About me…!

Hi there! I’m studying Interactive Media Production at Bournemouth University to further my skills and experience and to be able to express the ideas floating around in my head! I’ll write in the blog whenever something eventful happens or i do or see something which inspires me on the course…

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Dissertation plan…

So I’m not really sure what argument I am presenting in my dissertation. The topic of disability in new media is fairly broad and hasn’t been widely covered as we enter a new digital age and finding something to argue about is proving difficult.

Don’t even get me started on outlining the chapters!

References

I need to start gathering theories and journal readings for my dissertation. Sat in a wonderful lecture with a boris Johnson lookalike and he recommends Athens network-thanks boris!

Where oh where do i begin.

Sat on my bed feeling rather drained! I would like to put it all down to this flu/cold I seem to have, but I think I would be lying. I have a huge weight hanging over my head. I need to do so much and I shouldn’t have left it all till now (I can hear my mum saying all this in my head!)

  • Logbook -Not done (started but desperately can’t be bothered to big up the uni anymore, its exhausting. I do feel it is all about writing as much as you can about how amazing and helpful the IMP course is, I want to agree, but I’m definitely struggling!!)
  • Dissertation appointment and ideas with Claudia – Not done (If I’m honest, I’m scared to hear what she thinks about the crappy idea I have already submitted last year. New media comparisons between commercial and charity organisations isn’t really as thrilling and riveting as I want it to be…can’t think of any theory to support it either. I need help but the last thing I want to do is admit that to anyone in authority!)
  • My washing – Partly done (Why is it so much effort to sort the whites from the colours and take it all the way downstairs and wait for a hundred years for it to be cleaned. This is when I miss my Mum the most…!)
  • Type up lecture notes – Not done (I know I’ll get half way through the year and look for those notes and discover they were never typed up and be screwed over. Do it Ellen, do it now! (There goes Mum again..!) Think I need a glass of something strong..!)

Rant over. How very therapeutic you are blog. Thank you.

Its been a while…

Well I don’t know what to say, I have left this way too long. Let me summarise the year that you’ve missed…

-Got a work placement in the summer working with the multiple sclerosis society charity, helping out with the website for six weeks which I’m chuffed about. Not only was it a huge relief to know I have a placement but also to know i’ll be helping out with a charity very close to my heart.

-Got a few good marks and a few not so good marks for projects this year. I seem to have lost it this year. Last year I did really well and felt really confident going into the 2nd year, but now I’ve realised that I needed to constantly keep improving in ALL areas in order to benefit with good marks.

-The biggest challenge this year was the group work. I feel that the group as a whole didn’t merge well together and therefore much of the work was left down to Dan and myself to finish alone. We didn’t get off to a good start as a team member dropped out of the course in week 2 and didn’t mention it to anyone. Meanwhile, clashes were happening between the more confrontational members and the lazier members in the group. Trying to keep the peace proved very difficult for the continuing weeks. Dan and myself were less than happy with the self assessment marks we were given, as we felt some members had been carried through. ANYWAY I think it’s safe to say, I’M SOO GLAD IT’S OVER WITH NOW.

-Presentations were great for me. I think being made to stand up and talk by myself for 5 minutes was the biggest confidence boost imaginable. I was dreading it. Not only do I turn into a beetroot whilst public speaking but also tend to rush through it so that the whole speech is one long sentence of utter nonsense. However, due to our brilliant group, I felt confident in what I was talking about and believed in what I was saying, so much so that I barely needed the cue cards! The mark is not important to me. The fact that I did and did it well in my head and made my group proud was sufficient enough. Thank you whoever decided to put that in as a end of year project. I have officially gone out on a high!

Just completing the PDP essay, oh how I wish I had listened to Marian Mayer and written it last term, now I’m stuck in whilst everyone else is enjoying the great british summer time…learn from my mistakes fellow IMPS!

PDP essay

Personal Development Planning

Reflective Essay

This is my essay on my personal development throughout my first year studying Interactive Media Production at Bournemouth University. My writing will be a reflection on my experience, taking into account my skills gained and extended my understanding of group work within certain projects and how I have developed my own personal learning style in order to achieve the best work I can. From these reflections I will look into how this will affect me as I go into my second year facing more difficult challenges ahead.

