Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Evaluation

1) In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our brief consisted of making a music video promo and completing two ancillary tasks, designing a magazine advert and digipak album to accompany the CD for our chosen artist. All three tasks were a type of promotional advert for the band and their upcoming album release; after discovering the appropriate prospective audience for our genre of music, we did audience research to extend our knowledge of our targeted demographic.

During the researching process we discovered various elements required to create an effective music video, for example performance and narrative. The performance perspective is an important element as it is where the artist is seen playing the  significant instruments whilst often lip syncing, if the artist can be seen singing whilst also acting in the narrative it makes it more personally related to them and gives them more credibility. The narrative is creates illustration  related to the lyrics and notable elements of the particular genre, such as; love, relationships, reminiscing and personal experiences.

Here I have created a table showing the performance and narrative sides of our music video. We took influence from our research and used the same actress for the lip syncing as the narrative.

Performance (Colour-Present), Narrative (Black and White-Flashbacks)


This method is effective as it provides the viewer with both the opportunity to see the artist performing whilst keeping them enthralled with an interesting storyline linked to the nature of the song, further more helping to create an artists "image",  making the video more appealing to a wider target audience, boosting advertisements and increasing sales. The way that music videos are filmed and edited is different to ordinary film making, the cuts tend to be in time with the music, whether thats fast and upbeat or slow fades. The editing process is just as important as the filming material captured, as the way the footage is edited is often a trigger to evoking emotions relevant to the genre. For example, when the couple go towards each other to hug it is edited into slow motion, prolonging the moment of love that is no longer there.
Here i have created a table showing the performance and narrative sides of singer Kate Nash’s music video. It shows the similarities to ours and where we have taken influence, for example the high angle shot of them in the bed and the close up shot of the artist lip syncing.

We took great influence from Kate Nash’s videos as the conventions she uses are similar to the ones we wanted to convey. For example, we found her use of stop start motion particularly effective as you could use it to emphasize parts of the story line. For example, the heart being drawn in reverse symbolizes that they are no longer in love. Here is our version of stop motion animation;


This part of our stop motion animation show the girl moving her feet towards the boys and him moving away from her, showing how she is longing for him, relating to the lyrics ' I dont understand, why you be doing this', as she is confused and upset.



During our research we looked at a variety of magazine adverts and CD covers of our genre. We discovered that a large majority of magazine adverts included basic information such as; album title, album release date and band name.




We displayed minimal information on our magazine advert. We were greatly influenced by the theme of Charlie and Lola, for example, they're use of hearts in the logo and the pattered wallpaper. We felt it was fun and created a sense of innocence, relating to our genre.

We used the patterned wallpaper (which was used within our music video as a background for our actress to stand against to lip sync) on our magazine advert, as it created continuity and brand image. We also used a still of our actress on the advert to enable the audience to see the artist being advertised. We used small paper hearts going down each side in a line to give it motif. We used the same font as we did in our music video, again for continuity purposes.
To give our work a feminine style to suit our female acoustic genre we had to search for an appropriate font. We gained our font from the fancy - curly section on;  http://www.dafont.com/. Our magazine advert is very busy with patterns and imagery, which captures your attention, so when you look more closely you are drawn in my the unique font, forcing you to subconsciously read the advertisement.

The typical magazine advert conventions are;


 Other conventions that might be used on a magazine advert;
Ÿ         Ratings/opinions/reviews from fans
Ÿ         Tour date details
Ÿ         Singles (taken from)
Ÿ         Album release date

Whilst researching Kate Nash we came across a magazine advertisement for the release of her new album. We studied and analyzed the advert to help us to understand how the magazine advert represent the artist and how it is layed out, this helped us when creating our own magazine advert.

