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Evaluation: Question 6 What have you learned about technologies from the process of constructing this product?Various technologies were used increating my opening sequence for ‘Mr.Palindrome’ and through the use of them,I feel more confident and independent inrelation to producing media products likethis. Each piece of technology used in themaking of the opening sequence will bethoroughly explored and explained.The Apple Macs provided by the collegeincluded all the media software neededfor researching, planning, arranging andediting.For researching, Internet browsers such as Firefox and Safari (the latter being mypersonal preference) were utilized. The programs allowed us to navigate and scour theInternet, with the use of the Google search engine, for inspiration for our movie in thepre-production stage. From this, we were able to create ideas relating to Intertextualitysuch as the whole movie being backwards relating to Christopher Nolan’s openingsequence for ‘Momento’. This was good for the group as a basis for the film was setand ultimately, it would give us more marks as it covered one of the points forblogging checklist.The use of the Internet also allowed us to access Blogger, an online ‘publishing toolfrom Google, for sharing text, photos and videos.’ An account for our class was madeand we were assigned a group blog (my group being Group 38). Here, we followed the previously mentioned blogging checklist given by my media teacher and posted research plans, media evaluation and behind the scenes footage using different media formats, including video links from YouTube and Vimeo, actual behind thescene footage and pictures, Prezis (an online presentation software) and many more.Blogger helped the group communicate with audiences in order to show the directionwe wanted to follow for ‘Mr. Palindrome’. Furthermore, I was a stranger to the tool,so it was nice to try something new and now I feel more experienced which is good ifI wanted to pursue a media career.Camtasia is a piece of technology that my group used to record on screen video. Forexample, the typing in the beginning of our film utilised Camtasia and MicrosoftWord. Microsoft Word was used simply just to display the typing process. Theprogram could have been substituted for Microsoft Powerpoint or even usingBlogger. Moreover, Camtasia was used for my Evaluation Question 1 and 7 where Idid a video blog/commentary. In this example, the screen grab and a video recording Kris Erice
myself (and my group) was recorded together. Various clips and images weredisplayed on different areas of the screen at the same time which was very interestingto me. Furthermore, I put the clip of me commentating into a circle using a ‘Mask’effect, which made it more appealing and funny.Final Cut Pro is a video-editing software that I used to edit both the prelim and Mr.Palindrome. It was very professional (said to cost more than £250 and that mostmovie studios use it) and had a very easy-to-learn user interface. This programrequired our video drive in order to function and relied on our footage to edit them.Final Cut Pro let us import our clips in and rearrange and cut them on the timeline, inorder to create our final film product. There are variety of tools, transitions, effectsand preset sounds available in this piece of software and scouring around the FinalCut Pro’s enormous library was dreading but eventually, we found what we wanted tomake the beautiful final product that we have today. The main effect used was the‘change speed’ video effect, which allowed us to select the ‘reverse’ option, allowing us to put our film backwards. Maria initially discovered this option after I proposed the idea for a reversed film. We had several problems dealing with the software including importing sound from SoundTrack Pro and then rendering the sound and video clips, but we just had to deal with rendering the clips continuously. The programalso let us add titles, either on a blank screen or on top of the video; the latter wasused in our case. The first time I used Final Cut was during the taster days in City andIslington College. I was familiar with this piece of software, as I have used similarproducts such as iMovie but it was nice to try something that had a lot more varietyfor me to explore and now I know what effects or sounds etc. to use in the future.When we finished with our project, we had to export the file.The program MPEG Streamclip allowed videos exported from Final Cut Pro to beconverted into a format suitable for the blog (MP4). It was easy to use as we justdragged and dropped the file we wanted to convert then exported to a preset blogformat which the media department provided. This preset was low in quality but smallin size which is good for simple videos to be uploaded quickly onto the blog.The studio idents included the premade CandI Media title and the McNolans Film titlewhich we made using Motion. This program was also simple to use and featuredmany different transitions and motions effecting the way a piece of text would movearound the screen or appear/disappear. The use of this program gave our film more ofa professional group and was fun to play around with. I hope to use this programagain in the future as not a lot of time was spent on it. Kris Erice
