Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christian Evaluation


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

Our artist Butch Walker and the genre of his of music was rock, pop and punk. A conventional video for this genre would be a band performance of the whole band from the beginning of the video, ours however challengers this style because our video starts with Sam meeting Bethan busking and the video moves on from there.
Our music video is conventional but in other ways does challenge the conventions. The music video style we went for was friends, hanging around with each other having a laugh, not too serious image. We also used the message of ‘free will’ and tried to show this in the video with the use of the lyrics firstly, but then also the visual images in the video of just having a good time, not caring. This is conventional of American teen bands such as Fall out boy in the video ‘I don’t care’ the band is going around the streets with only a coat on, pushing over an old mans zimaframe over. Also this is conventional for our video because of the scene such as the cross dressing, dancing around in the forest does really give the feel of the care free idea. The format of our video is conventional such as in Fall out boy’s video there is a band performance mostly focused on the main singer, followed by cuts to the band messing around, causing havoc. Our music video is like this in the way we have a light performance throughout the video such as in the start and then there is cuts throughout the video of the band messing around having fun, making an energetic video.
Also the lyrics relating to the video, in our video we got the impression from the lyrics of the ‘free will’ from the lines “To be free to hate the ones you hate, Free to love the ones you love, Free to like the land you live on” this really made us think of that the video should relate to the lyrics and be about free will. We used visuals such as dancing in the street, running around, split screen and just joking around having a good time with the band members. This is conventional for some videos such as Fall out boys, I don’t care, the title of the song its self is ‘I don’t care’ this is followed by messing around in the video, streaking, annoying members of the public and throwing water balloons. Within both of the videos it shows what the video is about in the visuals but also gives the video a bit of comedy for the audience.
The difference between our video and a conventional video is that the genre of the music video is not the conventional genre. Butch Walker as an artist is middle aged, has a soft sounding voice and his video would be soft, calm and dry but, would have a strong performance which would be very mature. However his audience would be a more suited, mature audience for his video. So our video is unconventional for the music genre as it would not have so much energy and be so bold but, our video is more of a American style such as Blink 182 and the video is conventional to that genre with the free will, playing about aspect.

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

The combination of the main product and the ancillary texts is different styles completely but they do fit together. The music video its self is about free will which is shown throughout the video and the texts are based on being caught being rebellious, possibly from being too “Free willed”. The title of the band is ‘Off the rails’ so this also fits in within the whole theme along with the album name ‘Conflict’. The whole theme is based on doing what you want and not caring about the consequences. This brings in the being caught images of a jail height board. This is on both the texts, the poster is designed as a wanted poster and the album cover shows mug shots of the band, like a police report, such as images from all angles with height.
The poster is a wanted poster with a band member on with relevant contact information, with this style it can question the viewers mind and persuade them to find out more on the band by looking them up and then they can understand the full meaning and why it is designed like that. The poster is not serious and is designed like a real wanted poster but the text is about the album “A group of four teens has gone Off the Rails, This female has been the main cause of Conflict” by doing this we have got the band name and the album name into a suited sentence for the environment of the wanted poster. This does give an idea of what the band are going to be like just by an image and text, by the use of words on the poster you can see that the band are well planned and clever.
Conventionally the ancillary texts would usually be used for such genre of a gangster rap album giving the image of that they are into drugs and crime, rebelling the law. However we really didn’t want to get this image of our band, so with the image style of the poster by using bright colours for text. This may have not of suited the style of the neutral colours used in the video but this really did get us away from the rap genre by the playful of the colours and text, not too serious.
I think that the texts are effective as you know what the artist is going to be like without even hearing them. You know this by the way of the style of the digipack and the poster, the way the text is positioned and the colours gives the playful style we were going for along with the slight smirk in the mug shots which is showing that its not too serious. The way the MySpace address is posted on the left and the light blue used for colours gives the feel of still being different, showing that the band is different. The digipack is based on the jail theme with band image mug shots on the front and the inside cover with the two main band member, like a police report.
This can be seen as that the texts are the results of the video, as in getting in trouble for being free willed and police pictures for messing around. That makes the whole story of the texts and the video link together, which I think makes the combination stronger and therefore making the whole image of the band stronger. The texts could be seen by themselves and you can still get the feel of the band without viewing the video, this is from the style of picture, the meaning of the image and what is in the image. Such as the image is a mug shot giving a rebellious side but, also there is a slight smile still like laughing about something at a time you shouldn’t like not being serious.
I think the texts are very good and show a lot of meaning of the band because of the meaning and style of it while the video does show everything just with the texts there is a more clever idea, not like the video which is stuck into your face.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

