Unit 9: Evaluation

Reflection on creative solutions in terms of chosen media 

My chosen media was relatively successful I feel in creating an effective means to present the theme of education to my intended audience. While I did suffer minor set backs in my planning development I felt I handled these well and adapted based on peer feedback and personal evaluation.

Over the course of this project my products have changed and developed significantly. Initially I began by intending my article to be singular and based around an existing publication. For this I chose the i. However, after looking further into the i’s demographics and decided this would not work well for my project. I therefore went on to look into the Independent’s demographic who are more suited to students due to their online presence since having cancelled their physical publication. Since they own the Indy 100 site (which presents the news in a summary format for students) I felt they would be more suited for this project. They also have both a gaming and education subsection on their website where my article would be more relevant than it would for the i.

I felt this was the best decision and showed good judgment and analysis skills on my part.By researching into my chosen format I was able to apply both research and analysis skills which positively impacted my final project by giving me a better idea of source material to based my articles on.

However, it was then brought to my attention, through tutor feedback, that while my article was well written the traditional written style of journalism may not impact students as I had first anticipated. Taking this into account I wrote the second version of the article which was more colloquial in tone and more conversational. Through peer feedback I learned that this one appealed more so to them than my original. As my class fall into the target demographic I feel this was a good way to get feedback in a way that would benefit my article.

After discussions with my tutor as well as several peers I felt it the article would be best suited to be presented along with the original which a title board to prompt the audience to think about how both articles read. This makes the articles suit the overall setting of an exhibition more so a singular written article. I feel this is a very effective means to present this media in terms of the context in which it is to be viewed. It prompts the audience to re-read and compare the pieces to see how traditional journalism and more modern writing forms differ in their wording and presentation of information and tone.

This is a good example of my use of creative solutions throughout the project as it was more of a journey then just following a simple plan set out by myself. This adaptability has been of great credit to me during this project and will serve me well going forward into my final major project. As my articles have been informed by a specific existing publication (The Independent website) I know that my work will successfully emulate the characteristics of this specific form of media. Due to my extensive research into both the subject matter and understanding of the topic I have been able to create a piece of writing that emulates the chosen media format of an article in an appropriate and professional way.

With my Spoken word I experience very few issues with its creation. However, much like the articles this was a very iterative process. My initial first draft (which has previous been uploaded and evaluated separately) was far from what the final product became. While I had always intended to create an audio piece the spoken word itself has been changed multiple times. The second draft (which was a complete rewrite with the inclusion of a few lines and elements from the first draft) was a much more effective piece of prose. I feel like this was impacted due to between the first draft and the second I did more primary research into the demographic’s experiences with education. My product when in comparison with profession examples of Spoken word (which I analysed extensively in my research and pre-production document) is of similar quality and is influenced by several of the examples looked at. The pacing tone and layout of my prose was influenced heavily by these professional examples. This proved very useful for giving direction to my contact.

In terms of the quality of the final product of the spoken word I am very pleased with it’s professional sounding nature and have received a lot of positive feedback from peers and my tutor. When compared to professional examples it gives off a similar emotive response from the audience and suits the tone and pacing I have found in many examples of spoken word poetry.

I feel like a lot of the positives in terms of the performance come down to having selected a friend of mine to read the piece. This was due to him having existing knowledge and understanding of spoken word poetry. He also has access to professional recording equipment and a sound dampened room in which to record. This therefore ruled out many of the technical issues that I could have faced had I chosen to do this at college or using my own personal set up. I knew this was a good choice as he has done professional voice acting in the past and is currently in his final year of a Drama degree. Making use of this contact I feel greatly improved the quality of the poem as it allowed the reading to sound professional and have high quality audio. I did do several slight audio edits to remove slight background noise. My major input in the technical side revolved around the editing of the two readings. While the first initial reading without direction was very good I did give some input in terms of being more emotive in places. This was done very well and professionally and allowed me to take the best parts from both readings and combine parts of the two.

I feel due to all the research done I was able to create an emotive piece that reflected my experience of education without being too negative or bias. The feedback from my research really helped to give me more perspective and influenced my work heavily. It allowed me to be more introspective on my own opinions and look at my reasoning behind it which along with the show not tell technique allowed for a more compelling narrative to be told with the prose piece.

Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of my pieces and feel they will both add some diversity to a exhibition in terms of their different forms of media comparative to the traditional image based exhibitions. With the addition of the audio piece it allows for a more multimedia approach to the exhibition and this again create more diversity in order to appeal more to the audience through having different exhibits to interact with.

Strengths of the project

I feel both my products major strengths are in how extensively they were researched. Both pieces are influenced by existing material and this material was analysed in order to accurately emulate the form of media in a way that accurately portrays it. I feel this was incredibly effective and allowed for a much higher qualities pieces.

I feel another strength of this project was the iterative process of both pieces. Having altered both pieces significantly from the initial starting point allowed for my pieces to evolve in a natural way and improve drastically through this process.

A strength I am most proud of is the spoken word being of high audio quality. I feel my ability to work with another in order to create a more professional piece was of great credit to me. The performance given and the high audio quality supplied from the reading of my contact was much better than I myself could have produced. The skills applied from this in terms of communication and working with others and direction have all been vital in the creation of a very successful final product. I feel the layout of the prose making it easier to read and understand pacing and cause allowed for the reader to fully understand how I intended it to be read, hence why only moderate direction was needed.

