The 3 Minute Video

Our first short film idea was a “How Not To” guide which would show the audience the 10 worst things a Journalist could do in their profession. We decided to scrap this idea as filming would be very complicated and time consuming as many scenes and shots would have had to be filmed for it.

The second idea we had was a short film about the murder of a girl and how a Journalist would go about getting the story, and the different endings to the Journalist going to interview the girl’s best friend and killer. We liked this idea much more as it had an interesting and gripping narrative that an audience could follow.

When filming for our short video we had to scout for locations that would be good enough to use, and be the most appropriate areas to convey the storyline on camera. It was hard to select an area as Ami-Jane, Wafa, and myself live in different cities. Wafa and I travelled to Ami-Jane’s home town of Driffield to overcome this issue and to shoot in that location.

A local park in Driffield and Ami-Jane’s house was used for the bulk of the filming. Prior to the main scenes being filmed, we asked Jackie Goodman, our Writing For Purpose lecturer, to star in the Editor/Journalist phone call scene which we filmed before the other scenes at the college.

The main cast included the three of us, Jackie, and Ami-Jane’s little sister, Rachel. We used our initiative to ask if Jackie would play the role of the Editor in the film and she willingly accepted.

The alternate endings to each of our short films make it individual as we all came up with a collective idea, which we decided to pursue, but also contributed to our own ideas which is displayed in the different ways our films conclude.

After filming was complete, the editing process began. It was hard at first to capture some of the footage we gathered but we eventually worked through it and got the shots we needed. Although, I had trouble exporting my video because of the computer’s slow software and numerous error reports appearing which affected the exporting. Also a problem during editing was after error reports were sent to the computer I could not add any more captions to the film so the final product is missing two people’s speech. Unfortunately that was a problem that I could not overcome.

Also, when I attempted to put the unimported video onto a disc, it would not open unless the clips were in the computer documents, this meant when I tried to open the video files on another computer, the footage was missing therefore the picture could not be seen. To try my best to get around this set back I also burnt the raw footage clips to the disc as well so that the footage can be seen via Windows Media Player, or the similar softwares.

Evaluating Interactive Media Products

The iPhone-
The iPhone 4S is a clever piece of technology. When surfing the web on the smartphone, you can open both pages for web and pages for mobile phones, allowing the user to access more websites than a normal mobile phone user. The apps and app store make it easy for the audience to travel through their phone and use applications that are relevant to whatever they want to use their iPhone for.

With such a demand for the latest model of the Apple iPhone, it’s certainly not surprising that the features on this phone are endless. Social networking applications, email feature, Siri, iTunes music library and the iTunes store, games, magazine apps… the list goes on; and that is why the iPhone is a great and prominent media product today.

Battery life is what lets this down most of all. Hardly lasting through the day, you have to take your iPhone charger with you everywhere to stand a chance of keeping in contact with the world.

Because of the iPhone 4S having a rather large downfall, overall it gets a 4.5/5 star rating.

The BlackBerry-
The BlackBerry; it has many problems, the biggest being you cannot open a large webpage on the handset without it crashing and having to close down the Internet page. Although the social networking applications, like that on the iPhone, are very simple to use and easy to open, the good features on this phone do not outweigh the bad.

The camera, video and sound recording features are not very good and compared to other phone features the quality is terrible. The battery does last longer than that of the iPhone’s, but still doesn’t last longer than a day and a half.

Overall, the BlackBerry gets a rating of 2.5/5.

The Apple Mac-
Mac’s greatest feature is the ease of use given to the user by the control panel at the bottom of the home screen; it is slick and stylish, which is a good feature to have to be able to appeal to an audience who desire the best looking piece of technology on the market.

However, the Mac takes so long for a user to get used to how to work the software/product than it does to understand how to work a normal PC computer.  I have nothing against Macs, but in comparison to the ordinary PC, which is much simpler to use, I say, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

The Mac gets a 3.5/5 rating.

The PC Laptop-
I find the regular PC laptop much easier to use than that of a Mac. A PC is much easier to control via touch scroll mouse than it is to use the mouse for the Apple Mac. Although you have to click a few more buttons to find a document you’re looking for or to select PowerPoint from your software, the product is much easier to get used to and much simpler to navigate yourself around.

The keyboards on PCs are much easier to use as the shortcut keys are the same on all. To add a hashtag to your typing you can simply click one button whereas on a Mac you have to find the shortcut keys that have been assigned to the hashtag first. (Twitter users can see my pain here.)

