Thursday, 17 December 2009

Group - Digipak

These are the final images that create our Digipak.

Below is the front cover.

Below is the two middle sections of the Digipak

Below is the back cover.

Group - Advert

This is our final Advert

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Group - Evaluation Audience Research

How did audience feedback inform rough cut development ?

The audience feedback which we gathered from our rough cut display helped us massively to make vital changes to our music video wich made our overal production much better.

The class and especially our teacher thought that our car shots were the weakest, after seeing our first rough cut. The transitions between the shots of our cars needed to be tidied up and we were told to play around with the fades and dissolves to find one which looked better than the one we had alredy put in. We found a dissolve which synchronized very will with our footage and was a fast improvement from the original.

This type of help is invauable as it gives us feedback from an audience who will pick up different problems and sections that need editing, ones which we may have overlooked when constructing our music video.

How did audience research inform your concept development?

The first feedback we received was when we presented our pitch to the class. We created our pitch as a slide show on Microsoft PowerPoint, including slides to present our; costumes, locations, concept ideas and also what we learnt from technical and product analysis'. In order to present it in the best way we used short summarising bullet points with images to display our point. We then put longer written answers in the notes section in order to explain our bullet points and to answer any questions our audience had.

The feedback we got from both teachers and other pupils helped us to focus on the detail of our video more as there were still aspects that we hadn’t completely thought of and needed to be worked on. Our concept was to create a humuorous narrative-based video in a 'boy meets girl' situation. Our audience posed questions such as 'how will you keep the video humorous?' Although we had ideas for much of our concept, we realised that it was important to focus on specific detail as well as the whole idea. This specifically was useful as when it came to creating our storyboard, as we realised we needed clear ideas of specific shots to depict our story in the best way.

Although we found there were areas of improvement to move forward with our concept we also recieved a great deal of positive feedback. The class particularly liked the track we had chosen and thought that our first concept and ideas were a good idea for a witty music video, which was our purpose. Everybody agreed that we had thought about a number of effective, specific locations, such as a coffee shop and London which match with the lyrics and genre of the artist. They also commented that our costume ideas for a potential 'geek' were conventional within media texts and funny. 'Especially the wig and glasses that made his personality stand out. The pictures below show the costume that we created for our artist to wear.

How did the audience feedback on your finished peices show how successful you were in constructing them?

Our final audience feedback proved to be very worthwhile as we found out a few things that we were and weren't expecting.

One of the questions we asked was: Did you enjoy the video? When our audience answered this question we got a 100% repsonse to Yes. We thought that this was very important as it showed us that we had set out to achieve what we wanted which was an enjoyable video.

Another thing that came out of our final audience feedback was that they thought the video was funny or along those lines most of the answers that came back were either funny,entertaining or humorous which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve as this would give our music video a unique selling point but also challenge the conventions of most mainstream music videos especially ones that are about some sort of romance. The audience we asked also said that they thought the print advert and the digipak were very good as both of them fitted with the genre very well and they specifically said that the digi-pak would have been stereotypical of a geek.
However one thing that we were supirised to come up in our final feedback was about the things that we could improve on. This is because 50% of people said that the type of shots could be improved which we expected as some of the shots were quite repetitive but 37.5% said that the lip synching could have been improved this was particularly suprising as we thought that this was one of our strongest points. The other 12.5% said that the editing need some improvement.

Another answer they we thought was extremmly pleasing was that 100% of people said they would watch it again so this proved that our video would stand up to repeated viewing so we must have done something right as people probably wouldnt find it boring.

Monday, 14 December 2009

LH -Evaluation of Music Video

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

We have tried to construct a brand image for the artist as the lyrics specifically say that ' I am a Nerd, and I'm 17,' that can be identified throughout the ancillary texts. We thought that this was a good starting point as the narrative that we thought we could create would be sell able, unique, creative and introduce a lovable character. Within the ancillary texts we have tried to use a lot of visual motifs that would portray the artist as a stereotypical geek which the audience can easily identify and recognise that he is quite a nerdy character. By geeky we mean that in our audience research we discovered that a stereotypical view of a geek would have glasses, a shirt, tie and long un-styled hair. Continuing from this we discovered that the audience thought that a geek would probably be intellectual, a book worm and not very good with social interaction.

