Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Music Video

COLONY with "Holograms"

Magazine cover

Digi Pack

Question 4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

EVALUATION 3 What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Text Box: Digi-pack...
Mr Wallis: “the cover doesn’t look right, doesn’t give an indie feel.”
Max Green: “front cover: Distinctive, easy to brand, without over-simplification, good colour choice”
- “Back cover: Track list is kinda hard to read, perhaps a font change or colour shift.”
- Original, if not instantly readable. Good use of consistency across the brand, practical and good use of white space.
Sally: “you need to find a font colour that doesn’t draw too much attention to the eye and away from the picture, I think it needs to be more subtle.”I wasn’t able to get much feedback across my media products, despite me posting all my products on Facebook. But my video was able to get some audience in other media classes where I was able to pick up some feedback and make changes along the way.
And I was able to ask a friend of mine “Max Green” although he is not in my target audience, I knew he was able to give me feedback that I could use and pick up on, as he has had allot of experience with media/film studies.
Of course I found some feedback more helpful than others, and surprisingly I found comments in some cases to be more helpful to me that weren’t in my target audience, but having to compare those comments to my target audience after to see if they agreed with the statements.
When I started on my digi-pack I wanted to use abstract art like pictures that almost represented an emotion that I felt came across in the song, and on top of this I’d thought I’d try and be cleaver and incorporate the idea of ‘Holograms’ in the cover, by blending in the title into the background enough to give the effect.
After I had manipulated the background picture enough and finished with the titles and placements of them, I asked for some feedback. These were mainly to do with colour of text and a certain spike of the background picture looking too “phallic” so I thought in this case I thought I’d better change the section of the picture and reposition it, which then meant I then had to reposition my text.
The inside of my digi pack was hard, as I didn’t know whether to do 2 separate pictures or one panorama picture. After deciding on one panorama shot, I started playing around with pictures and what text to add inside. I then received feedback of sally who sits next to me (who isn’t in my target audience”, and she said
“You need to find a font colour that doesn’t draw too much attention to the eye and away from the picture, I think it needs to be a bit more subtle”
Which I agreed too, as I also thought that the main focus inside the digi pack isn’t the text, but the CD, so I had to pay a bit more attention to detail on that perspective.
Finally from the actual production stages my teacher Mr Wallis said Mr Wallis
“The cover doesn’t look right, doesn’t give an indie feel.”
So I thought that possibly using a frame that I wasn’t using in my video might be effective enough to incorporate in the front cover, by using Pin Light effect on the band members faces and gave them also a ‘holographic/ ghost like effect’. This then got more feedback after saying, that just by doing that already gave it an indie sense.
My music video generally got good feedback all-round, however there were things such as;
“Little things like transitions between extreme close ups (like the guitar) to long shots (to full band) seemed strange and didn’t feel right/ felt uneasy on the eyes. It needs something in-between  like a mid shot, or a zoom out...”
Text Box: Music video feedback...
Year 12 media class: “little things like transitions between extreme close ups (like the guitar) to long shots (to full band) seemed strange and didn’t feel right/ felt uneasy on the eyes. It needs something in-between, like a mid shot or a zoom out...”
Max Green – A friend “Good balance of performance and narrative. Some lighting issues, but effective”
“People mainly the performers look really washed out, for lighting reasons? / Camera? / or contrast?”This was given to me as a kind of concluding piece of feedback from the year 12 media class, looking at if more from a media point of view than an “Indie-rock” fan point of view. Which I thought was very useful because, I was able to use their opinions from their insight into media, and they were more ‘objective’ than the fans of the band and the genre.
During post production I had some comments, from people sitting around me, to do with the performers, where there were some lighting issues in the room I filmed in. The performers looked pale and washed out, so I had to play with brightness and contrasts settings in premier pro.
When receiving feedback about my music video I felt that I had to use the advice given from my target audience, as they would be the people watching it, and they would be the ones that I would want to please the most. However from a media/ technical point of view, from people in my class, teachers or other media classes, feedback in relation to shots/ angles/ cuts that didn’t work I would have to strongly consider, because I would need to get the video looking as professional as possible for the exam boards expectations.
The band that wrote the song “COLONY” said they were impressed with the video, and were interested in how I personally saw the song from my perspective.

