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Our documentary was centred around the hotly debated topic of whether the
mediaǯs portrayal of the youth of today is fair and how this affects the general
public image of that age group. Called ǮTeenagers: Out of Control?ǯ, following the
straight to the point style of common documentary titles, the opening 5 minutes
of the documentary explain the topic and its issues, and set about tackling the
issue immediately by interviewing young people of the focused age group (also
the target audience) and assessing some of the claims made about teenagers
across the media.

This issue is one that has been raised throughout the media in the past, with
newspaper articles and websites targeting the issue as one that should be
considered important, as this BBC article shows;
It is this sort of article that inspired us to take this issue as the focus for our
documentary, as the reality of the issue would result in a professional
appearance to our documentary and would be easy to advertise in the radio
trailer and attract our target audience.

My research on Channel 4, its listings and the type of documentary it broadcasts

showed that this is an topic they would realistically broadcast a documentary
about, as they already have shown documentaries aimed at our target audience
of young people before, such as ǮTeen Undertakerǯ and ǮThe Joy Of Teen Sexǯ to
name some recent
examples. Having
analysed some
documentaries from
Channel 4 in the
research and planning
stages and considering
my study of the type of
documentary Channel
4 show, I attempted to
follow the ǮChannel 4
mantraǯ and the way
they make their documentaries in all of my contributions to our media product.
One of the documentaries we studied from Channel was ǮThe Hospitalǯ, and in
particular a clip from the program where a teenager is interviewed about being
stabbed. Stabbings and other violence is a factor of the image of teenagers
presented by the media, and our documentary features some interviewees
talking about stabbing and other violence, an example of the crossover in topics
between our documentary and a real channel 4 example.

Having studied many documentary openings, we ensured ours followed many

conventions set by these for the opening 30 seconds especially so the
documentary appeared professional and realistic straight away. Our opening
scene shows the presenter stood alone introducing the topic of the program, as
does the opening of a documentary we analysed, Panorama, an example of
exposition in a professional documentary as well as ours

The similarity between the opening shot is clear, with a mid shot/MCU used in
both instances, as well as the background being important in the mise en scene
hence why the presenters are stood lightly to the left or right of centre. Both
presenters introduce their programǯs topic, and then both also cut to a montage.
Montages are used in the opening 30
seconds of almost every documentary on
television, especially Channel 4, and so
we felt we should follow this convention
and continue the show with a montage
ending in the title of the show,
ǮTeenagers: Out of Control?ǯ.

The interviews we set up with students

and other members of our target audience as well as experts such as youth
worker Jag Jagdev, left, were all obviously relevant to the topic of the
documentary and edited so none were boring or continued for too long. The
interviews we featured all used captions to introduce the interviewee as used in
real documentaries, and as seen in the Jag
interview, all are setup with the interviewee looking at the interviewer behind
and left of the camera and not straight down the camera itself, which would
appear unprofessional and staged. Most interviews were introduced by the
voiceover, to give the viewer an insight into the interview and why it has been
included, usually with an establishing shot whilst this voiceover talks to fit the
mise en scene and the sound together well.

The music used in the documentary is also used purposefully to follow codes and
conventions of documentaries we watched and analysed in the research and
planning stage, in order to add to the professionalism we were looking for. The
first piece of music used in the documentary comes whilst the opening montage
is on as part of the title sequence, and I
chose the Oasis song ǮCigarettes and
Alcoholǯ, which I bought, owned and so
was copyright free, as it has clear lyrical
references to our topic and rebellious
youth, and fits in with the images used
on the montage, such as shots of youths
rolling cigarettes and images of alcohol
as well as teenagers Ǯlooking for some
actionǯ, as the lyrics state. The excerpt of
the song is very relevant to the topic and
particularly the shots used in the
opening montage/title sequence, which
is why I chose to include it. The other
main piece of music featured in the
documentary is the copyright-free track ǮCybertoyǯ, used as background music to
most of the documentary because of its subtle but noticeably beats and melodies
that fill the empty sound but and add atmosphere but do not detract attention
from the main documentary. This use of a subtle beat-based track is used by
almost every documentary made, and all of those we analysed, so is a proven
convention of the trade.

