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  1. 1. EvaluationBy Shazmaa Shahid
  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?The idea for the music video for the song Moon and moon by Bat for Lashes is that a young girl is waiting for her boyfriend or friend (this is leftambiguous) and when he does finally return, they have a wonderful time. But at the end of the music video he abruptly leaves, leaving her alone again.With this idea, we wanted to really capture how someone can feel so alone and dependant on one person. In addition, one could look at the narrative as abrutal evaluation on the roles of men and women in society; that as a female she will always be waiting on him and his commitment to her is dependableon how he feels. We have chosen to leave the ending unclear as we want the audience to decide what happens next which allows them to engage. Thiscould therefore link to Vernallis‟s theory as one of the key concepts she has suggested about the narrative is that “there may not be a clear resolution atthe end”. In my own opinion, I think depending on your song choice, it is a good idea to leave the ending unclear as it gets you thinking and creates yourown closure. Other music videos which have an influence include, Part of me by Katy Perry.Our music video consists of the genre dream pop which is a sub-genre of alternative rock that originated in the mid 1980s. Genres are formed byconventions that change over time as new genres are invented by combining and repeating, similar to what Steve Neale stated. He argued that “genres areinstances of repetition and differences” and because of that, film genre goes through a cycle (form finds itself, classic, pushes boundaries, parody,homage) of changes throughout its lifespan. This theory can be interpreted to the music genre as well as genres change and develop its signs, orientationsor expectations in order to move to the next stage of the cycle. A clear example of this is the genre myself and my group worked on, dream pop.The essence of this genre is a focus on ghostly textures and moods, rather than on propulsive rock riffs. Breathy, high-register female vocals or almostwhispered male vocals are usually the means of lyrical delivery; lyrics are generally self-examining and existential in nature. With this knowledge andunderstanding, we conformed these conventions, for example, we used a female for the artist as the song is sung by Natasha Khan, therefore weproduced a female narrative which I personally believe creates an appeal to the audience. This is because many girls can relate to this scenario as wehave portrayed something that could happen to anyone which can make the song memorable for the audience.In my own opinion, I think the song is about the artist asking her lover to protect and comfort her and that she wants him to be there as she would bethere for him. Because of this, we have chosen to keep the performance simple and natural. Usually, music videos have performances where the artistdance, play instruments, etc. For example, Good Life by OneRepublic, Drumming Song by Florence and the Machine, Next To Me by Emeli Sande, andmore. However, our group challenged this convention by portraying the artist to be waiting and she cannot do much about it, hence the reason she doesnot do much action as her life is on a stand still.
  3. 3. With the artists simple and natural look, not only did we portray this through her performance, but also through the Mise-en-scene. Some music videoshave references to intertextuality where they use a certain scene, costume, etc, for example, Stan by Eminem, Californication by Red Hot Chilli Peppers,and more. However, myself and my group decided not to do something typical which is why we chose to incorporate it through make-up. Mentioning inmy blog before, we had first attempted the 70s twiggy eye make-up which is British and Iconic but the outcome was not as successful as we hadexpected and looking at it on camera, the look did not fit in with the song choice as it was looking slightly gloomy which is what we were not lookingfor. To solve this problem, we then decided to go with a more subtle 50‟s make-up style. For further inspiration, we looked at people like ElizabethTaylor and Marilyn Monroe from the film „Gentlemen prefer blondes‟, and have been able to replicate the make-up in a subtle way so that we canincorporate it into our video without it looking shockingly out of place.The costumes we had chosen are also simple and casual as weare conveying a normal, down to earth girl. Having simplecostumes not only fits in with the song choice, but also theaudience can relate to the artist as we are not depicting her asbeing a rich girl who has everything as you typically see in rapand R&B music videos such as, Always on time by Ja Rule ftAshanti. For one of the costumes, Kimberley wore a straplessdress so that we were able to capture a medium close-up of herestablishing the natural look which also links to scopophiliaand voyeurism to an extent which was argued by Goodwin ashe said that a female performer will frequently be objectified inthis fashion, often through a combination of camera work andediting with fragmented body shots emphasising a sexualisedtreatment of the star. Goodwin also argued that there is arelationship between the visuals and lyrics of a music video,either illustrative, amplifying or contradicting which is anotherconvention we developed on in our video. For example, “Id beboy and youd be girl”, there is a medium close-up ofKimberley on the computer looking at a picture of her lovedone; “When this wide world. Is a big bad hand” , there is aclose-up of the couple holding hands; “When I get home. Beingin a jungle”, there is a medium close-up of the artist in theforest; and “Calling Moon and Moon”, there is a close-up ofthe artist looking out into the city where there is also a moon inthe shot. All these visuals are illustrative and allow the audienceto get a visual idea of what is being exemplified in the song.
