Question 1 – In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Throughout the media course, I studied Andrew Goodwin’s theory that he created relating to music videos. Grace and I took another approach to Goodwin’s theory, challenging some of the theories but also following some as well. The first theory which Goodwin said was matching the editing with the pace of the music. We decided to follow this theory as we wanted the music and the visuals to be fluent with one another, matching the same paces, which made it relaxing and easy for the audience to watch. Throughout our music video there was some elements of quick editing for example the use of “cut transitions” between shots, this fitted in perfectly with the melody of the music which was not an issue, although as the song became calmer and slower paced in some areas, the shots were longer and calm within themselves as well, and using some “cross dissolve transitions” helped to create the calmness between the pace of the song and the visuals combined together. Usually music video conventions involve the use of quick editing at a fast speed, but with our music video we decided to keep to the calm melody so the feelings for the song were stronger and more effective for our audience.
When collecting ideas for our music video we decided to match the theme and pace of the music with the visuals, so they could combine together creating a relaxing music video to watch, whereas if we had used quick, unique, and jumpy shots the gentle song would not have matched the visuals, creating a uneven balance of understanding the music video. As we thought about ideas for the music videos we instantly thought to keep to a narrative video, as it would have made sense to explain the heart ache the artist was talking about, whereas if we had used a complicated video such a concept music it would not match the song and would be too upbeat, although if we had created a performance based music video it would have worked, as we could still have used slow transitions and long shots of the artist singing but unfortunately we would not be able to create a performance based video as the artist lives in US. Grace and I had originally discussed a narrative based music video to begin with as we thought it was the best idea as the music and the visual would be able to match very well, which they did. This links in with Goodwin’s second theory of particular genres of music have particular styles of music videos and iconography. When editing our music video we decided to put all the shots of the couple together in greyscale and some included slow motion as well, which indicated the idea of the past and memories the artist was singing about, so we were able to link the lyrics with the visual, so the audience could understand the music with the visual. This connects to Goodwin’s theory of voyeurism, as we wanted the greyscale to signify the character reflecting on the memories, but by keeping the shots when the female character is alone as well made it more understandable that the greyscale shots are the memories.
Another one of Goodwin's theories was that the record companies are demanding for lots of close ups of artist's or groups performing. This is one of the theories we decided to challenge, as in our music video we have a female actor as the main character, but she is not impersonating the artist, she is a certain individual who is going through a break up, this way we could show the audience what the actor is representing herself as and the storyline of the song, which also has our female actor featuring in photos on the poster and the digi pack. Although we have used a few shots of close-ups on the actors face, this is to show the emotions the actor is enrolling for the audience to understand and to relate to the music. Throughout the makings of the ancillary tasks we kept the same female actor this way it can be linked with the music video, we are not using the actor as a impressionist of the artist it was generally to symbolise the emotions which are shown through the song and music video we created, and so it all linked together and was not randomised or unrelated to the music video and the type of theme of the song.
Another one of Goodwin’s theories is the star iconography that artist create for themselves throughout the use of music videos and styles. When creating the music video we stayed on the lines of using a natural lifestyle, this helped to create the ideas and theme for out ancillary tasks, which also created a star imagery as it would indicate the audience that the artist is a simple and natural rather that obscene or weirdly unique, which matches the artist with her music. using the female actor in the ancillary task in the similar style locations which we used for our music video, helped to create the organic, sincere theme for the ancillary tasks which contrasts with the artist music. When it came to creating the artist visual style and branding, we successfully achieved this by repeating the use of the style of the images, fonts, colours and themes. All the productions we have made all link in with one another visually, as the music links with the music video, which then links to the ancillary tasks, where we created all the productions to be environmental, organic and natural, which then combines to having smooth fonts and colours which fitted in with the visuals. Also having our ancillary tasks not too crowded but spacious and natural looking of the countryside and plantations helped to create the branding of our artist.
Creating the ancillary tasks we followed some of the main conventions found in media productions such as the real music advertisements and digi packs, which include the name of the artist, record labels, song title, date of release and theme. For our first ancillary task of the advert we focused on the layout and font of the artists name, across the photo of the actor again the tree, we included a clear date as to when the song is available on CD if it was released for real life, and included the front cover of the digi pack and the record label logo in small in the top left corner. We linked the adverts with the style of the artist for her fans to easily recognise the new song. The same fonts and colours are used on the advert as they are on the digi pack to not complicate fans and to contrast with one another. All the visuals combine with one another creating the star imagery following the main conventions of real media advertisements. For the digi pack we continued with the theme of the organic and honest feel to the layout, using the female actor against the tree on the front cover with matching colours of the font and font style to the advert, for the insides of the digi pack we kept it with photos of plantation and earthy with the left side having some information about the artist and the right side where the CD hold in, on the CD cover we have designed it to have the tree photos on it as well linking it all together. one the back of the digi pack we had the female actor again in a different position on the tree with the same fonts and colours used on the adverts keeping it all contrasting with one another. We challenged the convention of the background for the back cover as not usually is there a photo with the artist or person on both front and back covers, whereas on our digi pack there is, which we think works really well in representing our artist. We decided to have all the products linking in with one another so it did not confuse the audience and easy to identify, but also to keep the idea of a natural and honest artist which we thought was vital to the productions and music video.
