Monday, 5 December 2011

Evaluation - George Adamson

1) In what ways does your media product use, develop and challenge the conventions of real media products?

My product uses many conventions of a real media product in terms of Goodwin's points. These points were preposed by Andrew Goodwin in the 1990s notable for Music Video theory book “Dancing In The Distraction Factory: Music Television and Popular Culture” These points are the common conventions which music videos usually follow, these points are; Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics, a relationship between lyrics and visuals, relationship between music and visuals, 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), themes of voyeurism, and intertexual references to other real media products or consumer products. 

We tried to think about the music video’s genre as much as possible during our research. We made our research around R&B, soul, rap and hip-hop music videos because we decided that the song “Melt my heart to stone” would best suit the conventions found in the music videos of these particular genres. One of the way our music video represents these types of genres because of the way our music video presents the female artist in an almost sexual context because of the way costume is used to make the ‘Adele’ character look attractive to the audience. Also the the costume of  the ‘Kanye West’ character is a suit which is a common convention of costume for R&B and rap music videos.

We challenge conventions by the way costume stays consistent throughout our music video.
We decided not to have frequent costume changes (Seen in music videos such as Beyonce’s Who Run the World music video - directed by Francis Lawrence who also known for directing music videos for Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and the Black Eyed Peas). However upon watching Adele’s Rolling in the deep music video (directed by Sam Brown) we decided we would follow the conventions used in that particular music video of staying in a single costume throughout the whole video.

One of the way theme theme of voyeurism is conveyed is by the use of mirrors in our music video. In the hotel scenes. This makes our audience feel as if they are watch the characters from inside the room for example when you see the ‘Adele’ character put on make up you feel you are just watching her from inside the room. A similar effect is produced where the “Kanye West” character walks-out the hotel room past mirrors you feel in a way you are watching him through the mirrors. 

One of the ways which we have challenged conventions of a typical music video is our decision to portray both the artists involved in the song very strongly and equally, for both the character’s the importance is never focused on either one of the characters for the whole of the music video and both characters seem to have equal amount of “screen-time”. We found that the usual conventions for this style of music video was to focus the importance on one character during a music video and have the other occasionally appearing in from the ‘sidelines’. I believe our decision links to Goodwin's point of “the demands of the record label” because we attempt to sell both artists equally to the market/audience therefore increasing chance of the audience buying future products from both the artists. 

We have have strongly followed the conventions of using lip-syncing in our music video. This is a convention which is highly used in music videos. The use of this conventions is follows Goodwin’s point of “a relationship between lyrics and visuals” because the audience see the lyrics portrayed being sung from the character. However we develop this convention by the use of a strong narrative within the music video which is not a a very common convention found in music videos, However we took inspiration from The Beastie Boy’s “Make some noise” (also known as “Fight for Your Right - Revisited) Music video which can be more accurately described as a short film rather than a music video because it has a weaker focus on lip-syncing performance of the characters than the focus on it’s strong narrative, it’s cinematographic techniques and it’s strong acting talent involved in the video, on the Director, Adam Yauch’s IMDB profile the video is in-fact described as a ‘short’(film) rather than a music video. In taking inspiration from this and using it in combination with the lip-syncing technique. However we break from Adam Yauch’s approach of splitting between lip-syncing performance and narrative, Our video shows the artists lip-syncing from start to finish with the music and lyrics providing the bases of the narrative. 

Overall using Goodwin’s points has been helpful to the construction of our music video because it has helped us to have a structured plan to what is going to be included in our music video, using Goodwin’s points has made us think about each element of a music video individually and how they fit into the music video as a whole. Looking at each convention independently has made me and my group think about what they represent in the music video and how the conventions can be used effectively.

2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary products?

The combination of my main product and ancillary texts is very effective because of the conventions they follow. One of these conventions is the use of a consistent colour scheme throughout our both the main product and the ancillary texts, I.e. The blue tinted colour scheme which appears in the hotel scene in the main product and the blue tinted photographs used in the ancillary texts. We had set up lighting in the hotel scene to look quite moody and theatrical. These enables the market audience to identify the Ancillary texts and the Main music video together so it would be recognisable to the buyer when they purchase the digi-pack package.For the Hotel scene we used Final Cut Express to add a light-blue tint with a high contrast to the video and used Adobe Light-room for the same light-blue effect to make the mood of the scene more moody and emotional. This makes the Main product and ancillary text look like a more complete product. This adds consistency to our product and overall makes it more recognisable and rememberable to the audience/market so if they see the magazine advert they’ll recognise the Digi-Pack, the advert will be drawn into the market/audience mind and they’ll be more likely to buy the product.

The main product and ancillary texts help create a celebrity image for the artists. The ‘Kanye West’ character is presented as in a “gangster” hip-hop style which is represented by the suit which the artist wears in our music video and the photos used in the music videos and is a common costume convention used by similar artists such as Akon. The audience and consumers will be encouraged to buy our product because they’ll recognise similarity between Kanye West and similar artist so they’ll be able to tell if it is a product they would enjoy.
The ‘Adele’ character is presented in an attractive and sophisticated style which is represented by the black dress which the artist wears throughout our music video and our ancillary texts. This costume is similar of a similar style to Amy Winehouse who was a singer of the same genre as ‘Adele’. This is used much to the same effect of Kanye West’s costume of presented the artist to be similar to artists which can be related to Adele and Kanye West because the audience will be able to tell what genre this music video possibly is before they see the music video or hear the song and possibly therefore being more encouraged to buy the product.

I believe that the combination of our main product and are ancillary products are effective in selling the artists and selling the music video on the market because of the way it utilises familiarity in it’s genre. People can be drawn to artists because of the way they dress if they dress similar to artists who they are also similar and can be compared to. The similarity in styles between our music video and our ancillary product helps to create a cohesive package where each product can be identified together which helps the audience recognise the product if they see the magazine advert and then see the digi-pack in a shop. 

3) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

The feedback we’ve received from our peers and teachers has helped me and my group develop and examine aspects of our product by the amount of positive feedback telling us what has been good about our product and the positive criticism telling us what can be improved in our product and whether the aspects in our music video works together as a whole. We received feedback in three different stages of progress in the creation of our music video; The Pitch, The Rough-cut and our Final Edit. 

The feedback we received for our initial pitch was positive. Our pitch was a summary of our main ideas of what we wanted our music video to be and how we were going to put the music video together. Both our Peers and our Teachers said that we had mostly thought through our music video quite well in terms of Narrative, Locations, Cinematography and Lighting. However they suggested that we think more about How we were going to gain access to the hotel and whether we had a 2nd plan just in case the hotel didn’t let us film there. 
They were also concerned who were going to the actors in our music video, However we assured them that if we could not find suitable actors to be in our music video, We (the members of the group) ourselves would be acting in the music video.

The feedback which we received on our rough cut could have been better in the terms of the value the feedback has given us in terms of positive feedback and criticism. This is because we had not finished editing our rough-cut together and therefore we were only able to show a short part of a music video. Because of this, there was concern of the quality of the music video and the speed of progress we were making on our music video by our peers and teachers. I feel that if we had shown a more complete rough-cut we would have gained more valuable feedback from our peers and teachers to help develop our music video in the post-production process instead of the main criticism of our feedback on our rough cut which was that we needed to continue editing our music video together. However whilst the rough-cut was short, we had gained some usable feedback. Our main positive was how we had used lighting in our music video, they noted that it had looked professional and well-done. They also noted that the actors we were successful in bringing in to act in the music video had performed well in the music video and it had been lip-synced very well. 

