Evaluation Question 4

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

I have used a wide variety of media technologies throughout the course, all of which have helped me significantly in constructing my final product. These technologies include a broad range of advanced software, as well as equipment. For example, during the construction phase of my music video and ancillary tasks, I used the programs Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, InDesign and GoPro Studio. Each of these programs were fundamental in the editing process. Final Cut Pro enabled me to edit my footage together skillfully and efficiently. For example, using the ‘Trim tool’ and ‘Range tool’, I was able to arrange my clips so that edit points lined up with the beat of the music. Final Cut Pro also allowed me to enhance the happy, playful atmosphere of my music video by augmenting the colours in shots via the Colour Correction tool. Likewise, I used Photoshop to edit my digipak images to the same effect. I used the ‘Extrude’ stylise filter to create a unique ‘block’ effect and then altered the opacity and brightness to make the photos match. I then imported the images into InDesign, where I used a template to construct the digipak. InDesign’s broad array of functions and features enabled me to experiment using a variety of different images, fonts and layouts. For instance, I was able to lower opacity on the CD tray in order to make the try look different to the actual CD so that it focuses the listener’s attention to the actual CD – a typical convention of digipak genres. To further make the CD look different, I decided not to use the block effect on the tray and also blured the tray image on Photoshop. Additionally, I have included copyright terms and conditions to ensure that my product looks authentic and accomplished, including the official copyright license text. Also, I have included a barcode and the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo in order to attain an industry standard appearance. Finally, in order to further promote my artist’s identity/image awareness, I produced my own official ‘Emily P’ logo using Indesign. In order to make the words ‘Since’ and ‘1997’ curved as shown, I made points by using the ‘Pen’ tool and dragging the curser to make a curve and I then used the ‘Text’ tool to write the words on the curved line. I chose to use the fonts ‘Antsy Pants’ and ‘Amateur Slash’ which I downloaded from the website ‘DaFont’ as I thought these modern fonts were appropriate for my ‘Pop/Drum and Bass’ genre artist. Additionally, I used Adobe Premiere Pro to construct my animatic. After hand drawing my ideas of various shots I’d use in my music video, I then used Premiere to edit my shots together to create the animatic. In order to make the images move in my animatic video, I used the motion settings in Premiere and added key frames to change the scale of the image.

In terms of equipment, in the filming phase of my music video, as well as the various preliminary tasks, I used a Canon 1200D camera. This was very beneficial, as the Canon 1200D is an extremely high-quality camera, which produces excellent HD video recordings. Furthermore, through applying what I had learnt in the previous tasks, I was able to take full advantage of the camera’s features when filming my music video. For example, through adjusting the aperture, I was able to allow different amounts of light into the shot. This was an instrumental feature in achieving the vibrant, luminous shots in my music video. In addition, I used a 28-80mm lens for the majority of the music video, as this allowed more of the scene to be included in the shot. This was of significant importance in the making of my music video as with this lens, I was able to produce effective long shots. Finally, I employed shallow depth of field throughout my music video, which works as a spotlight on my artist as the audience is naturally drawn to her. This was certainly a key skill in making my music video successful. The tripod was also an essential form of equipment; I used this recurrently throughout the filming phase to ensure that all my shots were steady. Furthermore, I used a GoPro Hero 3 to film my time-lapse shots in the car as well as most of the footage on the boat. The GoPro was a particular necessity on the boat as the waterproof cover allowed me to film shots underwater – a unique feature of my music video. As well as this, seeing as it was difficult to film steady shots on the boat with the GoPro without a tripod as the bumpy waves made my shots unsteady, I used a 3 Axis Handheld Steady Gimbal in order to keep my shots as still as possible. Moreover, when underwater, in order to help me to keep the GoPro steady, I used a GoPole Reach – a type of selfie stick – that allowed me hold the GoPro high into the air whilst in the water. Another great feature about the GoPole is that it floats which ensured me that the GoPro wouldn’t sink if I dropped it!