Through the creation of the Digi-pak we tried to reinforce the geeky image as he has a few drawings of what he wants to achieve in life which may suggest he is not as geeky as his exterior image suggests. However saying this, Example as an artist is not visually geeky in appearance but during our research stage we discovered that in 1992 he won the young poet of the year award which could suggest that he is slightly 'geeky.' To further this we decided that it would be appropriate if we created the digi-pak in a note book style to try and portray the continued intellectual persona, as we thought that it would be typical of a geeky person to be doodling and scribbling within a school note/exercise book.

Within the video we have tried to use a few visual motifs that suggest that he is a geek rather than the obvious exterior image of a geek. A few examples of this are the books that he has been reading are called "Coping with Girls and Coping with Love" this books combined suggest that he is a geek as he is not only reading but he is reading about social interaction so you would presume that he can't interact with girls very well. Another example is when he waves at the camera in a geeky way as it is the Star Trek wave, this could also be considered as an intertextual reference as Star Trek is often considered as a geeky programme.

This geek brand image is also represented in our print advert as we decided that it would be good to use an image that could easily be associated with from the video. This lead us onto deciding that we would use the image where he is in his 'nerdy' costume and is in front of the colourful background as it is easily identifiable.

When creating our ancillary texts we used Dyer's framework to try and create the star persona that would help us to sell the artist to a large and loyal audience. To do this there were quite a few things that we had to do to try and create this star image some of these things included the actual representation of the artist, a unique selling point, and creativity.

According to Dyer "A star is an image, not a real person, that is constructed (as any other aspect of fiction is) out of a range of materials (eg advertising, magazines etc as well as films and music)" Therefore we have tried to construct the brand/star image using Dyer's principles throughout the advert and digi-pak.

We tried to follow this principle by making our artist as unique and creative as possible. We felt that through our video, digi-pak and print advert we have achieved this as our video is very post-modern as the character is similar to some American Teen comedy characters such as McLovin in Super Bad.

Specifically within the advert we have tried to construct the star as humorous as he is in the costume of the geek but is doing quite a 'jock' pose as he is tensing his muscles which we thought would suggest that he wants to transform to a 'cool' kid which is exactly what happens within the video. Within the Digi-pak we tried to portray the star as a lovable geek as he wants the finer things in life such as a nice car and a "i want a girl like Angelina Jolie".

Dyer talks about two paradoxes, they are : Paradox 1 the star must be simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary for the consumer. Paradox 2 is the star must be simultaneously present and absent for the consumer.

Paradox 1-We felt that by creating an image that was humorous this would create appeal as most people would find this funny as it is a 'stereotypical' geek so this would allow us to create a star image that would be unique, creative and have a unique selling point as it is like no other music video. This is because within the video the two characters are binary oppositions as one is quite geeky and the other (who is addressing the audience as 1st person - rapper) are opposites as he is quite stereotypical of a normal person. This is emphasised within the cross cuts within the video as it reinforces the star image as the 1st person mode creates as para-social connection. As people would be able to relate with both characters.From using a stereotypical geek image we also thought that this would leave consumers intrigued as to how his life and music career would continue as during the song he changes to a 'normal' person so this creates some sort of suspense as his is a lovable hero meaning that people want him to do well and 'get the girl.'

Paradox 2- the music video constructs persona which is simultaneously present and absent, the audience strive to make sense of or complete the 'image' and what eventually happens to the geek character. The branding satisfies the audiences questions by presenting the artist in the digi-pak and again the print advert.

Overall we felt that our combination of ancillary texts proved to be very effective especially as we were trying to create a brand image for the artist. Our use of visual motifs within the digi-pak, advert and video were particularly effective as a few of these were specifically mentioned in our final feedback, quite a few people specifically mentioned the Star Trek style wave and the wave when the character runs down the stairs. A few quotes from the final feedback in response to the question what was your favourite shot? And did this portray the character as a geek? were 'character waving and rushing down the stairs,'and ' portrays in a very geeky way as this was similar to star trek episodes.'

