Thursday, 26 March 2015

Evaluation - Part 4

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

Evaluation - Part 3

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Evaluation - Part 2

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

To make this part of my evaluation more visually pleasing, I decided to record my answer and use a green screen to show my main product and ancillary texts as I discuss them.  This is something new we learnt to do this year, which I find interesting to use for analysing texts.

Green Screen Recording:


I wanted to have consistency between my main product of the music video and ancillary texts of the digipak and poster, with the main focus to be the artist and her distinctive style.  To do this I used the same setting of the drama studio, costume of the black lace flowy dress, and make-up with bold red lips for the three different pieces.  I used bright white lights to create a spotlight against the black background and framed my artist in the centre to make her the focus of the pieces, almost acting as a halo around her.

I emphasised the vintage costume and make-up further by editing the products, using the 'interview' filter on Bullet Looks for my main product, and using a tutorial I found on YouTube to create a vintage effect on Photoshop for my ancillary texts.  This costume, make-up and editing conveys the unique elements of my artist, which is a convention of the indie/pop genre.

To continue with this vintage image of my artist, I initially chose fonts similar to a typewriter for my ancillary texts.  However, they looked out of place against the bold images of my artist, and I decided to change this and use a simpler font.  I chose a serif font and spaced out the letters, which seemed more professional and added to the unique aspects of my artist.  I made the font white to contrast against the black background, which meant it was more legible.

I originally intended to have various images such as Polaroid photos and a map and images of London for the inside panels of my digipak, yet changed this to single images of my artist.  I did this as she is intended to be a new emerging artist and the focus should be on her to promote and sell her image, relating to Goodwin's theory.

For my CD designs, I edited the CDs to look like vinyls to link with the vintage elements of my artist's image.  I placed an image of my artist in the middle of both of these CDs, similar to vinyls I had researched, which was the same image placed on the panels behind the CDs.  The fact I included two CDs instead of just one also gave my digipak extra content, emphasising the special collector's item idea of this ancillary text as well as the individuality of my artist, which would mean more sales for my artist.

Posters advertising albums often feature the front cover of the album as the main image, or an image of the artist with a smaller image of the album cover.  I opted for the second of these choices, continuing with the bold single image of my artist and placing an image of the album cover in the bottom right hand corner, as people tend to read left to right.  I also used the same font, attempting again to link the ancillary texts.  To further promote the artist, I included social media logos of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram like on the digipak.  This makes her accessible on more than one platform, particularly with younger people in their teens and twenties who are familiar with this technology, which are my target audience.

Overall, I think my main product and ancillary texts link together well.  They all convey clear conventions of my indie/pop genre, mainly due to the setting, costume and make-up.  There is also significant focus on the artist and her image, which reinforces Goodwin’s theory.  I think they communicate key aspects of conventions of the type of ancillary texts they are, such as the digipak with different panels that link and extra material to make it more of a collector’s item.  Due to all of these factors, I think my media product and ancillary texts would be very successful with my target audience.

Evaluation - Part 1

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

When creating my music artist, I wanted them to be a female pop artist, as they are well received within mainstream music and I thought having a solo artist would make production easier due to having to rely on less people.  After researching into the pop genre, I realised that it was very broad and included sub-genres, such as indie/pop and pop/rock.  I wanted my artist to appear more unique and artistic than most pop artists do, therefore researched into artists such as Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Rey and Kyla La Grange.  These three artists fit into the indie/pop sub-genre and are similar to what I had originally wanted my artist to be like, therefore I chose to focus on this sub-genre.

After this initial research, I looked further into the indie/pop genre and style.  I found, like mainstream pop, that the main focus is on the artist’s image, particularly their costume and make-up.  However, unlike mainstream pop, indie/pop artists appear to be more artistic and quirky.  This is conveyed through their clothing, which tends to be vintage inspired or quite eccentric, such as wearing long flowy dresses like Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine.  This is a huge contrast to the mainstream pop conventions, which has a focus on fashion of a different type.  This tends to include brighter and more colourful clothing, which can also be quite revealing at times.  For these reasons, I chose costumes from stores that are associated with these indie/pop conventions and are considered quirkier and more ‘indie’, such as Urban Outfitters.

