Final Major Project – My Contribution

Individual Log.

In the meetings leading up to the filming of our FMP we took minutes, we all took turns taking the minutes. In these meetings we decided who would be doing what and when it would all happen. It was established that I would direct, do cinematography, write the screenplay (from someone else’s story), be script supervisor and editor.

In each meeting we discussed possible plot points, filming locations and production names, we all eventually agreed on my idea for a production name of “Sting Productions”.

We decided that, although someone else in the group would write the story, I would adapt it for screen and write the screenplay for the film.

Once someone else in the group had scouted a location, I went over there with the location scout to see if the location was okay and how each scene we planned on filming there could actually be shot, while there I even found a good place for the final scene to be shot that the location scout actually missed.

Before w could start filming we had to put together mood board and get feedback to see what people thought about our idea in this process we all put in an equal amount of effort in making the board.

On the morning of June 10th, we started filming. It was our first day filming and we started with the last scene of the film. As the director, I did my part, but I was also acting in it and being script supervisor.

On day two we shot the first scene along with the penultimate episode, as I wasn’t in this scene I found it much easier to get involved as a director, I also acted as cinematographer, I was in charge of everything as director, this included stuff like the actors, lighting (which was included in my duties as a cinematographer)

Day three we filmed the remaining scenes, this made up the middle part of the film of the film along with the voice over, as director I oversaw it all and for a couple shots also acted as cameraman.

We edited our footage everyday but it received more focus when we finished filming, we all helped edit and I oversaw it all as director, but I was also one of the main two editors.

Main Methods and Techniques Used in Marketing and PR

1. Media Availabilities
This means making yourself available for speaking to the media, for example, if there’s an important issue relating to that may affect your business and you’ve got an opinion on it, you talk to the media. You can also ensure your press release has a strong news angle and targets the right publications and beat reporters.
2. Monthly Columns
Writing monthly columns for a local newsletter or mainstream publication will help increase your visibility and establish your reputation in your area of business and can often serve as the backbone if your marketing strategy.
3. Seminars/Lectures/Networking Events
Speaking at seminars and offering lectures or workshops will also help you expand your professional network, increase your visibility and build your personal brand. Attending networking events will help you connect with prospects. Despite the growth of social networking and virtual communication, building relationships through face-t-face networking is one traditional marketing technique that will never go out of style.
4. Traditional Advertising
Among traditional advertising tools, you could also consider advertising in daily newspapers and speciality publications. Through television advertising you can target niche markets or demographics with special programming. This offers you the advantage of reaching a larger audience at a lower production cost.
5. Online Advertising
With more people spending more time on the web, online advertising offers great opportunities for reaching your target audience. Google AdWords, a pay-per-click advertising programme, allows you to target your ad based on keywords people type in the Google search engine. You pay Google a certain cost per click whenever people click on your ad and visit your website. – And not how often your ad is shown. You can also buy pay-per-click ads on Facebook or LinkedIn, targeting your ad based on demographic criteria such as age, gender, education, profession, geography, etc.
6. Web Marketing
Your website is one of the first impressions people will get of your business, so it’s important to plan carefully what your site is going to look like and include, keeping in mind your target audience. Most organisations, regardless of size, have websites now but most ignore the importance of using search engine optimisation (SEO) to ensure that their site is easily found when people look for them online. Using on-page and off-page SEO techniques, you can improve the volume or quality of traffic to your site from search engines; the higher the site ranks in search results, the more traffic it usually receives from search engines.
7. Social Media Marketing
Before the growth of social media, most businesses needed to either buy expensive advertising or receive media coverage to attract the attention of their customers. Using social media tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can easily network and connect directly with potential clients and deliver information about your services. Social media can also be used for driving people back to your website by posting your latest events, company news or even informative articles of issues that may serve as a useful resource for your target audience. 
8. Newsletters
Newsletters, whether printed or sent through email, can be useful for delivering relevant information to your target audience and keeping them updated on your organization’s services or recent events. E-newsletters are especially helpful for generating leads through email programmes; you can identify and track recipients who click on your e-newsletter. To convert these leads into prospects, you can then follow up with them by sending a brochure and making a follow-up phone call about your services.
9. Booklets
Creating a printed booklet or an e-book with informative articles or whitepapers on relevant issues that may be of interest and of use to your target audience is a great way to start engaging with your prospects and create an image of being a leader in your field. E-books can easily sent in a PDF through e-mail or social media. You can also make them available for download on your web site through a contact form that your prospects can fill. This will allow you to follow up with them and keep them informed about your services.
10. Direct Mail and D-Cards
Direct mail can be quite effective for localised businesses, especially if you purchase highly targeted mailing lists. If you are targeting a specific demographic profile in a particular geographic are, consider direct mail. Another recommended option for direct mail is to use detached address cards or D-cards with your advertisement printed at the back. D-Cards can be distributed through weekly publications in your local area at a very low cost. If you wan to saturate a zip code, and you are not concerned that all the residents will receive your mailer, you can use D-cards.

Creative Media Industries – Film

There are nine types of industries in media, they are: Film, Television, Music, Print, Computer Games, Advertising and Marketing, Interactive, Press and Radio. The film industry and companies like Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures make products such as films and TV shows. Warner Bros. makes some of the best-known films and shows including Friends, Batman, Superman and Inception.

Back in 1983, around 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States, however, nowadays that had been condensed to just six. In the media industry there is what’s known as “The Big Six”. This means that these six big corporations that collectively control the U.S. media. The “Six” are:

Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, News Corp., BS Corporation and NBC Universal.

These six corporations all have daughter companies, for example, Disney is the parent company of ABC, ESPN, Pixar and Lucasfilm. These sister and daughter companies are how the big six own so much, they have many large companies under their name.

Legal and ethical restraints in media are there to protect people’s names and reputations. For example:

Libel (When an unjustified attack is written, published or broadcast) is there to protect people’s names and reputations, as is slander (a verbal defamation). Without these laws, people could print and broadcast what they like about a person, be it true or not, potentially ruining their reputation, career and life.  There are also other rules the media industry must abide by, such as Watershed, which stops inappropriate content being broadcast too early in the day and Copyright, which stops people from taking the idea of others or Discrimination which makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone on grounds of sex, age, disability or ethnic origin.

When it comes to media regulation, it is largely related to Legal and Ethical restrains, but also goes into privacy. For example, the main targets of media regulation are the press, radio, and television, but does also include film, music, cable, satellite, storage and distribution technology (tapes, discs, etc), the internet, mobile phones, etc.

It basically relates to privacy. For example, the phone hackings by the News of the World would come under this section. It also relates to censorship. In that you can’t publish certain things. An example of this would be when someone requests “facts” from the president of the United States and, a lot of the time, much of the information is blacked out.

The media career ladder is an interesting one to climb. For example, most career ladders care about qualifications, for example, if you went into business with no qualifications you would probably start at the bottom and have to work your way up, but if you have a University degree you could probably start with a higher up job. But in the media industry it varies. So, say you wanted to be in the news industry, they would take note of qualifications, and possibly start you off higher up if you had the qualifications. But you could still start as someone who delivers the post and work your way up. But film is more about who and what you know. A university degree might help, not the qualification itself (though it might get you noticed) but the knowledge you’d gain from the course. But if you happen to be good friends with a well-established director but have no qualifications, that could still be extremely helpful, more so than a University graduate who doesn’t know anyone. Even if you have a mass amount of qualifications and went into film you could still start as a runner. However, if you’ve never worked behind the camera but are a well established actor, then it could still be quite easy to find a job as a director, even if you have to write the script yourself, which is another point. Hard as it may be to get a job in the industry, it could, arguably, be easier for a director than an actor (ignoring luck and chance) as actors sometimes have to go on countless auditions before they get a job, whereas a director could write the film themselves and producing and make they’re own work, even if it’s just to get a name an they don’t actually make a profit from it. They could also start a YouTube channel and make a name as a decent filmmaker on their and use that as a CV when trying to get bigger and better jobs (though this could also apply to actors to an extent too)

Part A – Take Part In An Arts Activity

In my spare time I participate with a drama arts group.  I was given the opportunity to work independently to write a play. I needed to develop my scriptwriting skills so took a workshop where I learned the layout of a script and how to structure them. I was briefly told how to produce a play, but was more or less left to do it with my group and learn from experience.

A while back, I co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in a production at a theatre club that I go to every week.

The theatre club has a few different groups based on children’s ages and puts on several shows; this particular show featured adaptions of some of Shakespeare’s plays. The younger groups were given a specific play but our group could choose a play to adapt and direct ourselves.

Although the writing of the play was a joint effort, the bulk of the script came from my co-writer and myself, with additional material from the rest of the group. The co-writers also co-directed the production. We collaborated on ideas, chose the best ones, directed the actors, took notes, thought about what we want the lights to do, and so on.

Each performance was only about five minutes, as a fair few performances had to be accommodated. The adaption I was involved in was of Romeo and Juliet, in which I played Romeo.

After the second performance of the day, there was a small award ceremony in which some people are given awards such as “Best Performance” of their age group. I won the “Most Improved Performer” award, meaning that over the course of the year, I’d improved most as an actor. I was also presented with the award for “Best Performance of the Night”, meaning that of all the actors of all the age groups, I gave the best performance; I was told that this was partially based on my ‘comedic timing’.

All in all it went well. I enjoyed the creative freedom I had as an actor, writer and director. We had to stick to the basic plot of Romeo & Juliet but could do the story and characters how we wanted. The skills I think I learned were: how to adapt a story, develop a character, manage a cast and lighting as a director.

I believe the experience helped me improve as an actor as it was the biggest show I’d been in so I tried hard to raise my game and develop my character. It also helped me to improve my organisation skills because, as the director, I had to communicate and tell people what to do and what was going on, and they all seemed to get the message. I also improved as a writer as I had to adapt a script. I’d written scripts before but this was the first time I’d adapted someone else’s work into something slightly different.

What I didn’t like about the experience was retrospect. Looking back, there are always things you wish you’d added, taken out or changed.

The main things I learnt are the three aforementioned aspects: script adaption, acting ability and organisation. But it did help me as a director, as it taught me organisational aspects as well as giving me directing experience.

I gave a good performance and according to many actors from other groups, teachers and audience members, my segment was very good and one of the best ones that day, implying that my directing, acting and/or writing was impressive.

Below are several photos of myself and cast performing the play.


Part D – Passing on an Art Skill Part Two

As part of the Arts Award, I had to pass on a skill I had learnt while at college, we could choose almost anything, such as Directing, Camera work, Animation, Acting, etc.

I decided on stop-motion animation. I worked as part of a pair, teaching a group of three first year media students. We were teaching them the time-lapse technique with a birds-eye view shot which we had also done just over a year ago. We already had a lesson plan to follow that we’d come up with a few days prior to taking the class. We started with the introductions; we introduced both ourselves, and a small bit about animation (Such as how many frames in a second.) before showing them examples of what they’ll be doing, including our work from last year.

We informed the class that they would be making an animation based around one of the four seasons and told them to think about what they want to do. One of us then took them to get some props and/or outfits while the other stayed behind and set up the tripod, camera and mac.IMG_0025 IMG_0021 IMG_0012

I gave them a brief explanation on how to use Pro Animate but answered any questions they had along the way. We gave them tips on how to improve it, for example, they’d shot a couple of frames and went back to check it and realised that it was moving much too quickly, so I told them that they’re making too big-a movements and to make smaller movements and take a picture, as oppose to what they were trying, which was to take rapid photos of actual movement. They took what I’d said on board, executed it and it worked.

Our little group chose summer and their animation features one of them on a body-board, swimming out to deeper waters, only to fall off and have to swim to the surface. We were a little unfortunate as we had trouble getting the camera to connect to the Mac, but once we did it, it was fairly smooth saving. The animation ended being about nine seconds long and worked well.

Once the animation had been shot, exported and saved, we gave out some questionnaires, asking how we did, and feedback was positive.



Part D – Passing on an Art Skill

As part of the Arts Award, I had to pass on a skill I had learnt while at college, we could choose almost anything, such as Directing, Camera work, Animation, Acting, etc.

I will be teaching Stop-Motion animation as part of a group. We, as a group will be helping some first year students with something called “Time-lapse”, which we all did in our first year at college, it involves one person lying on the floor as a camera on a tripod is held above them as they partake in the animation as the “star”.

Before we went ahead with this, we had to come up with a plan on what we were going to do:

First, we introduce animation and ourselves so that the first years can get a bit of knowledge on animation before we start while also knowing who we are so they can put a name to a face.

Next, we will show an example of what they will be doing, this ensures they know what they will be doing will possibly giving them some ideas, examples of what we could show them include our ones from last year and the Amazon Kindle advert.

We will then teach some of the basics, such as how many frames make a second (24) and some of the terminology. This gives them the basic knowledge they need to get started and do it correctly.

We will then tell them what they’ll be doing, by which I mean getting into groups and making an animation with one of their members on the floor as the subject. This gives them a clear objective to aim for. Before we start we will answer any questions they might have.

We will then get them to set everything up. This includes the camera, tripod, background, props and costume. We do this because it will show them where everything is kept and teach them how to set everything up, it will also see if they can work together in an orderly fashion.

We will teach Pro Animate along the way as it is one of those things that needs to be shown or self-taught, rather than explained. Some people also find it easier to remember things if they work it out for themselves.

We will also answer any questions they might have along the way.