G324 EvaluationIn what ways does your media product use, develop or challengeforms and conventions of real media products?Our narrative format and structure follows the established forms andconventions of music videos by cutting between a narrative storyline that isrelated to the lyrics of the song and shots of a performer lip-syncing the lyricsof the song. The use of either one of these is very typical of a music video, butthe use of both is becoming even more popular because of the stronginfluence coming from the dominating Hollywood film industry. We developedother conventions of music videos like the reference to voyeurism. The musicvideo did not go to the extent of which many of the major record labelsdemand, for instance, the famous use of ‘video girls’ and dancers, mainlybecause we did not have anybody willing to do this. We still howevermanaged to achieve a similar idea by using camera shots of where it seemedthat the performer and actress were unaware of them being watched, creatingan atmosphere of sexual predation for the audience. Following up to this wasthe use of many close ups of the artist which is becoming a big demand fromrecord labels in recent years. It is used to enforce the concept of the malegaze, whereby women are portrayed are fantasised sexual objects. The styleof presentation was developed from film noirs, which was used to make theaudience aware of the character’s part-cynical personality of when she isunder the influence of cocaine. Watching someone walking to an alleyway – A sense of A close of the artist’s face predation.The use of camerawork in our music video follows conventional, technical andsymbolic codes by using a variety of shots to portray a sense of personalconnection between the viewer and singer/actress. One way this was
achieved was by using close ups of their faces and objects of which they wereholding to create a sense of virtual intimacy that the viewer cannot ever reallyexperience. An example of this in use is the close up shot of cocaine ready tobe snorted. We also achieved this by having the actress walking towards thecamera while tracking out. This created a sense of teasing because the viewerwants to get a closer at the look at the actress but cannot, as the camera isactually moving away from her. A very good particular shot that helped toengage personal connection was the shot of the actress looking into themirror. It created a sensation that as if the audience knew who this womanwas and could feel the emotion of what she was going through. A close up shot of the use of drugs.The editing follows the traditional style of transition cuts between the beats onthe music. Though this is not followed strictly, we felt that this can allow thevisuals to compliment the music, without it getting in the way of understandingthe narrative. During the intro and outro of the song, the mood of the music isvery mellow, which we therefore used gentler transitions to help establish themood the sadness. However, as the heavy drums and bass entered in themiddle of the song, the atmosphere became vibrant, which required fastertransitions to compliment with the energetic feel.As our chosen genre of Dubstep is not a very established style of music, therewere no real music videos conventions that we had to follow according to itsgenre. As a result, our use of mise-en-scene left us open for creativity andideas that are not common, for example, the heavy use of disorientated visualeffects. Dubstep has roots from London’s underground urban Dance and ravescenes, therefore we felt the need to express this in our music video. We hada large emphasis on both the urban and classy settings of London’s West-End. On one side we showed the inspirational affluent lifestyle of London byhaving one of our locations in a classy 5-star hotel. The other side was in thebackstreets on London’s West-End, which may be seen as less desirable,establishing both sides of London’s urban life.
