Having looked at the different options for the coursework, I decided to launch an advertising campaign for confectionery. I had little experience in the art of advert making and so felt it was necessary to do some preliminary research. I used various sources including a number of books and the Internet. Having collected my information, I selected the appropriate parts and wrote a short essay, summing up the many issues I needed to consider. However, confronting and putting them into practice proved a great deal harder than I had first expected. I decided to produce three adverts for the same product - a chocolate bar.
I wanted to approach as wide an audience as possible, so I thought I would use different selling techniques in each advert. I drew three storyboards, one for each idea, which briefly described in words and pictures what I planned to do. I had to make sure that my ideas followed the conventions of TV advertising: they must be lawful, truthful, realistic and must not discriminate against race or sex, must not play on peoples fears and should not promote dangerous acts. The first advert attempted to interest the audience through a mixture of surrealism and comedy.
A lot of people take interest in adverts of this nature - they stick in peoples minds and so, when they go shopping, they will remember the product. The second advert was aimed at a young audience (16 - 25) because the storyline would appeal to this age group; it featured young actors and dealt with issues such a love, cars, music and (of course) chocolate. The third advert used unique selling point, but in a humorous way. Having storyboarded my ideas, it was time to organize people, locations and equipment. Our technical equipment consisted of two cam-corders, a tripod and a spotlight (which could only be used indoors.)
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Luckily we had the Easter holidays in which to film the majority of what we needed, so time was not a restricting factor - at least not at this stage. I had everything planned and was ready to start filming. However the filming process was one, which proved to be very difficult and time consuming. I found that what looks good to the naked eye could look disastrous on camera. It seemed to take a lot of practice to get the right angles, light, sound and all the other small things, in fact the first advert we filmed had approximately an hour of footage of which we only used 50 seconds!
However as the filming went on we got quicker and better at which shots would look good and which ones wouldn't. I felt that I had broken my initial inhibitions about filming and acting; I got into the work and started to really enjoy myself. We seemed to work far better once we had got into the work. All the equipment was moderately easy to use, but the main problems we experienced were with lighting and sound - the cameras had two settings; auto-focus and manual-focus. The auto-focus took quite a time to adjust to the light. At one point we used this to our advantage (the scene where the fat man opens the fridge door)
Having filmed all our footage we thought was needed, I uploaded it from the camera to a computer with editing software. It was then that the technical skills I had learned were seriously put to the test. I firstly had to organize the footage into different clips. This involved playing the footage, finding a relevant spot (e. g. a change of scene), finding the exact frame and then 'cutting' the film. Once all the footage had been cut into different clips, it allowed us to firstly select what we did and didn't want and secondly to roughly arrange the clips in order. The software we used was called Adobe Premier.
I found it quite hard to get used to it, and I sometimes got very frustrated when it didn't do what I wanted it to. However, I was spending a great deal of time editing and so got used to it. The program had eight channels on which to arrange the different parts of the footage. We used one for the filmed footage, one for the soundtrack, one for special effects and one for voiceovers. The program allowed us to cut, fade and dissolve scenes into one another, but also featured many special effects. Having arranged the footage roughly into the correct order, we were ready to add the special effects.
We had filmed some of the footage against a big green sheet pinned to a wall. By doing this, we could edit out all the green coloured things and replace it with a different coloured background. One effect we added was on an advert that we didn't actually use - we had to paint out a character and paint in what would have been behind him. This took absolutely ages but it looked brilliant. Having added the effects I played the adverts through. They looked reasonably good, but lacked professionalism. For example the two different cameras picked up light and sound in a slightly different way so viewing could be confusing.
However I knew how to overcome the problem - when all the editing was finished I would render them, which neutralizes a lot of the small errors. But before I could do this I had to overcome a slightly larger problem, in fact the problem actually was the largeness of the adverts. My research had shown that the average advert lasted about 30 seconds, whereas two of my adverts were over a minute long. I found it hard to judge how much of an individual shot to use when editing, and while the individual clips looked short, they soon added up when put together.
To remedy this there was only one solution; I had to go through each advert, cutting out every single bit that was unnecessary, even if it was only a matter of a few frames. Having cut the adverts down to the correct length, I added the final details. These were the voiceovers and the music. Putting the music on proved to be quite hard in the 'fat man' advert because the music had to match up with the bouncing of his belly. Finally I had to transfer them from the computer onto VHS. They were now complete after a very many hours of hard work.
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