Her website links you to Amazon where her album is sold, encouraging and enabling you to purchase it. This is a form of convergence, selling the product linking straight from the artist’s website to the shop. It is also a form of synergetic marketing. This is an effective form of marketing as it not only advertises it but allows you to buy it at ease.
Whilst researching pre existing album covers from artists of our genre we came across Adele. We took inspiration from her as on both her album covers she has a simple visual with a close up image of her. We felt that since we had an image of the artist on the magazine advert we should also have one on our album cover, we also found that’s a reoccurring theme for acoustic album covers.
The image used on the magazine advert and all the images within the digipak are all taken from footage from our music video, whether it be used or unused, this created a recognisable motif between the three products.

Here is our completed magazine advert and a plan of our digipak;


The rest of our digipak had a continued theme, the back cover used the patterned wall paper as its background and two other sections were large images of the artist, edited in an old paper effect to give a vintage effect to suit our genre, like the image on the magazine advert. The section where the CD goes is completely covered in paper hearts, also the same as the ones used on the magazine advert.

Our final music video was fairly conventional, it included all the key elements for the acoustic genre; narrative, performance and flashbacks. We decided to follow conventions as the conventions we used amplified our genre music video successfully. With a continued theme of love/heartbreak linking the narrative to the lyrics, creating illustration. For our camera work we used a lot of different shots; zoom in, zoom out, close ups, mid shots, high angle shots and extreme close ups.

This extreme close up captures the tear rolling down the actress’ cheek and the sadness in her eye, emphasising the heartbreak narrative linking to the lyrics


This high angle shot is effective as it captured good lighting, creating a clear image. This shows her spinning round, but the camera is kept steady as not to blur it.


This high angle shot is effective as it captured good lighting, creating a clear image. This shows her spinning round, but the camera is kept steady as not to blur it.

We decided to only use one actress and one actor, as the song is song by a girl about a boy, therefore that’s all that is necessary. We dressed the artist in a floaty white dress, as it gives an innocent appearance teamed with a chunky knit cardigan to give a sense of comfort and casualness. An everyday appearance can be identified by our target audience, enabling them to relate to the artist. She wore boots for practical matters as our setting was muddy in areas. We dressed the boy in a simple black t-shirt and jeans as we wanted the artist to be the main focus.


For mise en scene we kept it simplistic with a guitar as our only prop whilst filming at the picturesque Rutland Water. For our genre typical mise en scene is mainly instruments for performance shots and natural rural settings for narrative. However when we filmed in a house for the flashbacks we captured a the usual things you’d see around rooms, such as beds and sofas.








Our setting was based at Rutland Water , a serene picturesque place, perfect for our song. Our location was so big that we were able to capture the artist in front of several different background, changes of views keep the audience stimulated. The peaceful location also emphasized our innocent and heartbroken atmosphere we were hoping to achieve.
 Our second location was in the middle of Stamford town, we only got a couple of shots out of this location. However, we were there for lengthy time as we sped up our footage during editing, this was conventional as it gave the sense that everyday life was rushing past her whilst she was stuck in a daze over her heartbreak, typical for our genre.
Our third location at a house, we only used the bedroom and the living room as this location was purely for the flashbacks, it was a quaint setting perfect for our genre. 


During the editing process we listened to our chosen song a lot to ensure we were using the right bits of footage and coordinating it appropriately with the lyrics. We tried to keep within a theme of having a black and white effect for the flashbacks of when the couple was happy and no effect on the other shots. However, we did use a romantic light effect on one shot where the artist was dancing as it created a suitable appearance for our genre. We generally used no effects so it was just a quick cut, which is more suited for music videos as it keeps pace with the music, however when we did use transitions it tended to be fade to black.


This is the beginning of the video, we had it mainly because of timing issues but also because it was an effective and establishing opening.

We used three lots of stop motion; the first was paper hearts moving around and closer together. The second was a heart being drawn and we edited it to reverse, which was an effective twist. The third was the movement of the boys and girls feet show under the table which the boy moving away from the girl. After trial and error with the stop start motion we decided it was a successful idea as we knew it would work with our genre as we had seen it done by various artists during our research. We used it three times to break up the rest of the video and to keep the viewer consistently entertained. We split our music video approximately 60 percent narrative and 40 percent performance as we didn’t want the entirety of the video to be based on the artist lip syncing, we wanted to give the audience something to follow and show an interest in.

