1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge conventions of real media products? Michael Jones
Within our planning stage we tried to make our music video original and simple. We came up with a mind map to brainstorm our ideas. After being told that lip synching is a very important element in a music video we were dismayed, wanting to avoid this aspect all together. Our first thoughts were our lack of acting and musical talents. Therefore we didn’t want to ruin our music video by having one of us trying to play an instrument that would have been obvious that we couldn’t play. Furthermore our song choice had instruments that were not accessible to us.
By analysing the lyrics to our song we tried to construct a narrative, a typical convention of music videos. It was tricky to think of scenes and shots to use for the lyrics as they were difficult to understand as a bigger picture. We wanted to depict young teenagers who get caught up in life which leads to escapism through alcohol, a serious contemporary issue that is relatable to our chosen target audience of young adults and teenagers. Therefore we didn’t want to use any form of dance which is typically used in abstract videos used by Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry and other various artists.
Another convention of media is the use of mise-en-scene. We thought hard about what was in our shots, props, locations, positioning of the camera, costumes etc. Following these areas as specific conventions we looked at each area and decided what to use, develop or challenge. Looking at the connotations of the hip-hop, indie genres we saw that abuse of harmful substances is a popular experience. Conforming to the conventions of the genre we used an alcoholic bottle, and paracetamol (acting as ecstasy) as props. The bottle and pill portrays the genres conventions and are also his method of escapism from his shattered reality.
In terms of locations we used and developed the conventions of indie and hip-hop music. Comparing our music video to “The Streets” we have used similar urban locations that can be typically found in these music videos. For example walking on a pavement lip synching directly into the camera. However we have developed this by adding in rural locations, walking through public parks, sitting by a lake etc. We felt that this gives the impression that the characters feelings and thoughts change between a confined environment and a kind of liberated environment represented by the urban and rural locations.
Analysing our camera work in terms of the conventions of real media products we felt that we challenged this. Typical hip-hop and indie music videos use similar conventions. Hip hop would use long shots to establish money and wealth while close ups of jewellery and assets of the artists are used. Examples are 50 Cent, T-Pain and T.I. On the other hand indie music videos tend to use extreme close ups and long shots throughout the videos. We looked at these and decided to both follow and challenge these conventions. We used long shots to establish the setting but showed no wealth or money in any scene. Furthermore we introduced a lot of mid-shots to find a balance between the genres and express the distorted feelings and thoughts of our character.
Lastly we looked at the conventions of costumes and its importance. Using typical hip hop clothing conventions, such as “hoodies” (hooded jackets), jeans and trainers. We felt using this would contribute towards our “urban” look to the video. However indie music videos use black and white colours, whether in the costume or as an editing technique. We decided that we would develop the genre’s conventions and meet each other half way. Seeing as the costume would be hip hop styled we wanted to incorporate an indie look to the video. Therefore we used “flashbacks” in our editing to signify what had happened in the characters past which has manifested his desire for escapism. Changing the colour of the scene from traditional colour to black and white both adds to the narrative but as well gives the video an indie feel.