I was very experimental with my pieces continually trying out new ideas to see which were more effective. It was through this process that I found myself editing together the two recordings for my spoken word which allowed me to have a much more professional sounding piece. However this was not always the case, such as in regards to adding music to the piece in which it detracted heavily from the piece and my tutor commented on it trying to force a specific emotive response and could be overbearing for the listener.

Weaknesses of the project

While I feel my final products were of high quality there were a few weaknesses of my project. My written articles were originally intended for the “i” and while I did effectively change my chosen publication. The main weakness here was a misunderstanding of the demographic for the i and this could have led to issues down the line in terms of tone, had this issue not been rectified it could have made my article irrelevant to the audience. In future I will be sure to be more extensive when deciding an initially publication to write for that accurately reflects my target audience.

Another weakness I found in my project is the lack of visual representation. While the written side of the articles is effective and of professional quality it is not the most visually engaging. As my second piece is an audio piece this again suffers the same problem. While both pieces are intended to create diversity it is definitely a weaknesses that they do not have more (or any) visual presence. This does not lower their quality in terms of content but does impact initially drawing in the audience. In order to improve this aspect if I were to do it again I would create a video accompanying the audio piece such as an animation or possibly live action. Originally I felt that this could detract from the piece if done incorrectly (such as the issue with the addition of music), however I now feel if done correctly in the right format it would be be a good accompaniment. With the articles I could have created layouts for both, however this would have been very time consuming and taken a lot hours in order to research and recreate them in a professional way. This would have severely affected the rest of the project due to taking time away from other aspects of the project. If I were to do the project again I would definitely look into creating layouts for the articles to visually represent the differences between the articles as well as in content.

Another weakness is the fact that I did not always take into account that this project was for a exhibition. As this was key part of my project I feel I did not prioritise this aspect appropriately during the beginning of my project. This later led to issues in terms of finding a way to make this relevant to an exhibition format. While I was able to overcome this with help from my tutor this issue I could have avoided it entirely by considering this aspect more seriously at the beginning of the project.

Reflection on learning 

In the lead up and during this project I have found that my learning has really impacted the project and has informed my personal development significantly. Through our taught input sessions I was given the chance to experience multiple different forms of media which allowed me to have a much broader understanding of different ways to present a creative solution to a brief.

Through these taught inputs I was given a lot of feedback on my creative writing work which allowed me to experiment and improve my journalistic and literary skills. Through writing tasks I was able to improve my writing skills in varying different ways and incorporate these skills into my work. These directly impacted my work through my way to create a cohesive narrative in different media formats.

It was also through these taught inputs that I was introduced to prose poetry. Out of all my work I feel that my prose work was the best and also received very positive peer and tutor feedback. It was due to this that I decided to take this forward and use prose in some capacity for my project going forward. This led to my writing the spoken word piece as a direct result of these lessons.

Not only did I learn through my taught sessions but also independently. Throughout the project I have consistently been researching and analysing industry standard examples of the media I wished to create. This directly impacted my learning through emulation of tone and writing style for the articles as well as in pace and tone for my spoken word piece.

The skills learnt during this project, such as directing an individual on a piece of work to get the desired outcome really impacted my personal development in a positive way. It allowed me to gain more confidence in communication skills and allowed me to practice them in a way which will be of great use to me in the future in industry. In the future I will be expected to work in large teams especially if I go into the field of journalism, being able to work well with others is a highly employable skill and is essential in industry.

Through this project I have mostly learnt a lot about the spoken word industry. My extensive analysis of existing material had a direct impact on my work and allowed me to emulate certain aspects to improve my piece’s overall quality. This combined with the professional recording and feedback I gained from my contact allowed me to create a much more effective final piece.

Additional skills reflection in regards to articles

Both my article pieces have been influenced heavily, in the way the article has been written and structured, by my taught input sessions. This centers mainly the idea of a hook; a way to draw the reader in and then keep them interested. In order to do this I had to come up with a way to captivate my audience from the beginning and keep that attention for the whole article. This was less challenging in regards to this project than for the traditional online or print journalism, due to the articles being created for an exhibit in which the intended audience will likely spend more time on a piece than in other circumstances. However, the hook was still vital in writing and article and for my articles was vital to change the way the hook was used. For a traditional Independent reader the hook focuses a lot around putting the article into relevance. Therefore this was important to stress how expansive the gaming industry is and how much of a vital part of the economy it is set to become. With the second version of the article the hook was more in setting up a more conversational tone in which the reader can almost relax into the article. The hooks were intentional very different and clearly aimed at different audiences and in this regard I consider them a success. This was helped by the thought process of continually asking my “who cares?” – this mentality helped to keep my articles relevant to the story and prevented going off on tangents in order to maintain the original hook.

During this project I had a lot of input in the first 25 words. Not only did I receive very clear and direct taught sessions regarding this skill set, but I also attended a lecturer at Kent University while shadowing a journalism class regarding this skill set. During my time at the university I took several stories and wrote different 25 word openings for stories. The importance of the first 25 words is to both set the tone of the piece as well as be a succinct summary. It is important for the reader to get a basic overview of the story so as to gauge there interest but also leave them wanting to read on and ask questions.

Another skill taken into account during the writing of these pieces was that of decluttering. This was a skill set all about keeping the article streamlined and removing any unnecessary information and removing words. The most effective method I found for my taught was to put parts of sentences into brackets to check whether words were necessary or not. This was information for my first article due to the short 400-500 word count. Due to the way I like to write I can be quite extensive and tend to go more in depth than necessary. By applying this skill set I could ensure my articles were written well and did not go off point or go on too long. This was helpful as it allowed me to cover more aspects of the story while remaining on track for word count. This combined with my session on word choice allowed me to keep an article relevant and audience orientated.

