Q4. In what ways does your product
use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products.
In order to make our chosen genre clear through
our promotional package, we followed the
conventions of both the genre and media products
in general. However, as we had discovered in our
audience research, our primary target audience
enjoy seeing products that further develop the
genre and create their own style. As a result of this,
we decided to add some unconventional features
into our music video, digi-pak and website in order
to make our products stand out against other
promotional packages that all resemble each other.
We decided to follow the conventions of music videos such as ‘It’s My Life’ by Bon Jovi
and ‘From Yesterday’ by 30 Seconds to Mars by including a mixture of narrative and
performance throughout the video. This allowed us to have more creative
opportunities than we would have if we had created a performance-only video.
However, our narrative section was incredibly unconventional as we used a lot of bmovie references and intertextuality throughout, an uncommon feature in many
music videos, not just within the rock music genre. Despite this, our narrative followed
Goodwin’s theory of music videos that states that the visuals should link with the
lyrics, specifically “b-movie, gimme some gore.” It is also uncommon for a music video
to feature an actor as the narrative’s protagonist. However, there are exceptions to
this convention, for example, in ‘It’s My Life’ by Bon Jovi, the role of Tommy is played
by an actor who is entirely separate from the artist. We chose to break this convention
as we wanted to place more emphasis on the band’s musical performance.
We thought that it would be appropriate to maintain the conventional positioning of
the band members so that we didn’t confuse an audience who would be familiar with
the traditional set-up. In each performance section, we had the lead singer at the
front of the shot, with a guitarist either side on him and the drummer at the rear.
Although live performance is a key convention of the genre, it is rare to see two
separate performances within one video. As we were unable to get the quality of
shots that we wanted at our first location, we made the decision to relocate to an
environment which was easier to light. We also found that our chosen artist, Queens
of the Stone Age, had also used two performance locations in their video “Sick, Sick,
Sick”. By breaking conventions they are supporting the rebellious ideologies of the
genre and we wanted to replicate this.
As shown in the Bring Me The Horizon video “Can You Feel My Heart”, rock/metal
bands are conventionally represented as being crazy and aggressive performers, giving
a lot of energy and passion into their performance. Unfortunately, our band were
unable to emulate the same degree of performance and power so our performance
section is unconventional in that sense.
Within the performance sections of the video, there are a large number of close ups
on instruments and the lead singer. This supports ideologies of rock being a musicfocused genre as fans enjoy seeing how the songs are played and the skill of the artist.
Our audience research indicates that our primary target audience believes that the
lead singer is the most important member of the band. This is supported in our video
through the close-ups on our lead singer’s face as he is performing, a feature that is
also found in the Bring Me The Horizon video “Sleepwalking”. By including these shots
we are allowing the audience to form a connection to the artist.
As in the videos for “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi and “From Yesterday” by 30 Seconds to
Mars, we included an introduction to make the narrative clearer. As our video concept
is very original and creative, were concerned that it would be unclear to audiences if
not explained properly. Therefore we broke conventions by surpassing the typical
length of music video introductions. The mundane life of the protagonist that is
presented in the introduction contrasts to the rebellious and chaotic conventions of
the genre. By including this, we were able to show the impact that the music can have
on someone’s life, supporting the fans’ beliefs in the power of music.
We decided to film the majority of the performance without using a tripod, a
convention of rock music videos. This allowed us to manoeuvre around instruments
easily and get a variety of shot types. However, we were careful to keep the camera
steady as we wanted smooth shots, unlike the constant shaking and rocking of the
camera in “Shadow Moses” by Bring Me The Horizon. Whilst this effect could add to
the narrative and the chaotic nature of the genre, we decided that it would look too
exaggerated and detract from the narrative and performance.
Our music video supports Todorov’s theory of equilibrium; he states that a narrative
begins with a state of equilibrium, then falls into disequilibrium, which is then
followed by a new state of equilibrium. The protagonist’s mundane life is then torn
apart from by the onslaught of b-movie characters who take over his car during his
morning commute. The state of equilibrium is the restored as he realises that it was a
figment of his imagination, and did not really happen. This structure is also found in
Bon Jovi’s video “It’s My Life” as the protagonist races to reach his girlfriend.
