Thursday, 16 December 2010

Gabriel Clarke Evaluation

1) In what way does your media product develop, challenge or use Forms and Conventions of real media products?

Links between the lyrics and visual are conventions of music videos however, there are few links between the lyrics and the visuals as our video is mainly based on a performance but the singer does gesture as if he is ripping up something when the lyrics repeat the line ‘rip it up and start again’. I believe this lack of connection between the lyrics and visual are challenging the more conventional modern video.

The visuals and music are more closely related, as the tune is very up beat and fast paced much like our editing style and overall video speed. We aimed to cut on the beat in order to keep the visuals in time with the music and give it that professional look, thus giving a more conventional style to the video.

Our video is fairly characteristic of a 1980’s music video; the hall gives a stereotypical high school theme to the video seen in films such as Ferris Buellers Day off. The costumes worn by the band are very reminiscent of that era, leather jackets, suit jackets and brightly coloured shades. All this builds a on the conventions of an 80’s music video however these elements challenge the standards of modern videos.

Because our video has no narrative there is little chance for intertextual reference. The only reference that could be established is the reference to the 1980’s era in terms of fashion and the musical instruments played by the band. Sections of our video are divided up using shots of the band messing about and having fun. These could be seen as voyeuristic as its almost as if we are not supposed to see the band doing this. It has been put into the video because the band wants to be seen as rebellious. We see the band perform sensibly in the hall then these added shot almost give a home video style to the piece, giving the impression the band are more rounded and diverse. This gives a more personal element to the video and the consumer might feel a closer relationship to the band.

The record label would want the video to be as conventional as possible in order to widespread appeal, however they also would want the video different enough to attract attention from customers and the media. I believe our video achieves this with a quirky mix of standard performance shots and a selection of voyeuristic fun shots.     

2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary text?

For our digipak we decided to focus on oranges as this was obvious play on the band name, I think that this provides a very effective digipak as its bright, bold, visually arresting and would make the consumer pick up the product from the shelves. I based the design of the digipak on the idea of cutting open and orange; therefore the two inside covers have two orange slices and the outside covers show texture from the skin and flesh. The consumer will relate the quality of the digipak to the quality of the music.

Our magazine advert focuses on being bold and in your face in order to capture the attention of the reader, for instance the bright bubbly background with the contrasting blue text give a very punchy image. The advert provides just the right amount of information but without overloading the image with text. To reduce the amount of text on the advert we chose to use logos such as the ‘HMV’ logo. The blue and orange ties in and makes links with the advert thus providing a link between the advert and the digipak. If I was a consumer picking up the digipak or looking at the advert for the first I would get the impression that band are entertaining but not too serious about themselves however digipak give the impression they are modern as the text is quite minamist and the use of plain colours is not particularly 80’s.  Having said that the bold punchy letting and high contrast colours in the advert/digipak reflect the upbeat and positive music of the band.

Overall I believe the ancillary texts enhance the main product, as the advert does, to sell the product as upbeat and exciting to the customer. The digipak sell the band well as professional but also fun loving and I believe the bright colours would encourage the consumer to buy the album.

3) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

Whilst in the editing stage we got some audience feed back from different sources and amount other things people said we needed to give our video more variety in terms of shots and visuals. We did this but going and filming some quick shots of the band ‘being themselves’ on the college grounds. Furthermore we chose to reverse some shots in order to create more variation without having to shoot more footage. Another method we did in order to increase the content of the video was the cut between the original footage we captured in the hall more this providing more variation without the need for more shooting.

We also got feedback on our digipak. We produced three magazine adverts and two digipaks with the aim that we would get our audience to choose. My design with the oranges was chosen as the best digipac because our audience said that they where most likely to pick up this version in the shop. People said it was eye catching, not conventional. doesn't link with the music video but does link to the band. blue bit looks good, contrasts well. ‘good photo, would make a bold statement on a shelf. looks very professional.

