My A2 Media Studies EvaluationQuestion 1) In what ways does yourmedia product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions ofreal media products?Brontë Vickery
The mise en scène of my video follows the conventions of the Indie genre as Ihave used a combination of indoor and outside settings. The inside setting is avery every-day scene of a house, which matches the conventionally casual styleof videos of the genre. The beach huts are also a fairly every-day butaesthetically pleasing and interesting setting, whilst the shots of the sea andhilltops may be regarded as places of natural beauty contributing to the‘natural’ theme conventional of Indie music, particularly by artists such as LucyRose whose music style is acoustic and relaxed. The wide range of settingsused is also conventional of videos of my genre, and adds interest to the video.
The costume worn by my ‘artist’ also establishes the genre of my videoas it fits the ‘Indie’ fashion style, and with my female artist wearing aslightly masculine style outfit; with a loose fitted shirt fully buttoned up(typical of the trend), jeans and trainer-like shoes. This has connotationsof strength, cool nonchalance, and going against the objectification ofwomen (often found in pop/R&B videos); a standpoint that isconventional of Indie artists and reflected in their music videos andproducts as well as lyrical content. My artist also wears minimal makeup, conforming to the conventionally casual and natural image of manyindie artists, and making her appear more ‘normal’ and thus relatablefor the audience.
My music video again uses the conventions of its genre as it employs acombination of interpretive/disjunctive style video and performancevideo; my music video has a narrative, that presents my interpretationof what the lyrics connote (rather than a literal presentation of thewords), however I have also included performance shots where myartist is lip-synching to the camera; these are interspersed with theshots developing the narrative and are filmed in the same settings tocombine the two more seamlessly.
My use of editing effects challenges conventions as the editing inIndie music videos is usually only used to combine and neaten clips;whereas in parts the effects that I have applied are deliberatelynoticeable. I have also used editing to conform to the conventions ofIndie music videos as I have used fast cuts with mostly short scenes.However I have developed upon this convention by altering the lengthof the scenes used depending on the pace of the corresponding partof the song, so that the pace of my video matches the pace of thesong at all times.^ Slow motion scene
I have also stuck to convention by using a combination of variousnatural and artificial light sources; this adds interest and portraysmovement. The artificial lighting that I have used is subtle and realistic;whilst I did not have access to purpose built artificial light sources, Ithink that my use of lamps and ceiling light fixtures fits better with thegenre (as Indie videos never feature harshly lit, bright artificialscenes), and rather adds to the natural/casual tone of videos in mygenre. The natural lighting was quite bright, allowing a clear view ofthe artist typical of Indie videos. The use of soft amber toned naturallighting from the sun setting gives an attractive, interesting and dreamlike quality, similar to that used in Ben Howard’s “keep your head up”(that I have analysed as part of my research into videos of the genre).
I have used convention by including an establishing shot of thesetting, This is typically used to provide a sense of location for theaudience, and I think that the use of a pan shot to provide a view ofthe room leading up to the shot of my artist develops this conventionas it also adds a sense of suspense as the camera moves round toreveal her. I have also conformed to the convention of my genre byusing a wide range of shot types. There is a contrast between the highangle shots making the artist appear small and vulnerable and lowangle shots emphasising her importance whilst connoting power andimplying that she should be admired. This contrast is used to developupon the conventions as they emphasize the lyrics and narrative; thehigh angle shots are placed with more negative, frustrated lyrics “I tryto work things out”, whilst the low angle shots are used when thelyrics suggest she is more confident “listen up, listen here”.
