In my Action Plan, I will be speaking about all of the skills I believe that i have learned and gained over the years, along side it will be my examples of it and how I got to the stage of what i can do now.
When researching in the past, I’ve learnt a variety of research techniques on the way. Most of the content that I have gathered has been from the Internet which I have linked to the website when speaking about it. For example a recent task was to find out about some of the roles in media production, which I had to find a range of jobs and learn what each one was and how they operate, these are the times which I use the copy and paste although, all of the work that have copied has been quoted and referred at the bottom of the text (write-up), when I use another website I read through their information and scan for the key points, when I have made a list of the information I will then turn the bullet points into my own words so that I have understood the work that I am doing and that I can write my own definitions and answers for the question.
On the right side of the text is the document where I had to make a write up for the roles in media, clearly shown, I have names the jobs first then my write-up on the job of my choice, at the end of the text that I have written I have added the website so that the moderator can check for any suspicion of copy and pasting. In the future I will have to add the reference to my work so that if my work gets tested for copy and paste, I will have a point for the moderators to check back too and see what the page said at the time of which I did the work.
A skill that I am constantly improving on is Photoshop, a software that allows you to make almost anything without a limit, I would like to think that I know more that the average person on the program as I’ve worked with it for a few years on multiple tasks. With it having so many tools it allows me to get exactly what I’m looking for, for a recent task I made a Corporate Identity which is a logo that represents my work, I decided to look around on the internet and found out what other people use as theirs, knowing that I did not want to make it too detailed or too large, I made a blue border out of simple shapes and then added in some of the mountains online which I changed by cropping the background out, changing the complete color and tracing along the top to get the simple cartoon design as my final piece, although its nothing big in scale It gave me more room to put text in the PowerPoint or whichever reason I would be using the design for which was a bonus.
In Level 2 Media I made an animation using Photoshop with included using the picture line, I used YouTube to teach myself how to use the programs feature, at the same time I used the Adobe Premiere Pro program which I needed to make the animation come together and to edit the animation to be in sync and smooth with its frames being in order, this program also involved me using YouTube to learn myself how to use the program. I added the links that I used in that project to teach myself, I also named all of the You-tubers in my write-up so that I make it clear I’m not claiming that I’ve done the work myself. The picture on the right is the animation in the edit mode, having all of the swords movements planned out before the animation started was something I decided to use myself so I had an idea of what it was going to look like, and if I missed any of the frames out I could add them back in.
In Level 3 Unit 1, I made a music video re-creation which was taking a music video and remaking it as close as I could, in this task, I learned many new camera techniques which I didn’t have in the first place, with the music video I chose being “Faded” I had to make sure I got all of the angles to make them look the same. From this unit I think that camera angles is a new skill for me as I spent a lot of time re-shooting to get the perfect shot and the final outcome was very successful, having hit all of the angles that I could physically with the limitations, I believe that I can now use a camera and capture the angles that matter and make something stand out, filming in general is something I now feel much stronger about, having the ability to plan out where the actor/object is going to be and the path that I have to move to get the best shot Is something that I feel I’m skilled at.
As I’m learning about cameras I’ve started to use ‘manual focus’ as it allows me to get the best looking shot and closest to what I need, having the correct light rays and darkness in the shot is key and using manual makes it more accurate and in some cases easier to get what you want out of the shot. As to the right as an example of where I have used the ‘manual focus’ to get the right lighting, going for the dim look to an old abandoned building I had to change the ISO lower so that the light level in the car park was ignored, which then allowed me to get this shot. Doing this also makes the editing slightly more easily as I’d already done the removal of the light rays and the un-balanced shadows, which saves more time in the long run.
Using cameras is something new to me as I’ve never really used for something other than taking a photo of something using my phone, now I’ve began this course and picked one of the DSLR I’ve been trying to improve my skills in the photo world, by getting my own and practicing on little things and experimenting on objects, people and nature. I’ve managed to picked up some skills on getting the picture to have some sort of story and back-drop to it, different angles and random objects have helped me understand the depth of a photo and the detail/focus in every shot,a few photos that I’m proud of myself and show some skill in capturing the moment so others can live it for themselves, are ones I’ve took time in the detail of the shot and the surroundings.
