Children in the virtual worlds – David Gauntlette

“Evaluate the democratic values of ‘We Media’ in relation to the past.”

The term ‘We Media’ refers to a contemporary interactive technology platform, which gives users the ability to generate and produce content that has the capability of  being accessible and linked to every other person in the world who has a connection to the same platform. Evidently, this means that all aspects of social, political and cultural contents can be explored in numerous ways that are provided, with no limitations. ‘We-Media’, i.e the ‘interactive web’ evolves around the internet and advances on the public instead of mass media institutions, this is alleviated with the adequate attainable technical devices such as mobile phones and iPads.

The initial breakthrough of ‘We Media’ was with the commencement of the internet and emergence of broadband which refers to a telecommunications signal of greater bandwidth, resulting in increased communication speed, allowing the features of Web ‘2.0’ to evolve and the sharing of information became simplified for society. ‘Web-2.0’’s most significant feature is that it allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumer) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. There are many beneficial factors of having freedom of speech and ideologies within a space that is visible to the whole world, for example the role of the internet within the rigged presidential elections in Iran was prominent. To spread and promote the corruptness of the government the social network site ‘Twitter’ was most used as a tool of democracy, Twitter hashtags used most frequently in tweets about the protest included #Iran, #iranelection. Due to strict foreign media censorship by the Iranian government, social networking sites became the primary source of information, videos, and testimonials of the protests. Major news outlets, such as CNN and BBC News, gained much of their information from using and sorting through tweets by Twitter users and videos uploaded to YouTube. Without the existence of ‘we-media’ platform and the internet broadband connection, these historical revolutionary riots would have been manipulated into a mere ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘rumour’ which would have quickly been swept under the rug. And the Iranian government would have used propaganda and the hypodermic needle would have worked as people would have no other alternative. This supports the idea of an increased rate of democracy accompanying ‘Web 2.0’ as people no longer are forced to absorb the information they are given by news and media corporations. The primary goal of the news is to sell their story thus the viewer is running the risk of being a victim of moral panic due to mass media amplifications. Thus ‘We-Media’ allows society to conduct their own research and gain a better perspective of reality rather than the filtered truth.

Alternatively, it can be argued that ‘We-Media’ has some negative democratic values, because despite its advantages, there are many countries in the world that don’t have access to the internet, being satellite based, there are hardly any countries that ‘cant’ have the internet, however governments have the power to eliminate it within their country. The idea of internet censorship which can be defined as suppression of accessing certain information on the internet. Again a good example of this was the Iranian government stopping internet access, On 13 June as the election results were being announced, Iran shut down all Internet access for about 45 minutes, then restarted it with lower bandwidth; this may have been in order to set up filters to block sites like Facebook and YouTube that could be used for political purposes. However, there are certain countries that have a permanent ban on the internet, such as China and North korea ( who are coincidently communist countries), where only certain pieces of information can be accessed and ‘We Media’ doesn’t exist, in order to follow the countries ‘no democracy’ legislations.

The graph above shows that the highest usage of the internet is from North America with 77.4%, the lowest being Africa with 10.9%  that’s nearly 80% difference between the two countries, widening the spectrum and highlighting the lack and deprivation of the internet in underdeveloped countries. The world average of access to the internet is a shocking 28.7% which is only around  1,966,514,816 internet users round the world. Compared to the world population of f 6,845,609,960 this is fairly low. Herbert Schiller argues that perhaps this is for the best “the communication revolution will merely reinforce existing inequalities in a world which is becoming perilously more divided”, Perhaps if the freedom of speech was exposed to those who aren’t accustomed to it, it may cause problems, as a world of possibilities will be available to them, and perhaps mass marketing would provoke negative actions in order to attain products which are being promoted. However this also means, that there holes within the idea of ‘We-Media’ now as the statistics above show that the majority of the world (71.3%)  don’t have access to the internet. Thus the consumers/producers who do use broadband are unable to take full advantage because a large chunk of the world isn’t online.

