Thursday, 16 December 2010

Evaluation

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

For our music video, we chose The Go Team’s “Grip Like a Vice”. I believe this was a difficult choice because they have a very alternative music style that is not seen that much in popular culture today. Because the bands music spans many genres, we had to use codes and conventions that didn’t necessarily belong to the band’s immediate style. For example, we took elements like the brightly coloured urban doors from “Always Like This” by Bombay Bicycle Club, dancing comically in the street from “Drop” by The Pharcyde and the colourful and semi-playful feel “Man’s Needs” by The Cribs. Unlike the rest of these videos though, our video does not feature a central performance. We did this because we thought that the band worked best as just being portrayed in a way that showed they just wanted to have fun rather than worrying about their music too much. We also think that modern bands seem to take their music too seriously in their videos and they should be more light-hearted and fun. In the introduction to the music, our characters can be seen walking in slow motion towards the camera with rhythmic jump cuts to create tension. I feel this can be linked to the title scene of Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film “Reservior Dogs” where his characters can be seen doing the same thing. However, we did develop this technique by having our characters jump straight into a funny dance when the music drops to break the serious tension. The idea of the stop motion section came from wanting to make the video more playful. Originally, there was only going to be one stop motion section where someone in the song said an enthusiastic “yyyeeeaaahhh” but due to its success, we decided to use it at various points throughout the video because it worked well.

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

With the digi-pack and advert, we wanted to keep it playful so we took stills from the video and edited them in photoshop to make them look cartoony. We based our images on artist Julian Opie’s work for popular band Blur’s greatest hits album cover. His work is basic but looks good at the same time. We believe using his style of work helped to make the band seem yet more playful and light-hearted. The advert was very similar to the digi-pack cover. With the advert, we simply made it taller to make room for more text that one might see on an album advert. With our advert we hoped to appeal to fans of a more alternative music style. I think this is apparent due to the quotes we used from various music magazines such as “Q” and “NME”. We also used store logos such as “Apple”, “Fopp” and “HMV” to show fans where they could purchase the album.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

I believe that having audience feedback helped largely in the editorial stage of our video. A new set of eyes helped us see something we may have previously over looked but it also helped our confidence grow with positive feedback. For example, with the rough cut, we were told that the jump cut effect was good so we played that to our strengths.

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

We looked at similar bands and musicians to construct our band. The costume was a key part of our image. I believe that with our outfits we managed to create a strange yet original image. Editing was also something we could use in our video to create the desired image. Some very fast cuts were used to recreate the image of the quick-paced upbeat music.

Ruth Lack -Essay


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


We chose the song; we would be using to create our A2 music video, by the type of genre that it came from. We picked it to suit our groups taste in music, as we felt if we were to enjoy the song from the beginning the ideas would come more naturally. Grip like Vice by ‘The Go! Team’ was the artist that we wanted, this British indie rock band was perfect for the type of music as a group we generally listened to. 

We began to study the artist and their music videos, a lot of research went into the background of where this band came from, which festivals they had performed at and how they presented not only themselves but their music videos.  We learnt that we could expect to see bright colours, flashing images and a range of objects that would be entirely out of content of what you would normally see in your more conventional music videos.  ‘The Go! Team’ create nothing like your average music video; I began to see a trend in the way they designed their videos and incorporate these bizarre ideas into my own. You could argue that they were trying to create a mood/atmosphere and attitude to their music rather than trying to create a narrative. Their music takes the form of upbeat rhythms with a slight retro feel that comes across with the use of bright, bold colours.

I then studied different videos but of the same genre as our chosen artist, Jason Forrest and Kid Loco were just some of the bands that reinforced the type of music videos they created. Kid Loco’s ‘Pretty boy Floyd’ video is a perfect example how this genre can make their music video completely random and for it to still work. Another good example of how this genre is different to the likes of ‘Take that’ a male pop group, is a well-known band called ‘MGMT’ and their song ‘Kids’. The group demonstrate how there is no correlation between the music video they are producing and the lyrics to their song.  Unlike ‘Take that’ who’s videos are themed around love or relationships and almost always has a strong story line that progresses throughout the video. In many ways this can work to your advantage, your completely liberated to do whatever you please with your video and this is what we took advantage of when it came to ours. However it makes your audience type more selective and narrowing your chances of it becoming a massive sell out.



Comparing our video to the latter music artists we used many similar devices such as no links between lyrics and what you are seeing which is one of the conventions that Goodwin’s law identifies, ‘There is a relationship between music and visuals’. We took on board the bright, bold colours that in each indie
rock video they used and our fast, snappy editing was styled to match the videos we had studied. We took a big risk in not showing any shots of the group playing the musical instruments, this could have gone very wrong as the video could of appeared blank and boring looking, however despite us not including this within our piece we produced a video that was unlike many of our class mates. By not
having the band it gave us an opportunity to expand on the different range of shots/locations we could use. Wide shots of us playing in trees, near bins and on mattresses were very simple sets but ones that made the video interesting and linked back to the idea that the genre we were working with was quirky, unpredictable. Our footage also gave off a very British authentic feel about it and this was one of the main attracts to our video. Instead of having the band we had a recurring image of an I-stop motion of each face of every group member saying ‘yeah’. I personally feel this was one of the main high lights to our video and the idea we came up with.  The drawback of having a music video that consists of random objects flying here and there and locations that have no purpose is that the video can maybe only be viewed once. Or on the other hand viewed many times as you can miss things from watched it just once. If we were to have a story that developed throughout it may attract and engage the audience far more.


