Within this slideshow I am going to answer for main questions relating to my A2 project. The four main questions I am going to answer in specific detail are: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? What have you learned from your audience feedback? How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? All my media products including music video and ancillary text both develop and challenge forms and conventions of real media products. However I tried my hardest not to develop them in my own product but found it hard doing so as its what I know my audience will look for. Example I didn't want to follow the conventions of women being seen as “sex icons” however by following this convention gave me better audience feedback and made my product seem more life like. It just what people of today are used to. However even when I did use the girls in my media products they were fairly clothed and wasn't showing too much skin in comparison to other female artists in their genre.
How did my media product develop forms and conventions of real media products?
Comparing female artists Females & sex icons Here I am going to compare my artist with a major female artist. As you can see I have challenged the conventions by covering my artist up as opposed to the female artist at the bottom. Instead of showing off almost all of her body I decided to just put mainly her legs on show. The dress is tight fitted and showing her curves but at the same time is giving her an elegant look. I decided to dress this artist in this type of clothing as I wanted them to be seen as girls that are different to other female artists in the game. Most female artists put their body on show like this one here to attract a more of a wider audience however I wanted my artists to attract the audience for the purpose of their music rather than for their looks and body. As the target audienceare fairly young by dressing them like the artist displayed here(Shakira) may attract bad attention and set a bad example to the girls within that market. As my band are wanting to attract a larger audience as possible I think its very important to stay natural and cover up, so then older people may be attracted to their music more too. By dressing my artist like this it will not impact girls to want to be slim and show off their body to get attention. However on the other hand it did develop forms and conventions a bit by still using clothing to over exaggerate her assets but this will help to attract a male audience whilst not showing off too much. Overall I think I have roughly challenged the forms and conventions of women being seen as “sex icons” through the way I have presented my artist.
Even though I didn't entirely agree with dressing my artist like this, as I would have preferred a more of a covered up look, I decided to put her in this clothing as I know this is the ideology of the media, women to be seen as sex icons (preferred reading). I know when women show off their body and wears revealing clothes they do get more attention and increase in popularity as I witnessed through my audience feedback and this is what my artists needs, so I decided to meet the ideology of women seen as sex icons(Stuart Hall) however not to the full extent as some artists suggest i.e. Shakira. I am following the realism of the media even though I don't really agree with it as I know it will benefit my artist in one way (Popularity and Recognition). In addition the fact that the band has a audience between the ages of 15-21 I need to acknowledge the fact it may have a bad impact on the younger girls in their target market.
I have done research using the internet and found that the Guardian (2009) agrees and supports my point here about young girls becoming sex icons due to the influence of the media. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/18/lost-youth-young-girls
I had done even more research on this topic of females negative representation within the media. I found a powerful quote that supports my statement but also helps me as a media student understand why females are so over represented by being sex icons. The quote from a specific book said “ the woman was painted for the male viewer and everything within the frame would address this invisible spectator, her sexuality was designed as a passive display for the male gaze” This quote was taken from a Media studies book by Phillip Allan
The relationship Between Genre and Race One form and convention that I did develop was the idea that all R&B and Hip Hop artists are mainly black and of an African/Caribbean heritage. However on the other hand I could also say the song we had used is had an element of Pop so it could be again challenging the convection that mainly all Pop Artists are white!(Stuart Hall) I may be following the stereotype that all R&B artists and hip hop artists are black I am also promoting the idea that Pop artists can also be black. Major pop icons such as Madonna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga are all white. By bringing in my band as partly a pop group will challenge this and hopefully change the stereotype of all pop artists being white. It may also help other wannabe pop artists who are not of a white background to have confidence and show that they too can be as good as the white pop artists who are in the market already. Vice Versa white artists who want to part of the Rap or R&B genre will have the confidence to enter the market despite stereotypes
Stuart Hall "There is something radically wrong with the way black immigrants - West Indians, Asians, Africans-are handled by and presented on the mass media" "The mass media play a crucial role in defining the problems and issues of public concern. They are the main channels of public discourse in our segregated society". His quotes that I had found (to the right of this text box) makes me as a media student proud of how I challenged these stereotypes. I used my artists in a positive way, not following any of these stereotypes he has claimed. Hopefully these quotes would help influence others within the media field to help challenge his views and make a change to what they are putting out there in the media! My artists came visible through their talents as opposed to drama and crisis! "When blacks appear in the documentary/current affairs part of broadcasting, they are always attached to some 'immigrant issue': they have to be involved in some crisis or drama to become visible actors to the media." Moral Panics! Stan Cohen
Glamorous Locations and Props? I had also developed the idea that most music videos are shot in glamorous locations in order to help promote and sell their song however in my case I didn't. Instead I shot it using a blank white screen as a background. The reason I done this was help to make the artists stand out as opposed to the locations and surroundings in the background and also to help promote the idea that you don't have to be filthy rich and be brought up in a wealthy family to succeed. In addition. now days money seems to be an important and a major issue between people within the same age group as the band so I thought by using something simple will maybe help change their mind that you don't need all these luxuries in life to stand out, be happy and succeed. Its about what you deliver rather than what you have or haven't got!
