Using Conventions from Real Media Texts

Our AS task was to create a magazine that would appeal and be marketable to a chosen genre. I chose the indie-alternative genre, meaning that I had to match the style and content of my magazine to this genre of music’s target audience. This meant creating an artist that was styled and personified to match and appeal to this genre. To create this I took style from fashion icons in the genre such as Ladyhawke and Alexa Chung. I tried to reflect their casual style with my artist by dressing her in baggy tops and checked shirts. I was heavily inspired by magazines such as Q and NME, particularly with the layout and style of writing. This is because they have proved popular within my chosen genre and so to take ideas from them seemed to make sense. The representation of the magazine is that it features the latest in what is relevant right now, whether that’s new or old bands. This is my reasoning for featuring ‘the next big thing’ on the cover page; it fitted in with the concept. The title of the magazine is designed to represent the magazines credibility in music taste. Although the LP is old-fashioned, it is respected as a key part in the modern music’s history. Conventions I used in my AS product include the rule of three, which applies to fonts, size, colours and layout. My front cover features a mid-shot of a single person, with a masthead at the top and other features such as a plug in the form of a competition. My contents page was conventional in it’s’ layout, particularly because it was inspired heavily by other contents pages. The sections including ‘features’ and ‘reviews’ were inspired by a fashion magazine, as were the columns and text sizes. Contents pages also typically feature images with corresponding page numbers, which is of course designed to draw the reader in to particular pages. I used this to make a full of writing more visually pleasing. Although the audience is of course literate, style is a large element in any music genre and so images are essential. At A2, we had to create a music video and corresponding ancillary texts. The aim was to make a realistic video you would see on YouTube or music channels with ancillary texts you expect to see in shops. My product was again designed to target an indie-alternative audience. We noticed that conventional indie-alternative videos often fall into the illustrative or amplification genre. We took this convention and applied it to our ideas when conceiving a concept for our video. Our final draft was based on a simplistic illustrative video of a band performing together in a room. The style of the band was created based on other bands from the genre, particularly the Drums and The Wombats. This casual style is representative of the genre, however we encouraged the styling of the lead singer to be more stylized; for example in the video he wears sunglasses which is designed to be a quirky feature of the band. This encourages a star persona, people aspire to be the band and therefore this makes them successful. We used a lot of bricolage in the video when thinking about Mise en scene, taking lots of ideas from previous videos and combining them. We took inspiration for location from The Vaccines video for If You Wanna and we took some of the choreography from The Drums’ Best Friend video. We also took the simplistic style from both of these videos. A convention of editing is cutting the visuals in time to the beat of the music. An example of this is in Coldplay’s Violet Hill where the shot is completely rearranged every time the drum beats. We cut the shot similarly with the band in different positions as the beat changed. My ancillary texts were also designed to appeal to an indie-alternative genre. They used many conventions of ancillaries. For example the digipak front cover is conventional. With a main image

and the title of both the band and album featured. The back features the track list and the barcode. The inside sleeves feature credits to the artists and production team. All of this is taken from albums from bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club. The neutral colour scheme was inspired by the concept of indie music. It should be simplistic as the focus should be the music. The laid back nostalgic reference to childhood with the paper-cut out people reflects the simplicity of the album. With the magazine advert I applied the rule of three. We learnt that the top two thirds of a page are what we notice first. Because of this I placed the band name and the image in this top half. The band name because if an audience are likely to have heard anything from their band it is more likely to be their name than the title of their album and the image because it is what draws in an audiences’ attention. The image itself stands out of the page was the white contrasts the brown of the rest of the page. A further convention that I have taken from previous magazines is the content below the image. I effectively used pastiche and took the words used on previous posters, including an opinion from Q Magazine that offered 5 stars to the album. Overall I have used a considerable amount of conventions from real media texts in my work and I feel it has been very beneficial. You cannot decipher what will be popular or successful purely from theory, you must take inspiration from real success as this is what has proved popular.