At the end of the assignment brief, part of the criteria is to write a review of the whole project, and reflect on what was good and bad about the process.
I feel that by being completely honest about the journey is imperative, so that I can take forward the positives and negatives to future assignments.
By asking a cross-section of people about the potential subject of the piece, I felt that I gained a number of potential subjects, so that not only was it useful for this assignment, but I also gained views about other people who could be used throughout the rest of Year 2, Year 3 and beyond.
Taking this step increased awareness of what I’m doing within the degree, and gave me a greater audience for the final output of both video and magazine.
I will look at the plus and minus points of the two elements of the assignment separately.
In creating the Pitch, I felt very comfortable in selecting suitable locations to film, and also the content within. By using skills gained in Year 1, I was happy that I was able to film, and be comfortable in front of the camera. A point to note for future reference is not to rely on the internal microphone of my video camera, because although it gave, in some cases, acceptable audio quality, I wanted to ensure that the sound was of a superior level, as has been discussed within the course, as was highlighted by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council on their inspectione.
As I will be looking towards television journalism during Year 3 and after graduation, I feel that my level of work needs to be of the highest standard, so that potential employers can see the quality of the work that I can bring their organisations.
Having external microphones, either owned personally, or hired from the stores, is a necessity for me when creating other products going forward.
Something which caused problems through the process was the weather. There were times when my availability to film was curtailed by the elements, be that rain or wind, but I recognise that as something that is out of my control, so I allowed extra filming time. I have not, and will not, allow the weather to prevent me from filming the pieces that I want to. It is simply a case of having to change the location, or timing of filming, even if that means grabbing a couple of hours when the conditions allow.
In terms of planning, I found the mind map and gantt charting processes invaluable, so that I got everything into the overall submission. By having these two charts on my wall at home, allowed me to look at what needed to be done, and that the video package was completed before Christmas, so that the festive period could be used for checking that everything was complete.
Something that I mentioned in a reflection back last year is the availability of software packages at home. I am very fortunate to have some software at home, so that I can experiment with ideas away from the news studio. This means that the time spend at HSAD is more constructive, and I can utilise precious classroom time to further the project, knowing that I have looked into all possible options and put those forward into the project.
Another positive through this assignment, is the availability of a professional mixer desk and microphone at home, in order to create high quality voice over audio files. By using this, it makes the exported video have a rich tone of voice, and one that would be suitable for pitching, and ultimately, creating the final documentary.
In creating the magazine spread in InDesign, I utilised the skills gained through the taught lessons, and additional research from Year 1. Taking that knowledge forward, refreshing my skills, and learning further ones through this assignment, I felt that the overall process went very well. As with the Pitch, I felt that the planning of the spread was a very important phase, and not just going in all guns blazing, and going down the wrong route.
Flatplanning the magazine was a new concept to me, but it’s one that will be added to the plans for future magazines. By using the visual prompts, it allowed me to ensure the magazine is easy to read, with the right balance of text and graphics.
After the formative feedback, I was advised to change the font size and line spacing to ensure an easier read. When I printed out the two documents, and showed them side by side, I saw what differences it made to the spread, and how it much of a difference it makes.
By making those changes, and uploading the final product to online magazine sites, it gives the product a wider audience, and more credability to a potential worldwide audience.
Throughout the weeks of creating the two products, I found that asking for feedback before the end of the term was invaluable, both from my friends and peers, and also my lecturer. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can assist greatly, and an example of this is that in my first voice over piece, I featured a lot about the city of Hull, rather than on the subject of the pitch. Of the 180 seconds of the outputted video, only 40 seconds actually discussed David Whitfield.
Once it had been mentioned, I immediately set about making the changes, and ensuring that both sides were covered, Hull to give a little background to the story, but that the main focus was on David Whitfield.
Again, with the magazine spread, the feedback was a small amount of things to change, such as the line spacing, and allowing a small amount of the background photo to show around the text boxes and photos. After making them, I feel that it made the overall product much superior.
Investigating alternative outputs for the two products has shown me the ways in which a flat product can be accessed by other people. By utilising technology such as subtitling, audiobooks and mobile applications to showcase my talents, I am able to reach other areas where the standard product may not work, or not work as well.
Taking stock of what I have achieved in this assignment, I feel able to go forward and create more products in the future. Constantly striving for excellence within a field of video and print based journalists, so what I can offer makes me stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.