2) How effective is the combination of you main product and ancillary tasks?

I feel we successfully create a whole promotional package consisting of a music video on CD, a magazine advert and a digipak. We created three products all with continuity, via either the pattered wallpaper, paper hearts or old paper effect stills. They represent our artists in an innocent way with feminine fonts and patterns and a romantic theme, all suited to our target audience. The continuity enables the audience to recognise that all three pieces are part of a package and this should retrieve more attention, furthermore leading to sales.

The advert will be promoted in a magazine similar to NME as it typically advertises for Acoustic or Indie artists, similar to Maxine Vauzelle. The CD will be exhibited traditionally in a store such as HMV, as acoustic is a mainstream genre. However, as new media is becoming a growing fashion it will be available from digital download online from sites such as I tunes, Amazon and Play.com. The music channel will typically be viewable on websites such as http://www.youtube.com/. The pros of using traditional exhibition is that it is reliable however the con is that it is not as popular as new media exhibition, therefore it won't be as noticed. 

The tasks work synergertically as the magazine advert makes the artist known, causing people to watch her music video, leading to sales of the album, and the magazine advert also gives details of the album release dates for those who want to purchase it after they have watched the video.

The tasks work effectively as a whole but it is just as important they are as effective individually;

The magazine advert effectively uses a large amount of feminine imagery, supported by a curly font, this reaches out to the target audience and typical gender of a female, and captures their eye. It has limited information on it, but includes a website where further information is available.
The CD digipak is very effective is emphasizing continuity as there are more sections to do so. Once again, it is largely imagery based however it also includes lyrics written on top of an image, and basic conventions such as tour dates and reviews from magazines/newspapers.



Completely different image themes but same font creating motif which works well.

The music video is effective in linking the narrative and lyrics and providing enough performance footage. it’s a conventional video and uses elements such as stop start motion, which is a popular method within the acoustic genre.

3) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

We completed a lengthy amount of audience research to guide us in the right direction with our three tasks. However, we felt before we could begin any audience research we need to research our chosen artist, Maxine Vauzelle, to further our knowledge on not only what genre she is but what kind of artist she is as a person. From doing so we found out what bands and solo artists she is influenced by, we discovered that Sia is one of them. Therefore we then went on to watch and deconstruct some of Sia’s music videos to get an influence.
We began our audience research for our music video by compiling a questionnaire consisting of 11 questions. This helped us to discover things such as what people who prefer particular genres expect in a video and whether they prefer to just listen to a song or what the video aswell. This was helpful as we then knew what people expected out of a music video, and what standards we had to work to. In summary, from our questionnaire we learnt that people who prefer acoustic genre expect to see some performance, but mainly narrative showing relationships, we took influence from this and used it in our video.

For our audience research for our digipak we complied another questionnaire consisting of only 6 questions. After collecting the data we discovered that the majority of people prefer a consistent theme throughout the digipak, therefore we used the same theme on the back cover as we did the front cover, whilst keeping our genre in mind throughout the creative process.  It was also revealed that our target audience would prefer more imagery and less writing, this is because it is nicer to look at. Some people decided information such as tour dates wasn't necessary on digipaks however a majority of people said it would be useful, therefore we included it just in case.

For our magazine article we looked thoroughly at successful artists magazine articles to see what worked well in order to make them successful. We found this would be the most effective method of research for a magazine article.
  
We then showed various people our completed video and asked them questionnaires about what they thought of our video, and recorded their reactions. They all felt the video was successful in reflecting the meaning of the lyrics, the location was suitable and over all it was an effective video.. The digipak and the magazine advert got similar reactions, they fitted the genre well and had an effective continuous theme.


