This is my final product of my Final Major Project. My podcast is in the form of a radio show that discusses humans and zombies living together. I also produced a logo to make it look more professional and help identify my podcast.
This is the final version of my script that I used to make the podcast.
Script Zombie Time
This is the character bible that I created.
What was the purpose of the project? What did you hope to learn?
The purpose of my project was to entertain people and provide something different involving zombies, so that I don’t just recreate something that already exists and can make something that is unique to me. From this project I hoped to learn more about sound production and editing techniques, and also learn more about how to produce authentic sounding foley because I am interested in this and want to get better at it and maybe work in sound production in the future.
What was the theme for the project?
The theme for my project was zombies and exploring a world where zombies and humans co-exist, instead of a traditional apocalypse where humans and zombies are against each other.
How have you developed your ideas?
At the start of the project I had three ideas for my final major project. My original idea was to create a digital comic set during a zombie apocalypse following two survivors. My second idea was to produce a podcast series that is set up as a radio show that discusses zombies in human society. My third idea was to create a choose your own adventure book that puts readers in the position of a survivor who is the leader of a group and has to make choices about how the group acts to other groups and what actions the group takes to survive.
To help me decide which idea would be the most appropriate one for me to do I performed tasks that would provide me with feedback about each idea and also make me consider the strengths and weaknesses of each idea. To get feedback I took part in a focus group where I told other people my three ideas and they told me what worked and what didn’t and what I could do to improve each idea. I also analysed my three ideas to see what was good about them that I would be able to do and what about them I would maybe struggle with. Also I analysed what opportunities each project would offer me so I could decide which project I would enjoy more. I also did a task that was designed to inform me about what has influenced me throughout my life that has made me the person I am now because it would inform me about what kind of project would be better for me and what affects my decision making.
From doing these tasks I decided that I would go with my second idea of a podcast for my final major project as this idea is better suited to my skill set and would provide me with the opportunity to learn the skills that I am interested in.
How much reference material did you find (primary and secondary research)? Do you think you could have done more? If so, explain what you think you could have done.
I found a wide variety of secondary sources on topics that I needed to research, such as colour theory, listening to existing radio shows to learn the format. I did some primary research as I got feedback from other people about my ideas and used that feedback when making the product, and I also listened to other existing radio shows and podcasts, such as Bunker Buddies which talks about similar topics to my idea, and I also listened to radio shows on BBC to learn the format of a radio show and how I could use it in my podcast. I feel I could have done more research as I could have looked more into similar products. Also I think I could maybe have done more primary research, such as questionnaires to get peoples opinions about my idea.
Which developers, art movements, designers, media companies/campaigns and industry examples have you looked at to assist you and inspire you? Why?
To assist and inspire me for this project I looked at Bunker Buddies podcasts, Anthony Horowitz, and The Archers on BBC radio 2.
I listened to Bunker Buddies to deconstruct it so that I could learn about the format of podcasts and what goes into a podcast, such as the music, and how characters interact with each other.
I listened to The Archers to learn the format of radio shows so that I could make my podcast sound as authentic as possible, by including things like an opening piece of music.
I looked at Anthony Horowitz because I needed to create characters and write a script and I believe his work is a good example of how to create characters as he makes them interesting by having them be believable so readers can relate to them. Also he creates interesting worlds by having them be very realistic but have enough fictional elements to make them exiting for the readers, and I wanted to try and create a world like that through my script and also create interesting believable characters that are slightly exaggerated to make them more interesting to my listeners.
Explain how your production board went. What feedback did you receive and how did this help you focus your production?
My production board went very well as my idea was approved so I could start production immediately. The feedback I received was to research the format of radio shows so that I could make my podcast sound like an authentic radio show and make sure I listened to podcasts so that I knew what they sound like and their format. This helped me focus my production as after I had done the research I knew what I needed to do in order to make it sound authentic, which made planning it easier and producing it was also easier as I knew exactly what I would be able to produce myself and what I would need to get elsewhere.
How did your work change through the project?
My work changed throughout the project as I created four different drafts of my script, and had the characters say and do different things in each one, to experiment with what would work best. Also after I had done a practice recording session I felt I needed to change some things as the host character was too controlling of the other characters, and also the other characters didn’t interact with each other much and I felt it would be more authentic if they had more interaction. Also originally I did not plan to create a logo for my podcast but after looking at existing podcasts I noticed they all had a thumbnail with them, and as I had completed my podcast with enough time to spare, I decided that I would make my final product more professional and authentic by using the time I had left to create a logo, so I created five possible designs for a logo and created two versions of a logo because I was not satisfied with my first version and felt I could do a lot better by putting more time and effort into it.
Which technical skills, methods, and techniques did you use?
The technical skills I used to complete my project include script writing, proofreading, Photoshop skills for my logo and character bible, drawing skills with a graphics tablet for my logo, sound recording and performance skills, and editing skills in Audacity. One of the methods I used for sound production was foley, I did this to get the sound of chains rustling in the background by using my keys, the sound of a zombie groan by having someone groan into the microphone, and the sound of a character falling over on their chair by pushing a chair over and recording the sound it made.
