Tuesday, 15 December 2009

SW - Q1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Deconstruction of Music Video

Genre Characteristics

- Using dyer, our music video follows the main genre characteristics of an indie rock music video.
-The main characteristic of a music video is the band involved playing instruments and there are many clips of this as our music video is about 70% instrumental as the band are performing at the garage and at the big venue.
- Other characteristics usually in a music video of this genre are a predominant love story continually happening throughout.

Links between music and visuals

- In our music video there is a very strong link between the visuals and the lyrics.

- This is mainly shown in the chorus and in the title of the song. Throughout the music video there is a narrative of how the band started off playing in their garage and joking about how they want to be someone and then the audience sees the band performing on a big stage.

- In the song there are lyrics that say 'I'm gonna make you love me' and this is where we have involved the girl in our music video and showed the relationship between them.

- We also used one direct link to visual and lyrics at the beginning of the song where the lyrics say 'I loosen my tie, i loosen my tie' and the lead singer is shown at the same time loosening his tie.

Close-ups and Star Image Motifs

We used many close-ups of the different members of the band to create a relationship between the audience and the band. We found that by using our lead singer as well in the love story it allowed him to have more screen time therefore enhancing his star image motif.

Intertextual References

There has quite a few intertextual references, such as:- The dreamy like girl in our music video has intertextual references to the girl in The Killers - Mr Brightside video. This is quite fantasy like and therefore enhancing the post-modernism style of the music video. The band shots in the garage is very intertextual of the indie rock genre.

Performance-based, narrative based or concept based?

Our music video is about 70% performance based as there is the performance part in the garage and in the venue, however this is because it is part of our narrative also, however they just are performing as well. It is about 30% narrative based showing the story between the girl and the lead singer and how the band is outside of performing.

Semiotics in our Print Work

Visual Signs
- The image of the girl in the naturalistic location connotes ideas of geniality and represents the band as true and down to earth.

- The image of the girl holding up the sign saying ‘Only by the Night’, is influenced by the style of artist Gillian Wearing. This artist likes to allow random people to express their deepest thoughts and their emotions suggesting that the Kings of Leon are genuine people who do not have their heads in the clouds and that they are down-to-earth people. This is the main theme of the digipak.

- Throughout the other pages of the digpak there are references to nature which therefore connotes pureness and individuality.

- Even though the picture was simple yet classic, we took the picture in black and white as we thought that it would make the picture look professional and glossy which is representing the band well.

- Using the girl for the front cover of the digipak and for the advertisement is quite controversial because there are not any girls in the band, however because the girl is wearing quite cool and indie clothing she conforms to the conventions of the indie/rock genre.

Linguistic Signs
- The name of the album is 'Only by the Night.'

- Usually artists use a song title in the album as the album title however the name of the album is completely original.

- This connotes ideas of darkness and therefore enigma of the band. This suggestion of 'only by the night' suggests how the band only come out at night suggesting that they like to keep themselves to themselves and don't want to be in the public light.

- There has been a continual theme throughout the digipak and the advertisements with the same font.

- We chose this font called 'Minstral' because we thought that it connoted ideas of individuality and class.

Social myths reinforced or challenged?
- The advertisement and digipak is easily readable and emphasises how the band are real and authentic.

- The professional image and simplicity of the image emphasises the success and easy listening of the album, which would therefore appealing to a wide audience of all ages.


Music Video
- Our main postmodern effect is the intertextual references to other music videos. The main intertextual references are from The Killers - Mr Brightside and The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime around Midnight.

- Our music video could also be considered as postmodern because of the love story going on as it is a typical role of a music video of the indie/rock genre.

Digipak and Advertisement
- Both of them could be considered as postmodern because of the image that has been used as the front of the digipak and the image on the advertisement.

- This image is controversial to the standard indie/rock genre print because of the we found that the images usually on the front of this genre’s print advertisement is a random graphic, however it also reinforces the how using the band is absent from the front of the digipak therefore creating mystery and enigma. This is Dyer’s second paradox - the star must be simultaneously present and absent for the consumer. Therefore, easy to understand but enigmatic

Monday, 14 December 2009

SW Q4 - How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Media Technologies that we used in the Planning Stage

- Blogger allowed us to present all of our research and findings on a interactive site, so that our work can be moderated easily. It allowed us to present our work easily and effectively and post our research well.