Moreover, throughout the course, I have used several online programs — such as WordPress, Vimeo, SurveyMonkey, Twitter, and Facebook. Using WordPress, I was able to create my own online blog storing all my work and progress. This includes a host of videos, screenshots, photos, and write-ups, which I update regularly. I also made a Vimeo account to upload all my videos, which I was then able to embed into my blog posts. During the planning phase of my music video, I used SurveyMonkey to conduct a target audience survey. This was an effective way for me to take into account my target audience when planning the locations, characters, costumes and props that I would use for my music video. Additionally, using the most popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote my survey, I was able to collect a range of results easily and efficiently. What’s more, through publicising my artist online — by showcasing digipaks, posters, tour dates and promotional videos — I was able to reach out to my specific target audience, ultimately generating a fan base.

Each of these programs has been invaluable in terms of extending my knowledge about technologies, and has helped greatly in the construction of my final media product.

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Evaluation Question 3

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

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Throughout the course, audience feedback has played a crucial role in the production and development of my media product by means of providing a constructive insight into my strengths and weaknesses.

During the planning process of my music video, I created a target audience survey to collect feedback about people’s expectations of and opinions on Indie Electronic genre music videos for my previous music video idea before I changed my song and narrative. However, this was still an effective way for me to take into account my target audience when planning the locations, costumes, props etc. that I would use for my own music video. Using the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote my survey, I was able to collect a range of results easily and efficiently.

Through analysing my survey, I was able to devise a target audience for my own music video. As you can see from my results, there was a relatively equal distribution of responses from both genders, and they were mainly in the age range of 20 or younger. This information allowed me to determine that my target audience would be both male and females of a young age. These results also confirmed my decision to make my music video in the genre of Pop/Drum and Bass, based on the style of videos like ‘We Can Only Live Today’ by Netsky and ‘Rumor Mill’ by Rudimental, as these are evidently the most popular music videos featuring teenagers/young people. In addition, the responses I received gave me a useful idea of the typical locations and characters that people expected to see in an Indie Electronic genre music video. I was then able to take these suggestions into consideration when planning my own Pop/Drum and Bass music video.

In order to assure full awareness of the viewpoint of my intended target audience, I decided to strengthen my research by conducting a short interview, featuring the main questions from my research survey. As the research from my survey previously concluded, my music video would be aimed towards a unisex audience of a young age. Therefore, in order to obtain the most beneficial response, I made sure to interview someone who is 18 years old, who also had a keen interest in Indie Electronic genre music. By carrying out this interview, I was able to obtain constructive, reliable information that I would ultimately incorporate into my Pop/Drum and Bass music video so as to make it as appealing as possible for my intended target audience.

During the construction process of my ancillary tasks, I received particularly useful feedback from my teachers. Initially, I approached my digipak with a strong emphasis on a ‘promoting the artist’ theme that is conventional of the Pop/Drum and Bass genre, as opposed to constructing something unique and creative. Whilst I was able to achieve a good composition of images, my teachers felt that I was lacking in terms of creativity, which are essential conventions in terms of promoting my artist’s identity/image awareness. With this in mind, I completely reinvented my digipak, adopting more of an ’edgy’ visual style. Additionally, my teachers suggested that I produce my own official ‘Emily P’ logo in order to further publicise her identity as a pop star.

During the construction process of my music video, I produced several drafts before arriving at the final product. This enabled me to obtain successive waves of feedback from my teachers and peers, which I would take into consideration when working on each subsequent draft. Consequently, I was able to make significant refinements to each draft, before eventually perfecting my music video. For example, after sharing my first draft on Facebook, I was offered valuable feedback: to give further prominence to my artist’s image as a pop star by increasing the amount of lip-syncing clips and timing shots in time with the music. I then sought additional feedback from my teachers, who said that some of my music looked as if it were just some friends messing around with a camera and so in order to make a more professional look, I added more of the boat shots to my music video as this was such a unique, distinctive location. After incorporating all this advice into my second draft, I received a great deal of positive responses from my peers. My second load of feedback mainly suggested that I altered the colour of my shots in order to make the holiday scene look sunnier and brighter. This feedback allowed to me to polish off my music video and produce an industry standard product.

Evidently, audience feedback has been invaluable in the overall success of my media product, as the constructive criticisms — as well as the positive responses — I have received over the progression of the course have ultimately enabled me to produce the best possible outcome.

