Individual Evaluation Work- Emma Polden

Question One

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

Our music video is a dance video which follows a narrative structure. This deviates from the usual genre conventions of a dance video which are usually concept driven. We realised that we must still ensure our target audience would enjoy our video and therefore we have kept some of the usual conventions in order for the audience to relate to them. An example of a conventional technique we used was our club scene. We used the drama block in our school which is a dark room and used some bright coloured green lights to add the the club scene effect. We seen a similar idea in Drake’s music video forever as well as many other dance videos. We also ensured we based our whole video around dancing which is very conventional to the genre rather than doing a performance based video. Nonetheless, we deviated from the norm here as we used many different dance types in our video. Inspiration for this came from Arctic Monkeys video Brianstorm

and Kanye Wests video Runaway

as they have used different dances to the type of music they are performing.

We have used quick paced editing throughout our video in order to make the fact we have used unconventional dances more conventional. For example this technique can be seen in Daft Punk’s video Around the World. We have used many close-ups, in our club scene in particular.

This makes the viewer feel more encaptsulated in the video as they feel like they are viewing the video from the protagonists point of view. The mise-en-scene of our costumes both deviate and conform to the conventional codes of a dance music video. The costumes used for our hip hop and club scenes conform to the dance genre.

We have included these costumes so that our audience can recognise these conventions and appreciate our video. However, the costumes we have used for our ballroom and ballet scenes do not conform to usual dance videos.

The reason we have done this is to have a bit of difference rather than completely copying the conventions to make our video stand out from others.

The concept and structure of our music video follows the narrative structure of a girl entering a box and finding herself in different dance underworlds. Although this hasnt been completely copied, we have got intertextuality from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Intertextuality is one of Goodwins six point analysis theory for music videos from Dancing in the Distraction Factory. This is different from other videos in the dance genre as something like this hasnt been done before. We therefore believe our video has the individuality factor. Most of our ideas however came from ourselves as we began with simple ideas and progressed into our final dance video. We also have intertextuality from Black Swan due to our use of ballet dancers. Another of his points is a link between the lyrics and the music. There aren’t many lyrics in our song so the focus is on the musicality. We thought of using the lyrics rescue me as a theme throughout where each level a man has to rescue our protagonist. The final point which is apparent in our music video is the relationship between the music and the visuals. This is apparent due to the simple fact that the dancers will be dancing to the music.

Question Two

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

Our video we have created has a clear dance theme to it. Due to the different styles of dances, costumes and settings used throughout. The brand regarding that of our music video is simply bright colours and dancing costumes which we have used throughout our products for effect.

In terms of our digipak, we have followed through on many branding elements from our music video in order to create an identity for our specific product. For example the front of our digipak has a picture of our main dancer wearing the outfit she wears during our underpass scene.

However, before we got to our final idea for our digipak, we went through many stages and we had many ideas we weren’t pleased with. We started with the idea of having Natasha’s face split from different scenes. It looked like this:

It took a very long time to link up the face exactly from the different pictures, however it did look nice. We then added a background to the picture on photoshop by creating another layer. We added text and then used the brush tool to create the patterns down the side.

We still felt it looked too plain however and thought it didn’t fit well enough with the genre conventions. We decided here to get some intertextuality and therefore looked at digipaks in this genre. I looked at different digipaks already used for example Hadouken’s music for an accelerated culture.

As you can see the CD has very bright colours and stands out a lot and we liked this about it. We also looked at Daft Punk as he uses lots of geometric shapes to add to the techo dance feel to the music. We liked this idea and used it through the triangular shapes in the background. These triangles can also be seen on Hadouken’s digipak and this is when we decided that our digipak idea needed to be different in order to fit in with the genre conventions.

Therefore for our final digipak, we then followed through on some of the conventions as well as ensuring that our digipak links in well with our film.

We have followed through on branding elements from our music video in order to create an identity for our specific product. For example the front of our digipak has a picture of our main dancer wearing the outfit she wears during our underpass scene. This therefore links to our music video as she is wearing the same outfit. Furthermore, we have used a silhouette taken from a picture we took during our club scene and we have copied this picture from the inside left of our digipak to the back to ensure that it all links together nicely.

