Going to the Dogs

By | December 11, 2011

Not a life statement (although sometimes it feels that way) but rather a quick analysis of the development of my Film Promotion site.


Like everything I left it to the last minute and as a result ended up doing a 25 hour day on the Tuesday/Wednesday morning that it was meant to be submitted (so apologies for falling asleep during lectures – it wasn’t a reflection on the teaching).

Leaving the site development till the last minute also meant that I didnt have time to ask questions/get advice from other people which would have been useful.

Initial Planning
The site planning started with my now traditional Mind Map (I’m trying to flog this idea to death) and then I needed loads of content as this (I thought) would then focus my ideas in terms of site structure/look & feel etc.

I wanted to go for a minimalist design and the first thing I needed was to get an idea of the colour scheme for the site, this is where colorapi, pictaculous, and color palette came in.

Content is King
As it went with the last project a lot of time is spent getting suitable site content – this was easier than the previous baker’s project partly because I’d just done the Richardson’s project and had a better idea of what I was doing, and also because I know more about film & cinema than I do about bakers (and have more interest in it). So eventhough I probably spent 5-6 hours getting content (and colour scheme ideas) this was far less than the previous project – I was also starting to make better use of the tools available.

Layout
We had a brief to work to and so I knew the mandatory bits of the structure and then just needed to add any extra bits that I wanted.

Having done a gallery for the previous project I knew this was something I wanted (and this sort of thing is always in keeping with film type sites), I also knew that I wanted to include critics reviews section as I had researched loads of good reviews that I wanted to use (plus its also something you see when films are being marketed so again very much in theme).

Colour Scheme (and initial problems)
Next came the choice of color scheme – I had originally planned to go very minimalist with the (almost) trade mark white background with Reservoir Dogs blood splatter but I tried this layout in Powerpoint (still haven’t come to terms with learning Illustrator) and it just didnt work with the images that I’d got and a much darker background worked better. Another abortive idea was the use of a white background with a “Gun strip” divider but this also didnt work – in fact it looked a bit crap.

Initial Images Used to help generate theme & colour scheme

The next idea was to use a distorted/blurred version of the “Lets Go To Work” image – this worked in my Powerpoint mockup but was unusable on the web due to a lack of contrast with the text (with interlaced black/white background). So it was back to the drawing board again.

Eventually decided on the solid black / mushroom combination – these were colour combinations that had been selected via colorapi and although it meant that the blood splatter image wouldnt work I decided to use that colour for the logo/page border.

Having decided on the b/g for the 2 section page layout that I’d decided on I could then go ahead and design a suitable (simple due to my lack of PS skills) logo – this combined the blood splatter colour with an Impact font and merged with a gun image (Smith & Weston 9mm as used in the film) and an obligatory Cert 18 logo. I had wanted to maker the “R” of the title out of the gun image but that didnt work so I just overlaid it and I went for a solid b/g colour same as the page background so as to save it as a JPG (I wanted it to work as much as possible in older browsers – probably influenced by the fact that where I work they are still using IE6).

Subsequent Changes
Having done the initial crit I swopped the content sections round and changed some of the fonts (Quotes) and background colours (on the now right hand side) to provide better contrast. Other than that the site is still pretty much as initially developed.

Enhancements
There are several things I would do, firstly I would get rid of the masthead div as this is no longer needed with the 2 div approach adopted, then I would change the alt and title tags associated with some of the images (particularly the Gallery which was implemented quickly). I would also investigate alternatives to the IFRAME for the embedded video (I had used an embed but this seemed to slow down page load – this was not scientific it was just how it felt).