Evaluation Question 2

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

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I believe that my music video, digipak and website work very effectively as a combination, as each of these products encompass the same modern quality that is stereotypically associated with the Pop/Drum and Bass genre. Another element of the combination of my products that I believe to be particularly effective is the ‘teenage-star’ theme — seen repeatedly in that of other Pop/Drum and Bass genre artists. Hence, the ‘pop star’ visual style that is conveyed through my digipak and website — by presenting my artist as the primary focus — is fortified by my vast use of lip-syncing angles within my music video, which appeals to fans and further increases my artist’s identity/image awareness – one of Andrew Goodwin’s points in his music video analysis. This combination of visual elements creates fluency between my products.

The fluency of my products is further evident in my consistent font choice. The font ‘Amateur Slash’, a modern, edgy font, is seen recurrently across my range of products. For example, I used ‘Amateur Slash’ for the ‘Emily P’ logo, which, as my artist’s official trademark, features repeatedly in each product.

Furthermore, as Jersey’s coastal line was the sole location for both my music video and my photo shoot, I was able to maintain a consistent colour scheme across my various products. Establishing a fixed theme across my products was critical in terms of providing my artist with an identifiable — and hence marketable — style.

As well as this, in my digipak and website I decided to create a ‘block effect’ in order my make my artist’s identity look more authentic. I achieved this by applying the ‘Extrude’ blending effect in Photoshop and then altering the opacity. This type of effect is a typical convention of Pop/Drum and Bass.

For example, Jess Glynne’s media products are effective due of the sense of fluency created by the coherent combination of features. For example, her colour schemes are typically comprised of cool, modest colours, such as pinks, blues and whites. These colours connote purity and independence, hence reflecting the persona of Jess Glynne as a rebellious, fashionable pop star. Moreover, the official ‘Jess Glyenne’ logo — seen consistently across all her products — resembles a bold font, further indicating the pop genre. In addition, the logo text is either a white or black, again adhering to the bold, youthful colour scheme. This level of consistency establishes a distinct, recognisable style across her products so as to stand out to consumers.

Evaluation Question 1

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

I believe that my media product both uses and develops forms and conventions of real media products, as it arguably represents the stereotypical mise-en-scene associated with the Pop/Drum and Bass genre. Firstly, the song used in my music video, ‘Changing’, clearly draws on conventions of real media products, as its upbeat, fun tempo is often related to the target audience of teenagers and young people. Similar conventions are demonstrated in music videos like ‘Rumor Mill’ by Rudimental, ‘Don’t Give Up On Love’ by Blinkie, and ‘Easy Love’ by Sigala, which all incorporate an element of dance and having fun. My development of such forms is further evident in the fact that, like the given examples, my song is cheerful and uplifting, immediately indicating to the audience the positive message of the song that is change.

In addition, I feel that my use of the unique ‘time lapse’ effect — which I achieved through either altering the speed of my footage in Final Cut Pro or using the Time Lapse feature on my GoPro Hero 3 and using the GoPro Studio App to edit my shots — also develops conventions of real media products — not only because of its abstract style, which is befitting with the genre of Pop/Drum and Bass, but predominantly due to its simplicity. Often, I find that overly elaborate editing can in fact distract the audience from the overall essence of the music video. For this reason, many media products frequently opt for slightly more modest effects in order to make the right compromise. For example, the ‘time lapse’ effect can also be seen in other Pop/Drum and Bass music videos, such as ‘Coming of Age’ by Foster the People and ‘End Love’ by OK Go. In this respect, my music video certainly parallels forms of real media products. Furthermore, my shot compositions are also very similar to that of ‘Love Is All I Got’ by Feed Me & Crystal Fighters as I have implemented the same shallow depth of field that is seen time and time again in the lip-syncing element of music videos.

