Wednesday, 16 December 2009
In order for our work to be up to a very good standard, we needed to undertake research into our audience. We could have done this in many ways, either using surveys, interviews, questionnaires or focus groups. We chose to use a focus group for our audience research as we felt we would gather the best information this way.
We used these headings for our audience research when we asked the audience to comment:
Here are the graphs we made to organise our findings from the audience research:
As you can see from comparing our music video to these audience research graphs, we have taken ideas from our audience research and incorporated them into our own music video. This way, we are pleasing our audience and producing exactly what they would expect, or would like to see in this Jamie T track as a music video.
To create our audience research we used an online survey called surveymonkey.com, which you can create questionnaires and then get feedback through the use of graphs and people can comment on thier reasons why they chose certain ratings of the video, this is a more useful and interactive way of getting feedback.
The overall impression was that there was a resounding approval of our music video and 100% agreed that it would encourage them to buy the album for both the music video and the digipak.
We then went into depth and asked if they could rate certain aspects of our video, e.g. Lighting, these are our results:
As you can see from these results all aspects were rated highly, some more then others, such as location which was rated the highest, which tells us that this was a strong point in our video and that lighting was one of the weaker aspects of our video.
We also asked there reasons, if they said they liked our video, there reasons for why they liked them, these are some of the reasons why (Click to Enlarge)
One of the main reasons why they liked our video was due to the narrative storyline, this was very important news for us as this was one of the most difficult parts we had to plan. Other reasons were a range of locations were used and had humour, one thing we tried to develop during the construction of the music video.
We also asked our audience what their favorite shot was, this was important as we wondered whether they focused on the parts we predicted them to, such as the establishing shot at the station, the freeze frame in the background as I perform the narrative, or just for the good shot composition, the dancing.
From this you can see our predictions were reasonably correct, however people enjoyed some stop motion, especially the eggs, which we were sceptical about so we are glad we included the humorous stop motion clips.
Due to the conventions of the Indy/Rap genre we wanted to know whether the audience could identify whether it was the right genre and if so, what aspects.
From this we again, got 100%, the majority said costume and location which were the ones we were hoping were going to be apparent as they are the most obvious aspects which you can relate to the genre due to fashion and areas, etc.
We also asked whether the ancillary texts backed up the music video and helped encourage the sales of the album, with yet again, a resounding 100% yes. This means that there is a direct link from our music video product to our ancillary text and the audience can idenitfy it immediately.
Monday, 14 December 2009
PW - 4.How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Research stage –
In the research stage of our music video production, we used media technologies the most in all of our work. This was because we undertook a lot of research into the music industry which included such research projects such as music video analysis (where we analysed similar genre music videos) technical analysis (where we analysed the camera shot types, lighting, mise-en-scene and editing of similar genre music videos.) For these music videos we used Youtube and simply embedded the video into the blog and commented accordingly. This made the blog into what was almost a collection of music videos and ideas which we could frequently refer to throughout our project to remind ourselves of any ideas we had or for inspiration for new ideas.
Throughout the research stage of our music video production, we continually looked at similar music videos, digipak and magazine advertisement designs and styles which further helped us to keep focused on the task and remember what it was exactly we were constructing.
Planning stage –
In the planning stage, this was where we planned shoots, constructed the animatic and drew out storyboards. For each shoot we did, I posted on the blog details of ‘Planning Of Filming’ which consisted of specific details on where the locations were, what we were to film and any other details such as mise-en-scene and lighting. It was very helpful to comment on these planned film shoots as it saved time on the shoot because we could think ahead about any problems we may face so it gave us plenty of time to plan ahead.
Construction stage –
In the construction stage, there was not a great deal of media technologies used on the blog as this stage was more focused on the actual filming of the music video. The only posts that were made were of the ‘Evaluation of Filming’ which took place after every shoot. In this evaluation of filming I evaluated on how well the shoots went and if there were any problems including how we overcame them.
Evaluation stage -
The evaluation stage is where we posted our final versions of the music video, digipak and magazine advertisement which included comments on how they were produced.
How we used Youtube -
We used Youtube as the main media showcase site for our coursework. We collected our example music videos from Youtube and embedded them into our blog. We then submitted our final version of our finished music video onto Youtube.
To Conclude, I think that we used a good amount of media technologies such as embedded files, graphs, surveys, and our blog to show our work.
JB - 4.How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
This is where we edited the footage we had captured, this is where we created some post-production effects for our videos we were not capable of doing on shoot. These were some of the techniques which we able to create for our video.
