In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge form and conventions of real media products.
I have throughout my project based my project on the magazine Metal Hammer. Having looked at nearly all the back catalogue (which can probably be found on my blog the amount of issues I have previously looked at)
Cover My colour scheme is fairly conventional to a rock/metal magazine. The green is a murky colour usually associated with the readers of the magazine. The layout is mostly conventional it features a masthead at the top of the page which is generally the place where it goes. The splash is also located in the middle of the page and draws attention to it. The location of the pug as well in the corner is traditional since it would be a kicker if in the middle of the page. Taking from my inspiration Metal Hammer places the bands that are featured second to the band on cover above the mast head. Most magazines do not do this making it unconventional. The location of the barcode aswell is traditional since it doesn’t disrupt the picture. The date and issue number are also above it albeit on a slant which makes it different. Usually barcodes are placed just below the masthead however I have a face there so I had to break conventions. The photo itself is rather unconventional since it is a close up on three people. Usually a close up is used on one person and for groups a long shot is used to show unity. I don’t believe that the long shot shows unity. I think that my closer shot shows Lucidity as a close together band the close up is also used to show the readers a clear picture of their faces since this is their break out album so people should learn to know them. Metal Hammer did this in an issue with a previously unheard of to many band by showing on the cover the band members.
The layout of my contents is similar to that in Metal Hammers. I have shown great interest in there contents page as it used a great feature which I have incorporated in my own. Metal Hammer places a brief piece of information under each topic featured in the magazine which persuades the reader to go to section and read that bit. Sort of like a prologue. I have also added a kicker another feature influenced by Metal Hammer, usually used to place a competition in I have placed a downloadable EP link in my magazine. I have also added my own touch the film real style showing the members of Lucidity who are the headline of the magazine. The picture idea of having a slightly off background that doesn’t match (the black behind the photo) In my research I haven't seen this being used by other magazines.
The photos I have used are varied in types of shot. The film strip at the bottom uses close ups to show the members faces in detail. I have also used the medium close up on the red riding hood to detail who the mystery person is. I have used the magazine cover in the contents page since it shows continuity and a recurring theme. The font I have used for the title is the same for the masthead on the front page to show recurring themes. I have used the font “Daft Font” to show page numbers as it looks like the page number would be. I used “Commerce SF” since it is a blocky font that is used in Metal Hammer to show the names of the bands in the magazine. The small writing underneath is “Comic Sans” since it is clear to read and doesn’t alter under size change.
The layout of the double page spread is actually not that similar to my inspiration. Due to photography issues, I wasn’t able to copy Metal Hammer’s Dimmu Borgir double page with a band member on the other page. The page break goes between Toms arm and Mike so the face and the body are not lost in the cut. The colour is something I had a bit of a problem with for my double page. I originally used photo shop to make the image more blurred and vibrant. I then struggled to find a text that would go without using a box. The original boxes I housed the text in were far to opaque. I then replaced the text to a neon green which frankly was painful to read. I then re went back to the original idea of boxed text however I made it less opaque. Thankfully I then lost all my work on my double page and re did all the work. Before I re edited the photo I decided to keep the photo in its original state which I'm sure you will agree looks far superior.
Convention wise. The shot is a high angle shot which is unconventional since it shows people as smaller figures. However the reason that I took the picture like this is as if the band are looking upward at the heavens with serious expressions to show they mean business. The photo choice was not actually my first choice. I had another photo I would have preferred to have used however upon uploading the image. It was blurred rendering it useless. I decided to use this image for the above reason of the fact they may be looking at the heavens which is a external meaning.
Q2 How does your product represent particular social groups?
The images on my media product represent the younger generation of people. Using Fireworks I have been able to touch up Lucidity’s skin tone to make them look fresh and youthful. The age of Lucidity are 17 however they would probably be able to get away with looking 20 (which is probably a more sensible age for a band to prevent from being like Justin Beiber and the magazine attracting the wrong audience) The gender is particularly male dominated and since the magazine is a rock/metal magazine typically males will buy this magazine over females (unless they like the genre) Young teenage girls may buy the magazine due to their attraction to the members of Lucidity on the cover (believe me the Classic Rock issue with Green Day on the cover flew off the shelves simply because of the Green Day on the cover attracting many a teenage girl without notice to the other content on the inside) The class of Lucidity are typical middle class which makes them easy to relate to as the majority of people are middle class. The articles are written in typical language used by a magazine: over-exaggerated with many a adjective to describe and make bands look a lot better and incredible. When writing my article I used Metal Hammer magazines interview with Dimmu Borgir as inspiration.
