In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The media products that we produced has developed and challenged forms and conventions as the digipak and advert that I have created are significantly different to other media products. A large majority of current digipak images consist of the artist or the band itself. However, compared to existing Kings of Leon adverts and digipaks, the media products that we have produced are largely alike. Altering the saturation and brightness of the advert and adding shadowed corners gave an older feel to the over exposed image which resembles the current theme of the latest Kings of Leon album, Come Around Sundown. I downloaded a ‘final frontier’ font from dafont.com which I used for both the digipak and advert to create a sense of familiarity.
Initially, we agreed not to create a storyline for our music video. However, simply shooting a band playing live at different locations would have been both repetitive and tedious. Consequently, we decided to add a break-up story to our music video. After watching and analysing the Use Somebody music video by Kings of Leon, we discovered some random shots of the lead singer kissing another girl. Despite the fact that there is no storyline in this particular video, the lyrics and close-up shots suggested that its a love story therefore, we based out storyline around both aspects.
In order to capture this image we filmed the motorway during the evening to create a representation of the Kings of Leon’s official video. A snapshot of the motorway that we filmed A snapshot of the actual Kings of Leon music video This particular snapshot of our music video shows how we used forms and conventions of real music videos. The genre of the band is clearly demonstrated via the type of instruments used throughout the video and the image of the band. A snapshot of the actual Kings of Leon music video A shot of our music video
In comparison to the Kings of Leon’s existing video we also captured many close-ups of band members. Consequently, this shows that we aimed to maintain the main features of the official Use Somebody music video. Close up of Kings of Leon band member Close up of a band member in our music video We captured the shadow of a band member by shooting him playing the guitar in front of a projector. The image shows that we developed and challenged forms and conventions of real media products as the shot is unlike other existing videos.
In ‘Dancing in the distraction factory’ Andrew Goodwin writes about music videos. He argues that music videos demonstrate genre characteristics. In the music video that I have produced genre characteristics are portrayed through the band performance as the instruments played by them, such as the guitar and drums, are iconic of the rock genre. Also the conventions focus on the live performance which reinforces the authentic nature of the band. Andrew Goodwin also introduces the relationship between the visuals and lyrics. The Use Somebody lyrics by the Kings of Leon are reflected through the relationship between the two characters. The lyrics are clearly interlinked as the song has a lot of repetition suggesting that he wants to use somebody to accompany him. Therefore, linking the break-up visuals with the lyrics enabled us to create our storyline. Additionally, Goodwin argues the narrative, performance and concepts are the three conventions that should be considered. The narrative within the Kings of Leon music video is the break-up story. The video is dominated by a live band performance which also helps the formation of the storyline. The concept behind the music video is to emphasise the core idea of the whole package. I challenged forms and conventions of real music videos by including Goodwin’s ideas within my coursework.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? The main product, which is the music video and the ancillary texts being the digipak and advert are combined effectively. The viaduct links both main product and the ancillary texts as the image remains on the digipak, advert and at the beginning and end of the music video. All three products work together as a promotional tool as the synergy between them would appeal to our potential audience through the consistency of using a single image. Consequently, I believe that the products that we have created converge as the bridge is the common theme throughout our project. The fonts used, which we downloaded from dafont.com, remain the same on all three products in order to increase its familiarity for its potential audience. Compared to existing Kings of Leon digipaks and music videos, the products that we have produced are unique in a sense that we based our storyline on the song lyrics rather than imitating their performance. Additionally, the storyline is projected through the viaduct which interlinks our main product and ancillary texts.
A snapshot of our music video The advert The Digipak. - The viaduct projects the storyline in all three products.
The crow that we inserted into our digipak also remains in our music video. The synergy between the two products is connected via the crow and the viaduct. Inserting the crow shows that we captured and maintained the common themes within our music which gives it continuity.
On the inner face of the digipak we shot the members of the band individually. The digipak image resembles the image that remains in the Kings of Leon Album, Youth & Young Manhood. Despite that their image consists of drawings of the band members, we aimed to create a real-life image of the band members combined with the viaduct.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? In order to gain feedback for our main product and ancillary texts, we posted products onto youtube and facebook. Our audience feedback was largely positive. The specific features that were favoured were the viaduct image, font and the use of colours on the ancillary texts. The video was liked by a large majority of people as many stated that the overlay of the motorway shot combined with the guitar solo looked ‘amazing’. Posting our digipak, music video and advert meant that we was able to gain a potential audience’s opinion. The initial audience research that we carried out was conducted by the use of questionnaires and interviews. The responses gained were similar to the feedback we received for our main product and ancillary texts. The feedback was significantly useful as we learnt we met the demands of the ‘target population’.We used colours, fonts, pictures and the Use Somebody song that was most favoured by those questioned. This comment on facebook was particularly useful as both positive and negative aspects of our music video was mentioned.
SOME OF THE COMMENTS POSTED ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS Most of the comments/feedback we received did not consist of constructive criticism. Despite this, a majority of people liked our productions which shows that the initial research matches the final products. Therefore, the questionnaires and interviews that we carried about proved to be significant in the research stages as most of the potential target groups’ desires were met through the creation of our main product and ancillary texts. I learnt that audience feedback can be fickle and that you need several sources of controlled feedback to get anything useful.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? The use of new media technologies existed in all stages of my project. In the construction stage of the coursework I used Microsoft Office Word in order to type my statement of intent. This technology enabled me to edit the document in my own time. I handed out questionnaires which I also created on Microsoft Office Word and printed them off. I used Microsoft Office Excel to gather the results from the questionnaires as creating pie-charts simplified this process. We used a handheld digital camera to film our interviews, the camera was light and simple to use as its touch screen allowed our group to view the footage instantly. The was also useful as the USB connector enabled us to upload the video onto the PC immediately so that we could edit the footage and insert text.
The blog itself was a new form of technology used during all stages of the production. I chose blogger.com as it is simple to use and popular amongst its users.
We used search engines such as Google and Bing for our research on Kings of Leon. Wikipedia was also useful in researching the band for album releases and general information about the formation of the band.
In order to find the practice room we searched for the location on Google maps. As we arranged to meet at the set locations, all group members needed to know the locations. Therefore, we inserted the location into our mobile phones and were able to follow the directions via the sat-nav on our phones.
We created a shooting schedule to make it easier for our group to meet up at the arranged locations. Exchanging telephone numbers meant that we could keep in contact with one another. Therefore, mobile phones was another media technology that we used throughout our coursework.
We edited the footage that we captured on Adobe Premiere CS3. This video editing software was a new type of program that I used. Its complexity was simple to adapt to as the layout of the whole software was easy once used several times. We cut certain clips of the music video and dragged along the video bar in order to synchronise the audio and visuals. Inserting fades and special effects gave it a professional look as seen several other music videos. This new media technology was useful during the editing process as selecting clips and changing their position within the video was simple whilst maintaining the synced audio and visuals.
Conclusion The production of the three products was extremely enjoyable as the use of different media technologies enabled myself and my group to experience the different stages of creating our very own music video, digipak and advert. Furthermore, my planning, editing and evaluation skills have developed significantly which will prove to be beneficial in future productions.