I Started of this week being introduce to literature reviews; how they are conducted, what they include and the different types of reviews. We started planning out our research and what we are going include in it for our extended projects.
I will begin looking at numerous content relating to my extended project
What I’ve learnt from previous work
From the beginning of the course I have learnt various things while researching. I have learnt new techniques and information from various sources on the Internet and through lectures.
One of the things I have learnt from previous work was during my Hello Project. During the production of it, something happened that made me unable to use my planned location. I didn’t have another planned for backup. I learnt that contingency plans are important for making sure that risen problems can be dealt with effectively by planning out these possible problems and issues before starting production.
In previous literature work I have learnt about framing and which frames are used for what and in what situations. Also doing further self-studying I have learnt more from researching in my own time on the Internet.
When reflecting on my previous projects I can see that in my current position that I have grown in the art of story boarding. From the layout and design to what to include. At the beginning I found it reasonably difficult to draw a storyboard of what I want my movie to look like. Now I am able to do not just that but also include the camera’s direction, framing used and technique in my storyboard. Although my drawing ability still hasn’t improved.
From my previous project I had mainly focused on the production, ensuring that I was ready to do it properly on the day and not so much on the planning. This has backfired on me when doing my quality of work because some parts can only be refined when properly planned ahead of the production.
Media content with creativity and imaginative consideration
Being written and directed by Director James Cameron, Avatar is a unique film with a lot of originality within it. It stands out as being one of the most successful movies of all time. The content within Avatar is all creative and boasts a lot of visual imagination. From the characters and animals to the landscapes of Pandora, Avatar is a success that owes a majority of its glory to its imaginative ideas which crafted a life-like experience for the viewer when watching the forests of Pandora come to life with lots of colour. Avatar is distinct from other Sci-fi movies because of its originality, prior its release the world had seen nothing like Avatar. The film went in-depth when designing the landscapes, wildlife and ideology.
Inception is a film with an interesting plot and characters. The movie is distinct because of its narrative, it’s about a character who can steal people’s thoughts. I think that Inception is a creative film as its taking things that everyone has which is secrets and using them against us with the protagonist who is allowed access to them.
Relatively similar media projects
After looking at few independent films online I was able to find these, which are similar in my approach, meaning and plot.
imwiththemproduction (2015) The Question (Short Film About The End Of The World)
I really enjoyed watching this short film about a character who is talking to the audience about how people are spending their last days on Earth and how they coped with finding out about the approaching doomsday. The story shows the audience the different lives of people from around the world and how they come to terms with their world’s fate.
It is similar to my own idea as I also want to use the dialogue of one character to explain what has happened and how they have been affected. It done a good job of showing how the character felt using their dialogue. The things that differ from my idea though is that my character is going to be the last remaining person who is aware of their imminent fate because of their illness and they’re most likely the last remnant of humanity’s existence who is about to pass on. In addition mine is set in the aftermath what happened instead of the beginning.
In the end though I can say that this film has helped influence me in what to include in my character’s speech. From what the character would feel at the time to how they would respond/act in such situations.
Different types of Research Techniques
Doing the necessary research for my production requires information from different platforms. These are the different media platforms that I used to conduct my literature research to find the most efficient research resources for me to use.
The use of the Internet for research
As a massive source of information the internet is a place to research and find information about pretty much any subject. The Internet is home to millions of publishers who’re all from different professions and parts of the world. Researching on the Internet is good because the information is accessible for a worldwide audience. Although it’s not always credible, meaning that some of the resources are known to offer false information. Using the Internet to research should be done with caution using only credited sites. Some of the information is also editable for other users, such is Wikipedia which offers a wide range of data on 1000s of subject although they can be edited by visitors.
How I will be using the Internet
For my project I will be using the Internet to research various media. I will use websites such as YouTube and Netflix. I will use YouTube to watch videos about the theme of my production which is Post Apocalyptic. I will also be using the Internet to look at different techniques and skills which I could learn and use in my production. I will also be using the Internet to find an ambient soundtrack that will suit the environment of my productions post apocalyptic setting.
The use of TV shows for research
Television is a good platform for research in media, it can be analysed and broken down and looked at more in-depth. TV programmes are made at professional standards and so are made with precision and care. A viewer can look at a TV programme and become influenced from the way it does something and using it a similar way in their own media productions. There are TV shows for every genre out there so they’re useful for people who’re looking to learn more about the in-sight of a genre and what they audience wants to see by watching the higher ranking shows from their desired genre choice.
How I will use TV to research
I can and will be using TV shows in my research to draw influence from. The aspects of these TV shows that I will be researching is the characters’ personalities, location, clothing design and character personalities. I will be researching apocalyptic TV shows, and how they portray their world and use it to influence ideas for my own work.
