Media Studies AS: Foundation Portfolio (Evaluation)
Zaibaa .Y. DiwanMedia Studies AS: Foundation Portfolio<br />
..Introduction..<br />My product was a music magazine.<br />I worked as an individual.<br />As I chose to create a music magazine, I had to create a front cover, contents page and a double page feature article.<br />I wrote the article myself and took all pictures which were to be used in production.<br />
1.In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge the forms and conventions of real media products?<br /> I put on a barcode, issue number and price on the front to make it look authentic as this is something you’d expect to see on the cover of a magazine. However like all magazines I have not placed in on either of the bottom two corners of the cover, I’ve put it on the top right corner, which slightly challenges the convention.<br /> I used a big bold Mast head; a typical convention of music magazines. This is essential as it immediately catches the attention of the reader. However I used a name for the magazine which doesn’t make it obvious which genre is present, I wanted the title to make the reader question it as then it’ll lead to them buying it to find out what it is. This is unconventional as most, if not all music magazines use names which make the genre obvious<br /> The image on the cover conforms to the convention of front cover images; it uses direct address, dominates a large portion of the cover. In the image my model is wearing numerous pieces of jewellery which in terms of music genre cold be said to be showing wealth, richness, it conforms to the society’s expectations of R&B as we see most R&B stars often wear a lot of jewellery or big accessories with other pieces of jewellery.<br /> I used journalistic words like “Exclusive” as usually most music magazines do so in order to reel in readers as people want to know what it is this magazine has that others don’t<br />
Most music magazines have name which are always one word long e.g. Vibe, Kerrang, NME etc. I too have chosen a one word name for my magazine.<br />Another convention I’ve followed is that on the cover as well as the title of the feature article I‘ve also got the names of other articles in the magazine on the cover.<br />Another convention is that the feature article title is bigger than any other piece of text on the cover (with the exception of the Mast Head). This I feel was a wise move as it points out the main article of the magazine and it also indicates to someone who’s never seen the artist before who they are.<br />I also put a few other article titles going down the side. I did this in order to draw in more buyers. I did this as it I found that it is quite common for use to see this on magazines associated with R&B, Hip-Hop etc.<br />I put on a Strapline, again to make it look authentic as it is typical of a music magazine as music magazines it is common for us to see a Strapline on either the bottom or top of the cover as this is where the reader will find names of other featured artists etc.<br />To liven up the cover I have used a mixed selection of fonts and colour, however I have kept to a set amount of fonts and colours, thus enabling me to maintain a house style. I think it’s good that I did this as then my magazine doesn’t look boring and the difference in fonts will catch attention more easily.<br />
On my contents page I split articles using subheadings, a common convention of music magazines. This makes it easier fore the reader to “browse” as magazines are almost always consumed whilst consuming secondary media e.g. TV, music in the background therefore we don’t give it 100% of our attention.<br />To make my contents page look authentic I’ve included and Editor’s Note complete with an image of the “Editor”. My editor’s note gives hints as to what can be unearthed in this issue which is conventional of an editor’s note. <br />On my contents I’ve also mentioned what else can be found in the current issue, as most, if not all, magazines usually do<br />Like all magazines I’ve listed the articles of the magazine down one side parallel to the page number they’ll be found on once again making it easier for the reader to find the bit they’re interested in..<br />I’ve also included a sort of self help/lifestyle section to my magazines as most magazines do have these. I chose types of articles which would interest my target audience i.e. fashion, health articles etc. this is not conventional of music magazines as they usually in their entirety are fully dedicated to music. My magazine focuses on music and also other things my target audience may be interested in.<br />On my contents page I’ve only used two images; one of the “editor” and one of my model. I feel I should’ve included more images as, how it is, my contents page is pretty boring and uninteresting. Also I didn’t edit them as I wanted them to stand out against the plain background as there’s more to see rather than if I’d used Photoshop to “cut” them, however now in hindsight I feel I should have done so as it makes my photos look a little unprofessional.<br />
I used a big font with the name of my artist at the top of the page which is a typical magazine convention, and I have also written an introduction to the article rather than steam rolling into the interview.<br />I chose to have only one image on my double page spread as I didn’t want for my article to be picture dominated as my magazine is targeted at late teens+ and as my audience is older I feel there is no necessity of having many images. This goes against the typical convention of a double page spread article as usually there are always more than one image on it.<br />Because I do not have a logo for my magazine instead I chose to have the name of the magazine in the corner of the page where it’s visible.<br />I used red text grabs as they stand out against the background of the double page spread and also because those bits of information are directly connected to Mizz D, therefore I wrote them in the colour in which her name is written.<br />As mentioned previously, the article has an introduction, I thought this necessary as for one thing the reader doesn’t just plough right into the article, they get to know a little of what’s happened and why the interview’s taken place. This and the text grabs also allow for browsing and pull the reader into the article.<br />The colour’s I’ve used to write the article in are quite rich colours, but they aren’t outlandish. I chose these as I feel they reflect the subject of my article (Mizz D) pretty well. I feel they reflect her personality i.e. the white reflects her purity and innocence and the red reflects the girly side of her, another connotation of the red is that there’s a somewhat wilder side to Mizz D than we are shown. <br />I used a column format to write my article in as this makes it easier for the reader to read and also it’s softer on the eyes rather than seeing a big chunk of information.<br />