Text Box: Magazine cover...
Max Green: “The background needs a texture; perhaps overlay something on the orange and the band. And the Radiohead block is a little bland. And look out for grammar”
Heidi –“the band name ‘COLONY’ looks strange because it’s the same font and style of the title of the magazine.”
Ryan “I noticed the black band at the top, It doesn’t really work there, try moving it down a bit?...”
Mr Wallis – “consistency of page references aren’t right, fonts need to be different, shouldn’t be the same as the magazine title, change the colour or something about the ‘COLONY’ . This received by far the most and a wide range of feedback, from comments thinking it looked professional, and others saying it didn’t. So choosing feedback to work with was difficult.
At the first stages, I had certain comments to do with texture with the background, and by trying this I learnt that it overpowered the tile of the magazine, that already had a ‘sponge’ texture. And with the already existing ‘stain glass window effect’; it made the background far too busy.
Towards the end of making my magazine there were lots of little fiddly bits that were picked out, but I knew to be right, just because the comments were being said from looking at general magazines, to do with fonts, placements of fonts, consistency of text.
Also to do with the text, my mother pointed out my issues with my red text on black background, I learnt that it could have been hard/ impossible for people that suffer from sight problems such as colour blindness, so I learnt how accessible my media products had to be.
After making tweaks on this I showed it to people in my target audience, they seemed to be please with the job, but there were aspects that could have changed, like background colour (which I didn’t change to keep a consistency across my other media products.) and I could have imposed the picture better, I tried blurring/ feathering the edges I still don’t feel too satisfied with it.

To conclude I found out by gathering the feedback told me that I couldn’t just make a piece of work (especially for media) for my own purpose and tastes, but that I had to look at my work from another person’s perspective in terms of my target audience and the exam criteria. I felt I could be more flexible with my music video within reason to my music genre, to be able to capture the mood and meaning of the song from my perspective.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

EVALUATION 2. How Effective is the Combination of Your Main Product and Ancillary Texts?

EVALUATION 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

I first research music videos as a whole; before I made a final decision as to what song I would be making a video for.
I came across an episode of “The Gadget Show” where they had to make a music video (using modern technology) and had to find out what kind of music video would be best for their song/ genre. From this program I learn about 2 main types of music video; performance based and narrative based.

I looked at 2 music video’s; smells like teen spirit, by Nirvana, this was a performance based video, set in a school, where we saw a bit of narrative, just to emphasise the mood of the song, but overall was a very performance heavy video, whereas the other video I looked into was “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and this video is a narrative/ dance routine video. This supports Andrew Goodwin’s music video analysis, where the video will “portray the genre characteristics”.

1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics
(e.g. stage performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band).
 This is a screen shot, early on from my music video; this shot is one of the transition shots between live performance and narrative. Where the guitarist is playing a telecaster, and playing quite high on is person, like the Arctic Monkey’s (a professional Indie-Rock band), who also play in a similar style, with similar style guitars, and also feature a narrative behind their music videos as well.
This is taken from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, from the dance section of the video. Like a lot of 80’s pop music a lot of the theme for their music video’s was dance based with quite cutting on the beat shots, heavily featuring a sometimes rather complicated dance routines. And occasionally, like in this example, 80’s pop/ dance music have a narrative behind the song, to give it more of a big production/ film like feel.
This shot comes from early on in Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit”. Being a Grunge song, there is a use of darker “grungy” yellows, and a sense of a darker atmosphere. This music video tends to be a performance based video, to an audience of teenagers, so it links the performance as part of the narrative.
2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals
(illustrative, amplifying, or contradicting).
 In “Thriller” there are lots of references between the lyrics and what we see, from Obvious suck as this sign of a cinema titled “Thriller”, this is more illustrative and amplifying, to examples that are more subtle but simple, like hand jesters:
to emphasise words suck as “something evil’s lurking in the dark” and of course the video is set out side at night.

In my music video, I’ve used some ‘cliché’ ideas, very obvious actions to go with lyrics, the action in this screen shot fits with “I sit and I wonder.”
And I have also layered different shots together, and by doing this, it has given me a holographic/ ‘ghost’ like effect.

3. There is a relationship between music and visuals
(either: illustrative, amplifying, and contradicting).
 This is taken from an action shot, where Ed (the singer) moves according accents in the music, this carries on an energy through the song, with similar movements, this wasn’t planned, I wanted the performers to create the feel in their song them selves.
I also used the music to determine where I would cut the shots, especially, towards the end of the song, where the music is full of energy, and what I believe to have more of an agree/ serious feel, Just like in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as the ending becomes more intense as does the movements, and the speed in which the shots cut between one-another.

4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style).
In Michael Jackson video’s he is often shown wearing tight cloths, or more famously – “sparkly” clothing and his one white glove. But in ‘Thriller’ he still wears tight clothing, more to suit this particular song. But he is always shown his unique style of dancing.

