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Evaluation (michael butler (group 2))

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Evaluation (michael butler (group 2))

  1. 1. Evaluation<br />Michael Butler<br />
  2. 2. The ways in which my products use, develop and challenge real media products<br />The song I selected ‘Evanescence: My Immortal’ is a song not typical of the genre normally associated with evanescence. I had to therefore take the band in a slightly different direction. Evidence of this can be seen in my digipack, website and video. It was enjoyable because it allowed me to take the direction I felt was suitableand allowed me to drift slightly from codes and conventions for the video and CD cover, although no so much the website. The themes of the song are of loss, mourning and heartache. Such sombre themes are not uncommon for this band. Also such themes meant I felt I had to produce a video a little bit different to usual music videos. A lot of music videos these days are post-modern, which means they are more about style over substance, a video that will catch the eye of passing viewers or please the eye of already established fans. I thought, given the nature of the narrative the song depicts, I would produce a video with some concrete narrative, a segment of a story that would leave the viewer effected in some way. In this evaluation, I will discuss my products in depth and share my reasoning behind what I eventually decided to do. I will discuss the success I had in creating cohesion between my three products. And also what I would have done differently were I given the opportunity. <br />
  3. 3. Comparison of my CD cover and Real media CD cover<br />My CD cover<br />Real Media<br />The similarities between my product and real media are easy to see; all feature the lead singer of the band. But the real media has a more fantastical feel to it. That was where I had to go in a different direction. The song is very much a love song. A song of loss and sadness. I had to try and depict those feelings into a CD cover. The black and white theme is the house style of all the products. The font is very similar. A serif font. The title of the song I written in a different way. I wanted to look as if she had written it herself, to give it a more personal touch. I wanted to drain the colour from both the CD cover and the video, to make it more miserable. But it also serves the purpose of making it seem more post- modern and more cinematic. I wanted a cinematic theme to continue into the digipack. I put borders on the cover, the like of which you see in a movie when it is widescreen. And also I added a film grain effect to add to the cinematic feel. <br />
  4. 4. Digipack as a whole<br /> The whole digipack carries the same mood- a theme of sadness and sorrow. The lack of colour parallels the lack of happiness that is in the song. The song is about loss and sorrow and mourning. A brightly coloured digipack to accompany a bright, feel-good music video would not be appropriate for the mood of the song. The digipack is therefore almost entirely black and white. It reflect the mood of the song and the video perfectly. <br />Front Cover<br />Inside Cover<br />Back Cover<br />There is a clear association between all 3 designs. All are of the same kind of style and mood. Here is clear house style, created by the colour scheme and the fonts being used. All photos were taken at the same location, so they are all lit the same. They all edited using the same effects. <br />
  5. 5. Front cover: before and after<br />The photo was taken using natural light in an alleyway behind a park near he college. It was taken using a standard compact camera. The location was also used in the video, this was decided in an attempt to create cohesion and continuity between the products. A film grain effect was added and a black and white effect, this was to form the house style ad also the eerie feeling I had in mind.<br />
  6. 6. Inside cover<br />I have already analysed the front cover so I will move straight on to the inside cover instead of repeating myself. <br />I decided to use an idea from my AS coursework that I used for my double page spread. Which was to have one picture spread over both pages (or in this case sides). I thought it was a good idea because I didn’t see it very often when I researched other real media. <br />I also decided to add a little more of a professional touch. I added some information about the song and added some websites and some logos of record companies etc . I did consider copyright issues but didn’t think simply displaying the logo would matter that much. If anything it provides free exposure. <br />However I did have to put up a shadow. This was to make the writing clearly visible. I had a choice between putting in a box or having coloured font which would have ruined the colour scheme<br />
  7. 7. Inside cover: before and after<br />The original photo was taken using natural light, using only a standard compact camera. It was taken at a cemetery around the corner from the college I attend. I applied a black and white effect and tinkered with the RGB levels until it looked good. I added a film grain effect like I did with the front cover, to form house style but also create the eerie effect I had in mind for the whole digipack. All I had to do after that was crop the photo to the appropriate size. <br />
  8. 8. Back cover<br /><ul><li>For my cover I was faced with a problem; how was I going to show the names of the songs without ruining the colour scheme? I experimented with different ideas and decided that this was the best option. I tried originally to put in a burn effect but it was dark enough. So I added a shadow effect. This effect allowed me to black out a corner of the cover, but also fade it so it didn’t just look like a block.
