Evaluation Question Number 1 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? To the front cover, i added a barcode, price and date as that's what all magazines have and it's vital information that the reader needs to know and the front cover would look out of place if it didn’t feature them. My magazine cover, contents page and double page spread use the typical conventions of other real media products in many ways. Firstly, the ongoing theme throughout the three pages matches. I only used two fonts running the whole way through. I think the two fonts fitted perfectly as 'Reboard' is a very bold font and dinski is softer, the contrast works very well and the handwriting style fits with the editor writing. My Masthead is another original convention of media products. The name and style of the magazine is very important. It draws the reader in and lets them know what style of music my magazine features and what they can expect. By calling my magazine 'THRASHA', the genre is obviously going to be metal/rock. It's bold enough to make teenagers/young adults interested but as i didn't want it to 'take over' the front cover, i adjusted how opaque it was on photoshop. I added a ‘pug’ to my magazine cover as it adds variety and stands out to the reader. It usually advertises something important so mines advertising free stickers. I kept the font inside the pug as it’s meant to look like a sticker stuck onto the magazine. Many media products use this technique, including Rock Sound, Kerrang and NME As you can see below!
Another convention is the ongoing photo theme, the majority of them featuring the same setting. Different camera angles are used to create variety but it's obvious that they're all set in the same place. The contents page features a close up of Jason's face but it's clear that it is him (and i like to add the photo was taken on the same day!). The front cover image is the center of attention, with a low angle photo making Jason seem 'high' and 'Godlike'. The photo attracts the audience as if they can clearly see who the artist is, and if they like them, they can buy the magazine. The front cover features band names either side of the main image so that if the reader spots a band they are particularly interested in on the front, they can buy the magazine. This is also the case in the contents page with a simple column theme running through it with just the page number and band name. This is what most magazines do, it’s simple yet effective. Also, I changed the colour of the page number to make it easier. No one wants to spend long on the contents page! I’ve used images in the contents of the most important stories, it makes the page interesting and most magazines include photos on the contents. The polaroid effect continues throughout my magazine and so does the colour scheme of black, white and red. Also, the whole ‘torn paper’ background continues throughout all parts of my media product. This builds the layers up and makes all the pages look more ‘packed’ and interesting. It’s rare that you see a magazine looking very ‘bare’.
Evaluation Question Number 2 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? My magazine uses different techniques to represent a particular social group. The techniques include, the bands listed, the font and language used, the colour scheme, the class represented etc. All three pages of my media product include Jason Hatrell, lead singer of a very popular hardcore metal band. An icon to teenage girls, and very well known by men/boys. The concept of who he is firstly will stand out to my audience, being a ‘star’ in the metal scene. This, on it’s own, reels in the type of people I’m aiming my product at. Both men and women aged around 15-25 who are interested in the genre of metal and the band ‘Your Demise’ who are the main feature. The social class is not prominent in my media product, the people featured look middle class. I havn’t included poor looking tramps or millionaires as I’m trying to targert middle class people. The focus of my magazine is not on the class of the people. Class doesn’t matter when it comes down to music. I’ve used quite a rough effect throughout my media product featuring ripped paper, ‘wonkey’ (tilted) Polaroids and photos. Nothing’s neat looking so the magazine is not at all ‘prim and proper’. It has a very ‘thrown together’ look. The bands featured are typical British and American Metal bands, I’ve included bands like Cartel, Secrets of us all, Gallows, Deaf Havana and You Me at Six . I’ve chosen a specific genre! I’ve also featured some more ‘Rock’ bands so that more people will be interested in the magazine, a wider audience will buy Thrasha. If I was trying to appeal to an Indie audience, I’d obviously feature bands like Temper Trap, Ellie Goulding, Biffy Clyro etc.
Colour scheme is important, it gives the overall feel of the magazine. I used Red, Black and white throughout my magazine as they’re simple colours. More importantly, they’re not too colourful. I wanted quite a dark theme running through my media product. If I used neon green, yellow and pink for my magazine, it would have had a very ‘Rave’ feel like that of a club magazine and my magazine clearly does not feature club music! The colours are noticeably different and a completely different feel is given off in each one. My product doesn’t really feature people with disabilities or ethnicity. This might not attract them types of audience to my magazine however, conventionally metal magazines do not feature either. Of course there’s some ethnicity featured but in the scene of metal, the majority of people are white British whereas in an American rap magazine, the majority of people will be African American.
Evaluation Question Number 3 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why? An institution that deals with magazine publishing would distribute my product. Another magazine that deals with a similar genre to mine would be more likely to publish my magazine as they know what to look for in a good, decent metal magazine. The most likely company to publish my magazine would be IPC Media (http://www.ipcmedia.com) as they produce over 85 magazines ranging from NME to Nuts . And their magazines reach almost 27million UK adults every month! My magazine’s genre is completely different to everything else the company sells so I think they would consider to publish my magazine and distribute it all over the UK. It could make them a reasonable amount of money. A smaller company such as Bauer Consumer Media (http://www.bauermedia.co.uk) who publish Q and Kerrang! would probably not want to publish my magazine as they already publish two other very big Rock Music magazines. If they released also my magazine, the other sales may go down because of it. Ideally a conpany wants to release lots of different genre magazines to attract the most different audiences
Evaluation Question Number 4 4. Who would be the audience for your media product? I’ve briefly outlined the audience for my media product in question two but I will go into more detail. My target audience will range from 15-25, both men and women. The audience love Metal and British hardcore bands as that’s what my magazine specialises in. Their social class doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter whether they are rich or poor, it’s all about the music. On my blog, I have composed a post called ‘My target audience’. I feel my magazine relates straight back to whom I have talked about. Also, I added polls to my page and catered for the answers too. My product uses quite conventional media product techniques. I’ve featured male icons that men want to be and women want to marry. It’s the perfect balance. I want to attract people like me .