From are research we learnt that a video needed to be strong in grabbing your attention. From our rough-cut we quickly learnt this by trying to set the style of the video and to keep an idea throughout so the video is not completely random. We learnt that are first thirty seconds from our video was good with the editing, cuts and style but we learnt that the rest of the video had to follow suit and still keep the interest without being repetitive. We had a ten second piece of film in the video of raving with a strobe in the background; however this really didn’t not suit the genre or the style we wanted so we cut this out.
After having peer feedback we were told that the video should have more colours in it, such as clothes. After thinking about adding colour we didn’t want to edit footage as it would not suit our genre of music but, after thinking about it we didn’t think that the rock/alternative genre does have many colours in videos. Editing footage would completely change the style of the video, making the video slightly random.
Another point from peer feedback was about the lip syncing, there was not enough of it in the video, and we agreed with this we thought for the genre of the music we needed to have much more of it for the genre of rock. As the audience would want to see the band performance not because of the selling of the band but the band is more of a live band to see in action.
Also we had feedback from the structure of the footage such that film shot first was at the start of the video and newer shots were at the end of the video. We wanted to get the video running smoothly throughout the video so we kept the first shot as we liked it and used the newer footage to beak up footage throughout the video and also to add slightly new clips into the video. We wanted to get an even balance throughout the video.
The linking between the digipack was commented on by peers as being a strong link between the product and the text in that, of the hidden meaning of the free will and the capturing the free will in the digipack. We wanted to keep this into the poster so used the same image from the digipack and tried to follow the similar style of the digipack, this is so it could be recognised but to also keep the free will image.
We also got told that the ‘Quirkiness’ of our video was good, so to keep the video interesting and unique we had to keep the quirkiness throughout the video but not to over do this in anyway as it could completely change the style of the video.
Also reviewing the first day footage we learnt that between the two main band members, Sam and Bethan had and natural appearance together in front of the camera so this was very good for the image of the band. We decided to therefore stick with them two as the main band members and be in the same footage together.

How did you use technology for planning, research, production and evaluating?

Firstly for research we used the internet and Google, we used this to find out genres and what genre our audience might fit into, it was important to find this out as we needed to suit our video towards a certain genre. To get ideas together we used blogger, along with YouTube which was used for evaluating other artists and music videos. This really helped us get inspiration as we could look at many artists at once. Blogger was a lot of help in gathering all our thoughts together so that all could see them and build on. Wikipedia was used to look up artists and information about them such as career, ages and place of birth so you could get a feel of what the real artist is like, and their genre. Blogger did have a bit of a problem when uploading photos so we used flikr to upload, however this was due to a limit of how many images could be uploaded at one time, to solve this problem we had to get another account in flikr after blogger and flikr both had reached their maximum upload limit.
From the beginning of the year my skills have vastly developed through all the stages such as planning, I know this is important and that everything needs to be thought of at this stage and technology is not always the easy way to plan a production. We did not have enough time to create a moving story board as there were so many changes in ideas at this stage it would have needed a lot more time. So technology didn’t help in this way.
In the planning stage we used social networking site facebook to contact each other, this was very useful as we also check it regularly and Butch Walker himself had a page so we could ask him personally to have permission to use his song which was very helpful. We also used a digital camera to take pictures of locations for filming; this was a slow process to get onto our blog. We also used it for the digipack cover to take stills to use. At that stage of digipack shots we manually drew the lines and markers on the board, technology was not used at this point because of projection would have to be behind you and we didn’t have enough room.
At production we used a HD camera, this was a good idea as the quality of our filming was very good, and the only problem was getting it onto the computer with all the software. We used Final Cut Express 4 to edit the software, while using HD cameras the only problem was waiting for the film to render which took a long time. Final Cut was good editing software to use for making the video because it had everything we needed and we were able to use it, it was a little complicated but, you get used to it. We used Photoshop for editing images for the texts; this was hard sometimes as we had trouble sorting the image out with text layers. This was sometimes thrustrating to use for us. But with help from peers we managed to sort this out no problem and I have learnt more about Photoshop then before.
My overall research skills has been developed in the way that I didn’t know that there were many different ways such as YouTube to watch music videos, social networking sites such as facebook to do questionnaires and another way is through linking through YouTube to a directors website which I found very interesting reading into the directors/ production companies work.
Evaluating was very easy using technology such as sites like YouTube, with YouTube we were we were able to view our rough cuts and other students work to evaluate. Blogger was very useful at this point because we could look back on past posts we had made and review them in what progress we had made.

Tha Real Tingg, Hope you enjoy reading my essay :]

1.     In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Both the digipack and music video we produced challenge real media products. We interpreted the ‘indie’ song ‘Paid to get excited’ in more of a comedic way than your stereotypical ‘indie’ band would. Examples of indie bands are; ‘The XX’, ‘Kings Of Convenience’ and ‘Yeasayer’. These bands produce arty and abstract videos, I’ve noticed that they like to experiment with colour and lighting. The videos don’t give a comedic effect at all, but I think they’re very interesting for the audience to watch because they’re experimental. Our media product uses conventions of a real product, because we too, liked the idea of really experimenting with different props, random change of scenes, clothing and strange facial expressions. So although our band haven’t stuck to the traditional ‘indie’ – serious route, we as a group thought that the song we chose; 'paid to get excited’ was too upbeat for a modernistic video, and so we challenged this by taking the ‘indie’ song and creating more of a punk-rock feel to the music video but  in a retrospective way. Not only did we display this in our video, but also on the posters and CD cover case. For our CD cover case I decided to look at a professional band's CD cover so we could get that professional feel too, so I found 'Arctic Monkey's' CD cover case on google and found out what logos go where and where the song names look good. On the back of the CD we ended up with: a bar code, the music label 'EMI' (we chose this because they take on quite a lot of indie bands), we also put a copy wright infringement at the bottom, a parental advisory label (because there's swearing in the lyrics) and also the DVD symbol (showing that there is a DVD bonus), so we have included everything on the back of the CD like a proffesional CD would. We even included pictures from when we produced the video, and they are placed in polaroid frames, to give an indie-retro feel.


