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VALUATIONS

InDesign Edition 26/02/2014

Find out how technology helped me and how I created my music video

ALL 4 QUESTIONS INSIDE

PICTURES INCLUDED

KATIE NORRIS G324 EXPERIENCE


Q1:

In what ways does you media produc conventions of real media products?

During the creation of my media products, I have found that they have included many aspects of the used forms and conventions which are used within the music industry. Some of the key conventions for a music video is that they usually follow a specific theme depending on the genre. For example a hip hop song would use aspects of displaying money and women within their videos whilst a pop song would have a more performance or fun narrative base to them. My music video and song choice were both based on an indie theme. The conventions of this theme are generally a song which tells a story in the lyrics. This can clearly be seen within the lyrics of my chosen song Medicine by Daughter, as it is sung as if she is having a heartfelt conversation with someone. Indie songs generally have a narrative and performance based music video, with the general performance giving the impression that “less is more”. A perfect example of this would be Daughter’s video to the song Youth, where it is a simple performance in black and white. My music video follows these indie forms and conventions as I took some aspects of this specific music video and used it within my own. I include both a narrative and performance based concept, with the performance being relatively simple. The performance is the main protagonist from the narrative in a dark room with a spotlight on her in black and white singing a lyric in-between the narrative story. The narrative itself corresponds with the lyrics, as I have interpreted ‘medicine’ in the form of alcohol and then drugs/tablets also at the end of the video. This is shown during various clips such as the medium close up shot of the beer bottles as she gets up

and when her boyfriend discovers the alcohol in her bag during the disruption to the narrative. This follows one of the concepts of Andrew Goodwin’s music video theory. His theory suggests that there is a ‘relationship between the visuals and the lyrics (either illustrative, amplifying, or contradicting). When looking at my video, I think it is possible to say that my video takes all of these into account. My video is illustrative in terms of following a similar story to the song’s lyrics by use of props and referring to a type of medicine. However this could also be seen as contradicting as the audience may have expected ‘medicine’ to be physical tablets or something in which would be used to heal people. Instead I have used the term loosely as some people could consider alcohol as a way of drowning sorrows and ‘healing’ any emotional pain people might suffer from in their lives. The video is also amplifying as the ending where the girl has the choice to either turn her life around and survive or choose to take a darker path and sadly pass away, creates a sense of realism and corresponds with the power of the lyrics.

shots, in which no sexually based shots are filmed. Compared to certain videos of today such as, Miley Cyrus in the video Wrecking Ball, my video is very reserved in terms of the use of any voyeurism. This would contradict the theory that women are made to wear clothing that is sexual or a video is filmed in a way that would be seen as provocative. However in indie videos, this is rarely seen, so my video still follows the codes and conventions of an indie video. The use of a split screen at the end of my music video also challenges certain theorists, such as Tzvetan Todorov. He proposed that narratives start with a state of equilibrium, in which the protagonist is happy and living a ‘normal’ life, to then a disequilibrium is caused, such as an event in the narrative. This then causes a provoked response for the narrative to then return to state of equilibrium. However in my narrative, there is almost a disruption from the beginning, as the protagonist is clearly unhappy due to her facial expressions and body language. The narratives main disruption is then when she meets her boyfriend who discovers the alcohol. Yet instead of the video ending with a state of equilibrium, it could be considered to cause a further disruption as the audience are presented with a split screen in which two different endings can be seen. This leaves them to question the ending and leave them with questions such as what ending is a better choice and why she may have ever decided to take a darker path. Thus overall challenging Todorov’s theory and the typical ‘happy

NO VOYEURISIM!

Although my video follows this concept of Goodwin’s theory, my video also challenges it. One way in which my video challenges these music video codes and concepts is by minimal (if any) voyeuristic scenes during the narrative of the female protagonist. Her clothing starts as a black dress, and although it is quite fitted to her shape, the use of camera is not used in a way which emphasises her female aspects. Most of the shots are mid shots or long


ct use, develop or challenge forms and ending’. My digipak conforms to the forms and conventions due to its aesthetic look and what it includes in terms of information. Many digipaks contain a standard sized square shaped holder with sections to display information or images. I have stuck with using a simple 4 sided design which includes various images of my protagonist drinking from a bottle with a label inside, to an image of the same bottle hanging on a tree. On one of the sides, there is a brief bit of text which is supposed to be the artist writing to the person who bought the album and why the artist created it. This is used in many digipaks as it makes the audience feel like they have a personal link to the artist and album. The font layout and information on the digipak conforms to the forms of a digipak as the band’s name is larger than the name of the album, as more people would recognise the band name than the album name. This can be seen by the use of information on the digipak which includes the name of the band and album name, a song list on the back cover, copyright information,