Magazine Success stories
Oh how society mocks those with a more expanded taste of music than what appears in the top 40. Rock and Metal appeal to more than is generally thought (think about it, how do hardcore metal magazines like Metal Hammer stay going if Metal is supposedly not popular) the success of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine show that magazines on niche genres can do well and there is a market for the type of magazine.
What am I suggesting about Lucidity Comparing these covers, the Lamb of God one is rather gruesome in appearance. Although similar in layout to my magazine the image particularly is what I am focusing on here. Lamb of God shows a stereotypical metal group while my band Lucidity are shown to look more like a Indie band in there looks however the unconventional approach that they are not Indie when they are metal breaking the stereo typical trend for metal
Conventions of metal:
Long Greasy Hair
Cargo Shorts baggy pants.
Demonic face expression
Conventions of Indie:
Longish sweeped hair not greasy.
Wearing more fashionable clothes.
Q3 What kind of company would distribute my magazine?
Future publications would be my prime choice for distributing my magazine however future are considered generally one of the most well respected publishers for the united kingdom producing many well known magazines such as Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Xbox Magazine. For a smaller indie magazine such as mine that is just starting out, getting support off Future would be difficult. I would have to gain a deal with a smaller company such as:
Q4 Who would be the audience for your media product?
My media product is a magazine aimed at those who favour the rock/metal genre. Stereotypically Rock and Metal are classed as a genre which “goths” tend to be cast with (saying that I know several “goths” that don’t mind club and high pitch rave music. I mean since when do you see In Flames and Sash in the same play-list? Everything is possible and that’s one thing society forgets) If we are talking about stereotypes then my main reader will be male with long hair, which will be particularly greasy and smelly. The customer will also be wearing a long coat and cargo shorts, probably be working at a supermarket and is single. That is conventions. Going against conventions are those that choose to expand there music taste with those not featured in the top 40. Those will most likely be with medium long hair which is clean, and do not smell. They will wear normal clothes (jeans, t shirt). This can be related to Lucidity again since they break the mould being an unconventional metal band. Not everyone who listens to metal is a smelly long haired existent. Im not saying they don’t exist but if only one group of people bought a magazine such as Metal Hammer, it wouldn’t be on our shelves every month, showing more demand for a magazine means it is going to sell.
Q5 How did you attract/address your audience?
To attract my audience I would obviously have to advertise. Where to advertise is crucial. My stereotypical target market are male from about 18-30 with bad fashion sense and poor hygiene (stereotypical remember). Facebook the social network site has 600 million users (according to Wikipedia) chances are that a person of 18-30 will be on Facebook. Most advertisers on Facebook can pay to put an advert for their product in the side bar so when users are scrolling through pages they can see the adverts. Making a group is another way to be noticed on Facebook (you can also put group adverts in the sidebar aswell) that’s cheaper as well since a group is free to set up and inside the group possibly set up a link to the magazine website. That leads me on to my next point, a internet site, while not free to set up. A .net or .org are usually cheaper than a .com or .co.uk many companies still use .nets since there customers have gotten used to it (bungie). A perhaps safer more real option is to do a discounted first issue. When a magazine starts up the first issue is usually massively cheaper so that the readers can decide whether to follow up and purchase the other issues. The product could also be advertised in other magazines that are in the same publishing company. Future publications magazines always advertise each other, Metal Hammer frequently advertises Classic Rock and Prog Rock which are made by the same publisher.
Q5 What aspects of your cover attract your audience?
The main aspect of my cover which attracts people to buy it is obviously the title. If a young girl sees the title “Rock ‘ard” or Metal Hammer she will not buy it. Similarly the title will be one of the main features that would help sell a new magazine. The title influences many people in read life. For me when I go into a newsagent I would choose Metal Hammer or Classic Rock over Rock Sound even if they cover the same articles the name Classic Rock sounds far more professional and more certified as a magazine than Rock Sound. The other main selling point of a cover is who the cover star is. A magazine cannot do a run of 10 different covers for the same magazine just to appeal to a more of market since that would result in a loss of time collecting the photographs and money involved for collecting the photographs and publishing. As a reader of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock I turn my nose up at magazines that do not have anything I am particularly interested in. However have seen people who you would not classify as the audience of the magazine buying a magazine because of the main article (case in point Classic Rock January 2011 Journey) Lucidity one my cover will obviously attract fans of the band but also those fooled by the unconventions that they are an indie band (it helps Kerrang sell when they have a metal band as cover stars)
How have your products been written (language) and constructed to address the audience?
