Digital Technology


Describe how your use of digital technology informed your own creative media practice. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

Essay Plan:

Preliminary Task: A short clip following a task we were presented with

AS film: Adequation, 2 minute opening to an alternative history film

Summer Production: Trypophobia, a short thriller

A2 film: Thank You, a five minute drama based on foreign commercials.

Filming Hardware:

National student film festival – didn’t use a boom pole or recorder for the sound. The sound was slightly muffled, as we used the sound caught on the camera. At A2, used a sound recorder and a boom pole, to ensure the sound recorded was to the best quality.

Computer Hardware and Software:

Using Final Cut Pro X: for animated storyboards. In the AS two minute opening we did not animate the storyboards, but just drew them. The in the summer project, we decided to draw and animate the getting undressed parts only, which gave us practice for the A2 project. At A2 level, used Final Cut Pro X to animate the storyboards, using experience from the summer project, to get the timing of the shots right.

Internet Services:

At AS used writer duet for scripting, and Final Cut for storyboarding. At A2 found a website called Celtx that allowed us to do shot lists, story boarding and script writing all in one: kept work together and was accessible by one account only.

Only used Prezi for the evaluation at AS, but realised that it is good for showing a large series of events as it is interactive. Used it at A2 to present the outline of the film; it helped visualise the order the events took place.

Internet Collaborations:

Using online storage to keep all the clips together under a certain category, and being able to use the same storage space and therefore accessing the same videos.

Internet Research:

At AS (film), because there was little films in the ‘alternative history’ genre, Netflix etc wasn’t helpful. At A2, used Amazon Prime and Netflix as we chose a more broad genre (drama). Made film better because it gave us films for inspiration and genre research.

Internet Sharing/Exhibition:

At AS we printed out questionnaires and handed them to people but at A2 we used survey monkey to create surveys and ask people questions to get feedback on how to improve what we had produced so far.


Essay Draft One:

At AS, we produced a two minute opening to a film of any genre that we wanted. The film that I produced was an alternative history called ‘Adequation’, based on women’s rights. Before this however, we started off with a preliminary task here we were asked to film someone walking through a door, and then sitting and conversing with someone else. This preliminary task mainly aided in my ability to use the filming hardware, such as the camera itself, the tripod, boom pole etc. This facilitated in the development in my capabilities because we were showed how to use the equipment individually, as well as receiving feedback for the piece, and being able to re-record and improve what we had already done. As a further improvement from this, during the creation of the AS film opening, I learnt how to use less basic equipment such as the dolly. These previous experiences making films have improved my own creative practice by broadening the range of the digital technology that I am able to use. During my National Student Film Festival at the end of the AS year, I made a short film based on the work ‘bath’. In this production we did not use the boom pole or the mic to record the sound, we just used the Zoom sound recorder on its on. Inevitably, this lead to muffled sound in the final production. Learning from this, in my A2 short film project, we used both the mic and the boom pole during filming. Consequently, this produced a greater quality sound; the boom pole allowed us to record closer to the audio without being in the shot, and the mic absorbed the sound and silenced out any background noises. Using digital technology in such a way helped develop my media productions as I learnt from previous mistakes that the sound quality is significantly greater with the mic and boom pole. To further illustrate my improvements, during the AS film opening production, we used the Nikon D3100 with a kit lens, however, during filming we had the camera set on automatic focus, because we couldn’t get the lighting right. During the A2 production of a five minute short film, however, we set the Nikon D3100 to its other setting: manual focus. This aided in our improvement as in enabled us to make more complex shots, such as a focus pull, adding more depth to a shot varieties.

I have also demonstrated on improvement in my own creative technologies within the area of computer hardware and software, as well as filming equipment. Throughout AS and A2 we have continued to use Apple iMacs, all running MacOS. This was most helpful in preproduction and postproduction. During preproduction of my AS film opening, we drew the storyboards out, leaving them as still pictures on the screen. We further developed this in the AS summer film festival project, by animating a scene where we had someone getting undressed, to see if we could make the scene look convincing enough. To animate these, we used the Apple software ‘Final Cut Pro X, which allowed us to import the images of the hand drawn storyboards, and shorten the length of the time that the images are screen to see how the situation would play out. Trying out this way of animating lead to further development in our creative field as it gave us experience in using the software for images, rather than just video clips. Subsequently, at A2, we were then able to use the software to animate our whole films worth of storyboards, to the best of our ability: we had the experience in it.

