In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our media product challenges forms and conventions of real media products in many ways. We did this firstly by not having our artist singing the whole way through the music video. This challenges former music videos as they generally show their artist singing the song throughout the music video. They also have several extreme close ups through the entire video. However, we decided to do less of these and stick more to mid close ups and long shots. We did this as we were focusing more on the narrative of the music video and portraying the artists journey during the day. The mid close ups and long shots helped to make the audience feel like it was more of a conversation between them and the artist. And that they were almost joining in the journey along side the artist within the video, instead of just watching a set of clips.
Continued . . . Another way in which we challenged the forms and conventions is by only having one main character/band member in the music video. Generically, mainstream and normal music videos have either several band members in their videos or more than one character to either help sell the bands image or to engage the audience to keep them watching. This also contributed to our main focus of the narrative as it made it easier for us to tell a story. After some internet researching we found other videos such as Just Jack – ‘The day I died’ or Jamie T – ‘Shelia’ which also had one single artist mainly showing throughout the video. These videos and a few others helped to influence our own choices in making our final media product. The video also consists of the diegetic sound of the door shutting. This concept challenges the main forms and conventions of most music videos as they only contain the song as the backing sound to the video whereas, we have added in our own to help enhance the video.
Continued . . . The music video also contains plenty of post production graphics such as Live Type and effects such as transitions and colour enhancing. These added bonuses challenge existing music videos as they don’t commonly include them. We used these effects and graphics as we felt it grabs the audience and causes them to continue watching as with the Live Type graphics it enables the audience to join in with the song if they want too and also makes the video more quirky which is in line with the artists image. We also felt it kept the video more in time with the digital era. We also challenged forms and conventions of media products as we decided not to make our video stylised like mainstream music, e.g. Pop or R&B videos. This was due to the fact we felt that the audience would feel like they could relate to the artist if he looked more normal and down to Earth, unlike big flashy millionaire singers who are made to look like they have everything they would ever want.
Continued . . . Even though we have made it possible to challenge forms and conventions of music videos in a few areas over our project, we mainly conform to the majority and mainstream music industry as people like to identify with others. And if we differ too much from everyone else, people like the mainstream will destroy us as it is not following the norm and our audience will disapprove of our product and therefore wont buy it or show an interest. We looked into Andrew Goodwins’ theory that talks about linking visuals to the sound and editing the video to the sound. This is one way in which we conformed to the mainstream music industry. We continually linked the visuals to the music as best we could by using post production graphics such as Live Type. This therefore illustrated and amplified the music. Throughout the video we had song lyrics popping up to match the visuals with the sound. There is one section where the artist says ‘Your MAGIC’ here we used Live Type to add a wand/magic effect to link the words with the visuals. During our editing process, we cut and edited the clips to the beat of the song to make both the song and visuals flow together without mis-telling the story/narrative that we tried so hard to focus on.
Continued . . . Some examples of conforming is our social networking sites toward our project such as our Twitter, Myspace and Youtube sites. This conforms to many other artists, as they all have this networking sites if not more, to help produce and distribute their music as a product to vast amounts of people quickly and fast. During our project we also used other music videos to help influence our own, such as B.O.B – ‘Nothin’ On You’ and The Streets – ‘Fit But You Know it’. We took individual ideas from some videos and developed them into our own to add to our own video. E.g. The stop motion effect in B.O.Bs video, we decided to take this concept and make it into our own in our video. We also used original artist photos to influence our own and develop ideas that we had for our digipak. E.g. =
How effective is the combination of the main project and ancillary tasks? The combination of the main project and ancillary tasks is very effective. I created several ancillary texts including many social networking sites. Firstly, the myspace.com site was made for the artist to enable others to download the latest song, follow/be friend the artist online, comment the site, view blogs, videos and pictures as well as being updated on the latest info and tours/gig dates.
Continued . . . I also created a banner for our artist with ‘Boy and The Element’ written on it and found a layout which I thought was appropriate for the artists image. We then made the twitter site, which is similar in concept to myspace. Next I created the youtube account where our videos can be upload so that others can view behind the scenes and the actual music video.
Continued . . . This can then be linked to our myspace, twitter and group blog. After, we then made the digipak which we could upload onto these social networking sites for others to view and comment, to let us know their view. These images can also be uploaded onto our social networking sites so that others can see and comment them as well as know where to buy our product. Richard Dyer said that a star and their image cannot be achieved singularly by individual concepts. They need to be made up of a combination of products to be able to create a full blown star! This is why I feel that our ancillary tasks combined with our main product is very effective for several reasons. Firstly, they continue to portray the same image of our star to our target audience meaning that we are not sending mixed signals to them. We also made sure that our ancillary sites and digipak peripheral factors matched the image of our star. E.g. logos, banners, backgrounds and layouts. When these are all put together, our product then becomes indistinctive of any other real media music product. They are extremely realistic and allow our audience to identify with our artist as well as engage with the music video and song. Each piece of our project adds to the overall outcome and allows for more viewings and coverage of our media music project.
