<ul><li>For our A2 media studies coursework, we were required to create a music video and a magazine advert and CD pack to accompany it. </li></ul><ul><li>We were put into groups of four. In my group, I was the director, Chathuri Kothalawala was the producer, Sian Hodgson was the cinematographer and Sade Fuller was the editor. </li></ul><ul><li>The questions I will be answering in the answering in this presentation are: </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? </li></ul><ul><li>How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? </li></ul><ul><li>What have you learned from your audience feedback? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? </li></ul>
In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media?
At the beginning of the project, I researched lots of music videos. I found that each genre had their own set of codes and conventions which represented the artist, but also some codes or conventions carried over into other genres too. The genre of our song was FunkyHouse. I noticed that music videos in this genre was very strongly dance based and many didn’t include narratives. The videos are supposed to be fun and capture the attention of the audience. In our video we included lots of girls dancing in a few different locations, including on the road and at bus stops. These were places that could be expected to be seen in a FunkyHouse music video. We expressed youth culture by showing clips of alcohol, swearing and drugs. These activities are stereotypical views of young adults which has been developed through the media Our video is very strongly dance based. We have a few scenes which are narrative and are actions that represent the lyrics. Most FunkyHouse music videos include the artist in the video, but we went against this typical convention and didn’t include the artist in our video.
One way in which we challenged the typical forms and conventions of real media is the way the females were dressed in our video. FunkyHouse music videos usually include lots of girls dancing whilst wearing very revealing clothes. This was a very unusual choice for a FunkyHouse music video but we decided to go along with it and got mixed reviews about it. However, FunkyHouse music tends to have lots of bright colours, and our dancers wore bright colours quite often.
FunkyHouse music videos tend to use a lot of close ups and a great mix up of different shots. We decided to use more mid-long shots in our video as we wanted to see the dancers body a lot of the time as we wanted the audience to focus on the dancing. FunkyHouse music videos usually objectify women and pay special attention to certain areas while they dance ‘sexily’. We decided not to objectify our women. Examples from Boy Better Know –Too Many Man and Donae’o – Party Hard
We decided to put words in our video. In many FunkyHouse videos that are based around dance, words are included in the video, whereas videos that have more of a narrative tend not to have words. K.I.G – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes FunkHouse videos include people dancing in many different locations. I’ve got a few examples from K.I.G. – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, showing people dancing in a studio, outside a shop and in a hairdressers.
Heads Shoulders Knees & Toes – K.I.G Also, quite often FunkyHouse music videos try to put humour in the videos, so we did too. The songs tend to be fun and upbeat and often make people want to dance and have fun, so they reflect this in the video and the actors look like they’re having fun. Donae’o – Party Hard Donae’o – Party Hard FunkyHouse videos often show people drinking alcohol.
Dotstar – Xpensive Donae’o – Party Hard In a lot of FunkyHouse videos, they like to promote money and expensive things. In Dotstar – Xspensive, it shows girls and the singer dancing while money falls around them. In our video we showed money and things that were worth a lot of money. Also, a lot of music videos include lots of flash cars. This could be to represent status.
Dotstar – Xpensive Most FunkHouse videos conform to Laura Mulvey’s theory: ‘The Male Gaze’ These are pictures from Dotstar’s ‘Xpensive’ video which is one example of many videos that conform to the theory Laura Mulvey says the audience are positioned to see things through the eyes of a male. These pictures show girls wearing bikinis, dancing quite ‘sexy’. This is for the purpose of the male, objectifying the women. These pictures also show that we are to look at the girls from the same point of view as the man dancing with them.
Blackout Crew –Put A Donk On It Kyla – Do you mind Dotstar – Xpensive FunkHouse music videos like to show people using the mixing desk sometimes. While FunkHouse music videos like to show lots of people dancing together, they also have people dancing by themselves. Videos in this genre like to include the audience and make them feel like they’re part of everything. This video shows the artist making direct address to the audience.
FunkyHouse genre sometimes take close up pictures of the artist but from a side view. This is seen in both pictures here. One of the conventions known to FunkyHouse when it comes to taking pictures (and in the video as well) is the artist covering his head with either a hat or a hood. The pictures we took of the actor conformed to this convention. They are also crouched in a similar position.
This advert conforms to typical codes and conventions of real media. I included the typical banner at the top of the advert, including the HMV logo (the dog) I conformed to the typical pink border for the pictures, and the pink writing which would be widely recognised on a HMV advert. It is simple but has all the information it needs.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
For our product we had to look at how effective our main product is with the ancillary texts. I believe that the main product and the ancillary texts work together in some places (although it could be better) and there is some degree of synergy created between the products. We didn’t use the artist in our video so we had to find a different way to get the products to be recognised and have a clear connection. With this in mind, I used the CD cover on the magazine advert I created a simple CD pack but used bright, bold colours to capture the consumers attention. The magazine advert and the CD is used to promote the song, alongside the music video. I feel that there is a link between the music video and the ancillary products, although it may be a weak one. There is a clear connection between the advert and the music video but it becomes weaker and more ambiguous when related to the video.
