EvaluationBy Nathan Holliday, Max Perkins and Lorcan Cox
The link to Our main product• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2E5Va08MUM
How effective is the combinations of your main product and ancillary tasks ? • I feel the combination of all three products are very effective and they bounce off each other very well. The song genre is singer/songwriter and the music video is a narrative and performance based product. Ed Sheeran is known for promoting himself in videos by having a lot of visuals of him singing and playing the guitar by himself and telling stories that he has experienced. So we kept this theme by having a good balance of performance and narrative base, which consisted of Max playing as Ed Sheeran, performing solo, and the other half of the product is him telling his love story about his partner breaking up with him for University. The feelings that are reflected in our product are sadness and loneliness, we tried to portray this in such a way so the audience felt empathetic towards the protagonist. Some of the performance based sections in the video were filmed in a wooded area and some of the narrative was shown in the woods too. So in order to promote himself as an artist, and his media product, we related the ancillary tasks to the video. For example on the digi-pack, we kept the theme of being in the woods and the protagonist being by himself, him also looking upset and lonely. This is very effective because it reminds the audience of our main product. For example if they have watched the music video and they weren’t sure who the artist was or the name of the song, and they saw one of the ancillary products that was related to the music video, they would recognise the artist immediately. This also works vice-versa, so this gains maximum promotion for the artist. The best way to promote an artist is to put their image on as many products as possible and to gain as much recognition. We had the same link up between the magazine article, again the setting was the woods and we had the artist wearing the same clothes so the fans would be able to recognise who it was. Also with the magazine article we wanted to portray the mood that was set from the music video, so we gave the magazine image a darkened contrast to reciprocate the feelings set by the main product.
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?• As a group, we received feedback from our peers and teachers. From having such a controversial and different sub genre in our music video, the majority of thefeedback consisted of, “How will we make the homosexual relationship seem genuine, without making it clichéd?”We hadn’t really thought about this before it was stated to us by our peers and our teachers, but this left us thinking, because our music video is a mixture of performance and narrative base, we had to make the narrative believable and realistic. Although neither of our actors were homosexual, we knew and they knew that they had to be comfortable with each other in order for this relationship to look genuine. By having our actors comfortable with each other, we were able to make the relationship look genuine, we had to double check everything would seem legitimate so we ran a few rehearsals with the actors, we now just had to make sure that we had a good amount of shot differentiation in order for the correct portrayal of these characters and their relationship.Another frequently asked question was, “How will we show the break up?” We had already previously thought about this question, the way we would portray this was through both the narrative and performance. Through the performance, the lyrics would tell the audience that the two characters are breaking up because one of them is going to university. However through the narrative, we showed the break up through a story of the main character reminiscing when they were together, and later on in the narrative, we showed the character leaving his partner, writing him a note, crying and walking out the door. We needed the audience to feel empathy towards the protagonist, challenging the audiences perception of homosexuality, and we believe that the way we portrayed the break up, we achieved this.
• The majority of the feedback we were given from our presentation we had already asked and answered them ourselves, however we also received feedback from our peers from the rough cut of our music video. A main problem for us, highlighted by our peers and our teachers was the shot duration was too long, at the time we didnt really see much of a problem with this, but after it was highlighted, we realised it was a problem and we had to resolve this. We had a selection of footage which we hadnt used yet which we used and we also re-shot some of our performance and narrative to make sure we could resolve the problem. We believe, collectively as a group, that we have successfully resolved this problem.• Another problem highlighted from our the rough cut, was that in the performance based section of our product, the protagonist seemed to be too happy, taking into account what is happening in the narrative. We had actually noticed this problem before it was presented to us by our peers, but we had temporarily forgotten about it as we had encountered other technical problems. However, we quickly resolved this problem from a number of re-shoots, including adding more shot differentiation, which was another problem highlighted to us. By taking the time to re-shoot, we believe that we have successfully resolved both problems of shot differentiation and the protagonist being too happy.• Although we received some constructive criticism, we also received positive feedback from our peers regarding our rough cut. A number of our peers frequently commented that there is an even balance between the performance and narrative in our media product. They mainly said that they liked this fact, as most of the other products they have seen wasnt so balanced, it was either completely narrative or performance or it was slightly more one side. The reason we wanted to do this, is by having a narrative in our music video, this allowed us to be more creative when it came to filming, whereas with the performance we could show a lot more emotion in the protagonist because it would be a solo performance so the whole audiences attention would be completely on him.• Another piece of positive feedback we received was that our idea was original, all of our peers hasnt seen a product based on a homosexual relationship, let alone a break up before, our teachers also said the same. They also said that although many people may find homosexuality an awkward topic, they believed that they way we had portrayed it didnt make them feel awkward. We were pleased to receive this feedback, although no member in our group is homosexual, we wanted to challenge the audiences perception of the matter, and didnt want to make them feel awkward. We believe that we have done this successfully.