My language in my magazine should be adult or elder teen language that is informal. I took inspiration of my language again from Metal Hammer. Metal Hammer uses frequent swearing and explicit themes. As I am on a course I decided not to go over the top on these themes. I did include a swear word which is *’d out so that if a younger reader is to read the magazine then they would not get offended or their mind corrupted before it is ready. The informal language makes the reader feel more welcome. Personally I was reading something like The Times or The Sunday Express a highly formal magazine I would be quite reluctant to read because of the highly formal upper class language.
What have I learnt from the process of making the product.
I have learnt rather a lot from making the product. Before the course I took GCSE graphics which introduced me to Macromedia Fireworks which is a very good tool, however it falls flat on its face compared to Adobe Photoshop which I preferred using by far. Photoshop is far more simpler to teach oneself to learn all the features. When making my products I much preferred making my double page on Photoshop than I did making my cover and contents on fireworks. I have used blogging websites before making the products, I used a Domain hosted .cc and a Wordpress (currently I am using a Wordpress blog). I before this project never used Blogger. While I will admit blogger is more personal to the user by being able to add own personal likes such as films and music. I will not be using it as an alternative to Wordpress. Wordpress gives great flexibility in post options and is generally more user friendly. Blogger has smaller buttons for each of the actions, Wordpress makes it very easy to find and edit posts and even switch the order which Blogger annoyingly does not allow. I have used a camera for a proper photographical purpose. In order to get good shots I had to consider factors such as light, scenery and distance. I entirely agree that camera work is very hard to get everything just right. In my photo-shoot one shot I desperately wanted to use was rendered unusable because of shadow and light effects. If I were to conduct another photo-shoot I would defiantly be better at it from the experience I gained from my photo results. I also used a website called Slideshare. Slideshare to me is one of the biggest time wastes ever. The whole site is a virus hot spot, which many dastardly people throwing links up to try and give you viruses. The site has also “lost” my details must be about 3 times now. I gave up on Slideshare after the third time. No doubt when I come to embed this presentation I will unfortunatly add to the hit count of Slideshare.
Looking back at the preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in progression from in it to the full product?
These are my preliminary task products. They are very basic to say the least. Both feature the same back ground which personally I believe looks revolting and awful. The colour scheme reflects the colours in the school. The writing colour also gets lost in the colour due to blue being dominant colour in the three colours of the background. The pictures are also very unprofessional with both of these photos being one shots. I also appear to have been a very bad cropper on fireworks due to the fact that Lee (on the cover) has a rather noticeable chunk missing from his head. The girls on the contents page also have cropping error with what looks like external white growths from there heads.
Noticeable chunk External white growths
My final products first drafts
These are my first drafts on all the products. The cover particularly compared to its fully finished version looks shambles. The double page I had longer to work on since I lost all my data for the first draft so I had time to improve it (never trust computers with work) The contents as well is very simple.
Double page Evolution
Final Products Evaluation
These are my final proudcts. The cover evolution is probably the most significant. If you follow the evolution you can see that the original product is very basic and simple. The photo aswell is a blurred photo. I mainly based it on Metal Hammer, the names of artists at the top of page was feature I wanted to incorporate from the start however it was only possible at the end since I added the green oval around the title in step 3 and changed the picture. I would have probably changed the picture again however the second picture worked very well and using photoshop I touched up Lucidity to make them look more fresh you could say. The contents, one half was totally unaltered, the black half with the listings other than spelling and gramma checks. The green half originally was grey and dull, changing it to green was probably the wisest move in the whole project. It blends nicely with the black and allows other objects to go over the top of it without flaw. I personally like the idea of the kicker which I again borrowed from Metal Hammer. The double page spread was a challenge mainly because of the page break and trying to get continunity between pages. I ended up not using green (which is present on the other pages) and using white on a faded background. The amount of colour schemes I tried to get a font that didn’t clash with the background. I think I found one and that was neon green (which can be seen on draft 2.