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Question Three Draft Written Answer

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  • 1. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?I needed to gather audience research and to do this I used a variety of methods that would appeal to not onlythe niche 16-20 age group I was aiming my product at, but also a wider demographic to gain a better andmore representative view if the video, digipak and advert have been successful. I took vox-pops from thisage group, emailed around college for written feedback, undertook group peer assessment against the markscheme, and posted my video on Facebook and Twitter through YouTube where anyone can access it. I’vedivided up the feedback into sections so I can comment on it more objectively. Such feedback, particularlythe peer feedback was used to tweak my products in the final stages of the project.Now before I begin, I’d just like to say that although I did post the video on Twitter and Facebook I didreceive I didn’t any feedback directly on these sources. However I have around 900 followers on Twitter and500 Facebook friends and so the likelyhood is that they watched the video on YouTube and commentedthere, gave me verbal feedback, or emailed my back. Due to a technical glitch in which all my college emailswere wiped, I can’t show evidence of them. Also YouTube currently does not allow me to access thedemographic data and so I can’t give a brief overview of who’s been watching my video. BUT, I didcollectively get 154 views, suggesting that people enjoyed the video and showed their friends. I did email thewhole sixth form which is well over 154 people but I know that not that many people will have responded.Now back to the narrative element of the video. It seems that although respondents understood what wasgoing on in the video through the illustrative parts of the video with the heart, they were a little perplexedwith the meaning and overall plot behind the video. Originally I had intended to incorporate a subtlenarrative within performance-based scenarios and so the comment that the video is performance-based is onethat I accept. The viewers did seem to enjoy the video and so I can assume that they enjoyed trying to workout what it was all about. One YouTube comment “The visualization of the heart of steel is also a nice touch”may suggest that Charlotte McKenna would have understood the video if it were purely amplificative ordisincentive but enjoyed the illustrative element anyway.The visual elements such as the lights did bridge any misunderstanding or gaps in the narrative as I receivedmany comments in relation to the disco lights in a narrative-related context. However, Vernallis claimed thatthere may be a fragmented narrative with gaps in understanding, which I did intend to conform to given thatmy target audience are quite intelligent. Although Goodwin claims that narrative and performance can berepetitive, I fully accept the notion that the beginning of the video is a little boring and circular incomparison to the rest. Perhaps I may have been to metaphorical in the narrative and overestimated the levelto which I should have incorporated narrative into performance. However, what I would do in the future ishave a full-narrative segment at the beginning of the video which introduces the rest of the video and sets-upthe meaning behind it, rather like Katy Perry’s video for Wide Awake. This could include scenes of domesticnature to show why Rachel wants to leave the relationship but also stay in it.With reference to Stuart Hall’s encoding decoding theory, I’d say that the audience have interpreted the videoby means of negotiated decoding; they agree with the literal “heart of steel” elements but otherwise it isambiguous or unclear what they think. In reality it is therefore difficult to make a firm decision.With regards to the lip-syncing I was actually very surprised to see so many comments noting that the audioand visuals didn’t match up at some points through the video, although very minimally. However, lookingback through the video I can see where they are coming from. However, I do not feel that the shots arenecessarily out of sync as such, just more a case of poor miming from Rachel at certain points, for examplethe the beginning of the video. As such, I now, to greater extent than before, realise the importance of re-filming each shot more than once to ensure a very confident and passionate performance from the actor withperfect lip-syncing all the way through. The majority of the lip-syncing throughout the video was finehowever as was the actor’s performance which was very well received. This has reiterated to me theimportance of considering the performer carefully in any production - somebody who is confident in all thatthey do in relation to that area. This helped to portray a strong character who executed the miming withconviction, enabling me to edit it accurately for 99% or so of the video. The dancing was certainly quirkyand this is definitely something that worked well; I received a lot of comments about how fun it was, provingthat audiences indeed like things which are different and not conventional in the usual sense of pop musicvideos. These comments did stress, though, the importance of extensive genre research as to know how to
  • 2. deviate from the norm. However including the dancing did ensure that the video fit into the pop genre.Rachel herself stated that she would have made it look like she was more trapped in the studio shots; what Ihave learnt from this is the importance of being clear when giving instructions as a director. Nevertheless, Iam still happy with the studio shots.Overall I think the use of camera in the video has been really successful, the vast majority of commentsbeing positive. Respondents noted that there were a wide variety of shots used as well as frequent movementwith the camera never being in the same position. This was important to keep audiences interested given therepetitive nature of the song. From this I have learnt that my use of camera is sufficiently creative to pleasethe audience - I have therefore achieved my aims.One comment stated there were too many similar shots used throughout the video. I would disagree with this,quoting Goodwin who claimed that music videos are repetitive. But on the other hand one YouTube statisticthat I can access shows that people’s average retention when watching the video is quite low, averageviewing time being 1:16 from around 4:30. I don’t think I would change the shots as such, but perhaps thenarrative it too repetitive.There were a few comments relating to the wobbly nature