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AS Media Evaluation

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  • 1. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The four page magazine produced on Adobe Photoshop compared to an existing magazine such as Q magazine was used as inspiration for the production of my magazine, which allowed me to use many essential codes and conventions. My media product repeats (Steve Neale) many of the codes and conventions used in existing magazines, which includes the use of a Masthead which makes a statement with a bold font and style which is appropriate for the genre of music magazine. As my magazine is a pop music genre, targeted mainly at the female gender as well as men, it uses a bold masthead with block capitals and a sophisticated font to create the right style for this genre of music magazine to create realism and professionalism for the magazine. Another convention repeated is a splash, which is the main story accompanied with the headline and a main image. The image taken and used for the magazine mimics real example photographs for front covers such as those seen in other publications such as Q and Billboard music magazines. The ‘star’ (Richard Dyer) used for the image commonly uses the entire space on the page, therefore my image was used filling the front cover with colours that I can base the fonts and other conventions around. The image of the Q magazine depicts the codes and conventions that I had repeated in my magazine front cover. This was used as my inspirational template. The image of Adele fills the entire page and the background matches with the colour scheme of the front cover. This includes the round emblem ‘the 300th issue’ matching the colour of the celebrity’s hair. The colour scheme is an essential element of repetition that has been carried over within my front cover, as this is more eye- catching, professional and efficient. The font style for the masthead was inspired by many feminine magazines of different genres, such as for fashion magazines and other music magazines. Also the font used for ‘Adele’ inspired me to use a sophisticated simple and bold font for the mast head. I also used similar fonts for the cover lines and other conventions on the page. This was the inspired mast head, as this contains colour within the letters, b, a, o and d with colours that match the theme of the main image on the front cover. This code allows the masthead to be flexible and suitable yet efficient with each monthly issue. The use of a variety of colours is a denotation of Billboard as a music magazine as it covers a variation of entertainment, such as music, singers, latest gossip, and My magazine
  • 2. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation news on concerts as well as celebrities which is combined into one magazine. This is another convention that I ‘repeated’ (Steve Neale) for my front cover. In doing so, it has increased the professionalism and flexibility for my four page magazine which is both eye catching and intriguing. To construct the magazine front cover and its contents I had ensured I used the ‘rule of thirds’ convention which allows the magazine to look professional and structured in a suitable way keeping the images and cover lines with a good distance apart ensuring everything is presented properly on the page. This allowed me to order the cover lines suitably around the image as well as placing the masthead efficiently behind the female on the front cover. The pink font colour and filling within the number 4 in the masthead presents itself as iconography, as it portrays itself as feminine which connotes to the viewers that this is a pop music genre, this therefore challenges real music magazines as they all use iconography. Further to the main image representation, dismemberment is used commonly in the editing process of celebrities who makes the front cover in any type of magazine. Women’s bodies are cropped, enhanced or even masked in order to emphasise sexualised body parts, which attracts the male audience (Male Gaze – Laura Mulvey), and therefore using a female for my magazine cover attracts both the female and male gender. I perfected, smoothed and cropped the image for a better glow, clear precision and quality of the image, by using the quick selection, define edge feature which includes all levels of smooth, glow and quality options as well as black and white which was used for the front cover whereas hue saturation was additionally used for the double page spread and contents page. In this image, for example, the curves are majorly outlined, the edges and the glow has also been intensified to enhance this image of Beyoncé to bring the focus on the main image for the feminine purpose of the magazine which is enticing for both the female and male gender. Therefore the perfecting and dismemberment of the main image is an essential process that must be done to ‘tidy up’ and neaten the image for an alluring appeal to the audience. The double page spread I produced also uses forms from existing magazines, such as from Q magazine. The structure of both pages is well formatted, as the image of Lana Del Rey takes a full page and the text is structured on the other page. The image of the celebrity is emphasised as it takes up a complete page, the article is also signified as this fills the next page with text and a bold letter S in the background to match with the logo of the magazine, ‘Q’ whilst emphasising the verbal code ‘she’. I ‘repeated’ these codes and conventions for my double page spread to ensure I produced a successful magazine, as it ‘signifies’ (De Saussure) many important features of the celebrity whilst promoting the magazine and its representation looking professional and structured efficiently.