Thursday, 10 December 2009

J.J - Evaluation of music video / Question 1

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

The Genre of our music video is British Indie rap and our video does reinforce this genre in many aspects. We use the first person mode of address during the performance shots a typical convention, which many other Indie rappers such as Jamie T and The Streets use in their videos. Luke our performer rapped straight into the camera as if he was looking directly at his audience. This 1st person mode of address is often used in music videos to make the artist more appealing, and give the impression that their songs are more personal to anyone who watches them.

Our Video is a mix between a narrative storyline and performance. The performance sequences are filmed in close up to show of the artists face to the audience and to enhance on their star image, another generic convention of this type of music.

The constant use of cross cutting between the narrative and performance is a standard procedure in most rap videos. However, our video challenges the usual stereotype of this genre as our narrative has created a new persona for our artist which would not normally be used by artists involved in rap industry. Our main character is a ‘Geek’, who falls in love with a girl at first sight and wants to change his style and image in pursuit of the girl of his dreams. The ‘Geek’ is played by Luke who is also the performing artist.

This gives our artist a more approachable feel as he is not afraid to make fun out of himself in order to tell a the story. The costume was very important when creating this geeky persona. We used big thick glasses, a messy wig, a shirt and tie and chino shorts which gave a very nerdy image to our main character.

Another convention of this genre is the use of costume regarding the artist. Luke is dressed in smart jeans, shoes and also a designer polo shirt all things you would expect your typical Indie rapper to be wearing. We ideally wanted to model the style of our performing artist on someone like Mike Skinner the lead singer from the Streets.

The involvement of a beautiful girl in the narrative also is a convention of this genre as most young men are in the pursuit of stunning women, fast cars and lots of money.

We also have a strong link between visuals and lyrics in or music video, we feel this is important in telling the story being told by the lyrics. For example there is a passage in the song which says “I was hard up couldn’t get a large cup” this is illustrated in the visuals with the protagonist sipping a small cup of coffee. This ironic illustration is aimed to provoke humour and show off just how ‘hard up’ our main character is. This video clip is an example of this link.

Another example of a link between visuals and Lyrics is shown just after Luke raps “fine young pussycat, woman that I’m looking at”. The on screen visuals then show like getting up from the floor and staring in slow motion at the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. This is effective in showing the love at first sight aspect to this relationship and how it all started. We have used amplification in our music video as the fantasy girl and car reinforces the stereotype of a young man in this industry as it is something he strives for. this clip illustrates the link between visuals and lyrics,

We have constructed a link between the music and visuals in our video when our main character dreams about something or an ambition he has. For example in the chorus Tracy Chapman sings the Fast car section to our music video, this passage is very melodic and slow in comparison to the fast passed rapping in the verses. Due to this we have used much slower shots in these sections to match the tempo and mood of the video. These shots include a shot of his dream car pulling up and picking up the beautiful girl and right at the end after the crash. We have used shots of Luke walking around and cuddling his new girlfriend with an almost dreamy effect placed on top of the shot making it somewhat surreal. These slow passed shots synchronize with the music and illustrate a very slow beat an as a result a slower cutting rate.

we believe that our video is postmodern in style because we use bricolage. Our video is largely conforms to the conventions of Indie rap however, we borrow the theme of the typical American teen romance of boy meets girl, then falls in love at first sight. This reinforces a heteronormative discourse in that the narrative follows the stereotype of a 'normal' heterosexual relationship. We represented the girl in a traditional way as her role in the narrative is largely passive whereas the male takes dominance in the storyline and is more active.
We broke the 4Th wall when creating our music video with the 1st person mode of address; our artist broke the conventions of usual media texts and spoke directly to the audience as he performed directly to them. The Ratio of our music video is 50:50 with half being performance and the other being a narrative storyline depicting the lyrics being rapped.

We also created a digipak to go with our music video which would be the album layout for Examples new album, including the track we have transformed into our own music video. We designed all the sides to the album very carefully thinking deeply about the layout and the juxtaposition of the images and their size, the text we used and which style we designed it in.

