Digital Media Design


Short Form Video – 3 Point Lighting Techniques & Stop Frame Animation

3 Point Lighting Techniques – Tuesday 18th January 2011

3 Point Lighting Techniques

3 Point Lighting set-up

3 Point Lighting set-up

We began today’s lecture with a quick look at 3 Point Lighting Techniques a set-up familiar to everyone who has done some filming using artificial/continuous lighting.

The basic set-up consists of 3 light sources:-

  • 1 positioned behind the subject being filmed and facing towards the camera – known as the the back light.
  • The 2nd light is set-up to the left of the camera and side on to the subjects right hand side and is termed a fill light.
  • Finally the Keylight which is positioned level or just behind the camera and on it’s right side, directed towards the front of the subject.

The lights should ideally be positioned wherever possible, directing the light down and towards the subject at a 45 degree angle.

Space may dictate changes to this ideal set-up regarding the exact positioning and in some cases more light sources would be required to eliminate shadows for example a 4th light on the right side as a second fill light.

Short Form Video – The Light bulb (a Stop Frame Animation)

Our team – Group 2 was tasked to produce a film using a light bulb as the subject and employing the 3 Point Lighting Techniques set-up introduced in the morning session.

The group decided that the best way forward was to produce a stop frame animation. An important part of the animation would be the filming of the bulbs filament lighting/flashing on and off. Filming was delayed due to the lack of a suitable means of delivering power to the bulb but fortunately an angle poise lamp was secured and so filming could then go ahead.

We decided to film the bulb and angle poise lamp against a black background in the hope that the clear bulb would be more visible. We then set-up the lighting using 3 Point Lighting Techniques and it was at this point that we found that by using all 3 lights overwhelmed the subject and space in effect overexposing the video. Through testing we ended up using just one light. This was reflected off the surface of the table and against the background which helped to further diffuse the light source, reducing the overall intensity (No controller was available) and correctly exposing the subject.

Our video sequence was then edited in Premiere Pro CS5 where a suitable music soundtrack was added and the completed video was then uploaded to YouTube. The whole operation from concept to finished video took less than a few hours which I thought was impressive considering how long previous Stop Frame Animations in the past had taken to produce.

The final video owes a lot to Pixars Luxo Jr. and to the style of current Apple iPod marketing, advertising. (no copyright infringement intended)


Website Design – Assignment, Publish a Website

Describe the processes involved in publishing a website onto the Internet. Summarise your understanding of online hosting services and the importance of having a web presence.

1, Obtain a URL and hosting account.

1st task completed by purchasing the domain , Which I hosted at I chose this hosting company based on research and experience of having used this hosting company previously so I decided to use them for future hosting of site and purchase of the domain name. All the transactions were carried out online and then using the control panel I setup the web and email forwarding for the domain. I used the masking settings to forward the domain to some free web space where the site would be hosted temporarily – this can be anywhere for example a free hosting service which is what I used or even a subdomain of an existing website. Email forwarding was setup for a free web based email client which in this case was to a Gmail account. Hosting Hosting

2, Publish your website using a file manager, FTP, HTML.

Published website using ftp software:-

Core FTP Lite (Free FTP software which can be downloaded from:-

FTP Software download

FTP Software download

Using this free software it took just a few minutes to upload the entire website to its online hosting account. The application looks very similar to a PC’s explorer or MACs Finder application with the left side of the screen being the location of the local files and the right side the online location. You simply select all the files, directories, images, video and audio files on the left side of the screen and tell the application to transfer them queue for upload to the online side.

3, Submit your website to a search engine for listing and optimisation.

Web pages titles and keywords were added to each page for optimisation purposes.

Google Website Submission

Google Website Submission

Investigated the keywords and titles which would best optimise the site for searches on Google and added this information to the Header section of each of the web pages. Once this was done went online to Googles URL submission pages for addition to their next search update. Repeated this for other search sites including Microsoft’s BING.

4. Summarise your understanding of online hosting services to obtain a web presence:

  • Space
  • Bandwidth
  • E-commerce
  • Pop3 accounts


This refers to the amount of storage capacity supplied when either purchasing or made available with free hosting services. This can vary greatly between hosting companies but typically is around 2Gb. This is usually more than enough for most websites unless the site is for e-commerce purposes in which case a large number of images are held online, together with a database for example MySQL. Fortunately there are ways around storage limitations for example linking to offsite images, video’s etc. which can be hosted on free sites such as Youtube (Videos) and Flickr for images/photographs etc.


Bandwidth or more correctly data transfer rate is a measure of the amount of data transferred from one point to another over a given period of time. For web hosting a limit is usually applied for example a starter package is usually 2G (2 Gigabytes) per month. Ideally when looking for a web hosting company it is good idea to specify the highest bandwidth that you can. For instance, if you had say three 10k (10 kilobytes) images on your index page and a 2k HTML file, you would have 32k of data on that page. Multiply that by the number of expected page views that is the number of people looking at that page for example 100,000 per month and you get 3.2 G of data to be transferred that month just for that page. You then need to make a similar calculation for each of the sites other web pages to get the overall figure for your bandwidth requirement.


A simple definition of e-commerce would be conducting business online. There are many elements to an e-commerce web site; one of the key elements would be the e-commerce software. This would be needed to carry out all the functions of an online business for example a database to hold product information, to then display the product information, process transactions and to manage ordering of replacement product. This software resides on what is termed a commerce server which will also run or work in partnership with a secure payments system.

Pop3 accounts

POP or Post Office Protocol version 3 is the most current version of the protocol for receiving emails as opposed to SMTP Protocol or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol which is the protocol for sending emails on the internet. You can substitute the word format for protocol and therefore it means that the data or request for data will be in the required format which is common across the internet. The post office refers the pop server where email is held until a request is made by your email software to download the messages.

5. Explain the advantages of having a web presence.

There are many advantages to having a web presence, for example from a purely social benefit, examples being MySpace which allows you to share personal information with other MySpace users, to showcase videos, music and photographs not only to other MySpace users but to the Internet as a whole as search engines such as Google will index these web sites. However for a business it is now essential to have a web presence for not only advertising your business to potential customers but also as a means of validating a business, providing contact information or product listings etc.

For a Media Professional a web presence is vital, to be able to present themselves and their skills and abilities on the Internet where it is certain that customers or potential customers would look first or indeed only look on the internet when seeking a media professional or media skills and services. A web presence means that information can be updated immediately and therefore should always be current unlike a paper based CV or brochure which is only accurate on the date it was produced.

6. Review the completed website against your original brief [in assignment 1]. Evaluate its fitness for purpose. Review the quality of the published website with reference to the original brief.

The final web site exceeded the personal expectations set by the original brief, after having gone through several stages of design before deciding on the final design, in due consideration of the features and presentation of information for each of the web pages being finalised, again after several trails and designs before being satisfied with the overall final design. - Home Page - Home Page - Home Page - About Me Page - About Me Page - Animation Page - Animation Page - Graphics page – Graphics page - Video page - Video page - Website Design page - Website Design page


Stop Frame Animation – Editing & Output

Stop Frame Animation

The Animation ‘Books & Toys’


Animation Evaluation – Stop Frame Animation

With the completed animation photographed and now stored on a DVD disk in jpeg format, these images were then imported into iStopMotion ready to be processed at 6 FPS into the video sequence ready for output to a video editor. Initially the idea was to output the file in DV format for further video processing in iMovieHD. However first attempts although successful were not of the highest quality and so alternative applications were investigated for example Windows Movie Maker. Windows Movie Maker was used to produce the animation video sequence and even though there was not as much control available over the frame rate as iStopMotion offers, however it did produce a good quality sequence ready to be outputted in AVI format. The AVI format was also found to give a better quality video sequence than that produced using iStopMotion.

Started by importing the video file into Final Cut Express for video editing and adding the soundtrack, with a regard to the runtime of the video sequence this was edited to be within the 1 minute plus or minus 10 seconds which involved cutting over 30 seconds from the original sequence. The soundtrack was then imported and added, editing for the change in the length of the video sequence. Opening titles and end credits were then added.

Running the completed animation for the first time in Final Cut Express the quality appeared to be very good and so the completed video was then exported in the PAL 4:3 and MOV file format. Unfortunately after several attempts at exporting the sequence in a variety of formats the quality of the output was not as hoped and so alternative video editing applications were investigated.

iStopmotion Screenshot

Fig 1. iStopmotion Screenshot

Fig 2. - Windows Movie Maker V2.6 Screenshot of animation project

Fig 2. Windows Movie Maker V2.6 Screenshot of animation project

Final Cut Express 4.0 Screenshot

Fig 3. Final Cut Express 4.0 Screenshot

Adobe’s Premiere Pro (For the PC) was used as an alternative video editing application to produce the final versions of the completed animation. This application has many of the features you can find in Final Cut Express and more. With full control over the editing process and with added features it is possible to add video special effects and also includes templates for titles. After adding the soundtrack the final edited video sequence was exported using Photo JPEG settings and PAL DV format with the soundtrack set to the 44,100 sample rate and 16 bit stereo. The resulting movie in QuickTime format that .MOV was output for burning onto DVD. By changing the frame size several versions of the movie were exported in different sizes for possible alternative viewing for example embedding within a website, for mobile devices etc.

Using this movie from Premiere Pro as the source file, this was then imported into the application Any Video Convertor (For PC) for conversion to the MP4 format for uploading to the Internet. Any Video Convertor is a free to use application which can be downloaded from

Any Video Convertor is a free program but it does come with a limited number of formats compared with the pay for full version. The full version has more format choices and gives more control over the conversion process.

Animation Output – Stop Frame Animation

To output the animation iDVD was used to produce a DVD of the final version of the animation along with some of the trials and less successful versions of the animation.
The internet ready versions were also burnt onto CD using  Nero and also uploaded onto YouTube and embedded into personal websites including Facebook and MySpace and on finally on the website produced for the Website Design Unit.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 Screenshot of Animation Project

Fig 4. Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 Screenshot of Animation Project

Anyvideo - Video format conversion app Screenshot

Fig 5. Anyvideo - Video format conversion app Screenshot

iDVD Screenshot - used for animation DVD creation

Fig 6. iDVD Screenshot - used for animation DVD creation

By the end of the process several versions of the animation was produced. The first version was initially too long and was subsequently edited to run within the 1 minute guideline excluding titles. To this purpose a whole sequence was removed from the original animation but as this was similar to another sequence within the animation its removal was not obvious. The final animation is actually 1 minute 12 seconds long including opening titles and end credits.

As well as the video going through a number of changes involving re-editing a number of times before the final sequence being selected and so the soundtrack also went through several iterations before the final selection was made. Initially the animation’s soundtrack was to be a music backing track only, but it was decided that by adding individual sounds for some of the toys this would add an interesting element to the overall animation. Sounds were sourced from a variety of sources including Garageband and a number of websites offering free sound clips. Some of the sounds were eventually discarded as too many sounds seemed to becom a discordant noise, each overlapping with the backing track and so on. With this in mind the revised sound clips were limited to the key characters in the animation that is the toys.