From our rough cut it was suggested that we needed much more footage to make it a viable music video however our lip syncing skills were good and we had some interesting initial ideas for shots. In order to counter this made two more video shoots and added costumes in order to add depth.

4) How did you use new media technology in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stage?

Throughout the production of our media product we’ve been fully reliant on technology, in the research stage we used the Internet frequently in order to gain inspiration, research other music videos and blog all our findings. This access to a wealth of information is very helpful and enables us to gain knowledge about who directed certain videos and gain information from the public/consumers via surveys and questionnaires, however having access to the Internet can easily lead to distraction and is not an effective use of our time. During the research stage I use a questionnaire from online software ‘Survey Monkey’ which enabled us to get and idea of what people thought was conventional for a 1980’s music video and where would be best to distribute our video.

During the research stages we used a website called ‘Find your tribe’. We filled out the series of questions as if we were a 1980’s music fan. The website proved invaluable for establishing a target market for our production and gave us a good base for researching further.

This year we had the option of using High Definition video cameras in the constructions stage, this was a vast improvement over the standard Mini Dv camera we usually and it enabled us to produce a more professional looking music video. Other essential software included final cut and photoshop. Photoshop was key in creating such a professional looking digipak and advert.

Youtube was key in allowing us to research ideas from other music videos and compare those with other 1980’s videos in order to gain knowledge of the conventions of modern and 80’s music videos. Furthermore it gave us an idea of what costume to wear, what location would suit and what kind of angles we should be using. 

John Exton's Full Evaluation

One of the main targets for us as a group was to make the music video as professional as possible
In doing this we studied and watched many types of music videos and used what we had learned into creating our music video.
A feature of our music video style we incorporated in to our video which is common in modern day music videos is the cutting of scenes, on average a music video will have at least 130 cuts in a video. This is to keep the audience’s attention in check as have a too long a shot can be forever boring unless it’s one that used to record the music video in one go (e.g. Ok Go – This too shall pass). For us to accomplish this we set out to record 4 different scenes/locations to perform in  and this gave us plenty of room to create inventive cuts between scene and allowed us to edit speed and arrangement as another feature in a music video is the editing aspect which we incorporated by having an image flip to the beat. This style is also very much practiced in modern music videos as well.
Because our music video was so heavily performance based it left us with the challenge on how we would portray ourselves as all bands perform so we decided that to make ours stand out through mise-en-scene which was to have unique costumes. We had chosen to wear 80’s style costumes which I had brought from home and I felt it added character to the video and also allowed us to better portray ourselves through the music video as having our song being 80’s style meant we wanted to embrace that era and we did so through our costumes. Many modern day artists choose to portray themselves through their outfits, an example of this would be Lady Gaga but we hadn’t chosen to be so dramatic with our outfits.
Also because our video lacked so much in a narrative scene our performance was the main feature of our video which is a feature many artists used to great effect but we had just added few sections of random footage to better portray our ‘Lifestyle’. This technique was very popular during the 80’s with such bands lie Bon Jovi and Aerosmith having performance based music videos with few sections of random footage.

For our Digi-pack which consisted of a one sheet (magazine advert) and album cover artwork we went for a totally different approach, I had created my own style of art work for both one sheet and album art work as this is what I would of preferred to use but as a group it was decided we would take the Band Name orange juice and become more literal with it.
So I had created a new magazine advert and Gabriel created the new album cover. I can see why my group chose to go down that route but I felt it was too much of a cliché to have oranges everywhere one the advertising and album cover but in doing so people will be humored by the visual images being so heavily related to the band name it would seem quite comical.

In my version of the group Digi-pack I would have gone down the rout which best relates the group’s style of music being an 80’s genre as it has old designs on the album and magazine cover.
But the final Digi-pack works well in catching peopl's eye and having a memorable link to one another.