In conclusion, it can be argued that ‘We Media’ is extremely useful, culturally, socially and in particular politically as it has provided connections to assist in revolutions happening all over the world not only Iran but also the Egyptian Riots of 2011 and the Rwanda Genocide as well as the 9/11 terrorist attacks which were filmed by the public with their mobile phones (convergence) and sold to news companies. However due to its lack of accessibility in deprived, poorer, underdeveloped countries it hasn’t been able to provide the consumer/creator with its full impact. This also means that the underdeveloped countries run the risk of staying underdeveloped and poor, whilst the other countries continue to develop and move forward in all ways possible. Perhaps then the focus of rich nations should be to try and assist those countries, as the continuously widening gap, may cause imminent problems.

Edit Decision List

Below is a link of our edit decision list.


Edit Decision List

Talent release

Below are the pictures we took of the talent release forms that our actors were forced to sign before production started due privacy and data protection.






During this week, after choosing our desired assignment brief,  we commenced with the primary research, by firstly understanding the conventions of a typical trailer. Thus the first task , included merely viewing as many trailers as possible and then analysing them to gain a better perspective for what should be included, as well as some inspiration. We viewed the trailers on a computer that our college provided, and were able to gain access to the trailers due to the internet that was also provided, making our research much more time affective. We took notes to ensure that our views were not wasted, however these notes were never official, instead we saved them in order to write them out in full sentences and in an academic way, when it was time to conduct primary research.



On this day we commenced with the process of attempting to eliminate choices down to a minimum. Thus we sketched our initial ideas down. We typed it out on our blog all the details.   We started with the poster, having picked the genre of comedy horror, our first challenge was the attempt to illustrate both themes within a poster, which would prove to be difficult as they are two very contrasting genres. We had to take into consideration our target audience and the type of comedy and horror they would appreciate and would appeal to them. We thought after watching the ‘Shaun of the Dead’ trailer to defiantly include a pun or an intertexuality, which would convey the element of comedy well. Our gender targeted was both male and female, thus our poster couldn’t be dominating one side of either sex. All the aspects which we had to consider with our poster had to be reflected in the magazine front cover, with the additional pressure to make it slightly more neutral as it would be purchased by audience who are evidently a fan of the magazine not the film being promoted. We concluded on our colour scheme, the font which will be used, the fact that it will contain a ‘freebie’ ( a free give away) a convention used by magazines to attract more consumers. And we decided on the price to be approximately £2, as most of our customers would be students, who aren’t going to be financially that stable. For our trailer we had to consider the theme, and the plot of the story, and how it would appeal to our target audience. We chose zombies, as they seemed to be the contemporary trend of monsters, and we chose to use a girl/student/child due to all the ‘grudge/ring’ trailer we viewed where this was used frequently and thus seemed popular.



On this day we  continued with our primary research, the next step was to create a horror comedy questionnaire to give out to our target audience to see if they found it remotely appealing. started the started primary research- horror comedy questionnire. This consisted mostly of quantitative data, asking the basics of age , gender and their over all relationships with films, and also how much they are willing to spend, as well as which genre of film they find most appealing. We created the questionnaire on windows words, printed out 20 copies, and handed them out to be filled, then we gained our results, which we illustrated via pie charts and graphs via word excel, and underneath/beside each pie chart/graph we analysed what was visible, and suggested a possible reason for certain corrolations.



Today we still carried on with Primary research –  Our main target today was gain a good perspective of comedy horror trailers to help us within the production to increase the quality and also act as a guideline, we looked at the typical conventions and also of our specific genre that applied to this. We searched on youtube for 10 trailers and then analyzed and wrote an evaluation on the best 3. The comedy /horrors we will be looking at are scary movie series, ‘Paranormal Activity’ , ‘Shaun of the Dead’, and ‘The Grudge. Our sources were the internet, and the website Youtube that are provided by the MACs and our time management, was impressive as we managed to complete today’s task within the 2 hours we were given.