Throughout the essay I will refer back to my project work, both production and essays, covered over the year and also look at my developments by referencing my blog which I have updated at certain points in the year.

The URL for my blog is https://justellen08.wordpress.com

Coming from quite a close-knitted family, and having ties back home, I always felt university would be secondary to everything else in my life so I knew working hard to make friends with my peers was an absolute essential, firstly as a support network but also it is good to have connections with people in the similar competitive media field.

I struggle to speak in front of large groups of people and express my opinions and so when we were placed in groups for the second project on narratives, I did think I would fall behind or simply blend into the background without getting to show off my skills in design and creative ideas. However, as the weeks progressed and I got to know the group as we became friends, it became much easier to speak my mind and keep the project in the right direction. Being the only female within the group meant that I took on the role of good listener and peacemaker which also helped keep the project going down the right path of success. I feel that since that particular project, I could stand up and talk to people about what I think. Hopefully by next year I will be one of the students having a heated debate in a lecture theatre with one of the lecturers rather than just an onlooker.

In a sense, group work has given me the main skill I have lacked for some time as a I have come to learn that if you do not say your opinion and be heard, you might not get the same opportunities opened up to you.

I am used to writing essays as I have an A level background in English Literature and in Media Studies. Throughout these courses we were expected to write competently and coherently. Although there was theory within these subjects, I was fairly shocked as to how important it was when I came to study in this course. In order to validate a point it has to be backed up with theoretical ideas.

I enjoy the historical side of media but to my surprise I found the essay writing the hardest challenge of all this year. I have decided to spend some time over summer looking back over my notes and covering some theories so that I have a better grasp of certain topics and I can make academic decisions based in these ideas. That way when I come to write future essays, my better understanding will reflect in my marks. I need to also make sure next year I keep up with reading extra material suggested by lecturers outside of lectures.

I got the best mark for my first essay in the images project however I feel this was due to having my time planned out correctly so that I had time to focus on both production and analysis.

A new system I was introduced to this year was the Harvard Referencing system. Up until University, I had not heard of this type of referencing at the expense of my previous essays. When we were told that incorrect citing could lead to plagiarism, I new I had to learn this complicated system. I understand Harvard referencing to a certain extent but believe that I could not do it without the library handouts and internet helpful tips.

I love to read and find books the easiest to reference in essays so I will make every effort to work hard on other aspects next year when writing essays for projects.

Although I only used the further reading help from lectures at the beginning of the year, I found them a great source of information to fall back on. As I entered the second term, there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm from myself and therefore my work suffered as family issues became my main focus. As a result of this I missed out on valuable resource opportunities such as the university library which acts as a great workroom when you need some peace and quiet.

At the beginning of the year we were all informed about MyBu and its lack of quality compared to previous university websites, but contrary to this my own experience with the site was a very positive one. Whenever there were times when I could not make it into lectures or forgot to take notes, I could go onto MyBu and catch up straightaway. MyBu particularly helped when referring back to the brief for projects when I felt I had lost direction. An extra help on MyBu was Bob national which proved a great source of information when referring to topical programmes but also helped when I missed my favourite programmes. CASPAR, the peer assessment site was an interesting way to write about your peers and make sure people knew how they could improve. During the summer project some people took advantage of this assessment to favour certain members of the group and others felt this was a biased way of judging work. But I feel having a platform from which you can get constructive criticism outweighs the negative points.

This year there has been two group projects which I have been a part of. The first was the narratives project where I worked alongside other Interactive Media Production students which proved very successful on our part. Every member of the group contributed evenly and our mark reflected this. The second group project was the last where we got to experience working with others in the same industry. The group of ten consisted of IMPs, Scriptwriters and TV Production students. We had to come up with an original idea that showed our individual talents within our sectors. Having a certain area of the project took some of the pressure away that I experienced in the narratives project and it enabled us to enjoy and embrace each others talents while getting the experience from each sector of the campaign.

The last piece of group work I had done before coming to university was a project that a select few of us were hand picked for in Year 11 where a had to create a product or service for a business enterprise company. Similar to the summer project, we all had our own roles and the success of this business stayed with me and so I found it easy to gel with people in the summer group.

