Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Evaluation

Monday, 14 December 2009







Friday, 11 December 2009

Emily's Evaluation

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

We chose to develop an indie song called ‘Heart Skipped a Beat’ by The XX. When planning our music video we had to take into account what conventions indie music videos follows, some of these were things such as how they usually contain the whole band and are a mix of narrative and performance based like ‘Do You Wanna’ by The Kooks. Most indie videos include musical instruments, even if it’s just an acoustic guitar, we chose not to as it wouldn’t fit the entirely narrative theme. Because the genre is individual the music videos are usually quite stylistic an example of this is ‘Golden Touch’ by Razorlight. The costumes the artists wear are casual and simple, which is why we went for a simplistic approach. For example the costumes that the vocalists wore, the male was in a shirt, jeans and a hat, which is similar to the costume worn by the band members of My Bloody Valentine in the video ‘Realise’. The female was in a simple beige dress with a floral design. Locations of indie music videos vary – they are generally quite abstract or have a relevant setting, which is why we chose to set ours in an abandoned barn. This barn was very unique as it was covered in graffiti, which we thought strengthened our mise en scene as we carried this theme on throughout all our products making it quite iconic. We did a lot of research when producing the magazine advert and digipak, we looked at other bands products so we could identify what we needed to include, therefore included such information such as the rating, reviews, release date and record label. When choosing which record label to use we thought about how well know The XX are and as they aren’t a very big band we decided we would research what their record label is, which is ‘Young Turks’.

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

To compliment our product we produced a magazine advert and digipak. All of these have the same visual motif, which binds them together to make them a strong product.

After looking at other bands magazine adverts and digipaks we identified what information supported the genre and decided we didn’t need things such as an image of the artist on the magazine advert or screen-grabs on the back of the digipak as we thought it gave too much away about a low profile band. Our music video was unique because of the warm filter we put on it and the graffiti for advertising purposes, we thought that we should use the same effect in the ancillary tasks.

We also took the font into account when producing the ancillary tasks, as there was an ongoing theme we thought it would be beneficial if we used the same font in the magazine advert and digipak, however it looked a bit too mechanical on the digipak so we changed the track list to a curvy font, this prevented the font from contrasting to the background. We experimented with different ideas for the digipak, using different images, colour palettes and the general layout, after looking them all it was obvious our strongest in terms of visual links with our main product. I believe that our main product and ancillary tasks are visually strong and also support the genre.


3.) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?


Feedback from class members, teachers and friends has helped us develop our whole product.

When we first chose the song we had to present a pitch to our class members convincing them we had a strong image of our video, after presenting our pitch we got all positive feedback, which meant we were able to start planning straight away.

We then made our roughcut version, which we showed our class members. We received positive feedback and points how we could improve. The positive points were how we successfully made the video fit the genre through a striking location which created a strong mise en scene. We seemed to attract the audience by having the artists singing all of the lyrics and various people said the visuals made the song seem a little more interesting as it is quite plain.

The things that would improve our video was adding a filter to the whole video to make it more visually striking, cut the ghosting effect down as it was repetitive, the first verse was out of synch and the vocalist was too far away and that we needed to include more shots to keep the audience interested. We took all of this into account and decided to re-shoot the first verse, this was a little inconvenient as we couldn’t get back to the barn but found somewhere, which was similar and was able to synch it properly. We cut up a lot of our footage, increasing the pace slightly and so it wasn’t repetitive during the instrumental. The one thing we felt changed our video completely was the filter we used; it took it to a new level and made the setting a character in itself. The audience feedback showed that the visuals are so important and if they’re not strong, the audience will lose interest.

We also received feedback for our ancillary tasks, various people said that the image we chose was very visually striking but needed to put a filter that matched our music video to make it link. When we put the filter on there was an instant leap in how effective the whole product was and our teachers agrees. The way we placed the information on the products projected more attention to the image implying the location was important. We got some advice to change the font in our track listing as the one we had used looked too mechanical, which contrasted the song, so we changed the font and size which benefited the product.