Some elements of the documentary could have been improved to make it

absolutely professional, such as some of the shaky camera shots, and some areas
of the sound levels. These are things that have been recognized and would be put
right if more time were now available, which is why it is important to
acknowledge mistakes instead of being oblivious to them

For the task we also had to produce a 30 second radio trailer, which I created
entirely, and a listings page for a TV magazine, produced by Student B. The radio
trailer was for the local commercial station BRMB, and I included a copyright
free version of their indent in the trailer to make it sound like a real media
product that would be played on that station. The trailer also includes excerpts
from the documentary with snippets of interviews used to highlight the sense of
debate and opinion in the program that prove it as a serious issue, a convention
used in both the radio trailers I analysed in the research and planning stage.
Another convention followed in the radio trailer was the final voiceover giving
the name, time, date and channel the program is to be broadcast on, a vital
feature in an advert for a television show.

Õ ! 

In addition to our main documentary we as a group were asked to create two

ancillary texts to go alongside the documentary and promote it whilst keeping in
line with the documentaryǯs topic, aesthetic and Ǯbrand identityǯ. The two texts
we had to produce came in the form of a thirty second radio trailer to advertise
the documentary, and a double page spread in a TV listings magazine for the
same purpose. These extra texts had to appear as professional and realistic as
possible, and sell the documentaryǯs attractive points in a limited space.

The radio trailer was my own responsibility

and I took it upon myself to create the best
sounding, most professional trailer to advertise
our main documentary. Through researching
and analyzing trailers for the BBCǯs Formula 1
coverage and a Stephen Fry TV program I
learnt some of the conventions that needed to
be included to ensure a quality radio trailer.
The trailer was to be broadcast on local
commercial station BRMB, so I chose to begin
the trailer with the stations official ident,
available free of copyright. This adds to the realism of the trailer straight from
the start and sets up the rest of the trailer to fit the radio stations sound and

The trailer opens with an extreme claim from a student ǮI think itǯs quite obvious
the media hate usǯ, which immediately attracts the listeners attention using
controversy and introduces a sense of debate and anger to the documentary. A
male voice over introduces and describes the topic of the documentary
throughout, in between other excerpts from interviews and vox pops on the
documentary. Including these clips from the documentary is of course vital to its
advertising, and is a convention used in all of the radio trailers analysed,
especially the Stephen Fry trailer. Also, the trailer keeps to the projects brand
identity by including clips from teenagers themselves speaking about the issue,
and slightly dramatizing matters to maintain our young target audienceǯs
Also required as an ancillary text was
an article to put in a TV listings page,
also to advertise and support our documentary. Designed for a channel 4 listings
magazine based on the Radio Times, it had to describe in detail the topic and
purpose to our documentary, and why the issue was one worth investigating.
Using images, pull quotes, large text and subtle fonts it advertises both the
documentary and the topic well, and would fit in any real TV listings magazine
such as the Radio Times. These codes and conventions were taken from
studying a real TV listings article from the Radio Times itself, entitled ǮMy
Grandfather Knew Gandhiǯ, which can be seen below, with the similarities
obvious. The listings page shows images of teenagers smoking and hanging
around in groups, following the trend set by the documentary and the radio
trailer that they are the main focus here, as that age group is both the one we
concentrate our documentary itself on, and our primary target audience. This
means that again the second ancillary text follows the brand identity set by the
with it the
Õ $    " 

Following the completion of our documentary, we carried out a series of

audience feedback exercises to gauge the popularity and the opinion of our
product through the eyes of our target audience. Through gathering a group of
around twenty members of our target audience of young adults, we used
questionnaires to get their opinion on the professionalism, appropriateness,
content and editing of our documentary, and to rate it overall.

The results of our audience

feedback were mainly very
positive, with not one person
choosing the ǮPoorǯ option on
any factor of the documentary.
The questionnaire covered a
wide range of aspects of the
documentary, and most came
out with an average ǮGoodǯ,
ǮVery Goodǯ or ǮExcellentǯ rating
from the group. Particularly
popular was the category
entitled ǮAppropriateness of
topic for TVǯ, which received 3 ǮExcellentǯ marks and 5 ǮVery Goodǯ marks,
proving our documentary topic was one that resonated with a TV audience and
would keep them interested throughout, as the issue is a serious and real one,
which is why we chose it originally.

