Sophie Nutt Evaluation Evaluation Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms
and conventions of real media products? Throughout the pre-production stages of the products, the research and planning that I conducted was heavily influenced by artists’ previous work. This can be seen throughout certain elements of each of my products, as each media product includes one element that has been influenced by a design that has been conducted by an artist that worked within a similar genre criterion. During the research and planning that I was conducting after the first draft of my music video was conducted, I was focusing on including elements in my video that would differentiate it from the original official video for ‘Navy’ by Kilo Kish. By editing the exterior shots into black and white, I felt that this would solve the consistency problem between the interior and exterior shots concerning the mood and atmosphere – which was previously an issue in my first draft. As well as this, it gave my video a different edge to those that could be considered as similar. From this, I used conventions of real media products that were similar to the genre that I was working with; music videos such as ‘Chum’ by Earl Sweatshirt and ‘Nosetalgia’ by Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar influenced my decision when considering applying this affect to my video. These videos also incorporated a similar mise-en-scene location.
My media product, being my music video, conforms to the conventions of real media products also due to the opening titles that I incorporated within the first four seconds of the video. This decision was also influenced by already existing videos that used the same technique, and research into this method was conducted after I completed the first draft of my video. I chose this technique initially to differentiate my product from the official video for ‘Navy’, similar thinking that lead to the black and white effect being used, however after conducting research into this convention – it was brought to my attention that, by using titles, it creates a motif for the artist and the audience are made immediately aware as to what they are listening to and who it is by, leaving the opportunity for download in the hands of the listener. I used this convention from real media products that incorporated this, but specifically media products that used a
Sophie Nutt simple, clear, font – making the technique look professional and sophisticated. Video’s that use this convention are ‘A.D.H.D’ by Kendrick Lamar, and ‘No Church in the Wild’ by Kanye West and Jay-Z.
Finally, another way in which my media product conforms to the conventions of preexistent real media products is the element of amplification that I deliberately used to create a relationship between the song and the video. My music video is classed as amplification, with hints of disjuncture. The video has features of amplification as the shots change in time with the beat of the song, and the lyrics, at times, coincide with the song and the shots in the video. For example, the artist performs the lines "You'll find that I'm in you, and you're inside me too" - complete with actions. This conforms to the majority of videos, from any genre, as nearly all videos have an element of performance and have at least a subtle link to the song that it is portraying. However, the video also contains elements of disjuncture due to the use of projection shots and the content of the outdoor shots. These shots are not related to the meaning of the song or the lyrics of the song itself and therefore there is little relation between the song and the video in this sense – therefore this challenges such a form and convention is one of the ways in which my music video challenges the expectations set by popular media products. Concerning my digipak, there is one convention that I have followed within the design, and I took inspiration from ‘the 1975’ album artwork. The colour palette for my digipak was black, white, and grey, similar to that of the 1975. Primarily, this was not the case, however after adjusting my digipak design frequently, this proved to be the most effective design. However, the disc insert contrasts with this black, white, and grey
Sophie Nutt colour palette as it is a lilac shade. This colour does not relate to the digipak design overall, and therefore does not conform to this convention, but in fact challenges it. Despite this, the ‘inkwell’ filter used to create the black and white effect on the main images, the black layout, and the white text colour conform to the conventions set by select artists and their media products. This is consistent throughout the digipak and to the magazine advert that was created to compliment it. On the other hand, my media products also challenge forms and conventions of real media products. Throughout my research and planning, I was always looking to challenge the expectations that are set by the ‘popular’ genre of music that appears in the charts. Because of the ‘new wave’ and ‘experimental’ genre that my artist falls into, forms and conventions of real media products needed to be challenged to an extent, to ensure that the experimental, fresh genre