The importance of the lead singer within the video is shown through the band’s
costumes; whilst the other members are all dressed in t-shirts, the lead singer is
wearing a coat. This connotes his status within the group and supports the convention
of music videos focusing on the lead singer over the other band members. The colours
of the costumes worn in the performance section are all black, a colour that is
conventional of rock music and supports the ideologies of audience members. These
dark coloured costumes are also found in “Up in the Air” by 30 Seconds to Mars.
Despite the conventional performance costumes, we decided to match the other
costumes to the narrative, as opposed to the genre. Because of this, we had a wide
range of colours and styles within our video. Although this is unconventional, these
narrative/feature specific costumes are also found in “Up in the Air” by 30 Seconds to
Mars. For example, the feminine bull rider in pink and the gymnast in white.
We learnt from our research that the performance elements of music videos typically
featured low lighting and darkness. This is a feature that we emulated through our
night-time performance on the common as the darkness surrounding the band gave a
sinister and mysterious effect. The low lighting effects are also found in Enter Shikari’s
According to Goodwin’s theory, there should be a clear relationship between the
music and the visuals, because of this, we edited our video to change shots at the
same pace as the music. These temporal relations allowed our video to flow well with
the music and it gave each shot purpose. The fast cutting speed along with the music
is found in the video to “The Paddington Frisk” by Enter Shikari.
For our digi-pak design we included an image of our band on the cover, although this
is unconventional of the genre, we felt that it helped to create brand identity between
our three products, a convention of rock digi-paks. We had also decided to design the
cover as a b-movie poster, so were following the conventions of these instead.
Typically rock music digi-paks feature a graphic or drawing on the cover, for example,
‘Era Vulgaris’ and ‘Like Clockwork’ by Queens of the Stone Age.
Our chosen colour scheme was both conventional and unconventional, we featured
red, black and white prominently on our digi-pak, but added in yellow and blue to fit
with our b-movie inspired design. Conventionally, dark colours are associated with the
rock genre so we decided to use a black background to lower the tone of our digi-pak.
Although bright colours are not conventionally associated with the genre, the design
of “Wasting Light” by the Foo Fighters features a dark background with pink, green,
and red images of the band members. This showed us that, when done correctly, an
unconventional design can still represent the genre.
Our back cover design is also unconventional in its complexity. The reverse of rock
music digi-paks traditionally have a simplistic design with the track listing and
occasionally a small image. Examples of these include Bon Jovi’s album ‘Greatest Hits’
and ‘Tonight’ by Franz Ferdinand. Our design features extra elements that contribute
to the b-movie design, causing it to link to our other products.
The inclusion of a lyric booklet is conventional of digi-paks of all genres as they allow
the audience to connect with the music and the meanings of the songs. The album
‘American Idiot’ by Green Day features a lyric booklet that also contains images that
link to the cover design of the album. We decided that we would expand on this by
designing the whole booklet to resemble our cover design, and included images of the
band rehearsing. This supports conventions of bands including behind-the-scenes
photos within their digi-paks.
For the inside of our digi-pak we used a double-page image of the band standing
together in Horsell Common, the location of our performance section within the
video. Although this is unconventional, it can be found within the digi-pak for ‘Like
Clockwork’ by Queens of the Stone Age. The image links to the images on our website
and provides an alternative location for the band. We also decided to have the band
wearing the same costumes as they had during the video performances. This was to
create continuity and connections across our promotional package.
Our website and digi-pak designs are closely linked, supporting the convention of
connected ancillary products as it enforces brand identity. Our ancillary products both
include b-movie inspired designs that also link them to our music video. The
connections between products is also found on the Green Day website, as their
background design and colour scheme matches that of their most recent albums,
¡uno!, ¡dos!, and ¡tré! We also used the same colour scheme as the digi-pak but
without the blue. This not only connects the two products together, but also supports
the genre conventions of dark colours.
We used an image background for our webpage as we wanted our band to be clearly
represented. As is conventional of the genre, we kept the background stationary whilst
the audience can scroll up or down through the centre page. This is a convention that
we discovered on the 30 Seconds to Mars website as they had a fixed background
image behind a moving overlay with all of the information on.
The importance of social media for an artist has meant that it is now conventional to
include social media links on a band website. On Bon Jovi’s website, they have
dedicated an entire section of their homepage to Twitter pictures from their tour. We
decided to place a Twitter feed on the side of our page so that it is easily accessible
and visible to audiences, but doesn’t take up too much room.