The front cover for example took a long time to arrange and we wanted to make sure everything was perfect as it was the first thing people would see. The front cover had a total of 5 different signs which needed arranging. The background is a note book as we wanted the style of our digipak to go along the same geeky theme as our main character in the music video. We wanted it to look like something the geek would sketch down, an aspiration rather than reality. The main image is a sketch of a sporty car and in relation to the rule of 3rds it is situated in the middle third showing that it is an important image which we want the audience to focus on first. The name of the artist is written in a large and scribbled font again another connotation of something which follows the sketch pad theme, and is situated in the top third. We placed a real key on the note pad underneath the drawing of the fast car. This could work on two levels. Firstly merely denoting the key to open a fast car. Secondly it could work as a signified to a new and better life. for our geeky character.

We have continued the theme of the notepad throughout the rest of the digipak and we have tried to tell a story through the different sketches all the way through. The middle of our digipak shows images of his geeky glasses and a cup of coffee with various objects placed strategically to illustrate the narrative storyline in the music video. For example pens are placed next to the sketch of geeky glasses to link in with the main characters image. Alongside the sketch of the cup of coffee there is a coffee stain, this could be a connotation that this image was sketched in the coffee shop which was filmed in our video.

The back cover continues this theme however there is an image of his fantasy girl sketched out. This is used to signify our main characters ultimate ambition to be in a relationship with the girl of his dreams.

The last task we were asked to produce was a magazine advertisement for the album which we had created. The magazine advertisement is a promotional tool used to support the artist and the release of his new album. Our advert included a large photo filling up all the space we had, showing Luke dressed in the Geek outfit from the music video striking a comical pose. We wanted our advertisement to catch the eye of someone flicking through a magazine and this full page spread of a geek would prove effective in grabbing people’s attention and forcing them to see what this is advertising.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

E.L- Evaluation - Media technologies

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

Premier Elements- This is the software that we used to capture (circled) and edit our footage to create the final cut of our music video. This software is useful for inserting transitions or effects to the footage we have. The software contains an easy to use timeline (circled) in which to split clips, add sound, zooming in and out whilst interchanging them into the correct place.

This is also used for inserting transitions or video effects. By using the transitions and/or effects that the program provides, we were able to create a dreamy effect with blurs and also by altering the opacity of the footage. (The opacity and video effect are circled below and the final edit is shown in the video clip.)

Photoshop Elements- We used this software to create our print work; the digipak and advertisement. This allowed us to create the specific size and layouts of the CD case and advertisement, including editing the images and applying texts (circled).

The software can edit images in more detail than some other editing software, and with the use of layers and magnetic tools we were able to insert a record label image (circled bottom left). As well as the text and enhanced editing techniques, it is still possible to insert other standard 'shapes' such as the stars used at the bottom (also circled). Below is the original image that we cut around and altered to create the final, smaller image. By using the ‘magnetic lasso’ it is possible to select pixels around a specific image and use the selected image in other layers or documents. This was the technique we used when applying our record label to the front of both the Digipak and advertisement. Below is a screen shot from Photoshop as we used the 'Magnetic Lasso' to highlight an image.

Below is the original image that was then inserted into the advertisement and Digipak via Photoshop
The picture below is the original image that we began with before we added any text or images.

The finished advertisement is shown below, this is clear the changes that we have made in both Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher. This was the website that we used to create a questionnaire for our final audience research. We can gather the information for each question online and evaluate feedback. This along with Slideboom and Youtube are examples of web 2.0. They allow us to share information to a wide variety of people which is an influential factor in the music business. Surveymonkey allows us to create questions with a number of different answers. For example: There are open questions where the audience can write freely what the feel as apposed to selecting from given answers. The two have their advantages and we felt it was important to include both types of questions. The website also enables us to go back and alter any of the questions and answers at any time with easy, unlike a word produced questionnaire. The editing buttons are circled along with an example of a closed question with set answers. (picture of specific questions)The online service is good for collecting and analysing data. With the multiple choice questions the website creates an easy to read graph, with percentages showing the choices and highlighting the most popular choices. (picture of graph)

Microsoft PowerPoint- We used PowerPoint to create a pitch for the class and teachers in order to display and communicate our concept and ideas for the music video. This allowed us feedback from an audience but also meant we could have the concept written and insert images of locations and costumes for example. When creating a slide show it was important that the pages do not hold long-winded paragraphs filled with detail, but to have short bullet points that summarise a point. We then used the ‘notes’ feature that PowerPoint has to write the long version in order to help us present to the class in more detail.