  9. 9. All my pictures including the one from my inside cover, were taken from the same location, this creates a house style so all 3 parts of the digipack are clearly associated. The font I chose was the same as that on the front cover, again forming part of a house style. The colour scheme of black white has the effect of creating an eerie feel when paired with the imagery of death (gravestone). </li></li></ul><li>Back Cover (cont.)<br /><ul><li>The song is about mourning and loss, it was therefore appropriate to include images of gravestones, especially since there is a shot in the movie of the character by the graveyard. </li></li></ul><li>Back cover: before and after<br />The photo as with the previous two was taken using natural light at a cemetery near the college, with a standard compact camera. The same two effects; the black and white and film grain effect were added. But I had to find a way in which I could display the titles without using a coloured font. So I added a smudge- like segment, using the inner shadow effect on Photoshop. This way I could fade it a bit and make the appearance of the smudge a little less harsh. I had originally wanted a burn effect, but the darkness was not sufficient with that effect.<br />
  10. 10. Music video<br />The narrative the song Evanescence: My Immortal, demanded a video that wasn’t just a post-modern collection of images. This narrative called for a proper story to be told to the viewer, a story that would cause an emotional response in the viewer. <br />The song is a story of loss and the pain suffered form such a loss. I wanted to convey that ain in a way the audience would be able to relate to. I wanted to use imagery to reflect the emptiness of the woman's life, and also the void that this loss left. I did this by using shots of the girls alone and shots of her with the man she's lost in the background but out of her vision, as if he's watching over her. <br />
  11. 11. Music video<br />I had to immediately convey that this was the man she had lost to avoid any confusion. I had to include this shot early in the video. It comes in at around 10 seconds. <br />I included a number of close up shots, like the one you see below and the one the previous slide, this was to create a more intimate feel and make the audience feel closer to the character, thereby making it easier to empathise with her and the images seen later that more poignant and shocking. <br />
  12. 12. Music video<br />Despite the meaningfulness of the narrative and the images used, it was important to make it pleasing on the eye, that was partly why I decided to shoot the majority of the movie in black and white. <br />I did this for 2 reasons: <br />Because it had snowed over the period we were shooting, it made the location appear cold and miserable. The colourlessness depicted how colourless her life is without him. dressing her in black was an easy decision as it is the colour of mourning, but also provided a visual contrast. Making her stand out form the environment so the audience focussed on her and not so much her surroundings.<br />Also because the contrast between the black and white was pleasing on the eye, even in colour. I wanted to accentuate that by putting in black and white, by making those two aspects, the character and the snow, in prominence it means I can control what the audience focuses on.<br />
  13. 13. Music video<br />Throughout the video, there are parts where the mood changes, there are flashbacks, showing the audience what she has lost and what she is missing. This creates an emotional response of empathy with her sadness. Set up because of the intimate shots previously seen, the audience meant to sympathise with her pain. I had to make it clear though that it was a memory. I had to distinguish between past and present so I a colourful tint to the shots that were meant to be her memories. The colourlessness was meant to depict the colourlessness of her life without him, therefore adding colour depicted an opposite; how colourful her life was with him around. I couldn’t make it fully colourful because the difference wouldn’t have been pleasing the eye, it would have been too much. The two varying colours of the two shots below go together well. You can clearly tell that the shots are meant to be of different meaning. Also the shots of present day have the man at a distance showing the obvious distance between the two of them now that he is gone. <br />
