Analysis of problem solving
During the process of completing my final project I did encounter quite a few problems in regards to the creating of my video piece. I feel like I handled all the problems well and implemented my problem solving skills well. For the majority of problems I had a contingency plan.
For the majority of problems faced I mitigated these by doing my location recce in order to find any issues with the recording area. This included lighting and sound checks as well as scheduling with recording interviews and being able to use vacated areas to film. Due to this, as well as checking the video after initially recording the footage to check for quality I was able to re record if necessary.
Scheduling played a big part in the problem solving stage of my recording. Due to allocating myself a good amount of time and keeping on track to an allotted deadline for each task I was able to keep myself a head. This meant I could re record or fix any issues found during the recording stage. This was useful for when I encountered issues in the post production stage while editing – as one section needed to be re recorded.
I also found that due to my scheduling I was able to make a rough draft and receive feedback from my intended audience as well as college tutors. This allowed me to critical evaluate myself early on before the final piece and fix any issues. I created 2 drafts before my final piece in which I recorded some replacement footage and altered the voice over script and re recorded some audio.
Development of technical skills and problem solving
In terms of technical skills I would say that over the course of production my filming skills increased substantially. The framing of my piece is of a professional quality with good lighting and sound quality.
The entirety of the video editing and audio recording for the video piece was recorded using only my own equipment and software on my personal editing rig at home. This was a great asset to me in terms of creating my video piece as it allowed me to easily re record audio and re edit when not at college. Also due to using Sony Vegas 13 and Audacity I could easily export the project files as Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition files if I needed to work on the project any further during college hours.
One technical issue I faced while recording was that of lighting – the recording was all done while inside and due to having monitors in shot meant I was reliant on natural and normal house lighting. In order to create better lighting I used the torch application on my phone in some cases to brighten a shot and then further brightened specific shots during editing by upping the brightness and altering the contract. This is something I had not had much experience prior to this and helped develop my editing skills by having the chance to practice this skill set.
However, due to having been used to editing due to having had prior experience for the past 6 or so years I only encountered a few very minor issues while editing. All of these issues were easily fixed by the second draft (mainly accidentally cross fading a shot by mistake by having clips over the top of one another and very abrupt cuts).
Another issue I faced was the quality of my piece to camera’s audio was poor. This was due to the location chosen for recording and lack of a recording microphone. The audio echoed and was of a lower quality and was therefore quite jarring for the viewer. Therefore I re shot this in a separate location and replaced the clip for my final piece.
The only major technical issue I faced during my filming process was when re recording my piece to camera for my final version. This was due to faulty equipment. I intended to record the piece using an external microphone to ensure good audio quality. However, the microphone used was faulty and recorded very quiet and poor quality audio. Due to the playback on the camera being very quiet I wasn’t sure whether or not this was the case during sound check. Due to equipment bookings and time constraints I was unable to get a replacement microphone so I recorded the footage both with and without the microphone and did multiple take of varying lengths (so I could select the appropriate clip to fit in with the video). Due to having recording without the microphone as well as with, when I discovered the microphone audio was faulty I was able to use another clip that did not use the microphone.
The final issue I faced during recording was, during my interview with Stuart Dodd, I had little space to fit the camera. Due to this the shot was not as good quality and looks less professional when compared to the framing of the rest of the interviews. This was something I was unable to reschedule to re record due to equipment not being available and not having the time to feasibly redo the interview. However if I were in a professional situation I would have been able to re shoot the video and would of had longer and a better setting to do the recording in and therefore this would not be a problem and will be something I take into account in future.
I received a lot of useful feedback from those who viewed my piece, the only issue of which I was unable to resolve was the framing of the interview. Every other comment was taken on board and used in the second draft of my video and the final piece.
During the majority of production I faced very few problems. As discussed above, due to knowing the locations and using my location recce I was able to easily prevent problems from occurring.
Scheduling was relatively easy as I worked around the schedules of those being recorded and then ensured my equipment was booked out during that time. I made sure I recorded all the shots that were from the same location together to ensure everything was efficient.
Evaluation of final piece
The final piece of video I found was very much of a professional quality. This I found was mainly due to the creating of an initial draft and receiving feedback and critically evaluating my piece. This allowed me to get insight and compare it to professionally recording news pieces and contrast the quality. This led to me creating a second draft before the final finished product.