2.How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />In the music industry, when presented with female solo artists, we see them to be independent, strong, successful, proud, wealthy etc. When shown an image of a female solo artists we see that they stand in poses which puts across the idea that they feel empowered, they pose in ways which shows their independence. We also get a sense of feeling majestic from the way they are posed, not only that but also from their clothes, the colours of clothing also even how their hair is styled, accessories etc. we often see them with if not just a few then many accessories e.g. jewellery, bags etc.<br />Since I decided to have my article about a female solo artist my product represents female solo artists. I think I’ve represented female solo artists pretty well as I’ve chosen to dress them in universal colours which can be worn by men or women, they are also colours which have often indicated independence. <br />In the image above, we see Alicia Keys is in a deep Mauve coloured outfit with an Ivory belt. Mauve is a colour which is usually associated with royalty, and majesty, as is Ivory. She’s stood against a damask back drop, something else which is associated with wealth. Her pose puts across a strong sense of independence also she’s posed without props again showing her independence as a female solo artist. Her stance also conveys Pride, this could be of the fact that she alone has control over her career.<br />In the image to the left we’re presented with an image of Mary J Blige. Her facial expression conveys a sense of superiority, her eyebrow’s slightly raised. However only half her face is lit up which puts across the idea that the artist has more to show than we already see. Her hair is styled in a way which is seen to be quite regal and extravagant, this could be as it reflects the artists pride. We see she is wearing big gold earrings, the gold again could show her pride in her work etc.<br />
The images on this slide are both images I had taken so that I could decide upon which costume and model I would use and also which model and which image. However I chose not to use either costume or image for my final product. In this image the costume worn is a chocolate brown – it was quite a casual look however I feel the chocolate brown portrayed a sense of sullenness therefore I never used this costume as it didn’t represent the independence and drive <br />of the female solo artists.<br />The image on the left, of my other model (whom I did not use) is wearing a big thick red jumper with a shirt collar undone and hanging out over the top of the neck. I decided this was not the right costume for an urban female solo artist as it portrays a school girl character; innocence and vulnerability and it also shows that like school girls, she needs guidance from a person in a position of authority. That wouldn’t be the correct representation of female solo artists. Female solo artists show independence and pride in their work therefore I chose a black and gold costume as I feel these colours reflect that well.<br />
On my cover I feel the way my model is stood is quite effective; I feel her pose shows her independence, her pride. I also feel her pose gives off an air of smugness. Not only her pose but also her facial expression; she’s smiling but its not an open mouth smile, which could possibly be as I mentioned smugness or that there may possibly be something which the artist is hiding.<br />I used the image on the left on my feature article as when I were looking through the photos I had taken during the photo shoot with my model this particular image sparked interest in me. It gave me the feeling that the artist is not the kind of artist who’s a demanding diva. It gives the sense of the artist being very much down to earth. It is a reflection of my artist’s personality as is my feature article.<br />
In my pictures I chose to keep my model looking as close to natural as I could, therefore my model only wore bronzer and lip gloss. I chose to keep the natural look as this is very much typical of female R&B and New Jack Swing artists.<br />In my feature article, Mizz D talks like an ordinary person, her personality is chatty and bubbly. She’s enthusiastic about her work as are all female solo artists. My artist comes across as being quite down to earth, someone who still likes the things which mean most to her.<br />When writing my feature article, I kept in mind how I wanted to present Mizz D to my target audience. From within the interview itself I aimed to reflect her personality; by the end of the article I wanted the reader to feel as though they really knew Mizz D, which from looking at my audience testing responses I think I’ve achieved<br />“makes the reader feel as though now<br />know the artist much better”<br />
3.What kind of media institution might distribute your media product & why?<br />During the research process of coursework, I found that Vibe magazine is quite similar to my own; It focuses on an audience of both male and females, it caters for late teens+, focuses on current chart music, new releases.<br />HOWEVER my magazine also includes self help articles, fashion articles, and also health. My magazine also combines gossip in with music<br /><ul><li>IPC Media is the leading UK consumer magazine publisher. 2 of 3 women and 44% of men in the UK read an IPC magazine.
