1. I really enjoyed writing my reviews, as I feel I conveyed something of my personality along with them and entertained while giving the bare-bones truth of my opinion. This, to me, is the kind of writing I’d like to see more of, so I’m happy when I do a piece and enjoy reading them back from an outsider’s perspective. The films I chose were one of my favourites and one that I used to have a positive attitude towards, but re-watching made it one of my least favourites, and both were relatively unknown, which sparked my idea to review them both.
2. My news story was one born of necessity rather than specific choosing. I was trying to find one I would enjoy writing about and do well, but time was running out and so I heard that a friend of mine was doing the abseil down the Maritime Museum tower and thought that would be fairly interesting. Unfortunately I didn’t get a decent photograph of the act as I had to be in work when the event took place. Contacting my friend for quotes was difficult too, as he seems to have disappeared from all social contact after abseiling. I tried to contact him on Facebook, through email and through texting and phoning him to no avail. I instead decided to pull official quotes from various press releases about the festival as a whole. Mainly about the sponsor.
3. My Burrst feature was a stroke of luck too, I was thinking about what to do when I heard of the website and really liked the concept, so decided to do my feature on it. I enjoyed writing about this because as I said, I enjoyed the concept and writing about something I’m interested in on a deeper level than just getting something written.
Especially as I have decided that I’d like to take part in the website too, so I was really just happy to give it some promotion.
4. My LinkedIn feature was a case of stumbling across a press release and I found it entertaining, and so wanted to write about it. The more I wrote about it the more interesting I found it and the reasoning behind the job titles became both more and less apparent depending on the title in question. For some of the job titles in question the title was quite clever, however for some such as Chief Chatter, the reasoning and application was as ambiguous as the title itself. Further, when taking into account the current state of the economy and unemployment it became somewhat apparent as to why people were going to such desperate levels to stand out from the crowd. However, their application of this idea seemed fairly lacking.
I wasn’t able to gain a work placement over Easter, so I’ve started thinking about types of desk-based studies I could do. We haven’t really been told a lot about the desk-based side of the case study as I think it was assumed we’d get a placement, but I’m sure it’ll be pretty much the same, just with different means of contacting them. Not entirely sure what to write on these blog posts in this case.
I think I’d like to do something about Journalism and YouTube, as several of my subscriptions at the moment are journalism-based, so I know a bit about them already. Plus there’s the relatively new SourceFed that has an interesting approach to getting news out each day.
My research will consist of questionnaires and observation in the form of watching the first and last 5 videos and a few intermittent ones in between. This, plus all the ones I’ve already watched should be enough to back up my case study and should leave enough room for me to explore my question and analyse the data. If I were to have too much evidence, it’s possible my case study could become too overloaded with facts and not answer the question properly.
I’m having trouble contacting any of the people I’m trying to do my study on. My emails aren’t being replied to and there’s no way to contact them properly through YouTube, unless you count the comment system, which with the amount of views and comments they have on their videos, would get lost in the flood. I’m going to try and send out Tweets to the various YouTubers and hope for a response. The issue with Twitter is that I’m limited to asking them questions of 140 characters or less and also getting a response of the same.
Finished my case study now, I had to overcome the disadvantage I was put at by both not having a placement and having to design a case study from scratch without an initial starting point. Also the fact I didn’t have face-to-face contact with which to conduct a proper interview hindered me greatly.
However, I found that once I had a thread to pull at, and a basis for an idea, my case study became something much better than I thought it would be and I’m quite proud of the result.
This film took two watches for me to form a solid opinion of it. On the first watch, I was swept away by the concept and the storyline, paying attention only to the images flickering in front of my eyes as a kind of visual aid. It could have been an audiobook for all I minded.
Seeing as I knew nothing of it beforehand, I had no preconception of what it would be like and so had a greater effect on me. Rampage is about Bill Williamson, a twentysomething mechanic who, influenced by his unwitting politically-minded friend, has had enough. Of society, of people and especially of his lot in life. This is probably something a lot of people can relate to in varying degrees, but the difference being he decides to do something drastic about it, much to the extreme dismay of anybody he happens across.
Unfortunately, the second time I watched it, I already knew the plot, the ending and the concept. All that was left for my mind to take in was the practical side of the film, such as the nauseous camera work and the strange angles chosen by the director. In some places it seemed to have been shot by a drunken man on a boat with a phone camera. In a storm.
For the most part the style does add realism to the events of the film, in a sort of Blaire Witch kind of way, but that film too, sparks fiercely polarised opinions.
The ultimate feeling that you’re left with is that it’s not a bad film. The plot feels like an adaptation of a short story, namely in that it introduces an idea and then ends, but despite the apparent pointlessness, the concept stays with you. For the shock value if nothing else.
If this is what you’re looking for in a film, then by all means watch it, but for your sake, don’t watch it twice.
