Post on 30-Nov-2014
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1) In what ways does your media product use, develop
or challenge forms and conventions of real media
Narrative structureFrom my research into the genre I had found one crucial element to a video. That was each Rock/metal video that I had watched had at least one shot of the band playing. Therefore it was obvious that we had to include this into our video for it to look like a real Rock/metal video. I looked at videos from Slipknot, Korn, Bullet For My Valentine, Foo Fighters, Guns ‘N’ Roses etc another thing I had found was that all videos had the bands playing but not all had a narrative/storyline. Myself and the group discussed whether or not to include a narrative but because it was a six minute song we all agreed that it would have been to repetitive and boring. Therefore we thought of a narrative that would suit the song. We had read the lyrics and brainstormed the idea and we had all decided that we had to have a narrative the represented a nightmare. Therefore we thought of common fears and nightmares and the first thing that sprang to mind was clowns. Many people have fears of clowns and clowns have been used in many horror films, which would suit the song perfectly. A few years prior the batman trilogy had been a big success and the Joker was used a villain. As it wasn't an old film we knew that people would recognise the Joker face paint and link the two together. This therefore promoted both our video and the batman films, which many of the fans of rock genres are into comic books and superheroes. This is a type of synergy. In addition, the band Avenged Sevenfold in their video of nightmare include scary themes as well as having close ups on tarantulas which many people are afraid of.
Editing The final Digipak was edited many times to achieve the desired look. We really wanted to include the nature/earth element as this develops and uses the conventions of the metal/rock genre. We edited the colour scheme of the woods to make it look darker and more distorted. The colour itself is very plain as the images look rather beige/brown, this is to convey the element of earth, soil and trees in the winter (with no bright, colourful leaves). The plain beige colour of the woods looks calming in comparison to the black front cover contents and inside page. This again is a common convention of the genre as peacefulness makes the theme/genre look darker and heavier. Just like the colour scheme of black and white. They are two complete opposites making each other look bolder. The image at the bottom was our draft of how we would want our Digipak to look like. I did this by taking images from Google of woods and Slipknot to combine what my group envisioned. By doing this we started to get a feel of what works and what doesn’t as our aim was to use and develop codesand conventions from our chosen genre to achieve a professional look.When editing the Digipak we had decided to include a small twist.this is that when the individual lifts the CD out of the case the nightmareIs no longer hiding behind the trees. This symbolises putting theNightmare into the CD player to make the nightmare come to life.
Another common convention of Rock music videos is close ups. Almost every video I have seen has an extreme close up. I think this adds to the intensity of the song as images become more distorted and less recognisable to the viewer the closer you get. As this is a very popular technique used it was only obvious that my group would include these close ups. When watching the completed video back it is clear that our close ups were not close enough to achieve the desired affect. This is especially present when comparing my music video to Avenged Sevenfold's video as there are many extreme close ups within the video of nightmare. This will have been done to add that extra scare factor to the video for example a close up on a tarantula.
From looking at other metal videos we found a great video that combines nature and music together by using nature to imitate instruments. The song/video is by Infant Inhalator- fornification decapitation. This convention portrays the rock/metal music to be as natural as nature. Hence why my group decided to use bits of the woods to imitate the instruments. The lead singer was singing in to a thick branch and the drummer had a large flat leaf as a symbol to make up for the lack of equipment available to us. Therefore our video is keeping up with using and developing common forms and conventions of real media products. Although you could say that it challenges most chart music and genres such as pop, RnB, dance etc because if a fan was to watch infant inhalators’ video they would think it was madness to use nature in the way they have. But challenging common forms and conventions of popular modern day chart music is what rock does best as they want to stand out and be different rather than following the cloud. Therefore yes our video does challenge common forms and conventions of real media products whilst also using a and developing other forms and conventions.