  14. 14. Music video<br />Nearing the end of the song, there is a part where the song becomes really passionate instead of being really slow and mellow. Instead of mourning the woman depicted really lets go of her emotions. As seen in the still below, she really gets into her singing. The actress played a really key part in making this bit believable. Without it would have been harder to convey her passion. To make it even more emotional we added the colour back in to symbolise that she is no longer mourning but letting go. We had her seated in the corner, a position of vulnerability. We used a room with red walls, the colour of passion, we used a close up of the character to make it easier to empathise but mainly to focus the audience on her. Also we had to be creative with our lighting, we used candle light, placed on a table near the actress to create an even more intimate feel. Candle light usually associated with romance and passion. <br />
  15. 15. Music video<br />It was important in my opinion to provide the audience with an element of closure. To do this I felt it necessary to depict the death of the man. An overdose was the simplest way of doing it, also its a common form of suicide. I decided it had to be a suicide because it was the most shocking, the most emotional. When paired with the words to the song, it creates a powerful emotional response. I wanted to create a feeling of suspense, the shot begins in the dark, then the woman walks in and turns the light on to find him there. This way it was as if the audience had found him in the way that she did, it creates a mimic of the response she felt; a combination of shock and sadness and confusion.<br />It was important to make it clear there was a suicide, but it had to be portrayed in one shot so as not prolong the feeling and ruin the sudden shock. It was important to make it first clear it was suicide, so the pills and bottle of whiskey were in the foreground with the man. And the woman arriving in the background . It wasn’t necessary to include her reaction in the shot as it was obvious because the audience will have been to preoccupied with their own reaction. <br />
  16. 16. Music video<br />At the end of the song, it fades out with a piano and soft singing. It was an ideal time to provoke more in the way of an emotional response. It was decided that it would be a good idea to show all the memories she has with him that are shown, and also a few others, but in reverse. It provides something different for the audience to see and also gives a recap of events in the video to make the audience feel one more time what they felt during the video. <br />To see all the stills taken, here is a link to my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/<br />
  17. 17. Comparison of my video with real media<br />My video is simply shot, it relies on good camera work and lighting. It is simple but effective in its message. And the way in which it depicts the lyrics from the song.<br />This is a still taken from ‘Bring Me To Life’, the first big successful track Evanescence had. This uses CGI in its attempts to depict the lyrics. <br />
  18. 18. Comparison cont.<br />The video I made I feel is more artistic. The variety of shots used and the lighting. I feel this is, in part, down to my background in film. It was easier for me for make a more cinematic video that spoke to the audience on a deeper level.<br />I feel my video is different to other music videos in that way, because of how cinematic it is, it is almost like a film noir. Other music videos these days are about style over substance.<br />
  19. 19. Webpage<br />N:Media COURSEWORKWEBSITE HOMEPAGEwebpages workEVANESCENCE HOME PAGE.html<br />Above is a working link to the webpage I have created<br />
  20. 20. Webpage<br />My webpage<br />Real media webpage<br />There are clear similarities between the website I created and the real media website. <br />
  21. 21. Other inspirations<br />As well as the actual Evanescence website, there were other inspirations I drew from: <br />Mastodon<br />Nightwish<br />Queens of the stone age<br />Not all of these bands are from the same genre of music, but all of them have different designs which helped with the design stage.<br />
  22. 22. Webpage comparison<br /><ul><li>Both mine and the real media webpage are set to a dark background
  23. 23. Both have the band name centrally placed, although mine has the band name placed below the main links, this was an idea I had because I hadn't seen it on the pages I had researched and wanted to do something unusual.
