I can happily say, in relation to the progress for my project, that I have every faith in being able to complete all three elements of it- the 2 minute video piece, radio piece and 500 word article. I am now officially in the stage of post-production which means that the tasks I am yet to complete are: the 2 minute radio piece and the 500 word article. I have already finished the video piece since I came in on Friday specifically to do that. However, I was unable to access Adobe Audition to complete the radio piece then so I knew that I could make a start on that as soon as I could because I already had the recorded audio uploaded on to my drive and the script completed weeks before the recording.
On Monday though, I had shown my completed video piece to my tutor who gave me some feedback on it on how to improve it and even what the strengths about it were. For instance, the piece-to-cameras were framed well along with the interview shots showing a clear rule-of-thirds and professional side gaze. He also commented positively on the focus-change shots as well as some of the establishing shots which all showed clarity and definition. But he did comment on some of the elements that could do with some improvement to the overall piece. Examples included: both piece-to-cameras being cut off too soon and could be extended slightly or even faded out to look more extended. Two of the shots were the opposite and lasted too long and needed to be cut down by 2 seconds maximum. This worked out quite well because I had 2 shots too long and 2 shots too short so the cut-down shots would make room for the other shots to be extended, even if it meant reusing some shots which were already used.
As for the article though, that is what I turned my focus to for the first day because the next day we would be proof-reading each other’s to check for any errors in grammar, format and/or punctuation. Even though this didn’t take me as long as some other aspects of the production process, I needed to make this a priority because I had to ensure that: the content was correct and referenced; layered out in a professional manner and generally included the content it needed. I also needed to consider this in the context of the final blog post as well because this will be going on the same post as both the video and radio piece and the overall format of the post will need to be layered out in a style that looks professional and interesting to read- which brings us back to the theory posts we investigated the past few weeks.
These posts have allowed us to investigate several things: why online/internet news may be the next way of learning about the news and our world and also how the layout, style, content and interactivity makes an article readable and makes people want to read an article. These are vital elements to consider when producing my final blog post because I want my three pieces to look interesting enough for someone who would read it to want to read it- just like in the industry.
However, I will have to come up with solutions to some of the problems that I will definitely come across. A perfect example includes finding a method of embedding the video and radio audio. I was told by my tutor, who told all of us, that methods such as creating a private YouTube account and Soundcloud are good ways of uploading the video and audio because they would appear on the screen as you would probably see them in online news rather than embedded in PowerPoint- making it look childish and unprofessional. Links within an article are great ways for people who want to find out further information from the current one just read and/or who want to find out more about the topic in general. This is why I will be including at least three links in my post, all of which will be leading to other stories related to the endangerment of red squirrels. If I wasn’t to include links or even if a real article wasn’t to include these, then the people reading it wouldn’t be able to access further information and therefore, may not see any worth in reading the current article. I will carry this process out by what Scott had showed me with referencing my article: inserting the link using one of the tools available as part of editing the final blog post which is making the whole piece even more interactive and intriguing to read.
However, one of the main problems to overcome for me personally is the shearability within my final blog post. There is zero doubt that I will have to include this because nearly every onlne news article of today has some visually available method of sharing the article on places like social media. To overcome this I will include images of the icons for the different sites the page can be shared on but also have the name of the website in writing so that I can still link it to the actual social media pages. And finally, as for the images that I will be featuring in my final blog post, I will be gathering the majority of these from existing online sources and I will be (using my knowledge from the previous theory posts) around one picture and/or interactive piece per 2 average-sized paragraphs. The reasons for this are that because our generation have such short attention spans the page must have visual and interactive elements in it to engage the audience and keep their attention close to the page.
Tuesday 8th March:
Today I had finished my 500 word article which I had proof-read in the afternoon by my project partner Carris. She did pick up on a couple of elements that needed top be checked over such as minor grammatical and punctuation errors in a few places. However, it was Scott who highlighted the main error I made with my referencing- since I had to reference where I used my secondary research in the article. He made not that the referencing I put in place wasn’t correct for the article piece, since I had put in brackets where each link the relevant information referred to. He advised me to, firstly, remove the brackets but keep all the links because he showed me a way in which I could link it differently using my final blog post. This was by using a little tool which allows me to link the text with the correct URL but in a way that doesn’t visibly interrupt the article. Not only is this problem-solving in relation to another class member helping to make my work look more professional but also in a way that still allows me to reference my work without being accused of plagiarism at the end.
Today, I also prepared for the upload of my radio piece by creating my Soundcloud account- which would allow me to upload my radio piece to my final blog post without having to embed it into a PowerPoint document. This will also increase the levels of professionalism within the final blog post. However, it will not be possible for me to carry out this process until I have completed my radio piece- which had introduced a couple of problems for me: Some of the voice-overs have minor but unwanted sounds in the background such as scratches and popping sounds. Even though these are minor they were enough to ruin the overall quality of the voice-over, it wasn’t possible for me to book out any of the zoom mics since all the equipment was booked out for the week and it was my phone which had caused the quality problems anyway. Repeating the recording wouldn’t have made much difference to it which I why I tried to edit out as much of the background noises as I could but at the same time, increased the background audio I deliberately applied to the radio piece like the wildlife and nature sound affects to block out as much of the unwanted noises as possible.
However, I have been face-to-face with a difficult problem all week which is the fact that next week I am on work experience and that is also the week which the final blog post is due for hand-in. This is why I stayed on after lessons on Wednesday afternoon to ensure that every piece of work that required the used of Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro was completed and uploaded on to my YouTube and Soundcloud account. This is because I could used my free time at home to experiment and play around with the layout and format in which all three elements should go in on my final blog post- whilst also using the knowledge of my two theory blog posts. This way I am still meeting the set deadline for this project but organising my time wisely so that I get everything done but at a steady pace.