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

For the duration of the course we have practiced using media technologies. Therefore, we put our skills into use when creating our promotional product. Once we had completed each bit of research or important information we posted it on http://www.blogger.com/. As an obvious part of our research we had to search for a band or solo artist to base our music video on. The artist had to be unsigned, therefore we used http://www.unsigned.com/ . As a group we had already come to the decision to use an acoustic artist, we hadn’t worked our way through many artists before we came across Maxine Vauzelle. The website provided us with a few of her tracks, basic information she gave about herself, links to her other websites and her email address. We used her email address to contact her telling her we liked the track ‘Come on over’ and asking if we could use it to make a music video. She responded with;
 
Once completing our three tasks we publicised them. We put the video on face book and received some positive feedback,

We then showed various people our completed video and asked them questionnaires about what they thought of our video, and recorded their reactions. They all felt the video was successful in reflecting the meaning of the lyrics, the location was suitable and over all it was an effective video. The digipak and the magazine advert got similar reactions, they fitted the genre well and had an effective continuous theme.

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

For the duration of the course we have practiced using media technologies. Therefore, we put our skills into use when creating our promotional product. Once we had completed each bit of research or important information we posted it on http://www.blogger.com/. As an obvious part of our research we had to search for a band or solo artist to base our music video on. The artist had to be unsigned, therefore we used http://www.unsigned.com/ . As a group we had already come to the decision to use an acoustic artist, we hadn’t worked our way through many artists before we came across Maxine Vauzelle.  New technology provides unsigned artists with the chance to share their work and get feedback without having to work their way through the industry and do it traditionally. The website provided us with a few of her tracks, basic information she gave about herself, links to her other websites and her email address. We used her email address to contact her telling her we liked the track ‘Come on over’ and asking if we could use it to make a music video. She responded with;


We then used Youtube.com to explore examples of promos for inspiration, I analysed three videos and posted them on my Blogger. I analysed ‘Jose Vanders- Faces going places’, ‘Sia-Breathe me’ and ‘Adele- Chasing pavements’. Deconstructing a variety of videos of a similar genre to ours was helpful as it extended our knowledge of what conventions most music videos use and helped us to gain ideas.


To complete our editing process we used the programme iMovie, this was a quick and effective method of cutting and editing our footage. We were able to cut and crop clips to our satisfaction. We were also able to put effects on our footage to change its appearance, for this we used black and white and romantic effect, the rest we left as normal. We had a lot of trial and error, for example, we sampled the effect 'hard light' on our footage that was unedited, but found it made it look too dark. We also tried out aged film but decided to only use it on the opening font background as it set the atmosphere well. Our most sucessful technique was stop motion animation, for this we took several pictures of each diferent movement and put them together on iMovie and sped them up to create motion.  We also sped up some of our footage by changing the speed setting. One set of our stop motion was put in reverse so that the heart was being undrawn, which linked well to our lyrics. We muted all our footage so we could put our song over our clips. 

We used a two Sony handycam to shoot, as we wanted one handheld camera and one on a tripod, for practicality. We learnt how to do zooms in and out steadily and have to shoot effective close up, such as the extreme close up of Lidia’s tear rolling down her face. For the shot where the actress is stood in Stamford town centre we simply put the camera on the tripod and left it recording for 30 minutes. To create our stop motion we took several pictures, one after the other of every slight movement and then pieced them together on the mac to create motion. We used a variety of shots so filmed a large amount of footage so we had more to work with.
The main problems we had were when shooting outside as we had to work against wind and rain, however we decided to not let this get in our way and use it to our advantage by treating it as pathetic fallacy, which created an atmosphere well.  However, inside the lighting was too dull and unfortunately made the footage look more blurry when we uploaded it onto the mac. Another difficulty we found was getting the footage of our lip syncing in time with the sound track as the timing had to be accurate, it took patience to complete it but improved the standard of the final product greatly.