- Youtube allowed us to carry out our research further by being able to deconstruct current music videos and finding music videos easily. For our technical analysis, youtube was very helpful when pausing and analysing the current videos.

- We also used the camera's in our planning/research stage to familiarise ourselves with the equipment before going straight into filming our video, as a kind of preliminary task.

- We did this by doing a location reccie in Brighton where we practised different camera techniques and ideas such as the notion of looking and making sure that the frame was exciting and considering all of the mise-en-scene in the clip.

- We used Microsoft Powerpoint to create our Music Video Pitch.
- We used this programme to collaborate all of our research to our class which would be a task that would take place in the music industry.
- The presentation involved:
- information about the narratives in our video
- a mood baord that showed locations and costumes and other props and mise-en-scene
- a slide with information about our audience research and ideas for our digipak.
-We then uploaded our presentation onto a website called slideboom.

- We also used Adobe Premiere to edit our Practice location Reccie and to edit our anamatic and was then uploaded onto youtube.

Media Technologies that we have used in the Production Stage of the Music Video

Music Video

- Whilst filming we used the camera

- For editing we used a programme called Adobe Premiere. This programme allowed us to change the contrast and the saturation of the clips, which we used for the girl.

And change the garage clips into black and white by making the saturation zero.

Digipak and Advertisement

- We used a digital camera to take pictures for our digipak.

- We also set the photographic settings to black and white on the camera as we know this was the style that we were going to use.

- By using a digital camera, it was the simplest way of getting our image onto the computer so that we could edit and chop and change it.

- We uploaded the image onto photoshop so that we could use different effects to edit our picture.

- We slightly increased the contrast and the brightness to enhance the quality and contrast of the picture. We then imported the images that we were using onto Microsoft Publisher so that we could lay out our digipak in a booklet form.

- On Publisher we added text and we could import images such bar codes.

- Our advertisement was also designed on photoshop so that we could easily import images such as logo's and text and images.

Media Technologies that we have used in the Evaluation and Post-production of our music video

- We used youtube to upload our music video onto so that we could retrieve our audience feedback.

- We also had to carry out audience research and we found that the easiest site to use which is easily accessible to an audience was survey monkey.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

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

Deconstruct the band/artist 'brand' image (or anti-brand image!)

We tried to create a fashionable image for our band in order to produce the most successful music video that we were able. The clothing style we chose for them was 'indie' (skinny jeans, chequered shirts) the connotations for this style are quite cool, scruffy, down to earth and easy going about life. Also, indie characters are also known for being passionate about music, which was a point we were strongly trying to portray about our band.
The advertisement was designed to run in NME magazine, due to the genre of the music and style of the band. We chose to design a stylish page advertisement in order to make the band seem successful, glamorous and most of stylish. We used visual motifs to reinforce the individuality of our digipak. We did this by using an abstract image that is the style of artist Gillian Wearing. We main focus of our advertisement is the photograph, followed by the artist name and album name, and the 3rd most prominent subject are the 5 stars. We carefully planned this out so that the consumer would be drawn in by the unusual and abstract photograph, then see the artist and album, followed by the consumer seeing that the album has been rated 5stars.
The digipak also conveys a similar abstract feel as the advertisement. We did all of it in black and white. The front cover was the same picture we used on the advertisement, however we cropped the picture for the advertisement. We did this in order to link both the print works together. The inside covers are naturalistic photographs to reinforce the raw and natural talent of the band and the back cover is a photograph of some feet on some grass in black and white. We also have the album tracks and song producer labels on the back.
Both texts link to the video due to the clothing style worn by the girl and the band members, as this is both indie, and by the use of black and white which is a prominent feature of all 3 texts.

Use Dyer to discuss how the 'star' persona is constructed of your artist/band through the three texts.

'The star must be simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary for the consumer'
'The star must be both present and absent for the consumer'

Music Video
- fast cutting rate meaning that the viewer doesn't have a lot of time to focus on the band members, making them present, yet also absent.
- the music video is predominately made up of performance shots, however there are a few shots of the lead singer laughing/smiling/joking around
-this shows a glimpse of personality and a different side to the band member, also creating intrigue for a viewer.
- using the girl shows the lead singer is a regular, ordinary guy, who has the same feelings as normal people allowing the consumer to relate with him. but the fact he is famous and in a band makes his love story seem much more than a regular person could ever experience, making him seem extraordinary, desirable to both boys who want to be him and girls who want to be with him.

