G324 Shane Dobbing Media EvaluationPresentation Transcript
Media Evaluation A2 By Shane Dobbing
Q1) . In what ways does your product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products
When I began my research for creating a music video I started by looking at existing music videos in the same genre as the song that I had chosen. I did this to get a clear understanding of some of the conventions that the videos use so that I could create my own video based around them. I viewed Oasis, The Importance of Being Idle, Blur Coffee and TV and The Strokes Reptilia. I looked at how the music videos are either based on a narrative, such as coffee and TV is, or is simply displaying the band performing the song such as in Reptilia. After gaining an understanding of this I gathered a focus group to watch the videos and for them to comment on the conventions of the videos, such as the music connecting with the images being shown, so that I could gain a wider understanding by hearing the opinions of others and from there developing an idea of my own.
From the videos I researched I decided that I would use a mix of a narrative and also showing the band performing as well. I also took the idea of connecting the image being shown to the beat of the song. This was done effectively in The Importance of Being Idle particularly. Another convention which I noticed when watching music channels was that the song title and band name always appears at the start and at the end of the video, most often in the bottom left hand of the screen. Another convention that I decided I would input into my own video was having moments in the video in which the music interacts with the video. For example in the first shot when the music comes in, the shot follows the main character running up stairs and then slamming a door. In time with the door shutting, a loud, clear guitar chord is struck. This signifies that something is about to happen or that it is building towards something. I used all of these conventions so that my video displayed something which would be recognisable to an audience who watch videos of the same genre.
When researching for my web page I initially decided to look at pages which were of bands in the same genre of the song which I used for my video. The websites I analysed were The Strokes, Blur, Oasis and The Hives. I in particular chose the Hives site simply because it was their song I was using, so if I was to follow some of the conventions shown on their website, then I would be guiding my product in the right direction. There were a number of conventions that these web pages shared, and from these conventions there was a number of conventions which I found would fit my web page.
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The first convention which I found would be vital to my page was a clear logo of the band name at the head of the page. This was used in three of the four which I had researched. The page which didn’t include this was the Blur page and it was set out very differently to the others in other aspects also. I decided to put my Logo at the head of the page as it makes it clear to the audience what the pages contents will be based on. Another convention which I found among the pages that I researched was that more than one of them displayed tour dates for the band. This is something which is vital to a web page for a band or musical artist because it is often something which fans will look on the website to find out. Another convention which I took from the web pages which I analysed was that they often have links to websites, or a store on the same website which sells their music. From this I included a link to the itunes store and also a section on my page which shows other albums by the band The Hives, whose song I have used in my video. One thing which I thought was effective on the Oasis page was the bar across the top of a crowd. I liked the idea of having an image across the top like this, however I wouldn’t be able to use an image of a crowd because it would take too much organising at with limited time would be difficult. On the Blur page there is a large picture of the band sat down. I thought that something similar to this would be more realistic to achieve and so I took some pictures of the band featured in the video and edited it into the top bar of my page. I think this is effective because it gives a clear indication to the viewer what the band look like.
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When researching for my digi-pack I decided to look at album covers from artists which play music of the same or similar genres. I divided it up so that I would research the front and back of albums. The front covers didn’t often follow the same structures; some of them had very odd images which, from the untrained eye, had no relevance to the band title or song title, for example the cover to Primal Screams album Screamadelica. However some did, for example The Ramones anthology displayed an image of the band stood against a blank wall with the title of the album and the band name also on the front cover. Lots of other albums use a similar approach, for example The Kaiser Chiefs yours truly angry mob used the same idea, however the whole body of each band member was not shown, and only the heads of each member. I thought this method was effective as it clearly shows the bands name and also the album title. It also shows the band members. I decided to take some pictures of the band featured in my video against a blank background and from these images I could then later apply a band logo and a single title.
When researching the backs of albums I did find some conventions which they followed. I found that they all had to display a bar code, the record label and other vital things such as who had produced it. Something which they all followed was to display a list of the tracks on the CD. This was something which I also found I would definitely put on to my digi pack. One other thing which I found was often used was a continuation of a theme. For example the back of the Screamadelica album continues the red background which is shown on the front cover. From this I decided to use the same image I had used on the front as a background for the track listings. Continues on next slide
Title of music video a. Where is it positioned? – From analysing existing music videos, such as Blurs Coffee and TV and from watching music channels, I found that at the start of every music video and right at the end that text would appear saying the song title, the artist and the album the single was from. This was more often than not positioned in the bottom left of the screen. To make my video look as professional as possible I added this information during the editing stage. b. What colours/font style have you used and why? - One of the editing options on the software adobe premier for the title was called ‘music video’ which positioned the text in the bottom left hand corner. Because the text was refined to one corner I chose a clear font so that the text was clear to read.