The video uses similar conventions to real music videos because like most 'indie' video's, we have the band playing in some of the shots which appeals to the audience, because they'd like to see a mix of live band performance and shots of the band without instruments, having a good time. Also, the band members playing the instruments distinguishes who does what in the band, and fans usually have the tendency to like the lead singer or lead guitar, so they need to know who that person is, and it's easier to tell if they show us visually via YouTube/music video channel.


A real media product company would gather ideas by market research, idea brainstorms and mood boards we also contributed to the blog brainstorms and mood boards, our market research was  asking people what they though which isn't too professional, but for a small project like this, we thought it would be appropriate. We did however, get people to complete a review questionnaire, after the video was made.

2.     How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
The digipack and the video that we created come together because we used the theme of freedom in both the main product and ancillary texts. The decision to do this opened a lot of doors for us and allowed us to experiment with a variety of different ways to express freedom because freedom is being your individual self, therefore we could act how we wanted. We show freedom in a variety of ways throughout the video, for example the freedom to run around and cross dress, showing we're not influenced to act civilised by the public, which also relates back to the indie/punk themed video we were hoping to create . I came up with the idea of the jail height board theme for our CD cover case, as it shows a ‘freedom gone wrong’ image, like we’ve now expressed our feelings but ended up in jail so it subtly links with the video, but not too similarly as we didn't want to bore the audience.We developed this idea and used it for the promotional poster that we produced as well. The difference between the CD cover-case and the promotional poster is that the CD cover-case includes at least 1 picture of each band member on the layout. The front cover shows all of the band members. This helps sell the band image as people will hopefully recognise our faces from the video. The two main band members; Sam and I are displayed larger on the cover-case as people can establish that we are the main artists, and it’s our faces that they should remember the most. The promotional poster shows me holding a personal profile card (the ones that are used in prison) up against the jail height-board, just like the picture of me on the left inside cover, however we edited the personal profile card to say ‘Out 3rd December 2011’ the audience will hopefully catch on to this, then recognise the CD when it’s on the shelf, as they would’ve seen the poster with the same style. Each of the products we have created all intertwines in some way, with subtle changes to fit the purpose of the product.

3.     What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
We had a lot of feedback from the groups, by word of mouth and via comments on blogger, which helped us understand what an audience would like to see and wouldn’t like to see in our media products. People said that our video was fun, quirky and light-hearted and people found it entertaining. They said that we should carry on with the video in the same style e.g. The light-hearted-ness and continuing with the tracking shot all through the video which we started doing at the beginning of the video so they were basically saying ‘do more of what you’re doing’.
We were told that our music video should include more colour with our mise-en-scene However, we had already shot most of the footage so if we suddenly added shots of colour, we thought this would’ve looked out of place and the continuity wouldn’t flow. We did however, have time to add colour to the promotional poster so we would be pleasing the audience, and also it makes the words on the poster stand out. Instead of changing colour, like we were advised to, we decided to change the scene setting a few times to make it more appealing for the audience watching, it’s important for the video to be interesting in this way because the video helps the CD/Mp3 sell much better, as they can visualise the video when listening to the music. Both Dave and this other teacher gave us advice on what we could do to improve and they said that there was too much of the same thing played for a long time, so what we did was we chopped the clip up and spread it about the video so there was random scenes every few seconds, this worked well because we don’t have a story line for our video and it fits with the free-willed thinking theme because the clips are random. We also filmed a strobe-light dancing theme but the lighting came out all blurry and teachers suggested that it didn’t really fit with the rest of the video because it didn’t fit the message that we were trying to pursue.
We received feedback from the rest of the groups via blogger comments, which were both compliments and constructive criticism, they said ‘we like how the pictures on all four sides link together and makes a bold statement and correlates to the theme of the video’. They also said that we should include pictures of all the band members, however we didn’t change this as I stand out as I’m the only girl and also a lead role in the band. We asked the groups what font they think suits our ancillary products, most people said ‘Arista’ or ‘Ank’ as they are simple but stand out like a stencil, which suits our theme of being bold and standing out. We as a group came to the conclusion that the ‘Arista’ font was the best because it was simple and easy to read. From this we then played around with the colour.



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


We've used many different types of new media technologies to construct research, planning and evaluation to create a professional/quality product in the most efficient way.


For research resources,  we used YouTube which is the most popular video sharing website, it contains fast streaming videos, bands and fans-of-bands' video uploads which will widen the array of music videos that we can view. We found inspiration from a range of bands that we found on YouTube, such as Blink 182, Fall Out Boy and The Streets song 'Fit but don't you know it' (we had heard of the bands before, however we wanted to analyse how the band members perform). For other research purposes we used google images to find out what real bands' Cd's looked like, and we made a mood board with the help from google to make a collage to display our ideas visually. I also used Myspace to research the bands up close, as myspace is known the world over to be renowned for a top music promotion website, combining that with social networking.