Digipak and advertisement
- no picture of the band on the front cover
- intrigues the consumer in as the band seem mysterious and absent and the consumer wants to see more

SC What did we learn from audience feedback?

How did audience research inform your concept development?

* We held a focus group to help us to gain ideas for our music video, advertisement and digipak.
* We asked people how they think music videos of the indie rock genre are presented, and how the band members are portrayed.
* We held a focus group as we believed the intimacy of it would make people feel comfortable, and therefore make them more expressive with ideas

* Dress sense should be 'indie style' i.e. chequered shirts, skinny jeans
* Black and white was an effect that many people felt would be effective + fit into the genre
* For the digipak and advertisement again everyone said black and white would be effective
* Also many agreed to keep it simple and stylish

How did audience research inform rough cut/draft development?

* Screened our music video to our media class
* We had edited it up to a point where we had all our main ideas, colour schemes and editing styles completed.
* From the screening we received positive and negative feedback

* not enough close up shots of the mysterious girl
- audience not having a connection with her
- consequently not understanding the strength of the love initially felt when noticing each other in the hotel scene.
* We then re-shoot some close-up footage of the beautiful girl and inserted it into our music video.

* The fact that there were 3 narratives running through our music video was criticised for being confusing
- narrative 1, band starting of small and working their way up
- narrative 2, the love story between girl and lead singer
- narrative 3, black and white shots of random people gazing off into space, dreaming and wishing they could 'be somebody'.
* Many found the 3rd narrative hard to grasp and confusing
* Got rid of it leaving our music video much simpler and less confusing
* Another problem that was highlighted was the first shot
- Slow zoom towards lead singer lying on a bed
- 7 seconds long
- Didn't fit in with fast cutting rate of rest of the video
- Decided to break it up with shots of lights and crowds, as if the lead singer is dreaming of those things - strongly fitting in with the ideas for our music video.
* From our audience feedback we were strongly complemented on our lip syncing
- had to make sure that we were extra careful to keep them in place

How did audience research on your finished pieces show how successful you were in constructing meaning/band image, amplifying the track and promoting the release of the album?

* Uploaded our music video onto YouTube
* Created a survey with 8 questions on 'Surveymonkey.com'

* Sent out questions to friends and family who had viewed the video

*Q1. What impression did you get of the band from watching this music video?
- many used the words cool and successful
- on individual used the phrase 'they are just ordinary boys chasing a dream
* We were extremely pleased with these responses as this was the exact look we were trying to portray for the band
*Q2. What do you think the narrative of the music video is?
- nearly everyone responded to the love story
- less noticed the progression of the success of the band throughout the video
- a few stated the band became famous, but didn't notice the contrast between the garage band and stage narrative
* would rather the success to be more prominent in our music video as that was the main story behind our narrative, rather than the love story
* Q3 was a chart in which we asked the audience to rate our location, costume, lighting and 'professional look'.
- averages in the top 4 and 5
- professional look and costume lay in number 5 - pleased as we tried extremely hard to make both these things work and look effective
- location could seem tacky to viewers as it is a local building which is know for its low level, low
key, and scummy facilities.
- Hard to turn this image around and make it stylish for our band
* Q4. Do you think our music video fits into the indie-genre?
- 83.4% yes
*Q5 we asked to expand on the previous question if they had answered yes.
- because of costume mainly
- camera angles
- black and white effect
- locations
* In our final 3 questions we asked if the viewer enjoyed watching the video and if they would watch it again.
- For both questions over 80% answered yes
* If they answered yes to watching it again we asked them to specify why
- many found it interesting
- appealing sure to the love story, and fast cutting rate of performance
-'the fast cutting rate draws me in as it makes the band absent as you have to watch carefully to fully see the band members, also by watching it again i am sure to see more shots that i haven't seen before.'


* in order to collect audience feedback on our completed digipak and advertisement, we printed off copies of them both and asked people questions about them.
- we asked what genre they think the prints fit into
- majority said indie, a few said classical
- we asked if they felt the black and white was effective
- over 90% agreed and felt it looked effective
- one commented that it helped it look stylish, which was what we were after.
- the other 10% felt that the black and white was boring and didn't stand out against other CD covers.