of my artist came across with clarity and could be identified by the audience. I chose the name ‘Matutine’ for my artist because of the intrigue that it will cause amongst audience and because of the meaning behind the word itself. I wanted a name that would reflect the unpredictable and fresh, new nature of the artist's music. Matutine is not a name that has been said before and is interesting to the audience, which would also stay in the listeners' head some time after they had heard the song or the name of the artist. As well as this, the word 'Matutine' is an adjective with the meaning 'just before the dawn'. This implicates that the artist is one step ahead of any other musician in the industry, and creates music that is soon to peak. When considering the audience, the Trendies and New Casuals both look for music that is innovative and fresh, which is something that this name implicates. By choosing such a name, my media products challenge the forms and conventions of artist’s frequently debuting in the charts with simple, catchy names that withhold no further meaning. I built upon this element within my digipak, as the inside left panel emphasizes the importance of this name. On the inside left panel, I revealed the definition of the word and it’s meaning. This leaves the audience to create the connection between the artist’s music and the name itself. This element of the design was not influenced by any already existent real media products and is not the expected format of a digipak – this minimalistic feature of my digipak, therefore, challenges the forms and conventions of real media products. This minimalism is also portrayed within the magazine advert created to compliment the digipak, and therefore supports this element of challenging the expectations of adverts. My media products also develop conventions and forms that are initially set by already existent real media products. Throughout my research and planning, I was keen to discover a music video that had heavily relied upon projection and had incorporated this technique as a major element to be noted by the audience. Although I found occasional features of projection and hints to the use of projected moving images, hardly any popular music videos incorporate this as an important aspect. Therefore, by editing the majority of my music video into large sections of interior shots using the projector, I relied on these shots to create the base of the video. Although the exterior shots are also frequent, the interior shots that I have used are the only scenes in which the artist had a chance to perform the song. Consequently, by using a projector in such a way throughout my music video, I developed the convention of moving images into a
Sophie Nutt significant element of my overall concept. Another way in which I developed conventions and forms that were initially set by already existent real media products is the use of ‘photo booth photography’ that influenced the photographs that were taken for my digipak artwork. I imagined that this would prove effective as a central feature of the digipak because it would present the audience with a persona of the artist and would build upon her image as it reveals features of her character. By discovering artwork that used a vague and similar idea, I decided that all of the photos would be mid-shots and would show the face on portfolio of the artist. Although I discovered artwork such as ‘Thursday’ by The Weeknd, it was a struggle to discover any digipak designs that used this photo booth concept to present the artist’s persona or build upon their image. Therefore, I developed upon this type of photography to suit the relatively unknown nature of my artist – developing conventions and forms of real media products.
To conclude, my media products have used, developed, and challenged forms and conventions of real media products throughout. Different elements and features of each media product have been influenced or created for a purpose, which has been decided with the aid of thorough research and planning. Evaluation Question 2 How effective is the combination of your main product and your ancillary texts? When looking at the complete set of products that were created to support Matutine, it is clear that intertextual motifs can be seen throughout and elements of successful branding are evident. The persona and image of the artist was a key element throughout these products and is something that I wanted to portray effectively to the audience. To do this, I took inspiration from photo-shoots and existing music videos that I chose to analyse. The photo-shoot by Terry Richardson of Cara Delevingne, although it is not directly related to the music industry, was a perfect example of how to capture the attitude of my artist and how to create the whole aesthetic that I was aiming to achieve for my artist. This idea of a playful, laid-back shoot, and producing a set of candid photographs appeared to be popular with my chosen target demographic and more artist’s are choosing to portray themselves in this light – gathering cult followings whilst building their image. In ensuring that this was how Matutine was to be presented, I transferred these ideas over.