For the planning side of the project, we uploaded all our planning ideas onto blogger.com so we could display and edit our production ideas easily. The good thing about blogger.com is that it's like a diary, in a way that you can go back to see what you've done in the past and you can see how the project has evolved. If you forget anything you've done, you can just scroll down and refresh you're memory. If we didn't have blogger.com. It would be harder because we'd probably have to put all our inspiration onto Microsoft word, which would not automatically save and show the time and date the minute you make the blog. Another good thing about blogger.com is that you can also upload video's, from YouTube, so the video that we made, we uploaded to YouTube and then embedded it to the blog. So as you can see that blogger welcomes other media technologies, such as YouTube and Flickr. Flickr is a website where you can upload photo's, so we did this for our ancillary products. As we were using a Apple Mac computer, we found a software called 'photo booth' which we found simple and easy to use as you can take pictures via the web cam rather than uploading them from a camera. We used 'photobooth' to display our mood board (which is on blogger.com) and a mock CD cover picture.


For the evaluation, we used 'Final Cut' to edit and finalize our music video, to be honest I found 'Final Cut' quite hard to use at first, as I hadn't used a mac and this program in a while. However, after a bit of practice, I re-established myself with the software and managed to edit precisely. Photoshop was the software that we used for the CD cover case and promotional poster, I found this effective as there was a range of techniques to make your product look professional, such as the use of guidelines to make your photos sit well on the template, cropping was also a very useful tool as some of the photos did need to be changed to fit into the template, else it didn't look quite right, I also changed the contrast on some of the photos because some of them were too dark to see the detail, e.g. the mugshots of the band members. So I lightened them up to match the other photos.

Sassie (Adam) Risino's Evaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our music video challenges forms and conventions of real media products, and also develops them. We chose the song “Butch Walker – Paid to get excited”. We felt that the song was quite a averaged paced song which made editing the footage more interesting. During the planning we researched the lyrics for his song and upon reading them, we realised that there was a hidden message in the lyrics “To be free to hate the ones you hate Free to love the ones you love” we each planned a idea for what we wanted to film and pitched to each other and chose what we wanted from each idea. We felt that our music video had to illustrate or amplify the hidden message of “Be Free” within the lyrics, in our music video we demonstrated the “Be Free” idea.


   During the planning stages we looked at a large amount of bands for inspiration. We looked up artists like “Blink182”, “Sum41”, “Bowling For Soup” and many more. all of these bands are more within the Rock Genre and our song felt both, a mixture of Rock/Indy. We Found that a very common convention within every video we looked at was quite easy to replicate, but we felt that we would change the way it was shown, most were showing complete band performances but instead we showed our singer and guitarist as the main faces of the band, performing and then the rest of the band as small views, doing so gave Sam and Bethan (singer + guitarist) a large personality with there performance. This challenges the convention as it dose not give a large amount of time to the band as a whole, but we felt it made the footage more spontaneous and quirky, for example Bethan and Sam performing then it to turn into myself or Chris acting daft, this kept the video unpredictable, which makes the viewer want to continue watching the video. The band never is all together in the footage which leads the viewer to wonder who each person is as each persons persona is quite different and bold. Therefore this challenges real media products, as the band is never shown all together or doing a group performance.
  
  We felt that our music video was very quirky and unpredictable, which challenges another form and convention of real media products, as we found out that, through research, that most videos in this genre were quite abstract and had medium paced editing (Blink 182 – all the small things) , this therefore dose not compare to our music video as we felt due to the lyrics that our song would suit better being quite fast paced (editing on the beat) and quite quirky. This makes the audience want to watch the video as the footage changes quickly to something completely different which although may not be to every ones taste it enhanced what we wanted to show in our music video. This also enhanced the way we could give the artists a strong persona of their own as “Cool” or “Bold” which made our video stronger.
  
  We tried to edit our footage to match the lyrics in a small sense with things like “free to love the ones you love” and then there would be footage of myself and Sam cross dressing, which challenges the forms and conventions of real media products. As we found that with bands like “Blink182”, “Sum41”, “Blood Hound Gang” that there was very little linking between the lyrics and the visuals. We challenged this by trying to match pieces to our lyrics in area's as one, to make it more interesting and quirky, but to also then make it look like it isnt just random footage being put with a different song.
  
  I think the hardest convention for us was our target audience, we found that Butch walker's target audience was between the ages 16-30 with the song and the original music video seemed like that sort of age group also, where as we aimed more towards 12-25 as there is a larger audience and they appreciate the quirky video more than someone from an older generation. There were many ways we tried to do this, one was with mise-en-scene, we chose quite a mix of clothing styles for each band member, i.e. Bethan went for the Indy, Vintage clothes style, Sam went for the Clean and tidy young man's clothes, I went for loose and comfortable clothes. This meant that the audience could relate towards at least one personality in the band. Which would make the target audience age drop, but also make the band better to listen to as more people would like the artists.



