Q2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? This is our poster . I think it is successful at reflecting the style of the Indie genre and the concept of the music video. The actress from the music video is featured on the poster because we thought people would see the video and relate the image of the girl to the release of the song “Cape cod…”, the new album and therefore, the band- vampire weekend. I believe it is evident that the actress is not the band, so there should not be any confusion and besides there has been a number of Indie artists who don’t use their own image on their album artwork. The mise-en-scene of the poster is engaging. It is appealing to people who want to rebel and people who crave originality and individuality. I think by using the actress, instead of the band, people get more involved in the enigma of the band- why is their music video dealing with the concept of women being exploited by the media? What was the inspiration of the song? And what do the actual band look like? These are all questions which I think the TA would ask. If anything, they would probably be more interested in the band themselves. Moreover, I think it portrays the band in a positive light; they are more about the music and the message than promoting their image to gain fame and recognition. Referring back to the poster, it is eye-catching and conveys a fun theme to the TA- the use of the burger is a nice addition to making the poster seem young and playful. This is a significant contrast to the more serious undertones of the concept the music video.
The CD cover carries on the theme, visually, that the poster has. This is so it is clear that these two products are interchangeable. When people see the poster and then want to buy the album we want the album to stand out just as much, and kind of be identical to the poster, so it’s easy to find and equally as eye-catching. I think it is important to carry on a similar visual theme, which we have done, with the promotional artwork because it makes sense and is conventional of CD marketing. The CD cover is a close-up of the poster, making it seem more intense, visually. It also has an effect. A posterized/contrasted colour effect to compliment the brightness and fake physical appearance of the actress. This relates to the concept of the music video whereby the actress is influenced to become a product of society’s expectations. The imagery also expresses the tone of the song, which is upbeat and playful, by the use of the bright colours piercing through the picture. The inclusion of the burger, again, is a random element. Indie music artists usually entitle themselves… … to enigmatic features of artwork, etc, to promote themselves in an original way. Of course the irony of this is that every Indie band is doing a similar thing…and we conformed to this because we had already, in my opinion, subverted the genre enough with our concept driven montage-like music video, which criticises other music videos and society in general.
The back cover contains the relevant information- track listings, bonus material, to make it believable as an actual product people would want to buy. It is visually successful at being very edgy. The formatting of the visuals are excellent- they compliment each other and therefore help to make it look professional. The back ground pattern has changed slightly, and this is because the back cover is different, rather than promoting the band, or the actress/character, it gives the TA information. The inside double page spread is of the band. We have chosen an image of the real band, Vampire Weekend, and superimposed it onto the background. It is important that we include the band in the inside of the digipak because their image needs to be introduced to the TA. Also, it is an image that portrays them being natural, and a bit quirky, hopefully promoting them in a positive way. I think the inside of the digipak is effective, however, I would have liked some writing to go with it as well. I think the inclusion of other random items such as the plant, carries on the unusual visual element that the poster and CD cover introduced.
Effectiveness? Overall, I think the digipak is successful. It is a product which looks professional. It is playful and eye-catching and has a resemblance and connection with the music video itself. The combination of the digipak and music video enable a serious message to be conveyed but promoted in a more playful way for the sake of advertising and making money. The band’s participation to the music video is minimal, they are the vocals. And so we have had to use the actress in the promotional work so people can recognise the music video and song. In the music video, the girl is being oppressed and manipulated, and she rebels in the end. We wanted the digipak to suggest the theme of rebellion and originality, which it does through the carefree attitude of the band and the actress and the random inclusion of the burger phone/plants. The main product, the music video , is not exactly how we planned it to be, but is still good. The problem was with the green screen, and not being able to change the background colour to alternating bright bold colours to reflect the energy of the video. Instead, the video is now sharply contrasted to give it an interesting visual tone. In my opinion, the music video is extremely effective at conveying a message, which was the point of our music video. The scene at the end, when she shouts “Stop!” and storms off the set of the actual music video, I feel is very poignant. It brings back the reality to the music video and should hopefully make the audience consider the acting and emotion being portrayed in that last scene. To conclude, there is a reasonably close connection between the ancillary products and the music video which is necessary for the overall effectiveness of the combination.
Q4) How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Final cut pro : Having used final cut pro last year, I found this year (being one of the editors for the music video) it was easier to use and I had much more confidence with the technology. It was difficult making the visuals go with the music, but using the scaling tools, I could cut accurately where I wanted to take a certain clip so that the visuals would change and become more like a montage when the music demanded. Also, there were implications with the green screen when filming, so to overcome this, we used the effects on final cut pro, such as the three way colour corrector (which allows the adjustment of contrast) to ensure that we could still make the visuals colourful and eye-catching even though we couldn’t, for technical reasons, change the colour of the green screen as we had planned to do. Adjusting the contrast gave the visuals a posterized effect that can be linked to the overall theme of our digipak and poster. Photoshop (for the digipak): We also experienced the use of photoshop in the digipak production; this allowed us to play around with colours, themes, positioning of the mise-en-scene so that the album artwork looks believable.
Screencaps of Editing… Here we used a colour corrector to manipulate the contrast of our shots, this is to make the shots seem more lively and vivid. We had to replicate the exact colour dimensions onto every shot so that it would be visually relatable. The end effect is successful and works well with the overall theme of the music video. For certain shots, such as this one, we wanted to use the movement of the actress’s hand to initiate the changing of the music. Sometimes this meant slowing down or speeding up the shots to ensure it indicates a poignant moment in the audio.
Facebook/myspace/twitter : Social networking sites (stemming from the concept of more interactive programs, web 2.0) have allowed me to carry out in depth research for the blog and for my own personal understanding of the Indie genre. Furthermore, it makes interacting with the TA quicker and easier than approaching them personally. I used facebook chat to conduct interviews and I used myspace to search how indie artists promote themselves and their music and I used twitter to identify forms of fandom and word-of-mouth publicity that indie artists are conventionally recognised by. These sites have allowed me to interact with many different people all at once. And sites such as Twitter, with people’s status’s constantly being updated, provides a community feel of people sharing knowledge, just at a more rapid pace- which is useful for research. Slideshare : Slideshare has not only allowed me to view other people’s documents, for example, to gain a greater understanding of how the music industry works or understand the values of feminism, but to post my own work up and then share it on the blog. I am able to post powerpoints and word documents to the blog using Slideshare. Youtube : Watching other indie music videos has been a fundamental element to being able to produce one of my own. Youtube acts as an archive to viewing these indie videos through time therefore I was able to watch how the conventions have evolved. Also, youtube was very useful for understanding fandom as it is a place where anybody can express their feelings online. I managed to find two good videos that I posted onto the blog as evidence for fandom and digipak consumption. Youtube is very accessible and so I used it throughout the planning phase of this course.
Message boards : I spent some time on message boards to catch people’s reactions to a number of topics I felt necessary to explore in the process of making my music video. For example, when I was wondering who the consumers are of digipaks and what they want from this product, I found a thread in a message board about it and referenced the comments as evidence for my conclusions- and this helped with planning what should be included in the digipak for optimum success of the digipak and other products. ! PowerPoint : I used powerpoint for this evaluation because I find it is an easy software to use. It is also a clear way of presenting information. There is also a chance to be creative with powerpoint, for example, I have used a notebook template for the design of this powerpoint. Camera : When filming our evaluation for question 3 (audience feedback) I went to London to interview people. The camera used was small and light-weight, it was also a HD camera so the quality of the footage is good. Obviously, when filming we used a camera, albeit an older version. We also used the green screen hoping we could technically manipulate it later on in editing, however, this did not work because of implication when filming (such as getting too close to the green screen).