I would say the technical quality is that of a professional standard. The video quality is all recorded in 1920 x 1080 resolution with the game footage recorded in 60fps. The shots are all framed well, aside from the interview with Stuart Dodd, the interviews all abide by the rule of thirds and are of a professional standard with the subject looking across the camera. While the interview with Stuart Dodd does jar the viewer due to the framing of the shot, most of those who were shown the footage did not notice, except for those critically evaluating specifically watching through to find ways to improve. While this does somewhat let down the quality I believe over all it doesn’t act as much as a detriment to the final piece. In future this is something I will be sure not to replicate and ensure professional framing in all shots.
The cuts are clean and flow nicely, the pacing is fluid and does not feel rushed or overload the viewer at any point. With a frequent use of 3-4 shot sequences in combination with establishing shots the viewer is never jarred by a sudden cut or a sloppy looking cross fade.
I feel the game footage is not excessive and doesn’t use too much or too little. The footage does not make up the meat of the content and is scattered throughout to provide examples of what is being discussed and always has a purpose. This is something I was careful with how to implement by comparing it with other news outlets coverage of games and a lot of YouTube content and compared all of this and collated taking the best from all the material when creating the initial shooting script.
In terms of gathered material, my research my extensive and I cited any sources in the video with any information I used. None of what was stated was a generalisation or an assumption. I read many differing views and other news outlets articles and news videos and audio pieces on the subject matter. This combined with my existing knowledge of the subject meant I found finding and shooting material easy.
The game footage was all specifically recorded by myself that I got from playing violent games as part of my initial research. This allowed me to get specific scenes and shots in the games that suited my video piece.
Finally I would say I covered the subject in great depth. I received a lot of positive feedback regarding the depth of my piece and that it was easy to understand even to those with little understanding of the subject matter. The piece does not over complicate itself and also does not dumb itself down. I am very pleased with the outcome and have been told from peers and tutors that it appears professional and includes a lot of interesting and relevant information. The video piece is intentionally biased towards gaming in general. This was so I could angle the audio equally towards the other side of the argument and create a neutral article in order for the overall piece to remain neutral while expressing both sides arguments so readers can come up with their own views.
Analysis of problem solving
While recording my audio I did not actually really encounter any issues during the production or the editing process. This was mainly due to the use of the location recce and making sure to do sound checks and making sure the audio was of good quality before leaving location (for vox pops). The rest of the voice over was recorded in one session using a professional studio recording microphone with a pop filter on my home computer. The audio was edited in Sony Vegas Pro again due to having good audio editing capabilities.
One edit I did do that increased the professionalism of my piece was the adding of a wild track. This was used for the vox pops that were recorded in quiet locations as they stood out when compared to the audio of the vox pop that was taken in a games shop. I therefore downloaded background noise from cities to add into the background to make the other vox pops less jarring in comparison. This helped the piece flow much better and set them apart from my voice over audio, due to both having similar levels of well recorded audio.
Development of technical skills and problem solving
I found the main technical skills that were improved with this specific task were those involving vox pops. The majority of this was through taking into account the weather and background noise to get good quality audio. For example, since my piece was on gaming it made sense for me to interview people found in a local gaming store – this was I was able to get a well informed answer to my questions as well as have a natural wild track from the shop while avoiding any sound issues from wind. Also due to the fact that it was raining this allowed me to avoid the issue of people not wanting to stop for interview.
As discussed above there were few problems I faced with this task in particular. Due to my editing software and recording I was able to record my script in sections and combine the clips while avoiding any obvious cuts in audio. This was mainly due to the quality of the microphone and the ability to cut in specific places.
One problem I did face however was that of there often being my inhaling of breathe caught on audio. This was quite jarring. I was able to remove this due to careful edits and was able to ensure the audio still flowed with not noticeable cuts. While this was not particularly a requirement as many professional outlets don’t cut this I had plenty of time to do this and felt it improved the overall quality of the piece.
Evaluation of final piece
In terms of technical quality the audio is well recorded and hits the 2 minute time length exactly. The audio quality is of a professional standard and has a good listening volume. It is easy to listen to on the final post through the use of Soundcloud embedding. The pacing is good without any unnecessary pauses while not being too fast to over load the listener.
As I specified above it is again intentional angled to oppose the video in order to present the other side of the argument. I think this works well in contract with the video while broken up with neutral information in the article.
Again in terms of content I have been told that it was very in depth and easy to follow. I do however find that the quote used from one specialist would have been better had it been a direct audio quote, however, due to it being a quote from an article I was unable to do this, but do feel it would have made the piece more professional.
I think the use of the sound bite from the game death race helped to give good understanding and context to the controversy and made that piece of the audio task more professional. This required me finding audio from the original arcade game which was quite time consuming however I feel was worth the effort.
