Question 1 In what ways does your music video USE, DEVELOP orCHALLENGE forms and conventions of REAL media products?
The first question in my evaluation asks me how I had used, developed and challenged forms andconventions of real media products within my music video and two assisting task which consisted of apromotional poster and a DVD cover. Initially during the planning stages of creating my music video Ihad briefly decided that I wanted to create a music video based around the R&B genre, after decidingthis I thought it would be sensible of me to maybe look at some existing R&B music videos andundertake a brief analysis of both successful yet effective video’s within the music industry to gaina better understanding and insight into the set requirements that are expected from a stereotypicalmusic video of this specific genre.In order to complete this vital research and analyses sufficiently I decided what it would be morebeneficial for me to research further on the internet and especially worldwide video sharing websiteYouTube to view some existing music videos and build upon my current brief understanding and knowledgeof the typical styles and schemes of an R&B music video for example. After viewing several videos Ihad come to realise that there were several trends and similarities amongst the all the videos I wasfortunate enough to gain access to.However one of the most predominant trends than ran amongst all the videos was that most werenarrative based, this meant that the videos had both a basic storyline running throughout the videowhether that be in the form of an anecdote, memory, recollection etc that relates in some form oranother to the lyrics within the song, along with the artist singing directly towards the camera andaddressing the audience in certain sections of the song alongside the narrative whether the artistfeatures in the narrative or not.As a result of this revelation I decided it would be logical if I to followed this convention in orderfor my product to both appeal to my target audience as well as conform to the basic stereotypes of atypical video belonging the R&B genre and fitting in within the current music industry.Another factor that had added to creating a narrative based music video was the music videoquestionnaire results I had received previously during the developing stages of planning my musicvideo, in which I had discovered that the large minority of participants “40%” preferred to view anarrative based music video belonging to the R&B genre. After completing further research, I hadlearnt that when a music video incorporated both a narrative and performance, it engaged the largertarget audience in the sense that the artist visually engages with the audience making consumers feelmore at ease when viewing the video, and connecting with the artist on a more personal level alongwith connecting with the artist’s raw emotion and feelings when making visual contact towards thecamera along with sympathising with the individuals within the narrative. After learning this I foundthat this would be beneficial and an effective convention for me to instil within my video in thesense that it will bode well with my chosen song which was also based around raw emotion and thereforewould work idealistically.
Furthermore, I had also used basic forms of what is called “notion of looking”, this effectivetechnique within the R&B genre is typically used to demonstrate a form of mild sex appeal towards thelarger target audience, most commonly the male minority of audiences. Nevertheless I had decided tochallenge this convention and decided that I did not want to conform to this semiology and decided touse this technique however through a different approach. Instead of using it for mild sexualpreference I used this technique to portray the empathetic emotions of my artist who was also part ofthe narrative and conveys these emotions through facial features and most importantly her eyes whichare thought as “windows to the soul”, through the use of close ups and a variety of panning shots toestablish the bare feelings woven amongst the lyrics of the song to create this sort of empatheticatmosphere amongst the audience whom view the video.For example, throughout the video the artist tends not to make direct eye contact towards the cameraand instead sings looking in an alternate direction, this emphasises the fact that she has notforgotten all the good times that she has shared with her partner and has instead cherished thesememories and recalls them during the progression of the video, this suggests that she may have alreadyreconciled with her partner and is reflecting on the trials and tribulations she was faced with whenfirst falling in love with her partner or now husband however this fact is not clearly establishedwithin the video however as an audience it may become an assumption. This may be assumed due to thefact that in certain scenes within the video the audience see a child which elaborates upon the factthat she may have overcome these stereotypical obstacles faced by every couple which also adds uponthe fact that audiences are able to relate to the narrative on a personal level making the video allthe more appealing.Audiences finally understand the full concept of the video as near the end we see a short footage ofboth partners walking along a path which symbolises the fact that they have successfully overcomethese trials and are finally living “happily ever after” which creates this sense of hope and promiseamongst the audiences, in a sense promising and creating a mild form of anticipation amongst consumersthat some stories do have a happy ending and that not all relationships have to end on a bad note.This in itself challenges the typical storyline of a R&B narrative where usually the couple within thevideo have broken up and the girl has moved on and found a new companion however I have altered thisand made it slightly more realistic and home orientated in the sense that all relationships can beworked on and improved as I had mentioned earlier, and do not necessarily have to end on a bad notewhich brings about the moral of the narrative which shows that relationships come and go however theprecious ones are those that give you this “tingling” feeling should be worked on regardless of howhard and difficult this journey may be as in the end it is all worth it as you have this solidfoundation that has been destroyed and then rebuilt into this invincible structure.
