For our music video for the song ‘First Love- The Maccabees’, we held a focus group in order to gather feedback on it. We asked 10 questions to a group of 6 people within ourtarget audience – 16 to 25 year olds. We choseto question people from our target audience so that we can find out if our music video draws them in correctly and to find out whether we do actually appeal to the audience the Indie Rock is dominantly aimed at.
The Narrative… The narrative of the music video is about a young couple’s aim to move on after separating. The 6people in the group understood the narrative. Using a non-linear that wasn’t in chronological order itadded an abstract look to the video and drew in the viewer a great deal as it is a usual convention for Indie Rock videos.
We also used this idea to show each character’s confusion. Although we chose to do a non- chronological narrative the audience commented that this was a good idea because it reminded them of how happy the protagonists were previously compared to thefeelings they’re experiencing after the breakup.This taught us that sticking to this music videoconvention of the Indie Rock genre was a good idea.
The Genre…The focus group also agreed that the music videodid suit the genre of music. The feedback said thatthe costumes, choice of actors and pace of shotswere the main elements of the music video thatmade the music suit the genre correctly. Howeverthe issue was raised that perhaps more shots ofHarry should have featured displaying him withhis lover on the side ‘Alexa’ who caused thebreakup so the story was told a bit more clearly.
Originally, during the initial ideas stage, we planned to display Harry and Alexa together.Although, when shooting the music video, lackof time meant that we could not display this as successfully as we planned. This beingsaid, the audience did still agree that the story was clear and conventional to the genre as Indie Rock videos leave you thinking.
The Mise-En-Scene… The focus group mentioned that the colours used throughout the video clearly displayed the type ofcharacters portrayed in the video as antagonist Alexa wore black displaying her bad and villain like character. Where as, innocent girl Abbie was placedin bright pastel colours in order to display the bright and positive character. This told us that we had the right ideas with costumes as the characters weredressed appropriately to who they are portrayed to bein the video. However the issue was raised that there could have been more low lighting in the video inorder to display the type of feel each shot/scene has. Even though the bath scene involved relatively low lighting, other shots lacked this idea.
We discussed this after the focus group and we said that if we could do some shots again wewould have shot some point of view shots making sure that low lighting was involved or even manipulating the lighting on Final Cut-Pro. We would have to experiment first though becausethis does run the risk of reducing the quality of the music video and making it look more amateur. This taught us that the use of lighting could have been improved although the choice of costume worked well in order to engage the viewer.
The Verisimilitude… The focus group agreed that the Mise En Scene andcharacters did create a good sense of verisimilitude and were generally worked well towards the representation of thegenre. The main protagonists Abbie and Harry each created asense of verisimilitude as people of there age are usually in arelationship however many do not work out. The reactions of the characters in the situations weren’t extremely realistic however we was not aiming to make their reactions realisticas we wanted this to draw in the viewer and create a sense of humour, for example Harry dropping the biscuits and crying in his bed. These are very important aspects of the video as this causes the audience to feel empathy for the characters.
It was said that the Mise En Scene was good because itseemed natural and suited the main protagonist, the genre and the message that the music video gave. The Mise En Scene also gave a good sense of verisimilitude becausethe settings/locations were ordinary settings that ordinarypeople come across on a daily basis. As well as being the location that the majority of the target audience live. Onthe subject of this, the props and décor of the house scene was very realistic and modern, suiting the correct time that the video was set in. This taught us that location scouting is important and that every aspect featured within the scenes add to the verisimilitude and are strongly recognised by the audience.
The Ancillary tasks… The focus group said that the magazine advertisement strongly suits the genre – indie rock. The simple layout and lack of content adds a laid back feel to the advert, which is conventional for indierock. It was also commented on that the idea of using the star rating from NME magazine was very significant as it strongly exaggerates the conventions of indie rock advertisments. The digipak created was commented on as extremely good and suited the genre, due to the hand writing design and bright colours also fitting the name of the album ‘Colour It In’. This strongly appeals to the target audience as they are easily drawn to the text. It was suggested that maybe more images of the band could have been included however in this case we stepped away from the usual convention by not exposing the band as much compared to other digi-paks although, this still does work well.
The continuing house style that runs through the ancillary tasks was explained to be very useful by the audience as they commented that the album would be very easy to recognise on a shelf after seeing the advertisment. This taught us exactly what the audience would have wanted to see within the ancillary tasks and if we could revisit the digi-pak we would have added a greater number of images of the band in order to exposethem to their audience although it was said that theancillary tasks do full very well into the indie rock genre.
The Conclusion… Overall, we learnt that our choice of using a conventional narrative for the music video was a good idea as it allowed the audience to gain a connection with the characters and respond to their emotions. As well as allowing them to understand the story a lot more. The use of lighting could have been better in the video in order to add a sense of emotion to the much more morbid scenes in order to causethe audience to understand the feelings the character has. We are very happy that the unconventional feature of hand writing in both the digi-pak and advertisement turned out to be a good choice because it was a risk. It could have resultedin us not appealing to the target audience, but this was not the case.
If we had the chance to improve the ancillary tasks we would choose to put a greater number of images in the digi-pak inorder to show the audience what the band looks like and also showing the sort of style they represent in order inspire the audience .If we had a chance to re-shoot the music video we would involve the character Alexa a greater amount in order to display the storyline much more clearly for the audience.This would be good for the audience as this may contribute towards them gaining a greater opinion of thecharacters. The feedback on location taught us that location is very significant within the music video along with props as this suggests to the audience whether the video is realistic and believable or not.
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