My word choice allowed me to not only declutter my article by finding specific words that could sum up something I’d used several words on (or in some cases an entire sentence) and streamline my article. Word choice also allowed me to show a distinct difference between the two articles and this also allows me to set the tone of the articles and give the articles a specific voice in order to have them differ vastly from each other.

Unit 9: Evaluation

Week 9: Unit 9 Progress (Greg)

Summary of work

The work completed this week was based around the editing of the spoken word. I edited the spoken word based around feedback in terms of words that were difficult to read or broke the flow for the reader. This involved a few word choice changes and the changing of a few abbreviations such as I’m to I am. I edited together the parts of the two piece that I felt were delivered the best. Through this I could keep the appropriate tone where I wished it to be. The second read through was based around direction given to my contact. I also completed two write ups of my article. One based around emulating the Independent’s writing style and the second based around keeping my intended audience in mind. This came from feedback from my tutor that while it read well it was not necessarily the most interesting read for the targeted age range to read in an exhibition. Therefore the second write up is to be used as a comparison to the first and the two will be displayed together to highlight tradition writing style for journalism when compared with other forms of written representation.

First read through of collaborator without direction

Feedback from collaborator

“Hey Scott,

Here’s the first recording of it.
Get back to me with changes, etc, whenever you like.

One thing I’ll point out is the naughts and crosses line is good but it feels and sounds weird to say/hear crosses rhymed with itself so maybe look into that?Hope you like it,

– Matt”
I then e-mailed Matt this in reply
Hi Matt, 
This was really good, you really captured what I was going for in your performance of this. I agree on the naughts an crosses line it’s something I’ve been meaning to look at.
I’ll make a few tweaks this week at college and send you the changed version. There are a few things I’d like to try with the next recording but I’ll let you know those once I’ve redrafted the piece. I could also put some notes on the document itself if that would be of use also. 
Thanks again really appreciate this.
To which he responded with:

“Hey Scott,

It’s my pleasure. I’m glad you liked the initial recording. The notes on the document itself might be pretty useful. Whatever you need to do to make sure the recording is how you like it then go for it.
I left the audio un-edited (other than removing repetitions, etc.) so you can choose to remove breaths, add or remove bass, etc.Thanks,
– Matt”

Redraft of Spoken word piece with additional direction

Click here

Week 9: Unit 9 Progress (Greg)

Week 8: Unit 9 project weekly summary (Greg)

Summary of work completed this week

Due to having completed unit 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1 for this project, I focused mainly this week on creating the first draft of my article and spoken word. Upon completely my first draft of the spoken word I then evaluated my work critically after comparing it to professional standard work. I then took this into account and redrafted the piece. I then e-mailed the second draft to my voice actor contact to receive feedback as he has done spoken word pieces in the past as well as professionally paid voice work. I have included the first drafts of the spoken word, evaluation, article draft and feedback from my contact below.

This week was very productive and I made a lot of progress towards my final pieces. The article will likely be finished next week and finalised. The spoken word piece will be edited slightly but due to positive feedback from peers and my contact I will only be making moderate structural changes and word choices.

The work I completed was of a good standard. I will likely have the final drafts off both completely next week. I will then be able to work on the audio piece for my spoken word with my contact. This will leave me with plenty of time to complete an evaluation and finish my project by my original deadline of the 16th of December.

Spoken Word Work

Article Work

Contact Feedback

“Hey Scott,

Damn this was really moving and enjoyable. I’ve already got a nice rhythm going in my head.
What I will say is don’t be afraid to abbreviate. As much as the language of poetry is very fantastical and melodic, spoken word still needs to sound in a way like a conversation of some sort. So look closely when you write “I am.” and “I’m” and decide which sounds more real and conversational.

Also, a great piece for you to listen to is To This Day by Shane Koyczan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltun92DfnPY
If this doesn’t get your creative juices flowing then nothing will.

I hope you keep working on this, it’s really great.”

Week 8: Unit 9 project weekly summary (Greg)

Week 5: Unit 9 (Script writing and skills research – Gregg)

Skills used this week

This week there was a focus on the creating of a script using prompts. We were given pieces of paper and had to all write out two distinct characters, a location and an object and then place them in a hat and they were redistributed among the class. The two characters then had to have a scripted dialogue in which they had a conflict over both wanting the object specified on the piece of paper.

We also had to write an article based around an image and use this to create a compelling 25 words. From this I then created a full brief article in which I expanded from the initial image and used it to open up more discussion and present more information.

Theme: The script we wrote had to be centred around the theme of conflict. This skill was practiced by centring the piece around a randomly object and then having to write a piece in which two characters both required the object thus generating the conflict. By the very nature of this task it focuses around writing with a direct theme in mind, this is something that I can apply to my future work for the coming project in regards to angling an article to a specific theme in mind. This is a skill I intend to use going forward with the creation of my pitch as well as the project itself in the coming weeks. This skill is widely used in the industry in order to open up discussion around a theme from how a story is reported focusing on a specific theme.

Conflict: This skill is vital for the industry. The majority of news revolves around conflict in some form or another and is an inevitability of working in the news industry. All reporters much understand the theme of conflict in order to effectively report on it. Practicing this skill will be vital for the creation of my final project for this project. I will be taking this skill forward and applying it to my next piece in terms of how to present conflict in the spoken word format while incorporating a separate theme.