What have you learnt from audience feedback? Originally, we did a questionnaire in our research stage before we started planning and producing our final piece. We asked people 12 questions to help us to indentify what people would expect to find in our genre’s music video. Once we gathered back our information we put it into pie charts and blogged it. We then planned our video to fit the results to the best of our ability. Inevitably, not everything went according to plan during production so we couldn’t stick to these results.
Continued . . . So from this we found that audience feedback is not always the most easiest to follow as sometimes its too far fetched for us to commit too. Although, half way through our production we did our second peer assessment too make sure we weren’t losing our audience completely and to see if we were still intact with what they wanted as a product. This feedback didn’t come back so positive. As it was half way through much of our video didn’t make sense to the viewers. This was our major criticism. We needed to make sure we stuck to narrative and didn't make it too complicated. With this peer assessment we learnt not to get too carried away with the video as we may understand what's happening because we created it but others could be come lost.
Continued . . . After we had finished our video we did our last peer assessment. This time it came back extremely positive. The views enjoyed the video and especially liked our post production graphics, e.g. Live Type. They felt it made it much more fun and quirky. Overall, we discovered that as long as we try our best to stick to what we researched about our audience feedback and follow what our results say, the viewers will like our product and have an interest in continuing to watch it. We also learnt that its best to please our audience otherwise they wont bother to take an interest into our artist and product.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Our whole project is made up of media technologies from start to finish. For our research, we used the digital technology called the internet. We used the internet to search for influences and similar artists. Myspace.com was useful for finding other artists that had similar music to ours and to see how they represented their star image. We also managed to find videos which were similar to the ideas we had in mind on google.com such as The Verve – ‘Bittersweet Symphony’.
Continued . . . iTunes enabled us to also search for music in the same genre as our own to improve our knowledge of what we needed to achieve. Microsoft Word was used to make our initial audience questionnaires, which we then uploaded onto our blog site via the internet. We used a SLR camera to take photos of locations that we wanted to use to help use determine what equipment we would need and how to prepare ourselves for the filming days. These images were also uploaded via the internet.
Continued . . . During the planning stages of our project we created some animatics. This was done by using iMovie and a HD Sony camera which meant we were filming in digital and was uploaded onto our blog site. We also used Microsoft PowerPoint and a website called slideshare to upload the individual storyboards onto our blog. When doing some video practise for our product we used a HD Sony camera and iMovie where we edited and added effects to the practise pieces. We created stop motion practise too using Alex’s DLR camera and iMovie. We used the same media technologies again when creating our preliminary videos. We also used lighting equipment and filters during this part of our project. All these videos were transferred to youtube.com and then uploaded onto our blog.
Continued . . . Whilst filming we again filmed on digital cameras which is a million times better than filming on analogue as it is better quality and a lot faster to upload and edit. It also means that we needed to use less lighting equipment during our construction process. I uploaded and edited our media on iMovie using transitions and colour enhancing effects. I then used Live Type to add lyrics to the music video as well as a few effects such as magic wand glitter. Photoshop helped as to add the heart which appears frequently in the video. We had wanted to use Final Cut instead of Live Type but we found it too difficult to work. We also wanted to make a transition where we go into a newspaper and the front page picture comes alive but we couldn’t work out how to do this in the end.
Continued . . . Photoshop was also used to create our digipak after we took photos of the artist on the SLR. The pictures were edited by changing the background and adding words for the album cover and song names. We used the internet to create our blog, myspace.com, youtube.com and twitter page. Here we could also upload the latest pictures, news, videos and gossip about our artist. Websites such as slideshare and Issuu allowed us to upload Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and Microsoft Word documents and then share them on our blog site.
Continued . . . We also used the internet search engines such as google.com to research other digipaks to give us inspiration. Lastly, we made a digital evaluation by filming us as a group discussing the points given to us on a HD Sony camera. We then uploaded it on to iMovie and edited it together and pasted in images and video clips over the top of some of the speech. We each have also done our own evaluation Microsoft PowerPoint presentation which will be uploaded onto slideshare and then onto our blog for everyone to see. To conclude, we also got other people to feel out a feedback sheet as another version of evaluation. This has also been uploaded to slideshare and transferred over to our blog.