Within my video I have tried to instil the use of Mise-en-scene as best as possible, I havetried to achieve this through several costume changes, all of which I would describe ascomfortable winter wear for example woolly cardigans and chino style trousers and jeans. Iwanted the artist to wear these particular clothes to portray this realistic approach to thenarrative as this style of clothing is typically classed as everyday clothing which adds tothe realism of the narrative, along with the fact that the storyline is based around love andreflection which is usually a home orientated occurrence therefore I found that it would bodewell with the particular setting.In addition the clothing is very demure and maybe slightly masculine which represents thisidea of her being slightly dominant and authoritarian within the relationship destroying allideology of the relationship being patriarchal and male dominated. By wearing masculineclothing and avoiding any feminine costumes such as dresses and skirts it reinforces thisequilibrium between both partners creating an equal status and importance between both.Moreover I had used several minor props within my video some of which included a rose andlighted candles. The rose represents the existing love within the relationship and theflourishing of the relationship which blossoms beautifully everyday and the candlesrepresenting this ongoing burning love within the relationship emphasising the desire andlust for her partner along with also representing the fact that she is still holding a candlefor her partner metaphorically elaborating on the fact that she still holds this everlastinglove and affection for her partner.These basic features and aspects clearly demonstrate how significant Mise-en-scene is as itallows the larger target audience to identify the basic concept that the artist provides forthem via the finished music video. All in all I have felt I have manipulated the use of Mise-en-scene well within my music video. Another significant element of Mise-en-scene includeslighting which is a crucial element within any form of video. Within my video most of thefootage is “desaturated” nevertheless is high key to represent the fact that she has overcomethe dark times in her relationship along with also representing the fact that she isreflecting emphasising the purity and light within the relationship.
Furthermore the use of editing within my video mainly consists of large cross fades, therewere two main reasons in why I had used this particular edit one of the most signficantbeing the fact that this edit is typically seen in the majority of effective R&B videoswithin the music industry and the other reason being that I found this edit gave the videoa continuous flow and all the scenes interlinked effectively giving it an almost “dreamlike” feel. I also incorporated a very amateurish “Sin City Effect” on the words “I LoveYou” with the red colour growing as the pan moves representing the growing power of loveand affection of the artist’s feelings for her partner.Another significant element that required closer analysis was shot lengths, from previousresearch about music video’s I had come to learn that it was a basic convention to have ascene no longer than a duration of a mere 3 seconds. After taking this into account I triedto instil this in most of my scenes to ensure that the video maintained its fullfunctionality. During the developing stages I wanted to create an extended version of mymusic video like many other exiting videos within the music industry, in order to createthis I decided that I would use a 20 second Diegetic sound extract of radio static soundsaved from YouTube to attach onto the end of my video which related to the lyrics whichcontinuously mentioned a radio. After much evaluation I had decided that it would be aneffective approach to use this extract right at the end instead of the beginning to createthis positive atmosphere amongst the audience.
Question 2 How effective is the combination of your mainproduct and its ancillary texts?
The second question of my evaluation asks how effective the combination of my main product andancillary texts are, personally in my opinion I believe that the combination works veryeffectively however, this may be a slightly biased opinion seeing as though I am the person behindthe creation of all three products. Nevertheless after viewing my audience feedback you will havenoticed that majority of the feedback I had received was very positive which was a bonus howeveraside this basic factor it also justified my opinion about the combination of the products beingeffective.In addition it also symbolises the fact that all the effort and hard work I had injected into myresearch, planning and developing ideas was worthwhile in the sense that after closely analysingthe work of existing R&B artists and their work I was able to identify common trends andsemiology’s amongst their work that would work as an advantage for me as I was fortunate enough toactually instil and incorporate these effective features and techniques within all three of myproducts. For example within my promotional poster I had used the colour red on the artists lipswhich not only represent love, lust, desire and passion but also showed the connection betweenboth the DVD cover and the promotional poster as in both the artist’s bright red lips are the mostpredominant, showing the link between both products along with the music video in which the artistalso wears red lipstick interlinking all three products.In addition after researching existing DVD covers and promotional posters I looked at key featureswithin the products that distinguished them from similar products on the market however of anothergenre for example a DVD cover for a film and how the features differ in comparison to a DVD coverfor a music CD, after identifying the features I tried my best to engulf as many as I could withinmy products in order to create not only conventional products but create realistic lookingproducts that looked as professional as possible.Moreover I tried not to challenge to many of the typical conventions as wanted all three of myproducts to fit in with the current music industry and its market thus if I had chose to createsomething different and unique I think it would have damaged the appeal of my products to itslarger target audience along with maybe being unsuccessful if it was to ever get published as anestablished product.
Question 3 What have you LEARNT from your audience feedback?