We however did deviate away from some mise-en-scene conventions, forexample, the extreme seductive allure that some music video directors will goto. There has been much controversy about this and how music videos havegone a step too far recent times, taking for example, Lady Gaga’s famousvideo for Telephone ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgpQzLPWiKY )whichfeature her wearing nothing but covered delicately in crime scene tape. Wealso went away from the typical use of the performer singing on stage or toother characters in a storyline (like a musical) because we wanted toemphasise something different for the performer. Instead we had her againsta black background alongside with visual effects, creating a surreal anddisorientated establishment. With many music videos, it is common that abigger budget will be given to a bigger star. Yet we still managed to uselocations that they would have to pay a lot of money for. For example, we stillhad access to film in a luxury country hotel by building a network of contacts(which we did not have to pay for) and had shots of London’s West-End,which anybody can film for free. One of our shots used with the Lady Gaga’s music video aid of visual effects. showing how sexual allure might now be a steep too far.With regards to intertextuality, our use of forms and conventions from musicvideos show that we have been influenced from other similar music videosand genres. For example, our use of a music video that is very narrative-driven has been influenced from Dance music videos. It is very common forthem to be narrative or concept focused or even wholly. Although they tend totell stories of love and friendship, we decided to take a turn to tell a muchdarker story of a woman that is from a wealthy background who is actually aheavy drug addict behind her classy lifestyle. Another big influence came fromThriller films, which explains our use of heavy dark themes, for example,snorting cocaine and being under the influence of drugs. The influence of
using conventions of thriller films came from the director’s passion for thrillerbecause of the suspense it can create.How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillarytexts?We feel that the combination of our main video product and its ancillary textsworked well as they managed to adopt the key elements of branding. This wasfirstly achieved in our video as we tried to differentiate ourselves from whatalready existed in the current trend of music videos. We noticed that many ofthe big acts like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj have music videos that use verysurreal and creative ideas in terms of mise-en-scene, but no artist/music videohas really explored in visual effects (other than the use of CGI). Therefore inour music video, we found it important to focus on keeping a consistent moodof obscurity in the stage of editing, rather than the stage of filming, which wasachieved by overlaying and modifying colours of clips. Evidence of creativity being used for mise-en-scene. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrO4YZeyl0I , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZCUtnuAXg8By having adopted the key elements of branding, we were able to developcharacteristics from the video into the digipak. For example, our concept ofmenacing was followed by the use of colours of red as it is a colour thatconnotates violence and blood. The use of this was also so there is acontinuation of the mood from what the video gives, to what the digipak givesbecause both products should compliment each other. They should becomplimenting each other because if the viewer were to buy the digipak afterwatching the video, they would be expecting to see the digipak cover withmise-en-scene that was associated with the music video, weather it be theuse of colours, location, props etc.
Evidence of branding between the video and digipak by keeping the use of red consistentOur digipak follows several established forms and conventions, for example,an image of the artist, the name of the artist, the name of the song and atracklisting. Although it is common for many singers to choose not to have animage displayed of them on their digipak/album, we felt it was important factorto include in order to sell the face of the singer because they are not anestablished artist that has a name that many listeners may be familiar with.Therefore, by viewers seeing the singer’s face on screen and on the digipak,they can familiarise themselves more with the artist and feel a personalconnection with them for the future and avoid being known as a ‘one hitwonder’. We also challenged the forms and conventions of digipaks by usingheavy visual effects on the image of the artist. It is more common that theimage may be modified in colouration, we however decided to make theimage look very contrasted because it complimented with the visual effectsthat was used in the video. Although this was a to deviate one type ofconvention, it followed another by having the mise-en-scene of the digipakcomplimenting the mise-en-scene of the music video, which an example canbe taken from Rihanna’s Only Girl( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa14VNsdSYM )