In conclusion, comparing the Apple Mac and your ordinary PC, I think the reliable PC wins out in my books.

The PC laptop gets a good 4.0/5 rating.

The Kindle-
The Kindle is a great product for people who love to read books but don’t necessarily want to carry around hundreds of books with them. The Kindle book store is a suitable space to hold all of the Kindle owners books, there they can choose which book they want to read when they are out and about.

The online feature allows the user to buy books from the Kindle store which are then downloaded into their personal book library which the user can open straight to when they turn on their Kindle. Battery life is also very good on the Kindle; with power lasting into the months depending how often the audience uses the item.

Overall, I find this piece of technology very effective for a wide audience, however, if people like reading actual books, the thought of a using Kindle can be horrifying.

The Kindle gets a 4.0/5 star rating.

The Media Sector, Organisations and Roles

Introduction

In this essay the professional working roles and some of the many organisations currently in the media sector will be explored. I shall investigate whether the current economic climate has had a negative effect on the industry and what has changed as a result of this. The main organisations chosen to focus on are News Corporation, the Hull Daily Mail, and the British Broadcasting Corporation. The range of companies selected to analyse range in how they are operated and the size of the organisations.

The above organisations were chosen because of the following reasons: News Corporation was chosen as it is a major player in the media sector at the present time. The number of companies and products owned by the organisation is quite considerable, especially for the current state of the economy. BBC is another organisation that will be looked at as it is the most notable corporation in the United Kingdom, and is state-owned and publicly funded by TV licensing laws. Lastly, the Hull Daily Mail will be explored as it is a local newspaper in Kingston upon Hull and is still extremely popular after being a publication since 1885. The Daily Mail and General Trust have also just sold Northcliffe Media Ltd, which owned the Hull Daily Mail publication, to the company media business Local World.

Overview

The current expansion of blog popularity is one key factor in the current state of the media sector; the number of blogs that are used as a source of information is astounding compared with the audience amount for other forms of media, which includes websites, newspapers, and television broadcasting.

The major player in the media sector at the moment is News Corporation which includes the satellite television networks Fox in the United States, and Sky in the UK in its extensive range of assets. These networks are run by the production companies Twentieth Century Fox Television and British Sky Broadcasting Group (BskyB), respectfully.

In television production, Twentieth Century Fox Television together with the company’s other TV studios, produces and distributes television programming. The company’s TV studios are leaders in animated series and supply many of the most popular series to each of major US networks. News Corporation’s other segment is engaged in digital media and other businesses. The company, through IGN Entertainment, also provides Internet media and services that are focused on videogame and entertainment markets.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is engaged in creating, commissioning and broadcasting programs in television and radio. A majority of the programming is produced in the UK. Freelance workers have become more common in the media industry due to the change in the state of the media sector because of the economic climate. Newspapers have become more online based for the reason that computers are progressively more common in everyday life today.

The Hull Daily Mail is just a small local newspaper in comparison to the above organisations, but its popularity in its area, across East Yorkshire and its surrounding areas, makes the paper successful in a time when the media is changing dramatically. To keep up with the progressing media, the Hull Daily Mail publishes online content as well as the daily print publication so that they can access and appeal to an audience greater than the newspaper readership. Some of the company’s past online articles have reached many different countries across Europe for the quirkiness of the content.

Operations

The BBC is a state-owned organisation that operates a television network which comprises several channels offered by the company. BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, and CBBC are a few examples of the channels that the business offers to UK households. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a broadcasting company based in the United Kingdom, which is where the corporation predominantly operates. The BBC’s headquarters is in England’s capital, London. The BBC HD channel is a high definition television showcase for a range of programming from across the BBC’s other television services which has been created because of the invention of High Definition televisions in the home. British Broadcasting Company also offers a range of services for radio segments, these include the following: Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4, and also radio stations for local listeners, for example, BBC Humberside and Radio Lincolnshire.

In addition to the above the company provides online content through BBC Online and BBC Red Button which delivers interactive services and content to digital television viewers, including all day, up-to-the-minute content and information, which covers news, weather, learning, entertainment, interactive programming and support for major events. BBC Worldwide is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s commercial subordinate; it works to capitalise on the income the BBC gets from their programme rights and goods, this offsets the UK television license fee.