Girls and Love Another convention that I had developed was that majority of female bands and artists songs are based on love and the opposite sex. The song I used was about addiction and a man falling in love with a girl which did develop this however I could have challenged the convention by using a song that had a different topic but I thought as the song is by a girl band more females are going to listen to their lyrics than males so it is important for the audience to be able to relate to the artists as well as to their lyrics. In addition as the target audience is most likely to be young girls the topic of love will defiantly relate to them as many girls will be experiencing it at that vulnerable age. Also everyone has experienced love and heartbreaks so it is a fairly clever idea to use this as a topic in order to create a wider target audience which will lead to increase in sales and popularity. However I did challenge another stereotype of that when female artists create music videos they always have male models all around them however in my music video I never did this instead I promoted the idea of women's independency!
In addition to the slide above, I challenged another stereotype. Music videos normally have women who are addicted to the male artists however I flipped the roles as the song was about a man who is addicted to a woman. This builds on women's independency and strength. We are no longer in a patriarchal society!
Techniques and Meaning We were taught it is vital to make good eye contact between artist and audience (this is constructed through the artist looking into the camera). Although we did mostly used this technique we tried a style that I have never seen personally used in music videos and that was on some shots have the artist not look directly into the camera. The reason for this was because we tried to make it look like she was talking to the man himself as opposed to the audience, however in my opinion I don't think it came out too good and if I was to do this music video again I would most defiantly have her look directly into the camera! Artist not looking into camera Artist looking into camera
Another Technique I had used that is commonly used in music videos are Establishing Shots. The reason I used these type of shots was to help get the audience familiar with the band members as this was their first song so its important for them to become remembered. I also used it to provide context and to show the audience the setting and artists involved. Establishing shot 1(bottom to top) Lastly shot three showed face This is an example of an establishing shot from Mariah Carey Video “We belong together” however this establishing shot is of the location whereas mine are of the artists but they are still classed as Establishing Shots! Establishing shot 2 Shot two showed mid body Shot one showed legs
Another technique I used that helped create meaning was shooting the video from a low angle and getting the artists to look down into the camera making them look superior to the audience and that they are portrayed as “Stars” and “Idols”. The reason I used this kind of shot was because I have noticed whilst doing research into music videos that not many female artists are filmed from this angle whereas male artists are, so I decided to challenge this. As you can see from the above image it is a low angle shot giving the girls a higher status whereas the image on the left is a high angle shot giving Beyonce inferior status. This may be down to her gender because Chris Brown on the right has in comparison got a low angle shot which is giving him status. As I have previously said above I hardly see women shot at a low angle in music videos as they tend to film females using close-ups to define and woman's beauty and high angle shots to define vulnerability so I have challenged this with my female artists. The are the superior ones despite their gender.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Introduction to question I found the ancillary texts very useful when it came to helping us produce the music video. The reason I say this is because by making a music video it was easy to conduct our ancillary texts as we knew from producing our music video what we wanted the audience to see and what kind of message we wanted to come across. For example when shooting the music video we learnt different angles to create different meanings same as when it came to the photo shoot with the artists we learnt different angles of taking the pictures presented a different message. So it was effective on how useful both the main product and ancillary text all combined and helped one another.
Photo shoot The image at the top is a picture from a photo shoot that we conducted in order to help us get pictures for our ancillary texts. Whilst conducting the music video (Screen shot at the bottom) we learnt different camera angles and their meanings so when it came to the photo shoot we knew what different angles meant and what sort of message it was sending off to the audience. So by making the music video it really helped me to familiarise with the different angles and connotations it would create. An example is of my Digipak back cover below. I Used a close up of Paris and a mid shot of Danni. The reason I used to different shots here was to differ the two artists.
Locations and Settings The reason we also decided to conduct the photos shoot as well as the video shoot in one basic location was because we thought it would look more professional and different to other music videos. Whereas if we was to conduct a Grime music video (on the right) we would have done the photo shoot near a wall with graffiti or blocks of flats to reflect the ghetto and urban life. But whilst I was trying to give my artists a more elegant and professional look I decided to film and shoot on plain backgrounds.