I feel that because the video doesn’t have many guys in it and then the guys that are in it aren’t used in the magazine advert and CD pack, it doesn’t work together as a marketing product. If I were able to, I would’ve used the man at the beginning of our video for the CD pack and advert because using the same actor allows people to make connections between the CD and magazine and the video. After looking back at the video and then the ancillary texts, I feel that perhaps they weren’t very effective as advertising products. Although the colours used for the writing in the video and the colours used in my ancillary texts are very bold and bright. The artist isn’t used in the video so I decided to use the same artist throughout the CD pack to create a connection, and so the audience can relate to the artist.
I did originally plan to use a different picture for the magazine advert but I decided against this as using a different picture for the advert could perhaps confuse the audience. I also felt that using the CD cover would allow them to look at the magazine and know exactly what the CD looked like. I think the magazine advert and the CD pack is more effective as a marketing tool. I feel that using the CD cover as the picture on the magazine advert was a good idea as it makes an automatic connection. I also noticed that in most, if not all, magazine adverts include the CD cover.
I used the same font throughout the CD pack and used the same four colours. I used the colours because they were bright and eye catching. Also, FunkyHouse uses a lot of bright colours, so this conforms to typical codes and conventions.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
We asked 20 people (10 boys and 10 girls) of the ages 18-24 (which was our target audience) to watch the video twice and answer some questions based on the video and my advert and CD pack. Attached to this evaluation are some of the questions we asked and the feedback we got. From the audience feedback, we learnt what went well and what didn’t work so well so if we were to do this again, we would know what shots and ideas worked well for the video and what we would do differently. Finally, we needed to know if our video worked together with the advert and CD pack as an advertising package. Secondly, we needed to know if the CD cover and magazine advert we designed were good enough to sell the product and make people want to buy it. We needed to get audience feedback to know a variety of things. Firstly, we needed to know if our video was ‘good’ and if it worked for the song.
Did you like our video? If we were to do the video again we would put more boys in the video and maybe get the girls to wear less clothes. They said that the video was interesting to watch and was edited well. The majority of the group also said that the girls are wearing more clothes than usual for a video of this genre and that perhaps it didn’t look as good as if the girls were wearing typical clothes. Most of the group told us that we needed to have more boys in the video as there were only a few shots of boys in the video but they weren’t of any importance to the video. We found that more boys than girls liked our video. This could be because of the actors we had in the video.
Was our video representative of other FunkyHouse music videos? It seemed that the issues of costume in the video came up quite a few times so if we were to do the video again, what the actors wear will be chosen with this in mind. While the majority of people said yes, there was still quite a significant amount of people in the group that said no. When asked why, they collectively agreed that the video was a bit dull compared to other FunkyHouse music videos. They also said that “the girls are usually objectified in FunkyHouse music videos and are wearing very little clothes.”
What channels do you think our video would be played on? Just over half of the group said our video would be played on KISS because this channel usually plays this type of music. The group also said that this channel often has ‘sexy dancing’ in the videos and that our video does have sexy dancing. Very few people said our video would be played on Smash Hits! as there is a lot of alcohol and drugs in our video. Smash Hits! usually play pop music so children are more likely to watch this channel so its not likely that our video would be played on it. 50% said the video would be played on MTV Base, which specialises more in R&B videos more, but does quite often play FunkyHouse videos. Everyone in the group said the video would be played on channel AKA, and the majority of people said it would be played on MTV Dance. These channels often play R&B and FunkyHouse music.
Would you watch the video again? More girls said no they wouldn’t watch the video again because there were no boys in the video. One girl also said the video promoted drugs and alcohol too much and she didn’t find it appropriate. From the feedback given, we feel that if the girls were wearing less clothes more boys would’ve said yes they would watch the video again. We found that more boys more than anyone said they would watch the video again. We feel that this is because there were more girls in the video.
Do you think this advert sells the single well? The majority of the group said yes, the advert was very ‘to the point’ and sold the single well. It was the typical colours of a HMV advert and it looked like a real advert. The people who said no said the advert should have been more colourful and fun to reflect the upbeat song and the colourful CD cover. Others in the group disagreed and said the CD cover stood out more on the plain black background.
Do you think this CD cover sells the single well? The majority of the group said yes, the CD cover was very effective as it was colourful but still quite plain so while it attracted the audience it wasn’t ‘too full or too plain’. The few that said no said the cover was too plain and they thought the cover should be more exciting to draw in more people, maybe people who don’t normally listen to that genre.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Throughout the whole project, we used a range of technologies. One of the technologies we used were mobile phones. We used these to communicate as they were the easiest way of communicating as everyone had a mobile phone. At the beginning of the project we made sure that we all had each others numbers from the group. Another technology we used to communicate was social networking site Facebook. We found this an easy way to communicate when there was a lot to say or when everyone in the group and the band were involved in the messaging. We used www.blogger.com to post our research, problems and success. On this website we included everything we had done surrounding this project.
