Category Archives: Analysis

QUESTION 4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

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.

Research 

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.

Wikipedia-logo-en-bigGoogle Logo 2010

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.

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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.

YouTube-logo-full_color

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.

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Pre-Production

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.

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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.

logic-pro-icon

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.

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Production

 

Camera stuff

 

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.

Post-Production

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.

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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.

Retina-New-iMovie-Logo

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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDsnq9M5-Z3TfMxP6GuVjLw

Ancillary

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.

New-York-Times-Logo

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.

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klerrang

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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QUESTION 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

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.

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Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 21.56.30 I also conducted and arranged for focus groups to view my music video and to then film their responses; this is shown and explained below:

 

1. Tom/Asel

“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

 

2. Joe/Sam/Mark

“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)

 

Mr Botha/Simran:

“What did you think of it?”

(Botha)

–       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?”

(Simran)

–       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

–       De-noised

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.

 

Questionnaire Responses:

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.

1.

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.

2.

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.

3.

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

4.

Not all of these people left a comment but for those who did they had this to say:

  • Drummer is sick!
  • Good mix of editing
  • The actor was hot
  • The song
  • Good shots, range and positioning
  • Enjoyable
  • Could have been a lot better
  • Takes me back to led zeppelin days
  • I wish my band made something like this, the song is hella right man
  • Raaaaaad
  • Post modern at beginning
  • Liked the ending
  • Rock stars!
  • It was like watching mtv
  • A lot more professional than I thought It would be
  • Storyline, that it ended on a dream
  • Good mix of performance and narrative
  • The guitarist and main character are good looking
  • Guitarist during solo
  • Drummer was a babe
  • Overall very good
  • I like the drummer at the end
  • The whole thing
  • Good transition of shots and good story line
  • Performance of band members.

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:

5.

The comments I was left were:

  • Didn’t like the story
  • Lack of mise en scene
  • The whole thing was terrible
  • The crash wasn’t great
  • More bassist
  • More of bass player
  • I didn’t like the colour of some of the shots
  • I don’t it looked professional, and the reusing of shot wasn’t great
  • Needs to be longer!
  • Didn’t like the fight or car scene, or the settings for the main guy
  • Didn’t get the guy wearing different clothes in the beginning
  • Fighting was baaaaad
  • Wasn’t my thing
  • I think the protagonist scenes should have been done at night instead of the day, didnd like the blue skies
  • The use of the drug was not needed
  • I think there should have been another main character
  • Didn’t completely understand story
  • Some parts of the drumming wasn’t synced properly
  • The fight was terrible
  • The fight scene and car scene were not smooth enough
  • Not enough of bassist.

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:

  • maybe
  • it did yes
  • not at all
  • YES
  • defo
  • yeah boyyy
  • some moments it does, some moments it doesnt
  • no
  • .
  • yes links in well
  • yes, the style fitted the song perfectly.
  • not really
  • yeah
  • yes
  • it did in areas
  • yes yes yes
  • yeah the story flowed well
  • yeaaaaaaaaaah
  • not really
  • yeah man right on
  • sure
  • sometimes
  • yes
  • yeah man
  • dunno
  • yes looked very rock and roll
  • i guess
  • it did fit in with the song, covered many issues in todays society (drink, drugs, fighting)
  • yes
  • it did, but could have been implemented more
  • yes very good
  • yes
  • yes
  • Yes, it fit very well.
  • maybe
  • dont like the genre so dont know
  • very enjoyable
  • i guess
  • not sure
  • Kind of
  • a little
  • yes
  • it did, the lyrics represent the visuals well
  • Yes
  • In some ways yes in some ways no, band need to be more rock and roll
  • don’t know
  • yes

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:

7.

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:

8.

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:

9.

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:

  • rad dude
  • overall very good well done
  • the work was bad dude
  • WELL DON;NE
  • so fit
  • keep up the good work
  • id like to see how this is received if you were to put it out there properly, plus the song is banging
  • i have recommended
  • it wos alrigh
  • i think that the story could be explained better at the end to make sure we know its a dream
  • redo the video
  • the video, song, performance is amazing, keep it up, you’ll make it big
  • can we play some shows with you guys?
  • that video was sweet dude
  • this surprised me!
  • cool man
  • not into all that rock stuff man so i dont know if this works
  • youre my heroes man!
  • good acting man!
  • very good work, i would be proud
  • i think that the protagonist should have been done by somebody else
  • make another
  • really good video
  • make a video for music in the charts
  • it is good but it could be so much better,
  • I think you could improve the quality of the song
  • No
  • well done
  • Very good, couple be improved but good effort
  • make another
  • very good

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.

QUESTION 2: How effective is the contribution of your main product and ancillary texts?

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:

–       Simple

–       Memorable

–       Timeless

–       Versatile

–       Appropriate

Simple:

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/)

Memorable:

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.

mcdonalds_logo-2006-present

Timeless:

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 09.24.42

 

(Research found from: http://justcreative.com/2009/07/27/what-makes-a-good-logo/)

Versatile:

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.

Appropriate:

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.

Awesome+Pictures+of+Audi+logo (1)

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 14.31.16

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 17.47.22

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.

QUESTION 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Music Video:

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 21.40.07

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ancillary Task – Digipak:

I am going to go through each section of my Digipak and analyse the creation and the conventions of each segment.

Front Cover:

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.

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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.

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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.

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Back/Spine:

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.

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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

  • Album artwork
  • Artist/Band

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.

Writing:

  • Band name and or logo
  • Album title
  • Reviews
  • Web addresses
  • Tour dates
  • Singles that are included on the album
  • Release date

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.

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Other things:

  • Parental guidance labeling
  • Record Label logo
  • Twitter

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.