Within this lesson of working out some Research techniques, I’ve been able to gather various different ways for general research. Within this post I’ll be talking about Primary and Secondary Research, methods of conducting that research, sources, a research plan as well as a demonstration of a resource plan.
To start with, Primary Research is research that is you find out yourself by doing physical tasks. Some examples of these are taking photos of various locations that you could use within a scene of a film as well as physically visiting the location so that you would be able to get an idea whether it would be good enough to use. It would also be recommended to visit more than just one location, firstly in case the one you’ve gone to start with isn’t brilliant, as well as maybe there’s something even better! You could also conduct an interview with someone else about the certain subject/topic that you’re after, maybe they’re an expert of knowledge for what you need! Some things could even be practiced, maybe you can keep trying out certain techniques for example camera angles to find out if a certain distance is needed to create the right visual effect within the cinematography. Let’s not forget, you need to make sure you’ll be able to get it: could it be possible to happen, could it be that the sunrise or sunset that’s required for your certain shot might not even happen at the time you need it? You would need to find out specifically what time the sunrise would be, and what time you would need to be there for at the very latest to be able to catch it in time. Finally, you could also use the idea of Mise-en-scene with the location aspect, this could help in various ways as you would be able to see everything that’s within the scene and see if there’s anything that would make it not work to that genre. One advantage with Primary Research is that you know it’ll be up to date – you’ve just been to that certain location for example and you can see clearly that it is there and nothing has changed. A disadvantage is it could take a long time to gather the specific data.
Secondary Research is someone else’s in simple terms. Some examples of these could be photos that are taken, for example from online on Google Images of a location – could they be up to date? Usually a lot of the things you find nowadays on Google Images is from at least two years ago! You could also look at someone else’s interview, maybe a subject you’re looking for is based in another country, look at an interview from someone from that country rather than try to find them and it’ll speed things up… a lot! You could also look at similar shows or films about that specific genre or subject to get a better idea of what you would need to include within yours to make it the best that it could be. One advantage of Secondary Research is that it is very quick to find out. A simple search online and you’re away! A disadvantage however is that it could easily be incorrect. You won’t know unless you keep searching through different sources to find out why.
Some methods of gathering research could be through surveys. A lot of the time you’ll see posts on social media about recent surveys that have been conducted, maybe you could compare some from the past and some that are present. At least with surveys you will get an immediate response, rather than being “Well, it could be ….” it would be “Yes” or “No”. You could also use Questionnaires to get a more specific answer from an individual would be rather than what a survey. You could also conduct interviews to be able to find out the information you need: maybe you need some specific information from a certain individual that is well-knowledged on that specific subject. Finally you could also use photos as a method of gathering research, for example, finding an area that you’d like and seeing which angles would work best in that specific area.
We also started work on a research plan. The basic idea of what a research plan is the idea on how you’re going to create a certain scene/what you’re trying to do in general. It goes in 4 sections:
Leading on from the first point (what?) firstly you need to know what you’re trying to find out, maybe it could be a technical aspect of lighting! You could also have a look for certain equipment with a history following and how it could be used effectively within your shots. You could also watch some films to be able to gather ideas, as well as have a look for a specific genre, for example, “what does the horror genre include and how could it be used?”.
From “How?” we can gather our information from mainly the primary resources (practises, photos etc.) and research online on the internet how it could physically be possible.
To do with “Source” you need to be able to locate it. This can be either through reading it from online, and then analysing the points that you can find. Maybe it might be easier to highlight some of the points and write about them, or even annotating what each point is about. This would then be followed by a short summary.
With the “Apply” section, it would be creating a report on the situation you’ve been researching, as well as making sure to Harvard Reference anything that you’ve used from online.
As an idea of a Research Plan, as a class we produces one with the genre of Horror. We were asked to make one about a kid that’s locked in the basement and it has to be a 5 minute drama.
We would have to research the location, find actors/actresses, know about the genre it’s self, see if there would be any competition and check what else is out there, have a look at the structure of a horror drama, anything to do with mise-en-scene and props and finally see what type of audience it would be for, because a 15 rated film would be a lot different to a film that is related 18+.
Anything to do with “how” could be to do with the location, for example, if we needed a murky looking basement, we could ask around on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or even help eachother out within the class itself. As well as this, we could watch films and take notes about them and read about them online.
Personally as I love the horror genre, if I were to make a film and I had been pitched the idea to create a 2 minute short horror film about a demon that’s possessed a teenager at school/college, firstly I would need to work out the “what” section.
What could I do? Firstly I would need to find a suitable school location, maybe more of a modern-type one so that it could show that this child is within the modern-era and it would be quite uncommon for something like this to happen. Actors/actresses could include people within my college class itself as they could be at a suitable age, see if there’s any competition (as for example there are web-comics about demons possessing people). Props could include general school equipment that could be used in dangerous ways (e.g stabbing with a pen) and also think about the audience which would probably be more aimed towards 15 or higher.
How could it be possible? The location could simply be the college I’m currently in, and as well as that it could simply be just a classroom. I could also get people within my college to help out with anything that would be needed, for example, maybe someone would be able to be the teenager that’s been possessed and might have contact lenses to fit the part better, otherwise I would need to buy them and provide them.
I feel the research task was a good exercise as it allowed me to understand more about researching, especially to do with research plans, different methods of researching and allowed me to understand Primary and Secondary in more detail.