We had received mixed views from audience feedback mainly positive thankfully, one of our main praises of our video was the performance of the cast; people said that we put on a lively and entertaining performance which was exactly what we were trying to do and are glad to have accomplished it so well.
Relating to our video we had views saying that it was fun to watch and quite comical as to had a cheesy and camp attitude about it, they said they found the mise-en-scene to be a nicely added touch to the video and felt it went well with that type of song which was another bonus as that was what we were going for. However people felt some of the shot were a little bit too long and that maybe incorporating more shots and scenes might have been better.
For our Digi-pack both my design and the final designs were looked at received all positive feedback about the style layout and how it related to our group but in the end it was decided as a group that we would go with the more literal Digi-pack.
So  in today’s range of technology gathering up information has never been so easy mainly because we have the internet on our side and so this enabled us to collect and conduct surveys for our music video.
First stage was finding out who to our target audience was, we used an online site called find your tribe which is aimed for individuals to find their ‘clique’ aka tribe, this included the ever popular geek, punk and other classic cliques but also added new ones like street kids, trendies etc. the way we used this to our advantage was that we pretended to be our chosen target audience our what we thought our target audience was and answered the questionnaire in the way they would of answered it.
Our result was
Smart Urban-

You are Smart Urban! You want a good job and know that’s about looking presentable. You love the preppy look – the girls in Gossip Girl have great style. You hate anything uncouth – see fighting, drugs and Wetherspoons. You’re much more likely to be spotted at a cool club, or commuting to work.'

We also tried to contact the creators of the song rip it up through their MySpace page but didn’t get a reply, this was mainly out of courtesy to ask if we could use their song, this is also something modern music video maker need to do when they haven’t got the actual artist with them to work with, it’s all a licensing issue.
In creating out music video we kept a detailed diary on Blogger which contained what we as a group and as individuals have done to develop our music video, in keeping this online diary meant that collecting and adding more work to the diary was easy as it was accessible anywhere as long as you had a device that could reach the internet.
With the combination of using HD camera and using Final cut pro on the Mac’s we produced our music video, we used new HD camera as they generally produced better quality film and were easier to extract as it was all done virtually but we did consider the possibility of having to use old school vhs tapes as backups, digitals may be easy to use but tape is still used in modern day movies and film production as it is still a very valuable way of filming which is far from obsolete.
By using final cut we were able to edit the videos as we saw fit and it enabled us to create the great music video and DVD commentary.
Using the internet was a valuable research tool for our mise-en-scene as we literally had an infinite sized information bank at our finger tips, we looked at the costumes in the 80’s and the styles of video, everything that we had to researched as researched as it was so easy to access the information and freely choose the relevant parts.
Another plus side of using blogger as an online diary for the work meant that creating an evaluation was easier and more convenient as work could be easily seen talked about in great detail.

George Marino's FULL Evaluation

1) In what way does your media product develop, challenge or use Forms and Conventions of real media products?

We chose ‘Rip it Up by Orange Juice’ because we found the time frame intriguing and interesting. Its genre is Punk Rock, in the media product it immediately comes across that there’s going to be a dominating portion of the music video dedicated to promoting the band, I found this to be expected from a music video from the 80’s in that genre.

There are many similarities from professional music video’s to our music video. The first being the way that our music video displays our artist and the way that or music video was filmed. In professional music videos it’s very important for the audience to be aware of the artist or band that’s performing. If they don’t have any links of representations then there is not going to be much remembrance of the artist. In our music video, we tried to do exactly that, make sure that someone from the band was in always in shot. So when anyone thought of our band, they would also be able to recognize the band visually.

All those things are similar the original music video, now for what we did differently. Being the Cameraman/director, it was my job to make sure we had enough shots filmed, enough camera angles filmed and enough variety. During planning we found that in recent music videos there is a severe number of cuts, even for very simple scenes. So we tried to add a present day twist onto and old style music video, by having a lot of cuts.

