Media Studies Evaluation: Question 1


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A2 Level Media Studies Evaluation, Question 1

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Media Studies Evaluation: Question 1

  1. 1. A2 MEDIASTUDIES Michelle Jackson
  2. 2. does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media• The genre that we chose for our music video was Indie Rock. The originalproducts? by Smith video to „Weekend‟ Westerns features a lot of footage which makes the band appear carefree, youthful and extremely rebellious – something that is a convention of the Indie genre to „stand out‟ and be different by simply being themselves.• The video features a lot of scenes which appear very unforced and natural to teens and young people, such as shopping, smoking and having a good time. In addition, this video features other scenes that would be considered to some as very “daring” – such as carrying an axe in public and cutting down trees (illegally).
  3. 3. MISE-EN-SCENEMise-en-scene is extremely important in terms of understanding theconventions of the genre by analysing areas such as costume, settingand composition.These two images, the first being the Smith Westerns and the secondbeing our actors, are similar in that they both make use of the outdoors –the Smith Westerns and Indie bands in general are very easy-going andprefer to be out in the open, which is shown in the image. However, forour own photos we also included man-made objects for an edgy feelwhich challenged the genre slightly but overall enhanced the SmithWesterns‟ rebellious personality. In terms of composition these shotsboth have a hierarchical structure in that the lead member is placed moretowards the front of the frame, meaning the audiences‟ eye is drawn tothem first.
  4. 4. 2. 3. 1. COSTUME We choose the actors that we used in our music video for „Weekend‟ carefully so they could closely resemble the Smith Westerns band members. We researched thoroughly into the clothing of Indie Rock bands beforehand 1. 2. so we could interpret this 3.The images that we convention into our musicused for the „Smith video.Westerns + Friends‟digipak support thecodes andconventions that areassociated with IndieRock music. This
  5. 5. The costumes our actors wore within both the digipak COSTUimages and the music video included typical „Indie‟ styleclothing, which contained no overly-bright colours and a MEconventional laid-back design. Our digipak image particularly reflects that of conventional Indie Rock CD covers by following the dress code of parka coats, denim jackets, checked shirts and dark clothing, topped off with casual jeans. These all lend themselves to the „Alternative‟ style of clothing – often fans of thesymbolRock Indie of genre recreate this relaxed this as it is look genre incredibly recognisable. which Converse shoes are also a connote youth as these shoes attract a younger
  6. 6. As well as dressing our actors inclothing which fit well with the COSTUconventions of the Indie Rockvideos we researched, such as MElaid-back jeans to connoteadolescence and combat jacketsto insert a sense ofdanger/mischief, we also styledour actors according to ourarchetypal fan profile that wecreated during our research. Thisis because The costumes that fans of the genre the band areoften style themselves after theiridols. wearing are used to establish character by signifying that „stamp‟ that is easily own unique style and recognisable – they have their this also means that the costumes are used for the audience to determine the genre of the music video. Character establishment needs to happen within the first few seconds of the music video because songs often last 3-4 minutes on average and the audience want to have a fixed genre in mind. Also, the costumes
  7. 7. In terms of the setting for our music video, we chose SETTINareas in which we felt would be most suited for theaudience of the Indie genre. In this case, our two Gmain locations were: in a busy city centre and in arecording studio.•We chose the city centre as our main filminglocation because it ties in well with the youthfulatmosphere that we wanted to create in the video.City centres are often popular choices for youngpeople to hang out, shop and chill out with theirfriends, meaning this was a perfect choice as it gavea more authentic feel. We chose specific side streetsso that the amount of bystanders wouldn‟toverwhelm our three band members that audiencewould want to focus on the most. However, becausethe Indie genre isn‟t as obsessed with body imageas much as other genres (for example: pop andR&B) it wasn‟t a big issue and we created apermission slip for the people included in the videoto sign.