One of the shows that I want to research is the popular zombie show The Walking Dead. This show is already a major influence on the directional approach for my extended project and researching it further I will be able to learn more about it other shows alike. What I want to look at about the show is the environment, how it from modern to a harsh wasteland. I want to know this so I can get an idea of what my location would look like relative to this show.
Using film to research
Like TV, film can be used as research in the same way. There are old films, new films and films for lots of different people to enjoy. So films similar to what I want to produce would be good to look at for influence on developing my idea and narrative. Short and Indie films can also be observed for research using YouTube or Vimeo. Films are a good source to watch to draw ideas from such as famous scenes, lighting techniques and angles which I could use in my project.
How I will research using films
I will be watching a few selected movies so that I can look at different lighting, sound and camera techniques which I think will be good in my production. I will also be looking at the editing in horror films and see if they would work in my own production.
An example of the kind of films I will be researching and that influence my own production is Will Smith’s I Am Legend.
This is a movie I have a desire in researching because the atmosphere of the movie has influenced what I want to show in my own project. I won’t be analysing the whole movie, more specificly parts that I feel will help me with my idea. One of these is the script, I really liked the dialogue in this movie as it was very deep and well written. I feel that especially the dialogue from the protagonist Robert Neville (Will Smith) has a reflection on what my character would be feeling as they’re both in very similar situations of being the last remaining humans.
Books and graphic novels
How books can be used to research
Books are made up of research and have been used for thousands of generations. Books are good to study and learn new things. I could a factual book on the genre of my film and I will learn more about it from reading and studying this literature text. Books offer Biographies into the minds of many famous Directors and producers who have written and shared their own thoughts and experiences and this is great information available from reading books, learning how things are done and how they improved upon.
How I will use Graphic Novels for research
A lot of my influence for my project idea is drawn from comic books. As a reader it has influenced a majority of my idea with things I like from graphic novels, using and experimenting them with some of my own ideas. For example one of my themes, Loneliness. Draws a lot of influence from a graphic novel called Hulk: The End. Which I will explain more about in my research.
Gaming is something that I have enjoyed in my spare time since I was a child and has stuck to me till this day. Because of this, some of these games (my favourite ones) influence my ideas and what I what to create. This case has affected my idea and influence parts of my narrative.
How I can use video-games to research
I will be researching and drawing ideas from video-games. particularly the character’s and soundtracks used in these games. One of the games I want to focus on is the called The Last of Us by Naughty Dog as it follows a similar route that I want to take featuring great character’s and realistic settings.
Task 2: Research Questions/Design
The intent of my Extended Project
The intention of this project is to use and display what I have learnt and developed on throughout the previous months. I have planned what I want to do in this project so that it will allow me to do a variety of skills from camerawork and sound to editing. The more personal intention of my extended project is to experiment with my idea that I’ve formulated and to bring my audience in a true-to-life atmospheric experience by using convincing dialogue, ambient sound and to garnish it with little yet noticeable touches to bring my project to life.
The Aims and Objectives
Experimentation: With this project one of my objectives is to be able to successfully experiment with my ideas and to be able to make them work in the scene. I will do this by looking and analysing media content similar to mine and drawing inspiration to how they showcased their ideas through their products.
Display of skills: One of my aims for this project is to be able show my skill in a visually practical way and to be able to show how I far I have developed them from the beginning till now. I will be able to achieve this by using a range of skills and knowledge that I have developed in this year from microphones, cameras and editing. Doing a wider range of tasks will also push me out my comfort zone allowing me to grow stronger in my individual skills.
Presenting with realism: For this project I want a true to life representation for both the visuals and especially on my sound/dialogue. I will do this by adding extra detail when editing with my sound. For example I want to tell the audience that the character is completely alone, isolated and cold so I will have a constant wind ambient in the background to tell the audience that outside is dead, lonely and cold. I put effect in my character’s dialogue i.e have them cough a few times throughout their dialogue and change their tone of voice when their emotion changes.
The key characteristics of my project
To be able to produce an effective research plan I first must evaluate and conclude on what my interests and intentions are for this project. To do this I must ask myself, What do I want to find out?
Here I will be explaining the research design for my Extended Project. I will start with research questions and then with a description of the research design. After, I will be explaining the methods I will use to research.
Methods of Research
These are the variety of methods that I will be using to conduct my research and find answers to what I’m looking for.
Simply just watching TV shows and films that are related to my extended project idea will vastly influence my development and progression on different factors of my films. For example while observing characters from The Walking Dead (2010) I can draw see what kind of clothing that apocalyptic survivors would be wearing and can use this knowledge when designing what my character will be wearing.