Research and Planning I found my research and planning (Blog Work) was very helpful when it came to me conducting my main product. The reason for this was because I knew what my target audience would be looking for and how females in the music industry are largely represented so I knew what conventions to follow and what ones to discard. For example my research into the mise-en-scene of music videos largely benefited my main product as it played a big part within the music video so was vital I got it right! For example through my research I came to a conclusion that I didn't want to use certain styles of clothing and makeup as it may portray the wrong messages. Setting and location research Hair and makeup research
Marketing Aims I also found my Marketing Aims also benefited me when it came to conducting my main product as it helped me have an idea and a structure to what I was planning and needed to do in order to conduct a good music video. I also learnt what my target audience was also looking for within my main product so again it helped me to produce it up to my target audiences standard. For example I learnt whilst carrying out my Marketing Aims that it was important to create a catchy product (Digipak) in order for it to stand out from other similar products on the shelf. I also had to think about the text and style of the layout of my ancillary products as it will help in the future when it comes to my target market making future purchases of Crystal Blaques products as it has a uniform that the audience will remember. So for example the way in which the name of the band is written should be the same for future products in order for it to be identified as their product. Finally place as part of my marketing aims also gave me guidance as it helped me recognise the best places to sell and promote my product to my target audience. So places such as colleges, night clubs and schools would be where I would place my advert in order to get recognition and help promote my products. When it came to the actual music video and soundtrack itself I would promote on YouTube and social networking sites (which my target audience come into regular contact)
Story Boards My story boards have also gave me guidance and structure in conducting my music video as it gave me an idea of what I had to do. Although I did not carry out exactly everything that was illustrated in my storyboards as I tweaked it a little it still benefited me and my main product. The reason I changed some of the shots that were originally displayed on my storyboards was because when it came to putting the music video together it didn't seem to fit well so I played around with it instead making me come off task a bit from my story board however in this case it had a positive impact on my music video Part of my Story Board
Synergy between the products I Have kept my Digipak and advert using the same type of colour scheme which are natural and plain colours so my target audience will be able to easily recognise my product as it will have the same uniform to the others. For example music video, adverts and Digipak are mainly dark and natural colours (Whites & black) with a tint of some colour such as pink as displayed in some of the writing on my products. The reason I have decided to do it like this is because it keeps their image neat and formal whereas if it was loads of different bright colours it could tend to look messy and disorganised. In addition the audience will be easily able to recognise their different products through the synergy used throughout their products, creating their own unique uniform.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Why get Audience feedback? There are many reasons why Audience feed back is vital, here are a couple examples below: Creates a relationship between audience and provider Be more relevant to your Audience Spot potential issues earlier Motivation Performance improvement
Audience Feedback via YouTube We had put our music video on YouTube to enable us to gain popularity, recognition and achieve audience feedback. As the video has only been online on YouTube for a couple of days we haven't really had much feed back through YouTube. However we have a large amount of views which is promising and someone had commented on it and two people had “liked” our music video. So far it does look promising. Here below I have printed a screen shot of my audience feed back on the music video via YouTube. Amount of views Likes and dislikes of audience
Audience Feedback via Facebook We had also placed our music video on Facebook as our target market use this social network site to keep in contact with friends and family as well to socialise and promote so we thought this would be a good place to promote and get audience feed back for our music video. Here is a print screen of my audience feedback via Facebook.
Not only does these websites help gain feedback but at the same time it also promotes and advertises my product. I have searched different sources to see how effective advertising is and what impact does it have on my products. I found a powerful quote from a media studies book by Phillip Allan and it says “the selling of products and services to consumers is the driving force of capitalism, and advertising stimulates their demand” this is important to me as I need as much advertisement as possible to get my up coming band recognized
Feedback on Music video I had conducted audience feedback through a focus group of ten students (5 girls and 5 boys) with an age range between 16-20. The reason I decided to even out the gender numbers was so my feedback would be more reliable and valid. The question I first asked was do you like the video and why or why not do you like it, here are my results via a pie chart.
