A2 Music Evaluation ADDICTIVE… By Marianna Picone St Marys
Q1. In what ways does your media use, develop or challenge forms of real media products?During the course of my planning and my development of my musicvideo, I have researched relevant conventions and products anddecided what I would like to use or challenge within my finalproduct. My initial research was directed mainly at analysing andcritiquing pop music videos as this was my groups chosen genre.Additionally, when viewing numerous pop music videos I noticed• The link between the lyrics and what was being shown, depending on the genre of music different characteristics were portrayed.• The Male Gaze, the theory that more seductive clothing is worn so it attracts a larger male audience. Demands of the industry (representation of the artist, especially women)• Performance based, Narrative based or Concept based music videos.To fit the conventions of a pop video we began to use the thingsthat I had learnt, when planning our storyboard from this we alsobegan to get ideas on what our storyboard should be and theconventions it should produce.
Links between the lyrics and what is being shown…• This was shown in the original music video for Rihanna- we found love, the opening lyrics of the song are ‘And were standing side by side’ this immediately tells the audience that song is about two people who are wrapped up in a relationship. The fast beat of the song captures the fast moving shots as we see the couple in numerous settings within a short period of time. The symbolic message that is produced straight away is that whilst the lyrics are happy and the beat is fast the characters within the music video are together and look like they are having fun and in love.• The purpose of the lyrics is to be a narrative within the story as most pop videos are mini films which produce a message that the artist wants to incorporate within their music. Without the lyrics there would still be a story and with just the lyrics and no music video there would still be a story is well, the two aspects compliment each other and help produce a video that keeps the audience constantly entertained.
Links between the lyrics and what is being shown…• When writing our storyboard we wanted to produce the conventions of a pop video and connect the audio with the visual, this is why it was vital to produce a story that would fit the lyrics. One of opening lyrics is ‘as your shadow crosses mine’ so we decided to create a shot of ‘Jayme-lee’ in a shadow “ AS YOUR SHADOW CROSSES MINE”This is so that the audience can understand the lyrics of the song with the help of a visual.Moreover the spotlight is on our artist to show the importance of her presence in the music videoand because she is a new artist we wanted to straight away show the audience her look (this is whyshe has a snapback on).
Links between the lyrics and what is being shown… Throughout the whole of the song the lyrics are connected to the visual another example of this is ‘Love and life I will divide, turn away cause I need you more’ this lyric is in the chorus therefore that is why it plays such an important part of the song and is one of the main meanings of the whole song. Moreover the song is about not knowing if it right to be with a partner, or if it will be a bad decision in the long run, therefore that is why we decided that for half of the song our artist ‘Jayme-lee’ should be by herself to show the two sides of the story.Another side of the story that we wanted to show is the rebellious and disobedient side of ourartist and the stereotypical view that society has on today’s youth, therefore we wanted to addtypical things that teenagers do for example drink and drugs as one of the lyrics is ‘What it takes tocome alive’
The pop culture references that Rihanna’s original video portray’s…• Rihanna’s video to we found love is a whirling, wanton mix of substances, sex and severity that pushes her bad-girl image to places we never thought possible. Of course, contained within all that shocking imagery are a whole lot of pop-culture references. Here are a couple of references that I found interesting whilst researching the video:• "Everytime": A 2004 video released by Britney Spears, in which she portrays a star hounded by paparazzi and trapped in a terrible relationship with a fellow star (actor Stephen Dorff). In a memorable -- and controversial -- scene, Spears commits suicide by taking a handful of pills and drowning in a bathtub. The shot of her submerging is replicated in "We Found Love," with Rihanna doing the drowning.• Misfits: Iconic, frequently-in-flux American horror-punk act, often considered to be pioneers of the genre. In "We Found Love," their logo appears on the back of a denim jacket worn by Rihannas love interest, Dudley OShaughnessy. Logos by legendary punk acts the Exploited and Suicidal Tendencies also show up• Araki, Gregg directed the video he is best known for his nihilistic "Teenaged Apocalypse Trilogy" -- "Totally F---ed Up," "The Doom Generation" and "Nowhere" -- a series of films brimming with sex, drugs and violence. Therefore this is where the experience and detail comes from in the making of "We Found Love."
Links between the music and the visual…• We wanted to make sure that the video was suited to the song, the songs beat is very fast therefore we wanted fast moving shots in the opening to go with the style of the song. This fast beat creates a sense of youth, so we started the video off with a confused young girl walking home from a nigh out! Starting with a close up so you can immediately identify the main character and the wild style she has.As you can see from these pictures there is a new shot for each second that goes by of the song, thisrepresents the fast pace of the song. We wanted our artist to have a different style of clothes on foreach of the shots. I think the rate at which the frames change at the early stage of the video work wellto quickly entice and attract the viewer, they will be intrigued to find out about the three differentstories being presented to them on the screen.