The feedback we received for our just before and after final edit was mostly positive however there were a few criticisms. One of our main criticisms was that we had not used a wide enough variety of shot-types within our music video, this made some parts of our music video look quite bland and boring. However this was noted just before our final edit, so we tried to amend this by the use of split screen and tint on the rapping part of our music video to make our music video look more visually interesting to our audience. Our peers noted that the costume that the actors wore in the music video had made the actors look professional and believable, which is the feedback we were hoping.

Overall the feedback has been helpful to us in developing and improving our music video during the process of it’s creation. It has made us spend more time focusing on aspects of the music video we otherwise wouldn’t have done. However our feedback was stunted by the fact we had not shown a full rough cut. I believe if we had shown a full rough cut; our final edit would have been much better because we would have known we needed to add more shot-types and the editing would be much more natural and consistent.

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

The use of new media technology has been vital to the successful research, planning creation and evaluation stages of our music video project. In our research stage of our music video project, we used the internet, more specifically YouTube, to research the common conventions of YouTube videos by watching music videos and noting what conventions and trends we see across multiple music videos. We had also used YouTube to research how to set up lighting for the specific purpose of filming a music video, without viewing this video we wouldn’t have seen the value in using extra lighting for our music video and our music video would have looked less professional as a consequence. We also used ‘Blogger’ to organise all of our music video project. This mean’t all of our groups research and planning can be accessed in one place. The main benefit of this was if one of our group’s members who had drawn the storyboard was absent on the day of filming, we would be able to access the story board from the blog and see what was shot was being required. 

In the construction of our music video we used High-Definition Camcorders to film the footage for our music video. This enabled us to capture professional-looking footage which in comparison to camera’s we have used in our AS level Children’s film project, the camcorders we used now were much superior in terms of image quality. Another benefit of the HD Camcorders is the in-built hard-drive feature. Which meant we didn’t have to rely on tapes for our music video which limits the amount of footage we can take, it also speeds up the process of transferring the footage to the iMac computers for the post-production process. We also used small still image cameras to take pictures of our storyboard and shot-list so we could post the images of these items to our ‘Blogger’ blog. 

We also used a tripod and a dolly in the filming process of our music video. The tripod has helped us create a profession product by helping us achieve better steady, static shots which in the music video looks very professional in comparison to our test-footage of an unsteady static shot where a tripod was not used.
The dolly has helped us capture steady moving shots in our music video. 

During the Post-production process of the creation of our music video, We used a semi-professional video editing program “Final Cut Express” which is the ‘Lighter’ version of “Final Cut Pro” which is the video editing software most commonly used in the media, TV and Film industry. Using this software has enabled us to use professional editing techniques used by professional video editors in our music video such as the lip-syncing, split-screen, the use of fading between clips and the tint/colour correction effects we used in our music video which are usually present in professional media products. 

We also used lighting during the filming process of the creation of our music video. We decided to use lighting in our music video after watching a youtube video explaining how to set-up lighting and the benefits of using lighting in the music video. We wanted the lighting to be used to make our music video look moody and theatrical which would benefit the mood of the hotel scene of our music video. We also used this lighting for the creation of ancillary products during our photo-shoot of the actors for use in our digi-pack cover and our magazine advertisement. 

For our Ancillary Product’s photo-shoot we used a DSLR Camera which enabled us to take high-quality professional images for our ancillary products. These photos were then edited by Sam using Adobe Lightroom to give the photographs the a similar effect used in the hotel scene of the music video (the blue tint and the raised contrast). These edited photographs were then imported into Adobe Photoshop to create both ancillary products (by all group members). Using photoshop had allowed us to manipulate the images to look like a professional magazine advert and a Digi-pack cover.

Images for evaluation

Todays plan

Today we will edit the directors commentry we filmed in Friday's lesson. We will see which sections answer the questions best, and try and piece them together to get an estimate of a 2.00 minute commentry.


1.In what ways does your media product use, develop and challenge the conventions of real media products?
        When starting our music video project, we learned about genre conventions and Goodwin’s points for a successful music video. Once we had learned this, we had to make our music video challenge or develop the norms of a music video. I believe our group both followed and challenged the norms in a music video. I believe we followed the conventions when we included seeing the Artist and seeing the artists lip syncing.  We researched both Adele and Kanye West’s previous music videos and built up an overview of their character, which led to our group using similar costumes for Adele as we believed we should follow a similar theme throughout her videos.  Our song ‘Melt my heart into stone’ was an R+B song. We portrayed this by the choice of acting styles and costume. We chose to use a dramatic break up scene in our video which is also seen in other videos from other artists in the same genre. We also chose to lip sync most parts of the song in the video, which again most videos in the R+B genre do. Although, we lip sync through most of the song, which could also be seen as challenging the norms as not many videos nowadays lip sync throughout the song. Lip syncing proved to be difficult for my role as Kanye West as the rapping section was quite hard to learn. We researched Kanye West’s and Adele’s previous music videos and in most cases for Adele and  some of Kanye West songs lip syncing occurred, and this therefore shows that we chose to lip sync because the majority of their videos did so, which showed we were sticking to the norms. Also, it was essential that we sold the artist through the narrative of the song. Adele’s previous songs did this extremely well, and showed her emotions very successfully; therefore we needed to film a realistic scene of an argument to portray the emotion and to keep the story flowing rather than having random shots. The lip syncing has a direct link to one of Goodwin’s points about Visuals and Lyrics, as our lyrics are very closely intertwined with the visuals, and what is being said is shown in the emotions of the character. The hotel location for the first section of our music video also followed the typical conventions for an Adele music video. In many of her previous videos, she is shown sitting either in a room or just sitting on her own. We then used the hotel room to show the argument scene as we believed this looked the most professional, and was easier to control the lighting and was easier to film. The use of artificial lighting also helped significantly as we were able to create an image that we would not have been able to do outside, and added to the professionalism of our project.