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

The production of the whole product highly depended on media technologies. We used media technologies when creating every part of the project.

We used a website called Blogger to note down all of our research, planning and to upload our final products to. Blogger is very useful as you can access other groups for inspiration and you can post blogs on their pages with feedback and groups were able to do the same for us.

When editing the video we used Final Cut, this enabled us to cut and edit our shots, put various effects like the ghosting effect in and to lip synch it. We also used the colour correction tool to add our filter. Final Cut let us experiment with our footage, especially when we received our feedback as we were able to add different effects, crop the frame and change the speed of the footage.

When making the ancillary tasks we didn’t have the same tool to create the filter which was on our video because we used Photoshop. We used other various tools to create the same effect, for example the colour selection tool. We also experimented with techniques so we could produce the best possible product.

Even the usage of the internet was crucial in the developing process as we used it for all our research and contacting the band.

Overall we thought our product turned out to be effective as we had hoped, we worked well together to produce a strong visual image that complimented the indie genre.

Final Evaluation

We chose the song "The XX - Heart skipped a beat". We felt that this song had an indie feel to it, so we took this and used it throughout our project.

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our music video has an indie style to it. We showed this by the clothes the actors wore, the location of our music video and some of the footage we shot.

The costumes our actors wore to represent this indie feel and genre were as followed; the male actor wore a hat, nerd glasses casual shirt, bracelets, jeans, a studded belt and plimsolles. The female actor wore a head band, casual dress, leather jacket, and flat casual shoes.

The location of where we shot our music video was at an abandoned barn. Inside, it had an empty feel to it. The walls were covered in graffiti which made it unique.The barn also had large empty window frames in which we made the most of by shooting footage with the actors sitting in them .

The footage we shot represented an indie feel. E.g. At the end of our music video we had the two actors lying outside on the grass. This created a feel of freedom and open space.

2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancilliary texts?
We designed a magazine advert and digipak for our music video. We used the same style for both projects; so as they are individual products, by us using the same style throughout they come together and look like they belong and fit together as one project.

Our magazine advert is a shot of in side the barn which is the location where we shot our music video. We added a dim effect to the picture which makes it look more professional. We added everything that was relevant and needed on the magazine advert i.e. the bands name, the song title, the release date of the song, where customers can purchase the song, a comment and star review from someone well known, and record logo.

On the outside cover of our digipak we used a graffiti styled background for. Again, we included all relevant and needed information including; the bands name, song title, age rating logo, DVD logo, record logo, barcode, a list of tracks that are on the CD album, and a brief description of what the didpak includes. The inside cover of our digipak had the same graffiti styled background as the outside cover, this is so it flowed through and fitted together.

3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

Our peers feedback helped us develop our project throughout different stages. We got a lot of positive feedback but also some negative feedback. We took all of our feedback into consideration and made changes to our music video.

When we recieved feedback about our rough cut, we changed and added a lot of footage. We even decided to re-film the first verse of the song. This was because the original footage we had filmed for the first verse was filmed from far away and you could not see lip syncing and it was quite boring for the audience to watch. From our rough cut feedback we also changed the end of our music video to make the ending more clear. Also, throughout the music video we added more footage and added different effects to make it a lot more interesting to watch.

4. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
The new media technologies we used were blogger, final cut, and adobe photoshop. We used blogger throughout the whole of our project; research, planning and valuation stages. We used final cut and adobe photoshop to create our music video, magazine advert ,and digipak. Our whole project was heavily dependent on these new media technologies.

We used blogger to upload all of our progress on all of our tasks. Blogger also helped us to communicate with our teacher and other class members to gain feedback on our project so far.

We used final cut to practice and test effects during the planning of our music video. After we had shot our footage for our music video, we used final cut to put together and edit our footage, which created our music video. Using final cut we were able to cut out unneccessary and any unwanted footage, enabling us to put together the footage we needed to create our music video. Final cut also enabled us to add filters and effects to our footage which enabled us to create the style we required.