and a barcode. The only way in which I feel my digipak challenges the form, is by my choice of photographs on the digipak. Most indie bands will have a picture of themselves as the album cover, or a very simplistic image with very little meaning. My images are quite meaningful and include the use

music video and ancillary tasks. This has enabled me to create products which capture an audience, yet are not so different from the themes and styles they know of to become too different and off-putting. of high contrast and quite bold colours and so would not be stereotypical of an indie digipak. This is the same for my magazine advert. I followed the conventions and forms by adding ratings from magazine, the name of the band and album name, where it can be downloaded from, and the bands website. I also used more simplistic images on my advert such as the bottles in a line for the landscape billboard advertisement, but I still added more vibrant colours and styles that you would not generally see on an indie advert. Compared to one of The XX’s magazine adverts, which mainly uses black and white, my advert is bright and easily captures the

audience’s eye. Overall, I believe I have continued to both use and challenge forms and conventions with both my


Q2:

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

The main idea of my music video was to have a strong narrative that included a moral that was aimed at an audience. This was about emphasising the impact of drinking, and how this problem is mainly about young adults who take their life for granted. The song I used for this is called Medicine, however instead of being literal about this term; I used alcohol as the key idea, as some people drink as a way to relieve stress and would consider it to be beneficial for any troubles or emotions. I wanted to use this through out both my video and ancillary texts. After finishing my music video, I think that it has a clear narrative due to the simplicity each shot has, yet at the same time these shots state so much. For example after walking away from her boyfriend, the protagonist takes a swig of her drink, showing a rebellious side to her. This small scene tells the audience a lot about how the protagonist is feeling, and this is

similar throughout the entire video. The narrative also makes the idea of having a moral to it very clear. It emphasises that choices have consequences, some can be positive and some not so positive. In the situation of the protagonist, I show both the positive and negative option, which allows the audience to see how what can hap-

pen depending on the choices someone makes. This attracts the audience to ask a lot of questions and consider the importance of how you live your life and how important decisions can be. To make sure that I continued the theme of the narrative around the issues of drinking, I included strong images within my ancillary texts. My main focus was on glass bottles, which was to illiterate the narrative and keep a consistent theme. The front cover clearly matches with the aim of my narrative of how some people see drink and their own source of medicine to help them. This is shown to the audience by the protagonist taking a drink, with a label inside the bottle saying ‘medicine’. This displays that the content of the bottle is like a form of medicine. The other pages of the digipak also follow a bottle theme. The broken glass on the actual cd represents how things can go badly; the hanging bottle represents being lost and feeling alone, whilst the back of the digipak represents the feeling of choice due to the amount of bottles hanging. Therefore there is a clear message in each of the photographs and they link with the narrative of the video. Within my digipak, I think that my ancilliary texts are quite professional in a sense that they display the right information needed. It is important to show the correct and useful information on a digipak. This included things such as where to

download the song from, the ratings it had received and most importantly the name of the artist and album name. This makes my ancilliary texts effective by serving their purpose by being an advertisement and letting people know about the album. Linking this to my music video, would allow people to relate to the adverts and know what the advert is trying to sell. After gathering audience feedback on both my music video and ancillary tasks, I think that my music video and ancillary tasks have been beneficial in trying to make people see the moral and how decisions influence everything. Many people said that the video had a clear strong narrative, and felt slightly saddened at the narratives almost slightly negative side to the ending, however I think this is good as it means the audience is relating to the video and is feeling emotion towards it. This enables it to stay in their heads and think which is what I wanted the video to do. The reviews of my digipak and adverts were also good for this. They liked the fact the drink bottles were the main focus, and they could relate this to the story within the music video.


Q3:

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

During the progression of my production, audience feedback has been both beneficial and enlightening. I continued to use audience feedback through out the creation of my music video and other ancillary tasks through the use of different methods of data collection and reviews. This enabled me to adapt my work to suit my target audience, thus ensuring that they would be satisfied with my final product once completed. My target audience is mainly aimed at the age group of 16-30 year olds. I selected this age group because my video was created to form a moral and have a story base on some issues teenagers and young adults face in today’s world. I thought the age range of 16-30 year olds would be broad enough to cover these age types, and that my video would have the highest amount of influence on people within this age range. Due to the fact that my age range was aimed at relatively young people, I had to consider what methods of gathering feedback would be most suitable. For example if my age range was higher, a less technological method of collecting their feedback, such as physically filling out a questionnaire, may have been a better method of collecting feedback due to older people possibly not being able to use websites or technology to answer a questionnaire. I considered many options of collecting feedback; however one which I found very useful was the use of the internet. The website Survey Monkey enabled me to create an online survey’s which could be accessed via any one with access to the internet and the survey link. This opened up the possibility

