Evaluation Norah Lane – One of the Boys By Lucy Caden
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The music video that we created uses forms and conventions of real Tween pop music videos; although I believe that some scenes also developed the conventions.
Our video is aimed at young girls who enjoy Tween pop music. We created a typical Tween pop artist called Norah Lane and built her personality to be similar to young stars like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.
When looking at similar music videos I found that there were two styles of music video that I could use, one was a music video with a story line and the other was of the artist and others from their potential target audience singing into the camera. However, when I conducted a focus group to see what their potential audience think they seemed to prefer Taylor Swift’s video ‘you belong with me’ because they loved that there was a storyline and seeing the artist playing ‘the geek‘.
This is because they see the artist as a role model and love that they can relate to her. Following this we decided to look at how we can follow the conventions of Tween pop music videos with a storyline.
We chose the song ‘one of the boys’ because like in you belong with me it is easy to create a story behind the song. It was set around personal places like the school and her bedroom. Norah Lane is represented as a social outcast playing a ‘tomboy’ who takes no interest in her appearance.
It was hard for us to follow the conventions when Tween Pop videos are usually set in and around America high Schools, so we had to make a compromise. Rather than using sports like American Football and having ‘bleachers’ we had Norah wearing a gym kit and playing soccer, which is also a very popular sport for girls in America.
Instead of having the ‘popular’ girls as cheerleaders we just had them looking a lot more girly than Norah to start then as Norah made the transformation they were made to look slightly less made up. However the biggest problem we had when trying to stick to the conventions was around our school as we have little facilities to make it look realistic. Therefore the best thing that we could do was to use the modern areas of the school as American Schools are often newly built and look very airy .
As other tween pop videos do we had the typical story where the artist loves this boy but he just sees her as a friend because he’s always liked the ‘popular’ girl, which again is something that young girls can relate to. So to show this like taylor swift does she lip syncs throughout parts of the video so the audience can see that nobody notices her.
In conjunction with the conventions Norah starts off as a tomboy playing football with her love interest, dressing scruffy and making no effort, we then go through the transformation by seeing her changing her room, experimenting with make-up and trying on different clothes. She then turns up to school in a skirt with make up on and her hair looking pretty to see the ‘popular girls’ and her other class mates looking shocked and finally winning over the man of her dreams leaving the ‘popular’ girl looking star struck.
When following conventions of the camera shots used in Tween pop videos we found that we should begin our film with an establishing shot of the school to set the scene for our audience.
The most common camera shots used was the mid-shot or the extended mid-shot, so we made sure that we used them more frequently as it shows relationships between all of the characters.
Another important shot that we used is the close up to show the audience expressions on the artist and characters faces; this is particularly effective when the audience sees Norah’s final transformation.
Other shots included the Over the shoulder shots to see reactions during conversations and long shots so that the audience could see the full picture. We used a lot of fading into and out of scenes as that it was important that our video flowed well.
In each of the videos the cutting rate start is quite fast paced, so to start we have made sure that we have a fairly fast paced cutting rate.
However, the cutting rate slows down when Norah enters the room and the audience sees her for the first time after the transformation.
Like Taylor Swift’s video we filmed mainly in natural light in the day time around our school. At the end of her video she uses a blue low key lighting, so similarly at the end when she gets the boy that she wants we use lower key lighting.
The way in which I believe that we are developing the conventions of Tween pop music videos is that we have used a combination of both a storyline and the artist singing directly into the camera acting as herself. We added clips of the Norah lip syncing in a setting that we created especially.
It was important that we used an emotionless plain black backdrop for our set, we then had the artist sitting on a block of steps with coloured sheets to brighten the set up a bit more.
We used high key lighting to focus on the artist so that she stands out from the dull setting.
As Miley Cyrus does Norah Lane acts as herself, the artist in this part of the video. I found that this part is the most influential in the video as young fans will look to the artist to see what she is wearing and how she is behaving. Therefore it was important that our artist was wearing up to date clothing.