  8. 8. RY In many ways we used several conventions of In the original poster by TEXTS the Indie genre to create the Smith our advert. However, I Westerns, a colour feel that during this scheme of yellows, process we also oranges and reds is developed these existing used to create a conventions and put our simple yet effective own ideas on top, image – one that creating something isn‟t apparent to the unique and which links in audience and to our other ancillary doesn‟t seem to link texts. in directly to the album/artist that it isWe created a similar colour scheme for our own advertising. I‟veposter by incorporating pastel shades such as noticed that Indieorange and light blue . The orange colour bands often use thisconnotes the quirky nature of the Smith ambiguity to hookWesterns as you wouldn‟t normally associate the audience in.male bands with this colour. We also used an„ambiguous‟ image in the middle of the poster to
  9. 9. RYan album TEXTSthat it A main media convention of poster isincludes a release date so that fansknow when the new material isgoing to be available. We made this a priority on ourown poster and made the date of release large so thatit would stand out for the audience. Also, we decidedthat although Indie bands prefer to stick to traditionalmethods of acquiring a song – such as buying singles,albums or records – we instead agreed that we wouldchallenge this convention by including an „iTunes‟ logothat informs the audience that the mixtape will beavailable for digital download. This is because it wouldreach a much larger fan-base because olderestablished methods are now being replaced by the We included the record label on our albumdigital and online industry so that stores which sell poster because this would help to promotealbums such as HMV are fan of Indieof business. Selling the band if a going out music recognisedthe mixtape on iTuneslabel and therefore bought or the record would help to keep the IndieRock genre alive and recognisable. previewed the album. Also, the same thing applies to the reviews from popular Indie
  10. 10. RY TEXTSOur digipak features typical album conventions such asthe band‟s name, the album name, the barcode and thetrack list. When researching the Indie genre we noticedthat many bands‟ albums (such as Wavves) had achildish or „tacky‟ effect that deliberately made thealbums look slightly unfinished and more authentic tothe audience as they were not as perfected andflawless as that of albums from other genres such asPop. This helps the audience identity with the band andbetter understand their carefree personas and sofollowed these conventions and recreated this in our Wavves Album
  11. 11. Certain camera angles were used in CAMERour „Weekend‟ video to portray aparticular mood to the audience. AWORKFor example, close-ups of the guitarsand instruments were used within thelive performance shots to make theaudience feel closer and moreinvolved with the band, as thisproduces a more personal aspect tothe video. This is a convention ofmost music videos so the audiencegather a sense of realism whichhelps them better identify with theartist and make them want to carryon watching.Extreme long shots were also usedto set the scene and help the
  12. 12. A cut from the beginning EDITI Techniques used:scene straight to a liveperformance is made withinthe same second, making it NG cross-cutting, rhythmic editing & fade outsappear very natural andalmost unnoticeable to theaudience‟s eye.We used cross-cutting during our music video because it is popularwithin the Indie genre to insert a live performance in-between thenarrative aspect of the video. We aimed for a seamless edit fromone scene to the live performance shot as it was made to look quiteeffortless and almost natural for the video to switch shots in Yuck‟s“Get Away” which we thought was a nice touch. I think we achievedthis especially towards the beginning of our video when the band
  13. 13. EDITI From researching other Indie Rock music NG videos before created our own, we found that many used we fast-paced „rhythmic‟ editing to convey a sense of excitementMany music videos, including those in the Indie and energy into thegenre, use fade outs at the end of their video to video, especially if thegive a smooth transitional ending which gives song was upbeat with athe audience time to absorb the video‟s very pronounced bass.contents. We took this into consideration when As our own song waswe edited our own video, as the shot of the TV fairly upbeat we tried tostatic at the end slowly fades out to black in recreate this in thetime with the music. This is reminiscent of editing process. WeWe deliberately changed the speed the some of“Bug” by Wavves and indeed of Smith used Final Cut Pro tothe clips original video for theof our„Weekend‟Westerns at the beginning song video by cut the video every 2-4changing the „Rate‟ in Final Cut Pro so that theywhere the video fades to black. seconds in the choruswere slowed down. We felt that this enhanced which is the quickestthe video by having lots of short, slowed down and most upbeat part of
