My group was assigned Technologies as a media idea for this project. I personally – as I think my group also did – struggled with this project brief. We admittedly ended up presenting content of which the connection to technology is a bit feeble. Social media is driven by technology, no doubt, but we did not manage to focus our content on the technology side of things any more than a few throws to the introduction of the iphone. On top of being somewhat off topic through much of the artefact we created, we are also missing references to the research we have done. Overall, I’m not convinced the final piece related to the topic or project brief.
This I think is due to a number of things. Initially, we probably chose the wrong area to focus on, deciding to research social media in regards to the news. We then found ourselves straying away from technologies and more into institutions, focusing more on news rather than technologies. A group talk with Rachel confused all of us and took us back to square one, at which point we should have abandoned the realm of news and social media and anchored ourselves on something really technologies based. We did not do this, in fact we followed much the same path we had before, with some improvements, but not all that much closer to successfully tethering ourselves to the topic. Another talk with Rachel again took us back to square one. At this point we had shifted away from our research but no closer to ‘technologies’ . We were running out of time so we rushed a script with not a great deal of research or focus. We essentially took pockets of knowledge we had gathered and threw in a few opinions, and voila, our script. This is a pretty good synopsis all of our conceptual issues.
Let’s have a look at the artefact we created itself. The format we chose turned out to be far more work than it was worth. Doing a tv-news style report instead of a radio segment was unltimately a bad decision. First of all, news rooms have graphics departments, we do not. I have had very basic experience with photoshop, but I had neither a copy nor the time to produce the graphics that this format needed to be at a decent standard. Most of these graphics were literally created in Microsoft Powerpoint, I’m ashamed to admit. Secondly, our recording space turned out to be very noisy. As much as I tried to eliminate the noise, it would always compromise the dialogue. In retrospect, We should have used l’appelle mics instead of those mounted atop the cameras to prevent this. If all three of us (I’m probably the worst offender here) took some more time to rehearse and memorise our lines we could have saved some time and made the final recordings look and sound more professional. Also, If we had had a director/camera operator instead of putting all three of us in front of running cameras we could have ensured zoe was appropriately framed at all times which was unfortunately not the case.
In regards to editing the film, there were no major issues but there is some significant planning that could have been done to make the process easier. Having a director/camera operator would’ve allowed us to break up the takes, maybe labeling the takes at the opening of each shot, would mean that it would be easier to identify the best take, and find the section I am looking for. The way we did the shoot involved sitting in front of rolling cameras for 10-20 minute takes (my idea) which turned out to be very time intensive in the editing process.
Overall I think the group made a bad decision early and we never decided to abandon a bad topic. I think the delegation and execution of responsibilities could have been more efficient. If we played to our strengths instead of trying to split it all evenly I think we could have created something more thought out and better executed. I’m treating this project brief as a very valuable learning experience. In my opinion, a lot of what can go wrong did and I now have some ideas on how to avoid the same issues appearing in future group and individual assignments.