We used adobe photoshop to create our magazine advert and digipak. With adobe photoshop, we were able to style the texts, add pictures, and add effects. Again, this enabled us to create the style in which we wanted.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Final Evaluation

We have developed a media product that consists of a music video for an indie song titled heart skipped a beat by the ‘XX’, a digipak and a promotional magazine advert. The product is successful for numerous reasons. It conforms to some of the typical conventions in its genre while challenging various aspects in order to be unique. Furthermore consistency is shown through a subsequent visual motif in both the music video and the ancillary texts.

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

One of the highlights of our music video is that they is a balance between the use of typical indie conventions and the use of unconventional elements. We utilized only the generic conventions of indie music videos so that the audience can recognize its genre. For instance the way the artists are represented in our music video.




In our music video the male artist wears a green checked shirt, plain straight jeans and white plimsolls. These clothes are similar to the ones shown in the second picture, worn by the lead singer of kings of Leon in their music video ‘Charmer’. We added a purple hat and glasses that complement the indie style furthermore the purple hat and glasses make the costume look more unique in comparison to other indie costumes.


The female artist wore a dress with flowered patterns and a leather jacket. The dress is similar to the one worn by the lead singer and backup dancers of the Florence and the Machine in their music video ‘Rabbit heart’. The leather jacket she wore suits the style of the video while completing the dress.

We were generally pleased with the costumes because they represented the artists in a simple yet fashionable way while maintaining the indie style. On the other hand we also wanted to challenge the generic conventions of an indie video. We utilized the mise en scene and the absence of props such as music instruments to do this.

Usually indie bands have their music videos shot in inhabited locations that the audience is familiar to. In contrast we decided to use a deserted barn which was part of the unique selling point of the video. Not only did the barn give us a unique mise en scene but the graffiti art painted all over the inside gave us a visual motif for the full media product. Furthermore the characters were able to interact with the mise en scene in the scenes were they write on the graffiti walls. This reminds the target audience that the mise en scene and the graffiti theme are just as important as the characters. The barn was very spacious, so we could get several shots of the barn that we edited in final cut. Each transition from one section of the barn to the other suited the slow pace of music. The barn complemented the artists, because its sheer size created a sense of emptiness that brings more emphasis on the artists because they are the only people in the isolated barn.

Musical instruments are common props in indie music videos. Although they were several instrumental sections in the song, we chose not to use instruments in the video. Mainly because our music video is a bit more abstract than most indie music videos. Indie videos usually use instruments during a performance or live footage scenes within the music video. Due to the fact that our music video was abstract we acknowledged the fact that our video will not follow all typical conventions of indie music videos. So we ignored music instruments and decided to use a ghosting effect. We applied the ghosting effect because it was unique and visually pleasing and also suited the pace of the instrumental sections of the music.

Overall we were pleased with what we had achieved. Although the music video was constrained to the basic conventions of the indie genre we were able to make it look more abstract. This creates a sense equilibrium between the typical conventions that make it easy for the audience to recognize the genre and the abstract aspects that make the video unique.

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

In addition to the music video we designed a digipak and a magazine advert. All of these have the same visual motif that binds them all together to them one product.

Firstly we designed the magazine advert. We were generally pleased with the outcome of the magazine advert it was simple yet showed the target audience a lot about the product. The magazine contains graffiti drawings shown as the main focus. The graffiti drawings relate to the full product because they are consistently shown and also showcase the mise en scene. We also added a colour correction filter to the magazine advert. The filter makes the magazine advert look more visually appealing and is similar to the one we added in the music video thus showing consistency in the visually motif. To make the advert look official we added quotes from reviews and ratings on it. This persuades the audience to buy the product. The quotes from reviews were written in a simple thin mechanic font. We chose this font because of its simplicity and because it matched the overall look of the magazine. We also added a release date and a title in the same font. However the title has a bigger font size and is bolder so that it could draw the audience’s eyes to it.