  • 3. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation On the left side of the double page spread I have repeated a particular stylistic and meaningful convention from Q magazine which is always used in the double page spread, which is a big A4 sized letter that goes in the background of the page that includes the article. Here I have done a similar effect however it is white to match the colour scheme whilst also not grabbing too much attention away from the article but sits perfectly on the page and looks professional which suits the logo of my magazine. Another repeated convention includes the web address that promotes the magazine as well as social media idents to advertise the celebrity further through social media forms. I have also created a ‘K’ for the top left corner of the page to symbolise that it is the ‘KL4SH’ magazine, similar to the Q magazine which is a successful British existing music magazine. Here, this image represents many of the professional photographs taken for double page spreads for existing magazines, as this has a creative and suitable background for the theme of the rising star, as well as fashion sense and trends being advertised. The image of Lana Del Ray is high quality, trendy, whilst looking natural and attractive to both genders. This is similar to the image I
  • 4. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation have used for my double page spread as it is high quality, attractive and stylish. 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? Representation denotes the way that people, ideas and events are presented to us. The media rely on the audiences understanding these representations and accepting them. My media product represents promotion of the magazine itself, as well as the online version, subscriptions and other promoted features on the four page magazine I have produced. As the magazine uses a consistent colour scheme throughout, it portrays the focus on both genders, as it is a female on the main image for the front cover; it is appealing to both the female and male genders due to sexual appeal, which exemplifies that my magazine represents feminism. Women in genres of magazine such as music, fashion or celebrity news make women look alluring and appealing in relation to dismemberment. As there is a young female on the front cover as the main feature for the magazine, it represents the publications desire to appeal to youth and young adults. This establishes hierarchy within social class, as stereotypically, young adults are either students or employees within a company. However, the presentation of the young female on the cover represents the upper class and famous attention on a young attribute which encourages other young women to substantially work hard and do something meaningful in their lives that will allow them to become noticed by the media and other audiences. This representation on a music magazine promotes and represents a sense of social identity, as she is identified as a new singer for the readers to look up to. Features including non- verbal codes such as, the clothes and appearance; as the outfit she is wearing makes a statement about her, as it makes her look sophisticated and modest, yet young and trendy, the non-verbal codes helped to achieve this inspirational young presentation. It is common that the media focus positively yet critically on celebrities and over focus on consumer items such as luxury cars, popular concerts, fashion accessories, style and gossip on celebrities that only the wealthy (stereotypically) could afford. Therefore my media product represents the natural instincts and hard work of a young individual, which is expressed through the double page spread, and this would further encourage young audiences to work hard and also to do what they love, as it is being said by a celebrity. This links closely to Katz’ Uses and Gratifications theory, as the features within the four page magazine I produced, the audience profile set can relate to ‘identity’ as they recognise this young female as a role model this is exemplified by the conventions used such as, the caption used beside the image in the double page spread, which states ‘motivation is the key to success’, this acts as encouragement to readers and shows ‘Amanda’ is motivated and hard working. As well as another quote used within the article ‘ Always be yourself and love what you do’ this encourages people to freely express themselves and never be afraid to do anything, this therefore promotes good intentions to readers, and this is what they interpret from the magazine. The readers would therefore have an aspiration to become something like them as well as being ‘entertained’ as it enables individuals to forget their worries as is a positive feature in the magazine. The representation of social identity on my media product is deconstructed through mise-en-scene elements as well as other codes and conventions for magazines. The mise-en-scene features within my magazine that represent this social identity include the setting of the image and the props used
  • 5. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation within the photographs, costume, hair and make-up, lighting and colour as well as positioning of the female used for the main story. Each aspect of the mise-en-scene features create meaning and communicate them to the audience, which influences, encourages and ‘injects’ (Hypodermic syringe theory) role model like ideas into the minds of the readers who purchase the magazine. For example, the costume (outfit) the female is wearing for the front cover and the double page spread are stylish and are in the current trend which promotes new fashion this links with Katz uses and gratification theory, as the target audience are ‘informed and educated’ about what a famous star within the music industry is wearing, which forces the readers to have similar aspirations to be as attractive and stylish. This also includes the unique selling points of the magazine, such as the VIP concert tickets, posters of celebrities and exclusives on new music. The example of the VIP concert tickets is something every young and middle aged individual would be interested in seeing live. New popular events such as ‘Katy Perry’ VIP tickets represent the percentage of the young and middle aged adults who would be interested in these types of events of pop artists. The target audience within the socio-economic need I had chosen in the pre-production planning was the category E, which is the lowest in the hierarchy concluding of students, casual workers and the unemployed. As students and unemployed people are usually young teenagers and adults as well as middle aged who are in the D, C2 and C1 category, these groups of social identities have been used as the target audience as the genre of music I focused on for my media product is pop, which usually appeals to this type of age and social groups. The exaggeration of differences is signified through stereotyping and this consequently increases antagonisms between particular groups. The issue with the media’s use of stereotypes is the selectivity, as it conveys assumptions and values that encourage and help construct the audience’s perception of the world and also their behaviour. My media product focuses on the pop music genre; its link to Medhurst stereotype theory is portrayed through the stereotypes that are often advertised and promoted through these types of genres, as in my magazine, the use of a young female on the cover is stereotyped as young new artists and the young sexual attraction. However in argument, my media product goes against the Medhurst theory in some respect and Tessa Perkins relates to my product as there is no single reading of a stereotype, there are only false assumptions. Therefore my media product represents the different hierarchical levels of different social groups and portrays this through the many codes and conventions within my magazine.
