A2 Media Evaluation
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real media products?
Our music video is performance-based but unlike many principally
performance-based music videos, such as the “Robert Randolph & The
Family Band - Nobodysoul” (1) music video, our video does not include an
audience as it is filmed as if it is a rehearsal. However, we still edited the
video in the conventional style of mixed narrative
and performance music video (2). For example, at
around 0.12 minutes into the video (near the
beginning), there is a tracking shot around the lead
singer to give a dynamic feel to the video, before he
starts singing. Robert Randolph
Unlike many promotional music videos, we used longer takes rather than
a rapid shot montage. (3) Whilst many music videos use sounds and
dialogue at the beginning of the video, our video only uses the music
soundtrack. The intention of this is so that the audience is not distracted
from the music by sounds or dialogue at the beginning of the video.
Instead, we featured an enigmatic opening - a candle being lit, with a
special flaring effect (setting up the use of this effect for our narrative
sequences to follow. We used a close up of the woman’s face near the
beginning of the narrative part of the video to create a sense of intimacy
with the viewer and so that the viewer sees events from her perspective.
Although we used a number of medium shots of the members of the band,
we did not use the kind of close-ups that are characteristic of many music
videos because we didn’t want to distract the audience from focusing on
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the narrative. The band also wanted to be shot in an informal “rehearsal
feeling” way, deliberately deciding not to look directly at the camera, as is
conventionally the case.
Unlike most music performances, which are held on a stage in studios or
outdoor stages, our video was performed in the music room of a hotel, the
Grim’s Dyke Hotel, which is a nineteenth century manor house, once
owned by William Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. This allowed us to
bring a sense of “underplayed” grandeur to the video.
The music room Grim’s Dyke Hotel
We used minimal special effects in the performance scenes with cross-
fades between the candle shot and the performance part and between the
performance part and the narrative part. We did this to preserve the
impression that the video is of a rehearsal.
However, we applied a cartoon effect to the narrative parts to differentiate
these from the performance part of the video and as these are there to
illustrate the song and did not have to follow the rehearsal style of filming.
Our use of this cartoon effect was unusual so it would provide our video
with a unique selling point, enhancing the exposure of the band. This can
also be used to provide a sense of band image, similarly to the
“moonwalk” dance created and used by Michel Jackson.
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2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary
We used a photograph taken at the filming location as the cover for this
DVD with relatively little image editing, to echo the rehearsal style of the
music video. Unfortunately we had colour balance issues with the camera
we used for this photograph, which we were able to repair to a degree. We
considered changing this to black and white to eliminate this problem but
felt that it would stand out less due to the black and white colour scheming
of the rest of the cover and advert. We attempted to use different effects
for the cover image (also used in the advert) such as applying a cartoon
effect to the reflections of the band in the piano and rotating it in order to
confuse the viewer, but found that the intended effect was unsuccessful so
reverted to the original concept.
In both the video and the related DVD cover and advert, the band were
dressed casually to appeal to our target audience as this music video is
intended to be informal. This contrasts with the formal elegant setting in
order to enhance the informality of the video.
We created an A4 magazine advertisement to
advertise our music video, which would cover
one page of a magazine. We used a lot of the
same content as used on the cover to provide
a visual link between the two so that a
customer will be able to recognise the cover
of the DVD from the advertisement. We used
the same fonts and colour schemes as well
Advertisement as the same cover image to provide this
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We did not use any screenshots from the narrative part of the video as this
would distract the audience’s attention from the band and would be likely
to create a cluttered feel to the cover. We also didn’t use these images in
the advertisement as it would ruin the consistency of design between the
cover and the advert.
After creating a number of designs and having a lot of discussions, we
created a very simple logo based around our fictional company name
Exceptional abbreviated to EXCP with “Exception Productions” below it.
We did this to provide a simple, memorable logo although it was shown in
a small font to avoid distracting attention from the band (since “Exception
Productions” refers solely to our group rather than the band). Our group
was originally going to be called Diramvid, incorporating our first names
(Di-wah, the a and m from Imran and Da-vid) but we considered it too
hard to pronounce or remember and it didn’t sound very effective.
1. What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Our music video is aimed at young adults of about age 16-25 of both
genders and all ethnic backgrounds. It was aimed at people of our age
because we felt most able to relate to what interests them. We wanted it to
appeal to anyone of our age group rather than one gender or a particular
ethnic group so that it had universal appeal to increase the exposure of
The majority of our audience, when asked, considered the colour and
mise-en-scène to be different and, though a smaller amount (5), colourful
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and a portion (3) romantic, showing that the response from the audience
concerning our use of mise-en-scène met the effect intended.