Next we designed a digipak in the same visual motif as the rest of the product. However achieving the consistent motif was challenging. We had to do several drafts of the digipak in order to get the best possible results. Each draft had its own strength and weakness, but the major flaw in them was the lack of strong visual links to video. Fortunately we improved on this in the final draft. The final draft incorporated the graffiti art and the colour correction filter that were in the magazine advert. In contrast to the magazine advert the digipak had the artists shown on the front. Most album covers have all the band members shown on the front; however we decided to have one artist on the front and one artist on the back. This challenges typical conventions and also shows the target audience that the artists are unique in an experimental way, because they try new things that are not conventionally done.

Overall we were pleased with the digipak and magazine advert because we were able to archive a subsequent motif that matches the music video. Furthermore our product has an artistic style which is represented through the graffiti; the artistic graffiti can be used as part of the unique selling point of the product. This combination of a visual motif and artistic flare demonstrates consistency in the product thus making it effect because audience could tell that the digipak, magazine cover and music video are all part of the same product.

3.) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

Before making the final music video we drafted it so that we could get feedback from the audience. The feedback was generally positive and we also received some constructive criticism that highlighted a few flaws in the music video. We responded to all of our peers and their feed, by improving the areas they highlighted, for example the quote shown below from one of our peers.

Group S1-23 Feedback

S1-23 - We think the location is very unique and interesting, a wider variety of shots would keep the audiences interest. The editing so far seems slightly repeatitive, maybe chop the shots up a bit more to the beat and include more close ups. The lip syncing was well done.

Genre characteristics - Low beat Indie - It fits the song well, the two characters appear close yet not close enough and overall the footage fits the romantic feel. The mise en scene attracts the social category that The XX tend to appeal to, along with the costumes.


This group responded positively to the video however they highlighted a few minor flaws that were in the video. In the rough cut we had a very limited set of camera shots and discarded a lot of footage that we could have used. Furthermore the ghosting was applied in too many scenes thus making the effect repetitive. As a solution we simply added a wide variety of camera shots ranging from establishing shots, close ups, mid shot and more. Each camera shot was chosen for a specific reason. For instance the establishing shot was used to show the mise en scene while close ups were used to show the artists so that we could meet the demands of the record label. In addition to this we deleted some of the scenes with the ghosting effect, so that the ghosting effect is only applied in the instrumental sections.

We had other minor flaws highlighted by our teacher such as the difficulty in seeing the lip-syncing in the first section of the video. We tried to find different solutions such as zooming into the artist’s face so that we could see him miming the song, however zooming worsened the video quality making it look pixelated. The only possible solution was to re-shoot the sections of the video were the lip-syncing was hard to see. Our teacher also highlighted another flaw in the music video. Usually in music videos the artists are introduced very early in the video in order to meet the demands of the record label. In the draft version of the music video the artists were not introduced early enough. So as a solution we used some clips of the artists that we had discarded placed in the early parts the video.

Despite the flaws in the video, the audience were still overall pleased with the rough cut. The audience were mainly captivated by the ghosting effect and the scenes were the artists write the title of the song on a wall, because they show relationship between the music and visuals. The audience also responded positively to our pitch, they were particularly impressed by the location we had chosen for our mise en scene.

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

The construction of the media product was heavily dependent on the use of new media technologies. We used new media technologies for almost every aspect of the development from, planning, researching and evaluation.

One of the most important tool we used wise blogger. Blogger allowed the group to communicate to its audience and get feedback from the audience. We wrote numerous blogs regarding each stage of the development of the product. Blogging soon became essential in planning and research because we could keep digital records that we could track back to.

For video editing we used Final cut. Final cut equipped us with tools we needed to lip sync the video correctly, apply visual effects such as the ghosting effect and the colour correction and arrange the order of the clips. Final cut was also effective because we could experiment with a variety of video editing techniques to make the video more visually pleasing.

Another application we used was Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop was mainly used for creating the digipak and the magazine advert. In Photoshop we were able to stylize the text for the digipak and put a colour correction filter similar to the one in the music video and experiment with a variety of techniques.

Using new media technologies helped us learn new things in different software. It also made us proficient in video editing and image editing.