How Did You Use Media Technologies In The ConstructionAnd Research Planning And Evaluation Stages?• We used media technologies in the construction and research planning and evaluation stages by using the Internet to look up our song and our artist and find out what the characteristics and demographics of our target audience are. We used this for our research planning on the artist, so that we knew what costume to use for our actors, for the main product and how our narrative was going to progress.For our research on Ed Sheeran, we looked at all his music videos, concentrated on what the narrative consisted of. This gave us a rough idea on what we were going to base our music video on. What also gave us an advantage was the fact that the song we chose (U.N.I) has no music video, which meant our ideas for our main product was completely original.The technology we used to create our products were as follows, we used a small HD camera to film our music video. We did encounter numerous problems with the technology itself, we found that we couldn’t upload our recorded footage, however we were able to recover from this minor issue and we decided to reshoot. It took a while to reshoot, but we got it completed, and we had to use a file converter to allow us to upload our footage and put it into the software. Although we started to lose motivation with the problems in our technology, we worked on to solve these problems.We used an Apple Mac Computer to put our footage together and edit the footage too. The software on the computer we used was Final Cut Pro, which we had used the previous year to edit our footage for our AS short film, which gave us a lot of experience and knowledge on the software, allowing us to edit the footage this year quicker. This software allowed us to change the effects of our video, adding in fade-outs and different types of editing techniques, this also allowed us to add our chosen song to our footage. It also allowed us to shorten some of our clips and fit them correctly in with the music and in order to match the lip-syncing. This obviously gave the effect of the protagonist singing. It took a while but we got it sorted in the end and used a file converter to allow us to upload our music video and put it into Final Cut Pro.
• We also used the same Apple Mac computer in order to create our ancillary tasks, which consisted of the digi-pack and the magazine. The name of the software we used to create this was Adobe Photoshop, we had used this software the previous year in order to create our production logo, so we had a small knowledge of how to use this software, but by creating a more developed product, this expanded our skills on this particular software. We used the same type of theme for all of our ancillary tasks, as explained earlier the reason for this is to gain as much recognition for the artist as we possibly could, so the tools we used to create these effects consisted of the “dodge tool” and the “burn tool”. The burn tool allows the user to darken the contrast of the image, in comparison to the dodge tool brightens to contrast of the chosen image.• However, before we used the dodge and burn tool, we decided to use the blur tool on our digi-pack. This tool allows the user to blur the image used, so we blurred the whole background except from the area where the protagonist was, this changed the image to make it look like the protagonist is the foreground whereas the blurred area was the background. By doing this, this created a more professional looking album. After burring the ‘background’, we darkened the ‘background’, and lightened the ‘foreground’ in order to make the attention of any viewer direct to the artist, so by doing this we gained more recognition for the artist.• We also used simple tools such as the text tools in order to write the name of the artist, and any other important information such as the name of the album and the track list. We had to make this text look formal, yet we had to make it stand out to gain as much recognition for the artist and gain awareness that the artist has a new album out. We chose not to use many effects on the text, as we believed that if we were to make the text stand out and be less formal, this would take the attention away from the image of the artist.• During our evaluation, we were originally going to use the new software on the internet called, “Prezi.” However, unfortunately, we experienced numerous problems throughout the stages of production in our main product, so time was extremely limited, also we found “Prezi” very unfriendly to the user, so we decided to use “Keynote” on the Apple Mac computers, which is a form of power point. The main reason for us doing this is because we knew how to use this software, and found it very user friendly. To be able to get it onto our blog, we had to use the website called ‘Slideshare’ which allows the users to put a their presentation onto a website. To do this we have to find the file on the computer, upload it to this website and then they produce an embedded code, and after this you then have to upload the code onto the blog.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?• We looked at multiple music videos by Ed Sheeran, we concentrated our attention mostly on his music video of “Lego House”, although this wasn’t the song we had chosen, we studied this product because the performance and narrative base was so interesting, and we wanted to do something different for our product. So we decided to ‘think outside the box’ by making our product based around a homosexual couple. As far as our research and planning shown, most of Ed Sheeran’s products are based on love stories, the concept consists of a male and female relationship, which isn’t original, and doesn’t challenge the audience. So we thought our idea was original and would challenge the audience’s perception of homosexuality. Another artist we researched, because they are similar to Ed Sheeran was Ben Howard, we looked at his album ‘Every Kingdom’, by doing this, we viewed his music videos and we compared them to Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard create their products in the same genre, their songs consists usually of themes such as love. Also Ben Howard was one of the other possibilities of artists we would choose, but we concluded as a group and came to the decision of choosing Ed Sheeran instead.
• The music video for ‘Lego House’ is completely different to his others, its about a character who tries to make himself look like Ed Sheeran, he is considered an obsessive stalker. This product is portrayed in such a way that it makes the character seem like he’s the artist, until the product comes to the end, and the audience realises the character turns out to be a stalker and is obsessed with the artist. This particular product is completely different and original to any other we have studied during the process of planning our product.Our video is something completely different and original which this particular artist hasn’t created before. Overall we all enjoyed the process of the production of the music video. We choose the theme of homosexuality because it was original, so we kept the product based on their relationship and how they loved being together, but then when the two characters have to break up because one of the characters is going to university which is why the song is titled ‘U.N.I’. The music video consists of flashbacks of their relationship, which is majority narrative based, with inter-cuts of performance based. We chose these particular techniques because we felt that it was unique and original, and not what everyone would expect to see. By doing this we believe that it will challenge the audiences perception of homosexuality and they will enjoy the product due to the content and the differentiation in the shot types. We also believe that compared to Ed Sheeran’s products and the artists we have studied in the singer/songwriter genre, we have challenged both the forms and conventions of this genre successfully