Reasons for positive feedback I asked the members of the focus group who said yes why did they like the music video and this was some of their responses: Angela 18- “I liked the music video as it didn't represent the female e artists in negative light i.e. “sex symbols” David 17- “ the reason I liked this music video was due to the camera angles and edits it made the video look more professional” Samuel 16- “ I liked the fact how the music video went from black and white to colour again it made the music video different” Amy-19 “ I liked the establishing shots at the end where it had the artists faces and names, this is really helpful as its important for us as the audience to know who is who in bands for future reference”
Reasons for Negative Feedback I asked some of the respondents who said they didn't particularly like the music video and here again are some of their responses. Josh -20 “the reason I didn't particularly like it was due to some parts when the band members weren't making direct eye contact with the camera” Laura-18 “ The music video got a bit boring after a while as it didn't really have much variety with locations and props” Tom-17 “I think the music video would have been better if the girls were wearing bit more revealing clothes to attract more of a male audience, they were too covered up”
What have I learnt through feedback on this question? I have learnt that in future if I were to produce a music video again I would make sure the artists throughout make direct eye contact with the camera also learnt that it was a good idea to include a variety of different shots and angles to improve the variety and overall look of the music video It was a positive that I didn't have the girls wear skimpy clothing however from a males point of view it was a negative. So maybe something in between the two will be better. Next time I would also add more locations and props within my music video to make it more interesting and give it more variety The establishing shots also had a positive impact on the audience it helped them to become familiar with the band members.
Does the music video sell the song? The reason I asked this was because the main reason why producers make music videos is to help promote the song as well as the artists and as my band are up and coming it is important to make sure the music video had some sort of impact on the audiences desire to purchase and listen to this song and future ones. Here is my results that I conducted from my focus group:
Reason for Positive Feedback I asked those of my focus group who said yes it did sell the song why they thought this, here are a few statements I conducted: Joseph- “I think it sells the song as its is more focused on the band and the soundtrack as opposed to selling what is going on in the background.” Amy- “ I think it does sell the song as the girls are making direct contact with audience using facial expressions and hand gestures to express their feelings relating through the lyrics” David- “It sells the song as the girls are presented as classy and elegant as opposed to some female music artists these days so the music video gives an insight into the artists themselves through their costume and body language making them look presentable and respectful making the audience value them as well as their song”
Reason for Negative Feedback Angela- “I don't think it really sells the song as there is not much going on in the music video so without listening closely to the lyrics as an audience we are unable to tell what the song is about. I think it would be better if the video would follow the story line of the lyrics.” Samuel- “ as the song is about addiction and a male having an addictive relationship with a woman then this should have been shown through the music video itself to reinforce the idea of the lyrics”
What have I learnt via feedback on this question It is important the music video follows the lyrics so a story line within the music video on the basis of the lyrics would have a better impact on the audiences understanding and interest It again is important for the artists to make contact with the camera through eye contact and body language to help sell their song and show their passion for their music
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages
Technology and planning During the planning stage of my project I used a cam recorder to record my focus group answering questions about my music video and related products. The reason I recorded this using a cam recorder was it was easily accessible and I was able to come back to it at a later date to help me acknowledge when making my music video what my audience wanted. In addition it saved time from writing out the answers on a piece of paper. I could also use this video as part of evidence for planning.
TECHNOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION OF MUSIC VIDEO We used a lot of filming equipment such as: the canons camcorder to record our footage (used a crane and tripod to help capture footage) A still camera to take pictures during the video shoot for our evidence Blackberry phone- to arrange shooting dates and keep in contact with the artists Adobe Photoshop for construction of advert and Digipak Final cut Pro to edit the footage and make into music video
Canons video recorder We used this to capture our footage. We often used to cameras of this type to capture our footage from different angles giving the music video more variety when it came to shots and angles. The video camera was also easy to use however during out first filming we used this camera but never took off the date and time when recording the footage so we were unable to use this as the data information was engraved into our music video and there was no way of getting rid of it. So this called for another video shoot which wasted a lot of time and effort that we and the artists had put into the first shooting. We did encounter a few problems at first with using this device but after a couple of shoots we got the idea of it. The canons Video recorder we used during filming
With the Canons Cam recorder we used camera support products such as a Tripod and Crane. The Tripod was a great asset in helping us achieve our ideal music video. The reason for this was because the tripod helped us to achieve what we was looking for in comparison with the crane shots. The Tripod helped to stabilize our footage and assisted the cam recorder in capturing footage at different heights. Using a tripod but at a low angle Adjusting the tripod to capture at a eye level
The Crane was used to capture footage from a high angle as if to give a birds eye view on the action below and to move up and down or away from something. The crane we used also had a tilt on it enabling us to get the right positioning. However in the end we decided not to use all the footage the crane had helped us produce as it didn't really seem to fit in with the song. Although we did use some of it on Paris part of the music video Us using a crane to record from a high angle
Still Camera We used a still camera during the filming procedures to use as evidence for our blogs of us shooting and preparing for shoots of our music video. The still camera was easy to use as people now days use it in everyday life its as popular now as a mobile phone. It was a basic camera but with a good picture. However when it came to The actual photo shoot pictures we used a more professional still camera as it was vital the pictures came out clear to enable us to use them in out ancillary products such as the adverts and Digipak. Similar to the camera we used to take pictures for our evidence. More professional camera for photo shoot for our media products
Blackberry Mobile phone This was one handy piece of technical equipment when it came to helping us to communicate with one another and planning our shooting dates. All the band members and the media students within my group all owned a blackberry of some model. This helped us to communicate with one another using blackberry messenger. It is like our own personal chat room which was cost friendly as it was free for us to talk to one another. This was also important as there were a lot of discussions and planning going on. So the Blackberry helped us keep in contact with each other and discuss and organise dates for shootings. On our Blackberry’s we also have an organiser which helps us all keep track and reminds us what day, where and what time our meetings and shootings were.