Norah Lane’s website
When creating my webpage I decided to follow the forms and conventions of Tween pop artist web pages, combining the features that they’ve used. An important convention is that the webpage is mainly there to advertise Norah Lane and her music making her seem like a brand. Due to this Norah Lane’s homepage promotes her album, her twitter and facebook site to gather a wider fan base.
Like all of the Tween pop artists Norah has a media player for the fans to listen to a sample of her latest single to encourage the fans to purchase it. As well as having a media player there are hyperlinks to other music and videos that Norah has previously brought out. As well as advertising her music she has a hyperlink to the store which each of the Tween pop artists have where you can buy merchandise exclusively on the website or on tour. There is a tour hyperlink where fans can see dates of when and where Norah is playing to promote her new album.
However, both Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift have exclusive sites that fans can become a member to find out exclusive information. Alike them I have created a hyperlink called NorahStyle, this would be a link to Norah’s exclusive social networking site where fans have their own profile and chat to other fans.
On here Norah would have her own profile with exclusive information about herself and sometime go on the chat and talk to fans, this would be highly protected. Without signing up to NorahStyle there are still features on the page where fans can find out information about her.
Like Taylor Swift, Norah has a personal blog called stories where she has told fans what she has done every now and again which follows on to the stories hyperlink. There are also hyperlinks like bio, news, pictures and lyrics that are there for the fans for them to find what they need to know about her. So in this sense the page follows the conventions of artists like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus’ web pages rather than Katy Perry.
I found that each of the artists web pages have an up to date theme, the theme I chose is a nautical theme as it’s what is in fashion this season, using white and blue stripes and red colours.
Each of the web pages that I have analysed uses a mid-shot or an extended mid-shot as a central image. The image that I have used shows the artist to look slightly promiscuous which is similar to Katy Perry. She is wearing a striped t-shirt as it is suitable for the background and a sailor hat to follow the theme. I
have used Norah Lane’s logo as the main title of the web page and like Taylor Swift I have used an alternative font for the hyperlinks as its clearer for the audience.
Norah Lane’s album cover
The typical conventions of a Tween pop CD cover are that the theme that they corresponded with the theme of their website. Following this we used the same nautical theme with the stripy backdrop and an image to match as Norah is wearing exactly the same outfit.
Again we used a mid-shot but decided not to use the promiscuous pose as it wouldn’t be as effective on the CD cover. We then had Norah Lane’s logo in the largest font with the title of the album ‘voyage of a lifetime’, in the same font but slightly smaller.
On the back like all CD’s do we have the playlist this is in the same font as Norah Lane’s logo and song title. The playlist is in red and right aligned to stand out from the backdrop but still to follow the theme. Like all of the albums we looked at, the back of our CD follows the theme but has a different background. We decided to use a plain black and white picture of a beach to fit the nautical theme making it seem more girly which also matching her image.
Like every other album we have a barcode for shop use.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
I feel that the combination of my music video and my ancillary texts are extremely effective for a Tween pop artist.
The music video is used to raise awareness of the artist and for the fans to listen to the song and see whether they like it or not at first.
As well as raising awareness and interest in the song it boosts sales for Norah Lane.
However, with the audience that we have targeted they are likely to watch Norah’s music video and listen to the song even if they don’t particularly like it. This is because they would see Norah Lane as a role model and will look to her for the latest trends or to mimic her behaviour.
Our target audience are also those who are more likely to watch the music video channels, so the combination of our music video with our ancillary texts is vital to Norah’s sales and representation.
Therefore if our target audience love the song and the artist they will be interested in buying her album.
It is important that the picture we use and the theme we have for the album reinforce Norah’s image and keeping her fans interested.
Having the album and the music video together to target young girls is important as music is something they will want to spend their money on or have albums as a birthday present.
Also if they listen to Norah Lane’s album or watch the music channels with their friends others will become interested in Norah, as it will be used to socialize to them.
However, a problem with this age group is that they know how to and are more likely to download their music illegally.
This is why it is important to make the album and song titles look more advertising to this target audience.
