AS Practical Coursework EvaluationPresentation Transcript
AS practical coursework evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Front cover On the cover of every magazine I looked at during my research stage these features were always present. I have included a cover from a real music magazine (Clash) for comparison. Even though the masthead of my magazine is almost all black it is powerful and stands out. I was inspired by the style company magazine masthead. The use of a sans serif font makes its look clean cut and contemporary. Masthead Cover lines Main image I have made my text look more attractive by surrounding it with shapes. This is a common feature in magazines such as Q and NME. Main cover line Music magazines such as Q are quite minimalist. I have featured a solo artist on my cover with no additional pictures. Barcode, price and dateline The genre of this issue is the same as the one I have based my magazine on. The bold colours and youthful feel represent the electro-pop genre. I have used these elements in my coursework to demonstrate this.
Contents page Almost every magazine available today has its own house style. They use a similar layout and structure in every issue so the audience become familiar with their product. The main feature in my magazine is the interview with the artist ‘Lottie’ . I have used a multi-coloured theme throughout as these colours appear in her photo shoot. The layout of ‘Drummer’ magazine’s contents page stood out during the research stage. I decided to use aspects of this when creating my coursework piece. The images I have used in my contents page link with both the genre and style of my magazine. This is an essential feature of a magazine as the audience pay for the theme they are interested in. The layout I based by contents page upon was not a music magazine. It is common for music magazines to have graphics like this arrow in their work. NME for example use arrow shapes and Q use plus shapes to add to the visual content. It is unusual for a magazine not to have a page number on their contents page. I chose to include one to follow the conventions of many other magazines.
Double page spread The mise-en-scene in my images background is as important as the person in the feature. My magazine was based on music and so the props in the background had to relate to that. I included a couple of musical instruments and a microphone to reinforce the type of magazine it is. The colour scheme is consistent throughout my coursework piece so the house style is continued. Electro-pop music is unconventional and interesting A heading of a double page spread has to be visually appealing, this would make a reader want to read on. I have both used and challenged the conventions of many music magazines to make my title more attractive. The word ‘Lottie’ is written in one of the three fonts I have used throughout my magazine pages. The colouring and decoration matches the house style and links with the character and fashion of my artist. The props I used in the background of my image weren’t visible when I used a white block behind the text. I altered the transparency so the instruments could be seen and the text was readable. The pull quote I chose to include in my article is a common feature in magazine articles. A reader which has the characteristics of my target audience would not want to read a block of writing, the pull quote breaks up the text and makes it look like an enjoyable read. The tone of my article is quite light-hearted and conversational. It is very relatable which is what my target audience would find interesting. “I know it sounds cheesy but I'm living my wildest dream!”
How does your media product represent particular social groups? The genre of my magazine is what determines the main social group it represents. The artists I have featured in my magazine all produce electro-pop music (a combination of chart-pop and dance music). People who are fans of this style of music share this common identity and are part of this out-group. The model I chose to base my main article on effectively fulfils the look of an electro-pop artist. The clothes and hairstyle are eccentric and fun, similar to real artists such as La Roux. She appeals to a teen audience as she a teen herself and readers can relate to her. I have used quite an informal, light-hearted tone within my cover lines, contents descriptions and article. My target audience is people aged 16-24, magazines which appeal to people in this age bracket have content which suits their educational level, the text is just as interesting as the images.
What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why? After studying a range of media institutions in preparation for the written exam I was familiar with some magazine publishers. To find an institution suitable for the distribution of my product I carried out further research. From this I found Northern & Shell, they have a vision of “becoming a significant force in British and worldwide media”. The print work products they produce range from OK! Magazine to The Daily Express. I believe Northern & Shell would be an appropriate distributor of my magazine as they currently do not distribute any music magazines. Their institution would become more renowned if they published this type of magazine as there are thousands of contemporary music fans who would be interested my product. The following companies publish well known magazines such as Q, NME and Drummer. IPC media would not be a suitable distributor of my magazine as they already have a music magazine targeted at a similar audience. Bauer media group control Q magazine and Mojo magazine. The majority of their articles are music related. Fans of these magazines may be interested in my magazine although they would probably stick with the magazine they are already familiar with. Compared to the other institutions Oyster house media is relatively small the only magazines they publish are Acoustic, R.I.B and Drummer. Although the genre of each of these magazines differs greatly they all have a similar style. My magazine would not fit with this .