Our primary research was still in pursuit as today we searched for adequate film posters, we found 3 good ones which we were impressed by and analysed them . The posters we were  looking at were called  “freedom writers” and “shaun of the dead” the reason we chose these particular possibly because  each conveyed a particular attribute of either the genre were aiming to portray or the age group that are target audience were.  We conducted our research on the internet and took a picture of the poster and evaluated it underneath, using pages from Mac, then uploaded the evaluation and image onto our blog. We took nto consideration all aspects of the poster  such as colour scheme, font, main image, expressions etc to show our in depth analysis



Our target today  was to evaluate the front cover of film magazines, which we managed to do in order to be able to create a film magazine front cover ourselves. and to demonstrate our understanding of secondary research . Our research was allocated to any 3 magzine front covers of our choice we chose ones we thought were related to our genre/theme, but also one which was globally known to show a good variety. The three we chose were ‘Empire, Gorezone and Total Film’ The analysis of each were around 250 words , and we were able to conduct and finish this research and evaluation in the time of our lesson which is roughly 2-3 hours The sources which made this research possible were the colleges provision of the internet and computers, meaning our time was adequately manageable


-This was the day we moved onto our secondary research,  we had to find a product that had already been evaluated and compare the evaluation that person made to our own one, and comment on any changed we would make if we were to do our evaluation again. Also comment on what the person was missing and how we included it on our one, and possibly it may have been appropriate for them to conduct it within their research. We carried out our research on the internet using our colleges computer sources, we found a good trailer analysed on scribd, thus decided to pursue our aim. After having made a comparative between our work and their findings we uploaded the evaluation up on our blogs.



Today we researched more secondary information, we moved on to looking for posters which were already analysed, by other people, in order to compare their analysation with our own, this is similar to last weeks lesson. The aim of this is to gain a different perspective and understand what other people see when they view the same things as we do, another persons interpretation is extremely important as we need to consider all perspectives of the audience as promotion is our selling point. We researched on a website called Media Magazine and found a good source. We typed our research and findings on pages, and then pasted the information on our blogs. The task was finished within the lesson , thus only took a few hours, the college provided us with the internet which was helpful as it gave us the gift to being able to organize our work with the luxery that sources and time weren’t an issue.


Today we completed our secondary research with finishing off with the analysis of other peoples analysis of magazine front covers. By comparing our analysis methods with theirs. This as mentioned before was to gain a wider perspective and a 3 dimensional view of what scenes mean to other people and how this differs from mine. This helps to widen our knowledge and make us understand that peoples views vary and to illustrate our trailer to its fullest potential we must include and focus on all the different attributes which appeals to the audience. We used once again, as it was a useful source to explore because the media blogs posted were of media students who were around roughly the same ability of us. The college provided the internet allowing us to conduct our research in an easy manner, saving us time due to the advanced computers that were our source which had a good internet speed conduction. We posted our evaluation on our blogs, after having done the comparing and typing it out on pages.



Today we started pre-production. Commencing with our production schedule for the production of our trailer. We downloaded the template from the ‘qube’ website, our college’s virtual learning environment page and filled in the dates and what we had to do on the dates, who is responsible, sources required, changes made and why and date completed. The aim of a production schedule was to assist us with the organization factor and make us aware the importance of distributing our time adequately. We filled the schedule in on pages and uploaded it on our blogs. We completed it within our lesson time, with some extra time to spend on researching script templates.


After researching script templates i found it easier to structure and write my own. We wrote a script because we needed it for our main trailer recording to inform the actors what they need to do, what they need to say in terms of dialogue and what the actual plot is . We wrote our initial ideas firstly on paper, basic points that the storyboard will be following and which order it will happen and the actual scenes and what happens within them as well as how long each scene will be. Then on paper we worked on what will said, as in the actual dialogue and the actions the characters will be doing as well the camera angles that will have to be enforced. After having written our scripts on paper and made all the alterations we thought necessary we translated it onto the computer, we used pages as our source and I  typed the ideas my and partner had conjured up, and after completion, printed out copies to hand to our actors.


