For our music video for the song ‘First Love-The Maccabees’, we held a focus group inorder to gather feedback on it. We asked 10questions to a group of 6 people within ourtarget audience – 16 to 25 year olds. Wechose to question people from our targetaudience so that we can find out if our musicvideo draws them in correctly and to find outwhether we do actually appeal to the audiencethe Indie Rock is dominantly aimed at.
The Narrative…The narrative of the music video is about a youngcouple’s aim to move on after separating. The 6people in the group understood the narrative. Usinga non-linear that wasn’t in chronological order itadded an abstract look to the video and drew in theviewer a great deal as it is a usual convention forIndie Rock videos.
We also used this idea to show each character’sconfusion. Although we chose to do a non-chronological narrative the audiencecommented that this was a good idea becauseit reminded them of how happy theprotagonists 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 goodidea.
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.The Genre…
Originally, during the initial ideas stage, weplanned to display Harry and Alexa together.Although, when shooting the music video, lackof time meant that we could not display this assuccessfully as we planned. This being said,the audience did still agree that the story wasclear and conventional to the genre as IndieRock videos leave you thinking.
The Mise-En-Scene…The focus group mentioned that the colours usedthroughout the video clearly displayed the type ofcharacters portrayed in the video as antagonistAlexa wore black displaying her bad and villainlike character. Where as, innocent girl Abbie wasplaced in bright pastel colours in order to displaythe bright and positive character.
This told us that we had the right ideas withcostumes as the characters were dressedappropriately to who they are portrayed tobe in the video. However the issue wasraised that there could have been more lowlighting in the video in order to display thetype of feel each shot/scene has. Eventhough the bath scene involved relativelylow lighting, other shots lacked this idea.
We discussed this after the focus group and wesaid that if we could do some shots again wewould have shot some point of view shotsmaking sure that low lighting was involved oreven manipulating the lighting on Final Cut-Pro.
We would have to experiment first thoughbecause this does run the risk of reducingthe quality of the music video and making itlook more amateur. This taught us that theuse of lighting could have been improvedalthough the choice of costume worked wellin order to engage the viewer.
The focus group agreed that the Mise En Sceneand characters did create a good sense ofverisimilitude and were generally worked welltowards the representation of the genre. Themain protagonists Abbie and Harry eachcreated a sense of verisimilitude as people ofthere age are usually in a relationship howevermany do not work out.The Verisimilitude…
The reactions of the characters in thesituations weren’t extremely realistichowever we was not aiming to make theirreactions realistic as we wanted this to drawin the viewer and create a sense of humour,for example Harry dropping the biscuits andcrying in his bed. These are very importantaspects of the video as this causes theaudience to feel empathy for the characters.
It was said that the Mise En Scene was goodbecause it seemed natural and suited the mainprotagonist, the genre and the message that themusic video gave. The Mise En Scene also gave agood sense of verisimilitude because thesettings/locations were ordinary settings thatordinary people come across on a daily basis.
As well as being the location that themajority of the target audience live. On thesubject of this, the props and décor of thehouse scene was very realistic and modern,suiting the correct time that the video wasset in. This taught us that location scoutingis important and that every aspect featuredwithin the scenes add to the verisimilitudeand are strongly recognised by the audience.
The Ancillary tasks…The focus group said that the magazineadvertisement strongly suits the genre – indierock. The simple layout and lack of contentadds a laid back feel to the advert, which isconventional for indie rock. It was alsocommented on that the idea of using the starrating from NME magazine was verysignificant as it strongly exaggerates theconventions of indie rock advertisments.
The digipak created was commented on asextremely good and suited the genre, due tothe hand writing design and bright coloursalso fitting the name of the album ‘Colour ItIn’. This strongly appeals to the targetaudience as they are easily drawn to the text.
It was suggested that maybe more images ofthe band could have been included howeverin this case we stepped away from the usualconvention by not exposing the band asmuch compared to other digi-paks although,this still does work well.
The continuing house style that runsthrough the ancillary tasks wasexplained to be very useful by theaudience as they commented thatthe album would be very easy torecognise on a shelf after seeing theadvertisement.
This taught us exactly what theaudience would have wanted to seewithin the ancillary tasks and if wecould revisit the digi-pak we wouldhave added a greater number ofimages of the band in order toexpose them to their audiencealthough it was said that theancillary tasks do full very well intothe indie rock genre.
The Conclusion…Overall, we learnt that our choice of using aconventional narrative for the music video wasa good idea as it allowed the audience to gain aconnection with the characters and respond totheir emotions. As well as allowing them tounderstand the story a lot more.
The use of lighting could have been better inthe video in order to add a sense of emotion tothe much more morbid scenes in order to causethe audience to understand the feelings thecharacter has. We are very happy that theunconventional feature of hand writing in boththe digi-pak and advertisement turned out to bea good choice because it was a risk. It couldhave resulted in us not appealing to the targetaudience, but this was not the case.
If we had the chance to improve the ancillarytasks we would choose to put a greater numberof images in the digi-pak in order to show theaudience what the band looks like and alsoshowing the sort of style they represent inorder inspire the audience .If we had a chanceto re-shoot the music video we would involvethe character Alexa a greater amount in orderto display the storyline much more clearly forthe audience.
This would be good for the audience as thismay contribute towards them gaining agreater opinion of the characters. Thefeedback on location taught us that locationis very significant within the music videoalong with props as this suggests to theaudience whether the video is realistic andbelievable or not.