  • 6. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation 3. What kind of media institution (Publisher) might distribute your media product and why? From pre-production research and analysis, I believe an entertainment publishing company would be suitable for the publication of my magazine. This would be the International Publishing Corporation (IPC Media) as it is an owned subsidiary of a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom and they also have a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year. With their speciality in magazine publishing, this could give my media product big publicity and address the right audience. Due to targeting the market for both men and women, it would be a successful way to publicise the product to the right audiences. Due to the similarity of my magazine compared to existing magazines that this company has published, it is clear that the codes and conventions and editing process meet the requirements of a successful music magazine. The similarities of my magazine ‘KL4SH’ compared to an issue of ‘Q’ magazine featuring Cheryl Cole also signifies that my magazine would be as successful as the ‘UK’S biggest music magazine’ as it ‘repeats’ (Steve Neale) many of the codes and conventions however they have been manipulated and adapted to develop the magazine to ensure the features used appeal to my target audience. The publisher of ‘Q’ magazine is Bauer Media Group, they are a multinational media company who edit, process and publish magazines in high quality, the extreme publicity and the quality of content within the magazine show that this would also be a company who may publish my product as it uses similar codes and conventions, such as an enticing main image, with a consistent colour scheme, unique selling points and simple cover lines that are aligned efficiently with rule of third.
  • 7. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation 4. Who would be the audience for your media product and why? The target audience for my media product was decided carefully through the pre-production planning phase, research and analysis I had undertaken which concluded that the suitable audience for my product would be teenagers, young adults and middle aged adults both the female and male gender (Hartley’s seven subjectivities) as ‘KL4SH’ magazine addresses many new and latest events with the most popular celebrities, new music, updates with artists and promotion of live events. The magazine is further promoted through the unique selling points which are the ‘VIP’ concert tickets, including celebrity posters. Due to the young, hip pop-music artists portrayed within the magazine, it would clearly appeal to a younger age group. Therefore due to the planning and development of my four page magazine product, the suitable audience that was concluded, would be a young age group from different social groups and hierarchy levels. In accordance to Hartley’s seven subjectivities, the target audience was concluded by ‘gender’ as there are feminine motives which encourage both the female and male gender to purchase the magazine. ‘Age group’ is related particularly to the decision of the audience due to the different socio economic needs that need to be addressed, as every individual has different priorities, aims and needs in their lives. The social class is the young singer/celebrity feature that caters the needs and desires of the audience through an article in the double page spread as she is a ‘celebrity. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is a key theory that was established through extensive analysis in the pre-production research. The theory contains friendship, love, security, physical and esteem needs that are addressed or met through genres such as magazines and music videos. The esteem’ need would apply to the target audience as this includes boost of confidence which is encouraged by the celebrity ‘Amanda’ in the main story. ‘Physiological’ significantly applies to the conclusion of the target audience also as it includes the daily features in our lives that keep us physically and psychologically happy, such as the sexual appeal the celebrities bring to the audience. The audience profile that I had decided was completed by applying these essential theories including Katz’ Uses and Gratifications theory to ensure that the audience can relate to the finalised magazine product that is produced.