Our song is a house, club style of music and therefore our music video links primarily to the dance genre. In the background of all of our digipak we have copied the theme of colours triangles behind our pictures. It looks like lights shining down on them and is paralleled to our club scene giving the effect of strobe lighting. This is conventional as most house and dance tracks use strobe lighting and therefore this links in well with the genre. Our digipak is very colourful with the picture having a pink tint over it. This adds to the digipak as it is bright and conventional to the genre. The text we have used is called Clubland and is used in club and house tracks and therefore this fitted very well with the conventions.

We have used very similar branding elements from the digipak to the magazine advert. The use of the triangles in the background to look like strobe lighting has been used again in our advert. Furthermore we have used the silhouette in the background which links in with our music video and our digipak. We have used a different picture of our main dancer on the front of our advert wearing the outfit from the ballet scene but her facial expression is the same as from the digipak.

The reason we did this is because we wanted it to look different but still follow the same theme being tinted pink also. Again this follows some of the forms and conventions of other dance adverts with the bright colours, large fonts and the geometric shapes much like that of Daft Punk’s soundtrack designs for the film tron. We believe this is very effective as it allows the dance genre audiences to recognise key features however with the use of the ballet dancer on the front it adds some more interest to it making them more likely to be interested in our product.

However, before we got to this stage we again had many drafts of our advert. I scanned my first individual idea for our poster onto the computer:

However, the colours weren’t bright enough and paint proved not advanced enough and that’s when we moved onto Photoshop.We never used photoshop before so we found this to be the most difficult element of our project to master. Our first draft therefore is very simplistic

All we did for this poster was a simple white background, we inserted a picture and put it on top of a shape we had created. The font was a simple font already available on the Photoshop programme. We decided therefore that our poster needed more in order for it to stand out and the main character needed to be bigger so we created this:

With this one we simply inserted a larger picture into photoshop and added a few more shapes round the bottom and the top. The font was still the original from the Photoshop programme. However, we still felt there was something missing so we decided to start from scratch this time however with a black background. Now knowing how to use photoshop better, it was easier for us to get started. We used the internet for some step by step guides and came up with our final idea.

Question Three

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

In order to find out our target audience for our music video, we did a lot of background research and got a lot of audience feedback from our ideas. The first thing we did was create a questionnaire with our first few ideas and see which ones worked. We discovered that the use of a club scene was popular with 100% of the people we gave our questionnaire to deciding that we should include it. We also discovered that it wasn’t crucial for us to have our artist present as only 50% thought it was needed and therefore we decided against it. Close-ups of the artist is a point from Goodwin’s six point analysis theory from Dancing in the Distraction Factory, however, we believed that our video has enough of his other points to remain enough like a music video and therefore we left this element out. The rest of our questions helped us to discover what else to do also : https://lipglossproductions.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/audience-feedback-from-our-questionnaires-2/.

We then collected what we had discovered from this research and created an animatic from the findings. We then showed an audience the animatic and we got good feedback from it with many saying that we needn’t change anything about it. We did however have to make the concept of the box more clear and we worked on this for our final video.

Once this was done, we thought about what kind of channels our music video would suit. We chose MTV Base, MTV Dance, Clubland, Smash Hits and KISS.  We created an audience profile for what we found our suitable audience would be like https://lipglossproductions.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/audience-profile/

From all of our research, we found that the target audience for our music video is teenagers from around 16-25 interested in the dance, house music genre. Music wise it will appeal to mainly boys however our video really aims at girls also by having our main character as a female they can easily relate to. It doesn’t appeal to a specific ethnicity only people interested in the type of music. We decided on this target audience as we this is the kind of music played at parties and clubs so younger people can relate to it. We based our video around the idea of dance with different types throughout and used fast pace editing to add to the club feel of our video also to appeal to the audience who like upbeat music and videos. In order to spread our target audience to girls we used a girl as our main character who they can easily relate to being around the age of the target audience. Furthermore the boys we used in it were of a similar age also. The audience is positioned as if they are involved in the music video going from scene to scene to help them feel involved and encapsulated in our video. This adds to the impact as they can feel like they can get involved in the music and dance along which is what they want to do.