Sophie Nutt The images from my ancillary products all reveal a different aspect of the artist’s persona, and this attitude is something that is consistently emphasized within the main product. From reflecting on feedback, the strong image that I created for the artist in my ancillary products is recognizable within the main product, as peers have stated that “her look and attitude really reflect the style of music and she is a great performer”, and that she is “very charismatic”. The consistent attitude that is portrayed across both of the ancillary texts and the main product makes the combination of materials extremely effective, realistic, and intriguing for the modern audience. The images used on my ancillary products were all edited using a black and white filter called ‘inkwell’ via the media platform Instagram. This colour palette was then incorporated into my main product and a black and white effect was used within the exterior shots. By carrying this colour palette across the ancillary texts and the main product, a certain atmosphere and mood is dominant and consistent throughout both. The tone of the video is set through this use of black and white, and is something I wanted to carry across all of the products – by doing this, the combination of the main product and ancillary texts was made even more effective as the certain aura coincides well with the whole aesthetic that I have created for my artist. However, there are also elements to my main product that I chose not to carry across into my ancillary texts. The locations within my main product do not appear in my ancillary texts, specifically the urban environment. I chose the mise-en-scene of the city for my exterior shots within my music video because I felt that using such a busy location would give me the opportunity to create a sequence of fast, varying shots when the beat and pace of the song increases. I chose not to include this element of urban surroundings within my ancillary texts as I felt that, by featuring this, it would confuse the audience and it may be misleading when considering the genre of the music. Such an urban location is conventionally used to represent a rap/hip-hop genre and this is something that I was careful to avoid when designing my ancillary texts, as the genre of my artist’s music is experimental. It was important not to use typical conventions of any other genre than the ‘new wave’ that I was aiming to represent. Therefore, this element of urban location was not included in my ancillary texts – however, I feel that this does not impact the effective combination of the main product and ancillary texts. In addition to this, the use of a projector displaying moving images onto my artist was not carried across to my ancillary texts, although this was a main feature of my main product. The interior projection shots in my music video allowed the artist to perform and connect to members of the audience, as the male gaze is frequently addressed throughout these shots when Jordan looks into the camera. Although this male gaze theory is carried through into the main images for my ancillary products, the projector technique is left solely for the main product. I decided to not include this element of my music video in my ancillary products, as I felt that this would negatively impact the aesthetic that I had created for the artist within the minimalistic design of the digipak. The projection is used within the music video in times of fast-paced beats and so reflect this pace, as well as attracting attention at these points and maintaining the audience’s interest. I felt that, by including this feature in my ancillary texts, it could jeopardize the
Sophie Nutt simplistic aesthetic and would impact the effect of these shots in the music video – as the audience would already be familiar with this technique. Consequently, I made the decision of not including it within my ancillary texts. This may have affected the effectiveness of the combination of the ancillary texts and main product due to the significance of this feature in the main product, however I still maintain that this decision was appropriate. The combination of the ancillary texts and the main product is ultimately made effective by the strong brand image that is created, based upon the artist herself. Although there are alternative similar links between the ancillary texts and main product, it is apparent that this element is the most effective due to the feedback that I have received from my chosen demographic. As a result, I feel that the combination of my ancillary texts and my main product is very effective – despite not including some elements of the main product for stated reasons. Evaluation Question 3 What have you learned from your audience feedback? I received feedback from a variety of different medias and sources. These included Twitter, comments on Blogger, and written paper feedback from teachers, peers, and classmates. This ranged from positive to constructive. I felt it was important to take on all feedback and work from it, to improve the final outcome of each of my media products and remove any faults. Even when my music video was simply a concept and was pitched to the class via Animoto, I gathered audience feedback from my peers. The main praise that I received at this stage was that the ideas that I presented were accurate towards my chosen genre. This was positive feedback as I categorized my video in my pitch to be that of amplification (with elements of disjuncture), therefore as my ideas reflected those of my chosen genre, it would contribute towards my idea of amplification within the video. By receiving this feedback, decision-making became easier at this stage as I felt confident in my initial concept. This positive feedback was accurate as the ages of my peers fall under the demographics of my target markets – the Trendies and the New Casuals. This positive feedback was consistent throughout the varying stages of production and praise of my final product followed similar comments such as “both locations perfectly reflect the genre and make the video interesting to watch”, and “the artist that you have used is very charismatic, this helps to reflect your chosen genre as the confidence of the artist is a big part of your video.” I was pleased with this audience feedback, as I was careful to create a believable style and brand image. After my initial pitch was conducted, I had a period of time to construct moodboards, expressing my ideas further as an aid to gathering feedback from my chosen demographic. I then created a questionnaire for a select number of people to complete. After gathering this feedback, I analysed the information by using pie charts as an easily interpretable method of presenting my findings. This questionnaire gave the audience opportunities for both positive feedback and constructive criticism concerning the mood board, as questions were asked as to what the audience liked about the initial