The penultimate question of my evaluation asks about the things I have learnt afterviewing my audience feedback. After viewing my audience feedback you will have alreadynoticed that fortunately for me I had received a lot of positive feedback for both mymain task and ancillary tasks which consisted of a music video, DVD cover and apromotional poster. This clearly emphasises upon the fact that I had completed the giventasks successfully despite a couple of minor “CONSTRUCTIVE CRISICISMS” some of whichincluded problems with the camera quality which is understandable seeing as though Icould only use what I was provided with, in which I was grateful for.However this could not be helped due to lack of advanced equipment being provided by theschool, nevertheless I had tried my best to make good use of the equipment and use my owninitiative to try and improve the “sticky situation” by attaching a light bulb to thetripod, nonetheless this approach proved mildly successful as it was still noticeablewhen completed.However this received criticism was valuable as I had carefully taken each and every oneinto account once identifying them and if I had the opportunity to complete the task oncemore I would surely rectify these errors. Correspondingly, all in all I have come tolearn that when creating a product it is impossible to create the “IDEAL” product despitehaving a clear idea of what appeals to the larger target audience, as it is incrediblyhard to please every individual’s palette due to the massive variations in taste. Despitethis downside I still found that the vast minority of audiences that I had asked did inactual fact enjoy viewing my video thus I feel I have created a suitable product and allthe hard work has paid off.
Question 4 How did you use NEW media technologies in the CONSTRUCTION, RESEARCH, PLANNING and EVALUATION stages?
The final question in my evaluation asks about how I had used new media technologies within myconstruction, research, planning and evaluation stages of creating and producing all three of mygiven products.When starting the production steps of creating my music video, I was faced with several new pieces ofequipments and programmes I had absolutely no previous experience in using whatsoever which haltedthe process all in all as it was very time consuming when learning the basics of functioning thetechnologies. However despite this setback, luckily for me I had the world wide web to scour whenstuck, for guidance from YouTube tutorials to student forums all of which were of a massive help andeffective when overcoming these setbacks.However, the most difficult piece of media equipment of all that I was privileged enough to use wasthe Apple Mac laptop, which was the most vital of all when it came to actually creating my musicvideo and placing it together to create one final product. This was where I was offered the choice oftwo professional programmes, “Final Cut Express” or “IMovie” however after undertaking research intoboth programmes I had discovered that Final Cut Express was mainly used by professional individualswithin the media industry thus I felt that this product would not only provide me with theapplications to fund my creative ideas but also hopefully help me create a professional lookingproduct.This would be the main focal point where I would actually create my video and edit the severalfootages that would eventually come together to piece my music video. Due to absolute no pastexperience in using the product I thought it would be best for me personally to view some YouTubetutorials which I felt would be most beneficial for me before even attempting to start editing myvideo, this approach proved successful as it provided me with a better insight and understanding inhow to function the programme not only successfully but efficiently. After briefly learning thedifferent operations that the programme offered me when it came editing, I was drawn to using fourmain video filters and transitions, the “Soft Focus” video filter, the “Desaturate” video filter, the“Soft Edges” video filter and finally the “Cross Dissolve” video transition.I decided that I did not want to use too many “tricks” as I did not want the effects to deter thetrue meaning and ideology I wanted to send to my audience as I felt it would overpower the meaningand symbolism of the video along with also taking away the underlining “seriousness” and maturity Iwanted to incorporate within the video in a sense. Despite not wanted to overuse the different typesof provided effects, I had in actual fact used the four following effects in the majority of my clipsas I felt it created this sense of continuation and flow amongst the clips once placed togethershowing the progression of the narrative and the artist singing. I felt this edit worked effectivelyin portraying this underlining message along with luring the larger target audience and keeping theaudiences engaged throughout.
When filming the actual footage for my music video I was fortunate enough to have access to a SonyHandycam DCR-SR68 through the school who were kind enough to provide us with the piece ofequipment. Initially I had great difficulty using the camcorder however after a couple hours ofexperimenting I felt it was quite simple to use and very effective at that, despite the cameraquality not being the best. However this was a mere obstacle I would simply have to try andovercome which I partially did. Moreover I also used the Nikon D3000 which was a fantastic cameraas the pictures I was able to take for my assisting tasks were just exemplary and of the highestquality, when using this piece of equipment I felt at ease as I had previous experience using itlast year when completing my AS coursework.In addition, when creating my assisting tasks I also had to use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign whenediting both products which I also had experience in when completing AS coursework as well as GCSEcoursework which was also effective in the sense it was less time consuming as I knew my way roundthus completing the product quicker. Nevertheless I had learnt a few new things such as how toairbrush an image better and of a higher standard and quality maintaining the professionalism ofthe product along with how to manipulate layers to create a distorted or overlapped image throughmaking an image opaque for example.To conclude, I would personally experiment further with these programmes if I was faced withrecreating the products once more, not only to gain better knowledge and understanding but maybeachieve the criticisms I had received in my audience feedback but also improve the professionalismof the products even though in my eyes I felt I had done the best I could with the best of myability. I feel I have created and maintained my expectation of creating a professional product.However this journey and experience I have been through I will cherish forever, not only has itbeen beneficial and most importantly educational but it has also helped me value the importance andpower of modern media and how it can be accessed, used and manipulated to create such wonders withage being just a number in the equation. The experience has been not only enjoyable but nourishingand I would not change it as it is something to be treasured and valued. I have enjoyed itthoroughly. Thank you for viewing my evaluation as well as my blog, I hope you have enjoyed it justas equally as I have enjoyed creating it.