After editing all of our music video and creating a vibrant digipak and poster, we decided we needed more audience feedback to ensure that we our work was the best it possibly coud be. We created another questionnaire and allowed a group of non media students to watch our video, look at our digipak and poster and tell us their honest opinions. Our digipak, music video and our film were all kept along the same theme with bright colours and dancing as the main theme. Therefore the feedback which came back from our audience feedback was good as they said our advert and digipak fitted well with not only the music video but the genre also. Therefore it would appeal to them and make them more likely to choose to buy our song. The feedback was generally very good, the only problem we found was the ballet scene where the mise-en-scene of the location wasn’t very effective, nonetheless, they said it wasn’t a huge problem and so we decided we would keep it.

https://lipglossproductions.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/more-audience-research/

Our digipak and advert has brightly coloured triangles behind the picture which add to the geometric feel of our products. This links to dance videos by artists such as Daft Punk. They also look like spotlights toward our main character showing her to be most important. These spotlights are similar to the ones seen in our club scene and what would be seen in real life also therefore adding a lot of effect.

We have used some similar conventions like this to ensure it appeals to our target audience as they like to see similarities. However we have experimented with different dance types in order to add interest. It was a risk but I believe this makes our video stand out amongst and against professional products as it has the interesting element as well as keeping some genre codes apparent to enable the audience to relate to the video. Our digipak and magazine are both very aesthetically pleasing with the bright colours that they would most definitely stand out.

Question Four

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

We used the internet a lot throughout our overall production. We went on search engines such as google and searched ‘dance genre’ and ‘the acoustic genre’ to find out what kind of conventions each genre included and found pctures which are associated with it. We used paint to create mood boards where we had all our ideas to choose which genre we preferred.

We then used Microsoft Office PowerPoint and created a slide show of both ideas so our audience could choose which genre they preferred also.

https://lipglossproductions.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/audience-research-2/

Once we had decided that we wanted to go with our dance genre idea, we decided that we didn’t want to go overly conventional and we began looking at YouTube videos such as ‘Runaway- Kanye West’ who alter the boundaries of their genre and we liked the use of different dances in it. We found the internet very easy to research things like this.

We also used the internet to create our blog. The website wordpress.com was very simple to use and we had little problms changing the backgrounds.

To film our music video we used a Canon HV30.

We had used the same camera in our AS year so things were very easy to remember and filming we felt went well. However when we looked back at some of the footage, it was out of focus and as a result we had to go back but this time make sure the automatic focus was on when we did some close-up shots such as that of our sign ‘let the music take control’.

To edit our film we used Apple’s Final Cut Pro Express on our school computers. This was a new software for us as in our AS year we didn’t have Apple computers. It therefore took us a bit longer to work out how to do simple things such as add in transitions, however we worked it out and discovered they were more similar than we first thought. The only real problems we had was ensuring we had enough footage to link all our film together without any jumps In fact we have two mistakes in our film, one Tasha’s hair changes and the second the ballroom boys top button keeps opening and closing throughout the footage. However, there wasn’t much we could do about that when we discovered in our late stage but we believe we edited it well enough to keep it looking as fluid as possible.

For the production of our digipak and magazine advert we took pictures using a Nikon D40 stills camera

and used the editing facility Adobe CS5 Photoshop.

Photoshop was new to us as we didn’t have to use it in our AS year. Therefore this was probably the hardest element for us. Nonetheless we gradually became more capable at using the software and came up with our first idea which looked like this:

We thought it was rather plain however it was good for our first ever try on photoshop. We used the internet for some step by step guides and came up with our final idea which looks like this:

We found out that you could insert a font from another website so we downloaded a new text called ‘clubland’ from a website called http://www.urbanfonts.com and added it into our photoshop texts as none of the conventional ones really fitted with our music video theme. We also tinted the main character pink as we believed it looked nicer this way. With another picture on the background layer it added texture to our advert. Using shape tools we created many different layers of shapes which looked like spotlights and this is how we finally came up with our final piece.

With our digipak, we had the same development process on photoshop. However we had created the advert already and therefore the changing of our draft into our final digipak was easy as we copied most of the ideas for our poster in order for them to fit well together. We went from this:

To this:

Although it was hard to use photoshop, we never found any large problems and therefore the creation of our work proved quite simple to complete once our idea was clear.

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March 21, 2011. Emma Polden.

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