  24. 24. Both have a glowing effect on the title and the other smaller headings, this was an idea I liked on the real media homepage and decided to implement it in my own
  25. 25. Both feature a central picture, although not associated with the band
  26. 26. I opted for a picture at the top of my webpage, this was something else I hadn't seen in my research
  27. 27. I had opted to use the real media evanescence webpage as a base to start from, I used similar headings as they did. I knew if those heading were on the page, they were needed on the page.</li></li></ul><li>Webpage breakdown<br />The title of the band is the same font used on the CD cover, this too forms part of the house style, what also forms the house style is that I combined it with the effect I used on the headings, the outer glow effect. This allows audience to recognise the band name and the font can be associated with the band.<br />Picture at the top, creates an atmosphere for the site. Image could be associated with the band and their demeanour. Image in black and white which forms part of the house style that the CD cover is part of. I added an inner glow effect to make the picture look misty and add an eerie feel to it.<br />I also included what would be a link to what would be the bands latest release, and the song that I made a video for, this would help the audience be able to associate all my products to the same project.<br />The headings I used were similar in terms of topic to that of the real media webpage, I included things that you would expect to see on any music webpage; news, tour info etc. I used an outer glow effect to make it stand out and give it the magical feel I liked in the real media site. The handwriting was similar to what I used on the CD cover, serving two purposes: to help form a house style, but also creates a more sophisticated feel and is pleasing on the eye.<br />Another way I made the website look more professional, was to add link to social networking sites like facebook. Facebook and twitter have become important ways for celebrities of all kinds to interact with their fans. It is also a quick way of sharing information. It was therefore deemed important to include these links. <br />For a more professional appearance, I added flags of the countries for which there could be a translated site. This would be important to help the band maintain its international popularity.<br />I included some additional links; downloads, fanzone, newsletter, also some separate information about the tour some links to photds.<br />
  28. 28. The effectiveness of the combination of my media products<br />On first look, it is clear that the 3 products have cohesion. They all use the house style I created. they all use similar images, the photos are almost all in black and white, making it easier to associate them with one another. The use of the same font on the CD cover as in the website is another reason why.<br />
  29. 29. Fonts<br />All bands have a trademark font, a font that becomes affiliated with the band itself. That appears on all its products. It is made to make the band recognisable, and to give cohesion to any products they produce, so one can be associated with the other. <br />
  30. 30. Cohesion<br />In this short montage I made on movie maker are stills from the video, the covers from the digipack, and the photos that I used on the website. It is easy to see that they go together, easy to see they are part of the same project. <br />
  31. 31. Cohesion<br />Instead of being separate products , the three were created with a house style in mind and to appeal to a certain target audience. The main colours associated with the metal genre are black, white and another colour. The video was filmed in black and white, so already that was conforming to colours associated with the genre. But a video is different because it is so unusual to see a music video in black and white because it isn't attractive and wont draw attention to itself. For the other products; the digipack and the website black and white were ideal. It allowed me to create a house style in itself, the film grain effect on the digipack drew attention the cinematic element of the project and the photos from the website were taken on the location on where the movie was shot.<br />
  32. 32. Target Audience<br />Finding, and appealing to your target audience is very important. In real world media, target audience is used to maximise sales. The producer will organise some research to be done. This will determine who the product is aimed at so that they can guarantee sales. But this comes at a price. Having such a specific target audience will however restrict the potential sales in some way. Aiming music at a certain niche by dressing the artists in a certain way and using a certain type of font will dissuade some people from buying it. For example, people may be put off if it if, like in the example below, the font is aggressive or the imagery is aggressive. The name of the band, the picture, the font are all things that would appeal to a niche target audience, that will sell really well in this target audience but will not attract many new fans of another genre or will not tempt people to buy it if they have never heard them before. Appealing to a specific group is risky, but such a genre such as metal with its hardcore fan base, will always have fans and will always attract new fans in other ways. They do not need to appeal to another target audience. <br />Evanescence are strictly speaking a metal band. Btu this particular song strays from their metal image. It is more about emotions this song. Some metal fans may not like it. But some fans of more ‘middle of the road’ music may like it.<br />It is important therefore that when you are creating products on different media forms they each have to be aimed at your target audience. Using technological synergy across technologies effectively is important as you can communicate to your fans in a variety of ways. If a fan cannot access information online, they can access it on TV or in a magazine, or the radio. It is important to be able to communicate on a variety of levels through various forms of media. <br />
