Friday, 19 April 2013

Question 3

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Feedback helped me greatly throughout my coursework this is because it was important for me to understand the things I was doing right and the things I was doing wrong. It was also important for me to see if I was appealing to my target audience or not. Firstly I received feedback from peers to see what interested them and what audience they would fit into, I then used this information to gain inspiration of what to include in my music video as I knew the types of things which appealed to my target audience.  

Through general conversations with my peers I learned that most of them enjoyed a performance based video as the majority of them like the rock genre and this is of course stereotypical of that genre. I quickly realized however that this wouldn’t work for my own video due to the fact that it was part of the Country/Indie genre. I then began to play around with several ideas and came up with a rather abstract narrative, where the lyrics to the song appear on playing cards. I then spoke to my peers again to discuss my new ideas and the majority of them thought that this was a creative and imaginative way idea. 

After I had completed my music video, I had a screening of my music video for my peers, I received positive feedback, however some criticism pointed out a few errors such as how the timing of some of my shots were slightly off and that the lip syncing wasn’t always in time with the music. This bothered me a considerable amount so I decided to go back and edit this part of my video to ensure that it was as perfect as I could possibly make it. Without this audience feedback I doubt I would have been able to notice these changes and make the decision to change them, therefore I owe quite a lot to those who gave me feedback and noticed the mistakes after the first draft. 

Gaining feedback from different audience and mainly my target audience helped me throughout the project and allowed me to create an appealing video for my target audience, and allowed me to gain opinions from others rather than forming a bias view of my own product, as I said earlier I wouldn’t have been able to notice certain mistakes in my first draft without audience feedback. It also showed me that developing my ideas through planning is important and that my initial idea will not always be as successful as first thought, as it changed a great deal from my initial thought to my final product.

Question 1

In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Throughout my A2 coursework I created a music video, 3 part digipak and a magazine advert after a considerable amount of research and planning. I created my products to conform with the forms and conventions of existing media products; however I did challenge some aspects as to make my product unique and more visually exciting as I have experimented with an idea that is not widely used in the music video world.

Before the creation of my magazine advert I researched the history of music videos to see how they have changed over the years. I then looked into the typical conventions of a music video to look at the stereotypical shots that may appear in a video and to gain inspiration of which shots look good so that I could use them in my own video. . This allowed me to get comfortable with the common aspects and features seen in music videos and the types of things to plan and prepare for when creating my own. 

My music video fits into the indie/country music genre, and so as a result follows many of the generic conventions, which was also suggested in Goodwin’s music video theory. For example, the colour narrative features only female models, and typically indie music uses females in their music videos as a large portion of fans of their music are heterosexual males. It could be said that the objectification of and voyeuristic attitude towards women are characteristic of indie music videos, however I chose not to objectify the females in my video and instead portrayed them in a more innocent light which I suppose goes against the typical conventions. I also featured close-ups of the musical instruments that are being played in the song, which is a generic convention of indie music, particularly in comparison to other music genres, such as RnB and hip-hop, where there is less of a focus on the instrumental talent of the artist and more on their success or wealth.

The target audience for my video is mainly women aged 16-25, due to the fact that the song itself is very innocent and relaxing but also has lyrics which females could relate to more so than males. However my video, like other indie music videos, would also attract a secondary male audience of the same age as there is a considerable focus on instruments throughout the video which stereotypically interests a male audience as they are considered to be more likely to play instruments such as the guitar. 

Similarly to my music video, my magazine advert conforms to the conventions of real-media products. It features the album title and band name at the bottom half of the page but it is the largest writing on the page and therefore it draws attention to it. Additionally, I featured a quote and four-star-rating from Observer Music magazine below that, linking to the fact that my video is of the indie music genre, which is featured in magazines such as Observer Music. Hence my target audience may well read this magazine and respect and trust the reviews in it. Typically magazine adverts display an image of the album cover so that customers will recognise the CD when in shops such as HMV; this is why I decided to include this on my magazine advert. 

