EvaluationQ1- in what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge formsand conventions of real media products?I feel that our music video, Blue foundation – eyes on fire (dubstep remix) is mainlyable to challenge the forms and conventions of ‘real media products’ as well as useand develop them. Our video has been generated from a new underground wave ofmusic genre, ‘dubstep’. Dubstep is primarily a hybrid of older genres such as; drumand bass, garage, bassline and niche, incorporating a darker, grittier sound whichhelps us to identify it is from the streets. Our music video is a fusion of bothperformance and narrative, the blend of these two particular structures give the videoa wider appeal to the general public, catering to those who love narrative and visualarts as well as those who enjoy performance pieces, it is also atypical to the fewdubstep videos which have in recent times been released.E.g.: Coki and benga: Nighthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMR5K2QWfJkEssentially a ‘darker’ video, running in a non-chronological order, it is able to gripand perplex the audience – this I feel juxtaposes the typical forms and conventions ofother similar media products of this category – One of the main influences for ourmore sinister take stemmed from the thriller movie genre, When acting as assistantdirector I opted to use such things as, heavy alcohol consumption and explicit druguse in order to amplify the intensity Both the characters featured in our video played avital role in balancing out our structure, the girl playing the role of ‘Brooke’ in thenarrative is perceived as a lonely, down and out individual who has an alcohol anddrug addiction, she seems to be searching for something, but is unable to find it.Whereas our second character who is lip-syncing for the performance role, takes on amore menacing demeanour with subtle hints of ‘seductress’. The style of ourpresentation was one that originated from that of ‘film noirs’ used to make theaudience aware of Brooke’s contemptuous personality when under the influence oftheir beloved narcotics.In reference to other conventions we were able to expand on ‘voyeurism and the malegaze’, two things which are predominantly seen in ‘Hollywood’ and many Americanmusic videos, Hip-Hop in particular.
Although, we refrained from using the typical raunchy ‘video girls’, through usingsneaky camera angles and we were easily able to create an atmosphere whichportrayed the girls being unaware they were being watched – emphasising sexualallure and the concept of‘male gaze’, were women areseen as mere sexual objects.We then lead to numerousbody/face shots of the artistas these ‘money shots’ havebecome very high demandfrom various record labels inrecent years.The editing which we usedabides by the conventional techniques of transitional cuts; fade up/ to black andlayering he cuts to fit the music beat, although we decided to steer clear of heavyvisual effects as we felt it would bombard our videos complex simplicity.As the main chunk of the song deals with heavy beats and drops, we used fasttransitions in order to compliment the atmosphere fully, conversely during the songsintro and outro, the mood differs and becomes more soft and melodious, which calledfor much smoother transitions to portray the melancholy and gloom.The camerawork centred around us following the traditional technical shots plus avariety of diverse shots to capture the relationship between both the performer andactress ‘Brooke’. We achieved this by using canted angle shots with Brooke to aftershe has taken cocaine to show her disorientation and altered state of mind, When shesniffs the cocaine, we used close up shots, to show the intimacy and virtualinvolvement we have with the character – sharing her emotions, Close ups of theperformer were also imperative as they gave us a link to the root of the song, andhelped us in understand/deciphering what the narrative was about.As dubstep’s birthplace was London’s urban underground scene, we thought it onlyright to convey this ‘scene’ in our music video.Using a clash of the class systems, we made a point of showing both sides of Londoncity, On one hand we see the lavish 5-star hotel and expansive clothes, yet on theother hand, the back streets of the West-end, alleyways and class A drugs, As wechose such a niche genre, we were able to stretch our imagination and creativity.
Q2- How effective is the combination of your main product andancillary texts?My group members and I felt that it was of utmost importance we break away fromcurrent music video fads which shroud today’s entertainment industry, and createsomething more innovative. We disregarded the surrealism, explosive flamboyantcolours and even animation (CGI) which can be seen in various artists’ videos such as(e.g.: Nicki Minaj’s – ‘Massive attack’ & ‘your love’ and Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ &‘The good life’)We took a more artistic route, predominately our obscure shots and story-tellingability. During the editing period, we could properly manipulate colours/shots andoverlays in order to keep the atmosphere of the video consistent.By having espoused the key elements of branding, our group was able to transfer anddevelop features from the video onto the digipak, ensuring the continuation of ‘mood’from video to digipak. For example, the performer’s seductive side is seen through theuse of red – connoting lust and anger, and the large kiss on the upper section of theback cover suggests sassiness and allure.As the viewer/audience will be moreinclined to purchase the digipak afterwatching the video, it was imperativewe made sure they both complimentedeach other through particular themes,eg: Locations and colours.