Sophie Nutt mood board and what they specifically disliked. This enabled me to progress as I was able to see directly what my target audience liked about the concept for my music video. This helped me decide on the features of my music video that I will definitely develop and what elements of my initial music video concept that I should not include. My mood board had a generally positive reception, however there were minor features that were disliked by the focus group, such as the overwhelming brightness of the psychedelic colour palette that I was intending to use. Therefore, I conducted test shots of each projection that I was planning to use, which enabled me to examine the suitability of each. Additionally, I received constructive feedback I was able to review and analyse. Overall, I agreed with these comments, as I understood that I had some weaker elements such as my first draft of the digipak and magazine advert; including the initial images, and concerning my first draft music video; such as the lighting of the exterior shots. A reoccurring comment was this issue with the natural lighting within the exterior shots, as both my teacher and peers supported the idea of filming these in the evening time, which would “help to keep more towards the theme of [the] chosen genre” – opposed to filming in daylight, which was the case in my first draft. Constructive criticism concerning this issue included “they kill the mood and create an inconsistent atmosphere”, and that I needed to “add an effect to the exterior shots to achieve a more compatible mood”. Following this feedback, I re-filmed these exterior shots in the evening time as I saw these comments as understandable and agreed with the issues that were raised. Immediately I could see the improvement in the appearance of the shots. The lighting automatically created a more sinister mood and complimented the interior shots well. This constructive feedback aided me to take this decision and massively influenced the standard and quality of my video. Another re-occurring piece of constructive criticism applied to my digipak and magazine advert images, as my teacher did not regard them as being professional or appropriate as they were at different angles, producing unnecessary shadow, and therefore impacting the professionalism of the digipak. After analysing the images, I recognized these issues and, consequently, conducted another photo-shoot for the digipak and magazine advert. Following this, my teacher then praised, “these images [were] a massive improvement on the previous ones”.
Sophie Nutt After comparing these images, it was brought to my attention the significant difference that taking these new photographs made and the improvements in quality, realism, and the professional aesthetic. The feedback for my digipak also helped me to develop my knowledge further of digipak conventions that I did not initially recognize. For example, my feedback suggested that I should include the record producer/distributors and legal information to the featured album. This allowed me time to research other digipaks and conventions that I lacked, which I consequently included in my following drafts and final version. Another point made was that I needed to ensure that all four images were aligned precisely in coordination with each other, and that these were then needed to align with the header of ‘Matutine’ and ‘M-‘. From this, I enabled the grid on Photoshop to ensure that all the typography and images were aligned. This helped me learn about the importance of the precision required when checking over my draft copies and ensuring no mistakes were present during my final version. After analysing and reviewing both positive and constructive feedback, I am pleased with the end result of both my main media product (the music video) and both ancillary texts. Evaluation Question 4 How did you use media technologies in the construction, and research, planning, and evaluation stages? The research was a vital component in order to create my ancillary texts and my music video. Using a wide variety of media technologies helped me quickly establish my target market and different options I could take for appealing to them as successfully as possible. Blogger Blogger was the main media technology that allowed me to complete and post all research and planning surrounding the ancillary texts and the main product – the music video. The blog enabled me to post all ideas and inspiration during the research stages of this process. This could be achieved in various ways; either through embedded codes to videos from YouTube, images, or simple text posts either produced directly on Blogger or documents from Scribd. In addition, when completing both the ancillary texts and the main product, it allowed peers to post feedback, which I was then able to analyse and review. This feedback was used when developing drafts and, ultimately, when evaluating the overall success with the texts and main piece. Blogger reflects the effort and standards that have been produced throughout the research, planning, and evaluation stages. MacBook Pro My MacBook Pro contributed massively during the research and planning stages, construction, and evaluation. This allowed me to store all footage, photos, and documents to then enable me to post new information onto my blog. All of the other technologies that I have stated, in some way, lead back to this piece of equipment.