The 3 pictures that are shown above are some of the ones that I am most proud of, being my family also, I’ve tried to capture everything possible in one shot, the emotions of the baby looking straight into the lens with the war blue behind him which also symbolizes friendliness and the calm personality of the person. This was made by changing the filter of the lens and using the manual focus to achieve the soft edges and blurred background.
The photo of the moon was intended to have a chilling vibe to it, having a complete moon shining through a gap in the clouds which you can see the outlines of, the lighting on the shot was something that I wanted to pick up clearly, having the moon giving off this huge amount of light and almost lighting the sky, it was something I could capture with the ISO being high so that it was light sensitive and the focus being beamed to the middle, you can see the cloud that is sitting in front of it, yet still being broken through with the power of the light which is being given off creating the gloom effect, illuminating the edge the of clouds making a theme of some sort of horror based atmosphere.
On Unit 1, making the music video was a big challenge for me as I’ve never had to plan/record/edit/colour correct, all 4 of the sections were new to me as I had to make sure I put all of my effort and dedication into them to get the right video at the end, the one section that was new to me and I had to learn in a lesson was to colour correction, after been shown once and having spent some time testing different settings I’d started to gain some knowledge on how to do the colour changing and saturation mixing, now that I’ve done the task I would say that I’m confident in doing it again and have gained some skills in how to do it and achieve the correct saturation and colors needed to make a color correction.
The main job for my video was to remove the colours that were not fitting with the video that I was trying to recreate, I had to make sure that all of the colors were darkened and blended with the grey look, I used the saturation from the tool “3 Colors RGB”, which was sliders that had its own saturation settings which I changed to make the video have the grayscale look to it. When this tool was not powerful enough to remove all of the colors, I used the “Auto Changer” which was a more powerful grayscale which I could choose what amount of color was shown. When doing the grading to the video I decided to allow the graffiti on the walls to maintain their colour as it changed to look of the video and gave it another side which was creative.
When editing, a skill that I learned in the past in other projects are the transitions that are needed to make a video look a much better one. Although they are nothing big and don’t take much effort unless you’re looking for something specific, they can make a video look much better just by adding a simple add-on, in the videos that I’ve made I always use a fade in and a fade out as it makes it more easy and enjoyable for the viewer. Something else that is very useful and I’ve become more comfortable using, is the ‘picture in picture’ feature, commonly used in most editing programs as an edit screen and the final cut screen. I used it in the program Premier Pro which has the feature and can save a lot of time as you don’t have to keep re-editing the final piece and cutting it back, which will ruin the timing and positioning of the clips.
I used it too manually edit frame by frame of my video to ensure the video was in sync and would not affect the eye if the black screen appeared of where the frame was skipped, the picture in picture made this a lot easier as I was able to quickly edit short clips of around 3 seconds and get the exact frames that I needed without having to affect the final cut. I think if I was to of ignored this feature and not learned how to use it, it would have set me back by a day or two. As I’ve used it for some time, I would comfortably say that I am able to use it to its full capability, making work look better by ensuring its edited to the perfection.
The pictures on the right are displaying one of the transitions, this is at the last few seconds of the video where it needs to fade with the song to give it a more soft look instead of an instant stop. At the same time the song starts to fade along with the black cover, this is a final close where the song and the output of the video is closed at the same time to give it a much more professional look and feel. I started to learn about the final fade when I was making a video in Unit 1 on Level 2 Media and Games Design, there are many other transitions that you can use in the video that can make it look better in some ways and can also purposely make a video look a little off to give it an effect, one of the transitions that I added was that the light in the video changed as the camera moved over the sun, this made it so that the rays from the lighting was not covering the whole screen and allowed the scenery viewable.
When it comes to skills in the pre-production, I think that I have most of it controlled, although I might take some time to figure it all out, it does not mean I don’t have a plan for what I’m going to do, whether its props or actors, ill have some sort of plan to make sure ive got what I need in order to do the task. An example of this was the last task that we did in Unit 1 where we were looking for an actor on the first day and looking for the props that we would need to make the video. At first I made a list of everything that I would need to make the video happen which was something that made the recording almost instantly happen, with the lists I had for what I had to do with my partner, we could get the shots we needed and not mess around doing things that would only waste time. I had around about 70 shots recorded on a shot list and 65 storyboard pictures to go along with the video which I don’t have a photo of, but it made the recording part and editing come together like a puzzle. The risk assessment was not so large as me and the actor were using the local areas outside the college to make the majority of the video. Anything that was a hazard was recorded and put in the list and assessed.