Then there’s the style of the music video, this will use or challenge real media products depending on what you’re comparing to. If I was comparing our version of the band ‘Orange Juice’ to the real band ‘Orange Juice’ there would be some direct ties but mostly challenges. In the official video for ‘Rip it Up’ there was some green screen effects that didn’t turn out very good. Because of this we didn’t want to go for anything like that, because of the same problem. There was a majority of shots dedicated to the main singer/guitarist in the official, so we followed that style, other than that, not particularly.
As far as Mise-En-Scene goes, we used and developed the style that the original band were going for. We used the same kind of instruments and also were clothed the same. We added sunglasses because we thought they suited the time frame well, which was the 80’s. So in that way we definitely used the forms and conventions of the real media product.

2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary text?

I think it’s very effective and they both provide the different uses that each is required to. The CD cover and Magazine article is tied closely to the actual band name. Meaning there’s many references to actual ‘Orange Juice’. We did this on purpose because we feel that orange juice being the very popular drink as its widely available across the globe. With our Magazine article and CD cover, hopefully make people register the drink with our band. So every time someone has some orange juice to drink, they will immediately think of ‘Orange Juice’ the band. Advertising in its simplest and most effective form, subliminal.

The magazine advert has a very intriguing design so that it will hopefully attract people’s attention. They will be flicking quickly through magazines pages and their attention will suddenly be drawn to a very colourful and interesting page, that’s the plan anyway. Once they read what’s on the advert they will hopefully remember what they’ve seen. It features the colour scheme of Orange and bits of Blue, again referring the literal name of our band. The original inspiration for the design came from recent media texts, going through magazines today, you’ll find some adverts which are simply a blank white page with a single word in the corner. I find these adverts the most interesting, because they catch your eye. That’s what we have gone for, the eye catching. We found that the adverts that are the most simple are from pretty substantial brands, that don’t need anything but a logo. For us, we had to feature more information, so we ended up with a little bit of both.

Unlike Digipak, our main product is forever referencing who’s actually in the band so that the audience knows what to look for and recognizes them for their music. So overall, with the Digipak/Ancillary texts helping to make the ‘band name‘ to become more recognized. The music video helping to create a recognizable style for the artist, together we’re covering both bases. It wouldn’t work to its full potential without the combination of both.

The impression I get from just looking at the CD is that the band is not a serious one, because of the very literal style of the CD cover; I see that the band is willing to have to good and fun time. When you watch the music video, you get the exact same feeling. This is a major link between the ancillary texts and our main product, the feeling you get. This also carries on when you’re looking at the Magazine article, straight away with the comic style, having contrasting colours Orange and Blue, Orange referring to the band name again. The song ‘Rip it Up’ is where we got the original idea to have this comic style of CD cover and Magazine advert. It’s an upbeat song, so the other medias match that.

On the Magazine article, included is two logos. The first is the ‘DVD-ROM’ logo, this lets people know there’s a music video included with the CD. Second there’s a blacked out ‘HMV’ logo, this shows people that we’re in conjunction with HMV mainly, whilst also keeping it more simplistic.

3) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

There’s variety in our audience feedback, I’ll start with the designs of the Digipak. There being two main options which my group put together. First there’s the CD cover that was of a very simplistic design, pleasant and clean to look at. This was compared to the second, which was a more complex design, again pleasant to look at, but did it have too many things happening on the cover. The audience wrote the following comment for the more complex CD design: “we feel that this Digipak is far stronger than the plain orange one as it feels more like what you would expect, it’s interesting to look at quite simple but more professional generally but it suits the image of the band and members.” This member of the audience clearly prefers more complex, however this is another member’s comment for the simplistic CD design: “Good photo, would make a bold statement on a shelf. Looks very professional” So as you can see, mixed opinions. Now for the Magazine Adverts, complex: “The bottom one(Complex) features all the information needed for me to go to the shop and buy it. The top one(Simple) doesn't offer enough information.” And for the Simple one: “the top one(simple) looks more professional and smooth and the second one(complex) has too many titles.”

