Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Question 1

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

In my opinion the purpose of a music video in relation to bands is to represent what the band is like on a personal level and their star image; it is much more effective than an interview in a magazine or just the Album/CD art. As I decided to do an Alternative Metal Rock music video, I instantly decided that I would have a performance based video; this is very common in Rock genre as well as it is with the sub genres of this style of music. I used Andrew Goodwin’s theory of visual relations as the visuals in the video create a completely different mood to a conventional music video, as it is nearly completely dark with a orange and yellow tinted hue makes it almost sinister.

The pace of my music video might also link to Goodwin’s theory that music and visuals also intertwine at times. The song I chose “Get Back” by Nine Lashes starts off by dropping straight away rather than having the conventional energy building intro that most rock song genre music videos have. It begins with a up beat tempo and towards the end the mood changes and builds to a temporarily slower tempo and then goes back to the same up beat tempo, therefore when editing my music video, I ensured to keep a steady pace, making sure the cuts of shots were on the beat, and did not contradict the melody of the song.

Furthermore, Goodwin states that music videos might also be used to amplify and provoke emotions and moods, without completely illustrating the song. In terms of this theory, my music video conforms perfectly, due to the fact it is all performance based; none of the lyrics of the song are illustrated and leaves the audience in the 'unknown', my intention from this is to provoke an almost inquisitive mood. Towards the end of video when the tempo initially slows, the shots I used are more up close and personal with the instruments and the members, creating a new perspective to be viewed from when watching my music video. This grabs the audience’s attention, keeping their interest the whole way through, and my intention of this was to evoke feelings of 'idolism' not only to the band members but also to the instruments being played, I wanted the audience to want to play the instruments themselves.

In terms of the representation, I attempted to create a sense of escape and full immersion in the song within my music video. I essentially did this through the use of mise-en-scene. For instance, by filming in one location I was able to take advantage of the darkness of the location which in turn created a sense of 'band members and the music', this is also stopped anything else from taking away from this. Furthermore, it allowed the mood and feeling to stay constant and only change when I wanted it to which is evident when the band members look directly into the camera which would spark an instant change and then go back to normal once that particular scene had finished .This allows the audience to relate to each individual band member and instrument and when keyed on individually a different emotion would be linked to them. Another way this was portrayed would be in the costumes of my actors; dressing them in dark clothing, also signifying the genre and mood of the song, reinforcing the idea of the band members are fully immersed in the music.

My music video fits into the metal/rock music genre, due to the footage within my product echoing many shots used in music videos for artists such as Rise Against, Nine Lashes and Dead By April. An example of this is my focus on the dark matters. Close-up shots of the band members allows the audience to get closer to their idols; places them in a God like position, and also encapsulate the codes and conventions of metal rock music videos typically shots that are used in order to create an intimate feel to the video, as the songs usually aim to make the listener sympathise with the bands emotions – in contrast to perhaps indie music that initially aims to make the listener feel calm and mellow.

My focus on an array of different shot types is what makes my music video so aesthetically pleasing. Thinking outside the box when it came to placing the camera's in different unique positions, such as the angle from inside one of the drums looking up at the drummer placed the audience in the position of being part of the drum kit, giving of an intimate feel. Shots like these help me in aiming my music video at the right audience. Those who listen to Metal rock music and some of the sub genres of metal will appreciate the unique camera angles and be able to enjoy the music video more. Therefore, the camera angles within my video are easier and more effective for my audience to identify and appreciate. 

Furthermore, those who listen to metal rock music who live in city areas might find great joy in enduring within footage outside of their normal environment, creating a sense of escapism, whilst also maintaining the codes and conventions of a metal rock video showing the band playing on a proper stage with lighting. My video would largely appeal to a young, predominantly white audience, increasingly growing number of audience members from other ethnic backgrounds and blue-collar, however the group also includes those outside its core demographic base who follow its dress codes, appearance, and behaviour. This is because the band consists of young men who sing about issues that others in their group can relate to. Their vocals and lyrics portray this; therefore largely appealing to those of a similar social group. Due to this, I carefully picked my band members and actors to appear as stereotypical alternative metal rock types; Attractive lead singer, attractive guitarist and backing vocals singer and also an attractive drum player. This is so I could ensure that my audience would feel a personal identification with my actors, as they belong to that group of fans, also helping them to feel more engaged with the song as they too may be able relate to the lyrics. By definition this means that my video is also applicable to Bulmer and Katz' Uses and Gratifications theory.

My video reinforces the concept of how the emotions you portray during a band performance will get an equal and opposite reaction from the audience. This also will demonstrate the emotions that the artists have towards the events depicted in the lyrics of the song.

My Digi-pak and magazine advert both conform to forms and conventions of an metal rock album cover and poster. They both are inspired by existing products. The front cover is inspired by ‘Black Canvas’ by Yonas, and the Back cover of the Digi-pak in inspired also by the back of ‘Black Canvas. While, these are for a different target audience, I found when researching effective metal rock Digi-paks that the best ones have a very similar style and make, this is because they rely on the art and not the image if any of the artist/band. This means my Digi-pak in a minor sense challenges the typical conventions of metal rock music ones with the use of art used in other products in a completely different brand. I think that looking at real life products and emulating their style is a very effective way to create a Digi-pak and poster.