Setting and location a. What/why did you choose your setting/location.? – For my locations I chose my house and also the loft conversion at my friend, Mat Sayers house. I chose my house simply because it was easy to access and also I wanted to display a home environment. I chose Mats loft conversion because it was a large, indoor space which I could also get access to and also had good positions to take shots from when filming. The loft conversion, when filled with people, also gave a good atmosphere which created the image I was looking for. b. What types of shots helped you portray the S/L in line with the conventions for this genre? – In the loft conversion in particular was where I managed to create shots which connect with the genre I am aiming for. Particular shots of the band playing and the crowd looking to be having a good time, create a good image for the song and links with the genre as many music videos from this genre focus on the band playing the song, for example the video for the Strokes song Reptilia. I also created almost a rock and roll lifestyle image through the main character by having a shot of him drinking alcohol and also jumping around without a care in the world at the gig in the last shots. This is something also which has connotations with the rock and indie genre. Continues on next slide
c. What kind of atmosphere did you aim to create? – In my music video I wanted to create three different atmospheres. The first was to create a very conflicting atmosphere in which the main character is bored and his friend is enjoying himself. I created this firstly by writing the script so that the main character shows his annoyance towards his friend in this scene. Another thing which I used to create this atmosphere was to use an effect on the scene during editing. This effect was called ‘old film’ and it gave the video a look which wasn’t quite black and white but gave a faded, washed look which older films have. I used this to connect with the boredom of the main character and also because they are playing cards which is considered a very old, simple game. I also used it so that there was a clear contrast from the first scenes where the main character was bored and later on when the shots are in colour and the character is shown to be enjoying himself. The second atmosphere which I aimed to create was that of excitement building. During the scenes following the one which uses the old film the music begins. From this part I wanted to create the atmosphere of excitement building. I did this by connecting the image being shown on the screen to the music. For example during the editing I worked the two together so that in the first shot, when the music begins, that a shot of the main character slamming a door timed perfectly with a section of music where a clear, definitive chord is struck. This emphasises the door slamming and lets the viewer know that something is about to happen. The third atmosphere which I aimed to create was in the last scene at the gig. I wanted to create an atmosphere which showed excitement and also enjoyment from the people at the gig, and that through their movement and the shots, this would be reflected on to the audience. I did this by having the audience look as entertained and excited as possible when filming. I also shot the scene from more than one angle which would show the audience doing so. For example one first person shot which was right in the middle of the crowd gave a close up of the crowd’s reaction. d. Did you take any photos of locations prior to filming to help you make a good decision? – I did not take any photos of the locations prior to filming my video. I did visit the two locations, however taking photos of them would have shown more working and if I was to do it again I would have taken pictures.
Costumes and Props a. What props and costumes you used and why - When filming my video I used a number of props and costumes. The first was a pack of playing cards. This was to make the point that the two characters are playing with something very simple and therefore it is understandable to an audience that the main character is annoyed when he is stuck playing cards with his friend in the first scene. In this scene I also made sure the two characters were in very dull clothing, black and white. This was to push the idea even more of how boring it is supposed to be as things which are black and white, such as The next notable things are the costumes which the main character tries on in the second scene. I used these to show the main characters individuality. I wanted to show this because I believe that the lyrics in the song are about being a rebel and being different so I wanted to visualise this in the video also. The only other notable prop was the mobile phone. This was simply used to help aid the plot line and help the audience understand that the main character is travelling to the gig. b. Did you achieve continuity? - For the most part I believe I did achieve in showing continuity throughout my video. For example I kept the main character in the right costumes during the length of the music video. However there were some places which I feel that could show some discontinuation. For example in one of the early scenes where the main character picks up a bottle of beer and begins to drink it. In the first shot, which is a close up of his hand grasping the bottle, the bottle has nothing surrounding it. However in the following shot which is a close up of him drinking it there is a foam made can around it with the word ‘spinach’ on the side, which connects with the Popeye costume. I should have made sure it was positioned around the bottle in the first shot. However I didn’t notice this until I was editing and by this time it was too late for me to film any more. If I was to do this again I would check these fine details and plan so that these continuity errors wouldn’t happen.
c. Do films in your genre rely on costumes and props to separate characters and convey journeys? – Other music videos of the same genre don’t always follow a narrative and are more focused on a bands performance. This means that the main focus is the bands performance rather than what they are wearing.