  • 8. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation 5. How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted the audience through age related interesting events for example, ‘upcoming event exclusive!’ VIP concert tickets and free celebrity posters this allowed me to address my target audience as I used a variation of unique selling points within my media product. The inclusion of essential codes and conventions such as an enticing and attractive photograph of a female used as the main story, which is seen as a sexual appeal and attraction for the male gender whilst addressing the latest trends, music and gossip as it signifies women’s magazine content. Another convention that I found particularly useful and lead to a successful layout was the ‘rule of thirds’ as this allowed me to structure my magazine layout efficiently and consistently with the cover lines and other features I had to include within the pages. This is a common convention that is used in all existing magazines to ensure it looks neat and appealing to the audience. Through the use of Adobe Photoshop CS4, it allowed me to create a suitable layout following the rule of thirds as for example a feature within Photoshop is the ruler tool which helps to align everything on the page this helps with organisation. This tool was used on both the font cover, contents and double page spread. Therefore this designing software has allowed me to design and develop a media product that can address the target audience through eye catching appeal. The front cover includes a bold sophisticated masthead which ‘repeats’ (Steve Neale) the layout of the ‘billboard’ magazine masthead which has colour fillings within the letters. Similarly, I had designed and developed a masthead that is just as successful and effective as the ‘billboard’ magazine which my potential readership will immediately appreciate from consuming other similar publications. Also the attraction of the magazine was enhanced by presenting this on the blog page which is interactive and can be accessed online any time of the day for people to see the magazine pages produced, as well as students and other individuals who have seen this work and give their feedback. The decision to choose the codes and conventions that were presented on the page has led to a successful production of the magazine which is both appealing and attractive to the target audience that was decided. Also due to the repeating of many elements on existing magazines have enhanced the design of the magazine as well as attractive and interesting features as my magazine includes unique selling points which are key for those who purchase the magazine. Example of ruler tool on a blank page
  • 9. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation 6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? In order to create a successful music magazine, it is important to use the right software which can help to produce high quality products. Adobe Photoshop CS4 software helped me to produce ‘kl4sh’ magazine whilst addressing the target audience and fulfilling the purpose of the magazine while also using the internet and other resources for secondary research and planning for the pre-production phase. In order for the magazine to look fit for purpose and appealing for the target audience, I had decided to create another layer of the girl in the image as the image was not taken separately but together in one shot, therefore once I created another layer, I used the quick mask mode to define the edges and crop and select each part of the image I wanted to keep and present on the front cover. By smoothing and feathering the image in the ‘define image’ button it had brought up different categories that adjust the quality of the image, it now looks clearer, sharper and of a higher quality image. This was particularly useful as I could place the cropped image above the ‘4’ for a more professional approach to the main image as in existing magazines. The image layer was also aligned with detail onto the existing background of the image that was taken for the front cover, overall it does not look like another layer but one image all together but also in front of the mast head for a more professional and intriguing music magazine. This is similar to Adele overlapping onto the Q logo. Another feature on the magazine which is particularly standing out on the page is the lips. To bring out the colour on the lips, I had quick selected it and used the hue saturation tool to brighten the colour. From this, the colour of the cover lines and the filling within the number 4 match and are all the same shade which sticks to a consistent colour scheme. This is a useful tool as it can help to highlight and signify a specific object or person in an image for deeper connotations. This round emblem presenting a ‘Q&A with Miguel’ acts as the unique selling points and this enhances the professionalism and realism of the magazine as many existing magazines have this type of feature to fill the page more. This was created using the shape tool and filled with colour whilst slanting the text tool which was used to make the circle look as though it is titled. This was placed under the ‘K’ as this is also placed near the top of the ‘Q’ magazine also it was the most suitable place for this feature to be as it is at the top and it Is one of the first things that are spotted the fill of the circle in my magazine is the colour of the
  • 10. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation female’s skin tone, similarly the colour of the emblem in the ‘Q’ magazine uses a gold colour matching Adele’s hair colour. Therefore I had used a similar approach to stick to a colour scheme. Also the pre-production phase consisted of planning of the images, preparation and taking the photographs. The camera used for the images used for the front cover, contents and double page spread were taken by a Sony DSLR and a Sony NEX 3N. From the experimentation of the photographs taken by both cameras it allowed me to choose between the better high quality images and also took clear high definition images which look professional for the magazine production. These camera technologies allow for professional and high quality image taking even for individuals who are not professional photographers. Therefore after using the cameras specified for my images, I created professional photographs that were then manipulated in a later stage on the Photoshop software. This concludes that the high technology cameras used and this digital editing software, allowed me to create a professional magazine which appeals to the target audience whilst helping to develop digital editing skills on a professional photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and high quality image capture from professional cameras for the best image enabling successful use of many different tools within the software and technologies for the production of my magazine. The production of the contents page required using the pen tool which was used to shape the editorial letter around the editor photo to ensure it is in place and neatly structured, this helped to achieve a professional and structured format. It also allowed me to structure the editorial around the drop capital. Another tool used for the increase of speed in work flow was duplicating layers which have allowed me to speed up my work flow in the production of the 4 page music magazine. Over all the software allowed me to professionally gain new skills and progress with newly developed skills towards the end of the production of the products. Another particular function that helped me to speed up work flow and remain consistency of colours was using the swatches function on Photoshop, as I was able to save the specific colours that I needed for other parts of the pages and quickly select the colours without having to re find the specific colour I used before, this allowed me to progress with professionalism and consistency.