With regards to the magazine advert, we tried to achieve branding largely bykeeping a consistent theme of sinister moods and disorientation with betweenthe magazine advert and the video. Yet we still wanted the magazine advert todifferentiate from the digipak so the whole atmosphere of what we want theaudience to experience would not be overused and loose their interest. Thefinal idea of having a ‘3D effect’ in our magazine advert was inspired bymaintaining the distorted atmosphere that we wanted reflected from the musicvideo and digipak. However the magazine advert is not completely differentfrom the digipak as it still contains vital elements like the use of the same font.We felt this was important to maintain a sense of continuity so when theviewer see magazine advert and then the digipak, they will be able torecognise that the two ancillary texts come from the same video.Our magazine advertisement follows established forms and conventions byshowing an image of the artist, the name of the artist, name of the song andthe date of release. These are all included as there are all vital elements inselling the final digipak to our audience. This is because our audience want toknow who the artist is and when they can buy it. The use of an image is alsovery important because it needs to catch the eye of the reader. It has beencommon in magazine adverts to refer to voyeurism, which is the treatment oflooking at women (and recently men) as sexual objects. We however felt therewas no need to go to this direction for our advert because it would not havemuch significance to our video.With consideration to intertexuality, our magazine shows that we have beeninfluenced from forms and conventions of other works of art. The inspirationfor the use of 3D visualisation was taken from Tinie Tempah’s album artworkfor his debut single Pass Out. It is a very simple, yet eye catching image,
which at the time of its buzz from the press, was the release of Avator, whichwas credited for its breath taking quality of 3D cinema.What have you learned from your audience feedback?Our initial target audience characteristics were males and females betweenthe ages of 16 and 24. This was decided because Dubstep is fairly new genreand has only recently been receiving mainstream success, therefore we felt itis more likely to appeal to a more younger as they are more likely to keep upto date with newer artists and music genres. We felt that targeting to particularethnicities and genders would be irrelevant as the sound is suitable for all tolisten to - it is not too heavy nor too mellow. Our target audience researchshowed us what they enjoyed in music videos. For example, we found that ourtarget audience’s favourite aspects of music videos were visual arts and aninteresting narrative. It was interesting to know that the use of a performer wasonly the second least favourite aspect of music videos. This however my bedue to the fact that music videos with performances are more popularamongst those who are favoured the rock music because watching a bandperform is part of the whole rock culture/experience. The majority of our targetaudiences were fans of hip-hop and RnB, and videos of these genres tend tofocus more a storyline, as opposed to on-stage performances. For example,comparing a music video by rapper 50 cent (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDMhlvbOFaM ) and the rock band LimpBizkit ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYnFIRc0k6E ).
From our target audience research we then tried to create a music video thatwould appeal to our target audience judging from what they told us they liked.We tried to focus particularly on creative visual images and an interestingnarrative because our research told us that this is what they found mostappealing. Although our research told us that they found the performanceaspects not being an important element of music videos, we still felt this wasimportant to feature because familiarising your audience with the singer’s faceis key when trying to sell a new artist, rather than trying to make them sidewith the character of the storyline, especially when dealing with a new genrethat the mass audience would not know of. The only social group that we triedto represent were those aged between 16 and 24 and we tried to achieve thisby using an actress that looked around the ages of 20. This allowed us toconnect with the audience, which is what we particularly wanted. Theaudience is asked to put themselves in the position of the main characterbecause only herself and the audience can witness what the reality of her lifeis like. The impact this creates on the audience is that they start to understandher very bad drug habit and lifestyle that she hides behind her middle-classbackground. In our script development, we included the use of particularcamera techniques. For example, close up shots of the actress snortingcocaine. This was helpful as it allowed us to incorporate actions of the actresswith particular camera techniques to connotate or emphasise a particularmood that we wanted to focus on. Showing the artist’s face to Drinking vodka from a wine familiarise her with the emphasizes how she is ‘abusing’ her audience for future singles middle class image From our audience feedback, out of our main video product and its ancillaryproducts, the majority found the magazine advertisement and music video tolook the most professional. More than half of the sample survey said that theydid not understand the storyline, which was somewhat disappointing as this iswhat our target audience felt was most important, yet we not able to properlyfulfil this. However, the majority said that they did feel that the visual effects
