I will start from the beginning of my project, and analyse how media technologies have helped in the construction of my work. I began working on all of my research, which was put together onto my blog. I used the blogging website: WordPress (the website/blog you are on now). WordPress allowed me to put all of my information and work in one place, allowing me to categorize the pieces, as well as allowing me to go back and edit it any time I wanted to. It works almost as a diary of everything I have learnt leading up to the final production. I will be going into each stage of my project and what media technologies have been used.
I then began the initial research into music videos to give myself an insight into the background. Without the use of the Internet this would not have been possible. I began with the history of Music videos. I started this process by having a conversation with a Media Teacher replacement we had at our school for a month or so this year, and he used YouTube and introduced me to Max Fleischer. He also showed me his YouTube channel page where he showed me the work he had done making independent music videos. This was very influential to me, as it gave me an insight into what I could make with a low budget.
I used Wikipedia, and Google to find the information that I used throughout the first few initial stages. Wikipedia provides a basic overview of what I was looking into to, but cannot be entirely reliable as it can be changed anonymously and cannot truly trust everything on there. I would then use Google to find external sources of information on the topic I have searched for on the posts on the blog I have mentioned where I found my research. I would then be able to cross-reference the information on Wikipedia, to justify whether the info was in fact correct. Another website I used frequently was: Slideshare. This again could be reliable but it was put into basic understandable terms.
The second media institute I used was Music channels on Television; this allowed me to categorize the channels. I also researched into the viewing figures of these channels.
YouTube was the vital library that I needed for my research as it allowed me to have a vast variety of music videos at my disposal. This was important to allow me to gain inspiration for my music videos from narrative, to editing. I was able to use them to analyse different genres of music videos, and to get an insight into the conventions.
I used the survey website – www.surveymonkey.com to conduct research on the viewing habits of music videos, and what they would expect as well as asking what they would recommend what they would like to see. I used Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel to gather my results together and put them into graphs and charts so my information was easier to process. Without doing this – I would not have found out what people would expect to see and what they would like – it was extremely beneficial when it came to the production of my own work.
As I had conducted all of my research in the research phase of my project, I began working on pre-production. This began with drafting out ideas and creating a mind map on Microsoft word. As I was making a video for my own composition, I also had to write the lyrics to the song. I drafted out video ideas in a mind map form on Microsoft Word, until I finally hit a narrative and a theme for the song and the music video.
We as a band then had a few rehearsal sessions, expanding the songs (as we were practicing for our tour at the time). We decided that we would record the song roughly in one of our practice sessions. We did this using Logic Pro 9 – which is music software on iMacs.
Once the lyrics and the narrative were set, I decided I would type the lyrics up and print them of and annotate, using ideas which I could implement into my video. I then scanned the images back onto my computer. I did this simply with my home printer, I placed the paper under the tray at the top of the printer and chose the scan onto computer option. I then drew out shot listings and storyboarding – this was also scanned onto the computer using the same method.
I again used Microsoft word to conduct a shooting plan, and to update it as I filmed each segment. This helped me stay on track, and to cover everything I needed to fit into the video. I would use my printer on the day of filming and print out the shooting plan for that section and take it with me to the shoot, I would use it and then act in the moment and film bits I thought I could add in or things that could work. There is an updated document after each day of filming.
The computer I used for the majority of my work throughout this course was my iMac that I have at home. This was apart from a few occasions when I did my work on another iMac at school or using Photoshop on the Windows computers at school.
I do not have the use of any editing software on my iMac apart from iMovie. I found this to be relatively complicated to use, and in an ideal world would have liked to use another ediitng software but was not able to. This technology was essential in the creation of my project.
I used the survey website – www.surveymonkey.com again to conduct research on what people thought of my music video – this is explained thoroughly in Question 3. Surverymonkey changed their website since I had previously used it and allowed the user to have all the data collected in graph form – this was very useful.
As well as using the Questionnaire on Surverymonkey, I held 3 small focus groups where I gained some feedback from students at my school. The firs two videos were not very insightful or give good feedback, but I found that the third was very beneficial. Again this is gone into in more detail on Question 3. I also used the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
The drafts of my music videos were uploaded on my iMac onto YouTube, this was very beneficial as people were able to view it and see the progression between the edits.
This is the link to my YouTube page:
For my initial research into Digipaks my first port of call, was to use the albums that I had previously owned, and I also used Google Images to gather these album cover images. As for the information – this was found on a range of websites. I again sued Wikipedia and cross-referenced it with other information found from reliable sources. I managed to find an article on the New York Times website which I quoted in my research.
My magazine advert research started by using and looking through music magazines that I had at home, these being: “Kerrang!” “Rocksound” and “Total Guitar”. I looked through these magazines and I found how albums were promoted through print. For the adverts that I liked and found, I took a picture of them using my iPhone and uploaded them to my iMac, this was very simple, all I had to do was plug the phone into the back of the computer via the USB/charging cable and once connected iPhoto would open on my mac and I was able to choose what images I wanted to import. I then printed out 4 of these adverts and did a basic hand drawn annotation into the basic conventions of a magazine advert. Once these were finished I uploaded them back into the computer, and these are what can be found on my blog under my magazine advert analysis section.
I did an extensive and thorough analyse of one of the magazine adverts, I did this using Microsoft Word, where I was able to use the shapes feature to add text boxes and lines pointing to what each segment was. Throughout this analysis I used an article I had found on Alt Press, which was a breakdown and explanation into band merchandising and funding – this was very beneficial in emphasizing the point of this being a business product.
I began with the creation of my Digipak first. As I had aforementioned this would go hand in hand with my artwork. I displayed two images that were created with the intention of using it for my artwork. These were done on Photoshop (on a windows computer at school), Microsoft Word and by hand. I then took pictures of them using my iPhone. The main image of my Digipak stemmed from a shot I had filmed for the music video, I used the screen shot feature on an iMac to capture this as an image. I researched on Google the dimensions of an album cover, and was able to adjust the page sizing on Microsoft word to create the Digipak cover. I would have liked to continue my work on Photoshop but unfortunately do not have the privilege of this software on my home iMac (where I did almost every bit of my work). I became extremely efficient in using Microsoft Word and found it could be very useful.
