Introduction… In my evaluation I will be reviewing the overall product I have created by answering the four following questions. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? What have you learned from your audience feedback? How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
As we decided we would be focusing on the indie genre we did research to give us a greater understanding of the genre and the artists which come under this genre. We looked at similar bands containing male members of about the same age group so we could have a realistic example we could emulate. In many ways we followed the generic codes and conventions used by indie bands.
Codes and conventions of the Indie genre By researching other indie artists we came to some conclusions about the indie genre and what stereotypes we could follow in order to fit into the genre. Some codes and conventions we noticed in music videos were: A mix of narrative and performance shots A complete change in location for the narrative and the live performance shots. Close ups of the artists and their instruments The lyrics determining the actions in the video The pace of editing to match the pace of the song The fashion and appearance of the band to be quite understated and reflect the mood of the song.
We did this as challenging the codes and conventions would be great risk for a new band like oats who are not established artists with a large fan following. Bands such as ‘The Maccabees’ who have had success are now able to diversify into new and more unconventional styles when it comes to music videos, fashion and music artwork.
My music video uses and develops the conventions of most indie music videos. Most indie bands contain ‘live performance’ scenes which we did also. By having the band do this it shows that they all play instruments and helps the viewer get to know the band and who plays what instrument It also makes the video more dynamic and adds another dimension helping the audience to differentiate from the ‘dream narrative’ we created. We developed the convention of having both a narrative and ‘live performance’ by linking the two by filming the band performing from a distance getting closer and closer as if the girl in the narrative was watching them like a voyeur.
Andrew Goodwin’s theory Goodwin’s theory details the conventions of music videos. Things such as Music videos demonstrating genre characteristics e.g. Dance routine in hip hop video A relationship between music and visuals e.g. either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting
A relationship between lyrics and visuals e.g. Music about love containing romantic scenes The demands of the record label will include the need of close-ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work
There is frequent reference to the notion of looking and voyeurism. There is often intertextual reference e.g. To films, TV, programmes and other music videos
For my poster I decided to use the generic codes and conventions. I created a relatively simple poster with a ‘child like’ effect. For this I was inspired by the artwork of artists such as ‘Nizlopi’ who created very simple CD designs. Another CD design which influenced mine was Be Your Own Pet’s ‘Get awkward’ album. It follows the conventional approach by having the four band members in the photo but develops it by having them squeezed into a box. Also, the use of unique quirky writing of the bands name helps create a recognizable image. Another CD design I was influenced by was The Beatle’s album ‘Please Please Me’.
By having a CD design similar to a band like The Beatles almost gives off the image of Oats being a young version of The Beatles. Unlike The Beatles our band look less happy. This is because The Beatles early work was initially aimed at a young teen girls where as we aimed Oats at a more mature audience. I divided the photo into four unequal sections to make the photo more unique A low angled photo of the band showing all four members
I went for the conventional route of using an image of the band as taking a more artistic approach and using an abstract image would not be best for a new upcoming artists. Artists such as Coldplay are able to use such images as they are an established well known band. For my CD cover I decided to not to challenge the codes and conventions as again, we were using a new upcoming band who in order to be successful would have to follow the stereotype of other indie bands in order to fit the market. By using the band’s photo and carrying on the ‘childlike’ theme it helped create synergy within my digi-pack. It also made my CD cover stand out which is necessary when the product is displayed in shops.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
CD Cover An image of the band in a tree gives off a ‘playful’ effect and adds to the child like look I wanted I included the band’s online details so their audience would be able to find them online easily I used the same title that I made and used for the poster to create synergy between the two I used a wood setting to continue the music video setting
Poster I decided to keep with the natural image we had created in the music video and used an image of an oat to spell out the band’s and to create a border. I did this by manipulating an image of an oat using the freestyle tool on photoshop to create each letter. I thought this would be eye catching and something I could incorporate into my CD front cover to create synergy between the two. I also used an image of the band standing together so their faces could become recognizable so the audience know the band members.
When looking back at my main product and the additional digi-pack I feel I created synergy between them effectively. As the song we used ‘Train Track Tracey’ had the singer describing a past experience we wanted to create a narrative within our piece to. We decided to do this by including a dream sequence in our video which we were able to do by filming these sequences whilst there was snow on the ground and slowing down the footage We also tried to match our video to the pacing of the song by having fast straight cuts as the song climaxes to keep up with the fast pace.
