Media A2 Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use. Develop or change forms and conventions of real media products?
For our media A2 project we had the task of researching and creating a realistic music video. Sarah Mcgill was the producer, I was the director and Jade Ward was the editor. Last years work was to develop a music magazine as well as creating articles and sections to fit into the magazine. This meant that within our group last year we had already done a lot of research into music video and the media which put us at an advantage before we had even begun our new project.
Before we started any of the project we sat down in our group and watched the music channels on T.V. To make sure we didn’t research a specific music genre we alternated channels and flicked between all the different channels which have different target audiences. For example “MTV Base” plays more “R’n’B music”, “MTV Hits” shows the latest top 40 singles chart and “MTV Rock” plays specific rock music.
Ÿ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZql1_vuVGo This music video by “Usher - Love in this club”, is an example of an “R’n’B” music video which would typically be played on “MTV Base” with a target audience of middle aged teenagers. These teenagers often have a range of different ethnic minorities. Typical connotations of this music genre include a very dark mise-en-scene within a club objectifying women with lots of female dancers dressed in erotic clothing, dancing seductively. This is typically targeted towards male viewers and these connotations would attract a large male audience. Females are attracted to the video because they want to have a similar figure or they feel that they can relate to it. “ Is the female flesh on display simply a cynical; exploitation of female body to increase predominantly male profit margins, or a life-enhancing assertion of female self-confidence and sexual independence
Ÿ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7K91hm29tA This music video by “Diana Vickers - Once” is currently the number 2 in the singles chart. This is aired on “MTV Hits”. This music video has a target audience of female teenagers aged between 12 and 25. This particular music video has a younger target audience because the solo singer became famous on a talent show “Xfactor” which has a younger. As the target audience is younger the connotations of this music video are different compared to the “R’n’B” video. She is still dressed in glamorous clothes and is surrounded by dancers, however the dancing is a lot less sexual and more innocent to ensure that it can be aired at suitable times when the target audience is most likely to watch the T.V. For example after school.
Ÿ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDmeMjsV35U This music video by “Biffy Clyro - Golden Rule”, is a popular rock music video. This video includes a band. Bands are very popular within the rock genre of music. This video also has a very dark and mysterious mise-en-scene however it has a different feel to the “R’n’B” music video. This video is targeted towards “Goths” and “Punk Rockers” who have their own type of stereotypical attitudes and their own style. The video shows the band playing in a dark room which is very much like the venues this genre of people would go to on a night out or at a gig. This is what attracts them towards the music video because they want to be at that particular gig or go out to a party. The editing in this video is fast paced, with very fast transitions which are not that noticeable to give the sense of excitement. This also means that the audience is watching something different every second of the video which means they are less likely to get bored and are intrigued to continue watching.
As you can see from the examples above the different types of music genres have completely different conventions. To make a music video we had to find a way of deciding which is the most popular and what kind of video would be the most successful for us. “ particular music genres may have their own music style and iconography such as live stage performance in heavy rock. (Andrew Goodwin, 1992).” To do this we designed a questionnaire and handed it out to a range of different ages and social groups. We thought the best place to hand out the questionnaires was a high school. Within this institution there are hundreds of pupils with different “clicks” of friends who all have different music preferences. This questionnaire included questions about which genre of music they prefer, what they like to see in a music video, what they dislike about a lot of music videos and what they would like to see in the future. When we gathered the results we based a lot of our own work off the results.
Here are some examples of the different types of music generes digipack covers
Our own music video has a target audience of teenagers ranging from 12-25. We wanted a broad target audience to make sure that it would be successful and the teenage audience has the biggest influence on what is successful within the music business. We followed conventions of pop music videos. We used a young solo artist and based the idea around dance which is a popular sport within teenage girls which would broaden our audience. One convention that we didn’t follow was that our video didn’t include a track with lyrics. We used an older piece of music. This was because we wanted the video to be inspirational, so that younger girls and boys could watch it and feel empowered and believe that they could do what ever they dreamt. Our video is about a girl who fails at a dance audition and continues to train hard and dance as much as she can, anywhere she can to ensure she is successful and she gets in the position she wants. The piece of music we chose is a very aspirational piece of music and gives the message that we want to portray. We also followed the conventions of the amount of scenes and shots in our video. Common music videos include lots of snappy shots of different scenes, in different outfits with quick transactions. We put this throughout our video and included lots of establishing shots of the Newcastle bridges and famous land marks like “The Sage” to make sure people were as ware of where the video was set. Newcastle is a small city and is often portrayed negatively in the media, especially teenagers. We thought this would be a good way of showing the younger generation that it doesn’t matter where you were born or what class you are in you can always work hard and move up in society as long as you try your best. We thought that people would appreciate this change in video and as a result, the video would be more successful. I also designed a poster and the front cover of a music digi pack to advertise the video. To do this we had to research magazines which have the same music genre of our own music video. To make it realistic I followed conventions such as we had a pretty photo of the artist on the front cover. We used captions that would attract the readers attention, for example “ WIN 2 CONCERT TICKETS”. I also used popular stereotypical female colours as we were aware that our target audience for this would be predominantly female. A lot of magazine covers include a lot of information about various different articles which are included in the magazine with different pictures. I didn’t follow this convention. I made the front cover a “one off” special to advertise and promote the artists up and coming album. We thought this would be a good idea as people who are popular fans of the magazine may not be aware of the artist. By making it a one off special the fans of the magazine are still very likely to buy it and therefore increasing the awareness of the artist and her album. The cover of the Digi pack is also simple. This is because we didn’t use a song with a strong narrative. We didn’t want to force our ideas about the inspiration video onto the audience. We kept it simple to allow the audience to make their own views and opinions about it rather than being force fed the information like the “ hypodermic syringe model” would argue.