It is also important that we have the website so that the artist can advertise the album personally to fans so that they are more likely to purchase it.
If our target audience were to watch Norah’s video for the first time and enjoy her music, it is good that they are able to look her up on the internet and read about Norah on her website.
By using the website they are able to watch other music videos and listen to songs by Norah Lane which is helping to raise awareness of Norah and build her fan base.
If the girls enjoy Norah’s music they are able to go onto the website to buy her merchandise and concert tickets, which will particularly interest the young girls as she is seen as a role model. This again is boosting sales for Norah.
Norah also has NorahStyle for her fans to update them with the most exclusive information and giving them a personal service. With this she is able to encourage her fans into watching her new videos and buying her lastest albums.
So with the combination of her video, album and webpage she is able to boost her sales and build her fanbase.
All things considered, the combination of our media product is extremely effective as we have targeted a very media literate audience. They watch the most television, use social networking sites, and buy music more than any other target audience. They depend on these sources to follow the artist that they look to for trends and generally as an icon.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Without our audience feedback we may not have been able to follow the conventions of tween pop music videos correctly.
Throughout the process of completing our music video and ancillary texts we have looked to girls from our potential target audience to see what changes to make and what we can include.
Before creating our music videos we created a questionnaire asking our potential audience what they would like to see in a music video.
Generally the results pointed towards a love story using an iconic female tween pop star. They liked things like a fast paced cutting rate and a love interest that all of her fans could like.
So following this, before choosing a love interest for our music video gave a group of girls images of four possible love interests. They then chose Kurt as they prefer boys with dark hair.
When I got a focus group together to see why they were interested in a tween pop video with a love story they said that it was more interesting for them to watch.
The other thing that the audience like is that they get to see a somebody they see as an icon act as an average person.
Other things the girls looked for in their music video is which tween pop star they preferred. One of the girls said that they only prefer Miley Cyrus’ music video to Taylor Swift’s ‘you belong with me’ because they like Miley Cyrus better.
This shows that we based a lot of our final product around what our potential target audience want to see.
To get an idea of what people would like to see on my webpage I produced a questionnaire.
This helped me to select fonts and images to go onto my website and to see which Tween pop artists websites I should follow.
Also when it came to designing my website my audience instructed me to change my first design as it was too plain and didn’t seem to have a clear theme.
When creating our album cover we looked to our audience to see which album covers they preferred out of the tween pop albums currently on the market.
They particularly liked Katy Perry’s album cover as it had a theme to suit the album title..
Due to this we decided to use the same theme for our website and album cover.
In the stages of editing our music video and putting it together we asked a group of girls from our potential target audience for some advice on what looks best.
We had a clip which the girls thought that it made the video seem cheesy. This was where we had Norah dreaming about her love interest asking him to marry her.
This meant that we was forced to delete this as they didn’t think followed the conventions.
Once we completed Norah Lane’s music video, webpage and album cover I created a questionnaire for 25 girls within our target audience to get an overview of what people thought.
After watching our music video the majority of people really liked it and thought it looked realistic in comparison to other tween pop music videos.
However some people believed that it wasn’t as professional and thought that Norah’s transformation from a ‘tomboy’ to looking more feminine didn’t look as good compared to the transformation in Taylor Swift’s ‘you belong with me’
In my questionnaire only 13 our of the 25 people that I asked said that I needed to make improvements. So if I was to improve my music video some suggestions are
To make a bigger difference in Norah’s transformation.
Using a different love interest for Norah
Making the video seem more Americanised.
Overall, people were very enthusiastic about my webpage. They liked the theme that we used and the features that were available, especially the idea of NorahStyle.
Most people agreed that the webpage looks very realistic.
However they didn’t think that the image we used was suitable for the specific target audience. They thought that it was slightly promiscuous, however, this was because we were following conventions on Katy Perry’s homepage here. The only other problem was that
Therefore the only improvements that were suggested about changes was to change the image to something more suitable for my specific target audience and to make colour of the text a bit clearer in certain areas.
