Zayd Hillawi EvaluationQ1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms andconventions of real media products?We had to look at a song choice that would reflect on the genre of the music video so itwould suit the scenes we would be filming. When deciding what sort of theme we should gofor during the planning of our music video, we listed different ideas that could challenge ordevelop typical forms and conventions of modern teenagers and how they’re viewed insociety. We decided to go for a dubstep song by Professor Greenwho is a young urban artist. The original song is about life in Hackneyand teenagers in hooded clothes causing all sorts of mischief. Thesong was called “In the Jungle” which reflects on the life of astereotypical teenager living in a council estate causing trouble. Thedubstep song was unique and the genre had not been used manytimes in previous projects so we went for it.The narrative of our music video consisted of a teenager who is the main character, wearinga hoodie, walking around the streets of Soho late at night causing trouble. The video revealsthe teenager to be snorting drugs and this was one of the main forms that were used in ourvideo as it stereotypes the typical teenager using drugs to ruin their life and cause upsetwherever they go. The conventions we developed in the music video had been transition ofshots to reveal character and setting, it was like a preview of what is to come. For exampleurban artist Tinchy Stryder with his song, “Game Over”featuring 4 other urban artists, consists of transition shotsat the beginning to reveal each artist that will be doingtheir lyrics in that order of showing. We used differentsettings in the music video such as council estates, sleazyclubs in Soho, and dark alleyways where many crimes areseen to have been committed in. These settings that werebased on our video were again the stereotypes used forteenagers in hanging around in or even living in withregards to council estates. Later on in the video, we seethe character trying to cause a fight in the alleyways whichagain challenges the conventions of a teenager’s life. Healso goes to stab the singer in the video, and this is also when the person had already sniffedthe drugs. This was meant to show that drugs can cause people to do terrible things liketaking a life, and when the character takes off his hood in the video after the stabbing itshows how they might be trying to seek redemption for what they have just done.Regarding intertextuality, when we were planning the narrative for the video, we looked aturban movies that had a relevant story to ours. This gave us ideas that could help us with
Zayd Hillawithe conventions for young people on drugs, and maybe replicate a few scenes. Kidulthoodfocused on the urban scene in London, with young characters using drugs and knife crime asa form of influence on their life. This gave us a wide range of ideas such as use of settings,props and character looks to use in our music video. The scenes in that movie, such as gangfights, burglary and other forms of crime caused by the teenage characters were veryhelpful in helping us stereotype different racial backgrounds. It also helped us in decidingthe settings we should use for the music video.Q2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?We feel that the combination of our main product and its ancillary texts worked very welltogether as they adopted the key elements ofbranding. We noticed that many music videosheavily rely on a unique and creative look in themise-en-scene and enhance the power of moderntechnology such as CGI to make their video lookmore eye catching and attractive for listeners. Anexample can be pop artist Jessie J and her song“Domino” which involves the artist singing whilst in the middle of the camera shot for thewhole video whilst the background changes every minute to something colourful or dark. Inthe video, when the background changes so does the artist’s clothes which also interchangebetween dark and bright colours to match the background. So for our video we didn’t domany sort of high tech editing techniques like Jessie J’s music video, we basically used awide range of differing camera shots for effect and the tempo of the shots was at timesupped but also slowed down for use of effect. We had to keep thisform of editing the same throughout the video so it lookedconsistent, if we added a bit of high tech editing into a certain part ofthe video it’d have looked out of place so we had to maintainconsistency and house style.By adopting the key elements of branding, we had decided what toput on our digipak after researching digipaks by real life music artistsand also looking at our music video for ideas too. This would help usdecide on the final design for the digipak and how it would be laid out. When looking withinthe video for ideas, the concept of drug taking and violence helped us decide on what to puton the digipak as the main look. The use of darkness in the video helps connote the terrorand horror in the video so we used the main character with the hoodie on the front of thedigipak as the bigger image. We also included other images thatwould reflect on the video such as the snooker table and a road signin Soho. This would give the viewer a big help in knowing what willbe on the video because of what the digipak will reveal in terms of