Overall we were pleased with the outcome of our product, we were able to improve on all aspects that needed to be improved during the drafting stages and combine ideas while thinking as a group. We also got blog of the week that motivated us to even to work harder and try out more things within the group.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Feedback for Gerald on Evaluation

Gerald - also read the feedback I gave Emily and Shaun as it also applies to you. You also need to give more in-depth responses to the questions and make it clear which question you are answering, number your responses.
You need to talk more about the choices you made throughout, why you made those particular choices and how successful the outcome was.
The final version of your response to the evaluation questions must be on the blog by Friday 11th December.

Feedback for Emily on Evaluation

Emily - a lot of what I said to Shaun also applies to you so please read his feedback post and implement the changes I suggested.
You need to make it clear that you are answering the questions one by one.
Start by outlining the conventions of an indie music video, cite some of the examples you looked at and then discuss your own use of those conventions, illustrated by examples. You could benefit from discussing in a bit more detail the conventions of your ancillary texts and which ones you used and any you challenged or developed.
Also you say didn't when I think you meant did in the following section
"After looking at other bands magazine adverts and digipaks there was some information we didn’t need to include"
You need to fix that because it doesn't make sense as it stands.
You need to flesh out your responses to the question on feedback and use of new media technology.

Feedback for Shaun on Evaluation

Your responses are very good, put the question numbers by your responses to make it clear which answer is to which question. In the first question ditch the first line and get on with answering the question. Talk about the choices you made about your engagement with the conventions of indie music videos. Also talk about how you engaged with the form of music videos, obviously it's very different from the narrative video forms you have worked on before. Also talk in detail about specific conventions you used and give examples from your texts. Talk about the video, the magazine ad and the digipak.
Question 2 on the combination of products you talk about the theme of graffiti, call this a visual motif that binds the three products together. Also talk about the representation of the artist in all three products, do they work in combination to communicate something specific about the artist.
Talk about some more specific examples of using the internet for looking at examples of other videos from that genre, research into target audience etc.
Also you haven't answered the question about feedback. Mention all of the points at which you got feedback, pitch, rough cut, final cut, digipak and magazine ad draft and final versions etc. Also talk about peer feedback and using the class as a sample group of your target audience.
Give specific examples of feedback you received (use quotes or screengrabs if you wish), state what you learnt from the feedback and how you responded to it.
You MUST make these improvements to your evaluation.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Final Evaluation

Media Evaluation

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

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

3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

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

1. We made sure our product remained within the boundaries of its genre, but we worked hard to make sure that our music video was unique, while producing a piece of work which conforms to typical music video conventions. We created a current, appealing product which is an effective collaboration of a music video and ancillary texts with a consistent motif in all three of our final products, which really finished our piece off to a professional standard.

We chose to use the indie song ‘Heart Skipped a Beat’ by the unsigned act ‘the XX’, because we felt that as a group, it is our preferred genre of music and the one that we all know the most about, so things like costumes and location would be easier, and for genres like ‘Hip-Hop’ and ‘Pop music’, the music videos tend to be a lot more glamorous and try to show of the artists wealth and fame, which is not easily achievable by a group of A Level students with no budget to work from. When researching other music videos from the indie genre, we found that indie music videos are often a mix between narrative and performance and they often have some form of instrumental performance, even if it is very basic, for example playing an acoustic guitar and we also noticed that one of the most typical, recurring conventions is watching 'a day in the life of' either the lead vocalist or the band members and another we also notcied that indie music videos are often a mix between narrative and performance. As this is such a prominent convention, we decided to do something more unique so that it stands out more then existing music videos currently on the market. We dressed our actors in simple, yet fashionable and current clothing. The male vocalist (Gerald) wore a green check shirt, twisted navy denim jeans, a studded belt, a purple hat, “nerd glasses”, colourful bracelets and white plimsolls. Travis McCoy from the band the ‘Gym Class Heroes’ was our main inspiration for Gerald’s costume, and we tried to dress Gerald using clothes we already all had, meaning we didn’t have to spend any of our small budget that we had raised ourselves on clothes. Our female vocalist was styled wearing a brown mid-length dress with floral detailing and simple frills with a brown leather jacket and brown dolly shoes. For her outfit we were inspired by the outfit worn by Florence from the band ‘Florence and the Machine’ in her music video ‘Rabbit Heart’. We made sure that our outfits were kept to a minimum, because, unlike a lot of other genres, the main focus of the music video is the song itself, and not the artists wardrobe choices, so we stayed true to this, but still made sure they looked fashionable so that the youth of today feel like they can relate to them.

