I highly commend the web page 'Nine top tips for Media students'. From the people behind theory.org.uk, its worth a read!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Blogging on 'the journey'

Below I break down the ten steps involved in your journey:

  1. Initial research into the conventions of the formats and the music industry
  2. Apply this and initial genre research to develop and pitch an idea; possibly form groups; revise the idea following feedback/collaboration
  3. Genre specific research, and audience research/analysis. It is CRUCIAL that you keep making reference to research (format, genre, industry, audience) throughout the process right up to the point of final cuts.
  4. Pre-production: casting, costume, props, make-up (clear evidenced reference to your research into existing examples is crucial); location scouting; sample/test shoots - audience feedback, reflection; updates on the idea as it evolves; storyboarding, timed lyric sheets; possibly trying dance choreography; setting up social media profiles. Clarify the final idea, and storyboard this. Begin regular/frequent short podcasts. For website, list the planned top links, and sketch out layout ideas - also sketch out digipak layout and embed sample images/influences (it doesn't matter if drawing is very rough, proportion, placing and text are what you're after; pen and paper are fine - computer-based 'sketches' tend to end up being drafts rather than sketches).
  5. Practice exercises: what you did (camera operation, direction, producing, editing), level of planning, your specific role; technology used and what you learned from this - what will you apply to your full video shoot
  6. Summaries: This is really part of the previous steps but worth highlighting. For anything you've done multiple posts on (the idea; conventions research; etc) look back and post a clear summary if you haven't already. You are looking not just to sum up your findings but also what and how you intend to apply to your production. Update links lists. You can re-post these with additional updates (or add to these posts) as you go - very useful to help you quickly find what you'll need for the Evaluation questions.
  7. Production: storyboards/shot lists for each shoot, call sheets; production schedule (and updates); 'rushes'/clips from shoots (useful to post on social media too); reflection on how the shoot went - if any problems, make it clear how you dealt with these (if postponement, state so and post production schedule update). Evidence directing of cast. If in a group, across the production make sure there is firm evidence of each of you carrying out each role (direct, camera, producer [call sheets, props, costume, organise cast]). Be explicit on any coverage taken (extra shots, new ideas that weren't storyboarded). Be clear on how and why the idea evolved. Be very clear - repetition is fine; better to repeat a point than to lose credit for it - on the research elements (including into industry, not just from videos/digipaks/websites)
  8. Initial rough cut/s, audience feedback: test your footage, test your ideas. If necessary, organise reshoots. As always be clear on what; why ... and when.
  9. Post-production: the main editing stage, shoots/reshoots essentially finished. Keep logging technology (editing tools, social media profile creating + updating etc) as you use them: screenshots, screen recording (use QuickTime). DON'T wait until you've got near-complete cuts/designs, post samples; alternative edits/designs (eg fonts, images, layouts) of scenes/parts of site/digipak. Seek audience feedback on every sample/rough cut/design experiment AND reflect on the results. Splitscreen or shot-in-shot alternative edits of short sequences/design elements are a good idea. Be clear what you're asking an audience to reflect on. Make an effort to post on genre/fan sites/groups. If in a group, identify when YOU are the editor. Keep making reference to your target audience; the intended preferred reading (semiotics); your audience + mode of address. Use a clear numbering and naming system for posts and cuts. Always include clear contextual detail in posts with video, and in the YouTube description - if your videos are set to unlisted, then you could screenshot the YouTube info and tagging.
  10. Evaluation. Important you use to rehearse arguments and apply theory you might use in the exam. Also use to improve and develop past posts where you are now more familiar with terms and concepts (or have simply gathered material that would be useful as part of research and planning evidence.

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