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

We wanted to create something completely original and use our skills in Photoshop to do so. We wanted to combine the ideas from our music video and other influential artists for the design for our Digi-Pak. We took still images from our video and picked our favourite one to be used within our Digi-pak. However we didn’t just want to grab images from our video, we wanted to create a look that would be recognized by people when they saw us. We began to study album covers and did surveys on which got the best response. Like our genre we wanted the audience to know from first glance what type of music they would be hearing just by the appearance of the CD cover.  I came across the artist Julian Opie and thought that his style of artwork would work nicely with our idea of us being a wacky, indie rock band well.  When researching him I discovered he had also produced a cover for ‘Blur’ which only reinforced the idea that having his style of art in our music video can work! I also liked Opie’s work as it was very simple and used a lot of bold block colours. So keeping this in mind, much of the costumes worn in our music video were styled by the discovery of Opie’s work, we mimicked his bright artwork with our outrages clashing clothes. We took full advantage of finding this artist and repeated his style throughout our project.


When it came to the advert we felt that we should keep the same image that we used for the CD cover for the advert. As the band we had created, ‘Lemon Jelly Furr’ was unknown, we came to the conclusion that we should keep the marketing as simple as possible and easy to recognize.  The layout for the advert was straightforward and showed where you could listen, purchase and download it.  It also showed the audience that a PG awareness label had been given to our album, once again restricting the target audience.  By showing which shops you can buy the song, ‘Fopp’ it also links back to the type of audience we are marketing our music too.  As ‘Fopp’ is a shop that sells music from different countries, books of different languages and artists for a more varied audience it’s a perfect place to distribute our album ‘Sticky Koala’.


What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

From having group discussions about the music video we were creating it gave a good opportunity to have positive feedback. It allowed us to grow in confidence with the piece we’d created and a chance to explain our ideas we had in mind to still put in- or ideas within the video that needed a further explanation.  It also was an opportunity for the audience to tell us any dislikes or advice they had about our video. If there was something that wasn’t quite making sense we could fix it and use their comments to our advantage to make our piece better. ‘Facebook’, tally chats and questionnaires were used to help attract our target  audience. Specific feedback given from our rough cut, for example ‘ I liked the colours and jump cut effect’ encouraged us to use these effects more within our final piece.

The classroom chats also gave our group 37 a more direct chance to ask the audience question on how our music could appeal better to them, if it needed this or didn’t need that etc… We found out that many people like to have their adverts simple and original. The name of the band has to be interesting and ‘not lame and boring’.  We discovered that the effect that we used in our rough cut were very popular, so we took this into account and tried using the ‘jump cut’ effect of us walking down a street as a theme that ran throughout our entire piece.  I discovered many people like to just download the music offline and considering everything in this day and age you can get from the Internet we felt, as group putting the ‘Itunes’ logo would be a must! Furthermore many people said they’d be persuaded to buy an album if it had big music companies ‘BMG’ or magazines like’ NME’ saying its 5 stars quality and is in fact a good song.



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

Similar bands were studies for us to have an idea of the type of micro element styles they used. Costumes played a key part in illustrating that the band wasn’t your conventional group. We then thought realistically about the budget we had and thought about buying cheap clothes from a charity shop like ‘Oxfam’. I wanted to create a look that was strange but new, to represent the originality
of ‘Lemon Jelly Furr’. We researched the type of angle shots that would make our piece more professional looking and tried to use as many as possible within out project video. Our editing was crucial to make the piece fit the genre of music we had chosen. So fast, Hollywood jump cuts were used to reflect the light hearten, upbeat tempo for the video and song. It was important to make the video visually interesting so ‘funny’ facial expressions were captured with close up. The humour of the video was incorporated all to generate a positive response in the audience- making them enjoy, buy and watch the video again.

We looked at musical artists, location sets, artists and editing styles (tints, filters) that could make our music video look more professional looking. Discussion within the group, making sure everyone was happy with the progression and ideas were important. By struggling with the rough cut deadline, an almost practise run, it made us realise that we needed to change the way we worked. We would need to work a lot faster and to do so we broke the group into pairs and each day different jobs were given to research different things. This worked effectively and by the end of the project we created a piece that was of a good standard. On many occasions I asked for extra work and advice on blog post I could include to show the process of our planning better. We had a lot of problems with the blog posts and our flicker account. Photos would go missing and on a daily basis post would go disappear for no apparently reason! It showed how sometime technologically cannot be relied on, so once again we had to change our style of working and by the end of the project the majority of  our work was done  on paper – mind maps, tally charts, name ideas and font types…
 
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