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Evaluation Questions

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  • 1. Evaluation 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?After researching existing media products and deciding on a music genre,we then had to decide which song was going to be featured within ourmusic video. Our music genre was indie/ alternative/ rock band, for whichwe wanted our music video to represent effectively, using conventionalelements found within this music video genre. We considered a number ofbands such as Local Natives, Foster the People and Warpaint. After someresearch into the bands and their existing music videos, we decided amore well known band was more appropriate for our target audience,which is when we decided to use the song Fluorescent Adolescent by theArctic Monkeys.The editing techniques we used were those that would be stereotypical ofthe Indie genre of the song we were doing. In our initial ideas andaudience research, we gained an understanding of conventional featureswithin music videos in the indie/alternative genre, things that included;sepia colour effects, film grain, narrative, black and white and still images.Initially, we started to focus predominantly making the footage black andwhite, as we thought this would make the video look more stereotypicalon the indie genre; however, it became apparent that for our targetaudience and for the song choice, the black and white features weren’tsuitable for the video. We then decided to explore the technique of usingsepia and adjust the video saturation of the clips by making it a retroorange colour, however we were not content with this either. The finalidea we had was to change the brightness and contrast of the clips, wesimply altered the pegs up for the brightness and down slightly for thecontrast making an image we were extremely pleased with. We alsomanipulated the opacity of the footage to fit in with the image we had inmind. Not only did we adjust the colours of the images, but we alsointegrated images over one another in order to give sort of a ‘trippy’ effect,a technique which we picked up from existing media products.Whilst doing some research we discovered that indie rock videos oftenonly featured long shots or extreme close ups (meat shots) of both theband members and the instruments, a technique which is used within theindustry to promote the band and make the audience more familiar withthe band and identify with the music. This researched helped us establishwhat particular shot types we would include within our own video andwhere in the video they would be featured, decisions of which wee madeprior to filming when creating our storyboard. When filming, we captureda range of multiple shot types which made the editing an easy process in
  • 2. terms of identifying where shots would fit into the sequence. We used avariation of different shots such as blocking shots, cantered angles, 360views and also the general shot types of medium close ups and long shotsto establish the band, showing things such as long shots of the band, thelead vocalist behind the microphone, etc. We also realised in a lot of indierock music videos it did not fit a specific storyline, and narratives wereoften none linear, which often just small clips of the band in their daily lifeor having fun. This is where we used our understanding of real forms ofmedia products in order to develop the video, as we were able to usedrandom, yet effective footage which was suitable for the video.We used inspiration from existing media products, and the opening of ourvideo in particular was influenced by the video Teddy Picker, also by thearctic monkeys. The opening of teddy picker shows the band setting uptheir instruments, by plugging in equipment and adjusting guitars. Thisintroduces the band to the audiences and allows them to immediatelyidentify with the music genre. We have incorporated this technique intoour own video, showing the band setting up their equipment within thefirst opening seconds. We have also used a range of shots to show close upof the band playing their instruments, which is an idea which we got fromthe video teddy picker, which features predominantly throughout thevideo.Our video was filmed in two main locations, one of which was aprofessional music studio which we hired out for the purposes of filming,and the other was in a student house, a location which we believe willappeal to our target audience and engages the audience in that youthfulatmosphere. We focused upon real media conventions and stereotypicalfeatures of our chosen genre to make our filming as effective as possible.We were very particular on the clothing of the band within the video, as intypical indie/alternate music videos clothes such as skinny jeans, tighttops, logo t-shirts etc are very prominent. As well as this, we also looked atthe colours used to make it as suggestive as possible for our particulargenre, which were manipulated by using editing techniques and cameramovements. 2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?As part of our project, we not only created a music video, but also twoancillary texts; a digipak and advert for our chosen song. The combinationof these along with the music video acts as a device to market our media
  • 3. product, by using corporate image, using the same colours and fontsthroughout. This technique is used within many existing media products inorder for the product and brand to be easily recognisable as a marketingpackage for the target audience; which is hopefully what we have achievedin our own product. Our ancillary texts compliment our main product bydemonstrating similar images of that indie rock style and the sepia coloursused. This helped us to portray the genre of music in the texts and help theaudience identify with the product. Both the advertisement for the songand the digipak both include pictures of the band members and theinstruments, which shows a high level of coherence throughout, creatingfluency through all through all three media products. The video itselfhowever can be appreciated and distributed over the internet at a click ofa button, and it is simple and easy to get hold of which will appeal to ourtarget audience, as young people are very much engaged in using thingssuch as social networking sites such as facebook and twitter. Both themain product and ancillary texts therefore work along side each other andfulfil every aspect when used together to get the maximum benefit whenadvertising and marketing our product to appeal to our target audience.Although we think our ancillary texts are both relevant to the main video,we do however think that if we were to complete this coursework taskagain, we think more in depth research into the importance of the textsand main product would help us establish more understanding of how toappeal to our audience on a wider scale; using both branding andmarketing techniques. 3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?We have used our audience feedback from our rough cuts, from bothpositive and negative feedback to improve our video and take things ouraudience have said into consideration. After our first rough cut, many ofthe comments were in relation to the quality of the camera footage, whichunfortunately we weren’t aware of till after filming and so were unable tomake any changes to the footage. However, despite this minor setback, wehave since been able to manipulate the colours and brightness of the videoin order to make the lines from the poor camera quality, to fit the ‘indie’themed genre, by making the video look slightly washed out, which wethink to look effective. Another piece of constructive criticism from ouraudience was that we needed to make some clips more in sync with themusic; this was in relation to one particular piece of drumming footage,which has since been adjusted. However, we did have some positivefeedback on the mise en scene fitting into our genre; for example theclothing of the band and the location in which the video was filmed. Aswell as this, we also had positive feedback on the way we were able to linkthe clips to fit the song and band, this was done with the editing on