This is a screen shot from my own personal blackberry. Here as you can see I created two groups for us to communicate in. The “Crystal Blaque” group had all the band members as well as us media students. This was handy when it came to sorting out shooting dates and meetings as we was all in on conversation so was easier to negotiate with each other and come to a mutual decision. The “Media” Group was just for us media students, this was used for when discussing deadlines and coming to decisions with the production and construction processes of our music video. This screen shot from my blackberry shows our organiser. It includes the time date and location of where we would be filming.( “Beech” is a building in our college that we used to film it. ) This is another screen shot of my organiser however this time it is showing me how long and on what date and time I will be filming for on.
Using Technology to put the music video together To put our music together we used a programme called “Final Cut Pro” to edit our shots. I found this programme hard to use but with help from all the group members we were able to understand it better. We logged and captured all our shots we then had to sync the music video with the lyrics. This programme helped us produce the music video to a higher standard by allowing us to add in edits such as fade, dissolve, split screen etc. The programme made the music video look more professional and interesting. In our music video we used some edits that followed the conventions of other R&B and Pop music videos such as jump cuts. This is a screen shot of the Final Cut Pro software, however it is not a screen shot of our music video as we never took screen shots of it. This one is just an example of how the programme looked
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Screen shots of Adobe Photoshop I used I used this programme to edit and develop my advert and Digipak. Again I found this programme a bit difficult to use at first due to all the jargon, however after a while I got used to the programme and was able to finish producing my advert and Digipak in this programme. The programme allowed me to edit my pieces to a high standard making them look like real products. It allowed me to change colours, skin smooth, brighten pictures and so much more.
YouTube Our inspired music video “Selah- a woman's world” YouTube came in hand when we was doing research into music videos. We used this website to search all videos from the same genre in order to help give us an idea and structure to follow. Without this website I think it would have been even more harder trying to conduct a music video with no idea on what we want our video to look like or what we don't want our music video to look like. My music video
Front cover cd For the front cover I included all the band members. This was to familiarise the band to the audience. I also used mid close up shots in order to establish the band members difference in identity and style. I kept the front cover fairly simple as I just wanted to sell the band as opposed to anything else. I then included the name of their track “Addiction” in big capital letters in order to stand out and capture the audiences interest. I used the lines to separate the artists to show that even though they are in the band they have their own identity.
Inside Page 1 Here I included the lyrics to the song in the inside cover in order for the audience to make sense of the content of the song and in order for them to sing along if they wish. I also included the background image of the dancer and the main band member. I used this to reinforce the idea that the song is about love and addiction.
CD Holder This is another inside page however this time I have used it as a CD holder. I made the background darker to what the actual circle of where the cd is place to reinforce realism of the product. In addition I again used this set up of both a member of the band and the male dancer to reinforce the idea, again of love and addiction. The male is addicted to the woman hence the reason he is holding onto her leg(he don't want to let her go)
Back Cover CD This is the back cover. I reinforced realism through placing the barcode and “Sony BMG” logo onto the cover and on the sides of the CD. I included the name of the track in bold purple letters to stand out. I made it a bit different to other CDs on the market by engraving “Crystal Blaque” in the background of the Cd as opposed to being in the foreground. I in addition only included two of the band members which I feel didn't work well as it is promoting the idea that there are only two members of the band. If I were to do this again I would include all three of the band members!
ADVERT Here is my Advert. I placed my contents on a black background in order for the text and images to stand out. I included close-up's of the band members so the band audience are able to familiarise themselves with the members. I also reinforced realism through displaying shops and companies that will sell the product and a picture of the CD cover so audiences know what they are looking for. I also used as little text as possible as it may make the reader bored and as it will be displayed in public not everyone will have a chance to read everything displayed so I only included the main vital points.