In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? By Usman Majid
IntroductionHeifervecsent “Chased by a cow” music video fits into a range of genres, all of which use, challenge and develop forms of convections.
Music genre• The music video is primarily based on a narrative, which is essentially what character/actor Usman performs to, for example, the plot is evolved around Usman who has a dream of a cow that has come to haunt him, peculiarly the cow has mentally effected the incentive of Usman through the belief of existence (image) and his actions further enhance this when the he is stood outside a cow store in “Arndale” and appears to be running away in the video whenever a cow is seen (Hence the name chased by a cow) with fate beyond destiny.
Conventions usedWhen thinking of a genre thatis applicable to this video, theanswer would be Indie, pop aswell asalternative, however, Heifervecsent “Chased by a cow” canalso be interoperated as anacoustic folk genre through thelighting. The sunlight reflectson the camera creating anambient atmosphere for thenarrative. It also connotessummer and the ideologiesthat fit in with it, such asrunning through plainfields, sun baving on treebranches, and cycling along theriver.
Challenging Conventions• Another way our media product challenges forms and conventions of real media text is through the relationship between the visuals and the lyrics as some of the visual illustrates the lyric according to Andrew Goodwin’s approach to music videos conventions.
Lyrics and Visuals:DisjunctureWe used this technique ina sarcastic way to keep upwith the style of the artistand tone of the song. Anexample of this is the lyricsfor1:22-1:24 are ‘welcomethis fantastic day’ and yetthe character’s bodylanguage contradict this ashe looks as if it’s one of theworst days of his entire lifeand the image on the rightis evident of this thoughthe use of disjuncture.
Challenging conventionsFurthermore, the significance of the cow is highlightingboth the dramatic swing in the music in terms of thebeat used in the video, from upbeat to downbeat and atthe same time portraying the cow in a “angry” manner,as oppose to typically a relaxed depiction. Meanwhile atension looking character in Usman, furthermoreimplying to the contradictory in the course of playingupbeat tempo to a shot of a emotional character.We felt the plot we had in mind would not be effective ifwe were to limit the genre to just one, instead producinga video that is versatile which in turn enables a range ofgenres to fit in, thus by allowing multiple genre’s itchallenges new conventions, enabling the music video tobe narrative based but also include quirky elements to itwhereby it consists of both alternative and indie as wellas some conventions of folk involved. For example, theuse of cows and natural environments enhances folkgenre to be a part of the conventions in this music video.Meanwhile, the narrative typically demonstrates theconventions of a pop genre,
DevelopingconventionsIn the beginning of the video(0:00-0:24 )we used awhitening effect to give theimpression of a dreamsequence. The dream beingwhen he was free from thefear of the ‘cow’. From 0:35 to0:43, he becomes aware ofwhat is following him and triesto run away from his fate.However, as the video is for asong from the genre of Pop,upbeat and positivity neededto be included, dancing showswhen our character feels likehe has gone back to notfearing.
Developing conventionsThe clothing fits in with this genre of pop but also of the indie genrethrough the use of colorful modern clothing (bego chinos, elbowpatched jacket) and at the same time a combination of vintageclothing, such as the old school military boots. The lyrics andstoryline convey the genre through the ludicrous imaginaryrelationship of a cow. This challenges new conventions of somegenres- R’n’B and indie pop, in which the lyrics and video convey asuperficial lifestyle that aspires the audience in perhaps a negativeway of living their “utopia”. The digipak conveys the acoustic folkgenre through the unique drawings which show the artistic elementto the genre, which in turn connotes the themes of peace and anorganic lifestyle. On the cover there is a picture of a cow whichrepresents the countryside which shows the conventions of the folkgenre. At the same time however, I decided to use the cow as amultiple feature, this is shown in the digipack when the cow istransformed in innovative was, through the use of the cow beingportrayed as an object i.e. a lottery box but at the same time thecows head symbolizing it has more than one purpose, adding to thegenre convention of alternative.
Developing ConventionsOn the storyboard there were shots of the main characterby the river; however in the shooting of the music video Idecided against using too many shots and wanted tocapture more shots of “The Abney Hall scene” and“Arndale” as this would make the location significant to thecharacter (Usman) as it would show routine in his day-to-day life and create a sense of familiarity to the audience ashe would become almost an intimate person in his life.Because the video is only three and a bit minutes therepetition it to be over a long period of time. To break upthe emotional hatred and confusion I captured sequencesof the main character Usman catching a train down EastDidsbury train station, in Manchester, to represent changein the narrative and continue to focus the attention on him.To make the sequences more authentic I took shots from adistance, using a range of long and medium shots at variousangles, behind character (Usman) and filmed.
This engages the audience to make them feel part ofthe film and also shows the themes of “vintage” and“homemade” in the genre. To represent the genre ofthe video more precisely the costume worn bycharacters were more alternative to the mainstreamfashion. I looked into the costume of more indie musicvideos and to fit the genre Usman wore a, sunglass’s,with bego chinos and to convey the “past” memoriesUsman wore a deep blue knitted jumper. Even though Iwanted the clothing to be a precise mirror of thejumper I didn’t want to stereotype and wanted to makethe video ideology appealing to all audiences. I used arange of ethnicity to widen the audience, such as themain character Usman whom is of an ethnic minoritybackground, Pakistani. The props however had to begeneric to promote the diversity of genre values of thecontradictory narrative, chased by a cow, train tickets,and dancing. The storyline in its basic form couldportray students leaving home and moving to universityand then become isolated with species that are withinsociety.
Target AudienceHowever I wanted to make the storyline applicable toolder generation who may have been through similarsituations. Therefore predomately my target audience wasolder teenagers. This narrative is appealing to thisaudience who can identify with characters is conventionalto the genre. There is definite representation of youth inthe music video which stems from the theme of isolationof the main character, to the imaginary “cow” in aludicrous world.