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

Our Main product and ancillary texts combined effectively, whilst keeping with the theme of our music video we kept the mise-en-scene of our music video, and the consistency of this would help the audience connect to the band through both the music video, poster and Digipack.
The main theme we decided to keep was the “Freedom” idea as this was our key point to put across in our music video, doing so kept the ancillary texts working well with our main product, E.G. we chose to give our ancillary texts the theme of a Jail height board with a bit of quirky text to make the audience stop an read, this relates to the band name and album title ( Off the Rails – Conflict) this works well together as the key information is either Bolder, Brighter or larger, so the key information would stick with the viewer. The idea was to make the band seem a bit edgy or rebellious and free, this also relates to the music video rather well.

We started off by choosing a four panel template of our digipack, as we could then place each of our band members within it, the front cover has a “mugshot” of each band member on it, this keeps the idea of the edgy and rebellious band whiles not leading the audience away from our main product. With Chris' facing the wall and using his back as something to mask the text on, the inside left has a large image of Bethan's mug shot and the inside right as a large Mug shot of Sam, the two largest personality's are shown to a larger scale than the less known band members. This keeps the focus of the audience on our two main characters. We edited the album cover in PhotoShop, and created the height board by hand, we feel the mix of new and old technology worked well together. The inspiration for our Digipack came from the album covers of “Green Day – Shenanigans” and “Bowling For Soup – Drunk Enough To Dance” each of these feature the band on the front cover either, in a rebellious light or in a quirky light. We wanted to use conventions of both of these album covers and chose the route to take, also we felt that using the images of the band separately kept their persona to other characters, but still replicated the idea that they were the band. This fits into the Indy/Rock Genre still as the album cover is quite minimalist and abstract but also still coveys the message that we are the band.

Due to the way we shot our music video, we felt that we should continue to match the lyrical match of “be Free” to the ancillary texts, so we tried to keep the idea that these people are rebellious and don't fit to normal codes and conventions of society, doing so shooting the height-board and using this made the ancillary texts which connects with the music video, the image of a edgy and free willed group was formed quite well.

The Magazine advert is different to what we were showing in the digipack, our idea was to produce one “Wanted” poster for each band member and slip the Name of the band + the Album name in very quickly with the text and make the most important information stand out, “Wanted a group of 4 teens who have gone OFF THE RAILS.” we used the same fonts for both, our digipack and Advert, this keeps the two of the ancillary texts linking up and interesting. We featured a “Rewards” section on the wanted poster such as “Exclusive Tracks, a music video and the making of” this then entices people who don't know the band into wanting to try it, but also entices the normal audience into watching it. We felt that the poster and digipack flow well with the style of the Indy Genre, We did see that when researching the conventional poster had a tour date on it, but once we put all our bits we wanted to on the poster, we felt putting the tour date was going to make it too cluttered.

Butch walker was on the record label EMI, we decided to use the same label as the images we found of it were smart but also it fits with the intertextuality of the original artist. So we used the EMI logo on both the Digipack and the advert, this was used to fit with the logo's at the bottom of our poster, “HMV itunes FOP” as these were the places the album was going to be available. It also links to the style of where we think our band would have ended up, this relates to the image the band wanted with “freedom” but the fact they are normal people.





What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

From our rough cut we gathered a large amount of feedback, of some which we used and some we didn’t. All together the audience feedback was very positive with some criticisms which we used to improve our video.
We were told that our music video was very quirky and we should continue with that line of footage. Which was our original plan but we were given some other ideas to try and some worked. i.e. using the style of a tracking shot at the start as it was interesting so we used the entire tracking shot idea throughout and it fit well with our original idea,
We were also told to use more colour with our mise-en-scene but we felt that it wouldn’t fit with the style we wanted to achieve, we didn’t use this but if we had it would have also worked well. We chose not to also because having shot a large amount of our footage it would have made it quite hard to fit it in with the rest of the footage unless we re-shot the entire video.  But because we hadn’t finished shooting all of our footage we were able to add quite a large amount of footage suggested into the video.
Once we had finished adding all the footage, we got Dave our teacher to look over it and spot issues, one major issue was found, instead of mixing footage up it clearly looked like we had filmed 3 times and it had been split up into 3 different locations so we moved some footage around and removed a few segments once we had realised they didn’t fit in with the rest of the style of the video (strobe light on Chris, Sam and bethan) and we also had some footage which was seen as a bit sensitive for the audience age as suggested by our peers so after little debate we removed it and replaced it with some of our footage.
Over all i have learnt that there is a large amount more i needed to consider when editing the footage together, like if the content is ordered correctly, if the footage is blocked to when we filmed and so much more. I also realised that having peers and outside viewers watch it frequently for the input really helped as they spotted things that i didn’t, like Lip sync slightly out, props not correctly placed. So there was a large amount taken from the feedback, where we were going wrong, where things were correct or what things should be repeated.
The constructive criticism really helped to push us into continuing and having a stronger final product also it inspired us into being more adventurous with what footage we could put into the video that would fit, i.e. Sam, bethan and Chris dancing as though the style of dance didn’t fit the video it fit the message and persona we were perusing
The final video feedback and ancillary texts feedback we received was really positive, from both our class and teachers. We received comments of things like the video is really strong and very interesting and so watchable, which was what we were trying to do. Also we had people say that we had taken the criticism onboard and adapted the footage, and made the correct changes to our Ancillary texts and Main product. Also we added the change of locations; this made the video more visually pleasing and unpredictable
With the Ancillary products i was constantly getting peers to come and help decide what would look better, I.E. Text colour , Fonts , Size, Style and this meant that the ancillary product had few things we needed to change. But we constantly were being told that the poster drew people into reading it. This was ideal as the key points really stuck in peoples head. 