Sped Up Shot
This involved me standing still within Waterloo Station for around 10 minutes whilst people walked past me, after the shoot whilst we were editing we used the time stretch effect and increased the speed of the shot by around 4,000. This was all reliant on how still I stood whilst it was being shot as this was meant to connote time passing, this shot however looked very effective and was a strong establishing shot to begin the video.
This is very time consuming and needed a lot of patience to do, this consisted of stills that we took of objects such as my shoes which appear to look like they are tying themselves up and a zip zipping itself up, we produced these stills of around 50 shots and then joined these together in the time line in a chronological sequence to create the effect that they look like they are tying themselves up, however we had to evenly split the time stretch to make it look sharp.
8 Point Garbage Matte
To bide some time in the narrative whilst I am performing some lyrics we wanted to find a way of making the background freeze in time, we decided the best way was the 8 point garbage matte, to create this technique I took a freeze frame of Paul where we wanted him to freeze and then on top of the moving shot we put the freeze frame, the 8 point garbage matte then is able to cut Paul out using the points as anchors and placing it over him standing still in the moving frames, one problem we had overcome is the fact that the lighting slightly changes in the background every so often compared to the freeze frame, so with the freeze frame we made key anchor points and then fiddled with the contrast, brightness and saturation so it looks the same as the background.
Contrast, Saturation, Hue and brightness Settings
Throughout our video we changed the brightness, some shots we found ended up to be too dark, or too bright, such as the shot with the police fairy, the police fairy did not stand out enough to our liking as the pavement was too bright, so we changed the brightness which made the pavement darker and then the natural lighting frames what we want the audience to focus on better.
During our planning we created a story board for initial ideas of our music video, when tranisitons will occur, how long and what shots will be where and just a plan of where the narrative will fit with illustrative shots we would like to put in. An animatic is a good way in which we can interactively watch it with the backing music and have a clearer idea about what shots we need to take when we plan a filming day and can refer back to it, quite a lot of our ideas changed from the animatics for various reasons, however the basic outline stayed the same from the storyboard, some even stayed the same.
Digipak and Advertisement
To create our ancillary texts we used a still shot from our music video to be the front cover due to it being a shot with nice framing and good lighting, forming a silhouette, we used the same picture and advert. The pictures in the inside were found, however I will explain how we manipulated the photos to look how they do in the section about photoshop.
In adobe photoshop we manipulated the front cover of the front cover by changing the contrast, as we took it from a screen shot of the music video it had some rough edges from the pixels movement, so what we did was put a water color effect filter on which then smudges all edges, eliminating the rough edges and also making the silhouette of me stand out even greater.
From the inside covers we wanted to give it a brighter feeling to the digipak as the majority of Jamie T's music is upbeat and the mood is cheerful, this meant that we manipulated the photos by increasing the brightness and contrast.
The font was created by newspaper cuttings I cut out and then scanned in, using a scanner. I then imported these to a Photoshop document and then we cut them out individually and the placed them in the areas we want the text on the front cover, the gave it a good amateur feel towards the front cover, reinforcing the conventions of the indy genre, we also changed the colour of some of the letters as using the paint bucket tool and selecting only certain areas.
JB - 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Using Goodwin's theory of critical framework the genre was apparent through certain conventions which it conforms to.
- The costume, this consisted of Denim, New Era hat and Converse shoes, this is apparent in other videos of the same genre of Indy/Hip Hop, such as Hadouken!, Example and Plan B.
- The location and sets as well from up in London, it is located in the South Bank area, where we filmed with the backdrop of the skate park, which could be linked to the traits of the indie genre for it’s preppiness and London for the Urban Style of Hip Hop.
- The notion of looking is presented upon a couple of time within the video to make it voyueristic, such as the MS shot of looking through the window whilst they argue which creates the effect that the audience is actually there watching in on the argument taking place.
- There is a notion of "breaking the fourth wall" common in all music videos as this can create a visual link the audience to the artist in a first mode of address.
Lyrics And Visuals
There is a link between visuals and lyrics, the majority of these are illustrative, such as:
- "End up working at the BBC as a runner," which then fades to a MS shots of Me in an office environment with cups of Tea which is stereotypical of a runner in other media texts such as "Deadset" where the character initially is a runner for Channel 4.
- Other instances are burning bills, with the MS of throwing a letter of a bill on the fire, this leads to the authenticity to the video due to him being entwined with bills, like the rest of us.