IPC Media produces and distributes 80 different magazines some of which are Marie Claire, Now, NME etc. which includes digital properties like nme.com, which happens to be the third largest commercial music website in the UK.
Although IPC already print NME, there’s still a gap in the market for a magazine such as my own for one this is because there aren’t any magazines which focus on R&B, New Jack Swing and Soul music. Many focus on rock, pop, hip-hop and R&B combined. There are none which focus on the genres which I have based my magazine
http://www.ipcmedia.com/brands/nme/ this is the link to IPC’s website which goes directly to the NME Brand Profile.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>One reason why I think IPC would publish my magazine is one there are no magazines dedicated to genres such as New Jack Swing.
Another reason why I think IPC would produce and distribute my product is because of its Unique Selling Point (USP) .
I think IPC would be interested in producing my product as there aren’t many magazines which are aimed at people from the age of 16-25 or older as many assume people of those ages don not have anything in common in regards to musical preferences.
Another reason why IPC may want to distribute my product is because it’s likely to have good sales figures as it won’t really have much competition based on the genre of the magazine as like mentioned before there are none which cater for the same genres as my product.</li></li></ul><li>4.Who would be the audience for your media product?<br />The Audience for my media product be: <br /> Male & Female<br />Age: 16 - 25 (maybe older than that i.e. 32)<br />Musical Preferences: Listens to namely, R&B, Soul, New Jack Swing; (Ginuwine, Tyrese, Jagged Edge, 112,<br />Boys II Men, Shai, Blackstreet, Montell Jordan etc.).<br />stylish but different one-of-a-kind . Always carrying something to listen to music on but not constantly listening to it.<br />Reads magazines like vibe. Interests: Music, Reading, going to concerts (only on the odd occasion though).<br />The ethnicity of my target audience would be British background (whether that be of a British Indian ethnicity or British African or White British etc doesn’t matter)<br />As my target population is 16-25 year olds, it’s likely they’ll be students at either college or university therefore their Socio-Economic status would be E.<br />My product costs £3.90, a reasonable price as based on my audience questionnaire I decided my magazine would be a monthly glossy magazine. #I feel my audience would buy the magazine monthly as it focuses on the things they want to read about, what they like and also as it would be something for them to enjoy in the free-time they’d get. <br />However I think I may eve have a secondary target audience of those between the ages e.g. 25-31/32 as the artists my magazine would look at monthly are from when they themselves were teens and so they would be interested too.<br />From looking at my audience feedback I would say I received a fairly positive reaction from my target audience. As most said my product was good and professional.<br />
5. How did you attract/ address your Target Audience?<br />There are many things which attracted and addressed my target audience.<br />To start off, although it was unconventional, I give my magazine a n ambiguous name which made my target audience question what the magazine brings forward to them.<br />I think my front cover played a major part in attracting my target audience; I feel the main image and also the caption that goes with it were the aspects which were most important.<br />My models using a direct MOD, which is important as it grabs the readers attention and hold it as it looks as though the model is looking directly at them. Also it makes the model stand out against everything else on the cover. Her outfit is not too flashy therefore it doesn’t take the attention away from her face. <br />I used a font called Hand Test, which looks as though the text has been handwritten. I used this font as I wanted to make it seem as though my model had signed her name on the cover. I got the font from www.dafont.com. I think the caption played an important role as when reading it makes the reader think “Who’s Mizz? Where’s she come back from? What is She revealing?”<br />
I also think that the other captions and storylines<br />on the cover played a big role in attracting my <br />audience. For example the word “Exclusive” makes the article jump out at the audience and plants the idea in the reader’s mind that it’s an article which won’t feature in any other magazine<br />I used a Straplinee to highlight other well –known artists which feature in the magazine, however I didn’t give any hint as to why they’re featured in this particular issue again intriguing the audience and causing them to want to know more.<br />I used the names of famous R&B and<br />New Jack Swing artists on the cover<br />and highlighted them by writing their<br />names in different fonts and wrote a<br />caption of what the main gist of the<br />article is i.e. “Boys II Men: The<br />success story”. For those who are<br />familiar with the band they’ll see this<br />and want to know what the story is thus<br />making them feel compelled to buy the<br />issue and read it.<br />
On my contents page I attracted my<br />aaudience through my editor’s note as it’s<br />quite chatty, it has a little humorous edge to<br />it and also it gives hints as to what’s in the<br />current issue. As I found from my audience testing it makes the reader want to<br />continue reading:<br />“Editor’s note very good, interesting, in key with audience, makes you want to know more”<br />I split my contents page into two<br />categories: “On the cover” and “Also<br />in this month's issue”. I did this as it<br />made it easy for the reader to<br />browse for what it is that interested<br />them in particular. The layout is clear<br />and simple which further enables<br />the reader to go to the bit of the<br />magazine it is they are looking for.<br />i.e. the feature article.<br />