One of the techniques I used was in Photoshop I used the liquify tool to create the effect that blood was dripping on my logo, I also used inner and outer glow on parts of my logo to make them stand out against the background. Other techniques I used were in Audacity where I changed the pitch and amplified some sounds to make them sound like the object I wanted them to be, for example to get my keys to sound like a chain I lowered the pitch so that they would sound heavier.
What were the key areas of development in this project?
The key areas of development in this project were script writing, character creation, recording, editing, and design.
Script writing was a key area as without a good script my actors would not know what they were supposed to do when the recording started, also I would not have a clear idea of what I wanted for the podcast and this would have made production and post-production difficult.
Character creation was a key area as writing a script would have been harder if I didn’t have a clear idea of who my characters were, and I wouldn’t have been able to write them with consistency. Also the actors wouldn’t have known how they needed to act to portray the characters.
Recording was a key area as the podcast needed to sound like an authentic radio show so the audio quality had to be very good, so I used a sound proof room to record in to ensure there was less echo and everything could be heard clearly.
Editing was a key are as to make it fit the podcast and radio show format I had to make sure it was edited correctly and everything fit together well, also I had to get free music that I could use at the beginning and end because music is something that radio shows use to introduce them and then again when the show is finished so I had to use music to make the podcast authentic.
Design was a key are as this was important in order for me to create my logo. First I drew some rough designs for a logo and then created one but the design of this logo did not look professional so I created another logo with a different design that looked much better and more professional and better reflected my podcast because of this.
What experiments and exploration did you do? How did it affect your projects development? Were there any significant changes?
I experimented with my scripts by creating four drafts and trying new things in them and eventually changing how much the host has to say because in previous drafts it felt he was too controlling of the other characters and restricted what they could say. This affected my projects development as due to the experimentation I was doing with the script drafts it delayed when I started recording.
Other experimentation I did was when I was creating my logo, as I created five different designs and in those designs experimented with the colours I had chosen by changing what objects would be which colour. I also experimented with two versions of my logo to see which one looked more professional and appropriate for my podcast and experimented by using a graphics tablet to draw in Photoshop because I felt this would look more professional than drawing with a mouse. This affected my projects development as it took me longer to create the logo but my logo did look professional when I was finished.
Is the final product appropriate for the intended platform/purpose?
The final product is appropriate for the intended platform as its format can work on both Apple and Android devices which is what I wanted, also the logo is the correct size to fit on the App store so I could put it on mobile platforms without any problems. My final product is also appropriate for its intended purpose as it does provide an alternative to existing zombie products and also I think it will entertain people listening to it as the characters argue about zombies as if they are completely normal which also different from other zombie products.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses in your final product.
I think the strengths of my product are its audio quality, its authenticity to radio shows, and the logo. I think its audio quality is a strength because it does sound like a radio show due to it being recorded in a sound proof room, which I think was a good decision instead of just recording it in a normal room, as the difference in quality would have been very noticeable as there would have been a lot of echo and reverb if I didn’t record in a sound proof room, and then it would not have sounded like a real radio show.
I think its authenticity is a strength because I intended for it to sound like a real radio show that would be on the BBC and I feel that due to its sound quality and the music at the beginning and end it does sound like a real radio show.
I think the logo is a strength because it looks very professional and represents the podcast well, and will also catch peoples attention. Also the colours I have used in the logo work well to give it a zombie feel, as all the colours relate to zombies and I think my design choices have made them work well together.
I think one of the weaknesses in the final product are some of the foley sound, as the thud of the chair doesn’t have a big enough impact, so it is hard to know what it is meant to be if you are just listening to the podcast.
I also think the editing in some parts is a weakness as the chain sounds need to come in when the zombie character groans so that it is obvious that the chains are connected to him.
Find a similar product- what comparisons/differences can you identify?
A similar product to mine is the podcast series Bunker Buddies. This series is about different apocalypse events and what people would do in those situations and what they should do survive. One similarity between my product and Bunker Buddies is both have a logo that represents what the show is about, The Bunker Buddies logo is a steel door that is shut, representing people hiding in a bunker. Another similarity is Bunker Buddies also represent apocalypse events differently and try and make them funnier than in other products. One more similarity is the Bunker Buddies theme song that is at the start and end of the podcast is more upbeat than what you would expect from a show about apocalypse events, and my podcast also has music that is not associated with zombie products.
One difference between the products is Bunker Buddies does not contain fictional characters, instead the hosts of the show talk about what they would do if these events were really happening. Also Bunker Buddies does not use foley or sound effects as they are just talking about events so they don’t need sound effects.
Review your proposal- what changed, what developments did you make, did you manage to complete everything you set out to?
From my original proposal, one thing that changed is the amount of script drafts I made, because I wanted to experiment with what I included in the script. Another thing that changed is I decided to produce a logo for my podcast once I had finished editing it, because I felt I needed a logo for it to be professional when I upload it and a logo will help people identify it.