used were a key element that helped to create a feel of disorientation withinthe music video. Furthermore, one person suggested, “The performance shotscould have been made more interesting by using a fan to blow against thesinger”, this perhaps might have helped made her look more seductive andattract more interest from the viewer. What our audience feedbackquestionnaire told us about the magazine advertisement was that theaudience did understand that we were trying to portray a sense ofdisorientation, which is good was this is something we wanted to achieve fromthe time of planning. This would be due the change in colour and 3Dvisualisation used on the original image. With regards to the digipak, themajority said it did not look like a professional product. One person said howthey felt that digipak/abum covers tend to look simpler and have less complexideas.We feel that our end products successfully met the OCR brief as we were ableto comprehensively follow and challenge the codes and conventions of musicvideos, whilst maintaining creativity and innovation. We were also able todemonstrate excellence in technical skills like holding steady shots whereappropriate and editing with a meaning that is obvious to the viewer. Theseuses make us feel that our music video stood up well against professionalproducts. However, looking back at the video, there were some flaws thatshould have been altered, for example, not cutting shots early enough and thesetting of the white balance on the camera. These may have made the musicvideo seem amateur quality. We tried to incorporate important elements ofmusic videos, by for example, trying to sell the artist looks to encourage theaudience to go out and buy the digipak, as promoting the artist’s image is oneof the key reasons why record labels use music videos. Our video would bemore suited to a small and independent record label, largely because it is asong and music video that is targeting a small niche market audience, yet inhope of receiving mainstream attention. Evidence from our target audienceresearch suggested that only a small share of our sample listened toindependent artists, therefore it is not worthwhile initially targeting our musicvideo to a mass audience. Our music video’s unique selling point would be thecombination of dubstep music with the visual effects used because the twotogether, have not yet been used to target neither a niche or mass audience.How did you use new media technologies in the research, planning,construction and evaluation stages?The majority of our planning and research was achieved by gatheringinformation via the Internet and search directories. We found out that usingsearch directories like yahoo ( www.yahoo.com ), as opposed to searchengines like google ( www.google.com ), gave us a lot more relevantinformation as the websites given are actually analysed and categorised by
real humans. The results given by google were collected by a computerprogram called robots, which just gave us results from a match of anywebsites that had the same words typed in the search box. Google however,also provided us images and videos to what we searched, not just weblinks.We also used youtube (www.youtube.com) to help with our textual analysis.We selected the video we were going to analyse on youtube because of itswide range of music videos that we were able to access with ease. The use offacebook also helped us during our target audience research because wewere easily able to gain a large sample size. This may be because peoplewere more lenient to give up their time whilst on their computer, rather than inperson because they can be doing other things whilst taking a survey athome/on their computer. How the search result between google and yahoo variedFor the construction of the music video, we used the Canon XM2 camcorder.To get the best out of this camera, we needed to know how to set up severalcontrols like the white balance so our recording would be clear and not grainyin the current lighting condition. Redhead lights were available to us throughthe college but we felt we did not need them at the time. Although we used itsautomatic white balance setting, our shots did not look as clean andprofessional as we wanted it. We did however use manual focus, whichallowed us to capture clear shots from different distances. We used theplayback feature on our camera so that on set, a recording can be playedback and seen if shot needs to be recorded again. This is a very good feature,however we still didn’t use it at the time of our original shooting, which meantwe had to reshoot another time, causing inconvenience for the groupmembers and actors.
During the stage of editing, we used Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Most of thetechniques used were learnt during AS. When importing our clips into FinalCut Pro, we had to use the log and capture feature whilst playing back ourtape though the external video tape player. This was a very long process, butrequired us to watch all our clips again, taking note of any flaws in what wehad recorded. After the clips were imported into Final Cut Pro, some neededto be shortened to fit in the correct timing of our sequence timeline, whichmeant we were not going towards the script and storyboard at times. Newtechniques that we had to learn were the adding of visual effects to our clipsand this was difficult to catch on as this was something I did not learn duringAS. The college’s editing suite and camera facilities were very good. However,it caused a lot of inconvenience for us if we had not book an editing suite orcamera beforehand. At times, there would be none available to us or we werevery limited on the time that we could use them.For the construction of our digipak and magazine advertisements, we usedour own camera which was the Sony NEX-10. We had access to differenttypes of lighting, but again, we chose not to use them as we wantedparticularly a night shot. We edited our photos on Adobe Photoshop, whichwas difficult at first because it was completely new software to me. However,we were taught the basic from tutorials given in lessons and we looked uponline tutorials on youtube on how to achieve particular effects that wewanted.We had to also upload our evaluations on to blogger. Although using this canbe very simple, knowing basic html which can still be confusing, would help uswith the appearance of the post. However, we decided to upload ourevaluations onto blogger via slideshare, which allowed us to easily upload ourdocuments that contained both texts and images. Otherwise uploadingdocuments direct to blogspot can be very time consuming because once textis inserted, photos must separated be uploaded which can be very timeconsuming. The upload interface of Blogger and Slide Share