For the locations of the video, I had already figured some of them out just by looking around the local area and looking for places that would look the same on camera from different angles, I started with the local shots then moved on to getting the shots that were in other areas around where I lived and knew so that we would not lose time looking around for the shot. I wouldnt say that this is really a skill, more of an awareness skill I have, remembering places that could be useful and looking in places that are hidden so I can remember and locate a new shooting location for filming or photography. When looking for locations I needed to look at the music video at the same time to see if I could picture the filming being shot in my location and if they came close, me and my partner would travel there and get the shot and head to the next location, most of the locations that we travelled to for certain shots were perfect or the closest shot we could get without looking for too long or far.
For example one of the shots is under a bridge or some kind of tunnel, a long tunnel was needed for this shot to really capture the feeling that he was going under completely, the reason we found such a close shot was because I remembered where I use to live was a train track going above the bridge linking the town to the estate, this was the place where the shot was taken and was perfect for the scene, it also allowed us to take a few more shots from the video which helped a lot as we didn’t have to find another location for any of the shots we got.
When it comes to communication in my personal skills, I feel I am a very confident person as I am not afraid to give my opinion and suggestions to the group or people. When speaking to people or friends about work I can have a different speaking tone as its more serious and meaningful. I feel this is a skill as I can go from being myself to a more serious and dedicated person that is working to an aim or a purpose. I feel that in the right team I can work as a leader and make sure everyone has a task and meets it to get the rest of the group on track and headed to the deadline, having being the team leader in several tasks and events in my life, I’m capable of managing small or large groups of people. One of the first Units/Projects that I did in Level 2 Media and Games design was to make a video and I oversaw a small team of 4-5 people to get the task complete, although we had some problems mid-way as we merged 2 groups together and we had to re-plan what we’re going to do, we still managed to get the task complete on time and to a good standard.
When it comes to presenting something that I am going to do or have done, I make it as simple as possible, this makes it flow more and have less jumping to different points and gets the key facts out straight. Unless I’m doing a detailed write up of something like a job in the industry I’ll go into detail or something that needs to be explained more and gone into detail on. When I’m doing a smaller presentation for something that I’m just showing an idea or my design I use bullet points as its easier to follow and understand, being straight to the point it also makes the presentation smaller and less time meaning I’m not speaking about the same thing for a time that is not needed. The PowerPoints that I’ve done in the past have been with a group of around 2-4 people which means that we need to have a more detailed PowerPoint as we’re trying to pitch something and must show all the aspects of what it is we’re speaking about.
This is an example of a simple PowerPoint which was made in Level 2 to pitch my music video that I had to do for Unit 1, speaking about the very basic of what I was going to do and what my intentions were, I find this is something that I have come to gain skill over the years of presenting to/for tasks that I’ve been set and still learn more on today on how to make them look more professional and formal. From doing level two i have improved my skill over the year by looking into other ways of making a simple presentation look visually impressive with the transitions and how the information is shown to the person that is viewing the presentation, i looked into ways that would make sure that the people/person viewing my presentation understood what i was trying to say and could follow my trial of thought. From the first presentation that i made it was simple and plain with normal transitions and was easy for people to lose the trail of thought i was showing them, from my improvements i have learned that its best to have something that is visually pleasing and is going to change every slide to make sure people kept the concentration and could see something visually and connect with what i was trying to tell them, an interactive presentation is worth the time and effort as it has a greater outcome to the audience and is more memorable. The program that i learned to use new presentation was ‘Prezi’ as it allows me to make an interactive presentation that is simple for me as i made it but when viewed by others, to have a creative aspect to it which is something i’ve learned is key when doing PowerPoints as it keeps the audience interested and engaged to the text.
