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For our Module 3 practical production, we made a section of a documentary about how music allegedly influences teenagers to do drugs, alcohol and cause violence, entitled ‘Beyond the Music’. The title connotes that music has more to it and that music leads to other concepts, good and bad. There were three other members in my group. They were Frank Holmes, Saman Parwez and Jitesh Mistry. We used many influences from Module 2 documentaries in our practical production. It has plenty of the conventions that any documentary has, but there were some things, which could have been done better.

In earlier stages of our production, as a group we decided that everyone would have an equal share of the responsibilities. However, it did not work out exactly how we had planned. The filming of the production was mainly done by myself and Frank outside of school, where as in school we all participated, for example when doing the interviews. I enjoyed the idea of experimenting with different angles and close-ups, as well as planning the actual scenes and how the shots are going to be done. Archive footage was retrieved by myself and Frank.

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The logging stage of the production was done by all members of the group to decide which shots and footage were most appropriate. Frank, Saman and I mainly did the editing part of the production, however Frank did not know how to use the editing equipment properly, where as Saman and I did. However, throughout watching myself and Saman, Frank eventually learnt how to use the equipment. The only member of the group who did not have a particularly active role in the editing of the documentary was Jitesh. But when he did attend he dedicated himself to the work.

More effect could have been made by attending more of the sessions and organising the times that were most appropriate for him to come and work on the production. When it came to the organising of times and days when we could meet, Saman and I were the most responsible. Also, both Saman and I dedicated more of our time and effort towards this work than everyone within the group. The editing of the documentary was very interesting and I was most impressed with the various transitions that could be used and enjoyed experimenting to create the ideal effects.

The transition which I found most effective was the sound bridges and cross cuts which were use as it gave the production a more realistic documentary look. The structure of the documentary changed many times throughout the making of the production, as we changed our ideas to build an interest for the audience. We decided that our first scene was going to be a title scene which showed many different and affective footage being put together, of drugs being misused and footage of people dancing, setting the scene of how music and drugs associate with each other.

The title scene also has background music which has quite a fast beat and sounds powerful and dominating. These techniques used would help to draw the audiences full attention and think this documentary looks interesting. This also helps the audience think about what the documentary is about and for them to use their imagination. Then towards the end of the title scene the actual title of the documentary appears ‘Beyond the Music’ this then helps the audience to realise that drugs, alcohol and music some how relate. At this stage the audiences full attention is captured.

The final product contains many of the narrative techniques used in conventional documentaries that we studied in Module 2. We found that mise-en-scene played an important part when it came to constructing the image of where people go to smoked drugs as it was helpful in an interview scene. I mainly focused on one documentary which I had seen on channel 4, entitled ‘On the Streets’. This documentary was about how people everywhere in the UK misuse drugs. I gained inspiration from this documentary in terms of structure and narrative.

There were many conventions in this documentary, which inspired me and gave me good ideas. For example, there is a ‘warning’ sign shown at the start of the documentary to alert viewers that this documentary contains certain footage which may not be appropriate for all viewers. Others documentaries such as ‘Macintyre Undercover’ and ‘Biggie and Tupac’, helped immensely, as certain ideas used in our production was taken from these documentaries, such as narrative, where Frank researches this concept of music on his friends and people he knows.

These documentaries inspired me to produce a documentary for our practical production. There were many more conventions, which helped us build our production. As it is a documentary on music and drugs, we used many other topics which relate to music and drugs, such as alcohol and violence. We used certain techniques such as sound bridge and cross cutting, which helped make more of an effect on the audiences. For example, during an interview the person being interviewed will be seen and then footage of what the interviewee is talking about will be shown, such as violence.

In total the production last around 8 minutes and it ends by going into a break. The audiences are of teenagers and adults as the documentary is educational, as certain scenes shown will put people off misusing drugs and alcohol. The documentary relates to both genders, as both genders are shown to be misusing drugs and alcohol. Race is not an issue in this documentary as again it shows different types of races misusing drugs and alcohol. The primary audience are the teenagers who do it themselves and the secondary audience are adults such as parents.

The expectations of the documentary is that the primary audience should feel cheated and exposed, and the secondary audience should feel fulfilled and informed. The way everyone is represented in the documentary is quite negative but accurate, also the production is biased as it only shows that music influences drug and alcohol abuse. We have many strengths about our finished work. Throughout the editing, we were able to put the right kind of mood to the subject. For example, the title scene, we managed to get a powerful, interesting and attention capturing scene.

Also throughout the production we managed to get views from different people and effective symbolic meanings. Even though our production is a good success, we had weaknesses too. We had a problem with the amount of time we had to do the production and editing, because we actually wanted to make the production longer, as well as certain footage which we wanted to put in had to be left out. Also we had a problem with people’s dedication to the production, as some members did not take it seriously. But that did not stop us from making a well-made practical production.

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Kylie Garcia

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