It is also important to reinforce points made with images where possible and these images, along with the text can be set up to appear on the page in a number of different ways. This helps to keep our slide aesthetically pleasing and more interesting than just reading information. There are a number of different ‘entrance’ and ‘exit’ effects which we added to our slide. (Circled below are examples of our short bullet points, images and notes for our pitch. This was another website that we used to upload our pitch to create a slideshow format that we were able to post on our blog. The slideshow is already embedded in a previous post. This works by uploading the originally created slide show, where it is converted into a different format to embed in our blog. We have uploaded our animatic and final video onto Youtube in order to allow our audience to watch the video with ease and give us feedback on what they think. It is possible to post comments (circled) on our video for easy feedback and these could well be valuable to our project. is the best example of web 2.0 as it allows extremely wide viewing as it is possible to watch any video from anywhere in the world. This creates large distribution and for an up and coming artist, very like example, this would be key in starting off in the industry. The website is free to upload and watch any videos which also help amateur artists, however is also a great place to post professionally produced videos, in order to gain a wide viewing and promotion of the artist/band which is of course the aims of a music video. However, although Youtube provides many advantages to the music industry, it also brings one large disadvantage. By being free to access videos and sound files there is an increase in plagiarism. This means that anybody can take selections of clips or sounds to use for personal use, which was important to consider when creating and uploading our video. As our videos are not the official ones, it was important to make sure that we did not use the name of the artist or track in the title.

Obviously we have used as an e-portfolio in order to present and keep track of research. This use of media has allowed us to all collaborate with one another and post comments (circled) on each others work, allowing us to all benefit from findings that one of us had come up with. This has also meant that we can insert a number of clips and images in order to illustrate the things we have commented on, and the use of hyperlinks has made a neat, effective way to insert website addresses.

The easy to edit feature is useful when posting our more important, final pieces of work as we are able to change and alter original posts, or drafts (circled) in order to produce the best work possible.

When filming we used DV cameras which allowed us to capture our footage in a relatively high quality. These also mean that the footage is easily captured onto Adobe Premier Elements for editing. The cameras that we used fit with fish-eye lenses and almost all tripods which made our footage unique and our shots and movements neat. Some of the footage that we did capture was in variations of light due to numerous shoots and re-shoots. With the cameras we used it was important to make sure that the light was correct for filming in order to reduce changes of light differences. This was the main problem and we were able to overcome this with the use of a spotlight.

In order to create the final layout of our Digipak and advertisement we used Microsoft Publisher. By inserting the edited images from Photoshop into the layout that we had created at the correct sizes for both texts, it was possible to produce our Digipak and if needed, our advertisement. We were able to use the 'picture toolbar' (circled) in order to crop or format the pictures we have inserted into the document, as well as inserting text just as we could with Photoshop (circled).

For the stills that we used for both the Digipak and advertisement we took photos on a Samsung, 10mega pixel digital camera. We took a number of different shots, and the use of flash meant that the lighting and images were always captured perfectly. The camera could be synced with our computer in order to upload the files for editing.

Shoot Evaluation #3 - Group

The third shoot was filmed to caputre footage of the numerous cars we needed to create our dream sequence and also the ending for our video.

This shoot took up a fair bit of time as we needed to practise a number of times to ensure that we captured the perfect shots. We also had to be cautious and aware of other traffic on the road, and although we filmed in a housing estate in North Tonbridge, we had to wait for traffic to pass.

We managed to get the majority of the shots that we wanted and the shoot was successful. This was imperative as the sequence with the cars is the most important in linking the lyrics with correct visuals.

We decided to re-shoot shortly after to make sure that some of the shots we captured were fitting with the exact lyrics and we also felt that to portray the narrative in the best way we needed a small amount of extra footage, which in the end would enhance the viewing of the video.