7 of the respondents considered the mise-en-scène in the performance to
be entertaining and 6 considered it to be eye-catching, again fitting in with
the effect intended. A smaller portion considered it to be professional and
confusing, suggesting that it still lacked elements to make it professional
and that perhaps the technique was made the video a bit hard to follow for
some respondents. When asked, 6 of the respondents described the
camerawork (for both parts) as professional and with a varied use of shots
and the majority of the respondents considered the handheld camera work
to be professional and steady with only one considering it a little shaky,
approximately matching the intended response from the audience to our
The response from the audience concerning the use of music was largely
positive with 7 of the respondents considering it entertaining and 5 saying
that it fits in perfectly with the video and 2 liking it although one respondent
said that it does not fit in with the video, suggesting that our choice of
music in conjunction with the other elements of the video such as the
narrative largely suits the audience. When asked what they liked about the
editing, the majority (10) of the respondents said they liked the cartoon
effect applied to the narrative, showing that this is a particularly important
feature in our video.
When asked, the majority view (11) on the digipack and magazine cover
was that there was a good use of colour with other views considerably
less. No one said that there was poor use of colour. This suggests that we
made a good use of colour in the digipack and magazine cover. The
majority of the respondents (11) said that the products followed the forms
and conventions of existing products with 4 saying that we did partly.
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The Band members of Domino Theory, and the characters in the narrative
part of the video are young so this would appeal to an audience of a
similar age. Similarly, the romantic theme of this video would appeal to
this age group, with a simple plotline in the narrative part of a romance
between two (male and female) young adults.
All the band members are white males but the man and woman in the
narrative part are Asian so this video appeals to people from both ethnic
backgrounds. The narrative part of the video focuses slightly more on the
woman than the man so women will be more likely to relate to this.
However, she is attractive and will appeal to the male gaze. Laura Mulvey
(1941) argued about the objectifying treatment of women in the media
through what she called “male gaze”, in which the viewers are made to
look at women on camera through the eyes of a heterosexual man, often
with the camera lingering on the curves of the woman’s body. This denies
them human agency “relegating them to the status of objects, hence, the
woman reader and the woman viewer must experience the text's narrative
secondarily, by identifying with a man's perspective.” (4) For more
information on Mulvey, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Mulvey or
eory for more about male gaze and feminist theory.
The narrative part was filmed in Central London with exterior shots of a
London street, also indicated by a red London bus in the background and
the illuminated displays. We also filmed a station on the London
Underground, indicated by the recognisable London Underground roundel
in the background and the underground train leaving the station.
Londoners (indeed, any city folk) would be able to relate to this setting and
it represents a vibrant city full of life- something appealing to our target
audience- the excitement of a night out in the city lights.
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We regularly switched between the narrative and performance elements in
order to keep the audience’s attention as using only the performance part
of the video may cause the audience to lose interest, as they are the
generation that is accustomed to a lot happening simultaneously (e.g.
advances in technology allowing people to perform multiple functions at
the same time).
3. How did you use new media technologies in the research, planning,
construction and evaluation stages?
We used Adobe Photoshop to create the static graphics for the music
video such as the DVD cover and advertisement because the software is
very flexible and capable of a multitude of professional editing techniques
and has a large range of fonts to choose from. In addition, I had prior
knowledge of this software due to my use of it outside of college.
We also used Final Cut Pro (Apple Macintosh) to import, compile and edit
the video due to its similar professional editing and compilation abilities,
and the speed of the new computers compared to the previous older
computers accelerated video-rendering time considerably. Within this, we
used additional software to create the outline cartoon effect used in the
narrative parts of the plot and briefly on the candle at the beginning. This
was to combine both the cartoon and real elements of the video, to
contrast it with the performance parts of the video in which this effect is
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We originally intended to create an animated title with the letters of
Domino Theory on each domino (i.e. D-O-M-I-N-O T-H-E-O-R-Y) in which
the domino letters topple in the style of dominoes falling:
We attempted different methods for achieving this. We first tried using
Flash to create this clip using simple domino images constructed from
rectangles with the letters overlaid. When this proved unsuccessful, we
attempted to use Adobe After Effects to create this effect. We even tried to
use Blender, a free 3D modelling and animation software, to try this in
order to use the 3rd dimensional advantage but unfortunately our lack of
knowledge on the software made this feat too difficult, since we did not
know how to add the text to the 3D dominoes. In the end, we decided that
the dominoes animation idea was impractical and we created a simpler
graphic in Adobe Photoshop, which we did not use, as there were
compatibility problems with Final Cut Pro in the final video.
The simpler title design
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3: General Forms and Conventions (own work)
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