Zayd Hillawithe mise-en-scene and the characters in it. The road sign would also be connoted by theviewer as a setting in the video.Our digipak follows many of the forms and conventions in a professional music artist’s owndigipak. Our digipak showed the artist’s name, the name of the song, track lists of otherdifferent songs and the music label the artist is currently signed under too. With the digipakfront cover we didn’t follow many conventions as other real life digipaksbecause we had put quite a few images on our one which revealed aspectsof mise-en-scene in the video and also where a certain part of the video isset. We didn’t use the artist’s face on the digipak but the main characterthat the video is based on throughout of it. Some artists usually put theirface on their album cover in order to show the viewers who is the singerand also use the background to show the listeners aspects of the mise-en-scene too just like we did with our digipak. An example of this is ProfessorGreen with his album “Alive till I’m dead”.The magazine advert follows some parts of the forms and conventions as well but on themain cover we persisted with using the main character as the focus of the advert instead ofthe singer. We used quite a dark background with dim street lights and an empty road toconnote different aspects of the video and how violence will be connoted better in a darkcolour and the character disguising some of his face with a hoodie would complement thosesorts of connotations. The forms and conventions that were followed had been the name ofthe artist in a big font placed next to the character so the listener would know who the artistis and the main character in the video would be the picture of the hooded character. Thiswould show the listener an interest as they’d like to see what would revolve around thisparticular character that had beaten the artist in terms of being the main focus of the wholeadvert. We also added big shop names under the advert to show the listeners where itwould be sold, and we also added the artist’s website and 5 star ratings so the listenerwould know the video has been enjoyed by others.Regarding intertextuality, we didn’t have really any form of influence on our magazineadvert. We followed the conventions of having the artist’s name placed in big letters on theadvert but we had not shown the singer on the advert instead we had shown the main focusof the video which was the hooded character and the background would show the mise-en-scene of the video which was dark streets where the character will be around in some partsof the video.Q3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?When we were planning our music video, we concocted a questionnaire for our targetaudience as a form of research which had been males and females between the ages of 15-20 years of age. We felt this was the right area to target our video at because the dubstepgenre had been listened to people of that age and we felt that they would have more
Zayd Hillawiexperience and knowledge in answering questions about that particulargenre. We didn’t target any particular ethnicities as the dubstep genreis listened to by any person with a foreign background. The targetaudience research revealed lots of useful information that wouldcontribute to the making of our music video. We learned that themajority of the target audience that answered the questionnairepreferred RnB and Hip Hop songs which are what dubstep songs revolvearound so it was pretty much expected. However, they did not preferRock or Grime as much as dubstep videos aren’t usually related to thosetwo genres. Another thing that we learnt is that the audience hadpreferred performance in the music videos rather than narrative,however it wasn’t a majority vote as the performance option only got voted a tiny bit more.This helped us decide to put a mixture of both options on the videos with aspects ofperformance and narrative being focused on fairly. The audience did not like seeing concepthowever, they preferred the other two options more and it is understandable as most musicvideos from the two favoured genre’s centre around performance and narrative more. Wealso learned that the mise-en-scene was more appreciated than the music artist which wasquite perplexing as the teenage audience usually like to see the artist being appreciated andtheir face being the selling part of the single. However, we did use the mise-en-scene fromthe videos and reflected it on our digipak design. The background reflects on the differentsettings in the music video.With these answers and more from our questionnaire, we startedbuilding different elements into our music video in order for thetarget audience to gain a reaction to some parts and have anemotional response to some particular scenes such as the stabbing ofone of the characters. We used characters aged between 17- 20years of age in the video so the audience can feel a connection asthey’re aged around those years and that was what we wanted toachieve. The characters had been of mixed ethnicity and theaudience had shown in the results they’d like to see a mixture ofdifferent races in music videos for representation issues. So we putinto the script the singer, who was black, would be the one that gotstabbed in order to create an emotional response for the target audience to show how blackpeople can be victims too instead of the stereotype being branded about black people beingthe troublemakers when it’s actually anyone regardless of their racial background. For theaudience to continue having a connection with the video, we used different camera shots toplace the viewer in the main character’s head. Point of view shots were important so theviewer can be placed in that position and try experience the feeling the character is goingthrough. This had brought back positive reviews as the viewers had understood what ourintentions were.