of some of shots. Throughout the editing process Itried to select the best possible clips to ensure that unstabilized shots were not included although I do agreethat some featured in the video. As such, this shot was changed from this.... to this, although it was inspiredby the Kylie Minogue Timebomb video which uses handheld style footage deliberately. The shots at thebeginning could definitely be improved though. This was my first time filming somebody walking in thisway before and I could certainly do with more practice to keep a steady hand. I used the tripod over myshoulders to achieve these shots and perhaps if I had financial backing I could use a track.I was pleased that the framing of the shots was mentioned; my attention to detail and reshooting things fromvarious different angles and positions has definitely paid off in giving a cohesive composition throughout thevideo.Overall the editing was the thing most positively commented about, especially in the written feedback fromthe peer assessment sheets and on YouTube. At the view of many people it is the strongest element of thevideo and I am really pleased about that. Most commented on how well I’d thought about the thought beatsin the video, with reference to Goodwin, which perfectly complemented the speed of the song. Perhaps thisis because I used them consistently throughout with frequent cuts to the lyrics also, varying the techniques toimmerse viewers with the sound of the music. My audience really enjoyed that technique and clearly manyhours of painstakingly slicing clips up to the beat of the music paid off.Respondents also really liked the “strobe light” element, or the 90s rave as I term it, saying that this reallycomplemented the instrumental of the song and is quite unusual and furthermore the fact that people said Ihave been created has meant that I have successfully met my aim in being unique and unconventional tosome extent.People including Rachel really liked how I flashed between and juxtaposed different segments, meaning thatalthough they didn’t understand the narrative, the use of cuts and the visuals kept them interested, as is thecase with the sped up footage and where I experimented with opacity, both of which were thought to beunique from other videos.I was pleased to see comments noting how well-thought out the editing must have been which alludes to thefact that they think the product is quite professional. It has also embedded how essential the planning stage isto do this - storyboarding, shot lists, and also professional software such as Final Cut in which I can edit veryprecisely.It’s apparent that those who watched the video were reasonably pleased with the mise-en-scene, noting thelocations are what they’d expect in a Robyn video, complementing the lyrics and narrative. One personthought it was refreshing to see a video filmed outside, suggesting that I’ve again gone against convention,
  • 3. one of my aims. However the costumes could be improved according to some - a comment I agree with. Ifeel this was because I was pushed for time when we negotiating them with the actor and had we had moretime, or I’d been better organised I could have been more elaborative. BUT I disagree with the idea of beingmore colourful to fit with the genre as I was trying to against genre conventions.At a visual level people really enjoyed the studio shots with the lights wrapped around the actress, whetherthey understand the narrative is another matter. People love creativity and I will need to draw upon this inany future productions.Overall I feel that the video, judged by the audience feedback, has been very successful. Let’s see what myvox pop respondents’ favourite parts were.Now onto the digipak and advert...The digipak and advert do seem to have been successful on most levels. Respondents thought that they wereboth visually interesting with strong images and effects that complemented the moody tones of the video,including the colours, giving quite a quirky feel that fits in well with the pop genre. Generally, they wereboth thought to link together well under a single promo package.They were also considered very bright and eye-catching, meaning that it would stand out and attract peopleto it, the very aim of both products. They were conventional in their layout, meaning that they could actuallybe used in industry, and one person in particular really liked where the album title had been placed on thedisk, proving that my idea to replicate a magazine cover layout had been successful in drawing the eye in.The fact that someone else pointed out where the artist title has been placed furthermore suggests that I havebeen successful in promoting Rachel as a new star image, which is helped by the huge image of her.Although none of the respondents picked up on main connection between the song and the video, all wereable to draw their own link, for example the album title linking to the song title and Rachel appearing strongin all the products. This means td up on the main meaning behind both ancillary texts, they were able to drawcomparisons, hat I have created a product which is ambiguous to some extent; it would hopefully appeal to awider audience as people could draw their own meanings to it and then investigate these ideas further bybuying the album, or watching the video.The majority of peer feedback sheets gave criticism of the text on the advert, but liked the use of the crackedbrushes. The main issues were in relation to the artist’s name being blue, whereas it is white on the albumcover, and the purple/pink album title being hard to read. As such, I amended the advert from this, to this,toning down on the use of the cracked brushes underneath the pink text to make it more readable. In order toturn the artist’s name white, I increased the use of the cracked brush on the layer below ensuring that itwould still stand out. And thus, the two texts better complement each other and together, with the video,would work well in promoting the video itself and the album.I have to disagree with the criticism by one respondent that the cracked brushes might attract the wrongaudience because it’s too urban. The urban nature of the adverts matches the urban location in the video and Ifurthermore didn’t want to portray Rachel is a stereotypical female role with girly patterns because I wantedto against conventions and give fans of pop music something refreshing. They’ll still know it’s pop throughthe use of colours and the Harabara font.From this I have learnt the importance of audience feedback as to adjust my work according to their interests,after all it is them who would consume the media. Drafting is essential.