In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? We set out to create a sinister dark music video. First choosing a upbeat dark track we then based our visuals around this. Our aim was to use little colours, only in parts where it mattered and to bring an element of mystery to the dark visuals by using our chosen white masks. Our video lacked a strong narrative common in real media products, however did have visuals that could be followed to create a story depending on the viewer. The visuals could be seen as post modern as there is an element of style over substance. We have included an implied narrative enigma that we hope will interest and engage the viewers. We have used the white masks (often associated with street/urban dancing) to create a mysterious feel, this leaves the viewer with little to relate to during the video however keeps them watching and wanting to find out more. The masks have a sinister, de-humanizing effect which we thought matched well with the tone of the track. Using masked characters challenges real media music video’s forms and conventions as typical forms and conventions would suggest the artist would be featured as many times as possible. However this is difficult when using electronically produced music as it difficult to feature the DJ/Producer while trying to steer clear of the typical mainstream club environment as we thought this style is cliched. Our visuals have specifically been cut to the beat throughout the music video to create a fast paced experience which the typical listener of this type of music would enjoy. This uses the convention that the visuals and music will be synced together as one almost.
Scenes shot in the park were designed to bring a contrast of visuals into the video. The white masks and black and white editing (as mentioned before) show the more darker and sinister side to the visuals. The empty club scenes, a more adult lifestyle contrast with the park scenes, parks obviously associated with fun and games. We thought that this juxta position would add to the sinister nature of our video, perhaps even connotating the visualisation of “lost youth”. This ties in with our work on “Representations of British youth” for our A2 collective identity unit. The video features no intertextual references e.g. movies, other music videos. This is common in real media music video’s especially those which aim to use humour. Overall our music video uses some forms and conventions of real media products e.g. cutting music to the beat, however also challenges and in parts rejects them such as featuring the artist to please the record label. The artist may not feature however the masked characters would be the artists signature image. We have aimed to create something original yet have used some elements from other media techs specifically from the same genre of music which feature an element of post modernity: little meaning however great visual effect (style over substance). Some inspiration was taken from the music video ‘J Majik & Wickaman – Feel about you’ (screenshot below), using a dark club scene contrasted with urban footage however the intention was not there to copy. Continued..
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? I have used the same characters throughout my main product, DVD digi pack and magazine advert. These are ‘DoubleUDoubleD’s’ signature element of his style. This I have chosen to use the complete opposite in colours for my main product (black and red) and ancillary texts (pink and grey). This shows the diversity of the artist as he does not want to be pinned down to one colour scheme. The lighter style of the digi pack shows the less serious side to its purpose compared to the dark music video. The digi pack contains fun elements such as tour previews and free downloads aiming to reach a wider audience. Music Video
The white masks create continuity which in then creates a brand image which is easily recognisable. As the mask symbolises the artist it would not matter what colours. I have used the same font throughout which also symbolizes the artist, this “brand logo” would be used on all club flyers, advertisement and merchandise. This style colour scheme used in the music video and also in the DVD digi pack and magazine advert will all appeal to the target audience of young men ages 16-24, they similarly match the genre of the music giving a clean techno/electronic kind of feel.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? Using YouTube via the internet I was able to put out my music video and allow anyone to freely comment on it. The gave me a range of feedback from people who may or may not be into this genre of music. I also used survey monkey to create an online survey which could be sent out to my desired target audience. I found that most users enjoyed the editing as it had been cut to the beat. It seems they had noticed the fast pace cuts and syncing to the music. The white masks had also been mentioned as the audience’s favourite part of the music video along with the dark, sinister visuals that match the masked figure. The contrast between the club footage and the street footage was recognised and described as a “nice juxta-position”. This means there was a radical change between scenes in terms of location and meaning. The audience feedback gave us a range of ideas that could have been changed which were not considered during the process of filming and editing the video. We had aimed to create a video which did not have a specific meaning however was visually stimulating for the viewer. Some members of the audience created there own meaning: e.g. “a man who hasn’t quite figured himself out yet running from who he thinks he is” and “The story is trying to tell that people are always watching you!”. The majority of responses from the survey were male and 100% were aged 16-19. This was a great result as this was the intended target audience for all my media products. The way our music video was shot and edited had obviously appealed to our target audience. Overall the audience’s favourite parts included the white masks and the dark studio footage. These were both the areas we spent most time perfecting and I was glad to see a positive reaction to the effort we had put in on those specific parts. It was explained inside a comment that “The dark studio footage along with the bright contrasting white masks kept me glued to the screen throughout the four minutes!”. Bad points were mostly commented to be “the bits in the park” as the audience may not have recognised the intended relevance of that footage, however if done again we could of aimed to make that more apparent.