Another important piece of technology usedfor the project is the camera to capturefootage. This is a JVC Pro HD GY-HM100U, the professional camcorder used.According to sources on the internet, it is the‘industry’s first professional handheld modelto record files directly to a solid state mediain the native format of Apple’s Final Cut Proediting system’ and is priced over £2000.Using Mickey’s video tutorial, I learnt howto manipulate the camera in order for it towork and to use it the way I wanted to. Thisincluded turning it on, capturing footage,inserting the memory cards, adjusting thefocus, the zoom and opening the camera lens. Cinematography and technical cameraaspects were needed in order to capture a range of intricate and accurate shots. I feltthat most of what my group envisioned for our film was captured and it was a goodexperience learning how to use such a professional and advance piece of technology. Ialso learnt what not to do like not to touch the lens … which I tend to do with thecameras in my home … I am not sure if that applies but I’m now more careful withequipment like this. Moreover, in the prelim, the framing was awful as we did notfollow the rule of thirds plus my group forgot about the 180 degree rule, so when westarted filming for our latest project, we made sure that we followed this rules closelyin order to achieve a better cinematography. As previously mentioned, there are two pieces of technology used for storage space., the video drive and the SDHC memory cards. The video drive’s capacity is over 100gb whilst the three memory cards given (two for recording video with the camcorder and one for a still camera) were at either 8gb or 16gb. I wasn’t really paying attention to the storage space when the cards were inserted because we hadenough memory to record all the things we wanted each filming day. Moreover, thememory cards had stickers over them so it didn’t say on the cards themselves. Thevideo drive stores the edited clips and sounds we used for our film as well as ourprelim. We had to follow the exact directions for ejectingthe video drive as we lost our first video drive after amalfunction, but it was fine as there was not any valuablefilm on it and so we learnt from that experience. The twoSDHC memory cards had to be both in the camcorderbecause if one card was full then there would not beanywhere else to save the footage we saved. Furthermore, itjust would not work. We also had to pay attention to whichmemory card had what in it as we would record somethingthen it would change memory card, so basically the cardskept us switching back and forth. That event was only a one-off though (faulty camera?). Kris Erice
The third SDHC memory card was for the StillCamera. I cannot quite remember what stillcamera it was but it was not as important as thecamcorder or even the memory cards as we didnot use it much. We only used it for the storyboard for the planning of our opening sequence. The other times we took still images was for blogging and even then, we preferred using our iPhones to take these images. The iPhone itself is a technological convergent device as it has a camera for taking pictures or videos, plays music, apps, has the internet, texting and calling etc. All three members of our group had an iPhone and we found it easy to use for blogging different formats of media. I even had the application for Blogger on my phone so I could directly blog a few lines of text and upload an image. As I already knew this, it was not so exciting but it was time saving.Soundtrack Pro is a small digital music creator or an audio editing program. Theprogram synergises well with Final Cut Pro as the latter has an export audio toSoundtrack option, which shows that they were intended to work together.Soundtrack Pro enabled me to import the video of our product with the originalrecorded sound and then put sound effects on top of it. I muted the originalrecording audio and then begun to add foley sounds to where they were needed(such as footsteps and the trains). Afterwards, I would add more of anatmospheric ambiance kind of sound. Once that was done, I added effects such as reverb to give it that spacey, underwater kind of feel. I was able to do all this using Soundtrack Pro’s vast library of sound clips and it was an easy program to grasp as the user interface was similar to iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro (a Digital Audio Workstation used for composing music). Speech was also reversed in Soundtrack Pro. This needed my group to download some talking fromYouTube and then importing it into the program. Effects were added, reversedand then layered over one another to give the confusing speaking more depth.The sound was important in the film to help establish our character’s mentalillness and so I was glad we used Soundtrack Pro. Kris Erice