- There is amplification within the lyrics is that there is a love triangle occuring with the addition of an extra person, the boyfriend, Paul, this was an addition as there is an extra twist to the story.
Music and Visuals
There is also a link between sound and visuals such as:
- The lip synching, this is a convention which is apparent in music videos.
- The tempo is maintained throughout the video, it gets faster slighter nearer the end with increasingly faster cutting rate, this connotes desperation of finding each other.
- There is a rhythmic cut towards it as the beat coinsides sometimes with the cutting rythm.
- There is heteronormative discourse within this video as there is a relationship in the narrative between a boy and a girl.
- The confict in the relationship in the video is created by the boyfriend entering the room and creating an alpha male dominance within the video physically with the weapon of a baseball bat.
- The lead singer also leads a male empowerment over the female as well as it focused more with him then the female in the conflict.
- The female is left with a residual discourse of the Female doing the dishes in a Housewife role.
- Using semiotics we can find iconic signs in this video which we can link to the genre indy/rap and a music video.
- The costume stays similar throughour the video, the iconography with the converse has been apparent throughout all indy music, the hat as well with the new emergence of the genre indy/rap as well has New Era caps throughout.
Challenges Of The Genre
- The boyfriend is wearing is hood up with some nike trackies, connoting is within the ASBO culture and the stereotype for trouble.
- However this could develop the conventions of the Indy music video as they are in running competition with Urban music, such as grime and garage.
- The music is post-modern in its form, there is some intertextuality which mainly does challenge the indie genre, however some of these intertextual references do strengthen that the video does conform with the genre.
- One instance is the Boyfriend, the costume and baseball bat are intertextual references from the film sequel, Kidulthood and Adulthood. The audience knowingly interpret the narrative with these other texts as a frame of reference.
- However there is an instance in our video where we there is an intertexual reference from a different culture, this is a MLS of me dancing which challenges this genre as it is more related to American Gangster Rap.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Ancillary texts- Digipak and magazine advertisement
Our artist Jamie T has a very specific and unique ‘star’ persona. We have constructed three texts, the main product being the music video and the ancillary texts being the magazine advertisement and the digipak. We felt it was important for these texts to be similar and therefore be a good combination which represents our artist in the best possible way. This is shown clearly in our texts as certain images, and iconography is linked throughout the audience’s previous background knowledge of Jamie T and this additional information which is in the format of a music video and ancillary texts which promote the artist even further.
Our artist Jamie T has a very specific and unique ‘star’ persona.
As you can see, Jamie T can be compared to our very own Jamie T (Group member Joe Bond)...
Dyer’s theory of the 'star' and paradoxes are that he states that stars depend on a range of subsidiary media – magazines, TV, radio and the internet in order to construct a ‘brand’ image for themselves which will essentially be marketed to their audiences. For example, to compare with other artists here is the artist The Streets. This is his album cover which is taken from the album ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free’.
As you can see this album cover is very aesthetically pleasing and does conform to Dyer’s theory. The image definitely promotes the artist’s unique style of being urban and slightly rebellious. Jamie T’s image is quite similar to The Streets as they are both trying to convey the fact that they are similar to the audience. However, this does comply with Dyer’s theory as the artist is present (by the way that the artist is portrayed to be similar to the audience) but also absent as the artist is still a ‘star’ and famous, which is not what the audience is so they essentially look up to the artist and they become iconic.
Jamie T’s brand image is clearly shown in his music videos, magazine advertisements and digipaks . They all reinforce what he is all about in terms of his background and persona. He is seen as being a rebellious young man who is serious about his music but at the same time likes to enjoy himself. Dyer says that a ‘star’ is an image, not a real person which relates to his second paradox which is that the star must be simultaneously present and absent for the consumer. Jamie T is present as we used montage editing in our music video which shows us a glimpse of what he is about. The subsidiary media backs up and reinforces his meta narrative as his brand image is continued. In our digipak we have used an iconic shot of the london eye and the beer bottle/can which show his youth and rebellious personality. Dyer’s first paradox is about the ‘star’ being ordinary and extraordinary for the consumer, this is shown with Jamie T as the audience can relate to him by the way that he represents himself, but he is still somewhat absent as the audience can rarely have very much contact with him. The ordinary side keeps the audience appeal, we have produced a lo-fi video which creates a relationship between the artist and the audience, it gives them a para social intimacy which is why the audience has their favourite artists. Our narrative helps this as the audience can relate to our narrative because it is a love triangle which is a common theme in everyday life. The locations of the house and garden also help to portray our artist of being normal, just like everybody else, furthermore the costume is identifiable to the genre which shows what type of genre it is clearly.
