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Skills Development & Evaluation Preliminary Task Daniel Ostrowski.

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1 Skills Development & Evaluation Preliminary Task Daniel Ostrowski

2 Creativity The intended outcome of the production was to entertain the audience (year 7 students new to secondary schooling), whilst at the same time to inform them of what life could be like in their new period of schooling. This was achieved effectively by use of a humorous image (a small child threatening an older one) which comes across as ironic and funny, whilst my colour scheme stayed within the limits of the school – maroon, yellow, white – to reinforce the audience’s relevance to the production. The fonts were informal and language colloquial, appealing to the intended audience. The stylistic conventions used in my production were typical features of most magazines, i.e.: Main image, mast-head, sub-heading and copy lines; but have been used to appeal to the audience by being informal and colloquial, yet fitting into the colour scheme and style of the audience’s surroundings.

3 Research and Planning My plans were followed effectively to an extent, as in the basic format was followed but minor changes had to be made (such as moving the copy lines out of columns into areas of better background colour over the cover etc.). My research was predominantly primary, as I thought up the main features of the production and obtained the images myself. The only secondary research I undertook was analysing existing magazine covers to inform my production with use of typical media conventions.

4 Digital Technology Altogether, through the duration of the production process I have used Microsoft Publisher and Word, and Macromedia Fireworks. Fireworks was my main software, which I used for image manipulation and the bringing together of my final piece, whereas the Microsoft programmes were supplements to this process, providing fonts etc. that Fireworks could not. The only technical equipment I have used is a digital camera and a computer. The advantages of these things is the efficiency and speed at which these things work. However, as with most digital and computerised equipment, there were several technical glitches such as being unable to save copies of drafts and random deletion of saved drafts etc. This occurred mostly in Macromedia Fireworks. Technology was used completely in the production, right from obtaining the images to piecing together my final production. The only places technology were not used during the process was the initial planning on paper and the analytical research on existing magazine covers.

5 Generic Media Conventions Typical media conventions were adhered to throughout the production process with my use of a mast-head, sub-title, main image and copy lines. The representations of the cover were intended to be entertaining and taken in jest as opposed to literal interpretation. For example, the article, “Bullies! Top 10…” is not a totally serious article as it takes a potentially serious subject and transforms it into something that is entertaining to read about; whilst keeping the deeper message that bullying can be avoided.

6 Post-Production The main editing decision that was made was to move the copy lines into different places across the page instead of down a column down the left side. This was because the colours in the background image down the left side clashed with the colour scheme of the copy text, therefore the copy lines were moved onto places with a more solid background colour. This made the copy text stand out more on the page and made the background image more of a landscape, which was an initial intention for the production. I used generic editing and manipulation tools in the editing process, all of which can be found built-in to the Macromedia Fireworks software. The effect of using these tools was to simply enhance the images and text on my production. The post-production process basically ran a fine-toothed comb through my production, finalising text/image placements, colour schemes etc. to optimise the look and message of the final piece.

7 Evaluation In my preliminary task I used the basic conventions of a typical magazine cover. There is a main masthead, a sub-heading/main story, main large image and copy lines as well as the more obscure features such as a barcode and issue number. My front cover shows a small child threatening a larger one – which links into the main story, “Bullies! Top 10 Tips to Keeping Your Head!” – Which doesn’t particularly show the school’s true ethos, but rather challenges it. However, the magazine’s audience is the students of the school, so the school’s ethos is already acknowledged by the reader so it doesn’t have to be properly shown in the front cover. I used Macromedia Fireworks in my preliminary task for image manipulation and bringing all the components of my magazine cover together. I have never used this software before this task, so my skills and knowledge of the software have improved over the duration of the task.

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