The Digipak supports conventions of common rock bands and the genre. Some examples would be infant annihilators'- decapitation fornification and Slipknot’s- left behind. Both videos are filmed in the woods . The colour scheme of the Digipak uses the conventions of these videos as the colour is dull with lots of black incorporated within the image. I would personally say that our Digipak resembles all three of the real media product images as it has the tall trees and surrounds wood with the dark sky above
Although the Digipak doesn't look as professional as I would have liked it too be because of the effects. I definitely think that it uses common forms and conventions of the real media products.
Poster Personally, I would say that the poster we created, definitely complies with common forms and conventions of common rock themes. Although it may look amateur due to lack of experience, the themes are all there. Looking at the posters/advertisements of other Rock/metal bands it is clear to see that dark themes such as colours and art are often used. In my poster we have used distorted fonts for the text to emphasise the loud distorted sounds of the instruments that are played in the band, black background symbolising out of space giving the idea that the album is out of this world and the artwork which is five skulls. Also included on the poster are Facebook and Twitter icons/logos which many bands use to promote themselves. This is an example of cross-media convergence as many types of media are displayed in one place. There is also an image of the albums front cover this will help the buyers know what to look for when purchasing the album. The whole purpose of the poster is to promote the album being released.
Camera workWe had originally taken two cameras to film with and one of the cameras had not been set to
the setting we wanted, therefore the colour was distorted and the quality of the shots were really bad. When editing we found that the shots worked well as we turned the clip in to a point of view shot.
In my video we included as point of view shot to make it look like someone was watching the band play live. It gave the impression that someone or something was creeping around the woods. The song Monster by The Automatic gives the impression big foot is watching. In my video the camera makes it seem like the nightmare is watching.
As our shoot was done over the period of two days we consulted the technician and he told us how to set the cameras to how we wanted them in case they weren't set right again. The camera used was a DSLR canon 600 D, autofocus-full auto setting.
2) How effective is the combination of your
main product and ancillary texts?
Cross-media convergence• Facebook and twitter logos/icons- introduces the product to the world anyone can see
it. By having Facebook and twitter icons on my products, popularity for the band and those social networking sites will increase. If someone see the advertisement and wants to find out more they can log into Facebook or sign up with a new account and find the page, therefore promoting Facebook as a good reliable source to receive all new news and announcements. This works the same in reverse as well as somebody could be on Facebook looking at different pages and then come across the page with all of our news on. If they like what they see they can share and promote the band and video. Cross-media convergence is a great way for different medias to help promote each other.
• Whether people prefer to be online or read magazines they will see the artwork and name of our products even of they are looking through YouTube. That is why similar artwork, fonts and colours are crucial in promoting. This is because you need an image that it recognisable to the audience. Therefore when they see the poster they will notice the deathbat artwork and will remember who the band is, then when they see the Digipak the previous images from the poster will be similar. Hence making the products linked but in different ways.
Synergy All three products have a common link
whether it be through the artwork, text or colour scheme. There is something in each product that is represented in all three as a collective group of products.
The colour scheme was kept dark and basic for the common theme to run throughout the products. Each product has one of the pieces of artwork on them. This way when viewers see one product and then see another they will recognise the style of art and the band that goes with it.
The video has done fairly well and there is still a continuous amount of hits happening. So far we are at 145 hits. Although this is not a lot in comparison to any famous internet video, the numbers will increase with time. With the poster and album itself becoming more recognisable and out there then the numbers will most definitely increase.
Some verbal feedback that we received mostly said that our package as a whole looked good because of consistent themes that ran throughout.
The artwork used in all of our products had continuity through the fact that the death bat and skulls were used a lot. Although they are not the best drawings they are drawn by hand and have been digitally edited to add colour, boldness and definition to clean them up. The artwork worked perfectly as the consistent use of the iconic death bat is always displayed in all of the products.
Colour scheme The colour scheme is consistent throughout all of the products with black being the main colour to represent darkness and red to represent blood and passion. The bright colours seen on the poster and digipak which represent each band member is also supported and shown in the video, the bassist and drummer in this particular shot can be seen wearing or playing an instrument which is their colour. By doing this the look and image of the band is always there making them recognisable through any product they promote.