I also feel like the vox pops were quite quick and would of liked to have included more from them however due to time constraints had to cut them down. While this was a minor issue if I had a longer time limit I would have either included an additional vox pop or lengthened the ones included.
I was told the content was obviously well researched and in depth and I feel like this piece works nicely along side the article and video for my overall final piece for this project.
Interactive Element – Online based writing
Analysis of problem solving
In terms of the interactive element of my piece I have included frequent use of hyper links to studies discussed in my article as well as pictures with reference to their source material.
In terms of interactivity the major issue I faced was finding what links to include that were relevant to my piece. I found I solved this issue well by consulting my initial research resource list. I was able to then find links to studies that coincided with the point I was making at that particular section of the article.
I made sure that there was only a maximum of 2 paragraphs before some form of imagery or interactivity was included. This was it breaks up the text and makes a much less daunting task for the reader to consume.
I put the initial attention grabbing sentence bold and placed it at the top of the page before including the video below it. This is to ensure the reader immediately had something that grabs their attention. From the video upon scrolling their is more information and imagery is always put on the left taking into account heat maps of online articles.
Evaluation of final piece
After having my article proof read by peers and tutors I am very pleased with the result. I was informed it was of a good quality and reads well. I took on board all notes, especially those relating to the interactivity and where links would be useful.
I tried to emulate online articles such as the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35799998
This combined with my theory posts in terms of studying heat maps allowed me to get a basic idea for how to layout my final blog post. This gave me the idea for how to effectively place my video so that it gained the most attention (at the top of the page under a grabbing opening sentence).
Overall having been given feedback of the final piece in terms of layout I have been given no negatives that need to be improved. Due to this and comparison to a professional article I am very pleased with the overall outcome.
The paragraphs are short and well spaced so as not to intimidate the reader. As well as this I have included the bulk of the information in the beginning few paragraphs before adding addition information for those that scroll but includes information that is not integral to the story but good for further reading for those that wish to continue reading the story.
The bottom of the blog post has an option for sharing buttons at the bottom of the page. This is something I took into consideration from my theory posts as well as from stories such as the examples provided above. I had to consider making my piece shareable and make this as simple as possible, in order to do this I changed the layout to make the share options simple buttons in order to make it as easy as possible as well as eye grabbing. Unfortunately I am unable to have it at the top of the page as well as the bottom due to limitations of using WordPress while I was unable to implement this I feel it would have vastly increased the share-ability of the piece which I have discovered is vitally important for online journalism.
One aspect I had not considered prior to research and to my theory posts is that interactivity is vital in online journalism. In order to keep the attention of the reader I had to include plenty of links to further reading and link to other pages as well as the obvious video and audio elements. I have done this well by including plenty relevant links throughout as well as other stories relating to gaming at the bottom of the page that link to other articles written on my WordPress in order to generate further traffic to stories on the same site. Therefore taking this all into account I would say I have implemented interactivity very effectively in my final piece.
Final Major project notes
From my project there are many skills I could easily take forward with me when creating my final major project. However, I currently haven’t decided the format of my final project. The skills that I have discussed above are all sections that I have developed over the course of this project.
The video skills I developed were video editing and being able to make cleaner cuts and adjust lighting as well as recording a professional looking shot. If my final major project incorporates video I will be sure to incorporate these skills into the production and pre production sections. In terms of further development if having a visual based element in my final major project I would continue to work on framing to ensure professional quality and ensuring I collect enough footage for each shot. This will come with more intricate and well thought out planning.
The audio skills I have developed are acquiring vox pops and the removal of background noise using Audacity. This is something I will continue to use in both future video and audio work.. In terms of developing further I will look into using more complex equipment or using a more professional audio based editing software – as using Audacity was simply due to not owning Audition on my home PC.
Finally the interactive based skills I have developed are that of creating a professional looking post with several different interactive elements. This is mostly find intuitive ways to link to other articles and making a piece shareable. In order to further develop these skills during my final major project I will make sure to make use of all social media platforms to ensure share ability. As well as this I will continue to use theory to create a post that takes advantage of heat maps to create a much more fluid piece of content. I will strive improve upon this with my final major project post.
Ankara bombing: Turkey strikes against Kurdish rebel PKK
Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35799998 (Accessed 14/03/2016)
Letsch, C. (2016)
Turkish officials blame PKK for Ankara bomb as air force strikes Kurdish targets
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/14/turkey-ankara-attack-one-bombers-was-pkk-member-officials-say (Accessed 14/03/2016)