more aesthetic picture for Instagram, matching its use as an artistic and photographic platform. For all our social media pages we incorporated the colour red, linking them all together as well as connecting them to the Daily Mirror's logo and presenting a brand.

3. Explain how your choices reflect the real newspaper's values and target audience.
Our repeated choice of red reflects on the Mirror's left-wing associations. On our Facebook page we chose a picture of Jeremy Corbyn wearing a Santa hat. This related to the labour party, Christmas and incorporated the humorous conventions of the Mirror, gripping the attention of the target audience who are likely to be young men and women who support the left-wing in politics. We also featured the Daily Mirror's slogan 'be part of it' to relate it to the tabloid newspaper and brand. This makes the audience feel included with the use of direct address. For Twitter we chose a photograph of Donald Trump which featured him in a negative light, reflecting on the Mirror's left wing stance and anti-Trump opinions.
In our Facebook and Twitter headlines and posts we used hyperbole, and humour in our Instagram post in order to captivate our audience. In our Twitter and Instagram we used hashtags to link the stories to other stories, either by the Mirror or with similar subject material, creating an engaging and inclusive atmosphere, also including a link to the Daily Mirror website and comments on Instagram to create an interactive page.

4. Explain how your team adapted the news across the three different media forms and the reasons behind your decisions.
We chose different pictures across all the platforms to make each unique, but still connecting them through same stories and content. As a group we aimed to balance comedy with information to successfully present conventions of a tabloid newspaper. We decided that the most important story was the terrorist attack, and so we featured it across all three media forms, however the more comical stories such as the frozen finger were featured individually.

5. In hindsight, is there anything about your team's outcomes that you would adapt or improve?
In hindsight, our team would've not had the bold text box outlines as they look slightly out-of-place and unlike the website. We also would've extended our Facebook header so that it filled the whole top bar. We could have also added a filter to our Instagram picture to show a typical convention of that platform. I think our team prepared very well for the task and worked well together.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Billboard Music Magazine Cover

1. Summarise the music celebrity you have created.  Include name, music genre, personality and how they are being used to comment on contemporary celebrity.

My music celebrity is Lara Fox, a guitarist, singer-songwriter from the band Fur which create indie-rock music. Lara Fox is a feminist and believes in equality between all people. I have used this characterisation to oppose modern glamorised celebrity culture as well as the sexualisation of women in the media. She also shows that music should be the most important part of a career as a music artist.

2. Evaluate how you have constructed the representation of your celebrity through your cover image and cover headline/text (denotation/connotation of text and image).

I have used a black and white filter for the main photo to show the simplification of celebrity culture.
This is further enforced by the use of a mundane and simplistic background. I have also limited make-up and airbrushing to make the model seem more natural. The choice of outfit is very simplistic, using a baggy t-shirt instead of expensive or designer brands. This is to promote the idea of simplicity and normality of my celebrity, showing that celebrities don't have to be glamorous or seen as different from other people. The theme of valuing music is clear through the use of the guitar in the foreground, and the Green Day t-shirt. The artist's hold of the guitar also connotes intimacy between her and her music, showing its importance.

The significance of showing my celebrity's legs is to show how women's skin is not only used to imply sexual connotations. Here, bare legs show simplification but also convey how the artist is exposing herself for who she is; there are no sexual overtones of the photo. This is reinforced with the title of the article, 'don't call me foxy', which is both a play on words with her name, as well as criticising the perception of women in the media.

With the formatting of my text I have used a contrasting and striking colour to highlight the title of the magazine and article. I have also used a different font to make key details stand out.

3. Analyse how far you have used and/or challenged stereotypes of gender/race/age/sexuality in your cover.

I believe I have successfully challenged stereotypes of gender in my cover, by showing that women are not simply sexual objects. My music artist is also not a stereotypical female celebrity as she is not skinny or toned. I believe my celebrity provides a positive image for young girls. However, it does not address racial stereotypes as my celebrity is not of a minority ethnic group, and culture is not a projected theme in my cover.

4. Reflect on the production/editing process.  Are you pleased with the end result? Identify what is successful about your shot?  What would you have done differently in hindsight?

I was very pleased with the production and editing process of my cover. I took several shots, so I had a good range to choose from for my final cover. Because of my detailed research and the clear idea of what I wanted my cover to look like, the editing process, though complex, was quickly completed. The hardest element I found to complete was the small extract of text, as I was trying to think of the best way to present my ideas about stereotypes. In hindsight, I addressed a lot of issues in this cover, and it may have been more effective to focus of one idea and present it more prominently. Overall, I am very pleased with the way my cover turned out.