However, the music video can also be extra-ordinary as the performance based scenes break the fourth wall and are speaking to the audience in the first person mode of address. This is normally done in close up and lip synching is involved which creates the effect well. By using this first person mode of address Jamie T is showcasing his talent to the audience and is therefore a 'star'.
For our ancillary texts, our brief was to produce a digipak and magazine advertisement which was to represent the artist and promote them.
Our digipak is designed to be a four page digipak which kept the product simple to produce and construct which was good as we were looking to produce quite a simple digipak that kept to the conventions of our artists brand image and motifs. Here is our Jamie T ‘digipak:
As you can see, I have designed the digipak to represent Jamie T in the best possible way. I have tried to show this with the use of the ‘empty fridge’ idea which I came up with when thinking of themes for the digipak. The empty beer can connotes that Jamie T likes to have a drink which shows he likes to enjoy himself. When I constructed the front cover of the digipak, I wanted to use an urban font for the design which we got from cutting out letters from a newspaper and scanning them into the computer. The background image is of our artist Jamie T posing in front of the London eye. I have applied a slight blur to the background which puts more emphasis on the typography which should be identified first before the other subjects of the image. For the inside covers and back cover font I used alphabet fridge magnet letters which are easily identified. Each letter appears to look like a fridge magnet which further links the digipak pages together. The use of the empty fridge with alcoholic beverages inside it portrays Jamie T to be quite youthful and fun loving which is what his image is all about.
In past digipaks from Jamie T’s albums he has used similar themes, one of them being from the album ‘Panic Prevention’ which used an image of Jamie T in what looks like his bedroom.
Here is Jamie T’s album ‘Panic Prevention’:
Jamie T is seen lying on the floor of his bedroom playing his guitar, the guitar shows what type of genre the album uses which tells the audience immediately what they are likely to hear if they were to purchase the album. Furthermore, his bedroom appears to be very messy, and as we all know untidy bedrooms are often associated with young men. This further promotes Jamie T’s image of being youthful and also rebellious.
The advertisement was designed to be a full page advertisement in a music magazine. Here is our magazine advertisement:
Our digipak and magazine advertisement links to our music video through the main background image we have used, you will see the same location in the music video as we have on our texts where Jamie T is dancing outside the London eye.
As you can see the music video has a scene outside the london eye, the ancillary texts also use this same location...
This helps collective identity as Jamie T’s audience, whether they are strong fans or ambient viewers will be able to immediately identify his music video if they have seen the magazine advertisement or digipak in shops, this helps to promote Jamie T further as he is building up a brand image that is iconic to Jamie T.
Furthermore, Jamie T has some common values of musical stardom which we have represented, these are of -
• youthfulness (in the way that he is portrayed through his music videos, digipak and magazine advertisement)
• rebellion (the use of smoking and consuming alcohol in his music videos)
In Jamie T's music video he has been seen smoking and drinking with his mates which shows rebellion...
• an anti-authoritarian attitude
We have used this musical stardom value in our music video at the scene where Jamie T is being tied up by the 'fairy policeman.'
• success against the odds(in the way that he has made it into the music world without the help of big name talent competitions or over excessive media surrounding him)
• furthermore, we have constructed another value of musical stardom in our music video as we have emphasized the idea of Jamie T and a girl. This is one of the conventions of other genres such as pop because it is often that the narrative is of a boy and a girl...
As you can see we have created another musical stardom value as there is now a sense of ‘sexual magnetism’ towards Jamie T as the audience will attract more females who may like the attractiveness of Jamie T.
By using Dyer’s theories and critical framework which essentially constructs a ‘star’, I can conclude that in order for the brand image of a star to be produced and built up; the media which surrounds them which includes both the music video and promotional items such as the digipak and magazine advertisements must represent them in the best possible way which conforms to the conventions and style of the artist. I think that we have achieved this very well in the construction of our music video, digipak and magazine advertisements in the way that I have portrayed Jamie T to be youthful, rebellious and fun loving which fans know are his main personality traits. Hegemony is used because the idea of the star image is that the consumer is positioned in such a way that they are in relation to dominant social values. The ‘star’ is clearly more famous and almost more idyllic than the audience and so this creates the star persona that the audience like.