Even though we followed the typical indie dress stereotype, we wanted our music video to be unique and stand out from the other music videos on the shelves and to do this we utilized the mise en scene. Our location played a major role in this, because unlike the typical indie music videos, which is generally a day in the life of the main vocalist, we chose to set our piece in an abandoned barn in Foxton. Emily and myself knew about the barn already and knew that it would be the perfect location to shoot our video in. The barn has great character, and being a site which a lot of graffiti fanatics use to show off there work, graffiti became a large part of our overall product, being a main feature in all three of our products. The two vocalists we able to interact with the mise en scene on location, for example them spraying graffiti on the walls, hanging on window frames, holding the used spray cans, etc. We made sure to use the location to our full advantage, and in the end basically made the barn a main character in our music video.

In terms of gaining feedback, we made a rough cut of our music video, and showed to an audience of our peers and teachers, and were told what worked, what needed improving and elements we could to get our music video up to a respectable standard.

2. As well as creating the music video, in addition we designed and created and magazine and a digipak.
After looking at other bands magazine adverts and digipaks, we learnt the necessary information and logos that were true to the genre. To make our three products all work together in unison, we had to make sure we had strong visual motif between the three products, and this is where the barn and it’s graffiti played a vital role and works as a visual motif that binds the three products together. In all three of the products, the graffiti is present, and we also applied a green colour correction filter on all three of the products so that we have a matching colour scheme throughout our media project giving a better visual link so that they slot together better as a unique product and the motif that is created gives the target audience more of an indication that it is all one product. To do this, we drafted the magazine advert and the digipak a few times, but as strong as they all were individually, they didn’t link well enough to the music video when put together. Fortunately we learnt from this and used stills from the barn to make effective and visually stimulating finished products.

Even though we only made our artists the main features of two out of the three products, the barn and it's graffiti is almost a character in itself and is strong enough visually to make a good magazine advert, but still works with the main music video and the digipak as one complete product.

3. When we first showed our pitch to our audience, generally, the feedback we received was positive and they seemed to like our ideas and thought that our location and mise en scene was well suited to our song and it's genre. The feedback we received for our rough cut was generally positive, but there were some aspects of improvement that were pointed out to us.

'S1-23 - We think the location is very unique and interesting, a wider variety of shots would keep the audiences interest. The editing so far seems slightly repetitive, maybe chop the shots up a bit more to the beat and include more close ups. The lip syncing was well done. Genre characteristics - Low beat Indie - It fits the song well, the two characters appear close yet not close enough and overall the footage fits the romantic feel. The mise en scene attracts the social category that The XX tend to appeal to, along with the costumes.'

I feel that we tackled the problems presented to us effectively. We cut up our shots to make them more interesting and less repetitive and included some shots of Gerald in the introduction so that our video met the demands of the record label. Another area of improvement that was pointed out to us, was that at some points in our music video the lip-syncing was hard to see and that our piece was too performance based, and there needed to be more of a narrative and that we needed an earlier introduction to the vocalists to meet the demands of the record label. To solve these problems we went through our disregarded footage and found bits that could give the piece more a story line, we interspersed some shots of Gerald into the introductory cut aways of the location and to sort out the lip-syncing, we had to do a re-shoot, but unfortunately we had to do this off location and with a different, which makes the video a little less fluid, but the lip-syncing is clear and easy to see. The audience praised us on our ghosting effect and how it fit well with the song and the narrative of the piece.

