Saturday, 17 September 2011

Our Lovely Group

Our Lovely Group, Olivia, Lucy, Rosie and Derek!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Our Lovely Music Video

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Media Studies Evaluation

Media Studies Evaluation
1. Our project developed and used the forms and conventions of current media products in a number of ways. There were a number of camera angles that are often seen in contemporary music videos that we incorporated into our video. One of these was the extreme-close-up of the protagonist walking down a busy city street. This can be seen in many current music videos, and we used this on our own. Usually this technique would have been shown with the protagonist singing, or moving in line with each one of their head movements. We did not use either of these, simply kept a straight shot without moving.
Often music videos will include a lot of shots of the band playing their instruments. We decided not to use any shots of this kind as we felt it was simply inappropriate for the video and would add nothing to it. We did include shots of the artist singing, these are often seen in music videos.
Some music videos use shots involving the artist singing whilst moving. These are videos with artists such as Jamie T, Cage the Elephant and Maximo Park. All the shots of the artist singing are taken when she was stationary. In this way we challenged the conventions of music videos. We did not include this simply because we thought it would not offer any ingenuity to the video.
We used a lot of shots faded into each other in our video, another effect that I have not seen in many if any videos that I have viewed in my life. We did that towards the end of our video, and faded one, two and for a little bit three shots into one. This effect challenged the convention of not including this in a video. By including it we suggested that it can be used to create good effects. It has most likely been used in some professional videos, it is however a rare technique.
We developed the technique of changing colours on the video. We added in a sepia effect over the whole video because it seemed to fit the genre more with this effect included. Many videos have effects such as this; by including it we were simply developing it by changing digital effects to fit our video. We also changed the effects on some of the lights dotted around in certain places in our video, making them change shape and other such things. This is another effect that can be seen in other music videos.
Settings are another thing that we developed and challenged at the same time. We chose a very natural setting for our video with the majority of the shots being taken from a hill in a rural Cambridgeshire village. These shots showed a large variety of foliage and fitted in well with the acoustic genre. We also filmed some shots in Cambridge, on a busy central street, with the shots involving the animation from a pub in Cambridge. These are all shots likely to be used in other music videos. We developed the techniques by filming in these locations, but challenged them in the way that we filmed them. An extreme-long-shot of countryside is not something seen in very many videos, albeit some, but it is not an often used technique.
2. We have several products centred on our music video. The video itself, the digipack, which is a CD with a music video case, and a promotional poster. In order to sell these effectively we need to link the products, to show that they are part of the same promotional part of the industry, to drag attention to each thing in order to convince the consumer to buy not only one product, but the other one related to it.
The digipack and magazine advertisement are clearly linked. They incorporate the same background for each product. This shows the consumer that the products are from the same artist and may immediately make a link between the digipack and the magazine cover. This particular link will encourage the consumer to buy both products, thus creating a profit.
The pictures are both taken of sunny summer days in natural settings, in line with the genre of the video. This creates a happy feel for the video, again in line with the genre. The happy feel may help the consumer to enjoy the product, and thus associate that happiness with both products. This will in turn lead to a higher profit.
We tried to present a very clear image of the artist. We wanted to represent the genre, being folk/acoustic. Things associated with this and the song, such as daffodils, flowers, nature, guitars and femininity.
They both use a high amount of daffodils. This highlights the name of the album, drawing attention the feature video as well. This will make the consumer aware of what the main points of all products are. Again, this will hopefully make the viewer more willing to watch the video itself, thus chaining the digipack, magazine advert and the video. If effective this link will increase profits no all fronts.
The same font was used on the cover and digipack. This also creates a link between the two products. This, like the background, may make the consumer link to two things in their heads. The writing also creates a feeling for the genre of the video. This will let the consumer know what type of music they are buying.
We used the protagonist form the video on the digipack cover. This was of Olivia, who was pretending to be Charlene Soraia. This was effective; it showed a clear link from the video to the digipack cover. This will promote. Olivia as well as the video, creating an aura for both. Again, if this works as planned it will generate profit for the video.
3. We showed our rough cut video to our class and teacher. From this, we could get an idea of the best and worst points of our video. We received feedback from the class, and on our blog a list was made of all the things we needed to change. Everything in this section was taken from our blog.
We learned from this that we did not have enough locations in our video. At that point in time we only had shots of Olivia walking down streets as well as the natural setting. We had not used as much footage rom the natural setting or the animation footage. By conducting a feedback session we learnt what we needed. We then added in a lot more footage of the natural setting, as well as the animation part. Once we added this in it seemed to be adequate. Without conducting a feedback session we would have never realised this.
Another thing that we discovered we needed to fix was a lack of close-ups. We had one close of Olivia singing, and that was it. After this we included more of her singing and her walking down the street in Cambridge. We had not the greatest shot variety, albeit not the worst, but this comment made us look closely at what we needed to change in terms of this, and we were able to do this effectively.
We had one long introduction shot in the video, where Olivia walked up a path with trees on both sides. This we realised after reading some comments, went on too long and had little variation in terms of effects. We cut the shot and faded things over it, also changing the effects. This gave our opening sequence more ingenuity and variety. This can only make an effective music video.
We also learnt some things that we had done well. There did not seem to be any problems with our mise-en-scene. We received comments that our choice of costumes was very appropriate to the song, as Olivia was wearing a yellow dress. The lighting effects that we used in the natural setting were also deemed to be good by those who saw our video. Our settings were also thought to be appropriate with the song. Acoustic videos are often seen to be in nature as well as cities. The song was also called daffodils, thus nature was a good setting. The setting also added to the genre of love in the song.
We received good comments on our camerawork and editing. People said that our camerawork was steady and that there was nothing in it that made it look unprofessional. We also used a number of fades in our sequences, which we added to following feedback, but the ones we had were said to be effective. Viewers thought that the fades fitted in with the music and did not disrupt the flow of it.
4. In the construction of our media product we used the majority of technology used over the course of the entire thing. In the planning process we used cameras, lights and computers. We used cameras in order to take pictures of ideas for locations. We then put these pictures onto our blog and wrote about each one. In doing this we were able to analyse every possible location and deem which were the best for what we wanted to do. This allowed not just thinking of a location, but seeing what it looks like through the lens of a camera, and thus how it would look in a music video.
We also used lights used in theatre for our production. This gave us the opportunity to try out various effects involving different coloured lights. We found that this gave us the chance to see again how this would look through the lens of a camera, and thus in a film.
In our planning we used a filming camera as well. This, apart from obviously being a necessity, gave us the opportunity to do several things. Once at each location we could do shots again and again, seeing what different angles would do to each scene. This was best viewed through a camera. We shot things again and again, selecting many different angles, giving a large amount of footage to choose from, and thus, a better opportunity to make a good music video.
We had to use an editing program, Final Cut Express, in order to put together our footage. This program gave us the change to try out many different effects on our footage. We tried out different speeds, colours, fades and so on. Without this program all we would have been able to do is film it in a chronological order and hope that it would turn out well. Instead we could edit and re-edit our footage, using a huge variety of effects that helped us to create a really good music video.
Making both the digipack cover and magazine advert required using a photo editing program, Photoshop. This gave us the chance to try out many different kinds of effects on photos, combining some as well, in order to find a really good cover. We could play around with each individual image, as well as them all put together as a whole. This allowed us to create exactly what we wanted.
The final media technology used was the internet. This was the blog. The blog gave us a way to keep track of everything that we had done, and a place to put all our written work, in a place that was easy to store it all. This shows everything from all other media technologies.
These technologies basically allow amateur filmmaking to be done properly. Perhaps ten years ago, one would have to take a camcorder, film the entire thing in sequence and erase over parts which were deemed unsuitable. It is only possible to make these programs by the programs that are available, so these technologies have transformed amateur filmmaking. Without them this project would be much more difficult.