Links between the music and the visual…• Another similarity we noticed in pop videos was although most videos tell a story there is also a point where the artist sings directly to the audience to create a direct encounter with the artist and to add another element to the video. When shooting lip syncing shots we found it extremely difficult to lip sync in time with the music and it looked very unprofessional. However we decided to film the lip syncing shots over and over therefore when it came to the time to edit we could choose the best shot that looked the most professional. As you can see the above shots are the 3 different settings that we decided our artist should be lip syncing in. We was very pleased with the final editing of all three of the lip syncing shots as we felt that it flowed and didn’t look out of place or fake.
Genre Characteristics• When creating our artist the characteristics and style was very important. We wanted to create an artist that was bold and unique so that she would stand out, the first thing we did was create an name for her. We come up with the name Jayme-Lee as we believed that the double barrowed name would suggest two Identities. Moreover clothing and location of our video played a big part in the characteristics of our artist, for example in one of the scenes of our music video, Jayme-Lee is wearing odd socks this is to represent originality and uniqueness. The music video is mainly filmed on a deserted field this is to express the eccentricity of our artist. Moreover we wanted to convey the conventions of a female pop artist and dress her in stylish but appropriate clothing as when we was researching female pop artists this is what they represented. Rihanna Jayme-Lee Although we wanted to convey the conventions of a pop video we decided to challenge these conventions slightly, we wanted to represent Jayme-Lee as stylish however we didn’t want to go over the top and dress her in minimal clothing where she would feel uncomfortable.
Genre Characteristics• Another thing we used in our music video that relates to genre characteristics is the fact that we didn’t chose one specific type of music video, such as performance based, concept based and narrative based we felt that if we used all of them then our video would be more creative and the audience would be more entertained throughout. This is common in pop videos, as most pop videos tell a story, we decided to have our artist singing directly to the audience as this gives an intimate performance however to create the narrative story we created appropriate scenes in the video. Moreover to give a concept performance we decided to create a symbolic message by the pills falling in the music video, this was to symbolise the rebellion in the video without our actors actually having to pretend to take drugs! Performance Concept Narrative
Special effects…• To make our music video unique and professional similar to Rihannas video we needed to add special effects. We viewed different music videos and found that split screen was a common feature in music videos!We liked the idea of using a split screen, however when once we had already started editing ourvideo on iMovie 0.9 we gathered that there wasn’t a split screen tool and it was too late in theprocess of editing our music video that we couldn’t change software and move over to final cutpro just to add split screens. We decided as a group that there was other special effect’s that wecould use that would be just as affective.
Special effects…• Moreover another special effect that we liked and wanted to use in our own editing was the double fade over, this is when one shot moves to the next and creates and effect where by the two shots merge into each other. When researching pop music video’s we found that this effect was very repetitive, as it made the transitions of shots look neat and allowed different shots to look clear to the audience. As you can see from Rihanna’s video on the left the contrast of lighting worked more effectively then our own video however we wanted to portray a different message then in Rihanna’s video. In Rihanna’s video the double fade over effect is used when the lightning fades into the room she’s in, however in our video we wanted the fade to in some ways work as a split screen as we wanted it to look like our two characters were walking in the direction of each other to show two stories in one shot.
Special effects…• A big symbolic message that we wanted to run throughout our music video was rebellion therefore we wanted to create a shot of fire to give it an authentic look this was something that took time and planning, we had to black out a room so that no other light could be seen as the effect would not look as professional like. We used a lighter and an aerosol can to create this effect, however we had to re shoot a few times as some of the shots didn’t come out how we expected. Nevertheless we was very pleased with the final shot! Another special effect that we used in Imovie was the fast forward editing tool, this was to fasten the pace of the some of the shots. When we used this tool we also used the reverse tool to make the shot plays in reverse to create a repetitive statement. Both editing techniques worked well together and also worked with the music to create a fast and strange shot that complemented the shot before of drugs falling.
Q2. How effective is the combination of your main product with your ancillary texts? Album Front and Back cover! Home page of website Inside of the album cover!
