Why Study Media?

A recent report said that American teens use the Media for an average of 9 hours a day. (For tweens, it's six hours.) To get that in context, it means the Media is more of a presence in teenage lives than...

Parents

School

 

Friends

Hobbies

Church

Sleep

As such, there are many reasons to study Media - you might want to work in the industry, or you might simply want to understand contemporary culture more. At a basic level, though, we study it because it is what we 'do' more than anything else; arguably, it is the single biggest influence on our lives. It's probably a good idea to understand what effect that is having on us as individuals and societies and perhaps to make us think a bit more about how and why we consume Media. 



In order to understand the media, we can start by examining our own use of it. Create your own 'timeline' - choose a day - weekend, holiday, school day, whatever - and note all the uses of media you have that day.

That's the first part. The second part is to decide how to present this information. You can use whatever you want. Prezi is popular. You could present it as a vlog, made using MovieMaker or iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Really ambitious people could make a Flash animation. It could be print based - a diagram created in Illustrator or Photoshop. (Infographics are good...) We don't particularly want to see Word docs or PowerPoint unless you can do absolutely outstanding work in those formats! Media students need to think and care about presentation - this is your first chance.

 

Some examples...

TASK 1: Timeline

What are we looking for?

We want to see examples of work where students have done their PRE-PRODUCTION properly. That is, where they have genuinely thought about the range of media they consume and have made an effort to go into some detail (don't just tell us you go online - list the websites. Tell us what music you might listen to. Which TV shows are you watching? Detail is important.)

We want to see thoughtful PRODUCTION. If you are making a video, plan it. If you need actors, get people who can act. Think about the shots you are using. Put the camera on a tripod. Have a voiceover. 

We don't really want to see templates. (I'm not a big fan of Powtoon...) More capable students realise that it is harder to make good work when confined by templates; the best way to start is with a blank canvas.

We want to see creative, engaging work. The biggest sin in Media production is being boring. Keep it short, make it interesting. Planning it properly helps  lot with this.

Finally, we want to see you working hard. Media production takes a long time if you want to do it well!

HOW TO MAKE AN INFOGRAPHIC IN ILLUSTRATOR

TASK 2: Website

You're going to need somewhere to put your work. Since all of it is going to be digital, of course, it needs to be online. Set up a website and share the address with your teacher. Requirements are:

  • The URL needs to include your name.

  • You need at least six pages:

    • Homepage​ with links to other pages

    • Photography portfolio

    • Print portfolio

    • Film portfolio

    • Unit 1 - Research

    • Unit 4 - Video Production

  • It needs to look awesome. We recommend you use wix.com, but it's up to you if you have other sites you prefer or if you want to code it from scratch. Change the backgrounds, remove any placeholder material and make it look as good as you can.

  • You'll add other links as time goes on but this'll do for now!

  • Embed the timeline you made in the 'Print portfolio' page.

Your site should look something like this.

TASK 3: Your first 'film.'

A lot of what you will be doing in Film and Media involves constructing stories, so let's start thinking about that, particularly in the medium of film. We're going to give you a set of image and sound files which we want you to construct into a 'film.' You can do this individually or in pairs.

Have a look at this clip from Guardians of the Galaxy (Gunn, 2014.) To make this, we need a variety of SHOTS and a variety of SOUNDS. (In this case, music - which we call the SCORE - and sound effects - which we call FOLEY SOUNDS.)

Your turn!

Get the files here. Download and save in a folder on whatever computer you are using. Always keep your files organised.

You need to decide what software you want to use to put the audio and video materials together. You have some choices. UPDATE - all school laptops should have Premiere Pro on them. Ignore this unless for some reason you don't have it!

School computers: 

  • Final Cut - Professional standard, pretty easy to get started with.

  • Premiere - Professional standard, a little (but not much) harder to get started on, probably ultimately more powerful. Currently, the professional favourite.

  • IMovie - Not a pro package, easy to use if you've never edited film before, actually quite confusing if you have! 

Student PCs:

  • Windows Movie Maker - probably just about usable for this task but generally only for use if you actually hate yourself.