So, after all the deliberation, it seemed that on the CD cover designs, the simple one wins. It received just a little bit more appraisal and one of the comments said it was simply more eye catching, something I’m definitely going for. The Magazine Advert however, is going to be the more complex one. At the end of the day, eye-catching is great, but not great enough to look over the fact the audience seeing the advert won’t have enough information on the Band or CD, so they won’t go and buy it.

When having finished the rough cut and posted it onto the blog, we had a very rough cut indeed. It featured just shots of the band, no variety apart from camera angles, so we expected some comments. We showed fellow groups within our class and I personally showed family and friends. Both audiences said that there wasn’t enough footage to make the music video worth watching. A comment I was quite prepared to hear, so what we did was we went out the next chance we got and we had the job of filming fun and interesting shots to make up for the parts where the video clips are too long or they just start getting boring. The immediate effect of this is that in the end, we had a final product that had several different locations and actions, including a strut down a college hallway and playing in leaves. The final media product was much more enjoyable to watch, and could easily be watched the whole way through. All of this down to simple audience feedback.

4) How did you use new media technology in the constructions, research and planning of the evaluation stage?

Research was a massive factor in the creation of our final media production. Right at the beginning, after finding out exactly what song we wanted, we needed to know who our audience was going to be and what they would like. We used a very helpful website ‘FindYourTribe’, the site allows you to complete a questionnaire about yourself, we used the stereotypical information we assumed a person who enjoyed 80’s music would put. The result came up was exactly what was expected, I can’t remember the exact phrase used to describe the ‘tribe’ but I remember the description; “You’re the kind of person who lives life for the fun of it, aged 18-40.” As you can see there’s quite a large age range there, but that suits us down to the ground. It gives us more leverage in deciding which age to aim for. In the end we decided on around 20 years of age, basically because at 20 you’re still young enough to want to listen to good music and party to it. But you’re also not too young to not appreciate it. So using the media technology of ‘FindYourTribe’ we managed to specify an audience.

YouTube was also a very important factor in helping us find out the style we should record our music video in, we compared similar song and music videos from the 80’s and some of the newer music videos to find their differences and hopefully find some middle ground in between them. We saw ‘Rip it Up’ by Orange Juice on YouTube, the first time it was shown to us, it helped us find out the perfect ‘Mise-En-Scene’ so we knew what cloths to wear and what to base the main video about. So we did, the main video was based mainly on the main singer, just like the original music video.

Physical technologies also helped us out, two out of the four of our group went out searching for a location and it really helped as well, it meant when we came back we could show the images to the rest of the group, but without having to waste more ‘Blogging’ time, by taking all four of us out there.
Software became of crucial importance as well, Final Cut for cutting together all the images we took and video clips we recorded to make up the final video. Photoshop required for putting together our Digipaks, so the Magazine Advert and the CD cover. Website’s like ‘DaFont’ also helped us out, we had the ability to find rarer, and less common fonts to use for our Digipak which could then be imported straight into the other software.

All of these latest advancements in technology have really helped us to find all the information we could ever need, and also the tools required to create what we wanted. Without them we would literally have nothing in comparison to what we have as a Final media product now. Technology was not always the solution however, during filming there came a point that we were close to leaving but required one last shot to really finalise the filming day and make it worth it. We didn’t have anything available to use to our advantage, apart from a basic ‘Whiteboard on wheels’. On the spot, we came up with the idea of rotating the whiteboard so the it was a platform, placed the tripod on top of the now horizontal platform, to form a dolly of our own creation. It was pure intuition from our minds to even think of doing something like that, on the spot. When we looked back at the footage, it came out perfectly as I wanted it, a perfect pan across the entire stage. It’s things like that that can’t be helped with technology, but we still appreciate technology all the same.
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