When I asked my potential target audience whether the our album cover compares to those on the market most thought that it did.
They loved that I used the same theme for my album cover as I did for webpage.
18 out of the 25 girls that i asked also said that they would be interested in buying Norah Lane’s album.
The only criticism that the album got was that we wasn’t professional as we didn’t include the small print on the back of the album.
To get an overview of how my audience feel about Norah Lane as an artist I asked two main questions.
- Is Norah Lane a tween pop artist that you would chose to follow?
Looking at Norah Lane’s music video, website and album cover do you think that Norah Lane is well represented through the themes, images, behaviors and personality?
20 out of the 25 girls said that they would chose to follow Norah Lane as an artist as they believe that she sings the genre of music they enjoy the most and looks like a typical tween pop star.
However, the 5 who wouldn’t follow Norah Lane think that she doesn’t compare to other stars out there.
18 out of 25 girls also said that they think that we have represented Norah Lane well through the conventions that we have used.
The only thing that they thought let us down was the slightly promiscuous image we used on the webpage.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
To carry out my research it was vital that I had access to the internet, to look at the conventions of Tween pop music videos. To do this I used YouTube to look for music videos of similar artists.
Without the use of the internet I also wouldn’t have been able to look at the websites of other Tween pop artists to get some ideas for my own and to follow the conventions correctly.
The internet also helped me to research into my audience to see what they are interested in and where they listen to their music.
With the internet I was also able to look into record companies, video producers, webpage designers and album cover designers to expand my background knowledge.
So without the use of technologies like the internet and YouTube, I wouldn’t have known how to go about creating my music video.
When planning my music video with the use of new technologies I was able to plan accurately.
I could use windows media player so that I could match the scenes up to the music making it easier for when I came to producing the video.
I could take a range of images to plan ahead which would be the best to use for our webpage and album cover.
We could also draw up both our storyboard and technical storyboard so that we knew what we was doing before hand.
By also having editing and software to create our websites and album covers before hand we could get used
to it so that we found it simple to use when
we created out final pieces.
Construction - website and album cover.
To create my website I used Adobe Illustrator.
On here I was able to import and manipulate imagery to suit my website and theme.
I could also manipulate text by adding affects, changing the colour to suit the theme and rearranging it to work well on the page.
There is a range of colours on the colour picker and was able to learn how to create the colour that I needed.
After I created the webpage through Adobe Illustrator I was able to import the video website to Microsoft front page to make it a live.
On Microsoft page the website is given a web address and fans could flick onto the page for updates.
I found this a very straight forward way to create a website.
As I did for my website we created the album cover in Adobe Illustrator.
Again we was able to import and manipulate imagery to be used on the album cover, to continue the theme of the website.
We could manipulate text so that it was the same used on the website, using Norah Lane’s logo and themes.
Construction – music video
To film our music video we were lucky enough to have access to Sony HD video cameras, to get steady, accurate filming I learned how to adjust the tripod efficiently.
We arranged lighting both artificially and naturally to get the right shot that we needed.
After filming we were able import our filming to Adobe premier pro to edit our video.
On here we were able to cut the film so that we were left with the clips that we needed.
We manipulated the audio by removing the original sound and replacing it with ‘one of the boys’
As we had cut the video we could accurately match it to the lip syncing to the song.
To make the video seem more professional we also were able to add effects and transitions to the cutting rate. In some sections we also slowed the pace down so that the scene was more effective.
After completing my music video and saving it to a disk and USB I can watch it on all types of software for example windows media player.
Whilst evaluating my work I have used Microsoft excel frequently when analysing the results from my questionnaire. I have been able to create graphs which are easier and more interesting for people to look at.
Through the use of media technologies i am also able to create this powerpoint so that my evaluation looks more presentable.
During the process of creating my media products I have been uploading my work onto a blog, explaining what i have done and how i have done it.
On the blog I am also able to upload a lot of my work onto slideshare.net so that people can see my planning and evaluation as i have done it.