Most of my video uses mid and long shots which are conventional asthey gratify the audience by allowing a close and full viewpoint of theartist; this is particularly important in the Indie genre to which apopular clothing style is closely linked as many fans take their fashioninspiration from such artists- and so would need to see the wholeoutfit. I have used convention in my camera work as there is a zoomshot, found in many Indie videos, for example Nina Nesbitt’s “Boy”.Likewise I have made use of conventional cutaway shots to addinterest to my video and emphasise the setting. However, I havechallenged convention in my camera work as I have not used manyconventional close-up shots, in order to place greater emphasis onsetting. The close ups are conventionally used frequently to enable theaudience to connect to the artist through the video, however I feelthat my video still achieves this conventional aim as in the majority ofthe shots the artist gives direct address.^Zoom shot
My digipak also conforms to the codes and conventions of real digipaks, usingalso the additional conventions of my genre. My digipak applies the essentialconventions as it clearly displays the name of the artist and title of thealbum, the track list (positioned on the back), a barcode and price, the recordcompany logos and ownership and copyright notices. I have included a bookletwith my digipak, which is conventional as it helps towards making the digipakseem like a more luxury/novelty product by including more content; a digipakmust achieve this to justify the usually higher price of a digipak album incomparison to jewel pack CDs. I have also done this through the inclusion of anexclusive competition for which the prize is festival tickets for readingfestival, which would be appealing to my target audience as the festival ispopular with Indie artists and fans. My booklet also adheres to convention bythe inclusion of thanks and credits, lyrics to each of the songs, and multiplephotographs of the artist. Inside the digipak I have included a convention ofsome digipaks; the production date of the album (as a design feature inaddition to the copyright date).
My digipak also conventionally applies a house style, demonstrated by theway that each of the pages of the digipak and booklet inside use the samewhite font, repeated use of my artist logo, the colour scheme (blue, white andgrey), and the use of the same editing effect on each photograph, and a whiteborder used on each of the pages (except from the artist photographs insidethe booklet which fill the whole page). The colour blue in particular may beconsidered conventional of the Indie genre as it connotes the relaxed andcasual attitude of Indie artists and is frequently used in their real mediatexts, such as on the albums “I had the blues but I shook them loose” byBombay Bicycle Club and “Every Kingdom” by Ben Howard. The border isconventional of my genre as I found that many of the album covers of indieartists use this. The editing effect that I have used is similar to that of theInstagram filter “Nashville”, which would be popular and recognisable to mytarget audience. This also gives the photos a vintage, whimsical feel; applyingthe dreamlike/ retro themes that are conventional of media texts in the IndieGenre.
Some of the photographs of my artist used are set innatural, interesting outdoor settings; reflecting the genre’sconventional theme of nature and the feel of my artist’s music, whilstothers appear more like a studio photo shoot, allowing the audience tofocus on the artist and applying the conventions often used in digipaks.The front cover of the digipak is similar to the cover artwork of manyIndie albums, as the artist takes up the majority of the cover and givesdirect address while the set-up of the photo makes her seem wistful.These conventions are notable on the covers of albums from artistssuch as Lianne La Havas, Ed Sheeran, Haim, and Laura Marling. Mydigipak is also conventionally ergonomic, achieved through the use ofan easy to follow layout, a tray to hold the disk and a cut out to alloweasy access to the booklet inside.
My artist website too follows the conventions that I found from myresearch into Indie artists and their corresponding real media texts. Aswould be expected, my website allows the audience to listen to myartist’s music and watch the music video (both on the ‘home’ and‘music’ pages). My home page also advertises the latest album- as dothe sites of many of the artists that I have researched. My artist logo ispart of the header, visible on every page to reinforce the artist’sidentity and make the site immediately recognisable as connected withher.
Many of my pages have links to social media sites which isconventional of modern artist websites, particularly for genres such asIndie which has a fairly young target audience who would be verycomputer literate and likely users of such sites- this would also makemy site more effective as fans could then help to promote the artist.There is also a twitter feed to allow the audience to see the artist’sown tweets, which would gratify them by helping to make them to feelmore personally connected to her. This is conventional of artistsites, and is found on the websites of Indie artists including Lianne LaHavas.
As is also conventional, there are news items (on the ‘home’ and‘events’ pages) promoting the artist’s upcoming events and newreleases, with a link to enable them the audience to immediately buytickets to her shows. There is also a store page from which theaudience can purchase music and a range of merchandise. This isconventional and an important part of an artist’s revenue, and I havefurther used convention in my choice of products for sale which arecheap and cover a wide target audience. The T-shirts are particularlyconventional as it is a part of the associated Indie fashion trend towear the merchandise of Indie artists.
I have also used convention through my ‘gallery’ page, which showsnumerous artist photographs in a grid display, much like the one foundon Ed Sheeran’s site. As is also conventional, I have provided theaudience with contact details for the artist’s record company, andincluded a form allowing them to send a message directly from thewebsite. However, I have developed upon convention by including acompetition page, which would add interest and excitement for theaudience and would make them more likely to visit and recommendthe website as they would feel that they are gaining something from it.