On my double page spread I took quotations directly from the article and enlarged them ever so slightly, and changed the font to the same font as the artists name, and also the same colour. I did this as they’re quotations directly linked to the artists. <br />I chose to keep the name of my feature article simple as I wanted the subject of my feature article to be the main focus of the title as I didn’t want to give anything away in the title. I had “Mizz D” written in the chosen font and colour positioned below the first bit of the title. I did this so it attracts attention so that readers would want to read the article and also because it is aesthetically pleasing.<br />
I chose to have this image on my double page spread as it makes my model look friendly, and also because she’s directly addressing the audience, thus making the reader feel more “involved” with the interview; making them feel as though they’re sat through the interview along side the reporter and Mizz D<br />The image is light, clear therefore it’s easy on the eyes therefore which would cause the reader to look at the image more. My models pose is interesting to look at, as is her facial expression. It looks as though she’s fighting back laughter, which would make the reader think “Why’s she doing that? What’s so funny?”<br />The Layout catches the attention of the reader as it’s easier on the eyes and it guides the eyes around the page which gets rid of any confusion of where next to read - It doesn’t take much effort to read the article.<br />In order to achieve this I used the conventional column layout and coloured the questions and answers in different colours which contrast with the back ground of the article. <br />I think the colour scheme of the article also attracted my audience as it is very simple, it’s not over complicated and the colours go well together.<br />
In the article itself I’ve used very colloquial language. I think this goes well with my target audience as it’s how they speak in everyday life with friends and family.<br />Instead of ploughing straight into the interview, I added an intro in which I gave a brief description of Mizz D’z past an to add humour I added a rhetorical question.<br />I think the intro itself also drew in my audience as it gives details of what started Mizz D’s career off, her achievements and what brought it to a temporary halt. It allows the reader to create in their mind an idea of how they think the interview is going to be. <br />I feel because of the informality of the intro and because of how it steadily flows into the interview, this is what caused my target audience to read on.<br />
<ul><li>In my article give Mizz D a bit of a Stereotypical character; cool, calm, funny, polite, passionate about her work, driven. I think even though my audience was mature it was still better to promote these characteristics as it’s not very often someone will want to read about someone who’s typically rude, inappropriate and foul-mouthed.
By sticking to the stereotypical characteristics of female solo artists it created a sense of familiarity which is accepted by people also as mature as my audience is I don’t think they would have wanted to read about a controversial figure for two possible reasons 1. It’s not typical of someone of a New Jack Swing (NJS) background to cause controversyas the majority of NJS stars are quite quiet characters in society i.e. Boys II men, Shai.
I wanted the subject of my article to be someone who could stand as an inspiration to my target audience, as when reaching the age of my target audience you’re faced with many trials and tribulations which you have to face and mover as does Mizz D in regards to he accident. I thought it best to make Mizz D an inspirational figure as it gives the reader something positive to take away after reading the article and picking up the underlying message.</li></li></ul><li>6. What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing this product?<br />The first thing I’ve learnt from creating this product is that a lot of hard work, time and effort go into making music magazines (any magazine for that matter). During the production process I’ve used so many different tools within programs; without them it wouldn’t have been possible to complete my product.<br />The first thing I did was create a blog in order for me to record my research, planning, progress and my final product. I did this using www.blogger.com . I made several posts as regularly as I possibly could on my own blog, thus helping me to be able to develop my ideas and create my magazine to the best of my ability. This proved to be more useful than one would think it is as with it comes easy access, I could access my blog from any computer as long as there was an internet connection in place - I could even access it from my IPod.<br />For my research I used mainly the internet; I was able to access all the information I needed. I was able to find out everything that was necessary about magazines, distribution companies etc through the internet. Many sites proved to be useful such as: www.dafont.com, www.wikipedia.org , www.google.co.ukand also www.vibe.com . As useful and handy the internet proved to be it was time consuming and difficult to find exactly what it was I was searching for and also. I managed to get quite a bit of significant information through the internet.<br />Research was a vital process leading up to the production of my magazine as without it I wouldn’t e able to create a completely unique magazine, which looked professional despite me having no prior experience with software such as Photoshop and InDesign. If faced again with the challenge of creating a magazine I would most definitely use the internet to carry out research as it opens you up to vast stores of information.<br />
