Media Evaluation Question 1 – In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? By Rosie Bloomfield
Andrew Goodwin pointed out some typical characteristics, forms and conventions for music videos and in this he stated that there is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals (with visuals either illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.) My music video follows this convention as the animated drawings behind the character illustrates exactly what the lyrics are saying. I chose to do this for a reason as I felt music videos should have a strong link to the song itself, which is something a lot of new music videos seem to lack. I also thought it would make the song more memorable because you may remember the images and think of ‘that song that sung about quitting smoking’ which would work as a good advertising ploy to get this band remembered above all the other bands out there who are quite similar to them. The strong link between the lyrics and the visuals is really appropriate for the song I chose because it gives me, as a director, the chance to add a comical element to the music video which is something I aimed for in the planning stages of this project. The comical element arises from the animated backgrounds that fit to the lyrics and without them the music video wouldn’t be as entertaining as it is. With the research I carried out into music videos, and in my opinion, music videos need to be entertaining in order to appeal to a wide audience.
Andrew Goodwin also stated that there is a relationship between the music and the visuals (with visuals either illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.) At the end of the music video I had the background flash in time to the beat and used a close-up of the lead singer in order to make this image stick in the viewers mind and work as an advertising tool as music videos are meant to. This could also be seen as a parody of the typical rock music video and the conceited attitudes of most rock performers who feel they need a ‘flashy’ close up of them. With a sense of irony I’ve created this within my music video. Another point Andrew Goodwin made was that particular music genres have their own music video style and iconography and for this genre of music it is live performances and egotistical close ups, both apparent in my music video, which give the sense the music video is from the rock genre. My music video definitely follows this convention especially at the beginning and end of the music video. At the beginning I’ve animated the character to play the guitar in sync with the music and throughout the video he appears when the guitar kicks in. This creates a strong link between the music and the visuals and I think it’s similar to real media products in that sense. The live footage of the band performing is typical of most rock videos but for my music video I decided to give it a twist to make it a little different and have it animated to add a comical sense to the video. It could almost seem like a postmodern statement, resulting in creating a parody of a rock music video and following the conventions in an ironic manner.
Andrew Goodwin also believed that there is a demand on the part of the record company for lots of close-ups of the main artist/vocalist and in order to make my music video seem the most like a real media product as possible I chose to follow this convention. I only starred the main vocalist the whole way through the music video which again could be seen as a statement being made by the band about the conventions of music videos and how they only seem to feature the most attractive band member in order to grab more attention from the viewer. In another sense using so many close-ups of the lead singer could be to make the viewer remember the band and with the use of animation it would have been too easy to just not feature the band members at all but by doing so it makes them more memorable and makes the music video more successful at publicising the band. In the close-up shots I took into account the styling, lighting and editing in order to make it look like it could be a studio shoot instead of an animation, this again adds to the comical element of the music video. The poses and stance of the character himself again follow the conventions of the genre of music as you expect the lead singer of a commercial rock band to be confident and probably a little bit arrogant.
After looking at the band’s website in the planning stages I realised that they already had a star iconography. They already had an online comic and they even had an ‘animated webcomic’ and animated music video already featured on their website. Following Andrew Goodwin’s point that most artists have to have a star image, I wanted to carry this on into their music video and this is where I got the idea of doing an animation and not just a normal studio shoot or a location shoot with real people. The hand drawn element of the music video gives the band a more individualistic personality which suits their already existing persona created by their website, MySpace and their music itself.
Andrew Goodwin noticed that there is likely to be intertextual references featured in music videos and this is definitely something that features in mine. The main intertextual reference within my music video is to Jack Peñate’s music video for Torn On The Platform which is where I got my main inspiration from. As Atomsplit reminded me of this song when I first heard them I thought it would suit the band and the genre to do a similar thing. The use of the cut out character is a direct reference to this music video and is even something my audience picked up on with one person stating it reminded them of this video in my feedback. The other intertextual reference within my music video is the reference to the lion in The Wizard Of Oz who wanted courage. I chose to feature this in my music video because I thought it portrayed the lyrics of the song well and would be a reference to a film the audience who would enjoy this kind of music would most definitely pick up on. It also adds to the comical value and the bands star image.
