1(a) Explain how your skills in the creative use of digital technology developed over time. Refer to a range of examples from your media productions in your essay

Naturally my skills in the creative use of digital technology have developed over time as I continue to produce media in a number of different mediums, most prominently film. Obviously my creative use of Digital cameras, particularly DSLRs, has improved since my first use of them in my AS project ‘The Promise’.  ‘The Promise’ taught me a number of things about DSLRs such as their ability to produce the ‘film look’ that we are accustom to from our cinema experiences at a fraction of the price. However to achieve this one must know how to set the camera up as it requires full manual use of the camera. Firstly I learnt about aperture and how it can effect the Depth of Field of the image, the particular Depth of Field I wanted to achieve was a shallow one as this is often seen in films. Shallow depth of field is when the subject is in focus but the background is blurred which is a good creative way to draw the audience attention to what you want them to see, I found that by having a low f-stop on the aperture it created this shallow depth of field that I was looking to replicate from films I had seen. I also learnt about Film Speed which is the measure of sensitivity to light the camera has, the modern digital equivalent being ISO. ISO was hugely important in ‘The Promise’ as we had scripted a scene which was to take place at night in a location with limited lighting for filming. ISO allowed me to creatively solve this problem as by raising the ISO one can increase the amount of light the camera picks up, thus recording more information in the picture. However I learnt to be careful when using this as a solution as pushing the ISO too high can cause noise and graining of the image which would have ruined that scene had we not done some tests before hand and found that out. Again to do with retaining information during my time filming ‘The Promise’ I learnt that it is important to change the camera’s standard picture setting and take away all the sharpening and contrast it automatically puts on. This is important as the sharpening and contrast takes away information from the image so by having as flatter image as possible one has much more creative freedom and choice when it comes to colour grading. Another thing I learnt about DSLR’s was their ability to film at 24 frames a second, this is hugely important as it is the most popular frame rate of films as it gives a smooth look to the footage and really helped sell my film as an actual film rather than a home video.

From ‘The Debt Collection’ to my most recent project ‘The French Leaves’ I’ve learnt a number of things about editing over time, ‘The Debt Collection’ taught me of the need to get coverage at the shoot in order to make sure that the scenes would work, as when I came to edit the project it was hard to piece together and pace right as I had not shot any insert shots or masters of the scenes – therefore I had nothing to creatively cover myself when I accounted a problem with an edit. Also to do with editing was my transition from last year working in Final Cut Express to Final Cut Pro X this year which was a huge step as it opens up so many more creative avenues. The use of non-linear editing systems has allowed me to explore different options with the editing of my projects without being destructive to my raw footage. ‘The French Leaves’ has benefitted greatly from the transferal to Final Cut Pro X as it has a number of features such as the instant rendering of the video so you can view your work straight away and make changes on the fly and keep in a creative groove rather than having to wait for it to render each time as I did in Final Cut Express. Final Cut Pro X also has a stabilise function which has allowed me to take on a number of creative risks on the set of ‘The French Leaves’ such as the use of a crane and dolly as I know the stabilise function can save the shot 90 percent of the time from being unusably shaky, therefore it is worth risking it to get a more interesting or creative shot on set. Before hand we simply had to put up with this unwanted shake and it really took away from projects such as ‘The Promise’ and ‘The Debt Collector’ as parts were just too shaky to be considered a purposeful creative decision like in Saving Private Ryan and came across as more of a mistake.

Past Questions – Question 1a


Here are a list of past questions for Question 1a

Jan ’13 – Explain how your research and planning skills developed over time and contributed to your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of examples in your answer.

June ’12 – Describe a range of decisions that you made in post production and how these decisions made a difference. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

Jan’12 – Describe a range of decision that you made in post production how these decisions made a difference to the final outcomes. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

June ’11 – Explain how far your understanding of the conventions of existing media influenced the way you created your own media products. Refer*

Jan ’11 – Describe how you developed your skills in the use of digital technology for media production and evaluate how these skills contributed to your creative decision making. Refer*

Past Exam Papers

2013 - June - Exam (G325) - 1   2013 - June - Exam (G325) - 2   2013 - June - Exam (G325) - 3   2013 - June - Exam (G325) - 4