Secondly, my chosen locations also reflect that of conventional Pop/Drum and Bass. For example, my central location is Jersey’s beautiful shorline, which remarkably resembles the stereotypical image of a fantasy world seen in that of popular Pop/Drum and Bass music videos. However, while most fantasy worlds are usually secluded and submerged in an abundance of nature, as in Austin Mahone’s ‘Dirty Work’, my fantasy world is shown after various shots in a boring, office environment. In this sense, it can be said that my media product challenges forms of real media products to a certain extent. Having said that, some of the office shots seen at the beginning of my music video — for instance, the towering of work, which is edited in time to the music — are nevertheless extremely stereotypical of Pop/Drum and Bass music videos that evoke a sense of living a boring, dull life and wanting to break free into the natural world in the sun. Likewise, Jersey Airport served as another great location for my music video, as the different shots from of the departures and arrivals entrances provided an adequate foundation for creating this transition to a better life. I ensured that I filmed the departures entrance on a dull day and the arrivals entrance on a sunny day in order to create two different locations. Finally, like mine, most Pop/Drum and Bass genre music videos are usually set in the daytime to accentuate the light-hearted, playful ambience of these various locations. I organised my shooting schedule around days that were bright and sunny in order to capture the true positive essence described in the lyrics “Everything is changing”.

Furthermore, in post-production, I have enhanced this environment by implementing effects and augmenting the colours in the shots by using the video alteration tool in Final Cut Pro to increase the saturation in order to make the holiday locations look even more bright and cheerful. What’s more, in order to truly accentuate the fantasy-like quality of my music video, I challenged myself by including a number of specific editing skills. Firstly, the timing of my shots coincides with the beat of the music, which makes my video seem more professional and makes it easier to watch. For example, in the office scene at the beginning I piled up the folders in the extremely fast manner in the way that the music moves. This allows my video to not only be a video with some music attached but links the video footage with the music playing. Not only does this adhere to the element of happiness that is conventionally associated with Pop, but it establishes a recurring motif — as well as a continuity in the narrative — as this form of editing is seen throughout my entire music video. Such use of specific editing mirrors music videos like ‘Move Around’ by Camo & Krooked featuring Ian Shaw, in which fast shots are used at the start to highlight the beat of the song. Therefore, I believe that, on the whole, my music video powerfully uses and develops conventions of real media products.

Similarly, the costumes and props used in my music video also conform to the conventions of real media products. As the star in my music video is a bubbly, adventurous, young girl, the neon yellow top reflects that of her persona. However, her working-life attire — which includes black jeans, a black and white striped top, a black suit jacket, and black suede boots — gives her character a slightly more studious yet glamorous appearance to match my opening scene. This type of costume is also seen in other Pop genre music videos, for instance, Beyoncé, who is also a loveable pop star. This type of clothing sets the scene, and evokes the theme of being bored to the audience, which evidently is about to change due to the upbeat music. Consequently, these clothes allow my narrative to come across conspicuously, consequently giving the audience a decent idea of what the song is about. Evidently, my choice of costume is distinctly relative to the stereotypical forms of real media products of the same genre.

In terms of props, I have used an assortment of objects that are typically associated with the Pop/Drum and Bass genre. Firstly, I used a suitcase. This represents the girls’ ticket to her dreams — her means of escape from the ordinary existence that she has always known. Secondly, I used office equipment — one of the most popular conventions of a working environment. This was used to illustrate the girl’s boredom and dull life. Additionally, I used a surfboard which highlights the hot, summery atmosphere, which is the beach and evokes a feeling of having fun and being free. Finally, I used a boat. Not only is a boat a stereotypical Pop/Drum and Bass prop, but also the summer theme powerfully adheres to this genre. In this sense, these props undeniably conform to the gleeful, exuberant atmosphere that is conventional of Pop/Drum and Bass music videos and allows the audience to identify with more of the narrative through subtle hints.

Music Video Draft 2: Feedback

Here is some more feedback from my target audience after they watched my second draft of my music video.

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These two people both said that I should alter the colours in my shots to allow them to look brighter which is a brilliant idea for perfecting my music video.

 

Music Video Draft 2

Here is the second draft of my music video.

After taking into consideration the feedback from my target audience after I uploaded my first draft, I decided that the advice given about the music video looking looking like ‘some kids messing around with a camera’ was extremely valuable. So I have replaces a few of my shots with some more of the boat shots as that is clearly what my specific target audience wanted to see more of.