In order for me to take my pictures I used a Digital Stills camera. I didn’t worry too much about what the images would turn out like as even though the camera I was using wasn’t a professional camera, it’s picture quality was still pretty good.<br />I found that by taking the photos in a well lit area and by having my model wear an outfit which stood out against the background I was able to produce some good images. I was 100% successful using the digital stills camera. I didn’t find it challenging taking the images as I have taken many before. I was very pleased with the outcome of my photos with one exception. When I uploaded the images to the Mac and my PC I saw that there was the date in yellow at the bottom of each photo - this is where Photoshop came in handy.<br />As mentioned above I faced one problem after taking my photos – the yellow dating at the bottom. After selecting the images I wished to use on my pages I then opened them in Photoshop and used the ‘Stamp’ tool eradicate the yellow dating. At first I had no Idea how to do this, but I persevered and figured it out after a few tries on my own. After this I was able to figure out pretty much all of the other tools I may have needed through the production process of my magazine. However I didn’t use the skills I acquired due to previously mentioned reasons. <br />I found Photoshop was a good piece of software to use, however I found it to be ever so slightly complicated. I don’t think I’ve used it to its full potential and that’s purely because I’ve never had any prior experience with it and I wasn’t 100% confident about using it as I didn’t know what the majority of the tools did.<br />
InDesign was the software I used to put my magazine pages together. It was a very good, professional programme, which I didn’t actually find to be quite difficult, I managed to get the hang of it much quicker than I could get a grip on the few tools I did master on Photoshop. I don’t think there‘s another programme which would’ve been better to create my pages as the end result of each of my pages was professional and of quite a high standard of quality.<br />I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this using any other piece of software e.g. Microsoft Publisher. I was able to do everything I needed necessary to complete my pages on InDesign with hardly any trouble. From inserting images to adding swatches, I could do it all with ease. I feel its an exceptional piece of software which is easy to use and very easy to master.<br />Overall I find the software and technology I used to produce my product were professional and I don’t think I can Fault any of them except for Photoshop for being a little difficult to use and over -complicated. Without the use of these pieces of software and the technology I wouldn’t have been able to create my product with such ease and I highly doubt they would’ve looked as professional as they do.<br />If given the opportunity to be able to work with Photoshop I think I would most definitely take it up as I would very much like to be able to use it more effectively if ever an occasion calls for it. As it is clear that with the number of tools Photoshop has to offer, it is capable of doing so much more than for what I used it for.<br />
7. Looking back at your Preliminary Task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?<br />From creating my Prelim task to my Final Product I feel I’ve learnt a whole lot more than I initially expected to learn.<br />When I created my Prelim Task I had absolutely no experience with any software, I only knew how to use a digital stills camera. I weren’t at all happy with my prelim Task and I felt as though I’d failed miserably, I could find noting good about it, all I could see were faults. I used the same software and technologies to create my Prelim Task and my Final Product however there has been a momentous improvement between the two.<br /><ul><li> First of all I’ve learnt a lot about the layout of a front cover can either make it or break it and that to get it right takes quite a bit of thought and constructive planning. Fonts have to be clear, text needs to be sized so that it can be seen and images have to eye-catching.
I’ve also learnt that it takes time to find the right type of font for different pieces of text and that it is difficult to find colours that go well together and contrast against a fairly neutral background all at once.
The main thing I’ve learnt is that a lot of, work and time and effort goes into making a magazine. And also that a lot of skills with different pieces of software is needed to get a professional look</li></li></ul><li>From my Prelim Task to my Final product everything has drastically improved one of the main things being the use of different fonts, colours and also the background of images.I learnt how vital fonts are in making a front cover look professional and how though usage of different fonts you can highlight key points.<br />I also learnt that picking a working consistent colour scheme is and sticking t it is essential and plays a big role in making your work look professional. The colour scheme brings the magazine together as a whole and makes it softer on the eyes. <br />I think I’ve used better language on my final product than on my Prelim Task. The captions are more interesting , they’re shorter; which mean I could fit more on the cover and also to make it easier to read and browse.<br />I feel my Final Product is considerably better than my Preliminary Task. Through the use of InDesign I learnt how to make things easier and clearer to see which all in all helped to improve the quality of my pages. I learnt to use the tools provided to the best of my ability and to make the tools work for me how I want them to work. Creating my Product was new experience; it is was tedious at times but worth it all; the time spent in creating and planning it etc. I’m pleased with the outcome of my product, if given the chance to repeat it I would do my ultimate best to use the tools given to make it even better despite the trials, tribulations and turmoil that comes with it.<br />