The titles for the initial versions were produced on iMovieHD and were basic white on black scrolling titles and although displaying the information were discarded for the final animation as they seemed to be fairly uninspiring and so new titles were developed using Adobe’s Premiere Pro. The new titles were chosen to emulate the subject of the animation with its bright colours and toys theme. The titles designed included some animation effects as well which also tied in well particularly in the opening sequence.

The final animation was the product of more than a dozen variations before deciding that the original brief had been fulfilled. Meeting the requirements determined in the pre-production process and true to the original concept and to which the final animation comes very close to.

In conclusion the final animation produced which involved several trials and versions, works really well with its new sound track. The only real problem from an editing and output point of view came from the initial photography which involved the shooting of the images over a two day period, where there is a noticeable change in the lighting, which is also apparent in one of the sequences at the beginning of the animation. In addition there was a small change in the position of the camera overnight which was also slightly visible at the beginning of the animation.

The processes used and applications chosen to produce the final animation were crucial in producing a good quality animation as was the choice of output format. Choosing the correct output format made the difference between a good quality animation and a poor quality and in some cases blurred video with poor quality sound. There are some changes which I’d consider vital in the future; these are to either shoot the entire animation on the same day and with good quality lighting. Or alternatively film within a totally controlled environment in which the lighting is both totally artificial and fully controllable. Finally make every effort to totally lock the camera in position making unplanned movement of the camera impossible.


English – Discuss how emotions are portrayed in three literary texts

Discuss how emotions are portrayed in three literary texts

Discuss how emotions are portrayed in three literary texts

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

A comparison of three modern literary texts, Chapter 4 from “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, the poem “Havisham” by Carol Duffy and the Alan Bennett monologue “A Cream Cracker Under The Settee” from the context of how the authors have portrayed the emotions of their characters to the reader.

Throughout each of these three literary texts a theme like a thread runs through each of them. These three texts share common themes, for recurring in all three texts are the emotions of the characters, their loneliness, bitterness, anger and frustration.

Firstly, considering the emotion of loneliness and the poem “Havisham” the emotion is best represented here in the lines “…Whole days / in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall…” and again “…Puce curses that are sounds not words…” The cawing at the wall tells us she has no one to talk to about her emotions, of her anger and frustration except to the wall and then from the line “…Puce curses…” that she utters are for her own ears as there is no one else to hear them. Rejected at the alter Havisham turns inwards creating her own world full of bitterness, anger and frustration all of which means that she would be unable to form a normal relationship with anyone, all factors leading to this incredible loneliness. Finally, it would also seem that Havisham lives virtually in isolation a “Spinster.” subsequently adding to her loneliness.

Cream Cracker - Thora Hird

Cream Cracker - Thora Hird

The theme of loneliness also runs like a thread through the play “A Cream Cracker Under The Settee” there are several references to how lonely Doris feels, the most telling are the conversations she has with her dead husbands through his picture “ …Now, Wilfred. / I can nip this leg and nothing…” and again “…Come on, Dad…” She also mentions that she no longer has contact with her neighbours’ “…Folks opposite, I don’t know them…” Then again with the loss of her only child in childbirth “…If it had lived I might have had grandchildren by now…”

There are many similarities with the Havisham poem and the characters they portray, for instance both women have no one, Doris’s husband died and Havisham future husband left her, they both have no close family and have since formed no real relationships. Therefore they both appear to share many of the same emotions of loneliness, frustration and bitterness.

Loneliness is also a recurring theme in ‘Of Mice and Men’ the author John Steinbeck returns to this emotion throughout the book, in which the majority of the characters share this emotion of loneliness the only exception being Lennie whose innocence gives him some immunity from feeling lonely. But he does experience loneliness once in the book and only temporarily when George goes into town with the other farm workers leaving Lennie behind. George similarly is the only other character in the book to not feel lonely as he has his best friend Lennie, but of course this comes to him after he is forced to shoot his best friend Lennie in the final chapter of the book.

Looking at each of the characters in turn we are able to see this recurring theme of loneliness. Crooks, lives in enforced solitude because of his disability and because he is black “…a back busted nigger…” For in this time and in the location that this novella is set, in 1930’s America and at the height of ‘The Great Depression’ segregation existed and white and black people did not mix by law. Crooks the sole black person of the farm has no one to talk to. He has no friends and all the other ranch workers automatically avoid conversing with him beyond what is necessary to their jobs.

“A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody, Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. …I tell ya a guy gets too lonely, an’ he gets sick”

Crooks describes how lonely a guy can get and infers that it can effect their mental health “…a guy gets too lonely, an’ he gets sick” this can also be directly related to the subjective mental state of Havisham, whose loneliness in combination with her bitterness have certainly effected her mental well being.

Candy is feeling particularly lonely since the recent loss of his dog. The dog was Candy’s only companion and even though the dog was old and sickly he delayed the inevitable rather than lose his companion. After losing his dog Candy then seeks out Lennie just to have someone to talk to, for instance Crooks said “That you Slim? He called. Candy’s voice answered. Slim went into town. Say, you seen Lennie?”from this we can infer that Candy is so lonely that he feels the need to seek out Lennie for someone to talk to. Also from this quotation we are able to infer that even Lennie’s companionship is preferable to Crooks, due entirely to segregation, that is white and black do not mix. Candy also seeks out the companionship that Lennie and George has and is very keen to share in their dream of owning land, a farm that they can call their own, Candy imagines himself working on the farm and with Lennie and George and also hopes to have the companionship that he does not now have since losing his dog.

George and Lennie - Of Mice and Men

George and Lennie - Of Mice and Men

Curley’s wife is obviously lonely, seeking out the companionship of the other men on the Ranch using the excuse of looking for he husband Curley while all she really wants is to be able to talk to someone other than her husband. For her husband Curley does not really love her and there are no other women on the ranch that she can associate with and so she tries to interact with the other men on the ranch. For example in the novel she says to Lennie “…I get lonely. You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?” This is probably why she goes out to the barn where Crooks, Candy and Lennie are, having been left behind while the rest of the ranch’s men have gone into town. For she must have known that Curley would not be in the barn, she would have assumed that Curley would have gone into Town with the rest of the men. The rest of the men on the ranch are careful not to associate with Curley’s wife even to the point of avoiding talking to her as they know that Curley the bosses’ son would not like it. For Curley could therefore get them sacked from the ranch, returning them back into the large migratory and mainly unemployed workforce always looking for the next days employment and so they effective isolate her just to protect what they have. It is this enforced isolation that drives Curley wife to seek out the other men on the ranch at every opportunity just to have someone to talk to.

Of Mice and Men - Lenny and Curleys Wife

Of Mice and Men - Lennie and Curley's Wife

Further more, it is at this gathering in Crooks room that the main characters depicted in the novel of being the loneliest meet. Each feels that they have been deserted by the others who have gone into town and so they have independently gravitated to the barn and then inside Crooks room seeking companionship, or just someone to talk to. Each of them feels outcast from the other workers on the ranch for one reason or another. But even though they should have little in common with each other for they are separated from each other by a number of reasons for example their sex, their colour, age or combination of these, together they share this common emotion of loneliness and so rather than be lonely they discard their differences temporarily and seek each other out.

As the chapter plays out these differences resurface when Crooks asks Curley’s wife to leave “…You got no rights comin’ in a colored man’s room. You got no rights messing around in here at all. Now you jus’ get out, an’ quick…” and Curley’s wife responds “Listen, Nigger” she said. “You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?” this exchange of words causes each character to remind themselves of their differences and so the brief period of companionship, the respite from their mutual loneliness is over as they leave Crooks to be once more alone in his room. This completes the cycle for this section of the novella. Crooks is alone as usual in his room at the beginning of this section and is once again alone at the sections end as each of the other protagonists leave his room. This is an example of how the author has structured the text using these cycles to reinforce the message of loneliness to the reader.

Havisham and Pip - Great Expectations

Havisham and Pip - Great Expectations

Bitterness is strongly represented in the ‘Havisham’ poem in just the first few lines of the first stanza “…I haven’t wished him dead. Prayed for it / so hard I’ve dark eyes for pebbles…” the omission of words from this line (ellipsis) could be “A day has not passed by that she did not wish him dead”. Havisham is very single minded in her desire to see him dead in fact she “Prayed for it”. Her bitterness turned to hate, the anger and frustration at being unable to extract her revenge on her bridegroom becoming hatred for all men “Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon”.

The bitterness that Doris feels as she approaches the autumn that is, symbolism for the final years of her life and still with all her plans remaining unfilled including those for a family. “If it had lived I might have had grandchildren now. Wouldn’t have been in this fix. Daughters are best. They don’t migrate”. The audience will almost certainly feel that Doris’s life is full of regrets’ and feel, that is emphasise with her and share in her pain over the loss of her child. But this may change when Doris plans her revenge on Zulema.

Doris is bitter about the treatment of the elderly, the ever present threat overhanging Doris the threat of her being institutionalised by a report from her carer Zulema in recommending that Doris be placed into ‘Stafford House’ for her own safety a care home for the elderly.  Zulema says “I have to report on you. The welfare say to me every time, “Well, Zulema, how is she coping? Wouldn’t she be better off in Stafford House?” Doris’s bitterness turns to revenge as she finds the focus and title of the story a cream cracker under the sofa and plots her carers demise by getting her sacked from her job.

“I’m going to save that cream cracker and show it her next time she starts going on about Stafford House. I’ll say, ‘Don’t Stafford House me, lady. This cream cracker was under the settee. I’ve only got to send this cream cracker to the Director of Social Services and you’ll be on the carpet. Same as the cream cracker. I’ll be in Stafford House, Zulema, but you’ll be in the Unemployment Exchange.”

Audience sympathy felt for Doris, this poor old lady who’s had a difficult life with the loss of her child and the predicament she has now found herself in, may well switch from being one of sympathy to one of abhorrence as Doris plots her revenge on Zulema.  Doris’s bitterness is further explored as she recounts her impression of the people who she imagines inhabits a care home like Stafford House. Linking what she thinks are the old fashioned names of the elderly inhabitants she expects to see in the care home, at the same time imagining herself in the same light and in the care home as her own name Doris fills the requirement.

Cream Cracker - Doris collapsed on the floor

Cream Cracker - Doris collapsed on the floor

“…They don’t get called Doris now. They don’t get called Wilfred. Museum, names like that. That’s what they’re all called in Stafford House. Alice and Doris. Mabel and Gladys. Antiques. Keep them under lock and key. ‘What’s your name? Doris? Right. Pack your case. You belong in Stafford House.’

A home. Not me. No Fear…”

The theme of bitterness, frustration and anger continue through to the end as Doris mentally gives up on what has become the struggle that is life and with the final words given in bitterness, anger, frustration and possibly with relief. “…Never mind. It’s done with now, anyway…” This is also portrayed to the audience through the staging of the play; the opening scene starts off in lightness with the final scene fading to a blackout.

In ‘Of Mice and Men’ Crooks appears the most bitter. His bitterness stems from his position in American society, in this time of segregation his colour and race alienates him from the predominant white society. His bitterness quickly turns to frustration and anger when he speaks to Lennie in his room “This is just a nigger talkin’, an a busted-back nigger. So it don’t mean nothing, see

Crooks clearly feels that he has either a low or no position in society and his negative emotions overflow with bitterness, anger and frustration. He tries to seek some personal revenge on society by attacking Lennie’s trust in George with the words “I said s’pose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no more.” Crooks pressed forward some kind of private victory. “Just s’pose that,” he repeated.

Candy’s bitterness stems from his passiveness, unable to take the lead, assume and independent position due to his age and his relatively lowly position on the ranch as a swamper. This combined with his disability which prevents him from full acceptance by the other men on the ranch, making him seem to be a lesser person in both their and his own eyes. This is a sign of the times, a less tolerant society than we have now, where the disabled, non whites and women were seen as second class citizens. Candy briefly breaks free from his passiveness when he becomes part of Lennie and George’s dream of owning their land. This is expressed most clearly when he confronts Curley’s wife initially.

Of Mice and Men - Lennie being restrained

Of Mice and Men - Lennie being restrained - crushing Curley's hand.

“…He was the master of the situation. “I might of knew.” He said gently. “Maybe you just better get along an’ roll your hoop. We ain’t got nothing to say to you at all. We know what we got, and we don’t care whether you know it or not. So maybe you jus’ scatter along now, cause Curley maybe ain’t gonna like his wife out in the barn with us “bindle stiffs.’.

Once more Candy asserts his recently re-acquired self esteem while demanding Curley’s wife to go from Crook’s room. “You better go home now,” he said quietly. “If you go right now, we won’t tell Curley you was here.”

Curley’s wife’s bitterness however stems from what she perceives was her missed opportunity to be an actor in Hollywood Films, which she believes would have become true had her mother not prevented her doing so. “…I tell ya I could of went with shows. Not jus’ one neither. An’ a guy tol’ me he could put me in pitchers…” She is also bitter because of her enforced loneliness, which is caused by Curley forbidding her from talking to the other men on the ranch. She is frustrated in her attempts to talk to the other men of the ranch by the men themselves who know that Curley does not want them to talk to her. He backs this up by threatening them with his boxing prowess or the threat to their job should they disobey his demands.

In conclusion the authors for all three literary texts have employed a variety of literary techniques in expressing the emotions of the characters they have portrayed. The shared themes of the emotion of loneliness either expressed through the loss of a loved one for example by death or betrayal. The shared themes for the emotions bitterness and frustration from still being alive while a partner is not, as in Doris in the ‘Cream Cracker’, for Candy in his old age, Crooks as an outcast or the loneliness as described in Havisham from being jilted, left alone while the betrayer still seemingly enjoying life possibly with another. The themes were revisited again and again particularly in ‘Of Mice and Men’ emphasising the loneliness of the protagonists and also providing a humanising face to the troubled America of those times, with its drifting, lonely workforce travelling across America in search of the next employment.

The structure of each of the texts also has bearing on audience or a reader’s consumption. For example in the monologue ‘Cream Cracker’ which was produced as a play for television the audience is drawn into the idea that as the staging of the play follows the days cycle from morning to night and the light level drops towards blackout, it also seems to parallel Doris’s life as if her life is coming to an end as the day passes into night. Another example is in the cycles of loneliness as employed by John Steinbeck in ‘Of Mice and Men’ as the protagonists’ start out lonely and are then returned to their loneliness as dreams fade.

Miss Havisham - Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations

Miss Havisham - Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations

Finally, in the ‘Havisham’ poem each of the stanzas assumes a different significance to the reader. For example the first stanza appears to be full of bitterness, the second, loss and denial, the third love and eroticism turning to violence and the fourth stanza is for revenge. The reader is drawn through all her emotions from being jilted at the wedding “Beloved sweetheart bastard” the loss turning to bitterness and then hatred and finally to her craving to enact physical revenge on all males “…Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon…”


Moving Image – Voices

An assignment for Bournemouth & Poole College. Student Films – A team project involving the research and development a short form video for presentation on the Internet and DVD.


Idea Development

1.1  Develop a concept of moving image sequence

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

The Hook (logline)

Dave a Serial Killer confronted by and judged by his victims in his dreams is found guilty and is dragged down and into hell.

The Synopsis


Opening scenes

Dave is sleeping fitfully at a table when he begins to hear voices. The voices grow more distinct and suddenly he finds himself standing at a lectern surrounded by darkness when a face appears before him. This is the face of his prosecutor and judge.

Main Character – Dave

Dave an ordinary looking guy, who is assumed from his appearance to be leading a perfectly normal life and to be working in a boring 9 to 5 job etc But he is in fact a Serial Killer who lives out his fantasies at night stalking the streets looking for his next victim. Six years later and he’s killed his 6th victim he now finds it’s easier to kill the 7th and now he’s up to 12 in just 7 years.

But he’s haunted by his victims who talk to him in his sleep until the night it all becomes real.

Scene 1

Dave has fallen asleep at a table it is a fitful sleep the voices torment him as usual their overlapping voices crying out and begging for mercy but they are impossible to hear clearly. Then there is silence until suddenly there is just one voice calling his name over and over again.

Dave awakes but instead of being asleep at a table he finds himself standing at a lectern in semi-darkness. The voice comes again from out of the darkness and then a disembodied face appears before him.

The face unknown to Dave does not give a name but begins to inform Dave that he is on trial for his soul.

Scene 2

One by One the faces of his victims appear out of the darkness in turn accusing Dave of their murders. Only the disembodied faces of Dave’s victims are ever seen and they appear to float in the darkness.

The verdict is guilty and the judge tells Dave that his soul will be collected and taken to hell.

Scene 3

New voices come out of the darkness darker and menacing. Hands appear from out of the darkness encircling Dave from behind and begin dragging him struggling into the darkness. A final cry from Dave as the darkness envelopes him.

An alternative end is to have Dave dragged invisibly into the darkness where the hands then reach out to grab him and drag him to Hell.

Fade to end credits.


Voices – Script (First Draft)

Opening scene

Dave is sleeping at a table in front of his Wall of Newspaper cuttings showing all his crimes, his murder victims and how the Police are still baffled by the “By The Numbers Killer” – when he begins to hear voices. The voices grow more distinct and suddenly he finds himself awake and standing at a lectern/dock in near darkness when a light suddenly comes on and in the surrounding darkness a face appears before him.

Scene 1

Judge:              David Wake up – Wake Up David

Dave:               What’s happening – how did I get here – who – what are you

Judge:              David Tiberius Gregorshi you stand here now to face your accusers – to account for your crimes and to receive our judgement for the final destination of your immortal soul.

Dave:               I must still be asleep – I’m just having a bad dream – I’ll wake up soon and this will not even be a memory.

Judge:              This is no dream you are here to defend yourself – you are accused of the murders of so many people – each one an innocent victim chosen at random by you. Behold the first one comes.

Scene 2

Amanda:          I remember the eyes – no emotion – dead eyes – yes he’s the one who killed me.

Dave:               It’s not true – I’ve killed no one – it’s a lie I tell you – all lies

Judge:              David you have not understood why you are here – we know you are guilty of all the crimes you have been accused of – that you have killed all these people to satisfy your evil desires your only hope of salvation of your soul is the forgiveness of your victims. That there is some small hope that there is something good in you that will save your immortal soul from eternal damnation.

Amanda can you ever forgive him – to save his soul – forgive him for his crime against you.

Amanda:          I’m sorry but I cannot – I only met him that one night – and then there was the horrible things he that did – no I can never forgive him – I can remember every second of that night as if it had just happened – no I can never forgive – let him rot in Hell.

Judge:              Thank you Amanda – I’m sorry you had to go through this – you may leave us now.

Dave:               This is insane – I don’t need this  – I’m leaving – What the hell I cannot move – what have you done to me – why can’t I move.

Judge:              You have no choice – you cannot leave – a judgement must be made – you must hear from your victims.

Behold the next one comes

Mary do you know this man before you – is he the one

Mary:              I did not want to come the memories are too painful – yes he’s the one – he’s the one who killed me – may his soul rot in hell for all eternity.

Dave:               It’s not true they are all liars – anyway I do not believe in all of this – there is no Heaven just as there is no Hell – this is all a trick to get me to confess – but I won’t you see –  there’s nothing you can do that can make me.

Judge:              (The Judge turns to his left and looks into the darkness). My brothers have we heard enough or do we still need to call the other witnesses. (He nods as if answering someone although there is no sound)

A judgement has been reached –  my brothers and I have no doubt that there is no hope for you – you have shown no remorse for your actions – indeed I can even now see into your mind that you plan to go on killing.

Our judgement is that you will indeed suffer for the evil that you have done – that your soul suffer the eternal horror that is hell – the demons have been summoned, they will be with us soon – do you have any last words.

Dave:               Fuck you and your demons – I’ve told you before I do not believe in any of this crap – now let me go before I break free and do to you what I did to all those others.

Scene 3:

A Terrible noise comes from behind Dave

Dave:               What was that terrible noise – it sounded like the screaming of thousands of people

Judge:              They are here – the demons from Hell have come for you – they only wait for my word before dragging you to Hell.

Dave:               Wait, I’ve changed my mind – I take it all back – please don’t let them takes me – I beg you, just give me another chance.

Judge:              I see now that you realise the truth – you have no understanding of what awaits you in Hell – your imagination at it’s worst cannot even begin to compare to what your immortal soul will have to endure for all eternity – the time for remorse has passed there can be no appeal.

The camera turns towards Dave. The Lectern has gone and Dave is on his knees seemingly praying.

Dave:               Don’t let them take me – please, I can make everything right – please don’t let them take me – just one more chance.

Judge:              Demons – The final judgement has been made – follow your master’s orders and take him now.

Dave is grabbed invisibly from behind and dragged kicking and screaming into the darkness. Hands reach out from the darkness to drag him down into Hell.



Shot List – (provisional)

Film: Voices
Shot Order/Storyboard and Dialogue Ref
Shot No: Storyboard No: Dialogue Reference:
1 1c CU – Dave Wake up Dave – Dave Wake up
1c 1 XCU – Dave as eyes snap open
2 2 WS – side on shot Dave & Judge What’s happening
3 4 CU – Dave standing on left I must still be asleep
4 7 MS – Looking over Amandas shoulder It’s not true
5 11 MS – Over judge shoulder This is insane
6 11 Zoom in It’s not true they are all liars
7 11 Zoom out Fuck you and your demons
8 11 Zoom in What was that terrible noise
9 11 Zoom out Wait I’ve changed my mind
10 14 CU Don’t let them take me
11 15 to 16 Zoom out as Dave is dragged kicking and screaming backwards
12 2 Wide side on shot Dave & Judge David Tiberius Gregorshi
13 5 CU – Side shot of Judge This is no dream
14 8 MS – Judge facing David David you have not understood
15 9 CU – Judge Thank you Amanda
16 8 MS – Judge facing David and then pan to show Mary has appeared You have no choice
17 9 CU – Judge – turns head My brothers have we heard enough
18 9 CU – Judge They are here – the demons from hell
19 9 CU – Judge but zoom out I see npw that you realise the truth
20 9 CU – Judge but more side on Demons – The final judgement
21 6 XCU – Amanda I remember the eyes
22 10 CU – Amanda I’m sorry but I cannot
23 13 WS – Side shot over judges shoulder showing Mary looking at David I did not want to come
Cutaway and Additional Shots
25 ECU Dave
26 ECU Judge
27 ECU Amanda
28 ECU Mary
29 CU Dave side on
30 CU Judge side on
31 CU Amanda side on
32 CU Mary side on
33 CU Amanda hands in front of face – Crying?
34 MS Amanda looks away
35 MS Mary looks away
36 MS side shot of Dave being dragged
37 CU Hands on Dave being dragged


2.2 Research Content – Film Influences

The original inspiration for the Film Voices comes from an award winning Theatre production called ‘The Verdict is Yours’ produced by the Festival Fringe Theatre Company rather than from a Film. In the play the main character the man accused of murder is visited in his jail by the ghost of his victim. A trial is played out on stage with the audience acting as the judge and jury, deciding the fate of the accused murderer from evidence provided by a live prosecutor and the ghost of the alleged murder victim. The audience was left to decide whether premeditated murder was committed or was it an unfortunate accident? A key part of the original production was the magical appearance of the ghost who appeared to be floating on the stage.

Film Influences - Silence of the Lambs

Film Influences - Silence of the Lambs

Film inspiration comes from the iconic film ‘Silence of the Lambs’ the characterisation and visuals associated with and played by Anthony Hopkins. The idea that a relatively ordinary and sane looking man could have perpetrated such violent crimes. A serial killer and cannibal a terrifying idea and against the moralities of modern civilisation. The idea of making the Voices character to appear as ordinary as possible would add to the effect of  Film on the audience implying that no one knows who anyone really is.

For the trial, inspiration comes from the 1957 film ‘12 Angry Men’, the scenes in the jury room with a fly on

Film Influences - 12 Angry Men

Film Influences - 12 Angry Men

the wall camera positioning and zoom operations etc. The films narrative also offers ideas on how to develop the script for the film Voices.

Another influence comes from the 1990 film Ghost in the scene where the murderer of Patrick Swayze’s character Sam Wheat by the character Willie Lopez played by Rick Aviles who having been killed in a road accident is pursued and caught by the shadows (minions of hell) in a New York street witnessed by Patrick Swayze’s character. The scene ends with Willie Lopez being dragged backwards into the darkness and presumably to Hell. The sounds used in the film an angry growling type noise was particularly effective and it would be worth attempting something similar in the film Voices.

Film Influences - Ghost

Film Influences - Ghost

Another example includes the Film Franchise ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ where there are multiple scenes of victims being dragged invisibly across walls, ceilings and corridors. A simple similar effect could be achieved by tying a rope around the actors’ waist and dragging him backwards ensuring the rope is not visible on camera.

Film Influences - Nightmare on Elm Street

Film Influences - Nightmare on Elm Street

In general the visualisation for the film will use many of the techniques familiar to Film Noir in particular lighting effects. The aim is to light sparingly as there will be little set and target lighting to the faces of the ghosts only leaving the bodies unlighted. This will give the effect that they are disembodied – voices only. Using the 1994 Film ‘Double Indemnity’ as a good example of Film Noir in particular it’s lighting which mainly concentrates on the faces of the characters. This effect could be achieved by using hand held torches; experimentation would be needed to see how effective would be including the possibility of mounting a light on the camera or tripod so that light only appears where the camera lens is pointing.


Media Studies – Semiotic Codes

Semiotic Codes

Personal Note

I’m going to explain what I mean by Semiotics, that is the Signs and Meanings that can be derived from a Media Artefact, by this statement I mean the signs/meanings from an image, a film or something in print.

PS – probably not a good idea to copy this example assignment as although my marks were OK at Bournemouth & Poole College they were not exceptional, beside Plagiarism is always to be frowned upon.

Semiotic Codes


1. You will select two media texts and analyse how a process of selection of the material to be included has taken place and how meaning has been encoded within the chosen examples.


Film Poster for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction - Film Poster Semiotic Codes

Pulp Fiction - Film Poster Semiotic Codes

Semiotic Codes
1. Old 40’s – 50’s Magazines (Pulp Fiction)
2. Femme Fatale
3. Dangerous
4. Blood
5. Unconventional
6. Smoking
7. Cheap
8. Possessive
9. Film Noire
10. Stylish
11. Desire
Pulp Fiction Film Poster

Central to the posters design is the Films Title ‘Pulp Fiction’ which also references back to cheap magazines that also went by the same name. The designers based their design upon these magazines even down to the use of the magazines price of 10¢. These books also known as ‘hero pulps’ are of personal interest to the films Director, Quentin Tarantino who is known to be a fan of what is known as trash movies and publications of the 60’s and 70’s which incorporated these style of images.
One of the central characters from the film ‘Uma Thurman’ was chosen to portray what can only be described as a Femme Fatale in a typical pose smoking a cigarette, which was very much the norm in magazines and films of the time when smoking was not seen as antisocial and in fact was positively promoted by Hollywood actors. The pose and visuals also make you think of Film Noir the Femme Fatale lying on the bed in a provocative pose, invitational but the crossed legs say no, there is also a hint of danger, identified by many visual clues but in particular by the gun on the bed in front of her.
The designers have also chosen to add the scratches and creases that a well thumbed through magazine or cheap paperback book would attract over time. Colours also have relevance to the design, the bold title on a red background makes you think of Blood. To further add to these visual clues they the designers have included a copy of a magazine of this type and placed it under the actress’s hand.

DVD Cover for the British Film ‘Harry Brown’ Directed by Daniel Barber and starring Michael Caine.

Harry Brown Film Poster Semiotic Codes

Harry Brown Film Poster Semiotic Codes

Semiotic Codes
1. Target
2. British
3. Quadrophenia
4. Iconic
5. Old School
6. Get Carter
7. Yobs
8. Violence
9. Gritty
10. British Music

Harry Brown DVD Cover

The designers have chosen several very British iconic images to attract the media consumer, starting with the red, white and blue target design, similar to that used in the British iconic film ‘Quadrophenia’ and also very reminiscent of the markings on a World War 2 fighter plane. For example the Spitfire which also provides a link to another film that starred Michael Caine ‘The Battle of Britain’. We could assume that the designers rather than by luck fully intended to link all these images with their semiotic codes together in a cohesive manner building up the message “It’s a British Film” to the media consumer.
The central character of the film Michael Caine also strikes an iconic pose with the gun in his right hand and toting a bag which could hold more guns, money or similar items associated with the ill gotten gains of a criminal, this is again very reminiscent of another Michael Caine film ‘Get Carter’ in which he also starred.
The picture of the ‘Yobs’ and drug addicts positioned behind the target representing everything that is wrong with British society today and therefore the target of Michael Caine’s character.
In conclusion the designer of this DVD cover was targeting the consumer seeking essentially a British action film containing some violence starring the iconic figure Michael Caine in one of his villainous poses.

2. You will select two media texts and provide analysis of how meanings are created through semiotic code systems. Provide analysis of how presentation techniques construct points of view (how are the individual semiotic codes combined to create an overall effect on the consumer of the text)


Magazine Advertisment - Semiotic Codes

Magazine Advertisment - Semiotic Codes

Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano – Advertisement for Ice Cream
Entitled “Kiss temptation”

Semiotic Codes
1. Sex
2. Religion
3. Anti Religious
4. Faith
5. Catholic
6. Anti Establishment
7. Controversial
8. Temptation
9. Forbidden Love
10. Dark

Advertisement for Ice Cream entitled “Kiss temptation”

There are several meanings hidden within this advert using semiotic coding, many of which send out conflicting messages.
Firstly there is the idea of sex between a Nun and a Priest which of course is totally forbidden (a forbidden pleasure) in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church and its religious followers. The advertisement is for an Italian Ice Cream the home of the Catholic Church and so in its home market this advertisement would almost certainly be extremely controversial and likely to attract publicity albeit possibly for all the wrong reasons. Though it could be said that “… there is no such thing as bad publicity…”
The tagline “Kiss Temptation” that is Anchor Text also helps the media consumer position themselves and therefore identify with the product, the hidden meaning here is that to eat this ice cream is a Temptation, a forbidden pleasure.
In conclusion the advertiser is hoping that the viewer reads/consumes the media text here in a certain way that is, that they will be left with the overall impression that they will enjoy a forbidden pleasure by buying and consuming this ice cream.

LOVE – Fashion and Fame Magazine cover featuring Beth Ditto, The Gossip singer

Magazine Cover - Semiotic Codes

Magazine Cover - Semiotic Codes

Semiotic Codes
1. Sex
2. Being Fat is ok
3. Non conformist
4. People come in all shapes
5. Controversial
6. Anything Goes
7. Cold
8. Steel
9. Obsessions
10. Opposites
11. Vulnerable

LOVE – Fashion and Fame Magazine cover

Another image with several hidden messages using semiotic coding, the most obvious is “… beauty is in the eye of the beholder …” where you would expect the more stereotypical female model form, the slim and unbelievably beautiful (typically Photoshop’d) we see a naked obese women who is in direct opposition to this stereotypical image.
The Anchor Text “…Icons of our generation…” also sends out a conflicted message in regard to the cover picture although the names on right of the picture some of which for example ‘Amy Winehouse’ and ‘Kate Moss’ who are certainly seen as Icons of this time although can not be sure if Beth Ditto will be so considered.
The image itself of a naked women whose modesty? Is only covered by a few well chosen titles and a pink tutu, this should send out the stereotypical sexual message but instead rather appears to suggest more of a certain vulnerability, self-consciousness and modesty (because her eyes are shut) of a person finding it hard, struggling to accept themselves for what they are.
Other hidden messages include Cold and Steel derived from the mental strength needed for any person to portray themselves in the eyes of the public in this controversial way.
In conclusion the magazine intended to be controversial and attract attention to its cover and therefore its magazine, helping the magazine to stand out from the other magazines on the shelf. It also breaks from the stereotypical image of essentially a naked woman on the front cover of a magazine, while still catching the attention of the public and as mentioned before “… there is no such thing as bad publicity…”

Posted May 18th 2010 – Word Count = 1285


Digital Sound – Music and Audio, Digital Sampling

Digital Sound


Fig.1. Sound Waves.

Fig.1. Sound Waves.

What is Sound? Sound is caused by a change in air pressure. When something vibrates the air pressure is changed, the picture, fig.1.shows how the beating of a drum causes changes in air pressure, the harder the drum is hit the more compressed the air becomes and so the louder the sound wave is, in this case represented by a sine wave the more compressed the air waves the higher the peak and vice versa the less the air is compressed the deeper the trough. It should be noted that sound is the movement of air molecules or for example the molecules in water and that Sound waves can travel through a variety of mediums including water, metal, glass etc. but not in a vacuum. As there are no air molecules in a vacuum there can be no sound.

Fig.1. Sound Waves. Rockwell International Accessed 19/03/2010

1.0 Definition of what sampling is and how to sample/record

When we talk about sampling we are usually talking about Digital sampling these days, a basic description is that a specifically designed application listens to the sound and takes a slice of the sound wave, think of it as a snapshot of the sound wave. The length of the snapshot is measured in bits and the number of snapshots taken is called the sampling rate and is measured in seconds. The more snapshots, that is the higher the sampling rate the better the quality of the sound (Fidelity) as it more closely resembles the original sound waveform.

Fig.2. Picture represents the difference in quality of the sampled sound depending on the bit-depth used.

Fig.2. Picture represents the difference in quality of the sampled sound depending on the bit-depth used.

Fig.2. Picture represents the difference in quality of the sampled sound depending on the bit-depth used. What is audio. Accessed 22/03/2010

The sampling rate varies but typically a CD is sampled at 44,100 times per second at 16 bits. These samples are then stored by either on the CD itself or say on a computers hard drive for possible re-sampling and/or manipulation by effects processors.

An example of Analogue sampling can be found in the effects pedals used by guitarists, some of which remain in use today examples of these being Reverb and Phaser units where a proportion of the incoming signal is affected or indeed the whole signal is shifted out of phase or added to the original signal to produce the reverb effect. Other examples include echo units which do similar things to the signal although it does not change the actual sound but just samples the incoming sound and adds a copy to the outgoing signal but with a delay that can be adjusted to give a varying echo.

Sampled sounds can be used in conjunction with a range of effects systems to produce unique sounds for the Radio, TV and Film industries. Sampled sounds can be assigned to keys on an electronic keyboard – either a different sound for each key or a single sampled sound which is then processed by the keyboard to give a complete range of sounds.

2.0 Analogue Vs Digital

Analogue Sound

Fig.3. Analogue Vs Digital Sound.

Fig.3. Analogue Vs Digital Sound.

Fig.3. Analogue Vs Digital Sound. Accessed 19/03/2010

Analogue is a continuous medium and Digital is made up of steps. To sample or record sound it must first be converted from sound waves into an electrical signal. In Fig.3. There are two diagrams; the top one is of a Analogue signal which has been converted into an electrical signal for example by using a microphone which converts the movement created by sound waves impacting on a material such as thin plastic inside the microphone which in turn creates an electrical signal either by varying the capacitance in a condenser microphone or moves either the coils or a magnetic core inside a coil which then also generates an electrical signal. This continuous signal can now be recorded by using this electrical signal to for example move a needle, scratching an electrical representation of the sound onto the surface of a vinyl disk or onto magnetic tape using a recording head which is a form of electro magnet which marks the surface of tape with a signal.

Fig.4. Cross Section of Dynamic Microphone.

Fig.4. Cross Section of Dynamic Microphone.

Fig.4. Cross Section of Dynamic Microphone. Accessed 19/03/2010

Digital Sound

A digital signal starts off as an Analogue signal that is a sound wave converted to an electrical signal and this electrical signal is then converted into a digital signal by sampling it at a determined rate. That is the number of times it is sampled in a second. If we look again at Fig.3. The bottom diagram shows a representation of what a digital signal looks like compared with the analogue signal above it. You can see how the waveform has been converted into steps with each step approximating the peak or trough of the original signal. This approximation also supplies us with a clue as to why many sound purists prefer analogue over digital, as the analogue signal is continuous or step less while digital is an approximation of the original sound and as such does not contain the richness of the original analogue sound. Of course this can be alleviated to some extent by sampling at a higher rate and so more steps will be produced therefore more closely following the original signals waveform.

Digital signals are made up from 1’s and 0’s that is Binary code, so each one of those steps in Fig.3. is made up from a series of these 1’s and 0’s. This Binary code is the language of computers and so this allows the digital sound or data to be stored and manipulated by a computer. Digital sound can be recorded onto a computers hard disk, flash drive (USB Key), CD and DVD disk. As the digital sound is made up of 1’s and 0’s it is also possible to reduce the size of the data (or Digital sound file) by removing excess 1’s and 0’s for example the Mp3 format. The computer will remember to add these back in when the sound needs to be reproduced as will other sound reproducing equipment for example an iPod as it will recognise that the file is in an Mp3 format and so it will know to add those 1’s and 0’s back in during playback.

Fig.5. Copy degradation experienced when copying from a copy of a copy

Fig.5. Copy degradation experienced when copying from a copy of a copy

Fig.5. Copy degradation experienced when copying from a copy of a copy etc. Car on the left is a copy and you can see the pixilation of the image compared with the image of the car on the right. One of the key differences between Analogue and Digital recording is unlike Analogue recordings it does not matter how many times you record a digital sound file it remains at the same quality. Whereas an Analogue sound file loses it’s quality (Fidelity) the more times that it is copied

that is a master file when copied becomes a 2nd generation copy a copy from this becomes a 3rd generation and so on. This occurs in the same way that when the copy of a document is not quite as good as the original and a copy taken from this copy is even less perfect. This is best viewed by images in Fig.5. which is of two images of the same car, the one on the right is the original and the image on the left is a copy of a copy of a copy as you can see the final copy is very unclear and this represents the degradation in sound quality (loss of Fidelity) which you can expect when copying analogue sound files. For this reason for example, a music producer will have a master copy and it is from this that copies are made so that the copies are at worst 2nd generation copies.

3.0 Programmes and Equipment used to sampling & re-sampling


Fig.6. Audacity 1.3.11-beta Sound sampling and editing software application Audacity

Fig.6. Audacity 1.3.11-beta Sound sampling and editing software application Audacity

Fig.6. Audacity 1.3.11-beta Sound sampling and editing software application Audacity is a free open source application that can sample and re-sample digital sound and to facilitate the editing of sound files and even offers several effects including Echo, pitch and tempo changes etc. Coming back to its main features Audacity can let you in a non-destructive way edit digital sound tracks, cutting and pasting sections, adding new tracks with other digital sound files to enable mixing etc.

It is also possible to re-sample sound files by selecting the track to resample and then from the Track menu select resample and this will pop up another menu box where you are able to select a different sampling rate from 8000 to 96,000. Another option is to be able to export a sound file in different formats including .WAV (uncompressed 16 bit) and Mp3 (Compressed).

Audacity can do more than just re-sample sound it is also possible to carry out non-destructive editing which means unlike editing of old where say a tape was cut and new sections of tape added or removed in a process known as splicing. In non-destructive editing a section of the sound waveform can be cut and pasted from and into tracks. Alternatively tracks from another music file can be imported and ether inserted into the original track or added as another track and therefore effectively mixed with the original tracks.

Pro Tools

A more professional application called Pro Tools does very similar things to Audacity but takes it several stages further also to having it’s own Analogue to Digital convertor, superior in quality to a Mac or PC’s own internal hardware called an M-Box. Pro Tools is an industry standard sound editing application used by TV, Film and music production companies to create and edit professional quality sound and music.

Fig.7. Pro Tools screenshot

Fig.7. Pro Tools screenshot

Fig.7. Pro Tools screenshot, courtesy of Accessed 22/03/10/2010

There are many other sound editing and re-sampling programs many of which are free to use or open source which include:-

  • Adobe Audition
  • iTunes
  • Goldwave
  • Microsoft Media Player
  • Sony Soundforge 9.0
  • WavePad

Image Gallery



English – Short Story Assignment

Short Story

Weekend with the Pharaohs – a short story for Level 2 English

This is a True Story

Thank god it’s Saturday. What a hard first month it had been. Working eight hour days in the blistering heat, the sweat pouring from my forehead and running into my eyes making it difficult to see and then dripping into the machinery, definitely not good with all the electricity running through it. That however was not the end of my woes, my overalls carefully tucked into my boots to stop the sand fleas from attacking my ankles and sucking the blood from the exposed flesh. Then there is the sand, I gave up wearing contacts after the first day, sand gets between the contact and the eye, not a good idea to wander around Cairo without being able to see. Welcome to Egypt, land of the Pharaohs.

Today is going to be different. Today is the start of the weekend and there’s no work until Monday. There’s a knock at my hotel door. That’ll be Ammina the floor maid with my laundry I thought, she always delivers it personally in the hope of a tip (baksheesh). I struggled in my first week before I learned how much a very small amount of money went to making the wheels run more smoothly, for example an Egyptian pound left on my pillow each day gave me a spotless room, clean bedding everyday and a bathroom full of soap and towels. “Morning Ammina how are you today”. “Good morning sir, I have your laundry, shall I take your laundry bag”, “Yes of course you can, remind them not to add any starch to my wash, OK,” I said, passing her the bag that I’d placed earlier behind the door. “Yes sir no starch, the front desk asked me to tell you that your driver is waiting in the lobby”, “Thanks Ammina, see you tomorrow”.

Better get ready I thought, my guide is here already. I’d arranged the day before for a personal guide on the advice of the girl on reception, after she described the usual tourist excursions as “whirlwind trips in a crowded bus to the sights but with the bus drivers relatives waiting at each stop to ply you with the usual souvenirs and touristy rubbish”.

Lift or stairs I thought as I left my room, taking the lift would cost me a tip but do I want to walk down all those stairs? The lift it is then, as I walk down the corridor I can see that the lift door is already open and the lift attendant seems to be waiting for me, I thought “I’m sure there’s some kind of network of spies keeping an eye on me”. “Morning” I say to the lift attendant as I enter. “Lobby sir? he says” I nod in the affirmative and he tends to the operation of the lift. It’s one of those old ones where you have to pull the outer door closed then the inner door and then pull the lifts lever to start the lift moving, forward for up back for down. As we travel down the lights blink on and off and a bell sounds as we go past each floor, finally we come to a halt as the attendant pushes the lever forward.

“The lobby sir”, we shake hands the small domination note passes swiftly from my hand to his, it’s a daily occurrence but I never seem to have to wait too long for the lift ever since we started this routine.

Sidney Greenstreet - AKA Mahmood

Sidney Greenstreet - AKA Mahmood

As I step from the lift I see this figure dominating the lobby with his massive proportions. Wow! I thought, that must be my guide, as I looked him over I immediately thought of Sidney Greenstreet, straight out of his role in the film Casablanca. He stood at least six feet tall; corpulent, wearing a white suit, only slightly dusty from the desert sands; he wore a white fedora with a black band and carried a long straight walking stick and the final touch, he was smoking an enormous cigar. I caught his eye and he turned to face me, “Mr Hunt” he says, “that’s me” I replied. “My names Mahmood Sajit but please call me Mahmood” he said. “My names Ian” I said, I knew he wouldn’t be able to pronounce it correctly no else had so far and sure enough he pronounced my name as “Einz”, I knew better than to try and correct his pronunciation, so I just nodded. “My car and driver await us outside” he said and beckoned towards and then starts moving himself towards the main entrance. I follow him and he says “Of course you know you are staying in the very famous ‘Shepherds Hotel’ where your ‘Winston Churchill’ also once stayed while in conference with President Roosevelt and Stalin”. I gave him a nod to indicate that I was impressed by his knowledge of my Hotel; I’d known this as soon as I had arrived as there is a plaque in the lobby above the check in desk celebrating this meeting of world leaders.

The Lobby Shepherds Hotel Cairo

The Lobby Shepherds Hotel Cairo

As we exit the Hotel entrance the heat hits me, it’s only just turned 9.00am but already it’s too hot. The cars parked right outside, an old white Mercedes, a step up I thought from the usual black and white Russian built Ladas that make up most of the cars on the roads in Cairo. His driver leaps out and opens the rear passenger door for us. I step in and slide all the way across the bench seat making room for Mahmood; it’s a tight squeeze as he settles in beside me. The driver gets back in and starts the old Mercedes up, it clatters into life and soon settles down to a light drone as we pull into the slow moving traffic, joining the 24 hour traffic jam on the streets of Cairo. “First I must show you the Great Pyramid and if you would like to go inside I’m sure this can be arranged” he says. I immediately thought “that’s probably going to cost me extra”. The car squeezes its way through the traffic; the horn as usual appears to be directly connected to the brake pedal, sounding off every time we stop. I’m as usual faced with the dilemma, open the window to get some air but of course this also lets the dust in or just put up with the heat. I crack the window open just enough I hoped to let air in but not the dust.

We progress quickly through the traffic and we are soon on the outskirts of Cairo and there is the Great Pyramid, of course I’d seen it before, hundreds of times in films and on television but this was for real. From a distance it’s a perfect triangle shape but as you get close you can see the enormous building blocks from which it has been made, forming what seemed to be giant steps towards the sky. The topmost section still smooth with it’s covering of mortar, which in the distant past used to cover the entire Pyramid. Mahmood or as I had already mentally begun thinking of him as Sydney (that is Sydney Greenstreet) began to describe the History of the Pyramids, its construction and the robbing of its treasures firstly, by the Tomb raiders followed by the French and then the British.

The Great Pyramid and Phinx Cairo Egypt

The Great Pyramid and Phinx Cairo Egypt

As we walked across the burning sand away from the side of the Pyramid facing Cairo and the hundreds of white plastic chairs set up for that evenings light show the Son et Lumière we came to another entrance. A hole seemingly cut into the side of the Pyramid with a solitary guard leaning against the opening. As we approach the guard seemed to recognise my guide, they shake hands there is the usual passing of a small denomination note. Mahmood introduces the guard and we shake hands (everyone shakes hands in Egypt, again something I learned very quickly in the first few days). Mahmood says “ My friend will let you go inside the Pyramid, but be aware it is a difficult passage to the burial chamber, you must go up many wooden steps, in some places the steps are missing and for this a rope has been strung also the wooden guardrail is in disrepair, do you wish to go inside?” How could I say no I thought after such a build up, to say no would be to loose face, so of course but with some trepidation I go inside.

I’m inside The Great Pyramid, it’s dark even though there is a string of work lights going upwards and seemingly without end, that’s another surprise the steps go up, for some reason I thought the burial chamber was at the bottom of the Pyramid. The steps are wooden and poorly made, obviously added much more recently because of course the Pyramids are thousands of years old so the steps could not have survived all that time. Suddenly the way ahead appears much darker, it’s eerily quiet and the way up is blocked by a vertical wall of stone, then I notice the rope hanging in one corner, if I want to carry on I must climb the rope. Taking hold of the rope in both hands I begin to scrabble up the side of the stone block. In what seems to take forever and with the last of my strength I reach the top of the stone block. I stop for a breather before moving on and upwards. “Jesus” I shout out as I suddenly come across a group of what seem to be three locals going back down the way I had just come, they are talking rapidly amongst themselves and do not seem to notice me. Recovering from my fright I carried on and when I had begun to think that the climb would never end, I was there, at the end of the climb and in the burial chamber, the resting place of a great Pharaoh, a living God to his people. What a disappointment I thought it was just a small square dark chamber, without decoration or adornment. I stayed as long as I could until the dark and silence became too oppressing, besides which, it was becoming creepy being alone in the dark at the top of a Pyramid.

The climb down seemed to be much easier. The light seemed to be brighter and the way down therefore easier to see. A trick of the light or had I become acclimatised to the darkness. I was at the bottom and in all that time I’d not passed anyone else coming up the other way. The light was blinding as I stepped out once again into the heat of the desert. Mahmood appeared to be sitting in a deckchair with a cool drink in one hand and what appeared to be an even bigger cigar than what I’d first seen him smoking before in his other hand. I looked at my watch I’d been inside little more than an hour, incredible it had seemed like hours and hours. “An amazing experience was it not, did you feel the presence of the Pharaoh himself” said Mahmood. “It was certainly an experience” I said, but not one I’d like to repeat I thought to myself.

The Great Pyramid and Camel

The Great Pyramid and Camel

Mahmood leads the way again as we walk back towards the car. We pass the endless numbers of traders of souvenirs and those offering camel rides across the desert. A local holding the reins of a camel shouts out “Ten pounds to ride the camel”. Normally not something I’d be interested in but I thought ‘why not’ a once in a lifetime experience. I turn to Mahmood, “do we have time”? I said, “Yes, I will speak to the camel owner for you”, after a rapid and somewhat animated negotiation with a gesture or two from Mahmood’s cane a single Egyptian pound exchanges hands.

Arif the camel’s owner who seems to have no English which surprises me as most locals appear usually to be multi-lingual especially if they think they can sell you something. Anyway I’m introduced to the camel who seems to have zero interest in me as it lies in the desert sand yawning, I’m sure its seen it all before.

Arif then presses a white headdress and what appears to be a black headband into my hands and demonstrates through hand gestures that I should put it on. Suitably attired as a local, Arif shows me how to get onto the camels back and hands me a stick, presumably for hitting the camel it misbehaves. A camel is like sitting on a bag full of rocks. Then it stands up, first by the back legs nearly throwing me off forwards and then by the front legs nearly throwing me off again but this time backwards. Arif keeps a firm grip on the reins as we begin the circumnavigation of the Pyramids. It’s an amazing feeling sitting so high up, gently rocking backwards and forwards as we progress around the first of the Pyramids. I take a look back and Mahmood seems to have already found his deck chair and a glass of something cool again. As we travel along I can’t help but think of Lawrence of Arabia and visualising myself in the great mans shoes riding across the desert as the camel carefully takes each step. The sun has gone behind the Pyramid, instantly it’s much cooler, we are halfway through our journey already. But the respite from the heat is short lived as we turn the next corner and the sun is facing me in all its fury, its gone noon and it’s the hottest part of the day “time to find some shade and a cool drink I thought to myself”. We are soon back from where we had started from.

Ian Hunt with his Camel in front of the Great Pyramid Cairo Egypt

Ian Hunt with his Camel in front of the Great Pyramid Cairo Egypt

Mahmood’s waiting for me and suggests that I get a photograph taken of me on the Camel. After more negotiation another Egyptian pound changes hand and I pass my camera over to Arif’s nephew who appears to understand cameras. Arif’s nephew thoroughly enjoys working the camera and several photographs are taken. Then with handshakes all round we say our goodbyes and as we leave I pass a ten pound note to Arif as a thank you, after all it had been a well spent hour, a memory that will last a lifetime.

Back in the car which now feels like the inside of an oven, driving back to my Hotel and hopefully a cool drink? Mahmood suggest that we stop off and meet his nephew “an aspiring artist of great skill”. Here it comes I thought the hard sell, printed images of Pharaoh’s on papyrus, what appears to be recycled coke cans melted and cast into the shapes of the Gods and almost certainly postcards of the Pyramids. But I was wrong, there were pictures of the Pharaoh’s on papyrus but these were hand painted and inset with gold leaf. There were hand engraved brass plates and sculptures of the Pharaoh’s heads all done in exquisite detail, “how much”? I enquired. Mahmood immediately steps in and suggests to his nephew that the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds would be sufficient for the four paintings along with the two brass plates I had expressed an interest in. I didn’t argue as I would have happily paid much more.

The Veranda - Shepherds Hotel Cairo

The Veranda - Shepherds Hotel Cairo

Back at the Hotel, Mahmood joins me for a drink in the courtyard; I have my usual, a recent discovery from the very first week in Egypt. The drink served in a very British dimpled styled pint glass filled with ice, fresh fruit and lemonade complete with a very generous measure of Pimms. With a clink of glasses I thanked Mahmood for an excellent day particularly the climb inside the Great Pyramid. “I’m surprised” I said, “there was only the one small group of locals inside the Pyramid that I’d met on the climb up, I thought it would be full of tourists”. “It cannot be true” said Mahmood “you were in the Pyramid on your own, no one else came out of the Pyramid while you were in there” said Mahmood. “But there were three of them, I almost walked into them, too be honest they appeared out of nowhere frightening the life out of me” I said. “No it is forbidden for visitors to go inside the Pyramid, I thought you knew, which is why I had to speak to the guard, could it be that you truly saw the ghosts of the Tomb Raiders” he said. “Ghosts” I exclaimed. “They say that the ghosts are of the three Tomb Raiders who were sealed inside the Pyramid after setting off one of the many traps inside the Pyramid and now doomed to haunt the corridors of the Pyramid, still trying to find their way out” he said. I didn’t know what to say, could they have been the ghosts of the Tomb Raiders, or were they more likely something Mahmood dreamed up to add some extra spice to his repertoire of stories to frighten the tourists.

Mahmood obviously happy with my reaction to his Ghost theory said, “I will take my leave now and for tomorrow I thought we’d visit ‘The City of the Dead’, maybe we will see some more ghosts” Mahmood smiled, turned and lumbered away using his stick to clear a path through the tables and back into the Hotel. As I watched him leave, more Ghosts, I thought, I hope not, taking a long drink emptying the glass.


College Research Paper – Facebook Trust & Privacy by Ian Hunt

College Research Paper

This is an example of my work before going onto University. Although I received good marks for this at the time many of the examples conclusions and data is now dated having been superseded by Facebooks changes to Privacy settings/options. But the core research remains true ‘do you trust Facebook with your personal data’ ?


Trust and Privacy


Ian Hunt

Access to HE. Media Studies. CJC3FH001A
Unit Title: Independent Study HC7/3/WW/081 Course Tutor: Patrick Peiro.
Completed: 14th April 2010

College Research Paper


1.0 Introduction
1.1 Key Questions
2.0 Methods
2.1 Primary Research.
2.2 Facebook Privacy Questionnaires.
2.3 Internet research from Facebooks own Help and Information pages
2.4 Confirm the validity of information obtained on Facebooks pages from alternative Internet resources.
2.4 Privacy issues and guides sourced from Library sources.
3.0 Results & Discussions
3.1 Facebook a short History
3.2 Survey Results
3.3 News Media discussion on Privacy/Trust
4.0 Further Discussion & Conclusions
4.1 Privacy
4.11 Facebook Adverts
4.12 Facebook Applications and 3rd Party Applications
4.2 Trust
4.3 Recent Events Regarding Privacy
4.31 What has not changed?
4.4 Final conclusions
5.0 Bibliography
6.0 Appendix

List of illustrations’

Fig 1: Total Internet Usage
Fig 2: Targeted advertising
Fig 3: Advertising Demographics
Fig 4: Age related targeted advertising
Fig 5: Online gaming advertising
Fig 6: Facebook Applications and 3rd Party Applications
Fig 7: New Privacy Announcement
Fig 8: New Privacy Update
Fig 9: Privacy Sharing
Fig 10: Privacy Search

1.0 Introduction

Is the growth in Social Network websites a good thing? With new services from Google and Microsoft soon to join the established social networking sites Myspace, Twitter, Bebo, Plaxo and Facebook are users right to trust these companies (in all cases Global Corporations) with their personal data. What are these Social Networking sites using this data for now and what in the future could they do with this personal information.

There is also the question, is using a social networking site a good and safe use of your time on the internet? For instance 17% of all current usage on the Internet has been attributed in a recent Nielsen’s study (2009), to be on Social Networking and Blogging websites. Based on recent trends this usage is expected grow to as much as 50% within a year.

1.1 Key Questions

What are the risks of using Social Networking sites such as Facebook in regard to Privacy and Data Security?
Why do over 150 Million users [log in each and everyday, posting over 40 Million status updates, personal information, emails and online chat] trust Facebook with their personal data? Facebook Statistics. [Accessed December 2009]

To try and answer these questions and by narrowing down the subject by looking in more detail at Data Security and Privacy issues of one of the Social Network sites the research will be conducted upon Facebook. As Facebook is now the leading Social Networking site with the most users, now in excess of 350 million users (December 2009 figures).
What are, if any are the rewards in regard to Facebooks new Privacy features introduced in December 2009?

2.0 Methods

2.1    Primary research including personal experience of being a Facebook user, the interaction with a growing number of Facebook friends and by also drawing upon their experiences of being a Facebook user. Conducted through both informal and formal discussion groups and interviews.
2.2    The production of an Online Survey/Questionnaire using an external Website to gather data     on key Privacy and Trust issues.
2.3    Using the huge Resource which is the Internet. Research from Facebooks own Press,     Privacy and Statistics web pages.
2.4    Backup/Confirm the research conducted on Facebooks pages using other Media sources on     the Internet including the BBC, the Newspaper Media and the UK’s specialists Media pages.
2.5    Investigation from Library resources including books, journals and news articles.

3.0 Results

3.1 Facebook a short history

Facebook was started in February 2004 from a Harvard University dormitory by founders Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin. Funded initially by Peter Thiel a co-founder of PayPal is an Entrepreneur and Hedge fund manager who invested $500,000 in Facebook and currently sits on their board.
There were doubts surrounding the originality of Facebooks development following a claim from the founders of ConnectU citing Mark Zuckerberg of developing Facebook from their idea, an out of court settlement suspected of being in the region of $65 Million resolved this claim. By BRAD STONE – Facebook to Settle Thorny Lawsuit Over Its Origins. The New York Times – Published April 7, 2008, 8:46 am [Accessed December 2009]
Facebook is currently valued at $9.5 Billion having dropped to as low as $3.7 Billion at the start of the recession from a previous high valuation of $15 Billion placed upon it by Microsoft in 2007. Cade Metz. Facebook value plummets $5bn  [Accessed December 2009]
Within a year Facebook had grown to over a 1 million users in 2005 and today its membership stands at over 350 million based on login data collected within the last 30 days (at 15/12/2009). It has a global reach and holds the personal data of 100’s of millions of it’s users on its computers in Palo Alto California. Facebook Statistics. [Accessed December 2009]
Facebook’s global reach has not been welcomed by everyone with countries including China, Syria and Iran blocking access to the site. Some companies have also blocked access to the site to prevent workers from using their work time to update their Facebook status. By JPOST.COM STAFF.  Syrian gov’t blocks use of Facebook Jerusalem Post – Nov 24, 2007 11:05 | Updated Nov 24, 2007 11:59  [Accessed December 2009]
Facebook is still growing employing 1000’s across its offices both in USA and other locations across the World.
December 2009 Facebook introduces new Privacy settings allowing a user to personalise how and to who they share information with by adding individual privacy settings to the publisher box on your profile status and wall pages.
3.2 Survey results
Survey results were obtained from an online survey hosted on the Survey Monkey ( website over a 30 day period during November 2009. A link to the survey was also posted on Facebook’s wall and group pages. Link information was also emailed to personal contacts requesting them to go online and complete the survey.

Most of the survey results are evenly matched and therefore inconclusive but there are some very interesting results for example:

More than 75% of users surveyed have made changes to their privacy settings.
More than 85% have accepted friend requests from people they do not know.
More than 75% of users surveyed understood that Facebook and Third Party applications will have access to their personal details.
The new privacy settings have yet to convince users that Facebook is safer, with more than 75% still undecided.
Discussion: Looking at each of these key results in turn:-
The majority of Facebook users have made changes to their privacy settings from this we could suppose that they had reason to make these changes either because they had experienced a privacy issue that is an invasion of privacy or decided that certain data of a particular and personal nature should not generally be made available in the public domain.
Facebook users are very trusting people, accepting friend requests from people they do not really know, although in some of these cases the friend request is initiated by Facebook usually by stating this person is friends with other people they do know, belong to the same groups or are fans of the same pages or people etc.
Trust again must play an integral part to the decision made by such a high percentage of users allowing applications access to their personal data, even though users do not know what these companies who write these applications will do with the data.
The new privacy settings have yet to make an impact with users as they are so new, but this position may change in time as users become more familiar with the new privacy settings.

3.3 News media discussion on privacy/trust

Reporting in the Telegraph on the 8th September 2009 – In a recent address to students at Wakefield High School, Barak Obama said and I quote “be careful what you post on Facebook. Whatever you do, it will be pulled up later in your life”.
There are many examples and instances of an inappropriate posting on Facebook leading to an undesirable course of action for instance the loss of a job, a reason why you may not get that job or it can even lead to a criminal prosecution. It is accepted that there are Privacy issues regarding what information third parties can find out about individuals from their personal data when conducting a search of Facebook profiles, they may not even need to have to access your personal information just a wall post containing inappropriate data.
One recent example of an inappropriate posting involved a teenager who posted onto her Facebook profile one weekend describing her job as being ‘boring, boring, boring’ she was summarily dismissed on the following Monday, the company arguing that she was obviously unhappy in her present role.
A report in The Times (online edition) 27th August 2009, identifies a problem with Facebooks privacy issues regarding an Applications access to personal data. Previously 3rd party Applications allowed by the user would have access to all the personal data held by the user on Facebook. In the face of pressure Facebook has agreed to improve security and force Applications to list what data they will access for instance birthday, geographical location etc. Future Privacy options will allow the user to set and restrict what data the Application will have access to.
From the above Media reports it is obvious that there is more than some concern about Facebook in particular, this combined with the overall concerns everyone has including Governments in regard to data security and privacy on the Internet. But it is Facebook which holds so much personal data and makes this data available in the public domain that catches the Medias interest the most, as they wait for the next big Privacy issue to unfold.

4.0 Conclusions

4.1 Privacy

4.11 Facebook Adverts

In November 2007 Facebook ads are introduced, targeting Facebookers with advertising drawn from the Facebookers own personal information. In operation there are similarities to the advertising model that Google uses that is Adwords. These adverts appear to the right of the home and profile pages; in fact they appear on most pages now growing as more tabs are added to the profile page. The adverts also change as the page is refreshed or by switching between tabs and pages.

It is this introduction of Facebook Ads which best highlights what Facebook is using a Facebookers data for and of course invading their privacy. The advertising is targeted to an individual’s personal information, their interests and even what their interests their friends list on their own profiles. For example if it listed on a profile that the user is single the advertising proliferates with offers from dating and matchmaking sites offering to find the user the partner of their dreams. Changing relationship details to any of the other options e.g. ‘In a relationship, Married etc. these adverts seem to magically disappear from a Facebookers profile and home pages.
Another example of targeted advertising is based on a Facebookers interests listed in their profiles, for example having website design listed as an interest the Facebooker could see advertising for web hosting and related web services for example books on website design.

But the most interesting use of data is that which is based upon a profiles age; if the Facebooker is for instance over a certain age the targeted advertising offers services such as laser eye correction, health insurance, sites offering mature singles matching (provided a users marital status is listed as single) and so on. Younger Facebook users see different targeted advertising to match their profile age. The targeted advertising now offers the sort of services the younger Facebookers are looking for such as online gaming, music events, the sale of CD’s and DVD’s etc.

Advertising an Invasion of Privacy. Referring to an article in The Times Online of 4th April 2008, Beacon an advertising tool which monitored Facebook users purchasing habits and then promoted this information to a Facebookers friends and others within their networks. This at the time immediately prompted invasion of privacy complaints and was quickly withdrawn. Although now withdrawn Facebook has not ruled out introducing a similar tool in the future although they have said they will be more cautious about introducing this in the future. The question left hanging here is have they already introduced another advertising and purchases monitoring tool without disclosure to Facebook users?

4.12    Facebook Applications and 3rd Party Applications

Facebook lists over 350,000 applications running on its platform with 250 having a million active monthly users. There are over a Million developers in over 180 countries and quote individuals and entrepreneurs’ developing applications, games, surveys and groups for the Facebook platform.
On the preceding page there is an example of the authorisation screen a Facebooker sees when adding an application or game to their profile, they are essentially allowing a third party access to both their own and their friends personal information and at the same time releasing Facebook from any responsibility for breaches in privacy and related issues under their Terms and Conditions.

4.2 Trust

Research leads to the belief that only time will tell us if these Social Networking sites are a good thing or something to be very wary off in regard to both Privacy issues and trust in them to protect an individual’s personal data. There are as many positives as there are negatives to using Facebook or indeed any social networking site. The users have to trust Facebook not to misuse the data they hold on their users and to manage the data responsibly and to continually enhance the security of their systems. Should they break or lose that trust then the whole fabric of the social networking media may well collapse and with it the fortunes of the companies themselves, the entrepreneurs and the investors that have invested time and money into Facebook and for the businesses that are built on the back of the Facebook platform and which of course generates their income and profits.

4.3 Recent events regarding privacy

Facebook changes its policy on Privacy putting the emphasis on creating individual settings for privacy. Thus allowing the user to decide who will see what information depending on which option they select when posting to a wall etc.

This was introduced soon after every user received an open letter from the Founder Mark Zuckerman announcing the move away from the original network model of friends and regional networks to this new privacy control method based on individual privacy settings.

As a user you now have the option of setting privacy settings for wall posts pictures and videos that you upload or link to on Facebook.
A small padlock has appeared next to the share button clicking on this will allow the user to set who can see the information they are posting onto their pages be it ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends of Friends’, Only Friends’ or ‘Customise’.

The main Privacy page has also been updated see Fig.8 this allows the user to either keep their original settings or to make changes. As this process is still being rolled out in stages some of the Privacy options are still being made available and are likely to change but initial changes seem to be going someway to resolving some of the privacy issues identified. One of the biggest is the move away from regional networks.
Joining a regional network in the past meant that technically you were sharing information freely with other members of that network. Bearing in mind that many networks contained thousands of members it would have been impossible to control which users had access to your information. Another benefit is marketing to large groups or people via a network is now not possible nor is searching for individuals within a network and so some measure privacy from marketers and possibly undesirable researchers are now blocked from finding you.
Referring back to the results of the online survey that is question 9, Facebook users appear to remain unconvinced whether their personal data is now safer under the new privacy controls than it was under the old system.
The new Privacy settings appear to resolve many of the issues that have been identified both by Facebook themselves, the external Press and some Governments etc. but there still remains many Privacy issues that will always be difficult to resolve and those are the ones that are left in control of the user. For instance referring back to the survey results more than 85% of users have accepted friend requests from people they do not know. With this in mind the majority of users are still allowing access to their personal data to unknown individuals or possibly companies posing as friends.

4.31 What has not changed?

What has not changed with the introduction of these new privacy settings is your agreement with Facebook on what they are able to use your data for.
For example Facebook state that some categories of data i.e. your name, a profile photo, your gender, friends and pages you are a fan of, where you live that is geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone, this includes Facebook applications, and therefore do not have privacy settings.’
With this in mind the change in Privacy settings seems somewhat irrelevant as the data which an individual would want to protect is not covered by this publicly available agreement, although you are able to control access to this information in the public domain by setting the search parameters in privacy settings.