As my final product was in keeping with the indie/alternative genre it means I would also be able to target my product at the same companies who would be able to ensure my product reaches a greater audience. For example if HMV were to advertise my poster they could also stock my CD and make it available in stores and online. As the band we used create indie/alternative music it would be most likely for them to be signed to a label who create and promote alternative music.
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
In order to collect feedback from a great number of people we uploaded our video to YouTube where it received: 350+ views 11 likes 0 dislikes
The feedback we received was very positive which helped support our product’s influence in the market.
Focus Groups To receive to a more concentrated portion of people we organised focus groups where we would ask people their opinions on our products. We asked for the opinion of 5 boys and 5 girls from the age of 16-21. We felt by asking an equal amount from both sexes would lead to a more un biased answer and a greater sense of the market. These are the questions we asked in our focus groups: Did you enjoy the music video? 80% of the people we asked liked the music video and 20% of people said they only liked it at times. This was due to the lack of close ups and variation leading to some shots being too long. Some people didn’t understand the narrative and said that it could’ve been done more clearer. Things people did like were the edits and effects used, the casting and the ideas. A positive result from our feedback was the result of no one disliking the video.
Did the video hold your attention? 80% of the people we asked agreed that the video held their attention and wished to continue watching to find out what happens. Whereas 20% found they lost interest at times due to the lack of change and length of some shots. Did you understand the video? All the people we asked said overall they understood the video but some did say they were lost at times. Would you watch the video again? Everyone agreed that they would watch the video again as they found it entertaining enough.
Does the video make you want to buy the song? The song was very popular within our focus group and all of the people in our focus groups agreed that they would want to buy thing and listen to it again. This shows we accomplished one of our aims when making the music video. What music channel would you expect to see the music video on? The most popular channel which people expected to see this video was NME partly because it was a music channel and company they knew of. Other not so popular channels were Q, Lava TV and MTV Rock.
Focus group feedbacks Female 1: “There could be more shot variation and the band were pretty stationary” Male 1: “Too much headroom in some shots” Female 2: “It would look better without the mic” Male 2: “Some shots were too long” The overall feedback we received supported our product and helped us prove we had created a successful product. The main points which would have been better had we changed would be the variation in shots and the length. Also more movement by the band would increase the video’s popularity. Many people had positive things such as commenting on the editing, the unique narrative and the obvious effort put into the video.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
The use of new technology was vital in the creation of our product as it was something we used throughout. To learn more about the genre we wished to follow we relied heavily on software e.g. the internet which we used to research other indie artists, the artwork and other advertisement strategies used by these artists.
Sites such as YouTube were vital in researching music videos to give us inspiration to our own video. Sites such as last f.m. also helped us to research artists who made similar music which we could conduct research on.
When creating our music video we heavily relied on hardware such as mobile phone to communicate to one another. Cameras both SLR still cameras and video cameras.
We used these to obtain footage for the video and to collect photos of the band during the process in order to use when creating our digi-pack. Mobile phones were also essential when communicating to the other team members particularly when meeting at locations. We also used a mic which although was not connected and functional it acted as a prop for our singer to use in the ‘live performance scene’.
Again when editing the video we relied heavily on hardware such as the Apple Mac and software such as Final cut pro. We were able to transfer our footage from the camera to a hard drive which stored all our footage and the music video drafts we compiled.
We then were able to transfer the footage from the hard drive to final cut pro. On final cut pro we were able to look through all the footage we had collected and delete the unwanted footage. We were also able to put the footage together like a storyboard and piece our video together whilst adding effects.
When creating my CD cover and poster, software such as ‘Indesign’ and ‘Photoshop’ were used the most to create both pieces of my digi-pack.
Synergy Within my products I wished to create synergy between them to create more of a package. By keeping similar themes to the music video, poster and CD cover helped link them together and become more familiar with the target audience. By having an attractive cover can also appeal to people interested in unique album artwork. By making the physical copy of the CD people may be more intrigued to buy it and listen to the music.