Before joining the course, my technical skills extended only as far as a small amount of knowledge in Photoshop due to my AS level in graphics. I am ashamed to admit now that I had not heard of Flash or Dreamweaver before this year and so I was shocked to be thrown into the deep end when I arrived. However, I have found this has been the best for me as I am now a self taught Photoshop fanatic and love designing in my spare time as well as for the various project works. Once I had got the basic idea of Flash covered, I found it a fairly easy concept which gives great results. May only wish is that I could go back and do this year again and show off the skills I have picked up in these areas over the past few terms.

Dreamweaver and coding is sill a blur to me and I found it a real struggle to design websites as hosts for a few of the projects. I hope to practise Dreamweaver over the summer and learn to incorporate Flash into it as I have seen some of the quality websites achievable by students my age on the course.

I have also been lucky during both group projects to have a professional with Dreamweaver so I have not had the panic of having to learn it quickly, which has both positive and negative effects on my work. However, I spent a lot of time watching these students when they are creating websites and aspire to get to that level during the course next year.

I love design and colour and find myself noticing detailed things in art and literature which inspire my creative flare. When drawing or more recently, designing on software, I find myself working harder and being more successful when I listen to music. Lots of my ideas come from my memories of childhood or great experiences I have been lucky enough to encounter in my life. Meeting many new people at university and getting to see how other people in similar situations to myself, solve problems within course briefs has inspired me to show my individuality and I hope to carry this through to the next year.

During the year we were set one day projects and the fear of being thrown into the competitive side of the course forced me to see how other people dealt with it and come up with work I was not even sure I was capable of before the course began.

I am a visual person and have to see something done and practised several times before I understand it fully. Although this I have found has caused me to struggle at certain points in my higher education, it also has its benefits and it makes me pay attention to every detail. So although I may be behind in certain aspects, once I have caught on, I become very passionate and enthusiastic with it forever. This is shown through with my experience of Photoshop over the year. I still remember the first day in the computer suite when we were told to create an inspiring image on Photoshop to show the group. I had no idea what to do but now every time I felt like giving up on the software over the year, I think back to that day and it forces me to keep practising and improving.

When we were told to blog our progress over the year, I found it a pointless task and almost scrapped the idea in my mind. However, after one particularly stressful day, I decided to write down my problems with the work and although it was negative, it gave a sense of calm and neatness so that I could use the blog to my advantage and show off my work in a positive light. It has also generated interest from people in the journalism sector in America who have seen my work on my blog and are using it which I find as a real confidence boost and a sign that I am following the right path for me.

I feel I have taken on the role as graphic designer over this year which suits me but I want to push myself out of my comfort zone with other aspects of the course next year and find out exactly what I want to do with my degree after university life.

The end of the first year…

I can’t believe its gone by so fast!

There has certainly been highs and lows but i cannot wait till next year now. I’ll be living with some great people and working over the summer to polish my skills on Dreamweaver so that im all set for next term.

I never thought i’d say this but i’ll miss you Boscombe!

I hope next year is as fun as this year was, goodbye Bournemouth!!

x

Everything is going well…

Website is making good progress…Second comic strip is complete…I’ve found appropriate merchandise for the campaign….the video footage is brilliant….just have to bring it all together now and make sense of it all!

Fingers crossed for the presentation in front of Channel 4…..

Time to add colour…

Some of the group said how much they liked my cartoon sketches and so now its time to touch up the images in photoshop and add colour! This project is by far the best one this year….

Comic strip…

Mark, one of our scriptwriters wrote a brilliant script last week for a comic strip and it was my job to animate it and draw people’s attention¬†to it….here’s the rough copy without colour for the first strip which is currently unnamed but I’m thinking something like “Mark&Moe” :

Comic Strip-Scene 1

Comic Strip-Scene 1

Comic strip-Scene 2

Comic strip-Scene 2

Comic Strip-Scene 3

Comic Strip-Scene 3

Comic Strip-Scene 4

Comic Strip-Scene 4

Comic Strip-Scene 5

Comic Strip-Scene 5

Productive!

 

deathbychocolateoriginal1

Great meeting to today with the group and then the IMPS afterwards!

I think we’ve established a logo for our campaign and also a facebook site. Mark had scripted some ideas for the comic strip idea and i need to start some sketches and designs for the characters!

The next few weeks are going to be the busiest for the IMPs in terms of creating a visable website and getting the interactive elements out there as soon as possible. I’m so excited and it all seems to be going well-fingers crossed!

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