Evaluation question 1- In what ways do your media products use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products
In what ways do your mediaproducts use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Zainab Oyenuga
The ways our music video used forms and conventions of real media productsAs a group we felt that it was vital for us to stick with media conventions as they are often the reasons why most music videos makes sense, have clear meanings and are able to appeal and connect to audiences; making them look a lot more professional.Lyrics and storylineIncluding a protagonist was a convention that we used in our music video, this way the audience would have someone to almost follow through the story with. Also, having a main character would ensure that the audience knows who the story/ song relates to. Following this, another form and convention that we enforced involved linking the storyline with the lyrics- allowing the lyrics shape the story and events. Below I have analysed the lyrics to show the parts of the lyrics we considered when producing the storyline:
White lips, pale face Lights gone, days end Struggling to pay rent We made our protagonist Long nights, strange men homeless But lately her face We made our protagonist a seems prostitute Slowly We made our protagonist buy sinking, wasting drugs Crumbling like We made our protagonist pale pastries with dark circles and eye bags, messy and greasy hair And go mad for a couple grams And she dont want to go outside tonight Or sells love to another man Its too cold outside For angels to fly Angels to fly We made our protagonist drown Ripped herself& wear a raincoat and gloves, raincoat Tried to swim and stay ripped tights afloat We made our protagonist have Loose change, bankloose change and find a £20 note notes on the floor Weary-eyed, dry throat Call girl, no phone We showed our protagonist making a phone call in the phone booth For angels to fly We captured our protagonist An angel will die closing her eyes in hope, just We showed our protagonist kill Closed eye herself/drown. We captured birds before she kills herself And hoping for a better life flying
Furthermore, all music video use the lyrics as the main influence of the storyline, often performing the lyrics and bring it to life , which is what we did. Challenging such a convention is likely to confuse the audience and make the music video hard to understand. At the same time, we often had to, like all music video’s, interpret the lyrics to create the storyline; the lyrics didn’t provide a exact story.Camera shotsAnother convention we used, following our detailed and wide ranging research of music videos, was our use close-up shots to capture the protagonists deep and depressing emotions, for example, her anxiety after sleeping with the man.Through this, the audience, as shown through my audience feedback, were really able to feel the protagonist pain and sadness, creating sympathy from the audience. Most music video do this through close-up shots, in order to engage with the audience and almost play with their emotions. Following this, I feel capturing the video in black and white enhanced this bleak mood as these are colours that are used in the media to represent and capture gloomy atmospheres. Moreover, like most music videos, we used long-shots to establish the different settings, and the movement of the protagonist.
Costume and settingA convention that was prominent for us to follow, especially as protagonist was homeless and a prostitute, involved ensuring that the protagonist looked unpleasant, dirty, greasy- like a homeless person. We made our protagonist wear ripped tights with a tight and short dress, as a typical media representation of a prostitute. The way in which our model chewed her gum and did her make-up was also unpleasant looking – again, we aimed to reinforce typical media representations of homeless people and prostitutes. This notion was further emphasised through settings, specifically as we captured the protagonist waking up outside in an alley outside a pub, which is the sort of setting, as shown in the media, where a homeless person would wake-up.EditingThrough editing, we incorporated typical forms and conventions of real music videos, by using dissolve transitions in order to create a clear link between clips ensuring that they blend in smoothly. Like real products, we used this to speed up the transition and to create a correlation between the beat of the music and the video itself, also, using transitions such as the one below, allowed us to present this event (the protagonist drowning herself) in a more simplistic and clearer form..
The ways my music video developed forms and conventions of real media productsOur product developed forms and conventions, through the fact that, although we followed through with music video norms such as, the story being carried out by a new character, rather than the actual artist, we have avoided placing the actual artist into the video or the protagonist singing along with the song. For example, if you look at Ed-Sheeran’s ‘A team’ music video, or Pinks ‘Perfect’ video, the artists feature in the video in a distant way. We could have chose to do this, however, this would have complicated, or even risky. Overall, we developed forms and conventions of music video’s by including a protagonist, without the artists existence, and without the protagonist singing along with the lyrics- avoiding lip syncing. Using this structure, helped add to the audiences emotion by making it more distant- adding a sense of mystery. Following this, it can be argue that, we not only developed forms and conventions of media products, but we also challenged them, by taking a new approach. Also, even though, Ed Sheeran and Pink appear in their music video’s, the protagonist who features in their storyline, also avoid lip syncing as it prevents the video from being emotional and deeply depressing, this was our reason for avoiding it. Therefore, lip syncing, I feel is more suitable for different genres of music/ storylines, perhaps ones that have a more angry tone, compared to upsetting and depressing.
We product further developed forms and conventions as, usually, music videos that follow the life of a main character/ protagonist, either equally combine point of view shots and distant shots (including long shot or mid-shot of the characters actions), or use one or the other. However, we decided to slightly change this by randomly placing in a point of view shot in the middle of our video. I feel that this gave the audience a new perspective of our protagonist, developing a sense of hope which is only indicated through the point of view shot. I think this shot also, gave the audience an opportunity to relate and connect with the protagonist, for the first and only time, and the fact that it is so uncommon in our video makes it more extraordinary and effective. We intentionally incorporated it when our protagonist is in a natural and rural setting because this type setting represents freedom- a feeling which is presented through the point of view shot.
The ways my music video challenged forms and conventions of real media productsReal media products, especially ones that focus on a protagonist, tend to include, explicitly, other characters, even if they are shown for a short moment, however, we have avoided this completely due to the fact that characters can be reliable, whereas Niamh was a member of our group making her as the protagonist and the only character more convenient. In addition to this, to ensure that the story made sense we incorporated snippets of other characters, and rather than showing them fully and explicitly, we used body parts, such as the hands and body, to represent their existence. I feel this added to the mystery of our product.
IconographyWe further challenged real music video forms and conventions by including iconography which ismostly common in other forms of media such as magazines or films etc. Our icon was the necklace. Weused this to create mystery in video. The fact that the pendant was a heart enhanced its purpose, asheart is a symbol of many things relating to love. I feel this would have made the audience moreengaged, almost giving them a role to guess what the heart may mean or symbolise, and why it is animportant object to the protagonist. The icons importance, is however, developed through the use ofmedia conventions such as close-up shots which are used to capture emotions or things ofimportance, as shown in the picture on the left. In addition, the way we challenged conventions is madeeffective, through our use and combination of real forms and conventions of real music video.