2.       How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary products?
 I believe that our Ancillary Products are reasonably successful in combination with our main product. I believe this for a number of different reasons, firstly Kanye West and Adele appear in the media product and both the DVD and the magazine advert. This therefore shows that the ancillary products are combining well with the main product as there is a direct link between the 3 as the artists are visual in the ancillary products and the video.  Also, the dark coloured attire in the music video is replicated in both ancillary products to give the whole project a memorable theme. The ancillary products are based around a black background, which allows the target audience to recognise the product and link it to the specific music video. Also I believe they are very successful in attracting the target audience as you see both characters on the ancillary products, therefore fans from both Adele and Kanye West would be interested in purchasing this album. The smart look of the products also matches the songs Adele sings. This is because there are not many upbeat, jolly songs made by Adele, and for this reason it was appropriate to make the products much darker and sophisticated, rather than colourful. Selecting certain pictures was also important as this captured the emotion in the Album/song.  There is a particular focus on Adele in the ancillary products as this is her Album and only one song features Kanye West, therefore we chose to make the ancillary products more shadowed than a Kanye West product. A key aspect of the ancillary products is that the characters Adele and Kanye West are wearing the same costumes in the pictures as the song we made a video for. This portrays the album as serious, and emotional. The link between the hotel scene and the cover is very important as it is capturing the emotion of the album/song and shows that this album contains songs that are meaningful. The dark looking products link directly to the hotel scene in the video, and links to the deep emotion in the album. When looking at previous ancillary products from Adele, we noticed that there was little emphasis placed on text, although there is a similar font in each of her previous albums. Seeing this we researched what font we could use and found a similar font which links very well to her previous albums. It is key that after looking at her previous products, there needed to be a particular focus on the character as this is what happened in previous products. The choice of picture was vital as we had to capture the emotion and still make the album look exciting, rather than dull. Linking back to Adele’s previous products also enables us to keep the same target audience as it is very recognizably Adele’s product so many of her fans would buy the album, and for Kanye West fans as he is still on the cover for the album. 

3.     What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

  When we made our initial pitch, we were asked a number of questions on cost, costume, time and acting. This enabled us to develop ideas answering these questions and to face any problems that may have arisen at a later stage earlier because the feedback had told us the problems they noticed. After our initial plan had been discussed, we then developed a rough cut of our video. We received a number of different comments from the audience that we could work on for our final product. These included comments about needing more of the argument scene, quicker shots of the male character and more variety in camera angles. As the rapping scene was weaker than the hotel scene, we needed to make it more exciting by using quicker shot types and varying between lip syncing and not to make the video look more effective for example the use of a split screen in the latter stages of the video. When not lip syncing in the video we chose to move between the Adele character and the kanye West character, this again linked to the narrative and showed more clearly to the audience that they had had an argument and that it was a very emotional time. We chose to not lip sync when the lip syncing didn’t seem to work or where the rapping section was very hard, this therefore helped our group keep professionalism as we didn’t have someone lip syncing the wrong words in our video which helped keep our music video successful.

From this we knew that we had a number of things we could work on to drastically improve our video. Using this feedback we then worked on our final product and presented this to the class. We received great feedback from the audience and this was mainly due to the improvements we had made from the audience feedback from the rough cut video. We still had a small issue with the lip syncing in the video but this is only a tiny section of the video.  Audience feedback is very important and was essential to us completing our video with minimal errors and looking as professional as possible.  Teacher comments were also very important, for example we had a comment that said we could improve the last section of the video to make them more exciting as it seemed to tail off. We then improved this by including a flashback effect of the argument scene which played underneath the footage near the end of the video. This helped increase the level of professionalism in the video and helped make our video unique. I believe that the vary in slow shot types at the beginning of the video and fast with the rap was very effective in creating the atmosphere of the argument. I believe that if we had stuck to one way of editing, the argument scene would not have looked as effective and maybe would have confused the audience.

4.How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
We used many different types of software to help us construct and plan our product. For example we used Blogger to plan our music video, and to post any research we did on the project on to the blog. Blogger was essential to us finishing the project as everyone in our group could see what work needed to be done and what everyone else was doing in the lesson. The internet was vital in researching and watching previous videos from Adele and Kanye West , without the internet we would not have been able to research in the excessive detail we did for our project which would have led to a weaker music video as we would have had no influences and no clue about Adele and Kanye West themselves.  Final cut was used for editing the footage we had filmed. This is the most important piece of software we used and enabled us to make a professional looking music video. One key aspect of final cut is that it enabled us to make a flashback scene very successfully, and this worked very well within our video as it made our video look more complex and unique. Final cut also allowed us to insert the dark blue tint across our hotel scene, this was important as it added to the footage and made it more interesting as well as showing the emotion. We used light room to edit the photos we had taken which we would then use in our ancillary products to make them look more effective and more presentable to the real world. We also used Photoshop to make our ancillary products. This was in my opinion the hardest piece of software to use, and it enabled us to make ancillary products to the best of our ability. I believe it is the hardest as there are so many things that could be done to do the same thing on Photoshop, which was very confusing for me personally to use but in the end it proved to be very successful in changing font types and generally making our ancillary products look very catching and memorable for the target audience.  We filmed using a HD camera and this offered a high quality, professional looking image when filming. The high resolution camera, enabled us to look at shots we had made in high detail and then see if they were effective, and due to the image being much clearer it was easier to tell if something had gone wrong or if something was just not quite right. We thought about using a dolly in our music video for the tracking shots, but after looking at our location we realised that there was a minimal amount of flat flooring for us to use the dolly as it would have looked tacky and unprofessional as it would have been extremely wobbly. Sam used a extremely good camera to take the photos for our ancillary products. This was very well done and helped make our ancillary products look very professional.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Director's Commentary: Editing Diary

Toady we filmed the director's commentary following the script (here). Overall the filming process went very successfully, we managed to get all of our points filmed in the 45 minute period we had available. Now we will begin to edit the clips, firstly arranging them and cutting them into an order that makes sense and follows the script. We also have plans to add in image from our previous work, screenshots or images from research to backup the points which are making in the commentary.

Evaluation - Sam Payne

 In what ways does your media product use, develop and challenge the conventions of real media products?
The music video that we have produced generally follows the conventions of a pop/R&B music video. This was achieved through extensive research of both the artists, their genres, and the technical elements of mise-en scene, cinematography, location and editing. It was crucial that we researched the artists themselves, this would give an insight into their personal and brand styles which have worked successfully in previous music videos. Also, aspects of Goodwin's theory were considered such as the incorporation of lyrics and selling the artist.

A major convention of the R&B genre is the strong focus on selling the artist through a narrative. Adele in particular uses narrative in music video, with many of the videos following as a key character within the narrative, lip-syncing is also commonly used in this genre, often there are two separate scenes for performance and narrative. However, in our music video we attempted to combine these conventional ideas giving the effect that the lip-syncing/lyrics are like a conversation between the two characters. This development would sell the artist as it would bring a new dimension to the narrative and the character, causing the conflict to seem more relatable and realistic. In relation to Goodwin's theory, this new development would show a strong sense of lyrical representation, where specific lines and lyrics are visually represented within the music video.

As well as Adele, another similar artist such as Amy Winehouse show a clear portrayal of the personality by using closeup camera shots, and centering specifically on the artist. This causes the audience to have a more personal and relatable connection with the artist, and is valid way of selling the artist. In order to support our new development of lip-syncing and narrative, we used a variety of angles focusing on the main artist, along with a voyeuristic shots.

The narrative of our music video is conventional of most music videos, it follows an equilibrium-climax-equilibrium pattern and follows a love story. We challenged the conventions here as we were inspired by the "Fight For Your Right Revisited" video, a remake of the original Beastie Boys music video which follows a movie-like theme and focuses heavily on the narrative rather than the music. Although we didn't follow this principle, we do feel as if this was a heavily influence on our decision to feature the narrative as the main element. Also, we did hint at some sort of domestic violence, or male domination in our narrative, which gave it more professionalism. In the real world many popular artists do try to include references to these sort of common issues, these could be very beneficial for the audience who are educated by the video or given a sense of support - this causes everyone to have some sort of connection with the narrative and widens the audience. For example, Pink made obvious reference to 'perfection', suicide, bullying and other struggles, through her music video for "Perfect". Adele is quickly becoming an influential artist, and therefore has increased responsibility with issues such as this.

Branding is another crucial element in selling the artists, we wanted to make the artist unique and therefore easily identifiable and relatable. Adele's character was portrayed through a young women, in the stereotypical 'love' narrative, whereas Kanye West is shown through his upmarket; gangster style and by the location of the alley in the city. The brand is more successful with two young actors as fans of these artists would be young, therefore it puts the issues at an evenmore relatable level through age.

Our camerawork also attempted to challenge conventions, we had an idea to have the entire video as a tracking shot that evolved and flowed together. But we found this to be unpractical and time consuming, and therefore adapted this into a chronological set of events, with had a very clear relation to the voyeurism in Goodwin's theory. Overall the types of shot were fairly basic and we decided to use more static shots in the hotel scene as this slower and more depressing. We followed the convention of camera angles and movements fitting the beat and music, along with this continually focusing on the artists. One artist we looked into was Eminem & Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie", in the video the shots revolved around the artist and were very fast-paced to reflect the mood of the song.

Mise-en scene was ofcourse an important element in revealing the characters to the target audiences. Firstly, the location of the alley in the city is a conventional rap settings. Here we see the use of darker colors, and dull lighting which allude to Kanye’s stereotypical “gangster” style and the more “criminal” side of conventional rap videos. Typically, rap music videos do have a darker atmosphere with their urban settings which reflect the more mysterious nature of rap. On the other hand, the hotel scenes are brighter and give a more personal edge to the music video. R&B artists often feature more personal scenes in their music videos, for example, the narrative of “Love The Way You Lie” and Adele’s previous video “Make You Feel My Love” which takes place in a bedroom. By following the conventions of both genres we are targeting two audiences, yet are showing some unique contrasts. For example we have the gender, the location, the lighting and the colours, representing how opposing elements can work together to create something that is artistically unique and engaging.

Lighting was another aspect of the mise-en scene which followed the genre conventions. In the hotel scene emphasis is put on the use of artificial lighting, creating a more dramatic atmosphere. We drew inspiration from Adele’s earlier music videos which emphasise her vocal and uses lighting techniques as one method to do so. This follows the conventions of both the R&B and rap genres as they again focus on a contrast between light and shadow.

The costumes of Adele is very simplistic and elegant, highlighting her body and the sincerity of her personality, something which is reminiscent of R&B artists such as Beyoncé. The bright red lipstick is technically appealing as the colour stands out against the other dull colours of the video, in photography this striking use of colour can draw the audience into an image. Kanye West’s costumes matches Adele’s style, the suit causes the narrative to have good continuity and to make sense. However, we drew inspiration for a suit from our general knowledge of rappers fashion style. Jay-Z and Kanye West can frequently be seen wearing a white suit to awards shows or more formal occasions. In our video, we tried to add a “gangster” element by having the colour of the shirt up slightly, this symbolizing a rebelling nature of the rapper.

In editing we began by used simple cuts on the beat, which conventionally followed Goodwin’s theory. After watching Beyoncé’s “Countdown” music video we found that transitions could quickly make the project more interesting. We added fades and split screens to give a sense of parrellel editing and overall enhance the narrative. One editing technique which developed the conventions was to experiment with a rewind cross-fade idea, this turned out be more abstract than most R&B or rap videos. For the target audience the inclusion of something more experimental may heighten the appeal as it is fresh and different, making the music video individual.

Overall we had no choice but the challenge and develop the conventions of the music video, this is because we had to combine, and attempt to feature, characteristics from two genres successfully. This benefited the project as it gave a distinct identity and style to the music video.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary products?
The addition of ancillary products created an extensive and realistic aspect to our project. It was crucial for our product to follow a common; consistent theme that would be recognizable and brand-able in the real world. From a marketing perspective, the consistent blue tint and use of high contrast photo would form a sense of branding and identity for the prospective artists. As a result of this the products would better sell the artist, generate sales and create a higher revenue. Again we had to combine ideas for both genres of artist in order to make the products appealing to the target audience. Both products were very image focused, is would potentially help the target audience to become familiar with the artists and their brand. One particular image was used on both the magazine advert and the back of the digipack in an attempt to work like a logo, making it easily recognizable and giving the consumer the impression the artist is known and reputable. We also used the blue tint across our ancillary products to give a distinct theme that represented the depressing or nature of the original music video. In a marketing sense, having three products which have strong visual similarities will cause consumers to link the products and be interested in buying all three. Creating a recognizable and unique brand is very important in the music industry as it can make an artist stand out, and appear different to the competition. We believe our theme does this.

We researched products from both Adele and Kanye to find out what made them unique, and what was typically seen on these types of products. You will notice a focus on Adele in our ancillary products as she is the main artist of the products, the original song simply features Kanye West. An elegant font, simplistic font was used across the ancillary products to reflect Adele’s individual style. This also matched the previous music video which uses simplistic costumes and stylizing. The font is also effective as it is not too prominent, allowing more focus on the narrative of the images and the brand of the artist. Another effective aspect of our products was the blue tint, which was used after experimenting with many different colour schemes and edits. The blue tint matches the blue stylizing of the hotel scene in the music video, and in turn the depressive or somber atmosphere of the songs message. The photos themselves are specifically meant to look like the narrative of the music video, this giving a strong connection between the products and attempting to sell the artists. The poses of the actors give the photos a sense of narrative, this could intrigue the target audience give them connection with the characters. By combining two artists from opposing genres the target audience will also be interested to see the product, and the unique style or sound that could have been created.

The inspiration for the products came from in-depth research of the artists previous products. I found that R&B and rap genre products use generally dark lighting and emphasize light and dark to give a professional edge. In Adele’s most recent album “21” the images are all studio based and focus on the artist rather than the use of logos or fonts. By following this conventions we are able to appeal to a crossover of music fans, including rap, R&B, Adele and Kanye West fans.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
We received feedback at several different stages of the project, most of which came from peers in other groups. The first point of feedback was at the initial pitch of our idea for the song, after presenting the idea we allowed our peers to ask questions. This stage of feedback was incredibly crucial as it allowed us to prevent any problems before the filming even began. It was also helpful as the feedback from other groups was unbiased and offered further insight on things we might not have noticed. For our music video in particular, it was important to see that the narrative and mise-en scene was understandable and appealing for our target audience. The feedback definitely highlighted possible issues such as the original tracking shot idea, which we didn’t follow through in the end, yet we offered a good explanation and backup plan. There was also some concern over getting the hotel room, and most people recommend that we sort this out first.

At the rough cut stage we were given further feedback, this was perhaps the most important point of feedback. Our peers were able to give us advice and ideas as to making the music video more professional, and more successful from their point of view. As I said previously, it was also a test of the target audience to whether it was appealing to them. We also received feedback from teachers which was extremely beneficial as they have seen many music videos before, and clearly know what works well. Our teachers showed us how a simple music video, with hardly any narrative or meaning, can be incredibly visually interesting through the use of transitions and quick cuts. An idea that we implement was the use of further transitions or special effects, this improved the music video by giving it more pace. This also benefited the rap scenes which were weaker, and generally ‘flatter’ than the hotel scenes, causing it to appear more professional. Another idea was to improve the excitement in the rap scenes by using some non-lip-syncing shots, and finding shots with more movement as this will break up the other performance shots.

After consulting with the teachers we began to think of some further creative effects which might enhance the music video. The flashback or rewind effect, used on the long night before the instrumental, is one of those more creative effects which we think makes the music video more individual. The idea fits well with the narrative and would boost the interest on the outdoor scenes.

The final point of feedback on the music video was at the final edit. At this point we weren’t able to do any further editing, however, it did assist us in seeing if the video was successful with target audience. We also took elements from the music video and applied them to the ancillary products, such as the memorable hotel scenes and the blue tint used.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Technology has been a crucial element in the creation of the music video and additional ancillary products. The internet was consistently used to research other music videos, conventions, Goodwin’s theory, the work of both our artists and the work of previous students. The internet also allowed us to contact the artists at one stage, requesting further information about the song, although they didn’t reply this does show the advancement of technology and the ease of contact.

Of-course the internet was also a useful tool as it enabled us to document and plan the entire project on the blog. The blog is beneficial as any member of the group can assess it and see all the information and research in our previous posts. I was able to do further research at home with the blog, and I could upload photos or edits from using Adobe Lightroom by using the blog. It also assisted us in planning as everyone was able to see the plan for the filming days through the location assessments and call sheets. The blog is helpful in the evaluation process too as I can look at previous posts or feedback to reference here.

During the filming process we obviously some camera equipment, the HD camera was the most important which offered good; professional quality for our filming. The camera gave us a high resolution which meant that the audience will get the best quality, even after editing occurred in Final Cut Express. We first experimented with the HD camera in the test footage, here we were able to see which shots worked successfully and those which wouldn’t work or weren’t suitable for the music video. The HD camera is small and offers a zoom function, these two features enable us to get the perfect shot as the camera can be easy placed and adjusted. This test allowed us to further our research and become more creative as we knew what was suitable and possible with the equipment. After finalizing our ideas, forming a shot list, storyboard and animatic we prepared for filming. On the two filming days we decided to use the HD camera, tripod, dolly and two artificial lights for the hotel room. After experimenting with the dolly earlier on, we deiced that the tracking shot idea wasn’t going to work, but the tripod allowed us to still create some steady shots for the music video. By using a tripod the experience for the audience is enhanced, giving the video a less ‘home movie’ look. The additional lighting in the hotel room was a key piece of equipment in creating a dramatic scene, we definitely benefited from using these lights, which caused a similar effect to Adele’s previous music videos. The lighting also prevented the hotel scenes from looking like ‘home movies’, instead giving it professionalism.

After filming the hotel scenes, we decided to take the opportunity for a quick photo shoot. I brought in my DSLR camera and knowledge from taking Photography to create some professional photos. This camera worked well as it enabled us to follow through with the professional look of the hotel scenes. We decided to do the photo shoot at this stage as we had the benefit of the extra lighting, which also created some interesting effects in these photos. These photos were later used in Adobe Lightroom, a professional photo-editing program, to create an equally interesting and effective style for the ancillary products.

For editing we used the Final Cut Express software, which is an advanced program professionally used in the real world. This offers us more functionality than a home-based program such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. The software enabled us to connect the visuals with lyrics of the song, turning our footage into an effective and successful music video. Through continual use and experimentation with the software we were able to find further feature, effects and transitions which could be used to enhance the music video. For example, we tried using the hue/saturation colour wheels for the tint, but later found that a specific colour tint could be added creating an artistic effect. There are many features and ways of editing the footage, but we had to find the correct style to suit the video, the artists and the conventions of the song. After getting feedback from our peers, teachers and looking at Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video, we decided to experiment with wipes and other professional looking transitions. This greatly improved the overall experience for the audience, giving the music video more movement and life.

When preparing for the ancillary products, I began to use the program Adobe Lightroom to edit the images from the earlier photo shoot. I experimented with many different styles, after consulting the group and researching other similar products from the genre, we decided on a blue tint. This became the main theme of our ancillary products, and so it was important to edit all the images in the same way. Adobe Lightroom is very good for photo editing as it has advanced options such as exposure, contrast, brightness and saturation controls, and is sometimes used by professional photographers. One crucial benefit of using this software was the ability to specifically adjust the exposure on areas of the photos, this helped on images which were particularly bright in areas due to extra lighting. Photoshop was used to construct the two ancillary products, this is a well-known and very advanced graphics editing program. We utilized the full capabilities of Photoshop by using the layers system to form a professional looking digipack and magazine advert. The fonts used were applied through Photoshop, which allowed us to change colours, sizes and the placement, this was important for the inside cover of the digipack which focused on lyrics. Photoshop also allowed us to easily change aspects of the two products, for example, the colours of the fonts or the placement of certain objects.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Director's Commentary: Script

Directors Commentary script - Group 13S1-28

- Hello I’m George Adamson,
- Daisy Cookson
- Nick Griggs
- Sam Payne

All four of us have been working together over the past couple of months to create a music video for “Melt my heart to stone” by Adele (featuring Kanye West)

Question 1

One of the first things we did when we were given the task of creating a music video for this song was to research Adele’s and Kanye West’s previous music videos using YouTube and VEVO. This was so that we could get an idea of the style the performers are usually presented in. From this we were also able to learn more about the genre conventions of the music videos for their particular styles of music.
We decided that the song “Melt my heart to stone” best suited the slow R&B genre because it contains both singing and rapping. The conventions for this particular genre of music videos often shows a rapper showing off His “wealth”,“lavish” lifestyle and the women which are surrounding him in this music video. The music videos usually include a lot of intertextuality for example the artist may be seen wearing an expensive branded watch, this advertises the product and makes the artist seem wealthy.
We decided to challenge these conventions, since the song seems to focus on both artists equally, we decide that out music video should do the same instead of following one artist and having the other in the side-lines appearing at off points throughout the music video which is the usual convention for music videos.
We again decide to challenge the conventions of a music video because the way we use and strong narrative and strong use of lip-syncing performance in our music video. The usual conventions are either that you have a strong narrative and the lip-syncing is put to the side (shown in The Beastie Boy’s video “Make some noise” also known as Fight for your right - revisited video, where the music video is more similar to a short-film than a music video) or a strong lip-sync performance video such as Adele’s Rolling in the deep music video where the video Focuses more on her performance than a narrative.
One of the conventions we decided to challenge is the use of costume change within a music video. Our original outfits for the artists followed conventions; smart and classy, however the artist stays in these costumes throughout the video, this challenges the conventions because usually the artist will have a number of costume changes in one music video.

Question 2

One of the ways that we have used our main product and ancillary texts is the consistent look of both items. One of the ways we gave each item a look was the way we used lighting effectively in the creation of our music video and our Ancillary product photo-shoot. We set up lighting in the hotel scene to look quite moody and theatrical. These enables the market audience to identify the Ancillary texts and the Main music video together so it would be recognisable to the buyer when they purchase the digi-pack package.
We also applied a colour tint to both the music video (Main product) and the ancillary texts to the same effect we desired with the use of lighting. For the Hotel scene we used Final Cut Express to add a light-blue tint with a high contrast to the video and used Adobe Light-room for the same light-blue effect to make the mood of the scene more moody and emotional. This makes the Main product and ancillary text look like a more complete product.
The images used in the ancillary texts and the image the artists are presented in the main product creates a mature and attractive image though the use of costume for both artists which helps to sell the artists well. The Costumes; the black dress which “Adele” and the Suit which Kanye West wears makes both characters look attractive and sophisticated.

We used the same font in both items in the ancillary texts the posters and the digi-pack cover because We thought that a recognisable familiarity would benefit our product on the market. We chose a white font because of the way it stands out against the light blue image.

Question 3

The feedback we received for our pitch was positive, both our teachers and our peers agreed that our group had organised the technical elements such as narrative and lighting. We discussed the ideas on our locations and actors which were not finalised and received quite a positive response to our ideas.

The feedback we received for our rough-cut was mostly positive, Our peers and teachers said we had lip-synced well and followed common conventions of a music video in-terms of goodwins points and our peers and teachers were impressed with the use of lighting in the ‘hotel scene’.

However one of the problems with the feedback from our rough-cut was that we did not have a full rough-cut. We feel that if we had been able to show a complete rough cut, the feedback would have been more beneficial to the editing of the final cut.
The feedback which we received for our final edit was mostly positive. The majority of our peers and our teachers have said we have used macro and micro elements such as our narrative and the use of mise-en scene (for example the costumes and the lighting) in our music video. However one of the major criticisms we received was that we didn’t have a varied amount of shot-types in our final cut.

Question 4
One of the pieces of new media technology we used was the internet (more specifically YouTube) to research conventions of popular music videos and which conventions were not being used. We also used YouTube to research cinematographic techniques, editing techniques and for learning how to set up lighting effectively for a music video.
Another pieces of internet technology which we used in our project is “Blogger” which we used to organise our whole project. This was effective in enabling all members of our group access to information about our project such as our storyboard and shot-list, so we could continue with our work if another member of our group was absent.

We used HD Camcorders to record our footage for our music video. The footage from these cameras looked professional and the built in hard-drive enabled us to take multiple takes of shots for use in editing.

Another piece of technology which we used is Final Cut Express. This is semi-professional editing software which we used to apply professional editing techniques to our music video such as the split-screen and the colour-adjustment effects. This made our music video look professional. The editing also helps the audience to understand the narrative by keeping the continuity consistent.

We also used a DSLR camera for the photo-shoot for our ancillary texts. Using this enabled us to capture high-quality professional looking images for use in our magazine advert and our digi-pack cover. Lightroom was used to give the photos the effect similar to the effect applied in the main product, which we believed a consistency throughout our product would help to market our product.
Another piece of technology we used was a camera tripod which we used to keep our shots steady. We also used a dolly which we used for smooth tracking shots in our music video. We also used two lights to make our music video look more theatrical and professional.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Director's Commentary: Script Ideas

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • Our inspirations, other artists, the effects used? - We first looked at Kanye West and Adele's own work to find their own styles, but of-course there were other music videos that inspired us such as Pink's "Nobody Knows". This has similar narrative and message to our song.
  • Locations - The hotel proved to be more professional setting, made the narrative realistic which was supported by the extra lighting. We did have to pay for it, but it was definitely worth the money as we got a lot of footage and had a lot of time to experiment.
  • Lyrics - Analysed them and represented them through the narrative, we incorporated the lyrics into the music video for example "Right under my feet there's aid made of bricks" closely links with our outdoor locations. The lyrics are also relevant for the artist audience of women 16 - 25 who would be interested in the empowering message and perhaps the domestic violence hints.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?
  • Why it's important to have a complete package? - marketing and a sense of branding.
  • How they sell the artist? - the photos focus on the artists, relate to the locations from the music video, the colour scheme represents the mood of the music video.
  • How we made the products professional and reputable? - The barcode, logos, website, copyright information and professional looking design. 
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
  • Initial pitch feedback - some people thought the hotel was a risk, and that it would be hard to get. However, we disagreed and made it a priority to get this location for our filming. It turned out to be one of the most successful elements within the music video, offering a more professional environment which was assisted by the artificial lighting.
  • Improving the engagement of the audience - After the rough cut we decided to add in more transitions and effects, such as split screens and wipes which were inspired by Beyoncé's Countdown. We also had another idea, a rewind effect (explained by George).
  • Feedback from teachers - This was the most helpful and most professional, they gave us advice on creating a more professional edge for both the music video and the ancillary products.
  • Although we got good comments on the narrative and how the hotel scene was very successful. We tried to use the strengths of this to use in the ancillary tasks.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
  • Final Cut -
  • Internet - this was very important for research and for recording our research and planning on the blog. We also used the internet to contact our artists, we hoped to get further information about the song and the lyrics which would have enhanced our representations of this visually.
  • Camera equipment - gave professional quality to the music video, the lighting, tripod and dolly. Issues with dolly and initial idea of wheeling it.
  • Photoshop and Lightroom - Both graphical editing software. Lightroom enabled us to create a constant blue tint across all the photos, and to adjust exposure, contrast and brightness in specific areas. Photoshop was used to arrange the different elements of the ancillary products.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

What is a director's commentary?

Although there are many different ways of presenting a director's commentary, a director's commentary is primarily an additional feature on a DVD or digi-pak product which provides commentary from one or more speakers which provides an insight into the creation and the ideas behind the product.

One way a director's commentary can be presented is as an additional audio track directly over the main feature product itself, called the feature-length or screen-specific; the speakers talk about what is directly on the screen at the time. However this method may be difficult to use for a commentary over a music video because music videos can be much more fast-paced than other media products such as films. 

Another method of a director's commentary is the partial or scene-specific method of visually displaying clips which has a nature of interest to the speaker and then transitions to the speakers providing commentary of the scene. This solves the problems in the prior method of a directors commentary by pausing and making a commentary between clips. However this means that the commentary will be longer in duration than the main feature.

Research: What is a director's commentary?

A director's commentary is an explanation and analysis of a product, these are commonly available on the bonus features of DVDs. The director usually adds his explanation with an audio track, these sometimes include actors and other members of the production team for further explanations. These can be very detailed explanations which will show how clips/shots were create, almost like a behind-the-scenes insight into the production of the product. The commentary will also include views on the narrative and the construction of non-cinematography related aspects of the product.

There are two types of director commentaries, the first is partial/scene specific which highlights specific parts of the products. The second type if a feature-length commentary, this is where the director and other speakers watch the movie from beginning to end and give thoughts on parts of the product as is it being watched. A feature-length commentary is the most common, and as I mentioned earlier this will include actors, production team members, writers and other important members.

Evaluation: DVD Cover

We decided to go with a less conventional DVD design by using the gatefold shape. This does have the pitfall of looking like an album, however we focused on using other elements such as the text and track listing to make it more like a DVD.

The front cover of the DVD, on the right, follows the blue colour scheme seen the magazine advert and also represents the mood of the original music video. The artists name and a unique title for the DVD are also displayed clearly. The idea of using a sticker on the front cover was an important method in showing that this product was a DVD, it describes this product as including the music video featuring Kanye West. This is one element which helped to make the design look less like a album or single cover. On the back cover we used two images dissolved into one another, one of these images was used in the magazine advert which shows a sense of continuity. By using the same image it also makes the product easily identifiable for the consumer and creates a sense of branding. The last part of the design is the inside panel, on the left, we formed the idea to use lyrics from Adele's previous albums and to arrange them into an abstract pattern or design. This idea is particularly successful as the DVD is aimed at fans of Adele, therefore they would be interested in these lyrics and would find the design appealing. Another reason for the idea was because we didn't want to use screenshots from the music video, this is because it wouldn't follow the blue theme that we already had and the images would generally be poor quality.

In the future it would have been a good idea to try the DVD design instead, this would have prevented any uncertainty as to whether the product is a CD or DVD product. Hopefully we have been able to rectify this with other elements. Also, on this gatefold design, it would have been even more appealing if we had filled the lyrics panel completely so that there is a puzzle-like effect created.

Overall I am very satisfied with this design, combined with the magazine advert it creates a very professional and well planned set of products. I can imagine both being used in the real world.

Evaluation: Magazine Advert

Our magazine advert follows the blue theme which we wanted to use, this shows the mood of the original music video. By using dark colours and shadows we have been able to appeal to the rap genre, it's conventional to have dark lighting which represents mystery or crime, this is important as it is a product featuring Kanye West. The font is very simplistic and follows Adele's elegant style, yet it is also acceptable for the rap genre which we are trying to appeal to. The text itself is very clear, specifically the 'out now' text which is very important for marketing purposes, it stands out against the darker background and is a centre area of focus. The use of a 'star' rating has worked as planned, the contrasting colour of red again stands out against the background and will draw the attention of the reader. The photo itself fades into the black background which creates a very soft atmosphere to the image, again reflecting the genre and the artists style well.

In the future, if our group had more time to develop an advert there are several changes we would make. Firstly, the central image seems very dull and therefore the reader could easily ignore it. At this stage we are unaware of how bright the image/advert would actually appear when professionally printed, this is the reason we were unable to adjust the brightness. Another change would be to add some more information to to advert, such as price and few more logos as the bottom part of the advert seems fairly bland. The last change would be to have a review/rating from a source that the target audience would know. For example, NME magazine or Rolling Stone are two popular mainstream music magazines which are likely to feature Adele or Kanye West. This would simply make the rating more reputate for our audience.

Overall I believe the simplicity of the design is why is works so well. If it was printed professionally I think this advert would do a good job at promoting and selling the artist.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ancillary Products - 21/11/11

Today we began to experiment with the images in Photoshop. We have decided that all the images used should have a consistent blue tint, this will also work well with our music video which has uses a blue filter. We also feel that this colour reflects the mood of the characters and will create a 'moody' atmosphere in the photos that are used. This would be particularly beneficial in the real-world, it would create an emotive response from the audience and draw their attention.

Of-course the magazine cover will be an A4 shape, which is fairly basic to create in Photoshop. However, we have two options for the digipack, a standard DVD shape or a Gatefold shape. The gatefold is more common with CD covers, although it does offer very original approach to the digipack. The DVD shape will work with a lighter photo on the front cover, and the darker silhouette photo on the back, this effect would give the product depth and another visual dimension.

Standard DVD shape

Gatefold shape

I have done some further editing in Adobe Lightroom, this is because we wanted the 'Cyanotype B&W' effect on all our photos. After deciding on the three strongest photos, I edited them with this effect and then began to use the adjustment brush to 'dodge & burn' specific areas of them. Below is a screenshot showing the adjustments which can be made with the brush, alongside this is part of a photo with the dots which signify the adjustment areas.

Adjustment brush example
One photo was well composed and was very dramatic but the Adele character's face was very harshly lit. I wanted to change this, so I used the adjustment brush again. You can see the change in the screenshots below, the exposure here is far better. You will also notice the dot which signifies the point where the adjustment brush was used.

Adjustment brush example
After editing the three photos in Lightroom, I believe I have create some 'moody', consistent images which will work well in both our products. I have added them all below.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Digipack Features

Here are a list of the elements which we must include in the digipack for success.
  • The front image should show the artist and follow a theme, this can be a colour scheme or the use of specific images.
  • There should be the artists name on the cover, and the title of the DVD (Right Under My Feet) in clear writing.
  • Fonts should be unique and recognisable, almost like a form of branding or marketing. In our case, Adele has fairly simple and curvy font styles.
  • The colour scheme is blue and black combination, this reflects the initial mood of the 'Melt My Heart To Stone' music video and fits with the stylizing of the music video.
  • The front cover will also include a sticker/note to show that 'Melt My Heart To Stone' is included in the DVD which features Kanye West. This will prevent the product from appearing like a single cover of album cover.
  • A video listing on the back. We are going to have several live videos, some behind-the-scenes videos and interviews with both the artists on making the track, along with the director's commentary.
  • Barcode and other relevant logos on the back, such as the record label Columbia and the classification logo '12'.
  • To add some professionalism we will include some copyright small print.
  • Websites/contact information.

Magazine Advert Features

It is important to include these features in our magazine advert, as it will represent the artist and provide all the relevant information. Below is a list of these features and and details as to composition, placement and other ideas are all included.
  • Artist image - It is important that the colour scheme used in our magazine advert matches the DVD design, this will make it more recognisable for customers and they will be able to visually match the two products. We are going to use a blue theme as this best represents the mood of the song, and also fits with our music video styling.
  • Artist name - Adele's name is obviously going to be present on the advert, but it is also key to include Kanye West as a featured artist on the DVD. He was a prominent part of the both the song/remix and the music video which we have created. Using two artist on the cover of this advert will broaden the audience, and as a result of this create more sales.
  • DVD title - The title will be "Right Under My Feet" which is a lyric from the song/music video of Melt My Heart to Stone. We didn't want to use the song title as this would make it appear more like a an album or single release, which would be misleading for the customer and of the artist. This lyrics has a down-to-earth feel, which would definitely represent the depressing mood of the lyrics used in Adele's original track.
  • Release date - We will simply be using "Out Now" for the release date, this will be positioned further towards to the bottom of the advert. The reason for this is because it will be close to the review/rating, and album the logos of relevant shops or online store where it can be purchased. The idea is that the "Out Now" text will lead the reader onto these other pieces of information.
  • Relevant logos - The customer will need to know where the DVD is available, so generic iTunes and Amazon logos will be placed at the bottom of the advert. These brands are well known and recognisable for consumers, and so they will be the most effective at showing what type of release this product is. A record label logo will also be placed in one of the bottom corners of the advert, this will give the DVD more recognition and professionalism.
  • Quotes/Reviews - This is an incredibly important part of the advert as it will would be crucial for marketing. A quote from a reputable media organization with a 'star' rating will be given across the centre of the advert. Including the 'star' rating will grab the attention of consumers who glance over the advert as they look through a magazine. A 5-star rating would make consumers stop and see what as got such a good review.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Response to feedback on final edit of the music video.

I am very pleased with the feedback which we were given. I thought that they were justified in what they said about the our music video. One of our main criticisms is that we didn't use a more varied shot-types; We did try out best to capture as many different shots as possibly, however time was a constraint on out filming, we also found that about half of our captured footage was unusable in the edit because the soundtrack could not be heard so that we could lip-sync it properly. One of our main positive points from the feedback is that nearly everyone said how the editing done very effectively. i.e. the tints and the use of split screen.

Ideas for DVD & Magazine Advert

After analysing some covers from different artist as well as Adele and Kanye West, we have come up with the following ideas for both our products:
  • Consistent colour scheme - blue tint and high contrast
  • Simple editing
  • A strong, unique and recognisable font for the artist.
  • Make sure the front and back cover link together, and the photos represent the narrative of our music video.

Analysis: Student Ancillary Products

The Whip
Both products compliment each other and show a consistent them which the group have obviously thought about. The images and colours represent a 'David Bowie' or 80s style which fits with the genre of their music video. In the magazine advert we can see a slow up of the artist, this features heavy use of makeup that is reminiscent of David Bowie. The florescent colours of green, blue and purple show the wild, party aspects of the genre and the abstract nature of the artist. All relevant details are included, a website for consumers to find further information, the artists name, a release date and quote.

The second image is their digipack/DVD cover. Again the cover focuses on a this glam-rock style which portrays the likes of David Bowie, Elton John and Westlife. The bright colours used this cover are similar to the advert and show a sense of continuity and theme. A barcode, production logo, classification and track listing are all included on the back cover to give a sense of professionalism. The most successful part of this cover, in my opinion, is the flipped image which the reader focuses on when they see the design. It is the simplicity of their designs which make them so appealing and successful.

Here is another good example of two products which work well together. The photos themselves do look very professional, and have an abstract style to them which suits the genre of the Feist. The photos have been taken during the shooting of the music video and show have an artist, action atmosphere to them. This would certainly grab the attention of consumers as a vivid new idea, however it is conventional for indie artist to experiment in their music videos. This magazine cover definitely sells the artist well, and fits with with the music video. Again all the relevant information is included, although I think it is more successful than 'The Whip' details as this group have used more variation. The font sizes are varied and the group has though about the placing and composition of different features.

The digipack again has an abstract design, as we see the image continue for the front around to the back. Consumers could find this very appealing, again making the product stand out from other conventional designs. Also it is a clever marketing trick to get consumers to look at the back of the digipack, and causing them to spend more time looking at the product. Again the photo is an action shot which gives a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the music video.

Analysis: Beyonce Album Cover

Beyonce has a very strong theme for all of her covers, music videos and other media products. The album cover for her new album 4, uses the same colour scheme on the outside and inside of the design to make it easily recognisable. The design also focues on Beyonce herself as she is an easily recognisable artist. Her name has been used on the front and back of the album as people will just buy the album because it's Beyonce.

Overall the outside of the album is very simple, although the essential information such as record label, management, copyright notices, producer, tracklist, websites and barcode are all displayed on the back. Whereas the inside focuses on professional; fashion-inspired photography, this again shows her power in the industry.

We think that using a consistent theme throughout the design will be beneficial to our design because it makes it look like a professional product such as Beyoncé '4'. We also think the simpilicity seems to be a convention of many popular R&B artists such Beyoncé and Kanye West.

Beyoncé "4"

Analysis: Mary J Blige Album Cover

We have decided to assess a number of different album covers to gain ideas and inspiration for what may work well for our own digipack cover and which links well with our music video. Here is the album cover for Mary J Blige's album; the breakthrough. The front cover image is a good representative of the theme of the album because it is a close up of her face, where she is looking meaningful and innocent. The front cover of the album is in black and out however the back image is in colour, but the main colour theme remains black and white, with sky blue writing. There is a similar font used on the front, back and spine of the album cover however it is not exactly the same font. The same picture from the front cover is also used on the spine but obviously a lot smaller.
We could use this album cover theme for our own, perhaps with a picture of our female singer on the front and with the male rapper image on the back of the album. We would probably use a black background rather than white because most of Adele's album covers have a black background and we would like to continue this theme. Also, black would give a sadder theme which would match in with our music video better.

Inside the CD cover, the theme is the same as the outside, with a close up image of Mary J Blige's face from a side angle. There is also a faded face of her on the book that comes with the Case, this again is the same theme as the other images.

Analysis: MGMT Album Cover

We'll be analysing the album design/artwork for Oracular Spectular by MGMT. The album design is successful because it uses a consistence colour/image theme on the outside covers and inside they contrast this with a black and white image of the artist. The bright colour scheme represents the genre of music, and makes it easily recognisable for the the artist's fans. These colours have also been used on single covers from the album, and the music videos such as 'Electric Feel'. There is a tribal theme in the photography and the 'Electric Feel' music video which makes the band very unique, and again makes them easily recognisable.

The the simple logo has been used on the front cover, but also on the spine and on the inside. All the relevant information is included, the parental guidance sticjer, the barcode, track listing, the record labels, production, distribution, copyright notices and websites. On the inside there are details on directors and producers, the thank yous, and the recording location. These are ideas which we want to include in our music video digipak.

Blog response

I am happy with the comments we recieved from the other groups in our class. The main criticisms of our video is that the acting isn't great or that it seems to drag on. In response to this, I believe that it was a hard video to act as it is very emotional at the start and more upbeat in the second half, and the changing tempo was hard to adapt to. The dragging of the video may seem to be there but i belive that we couldn't keep changing the location and costume and other things as this would have diverted the attention away from the storyline and this therefore would have made our music video unsuccessful. Overall, i am very happy with the mu video and the comments are good about our lyp syncing overall and the video as a whole.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Review: Music Video Feedback

It's important to get feedback from other groups, this will give an honest indication as to whether our music video was successful, and if we had improved since the rough cut.

Group 27's feedback was very satisfying, they liked our idea and thought that the general narrative correlated well with the songs message. They specifically commented on the lighting filters we used, I find this particularly encouraging as it was an idea the group had to improve the overall atmosphere. However they said that the rap section could have been made better with accurate lip-syncing. I disagree with this, as we are sure that it was lip-synced correctly, it way seem off-time as the rap is quite fast.

Group 28 particularly liked the first half of the video, in the hotel room, with the slow cuts being very successful in their opinion. The group also commented on the success of parallel editing which allows the audience to follow the narrative of the music video. This is crucial as the music video centres around the strength of the narrative.

Group 25 commented on the flashback idea which we added towards the end of the editing stage, we felt this was strength of the video, and so did group 25. Again they said this flashback made the narrative more clear and gave it some finality.

Group 30's feedback of our music video was particularly critical, however this honesty does show a different perspective. They highlighted the thoughtful editing, and the flashback clip again, along with the professionalism of the piece overall. Having said this, the group thought that certain parts of the music video began to drag or became less interesting - generally towards the end. I feel that this clips slow down here because the song is coming to an end, and we wanted to create a more intimate atmosphere.

Group 29 liked most aspects of our music video, including the lighting, location and costumes. However one area of improvement was to add more shots to the rap scenes. We are well aware of this and feel that in the future we would add more shots to the part, this would represent the rapper better and the general beat of the song at this point.

Overall the feedback was very good, and I feel that all the groups managed to comment on different aspects of the music video. This proves that many elements of our music video are successful and appealing to the audience.
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