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


Throughout the research, planning, construction and evaluation stages we used a large amount of new media technologies to assist and create our music video and ancillary texts. Some of the technology is FinalCut; an editing program, Photoshop; a program to edit and create images, Youtube; this is a website for streaming and sharing video’s and blogger; this is a website to document events and work.

Final cut express has been a pleasure to work with, we used final cut express in the construction, and evaluation stages of our Music video task, we used final cut to create the music video with the use of large amount of editing tools, it gave us free roam to create exactly what we wanted to make, although it did get complex at times, as we used two different HD camera’s (College – Sony HD, Mine - Panasonic HD), so we were having to constantly render footage to work with it, this is because both camera’s save the footage as different formats, although, it wasn’t hard to get past this issue as it was only a small problem in the larger scale of things.  With Final cut we were easily able to add Filters, transitions, fades, masks, audio and still images which made the possibility of the music video endless.

Blogger has been of great use for us from start to end, as we were able to document all the work we had done in lesson and upload images and videos to create a story of how we got from a rough idea to the final piece, also due to the fact that the website is very easy to access and work with it meant that we could all access our blogg and add bits at home, add task’s for  each other to do to bring the work level up and over all make the process all that much easier. Also we were able to upload links to video’s from other sites and upload photo’s of written work onto blogger, this meant we were able to get large amounts of work done by hand also. I think that the ability to document work on this and freely add, edit and change work here makes the process easier and quicker.

We did find with programs like Photoshop, it was frequently easier to hand draw storyboards and mood boards as it would frequently take too long to do these things on the program, as these are trivial simple things but overall, photoshop was mainly used in the construction area of our work, for our ancillary texts. We realised the best theory for photoshop is that its better to do the easier things by hand but anything complex to do it on photoshop as the end product was usually of a higher standard. I used photoshop whilst creating the magazine poster; i found a few issues with it such as cropping it down or free transforming ruining the pixel ratio. But generally we found that with the wide range of tools we could consistently change things, make things better. Also the website DAFONTS made choosing the fonts for our ancillary text hard to choose from but with such a wide range we found the perfect ones, which we imported into photoshop and used without an issue on our poster and digipack.  Over all we had a great amount of ease using photoshop, it is very user friendly.

Youtube is a website designed for uploading, sharing and streaming other peoples videos, we used this website for inspiration for our music video in the planning, researching, construction and evaluations stages of our video. On youtube we found a large amount inspirational videos within i genre, i.e. “Blink182 – all the small things” it then gave us the ability to cross the videos onto our blogger and review them. This meant that there was a large amount of music video’s we were able to review from past students work, to really modern and in the charts music. But at the same time there were little things that were irritating, i.e. the artist who didn’t let you embed their work, or artists that didn’t have a music video for a specific song, so although it made life a lot easier it also had its drawbacks in the evaluation stages we are able to cross compare our video with work of professional artists to see if it compares to their work, if its better or worse and what we could change to make it better.  Within the construction stages we were able to review other work and use aspects of real media products to twist ours about and make the video more interesting. 


  


Sam's Media Evaluation

I and the other members of my group, T2-49, created a music video for the song ‘Paid to Get Excited’ by Butch Walker. In addition to the music video we also created a digi-pack cover and a magazine advert for the band.

What ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

The normal media conventions of the indie rock music genre are often very serious, abstract and minimal, for example the XX’s and Kings of Convenience. Our music video challenges these media conventions by almost being the complete opposite to a normal music video for this genre; we tried to put a lot more into the video compared to other artists of this genre who focus more on the lyrics and less on the image of the band in their videos and ancilliary products. One of our biggest aims when creating our music video was to give that ‘I don’t care’ type feel to it. By doing this we gave the video a comedic type feel and tried to portray the band members as rebellious teenagers. It resembles a young American style music video where the artists are not too serious with themselves, unlike the way the artist

Butch Walker might have portrayed the video because he is more of an older styled artist. We were unable to find a music video by Butch Walker so we are uncertain on how he would interpret his own lyrics, but we believe by the way that he portrays himself in live performances that he aims for a more mature audience. This issue made this convention a lot harder to challenge as we weren't certain who his target audience were. As a group we decided that although we were not certain if we were challenging these conventions we would aim for a target audience between mid teens to mid twenties.

Our main influences for this type of video were the bands Fall Out Boy and Blink 182, who also give a comedic ‘I don’t care type’ band image; a good example of this would be Blink 182's 'All The Small Things'. A normal convention amongst such bands were whole band performances, where they focused on the whole band together in the video; we challenged this by mainly focusing on only two of our four band members, these two being the bass guitarist and the lead singer. We thought this challenged conventions as we rarely showed the whole band. But as well as this we did include the other two members of the band, and often mixed up parts of the video to include these members in a hope that a mix would have an effect of make the video unpredictable to the audience.