Sophie Nutt Without this, I feel that I would have struggled to complete the research and planning stages to a high standard. YouTube/TubeChop YouTube was extremely helpful to both my music and ancillary texts. I first used YouTube to research the current videos that suited my genre and fitted into my target market. I was able to use the embed code from these and insert them into my blog posts so that I could refer back to them later for inspiration. I found this useful during the planning process of my storyboard so I could refer quickly back to videos that I liked and take inspiration from the conventions that they portrayed and that were popular amongst the audience. When referring to specific elements, I was able to capture screen shots from the platform to pick out key shots that may have been useful for my own product during the later development of the planning process. I used YouTube also during the editing process of my music video. For example, I was able to quickly type in a function that I could not perform on iMovie and find tutorials that other users had created. This was relevant as I found a tutorial on how to layer text over a piece of film, which was necessary for the opening titles at the start of the music video. I also used YouTube as a platform to present the different drafts of my music video. This helped me further in other stages such as feedback as it meant it was easily accessible by my peers and also allowed me to see how my video would look completed. During the final construction stages I used YouTube as the platform to present my final video. By doing this, I was able to share a link to the final video on the artist’s Twitter account, allowing fans the opportunity to watch and comment. Safari By using the search engine, Safari, on my MacBook Pro, I was able to compile a range of images that fitted into the style that I decided upon for my artist. This helped me quickly find new ideas and inspiration that I did not originally decide upon. This was a significant tool when conducting mood boards on costume and makeup, as I was able to gather images that, I felt, best represented the image that I was aiming to achieve. Any inspiration that I found would then be posted onto Blogger open to feedback. Animoto Animoto was a really easy platform used to present my ideas visually, which gave myself and my peers a better indication as to what route I was taking. This was especially useful as I was able to add images and text alongside the song that I decided to base my music video upon. This assured me that the song would work effectively alongside my visual concept. By presenting my idea in a creative and visual way, I was able to transfer my ideas easily to my audience and receive feedback quickly. Microsoft Word Microsoft Word is common platform to present texts, which I have previous experience in using. Therefore it was an easy choice to use this when presenting materials that I
Sophie Nutt have analysed. For example, I used it during the research process of analysing real digipaks and magazine adverts. I was able to present this analysis and identify conventions alongside the material. I could then come back to it if I needed to, so that I could add more detail and edit previous mistakes before publishing the document. iMovie iMovie was used for the planning process of my music video. This was used when creating an animatic of the shots that I had decided upon for my music video, previously laid out in a paper storyboard. This was a quick video-making format for presenting this and I was able to export the footage, ready to present. iMovie was also used during the editing process, as this was the central platform in the construction of my music video that allowed me to edit the raw footage I had previously captured on the SLR D3100 Nikon camera and form them together to reach my final product. I had vague previous knowledge of this software, however never in such detail. Although, it was not difficult to soon get to grabs with the software and I could easily find YouTube tutorials on any issues that I had. iMovie gave me a wide range of options to explore when editing my video; I could insert all of my raw footage into the library, which then allowed me watch clips I had shot before I began to insert them into the video timeline. This speeded up the process significantly, allowing me more time to edit the footage. I also used the timeline zooming in and slow motion viewing mode to ensure that items such as the lip syncing of the video was precise to the lip movements. In terms of the editing features, the interior projection shots were left to the default settings, as these resulted in the best quality footage. However, I edited the properties of every exterior shot to have 0% saturation. This made the shots black and white, whilst maintaining the professional look, as the natural lighting was not affected. Scribd I used Scribd in the research process to present my ideas from documents that I had formed in Microsoft Word. I prefer Scribd to host my documents as it presents them clearly and can be zoomed in and out. By uploading documents into my Scribd account, I could then use the embed code to then insert it into Blogger. This medium could also allow my research to be read by other Scribd users. Twitter I used Twitter to promote my artist. Twitter is becoming one of the most popular social networking sites that are used by music artists of all genres to promote their new releases and gain fans. Therefore it was an important platform in imitating this process otherwise my artist would have lacked a marketing strategy. I mainly used this social networking platform via my iPhone as an app – by doing this, I was able to take quick snaps of my artist during filming periods and upload them onto the Twitter account. This provided on-the-move communication between the artist and their fans. SLR Nikon D3100 Camera For the construction process of producing my music video, I used an SLR Nikon D3100
