1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My music video challenges real media products in the sense it doesn’t in keep with a standard altrock music video. For example my music video doesn’t have the band playing while a story unfolds and the story itself is not clear cut and something you can grasp on first glance. It take further inspection, I didn’t want my music video to be the same as every other but of course every music video takes influence from something else meaning originality is almost impossible unless you are completely avantgarde. Furthermore many music video of this genre use black and white as it is a clever effect that adds depth to your work and makes everything more defined and turns easy camera work into a stunning shot that hold attention. Instead of using this old favourite I went for the complete opposite with the colours almost neon this was done to illustrate that our protagonist was in a dream world. On the other hand most music videos of this genre keep to the convention of telling a story as the song plays. I also used kept to this convention, however with my music I wanted to develop the old ideas. The narrative was very important in my music video as it was the heart of my work which all of my other ideas branched off from. I took a single line “Il repeat it, my dirty secret. Il repeat it if it doesn’t chew me up inside.” With this central idea I constructed the idea of having our singer being chased by guilt in his mind with the woods representing the twist and turns in his psyche. Through out the video the guilt is never clear seen until the end were it take the form of our singer and they become one, to show the realisation that whatever he has done he must take responsibility for it. I didn’t want to spell out what that event was to cause the guilt as we have all felt that way and can fill that part of the story in for ourselves therefore involving the audience and creating a piece of media that is not only for enjoyment but to force the audience to feel and think about the song there by understanding it better. I took influence for this idea from Todorov with the start of the video being plan a normal, which represents the equilibrium. Then we he is chased by the guilt we have a disequilibrium. Finally when he is caught by guilt and we see him leave this is the new equilibrium. Also Vladimir Propp idea of eight rewritten characters played a big part in my work as I found I had the Hero in my protagonist, a Villain in the form of the guilt and finally my False Hero as the singer at the end as realise what he running from, we discover that he has been lying to himself. In my music video there is a strong relationship between the music and the visuals just like in most music videos of this genre. The song has a fast pace and therefore I wanted the visuals to coincide with this. I cut on the beat and based the action around the beat so there would be continuity within my music video. These features are a common convention as altrock nature is usually fast pace music with a strong bass line that gets the heart pumping. As our song came from an altrock band star
iconography wasn’t meant to be a feature as bands in the early stages at least operate as a unit. Therefore taking credit and screen time equally. However this is not always true many bands of all genres including altrock use their singer as a selling point, as he/she is the face of the band and the show among the group. Furthermore he/she will then take up most screen time and audience attention. With our band not turning up the shoot, we had to completely concentrate on the singer and therefore used many closes ups and mid close ups there by creating a connection with audience. Throughout the music video I wanted different types of shots so that the fast pace action of a chase could be accurately recreated. I used close ups, static shots were the artist feet ran past the camera, even going as far as to climb up trees to get shoots that were slanted down at the singer. Without the use of a rig I had to do all the work myself and occasional the footage would not completely straight as I was holding it in odd angles and found it difficult. However because of the genre of the band and the fact they were a new band, this type of camera work is more honest and in keeps with whole down to earth genre and the conventions of the genre. Many bands to day that make it big are called “plastic” because the sell themselves to the media. This means they down retain their reasons for making music and don’t try to improve their music and lose touch with the audience. If I had made this video like a pop video very clean a crisp with dancers and routines it wouldn’t be doing the music justice and would be challenging the convention but in a destructive way.
2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? When I first met the band they were friendly and full of energy and when I looked at their MySpace account of their band. I discovered that they were very playful and enjoyed their music and wanted other to do so. There were many funny pictures and drawings. When created the music video I kept that in mind but it was when I created the ancillary tasks that I wanted to fully discovery that. Also my ancillary tasks differ from each other completely because in each task I wanted to show off a different aspect of the band. The music video was used to show off the seriousness of the song and its meaning so the bands commitment to their music could be seen clearly. The Digipak was created to show the playfulness and enjoyment of the band and their music. Finally the magazine advert was designed to show the bands ability to perform and the power a passion that comes from performing music. Each of these media products has a different selling point and insight to the artist. Therefore if one doesn’t grab the audience then another will. By doing this I have tripled the chance of a member of the audience finding a connection with the band and ultimately increasing sales, which after all is what the business is about. However that not only reason I did this, I did it mainly to challenge myself because creating three separate ideas is more difficult then one continued idea and from that I found the whole process more enjoyable. When I created the Digipak I drew all of the art work myself on to an old book and used the idea of n old work book. Because I called the album “a lesson in life” it in kept with the band own personality, with their own drawings on the MySpace account. All of the idea for the inside of the booklet of the digipak came from doodles
I had drawn in the past and very old instruction manuals. I wanted the digipak to be visually exciting and to grab the audience attention. Also I wanted the audience to not simply buy the digipak not only to get the latest songs and content but also as a piece of art that would be enjoyable to look at and would reveal different surprises thereby making the connection with the band stronger. The music magazine advert was created by using a picture I had taken while the band was performing and captured the raw atmosphere of a live band playing to an audience. I added many effects in Photoshop so that the edges were more defined, there by enhancing the idea of showing of the performing power of the band. I wanted this advert to be simple with little text so that attention would be taken from the image. By doing this the audience would become interested in the band and then look further into them a find the other production material and see the many sides to the band and then hopefully purchase the merchandise. 3) What have you learnt from the audience feedback? We used Facebook, Ning and Blogger to post our work at it several stages. The feedback we receive help a lot to guide in the right direction and helped us to see what is possible and wasn’t. My first plan was to have the band play to a audience and also in a studio and cut from one to the other whilst a story unfolded. But we didn’t realise how much work that would be until we told members of the class another friends who supported the idea but doubted if it could be achieved that is when we began dramatically relooking at our ideas. I gained lots of positive feedback on my entire all my work, as people found it interesting and new. However I got some constructive criticism such as some of the points I wanted to make were not as clear as I would have wanted. For example the fact the story is inside his mind was unclear, although everyone understood that it was a strange dream like place. On reflection I should have made this point apparent by adding a couple of simple shots to express that. 4) How did you use new media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? The back bone of my entire media project was Ning. This website allow us to post our work as soon as it was done therefore freeing us up to work on other things. I was able to articulate mine and my groups ideas during the planning stages, research of artists, digipack’s, music video’s also, our rough cut, final idea and ancillary task all could be entered on to Ning. It allowed us to receive feedback from staff and classmates alike. Also the use of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier Plus these programmes were the bread a butter of all tasks. All ancillary tasks went through Photoshop so my knowledge of it was crucial. From last year I had a workable understanding of the programme and through this year that has again increased. But
the most significance programme was the editing software which taught a lot about how to create a interesting piece of work. I used Photoshop to create the Digipak and magazine advert. For the magazine advert I took a photo I had taken then made it black ad white. After this I used a burn tool to high light certain areas. I then continued to use the “sketch” tool to define the otter edges of the band to create a power image that focuses on the raw energy of a song. Throughout creating each piece I was confronted my new challenge but each one meant that my initial idea was improved. Overall I believe that that my work ran quite smoothly and I enjoyed each stage.