* A main feature of our digipak is nature. All of the sides have shots of nature on them. We explained our reasoning behind this and asked what people thought of the idea. We explained that it was to show the pure, and naturalness of the bands raw talent, and therefore an insight to the natural and powerful, down to earth songs that the album beholds.
- many liked this idea and said that it made the digipak a success
- one also commented that by the using dyers theory by not showing the band members (present and absent) it would help entice consumers in. as our aim so we were very pleased with our results.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

SW & SC review of editing

Before beginning to edit, we studied and analysed many different music videos of the same genre of our own song for our music video. Our genre is indie-rock and we found that the majority of music videos from this genre used black and white clips, an extremely fast cutting rate and occasional use of slow motion. So in order to fit in with the typical style of the genre, we made sure that we included all three of these aspects in our music video.

To begin with we decided to put all of the shots of the band playing in the garage in colour, and when they are playing on stage in black and white. After watching this over however, we realised that due to the garage being full of old junk, there were many objects in the background that averted the eye away from the playing band members.

We then decided to change these shots around and make the garage shots in black and white and the stage performance shots in colour.

This worked well as it gave the performance shots on the stage a glossy, successful look as we used red and blue lighting, and turned the contrast and brightness up to make it looks rich a strong in colour. Also this then gave a nice comparison to the black and white garage performance shots as it made them seem more low key, emphasizing the progression the band had made from the garage to the stage.

In one of the early shots of Adam (lead singer) and the mysterious girl in the hotel, there was a long shot of Adam walking down a hallway. To make this more interesting we decided to put jump cuts in, which turned out to be very successful.

We also used some slow motion in this scene when Adam sees Alix (the mysterious girl) for the first time. This is to highlight the emotion that Adam is feeling and as we are seeing Alix from Adams perspective it is almost as if his mind is put into slow motion for that short moment of time because of her beauty.

We decided to put a lot of contrast and saturation on the hotel scenes as we wanted them to seem almost dreamy and unnatural. This was because it is a dream of the bands to reach success and so we were trying to portray that. I think the contrast worked extreemly well as the colours of the hotel that we used complemented the rest of our music video and the shots seemed somewhat dreamy and hazy after the contrast was changed.

We also changed the colours later on in the music video when the whole band are in the pantiles walking around together, showing they are a united band. We changed the colours here to add a contrast to the black and white scenes that ran alongside these scenes. Initially we put the contrast and saturation right up to match with the hotel scenes, however there was too much going on in the background and the bright colours seemed tacky and out of place. We then decided to dull the colours right down, still giving contrast to the black and white shots but not looking too out of place at the same time.

We used an extreemly fast cutting rate. Even though this was very time consuming i believe it was very effective in the end. It helped the music video fit perfectly into the indie-rock genre, and kept it interesting and alive. To begin with we had trouble syncing all of the shots up with the song. So we initially got all of the shots that we wanted to use down onto the timeline before sorting them all out. Our storybored helped us vastly at this stage as we had already planned out all of the shots for each section.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

SC & SW Final Day of Filming

Our final day of filming was spent going to a gig up in london where we were going to film large audience shots and lighting. Luckily, we had organised to go with Alix so that we could film some shots with Alix in the audience to show how the lead singer notices her watching the gig. Getting the right shot for the video of Alix was really difficult as there were many people around us, jumping around and this made it difficult to film just Alix. Also, we were not sure what to expect with the ligthing so we just had to film what we thought was good. However, overall the final day of filming was really successful and we achieved some really great footage from the trip!

SW & SC Third Day of Filming

Our editing had nearlky been completed, however once discussing with our teaching we realised that there were not enough images and close-ups of the girl. Therefore we needed to do one more shoot in a dark room of the mysterious girl. We had to take many shots to make sure that the shots was perfect for the video. In the end, the close-ups that we shot were very effective. We made Alix (the mysterious girl) to turn with her back facing us and for her head to turn round and face the camera in a close-up. These shots were to be used throughout the video to show reference to the girl and show how she was present in the lead singer's life. We did not have issues with weather condition as we used a room at our school to do the filming so there were no restrictions for our filming.