Search Engines also have access to the Facebook site although Facebook does say that they limit this access to only the publicly available information that is held on you.
Facebook also states that in your agreement with them that should the company be sold or there is a change of ownership they will transfer your data to the new owner so that the business i.e. Facebook would continue to operate subject to existing Privacy agreements.

4.4 Final conclusions

In conclusion the only real way to protect personal data is down to the individual Facebook user being aware of the dangers of sharing and making personal data available in the public domain. For instance if the Facebook user does not put the information up on Facebook then the data is not there to be found. By limiting and controlling this information/data they are restricting what companies, individuals and organisations can learn about them the user, protecting their privacy and avoiding possibilities of identity theft etc.
Privacy controls on the internet are only as good as the designer can make them at the time and there any number of individual’s and organisations either legally or illegally seeking ways around these controls to data mine the information they want.
It is not in the interest of the user to supply in the public domain specific information such as exact date of birth, full address details or indeed their personal email address. It would be better to limit information to the correct day and month for birthdays but change the year + or – a year and in the case of geographic location certainly not supply a full home address. Finally it is easy to open a webmail address and so the user would be best advised to open one just for Facebook.
There is no doubt that 350 Million users put a lot of Trust in Facebook and it’s ability to protect a users Privacy and Facebook needs to continually evolve introducing greater Privacy controls in order to be able to continue to ensure the Privacy of this data. For should they fail in this then the very idea of Social Networking itself may fail, losing the Trust of millions of users across the globe and the eventual failure of the business.


Primary Sources
Facebook Users Online Survey and Questionnaire
Ian Hunt, The Hunt Family, Fabiene Barber, Carolyn Castagnari, Stella James and others.

Secondary Sources
Councils ban Facebook – 12:17 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 [Accessed December 2009]

Facebook pages
Press [Accessed December 2009]
Statistics [Accessed December 2009]
Timeline [Accessed December 2009]
Safety [Accessed December 2009]

Facebook press release – $200 Million investment in Facebook – Digital Sky Technologies [Accessed December 2009]

Cade Metz. Facebook value plummets $5bn [Accessed December 2009]

By JPOST.COM STAFF  Syrian gov’t blocks use of Facebook
Jerusalem Post – Nov 24, 2007 11:05 | Updated Nov 24, 2007 11:59 [Accessed December 2009]

By Lester Haines – Teen sacked for ‘boring’ job Facebook comment
Posted in Bootnotes, 26th February 2009 15:54 GMT [Accessed December 2009]

Nielsen report unattributed [Accessed December 2009]

By BRAD STONE – Facebook to Settle Thorny Lawsuit Over Its Origins
The New York Times – Published April 7, 2008, 8:46 am [Accessed December 2009]

Barack Obama gives Facebook advice ahead of education speech
Telegraph – Published: 10:02PM BST 08 Sep 2009 [Accessed December 2009]

Times Online August 27, 2009
Facebook to tighten privacy policies and give users more control over personal data [Accessed December 2009]

Times Online April 4, 2008
Q&A: Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer of Facebook [Accessed December 2009]

Vander Veer, E.A. 2008. O’Reilly Media Inc. Facebook the Missing Manual. California:
Abraham, C and Pearlman, L. 2008. Wiley Publishing Inc. Facebook for Dummies. Indiana:

6.0 Appendix

The following pages are offered in support to the data, results and conclusions contained in the research project.


Film Studies – Producers and Audiences Part 1

Producers and Audiences

Subject: Film Studies
Unit Title: Producers & Audiences
Assignment Title: Producers and Audiences Part 1
Genre  – Comedy/Spoof


Producers and Audiences

Hot Fuzz (2007)

British Film. Box office takings $23,637,265* & $56,936,509 Worldwide

Sean Of The Dead

Sean Of The Dead

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz was released soon after the successful British Film ‘Shaun of the Dead’ but didn’t match its takings of $30,039,392*. Although using a similar cast was less successful at the American Box office possibly because of  genre, it being a Comedy/Spoof rather than a Comedy/Horror?

One of the unique selling point of this film was the way in which it spoofs American Action Films but is located in a sleepy English Village setting.

The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Naked Gun - The Final Insult

Naked Gun - The Final Insult

Hollywood, Box Office Takings $51,132,598*

This sequel the third in a series builds upon the release of the two preceding films and their audience expectations. This sequel still manages to generate more than twice as much income at the American box office than it’s British comparison in this case ‘Hot Fuzz’.

Having a similar cast to the previous films, the same one line gags, the visual gags you come to expect from a film like this and importantly what the target audience expects to see.

The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad (1988)
Naked Gun - from the files of Police Squad

Naked Gun - from the files of Police Squad

Hollywood, Box Office Takings $78,756,177*

The original and first of the Naked Gun series released six years before the ‘The Final Insult’, chosen to help with the comparison in the differences between foreign and domestic productions. Compared with its sequels, it has taken more money at the box office as expected.

*  Box Office figures are for American Domestic cinema


In considering the three example films from a perspective based purely on their production origin and American /Domestic box office takings it appears that foreign produced films fare less well in America than a film produced in America. This does not mean actually produced in America as such, as the Film could have been shot anywhere in the World but it must have a cast and feel of having been produced in America or by an American Studio.

Audiences in the American domestic market may well exclude foreign made films from their considerations’ when deciding which film to watch at the cinema.

Distribution (Exhibition) plays a significant part in the discrepancy between American domestic box office takings with ‘Hot Fuzz’ released to approximately half as many cinemas as ‘The Naked Gun 33 1/3’ and ‘The Naked Gun’

2.0 Changing audience tastes in cinema

Film genres go in and out of fashion and this is also seen in film trends where a successful film release may generate a trend and a number of similar genre films are released to capitalise on this success. This is certainly true in the Comedy/Spoof genre which gained in popularity in the 2000’s with the top four films taking more than $100 Million dollars.

3.0 Discuss the impact of Hollywood on the UK Film Industry

Hollywood’s impact on the UK Film industry has mainly been positive. Hollywood’s direct funding of UK Film productions, or alternatively in the direct employment of British Film crews while filming US productions in UK Film studios.

The biggest negative though is in Exhibition with the majority of cinemas showing Hollywood releases leaving few opportunities for home grown films to be seen outside of specialist cinemas, by this I mean Art House rather than Multiplex.

4.1 Different Sources of Funding available to the UK Film Industry

UK Film Council

UK Film Council

  • UK Film Council – Funding for script development, film production, short films, film export and distribution, cinemas, film education, culture and archives, festivals and audience support schemes. They also fund Skillset, identifying new talent and training of professionals for the film industry. The Premier Fund listed as being run by Sally Caplan has been discontinued and replaced by the ‘Film Fund’ [Accessed 12/04/2010]

  • National Lottery – Funds Film through the UK Film Council – this is where the majority of funding for the UK Film Council now comes from.
  • Arts Council of England – Previously funded up to 26% of a film the rest sourced privately or from other sources such as overseas and UK public sector but they now no longer fund Film directly passing this onto the UK Film Council although they do still assist with distribution that is helping to get your film seen.
  • Scottish Screen – Another lottery funded organisation helping to assist film makers to produce films, animations and media. Funding is limited geographically to Scottish based production companies and funding limited to £500,000.

4.2 Film Distribution in the UK

Film distribution in Britain certainly favours the Hollywood productions more than any other partly due to the fact that the Hollywood studios own the majority of cinemas. There are a number of small independent cinemas, but too few to counterbalance the control exerted by the Hollywood owned cinema chains. This is unlikely to change without Government intervention which seems unlikely.

4.3 Three Marketing Strategies


Film Trailers
IMDb - The Internet Movie Database

IMDb - The Internet Movie Database

Film Trailers are an established way of promoting a Film. They used to only appear at the beginning of the main feature of a film at the cinema or on television either as a commercial or part of a television program for example Film Night or Movie News. These days you can see film trailers on the internet at many sites including YouTube, Apple Movie Trailers and IMDB

Film Posters
Film Advertising on Bus

Film Advertising on Bus

The Movie Posters decorate the auditorium and the entrances to cinemas promoting currently showing films and future releases. They also appear anywhere you would expect to see a poster for example on bill boarding’s, the sides of buses and taxis and bus shelters.


Viral marketing is gaining in prominence not only because this is essentially a zero or low cost option but also because of its wide reach. Viral marketing mainly occurs on the Internet either on film specific and non film specific websites such as Facebook or as a distributed email. Viral marketing in this context is a form of word of mouth but with a very wide reach.

4.4 The differences between Art House and Multiplex cinemas

Multiplex cinemas tend to concentrate on mainstream films from Hollywood whilst Art House cinema looks at less mainstream examples, these would include subtitled foreign language films. Multiplex’s are also usually out of town/city centre venues although this is beginning to change due to planning regulations. Art Houses also tend to offer addition services and access to facilities such as Café’s, Bars etc. whilst the Multiplex’s concessions’ are usually overpriced and limited to soft drinks and the usual popcorn, packaged sweets and pick & mix sweets plus Movie Posters, T-Shirts etc.

Film Advertising on T-Shirts

Film Advertising on T-Shirts

Art house Cinema is sometimes based in a communal building (Poole’s Lighthouse for example) offering other Arts related activities including Live Performance, Theatre and Musical productions. In some areas buildings are taken over for an evening to show British and less mainstream film, although they do show the odd Hollywood film to rural audiences that do not typically have access to the Cinema – see Moviola website for more details.

The South and West’s Rural Multiplex. [Accessed 12/04/2010]

5.0 Historical perspective:

Film Marketing

Film marketing was initially limited to Film Posters and Film Trailers at the cinemas plus the usual media available to advertisers including newspaper advertising, radio and TV, and then with the growth of the Internet many new possibilities’ became available to the Film producers to be able to reach their potential audiences. Film trailers soon became one of the most popular searched for keywords on the internet causing the development and the growth of specialist sites to view these Film Trailers, examples being:-, Apple Movie Trailers and YouTube among many others. Marketers then realised they could generate interest in their Films through the power of Viral Marketing utilising the public to promote their products through word of mouth, email etc.

Art House and Multiplex development.
Multiplex Cinema

Multiplex Cinema

Cinemas before the introduction of the Multiplex’s in Milton Keynes 1985 were single screen and were basically well into decline at the time of what was to become a revolution in the cinema experience in the UK. The introduction of the Multiplex led to a reversal in the decline of cinema visitors and prompted many of the single screen cinemas to follow the Multiplex model by subdividing their internal areas to make them multi-screen. The most common way was by converting the stalls into two small screens and keeping the circle as the big screen. Recent changes to planning laws have encouraged the development of Multiplex cinemas in Town and City centres rather than the out of town developments that were previously the norm.

Art House Cinema

Art House Cinema

Art House or Repertory cinemas appeared from the mid 1920’s as a direct consequence of the Film Society to screen what they considered to be important foreign films that were not on general release.

The British Film Institute continues to support the Art House cinema scene. Today these cinemas still tend to screen less mainstream productions declining to compete against the Multiples’ and their predominantly Hollywood produced Films.

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