The style and representation of our video suits the lyrics of the song. The song lyrics describe the need for freedom to do what you want, for example “free to hate the ones you hate, free to love the ones you love”. We portray this in our music video by giving the band members the freedom to do what they wish in front of the camera, such as the cross dressing scene or the dancing in the field/forest scene. We believe such clips add a comedic feel to the video, but at the same time bring a serious portrayal of the lyrical meaning of the song.


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

Our music video and ancilliary texts are effective together while at the same time they share the same theme of rebellion. The music video is based on rebellious band members, and the ancilliary texts are styled around what has happened to the band members because of their actions in the video. In the video they are showed being mischievous and rebellious in public, but in the ancilliary texts they have been arrested for their actions. The name of the band being ‘Off The Rails’ also links with our portrayal of the band members in our music video and on our ancilliary texts. As a group we believe that together our ancilliary texts and our music video would attract quite a young audience, mainly a teenage audience but also some in their early 20’s, for example the target audience would be in the age range of 14-25. The band image being often on the edge and free would hopefully attract those who feel they relate to that, which are often teenagers.

We started off creating our digi-pack by choosing a four panel template. On two of the templates we put a mug shot picture of a each of the two main band members which we had previously taken using a drawing on a whiteboard for the background.  We used a mugshot of one of the band members back to place some of the text on so that it would be easily readable for a person about to purchase the CD. Also, one template had two polaroid pictures which included clips from the music video on them; this was used as the back template and included the list of songs available on the CD.

Our magazine advert was similar to our digi-pack by having the same theme, but was layed out differently. The advert included one of the mugshot pictures used for one of the templates on the digi-pack and was used as an old fashioned American Wild West 'Wanted!' poster. The picture was then stretched to much larger scale. We placed in text describing the band, and replaced the text on the signs that we held up in the pictures with the on sale date. In the text, important information, and text that would attract the audience, were highlighted in different colours and placed into capitals. This way information was key to the audience would stand out the most and stick with them.

For a record label we chose to stick with label EMI, which is also the record label that Butch Walker is on, this is because we thought their logo suited our image as it was quite mainstream, which differs from most artists in the Indie Rock genre who are mainly anti-mainstream. Other logos that we put onto our magazine advert included places where the CD would be available such as HMV and ITunes.

Other artists which suit this type of music often have a variety of styles to their ancilliary texts. Some bands, such as Bowling For Soup, also link their digi-packs and advertisements with their band image; for them it was a very ‘old school’ which is clear representation of the band’s songs in their album. Bowling For Soup - Drunk Enough To Dance was a major influence for our digi-pack design; we liked the way they showed the band as a whole on the cover, but at the same time separated them by placing them in different boxes, and by doing this they focused on each members personality as well. Other artists of this genre are often having very little in their digi-packs or magazine adverts; for example, artists such as the Foo Fighters or Audioslave only focus on one object in their digi-pack picture; this style is more common in the style of genre for our song.


What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

From our audience feedback we have learnt that our audience enjoy the ‘quirky’ and ‘light humoured’ side of the band in the music video. It was also commented that the video was very original and there were a lot of unknown ideas. This is positive feedback as it showed that we had completed one of our main aims when creating our music video, which was to make the video entertaining and fun for the audience. Further positive feedback is some that we received from another group; they said that the video is a really strong and entertaining product and that the use of the ‘wild and free’ theme which would be more effective if it was linked with the ancilliary texts. We used this feedback and decided to develop the theme of our video by relating the theme of the digi-pack and the magazine advert with the video.

We also learnt from the feedback that we received about some of the areas which we could improve on. One of those was the lack of our opening shot, which was a tracking shot, and that we should use that more often throughout the video. We reacted to that and immediately planned a day when we could all go out as a group and film another tracking shot to fit into the video. As a group we thought that this feedback was appropriate because previously we had felt that the video was missing something, and this feedback helped us to fill in those missing pieces to the video. We were also told that we should place more colour onto our magazine cover to make it stand out, as a result we did so by making the picture used for the advert brighter and changing the colour of certain text to highlight them; but afterwards we felt that the colour that we placed didn’t suit the band image, but we still kept it as we had received several comments on the lack of colour. Some feedback that we didn’t feel was necessary to improve was that we needed more lip syncing to be put into our video, when really we felt that the video already had enough lip syncing and to make the video the way we felt it was best, there was no more room for anymore lip syncing shots.


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

When creating and planning our music video and ancilliary products we used a variety of new media technologies to help us produce our final products. Such new media technologies included; Final Cut Express, Photoshop, Blogger and YouTube.

To find inspiration for our music video we used YouTube, a website based on sharing video’s amongst users; bands often use YouTube to advertise their songs by posting their music videos onto the site. We used YouTube by searching bands we thought had a similar image to the one we tried to portray, such as Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy. We also used the search engine Google Images to search for inspirations for our ancilliary products, by looking at ideas which other artists on digi-packs had used.