The combination of my three products…In the initial planning of the music video we focused on the characteristics of our artist and theunique vibe she would represent, we wanted to create and exclusive product however wenoticed that many conventions followed through in a lot of music videos, websites and digipaks.We researched Rihanna as this is who sings the original song and took ideas from the style sherepresents we also researched into the reasons why Rihanna wrote her albums as this could giveus ideas on the symbolic messages that the album holds.The album in which ‘we found love’ comes from (Talk that Talk) differs from Rihannas previousrelease, Loud (2010), which featured a prominently up-tempo and pop genres, ranging fromdance-pop to electro-R&B. Talk That Talk marked the return to hip hop, R&B, electro house,electro, dancehall and dubstep, a genre first incorporated on Rihannas fourth studio album,Rated R (2009). Rihanna believed that she suited this type of genre of music better as in thealbum Rated R she believed that her fans could relate more to the gritty and dark lyrics presentedin this album and her current one.
The combination of my three products…• We decided to call the album name ‘Addictive’ this suggests an addiction which could be from love, drugs, money. No addiction is good therefore the album name already symbolises a darkness. Moreover the colour that represents love and pain ( which is what the album is about) is red therefore as a group we decided that the main colour scheme should be black white and red. We chose a font like this to give an impression of a signature with a kiss at the end, the album is a present from the artist the to audience. We wanted the album name to be more plainer writing, we deliberately chose the album name to be all lower case as addiction is not something you should be proud of and the ellipsis is to show that the story hasn’t finished!
The combination of my three products…The main colour theme we decided to use was black red and white, this is because eachcolour has a symbolic meaning for the artists message, red to show pain and love, black toshow a dark side and finally white to represent purity. Colour adds a subliminal message; wetook numerous photos however the best photo that fitted the criteria for the back of thedigipak was the image of our artist leant against the wall smoking this was because half of theimage was the wall so this space was perfect for the song titles. The font we wanted ourartists name to be was a ‘signature’ like style of writing this was to add a personal element tothe album cover as if it was a present from the artist to her audience the album name was incapitals and a solid bold style of writing this was symbolise that the entire album is solid andready!
The combination of my three products…• We tried to incorporate the black red and white theme throughout our music video too, however we didn’t want the whole video to be in black and white as we felt that it may be boring and colour is important. We tried to create a dark shot with just a strobe light and the main thing we wanted to stand out was her red lips in this close up. As you can see in the website we followed the theme through, with a black background so the images stand out and bold red writing.
The combination of my three products…This is the insert to the digipak, we felt that the black and white theme may get abit boring therefore we decided to add colour into this bit however we still keptthe bold red writing and added white writing to show contrast, this picture istaken from one of the scenes in the music video therefore this shows theaudience that music video plays a big part in the new release of Jayme-Lee’salbum!
Q3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?• Once we had nearly finished editing we decided to make a YouTube account so our peers could watch our work and give advice and critique, once the final editing was finished we decided to post the video to facebook to obtain audience feedback!
Audience feedback…After putting our video on social networking sites we received a lot of positivefeedback, a lot of people were shocked at the standard of work we had producedand also noticed a huge change from the first video we had edited, in the finalvideo we added more scenes as we were told that the video became a bit repetitiveand there wasn’t enough special effects, this is when we decided to film more andthink of more creative ideas such as creating a scene with fire!As you can see from this comment the person suggested that we should have moredramatic scenes, as there was a lot of ‘high’ (positive scenes) and not enough ofthe lows. The whole point of the music video was to create a balance of highs andlows, and in the final video we tried to incorporate more drugs, arguments andlows.
Audience feedback…• We showed our video to our class as we felt they would be experienced in editing techniques and conventions of music videos, therefore they would be the best people to get constructive criticism from, as well as our teacher who suggested ideas throughout the whole process! These are the main comments we began to receive…This is the negative feedback we received however a lot of positive feedback came along too, andonce we heard about the things that needed to be changed we decided to think of strategies of howwe could change all of this!
Audience feedback• We already had a visual idea of what our album front and back cover would look like as this was planned from the beginning, however we struggled on what pictures to choose for the back and front, as we took so many! Therefore we decided to ask our class mates as they are the target audience for the artist. We liked this picture however, other people suggested that the writing didn’t fit well on the album cover and the picture stood out to much and took it away from the artists name and the album name… Therefore we decided to use this picture for the back cover as the song names would fit better where the picture looks black and there would be a balance of writing and a bold picture! As you can see we used the same image but used it for the back cover, where the writing stood out more! Moreover we used a black and white image so the text would stand out as this is the main thing that needs to be seen to promote the artist and her album!