Taking these conventions into consideration, I began to create my own music artist.  At first I struggled with naming my artist, as the existing artists I researched all had unique and artistic names, such as Lana Del Rey and Kyla La Grange.  I eventually decided on ‘Deedee & The Darkside’, as I thought this was similar to the style of existing artist names like Florence + The Machine and Marina and the Diamonds, but also sounded original and quite unusual, particularly with the spelling of ‘Deedee’.  I decided my primary target audience would be females aged 15-25 to fit with the young image of my artist, making her music more relatable.

I conveyed this sense further through the narrative within my main product of the music video, which featured the storyline of love, specifically a relationship ending, which is stereotypically associated with females and the pop genre.  I cast a girl the same age as my artist to again fit with this target audience age.  However, a significant part of the music video is performance based, featuring my artist.  The main product of the music video and ancillary texts of the digipak and poster focus on the artist and her style, making her a selling point, therefore I included shots of her from various angles and photographs in different poses.  This relates to Goodwin’s theory of promoting and selling the artist’s image.

I intended to match the visuals of my music video to the pace of my song.  The song I chose was ‘Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence + The Machine, which changes pace frequently but is overall quite energetic.  I chose to shoot stylized long takes of my artist’s performance for the slow beginning and bridge.  I shot this in a studio with bright lighting, a typical indie/pop music video setting for performance pieces.  However, this studio was black in comparison to white studios usually used, which suited the artistic look of my artist better.  The title and lyrics of my song are quite obscure, allowing for many interpretations of the meaning, therefore giving me creative freedom when drafting ideas.  However, I kept to the indie/pop conventions of the setting of a park for my narrative.  This also meant it was easier during production as it was a public place and I was not restricted with obtaining permission to film.  Despite this, shooting was sometimes difficult due to unsuitable weather conditions and trying to avoid having people in the background of shots.

My idea was to show a girl reminiscing over and then moving forward from a past relationship.  I included shots of her holding and looking at items relating to romance, such as flowers, a heart teddy and heart balloon, as well as photos of her and a boy on her phone.  I filmed these shots on overcast days in the park and I filmed the rest of the footage of her throwing and dropping the items while she ran on sunny days, using pathetic fallacy to convey the sense of her moving forward.  These brighter shots were shown when the song appears to pick up pace slightly, after a dramatic pause in which I included no footage.  I also featured the notion of looking, an element of Goodwin's theory, during some of my narrative as the girl looks through photographs on her phone.

Fashion is a key part of an artist’s image and they often have more than one outfit in music videos, therefore I tried to follow this idea.  My artist had a few different costumes to show this convention, each with a different purpose.  My first costume, used for my music video, digipak and poster, was a black full length sheer lace dress.  I used this as I felt it was the most striking and conveyed her unique style well.  I shot the beginning half of the performance using this, as I felt this half was more dramatic and heartfelt, and the boldness of the outfit helped show this.  I also included slow motion shots of the artist spinning and dancing in this outfit as an intertextual reference to the original music video for the song, which worked well due to the flowy and eccentric look of the dress.  The second costume was a black top with a floral maxi skirt, as florals are often associated with the indie/pop genre.  I kept this costume solely for the footage of my artist clapping in time with the song, linking with Goodwin’s theory of relating the music and visuals.  I tried to emphasise the change within the song when it seems to pick up pace by including shots of my artist wearing yet another costume, clothes that were much lighter such as a kimono, which is again quite quirky.  My artist also moved and danced more when miming this second half of the song to convey the cathartic feeling of it.  In addition, during the final energetic chorus I overlaid the footage of my artist in the lighter costume with the footage of the floral maxi skirt costume as she clapped to further convey this powerful mood.

Overall, I definitely feel my media products use forms and conventions of real media products, as I have drawn a lot of inspiration for my music video, digipak and poster from researching existing examples of these pieces.  I have also attempted to include theorists within my work, such as Goodwin’s analysis of music videos, as well as common conventions of my indie/pop genre, such as costume and setting.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Evaluation Planning

I decided to plan my evaluation by breaking down the questions into simpler versions and adding notes for what to include when answering each one.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Filming/Editing #7

To finalise my music video, I tidied up any cuts, made sure everything was in sync, and corrected any colouring or filters.

I also laid over footage of the end part of my performance in the lighter costume with footage of me clapping while framed in various positions.  I think it was successful in the build up to the end of the song and the final energetic chorus as there is a lot happening visually.