To plan our work we used the website blogger.com, where we were able to keep track on previous ideas, and what we hadn’t planned. It also came in very helpful when we were receiving feedback from others, and we could use it to develop previous work. Using blogger we could post our inspirations and keep looking over them again to find other ideas we could use from their media products, we could also evaluate their work. As it saved all of our previous posts onto the same blog it was helpful whenever we felt we needed a new idea in our products, so we were able to look back at a previous posts and look at work which we thought we could use as inspiration, and then find where that would fit in our product. Blogger allowed us to do work on the project at home as well as in the classroom, that way if we had any knew ideas, we could post them from our home computers and share them with the rest of the group.  Overall Blogger made the process a lot easier to plan and do, and helped bring the work effort up to a high standard.

We used Photoshop to create our ancilliary products. When using Photoshop you are available to a variety of different tools which make it easy to create which ever image you wish. We were able to create both our digi-pack and our magazine advert using Photoshop. We did this by using photos to create different ones by editing the lighting, colour and size of the images. We found that with Photoshop, it was often easier to produce simple drawings by hand, as that could take longer time if we did those things by using Photoshop, for example the height board used as the background for the mugshots, and also some of our planning like spider diagrams and storyboards. We only tended to use Photoshop for more complex design ideas, as these areas of the pictures that we created would have taken much longer to do by hand. So there was often a mix between hand and Photoshop design in the pictures.

To create our music video we used Final Cut Express. Final Cut is a lot like Photoshop because you get the choice of a variety of different tools to use when editing which gives you the freedom to edit your video in any way that you wish. Using Final Cut we were able to experiment with different ideas in our video. We were able to mix up different clips, and test different editing ideas, ones which we hoped would make our video look more professional and more entertaining to watch for viewers. We were able to do split screen clips and quick cutting techniques; for example, the clip in the scene where we have a four way split screen with a band member in each corner of the video. We could then also speed up and slow down certain clips to keep up the speed of the video with the song. It helped in making the video flow more to the beat of the music, which is important in all music videos; otherwise the video can look out of place to the song. Our only problem when using Final Cut was the issue of rendering our film footage whenever we edited certain parts of it. This was because we had used two different camera types, one was a HD camera and the other was not.

Throughout the project I believe that my skills when using such new media technologies have developed. One technology that I haven’t used frequently in the past but I did use a lot in this project was the software Photoshop. Because the product had such depth, I often found it hard to control and work my way around with, but in this project I began to use it more and by the end I was able to achieve more using it than I was able to in previous projects. My skills also developed with the software Final Cut. With the help of one of the students in my group, I learnt new editing techniques which in previous projects I had not realised were available on the software; because of this I believe that our music video looks more professional than my previous work.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

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1.     What ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The song we had chosen was Butch Walker- Paid to get excited the conventional video would have been slow, band performance with a mature attitude.
-       Style of genre: Challenges of the way of that the music is more rock while the video is more in a alternative style, so this challenges conventional styles as the video is suited to a different genre of music than the actual music is like. The video is conventional in some ways of the editing style as in from inspiration of Fall out boy there is a performance and cuts into the band messing around. The way the style we showed our video is unconvential because ours is like an young American style video with messing around, not too serious with our selves while the actual artist Butch Walker is a older style artist and the style of music he creates would have a softer video. The way in that there is two performers, one with an instument and bumping into each other is unconventional to other videos as they usually are together and the whole band is.
-         Basically um we challenged the ordinary conventions of an ‘Indie’ music video because we added a comedic affect to the video, and normally indie videos are quite abstract and minimal. For example, The XX’s videos and kings of convenience. Ours was influenced more by punk rock bands like blink 182 and fall out boys video ‘I don’t care’ because it has more of comedic effect which and we thought this would be good because it makes the audience more interested and stay watching the video.
-       The lyrics link with the video by relating to free will and rebellion. For example the lyrics “free to hate the ones you hate, free to love the ones you love” describes how we should have the freedom to do what we want; in our video we show through the actions we make, such as cross dressing. As we’re younger artists compared to most, we interpreted the lyrics differently compared to other artists who may have interpreted them differently and therefore performed more seriously.
-       Free Willed
2)How effective is the combination of your main product and ancilliary texts?
 -Style Link: the style of the product is different from the texts but it is still linked between the rebellious of the artists in the video through to the texts which is of being caught as in prison.
 - Audience: The ancilliary product combined with the music video would attract a teenage audience who are at their ‘rebellious’ stage in life. The theme of our ancilliary products being a prisoner typestyle gives the impression that we are a group of rebellious teenagers, hence the band name ‘Off the Rails’. The magazine advert is styled like an old fashioned American wanted poster, and this can connect with the video as it could be we were wanted for our actions in the video and, then connects with the CD cover by showing our mug shots from the police stations after our arrest.
 -The two products that we made came together because we used elements from our music video in our digipack and this was to do with the theme of ‘freedom’, it’s a subtle link but the fact the lyrics are to do with freedom we used it as a theme for our video i.e. The cross dressing, running around and doing what ever we want. Therefore, the digipack that has the theme of a jail heightboard, suggesting that we’ve continued in the freedom thing but it hasn’t really worked and we’ve ended up in jail. Even the name of the band links in with the products as it’s called ‘off the rails’ which reinforces the idea of liberation, doing what you want.


 
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