  14. 14. At the very beginning stages of our music LEvideo planning, we had the idea toincludes lots of scenes of our actors MESSAGEdrinking alcohol and smoking. This wasbecause of the research we made into SIndie music videos which showed therebellious, wayward temperament of thebands. However, after carefulconsideration we chose not to includethese scenes in our music video because The Smith Westernsof the impact this could have on a younger „Weekend‟ video includes badteen audience – the Smith Westerns are messages vs. our „Weekend‟aimed at teenagers and young people and video which includes safe recreational activities.this would give out the wrong messageand promote the band as bad role models.We challenged the conventions of thegenre by not including these aspects butfeel this was a good choice because wecould instead focus the video on safer and
  15. 15. ANDREW GOODWINIn Andrew Goodwin‟s book “Dancing in the Distraction Factory”(1992), Goodwin identifies key elements of music videos.These include: Demonstrating genre characteristics in music videos – these could include live performances in rock music videos or dance routines for a girl band. Showing there is a relationship between lyrics and visuals – they could either be illustrative (so the lyrics and the video match exactly), amplifying (where the visuals are often blown out of proportion) or contradictive (where the lyrics and visuals do not match but still relate). Close ups of the artist in regard to the demands of the record label – as well as this, music videos often show the artist developing motifs and a visual style.
  16. 16. THEGoodwin identifies that one of the keyelements of a music video is the frequent NOTION OFnotion of „looking‟. In our Indie video for„Weekend‟ we inserted a clip at the end „LOOKING‟that included a TV screen going static asa way to remind the audience that theyare watching a music video. Thiscelebrates audience engagement andvisual storytelling – it also foregrounds thevideo and once again reminds the Perhapsaudience they are watching a „filmed‟ film. not as noticeable toAlso, due to the non-linear narrative of the some of themusic video (something which is a audience, but the TV at theconvention of the Indie Rock genre) this end is in fact in rewind, ashelps to reinforce the idea of rebellion and though to suggest rewindingyouth as many other classic music videos our lives back to when weuse a traditional narrative structure, but were children becausehere we „break the rules‟ to fit in with the everything was simpler andIndie style. The meaning behind this is much more exciting. This links into the youthful
  17. 17. GENRE In relation to Andrew Goodwin‟s identification ofAs you can see, a genre characteristic of Indie Rock the keymusic is that the music videos feature a live bandperformance. This is a convention of the genre and we elements of aincluded similar shots in our own music video that music video,closely resembled that of „Weekend‟ by Smith Westerns we includedand „Get Away‟ by Yuck (which were included in our manyresearch). This close-up shot in the second image from conventions ofour own music video gives the audience a feeling ofbeing closer to the band as it is more personal and gives both the genremore of an impression that they arein terms of Also, actually seeing and music band hierarchy, thethem live at a concert – something which the young videos as a lead member isaudience these Indie Rock bands are aimed at would whole within always placed thewish to strive for. furthest towards our own music the camera, video.
  18. 18. We chose a more thematic approach to filming in that CONVEwe didn‟t specifically match the video to the lyrics,although the video was inspired by them. Instead we NTIONtook the meaning and connotations behind the songitself and redesigned them into something which the Saudience of the genre would find appealing. We felt thatthe meaning behind the song was enjoying spendingtime with friends and loved ones and having fun in theprocess. This was evidenced by the lyrics “Weekendsare never fun unless you‟re around here too”. This wasthe basis for our music video, and having researchedinto other Indie Rock music videos we found that aconvention of the genre was that the music videosfeatured the band or other actors having a good time,relaxing and generally doing “everyday” things, whilesporadically inserting a live performance shot into thevideo.Our „Weekend‟ video merges narrative, performance Everyday activitiesand concept elements. Although it doesn‟t expressively are shown such astell a story, the audience do follow what is deliberately driving and skateboardingperceived as the everyday lives of the band members –