<ul><li>We used special effects for the transactions between shots as we felt they looked good in our video. FunkyHouse genre tends to have lots of fast paced edits so we used lots of straight cuts as well as special effects. </li></ul>To make the music video, I used many different technologies. To edit the video, we used Final Cut Pro on the Apple Macs. We did a preliminary exercise before starting the actual project to familiarise ourselves with the programme as it is a very complex programme to use. After filming the shots for our video, we had to log and capture our clips. We then looked through them all and we decided which clips we would use and at which part of the song. We had clips that matched the lyrics of the song for example, ‘popping bottles’ and the actors saying the lyrics ‘why would you do that’. We had to sync these clips to the correct time of the lyrics. We also put words in our video such as ‘why would you do that’ and ‘T I . N O’. We had troubles trying to sync the actions to the lyrics as the song was quite fast and we had actors in our video who didn’t really know the song.
We also found that the actors were looking at the main camera in the middle the whole time so the other point of view cameras weren’t as useful because we only really got the side of them. Although with the second song our filming still wasn’t very good, we found ourselves running out of time and had to make do with what we had. While some of the shots were quite good, some had parts of the wall in the shot so we had to cut these out. We often took 3 cameras with us when we filmed to try to get as many angles as we could so we would have more footage and different shots. We found that a lot of our filming was not very good standard for the first song we did. As a group, we saw this as a learning curve and when starting the new song, took all of the problems we’d encountered from the first song into consideration and tried to avoid these problems. To make the video we had to use equipment such as cameras and tripods. We had never used these cameras before so we were able to familiarise ourselves with the cameras during the preliminary exercise.
We had to find actors that looked like they belonged in the band so we researched bands that were similar to see what they usually looked like. We tried once more to film with actors for this song but they also had problems with filming and wasn’t available at the same time. Eventually, we found a band who were really excited about the project and had a song they wanted to use. Unfortunately, after our initial meeting they weren’t very helpful. They lived quite far away and all had exams and other school work they needed to do. We filmed them once but it was very boring as they didn’t move the whole time, and then eventually we lost contact with them. We did get actors for the song and started filming again but they started to let us down too. When looking for an artist to use for our music video, we used the internet a lot, searching many different websites for an unsigned artist who had their own song and was recognised by a small audience (at least). We used websites such as myspace and youtube. We also used facebook a lot to see if any of our friends or friends of friends were making their own music.
We found this genre a lot easier to do as it wasn’t typical to have a narrative story in the video. We filmed people dancing and acting out certain lyrics and tried to sync them to the song. After continuously being let down and having bad shots, we went back to the start and found a new artist from youtube who was willing to work with us. His song had been played in clubs before and was fairly well known on youtube so we started again. We realised this was very late in the project to start again but we were willing to work hard and film as much as we could and edit as quick as possible. We also had to re-film our narrative for the song many times. The first time we filmed the narrative we found it wasn’t good and the second time we felt it looked that the actors didn’t really want to do it.
However, for our second music video we used bus stops and local parks as they were more likely to be found in the music video. We originally planned on filming in Westfield shopping centre but we were told we weren’t allowed to so we had to change our plans. We also had the idea to film in a McDonalds car park but we were told we weren’t allowed to get any of the McDonalds signs or the buildings in the video so we had to be careful. Also, when planning our first music video, we used Google street maps for location scouting, and we tried to find some places and looked at places we had thought of or had been suggested to use for our video. We found places such as Hampstead Heath and local parks which were suitable for the narrative for the music video. We also used youtube to look at other videos of that genre to see what the typical codes and conventions were for that genre for inspiration and so we could use them for our video. We decided that we wanted our video to conform to typical codes and conventions.
We mainly used InDesign for our advert and CD pack, but used Photoshop for the pictures and to edit them because Photoshop develops a better photo quality. We then transferred the photo into the InDesign document. To make the magazine advert and the CD cover and booklet, I used Adobe InDesign CS4 and Adobe Photoshop CS4. These were easier to use than Final Cut Pro (used for the music video) because we had used them to make the magazine for our AS coursework. We found that these programmes were more simple and easy to use.
If we were to do the project again I feel that I would find it easier as we would be more prepared for things to go wrong. We were slightly disheartened every time something went wrong and did begin to feel like it was too hard to progress in the project. We are also better at using the programmes now as we have used them quite a bit and we wouldn’t need time to become familiar with the programmes and would be able to complete the project quicker and with less stress. As my group had many troubles throughout the project and we started again, we had less time to get that music video and ancillary texts completed so they are not as complex and detailed as they could’ve been. Although I was more familiar with the programmes, it had been almost a year since I had used it so I still had troubles using them and had to spend time familiarising myself and watching tutorials to refresh my memory. Overall, I found that it was easier to make the magazine advert and the CD pack as I was more familiar with the programmes we used and it wasn’t as complex.