News Corporation is a diversified international media and entertainment company which run mainly in Europe, the UK, Asia, Australia, Latin America and the United States.  The company is currently based in New York City, NY. The business includes processes across the following industry sectors: publishing; cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; newspapers; and integrated marketing services. The organisation is involved in the production and attainment of films and motion pictures for entertainment and worldwide distribution; the company also produces television programming worldwide via multiple different TV broadcasting channel networks that the business owns.

Hull Daily Mail, a daily printed newspaper publication is an organisation based in the city of Kingston upon Hull in East Yorkshire, England; the paper has an online website where articles are published as well as the printed version. The Internet is where the organisation publishes its unique local news stories that would appeal to an audience on the web. As this company is only a daily newspaper and not an established media organisation as large as News Corp, it does not cover a broad range of media services such as television channels and radio, but Local World, a company which has just purchased the Hull Daily Mail from Northcliffe Media has a wide range of printed publications in its arsenal.

Media sector

The digital revolution has had a massive effect on the way these organisations operate; the developing technologies have affected the media sector in ways such as how the companies are promoted which includes using the social media/networking sites, websites, blogs, and so on.

Due to the increasing importance of technology and its growing Internet based products, the companies in the media have to keep up to date with these skills to be able to maintain their place as major players in the media sector; to do this they have created Twitter and Facebook accounts, online websites, blogs, iPhone apps, and so on; these have to be available to the audience so that they will still be interested in the products/information/news that they offer. BBC have several Twitter accounts which cover the main areas of the news, an example of this would be the BBC UK and BBC Breaking News accounts that have proven to be popular among the users on the social networking site Twitter.

The BBC launched their online website http://www.bbc.co.uk in 1991, after the invention of the Internet, and it was developed as a new way for the British Broadcasting Corporation to connect with its range of audiences. Since 2010, News Corporation has had an investment in Journalism Online which enables printed publications including magazines, online-only publishers, and newspapers to collect revenue from the readers of their online material. BBC News offers a 24-hour news loop 7 days a week; this information goes around the globe via television broadcast and the company’s online websites and social networking accounts.

In the last 2 years a lot has changed at the British Broadcasting Corporation; the company launched applications for smartphones in 2010, which included the BBC News and BBC Sport apps. Furthering BBC’s allure to an online audience, in 2011, the organisation launched a new BBC iPlayer on televisions, which offered the customers several additional features to the normal BBC iPlayer. The creation of the catch up channels on televisions and Internet meant that the BBC and the other major channels in the UK were more appealing to the public as the programmes that the networks offered could be viewed after they had aired at their normal broadcasting times.

News Corporation has taken a major hit in the past year due to the News of the World/News International phone-hacking scandal, the on-going Leveson Inquiry is a result of this. This inquiry into the British press has had a colossal influence on the way publications acquire their information nowadays; its investigation included a thorough exploration about the ethics and culture of today’s British media. Consequently, new regulatory body has been presented to the British Parliament to monitor and censor the British press, which would be backed by law if a situation negating these regulations were to occur.

The inquiry participants comprise of the following: the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), News International, the Telegraph Media Group, the Metropolitan Police, Guardian News and Media Ltd, the Trinity Mirror, Northern and Shell Network Ltd, and Associated Newspapers Ltd. In 2011 News Corporation shut down the News of the World publication due to several accusations and allegations claiming the newspaper had paid police officers at the Metropolitan Police for information by a number of its employees.

The Hull Daily Mail has had to keep up with the direction the Media Sector is travelling by expanding to online websites (thisishullandeastriding.co.uk). However, of the 61 employees/reporters that the company employ, only one works to publish the online articles. According to Jamie Macaskill, assistant editor for the newspaper, there is more a demand for journalism than ever before, meaning there still is a wide audience for the printed Hull Daily Mail publications, with three quarters of the East Yorkshire population still reading it daily. Forty thousand papers are sold per day, meaning it reaches a total of 125,000 people daily.

Job expectations

The increasing amount of work expected from a single journalist has increased exponentially, this due to the growing number of redundancies in the workplace, as a result of these redundancies because of the state of the economy, a single employee is anticipated to be able to have a more broad range of skills and cover a wider area of expertise in the business. More experience is needed by the companies for them to employ a worker as a member of the organisations staff, for example, a news reporter would also be estimated to be able to do camera work, photography work, article writing, and so on.