Here are some of the photos I edited but didnt use for my finished project.
Our story also fits in to Todorovs narrative theory. The beginning is the equilibrium which is the audition stage. Because she is a dancer, she is used to this sort of pressure on a daily basis. The disruption is when the judges fail her and the realisation stage is when she is not working at her best potential. The struggle stage is when she begins to train and dance all over town, working hard trying to get better. Eventually the new equilibrium is found when she succeeds and she becomes the star that she has always wanted to be.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
To make sure that the product we created was successful within the media we had to find out how products are distributed and sold. It was important that before the product was on the market we had to email the producer of the music piece to ask their permission to use these music. We called about and used the internet to find out who had the rights to allow us to use it and we emailed her. We sent a formal letter explaining what we were doing and how beneficial it would be for us to be able to use it.
We then had to distribute and share the material between the different music channels which had the same target audience as ours. It was important that we got popular channels to make sure that the video was shown at the correct times of day when our target audience of teenagers, aged between 12-25, would most likely be watching them. The poster that we designed will also be put in areas that would most likely attract our target age. For example bus stops, bowling alleys, cinema foyers, on the sides of busses and around shopping centres such as “The Metro Centre” and “Eldon Square”. It would also feature in popular music magazines such as “Top of the Pops” and “ Music Box”.
In the age of Media 2.0 the most popular means of promotion and distribution is virtually over the internet and new technologies such as Iphones and Ipods. My target audience is of an age range that favours this form of advertising and technology. Because of this, a website would be designed that would allow us to upload sneak previews of future music videos, private interviews and personal photos. People who have access to Ipods and Iphones can download pod casts and access the internet. This would make the buyer believe they have some form of ownership over our product so they’ll be more likely to buy it. The video would also be downloadable from the artists website which means that enthusiastic fans would have direct access to her latest videos and new material. I researched Cheryl Coles fan page to find out what other sort of stuff is included in those kinds of websites. I found that there are quizzes to see who is the biggest Cheryl Cole supporter, videos of when she is on T.V. being interviewed and even videos of when other people have been talking about her. It also includes pictures that fans have uploaded if they have been fortunate enough to meet her. There is also links to articles where she has been talked about or interviewed. My website would include similar information and ideas to make sure it is good enough for her fans.
For example Dianna Vickers new album which has just been released. I am a 17 year old girl so I would be included in our target audience. When I am sat on “Facebook” at home, like a lot of teenagers will be, down the sides of my computer screen there is an advertisement of her new album, and if I scroll my mouse of it a short teaser video pops up of her new single. This would be a great idea for us to as a lot of our target audience uses websites such as “Facebook”, “Myspace” ,“Bebo” and “Twitter“. There is also fan pages and forums were I am able to go on and talk to other fans and possibly find out more information that I didn’t know.
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
The blog I created is also a huge promotional advertisement. People love to see a “ work in progress”. The blog allows them to keep track of the music video, find out how things on done behind scenes and show them funny outtakes. This will intrigue the audience and keep them keen to watch more as it develops. In reality we could post our final product on “Youtube” which would increase our audience massively as millions of people use the website on a daily basis, and it allows easy assess of email and forwarding the video to their friends if they like it. Comments can also be posted on “Youtube” which allows us to have some audience feedback to see what we could do to improve our work or what they really like. Because of the internet and new technologies we have been able to move from consumers of music videos to our own producers. Our audience told us that our video was understandable and entertaining.
How did you attract/address your audience?
To attract our audience we carefully constructed and produced a music video aimed towards our target audience. We used a model of roughly the same age as our target audience so that they are able to relate to her. The video features a recognisable up beat, dance mise-en-scene, it features an attractive model the audience can aspire to be like. The audience will also feel a connection to the product and the girls of that age group may feel a sense of identity. We didn’t objectify the attractive female. We wanted to show the message that she is not a passive object of men’s interests rather she is a free, independent spirit who stands up for herself. We wanted this message to be portrayed so that other young girls can feel inspired and feel that they can do what ever they set their mind to.
How did you use new media technologies?
We used new media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages of our project. We posted questionnaires via social networking sites, and kept up to date with new videos by downloading the top 40 music videos each week on my own Iphone. Because of my age, it was very easy for me to put myself in our target audiences point of view. I used the internet regularly searching for new websites, fan pages and blogs. I analysed the new music videos that were our type of pop genre to see if anything else was becoming popular so that by the time our music video was finished it was still be modern and up to date. We published our research on the internet via our blogs to get feedback off colleagues as well as more skilled members of staff to see how we could improve. New digital media “ have fundamentally changed the ways in which we engage with all the media” (David Gauntlett,2007).
When we finally put our music video together I worked within a group with Sarah Mcgill and Jade Ward. We separated the tasks into sections so that we could work efficiently and manage our time correctly allowing us to produce the most successful music video. Sarah was the producer, I was the director and Jade was the editor. Although we had our separate jobs, working within the group allowed us to ask each other questions about what we were doing, to brain storm ideas and to always have someone there is we needed help. By doing this I think we were able to create a well designed, realistic piece of work within an enjoyable stress free environment. We managed our time efficiently and had most of our filming done within the first few weeks of beginning our project. This allowed us to focus of the important part of advertisement and the development of our product. If we were to repeat our project to make it more efficient I think that we could improve on actually sticking to what we had planned. It is easy once you begin your project to start to stray away from your original ideas and end up with endless amounts of material that we didn’t need. However this proved successful at some areas in our project. We were able to swap and change clips to allow them to look flowing and real even if they were shot weeks apart. It also give us spare material to make a “ rough bits” video which showed all the mistakes and edits we had done. This is a popular sort of thing that the audience like to watch especially our target audience of teenagers who would appreciate the humour at the end of the clip or on the artists fan page.