Nirvana are often shown with their guitars lower on their body like other grunge/ alternative-rock bands, and Kurt Cobain was often shown to have long straightened/ messy hair.

Doing some research into indie bands such as Arctic Monkeys/ The Smiths, who also wear their guitars higher up on their body like other bands, and a wardrobe of skinny or tight jeans and plain t-shirts, generally a lot free-er in choice of clothing, unlike other genres which would try and look uniform, like The Beatles.

5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc.) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.
Music video’s often use a lot of exploitations of the female body in a sexual way to make them appear to be venerable. For example:
Lady Gaga often shows her self in a voyeuristic way, this heavily supports male gaze theory where buy, even if the music isn’t aimed at a male target audience, the video’s would appeal to males due to this way this media uses the female body to almost attract a wider audience.
 Kylie Manogue; this particular example is taken from her “Get Outta My Way”, although she also uses the same kind of exploitation with the male body as well. This can arguably be challenging Male Gaze theory and the format of the media as a whole, where her music video’s can seem more acceptable to more people if both males and females are treated in the same way.
I also wanted to challenge the way women are exploited in the media, and other music videos. Although the female in my video is never shown a significant amount but I didn’t want the main focus of the video to be about ‘the girl’ more about the significance of her to the song.

There isn’t a lot of “screens with in screens” in my video, where we see the female character, but when we do, it’s a form of a memory. So although we may not physically view her in a voyeuristic way, for we know the male character could be, especially whilst watching one of these “memories” on a computer screen.

6. There is often intertextual reference (to films, TV programmes, other music videos etc.).
In my music video there isn’t any other real reference to any other media type, other than the video camera footage shown on the computer screen. I believe this is more to the fact that I didn’t think that other media products would make much of an impact on my music video, or contribute any real significance to the style or genre. However in a lot of music video’s of different genres, there is references to other media texts, some more obvious than others, usually depending on the song/ genre. A couple of simple examples of this would be: a radio in ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’.
The cinema in ‘Thriller’

Digi pack on magazine cover:
For my digi pack I did a lot of researching into mainly Indie-rock band album covers. This is mainly due to the fact that I did want to stray too far with using styles of other genres. This is because I have found that different genres like ambient or Indie-rock, or all genres in fact, have more or less their own styles of album covers, no matter what the band, a particular genre will usually have a similar style to their album cover.
I found a great website for this, this site specialises in album art work, and allowed me to search via music genre/artist and I managed to conclude that Indie-rock album covers are generally very artistic, some nature based, some symbolising/representing or portraying something be it to do with a song/ lyric / name of band/ or even a piece of art to represent an emotion that would best describe the songs on the album or the band.
To find the background picture on each side of my digi pack, I wanted to find a picture that I would then change and manipulate for myself, to create almost my own artwork to portray the emotion of the song.
I first simply searched an emotion that is clear to me in this song. I searched for “anger” expecting to get reds yellows and orange colours as almost stereotypical colours that one would expect.
And coming across the images I did, I then experimented with colours and gradients and fonts and effects, and I wanted to include a theme of “Holograms” as a literate visual, contrasting to the metaphoric message of the song, example of this would be where you can just about make out the members of the band as if they were projected (badly) on to the cover, whilst blurring the title “Holograms” into the background for an extra added effect, leaving COLONY in clear black writing.

Finally with my magazine cover, I wanted it to be based on ready existing magazine covers, which featured bands of a similar genre, because I believe it is a simple yet effective way to advertise a band/act/ to get a message across and I didn’t want to change too much of something that is already effective.
I took inspiration from Clash magazine [], NME [], and Kerrang [], three well selling and popular music magazines, I looked at the format, and how they all used space to include text without obstructing the main picture, which was usually the main featured band in the magazine. Important bands were in large letters, without much information added; it’s just a way of advertising the band/ the article without giving too much information away. So naturally I included this idea into my magazine cover.
The picture of the main band is normally in front of a plain background, not to draw attention away from the artist, and a lot of the time the artist is shown in front of the title of the magazine, to give the artists prominence over the magazine, making people more interested in the artists to buy the magazine.
Of course even though I had my aspects and design of a magazine on paper, I was only limited to what I knew about Photoshop, so it was worth me taking my time to experiment with feature of Photoshop Elements 8 that I had access to at home, and after a while I found some useful effects that I could use to incorporate into my magazine, such as “photo montages” but using it to blend colours and pictures. So I could create interesting and still keep to my Indie genre characteristic.