Throughout the three products we have created we have used a number of principals to help create our brand identity. One of the tools we used was the use of the same fonts across all products, for our artist name we used one font which stayed the same throughout, and for other information such as song title, dates and tracks we used a complementary font. We stuck to using a limited colour pallet to ensure continuity throughout, this compiled of a range of earthy colours, such as greens, browns, grays, and blacks, and then colours of the females clothing which included the grey and black, all colors we have used and mentioned. These colours were all presented in the music video as we filmed our actors in natural surroundings and the characters were dressed in casual clothing which contained subtle colours. Typical of the genre of music, we used the characteristics of long length shots with quick editing to create a slow yet fluent narrative music video. We also used subtle transitions within the video itself which is also a characteristic of acoustic and soft rock which is the genre of chose. We planned to have a theme of natural essence throughout the products, the video uses locations of a natural environment, the advert background is an image of a girl by the tree, and the digi pack cover includes similar images. This is how we used our images to create continuity and help build towards the iconography and star image. We needed to put some industry information on the advert and the digi pack. We used a Sony label on both the digipack and the advert. We didn’t include this in the video because this is not a normal convention. We also included a bar code which is typical of industry products. We stuck to a similar layout and design for both ancillary tasks, to help build the brand identity and star image of our chosen artist, we also used in our music video simple yet effective shots similar to the shots used for the ancillary tasks. For our ancillary tasks we did not use still images from the footage we filmed, instead we decided to take photographs of the character by a tree on a picnic blanket, the reason for this decision is because we did not want to audience to become bored of the idea of repetition of the imagery, so we positioned our actor to take the photos which still followed the theme we have created for the music video and ancillary tasks, but was not too similar to the music video, but still linked with one another and kept the same ideas and themes. These photos were taken in a similar environment to the place we filmed which kept our continuity throughout. Question 2 – How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?
Question 3 – What have you learned from your audience feedback? We handed out our audience feedback questionnaires at the viewing of our school media videos. To begin with we asked our audience the simple question whether they if they liked the video or not. 19 out of 20 in our audience said they liked our music video we created. We received positive comments about our visuals matching nicely with our lyrics, and how we edited the shots in the timings of our music, which was exactly what we were aiming to achieve from our audience view, as we thought the visuals combined really well with the genre and lyrics from the song, as the song is about memories from a break up that the woman is reflecting on, I think that Grace and I portrayed this view in our music video really well and achieved most the aims which we wanted to succeed in, and made a successful narrative music video. Some of our audience feedback said that the contrast of the black and white shots with the colour shots showed the memories and reality clear, and related to the music very well. The audience found that some of the editing was too quick for our song but said that the transitions in our music video fitted very well with our music choice. From my point of view I think that having the editing too slow and more transitions would not have worked out as well, whereas the way Grace and I made the music video was a success. Our shots in the music video were complimented as people said they enjoyed the long, medium shots of the couple walking and that the grey scale effects on some of the shots complimented the emotions and depth of the meaningful music video. The positive answers we were given from our audience shows that the audience was interested throughout our music video. This showed that our video was a clear narrative music video which was successful. If there was to be any changes to the music video, if we were to re-make it, I think that having a better quality camera would have helped and maybe some slower editing.
Question 4 – How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research planning and evaluation stages? For our music video the we used a range of technologies to research before we planned our music videos to collect ideas and how we could create a star image. When it came to researching Grace and I used our mobile phones to communicate to one another about discussing ideas and keeping each other informed of the next stages of research we needed to look at. Another form of technology we used was the “Internet Explorer” which contained of research of certain websites such as: - www.google.com – searching for sites - www.blogspot.com – Recording process of planning and research - www.webring.org – artist research - www.unsigned.com – artist research - www.myspace.com – artist research and access information about our chosen artist - www.eminem.com – research on websites - www.kissonline.com –research on websites - www.florenceandthemachine.com – research on websites - www.musicians.com – artist research - www.universalmusic.com - record label and artist research - www.sonymusic.co.uk – record label and artist research - www.ho