Who would be the audience for your media product? Before creating my magazine I had to consider who my target audience would be, I went through a number of stages to decide on the characteristics of my readers. I found official information giving the audience profile of typical NME readers, this document was written and uploaded onto the internet by employee’s of IPC media. The music magazine IPC media produce is targeted at mainly males aged 17-30. Other well known music magazines such as Q have this criteria as well. It seems there is a gap in the market for a music magazine mostly aimed at females. I chose to create my product with a female reader in mind. People interested in contemporary music are more likely to be part of a young generation . They would spend their money on magazines for entertainment purposes and attend gigs or festivals. 17-24 The Jicnar Scale can help define the social class a person belongs to. A reader of my magazine would probably be found in GroupC1 (Non-Manual,Lower middle class) or Group C2 (Manual,Skilled working class). If the occupation of an audience member was ‘in education’ they would be linked with group C1.
People in my target audience would share the similar likes and dislikes. For example they would enjoy attending gigs or festivals as they love the atmosphere of those live events. Music would play quite a major role in their life as they like listening to new bands/solo artists and discovering new sounds
How did you address/attract your audience? The iconography of this image suits the genre of the magazine. The main image features the artist looking directly at the camera which instantly connects with an audience. There are bold colours and engaging patterns which are visually attractive. Readers of my magazine would obviously be fans of music, a ticket to watch many live performances would be a desirable prize. I haven’t included the name of the festival on the cover so a reader would have to look inside the magazine to find out what festival the tickets are for. I have used shapes such as this plus sign and arrow heads to attract the audiences attention toward the text next to them. The shape is more eye-catching than the word plus. The striking colours used to fill the cover lines make them stand out from the background. The size of them contrasts with the size of the main cover line as they are a lot smaller. This connotes of this indicates the amount of content in each section. A reader would be able to recognise the magazine by its bold masthead, it would remain in the same position in every issue, the font would also be unchanged. To ensure my product was attractive to my target audience I gathered a couple of people with the right demographic profile and asked them for feedback. They commented on the good points and what I could improve on.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Photoshop was one of the main programmes I used to edit the images and create my front cover and contents page. I developed and learned new skills whilst using this software. The magic wand tool is one of the features of Photoshop that makes it one of the best editing programmes. It allows you to select an area of an image based on it’s colour. This saved me a lot of time when cutting sections precisely out of images. After using the tool which adjusts the colours in an image the overall look was improved greatly. I matched the colour of the text using the colour selection tool to link the image with the house style of the magazine. By using layers in Photoshop I was were able work on individual elements of the cover and contents without affecting other elements. I used this digital camera when taking the photos for my magazine. There are various settings available to use on this stills camera. The majority of photos I took for the main feature were taken in my bedroom. I didn't have access to facilities such as a three-point lighting set-up so I had to adjust the setting so I could produce good quality images. I found Microsoft Publisher the hardest programme to use as the tools were unlike any I’ve used before. The benefits of using this software is the ease of imputing text, the columns give the article the look of a real magazine piece. To keep a log of my progress I used the website www.blogger.com and created a blog which I updated when I made any changes. This process was quite familiar as it is similar to updating a Facebook profile. I used the programmes in sync with each other , I could transfer images straight from one to the other. For example, I created the heading on Photoshop and dragged it directly to my publisher document. By inserting a memory card into this 12 mega-pixel camera I was able to take hundreds of high quality pictures without the memory capacity being reached.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? In the period between creating my preliminary piece and completing my final coursework piece I have learnt a range of new techniques and skills. Looking at both pieces together you can see how much I have progressed. Looking up tutorials on the internet and practising techniques from the advanced Photoshop magazine strengthened my ability to improve images to a good standard. The final products included images which enhanced their professional look. The masthead of a magazine needs to be one of the most prominent features as it is what a reader would use to distinguish it from other magazines of its sort. Although I have used a drop shadow on ‘Why Winstanley’ it doesn't stand out as effectively as ‘FUSION’ which has capital letters , a stroke and a drop shadow. A major mistake I made on my preliminary piece was not justifying my text so it lined up. Doing this gives an overall professional look. The cover lines on this cover are not visually attractive, although they are coloured in a range of colours you aren’t drawn to what the text actually says . Time management is important when creating a product. When making my preliminary magazine I felt rushed and didn’t have a structured plan. Before beginning my real coursework piece I devised a timetable so I wouldn't go off track. I did not carry out sufficient research before creating my preliminary piece, this is evident when you look at it as very few conventions are followed. I have learnt to plan and research before creating a product, that way the final piece looks professional and well thought put. Wasted printing space would not be seen in conventional magazines. Publishers make the most of any available space to attract their audience. I have made sure there isn’t an obvious section of blank space on my final cover by including a banner with artists that fit the genre of my magazine.