Once the complete album cover was designed I decided to use this in my iTunes library, or on my iPod to show how my album cover would like in comparison to an existing product.
As I have shown in the creation of my magazine advert creation, I played around with a range of ideas using Microsoft Word again. Once this was done, I took a picture of already existing album adverts in Kerrang with my iPhone and uploaded them to my iMac (using the same process as before) I then copied them into Microsoft Word and placed my advert over the top of them.
The chosen target audience of my video in the preliminary stages of this project was teenagers ranging from 11-19 and a few years either side, and would appeal mainly to a rock based community of people.
As I had now finished my practical production – and as mentioned in my earlier post – I had created a secondary questionnaire on: www.surveymonkey.com, I then asked students, colleagues, friends, work friends, family, and teachers to fill this out for me. I also sent a post out on Twitter (band account) and Facebook (my own personal account) asking for people to watch the video, and to possibly answer the questionnaire for me. I decided to do this as it would then be sent directly to people in my target age range, and it would go to my friends who are into the same genre of music as this music video.
“What did you think of it?”
– Good song
– Video went very well with storyline
– Made lots of sense
– Good acting
– Good storyline
– Transitioned well between pieces
“Anything you would improve on it?”
– Car crash scene
– Car didn’t transition as well as the rest of it
– Fighting scene more energetic
“Any other comments or criticism?”
– Thought it was good
– When does the album come out
“What did you think of it?”
– Really good
– A lot more professional than I thought it was going to be
“Anything you didn’t like about it?”
– Make it a bit darker
– The car crash
– Speed of the car crash
– Fight scene looked staged
“Any other comments or criticism?”
– It was good other than that (The points made before)
“What did you think of it?”
– Very good compared to first version that I saw – this is definitely much better
– I like the way you’ve incorporated using editing styles and techniques
– Comments taken on board from first draft – and changed
– The pace of editing goes with sound
Anything you didn’t like about it?”
– What stood out and what I did not like was that some of the shots when I (Protagonist) was walking around stood out and were to sharp compared to other scenes – it was too sharp
Dialogue between the two of them:
– (Botha) In general it’s a good production?
– (Simran) Yes
– (Botha) But you get the idea of the storyline with the lyrics of the music?
– (Simran) Yes
– (Simran) Yes its good – its just those few little things that need tweaking
– (Botha) To perhaps give it a softer tone in terms of colour and perhaps not as sharp?
– (Simran) And if this were in black and white overall – it would have a different feel to it that would go along with the poker.
– (Botha) That’s perhaps a good idea.
“Any other comments or criticism?”
– (Botha) I think it’s a production well done, like I said, much improved from the first version, you’ve taken on board what people suggested, and you’ve done it well.
What I have learnt from these focus groups:
My main critiques from these focus groups was that the fight scene and the car crash could be improved on and given some points, that they could be more energetic. Another point that arose continuously was the colour of some of the shots.
I did however learn that there were many positive aspects to my video such as: the editing of the pace that follows along with the music, and that they understand the narrative.
In my post before I explained that I had created a questionnaire on the website: Surveymonkey.com. I decided to reuse this medium as I found it effective during the first run of feedback when I was in the preliminary stages of my projects. The aim for this run of result findings was to get an overview on what people made of my video and their own personal views on it. The results I received were over a period, and the responses I received were from teachers, friends, work colleagues, fellow students as well as family. I managed to receive 47 responses and below I will be analyzing my findings.
Using the online website “Survey Monkey” had its positives and its negatives. The positive being that I was able to distribute my questionnaire to a wider range of people, and is quick and easy to make and to fill out. Another being that since I did my first run of questionnaires, “Surverymonkey” have upgraded the basic user view, and allows us to view the data collected in already formed graphs. The negatives being that you could answer one questionnaire on each device. For example if I had the questionnaire up on a computer and filled it out, I would now not be able to fill it in again. I found this to be a negative as I could have been able to have the questionnaire open on one device and got as many people – in my class or friends – as I could to come to this computer to fill it out.
All the images displayed in the post can be enlarged – simply by clicking on the image itself.
Question 1: “What is your gender?”
This is an important question that every questionnaire begins with. It allows the author to put their findings into a criteria depending on the genres. The amount of replies I received was fairly even and it allows me to view how both sexes view music videos.
Question 2: “What group does your age range fall into?”
This question – similar to Q1 – is always at the beginning of a questionnaire it is needed to judge who you are getting these responses from. As I received responses from a range of people my results are completely varied but the majority being the ’17-19′ category.
Question 3: “What rating would you give my work from a scale of 1-5, 1 being bad, 5 being good?”
I decided to ask this question to get an average rating of my video, I originally planned to do the question from 1-10, but decided this was too large a range and would have been harder to narrow it down into a number, so I stuck to 1-5. The results I received were a mixture, as I received votes for all categories from 1-5. One person thought it was 1, I like this type of criticism as it is honest and gives us a true insight and gives a real view of how the video is received, there were 3 votes for 2, but then the real numbers began to grow when it hit 3 and 4 and this is where a lot of my results fell, this is very humbling as I believe it still has the honesty and truthful factor. The most votes however was 5 at 18 people, I believe if this had been taken by people who did not know me, my results would be marginally different, and they can be biased.
Question 4: “Was there anything you specifically liked about it?”
I wanted to ask this question and give it a basic yes and no answer to make the answering simple but then allow the person answering the question a comment box in case they wanted to explain why. Luckily I received 25 comments from the 47 who took the questionnaire. The winner by a long margin was that people liked the video something about the video, which is shown in the diagram below
Not all of these people left a comment but for those who did they had this to say:
The comments I received really helped me from a critically media point of view (taking out the usually received bad unnecessary answers from a questionnaire), that people approved of the structure of the video, the shots that were taken and the post modern aspect. I also like that the focus was on the musicians in the band and the “Star Image” of the band was portrayed.