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

How did you use Media Technologies in the Construction, Research, Planning and Evaluation Stages?

Blogger - Blogger has been a great tool in documenting the creation of my products from start to beginning. By being able to post a wide range of formats/media/software products and being able to use its easy embedding utility, has allowed me to demonstrate all four stages of creation in my course effectively and clearly. The use of labels and dated posts also allows for easy navigation to older posts for myself or any peers and examiners making it a key tool in the course.

Prezi - Prezi is an effective online presentation tool which is completely different to all others in its field. Unlike PowerPoint which has set slides and can at time be awkward to fit everything on the already very small slides, Prezi allows you to work on one GIANT canvas with zooming in and out capabilities  which fits hand in hand with the synergistic ability of being able to display information, pictures and videos. This gives a great affect that is eye catching and exciting.

Vimeo - Vimeo whilst not being one of the leading video hosting sites around, it is by far my favorite. One reason for this is it is genre specific to creation pieces such as short films, documentaries and music videos making it a great site to host my music video on rather than sites like Youtube or Dailymotion which host a vast and obscure range of footage. Vimeo is was also the first and leading video sharing site in hosting HD videos. All videos are encoded into H.264 for HTML5 support and have a higher bit-rate than any other competing site.

Youtube - Youtube whilst being the leading video hosting site, it was a no brainer to use this site to host my music video on as well. Many successful music artists/bands have music channels where they display all their music videos and behind the scenes footage for the fans to openly view and comment on. While being less genre specific to creation pieces, it is still the most world known video hosting site, therefore, it would be largely beneficial for me to take advantage of that. Like Vimeo it is has HD hosting capabilities and all videos are encoded into H.264 for HTML5 support and has a almost equal bit-rate as Vimeo.

Sony Vegas Pro 11 - Sony Vegas is a form of video editing software and the one I used to edit and create my music video during post production. I decided to use this brand of video editing software over others such as Adobe Premiere, as the pool of effects available are greater and the ability to manipulate are much more simpler. For example in the scenes in which I had to do multiple cuts in very quick succession I was able to zoom in to edit my clip per 0.1 of a second and simply press the "S" key to separate the clip where I needed. However the best consequence Vegas was able to offer me was the ease of applying effects to clips by simply dragging and dropping a preset on to all the clips which I wanted to look the same. This allowed me to change the order of the clips i gathered and wanted in my music video and this allowed it to look darker and more ominous in seconds. This effect was very useful and played upon the theme of my music video excellently. This saved me having to use after effects which could become complex using multiple forms of software on the same project and could in a worst case scenario lead to corrupting and rendering a a file unusable which I worked so hard on.

Adobe Photoshop - Adobe Photoshop was a great tool for any image editing I wanted to do throughout the course. This was especially helpful in creating my magazine advert and my digi-pak, both of which were done purely on Photoshop. I was able to cut out my models and change the effects e.g lighting and contrast. When using black and white settings as well it enables you to have more free reign in the hues to get the 'perfect' picture. Another way in which Photoshop was very helpful was in my production posts on my blog. After doing a photo shoot I would need to upload all my photo's to the blog. I was able to create contact sheets for all my photo shoots with ease. However, individually uploading every single photo was time consuming and would clutter up my blog. Therefor Photoshop was the clear and more ideal choice.

Canon 550D DSLR - To film my music video there was only one choice from the beginning and that was the Canon 550D DSLR. The Canon allowed me to film in 25 frames a second rather than the typical 24, this extra frame was used in order to give my music video a more real life effect rather than cinematic. The fact it is digital is another key benefit rather than in the past where film was needed. This is beneficial as instant playback is possible after filming and doesn't need to be developed or processed on a computer before being able to view it, this allowed me to cut down the amount of filming I needed to do as I knew exactly what footage I had and was going to use. Digital cameras also have a vast memory capacity compared to film which allowed me to capture more footage, in better quality, and for free. It also makes post production a lot simpler as in Sony Vegas I can cut, speed up, reverse, slow down and generally mould any clips I have taken, into the way I desire. This camera was also used to take the photos for my poster and magazine article. This is because the camera is equipped with a cinematic shutter speed and with a 1.8 aperture lens I could take detailed and artistic photos of my models.

Final Music Video

This is my finished and completed music video. This much better quality than my drafts and I am overall very pleased with how it turned out.

Magazine Advert

Today I completed the first magazine advert I intend to create. This advert is for promotion of the bands in my music video fictional UK Refugee Tour. It includes the date of the concert and information about ticket purchasing, this in my opinion will make the audience appreciate the band more.


This is my completed Digi-pak. I feel it follows the genre of the music video I have chosen and works in hand with it by complementing it greatly. I chose a simple design as from what I gathered from research, simpler is better.

Front Cover
Inner Right Cover
Disc Holder
Back Cover