4. When constructing our media product, we relied heavily on new media technologies. New media technologies played part in almost every element of development for a piece. We used it for everything, from sorting what and when we were going to do things and writing how we did thing on ‘blogger.com’, we used 'google.com' and 'youtube.com' to research our target audience and what they are interested in seeing and researching existing music videos from the indie genre on the market, constructing and editing our video on ‘Final Cut Express’, designing our magazine advert and digipak on ‘Abode Photoshop’ and we were able to get in contact with ‘the XX’ on ‘Myspace.com.

‘Blogger.com’ allowed us to keep tracks of where we are in the design and construction process, we were able to see what other groups have done for inspiration, we were able to keep an eye on deadlines, we are able to access our work from college and at home and it allowed an outside eye to see us progress as a group and create our media product. It also was our way of storing and presenting our planning, research, evaluations and final products.

Final Cut was the perfect video editing software for us and allowed us to experimant wit our footage. It is easy to use and equipped us with the appropriate tools we needed to be able to cut up and edit our shots, lip-sync our video, use colour correction and add our unique ghosting effect. We used Photoshop to create our magazine ad and our digipak. Photoshop allowed us to add a similar correction filter to the one we have use in Final Cut. We also stylized the text to fit well with our overall media product.
Overall I am very pleased with what we have been able to put together an effective piece of work which I am proud to put my name on and I feel that we have all made a vast improvement from the media products we made last year.

Shaun Kaba

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Analysis

Our media product is based around the song ‘Heart Skipped a Beat’ by The XX which is a duet in the indie genre. I believe that our product uses and challenges forms and conventions of real media products to make it stronger. When planning our music video we had to take into account what conventions indie music videos followed, which is why we went for a simplistic approach. For example the costumes that the vocalists wore, the male was in a shirt, jeans and a hat which is similar to the costume worn by the band members of My Bloody Valentine in the video ‘Realise’. The female was in a simple beige dress with a floral design. Locations of indie music videos vary – they are generally quite abstract or have a relevant setting, which is why we chose to set ours in an abandoned barn. This barn was very unique as it was covered in graffiti which we thought strengthened our mise en scene as we carried this theme on throughout all our products making it quite iconic. We did a lot of research when producing the magazine advert and digipak, we looked at other bands products so we could identify what we needed to include, therefore included such information such as the rating, reviews, release date and record label. When choosing which record label to use we thought about how well know The XX are and as they aren’t a very big band we decided we would research what their record label is, which is ‘Young Turks’.

Our main product and ancillary tasks follow a strict theme. Our music video was unique because of the warm filter we put on it and the graffiti, for advertising purposes we thought that we should use the same effect in the ancillary tasks. It took a while to match the colours with the colour correction tool on Photoshop, but once we did there was an instant atmosphere being presented and we got positive comments about the whole product. After looking at other bands magazine adverts and digipaks there was some information we didn’t need to include, such as an image of the artist on the magazine advert or screen-grabs on the back of the digipak as we thought it gave too much away about a low profile band. We also took the font into account when producing the ancillary tasks, as there was an ongoing theme we thought it would be beneficial if we used the same font in the magazine advert and digipak, however it looked a bit too mechanical on the digipak so we changed the track list to a curvy font, this prevented the font from contrasting to the background. We experimented with different ideas for the digipak, using different images, colour palettes and the general layout, after looking them all it was obvious our strongest in terms of visual links with our main product. I believe that our main product and ancillary tasks are visually strong and also support the genre.


Feedback from class members, teachers and friends has helped us develop our whole product. After presenting our pitch we got all positive feedback which meant we were able to start planning straight away. We then made our roughcut version, which we received positive feedback and points which could be improved. The positive points were how we successfully made the video fit the genre, the location was a good choice and we had a strong mise en scene. The things that would improve our video was adding a filter too the whole video to make it more visually striking, cut the ghosting effect down as it was repetitive, the first verse was out of synch and the vocalist was too far away and that we needed to include more shots to keep the audience interested. We took all of this into account and decided to re-shoot the first verse, this was a little inconvenient as we couldn’t get back to the barn but found somewhere which was similar and was able to synch it properly. We cut up a lot of our footage, increasing the pace slightly and so it wasn’t repetitive during the instrumental. The one thing we felt changed our video completely was the filter we used; it took it to a new level and made the setting a character in itself. The audience feedback showed that the visuals are so important and if they’re not strong, the audience will lose interest.