Another category
that received very
positive feedback
was the
for Target
Audienceǯ section,
which also
received 3
ǮExcellentǯ marks,
proving that our
target audience
believed our
documentary to be
relevant and
informative to
their own age group, which was our general aim when creating the documentary.
The graph shows the full results of the questionnaire, with the only real
disappointing result in the use of sound and music column. Feedback from the
group indicated that some of the sound levels were a little unbalanced and some
shots, like the opening shot of Shivani by a road, had too much background noise.
These are issues we accept and would endeavor to put right if more time was
available. However, overall I am very pleased with the feedback we received
from our target audience as they
branded it a professional, quality
documentary with a subject fit
for television, Channel 4, and our
target audience, which were our
main and general aims when
constructing the media



The production of three quality and professional media products required us as a

group to use real media technologies and develop what skills we originally had in
order to produce text of a good level. I used many programs and technologie s
that I had not encountered before, and some that I had, but even then I had to
step up my skills and use the technologies in new, more complex ways.
used in
on of the
Final Cut
a video
used to
and edit the footage we had shot, and add sound and text and generally complete
our documentary. I had never used Final Cut before, and so learned how to
import video footage edit and maneuver it, and add sound, text and transitions,
as well as being able to edit these features. I learnt how to layer sound and edit
its levels, as well as adding captions that were required as a standard convention
of documentaries, and styling these captions with colour and font changes as
well as
transitions to all
add to a
professional and

As one of my responsibilities was to produce a 30 second radio trailer as an

ancillary text, I also had to develop what basic skills I had in the program
Garageband. This sound-editing program was where I constructed my entire
trailer, and I significantly developed my skills in importing clips of sound from
other areas, such as the documentary itself or the BRMB ident I included. Moving
the sound clips into position, editing and equalising soun d levels, and selecting
backing music
from the copyright
free library were
all tasks I learnt
how to do,
developing the
quality of the
trailer as my skills
improved. I did
experience some
difficulties using
Garageband in the
time settings, as
the measurement
for the length of
the trailer was set
to Ǯmeasuresǯ,
rather than
Ǯsecondsǯ, and with
a 30 second limit on the trailer I had to reshuffle my original product to fit the
time limit after discovering my error, but otherwise I handled the technology
competently. Editing the order of the trailer so the clips from the documentary
flowed well with the voice over pieces I had recorded was also something I had
to do, and using the applications on Garageband to ensure the radio trailer
sounded as realistic as possible and supported
the documentary well.
I was also required to provide some still
images of our documentary using the program
ǮComic Lifeǯ, another program I had not
previously used, and provide notes on each still
with information about their role in the documentary, and why we included that
particular part of film in the documentary. The 9 stills chosen where supposed to
portray the gist of the documentary and sum up the style and brand identity it
represented, and are shown below. I had no issues with the Comic Life
technology and learnt how to use the image and caption software and save the
work as a whole image very quickly, and the work was on the blog well ahead of

technological skills I had to learn and develop
included the blog system where all research
and planning work, documentary
information, plans and ideas, audience
research and anything related to the
documentary and its preparation and
production had to be logged. Having never
used a blogging website before, this is
another skill I had to learn in order to ensure
my blog work was uploaded and recorded for
future reference if it was needed i.e. referring to any research and planning
during production. The blogǯs website for our group is as follows;

In all cases of blog work I was encouraged to include pictures, video and
hyperlinks, which I did as much as possible using the Blogger technology, and
overall I completed all blog work to a level I am proud of.
In terms of real technologies, a wide array of items were used to create our
media products. As well as the Apple Macs that brought everything together to
create and mould in its programs, technology was
used throughout the project to get our material.
HD video cameras were the most vital technology
used, as the cameras and tripod stand captured the
footage we were to use for our main media
product, the documentary. I used all of the camera
equipment to full effect and with relative ease, as I
did with the microphones and headphones that
were also used and required. The microphone and
headphones were also used along with a sound
recorder to capture voice-overs for both the
and the radio
trailer, so
played a vital
role, along with
the other
technologies mentioned, in the production of
our media products thanks to our
accomplished skills in using the technology.