In addition, we used other internet services to improve our preproduction development, by finding websites online that allowed us to store information or to visualise the information we already had. For our AS group project, where we created a film opening and worked in a group of four, we used the site Writer Duet to script the film. This was helpful as it has real-time updates and allows all of the group to edit simultaneously and each member receives updates of the script as anyone else is writing. However, this was only particularly helpful at this level because the group was so big. As we no longer found it necessary to have real-time updates or versioning, we decided to look for other services on the internet to put our data together. Using this site at AS level informed our creative practices as it enabled us to practice using a scripting software, and seeing how scripts are set out in large scale productions. However, we developed on this by switching to a website called Celtx. Celtx offers many services in the same site such as storyboarding, scripting and shot lists. This was an improvement for us because we no longer needed to edit the script simultaneously, and it was much better for us to be able to access and edit multiple parts of the pre-production process in the same place. All the work that we needed for three areas of pre-production research and planning was kept under one account, and we could therefore, switch between the different pieces of work and compare them if we needed to. Celtx lets the operator attach images or shot types to the area of the script that it is in, this improved our final production at A2 level significantly, as it was so tightly organised. At the end of the AS film opening, we had t do seven evaluation questions, presented in separate creative ways, one of which was Prezi. Using this internet services in the first year of AS made me realise that its interactivity and how it moves from slide to slide, makes the site really beneficial when trying to show a sequence of events. Taking information and experience from this, I then went on to use the presentation site in my A2 production. This was an improvement for my final piece because I showed my film outline on a presentation.

The final stage of improvement was using the internet to share and exhibit the final film, or some of the tasks during production. At AS we printed out separate surveys to question people on what their favourite types of films were, and if they knew of the genre that we had chosen. As a development on this, we found the website called Survey Monkey, that allowed us to post the surveys on social media, and get people to fill them out online. This helped our final production because it allowed us to retrieve the information outside of school, and didn’t limit us to the time we had inside of school.


Essay Draft Two:

My use of digital technology has informed my own creative media practices as I have developed my skills via an increase in experience as well as learning what is more efficient. Overall, digital technology is used during the entirety of producing a media film or production. This includes pre-production, production and post-production.

At AS, we produced a two-minute opening to a film of any genre that we wanted. The film that I produced was an alternative history called ‘Adequation’, based on women’s rights. During pre-production of this, I demonstrated an improvement in my own creative practices within the area of computer hardware and software. Throughout AS and A2 we have continued to use Apple iMacs, all running MacOS. This was most helpful in preproduction and post production. During preproduction of my AS film opening, we drew the storyboards out, leaving them as still pictures on the screen. We further developed this in the AS summer film festival project, by animating a scene where we had someone getting undressed, to see if we could make the scene look convincing enough. To animate these, we used the Apple software ‘Final Cut Pro X, which allowed us to import the images of the hand drawn storyboards, and shorten the length of the time that the images are screen to see how the situation would play out. Trying out this way of animating lead to further development in our creative field as it gave us experience in using the software for images, rather than just video clips. Subsequently, at A2, we were then able to use the software to animate our whole films worth of storyboards, to the best of our ability: we had the experience in it.

In addition, we used other internet services to improve our pre-production development, by finding websites online that allowed us to store information or to visualise the information we already had. For our AS group project, where we created a film opening and worked in a group of four, we used the site Writer Duet to script the film. This was helpful as it has real-time updates and allows all of the group to edit simultaneously and each member receives updates of the script as anyone else is writing. However, this was only particularly helpful at this level because the group was so big. As we no longer found it necessary to have real-time updates or versioning, we decided to look for other services on the internet to put our data together. Using this site at AS level informed our creative practices as it enabled us to practice using a scripting software, and seeing how scripts are set out in large-scale productions. However, we developed on this by switching to a website called Celtx. Celtx offers many services in the same site such as storyboarding, scripting and shot lists. This was an improvement for us because we no longer needed to edit the script simultaneously, and it was much better for us to be able to access and edit multiple parts of the pre-production process in the same place. All the work that we needed for three areas of pre-production research and planning was kept under one account, and we could therefore, switch between the different pieces of work and compare them if we needed to. Celtx lets the operator attach images or shot types to the area of the script that it is in, this improved our final production at A2 level significantly, as it was so tightly organised. At the end of the AS film opening, we had t do seven evaluation questions, presented in separate creative ways, one of which was Prezi. Using this internet services in the first year of AS made me realise that its interactivity and how it moves from slide to slide, makes the site really beneficial when trying to show a sequence of events. Taking information and experience from this, I then went on to use the presentation site in my A2 production. This was an improvement for my final piece because I showed my film outline on a presentation.