Opportunity and timing have a lot to do with my first photojournalist project.
Around the same time we were told to think up some photographic subjects and stories, I happened across one that had been right in front of me for months.
Working at a Spar shop, you meet some… Interesting people. Unbeknownst to me, one lady who I’ve served since last September was a volunteer for a local charity that deals in rescuing and caring for sick and injured hedgehogs. After a lengthy chat, I now have a date lined up to go and photograph the spiky balls of cuteness for my project.
In preparation for the event, I’ve decided to look at other animal photographers, both domestic and wildlife, to see the angles etc used in different situations.
I’ve looked at John Daniels and Tim Laman and have stuck the most relevant pictures, for different reasons, into my logbook with an explanation.
The official trailer for the upcoming Tim Burton film Dark Shadows was released recently, and my initial thoughts were that vampires had already taken a societal beating in the form of the Twilight films and could frankly do without this. The film stars Burton’s favourites, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, and is based on a television show from the 1960s. Fans of the old show seem outraged for the once serious horror to be turned into what they see as a cheap comedy involving boob jokes and puns.
[Trailer after the jump] Read the rest of this entry
Finished, everything is complete. Seems like such a relief, especially with the last minute stress on us all. I would have changed the communication, definitely looking back. I think the lack of communication has lead to us all having slightly different styles for our sections. Some magazines do have shifting styles throughout though, so it’s not as bad as it could have been.
I also would have changed the amount of time creating and searching for suitable adverts. I realise now I could have put any advert in there as long as it is relevant to reader’s interests, so I didn’t need to search in vane for good gaming adverts.
Throughout this module, I feel I’ve learned a lot about Adobe InDesign, enough to help me with any small tasks I’m asked to perform with it anyway. At first it was difficult learning the layout and limitations of the product, but I feel it became fairly intuitive towards the end.
Final verdict would have to be that magazine work is tiring, difficult and there’s plenty of stress involved, but seeing the final product at the end of it is extremely satisfying.
I’ve decided to completely change my feature and news article, due to the recent SOPA protests, I’ll be doing that as my news story and replacing the January sales feature with a Kindle feature. This mostly because January sales aren’t going to be useful if this magazine will be printed at the end of the month. And the SOPA story is technology news that’s too big and current not to write about, seeing as it has only now come to the attention of the general public. The outrage of the bill has been known to me since early September, so it should also be a lot easier to write about it.
The Kindle feature, I’m doing purely because I’ve been using my own Kindle recently and wondered about the different types.
Everything’s going fairly well, the group are getting on fine with everything, as it’s still mostly our individual InDesign work to be done.
I had the great pleasure to have watched a film called Stake Land recently. You should now be wondering what on Earth this movie is about. If you’re not, then congratulations, because I’d heard absolutely nothing about it up until the opening credits were rolling.
For a rough idea without spoiling it for you; imagine if you will, a film which is the combination of The Road, Zombieland and The Book Of Eli. But with vampires. This film isn’t as hopelessly, suicidally bleak as The Road, nor is it in any way a comedy such as Zombieland, but if you add the comedy of that film to The Road’s tragic sob-inducing hopelessness, it sort of evens out, falling on the side of seriousness but tinged with the sweet smell of hope.
I don’t remember ever having watched an apocalyptic vampire film, it was kind of refreshing. The storyline is very much the same as your typical zombie apocalypse film: there’s a wasteland, some unintelligent superbeasts converting humanity, and civilization has broken into sparse, fearful little hamlets. The main difference is the opponents drink the blood, have fangs, can’t survive in direct sunlight for long and can be killed with pointy sticks. You know, usual vampire stuff. Except these vampires are mostly unintelligent and quick, very quick. They’re like fast zombies with lots of specific rules, basically.
As always, what makes this film good isn’t constant action and screaming and gnawing, but there’s the human element, the struggle that draws you in emotionally. And yes, when the emotion is dripping thickly, there’s some wild slashing fight scenes to get your life-liquid pumping. You follow a boy and a slayer by the name of Mister as they journey ever north, trying to find what little humanity remains in the wasteland and the survivors themselves.
Ok this is it, the last month for the magazine work we’ve been doing.
It’s good to see it finally coming all together really, up until now it’s just been a scattering of different articles, but now we’ve sorted a font, a front cover and have got the design of the whole thing sorted out and I’m pretty excited for everything to be done.
As it’s January now, I’ve been able to actually finish most of my articles, whereas before I couldn’t due to the timing. By this I mean that it’s difficult to know what to pick up in the January sales without knowing the best things that will be in them ahead of time.
Communication within the group could be better, but after deciding the basics of the magazine it was very much a solo job until we’ve got everything to put together. Thankfully that time is nearing now though, so we should see a vast improvement in cooperation.