Most of the audience feedback we received came via YouTube, a free online video sharing site. Every comment we received was very positive and any criticisms were very constructive. This made it very easy to reflect on our video and analyse what was good and what was bad.
There were some problems using survey monkey: some users tend not to take it too seriously as it is anonymously filled out. Most people did not want to fill the questionnaire out also.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? The main media technology I used for our music video project was Adobe Premier. This is a computer based programme which enables you to edit footage, sound and create a video. The footage we used was directly imported into Premier so we could then begin to edit. We filmed using a digital tape recorder camera so to import our footage we had to go via the tape machine which simply plugged into the computer. The clips we then wanted were recorded and saved using the tape machine. We used a range of effects in Premier e.g. Ghosting and leave colour. Some effects we were looking for however were not built into Adobe Premier so we used to internet to search and download the desired effect which was then imported into Premier. Using Premier we also adjusted the speed of our footage to match the beat of the track creating a far more synced style linking the visuals with the sound. Another programme associated also with Premier is Adobe after effects. Once we had finished the basics of our music video we used After Effects to add that extra touch of professionalism and style. As we were not one hundred percent familiar with the software we were using, we used the internet to visit VideoCopilot.com. This website contained hundreds of professional tutorials which gave us a better understanding of the software we were using. As well as Adobe Premier for the music video I also used Adobe Photoshop to create my ancillary texts. This included my DVD digital pack, magazine advert and DVD foldout poster. I imported my images and edited them using things such as RGB Curves to adjust the lighting of my images and also Free Transform which adjusted the size.
Video effects ‘ Ghosting’ (creates ghost like blur on moving objects). ‘ Leave Colour’ effect options. (Singles out specific colours). Imported video footage. Project timeline including footage, sound, transitions and effects.
I relied heavily on other media technologies during the planning and research stages of our music video. The tech I used most throughout was quite obviously the internet. I was able to use the internet to search sites such as Wikipedia, Google, Bing etc for information on professional and upcoming directors who have worked on music videos themselves. This allowed me to take a look at their styles and gave me a clear idea of what route I wanted to take with our project. YouTube and Vimeo , other internet websites contains user uploaded videos. I used YouTube and Vimeo to search through the masses of previous professional and amateur music videos which also put ideas into my head about our own project . To also look deeper into the work of other directors I took out a DVD digital pack on the work of director Chris Cunningham. I watched this via the computer to further my knowledge of Chris Cunningham’s style. Using a digital pack also linked in with my ancillary text as I could take a look at how this one was designed. Another website we used was Jamendo. Jamendo allows users to upload their music productions free of charge. We used this site to flick through the copyright free tracks and choose our music track which would then be turned into our music video. Other sites which offered the same type of thing were SoundCloud and MySpace. There were many online video tutorials which I had searched for the get an idea of what effects and editing could be used in our music video. One of the biggest, most professional sites I visited was VideoCopilot.com however there were alternatives such as CreativeCow.net. These sites offered professional video tutorials on a huge range of different techniques for Adobe Premier. YouTube also offers user generated tutorials which can also be very useful. Experimenting with previous projects also contributed to the planning of our music video. We used adobe premier to create a music video for MC Hammer’s “Can’t touch this”. We were able then to play about with the software and gain knowledge through this. We also created a small stop motion project using Adobe Premier and a similar sized animation project on the computer using CS3 Adobe Photoshop to cut out our images and then finally using Adobe Premier to create the final video. Finally we also experimented with test footage to test our ideas out on the camera. These all contributed to the planning and research of our music video project.
I used media technologies to promote my music video to my target audience of males aged between 16 and 24. I used a variety of sites to do so. YouTube was the main site used to post my video. Users were able to comment on the video and I received positive and constructive feedback. I also used survey monkey to create a free online internet survey which I then sent around to my target audience. This asked questions such as “Did you feel there was a narrative (story line)?”. The results I received from the survey came to me via SurveyMonkey.com in statistical forms already so was east to analyse and understand. To put my YouTube video of the music video and my online survey “out there” I used a number of ways. Firstly I posted both onto my Facebook page, Facebook being a very popular social networking site. As my friends on Facebook are all the same age as my target audience it was a perfect way to reach them. I also posted both links onto the college forum located on the college website’s home page so that everybody in college had the change to complete the survey and also comment on the YouTube video. Using YouTube’s ‘Respond to this video’ feature I decided to respond to similar videos with my music video. This then shows up underneath the video you have responded to.