  • 11. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation 7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? From completing the preliminary task and learning about the demands of this production process, I have learnt basic skills to progress and develop for the main task. This includes extensive research to further look into other types of music magazines and compare the different genres and its presentation of codes and conventions. The preliminary task allowed me to experiment with my skills on Adobe Photoshop CS4 and by this experimentation, I produced a front cover and contents page which demonstrated simplicity and basic skills in Photoshop whereas my preliminary task front cover and main task front cover, demonstrates the enhanced progression and professionalism and my own development in Photoshop image manipulation skills. A comparison between the production phase of the preliminary and the main task is the starting step in the preliminary task front cover, the main image cropping. This is the original photo that was taken for the main image of the preliminary front cover, as seen in the image on the left, the background will be cropped out and this was done by quick selecting the person in the image ensuring all parts of the person is selected and then going into quick mask mode to ensure all edges are highlighted. Once the background was removed, I placed only the person in the front cover of the preliminary task, which is a simple and basic image for
  • 12. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation the cover. Whereas the main task front cover uses an image that was taken specifically with the background prepared and planned for the desired look. However, as the main image for the main task front cover was all on one layer, to get the person’s head in front of the ‘4’ within the mast head, I then opened the same image in another page, quick selected and in quick mask mode I had corrected the edges in more detail whilst also feathering and smoothing the image itself. Therefore the similar techniques used for both main images show my development of the techniques used for different layers and image cropping and quality manipulation. The preliminary task allowed me to experiment with simpler and basic font styles offered by Photoshop; however the main task encouraged professional use of font styles as it mimics existing magazines such as Billboard and Blender music magazines which use a simple but sophisticated font which is not available in Photoshop. Therefore from extensive research made for the main task, I was able to use a more bold and sophisticated font style to entice my target audience. This had allowed me to use different tools and other new software to programme and create this masthead in a different font style online. The online site used to create this masthead for my main task front cover, is Dafont.com this text designing website has helped to discover different online software that is available to help design and publish your own work. As noticed, within the preliminary task front cover I used a lot of stroke effects on text and shape features on the page to highlight it, this was done because all of the colours on the page are contrasting and also because the background is a plain white colour which makes it hard to read to text. Whereas in the main task front cover I did not use any stroke effect for the sole purpose of making it look professional, by not using the stroke effect and just creating shape and text it looked flat on the page which is important for a music magazine. Also, the stroke effect was not needed within the main task as the image had a background which allowed text to be seen clearly. Therefore the development of creating and producing a significant background in the main task was important as it demonstrates my
  • 13. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation development on this from the preliminary task to the main task. Also, many music magazines have backgrounds however some only have plain coloured backgrounds, this usually makes the overall design of the page look dull and ‘boring’ therefore I had used a background which gives more life and colour to the magazine front cover as well as double page spread as it makes it look livelier and eye catching for the audience. Although a double page spread was not experimented with at preliminary level, the progression and skills learnt from designing the preliminary front cover and contents has allowed me to flourish in more developed skills and professional codes and conventions for the main task double page spread as well as the contents page. This page is an example of the developed skills I have learnt from the preliminary phase. As I have similarly produced a professional photograph for the double page spread and repeated a style used for Q magazine with a letter of the star in the background of the first page where the article is placed. The social media promotion is continuously established on both the front cover and the contents page including the double page spread as seen above, I have also included the stars possible Instagram account name so that audiences can keep up to date with the celebrity’s daily activities. The production of the preliminary contents page has encouraged my use of different Photoshop tools and has allowed me to expand on the use of the tools for the image manipulation as well as producing other features on the page.
  • 14. Thamina Chowdhury – AS media evaluation The main task contents page is a similar example of the progression made from preliminary contents page to the main task contents page, as there is significance difference between both produced pages. As seen from the prelim task contents page, it is much simpler, and has more space in between the main image to the cover lines and has a plain white background. Whereas the main task contents page demonstrates the development made in the final piece, as it looks more professional, consistent colour scheme, a much more professional and realistic photograph used as it includes a suitable background as well, therefore fills the blank space. It also repeats many codes and conventions in existing music magazine contents page, as it has a subtitle and cover line within the main image of the page with the page number and celebrity name as designed for the main task. The letter from the editor in the prelim contents is different to the layout in the main task contents page, as it is more structured and fitted into one place with a drop capital to enhance the read of the letter. This concludes, with the preliminary practise completed, it had enabled me to enhance and develop the codes and conventions used previously to make them look more professional and consistent in all aspects for the final product, whilst developing enhanced skills with the Photoshop software and also learning more about what this technology has enabled me to produce.

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