Character arc: The skill of character arc was touched upon through the use of the characters interacting with one another through dialogue. This helped to show a visual representation of how the character progressed which the audience can see through their reactions and what they choose to say.

This is a also a skill I used for the newspaper article. Reporting on a character arc of a real life situation really engages the audience and helps them to engage and emphasise with what they are reading. It helps to bring home the element of humanity and causes the reader to acknowledge the people they are reading about are real. This is a technique used by many different outlets in the industry based around generating empathy and interest their readers in an article.

Dialogue: This was a skill that focused around the writing of the script. Due to the nature of a script it is entirely dialogue driven for the most part. This was a good exercise in implementing narrative purely from a vocal standpoint and tell a story through the conversation of two people. This is something I would like to take forward and apply as part of my research for my idea for my final piece for this unit. I wish to do a spoken word piece which in tone will be conversational in the style of rhyming prose, being able to write dialogue that is engaging and tells a story is vital for this.


Professional examples

Death Knocks – Woody Allen

Syria Photos article

Own examples of skills being used

First 25 words (and rest of the article)

Scripting activity

Evaluation of own work in reference to professional examples

I felt my work this week was done to a good standard. While I did initially find the concept of the scripting task quite difficult due to the unplanned nature of the piece. However, I found this was a good way to practise quick thinking and finding different ways to meet a criteria. This could be a useful skill to incorporate with my final project as well as with journalistic based articles in the future in order to find different angles for a story combining differing factors such as how I combined the different elements of the this piece to explore a theme of opposing characters and anger of the character Jane.

Theme: I feel I explored several themes almost subconsciously while writing my scripted piece. This was mostly due to the nature of the piece being created from differing factors of which I had no control and then finding a way to tie it all together into one cohesive narrative. This is a skill that will be vital in the industry in order to tie different stories together to encourage further reading and keep readers interest and to use as a springboard into other stories. I feel the theme of opposites and of conflict as a whole was well portrayed by the characters in the piece while still maintaining it’s intended comedic aspect. In this regard I took note of the above piece from Woody Allen which can be seen through lines such as “OH BRILLIANT OF ALL THE DAYS TO GET A CONSCIENCE” which I feel was directly impacted from reading the writing from Woody Allen in terms of style. This ironic kind of comedy is reflective of the example of work of Allen’s I analysed before writing the piece itself. I feel this had a direct impact in the writing and therefore also impacted on the theme. I feel considering the scenario I was given I created a good piece of work that reflects my skills as a writer and ties together nicely as a short concise narrative.

The theme of my second piece of writing in regards to the first 25 words is reflective of the continual theme of conflict in Syria and touches upon the journalistic skills I mentioned earlier. Using one image I was able to springboard from this into an article discussing how the ongoing in Syria has had a direct impact on the children in the country. I was then able to make this more relevant by supplying context to the image and give background information the purpose of the image and the photographer to slowly build a full story around this image and the journey that led to it being taken. With information slowly drip fed throughout the article (as I was taught last year) it gives the readers more reason to continue to read the article. I also broke up the first 25 words from the rest of the article using the image as it encourages readers to scroll which then scrolls more of the article into their screen which will directly impact how much of the article they will read. Not only did I apply the skills used this week but also last year to create an article that reads professionally.

Conflict: The whole point of the piece written was to reflect a theme of conflict. At the very centre of my script there is a core theme of conflict. The whole piece could not exist without the two characters wanted the used tissue for completely different (and in Jason’s case misguided) reasons. I feel due to this I have reflected conflict well and this then later extends to inner conflict such as Jason being a ghost who is alone and scared of other ghosts and Jane who has this inner conflict due to finding things difficult by being short and leading to her aggressive and confrontational nature. The scripted piece portrays a more comedic style of conflict rather than the useful expectation of conflict being quite serious and tense. The whole piece is filled with moments of humour, even the outburst from Jason is comedic in nature due to the whole reason he’s mad being due to his own incompetence due to not understanding the used tissue was just that.

The article reflects conflict in a different nature than usually expected. I took the idea of conflict and instead of discussing it from the usual angle of tension and how this will affect the world, I instead centred in on a more directly impacted area – the children. Conflict will naturally have an impact on those who grow up surrounded by it, but not necessarily in the obvious way. There is a subtly that can be looked at, such as the image of the child having a toy rocket powered grenade launcher, a much more violent toy than usually expected. By exploring this theme from this angle I am incorporating a industry skill in which I find a way to explore a story in a way others haven’t and therefore can directly aim it to a specific audience. So in this case the audience would be those who have children in their family or those who work with or have contact with children. It makes a story relevant to people who may not otherwise be interested. Also by making it more sociologically based it opens it up to even further discussion and can stem out into multiple different stories and feature pieces opening it up further.

Character arc: In both pieces I have used the skill of characters arcs in very different ways. I feel I have done this in both pieces to a high level of success. In my script the characters go through a range of emotions and, while comedic, go on a specific journey through their interactions with one another. Jason goes from shy and scared to eventually building up to lose his temper and standing up for himself becoming slightly more assertive and Jane has moments of calm and opens up slightly between bouts of anger. While this arc is limited due to the length of the piece and its comedic nature the best written scripts have moments of both comedy balanced out by moments of character progression and seriousness. A good example of this is in shows such as ‘Only Fools and Horses’ where the tone would occasionally shift in this way to give good character progression. This is also seen well in episodes of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ as whole episodes could centre around serious topic such as race and gun violence yet still balance the element of comedy and combine these two to create a well structured character arc throughout the episode.