for a wide range of responses, which was beneficial as the more responses I received, the better range of feedback I could look over and use to help improve my products. The questions in the survey were both quantitative (such as ‘out of 1-5 how much would you rate each aspect of my video?) and qualitative (such as ‘did you like and understand the narrative of my music video?). The use of both types of data ensured me that I would be able to see the feedback clearly when using quantitative feedback, whilst also being able to gain some more defined opinions with the use of qualitative feedback. This feedback would then be reviewed

by myself and used to change any parts of my products that were required to be altered to ensure that they would be suitable for my target audience. The use of the social networking site Facebook also helped with the collection of feedback. Many of my friends whose ages vary use Facebook, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to publish my survey onto the website using a link and ask them to watch or look at my products and then complete the survey. Within minutes of posting the link to the survey, the amount of people completing the survey increased. Without the use of Facebook, it would have been a lot harder to try and get people to complete my survey, and I may not have had as much feedback without it. This also allowed me

to gain audience feedback from people of the age of my target audience. This is due to the fact that most people who use Facebook are of my target audience age range, and therefore I could see how they responded to the story/ narrative of my video, as well as other aspects. Verbal communication has been one of the best forms of feedback during production. I can ask questions at any given time to anyone who wishes to answer them, and then use their feedback to alter my products. By using verbal communication, this allowed me to ask a various amount of questions. Some being specific to certain aspects of my video, such as ‘Do you prefer a higher or lower contrast within this scene?’, to questions that are more broad such as, ‘What is your opinion on the choice of song?’. Verbal communication allows people to respond quickly and more reliably than perhaps say the use of Survey Monkey to collect feedback. One reason being is a human error of hitting the wrong number during a quantitative feedback question could affect the product if I was to take the wrong figure into consideration. The audience could also give me feedback without me asking for it via the use of verbal communication. An example of this would be when working in the classroom. My classmates on some occasions would see my product and say that they have seen something that could be changed or altered to make the product better. Seeing as my classmates are between the ages of 17-18, they are also within the age range of my target audience, and therefore their feedback was of importance to me as they are of the age I am targeting my video towards. I found that there were some negatives with my methods of gaining feedback. With the use of Survey Monkey, one


Q3:

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error I found was that some people did not take it seriously and posted immature comments. However this was one person out of the many who took the survey, and I simply discounted their feedback as it was inappropriate. I was also limited to the amount of questions I could ask on Survey Monkey, although I think that the amount of questions I asked was enough to gain the right amount of feedback needed to adjust my products. A downside of verbal communication was being able to store it so that it could be physically viewed and referred to at any time. Without recording it or writing it down, there was no way of showing that feedback was given other than explaining it. This was not a huge problem as most of my verbal feedback was logged so that I could remember what had to be changed. I learnt many things from collecting audience feedback. One of the most obvious and crucial things being whether or not my target audience as well as age groups outside my target audience actually liked my products. If they were not interested in my music video then the message within the narrative would be pointless or even not one which is an issue within the age group targeted at all. Therefore by collecting feedback, I could insure that my video would be of interest to the target audience. I ensured this would be so, as whenever I received feedback, I would review it and then consider altering the part of my music video that the audience suggested I changed. This would obviously depend on my own opinion as well as that of the audience, as if I did not feel the feedback would improve my video, I tend to only alter the video to a certain degree that favours the video. An example being that I received feedback numerous times about the timing of the first scene of the video being a bit slow. So I decided to cut out some of the footage or speed it up so that the audience was not bored being on the same scene for a long period of time, yet I did not change the scene completely.

“Audience feedback was very beneficial�


Q4:

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

Media technologies have ultimately allowed me to create my products. One key use of technology has involved the use of computer software. I learnt to use Adobe Indesign during my AS coursework as this was the key software for developing my magazine. However I found that it was very beneficial during my A2 coursework. The fact that it is easy to import images and change the properties of them enabled me to make my digipak and magazine adverts for my music video quickly and easily. Changing the sizes of the pages were simple, so making the right size digipak took very little time. One factor of Indesign that I found really helpful was the shortcut to Photoshop. For example if I had placed an image into Indesign and wanted to edit it, I could right click the image and click ‘edit with photoshop’. This allowed me to make any changes to the photo and then carry on with my task. Indesign helped me with planning as I could create drafts and then easily make any changes afterwards rather than start from the beginning again. I found that this really helped me to trial and error various design styles. With Indesign, I could also save the final products or work as a PDF file. This made my work look really clear and when uploaded to a website such as Issuu, it really bought out the quality in my work. Therefore overall this was a really useful piece of software for creating my digipak and writing an evaluation. Photoshop was also highly useful for creating the ancillary tasks. I used this software to edit photographs that I took. This enhanced my images and