The Hull Daily Mail has dramatically reduced its number of staff recently, downsizing to a single floor in the Daily Mail and General Trust building; the Daily Mail and General Trust has just over 12,000 employees nationally, just a small fraction of this number of workers are employed at the Hull Daily Mail newspaper. The staff at the Hull Daily Mail in today’s climate have much more experience and a broader range of skills than past employees hired to work for the publication in its 127 year history. This is due to the fallen economy, the need for more qualified staff has become greater as the number of employees fell; the companies simply could not afford to retain all of the specialist workers and fund a vast workforce.

News Corporation’s number of employees currently stands at 51,000 people; this number of workers spans the main countries/continents they operate in, and beyond. 23 of the 51,000 News Corp workers are part of the Senior Management or higher, meaning they are part of the Executive and Non-Executive Board. The BBC employs 13 people who are included in the Senior Management Staff and the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Executive Board; according to figures by MarketLine, in February 2011 the BBC had approximately 22,886 additional employees across the rest of the company.

The rising prospects of the business’ employees in the all areas of the media sector has resulted in the employees going above and beyond what has been previously expected by the media organisations. This diminishing number of staff in all of the industries has had a huge impact on the media business; many journalists have been forced to go freelance in the last couple of years because of the state of the economy.

Conclusion

The overall findings in the research into all of the organisations is that all of the organisations that have been researched have expanded their coverage in accordance to the growing Media Sector, as a result of this the job titles in the companies have changed and the expectations of the organisations employees have increased. The Hull Daily Mail has reduced its number of staff because of the economic climate, which meant the workers kept on at the company were expected to increase their workload and develop and increase their skill set.

The Leveson Inquiry has had a huge impact on the press, with the British government allowing the media to produce their own policing and laws following Leveson’s regulatory body, Parliament are then expected to review the press’ self-regulation system to establish whether they have met a detailed and tight enough media law guideline. This could affect the future of the British, and even global, press greatly.

Online journalism has also impacted the Media Sector, as the Internet has become increasingly more popular, and information getting to the public in many more ways, like social networking sites, for example Twitter, which is one of the fastest ways to hear a news story; television, 24 hour news channels, CNN, BBC, Sky News; blogs, including WordPress, Tumblr; and many other online sources.

References

MarketLine. (2012). British Broadcasting Corporation. Available: http://advantage.marketline.com/Product?pid=DF6A4575-EC99-49A3-8C71-EB552752F3AC. Last accessed 27th Nov 2012.

MarketLine. (2012). News Corporation. Available: http://advantage.marketline.com/Product?pid=BC44C9A8-F448-47E9-B7D3-9869C85E59F0. Last accessed 28th Nov 2012.

Northcliffe Media Limited. (2012). Hull Daily Mail. Available: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/people/Hull%20Daily%20Mail/profile.html. Last accessed 29th Nov 2012.

Local World. (2012). About us. Available: http://local-world.co.uk/aboutus.html. Last accessed 29th Nov 2012.

Script for Video Narrative (Group with Ami-Jane and Wafa)

INT. OFFICE.

Establishing shot of the office. EDITOR is sat in the office, talking on the phone.

EDITOR

Hello?

INT. CANTEEN.

Medium shot of JOURNALIST stood getting herself a cup of coffee. Her phone rings and she answers it.

JOURNALIST

Hello?

(SPLIT SCREEN)

EDITOR

I have a story for you. Can you interview Miss Jane Smith about the death of her best friend Sarah?

JOURNALIST

Yes.

EDITOR

Thank you.

(Hangs up.)

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST is walking up the path to the door. She is preparing herself for the interview, nervous.

(FLASHBACK)

EXT. PARK

Establishing shot of the park. SARAH is pushing a girl on the swing, they are laughing. A HOODED FIGURE watches from a few feet away.

The HOODED FIGURE comes up behind SARAH strangles her. SARAH struggles against the HOODED FIGURE and punches them in the face.

Black.

(END OF FLASHBACK.)

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST takes a deep breath and knocks on the door.

ALTERNATIVE ENDING 1.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST waits for someone to answer the door. The door opens and MISS JANE SMITH appears. She looks distraught.

JOURNALIST

Hello, my name is….. from the local paper. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your best friend, but I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me?

JANE SMITH

Of course. Come in.

The JOURNALIST enters the house and JANE closes the door behind her. The JOURNALIST looks around the room.

(FLASHBACK)

EXT. PARK

The HOODED FIGURE grabs SARAH and she writhes, punching them in the face..

(END OF FLASHBACK.)

INT. INSIDE THE HOUSE.

MISS JANE SMITH grabs the rope off of a nearby chair and quickly strangles the JOURNALIST. The JOURNALIST falls to the floor.