Our digipak, following traditional forms and conventions, includes the name of thesong, a track list, extras – such as behind the scene footage, the name of the artist andmost importantly, the artist herself, Although one way in which we challenged them isour use of heavy visual effects.We considered it of importance that the artist was featured on the cover instead ofanything or anyone else, as it helps the artist to be identified and build up a persona/connection with the consumer, because at the moment she is neither very well‘known’ or mainstream yet.In regards to our magazine advert, we kept consistent with the urban and ominousmood which was evident in our music video and digipak, however in order to make itmore diverse, we decided on using a ‘3D’ effect so to preserve the warped mood ofthe video, yet give the audience something new so to not loose their attention.Although we used the same font for both the advertand digipak to keep a sense of familiarity – and tohelp recognise that both the pieces originated fromthe same video.The advert also follows forms and conventions as wehave shown the release date of the single,An image of the artist and the name of the song, thesethree things play a vital role in selling the product tothe audience, as it ensures that the viewer knows whois singing the song, exactly when it’s due for release.As the image plays the main role in capturing thereaders eye, so the inspiration for the use of 3Dvisualisation was taken from our editor, Julio’s lovefor rap artist; Tinie Tempah - his album for his debut single Pass Out, has extremelysimple, straightforward artwork, yet it is able to be an eye-catching image, making thereaders want to stop and stare.It has not been uncommon to some magazine ads to make reference to voyeurism, butwe as a group felt that it had no importance in our advert as our video does notcontain anything outwardly sexual. With reference to intertexuality, it is evident thatour ad has been influenced by different types of artwork – mainly ‘modern art.Overall, I feel that the mixture of our main product (music video) and the ancillarytexts (digipak and magazine advertisement) have worked well in unison and adopt thekey elements of branding.
Q3 - What have you learned from your audience feedback?When choosing our target audience, we had to bear in mind that since dubstep is aniche genre we had to ensure that it would be aesthetically pleasing to the minoritythat enjoy it.We decided that we would have both males and females between the ages of 16 and24 as our target audience – As dubstep is obviously a new genre we knew that it wasmore likely to appeal to the younger audience who are more aware of fresh music andartists. As a group we felt it wrong to only target certain genders or ethnicities, asdubstep is of an acquired taste and anyone is able to listen to and like it.Our target audience research provided us with evidence of what they most enjoyedabout our music video, From the research we found that everyone enjoyed thenarrative and visual arts but to our surprise ‘performance’ was one of the leastfavourite – probably because many of the performance type videos are of the mainlyrock, punk or metal genre. Example – Aerosmith: ‘Dream on’ Official music video.When constructing our video, we took our audience feedback into account and aimedto present something which had a creative narrative and excellent visual arts as that’swhat our target audience find most appealing, While we also knew that they were nottoo keen on the performance aspect, we still thought it would play an important role inour video (helps to disseminate the face of the singer and make her known to theaudience and doesn’t make them feel empathetic towards the character in thenarrative).We found that many of our target audience were mainly fans of commercialR&B/hip-hop, with some also liking the occasional pop song, so therefore we madesure our video contained certain aspects from these genres, eg: pretty girl and goodstoryline.When relating our music video to our target audience of 16-24yo, we thought that thebest way to do so was to have 2our main characters of that age range – We were ableto achieve this by using my friend 20 year old friend Joedy as the actress, this helpedthe audience to connect with her and empathise, maybe even relating to some ofthings she did/went through.
