Evaluation 25-04-2010


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Evaluation 25-04-2010

  1. 1. A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 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 A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 1 of 9
  2. 2. 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. A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 2 of 9
  3. 3. 2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? 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 Magazine Advertisement as the same cover image to provide this consistency. A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 3 of 9
  4. 4. 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. Current logo Old logo 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 band. The majority of our audience, when asked, considered the colour and mise-en-scène to be different and, though a smaller amount (5), colourful A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 4 of 9
  5. 5. 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 video. 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. A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 5 of 9
  6. 6. 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_gaze#The_Male_Gaze_and_Feminist_th 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. A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 6 of 9
  7. 7. 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 not applied. A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 7 of 9
  8. 8. 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKNOlcn1Xg4. 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 Sources: 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUZnlxuXaG4 2: http://www.slideshare.net/guest60af28/media-music-video-codes-and- conventions-presentation-1994185 A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 8 of 9
  9. 9. 3: General Forms and Conventions (own work) 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_gaze#The_Male_Gaze_and_Feminist_theory A2 Media Evaluation David Goodwin 9 of 9