  33. 33. What I have learned from audience feedback<br />Audience feedback is very important. It lets you know how successful you have really been. Of course you can be proud of your own work, but sometimes you do not see your own failings. <br />I conducted a simple survey around people of the same demographic as those I used for my market research. I simply asked to mark my work out of 10 based on three topics; cohesion, appeal and professionalism. Because each person that gave a rating was into this genre of music they were familiar with Evanescence, so rating my work in terms of appeal and professionalism would give a good indication of how well my product might fair if it were a Real media product. <br />Through Facebook I was able to distribute my work quickly and easily. By publishing my work on the ‘wall’ for everyone to see, I could then private message the people I interviewed previously. By private messaging it meant that people would not be influenced by other peoples grading. <br />In the real audience feedback is especially important. Before they release a new piece of media they will do a pilot to see if the product would be successful, if it gets good reviews they go through with it, if not it will be scrapped. <br />
  34. 34. Graph to show the scores I received from my target audience<br />
  35. 35. Analysis of results<br />Cohesiveness mean: 8.8<br />Appeal mean: 8.05<br />Professionalism mean: 8<br />The graph and these numbers make for good reading for me, on all three points I was scored highly by members of the target audience. This could mean that in the real world my products would be well received. My lowest score was o professionalism, this could be down to the fact that they had already seen the real media version of the website and didn’t see mine as being as good. I was of course at a disadvantage in the sense I had a lot less material to work with. But 8 out of 10 is still a good score. <br />A mean of 8.05 for appeal suggest what I mentioned in the previous paragraph that although I scored highly it was not as high as it could be, this mean for a appeal indicates that had my product not been compared to other real media and taken on its own merit, it may have scored higher. <br />Cohesiveness was my highest result, I had expected this because all the photos were shot on the same location as the film was made, and they were edited using the same effects. Also the point I made about the same font being used had something to with it I expect. <br />On reflection my idea of marks out of ten was not the best. Looking back I require more in depth feedback about what I could do better. I chose the system I did because it was quick and easy for all parties involved and I could quantify my results. People are more likely to give feedback to me if it is not time consuming, which detailed feedback would have been. If had done it on the basis of feedback in pros, I would not have been able quantify although it would mean more detail in my responses. <br />
  36. 36. The media technologies used during the three stages of production<br />A variety of technologies were used at each stage of production. These were all necessary in their own right. Without them it would have made the whole process extremely difficult. It has given me a real insight into not only the difficulties that had to be overcome in the 1980’s; when technology was not that it is now and the media was coming into prominence. But also how quickly technology has progressed and how important it is to modern media techniques and conventions<br />
  37. 37. Research and planning<br />The internet- it has become the main source of information for everything. Without it, it would be extremely difficult and time consuming to have researched what we did. <br />Shops- Although it wasn’t all I used, I went into shops like HMV and saw what they had on the shelf<br />TV- the main place where music videos are shown, channels like Kerrang were best considering the genre of music I was involved with<br />Old fashioned pen and paper- for my ideas and storyboards there is not substitute for drawing your ideas by hand<br />
  38. 38. Construction- digipack<br />For the construction of my digipack I ha d to first take the photos, I used a standard Fujifilm camera. I had the opportunity to have used a DSR but as I already had the camera to hand, and the quality of the pictures isn't bad I would use that. Although my pictures would have maybe been just a little sharper had I used that camera instead. <br />Once I had the photos taken I uploaded them to the computer and used the program Adobe Photoshop to edit them. Using this program I was able to apply different effects depending what I wanted to create. Also using Photoshop I was able to set the correct the dimensions for a standard CD cover. Another way in which I adhered to codes and conventions, could have created a new case that would have been only used here thereby perhaps making it more appealing to the target audience or make it stand out in such away that a new fan wishes to purchase it. <br />Photoshop allowed me to manipulate the image, it allowed me to add the black borders and with the use of the program Adobe Illustrator add font types that I had created. It allowed me to add the effects like the film grain effect that you see in this screen shot.<br />