For our magazine advert and digipak we used Photoshop to edit the pictures, placing the fonts appropriately and adding details. Photoshop was quite a complex program to use as we have never used it before, it took practice. We learnt to use the magic wand tool to remove the white background front the font so we could place the text in front of image to make it look professional. We manipulated images by changing the contrast on them and applying effects such as; old paper effect, which gave it a vintage look. 

In conclusion, exhibiting our material online via Facebook and Youtube was a great way to receive audience feedback from a wide audience of different varieties. We chose to use Facebook and Youtube as it is occupied by our target market and various others. It is also something we are used to doing as we often display our research on Blogger.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Beginning Ancillary Tasks

After completing the lengthy editing process our next challenge was to begin our ancillary tasks. We decided to begin with creating our digipak. The digipak had to have 6 sides, therefore we decided to go through our video finding stills we may wish to use on it by eliminating the ones that looked the least effective and choosing the ones of the best quality. From our research we learnt that our audience would prefer a continuous theme throughout the digipak therefore we used the patterned wallpaper our actress stood against for the lip syncing scenes on our front and back cover. We also included tour dates and review quotes and used more images than information

Here is a plan of our digipak;



Here is our completed digipak design;







After completing our digipak we then designed our magazine advert, for this we continued with the theme of the patterned wallpaper, giving our work continuity. We then included a close up picture of Lidia (our actress) and put an old paper effect on it, which gave it a vintage look; complimenting our genre. We then including information such as, tour dates, when the albums out, the artists name and song title. We used the same font throughout our video, digipak and magazine advert which we got from Dafont.com under the Curly section.



In conclusion we felt our our digipak and magazine advert represented our genre well and created a sense of continuity along with our video. We kept it simple and pretty, making it easy to identify our genre, whilst also giving sufficient information.

Images: Acoustic Genre

Here as some images from various artists websites, magazine articles, and print screens from the music videos that show them in a innocent, romantic and natural light; which is what we think it represented within the acoustic genre.



As we can see from above the typical representation of an acoustic singer is a young female British girl. With the odd exception, for example Sia is Swedish.

Audience Research: Questionnaire on digipaks

1.How old are you?
  • 13-18
  • 19 - 25
  • 26 - 40
  • 41+
2. What gender are you?
  • Male
  • Female
3. What kind of music do you prefer to listen to?
  • Acoustic
  • RnB
  • Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Metal
  • Indie
  • Other __________


    4. For your genre of music how would you expect your digipak to be presented?

    More imagery and less writing

    More writing and less imagery

    Very plain, not a lot of information or pictures
    Crammed with information and images


    5. Would you expect your digipak to have a consistent theme throughout or random designs on each cover?

    Consistent theme

    Random designs


    6. Would you like information such as tour dates and review quotes on the digipak?
    Yes

    No



    After compiling the questionnaire, handing it out and reviewing the data we collected we discovered that the majority of people prefer a consistent theme throughout the digipak, therefore we will use the same background on the back cover as we do the front cover, whilst keeping our genre in mind throughout the creative process. It was also revealed that our target audience would prefer more imagery and less writing, this is because it is nicer to look at. Some people decided that information such as tour dates wasn't necessary on the digipak however the majority of people we ask found it would be useful.

Appearance

After researching a variety of acoustic artists such as, Kate Nash, Sia, Kate Vogele ect we discovered they were quirky and mismatching clothes. Therefore, we needed to ensure our actress was dressed appropriately. We thought a flowy dress would be the most appropriate as it creates a sense of innocence, representing our genre. We also felt that for practical matters a chunky knit cardigan would be most suitable and also we feel it would suit our genre. Either the cardigan or the dress will be patterned, preferably floral.

For make-up we want it as minimalistic as possible and her hair to be wavy, to create a look of natural beauty, symbolizing innocence/love/romance.

Conventions of magazine articles

  • Ratings/opinions/reviews from fans
  • The band name
  • Tour date details
  • Album artwork
  • I-tunes/play com adverts
  • Website details
  • Singles (taken from)
  • Album name
  • Record label
  • Nominations and awards
  • Release date
  • Statistics of tickets