Zayd HillawiFrom our audience feedback on the whole project consisting of the music video and theancillary products, the majority of the audience that answered the questionnaire had lesscriticism to say about the video than the ancillary products. The ancillary products hadgained more criticism for some of the fonts and colours used which was a bit disappointingbecause we thought we had laid it out well but some of the negative comments we got waseverything was a bit too squashed into the digipak front cover for instance. They liked theconcept of showing different parts of the mise-en-scene in the video on it, but felt it mayhave been a bit too large and out of place. They also didn’t like a bit of the text shownacross one of the images as it distracted them from focusing on the important parts of thedigipak that can help a potential buyer in deciding if they want the song or not. The hoodedcharacter received plaudits as it showed an interesting side to the digipak and made theaudience think about what happens to him in the video. The magazine advert was liked forthe fact the main character was in the middle of it as he stood on a dark road with darknessbehind him. His face was covered too which was what the audience liked the most as theysaid it was mysterious and scary and that had been what the character was described as.The music video received plaudits in all areas bar one particular scene which had been thestabbing of the singer, the audience felt that it would’ve looked more realistic and shockingif a blood wound had been shown to make the death look more eye catching and causing anemotional response to an innocent person dying. The hand held shots had been the mostimportant part of the video that we hoped we would receive positive reviews on and we didwhich made us very pleased as the audience had thought everything was on the tripod so itwas good to hear something positive on that front. The audience also agreed the narrativedid reflect on real life issues which were important for highlighting as a discussing point as itcan open all kinds of debate.We feel that the video and ancillary texts did meet the OCR brief because we was able tochallenge forms and conventions of teenagers and drug use which was what we needed todo. We also managed to do a great job of filming the whole video in a professional way aswe used a wide range of camera shots and also upped the tempo of it a little bit at timestoo. The editing of the video was also done professionally as it made all the camera shotsflow in a sequence to make the video look outstanding. However, the video did have someerrors in the camera shots such as not tracking the main character well in some scenes, andalso a few canted shots too. This is why the video does not have the wow factor for a biglabel to promote it and I feel a small independent label might be able to look at it and take iton there as it’s not near enough perfect in comparison to professional music videos. Itwould be good to be released to a particular audience in a smaller area of the market andsee where it goes from there. The digipak doesn’t show the artist’s face which was whatmade our project look a bit more unique, because it’s usually the artist’s face that is seen onthe digipaks for the customer to know what to buy according to the artist’s name and face.However, our video isn’t like the professional music artists and we felt that we would putthe main character on there instead to make it look more unique and we had added
Zayd Hillawidifferent parts of the mise-en-scene to make it look eye catching. Our video’s unique sellingpoint is mixing dubstep with real life issues because we want to show our target audiencewhat types of dangers can happen from drug use.Q4. How did you use new media technologies in the research, planning, construction andevaluation stages?When we started the project we had to set about doing all the necessary research. Googlewas a massive help here because it helped us find out how to make digipaks and magazineadverts. We also used it for research on statistics on knife crime and debates on teenagersbeing involved with drugs and other types too such asstabbings, robberies, murder and possession of weapons.YouTube was a great source to look through different musicvideos whilst we were deciding what one to use for ourproject. We looked through different genres of music videos to listen to and broke as manydown as possible to a final suitable choice. We also uploaded our final video on YouTube inorder to advertise it for our target audience and gain feedback on it. The researching ofdigipaks helped us build on a good design that reflects our music video, the researchshowed what should be displayed on it and how it should be laid out so it looks eye catchingand appealing too for our target audience. Facebook was a great form of communicationwith different members of the target audience, because it has tools that allow us toadvertise our music video on it so the viewers can watch the video and give us reasonableanswers for our audience feedback. The use of blogging was also something we’ve gottenused to now and it’s helped increase our skills in using it. It has many different functions,such as font editing and image uploading, to help present our work in a professional mannerand make it look eye catching as well. It stored all our theory and practical work in a greatway and the functions it offered in helping us present it were fantastic.When we moved on from the research side of the project, westarted planning the music video shoot. The camera we usedwas a Panasonic HDC-SD80 full HD digital camera because it’san HD camera which means it offers great image quality whenwe edit the clips and it’ll also show the target audience a crispand better view of the music video. It also shows how we’re very fond of the advancingworld of technology and how it helped us out in many ways. We had to keep using thecamera in the right way so the camera shots weren’t blurry due to light adjustments and wealso had to make sure space was available on the SD card so we can use up as much videotime as possible and help us pick different camera shots for when the time comes to edit.The camera had great battery life and it was very easy to use, the instruction booklet wasn’teven needed so that goes to show how great it was for us. Since it was light and not painfulon the arm, we used it for some handheld shots in order to stop wasting time with thetripod adjustments. The handheld shots weren’t unbalanced and the shots had not been too
Zayd Hillawishaky as well so it worked out well at the end. The best part of that type of camera wasusing it for point of view shots as it was easy to use with the strap on the side to insert yourhand in for holding.The editing facilities were very much top class and elegant. We were very much used tousing them by now as we gained experience with them throughout last year. The editingprogram Final Cut Pro provided us with everything we needed indifferent ranges of tools to help the video flow and not lack anyform of continuity. It helped us out in spotting any errors in thecontinuity side of the video and the uploading of the music filefor the background was very much easy as we knew how toimport files into the programme from last year. The only criticismwe had of the software was at the beginning when we had juststarted to use it and the camera shots hadn’t moved onto the program properly so we hadto transfer them one by one which took a long time and wasted valuable editing time.Moving on with the digipak and magazine advert designs, we had used Adobe PhotoshopCS4 and were given tutorials that would help us develop our skills with it. We learnt aboutdifferent sorts of tools such as rendering, implementing slow motion techniques, addingsplit screens with shots and so much more that would make our video look elegant becausethese types of techniques are always used in professional music videos to make them standout. I found Photoshop hard to use even with the tutorials and I didn’t enjoy using it tocreate the leaflet, I found it too complex and I needed a bit of help in understanding someof the design tools that can help me in making the leaflet look the way I had wanted it to so Ican get higher marks for it. I had pictured how it would look and drew design ideas butwhen it came to putting it on the computer screen I struggled. Luckily, I had help from mygroup members and they showed me the way to making the designing process on theprogramme easier and so we were able to get it done as quickly as possible.