Question 5: “Was there anything you did not like?”
This links in with the previous question but allowed room for a critical feedback. I opened it up once again with a yes and no option and a comment box for them to explain what they did not like. This question was very interesting to look at, as it was very very close, and evenly answered. No there was not anything they disliked was the winner but only by a fraction, which is a bad thing, because so many people didn’t like bits of it. Again even though I received 47 responses, only 21 left a comment explaining what they didn’t like.
The results of the yes and no answers are shown below:
The comments I was left were:
The answers that were given to me on this question were very good. A lot of people seemed to think there was not enough of the bassist shown in the mix. A lot of negatives on the fighting, and there also seemed to be a lot of confusion towards the storyline. The impression I gained from people viewing this video was that this was not a problem and many seemed to grasp the concept pretty early. These comments allow me to notice what I could have done in the video and what would have worked better and would please the audience even more.
Question 6: “Did you think the video stylistically fit in with the song?”
I wanted to ask this question, as I specifically chose to do a rock video, and I wanted to see whether people felt the visuals matched the audio. The results I received were:
This is a real mix of results and is difficult to tell the overall answer, so I would take that as a negative as people were split and it should have been an easy decision, if I was to conduct further research I would find out what specifically didn’t make it look like it linked.
Question 7: “Would you watch my music video again?”
In my original questionnaire I asked the question once you have watched a music video would you watch it again, and my findings were that 18 people responded that they would ‘maybe’ watch the video again, 14 said ‘Yes’ and 12 said ‘No’. I wanted to re-ask this so I could compare my results to my original findings, and it has come out very interesting. 18 people said they would watch again, this in theory means that people liked it enough to come back to view once more. 10 people said ‘No’ which was a fewer amount than in my first questionnaire meaning that more people liked the video and 19 people responded to the ‘Maybe’ option meaning that it is similar to the music video market out there, that people might come back and watch it – this gives the impression that is taken upon as a professional video.
This is the graph showing my results:
Question 8: “Did the video come across as professional?”
I wanted to ask this question so as to see how professional it was, and whether it would look out of place if it were played on a music channel with professionally made music videos. The options I gave the recipients were: “Yes, very professional”, “A little bit”, “Not sure”, “Not Really” and “Not at all”. I received responses for each option. The responses were:
What I found from this question is that it is not completely professional so would look slightly out of place but the feedback was very highly towards a little bit and very professional. I found from the written comments that the “Not sure” were because the viewers were not into this genre of music and were not sure whether or not it would be professional. There were 5 critiques who here have said “Not really” and “Not at all” and out of 47 responses that works out to be 10.64% out of 100% so I believe that the response from this shows that people approve of the work and think it would work on a professional music video channel.
Question 9: “Would you recommend for somebody to watch this music video?”
I know personally if I really like a music video I watch I would recommend for people to watch it, so if someone would make a recommendation of the video, then this gives me an idea of if people really the video. The results were:
The responses were very intriguing as they are all fairly distributed, 19 people said they would, 11 people said they wouldn’t and 17 said maybe. I think this shows that there is a mixed reception to my music video.
Question 10: “Any comments, praise or criticisms?”
I decide to add this question in even though the question had been asked already, was because like my results have shown not everyone would supply me an answer in the comment box, so including this question is almost tricking them into giving me a response. I simply supplied an essay box that they were able to fill out, and these are what the recipients of my questionnaires supplied me with:
Taking all of the invalid responses out of this, I have learnt that I gained a lot of positives from the feedback, and far more positive than negative, although the negative critiques is what I am looking for. The main negatives I noticed in my project was that the car and fight scene were not to as high of standard as the rest of the video. Another aspect that was brought up was that some people did not understand the narrative. I could use the not understanding of the narrative to my own positive use, and use a postmodern aspect to the video.
Through the production of my 3 media texts (Music video, Digipak and magazine advert) I have used commodification (where the artist/music becomes a product and needs to be sold) and synergy (using cross-media convergence to ultimately sell the product). These factors have played a part in linking all of my products together giving them a consistent theme; making them look like a package and they have identified the bands branding.
As my band has a logo we can appear to be more professional to the consumer or audience. In my research into logo’s I found that a good logo has to have these aspects:
If the design for the logo is simple it allows the consumer to recognize it, which ultimately covers the second point as it becomes memorable.
While in college in the mid-70’s an instructor introduced me to the K.I.S.S. Principle of design; which translates to: Keep It Simple, Stupid. It does convey a very important design consideration. Simple logos are often easily recognized, incredibly memorable and the most effective in conveying the requirements of the client. A refined and distilled identity will also catch the attention of a viewer zipping by signage at 70 miles per hour, on packaging on the crowded shelves of a store, or in any other vehicle used for advertising, marketing and promotion. Remember, the basis of the hugely effective international branding for the world’s largest shoe manufacturer is a very simple graphic swoosh. – Jeff Fisher
(Quote found from: http://justcreative.com/2009/07/27/what-makes-a-good-logo/)
This works very closely with being simple. If it is simple, it is recognizable; if it is recognizable; it is memorable.
An example of this would be the ‘McDonalds’ logo – which has always been of the golden, high arched ‘M’. Anywhere in the world you see this specific type of ‘M’ you will know what brand it is.
For a logo to be effective it needs to be timeless, and to make it appeal the same now as it could in 20+ years.
The best example of a timeless logo would be the ‘Coca-Cola’ design in comparison to one of its main competitors: ‘Pepsi’ which is shown on this table below.
(Research found from: http://justcreative.com/2009/07/27/what-makes-a-good-logo/)
For the logo to be versatile it should be designed in the vector format, meaning that it can be resized and rescaled to any size and be able to work horizontally and vertically.
It should appeal to its target audience, if the logo is designed for a toy company, the font should be bright and bold, in comparison if you were creating a logo for a car logo, it would need to slick and sharp. You have to make it work in the circumstance in which you are working.