3) What have you learned from
your audience feedback?
YouTubeThe feedback from YouTube has been quite minimal, although we have received
over 100 hits/views on the video. Therefore many people have watched it and may have shared with friends which in turn promotes the video. To have so many views is definitely a positive thing. Even if the individual watched the video once and disliked it, they will tell others who will then watch it for themselves to form their own opinion
We haven't received any useful comments from Facebook as of yet. Although my group does have a lot of feedback after a class viewing. There may be many reasons as to why we have no feedback on YouTube as it accessible on smart phones many might have watched the video quickly and not had time to comment. As many people who I personally know have watched the video they have told me what they think of it in discussion. Most feedback is positive in terms of editing and effects. The only criticism that has proven to be a minor problem is that there wasn't enough footage of the storyline itself. When editing the clips we had realised we didn't have enough footage but we tried to extend it and include as much as possible. Many people thoroughly enjoyed the band shots. The feedback has been positive as they enjoyed the camerawork and setting of the band.
Feedback of effectiveness
•Shaky camera- therefore we need to use a tripod for future products.
•Less bands shots- personally I totally agree with this criticism because we had picked such a ling song and lacked a lot of narrative shots due to the mix up with the cameras we filled it with band shots and unfortunately this was picked up on.
•Outfits work well to fit the genre- when planning we researched and really looked for what band members wear. Thankfully our hard work was recognised by the class audience feedback.
•Follows conventions of the rock genre e.g. live performance- from the very beginning we had established that a live performance would be crucial to the video as the majority of rock videos have a live performance scene. It is good that the audience picked up on this and related it to the rock genre.
Likes and dislikesAlmost all feedback commented on the opening sequence. Most thought it was creative and fit
the opening of the song well as the fade to blacks were in time with the music. The overall opinion was that the opening set the mood/tone for the rest of the song as it was creepy and tension was thrown at the audience instantly.
Also the ending was proven to be a success as many thought that the shot of the girl running away shot through the mirror was different and effective. Right at the very end we see the band walking away from the cameras, smiling and putting there instruments down. This was found to be a common theme used in rock videos as it shows the band relax. The band seem to have gone from serious to normal which makes the audience feel like they have some level of connection with the band members.
Some dislikes or criticisms we received were definitely reasonable and fair. For starters myself and many other had picked up on the fact that the camera was a bit shaky in places. In hindsight the tripod should have been used consistently. Again some thought that the narrative could have been more clear and this could have been done through making the narrative parts longer, we could have done this by doing shot reverse shots from the guitarist doing his solo to the narrative. This would definitely be an improvement to work upon as we had six and half minutes to fill.
4)How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research,
planning and evaluation stages?
Cameras The camera used was DSLR Canon 600 D in autofocus- full auto setting.When filming the video we used tripods to make sure our shots were steady. When watching the video you will find a part in the narrative chasing scene where the camera falls down and comes back up again. My group had not originally planned to do this and was only thought of on the day, to test whether it would look good or not. When placed with the music we found that it worked extremely well with the timing of the song and adding to the distorted dream like reality that the narrative seems to be in.
In the video there is a point of view shot which puts the audience/viewer into the shoes of the nightmare/villain. As we can see the girl running in front of the camera. Here we can put the audience in an uncomfortable position as an audience usually supports the innocent good character. Here we put the audience in as the villain. We see this as the camera makes its way through the trees, with the girl running in front. The Point of view shot chasing the girl, looks animalistic adding that extra sense of fear and tension as we put the audience in a bad characters shoes taking them out of the comfort zone. When requesting equipment to use for our shoot, I had seen that there was a light on the list. I initially thought that we wouldn’t need a light as we would be in an open outside space, starting early in the morning to make the most of the light. Then after thinking about how long the shoot would take, as back up , we requested a light and it worked very well in the end scene. As we wanted to show a progression of time the darkness let the audience know that the chase had been going on for some time.