  4. 4. In our video, there is a also a relationship between the music and the visuals which was done during editing. For example, 3 shots were cut accordingto the beat between 1 minute, 16 seconds and 1 minute, 19 seconds. Jump cuts is the predominant editing technique used in music videos as it allows asudden change from one scene to another, however, we had challenged this convention and had used cuts instead which is another common type oftransition making it look more realistic that is something we want to portray as the audience can therefore relate to the video. We had also used adissolve to end the video creating a different effect to the cut which also ends the video effectively.Music videos tend to include many close- ups and mid shots. This is to create emphasis on the artist, location and emotions. Also, close- ups are usednot only to show emotions but to reflect the words of the song with the movement of the lips of the artist which is what we developed on throughoutour video. We had challenged this by not only capturing close-ups of the artist herself, but also her features, such as her eyes and mouth. Close-ups ofthe eyes, one could say that it is symbolising a window to the artists soul as she is looking for her loved one and that she wants the audience to guideher. Majority of the shots we have captured, Kimberley is not looking directly at the audience which represents the pain she is going through, thereforeshe is not able to look directly as she is ashamed. However, there are shots where Kimberley is looking directly at the audience, such as the extremeclose-up of her eyes, which allows the audience to engage with the artist and also be able to empathise with her.Some music videos are black and white which help emphasise a certain mood, for example The A Team by Ed Sheeran. In our music video, wehave predominantly used dim lights and natural lighting to reveal the protagonist. For example, we had used dim lighting for where the artist issitting on her own waiting, symbolising her losing hope and giving up.When capturing footage of Kimberley singing the lyrics and all the close-ups, myself and the group had used the dark room in our school which wasconvenient as we were able to pick anything up that we had forgotten from the media department or to charge anything that died whilst filming.Experimenting with the lights in the dark room was useful as we did not have to book the lights from the media department which saved us a lot oftime as there were always other groups waiting to use them.Challenging the forms and conventions, we had also used iconic locations which the audience can identify, for example, Chelsea Embankment.Using iconic locations allows the target audience to recognise and connect with the video. When researching different music videos, what I noticedis that many videos used iconic locations which has a good impact, therefore we thought using this technique will allow us to gain more viewers.Examples include, Come with me by puff daddy, Black or White by Michael Jackson, Scar by Lucy Rose, and more.
  5. 5. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?When it came to researching for digipacks, I looked at different websites which had a variety of different album artwork and fashion photography in orderto help me with my own. One of the websites that I went on which had inspired me the most was booooooom.com. What inspired me in this website wasthe use of different colours, patterns and objects. I thought that using different objects such as broken glass or a rotten flower could symbolise theprotagonists feelings; how she has been hurt and heart broken.Provided with a dark room at school, myself and my group were able to take high qualityphotos of Kimberley as we had access to professional lights. Using a range of angles andcloseness, we wanted to capture the feelings and emotions of the artist so that the audience isable to identify the genre of the song and what it is about by looking at the digipack. We haddecided to capture the emotions rather than having busy images as our narrative of the videois based on a girl expressing her emotions while she is waiting for her loved one. Being ableto link these images to our video is important as we want the audience to be able to recognisewhat we want to portray. Completing the photo shoot, I was able to experiment with AdobePhotoshop and exemplify my own ideas that I had in mind.For my first idea, I experimented with the lighting which is an important element in our video as it symbolises the artist losing hope. I selected thisphoto as she is not looking at the audience which I believe is powerful as she is not able to face us after what she has been through. All her emotionsare portrayed in her lyrics which is why I thought that she should do the same for the digipack which will therefore give the audience an idea ofwhat her song is about and what we want to exemplify in the video. However, I did not select this picture as one of my images for the digipackbecause I felt that the emotions in other photographs were captured a lot more clearly than they were in this one.
  6. 6. For the front cover of my digipack, I used this image as it is simple, yet effective. The use of themedium close-up allows the audience to focus on her facial expression which is meant to comeacross as being simple and soft which also links to our song choice and music video. In my ownopinion, I think the song is about the artist asking her lover to protect and comfort her and that shewants him to be there as she would be there for him which is why I took a shot of the artist notdirectly looking at the audience as I wanted to convey that because what she is going through, sheis not able to look directly as she is ashamed. This image also has intertextual reference. Duringmy research, I came across an album cover by Sarah Blasko that inspired me. What I did was haveKimberley in the same position and instead of the blue hair, we could have different patterns inblack and white. The reason why I thought of black and white is because it reflects her mood andfeelings and also because it would look strange if we had used colour as the song we have selectedis not expressing her happiness, but the loss of her loved one which has torn her apart. However,when editing the image on photo shop, I decided not to include the black and white patterns as Ifelt that it would have created the image too busy and also give the audience the impression thatthe song is also art based, therefore I kept it simple.For my second idea, what I did was add a colour splash to the flowers and leave everything elseblack and white. I selected this photo because again she is not looking at the audience. What Iwanted to convey is that the artist is living in her black and white world as she is not able to moveon. I gave the flowers colour to show that there is still hope and that there will be a brighter futureand also allow the audience to understand the artists emotions. The colour red can also havedifferent connotations such as, love, passion, sacrifice, etc. which are the emotions that areportrayed throughout the video.For my next idea, I have a close-up of the artist wearing her necklace. I have selected this as it ismeant to show the audience that this is one of the gifts that her loved one has given her. Having awhite top on depicts the artists innocence, purity and fragility.
  7. 7. For my next idea, I have a medium close-up of the artistagain not looking at the audience as she is ashamed. Howeverthis time, she is standing in one of the iconic locations wehave used in our video which is the Chelsea Embankment. Ithough it is important to include a location which has alreadybeen used in the video as the audience is able to recogniseand therefore feel connected with the video.I then decided to include another image I had taken of Kimberley in the dark room as I wanted theimages to link to each other and not all be too different. In this medium close-up, I wanted the artist tobe in an angle and not looking directly at the audience again. For this image, I have linked it tovoyeurism which refers to the idea of looking to gain sexual pleasure as suggested by Goodwin. Heargued that the female performer will frequently be objectified in this fashion, often through acombination of camera work and editing with fragmented body shots emphasising a sexualisedtreatment of the star. I have represented this to an extent as the artist is not wearing any clothes.However, from another perspective, her nudity can also symbolise freedom which is something shedesires.For my back cover, I have again used an iconic location which is the Chelsea Embankment as Iwanted the images to link to each other and not all be too different. In this image, the sun is settingwhich symbolises the artist losing hope. Also, the fact that it is setting, I decided to keep this as thelast image of the digipack to convey that the day is coming to an end. I have also included all thesongs to the artists album and a bar code. For the colour and font, I kept it curley which highlightsthe femininty which therefore links back to the music video as we have shown the roles of men andwomen in society; that as a female she will always be waiting on him and his commitment to her isdependable on how he feels. As for the colour purple, I have chosen this colour as it symbolisesfemininity and graciousness which is how I wanted to exemplify the artist as.Throughout my digipack, I have kept a recurring theme which is portrayed through the images, font,colour and the artist not looking directly at the audience as I wanted to depict her feelings andemotions. I also wanted to portray the artist lost in her own world hence the reason she is not lookingand engaging with the audience.
  8. 8. When researching different posters, I looked at music posters on different websites to give me a rough ideaof what one should contain. As I have mentioned on my blog before, one of the examples I had looked atwas from the band ‟Nickelback‟ to see what conventions are typically used in the music industry so that I amable to use that information to help me create my own. For example, what I had noticed was that it isimportant for a music poster to contain an image and name of the artist, contact information, the date, colour,website information, etc.For my poster, I have selected on the images I have used in my dig pack. This is because I wanted to capturethe audience through the artist‟s depth of emotions right from the beginning. I wanted to keep it simple yeteffective in order for it to reflect on our chosen song as it is calm, soft and mellow. The first thing you noticeis the use of the contrasting colours of white and purple which have different connotations to it. The colourwhite signifys peace, purity and innocence, and the colour purple can signify graciousness which is whatmyself and my group wanted to portray the artist as.The artist is positioned in the centre of the frame which allows the audience to immediately draw theirattention to her. Also, the use of the medium close-up will allow the audience to focus on her facialexpression which is meant to come across as being simple and soft.In my own opinion, I think the song is about the artist asking her lover to protect and comfort her and thatshe wants him to be there as she would be for there for him which is why I took a shot of the artist notdirectly looking at the audience as I wanted to convey that because what she is going through, she is not ableto look directly as she is ashamed.For the font, I kept it curly to give it that feminine touch which links back to our video as we are portrayingthe gender roles in society. Also, I have included the artists name, promoted the main song, where the artistis going to play it, where you can get the tickets from, and the time and date, which are the typicalconventions you find on music posters.To Create this poster, I took the image using my Blackberry phone and used Adobe Photoshop to edit andput it all together.For my album cover, I have again selected a different picture from my digi pack. What influencedme to create this image is Cheryl Cole‟s album „3 Words‟ which I have analysed on my blog. OnCheryl Cole‟s album, the name if her album is shown to be tattooed onto her body. Similarly on myalbum cover, I have done the same but with the artist‟s name. Sticking to the theme, the font is curlyand the colour is purple signifying her femininity and graciousness. The selected image also links tovoyeurism which refers to the idea of looking to gain sexual pleasure as suggested by Goodwin. Heargued that the female performer will frequently be objectified in this fashion, often through acombination of camera work and editing with fragmented body shots emphasising a sexualisedtreatment of the star. I have represented this to an extent as the artist is not wearing any clothes.However, from another perspective, her nudity can also symbolise freedom which is something shewants.To conclude, I have combined my music video with the ancillary texts which maintains the star image.Richard Dyer has noted that “a star image is constructed from a range of materials”, which is what I havedone by constructing it through the use of colour, font and images.
  9. 9. What have you learned from your audience feedback?When we were first researching our song, there was a choice between two songs, We Wont Run by Sarah Blasko and Night Terror by LauraMarley. Because we were not able to decide as a group which song to develop on, we had created a small survey and had asked our class fortheir opinions. As a result, everyone had chosen We Wont Run by Sarah Blasko as they said choosing a song that does not have much narrativeand meaning will be less time consuming and better to develop on.After the first showcase, myself and my group received mixed reviews; some people were pleased with the work so far, however majority ofthe people were confused about what we were actually trying to portray. This feedback created different opinions within the group, andeventually resulted in a new song. Personally, I felt that we had good ideas which we could have developed on further, however, the groupwere not confident and felt that we did not have a solid enough idea initially. I felt that we are taking a big risk as this was suggested threeweeks before the deadline which had also worried our teachers.We started off with having adolescents as our target audience as the song was more focused onrelationships, however when the song was changed our target audience remained the same because thiswas another song based on relationships. Having the same target audience was an advantage becausewe kept the audiences‟ expectations in our mind throughout and were able to develop on it throughoutthis process. Within the target age group the typical genre is Rap or R&B, however we decided tochallenge this by choosing a different genre (dream pop).To conclude, throughout this process I have learnt that it is important to get audience feedback as itallows you to analyse and understand your video, because you need to make changes according to thefeedback received in order to achieve a better outcome.
  10. 10. What have you learnt about technologies from the progress of constructing this product?During the process of constructing our music video, I was able to experience and learn a lot about technologies. Technology gives us the advantage tocommunicate to one another. For example, during our process, myself and my group were able to contact each other using mobile phones and theinternet for when we planned our next meeting, shooting, editing session, etc. This allowed us to organise and update each other quickly and easily.However, I did feel that even having this advantage, there was some lack of communication between our group; this was mainly due to the fact thatinternet and mobiles allowed us only to have one-to-one conversations rather than discussing in a group, which led onto further confusions. This isbecause once our song had changed, we had become unorganised due to the amount of time we had left. For our previous song, I felt that we did havegood ideas, all we had to do was sit together and develop on them, however my group felt that our idea was not solid enough.Another advantage of technology is its portability. Technological convergence has allowed digital technology to be smaller in its size. For example, therewere two types of video cameras that were provided for us, one that is hand size, and one that is big. When it came to booking out the cameras, we hadbooked the smaller one as it was lighter and easier to carry around with us, especially to some of the locations, such as Chelsea Embankment andWimbledon common. Also having the advantage of an iphone as we were able to capture footage and transfer it to final cut express.Technology also helped me when it came to editing photos according to my needs. For example, all of the images I have used for my dig pack, albumcover and poster have been edited using Adobe Photoshop. This software allowed me to change the colours, effects, fonts, settings etc, according to howI wanted it in order to meet my target audience‟s expectations. My familiarity and confidence with this software allowed me to use my time effectivelyand efficiently.Being able to use the tripod was also an advantage at times as we were able to capture steady shots. However, at times there were pieces missing fromthe tripod which was a hassle as we were not able to use it, therefore we found it harder to capture steady shots.
  11. 11. However, we did come across many problems with technology. For example, the quality of the video cameras we were provided with were not asgood as we had expected. During filming, the camera would at time go out of focus which was frustrating as we had to keep switching the videocamera off every time this happened. We were able to improvise with this as in some shots of our video we have shown them to be out of focus tosymbolise the artists distraught thoughts. What we had also done to save time was use Iva‟s iphone to capture some footage which was quick anduseful. In comparison to the video camera, the quality of the iphone was much better which just shows how much technological convergence hasadvanced.Another disadvantage of technology is software. For example, during editing, the software final cut express, kept shutting by itself, therefore we had toupload our footage every time it did this. We eventually had to get help to solve this problem which we could of done ourselves, however, we were nottaught this new software as we had to teach ourselves.Lighting was not a problem during the process of constructing our video as we were able to use professional lights that were provided in the dark roomfor when we needed close-ups of the artist.To get an idea of various music genres, we decided to do research using You tube as it was the most accessible website.The internet allowed me to research forms and conventions of my genre which is dream pop. It also allowed me to useblogger where I was able to blog my whole progress of creating the music video including research, evidence and uploadelements such as images and videos from You tube and the internet. Because of this technology, I was able to do all thesethings quickly and easily.To conclude, because of the world we live in today, technology is constantly advancing and so we need to keep ourselvesup-to-date with this fast changing technology. Where it has its advantages of being efficient and useful, it also has itsdisadvantages of malfunctioning.