Task 1 “ In what ways do your media products use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?”
Introduction to codes and conventions
Codes are like a language, which when shared operate by means of conventions. These are ways in which certain meanings can be shared and understood. They are often not written down but are hidden or unspoken rules that we learn to accept and recognise.
Conventions processes both of productions and reception and can eventually become so familiar that they appear to be the only natural way of doing or understanding something.
Codes and convention can be applied to different media concepts such as narrative, genre or realist codes – which will depend upon a history or tradition in which the convention has developed. E.g. conventionally a romantic comedy will be about a straight couple as a apposed to a gay couple, but more recent films coming out are about gay couples that challenge the convention. For example
The promotional poster
Firstly our poster features the lead singer from the band according to Keith Negus this is a convention “almost with out exception” ,
Our poster has a lack of information on the band this is to try encourage people to look them up on the internet, but this could be conventional for an established band with a strong fan base but new bands often need to promote themselves as much as possible.
we used the same colour of font our poster to the digipack this is conventional as the poster is promoting the band album “out now”, we could have furthered this by adding a similar black and white theme and used more light leeks.
This convention is strictly followed by the lost prophets album release, the poster and album cover are identical apart from the information on the poster.
The poster is “the explicit and unashamed promotion of the artists “image” (in this case the aesthetic of the band) as a specific product with a brand identity, ready for mass consumption, Keith Negus.
As our band was a new band we wanted a photo of them on the front, as the fan base is strong enough yet to just have the name of the band, conventionally the album cover is a mixture of images, text and photography but more and more artist are using just art based album covers as a striking image will attract consumers eye in the record shop.
The XX first album was simple striking it stood out from the rest of the albums due to its bold features, a very simple but good design.
With the design of our album we wanted go for a more conventional mainstream approach with the pictures of the band members on the front and the name of the band with the album clearly at the top.
We wanted the album cover and over design to link to the set of the music video with the hanging lights and the mirrors floating in the back ground. We also when taking the photo made sure the main face (lead singer) of the band was at the front .
Digipak back cover
The back cover of the digipack contains information and copyright, this is very conventional as almost all back covers of digipacks will have this information.
The light leak effect is continued on the back of the album, also the smashed mirror effect on the back is another direct link to the music video, and also denotes the push pull relationship of the dancers in the videos.
The album un conventially doesn’t have the song names on the back of the album .
Still 1 from music video
We conventionally had the front man the lead singer at the front of our video as he would be the face of the band, as after all the music video is to promote the band and create a fan base. A music video is a promotional tool , a vessel for the band to promote the bands star persona.
We also shot in a studio location this is conventional as most performance music videos are filmed in a studio as the conditions can be controlled much more easily e.g. the weather can ruin a shoot day.
The length of the video is fairly conventional at just over 3minutes long, however some artists are increasing the length of their music videos and have a stronger narrative throughout e.g. lady Gaga’s Marry The Night this could be because they want to create more of a spectacle for the music video than it being just another music video.
Nearly 14 minutes long
Still 2 form music video
The band play the instruments this is conventional of rock bands and ads to there star persona, of being musically talented as well as being fairly mainstream.
Also watching the artist perform instruments would be part of the unique selling point of the band compared to other mainstream artist who usually have a carefully choreographed dance in the video in order to increase the repeatability of the video multiple viewings by the same consumers is essential in order for the band to be a success argues Richard dyer as the video is a promotional tool.
The band playing instruments make them seem more organic than for example Britney Spears who is a highly mainstream manufactured artist, the organic factor also helps to achieve the desired star image. It helps the band to approach a more musically minded audience as they aren't manufactured.
Still 3 from music video
The dancing in the video is a lyric driven contempory dance, the dance reflects the lyrics and tells the story of the song through dance, so the video as well as having performance element also has a narrative to it. The narrative increases the watchability of the music video multiple views are needed in order to create success for the band as the fan base strengthens and widens.
The dance reflects the conventional teen boy and girl relationship often the first serious relationship that they have so the dance along with the song reflect the emotional ups and downs of the relationship. This greatly strengthens the link between the target audience and the brand.
Christina Perri- Jar of Hearts video has a similar style of dance both of the dances featured in the videos are fairly unconventional as most mainstream videos will have a more mainstream form of dance e.g. the fast paced dance often featured in artist like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga’s videos.
Still 4 from music video
We used lots of head shots of the lead singer in our band this is conventional s the lead singer is the main front main to the band, he would be the most famous member of the band. Unconventionally it is arguable that the lead guitarists from AC/DC Angus young is more famous than the lead singer.
Notice also the lead singer surrounded by mirrors more so than the rest of the band this is part of the symbolic code of the break up in the relationship represented by the shattered glass, the lead singer has more screen time so he has more of the mirrors around him.
This extra screen time of the mirrors will help to build a relationship with the lead singer and the consumer , strengthening the bands fan base.
Still 5 from music video
This is another shot of the dancers we chose to keep the mirrors in the set to further re-enforce the symbolic codes of shattered glass and a broken relationship.
We tried to reflect the push pull relationship as much as possible through the dance.
The style of dance could also attract another audience who wouldn’t normally be a fan of the genre of music, as the dance is a performance as well as adding a narrative theme to the video increasing the watch ability of the video.
Still 6 from music video
The use of mise en scene in our video was a dark set and the use of lots of different lights this stereotypically would be associated with a rock genre of music, this is reinforced by the use of a smoke machine. Keith Negus believes that the use of special effects within lighting, CGIS, and in camera effects help accomplish the desired star image. The strip up lighters on the floor light the set up.
The costumes are conventional with the genre skinny jeans leather and denim jackets are stereotypically associated with the rock genre of music e.g. the leather jackets of the RAMONES. Keith Negus identifies star image as being "a specific product with a brand identity, ready for mass consumption." the use of costumes helps us achieve a brand identity and star persona.