In my article piece I focused my piece around the image as an original point to draw the reader in and then discussed children in Syria and how violence there has affected them from a sociological angle. So in this case the character of this piece in centred both around the children of Syria as well as the photographer. I detail the story of the photographer and his collection of photo’s which initiated the discussion in the article. Including this character arc and effectively reporting on it adds an element of humanity to the article, this is essential in order to keep readers attention and elicit empathy from the readers. In this case I feel I did this to an industry level standard pulling from experience gained from last years lectures and my work experience at The Canterbury Times.

Dialogue: In regards to dialogue this only mainly affects my script piece. I feel I used dialogue well in this piece to creatively portray and express a central theme and show conflict. This again delves into the area of show not tell in terms of using dialogue and how they interact to learn about the specific characters. I feel like I used dialogue to a good standard and my writing style was (as mentioned above) directly impacted by the reading of the Woody Allen piece I read before writing the piece. I feel the piece uses dialogue to good effect and shows a lot about the idea of conflict and how dialogue can cause and impact conflict and how it can even exist without anyone saying anything(such as Jane and Jason fighting over the tissue before either one say anything to the other).

Dialogue was central to the scripted piece due to the exercise itself. Without dialogue the entire piece would not work and therefore the dialogue was the most important element of this piece. This means that if the dialogue is not of good standard the entire piece will be directly impacted negatively. I felt my dialogue both showed conflict and stuck to the characterisation. There were a few occasions where I found myself rewriting certain lines to be more in character as some responses had airs of my own sarcastic nature imbued in the subtext. I had to continually refer to my prompt of the characters themselves to prevent myself from changing how I portrayed the character and not allow elements of myself to creep into the characters. By ensuring I kept this in mind I avoided this issue and stuck to the characterisation well.


Allen, W. (1968). Death Knocks. The New Yorker, p.31.

Abd, R. (2013). Image of Syrian boy playing with a toy rocket launcher. [image] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-22170300 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].

BBC News. (2013). Bearing witness to the Syrian conflict – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22342713 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].


Week 5: Unit 9 (Script writing and skills research – Gregg)

Week 4: Skills -Screenplay and filming (Gregg)

Skills used this week

This week the skills practiced were much more multimedia based than in previous weeks. Our work this week was focused around creating a short film based around the theme of loneliness. This is something I found very useful, as working with a set parameter and guidelines of what to create while still being given creative freedom, is something that is expected of all journalists and writers in the industry.

Working as a group: One of the most important aspects of this week’s work was to work together as a team in the creative process. This is something I have had little experience with as I am usually working on projects by myself with little to no input from others. This is something I found incredibly useful as not only did it allow me to discuss my ideas and therefore develop them further, but also take on board ideas I had not considered and apply them to the project.

The main way I found this impacting the work was through the generating of ideas. I initially had a basic idea of a script around a person being ignored and slowly disappearing as they were unnoticed by people around them. This mainly  was based around my interest in video editing as I felt this would be a good challenge for myself. However, upon discussion with my group we combined this with another of my group’s idea of it having a narrative based around friends. This eventually evolved into a narrative about a boy being dumped by his girlfriend and how his brain was reacting to this idea of being alone in his head. We discussed how we would portray this bouncing ideas around with each other and taking notes until a fully formed idea was created. Everyone in the group had something to offer from idea generation and creating a narrative to another person creating a story board of which to follow to make the filming easier. My own personal input was more from a directors point of view as I had an idea of how I felt the shots should look and how I could then edit this. For this reason I also edited the piece.

Scripting/ idea outline: As discussed above my group worked together in order to generate and create an idea that eventually evolved into the final product. While one of our group worked on creating the story board myself and another from my group worked on writing of a formal script. This was informed using a script writing guide. As the piece was silent it was relatively short since we were limited to 5 words of dialogue maximum. In order to get around this we used the idea of texting and notes stuck onto a white board to portray inner monologue.

Filming: The filming process itself was relatively simple and easy, we were given an additional team member to work with due to them being absent the day before. I explained how we wished the shots to be done and showed them how each different shot would look ideally. This was made much easier with the help of the script and story board.

Creating a written piece: Using the video we were then expected to write a piece of around 300 words. I originally did this as a monologue. However after tutor feedback I was informed that it may not have had the impact I was looking for. It was suggested I then take the opening paragraph and elaborate on it more and use it as a springboard into a discussion of loneliness in the style of a journalistic feature piece. I therefore looked into some background information regarding loneliness and its link with mental illness. I then used this combined with my own experiences to write a personal account in a journalistic style of my struggle with mental illness when I was younger and how loneliness impacted on this.

Professional examples


Own example of skills being used

Screen writing

screenplay-week-4-greg (Writersstore.com, 2016)

Story Board

photo (2).jpg


Loneliness written piece – Mr Nobody

Benches are a lot less comfortable when you sit on them in isolation. There’s something about it, it suddenly feels less comforting, and harder. It goes from a place to relax to just watching people walking past you, not noticing you. Until you start crying, then they take a slight detour around you like there’s this bubble of emotional instability they have to stay out of.