Bad camera When our first shoot took place we were naive to believe that the cameras would be set up to how we wanted them to be. As we had two cameras the difference between the two was easily noticeable. This proved a very strong inconvenience when editing pour clips and putting them together. We could not change the quality of the clips to match them perfectly. Therefore we devised a way to use both sets of clips by using the bad quality shots as point of view shots. The way this worked out was perfect as it added to the distorted theme we was going for. The shots make it seem like you are looking through the eyes of the nightmare. These shots were used during the band part of filming. By doing this we had broken the bridge between narrative and band as the narrative of the nightmares/bad character was lurking in the woods watching the band.
Correctly set up camera Wrongly set up camera
• I had used Photoshop before when I was creating my AS projects but this year in A2 I have had the chance to explore and play around with Photoshop a lot more. Especially when it came to the artwork for the deathbat which featured on the front of the album. As the drawing was pencil I had to digitalise it in some way. I did this by scanning the picture then importing it in to Photoshop. Here I played around with a few tools to see how I could make the line jet black. From previous experience I remembered that I could do it through the magnetic lasso tool where I go around a line and then fill it colour. I found this was very time consuming but the overall image looked great. I also added the red joker smile to the mouth using the same technique. When the image was completed, it was then added to the album cover and the whole group was happy with how it turned out.
Both the advert and Digipak was done using Photoshop as we all had previous experience with Photoshop. We used Photoshop as it is an easy program to import images and fonts to combine a professional look through the effects and tools that are supplied.
On the Digipak and poster we added layers to create a 3D look. This made them look like they had depth and less plain looking. By doing this it adds different levels and adds that professional look we were going for.
Macs and Premiere
I had no previous experience with Macs or premiere which proved a problem during the editing stages. Although some members of my group had a lot of experience in which they taught me how to use it. I learned how to add transitions, colour filters and how to crop clips and to import videos and music. Although my skills are very basic I have some understanding of how to operate the Mac and the premiere software on it. No idea how to use either as it was a new computer and software.
In our completed video we included many fade to blacks which worked well with the beat of the music. We also included a grey/blue filter on the clips to make them seem colder and scary to add tension.
Facebook and YouTube and survey monkey
Firstly YouTube was a great way to research music videos of the chosen genre, metal/rock. When watching a video there is a column at the side that has suggestions of other songs like that particular video. This made it quick, easy and helpful to watch many videos of the same genre. YouTube was also proven useful when uploading our music video as it is an accessible site which many people use. The ease of access to the site made it better for the audience to watch as they could view the video through phones, iPods, iPads and computers/laptops.
Facebook was helpful in the sense of organisation and communication. My group members and I are all friends on Facebook therefore we made a group chat where all of us could communicate and share ideas without having to plan to meet up somewhere as we all live in different locations. Also by having a group chat on Facebook we could share links to videos.
Survey monkey i had used prior to A2 coursework as I had used it for my AS coursework as well. The sight had seemed easy and familiar to use. I could use the URL link to post on to Facebook and twitter for friends and relatives to take part in. The answers were anonymous which gave people the chance to say what they really felt without being discriminated against. With the site you can put results in to all different types of charts and graphs to present your results. This was handy to show our audience research results.
Images of YouTube page suggestions, YouTube icon, group chat, how to share via Facebook .
Slideshare and blogger
I already had previous experience with Slideshare and blogger from doing AS coursework. All PowerPoints on my blog are uploaded on to Slideshare then I copy the url and post it onto blogger by selecting a new post and pasting.
All of my PowerPoints are backed up on Slideshare as i had some complications with my blog account due to it being closed for spam. By backing up my work I could simply start a new blog post and re-upload my work.
I had customised my blog to suit the theme of my posts. I used the band artwork and dark colours that complied with the colour scheme. This way the general theme of my was consistent and suitable for the work being displayed.