Today we started and finished our story boards, having completed our scripts, making a story board was rather easy, after viewing a few examples and templates online we followed the normal conventions of producing a storyboard. I personally done the drawings and my partner done the details of how long the piece would have to be, and we both contributed to the ideas of how and what camera angles would have to be used.  The storyboards were one of the few things in the pre-production process that couldn’t have been typed up or produced on the computer as it would have been extremely time consuming. The story boards were necessary because we needed to graphically illustrate to ourselves the ideas that were being created in our minds. Me and my partner had a similar senc of humour as well as imagination thus the ideas we came up with were rather similar and complimented and fused together extremely well. This section of pre-production did take up all th lesson, and we maaged to finish in time.


18/1/11- location scouting  and location release.

Today we completed our location scouting, and location release, this included me and my partner taking pictures of the locations we planned to be using, and then asking permission to use them. Having borrowed a camera from our institution, we both took turns to take pictures of the different locations that we needed. Soon after, each picture was taken we created a location release form on pages according to the template we had viewed and printed out the necessary number of copies needed. Then we went and attempted to get them signed, and negotiated with the people in charge of the chosen locations to gain their trust as well as show them we are paying respect to their space. This was a sign of a good relationship between us and the owners, to ensure minimum distractions and filming to be produced at ease. We then uploaded the pictures from location scouting online using the colleges facilities of MAC computers. We were upload all at the same time, saving us great and valuable time.

25/1/11-  site plans and risk assessment .

The site plans and risk assessments were completed on this day. To get them completed we had to attend to a series of tasks. Firstly we had to ask our tuter to help us in attaining the site plans as they weren’t available to students , he was more than happy and was able to give us them, then me and my partner, analysed the possible risks that could happen accidently whilst fiming, We only done a risk assessment for our main filming locations where interaction with other students would be on an increase and maximized. This included the canteen and the library, after these locations were analysed we reached a conclusion of what the dangers will be and went into profound detail on our explanations. We created our risk assessments on pages, using the colleges computers.

1/2/11-  Budget and treatment.

The budget and treatment was completed on this date, it required us to download a budget template form from our colleges ‘Qube’ website, the colleges virtual learning environment. After having looked at a template to show us a good example of what and how the budget would have to be filled in, we completed it having taken into account all the outcome variables. The budget was mostly completed by myself and the treatment by my partner. The budget included the financial needs that we will need fulfilling such as cost of actors, cost of equipment, coz of travel and cost of camera crew etc, this was of course hypothetical as we were students and had no money but it helped us gain a wider knowledge of the process a filmmaker would have to go through when filming his/her trailer. The treatment was also a ready template on the ‘Qube’ website, we downloaded that and it included things such as the synopsis, the background detail, the research and the style. Having done a treatment It enabled us to portray the detail and thought that we have placed within the ideas we have presented and the validity of them, and how realistic they are.

8/2/11 – flming and talent release – filmed cubicle scene

Today was the first day of filming, the first scene we had to film was the cubicle scene with our parody characters ‘The Joker’ and ‘Harry Pothead’ We needed the camera equipment, which was easy to claim having pre-booked them in advanced, which was to our advantage as it made sure only we could use them between those particular hours. Whilst filming, my partner had to use the camera equipment whilst I was in the scene as one of the characters, however we compromised and gave individual input as to how the camera should be angled and when to zoom and when not to , and how the dialogue should be shared, i.e we shared the role of direction. After filming, we uploaded the footage on to the Final cut pro piece on the colleges MAC computers. We were able to film within the allocated time, and the whole process of filming and uploading the footage on final cut pro took no more than 3 hours.