An important thing for me to do if I want to test myself. Experimentation is good for confirming things, seeing whether a shot or sound works together for example. Experimenting also enables you to be able to work out editing techniques, practise them and see if they’ll fit in with your film or not. All before post production begins.
An online questionnaire is a good way to find out the opinions and views of other people. I could submit a questionnaire and share on social media using Facebook and Twitter. Asking friends, family and people around my target audience using dedicated websites such as SurveyMonkey or SmartSurvey. Doing this will allow me to find out what people like to see and their views on my project’s idea and how I could change parts to make it better.
I can contact numerous artists, companies and film studios via social media asking them their opinion on my idea and how I could improve on it. It doesn’t matter if I get ignored by some as others will definitely give me an answer. Also this will be effortless to do due to the accessibility of social media and instant communication I will be able to contact 100s.
Using technology such as smartphones to do things on the go like researching, finding possible shooting locations using Google Maps and taking pictures of possible locations.
Location Recces are good as they will allow me to plot and plan/visit and locations that I find my be a good place to shoot my film. Researching desired or locations I am interested in possibly using I could find out key facts i.e if I need to contact the owners. . If is suitable/safe and will I be able shoot their in a practical manner of speaking.
I can hold interviews on people. Interviewing people who fit my target audience to find things they like to see including opinions, preferences and dislikes. Recording vox pox (Voice of the people)
My target audience are individuals aged between 16 – 24. This is because the subject matter of my production is only understandable by older people unlike children who likely wouldn’t understand what I’m trying to portray in my project. My project is aimed towards people who like stories that slowly unravel as the film progresses.
Skills & Technique
Here I will be discussing the numerous skill and techniques that I will need to research and how I will go about doing this research.
For this project, my location setting is darker than what I’ve worked with before. I need to learn how to film in darker environments and about the functions on the camera I would have to adjust the camera to fit the locations lighting.
Framing & Composition
I want to learn new framing methods that I think might make my film better. Different angles, heights and distances. I can find new framing and composition methods on YouTube and can also use YouTube to watch tutorials on how to do them correctly and train myself.
Sound is an important element in my project, especially dialogue. This is one of my main focuses during the planning. I am going to be recording dialogue and so I want to know the best way to record it on a professional level. So to educate myself on recording dialogue at a professional level I will research it looking at sources like YouTube, the BBC and could also contact people with experience for advice and other sources I could check out.
I will need to use a shotgun microphone as I’m only recording dialogue and my ambient track is coming from YouTube. Although I have used this microphone various times before. That was at a amateur level. I want my standard to be near, if not professional. So I will be doing research to learn how to get the sound quality up to Film/TV standard.
I need to know the correct levels to use when recording my sound, my location may have a broad interior so I will have to do some practises using the microphone in my planned location before filming so I now what the best levels are to use for optimal quality and clarity.
Editing is another key skill that I will need to use to bring it all together at the end. I am decent at editing already and will need to learn more before editing my film. To make it look professional standards I will have to make the transitions and effects tight and smooth with minimal error. To do this will require research to learn about which transitions and effects I want to use in my film, planning to know how it will all go together. And I will also need to research further about the editing software I will be using the get the most out of it.
I am going to be the Director for my extended project. Making sure that everything goes the way I want it to and that I am able to create what I was planning to. This is actually rather useful because of it being my idea, story and project I am in charge and get to decide how it goes. I’m going to be able to create my written script into live action film the ideal way I intended it to be.
After production my film is going to need editing and put together with the transitions and effects I plan to use. I will be the editor for my film so I will know where everything needs to go. I am going to be very stuck in with my editing as I want my final product to look at a near professional standard. I am going to be conducting research finding out things like, specific techniques, transitions and effects that I want to use in my film. I’m also going to have to practise with the editing software that I will be using which is Avid Media Composer so that I can familiarise myself with, making editing a little easier.
For this project I am going to be the producer, meaning I am responsible for everything in Pre-production from finding a location, selecting and actor and finding necessary equipment. I am going to be precise when looking for suitable locations to shoot at. I will also need to do research about any permits/permissions I may need to film or use something.
Publisher and Distributor
I will be the one to publish my final piece. I will use YouTube to upload it to the internet. When it’s there I will then be able to share on popular media sites and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. I want my upload to look professional so I will have to think of a unique title and how to display my film including thumbnail. All these are important to me and things that I will be working on. To make my video look at professional as possible I will also have to focus on getting the necessary output resolution.
To be able to shoot my scenes at professional standard I am going to have work hard when doing my cinematography. Knowing all the frames and compositions I want to use and by assuring that the lighting is correct throughout each shot. I will have to jeep in mind when shooting that I want to maintain the realism of the character’s well being and their environment.