Skills that I would like to develop in the future would be everything that I have already, but to a much higher level, focusing on cameras and photography which is something I would like to take to the next level and make my own blog on for personal use to show my work and what I can do, using Photoshop to edit photos the correct way is also something that I would like to get into and learn more about, as it gives a photo much more life and I can make it have the characteristics I want it too have, focusing on the skill ‘colour grading’ i over the next year at college i aim to be able to colour grade to a high level in order to make my photos or videos more pleasing to look at and to add the effect that it looks more ‘professional’ and will be a key thing in the future as it will be needed in most aspects of work in the current media work industry. Another thing that I really need to improve on for future projects is ‘sounds’ as I’ve never really worked on sound editing before but is something I should to make my audio quality much better, this is something that I’ve never visited as I’ve not had a task where I have needed to edit sound other than adding a transition to the music video I created which is not really sound editing, for my improvements for the future, i will be looking at this especially in Unit 5&6 as we’ll be making an audio based documentary, this is something that will massively improve my ability in the ‘sound’ section of my places i need to improve and what i would like to be able to do by the time i leave the Level 3 course. However I will need to use some other programs other than Photoshop and Premier Pro, what I mean by that is I need to use new programs like, InDesign and others that can be useful for the work that I am doing as Photoshop can be less effective for some tasks yet I still use it as it’s something I feel comfortable with. The way I am going to improve on the things that I’ve listed for my development is by practicing on future tasks or in my own time so I can get use to them and feel the same as them as I do on the programs I use regularly. This will help in the future as it will mean the output of my work will be better quality as I’m using the correct program for that work/task. On Premier Pro, I would like to improve on the my abilities when it comes to colour grading videos and making sure the video looks clear and is to the quality that i want, this is something that i will learn over the 2 years at college as multiple tasks will use the Premier Pro and to make the highest grade i will need to be able to colour grade the videos to a high level. The skills that i have mentioned in the
When doing photography in the future I need to improve on my framing skill, making sure that I learn the frame scale and what’s in the frame its self, with recent photos I’ve taken some objects were in the frame which I did not remove and would have ruined the shot if I was planning on using it. Since I might be interested in taking photography to further education it’s something I need to improve on for the future. With filming, also being something that I could take to further education I need to improve on my recording skills and capabilities when filming for the future.
For my future job, I would need to be highly skilled in photography and Photoshop as I would like to be a photographer for newspapers or any sort of media related subject, with it being such a packed industry I would need to be able to capture all the things to make a good photo and be successful. Using Photoshop will be a big part of the future job I would be interested in as its editing photos that I’ve taken or other people have taken and fixing them to be the perfect photo. To get into the industry and make a living from it I would have to gain experience by practicing ever where I can and trying to get better at capturing shots, I could also get known by sending my photos into news agencies to get my name recognised, this would be a path into the industry which would get me a long-term job doing what I love. As I don’t want to put all my hope into one job role, I still have ideas for other job role such as directors or any other key role in the business, I know that experience is needed but I would be willing to spend the time and effort to get the job role as it would be a dream to produce a high-end film to be published in a cinema.
If I was to do everything that I have spoken about to a high level of skill and capability, it would ensure that I could go to University and have further education in the subject if my portfolio was also to a high quality, this is something that I would be interested in doing as it would push me forward in the industry and skip doing some of the slower methods of achieving my career dream of being a director or a professional photographer. Having the skills that I have now and other skills that’s I’ve spoke about would get me a job in the industry with a good salary which is something that I also aim for in my career, something that can make a good living for an adult. I feel that the stage I’m at right now would not be enough to reach university but with the next 2 years being able to aid me in getting better and learn new things I believe that at the end of the course I will have a good chance of getting a placement in a University where I can take further education related to media. With the media world being one of the fastest growing industries due to everyone using it, I would have to bring something new to the table to get a job at a high-end company, something that I would be aiming for another job which would be a dream would to be a designer of some sort for a company such as Google which I’ve always had a dream to do, with it being such a common place for people to want to work I would need to learn all the skills I already know but to the best possible ability which is something I would be willing to do to get a placement at that company as it would be anyone’s dream to work for them. Although being a freelancer is also something that I would be looking at doing, something I’ve always wanted to do as my family have a common thing in being self-employed, freelancing photographer would be something I would be mainly aiming for in my career dreams, being based mainly off experience the job would take a few years to get kick-started, something that I would like to do as a freelancer is being a wedding photographer as it would allow me to have freedom in what I do and when I do it (one of the advantages of being a freelancer). Learning about freelancing and being taught all my life by my parents it’s something I will most defiantly try to get into and start my own business.