Audience feedback…• On the 19th of April we had a showcase to show our work, we invited friends and family and gave them a questionnaire to fill out here are the results. The first question that was asked was if the audience felt that the choice of setting in the video was appropriate a lot of people said yes and that the conventions of the pop genre were all present, we then asked how successful was the video in satisfying the conventions of the genre a lot of people said ‘yes there were successful moments but the lip syncing was a bit off’. We received very good comments for the editing, very clean cuts‘ and a lot of people said that the ‘shots flowed’ we then asked about the cinematography how successful were the choice of camera angles and movement most people said good and that the fast cuts and flashing went well with the genre and the shadowing was effective. We asked if the narrative of the music video suited the theme of the song overall everyone said yes, moreover we asked if the narrative was easy to follow the response we got was reasonably easy to follow. We asked if the audience was entertained throughout the video and some people said at times but most said they were! A question that is key for our progress is which bit of the video was most successful most people agreed on the strobe light scene but others said the arguing scene. The last question we asked was what could we do to improve our music video most people said the lip syncing and we are going to edit the video more effectively. The average score we got for our music video was 8.4!
Q4. How did you use media technologies in theconstruction and research, planning and evaluation stages?• I decided to display my planning and evaluation on a blog rather than through Microsoft word and PowerPoint. Therefore throughout the course of the project I was constantly updating my blogs with information on the progress of our music video, the blog also helped keep a clear location of all our work and an easy way to show and share work with our teacher and members in our group! Labels, so my work A video bar to is clear and easy to show any videos I view had posted
Use of media technologies…• At first I found it hard to use the blog, if work was created on paper then it was hard to transfer onto the blog, and it was hard to get into a routine of constantly posting work, however in the end it was the most effective way to show work! This is where you could change the layout of your blog, as you can see it says you can add gadgets, a gadget that I found very useful was the label gadget as this is how I could organise my work effectively.
Use of media technologies• An easy way of collecting research is using a PowerPoint however to print screen every slide would not be time efficient therefore I had to research into ways of getting a PowerPoint onto my blog. I found a website called slide share that is free to start and account, with an account you can easy upload your PowerPoints onto your blog, which takes very little time! Another benefit of slide share this that you receive access to other people’s PowerPoint’s. Therefore you can watch relevant PowerPoints for research or ideas!
Use of media technologies…• A website that was constantly used throughout our project was YouTube, we used it to watch videos and also it was an easy way to show video diaries of the progress of our work! As soon as we had started filming we created a YouTube account for our group, whereby we all knew the password so we could all post relevant videos when we wanted to. A good thing about YouTube is that you can see how many views your video has obtained. Moreover who can see the gender of what people are watching your video, this helps to identify the target audience
Use of media technologies…• Throughout the whole process of filming the music video we took various photos with the idea that we could use them as part of our ancillary task however we needed a type of software to edit these photos. A member of my group had an app called instagram on her iphone, this software allows you to edit photos and add high-quality effects that made our final pieces more professional like. Another benefit of this app is that you can add all photos, straight onto your account for promotion and criticisms. The only weakness of this app is that it can only be used on apple software, so for the rest of the group we could edit photo’s unless we was with the group member that had the app! As you can see this picture was edited on instagram, the contrast has been changed so our artist stands out more!
Use of media technologies…• As well as using instagram we used Microsoft word and paint to put the final pieces of our work together. I downloaded the type of text used on the back cover of the album to create a blurred digital effect. I decided to add a parental advisory sticker to give it that extra detail and show that our artist lyrics may be dark!Overall the software we used wasn’t too complicated to use and we had a lotof previous experience with it from other subjects, however I think that ourfinal product looked professional and I was very happy with it!
Use of media technologies…• The software we decided to edit our music video on was iMovie 0.9 ‘iMovie helps you turn the HD video you shoot on your device into a thrilling trailer or masterpiece worthy of the red carpet (even if it’s just the one in your living room). And since iMovie is designed for Multi-Touch, all you have to do is tap, swipe and drag to make some movie magic.’ The software we used was very easy to use, however if there was things we didn’t understand all we had to do was type the question in Google or YouTube and explanations would come up. I personally had used this software last year for my media coursework therefore that is why I suggested to the group that we should use it!
Use of media technologies…• Lastly, the final bit of technology we used that was extremely important for the whole project was the video camera that we used. Just pull the Bloggie camera out of your pocket and youre ready to capture Full HD video and 12.8-megapixel still shots at a moments notice. A benefit of this camera is the simplicity of a single record button and a large touch screen for watching shots. All filming is stored on built-in memory, and you can easily upload your movies to social networking sites like YouTube and Facebook. To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed creating a music video, I found it interesting look at conventions and symbolic messages that were within music videos that I didn’t even realise were there. I was very pleased with both the final music video and the ancillary tasks and was proud that they both complimented each other well. If I could go back I would have maybe organised a more appropriate time schedule whereby we would have more time at the end of the course to look more in detail to any missing elements! A2 MEDIA COURSEWORK BY MARIANNA PICONE ST MARYS SIXTH FORM CANDIDATE NUMBER: