music video Evaluations Music video: bad blood by bastille
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? My A2 media studies coursework required me to create a music video alongside my ancillary tasks, creating a digipak and poster. I believe they work really well together and the theme is consistent and suits my chosen genre which is indie-rock, throughout this piece of writing I will explain why they work and the skills I have learnt along the way.
Before creating any of my key products I wanted to make sure that I knew exactly how I wanted my theme to come across to my audience, so partook in a lot of audience research, speaking to real fans of the band Bastille, whoâ€™s music I would be using in my music video. This was extremely useful as I was able to tap into the minds of the fans and throughout the process of building my media product refer back to this, sometimes asking for more feedback to make sure the genre was being represented. I built brand guidelines before creating my products which allowed me to stay within a set guide of brand rules which meant my logo and styling would stay consistent across all products. Looking first at my digipak, I decided to use some screenshots from my music video as well as artistic, close up shots of props and random objects which would fit into my overall theme. I used these images as my genre typically do not feature the artist as the focus is on the music
and the emotions being portrayed by them. I felt that a lot of the footage in the music video had striking props such as the police tape, and closes ups of the actors eyes, and the water crashing. My video featured lots of interesting cut away shots very sharply so I wanted to portray that in my digipak and branding so it stood out and looked interesting. I decided to put the bands name on the front of the album cover, in the middle to give a sense of symmetry. The font I used I found on www.dafont.com and downloaded after checking the copyright rules. I decided to use this font style because I felt it really expressed the deep, slightly misunderstood theme I was looking for and was also fresh, and interesting. I really liked the way the font stood out against the images I was using. I looked into Bastilleâ€™s currently albumâ€™s cover and they too used a very strong font to contrast the images behind it, however using a colour on it to allow it to sink into the image to pull focus onto the sightly blurred image below. The main prominent colour used is red and brown which when mixed together create a great musty colour, I feel the connotations of these colours really portray what the song is about, that mess in-between a relationship or friendship and the blurring of what was once there hence, Bad Blood. I chose to keep the front of the album very simple with a very faint image of my actor, but not of the band as this would not fit the genre and could put the audience off, research had told me. I took the same approach when designing the magazine advert, because I had a bit more space and was promoting the album I also added in social media which is key to the indie-rock genre more than others as the fans really back a lot of these smaller, up and coming bands which often later in there careers become very popular. Bastille for example have Twitter ac-
counts set up for each member of the band and they work together often sharing the same content and links, allowing fans to vote on videos and enter competitions. I knew it was important to implement this sense of connectivity with the fan base and an instant way for them to interact, so I added onto the magazine advert a QR code which could be scanned to download a free 30-second snippet of their single, also directly linking to their official website which would then allow the scanner to see more, browse their website and stay connected to the band therefore building an even stronger brand following and an important marketing tool in promoting the single. Unlike the digipak, which will be mostly seen once someone has brought the magazine advert had to pull in audience who may have never heard of the band, so reviews were key. I added star ratings to the bottom of the advert which gave it a more professional look and
MY PEERS SAID. .
Alfie’s tasks all link together effectively and his digipak and advert clearly follow the same branding. This shows he has embrased the brief and took into account feedback and made changes.
allowed it to stand alongside many current magazine adverts for albums and singles currently out. Another ad-
the connotations of THE colours really portray what the song is about. . dition I made after looking at currently products in the industry was to add the record label, Virgin’s, logo to the bottom left of the magazine poster. More and more often with indie-rock and non-pop genres it is becoming key to see which label the band is signed to, often giving the audience an insight into how big the band must be, if signed to the ‘legendary’ Virgin Records. I think the combination of our music video and my ancillary tasks are effective and work well together through the use of a consistent theme that may is quite stereotypical to the chosen genre. After creating my products I gained more audience feedback, with one surgery member stating: “The feel is very Bastille like” adding “It’s every, creepy and just works” The effect is the audience can see how interesting and stand out Bastille are as a band, not needing to wear crazy outfits or show off their own image, the music sells itself. The colour scheme of red and brown also has the connotations of blood, love, and also red is a stimulation colour to make people do something, for example scan the QR code and download the 30-second single clip. Overall I believe that not only do the music video and ancillary task work together but they compliment each other too. They clearly show genre, style and selling point with the use of colour, font and photography.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? To gather audience feedback, I decided to upload my draft video onto the internet, using the well known video sharing website YouTube. I wanted to gain some very important audience feedback before publishing the finished element as I felt that as the audience they would know better than anyone what it should look like. To gain responses and detailed feedback I sent up a anonymous Survey using Survey Monkey, a free online resource which allows you to send a link to social media to get responses on your survey. Making the survey anonymous was important as I felt I would get a better valid response from the survey takers. I also took the unusual route by promoting the survey on social media tapping into Bastille’s already large fan base. I asked fans of Bastille to fill in the survey with the chance to win some Bastille goodies. I really wanted to make
I sent up an anonymous
Survey using SurveyMonkey.com
sure that the video did the genre proud and also worked as an overall product. Whilst I used some tick boxes and multiple choice options (qualitative data), I also left a lot of empty text boxes below many of my questions so users could add more detailed comments, this is an advantage of qualitative data. This allowed me to see exactly what I was doing right, and what could be improved as well
as what I could do to make smaller changes which they could not translate into a simple tick box. Another advantage was that it encouraged people to expand on their answers and brought up ideas and suggestions that otherwise I would have been unaware of. It also gave me a positive push with many comments stating the video was working very well. Qualitative data allowed me to gather as many different points as possible to ensure that my feedback was thorough and precise. There are a number of things I could do with my feedback, and meta-reflection was really useful, I wasn’t set a brief explicitly as the music video industry is so broad now that I feel a brief wouldn’t allow you to be creative enough, from Bastille to David Bowie or Lana Del Rey music videos are now totally different - one from another. As well as using Survey Monkey, I also ran a small focus group when attending one of Bastille’s concerts, whilst waiting outside in the cold to go inside I propped open my iPad and played a group of fans the video off YouTube, asking them for feedback on the video. I found this particularly useful as I was able to ask probing questions such as why they would change something, why they liked certain elements and throw some ideas I currently had at them. I recorded some of the comments via my iPhone’s voice recorder and later transferred these to a Word Document. Audience feedback is such an important part in all stages of the production process as without the audience feedback I would not know if my music video, and final products were really attracting my target
audience of indie-rockers. For example, if I had created a music video without asking the target audience what they would have expected to see in it, then the results of the focus group that I spoke to afterwards could have told me it doesn’t work at all and would have been a waste of time. Whilst my audience feedback provided me with a better understanding of my production, there were some limitations. For instance the use of questionnaires can limit the amount of feedback you can gain from your audience, often meaning you still have to sort through answers one by one which is a long process, however the qualitative answers are of more use I found. Next time, I would consider using more interviews to gain feedback from my target audience as interviews would allow the person to go into more depth about their answer. However, as interviews are very time consuming, I would not be able to interview all participants and would instead have to complete a process of random sampling to choose the participants. As a creative, and in building my music video and print tasks I found that feedback allowed the process to be much smoother, as I didn’t waste time making the wrong decisions as feedback showed me what the typical audience of my products would want to see and allowed to do more, or less, of it. For example when creating my digipak I wasn’t go to add in too much artist comments and ideas, however after audience feedback I added in a
note from the band, and more about the process they went on to record the album. Fans now want further to find out about an album, where it was recorded, how and by who. They want to be part of the process from start to finish. Formal and informal feedback can also give you totally different types of feedback. I found when asking my peers some gave more realistic and truthful feedback and others maybe felt they couldn’t give criticism so therefore running my anonymous survey gave me what I find the most truthful feedback and the results that allowed me to make the most useful changes. Once my music video was complete I shared it to Facebook to get some audience feedback, I also shared on Twitter and a number of my followers favourited it. By targeting my Facebook friends I knew I would get some useful feedback that would fit to my audience as many of them are the right age and enjoy the same genre of music. Overall it was also good to see if people enjoyed watching the video, and if it made an effective final product, and would be typical of something they would watch online, or on a music channel. I felt the positive feedback spurred me forward and helped me to understand that my project was on the right track and was working effectively.
feedback i recieved via my survey
“The girl plays the part really well and the facial expressions/body motions really fit well with the music. The random shots such as tugging onto the leaf also add effect to the whole idea of the video.” “I think the visuals do show that there is ‘bad blood’ between the couple. However, I’m not sure if your narrative is as clear as it could be. It’s difficult to understand what has happened, even though we can guess that the boy is dead and the girl is distressed? Maybe make this clearer using a back-story of the couple as the intro?” “Was so engrossed in the story of the video i forgot there was a song! liked when the girl mouthed some of the lyrics though.” “The performer has really grasped the concept of the girl in the real video, and taken on her character really well. Her expressions remain emotionless as well as her body movements which really sets the mood of the video!”
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I learnt a lot about conventions of music videos and did a lot of research into this. There are very basic common features that can be seen within all the music videos. These include close ups of artists and the shots when they do change, change to the beat to make the music video flow and look effective. Also there is the artist actually singing through the music video whilst other things are happening in the music video. I learnt a lot about conventions of music genres and have done research into this. I have presented my findings in my blog post named “conventions of music videos”. The genre of music that my music video belongs to is Indie-Rock. The genre that my music video falls into has the following conventions as well as some of the conventions of a generic music video as mentioned above. Whilst looking into post-modernism and theorists I found that the theorist Andrew Goodwin’s ideas really fitted into my music video genre with the artist not often featuring instead the lyrics intertwining into a storyline of the music video. Bastille’s videos feature a number of storylines with main protagonists including mostly women. Bastille do often never feature in the videos at all and this highlights the focus for them is on the music they create and the visuals are a separate part of this for indie-rock. He believed there was a clear link between lyrics and visuals. Some of the main lyrics in the song I have highlighted using lipsyncing and the addition of establishing shots for example “All this bad blood here, won’t you let it dry”, and the repetition of the first line. Another element of Goodwin’s theory my music video relates to is the idea that due to the high demands of the music industry, there is often a need for lots of close ups. I focused on many close ups of police tape and nature which allows the audience to get to know
the storyline and start to emotively engage with the characters. The storyline is so fast paced and there is so many cutting shots that close ups have to take place so that the audience can follow along. Audiences are able to feel like they have gained a personal relationship with them as stated within the Uses and Gratifications Theory. Andrew Goodwin also established that there can be links between the music and visuals. This is regarding pace and how often cuts are made and the speed of these cuts. In my music video the storyline
Andrew Goodwin's ideas really fitted into my
music video genre
has a mixed pace, picking up and slowing down again and then cutting at sharp points. The pace varies throughout my video and on the slow parts and verses, longer cuts are shown to allow the audience to take in what is being shown and connect with the storyline and then pull them away again with odd juxtaposition cuts which are sharp and quick changes. This develops the relationship many indie-rock bands have when releasing singles. for example the Arctic Monkeys who feature in some of their music videos which intertwine into the storyline and they somehow
join the story. I felt like this could work well with my own video and extending conventions and developing them. To make sure my media product used and developed conventions research was key, and I discovered that there is a clear pattern of what’s included when looking at typical music videos on YouTube, YouTube made my research a lot easier, and without it would have be very difficult to look into music videos, especially up and coming genres like indie rock. Libraries can only go so far and are immediately out of date once printed. Many of Bastille’s videos themselves follow the same style with a storyline that doesn’t at first seem to have anything to do with the lyrics but as it progresses you get the feeling you have to read between the lines and may need to rewatch to find out more. The audience have to follow along and at the end can make up their own mind on what they think hash happened. There is no definite, clear narrative in my video. To make sure my video worked I had to follow many of the conventions I researched. Something I did add in which was not typical of my music genre was lip syncing. The band is often not the focus of their music videos and it is solely the music which speaks for itself however I wanted to use lip syncing and for my actress to sing some of the lines to camera to connect with the audience. As well as using Goodwin’s theory, I also still stuck to the hegemonic norms of most music videos with the main actress in the music video killing her boy-
friend stating the relationship is heterosexual. The girl is shown with photos of her boyfriend up and this is often expected in music videos as society and especially the music industry seems to use this. Although, some may say the industry now has very little boundaries with the extremes or differences that artists now go to within their music videos like Lady Gaga who in her video openly discusses her bisexuality “I’m not bluffing with my muffin” and on a number of occasions has promoted what would be seen as not ‘normal’ in music, fashion and videos. Another example is Miley Cyrus who created the overly provocative ‘Wrecking Ball’ video, in which she licks a hammer and rocks naked on a wrecking ball hitting into walls. The industry is fast paced and is constantly changing, however I felt making this change would divert away from the storyline and also could confuse the audience thinking it is a not a relationship and more a friendship or enemy whereas in our minds we seem to automatically think they must be boyfriend and girlfriend this is playing slightly on the conventions of typical music videos for their genre and elaborating on what they often create with their own videos for example Laura Palmer where a girl is again portrayed as a protagonist however not in a demonising way but more in a sexual hierarchic way. Another vital element of my music video was the acting in it. If the video did not look creative or realistic and more like a home movie no one would want to watch it, or take it seriously and it would become difficult to gain feedback if people were focusing on the bad acting. As well as this you would never see bad acting in a real media product. Using examples such as Bastille, Coldplay and Katy Perry acting is key in their videos to
An example of Bastille’s video’s cuts make sure they look and feel realistic and professional and do not lead the audience astray. I had to make sure my actress was confident in front of the camera and was able to perform on cue. My actress use to do drama and gained a very high grade in it so felt they would be perfect in taking part and being able to do the things I needed her to do in shots.
tions also allowed the audience to feel submerged in the storyline and give them something very different from the next to take away. My video also conforms to the conventions of mostly an episodic narrative. An episodic narrative is the action does not necessarily happen in one big chunk, and is cut up, I have a number of establishing shots and cutaways.
Camera, editing and mise-en-scene was also vital when connecting the audience and engaging them as I wanted to make sure it looked as much like a real music video as possible. I think all my print and moving image work either use or challenge the conventions of real life media texts which all work collaboratively in order to make them look as realistic as possible. My digipak and poster both feature typical conventions, including lacking showing the band, having social media links to keep in touch with the band for fans and also quotes from magazines and writers reviewing the album. I also added a QR code which is a very modern item which is challenging conventions because many posters do not yet feature this, however with more and more people having smart phones and internet enabled phones they will be coming more and more common.
I have learned far more about music videos and the conventions of them by creating products than I could have by just researching into music. By going ‘hands on’ and having to directly think about conventions I was able to challenge them, and consider why a video or poster is the way it is. Feedback I received along the way also helped me to directly affect conventions and ask fans of Bastille and other indie-rock music what they would
Overall, I believe that my music video has featured a number of conventions and also challenged some of them with the addition of added extras to the editing and filming of my music video. I have used a number of single shots creating the basic idea of a broken up storyline the audience have to piece back together, and a number of establishing shots and loca-
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? To make sure my three tasks were completed on time, and were of the highest standard, fitting into the genre they were made for, the use of technology was extremely important. To use the resources around me was extremely important and the internet was the most used resource whilst creating my three tasks. Firstly, at the start of the year I created my blog, on Blogger, which I was familiar with using from GCSE media and AS level, so therefore didn’t need to take any time researching how to use the site, or how to set it up and found it very easy to edit posts and track my progress with dates. The blog became my hub for all my work, and I uploaded everything I was doing to it. This included my planning, construction, research, audience feedback and evaluations. Using Blogger throughout my project allowed me to go back to previous work and make sure that my project was meeting the guidelines I had set for it, which could include timing and when I would go to film in certain locations. Blogger was also very useful as I could embed pictures and videos to show where I was getting our ideas and inspiration from and also to film people giving me evaluations or ideas I had for my music video. Another online resource I used was SlideShare which allowed me to upload PDF’s documents and display them on my blog. This meant I could embed all my planning documents – such as my target
audience questionnaire and shooting schedule so that they could be viewed directly on the blog, this made it easier for my to plan my next stages as I didn’t have to keep trying to find them elsewhere. I used Blogger like a diary, constantly updating it with ideas and progress, after filming shoots and editing days. When posting the journey of my project I also used online resources such as Prezi to create interactive PowerPoint esce presentations and Scribd to upload my documents too. Prezi is a web-based presentation site which allows you to present work in various different abstract and unique ways. I used Google a lot for my research as it has a massive pool of information about almost every topic imaginable, this was useful as I could use one of their other websites, YouTube to access as many music videos I could compare my ideas with. YouTube also allowed me to see other students work which was extremely useful to see techniques they had used. Whilst I used a lot of online resources I also created some posts just in text, especially some of my longer posts as I felt it would be difficult to explain what I wanted in a flashy animation or video. An offline piece of software which was really useful was a scripting and storyboarding program called Celltxt which allowed me to create a realistic script with all the necessary requirements such as the location, description and lyrics all in the correct place. It was very easy to use and I searched on YouTube a tutorial on how to get around it first which helped me out. Audience research was also big part of the overall project and the technologies I used for this were mostly web based such as SurveyMonkey. com and social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
I found getting my peers, many of them into my music genre to review and feedback on my products extremely useful. My phone’s internet was also available for research. I used my phone’s internet when I was not near a computer with internet access and needed to record a voice note or upload something to YouTube easily. Because my phone is a smartphone this made it easy to use Apps to easily upload to Blogger on the go. Music Channels were also available for research, different music videos to different genres of music and different shot types and locations I used. I got many of my ideas from all of the existing music videos on television. When filming and photographing I used the Canon 600D. I experimented with the different tools and settings on the camera and often relayed back to YouTube tutorials to see ways I could improve things such as the aperture and focus on my lenses I used. I also found out more about the ISO settings of the camera by asking a member of the media department to show me and tell me more about it. Filming my music video was all about media technologies also, and after researching the music video genre I got to work to film, and edit, my music video, and also to create and complete my magazine and album cover and digipak. The Canon 600D is really great for filming and photography as the 1.8 Aperture Lens when attached brings a
really beautiful focus to shots and makes them looks extremely professional and realistic. For my digipak covers I used a manual setting on my camera, using a detachable LED light in the woods to make sure you could
the use of technology
was extremely important see the shot with a good amount of lighting and to make sure I didn’t have to drop the ISO too much. This meant the shots still came out effectively and were not blurry or too dark. For nearly all of my shots a tripod was also used which made my shots sharp and not shaky, when I did move I used my editing software to correct any footage which looked too shaky and again followed YouTube tutorials to find out more about the Warp Stabiliser tool and how to use it to make it look the most effective. Lighting was also key in the construction and editing of my music video, and I used a number of techniques to make this work including physical additional lighting and post production editing. I used Red Head lights with a filter of a red gel over them to increase the lighting in a number of my shots and in editing I was also to then add in shadow using the levels tool which I had previously used as ‘curves’ in Photoshop so found this easy to use. By having access to lights, it meant that I could have my ISO setting on the
camera low and the quality is maximised and means the footage is not grainy or pixilated. All of the editing of my music video was completed on Adobe Premiere Pro CC edition, which is the copy I have on my own personal Macbook Pro. It is a timeline-based video editing software application and supports many video editing cards and plug-ins for accelerated processing, additional file format support, and video/audio effects. It is a native 64bit application for Mac and Windows making it one of the few cross-platform non-linear editing systems available. Premiere Pro also integrates with Adobe Photoshop which was one of the pieces of software I used when editing my photography for my digipak and magazine advert. Photoshop files can be opened directly from Premiere Pro to be edited in Photoshop. Any changes will immediately be updated when the Photoshop file is saved and focus returns to Premiere Pro. I also used Adobe InDesign to create the final digipak as this allowed me to add bleed lines and build multiple art boards for the work, allowing my to see visually how the design would look all together. On InDesign you are able to create alternative layouts, so when I produced the portrait version of my
any changes will be immediately be updated
when photoshop is saved magazine advert, I used this tool to make a landscape one too which allows it to be used and advertised in various ways and allowed me to automatically generate QR codes and social media icons which kept my products
in line with typical real products in my music genre. All the tasks I had to complete were broken up into different sections, the main music video was more of a creative task whilst in comparison digipak and magazine advert are more functional, and serve a purpose especially selling, which is done via the magazine poster and billboard poster, because of this feedback I received affected my products in different ways. When building my magazine advert it was important to understand the hierarchic and that most important things were bigger whilst others smaller for example the reviews are not important in selling, but give the product authenticy however this doesn’t work in music video. The video has it sell itself from start to finish, and do this without any reviews or physical ‘buzz’ that buzz now has to come from social media, and again this is why I have featured social media on all my posters and digipak. When discussing the digipak technology was extremely important and made it so much easier to create. The idea of a digipak is to remind you of the music and the band, and gives fans extra content, because of this it isn’t selling and it more artistic. Digipaks are extremely popular even in a digital era with iTunes, the most popular online music story creating digital EP’s where fans can download artwork onto their computers and tablets to view extra content. It is all about adding extra. Adding credits appeals to audience and gives the product more integrity with fans becoming obsessed with details. Using different technologies in all stages of my project really helped the whole thing come together, and allowed me to create a far better quality project. Using resources such a YouTube online and offline projects such a CelTex, allowed me to really broarded my skillset to use on software such a Adobe Premiere. These skills were useful in more than one item for example learning the warp tool in Photoshop allowed me to then use the same tool for my digipak for the cd, to give it a circle shape and make it look more realistic. I feel the most important thing about my products is that they fit their purpose and I understand the purpose they are trying to fit. They all allow the audience to feel engaged and part of the bands overall storyline together, through production, planning and
Watch my final video