made them look more professional. I could do this using many of the tools that Photoshop has. A common tool I used was the crop tool. The crop tool can be used to focus in more on an image and remove any unwanted outer edge. I used this to focus more on the bottles within my images which made the audience look more at the bottle than the background of the image. One of the major benefits of Photoshop is that you can alter the contrast, brightness, hue and saturation, and make photographs black and white or add filters to enhance the effect of the image. This enabled me to make my photos more vibrant as before they were edited they were quite bland in terms of colour and lacked any link to the sadness of the music video. By making some of the photos black and white, and some in colour, it emphasised the choice of good and bad (colour option of the digipak and black and white option). Selecting certain items to remain in colour whilst making the background black and white enhanced the bottle, which attracted the audience to this more. For research, the internet was a very useful method of gathering information. Due to the vast amount of access to websites online, I was able to use a wide variety of sources to research the required information. Some examples of this included using music t.v. channel websites and record label company’s websites to find out about what they do. Their websites provided me with a lot of information such has how they started and what they do

on a day to day basis. This helped me learn more about the music industry which was very beneficial. I also used the internet for gaining inspiration for my own music video. By using the website Youtube, I was able to look at current music videos and decide what sort of music video I would like to make myself. Not only was Youtube helpful for information, but I also used it to upload my own videos. This included research videos and my drafts of my music video, along with my final cut. Youtube made watching and sharing my videos very easy, and this helped get my video out to a large target audience and Youtube is used through out the world via the internet. Social networking sites such as FaceBook enabled me to access a wide audience to view my work and my music video. I mainly used this to get feedback on my work as using FaceBook allowed me to share the link to my blog and video so that people could view my work from their home. A link to the surveys I had created enabled me to quickly gain feedback as many people use FaceBook and therefore were able to access this survey. By using a Canon 500D DSLR, it was really easy to record my music video. I also used this camera when taking my photographs for the digipak. I found using a digital camera really simple and it also saved time compared to using perhaps an older


Q4:

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camera that might not have been digital. This is because as soon as I filmed a piece of footage or took an image I could view it on the screen of the camera to see if it was to the standard I needed. Compared to a film camera, this is was very practical as I did not have to wait for any film to be produced. Thus reducing chances of errors as I may have had to wait a day or so to see if the footage or image was correct. These cameras also allowed me to save my pictures and footage onto an SD storage card which I inserted into the camera. The use of an SD card allows me to easily transport my footage and share it easily. I simply had to plug the SD card into a card reader which I then plugged into the computer and I was able to view what I had taken on the camera via the computer. Thsi meant I could save and move files easily without any hassle, saving time and space. Changing camera lenses also enabled me to gain different styles of footage or photographs which enchanced the quality of my work compared to just using one single lense. For example I used a 50mm 1.8 prime lense for pictures and shots that needed to be of high quality, and a 18-55mm Zoom lense for shots that needed to zoom in or out. This ensured I got the perfect shot or photograph for my work. One of the most important pieces of software that I used to make the music video was Adobe Premier Pro. This is editing software for video footage. It was simple yet effective to use due to the simplicity of the tools available. To put my footage together, I simply had to import the clips into Premier and drag and drop them onto a timeline, so I could choose the order that my footage was suppose to be in. Like Photoshop, I was also able

things like viewing my final video are made to look more professional by being able to view it via the link on my blog rather than having it saved on a dvd or cd. This also allows for more people to view my work as if it was saved via another method (such as a dvd) it would be harder to send to people for people to see. This opens up a worldwide platform for people to see my work using Blogger, and I think this helped a lot with gaining feedback and allowing others to be For planning, influenced again the use by my work. of computer Navigation software and and finding websites were specific elevery useful. ments of my Microsoft work are also Powerpoint made easy and Word via the use enabled me of navigation to create buttons and things such as tabs in the left hand side of the my contact sheet and equipment lists screen, once again emphasising quickly and easily. If I needed to alter anything, I could do so easily by access- how much more simple using a ing the file on the computer and chang- blog is compared to other methods ing the information. If I had done this of viewing my work. by hand, it would be difficult to quickly make any changes without making the Above all, the most important mesheet look disorganised; therefore this dia technology that helped me to software was very useful for quickly produce my products was the use producing items for planning. of a computer. Without this form Through out the whole of my research of hardware, it would be almost impossible to have access to the and production, I posted all of my software mentioned above. work onto a blogging website known as 'Blogger'. I found this a really ideal method of demonstrating my work as it is easily accessible to people around the world via my blog website. The idea of a blog also gives my work a sense of creativity and personal quality which I do not think would have been possible by using say a paper print out version of my coursework tasks. Even simple to add certain effects to enhance the footage and make it look clearer. I used the fast colour tool to adjust the brightness of my footage and make it look darker with a hint of blue so that it gave the footage more of a sad feel to capture the audience more with the song. Before I changed my footage, it was quite bright and did not really emphasise the mood of the song. By changing this my footage instantly related to the mood of the song and had a better affect of the audience.


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