As well as meeting some of the conventions stated by Andrew Goodwin my music video also has similarities to real media products that have already been created. The similarity to Jack Peñate’s music video is obvious but there is also a slight reference to Motion City Soundtrack’s video for It Had To Be You and in my feedback people came up with a few more videos they could see similarities to such as; Oren Lavie’s video for Her Morning Elegance, Sia's video for Breathe Me, All American Rejects’ video for Dirty Little Secret, Two Door Cinema Club’s video for Undercover Martyn and Weezers’ video for Pork & Beans. (Click the images above to watch the videos.) In my research into music video I looked at All American Rejects and Weezer and I can see the similarities to the other videos too. The fact several of the viewers related my music video to other music videos makes it similar to real media products. I chose to use similar lighting and editing to music videos I’ve seen before to make it seem most like a real media product and to create a link between my music video and existing music videos. When making my Digipak and advert I tried to make it feel as much like a real media product as possible and I thought this could be done by creating a strong link between the three products, by using similar styling, editing, cinematography etc. in all three of them. I also looked at examples to make my advert and Digipak look as professional as possible. (See next slide)
When making my DVD Digipak and advert for the digipak on slide eight I researched into existing digipaks and album release posters from the genre of music my band belonged to in order to make my media products as much like real media products as possible. I followed the conventions that were apparent in several, such as the use of the Digipak’s front cover, having the date is a prominent position, including where you can purchase it from, using the same font as the Digipak cover and putting the record label logo on the poster. Question 2 – How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? I chose a font for the ancillary texts according to what I thought would suit the style apparent in the music video and then used the same font for my digipak and poster in order to create a strong link between the two ancillary texts. This helps create a strong link between the three products and helps create a brand identity. I used the digipak front cover on the advert in order to create a link between the two and help advertise the release of the album effectively. I also chose to do this because, after researching into existing media products, I discovered this is typical of real media products and is an advertising ploy that obviously works well. To create a brand identity I feature the ‘Atomsplit’ logo I created myself in order to make a definite instant link between the main product and the ancillary texts. This is typical of every band, as they will all have certain typology used on their band name that they use every time they make a new album etc. This starts to become associated with the band themselves and is recognised by fans and builds up the brand identity. I used the same background colour for the advert as I did inside the booklet for the Digipak because I thought with the video being hand drawn a tatty-style notebook page would combine the main product well with the ancillary texts. I also did this so that people who liked the video would like the styling of the ancillary texts and so all three products would appeal to the same audience.
Question 3 – What have you learned from your audience feedback? I created a survey in order to get audience feedback on my music video and ancillary texts and some of the feedback I got was very useful. I wanted to get audience feedback in order to see if the ideas I tried to feature in my music video were actually noticed by my audience and whether they felt they worked effectively. Everyone I asked thought the music video suited the genre of music and everyone saw a link between the music, lyrics and visuals which was the main aim of my music video. When asked if there was a storyline most of the people asked picked up on there being an implied storyline similar to the director’s style I researched earlier on in the project. Some said there was a storyline and one thought there was an implied storyline but just didn’t know what I meant by the term. This taught me that I have to be careful with the language I use when trying to get useful audience feedback because they may not understand certain terms I use.
The majority of the people I asked thought I effectively created a link between the Digipak, poster and music video, with only one saying there was no link at all. This means according to my audience feedback I was successful in linking my main product and the ancillary texts. My audience feedback was also really useful with finding out if the viewer picked up on the intertextual references to other media products and in my feedback I found out that they did, with one person actually picking up on the similarities to Jack Peñate and other also found examples of similar videos in the same genre as my band. This feedback helped me assess whether I’d made a video well suited to the genre of music and whether the references made in my music video were pulled off well enough for the viewer to notice. No one picked out the reference to The Wizard Of Oz which showed that I had incorporated it in with the song so well that it didn’t look like I had just referenced something for the point of it, which is what I was aiming to do. All my audience feedback has been really helpful for my evaluation as it has given me the viewer’s opinion, what my target audience thought of the overall product and has also shown that something I had aimed to do in my video has worked in most cases and where it hasn’t worked they’ve helped suggest how I could improve it. I also got feedback via comments on my YouTube video and one of these comments was rather useful in the fact someone could see that it took a lot of time to make the video and where able to give me some constructive criticism on how I could have improved my video.
Question 4 –How did you use new technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? During the construction of my music video itself I used Premiere to edit my video and put it all together. Since I had used Photoshop quite a lot already I understood how to use Premiere quite quickly since they’re very similar and found that it was a good program to use for the job I wanted it to do. I also had to get used to using the ‘animation’ function on PhotoShop which took a little bit of getting used to but after a while I got used to it and learnt how to use it effectively. When uploading the pages of my booklet for the digipak I found that Issuu didn’t lay it out how I wanted it to look so I used Flickr instead. It made displaying the booklet on my blog a lot more easier and made it look better than Issuu did and it changed the size of the slideshow to suit the size of the images I uploaded. I used After Effects to cut the head shot from the studio to export into Premiere and edit on there. I did try to use After Effects to do the whole video to start with as we thought working with the blue screen might work better on there but when we tried it worked better in Premiere anyway. I couldn’t seem to get my head round some of the controls on After Effects and found Premiere a lot easier to do so I only used After Effects for the head shots. Other than these three most of the technologies I used in this project are the same as I used during AS Media and things that I was already quite confident in using. I did use a higher quality camera this time as I was filming and not just taking stills. I used new technologies in capturing the tapes I had recorded and found that quite simple and effective for the task at hand.