My digipak also further continues these generic conventions. Typically an album has a ‘house style’ or continuing theme running through it and this was something that I knew my digipak also had to include in order to look both professional and realistic. To do this, I took a photo of a first aid kit and dropped it into Adobe Photoshop for the front cover of my digipak. I also used it on the inside and back cover as a basis for my design. I chose to photograph a first aid kit to use on my digipak as it makes reference to the band’s name in a humorous way, and it also provides a quirky design, which is not unusual for the indie genre.

Question 2

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

From similar product research I was able to note that all musicians have a house theme which can be seen throughout their album artwork, merchandising and magazine adverts. Thus, in order to keep to the conventions, I aimed to maintain a house theme throughout my main and ancillary tasks.

 The three products I have created – music video, magazine advert, and digipack – all act to promote the sale of the album, as they have a symbiotic relationship. A music video has many purposes: these are to entertain, to promote and to give a message. I would say that my music video does all three of these things due to the fact that it is quite unique and therefore can be considered entertaining to audiences, it also includes the band members in the video which promotes the band to the audience and finally every person interprets things differently which means that it is likely that each individual will perceive a different message from my video.

 In my opinion the only purpose of the magazine advert is to promote the album and the band themselves. I think my magazine advert does this as it displays the fact that the album can be purchased on CD and download. Furthermore the review quote and four stars at the top of the page act as a way of convincing the audience that they should buy the album. In my magazine advert I used an image of a first aid kit, it thought this was quite clever and entertaining for my audiences at it links directly to the name of the band itself as they are called First Aid Kit.
The purpose of the digipak is to convince them to make the final step of buying the album. To do this I continued the house theme that had been featured in my magazine advert. I used the same fonts in my magazine advert as well and this adds to the house style which is continued throughout my products. For the inside of my digipak, I stuck to my house theme with using the images of first aid kits and the same font as what I used on the magazine advert and front and back cover.

Question 4

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

During the production of my A2 coursework I have used several different types of media technologies ranging from Prezi in the planning stage to premiere in the construction stage. These media technologies have helped me to gain new skills as well as develop e ones I have gained from my AS coursework the previous year.

In the planning stage I used a mixture of Prezi and PowerPoint to create my evidence of research into music videos. The first part of research I completed was the history of music videos which I completed as a Prezi. Prezi is an easy way of presenting the information as its interactive and allows you to be creative with how you present.

In the planning stage I developed my skills with a camera as I used my Lumix G2 to take photos of the locations I plan on filming my video in, I also went on to use this camera when filming my video. This camera allowed me to film very clear footage to a high quality that could then be edited in premiere afterwards. I researched into my camera beforehand to ensure I knew what all the buttons were for and to make sure the camera was appropriate to film with, luckily it was.

I also used blogger to showcase my work to my teachers and fellow students, I also used blogger to keep track of everything that I have done so far and is accessible for me o use both in school and out, which meant that I could do work from home and post it straight on my blog. Blogger also allowed me to see what other students were doing with their coursework to give me inspiration of ways to research and film my own coursework. Through blogger I was also able to keep a diary of my progress, which enabled me to write about things that I may not have made a post about previously.

I used adobe photoshop during my production stage to create my digipak and magazine advert, I developed my skills on photoshop from AS as well as gaining new skills as I now have a better knowledge of how to use the programme. In my digipak I created something which I feel enabled me to show off my photoshop skills, I took several photos of first aid kits in different locations, I then placed these photographs in photoshop and edited them so that they had a coloured saturation over each image, this gave the digipak a very colourful yet simple look which fit perfectly with my theme and music genre if country.

Another form of media technology I used in my media coursework is adobe premiere CS6, I was able to cut and arrange my footage into the particular order that I want it. I was then able to sync the song to the footage so that when the singing is in time. I found premiere very difficult to use in the first place which set me back in the construction stage as I had to take the time to work out how to use each of the different tools.