But by this point, you’re disassociating from reality anyway. You just replay the events leading up to the bench; all the signs that you’re about to be abandoned. The excuses, the cancelling of plans and the break up is always a pretty obvious sign that things aren’t working. You travel further and further inside your own head. Worthless, pathetic, useless. You crawl further into the grey. Waste of space, waste of time and a waste of a person. You start falling as the ground splits around you and swallows you in the realisation of how you aren’t good enough. And you start to fall. And fall. And fall. Further and further into the black until you’re so far down you can’t see how you got down there in the first place. Then you just sit there, and you accept that this black pit is just an empty bench with Nobody sitting on it. Solitary and completely forgettable. Slowly you start to disappear until there’s nothing left. You become a shell, hollow and empty. Filled with the black empty nothingness. The tears dry up and your skin becomes sand, course and fragmented. Until one day the wind picks up and you just blow away scattered in the wind. With no one left who cares enough to remember you. And even if there were you’re already gone, but there isn’t a you anymore, there was Nobody and he’s gone too. Farewell, no one will miss you.

Nobody Journalistic style piece

Benches are a lot less comfortable when you sit on them in isolation. There’s something about it, it suddenly feels less comforting, and harder. It goes from a place to relax to just watching people walking past you, not noticing you. Until you start crying, then they take a slight detour around you like there’s this bubble of emotional instability they have to stay out of.

A sense of being alone is something many of this generation’s youth face everyday. With a constant bombardment of billboards and songs about how to look and act creating this perpetual isolation. This loneliness can then manifest itself in causing the brain to function differently. Loneliness causes the brain to be in a constant defensive state often becoming defensive despite no actual threat. This can then result in lashing out at those who wish to help causing further separation.

My own personal experience has been a prime example of the affect loneliness can have on ones subconscious. After an extended period of time being ridiculed and berated by my peers at a young age in school I began to separate myself from human contact. I would hide in the toilets, in the part of the school no one liked enough to venture to. It was here I would sit for 45 minutes in silent isolation everyday 5 days a week. When I returned home I would go and do my homework and then go onto the computer until I was told to go to bed. While I have now improved considerably, I often find myself in a state of unrest and discomfort when unable to spend ample time alone. My ability to rationalise and understand human interaction was vastly stunted and as a result it took me from the ages of 17-20 to learn how to appropriately make conversation.

Loneliness has a tendency to manifest itself in long term mental health issues in many people, causing anxiety, disassociation and depression.

Loneliness can be much more common among the older generations. With cases of elderly people calling the emergency services purely to hear the sound of someone’s voice. In one such case An elderly man called into a radio station to talk about how he missed his late wife.

(Richards, 2016)

Evaluation of own work in reference to professional examples

Short film: 

I am very pleased with the final product of the short film produced this week. I have received very positive feedback from both my lecturer and peers regarding this. The aspect that was picked out primarily was the use of editing to set the tone of the piece. Such as the use of less colour when inside the boyfriend’s head while he is upset and putting the notes on the board. This effect is then no longer present once he has received the text from a friend to show his mood (as well as the screen) has brightened. I feel this set the tone for the piece well and showed the character’s emotion in a visual way rather than stating it and is a good example ‘show don’t tell’, a skill I have practiced extensively over the past few weeks.

In regards to a comparison with the professional examples showed I feel it stands up well from a filming standpoint and a narrative. The narrative is both clear and well executed using the editing to help show it and tie it together rather than carry the whole of the piece. Such as seen in the black hole short film, there is very skillful editing however the piece itself is not solely driven by this, it is the characteristics and attitude of the character that makes the piece impact the viewer.

While our piece does suffer from a quality standpoint due to a lack of time to film and likely less professional equipment (such as our tripod being quite stiff causing issues with panning shots) I feel this is something that would be easily avoided in the industry due to a longer time frame and likely a larger creative team.

I feel our piece was very effective as telling a story and using this to deliver a message without the use of words. This is something both Cargo and The Black Hole do well through actions speaking louder than words in the films. For example the father getting the balloon for the child and taking the time to make them smile despite knowing his fate, and The Black Hole showing the character well as the first action he takes upon discovering the black hole is to steal chocolate bars. Our piece showed the internal difficulty of someone trying to cope with loneliness and how a friend showing concern can help lift the mood and bring them out of there own head. This combined with the final hanging shot of the Yes written below the initial questions gives just as much impact as either of the professional examples. I feel with more time and better equipment we could have made a longer piece that would rival the two professional examples.


While I did enjoy my first piece of writing it was coming more from my personal experience at the time rather than using the initial video as a prompt past the first paragraph. Due to this I opted to write a second piece from a more journalistic point of view, taking my personal feelings but presenting them in a completely different style. This allowed to set a different tone which I feel would give the readers a more human element through my own personal experience.

I do feel it is not my strongest piece of writing as I found myself with little idea of how to approach the subject matter and turn the video piece into something I could springboard off of. Therefore I feel that the first piece of writing, which for all intents and purposes became a stream of consciousness, allowed me to clear my head and focus on a more journalistic piece. This is a skill I have reflected upon in previous blog posts in order to deal with writer’s block. In this case it allowed me to bridge the gap from a video to a more journalistic piece, going from fictional short film to a stream of consciousness and then taking that and re-purposing it for what I had set out to do originally.

When writing I found it helpful to set myself specific time based deadlines, as this not only gave me motivation to beat the challenge I set myself but also helps to prepare myself for the demands of the industry in which deadlines are vital. This also helped to ensure focus and cause myself to self motivate despite distractions.