I managed to complete everything I set out to in the time as I did produce one episode of the podcast and completed the logo.
Are you happy with your final piece? Are there any elements you like in particular?
I am very happy with my final piece as I think the audio quality is good and it sounds like an authentic radio show. Also I think the performance in the podcast is good. I particularly like the logo that I have made because I think it looks very professional and I am pleased with how elements of it have turned out, such as the on air light that is dripping with blood, and the zombie hand coming out of the ground looks detailed and is good quality. I also really like the quality of the audio as it is very clean and there are very little unwanted background noise and really make the podcast more professional and authentic.
Is there anything you would change? Why?
If I were to do this project again I would change parts of the script so that the host has more parts to say, but not so much that the host is just controlling what the other characters talk about like in early drafts of the script, because I feel the host doesn’t talk as much at the moment and I think adding more dialogue for the host would improve the podcast.
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This week I decided to create a different version of my logo as I was not completely happy with my first attempt and I felt I could do much better if I put more time into it.
This is my updated logo design. I decided to have the on air sign look like it was dripping with blood because my podcast is done as a radio show about zombies so I want some horror elements in the logo. To create the dripping effect I used the brush tool to create lines coming down from the letters and then added a liquify effect to those lines. I added an outer glow to the letters as well to make it look like the sign is lit up.
To make the tombstone look like it was made out of concrete and not just a grey rectangle with a curve I added some noise to it to make it look rough and slightly damaged as this makes the tombstone have a more horror feel to it.
For the zombie hand coming out of the ground holding the microphone I found an image online and drew around it using a graphics tablet, as I felt this would allow me to make it look better by adding more detail than if I drew using the mouse. I used different shades of green on the hand to add detail and make some parts look more damaged as this is a zombie hand so the skin shouldn’t be perfect. I used the colour green for the hand as I wanted a cartoon style look for the zombie because my podcast also has elements of comedy in it and I felt a cartoon zombie would be able to reflect that more than a realistic one. I used a yellow banner around Zombie Time to make the title of my podcast stand out against the other elements of the logo.
I think this second logo is much better than my first as I took more time to make this one and put more effort into it and added more detail so it looks much more professional and better represents what my podcast is about.
Pixabay (2016) Free image on Pixabay – fight, fist, Mic, microphone, music. Available at: https://pixabay.com/en/fight-fist-mic-microphone-music-1296057/ (Accessed: 16 June 2016).
This week I researched colour theory and the meaning certain colours have. I did this for the thumbnail I am going to create for my podcast as I want to use colours to create a certain atmosphere, as my logo is going to involve zombies I want colours that have meanings that can relate to zombies. I also started drawing ideas for my logo and then created my logo
The three colours that I found that have a meaning that relate to zombies are red, purple, and black.
My research into the colour red has taught me that red is the colour of extremes and can represent violence, danger, and anger, which are all commonly found in zombie fiction. Also red is the colour of blood and in zombie fiction blood is very common when zombies bite someone and when zombies are killed. However I learnt that when using red the background colour is important, as red against a black background seems to glow and can appear larger, whereas red on a white background seems duller in comparison.
While I was researching the colour purple I discovered that it is a supernatural colour, possibly due to its rarity in nature and because in the past it was a very expensive colour to create so it was only worn by people in power, such as the emperors of Rome. Another reason purple is considered a supernatural colour could be because it is the most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy, which makes it more associated with supernatural ability and the cosmos than the real physical world. Purple also symbolises magic, mystery, and spirituality which might make it a good colour for me to use as zombies have elements of mystery in them and they also don’t seem possible in the real world.
From researching the colour black I learnt it is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. This is interesting as there is a contrast between the things it is associated with as death and elegance are not normally associated with each other. Black is a mysterious colour that is also associated with fear and the unknown, which is appropriate for zombies.
From doing this research I have learnt about the meanings and symbolism of certain colours and how this can convey meaning from colours. This will help me when I am creating my podcast thumbnail as I will know what colours I can use to create certain effects and convey different meanings and create an atmosphere of mystery and danger, which is what I want for a zombie themed thumbnail, to create a sense of horror and fear.
Once I had researched colour theory and decided on the three colours I wanted to use in my logo I sketched five possible designs for my logo.
These designs all feature zombies and something related to radio as I want the logo to reflect that this podcast is a radio show about zombies.
Once had these designs I used them to create the logo.
Although this logo isn’t an exact copy of one of the ideas I drew it clearly takes inspiration from them, and uses the three colours that I felt would be the best to use for something involving zombies due to my research into colour theory.
I feel I could make the logo look much better if I had more time but as I didn’t decide to make a logo until later in the project my focus was on completing the podcast as well as I could so not much time went into this logo as I knew I was running out of time to have everything completed when I started to create designs for it. When I first completed this thumbnail I was satisfied with it because I felt the colours conveyed the horror feeling that I was aiming for, however after receiving feedback on this design I realised that I could make one that is much better.
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