I am going to need an actor who will be sitting in my shots. They don’t have to be that experienced and this will likely be one of my friends of family members doing this for me. Although my character’s costume will be normal clothing but with holes, rags and dirt on them. I also may need a voice actor (this is if my actor isn’t good at verbal acting). For this I have considered looking for someone good to do it or even doing it myself.
Something that I really need to consider is the availability. This includes the availability of both the equipment and actor.
I need to be able to have an effective form on instant communication with my actor. I will use phone contact. Facebook, Instagram etc. The more I use will narrow down the possibilities of them missing my messages. Instant communication is necessary to be able to keep them updated and in the known of what locations are being used and more.
I will also have to plan with my known availability and plan in advance, finding a place reachable for both me and my actor and plotting a time and date where we are all available.
As I said before, because this being a student production I won’t have any funding unless I decide to spend my own money which still is not enough to really improve on anything. I an going to be making the most out of what I have. Although I can say that I will be using my money to purchase desired clothing for my actor to wear.
I will need to produce Location Recces so that I can decide which location(s) work best for me other factors about the locations including, accessibility, safety, weather, lighting and distance. These are key things to know as I either of them could badly affect my shoot or even stop me entirely. I need to know all this in advance, prior to the scheduled shooting date(s) so I know when the best time to go there is.
I will need to consider the possibilities of having to contact the owners and requesting permission to shoot there. I will also take and collect pictures of the locations I am interested in so I can reference back to them later.
Health and Safety
Prior production it is important that do this. I have to make sure that everything is safe and precautions are made before production begins. There are several approaches to doing this, some better than others.
For my location I will be doing a Risk Assessment to ensure that my chosen location is safe to shoot at. I will do this by creating a document which lists all of the potential risks and dangers from the location. This document will also include a strategy of how to combat these issues where they to arise.
I will be gathering all the information detailed above by visiting the location myself and recording my finds. Including detailed analysis of these risks and taking pictures where necessary. I will need to check if I need permission before doing any of this however.
Visualising my idea
This is a good way to recollect on my thoughts and ideas and finalise them visually. I will do this by creating documented descriptions of my story, it’s purpose and summarising it. I will also be producing a detailed storyboard to solidify my overall aim so I know what I want to produce in the end. I will include shots, angles, frames, techniques and more when producing my storyboard. The more detailed, the better.
This is a part of the storyboard that I produced when planning my Hello Project. I want to do it like this but including a lot more detail. I am going to be putting a lot more work into my storyboards this time as I find they will be crucial to me in times of shooting to make sure that I’m following as I had planned to do and don’t go off-road.
I don’t require any props for my production as my character will just be sitting and talking throughout my film. Although I am open to the possibility of changing when I do begin planning, changing and finalising my idea.
A breakdown of what I will be covering when planning for my production
I will need to document all the hardware and equipment I will need for production. I will do this by producing a check list and tick off items after they’re obtained/confirmed. This will be easier and smarter than simply just trying to remember them. The equipment I need for production is lighting, camera, Sound (shotgun microphone) and a suitable camera for editing, although that’s post production equipment.
Producing production schedules for the best times to suit me and the actor so that we can shoot without any hiccups. We will also know what we are to be doing each day by producing this schedule and sticking to the planned dates and times.
Techniques for production
I want use a variety of camera techniques in my production, learning new ones and developing on the ones I already know. To do this I will have to research and teach myself how to do them. I could do this by searching by reading about camera techniques in articles or online. When I find ones I like I could watch tutorials of how to do them on YouTube and then practise them myself. Although I will have be realistic in knowing what techniques I will be able to do correctly and not go over board trying things that will make my production look sloppy without a lot of experience on them.
The post production is not only about the editing as much as it is about distribution methods of my film and how to approach doing so.
I am going to be focusing hard when editing, I want my film to look professional. To do this will require hard work and focus. I want to try different editing approaches and introducing myself to new editing techniques that I want to incorporate in my film. I want my film to transition smoothly and the colours to be a good quality. To be able to achieve these results I will train myself both during and prior editing. By watching YouTube tutorials asking for advice on video editing forums. I will also need consistant practise with the techniques I want to use, doing the practise with different material each time will mix up it up and give me more experience when it comes to actually doing it in my production.
Distribution is important to me as every other element. I need to think of good ways and places that will get my film some attention. I think I will approach this by reading about various video hosting websites, the popular ones. Reading about which ones are best for uploading and sharing media products. Then I will be able to round of my selection until I decide which will work best. Although taking this into consideration I will be by default uploading my FMP to my YouTube channel so it’s accessible along with my previously uploaded projects/work.
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