How to apply these to future projects:

Taking these skills forward in my project I feel the best was to incorporate my final pieces for my project for this term would be to write something creative such as a spoken word piece. This allows me to explore multimedia through audio and potentially video as well as tackle a form of poetry which I often enjoy doing in my spare time. I feel combining these for a theme based around education would also allow me to write a journalistic piece also or perhaps another style of narrative as each persons experience of education is different and personal.


Writersstore.com. (2016). How to Write a Screenplay: Script Writing Example & Screenwriting Tips | WritersStore.com. [online] Available at: https://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-toscriptwriting/ [Accessed 20 Oct. 2016].

TROPFEST, (2013). Cargo – Short Film. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gryenlQKTbE [Accessed 20 Oct. 2016].

Future Shorts, (2008). The Black Hole – Short Film. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLEv1DPaINTKsHCwDWH-mnAD7T9ddwwEUT&v=P5_Msrdg3Hk [Accessed 20 Oct. 2016].

Nolan, J., Nolan, C. and Goyer, D. (n.d.). The Dark Knight Screenplay. [online] Available at: https://stephenfollows.com/resource-docs/scripts/dark_knight._The_.pdf [Accessed 20 Oct. 2016].

Richards, V. (2016). This is what loneliness does to your brain. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/loneliness-makes-your-brain-work-differently-study-shows-a6732056.html [Accessed 20 Oct. 2016].

Week 4: Skills -Screenplay and filming (Gregg)

Week 3: Skills

Skills used this week

The skills focused on this week related to the understanding of genre and how best to portray this, perspective and point of view and how this impacts the writing process and knowing your target audience.

Firstly we began by writing a piece about water based on an extract from “The Looking Glass” by Michele Roberts. We used this writing to inspire our piece focusing on any body of water of our choosing. For this I first wrote from the perspective of a young boy who was very unimpressed by the water, using sarcasm to describe the scene. I felt this showed the scene in a different way than the usual expected lenghty descriptions, with a target audience of younger readers in mind (again taking from the writing style of John Green, in his book ‘The Fault in Our Stars’). After this I wrote a second piece from an entirely third person perspective trying to give the water a personality; I described it as caring and maternal. In this sence I got the opportunity to both experiment with target audience and how perspective can be used to target specific audiences. I felt this exercise was of great benefit and can be equally applied to journalism through what facts and which ‘character’ to follow in a story to target a different demographic.

After this we did an exercise were we had to write from the perspective of an animal or object; we had to give personality to something unusual. In this case I chose a pillow. I orginally tried to replicate the prose poem style, but while writing I found it took form more as a letter. I used satire and sarcasm to target this at more literary minded readers as well as those with an interest in more humourous literature. I applied the idea of ‘show not tell’ heavily with this piece. The piece says more about Steve through the opinion of his pillow that it would simply being told by the character themselves or a third person description. A pillow sees you in your bedroom when most people are most vulnerable and so I tried to explore the idea of this pillow growing bitter in the years it had been used by its owner, hence the occasional insult and patronising nature of the rhetoric.

We then researched different reading material. This ranged from greetings cards through to articles. We had to read the article and work out the intended audience and who could be included in its demographic. While reading the article I was researching I managed to correctly identify the publication it was taken from. By looking at the style of writing, the wording of the headline and the content I was able to work out it was from the Guardian. We then discussed the article and how despite the fact it was based on research of 18-30 year olds this did not make up the entirity of the demographic. It extended to Guardian readers as well as those who had children of those age ranges or links to such as university lecturers and adult educators.

Professional example

Extract of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ – John Green

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother
decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left
the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same
book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit
of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or
whatever, they always list depression among the side effects
of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of
cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also
a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.) But my
mom believed I required treatment, so she took me to see
my Regular Doctor Jim, who agreed that I was veritably
swimming in a paralyzing and totally clinical depression,
and that therefore my meds should be adjusted and also I
should attend a weekly Support Group.
This Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of 
tumor-driven unwellness. Why did
the cast rotate? A side effect of dying.
The Support Group, of course, was depressing as hell.
It met every Wednesday in the basement of a stone-walled
Episcopal church shaped like a cross. We all sat in a circle
right in the middle of the cross, where the two boards would
have met, where the heart of Jesus would have been.
I noticed this because Patrick, the Support Group
Leader and only person over eighteen in the room, talked
about the heart of Jesus every freaking meeting, all about
how we, as young cancer survivors, were sitting right in
Christ's very sacred heart and whatever.

(Green, 2012)

The Christening – Simon Armitage

I am a sperm whale. I carry up to 2.5 tonnes of an oil-like
balm in my huge, coffin-shaped head. I have a brain the
size of a basketball, and on that basis alone am entitled to
my opinions. I am a sperm whale. When I breathe in, the
fluid in my head cools to a dense wax and I nosedive into
the depths. My song, available on audiocassette and
compact disc is a comfort to divorcees, astrologists and
those who have ‘pitched the quavering canvas tent of their
thoughts on the rim of the dark crater’. The oil in my head
is of huge commercial value and has been used by NASA,
for even in the galactic emptiness of deep space it does not
freeze. I am attracted to the policies of the Green Party on
paper but once inside the voting booth my hand is guided
by an unseen force. Sometimes I vomit large chunks of
ambergris. My brother, Jeff, owns a camping and outdoor
clothing shop in the Lake District and is a recreational user
of cannabis. Customers who bought books about me also
bought Do Whales Have Belly Buttons? by Melvin Berger
and street maps of Cardiff. In many ways I have seen it all.
I keep no pets. Lying motionless on the surface I am said
to be ‘logging’, and ‘lobtailing’ when I turn and offer my
great slow fluke to the horizon. Don’t be taken in by the
dolphins and their winning smiles, they are the pickpockets
of the ocean, the gypsy children of the open waters and
they are laughing all the way to Atlantis. On the basis of
‘finders keepers’ I believe the Elgin Marbles should
remain the property of the British Crown. I am my own
God – why shouldn’t I be? The first people to open me up
thought my head was full of sperm, but they were men, and
had lived without women for many weeks, and were far
from home. Stuff comes blurting out.(Armitage. S, 2011) 