Today we were filming within the corridor and classrooms. We needed the camera equipment, which was easy to claim having pre-booked them in advanced, which was to our advantage as it made sure only we could use them between those particular hours. Despite having already told the people of that particular building that we will be filming and their agreement ( location release) we did have some minor interruptions as it was a very public and busy corridor one of the mains ones in that building, however after many, many out takes we were able to finally conclude our evening. Once again my partner did the filming, whilst we both directed and I was acting. The Actors did show some punctuality problems however, we soon solved this with compromising with teachers to allow them to be released at certain times, in return they would stay behind to catch up on work. After filming, we didn’t uploaded the footage on to the Final cut pro piece on the colleges MAC computers due to lack of time, and closing time of the college. We were just about able to film within the allocated time, and the whole process of filming took no more than 4 hours .

22/2/11- Today we were filming in the library We needed the camera equipment, which was easy to claim having pre-booked them in advanced, which was to our advantage as it made sure only we could use them between those particular hours. The library scene caused us great trouble as the actors some were not punctual at all, and around 30 minutes were wasted on waiting for 2 of then to come. We shared directing this scene just like the others. After filming we had to upload the footage onto the final cut pro, which took rather long, as the library scene was our longest scene, and the uploading portrayed the length it took to film. Today we also printed out all the edit decision list, however we didn’t fill them in, due to lack of time.

Target – 1/3/11


Today was the last day of filming, we were filming the establishing shot of the college,

We needed the camera equipment, which was easy to claim having pre-booked them in advanced, which was to our advantage as it made sure only we could use them between those particular hours which we filmed at the top of a glass building to use the camera pan to show the skyling of the college, this was deliberately done due to the narrators voice fused on top if it. Due to the shortness of the clip, we managed to take the photos for our magazine front cover and poster, of the characters in the specific poses chosen. We did use a professional camera given to us by our college, using its facilities was to ur advantage as it meant we didn’t have to be financially be put on a strain. The final task of the day was to upload the pictures onto the computer and upload the footage onto the final cut pro. Also we recorded the voiceover narration with the camera, and uploaded that onto the computer with the camera lead provided.




Today was the first day of editing after filming, to edit we had to use final cut pro. Which is the most efficient way of modern and basic editing it is provided on the MAC computers within our college. The process of editing was done by both my partner and me, he was more experienced in that area as he had done it before and we managed to complete a big chunk of manipulation, alongside the editing we also filled out the edit decision list which helped us with what to do for each scene. And even depict certain bad cuts and use them as when rightly edited would look adequate. We also had to make an account on a music downloading website called

Which provided us with the soundtracks used within our trailer, we were able to use it y converting the music into MP3 which was rather easy to do.  We then had to merge the music on top of the acting, which was a useful skill to develop for me. For the last 30 minutes we worked on our final poster and magazine front cover, using photoshop to manipulate our images, crop them and edit them onto photoshop. This process took around 4 to 5 hours. Provoking us to stay behind using the colleges facilities after hours.




Today we finished editing, it took around 5 hours to complete on final cut pro. However both of us had no fully developed our skills on photoshop. We were editing the last few scenes that were shot. , alongside the editing we also filled out the edit decision list which helped us with what to do for each scene. And even depict certain bad cuts and use them as when rightly edited would look adequate. The music we downloaded was once again put over the scenes that ere necessary. We also for the last hour worked on our magazine front cover and poster. The task was achievable due to the equipment provided for us by our college, and despite our time management being over college hours, our main concern was completing our task.





After finishing filming, we moved on to completing our magazine front cover and poster, we used my photoshop skills, and my partner developed his photoshop skills, which he ejoyed and grasped really quickly , as I was very experienced with photoshop, as my previous projects were al evolved around photoshop. Thus producing effects and editing the fonts, and images were rather easy to do on both the poster and the magazine front cover. We needed to complete these tasks because they were part of the initial  assignment brief we chose, thus finishing them meant our task was officially finished. We used the colleges facilities and utilities during the process of producing the Magazine front cover and poster, and the Photoshop was only available on the MACs, which our college was successful in providing.