The final stage of improvement during pr-production was using the internet to share and exhibit some of the tasks during production. At AS we printed out separate surveys to question people on what their favourite types of films were, and if they knew of the genre that we had chosen. As a development on this, we found the website called Survey Monkey, that allowed us to post the surveys on social media, and get people to fill them out online. This helped our final production because it allowed us to retrieve the information outside of school, and didn’t limit us to the time we had inside of school.

As well as computing hardware, I have developed within the field of filming hardware such as filming equipment. We started off the AS year with a preliminary task where we were asked to film someone walking through a door, and then sitting and conversing with someone else. This preliminary task mainly aided in my ability to use the filming hardware, such as the camera itself, the tripod, boom pole etc. This facilitated in the development in my capabilities because we were shown how to use the equipment individually, as well as receiving feedback for the piece, and being able to re-record and improve what we had already done. As a further improvement from this, during the creation of the AS film opening, I learnt how to use less basic equipment such as the dolly. These previous experiences making films have improved my own creative practice by broadening the range of the digital technology that I am able to use. During my National Student Film Festival at the end of the AS year, I made a short film based on the work ‘bath’. In this production we did not use the boom pole or the mic to record the sound, we just used the Zoom sound recorder on its own. The screen on the recorder shows you how long is has been recording for, and if it is picking up any sound, and correctly at that. Only using the redorder on its own, inevitably lead to muffled sound in the final production. Learning from this, in my A2 short film project, we used both the mic and the boom pole during filming. We could see that this was improvement through our use of digital technology, as the screen of the mic showed and increase in the sound that it was picking up, compared to the first time round.Consequently, this produced a greater quality sound; the boom pole allowed us to record closer to the audio without being in the shot, and the mic absorbed the sound and silenced out any background noises. Using digital technology in such a way helped develop my media productions as I learnt from previous mistakes that the sound quality is significantly greater with the mic and boom pole. To further illustrate my improvements, during the AS film opening production, we used the Nikon D3100 with a kit lens, however, during filming we had the camera set on automatic focus, because we couldn’t get the lighting right. During the A2 production of a five-minute short film, however, we set the Nikon D3100 to its other setting: manual focus. This aided in our improvement as in enabled us to make more complex shots, such as a focus pull, adding more depth to a shot varieties.

In conclusion, it has to be said that our inclined use of digital technologies has eventually lead to an improvement in our own media productions. This is because we have often made mistakes when producing films at AS and as a result of this, we have then been able to learn from said mistakes and improve on them.

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One thought on “Digital Technology

  1. Cannon, Leah – Target A

    The following is the exam board’s description of a level 4 answer, from the June 2013 mark scheme (http://hijackersandconverts.com/a2-g325-june-2013/):

    Level 4 (21-25 marks).

    There is a clear sense of progression and of how examples have been selected, and a range of articulate reflections on the use of digital technology. There is a fluent evaluation of progress made over time. Candidates offer a range of specific, relevant and clear examples of digital skills and creative decision making. The use of media terminology is excellent.

    Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

    I would mark your current answer as being Level 3, possibly 17/25.

    – This is a well-written first draft (still needs proof-reading, though) but is a bit limited in scope. I know you are working within time limits, but you need to try to cover a bit more ground.
    – Your first paragraph, though, is very good. With a bit of tweaking you will be able to use this in other future essays.
    – I think you need to rearrange the order of your points – pre-production, then production, then post-production.
    – You need a stronger conclusion, perhaps concentrating on the advantages that digital technology has over what went before. They to make some impact with what you are saying – your essay covers personal experience, use your conclusion to explore the topic more widely.

    Liked by 1 person

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