When compiling our audience feedback, we learnt that the target audience found ourmagazine advertisement and music video to be more of a professional standard ratherthan our digipak, Over 50% of our survey claimed that they were unable to grasp thestoryline fully, this was obviously disappointing for us as we had worked so hard onensuring it would make sense to everyone, nonetheless 80% said that they had foundthe visual effects very pleasing, and that they were the main ingredient in creating agood disjointed feeling within many of the sequences. One person had also suggestedthat in order to give the video an even more disorientated feel we could have hadsome rewind motions as Brooke was snorting the cocaine.In regards to our digipak, over 60% of people said that‘less is more’, they felt that over cluttering a digipakmakes it looks less professional – “simple and lesscomplex idea make the best digipaks”.Our feedback also told us that our magazineadvertisement had managed to serve its purpose andmany people found it to properly convey the sense of‘disorientation’, they were very fond of both the fond and3D effects used.Overall, I do feel that our final products effectively meetthe OCR briefs as we were capable of both retaining ourown creativity whilst successfully following and challenging the codes andconventions of music videos.As we also demonstrated quality technical skills, such as editing and camera shots, wefelt that our video was one which could be on par with any other video of professionalstandard, Although when looking back on the final video cut, we did see some thingswhich we would have liked to change, such as using more characters of the streetswhen Brooke is walking, making it more true to life and changing the last shot inorder to make the ending slightly stronger.For us, one of the main elements of the entire music video was selling the artist inorder to make the audience want to go out and purchase the digipak – music, thisbeing one of the main reasons both large and small record labels utilize music videos.We personally feel that our music video would be better suited to a smaller scale(independent) record label, mainly because the music genre and video type is nicheand only targeting a small market, however we still hope that it will receive some typeof mainstream attention.
Q4 - How did you use new media technologies in the research,planning, construction and evaluation stages?When filming and editing our music videos, we had access to new technologies suchas apple editing software – new video cameras and equipment plus many internetsearch engines and social networking sites, this was all a great help as it assisted us inachieving an overall professional standard.Primarily, during the early stages of development, we were able to use the internet asa source to find information on things such as our chosen genre, job roles,representation issues and background info on our band.The two main websiteswhich we all used were Google and wikipedia – Google (search engine) helped us tofind relevant information on practically anything we needed, secondly wikipedia wasused if we needed more in-depth knowledge about something specific, such as codesand conventions of branding and marketing - These both also helped us in developing our research skills. Secondly I was able to use social networking sites such as tumblr and facebook in order to upload questionnaires and collate important information, the entire process from uploading to completing the questionnaires/surveys was done online so information could be gathered both quickly and efficiently, I was also able to access a wider more diverse group of friends, which I may not have been able to do if say, I handed out the questionnaires in college.
During our stages of planning much of our work was hand written and then typed uponto Microsoft word 2007 – when typed up we would either upload it directly ontoblogspot or condense the file and use slideshare, many people found slideshare easierto use as it gave you the option to upload the file directly and not upload picturesindividually unlike blogspot, another advantage of using slideshare is that it presentsthe work neatly and enables the user to browse easily. During the stages of constructing our video, we used a Cannon Xm2 for filming the different scenes, the use of this camerahelped us as it was able to produce high definition and a greater quality in comparisonto other video cameras out there – Although our video was low-budget with betterquality we could better pass off out work as being of professional standard.In regards to our editing, we used apple’s final cut pro programme, this ensuredprecision of transitions amongst other things and gave us a wide variety of specialeffects which we took full advantage of : manipulation of colour, fuzzy televisioneffects and blurred effects.When creating our digipak I primarily sketched 4 possible ideas we could use anddevelop, we then scanned each of then into Photoshopalongside photographs of Sophia – our performer andmanipulated them until we found a suitable cover,The Photoshop software allowed us play around withdifferent pictures and layer/overlap them creatingsomething more original and professionallooking, we also used dafont.com to help us chose acorrect font which would compliment the theme wehad running throughout the video. The same applied forour magazine advert; we manipulated variousphotographs of Sophia and then added different effectsuntil we created one worthy of the final product.
During the stages of evaluation, the video was converted and uploaded onto bothyoutube and facebook, this ensured that we could collate feedback from people weknew as well as unbiased feedback from people we were not so familiar with, thishelped a great deal as many of the youtubers gave us truthful opinions which helpedus greatly.Overall, using modern technology helped to broaden our horizons positively andhelped us to familiarise ourselves with a more professional standard which we onlytouched on lightly as AS level.