In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge form and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>Throughout my project I have used the magazine Metal Hammer for inspiration. Having looked at nearly all the back catalogue (which can mostly be found on my blog) I have generated a clearer notion of what a metal magazine should look like and have based my magazine on Metal Hammer which is a successful Metal magazine. </li></ul>
Cover My colour scheme is fairly conventional for a rock/metal magazine. The green is a murky colour often used with the genre. 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 the main article of the magazine which is the most important thing that will sell the magazine. The location of the pug in the corner is traditional since it would be a kicker if in the middle of the page. Usually pugs show a competition or an additional head line article mine is the latter, I believe it is in the right place to display an addition article. Taking from my inspiration from Metal Hammer I have placed the bands that are featured second to the band on the cover above the mast head. Most magazines do not do this making it unconventional. The reason most magazines do not do this is because they want their logo to be the centre of attention at the top of the page. I think it is a good idea however since it allows more space below the masthead so allowing me to leave the faces without writing on them. The location of the barcode as well 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 so that the face didn’t have anything covering it up. The faces are the most important aspect on the cover since Lucidity are a new band it is important for readers to get a good view at their faces. 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 unknown band by showing on the cover the band members.
Contents <ul><li>The layout of my contents is similar to that in Metal Hammers. I have shown great interest in their 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. </li></ul>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. This makes the magazine seem more together 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.
Double Page <ul><li>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 just to the left of Lee and with only a small amount of writing on the page make the band undisturbed without being dominated. I 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. I have also changed the image on the double page after three drafts simply because the other image did not allow for other items to be place around the band. This new picture allows plenty of space to apply writing and is darker so the white text is easier to read without a text box therefore killing two bird with one stone. </li></ul>Convention wise this shot is a long shot which I have done to show the audience the full figure of Lucidity. I personally like the light coming from the top right corner it was actually coincidental however looks good. Natural light makes them seem more pure which was the idea for the album over grown.
How does your product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
Magazine Success stories <ul><li>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 their is a market for the type of magazine. </li></ul>
What I am 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 their looks however the unconventional approach that they are not Indie when they are metal breaking the stereo typical trend for metal. <ul><li>Conventions of metal: </li></ul><ul><li>Beards </li></ul><ul><li>Long Greasy Hair </li></ul><ul><li>Cargo Shorts baggy pants. </li></ul><ul><li>Demonic face expression </li></ul><ul><li>Conventions of Indie: </li></ul><ul><li>Longish swept hair not greasy. </li></ul><ul><li>Wearing more fashionable clothes. </li></ul><ul><li>No beards. </li></ul>
What kind of company would distribute my magazine? <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
Future Publications Information <ul><li>This was information was taken from Future Publications website http://www.futureplc.com/about </li></ul><ul><li>1,200 employees, working in offices in the UK, US and Australia. </li></ul><ul><li>In the UK have a catalogue of over 70 monthly special-interest magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>Their goal is to “Integrate new media with magazine publishing, our brands capture the excitement of the fast-moving sectors they operate in, providing a direct line of communication to a wide audience, at a time when they are at their most involved and engaged” Some Popular Magazines Future Produce: </li></ul><ul><li>Xbox 360: The Official Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Total Film </li></ul><ul><li>T3 </li></ul><ul><li>Mountain Biking UK </li></ul><ul><li>Classic Rock </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Camera </li></ul><ul><li>PC Gamer </li></ul><ul><li>Guitarist </li></ul><ul><li>Metal Hammer </li></ul>
A more smaller approach <ul><li>As Rock ‘Ard is a new magazine, the chance of Future Publications choosing to distribute it is rather low it also publishes and distributes its own magazines. I would have to find a smaller scale. One example I found which didn’t look rather suspiciously like a fraud site was http://www.musicmags.net/ A company that specifically distributes music magazines to music shops such as HMV or instrument shops and the like. I would consider using Music-Mags as a distributer since it appears to take on independent magazines and put them on sale in places where they would flourish, which is important for a new magazine otherwise they would not do well. </li></ul>
How I would advertise? <ul><li>It was recently revealed that half of the UK’s population are on the social network Facebook. Getting an advert on Facebook is fairly simple (it actually offers you the option to put an advert on the page). Getting noticed on Facebook is a method to get Future to notice. Twitter is another popular social network site, Twitter is very popular with metal and rock lovers (those who feel unconventional to not follow the trend of half the UK’s population on Facebook I was one of those people). Creating a website on Myspace is also a good alternative. Many new bands start a Myspace page since they are free and accessble to most. This could be a good way of getting the magazine noticed by big name publishers. </li></ul>
Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>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 in retail and is not in a relationship. Usually living in a one bedroomed flat in the city or a small terrace house in a town. That is conventions and presumably those people will buy my magazine which is good since it is sales. Going against conventions are those that choose to expand their 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 with their indie band look. Not everyone who listens to metal is a smelly long haired existent. I’m 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. </li></ul>
How did you attract/address your audience? <ul><li>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 their customers have gotten used to it (bungie). A perhaps safer more realistic 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. </li></ul>
What aspects of your cover attract your audience? <ul><li>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) </li></ul>
How have your products been written (language) and constructed to address the audience? <ul><li>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 censored 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. I also have used a phrase commonly associated with rock and metal “balls to wall,” which I felt appreciate since it is very exaggerating which is generally what magazines based on bands use since they wish to make bands sound almost inhuman in terms of success. 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. </li></ul>
What have I learnt from the process of making the product? <ul><li>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 unfortunately add to the hit count of Slideshare. </li></ul>
Looking back at the preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in progression from in it to the full product? <ul><li>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 their heads. </li></ul>Noticeable chunk External white growths
My final products first drafts <ul><li>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. All these reflect my ability to design and how much it has progressed in the process of making the products. </li></ul>