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Camera work and editing My first shot is of a clock. This is to show what time in that day it is and then leads the audience to understand more why the main character wants to get out of the house. In my first scene I used mid-shots of the two characters sat at a table. They were at a slight high angle looking up characters. In the next scene there are lots of close ups of the main character getting ready, for example of his face when he’s drinking the bottle of beer. I also used some mid-shots of the character when he is trying on the fancy dress; this was to focus on the montage of costume. Following this scene I used a lot of first person shots to show the main character travelling to the gig. The first first-person shot I used, I made sure the characters hand holding the bottle was visible so that the audience could make the connection between it and the previous scene. T establish that the character was travelling somewhere I used a first person shot in which he walks out of his house and gets into a taxi. Through the first person shot I made sure that the camera looked at the lettering on the side of the car reading “TAXI” to help establish to the audience why the character is getting into a car. Another first person shot which was effective was the shot I used when the character is in the taxi on his way to the gig. To establish that he was travelling in the car I first looked out at the road. I then looked down at the phone which was supposed to show a text that main character had sent to a friend at the gig who is shown later on at the gig. These shots were all to help continue the narrative, which idea I took from the Blur music video for Coffee & TV which is very much a music video which is based around a narrative. In the gig scene I used lots of mid shots of the band performing. I did this with part of the crowd often almost blocking my view to give it a more natural look of a gig. I also used an over the shoulder shot from behind the bass player to have a shot close to the band and also in the background a shot of the main character dancing with the rest of the crowd. When editing there was some effects which I applied to help carry the narrative further. In the second scene where the main character is running up the stair case I added a peel-away type transition to show that the character is breaking away from his boredom and his dull friend. Another transition I used for the same reason was in between the main character getting in the taxi, and the following shot of him in the taxi. I found a transition which wiped a road sign across the screen which adds more to the point I was trying to make that the character is travelling somewhere. I believe that my video does portray a particular social group through its mis-en-scene. In the last scene, the dark lighting and the small room with lots of people in it jumping around as if not a care in the world does reflect almost a rebel-like teenage image. This is also reflected through the type of music and the energetic band in the video. Another part which represents the social group is the first person shot of where the main character enters the gig venue. There is a group of people outside smoking. This again links with the teenage, rock-and-roll image created in the scene because smoking is sometimes seen as a quite a rock-and-roll thing to do. For example at the very end of the Strokes music video for the song Reptilia the lead singer blows smoke at the camera.
Q2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?
The first thing which was vital in keeping a link between my tasks was to keep the same band name throughout. Another thing which had to keep the same was to use the same group of people to pose as the band. Otherwise it would have been noticeable. I used the same picture from the front of my digi-pack and on my web page. This showed a good link between the two products. I have also used a screen shot from my video in the inside of my digi-pack to make a clear conection between the music video and the digi-pack for it. I also used the same font on both my digi-pack and my website to keep continuity. On these two products I also used the same logo. I felt that it was vital that I created a logo because other products and bands had done the same. For example Oasis use the same logo on their website to the one that appears on their CD’s.
Q3) What have you learned from your audience feedback?
One piece of feedback which helped me with my tasks was getting them to look at my digi-pack ideas. They felt that using a tank on the front wasn’t really necessary and that a picture of the band would look better.
Target audience – after doing my focus group in my research I felt that my audience would be that of teenagers and 20-30’s. This was the sort of age which most buys music in the same genre. This would mean that the same age would be the target audience. Also the people featured in my video are of the age around 18 which would make it more appealing to the audience.
The type of audience which, through my products, I would aim to attract would be those who are interested in indie and rock music.
The aim of my video was to show that the character has a good time at a live gig. The only thing which I would like to get across to the audience is that this is a way of enjoying yourself. Also that the main character is quite individual, and that it is ok to be like that. His individuality is shown through his costume and that he wants to leave his dull frined at the start. Another point is that he get a lot of odd looks off people when entering the gig. However once he is in he is shown to be having a good time with his friend there.
The audience feedback of my video led to changes in the editing. They pointed out some parts where there was a shadow of myself in one of the shots and also another part where the light on the camera came on during a shot because it is in a dark room. However because of time restraints I didn’t have time to change them.
I don’t believe there would be a strong stereotype which would watch my video, although it would be my target audience. People between 15-30 would be my target audience and people interested in indie and rock music. Fans of this song would also be interested in the music which I researched, for example Oasis, the Strokes and Blur. The people who have watched it and also those who like the song I used would fit the stereotype of indie and rock music fans. The people who would be most interested would be similar to those pictured in the gig scene because they are young and interested in that genre of music.
Technologies used to complete coursework
Software – the first editing software we used was Pinnacle 14. From this I learnt some basic editing skills, however it was troublesome and would often not work. Because of this, when it came to editing my final video we switched to Adobe Elements.
Google – took original ideas from google and it also helped when researching for examples of music from the same genre and also getting music videos from you tube.
DVD shrink – this helped me cut down my video after finishing and taking screen shots which I used on my digi-pack.
Sav2PC – this was used to download music video examples from you tube so that I could put them on my blog for research.
Itunes – I used itunes to download music for my research and also to download the song which I used for my video.
WINFF – I used this to convert files so that they could be uploaded to my blog. Because the blog (wordpress) would only support certain formats of video we had to convert it from WMV to FLV.
The word press blog was a good piece of technology because it made it easy to copy work done in Microsoft word documents onto the blog. It was also easy to create sections so that I could place put my work up on the blog in detailed order.
Face book – I used this to organise friends to help act in my video and also to get feedback for my products.