Olivia's Evaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

General conventions of a music video consist of the artist lip syncing, the genre of the music being reflected in mise-en-scene, themes, performance, camera work and editing styles. Creating a music video is a good way of promoting the artist and helping to sell the single. Our music video is in the genre of “alternative folk” and typical conventions and forms of this genre is things such as the artist singing, possibly playing instruments, summer time fun and sun. It is quite a feel good happy genre and this would be reflected in the music video. We liked the range of footage of the scenery in Nelly Furtardo’s video for “I’m Like a Bird” and we wanted to achieve this happy summery feel on our music video. We have used most of these conventions in creating our music video. I was the artist in our media product and throughout our music video there is footage of me singing the song. We have edited in a sunny feel to the video, as in an ideal world we would have wanted to film in the summer in some lovely weather. We have created a happy feel to the music video with the whole love story and footage of simple things like smiling.
Our media product has used and developed many forms and conventions of a real media product. The way our music video has been edited uses many forms and conventions of music videos. Lip syncing is a convention that we used whilst filming our video for the single “Daffodils”. We used many different locations in our music video which developed a convention of a real media product. We filmed in Orwell and got a range of beautiful footage of the countryside, we also filmed in the city centre including a pub. In the pub footage we challenged the forms and conventions of music videos as we used iStop motion, this is a technique that is not used very often but is featured in music videos such as Kate Nash’s “Foundations”. This technique is rarely used so I think we developed this well.
The techniques we used whilst editing our music video used many forms and conventions of a real music video, for example the artist singing to the music, the way we had a narrative and how we cut away to little shots of something else throughout the video. Both of our magazine advert and our album cover had logos on like real media products of this kind would. The album cover is complete with a bar code and the magazine advert had a release date and a quote, like real media products would.

