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How effective is the combination of your main product with the ancillary texts?

Question 2

Task
After completing the Reminders' music video, I had to create two print productions; a digipak and a magazine advertisement promoting the main product. Like the music video, the majority of the inspiration behind the print productions came from literature, mythology and spiritualism, which links into the acoustic/folk genre.

Examples of similar artists/bands and how they have formulated their digipaks to promote their music video
Ed Sheeran’s single cover for Give Me Love uses the convention of creating a cohesive digipak. There is an identical use of mise-en-scene (costume, props, location) and use of camera angle/shot within the music video. Seth Lakeman’s single Lady of the Sea develops the notion of a cohesive digipak by producing a more thematic link compared to Sheeran. Lakeman’s digipak encapsulates the ‘broody’ stormy feel to his album. He uses the same noir lighting yet uses a more natural location for his digipak in order to reflect the natural influences of the folk genre. Conversely, the majority of KT Tunstall’s albums (such as Eye to the Telescope) challenge the cohesive link that Sheeran and Lakeman adopt. Instead, Tunstall has created her own iconic style of a black and white of herself in a spotlight, in order to distinguish herself from other artists and make a brand.
‘We need to understand genre as a property of relations between texts’ John Hartley In context to the combination of the main and ancillary tasks, Hartley’s theory indicates that there should be a relation bet ween the music video and the print productions in order to establish the acoustic/folk genre of Reminders. To an extent I have followed Hartley’s theory as I have used, developed and challenged aspects of how real artists construct their digipaks.

Panel 1

Panel 1
Panel 1 consists of both protagonists sitting on either end of a bench looking at each other; epitomising the key themes throughout the music video – loss, regret and reminiscence. The bench highlights one of the most pivotal points in the music video. At 1:21-1:31, when the female protagonist walks past the bench, the first negative flashback is revealed to the audience. Therefore, by using the same bench in panel 1, I have created a coherent link between the music video and the print production by in order to reflect the painful nature of the past. Furthermore, I have maintained the sense of binary opposition between past and present; the female protagonist wears her black costume that she wears in real time whereas her partner is faded. This thematically links to the notion of memories, which creates a tenacious connection between the music video as well as the track title. Alternatively, the fading of the male protagonist could equally link to the enigma explored throughout Reminders to whether her partner exists or if he is a figment of her imagination.

Panels 2 and 3

Panels 2 and 3
Though there is only a short reference to the tree displayed in the middle panels (1:19-1:20), panels 2 & 3 develop a spiritual link between the music video and the digipak. Trees are known to be symbolic of hope, love and the passing of time; key themes expressed throughout the music video through the use of flashbacks. The latter mentioned (passing of time) is clearly illustrated in the middle panels through the cold, dormant tree (panel 2) and the warm, blooming tree (panel 3), which reinforces a sense of binary opposition (Strauss) that is recurrent throughout the music video. Therefore, the use of the tree in different seasons epitomise the notion of past and present as well as key themes explored throughout the music video Furthermore, the CD area is of lined paper used in the female protagonist’s journal, which reflects the notion of the diary that is explored in the music video; expressing a clear reminiscent link between the digipak and music video.

Panel 4

Panel 4
Panel 4 features the tree where the female protagonist goes at 1:40 in the music video; the same tree where the couple meet and break up. The tree therefore thematically linked with both the formation and deterioration of their relationship. By positioning the track list onto the tree, as if it were carved in, this also thematically links to the notion of young lovers (like the protagonists) who carve their names onto a tree. Therefore, the track list thematically correlates with the theme of ‘first love’ explored in ‘Reminders’ music video. Also the positioning of the track list was inspired by how Mumford and Sons displayed their track list in a brick format for their album Sigh No More. This, I thought, created an aesthetically pleasing and well organised digipak, which I wanted to create myself. I therefore positioned the track list on the tree in a carving format, in order to allude the audience that the songs were engraved onto the tree. This not only makes the track list more aesthetically pleasant, but reinforces the main theme within the music video of true love and Young lovers, as tree carvings are generally associated with people infatuated with one another. Therefore, the romantic connotations of the track list’s layout links back to the exploration of young relationships and love that are explored throughout Reminders’ music video.

Examples of similar artists/bands and how they have formulated their magazine advertisements to promote their music video
Mumford and Sons magazine advertisement and digipak for Sigh No More challenges the cohesive link between the print productions. Indeed, the band is incorporated within both print production, but the mise-en-scene (including location and costume) differ. This highlights both aspects of the band; their urban, popular (digipak) and their rural, folk roots (advert). Thus, though Mumford and Sons do not create a cohesive visual or thematic link, they successfully promote themselves. Conversely, by using an identical image on her poster advertisement to her front panel of English Rain, Gabrielle Aplin forms a visually cohesive link. By replicating the mise-en-scene (e.g. the umbrella, the costume, the stormy beach location), the audience can automatically identify that the poster is promoting her album. This visual link therefore makes the combination of Aplin’s digipak and magazine advertisement effective.

Magazine Advertisement

Magazine Advertisement
The main inspiration behind Reminders' magazine advertisement came from the Ancient Greek myth of Narcissus; an extremely beautiful nymph who fell in love with his own reflection and drowned (or in other versions, starved to death from never leaving his shadow). I subverted the tale, as instead of the female protagonist only seeing herself, she sees her partner; suggesting that he is a part of her identity. This motif of the male protagonist being the female's muse is constantly explored throughout the music video. For example, at both 0:46 and 2:43, the female protagonist sees her partner staring back at her, which suggests that he is all that she can see; subverting the idea of narcissism. Additionally, there is a strong reference to nature through the mise-en-scene in both the magazine advertisement and the music video. The locations (especially the park) draws emphasis on the natural influences within the acoustic/folk genre that Reminders’ track fits into. Therefore, by drawing emphasis on nature, I have developed a generic link between the magazine advertisement and the music video

Magazine Advertisement
Furthermore, the magazine advertisement highlights the recurring motif of self-reflection that is explored in the music video. Throughout Reminders, the female protagonist reflects on her past and her partner. For example at 0:30-0:38, there is a clear sense of reflection when she puts the locket on and has a flashback to when she received it from the male protagonist. By editing the two protagonists in the magazine advertisement to make them look like reflections off the water, the motif of reflection is epitomised; creating a thematic link between the music video and poster.

Also, this links back to Goodwin’s theory on voyeurism; the notion of looking. By

CD

CD
The reason I chose a shot of the sky to use for the CD was because not only does it draw emphasis on nature, but it links to the spiritual notion of dreams and fantasies. These themes are used within Reminders’ music video through the flashbacks; which use a rose coloured filter to distinguish the surrealism. Therefore, I have constructed a thematic link between the CD and Music Video.

Conclusion
Overall, I think it would be fair to say that I have created a cohesive ancillary product that promotes the main product for Reminders’ track, and gives an insight to the music video’s key themes, narrative and motifs. Most predominantly, I have formed links between the print productions and music video thematically in order to establish the acoustic/folk genre. Though I have maintained continuity through the use of the same fonts (Moon Flower) in order to unify the print productions.