Minecraft Pocket Edition Gameplay Video for YouTube

How did you make the video (eg. what videos did you look at, what technology did you use?)
In preparation for this video I watched videos made by vloggers such as Stampy Cat, Toebuscus and Littlelizardgaming. I thought about how they interact with the audience and the kind of language they use, which was very casual and animated. They also used a lot of direct address and banter, which I attempted to replicate in my video.

To make this video I recorded myself talking about the game on one iPad whilst watching the gameplay footage on another iPad. I acted as if I was playing the game, and talked about what was going on, giving specific terminology such as 'stone pick-axe'. When I was satisfied with my commentary I edited the two clips together using the FilmmakerPro iPad app, overlaying my video over the gameplay clip.

How might your video attract the attention of mojang and/or microsoft, and how might it influence them?
My video may attract the attention of Mojang and Microsoft as, by playing Minecraft: Pocket Edition, I am advertising the game to potential viewers. I am also presenting it in a very positive light and not giving it bad reviews, which promotes the game. As well as this, this video may attract their attention as it is family-friendly and doesn't feature any swearing or violence making it suitable for their target audience.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Video Games and Me

From a young age I have always liked playing video games on several different platforms. My first handheld console was the Original Nintendo DS in 2005. On this I played a wide range of games for several years, examples include Sonic Rush, Nintendogs and Super Mario. On this model I was also able to use Gameboy cartridges to play games. I would take my DS with me everywhere and play at any opportunity available. In 2009 my DS was upgraded to a DSi, the first Nintendo to feature a camera, and enabled it's user to download games via a NintendoStore. I gradually began to grow out of my old games and became interested in more challenging puzzle games such as Professor Leighton and Phoenix Wright. I could connect with friends and my brother in many games with multiplayer features, a particular favourite being Animal Crossing. In 2017, I still have my DSi, but haven't used it in over three years due to lost interest and lack of time.

In 2010 I was given my first PC computer, on which I would play SimCity3 and Morrowind. I was given an HP Envy Spectra XT Notebook in 2012, and on this I would play Sims3, Minecraft, League of Legends and Club Penguin as well. This laptop enabled me to bring my games on journeys and holidays, and I would often take it with me when visiting my grandparents. As I got older, I discovered online gaming and made an account on Steam, meaning I could buy games online to download and play immediately, such as Portal, Civ. 6 and Skyrim. In 2016, I upgraded my old desktop PC with one my dad built for me. This one has much higher processing speed and larger hard drive, allowing me to download and play more games with better graphics, however it means I can only play them at my desk in my bedroom.

I have never owned a Play Station or Xbox console, but have played many games on these platforms whilst at friend's houses, for example Fifa, Fallout and Call Of Duty. I found these less engaging than PC games and often felt they were unnecessarily violent, aimed mostly at the male demographic. My family bought a Wii in 2007, upgrading to a WiiU in 2013. On these we could play family orientated games as a group and invite friends over to play. The games were played using a disc and often took a long time to load. We now own a NintendoSwitch which uses cartridges which are very quick to load. The main feature of the Switch is that it can be used in multiple ways which suits our family very well, because my brother can start playing a game on the large TV screen, and and quickly change to a handheld device to continue playing his games whilst others are watching TV. It also means he can take his games over to his friends' houses or on journeys. I think I have grown too old for most of the games which are currently being released for Nintendo, otherwise I would use it more. I now limit my gaming mainly to PC or apps I download for my phone. I will sometimes play on consoles with my brother or friends, but would not chose to play by myself.

Minecraft Mission

Outside of my Minecraft house

Inside of my house
Minecraft is the second most successful video game of all time, designed by Markus Persson. The first complete version of the game went on release in 2011 on PC. Now the game has been updated several times and over 121 million copies have been sold across all platforms. 

Stairs leading into a mine I created
It can be played virtually anywhere at any time using the pocket edition version of the game which can be bought on the Google Play and Apple stores via a tablet or smartphone. It has endless possibilities and therefore, in theory, will 'never get old'.  One can play either by themselves or with friends due to the console and PC editions including online features. 

I experienced playing the pocket edition of Minecraft on an iPad and found it simple and enjoyable to use. I spawned in the middle of a woodland biome and cut down trees to use wood for my house and to make tools such as an axe, pick-axe, sword and spade. I explored my local area further, finding caves (which I could mine in), animals (which I could kill for resources), and sand (which I smelted to make glass windows). As I mined, I discovered different resources such as coal and iron which could be used to create more items or upgrade my tools.

Aw, baby cow