Own examples of skills being used

Perspective of a pillow

Dear Steve,

I am a pillow; your pillow. My life is awful. My kind have been used predominently for the comfort of people with menial lives. I have seen you naked. I’ve seen the weird stuff you look up online. I’ve been mentally and emotionally scarred by the time you and Sandra tried ‘experimenting’.

For two weeks I was neglected and forgotten on the floor behind the bed. When you aren’t home I do whatever I like and its great. I pay no rent and myself and the duvet play cards and discuss politics, far too intellectual for you Steven. And to be quite honest I find the term pillow talk not even remotely funny and quite offensive, although I am fairly fond of the Zayn Malik song.

I feel I should inform you that I have recently begun seeing the bed sheet. I realise that work based relationships rarely work out but I feel this may be different; I’m rather optimistic.

But honestly I don’t feel like what I say matters to you; there is not mutual respect. You drool on me on a regular basis and when was the last time I was cleaned? I’ll tell you when Steve, never. Its just self self self with you. No wonder Sandra left you, try and think of others for a change.

Signed your unfortunate pillow,


Water narrative

Water was dumb. It was boring and this particular water was especially so, still and unloving; it was the worst. Arrogant too, thinking its so majestic just because it was like a liquid window. Whoever said “I really find lakes exciting”? No one, that’s who and James was no exception. It was just like in all those stupid smarmy books from school, the water gleamed and shimmered like the first star in the night sky. Ugh, just shut up. Despite the fact it was the largest expanse of water James has ever laid his eyes on, he remained thoroughly unimpressed.

Water narrative in a different style of narrative

The shock skimmed the surface, once, twice, three times before sinking below and enveloping itself in the clear and maternal embrace of the water. After the sound of the splashes had quietened, the silence returned going back to the state of peaceful slumber. The sun bounced around on the water jumping from place to place covering the gentle blanket of the lake’s surface. Ripples from the rock had now settled themselves with no evidence of anything having happened. Water could never be hurt or scarred; it always returned to it’s original state.

Evaluation of own work in reference to professional examples

I found that my work this week was a good exercise in show not tell for and allowed me to explore different mediums of writing to create a piece of good standard. While I have been fairly settled in a comfort zone the past few weeks this really allowed me to experiment with my choice of narrative.

The one piece I found particularly useful was that of the piece of writing I did in the perspective of a pillow. I found this really gave me free reign to explore a range of different and more complex methodologies in terms of what skills to explore and implementation. This allowed me to have the opportunity to use show not tell in a completely different format. While before I was showing through a first person perspective and free indirect discourse, this is the first opportunity I’ve used first person to show the character of someone through the perspective of another. The use of the letter feels very reminiscent to the style seen in later chapters towards the end of “The Fault in Our Stars”, in which a lot of characterisation is shown purely through how the person being written to is perceived by the writer of the letter.

I did find the water narrative quite challenging. This came mainly through the switching of narrative styles almost immediately after having written the first. I got into a specific headspace in my writing and it was very difficult to then stop this flow of thought and switch tact. This exercise really allowed me to focus on this quick switching of narrative and will be a useful exercise in future in order to prevent myself from entering writers block. I feel like this could be very useful in terms of having issues writing something in a specific narrative, for example a factual article could be firstly written as a monologue or script an then switch up the medium and writing style back to journalistic writing and adapting the written piece. This is also a skill that has been suggested to me during previous work experience at The Canterbury Times.

I found that without realising it I began to unintentionally explore theme in my pieces. Through both satire and more serious descriptive writing I was exploring a theme of being an outsider. The first water narrative showing this young boy who couldn’t understand everyone’s fascination and then the pillow feeling disrespected by its owner. I feel this has carried through from my writing from last week with regards to the Syrian refugee piece.

Throughout my writing this week I have found myself using a lot of satire and rhetorical questions to express show and not tell. I feel this was an effective way of combining show not tell with a more mixed variety of skills. Sarcasm and what one chooses to be sarcastic about says a lot about someone. This is something I tried to express through free indirect discourse in the first water based narrative. While when writing it I found it to be quite laborious, after going back and reading it again, I feel it flows nicely and gives a good characterisation of the character while also giving the water some character of its own.

My use of mixing up sentence structure I feel was very effective in my pillow piece. Switching from long complex sentence structure to short and simple basic sentences keeps the reader engaged and prevents the reader from experiencing fatigue. Overall I feel I can see a definite improvement in my writing so far and the exploration of skills has really tapped into inate skills in my writing I was not aware I could do. It has allowed me to explore different methodalogy for expressing a character and I have found it very eye opening in both literally technique and the way in which I format the medium of my writing.


Armitage, S. (2011). Extract: Seeing Stars by Simon Armitage. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/jan/24/simon-armitage-ts-eliot-prize [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].

Green, J. (2012). The Fault In our Stars. pp.1-2.

Week 3: Skills