  • Various freely available packages. Try the free version of Lightworks or Shotcut. Hitfilm is possibly the best but a little bit of a hassle to install. (Note - free programs will generally be more limited than paid packages, but they can still produce good work. At the time of writing, both of these packages offer a much better option than Movie Maker - but check what they offer before you download, because things can change.) NEW ADDITION - DaVinci Resolve. Editing, sound design and colour grading in one package. Free and pro-level.

WORKFLOW

  • Download files. Check to see what you have to work with.

  • Open Final Cut or whichever program you are using. Familiarise yourself with the layout. They tend to have the same basic features; here's Final Cut.

Get the files here. Download and save in a folder on whatever computer you are using. Always keep your files organised.

You need to decide what software you want to use to put the audio and video materials together. You have some choices. UPDATE - all school laptops should have Premiere Pro on them. Ignore this unless for some reason you don't have it!

School computers: 

  • Final Cut - Professional standard, pretty easy to get started with.

  • Premiere - Professional standard, a little (but not much) harder to get started on, probably ultimately more powerful. Currently, the professional favourite.

  • IMovie - Not a pro package, easy to use if you've never edited film before, actually quite confusing if you have! 

Student PCs:

  • Windows Movie Maker - probably just about usable for this task but generally only for use if you actually hate yourself.

  • Various freely available packages. Try the free version of Lightworks or Shotcut. Hitfilm is possibly the best but a little bit of a hassle to install. (Note - free programs will generally be more limited than paid packages, but they can still produce good work. At the time of writing, both of these packages offer a much better option than Movie Maker - but check what they offer before you download, because things can change.) NEW ADDITION - DaVinci Resolve. Editing, sound design and colour grading in one package. Free and pro-level.

WORKFLOW

  • Download files. Check to see what you have to work with.

  • Open Final Cut or whichever program you are using. Familiarise yourself with the layout. They tend to have the same basic features; here's Final Cut.

  • Arrange pictures in what seems to you the best order. (Blue files on the timeline above.) Obviously, there needs to be some discussion of what the story actually is.

  • Match sound to images. (Green files on the timeline above.)

  • Feel free to experiment with transitions and effects. (Have a look round the menus and icons in the bottom right corner.)

  • You need to actually tell your story. The pictures and sound won't be enough by themselves. Either add text OR, better, record a voiceover. We can lend you a sound recorder or use your phone. Get the file off your phone and onto your computer, then import it. (Back to the file menu!)

  • Cut and trim your project so everything fits.Drop down the tools menu to get access to the things you need to manipulate files.

  • When you're happy, export. File menu - there are different ways and sizes to export, depending on where the file is going. If in doubt, go for 'Master File.'

  • Upload film to YouTube (it's a good idea to set up an account just for school work.)

  • Embed film on the 'Film Portfolio' page on your website.

  • Sit back and wait for praise, wealth and fame to roll in.

  • Arrange pictures in what seems to you the best order. (Blue files on the timeline above.) Obviously, there needs to be some discussion of what the story actually is.

  • Match sound to images. (Green files on the timeline above.)

  • Feel free to experiment with transitions and effects. (Have a look round the menus and icons in the bottom right corner.)

  • You need to actually tell your story. The pictures and sound won't be enough by themselves. Either add text OR, better, record a voiceover. We can lend you a sound recorder or use your phone. Get the file off your phone and onto your computer, then import it. (Back to the file menu!)

  • Cut and trim your project so everything fits.Drop down the tools menu to get access to the things you need to manipulate files.

  • When you're happy, export. File menu - there are different ways and sizes to export, depending on where the file is going. If in doubt, go for 'Master File.'

  • Upload film to YouTube (it's a good idea to set up an account just for school work.)

  • Embed film on the 'Film Portfolio' page on your website.

  • Sit back and wait for praise, wealth and fame to roll in.

TASK 4: Get started with Photoshop

Let's see if we can make something like this. Go get the source files here. (Check them - you might only need two of them - the portrait and the background. The actual photoshop file is there also for people who need a gentler introduction.)

Then - you might just want to explore and discover but there are a few pointers in this document. Do the basics, then feel free to go further!

While we're at it, let's learn about LAYER MASKS. Here are your instructions and a couple of photoshop files to get started.

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Ho Man Tin

Hong Kong

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