Sophie Nutt camera to capture the footage. The camera functions were relatively straightforward to use so the raw footage I caught was filmed with ease. There was an issue with the focusing of objects, however this was soon overcome through practice and test shots. The camera’s advanced imaging system assured outstanding quality and it’s subjecttracking AF kept subjects properly focused – this enabled me to make the artist the main subject in the shot, blurring out the background as and when I wanted to. After shooting, I could frequently review what I had recently filmed on the large 7.5cm LCD monitor so that I was perfectly aware of what I have shot and whether it was acceptable – this was time efficient as I could re-shoot specific scenes as many times during one filming session and know when I had reached the final product that I was aiming for, without having to retreat to my laptop to gather a clear view of the shots that I had taken. I could also perform simple editing tasks, such as trimming scenes before or after a designated point, even before I began to edit on the iMovie software. I think that without the quality of footage this camera provided, my music video would not have looked as effective – the high quality resolution gives detail. Adobe Photoshop Adobe Photoshop is the most accessible and widely used platform to create graphic designs from amateur to industry standards, therefore I chose this in the construction process of my ancillary texts. I had in depth knowledge of the software from previous projects, so I found it easy to begin a new document and create my digipak and magazine advert professionally. Photoshop allowed me to achieve a more accurate colour scheme using the colour palette, which I could save into my own favourite palettes and quickly adopt later without having to copy and paste the colour code. I also used this to compare, which colours would work well together by creating colour blocks directly next to each other. This allowed me to experiment in the research and planning stages as well. During the construction stages of my digipak and magazine advert, the tools in Photoshop allowed me to create a unique design specific to my artist. Firstly, I was able to insert a digipak template and create a new file in which to begin the process of creating my digipak. From my previous research, I had developed a concept in my head that I was able to quickly transfer into my draft version. After this, I was able to tweak my design as and when I desired through different effects, such as ‘darken’ or ‘soft light’ and see which would look the most professional to those I had seen in my research stages. The same construction process applied to the record label logos, which I ‘placed’ into the document to ensure the highest resolution quality, where I applied the ‘darken’ effect again so that the white background of the logo was removed and I was left with the solid logo. This prevented any edges appearing rigid or white pixels appearing outside of the logo, which would have occurred if I were to have erased it using the selection tool. All the elements of my digipak and magazine advert – results of all the technologies that I had used up until this stage – were combined using Photoshop to produce my final ancillary products.
Sophie Nutt Photoshop was a piece of technology that helped me to edit photos and, ultimately, piece together different elements in order to produce a completed digipak and magazine advert. Instagram Instagram was extremely useful in the construction stages of my ancillary texts. Instagram is an online photo sharing, video-sharing, social network service. I was able to upload raw images that were taken for my digipak and magazine advert, and apply digital filters to them so that a certain effect was achieved on each photograph. A distinctive feature is that the application confines photo’s to a square shape, therefore I was assured that each photo had the same dimensions and that they would be precisely equal once placed into the Photoshop file. When designing my first draft, I used the filter ‘1977’ on my photographs, which gave the images a slightly pink tint to coincide with the colour palette already established by other images. However, when re-constructing my following drafts, using the new set of photos that I had created on Flickr, I used the filter ‘Inkwell’ to edit the colour of my images. Flickr I used Flickr after I had taken images from a shoot with my artist with my SLR D3100 Nikon camera, ready to use for my second draft digipak. This online platform allowed me to create sets for each shoot, which were then shared onto my blog for easy and quick viewing. This also allowed me to browse through my photos and highlight/select the appropriate images that I was planning to use in my magazine. Attempting to construct the ancillary texts and main product without the above technologies would have had a significantly negative impact on the quality and standards of the products. Using these technologies allowed me to make a digipak, magazine advert, and music video to a professional standard. It also enabled me to make a product and brand that uses, challenges, and develops conventions – similar to a real media package.