Evaluation Question Number 5 5. How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted my audience in many ways. Colour themes, simplicity, the bands featured, the pictures taken. The overall appearance of my magazine. I concentrated very carefully on who I was making the magazine for. I did this in many ways, I concentrated on how the artists dressed (so the audience could relate to it), for example Jason on the cover had a Rise and Fall t-shirt on who are another big metal band. It shows how he supports other bands which is likeable to the audience. I also featured Jason because he’s a likeable icon, people are interested in what he has to say. The language I used was appropriate to attract my target audience and the question I asked in the double page spread were interesting and the language appealed to the ‘Metal’ youth of the UK. I attracted my audience with big, bold, harsh looking fonts and I find on every page of my media product, my eyes straight away focus on the largest writing point. Photo’s were also key in my product as in my polls on my blog, 9 out of 12 people said ‘More pictures’ on the contents page. My polls played key rolls in what I was and was not going to do in my magazine. I used ‘exciting language’ throughout my media product to make the reader think they were getting something that other products don’t offer and that their friends wont have because they bought a different magazine. It makes my magazine seem more individual and I think this was a key feature in attracting my audience.
I included a Polaroid picture theme as my target audience use old polaroid cameras a lot just because they like the authenticity of the photos. The metal scene is very individual. Everyone loves a ‘freebie’ so the pug I used on the cover advertised ‘Free Stickers!’ the reader would obtain if they purchased the magazine. In the shop, the magazine should probably be packaged in plastic so that people don’t steal the stickers. Most music magazines offer free stickers, posters, keyrings etc. The audience feels more inclined to buy it if they feel like they are getting a deal. My online polls were very important to me, I chose the colour scheme I did as it was the most popular selection in a poll, I asked the target audience what their favourite magazine name would be, their favourite genre etc. Then I know what my target audience want and I can satisfy their needs. All major media products go through this stage and the company does market research.
Evaluation Question Number 6 6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? In the process of constructing my media product, I learnt in depth technologies. Those include, taking photos with an SLR camera, uploading and editing those pictures and most importantly I mastered how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements on the apple Mac computers, which were a challenge to use in themselves as I’m used to a windows computer. Firstly came the editing stage. I practised editing photos of my sister that I took. I took photos of Caris and of Jason so I could use the best set of photos. I used Jason in the end as he fitted the profile better however I had more experience. I’ve talked about editing photos on my blog quite a lot. I wanted to make the colour very drained and I lowered the hue so they looked almost black and white, I think that effect makes them look a bit ill which was kind of the look I was going for! This Is the image I used on my front cover, (Edit on the left). I think the angles interesting and I like the ‘creepy’ effect of all the trees. I auto adjusted all levels on photoshop, increased the constrast and brightness and then lowered the hue down to almost black and white. It kind of gives the photo an old feel! I didn’t need to use the lassoo or any other layering tools when editing this photo however I did when I constructed the front page.
Taking photos on my camera, I adjusted the aperture so that when I took photos, the contrast was very high giving the camera a kind of harsh looking effect. Above are the three parts to my media product, I’ve went into much more depth on my blog on how they are edited but I’ll briefly explain here. There’s about 40 different layers in each one, including the background which in the front cover and the double page spread photoshop documents, were the edited photos that I’d taken of Jason in the woods. On all pieces, the second layer I worked on was the title, or the main font focus of the page, for this I simply print screened from the internet and copy and pasted, I adjusted the opacity or added a colour burn to get rid of the background, it’s easier than selecting it all with the magic wand tool. The font was added last, on the top layer so we could see it and it wasn’t stuck behind other photos etc! Layering was very important, especially in the contents as it’s packed full of different photos, ripped bits of paper among other things. I’ve learnt how to use photoshop to a pretty standard degree and I’ve learnt how important the layering effect actually is. Also, I’ve realised how important perfection is! And how everything on a front cover, contents and double page spread has to be perfect because the slightest thing ruins everything! The magic wand tool.
Evaluation Question Number 7 6. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I feel like I have better knowledge of something that looks professional, a better understanding of the main conventions of magazines. And, I can use PhotoShop to a much greater extent! I’ve learnt that colour schemes really matter. On my preliminary task cover, you can barely read the righting, the pictures are not neat or particularly relevant. No market research was done so I knew who to aim the magazine at. My preliminary task was a disaster I think it’s fair to say! I can use photoshop, I understand all the layers and how to adjust different things, import other JPGs etc. The conventions of media products are now more clear to me. Looking at other magazines similar to mine such as NME and Kerrang! I understand what the reader wants, how to draw people in and make things look interesting. I’ve learnt a lot making this media product!