I believe that my product actually fits 4/5 of these aspects, the problem with it is the versatility as it is on a landscape placement and wouldn’t be able to moved and around and changed positioning effectively. I think it looks is simple yet eye catching, and also memorable.
The image on the cover of my Digipak, was an image of playing cards, and poker chips, that I had filmed when we filmed the poker segment – this shows my first use of continuality. I realized very late on that my main image of the ace of spades card was actually upside down.
I used the logo of the band – which had already been designed – and the title of the album/song underneath in the same style. As a continuous theme, I created the other ancillary task (magazine advert) in the same style, using the same fonts, same color theme, and same main image. I should however have continued this into my music video to add a synergy and give a continuous feel to my three products – but I felt I didn’t want to add titles into the song, as I found it to be unnecessary.
The problem I had with my music video was that the narrative of the protagonist was shot during the days – and on bright days – I think that to give it the same feel as the other two tasks, it would have been more beneficial to shoot these segments at night, so they are darker and to adjust the contrast and recoloring to give it the same feel as the other two tasks. I do believe they are linked but I think I could have emphasized this factor.
I feel like all 3 products are continually linked, as they all have the same feel to them, and you can immediately identify that they are linked together and work as a package.
My video begins with a shot of myself playing guitar. The shot is a mid POV shot, with an extreme close-up of the guitar riff being played faded over the top, it already begins with a post modern aspect as we see the image from two different perspectives. The costume this person is wearing challenges the stereotype of a ‘rock star’ – this links to Angela McRobbie theory that men and women are represented through stereotypes. As a connotation of ‘rock stars’ we expect them too look messy, sunglasses, ragged ripped clothes etc.; I decided to link the poker sequences together with the band, and dressed them in smart attire. This convention is again then challenged as you see the tattoos on my arm, this adds to the juxtaposition.
We then see the next two members of the band, in a split screen edit. The bassist on the left hand side of the screen is again turned around, so we see his back adding to the post modern feel. The costumes are again smart, but are again challenged as the drummer is wearing a hat with a smart shirt and tie. The editing process in postproduction was very important here, as I had to sync the instruments to the audio, making the video illustrative.
The narrative then comes into affect and there is a balance of shots between narrative and band performance. The lighting was key to this, as I wanted to portray a dark life inside of his home, in comparison to the brighter light outside which I will later get to. The technicality of the shots is also important, as I wanted to cover a range of shots from different angles and positions; this follows the traditional convention for the camera never in the same place in a music video.
The next few shots of the protagonist, is where we see him through the reflection of the mirror. This again adds to the post modern aspect of we are watching them – which is also in Goodwin’s theory that the audiences are played in a position of a voyeur. What the protagonist is doing in the mirror is key though, as he is grooming himself using props that are products and cleaning wipes which shows he is looking after himself. This challenges the stereotype of a ‘rock star’ again as well as avoiding the convention of a traditional male and cancelling McRobbies theory that male characters are represented through stereotypes. It also shows the boundaries that are now stretched in today’s society meaning that it is tackling social problems.
The next shot of the protagonist is where he is stepping outside into the daylight. I have already mentioned that I wanted the inside of the house to be dark so in comparison to stepping out side it is almost another world. What is key here though is what he is wearing because this is the traditional stereotype of a ‘rock star’ that we were searching for with the vest, denim and aviator sunglasses (significant of Slash from Guns N Roses) this shows that this convention is then followed but not in the most obvious way. The roles are juxtaposed. The use of the iPhone shows technology being used which is also another social topic.
The next point I wanted to make was the difference between amplified, illustrated or disjunctive music videos. Amplified is where a message or lyrics is repeatedly used to portray a message, disjunctive is where the video has nothing to do with lyrics and illustrative is where there is a direct link to the lyrics of the song and the visuals we see.
In the edit of this point we see the entrance of the poker sequences. This is a niche topic and isn’t hugely represented in music videos. It adds to the dynamics of the video giving it equilibrium, which is Todorovs theory. The costumes that we see of the characters here is extremely varied and has a disequilibrium feel to it. There are 3 characters that are all wearing different types of clothing, and are all wearing masks. I decided to do this to make it feel seedy, like you should be covering your identity, yet the 4th character – who is the protagonist – doesn’t conceal his identify as he doesn’t care.
My music video is mainly illustrative which is key in a segment of band performance in the chorus where the lyrics are: “the hand you’ve been dealt” where we see a poker dealer dealing cards, and “the ace of spades leads to the grave” (where we see the image of the ace of spades card used on the Digipak cover and magazine advert, showing the convergence between the product and the synergy of my project) this links to the showing of the bullet multiple times later on in the video. The speed of the edit is also important as it follows the tempo of the music, which is covered in Goodwin’s theory.
I do believe that my music video challenges this view that it is only one of those, as it is mainly illustrative but I also believe that is amplified as well, as we repeatedly show the use of drugs and alcohol along with the mention of leading to the grave, trying to portray a message and directly influence the audience – which is the hypodermic needle theory.
The use of the drugs could be considered niche and to be challenging the conventions, as the use and taking of the drug is never normally shown. In one of my earlier edits I had more short clips of the cutting up of the fake drug and the taking of it, but I decided that simply the lowering down was enough for the consumer to understand what is going on. I think the Blumler and Katz theory is effective here as the audience will watch this as an escape, they can see that this character is at a low and they can compare their lives to what the protagonist is going through.
The drug deal is an important moment as the character that is ‘dealing’ the drugs is portrayed in a convention and stereotype that you would expect. I believe it is the only character that is portrayed in the exact way that you would expect to see them. It also tackles another social issue. It is challenged however that it is shown to be such an easy ordinary thing to ‘deal’ drugs.
As I have mentioned earlier this is a illustrative video, so I relied heavily on my techniques in post production to link the lips with the words we hear, it tells the story more if we see someone speaking it rather than just hearing it. This develops the convention as we only show the odd phrase or word, and even show the singer on the parts where he is not singing and he moves away from the microphone. It is also important, as the “Star Image” needs to be portrayed. This is the same during the guitar solo.
The next segment relies heavily on Angela McRobbies theory that men are portrayed through stereotypes; it is where the two characters start fighting. It was done through a choreographed routine of movements, and a range of shots that would implement trick photography. The fight challenges the convention because it is very even (equilibrium) and is blow for blow, until the closing ‘punch’.
I decided to use post production techniques to show the message that this is a dream by changing the colour of the shots towards the end at the run over scene, and it closes to the fact this is a dream and it was all in his head, and reinforces the hypodermic needle theory. This challenges the traditional stereotype as you don’t truly know what is going on until the last second, in comparison to other music videos where you know what is going on at all points.
Ancillary Task – Digipak:
I am going to go through each section of my Digipak and analyse the creation and the conventions of each segment.
There aren’t many official conventions that go into the creation of a Digipak main cover, as there are is an infinite number of possibilities and combinations of things that could be included or incorporated into the cover.
The main image of the Digipak can rely solely on photography of a specific object(s) – this can be a representation of the band, or of the lyrics or to portray a message. An example being: Heavens Basement – Filthy Empire, which has a sole image of a burning cigarette. This can be a Connotation of a ‘filthy empire’ as well as being a stereotype of rock music and rock culture. It is a striking image that encapsulates the feel of the album as well as drawing the audience’s eye. Other albums rely on computer generated images and images that are graphically designed.
When talking about the genre of Pop music, you would expect the convention to be that the main image will be of the person. This links to Goodwin’s theory portraying the ‘Star Image’ and in some cases the voyeurism of women and Laura Mulveys theory that women are objectified in the media (an example being: Katy Perry – Teenage Dream). This method directly sells the artist to the consumer.
I used the method of photography – using a shot from the filming process – to directly illustrate the lyrics and theme of the song. I adjusted the colouring of the image and this challenged the convention of my genre (Rock) as all the covers and artwork are very dark and ominous. I made the tone lighter, and I used the colour scheme to show my convergence of advertisement. It juxtaposes and plays with the idea of poker, as a connotation of poker, would be that its played in a dark room at night time, and in my image I have portrayed it in a softer light.
I found that another conventions of Digipaks were that the front cover would normally include the band name/and or logo and the title of the album. This is not essential as I found examples for albums that do not include these (an example being: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – It’s Blitz!) but I felt compelled to include this as it would only work for artists that have commercial success and would not need to include their name to sell the album. For my purpose however the main aim is to sell my product so I followed the convention and put my album title and band name onto the cover.
Firstly the main convention will be the track listing and the order of the songs that are on the CD – this I have done. I did challenge it however by using roman numerals instead of the standard numbering
An album will always have a barcode on the back, the use of the barcode, is so that when scanned, the details of the album will be brought up, for example in a shop it will produce the cost.
On the back of a Digipak there will be the legal requirements, these are antipiracy warnings, rights and licensing, and labels. The antipiracy warming is to discourage the consumer to illegally download or share the album, the rights will be who holds the rights to the music, and if it was to be illegally shared whom they would be stealing from. I have included all of this on my digipak cover (back) as I want it to look as authentic as possible, and to follow the convention, so if this was to be sold in a shop it would meet the legal requirements and would ultimately cover us. I also included a record label logo on the back following the conventions of a signed artist (I also did this for the spine)
The main image I used on the back was an image of the band – this follows Goodwin’s theory of the ‘Star Image’. I found that other existing products would use something that relates to the main image on the front of the packaging, but I felt I wanted to use Goodwin’s theory in this instance.
I reused the band name/logo and album title on the side of the album sleeve. A convention that I found album covers to have that I was not able to use, was the albums personal number/code. This is a small number on the side that categorizes the album; I felt it wasn’t needed.
Both the back cover and spine both follow the challenging of the convention because of the colour that I designed all of the faces of the packaging.
Ancillary Task – Magazine Advert:
From my research I found that these were the conventions of what went into a magazine advert:
The main image
The main image I used on this piece was the image that was used for my Digipak front cover, showing that I followed the convention in this case, however in the process of creating the album cover I expanded on this by including both. I created the same colour scheme on the page, to emphasise the synergy and convergence.
I followed all of these conventions except the tour dates aspect – I felt that this wasn’t essential in the advertising of the album. I felt that I would include all of these things because it makes it easier for the consumer to find out everything they need to know about the album, for example, when tis outs, what It looks like, where they can buy it from and the mention of singles to boost sales as well as giving them an insight into the album. One convention I wanted to consider which I found on an existing advert was the use of twitter using a “hash tag” (#) which is a topic category on the social networking site Twitter, this would have been beneficial as it would bring them into a new world, where fans can interact with each other as well as the band.
The reviews aspect was very important for me as it is a selling point, and it acts as buzz and puff words to the consumer. Some adverts did not have a main image; they instead displayed the reviews of the album (example being: Heavens Basements advert). This then refers to the Hypodermic needle theory for audiences that it directly influences; this influences them to buy it, to listen to the album themselves.
I have already gone into detail upon the use of twitter – but these are two possible conventions, I followed one which was to put the record label logo onto the advert, as it is also another means of retailing and a place where the album can be brought from, I did not follow the second as the song does not contain and explicit language.
This is a survey I put together on the website: http://www.surveymonkey.com, I decided to this so I could get an insight into what my audience thought of my music video and, find specific things they liked and what they disliked.
These are the questions I asked:
You are able to enlarge the images by clicking on them.
CREATION OF ALBUM ARTWORK
Now that I have completed my first ancillary task (to create an album cover) – I can now begin to start my second ancillary to which is to create my magazine advert for the release of the album. I found many conventions from my research that I would have to include in my production. These conventions are:
– Band name/band logo
– Album name
– Main image (of artwork or band)
– Release date
Other things I found that were used on the posters that I could include in my production:
– Web addresses
– Promotion of singles
– Twitter mention
– Reviews/Comments about album or band.
I began creating the magazine advert (again using Microsoft word to create) I drafted out designs of what I could use for my second ancillary task. I began by using the main image – which in some cases was the album cover, and in other cases I used the picture I showed you in my previous post (ancillary album cover creation).
On this first attempt I used the main image as the tour poster design which I went into detail on in my last post, and recolored the image and gave it a black and white filter – this didn’t have an entirely positive affect as you can see on the bottom left hand quadrant you can see the background is slightly off white and you can see the edge of the image. I did not want this to happen, as I wanted it look like the image was placed on a white background.
I then created a word/text box and typed in the band logo/name using the ‘Apple Symbols’ font and putting a space between every letter and two spaces between words. I placed this box at the top of the page to make it the heading of the page; I had to place this over the head of the main image. I wanted to play around with some superimposition but decided against it because I wanted the focus to be put onto the band name.
I then created another text box and typed in the album title underneath the main image using the same technique in which I had done the band name – I wasn’t entirely happen with the lining up of the text and the image.
I then decided to completely follow the basic conventions of a magazine advert and decided to put the release date as: ‘Out Now’ at the bottom of the page and I decided that I would also include the album artwork in the corner as I found that the magazine adverts that did not have the album artwork as the main image then, they would have a small image of the album artwork somewhere else on the page.
I then played around with the layout and placement of the items, and found I had a big chunk of space to fill up – so I decided to add in one of the other conventions I had found to be included in a magazine advert and decided to put a review segment of the album in. I took this inspiration from the “Heavens Basement” poster. All of the comments I made up myself. The reviews I wrote were:
This led to the final poster looking like this:
The main aspect I was not happy with this poster was the ability to see the outside of the main image, I decided that I would attempt to cover this up by adding in an image into the background. I wanted to add a link to the music video so I found an image on Google that was of a deck of playing cards fanned out. I decided to copy this image onto the page, resized it, cropped it, changed the coloring and transparency and sent it to the back of the page and it ended up looking like this:
I decided that I was not a fan of this whole concept of using the image linking to the music video, and decided that I would resize the main image of our faces until it fit the whole page. This had a positive effect and I was happy with the movement. I then decided I would have a play around with all the titling and where all the words were placed. I moved the band name and album name onto the face and reduced the transparency of the words.
I also decided I would move the ‘Out Now’ to the top of the page, and I added in the sentence “The long awaited new album” which acts as a selling point, the word new is a buzz word and the word awaited draws the eye.
This is what my third attempt looked like:
I liked this poster as a basic design but I decided I wanted to carry on playing around with the concept of the first design. I had already saved this as a document so I went back and readjusted items and had a play around.
I started with getting rid of the album cover and moving all of the reviews to the middle of the page and put them all into a middle alignment. I also decided to keep the release date as a simple ‘Out Now’. I also decided to add in another one of the conventions I found from my research – which was to add the band website address. I created a text box at the bottom and decide to recolor it to a dark grey to make it stand out. I made up the web address and re coloured it to white to make it eye catching and to suit the theme of the piece.
This is what my fourth attempt looked like:
I liked the simplicity of this piece and it had felt more fluid with everything aligned to the middle. The thing that was bothering me was the background to the main image again so I decided to scrap this image and change it to the album cover design. I placed the album cover design and it looked like this:
This was the one I was set on as it had a synergy with the theme of the album cover as well as the music video. I decided to add in more features that would follow the convention of the magazine advert.
The things I added in:
– Record label logo
– Amazon (Retailing) Logo
– Singles promotion
I wanted this product to look as authentic as possible so I decided to include the record label logo, as this was something that was included in every one of the magazines as well as where the buy the album from which I found was also included on a lot of the pages. As I mentioned in my analysis and research of magazine adverts that this is business and you are ultimately selling your product – I decided to add in the retailing to give the recipient of this advert an easy ride and they would know where to buy the album instantaneously.
As for the mention for the singles I decided that I would do this as when a new album out is out and is going to be promoted it is because the band or artist would have been in the studio for a long time and may have spent time writing the new album before they even entered the studio, meaning they will be out of the limelight for a long time. Once the album will be recorded and mixed, they will release a single off of the album – in order to give the audience a view into the feel of the album, and to ultimately thrust them back out into the limelight.
I wanted this product to look authentic and not out of place if you were to see it in a music magazine or in a newspaper.
I decided I would play around and test what it would like against already existing promotion and advertisements in magazine or in a newspaper.
These are the images of adverts in a music magazine that I had found:
and this is what my advert would look like in place of these adverts
CREATION OF ALBUM ARTWORK
Once I have completed all of my research on album covers I could begin production of my first ancillary task – which was to create a Digipak for the release of the album. I began by drafting and planning (roughly) what I will need a basic layout. My designs are shown below.
I came to the conclusion I needed to create:
As I said I was going to connect this and work alongside my art coursework, I will begin there because I had the opportunity to use work that I had previously created. The first piece was an idea I have to take a picture of each of the faces of the 4 band members and split them into 4 quadrants and to create a face from these pieces. I did this simply by taking a picture of members – at a mid shot – and I then edited them on Adobe Photoshop. I had to reposition some features in order for it to completely fit together, such as the lips on the bottom right hand quadrant – where they were enlarged and moved slightly to match the left hand quadrant. The final image that I was left with was this one:
This was originally going to be my main image for the album cover or the magazine advert but I decided against it as I wanted to use an image that was more fitting to the music video and to add synergy to my work, and use the connections rather than a random image I already had.
In March as a band we went on a small tour and played in Manchester, Leeds and Bury and this image was used to promote those shows that we were going to play. These shows were useful as I was able to get many images of the band performing in full long shots, as well as individual mid and close up shots. Some of these images were included in my final production of ancillary tasks.
The posters/tickets that were created for the tour were:
I sketched out a design one day, using aspects of the music video as well as ideas I had floating around in my head and I decided to carry on producing and illustrating, and ended up using watercolor, biro and pencil tone. I liked this idea, but I felt like it wasn’t complete enough and decided again that I would like something that directly linked towards the music video. The inspiration for this design was: “Slash – Apocalyptic Love”
As these two ideas were put to rest because I wanted to link in with something in the music video, so I began drafting ideas using things that are mentioned in the video. I researched into what sizing an album cover is and found from the Internet that the average dimensions are 120mm x 120mm. I had to create these ancillary tasks on my computer at home and didn’t have any software available I decided that I would create the designs on Microsoft Word – this is not something I wanted to do and would have preferred to do it another software. The ideas I came up with were:
Our logo had already been designed as we use it regularly and is:
“- O P P O S I T E S –”
This logo has been said to be very minimalistic and easy to recognize but also aesthetically pleasing.
I still wasn’t set on any of these designs so I decided that I would sift through all my footage and see if I could find anything that caught my eye that I had already filmed – which in fact I found something I had filmed that I thought could really work well.
The image was:
I began drafting with this image. I placed the image onto the page and I decided to leave a white border – as it was one of the things I liked from my research of the “Pure Love – Anthems” album artwork. I then recolored the image and changed the transparency. I then used our band name and song title again, and it came out like this:
I decided that I did not like the song title placed in this way so I brought it all up to the same level.
I decided then that this was going to be my final album cover, because it has a synergy with his music video as well as being eye catching and easily recognizable. This is the final design for the album cover.
Booklet, fold up insert behind front cover.
I have a vast collection of albums at my disposal as I have collected CD’s for many years, and I found that in a lot of the cases, the front cover is able to be pulled out and opened up to be a booklet, or unfolded and used as a poster. I decided I liked the idea of it being unfolded, and this left me with 3 quadrants to fill on the front (1 taken up by the main front cover image) and create a poster design on the back of the foldup.
I drafted ideas of what I could put into place on these pages such as: lyrics, performance shots, thank you messages or legal and label information. I deiced that I would do a shot of each band member (2 on each page) meaning that I would have one page to fill. I came to the conclusion I would include the lyrics to the song that I have made the music video for. I began with this part of the insert.
I used Microsoft Word again using the same size template in which I had made my front cover, and I typed out all of the lyrics to the song. The typography I use and my trick is to put a space in between each letter and 2 spaces in between words to make it look spread out. This was a very simple design and I decided I would use a textbox at the top and change the theme of it, to create a link between the two pages. The quadrant design came out like this:
This left me with two quadrants left to fill and I had decided that I was going to use the two pages to show each member of the band (putting two on each page). This is where the shots that were taken on the tour came into use, and I had shots during performance that I was able to use. The images I used were:
This is where I can go into the mise-ens-scene of the shots. The first shot is a low angle shot of Ben drumming and looking up into the crowd, this looks up at him, making him look like an authortive figure, like he is above people. The same can be said about the second image of Liam playing the bass guitar, it is looking up at him. The clothes that they are wearing do not scream out ‘Rockstars’ so it challenges this convention. That is until we see how Connor the guitarist with the yellow guitar is dressed, wearing a vest and has the shirt tied around his waist – iconic of how Axl Rose of Guns N Roses used to dress – as well as having the tattoos on his arm. This supports the stereotype of Rock This shot is darker and moodier and represents the person in comparison to the naturalistic shots of the other two. . The last image the main focus is of Rahul who challenges the convention again. I then cropped two of the images to make them portrait whilst leaving the other two landscapes. I then repeated the process of re coloring the images and adjusting the transparency. I played around with the positioning until I was happy with it, and then finally I added in two simple text boxes that displayed each member of the bands name.
The final two quadrants ended up looking like this:
So my final outcome, when unfolded would look like this:
Poster on the back of the booklet.
My design idea that was when the front cover is taken out of the casing, and then it was unfolded, would produce the work I have just explained how I created, but then I liked the idea of when you turned that image over it would be a poster of the band, that you could put up on your wall if you were a fan of the band.
I again used an image that was taken on our short tour, and I re coloured the image and changed the transparency and contrast, and added in the band name/logo and album title. The image I was not entirely happy with, but my aim was to have an image like this, and I did not have many specifically like this one, so I decided to use this one, and expand the image to fill the page. The final outcome was this:
Using the template for the album front cover that I already had, I created a text box the length of the side, in order to create the spine of the casing – I kept with the same colour theme to keep up the synergy. I included the bands logo in which I have already talked about as well as the album title. I then included a record label logo for RCA. I wanted this product to look as authentic as possible and this is one of the conventions I found in my research was that the label in which the band was signed to was displayed on the spine and on the back cover of the album (which I will be going into detail on later).
It ended up looking like this:
I again used the same template as before in terms of sizing. The main image of this piece was taken when we had come off stage on our final day of the tour in Kingston, I believe it shows us as a band, still experience the rush of adrenaline of performing as well as overwhelmed that the tour was over. I decided to re touch this image by re colouring and adjusting the transparency.
The next convention I learnt about the back of an album cover was that the track listing is always displayed. The list of songs that are displayed on the back of this cover was actually the set that we were performing on the tour. It was again done using my technique of typography and it was done using the ‘Apple Symbols’ font. I decided to go for Roman numerals instead of numbers because I believe it looks more sophisticated and professional than numbering.
Another conventions, that I found to be was there is a barcode on the album so it can be found and identified as well as be sold in a shop. I found an image of a barcode on Google.
The legal aspects of the album have to be included somewhere so there is a blurb at the bottom which was found on an album I had at my disposal (which ws Bullet For My Valentine – Temper Tenper).
The blurb says:
“℗&© 2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Distributed by Sony Music Entertainment. Dystybucja w Polsce: Sony Music Entertainment Sp. z.o.o.,ul. Chóralna 14, 02-879 Warszawa. / RCA is a registered trademark of RCA Trademark Management S.A. All trademarks and logs are protected / Made in the EU”
This basically outlines that the record label hold the rights to this, and that they are trademarks, and would be an offence to copy or use this work when unauthorized. It is used to combat piracy and illegal downloading and sharing.
I also included the RCA, and Sony Music labels to make it look authentic and wouldn’t look out of place next to an album that is officially available to buy.
The final back cover looks like this:
CD Design/Image behind CD:
I created a template of a disc using the shapes feature on Microsoft Word. The design I decided to use was the original design of the faces that I had created for my art coursework. As with the rest of the images on this album cover I re coloured and changed the transparency and re sized and cropped it until it was a reasonable size. I then placed the band name/logo and album title. I included the record label logo to again make it look authentic and included another legal blurb that follows the curvature of the top of the disc. I decided I would reuse this image so when the disc is taken out this image is behind it.
This is a shot of it on my iTunes library (it is seventh along):
This is what it would look like played on a digital device such as an iPod:
For my second ancillary tasks I will be looking into music adverts. For this task I have researched and found a few already existing adverts that were around and i analysed them. My research was carried out using music magazines and the internet.
The adverts that I found upon my research:
I have found that there are a few conventions that go into making an advert for an album these being:
The main image
I analysed and annotation four of these adverts and I will be going into great detail upon one of them.
The main image of this advert is of the album artwork; it is used so the viewer can identify what the advert is for. The main point of doing a magazine advert is to promote the album, after all this is a media product and it is used to ultimately sell the product; this means it has to draw the viewer in and be eye catching. This goes down to the album artwork creation that I have gone into on my previous post on the blog.
In some cases the image will be of the artist, this is when the artist has more of a mainstream success – this is shown in the comparison of rock band album adverts, to the chart/pop adverts like Olly Murs and Jessie J (which are shown on the blog). They will show the artists face, because they know that it would attract more people, by displaying their face than the album artwork.
This brings me onto my next point that a lot of mainstream acts will actually use their own faces on the album artwork, as a main selling point, in comparison to the products made for a rock band, where it is a creation of art.
I have noticed throughout my research of album covers and magazine adverts, that the use of Pop Art is very reoccurring. It plays on the simple bold features to catch the viewer’s eyes. It plays on being minimal (this is covered in article I found on my research on my previous post on the blog).
All of this is about promotion. The band or artist would have been in the studio for a long time and may have spent time writing the new album before they even entered the studio, meaning they will be out of the limelight for a long time. Once the album will be recorded and mixed, they will release a single off of the album – in order to give the audience a view into the feel of the album, and to ultimately thrust them back out into the limelight. Some artists usually create an accompanying music video for the single for further promotion. This means they include this on the poster as they expect everybody to have heard this single and would include it on the poster in order to boost sales of both the single and of the album. As I have aforementioned this is a media product and it is there to sell. The word “Featuring” acts as a “buzz word”.
The link to the bands web address here is pivotal to bringing fans into their world. I have included a screen shot of their website and what it has to offer:
The first thing you notice is the album cover – and a CD coming out of the sleeve along with writing that says:
“A DAY TO REMEMBER
THE 16 TRACK ALBUM NCLUDES 3 ADDITONAL BONUS SONGS
NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE
CLICK HERE – CD/VINYL/DIGITAL – CLICK HERE”
Below that is the link to their music video for the song “Right Back At It Again” which is the single that is promoted on this magazine advert. This proves that it is put there to bring fans into their world by ultimately sell and endorse their product even more by offering more content into the band.
On the top headings bar there are the options:
Buy “Common Courtesy”
These are used to give the audience I wider world and to be more ‘involved’ with the band, creating a ‘bond’. The store option takes you onto their merchandise store for the US and UK, and these are gone into in my next paragraph.
Before I go into detail on the merchandise aspect; I wanted to cover the most important point on this web page. Which is: the section that is below this screen shot. It is of their touring schedule. It is a simple fact that artists and bands do not make money for selling music nowadays due to illegally downloading music and this article covers how bands survive a daily lifestyle breaking down how much money is lost and made through touring and ‘merch’ sales.
The way it is presented is something I can talk about as well. With the rest of the typography on this page and the theme, it is all-simple black writing set on the colour of the album artwork as the backdrop, whereas this segment is encased in a black box and has white typography to make it stand out. It then directly links to point No. 6.
The growth of twitter has led to how easy it is for a band or artist to communicate directly with their fans, it allows them to promote their album and music, promote tours, music videos, whilst giving an insight into what it is like to be in the band, this is again making the audience feel like a ‘family’ and as ‘part of the band’. The ‘#’ means that people will be talking about it, and makes it a trending topic, and brings all of the comments about the album together in one place.
This article is from the co-founder of Twitter explaining how bands can use twitter.
This is a business promotion, showing where the album can be brought – cutting out time for the audience to think where can I buy this. It simply says “Give us your money at these places right here”. When you scroll over the “ CLICK HERE – CD/VINYL/DIGITAL CLICK HERE” section on the website it changes to this view:
Where it makes it simple by displaying everywhere you can buy it from me. It’s making everything simple and easy for the market to buy their product.
This is a simple basic convention that will tell us the release date at which you can begin buying it on, or whether it is already out. Some albums in today’s market can be pre-ordered on iTunes and you will receive the singles that have already been released and some adverts state this, or simply say available to ‘preorder’ now.
As I mentioned on No. 3, that the typography and theme is changed in this segment, it is encased in a black box and the font becomes white in order to make it stand out from the rest of the page, this is done subtly, and links to the web address. Its almost saying these go together, so when it comes to this date, come to our website to buy the album.
As much as the album artwork is key to selling the album, the one thing that will guarantee sales, will be the artist or the bands name and are usually shown at the top of the page as the master heading to the piece. They will make it bold and easily identifiable. In this case, it has the underlining to ensure that it is seen as the main heading.
This is a selling line for the album – it tells the recipient of this advert, that this is a special version of the album because it has 16 tracks. It gives the viewer the feel that this is a special edition of the album, and that they need to buy it. It is another business approach.
The main conventions needed on this advert are: the band name, the main image, when it is out, and the album title. This is key to telling the audience everything they need to know about the album, it is shown at the top of the page as a sub heading.