A2 media evaluation

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  • By Zoe Woodbridge
    (Candidate Number 4236)
    A2 MediaEvaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Documentary Conventions
From these descriptions, it is clear that our documentary is a hybrid. It has aspects of reflexive mode and expository mode. We use the social issues of the expository mode in an argumentative frame with narration, whilst engaging with the audience, asking them questions about their own judgments as in reflexive mode. This shows that our documentary is conventional.
How is it conventional?
We chose a conspiracy documentary so made the shots and music darker to match the theme
We used a politician to enhance the serious nature of our documentary
We used interviews to get a variety of opinions so that the audience is able to evaluate based upon a wide number of opinions
I was presenting the documentary to introduce myself, however, voice-overs were used to add to the tension of the documentary making it more engaging.
Opening Titles
The opening titles of our documentary conform to the conventions of real media as they illustrate what the rest of the documentary will be about through the flashing news headlines that focus on the internet and Wikileaks.
Furthermore, we used the Vignette effect on these clips to enhance the dark theme of our documentary. The title of the documentary is on a black canvas which is typical of conspiracy or undercover documentaries such as Dispatches or Panorama.
Weve also used unconventional ideas such as the warning at the beginning of the documentary along with the flashes of white in the opening titles. We thought that this, along with the dark music, would engage the viewer of our documentary making them want to continue watching whilst fitting in with the overall dark theme of our documentary.
Presenter Introduction
We used a presenter to introduce the documentary despite this not being conventional of conspiracy documentaries. This enabled us to use a presenter whilst questioning Kenneth Clarke and the public giving us something to film whilst we asked specific questions. The music we used under the presenter was dark in order to fit in with the conspiracy style, however, it wasnt as fast as the music in the opening titles so that the impact of what the presenter was saying still engaged the audience.
We used the setting of a computer room as we felt that this was relevant to the documentary as the internet and Wikileaks are both accessed through computers. This is conventional as we are keeping in theme with the whole documentary. We made sure that the room was dark in order to fit in with our conspiracy style documentary. Finally, we used the computer screens to reiterate some of the information from the presenter to make these facts have more of an impact in order to engage the viewer.
News Montage
Although not conventional of documentaries, we used a news montage in our documentary in order to engage the viewer whilst showing them how serious the Wikileaks news storyhas been. We did this by using a variety of different shots from both England and America, showing that the effect of the story has stretched further than just our own government.
We used more dark music under the news montage in order to engage the viewer whilst staying with the dark conspiracy theme of our documentary. At the end of the documentary we made the music cut out completely as the news reporter says security. We felt that as security is mentioned by Kenneth Clarke and the public, this would again emphasize the seriousness of Wikileaks.
Background Information
We didnt want to use a presenter too much throughout our documentary as we felt that this would make it boring to some viewers. Instead, we decided to give the background information of Wikileaks to the audience through a voice over as someone typed Wikileaks into Google then went onto the website to download released files. This is a technique often used in documentaries and in this way, we have made our documentary conventional.
We tried to make this part of the documentary more engaging by using slightly shaky shots, making the audience feel that they are part of the documentary. Furthermore, the dark music used over the presenters opening speech is also used during these shots to reiterate that the presenter is again delivering facts to the audience.This is also conventional of documentaries. The dark shots we have usedare conventional of conspiracy documentaries.
Public Interviews
Documentaries often use the public to reiterate the point of the documentary as we have done in our own, therefore complying to the conventions of documentaries. We slightly darkened the colouring of each shot in order for it to fit in with the conventions ofa conspiracy style documentary.
We used London as a setting for our public interviews as it is close to the houses of parliament and one of the main themes of the documentary is the government. We used an establishing shot of the houses of parliament to link to the theme whilst showing where we were interviewing. This is conventional of documentaries. Finally we used the vignette effect in order for our documentary to fit into the conventions of a conspiracy style documentary.
Alistair Darling Explanation
We used a voice over for the section about Alistair Darling to fit with the conventions of a conspiracy documentary. We thought that this made our documentary look more serious whilst making the government look slightly suspicious. This is typical of conspiracy documentaries as is the dark music we have used underneath the voiceover audio. Finally the vignette effect and darkened shots also fit into the conventions of a conspiracy documentary.
Kenneth Clarke Interview
We used an HD camera for the interview with Kenneth Clarke, this is conventional of documentaries, however, as we only had one we were unable to use it on the presenter. This made our documentary unconventional however, we would have changed this if we had the appropriate equipment.
We used cross dissolve transitions for when Kenneth Clarke gave answers that were too long so that the audience would not get bored. This is also conventional of documentaries.
We moved between questions asked by the presenter and the answers given by Kenneth Clarke which is conventional.
As our shots vary in quality, it almost looked like the presenter was not in the same room as Kenneth Clarke asking the questions. For this reason we used an establishing shotwhilst explaining to the audience who we were interviewing. This is typical of documentaries and therefore fits the conventions.
Interview Voiceovers
We used cross fade transitions with a vignette effect to conform to the stereotypes of a conspiracy documentary. The voice over says you cant see what everyone is doing whilst an image of Twitter appears making the audio relevant to the visual which is also typical of documentaries.
We used the world map whilst talking about Julian Assanges extradition in order to vary the visual images viewed by the audience. We made the audio fit in time to the movement on the map. We also added a vignette effect. Again, all of these techniquesconform to the conventions of documentaries, especially those that are conspiracy documentaries.
We used a voiceover to explain Julian Assanges sexual assault allegations again to vary the footage viewed by the audience making the documentary more engaging. I used Photoshop to blur out the faces of the women in the documentary as it is unlikely that a documentary would have released their true identities for legal reasons. Again this makes our documentary conventional.
Comparisons to Real Media
In both of these frames, the interviewee is on one side of the camera. This slightly off centre framing is conventional of documentaries as shown above. The background of both shots is not too complex so that the documentary viewer is focused on the interviewee only. In this way we have conformed to the conventions of real media products in order to make an effective interview. Despite this, had we been allowed, I think this shot would have been made even more effective without the fan in the background so would have moved it out of the shot.
Comparisons to real media
As you can see the establishing shot of the voiceover with Kenneth Clarke conforms to the conventions of real media products as the is an over the shoulder shot to show both the interviewer and interviewee. We used ours to show that the shots of Kenneth Clarke and myself, despite varying in quality, were done in the same room. It also gives the audience a view of the expression between both interviewer and interviewee whilst making the interview more engaging as the questions are asked using different shots to the answers. In this way, as shown above, our documentary conforms to real media examples.
Comparisons to Real Media
These two frames show both the presenter and interviewee in the same shot. This enables the audience to see both reactions to questions/answers. This is more typical of a reflexive documentary rather than an expository one, however, as we used a presenter to explain what the documentary would be about, it made sense to have the same presenter asking questions to the public, on camera. For these reasons, our media project again conforms to the conventions of real media pieces.
Comparisons to Real Media
The presenter talking to camera conforms to the conventions of real media pieces as seen above. In both frames, the presenter is walking towards the camera. This gives a shot that is moving which is more likely to engage the viewer. Furthermore, it gives details about the documentary whilst making the