29/3/11- started evaluation.

Today I started my evaluation, I started this on pages, and took home to complete on MAC:word, The evaluation was necessary because I had finalise and summarise as well provide an explanation for my decisions and my interpretation of my own work, and It was required for me to justify it. The evaluation focused on all three aspects of the assignment brief as well as including a statistical page, deriving from the questionnaire I created in order to gain feedback for all three of my briefs. The Evaluation was continued over the next lesson, and I used the colleges MACs to complete my evaluation on the 5/4/11.

Secondary research – Trailer analysis –


The final stage of my secondary research included searching for a trailer which had already been analysed by another person. Again, similarly to my magazine front cover secondary research, i chose to investigate web 2.0 based website the link is shared above. A media students evaluation and analysis of the hot blockbuster movie ‘I AM LEGEND’ .


“The teaser trailer begins a rotating zoom into an unnamed character curled up in a bath  with an alsation. This is very striking image that immediately wins the audiences attention. The character is recognisable as played by high profile box office star Will Smith.”


The student begins their analysation with the camera work, and elaborates on the reason behind it by bringing it the audience reaction, reminding readers such as myself that the aim for trailers is for the image being portrayed to appeal to the audience. The technical wording such as ‘rotating zoom’ shows the students aptitude and knowledge for the camera angles. However, to portray an even more increase in knowledge, i personally would have stated ‘establishing shot’ instead of ‘begins with’, simply because it is a more adequate media term, appropriate for the explanation given.


“Loud choir-type vocals are added to the soundtrack, given it an epic feeling”


The most dominant attribute of the ‘I am Legend’ trailer explored within this students work is possibly the soundtrack and how it is synchronous with the action, and the effect this evidently has on the audience. An example of this is when the student explains how an explosion and destruction of a bridge creates a feeling of urgency within the audience. The student successfully takes full advantage of the music key terms and technical vocabulary, by mentioning diegetic and non diegetic sound, which is what i had done when explaining the soundtrack of the trailers i was analysing.


“Another black title screen, same font and capitalisation as before, this time the words are “mankind’s struggle for survival’ this raises immediate questions for the audience, especially in the context of the shots of people feeling and their prior knowledge of disaster/invasion sub genre of films.”


The impact of ancillary narrative, emerging as texts to explain the story wasn’t that important within the trailers i analysed, as none of them were in theory a dramatic thriller,  and for most of them the images flashing on the screen told the story, however for a trailer such as ‘I am Legend’ it is necessary to include this narrative voiceover and texts appearing, due to the confusing theme of what the actual plot is. The student has successfully made a recognition of this, and thoroughly explains the impact of the ancillary texts on the audience.


“The first movement we see for 10 seconds are deer galloping through an abandoned street”


This process of explaining the step by step projection of images which appear on the screen, is what this student does. Despite, the clarity and profound detail of the actions which occurring and their effect on the audience, it could be argued that perhaps its unnecessary. And despite the technical camera angles placed in such as panned and zoom, the student fails to put in more media terms such as the verisimilitude and its effect, what it does and how it does it.


In conclusion, it could be argued that the students analysation of ‘I AM LEGEND’ is extremely profound in detail as they go through every scene which is portrayed as an image on the trailer, they illustrate this via taking screenshots, which evidently makes it easier for them to analyse. This in reference to my analysis could be useful, as it would have been a good idea to take screen shots whilst watching the trailers, instead of posting the trailers on our blogs then analysing in one paragraph as a clump. However, There are many similarities between our method of analysation as we both focus profoundly on soundtrack and its effect on the audience, as this is possibly one of the most important factors, as its the selling point of our product.


Previous Older Entries