  39. 39. Construction- digipack (cont.) <br />Along with Photoshop to create and manipulate the images, I used Adobe Illustrator to manipulate and create fonts. It allowed me to turn fonts from serif to sans- serif or sans serif to serif. Using that program and then importing the file to Photoshop, you can create really professional- looking pieces. <br />I wanted a more professional look to my digipack. So what I decided to do was add the logos you see on the Real media digipacks. I had to first use the internet to research the record companies the band belonged to. I took the images off of Google and pasted them on.<br />
  40. 40. Construction- Music Video<br />In what was probably my favourite task of the project, we were asked to create a music video. This gave me the opportunity to be reacquainted with some of the software I had used in film studies but also try out some new software. We need a DV camera as we were using DV tapes and recording in 16:8. this wasn’t the first time I had used this form of camera, I was excited to be using it once again. <br />We set out a list of locations, all within a small radius. This made carrying equipment around easier as none of us had a car. It also made it possible to shoot the majority of the video in one visit, as we only had one location that was away form the rest it was easy to do so. Also as it has snowed for the last few days prior to shooting it made it so there weren't any continuity errors with the snow. Obviously by the time next shooting day comes around, the snow could have all been gone. This obviously would have made it extremely difficult to produce a good video if every other shot had different amounts of snow fall. <br />All that was left was to do the indoor shots, that were also filmed at the same house to avoid any continuity errors or confusion. We spent about 3 or 4 hours shooting the outside shots, then probably about 2 hours shooting inside. It was difficult because the lighting in the room was not ideal, we should have used our own special lights, but we decided to use candles to give it that extra emotional, intimate touch. Also the shots inside were intimate, and trying to get the actors and actresses right was also difficult. <br />
  41. 41. Construction- Music Video<br />As it was a music video we were shooting, post-production was the most difficult stage. Although I had used the software before, the task of lip syncing the song and the images on screen was very difficult. Because I am a bit of a perfectionist I wanted to get it exactly right , which I feel I did to the best of my ability. <br />I was given the opportunity to use Final Cut Pro on an Apple Mac provided by my college. I already the opportunity to use this software before, but I needed time to familiarise myself with it again. <br />On the left is a photograph of the hardware I used, on the right a screenshot of the software I used, Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro is an editing tool where you can capture the tape you recorded on and use it to organise your shots, and edit your shots, add effects and transitions. In additional to the Soundtrack Pro program we used to master the actual sound, Final Cut Pro allows you to make your piece as professional as possible. <br />
  42. 42. Construction- Website<br />As with the previous two products, my work was made easier with the use of another Adobe program. This time Adobe Dreamweaver, a program used for the creation and design of webpages. <br />A created the webpage design in Photoshop just like any other picture, then I had to save for web and devices and open it using this program. There I was able to highlight an area that would be used as a link, I was only required to link to a blank page, so just simply linked to a page that had a heading saying what would be on it e.g. news. Once I had constructed the layout of the page on Photoshop the task of actually adding the hyperlinks was relatively simple. It was just time consuming had in total I had about 30 different links to create. <br />It is important to stress that this is merely to show what program I used, this isn't a screenshot of my actual work.<br />
  43. 43. Conclusion<br />In conclusion I would say that my project as a whole was very successful. I feel as though I did all that was expected of me and more. The results I found from my audience feedback show that the target audience also liked my product. I feel and perhaps they felt that my products would not look too out of place next to real media products. <br />I found the task very enjoyable as it allowed me to use a variety of software and hardware, some of which I had used before. It allowed to be creative but always working towards a goal. It has enhanced my knowledge of the world of music and the difficulties faced with creating products we all so readily take for granted. <br />

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