The use of new media technologies is vital in producing a piece of work that would work in today's industry. If we aren't using all the information and tools available to us, chances are our work will show this.
Though books were great for specific information and insight (such as our repeated use of Deborah Curtis' Touching From A Distance), the internet is superb at giving us a much broader set of information. The sheer amount of research required for this project meant using the internet was a must.
Wikipedia entry is undoubtedly the quickest way to get information, the sources may be unreliable and it isn't the most detailed of sites. We narrowed down our searches from the phrasing of our entries, and also made use of Google's "Advanced Search" tool. This meant we could trust that the websites listed were relevant to the exact topic that we needed.
Also useful is Google's News section which when searching for a specific term gives you the latest news articles from the web on that topic. This meant the research we were getting was extremely up to date. This is also is available for embedding, and you can see it on the right hand side of my blog.
|Google News was great for helping us keep up to date with the very latest Joy Division gossip.|
The quality of the HD cameras is a substantial step up from that of the DV tapes we had used previously. This instantly raised the standard of our music video, and allowed it to appear like a real industry standard video. Issues with grain and little lighting were no longer a problem, and the standard of the footage was something we were very happy with. It also meant we were more free to create whatever we wanted. Using SD memory cards instead of DV tapes was also an advantage, although the one problem was that uploading the footage did not significantly longer. But it was certainly worth it when you watch back scenes such as the underpass.
The cameras have in-built functions which we could experiment with even before going into the post-production stage. We took advantage of options such as the manual focus to really make certain scenes stand out. This can be seen in particular in the early chroma key shot of the cigarette. Using the HD camera allowed us to pick up on the tiniest bits of detail.
We also made use of our own cameras though for other aspects of the project such as the rough footage, vodcasts, and more. Though they don't have the quality of the HD cameras, they are equally easy to use, and for short videos where the highest quality isn't an issue, they were great to have on board.
|This 8mm app for the iPhone was superb, and cheap too!|
For the images for our Digi-Pak and advertisements we used an SLR camera. This allowed us to take high quality photographs which again were industry standard. The cameras have so many built in functions that we weren't able to utilise it's full capabilities but the images we did take we were very happy with.Other less important images were again taken on the iPhone.
For editing the one and half hours of footage we got from our filming, we used Final Cut Express. Final Cut is a huge improvement on last year's editing software, and again is industry standard. It is worth mentioning that the Coen brothers' latest Oscar nominated film True Grit was edited on a version of Final Cut. In fact all of their last five films have been edited using this software. This shows the huge capabilities of the programme, and the advantages using it has. Having used similar software previously, I found the transition to using Final Cut easier than I originally anticipated. We made use of a lot of the great functions of the programme - in particular the overlaying and transitions. On the shot towards the very end of the video (3.27) where our protagonist is to the left of the screen, we incorporated use of a split screen. On the LHS the video plays at regular speed but on the RHS it is sped up so the traffic moves faster. This was a tricky bit of editing that would not have been possible in iMovie. It took various experimentation as to where to split the video without it being noticeable. We then had trouble with the trees to the right of Joel not being in fast motion and therefore ruining he effect so we added another cropped layer and sped this up too. To get the best out of the editing software it useful to plan ahead, as some shots such as our multiple people at 3.11 require the original shot to be taken from a neutral position, so when overlayed they work properly. We had certain specific bits of editing in mind before the shoot, and others were done through experimenting with the software.
We still used iMovie for cutting shorter videos such as vodcasts and our evaluation down. The major advantage of iMovie is that it is very quick and easy to use. Though the latest version we personally feel is a step backwards for the company in terms of layout, it is still very useful to quickly go into and edit a short clip. They have improved the range of effects significantly recently, although we didn't use them for this particular project. Like a lot of Apple's software and devices, iMovie gives everyone the opportunity to make and edit a film. We also took advantage of the Mac's in-built camera for short vodcasts, which were then edited in iMovie.
Sony Vegas is essentially a very similar programme to Final Cut - except for windows. This was used for making videos such as our "Sky News Metallica Case Study", and putting our Production Diary together. It is actually a lot simpler to use than Final Cut, and yet can do the same things. As we have this software at home it made things easier as obviously we didn't have to do all of our work in school.
For making our digipak and editing our advertisements, we used Adobe Photoshop. This programme is the best available for editing photographs, and meant there were again no limitations as to what was possible. We had previous experience using the programme, so again this was no issue. Our adverts were editing using tools to improve the images such as contrast, desaturate, curves, and various colour filters. We then added text using a Joy Division font we downloaded from the internet. Whilst our final images represent the minimalism of Joy Division, our previous developments showed us experimenting with more complex aspects such as multi-layering, layer filters, and then different filters and style for each layer. For example in one image, we placed Malham Cove behind the skyline of Leeds. We didn't use these for our final series of adverts as they didn't match the same mood of the band. One additional bit of new media used was the inclusion of a QR Code. QR Codes are essentially links to websites/offers when scanned using a smart phone. We used a QR Code generator online to create a code which links you to the New Transmission Records blog. Also on that actual blog another links you to an exclusive "The Making of..." video.
When making our digipak we used a template kindly given to us from the people at WeWow. We then added our own images and front cover/back cover. For the inside of the digipak, we also used my Bamboodrawing tablet , which allowed us to essentially draw directly into the programme. This was a new experience for us and yet worked really well. We then printed out our digipak onto card using the A3 printer and used the A4 printer for the adverts. Scanners were also used at various times through the project.
We used iTunes to burn the songs onto our album disc. Using the Get Info option and creating a playlist, we change the track information so it matched our album "The Singles". For burning the Bonus DVD we used iDVD which is the simplest and best (in my opinion) DVD burning software. We were able add menus and different chapters to make it realistic.
With each new video we made, they were all uploaded onto Youtube. As well as each of us having our own Youtube channel, we also have a IGSMedia channel which showcases everyone's work. Youtube is very easy to use, and the only issue really is the amount of time it takes to upload large files. But once uploaded it is great for getting large scale exposure. Again real record companies use Youtube, so it was another example of us working at industry standard. Many of our rough cuts were then linked to on social networking site Facebook, meaning again we could use the web to our advantage.
Sites such as Scribd, Slideshare, Divshare, and Picasa were used for uploading different types of files. Scribd was used for MS Word documents, Slideshare for Powerpoint Presentations, Divshare for podcasts and Picasa for creating slideshows. This was mainly done so we could embed all of these type of files on our Blogger.
Blogger (the site you are currently on) was used for creating my blog. This site is particularly great as you can use a lot of different multimedia on it. We embedded the previous type of documents mentioned and were able to essentially run our own website full of information. We had a lot of control over the layout, and styling of the blog as shown by our company blog for New Transmission Records. Blogger is an excellent website not only for exhibition, but for generally helping organise our thoughts. It is a lot easier for example than using a file containing sheets of paper scribbled with notes.
Using new media technologies is essential for each part of the project. We were able to work to near-industry standard to create our finished products. New media also helped us actually exhibit our work to a wider audience. As new media technology improves, it gives anyone with access to a computer the chance to work to a high quality.