The production of the whole product highly depended on media technologies. We used a website called Blogger to note down all of our research, planning and to upload our final products to. Blogger is very useful as you can access other groups for inspiration and you can post blogs on their pages with feedback and groups were able to do the same for us. When editing the video we used Final Cut, this enabled us to cut and edit our shots, put various effects like the ghosting effect in and to lip synch it. We also used the colour correction tool to add our filter, when making the ancillary tasks we didn’t have the same tool because we used Photoshop. We were able to add text and colour selection to match the music video. The internet was the most useful technology, as we did all our research on The XX using it, contacted the band and researched indie music videos on Youtube.

Evaluation draft


Our media product is successful for numerous reasons. It conforms to some of the typical conventions in its genre while challenging various aspects in order to be unique. It is an effective combination of a music video and ancillary texts with a consistent motif is shown in both products.

We created a music video for an indie song titled heart skipped a beat by the’ XX’. Indie music videos have typical conventions that our video conforms to. For instance the costumes are usually simple and sometimes have patterns. In our music video the male character wears a green checked shirt, plain straight jeans, while plain plimsolls and a purple with glasses. These clothes are similar to the ones worn by the lead singer of kings of Leon in their music video ‘Charmer’. The female character wore a dress with flowered patterns and a leather jacket. The dress is similar to the one worn by the lead singer and backup dancers of the Florence and the Machine in their music video ‘Rabbit heart’. However we wanted our music video to be unique and challenge some of the typical conventions of the indie genre. We utilized the mise en scene to do this. Usually indie bands have their music videos shot in a location inhabited. In contrast we decided to use a deserted barn. Not only did the barn give us a different mise en scene but the graffiti art painted all over the inside gave us a visual theme for the full media product. Furthermore the characters were able to interact with the mise en scene in the scenes were they write on the graffiti walls. This reminds the target audience that the mise en scene and the graffiti theme are just as important as the characters.

Before making the final music video we drafted so that we could get feedback from the audience. The feedback was generally positive and we also received some constructive criticism that highlighted a few flaws in the video. One of the major flaws was that some of the lip-syncing was of beat and some of it was hard to see. As a solution we re-shot the sections of the video were the lip-syncing was hard to see. Another flaw was that some of the clips were put in the wrong order. To meet the demands of the record label we need a clip that introduces the characters in the beginning of the video and we also need a strong ending. As a solution we simple re-arranged the clips. Overall the audience responded positively to the video despite a few flaws. The audience we mostly impressed by the ghosting effect that we applied. The ghosting effect matched the pace of the instrumental sections of the song, therefore making it relevant in the video and visually pleasing for the audience.

In addition to the music video we designed a digipak and a magazine advert. In order for the digipak and magazine advert to be effective it needed strong visual links to the music video. To do this we applied a colour correction filter on both the music video and the digipak so that they could have the same colour schemes. After that we used the same graffiti art that was in the music video on the digipak. This strong visual link creates a motif in the full media product; this means the target audience can tell that the digipak is part of the same product. However we had to do several drafts in order to achieve this result. The two drafts we made did not have visual links that were strong enough and they almost a completely different visual style to the music video. Fortunately we improved on this in the final draft.

The construction of the media product was heavily dependent on new media technologies. We used new media technologies for almost every aspect of the development from, planning researching and evaluation. One of the most important tool we used wise blogger. It allowed the group to communicate to its audience, write about its plans and write about the research we made. For video editing we used Final cut. Final cut equipped us with tools we need to lip sync the video correctly, apply visual effects such as the ghosting effect and the colour correction and arrange the order of the clips. Another application we used was Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop was mainly used for creating the digipak and the magazine advert. In Photoshop we were able to stylize the text for the digipak and put a colour correction filter similar to the one in the music video.

Overall we were pleased with the outcome of our product, we were able to improve on all aspects that needed to be improved during the drafting stages and combine ideas while thinking as a group.

 
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