Black.

ALTERNATIVE ENDING 2.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST knocks and waits for an answer. The door opens and MISS JANE SMITH appears.

JANE SMITH

Can I help you?

As the JOURNALIST looks at her, she notices the blue rope hanging over the kitchen door. Close up of the rope.

(FLASHBACK)

EXT. PARK

The HOODED FIGURE grabs SARAH and she writhes, punching them in the face.

(END OF FLASHBACK.)

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST realises that JANE is the killer and tries not to panic. She takes out her phone.

JOURNALIST

Excuse me.

She turns away and pretends to be on the phone. A few moments later, she turns back and forces a smile at JANE.

JOURNALIST

I’m sorry, I have to go.

She leaves.

Black.

ALTERNATIVE ENDING 3.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST waits for an answer to her knocking. After a few moments, she heads to the nearby window and looks through it. JANE is stood inside. As the JOURNALIST watches, she realises that MISS JANE SMITH is twisting a rope in her hands.

(FLASHBACK)

EXT. PARK

The HOODED FIGURE strangles SARAH. Close up of the rope. It is the same one.

(END OF FLASHBACK.)

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

The JOURNALIST walks away slowly, trying not to panic. As she walks away, she pulls out her phone and dials 999.

JOURNALIST

Hello? Can I have the police please? I’ve found out who killed Sarah Smith.

Black.

Critical Analysis

Short film one- Waltz with Bashir:

The animated short film shows a character being interviewed in a medium shot, talking about a previous experience whilst he was in the Army. The music used in the film when the flashbacks to his experience are shown builds the momentum of what this character is saying in the “documentary” and what the clips are showing. The waltz of ‘Frankel’ is fast paced with panning shots to circle him whilst he dances in the midst of gunfire. The voiceover also includes the views of his friend ‘Erez’ during this period of being a soldier. The film expresses the beauty of the waltz in the core of something terrible and life-threatening.

At the beginning of the short film the sound is much more drum based, with the beat reflecting the powerful situation of a battlefield. The music then dies out when the character of ‘Frankel’ flashes back to the confrontation with ‘Erez’ about his machine gun, which could reflect the shock factor of one soldier taking another’s gun in the heat of battle with the enemy. Throughout the film there are many cutaway shots to the interview, and then back to the ‘live action’ clips, and then to ‘Frankel’ dancing his waltz in the middle of the combat zone.

Short film two- All Watched by Machines of Loving Grace:

The first thing that got my attention in this short video was the music used as a backing soundtrack to the man’s voiceover. The video clips used are mostly black and white, except for the short beginning clip at the start of the film. Unlike the first short film, this video is much slower, the sound creates a different rhythm throughout and the voiceover gives it more of a documentary genre sense. The sound at the start gives a very creepy atmosphere to the film; it’s almost like an alien investigation music score.

The point of the film is political, the failure of the student movement and the power in the United States of America. The film goes on to explain the big relocation of many city residents across America as a result of this, to create experimental cities without a hierarchical system, which removes the chance of people thinking they have more power or rights than someone else.

Short film three- Errol Morris documentary:

The film starts with a medium-close up shot interview which then cuts to a close up shot, these cutaways continue throughout the first two and a half minutes of this documentary. Shots of fire explosions, lighting of matches are also used in the beginning of the film as it relates to what the interviewee, Murray Richman is saying. Black and white clips and old photographs are then used to link in to what is being said by Mr Richman in his interview, again more towards the end of the short film, old clips are used to act out the situations which are being talked about. This is a documentary technique that you find in all films of this type.

The backing music builds the tension during the course of the video. It starts as jazz which is often associated with the “mob” and string instruments are used during the acted out clips. The style of the film is very much old school mafia, New York, 1920’s which links relays back to the stereotypical, quintessential view of the “mob.”

Short film four- David Lynch interview:

This video is the only one out of the four that includes an introduction about what the film will feature. Interview Project: Clara starts with old music being played on a gramophone, and the shot opens with television noise which adds effect to the short film. The video includes close up shots, wide shots, medium shots all through the interview. The film’s message is to tell Clara’s life, the meaning of her life, what she feels she was supposed to do with it, and the prospect of living your life for yourself without the pressure of having to be remembered.

The meaning is very powerful and could relay the unimportance of trying to live your life so that other people will remember you when you’re gone. Music is used at the beginning and the end of the short video and adds to Clara’s story of her life; it would have been the type of music which was very popular when she was a young lady living her life.