  • 4. brightness and contrast, through this we have learnt the image quality isone of the most important features to a successful music video.The feedback for our final edit was very much positive, and focusedpredominately on the way in which we have successfully been able to usea range of camera angles and a variation of footage in different locations inorder to make the video seem more vibrant, appealing to our audience.After making improvements from our the feedback from our rough cut, wemade sure that all the clips were in sync with the music which makes ourvideo look more professional.Overall, we are really pleased with our audience feedback we receivedfrom our sample of our target audience, as it helped us to improve certainaspects of the video and allowed the target audience to identify with theproduct in a constructive way. The main things we have learned from ouraudience feedback is that when making any video, you have to be aware ofwhat you want to represent and how you want the audience to perceive it,and to do this you must plan shots carefully, along with the editingtechniques you will use to create this illusion. 4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?Throughout the project we used a variety of new media technologies toconstruct, research, plan and evaluate our media products. Since mediatechnologies have developed greatly within the last decade, it is to ouradvantage that we have been able to use a number of research sources,editing software and websites to promote our video.Research and PlanningWhen researching and planning our work, we have used a number ofwebsites and sources which allowed us to develop our knowledge andunderstanding of music video concepts in a variety of ways. We havedocumented our work onto a blog, using a site called blogger. This hasenabled us to clearly demonstrate and exhibit our work in a clear andconcise format, which allows us to use visual aids such as videos,slideshow presentations, photos and a storyboard animatic. Using bloggerto document our work has allowed us to update and improve pieces ofwork as we progressed in the project, making the process a lot quicker.When presenting our work, we have used a number of different websitesand programme to exhibit our work in a creative and effective way. One ofwhich was the use of Prezi, which is an online presentation programme
  • 5. which allows you to add photos, videos and text in order to present workin a digital and animatic way, which makes it look very professional.Another programme we have used to present work is a website calledSlideshare, which enables you to upload PowerPoint presentations andword documents into a simple scroll down format.The internet has been a major source when researching and planning ourwork, as it enabled us to find a vast amount of information when lookinginto things such as media concepts and influences for our own video. Weoften used the search engine Google in order to quickly find necessaryinformation which would be used within our project. Using Google hasalso helped when adding work to our blog, as we used a Google account tolog into blogger. As well as a Google account, we also used a hotmail emailaccount to send work between the groups to ensure that both blogs wereup to date with all the necessary information. We also used our emailaccounts to contact the record label for permission to use their songwithin our video.We also used YouTube as a way toaccess music videos and learn thekey concepts which we wouldinclude in our own work. Whenanalysing music videos for both themusic video analysis and the 9 frameanalysis, YouTube was a majorsource which we used to printscreen certain shots in order to lookat in further detail. This developedour understanding of conventionalindie music videos, as we were able
  • 6. to see the common elements used in our chosen genre, such as the types ofcamera angles, shot types, colours and mise en scene. We also created aYouTube account which made accessing videos a lot easier, and allowed usto upload our work in order to gain feedback.Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were also used toappeal to our target audience so we could gain insightful feedback for ourmusic video. Due to the rise in the amount of people using socialnetworking sites in our modern society, we thought these two particularsources would enable us to reach a wider market when distrusting ourwork.FilmingWhen capturing the footage for our music video we used a small hand heldHD camera which allowed us to get high quality footage for our video. Thecamera was touch screen which allowed us to look over footage quicklyafter filming in order to see whether we were pleased with it or not. Forsome shots we had to use a tripod in order to keep the camera at a steadyangle or to capture an image which would otherwise be too high or tooawkward to reach. Our understanding of the video camera from last yearhelped us to develop skills and use it correctly to gain shots and anglesthat would work well in our video.As well as a HD camera, we also used a digital still camera to capture togain higher quality pictures of the location, band members, etc. We alsoused it to get images for the fast paced photo shots which we used tocreate a sense of movement through photos within our video, which wewere very pleased with.EditingUsing an Apple Mac in the panning and researching stages of our musicvideo helped us with the important software and the understanding of theprogrammes that we appreciate cannot be used on ordinary computers.Since using Final Cut last year, we have been able to develop further skillsand understanding of conventional editing techniques in order to createthe right effect for our video. Using Final Cut, we were able to manipulatethe colours of the footage by adjusting the contrast and by adding hints of
  • 7. colour where necessary. We were also able to shorten clips and overlapthem in order to make the footage in sync with the music.We also use a programme called ‘iPhoto’ which enabled us to edit our stillimages to good quality using several of the ‘quick fixes’, e.g. rotate,enhance, retouch, and crop; all of which were simply basic editingtechniques making our images look effective. Another photo editingprogramme we used was Photoshop, which allowed us to manipulate thecolours, in terms of contrast and brightness, and also the sepia effect onthe images.