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

I believe the combination of our music video and ancillary texts is very strong. They are all well related and have a constant theme throughout. This theme is daffodils, flowers, wildlife, nature, including beautiful blue skies. The theme of ‘fairytale’ is hinted at in both our main media product and the ancillary texts. The music video has a fairytale like feel to it with the couple in love, the fairy lights in the countryside and the effects we edited in of “dazzle” and “glow”. The front cover of our album again has a fairy like feel with a little version of me looking up into a huge daffodil. The same font has been used throughout each media product, which links in really well with each other and therefore creates an effective combination. There is a theme of yellow throughout our entire project. In the music video I am were a yellow dress as the colour yellow represents the title of the song which is “daffodils” and daffodils are of course yellow. The theme of yellow was then brought in to our music video album cover and magazine advert. Daffodils appeared on both of our ancillary texts as well as yellow font for the track listings on the back of the album cover. The same logos are used on the album cover and the magazine advert and this creates good continuity. In both the music video and ancillary texts the artist is being presented in a certain way, which add a strong effect to the combination of both music video, album cover and magazine advert. The artist is seen as kind and loving in the music video, this is helped along with the lyrics in the song but also the artist is dressed in a nice and presentable manner. The mannerisms and facial expressions are all caring and therefore the audience can see the artist is a nice young girl. In the ancillary texts there is a theme of flowers and countryside and this is generally associated with kind and caring people and therefore the artist is again being presented in this way. This makes the connection between our main product and our ancillary texts powerful.
If we were to actually sell our dig pack and release our music video we believe that people of the world would be able to see the comparison of all three products we have created, and this would make it easy for the customers to find our media product and even buy it.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

We have been given feedback from our class mates and teacher throughout the entire project, this has been really helpful as we could change and edit things differently. Our ‘rough cut feedback’ was the most useful as this gave us a chance to get our music video perfect. Our audience said they we needed more close-ups on me singing and so we edited more of these shots in. Our teacher told us that we needed to edit ‘through’ the lines instead of just cutting at the end of each lyric. We took this feedback and did exactly what she had told us.
From our audience feedback of the final video we have learnt that our music video was a success and that everybody liked it. Our audience believed that our music video had a great connection to our “alterative folk” theme, which was fantastic news. The audience enjoyed how we had included the countryside, public pathways and fairy lights. Our audience also enjoyed the city scenes including the bikes in the city and the pub, and they thought it was also a good link to the genre. The connection between lyrics and visuals was well received from the audience, as they liked how Derek and I interacted with each other. We learnt that the audience noticed a contradiction at the end of the song, the lyrics was “wakey wakey, rise and shine” when the footage of the video was set in the nighttime. The audience said that is was not an unwelcome contradiction as it created interest and variation. The lyric could possible wakey wakey as in start thinking instead of physically waking up from sleep. The audience liked the link between to music and visuals as they matched together well, the tempo of the song fitted with the pace of the visuals. Overall our audience liked our music video as it was clean and clear, well edited, fitted well with the genre and was pretty.
We learnt that our audience approved of out ancillary texts. They really liked the DVD album cover to “Daffodils” as they thought it was very innovative. They thought the composition was really good and the use of layering was very effect. Our audience believed the foreground of the album front cover was especially good as it stood our and did not detract from any other layer and complemented the other layers. The colours of the album were eye-catching and coordinated with the theme. Our audience thought that all of our covers and the poster were consistant and the pictures the title of the singles names. Overall our audience believed our ancillary texts looked like professional products, which I am really happy about.

How did you use new media technology in construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

In all the stages of making our music video and ancillary texts we used many different new media technologies. The first media technology we used was the media studies beautiful Apple Macs. This was what our group used to do all of our planning, research, editing and evaluating. We used iTunes to listen to a CD that the media staff gave to everyone so we could listen and choose a music track that we wanted to edit a video for. We then used PowerPoint to make a presentation for the rest of the class and our teacher, on possible ideas we could achieve with our song choice. We used Blogger basically every lesson. This is a website where we presented all of our ideas in individual posts. In these posts we also put all of our research and planning. Towards the end of the project we posted our final outcomes of both of music video and ancillary texts. We used YouTube quite often and was very popular with all students. On this site we could do a lot of research as we could look at all kinds of music videos. Here we could get loads of ideas and inspiration for our music video. We also used YouTube to post our final music video and our commentary. We used a video camera to capture all of our footage of our music video and a stills camera to take photos throughout the entice process. We took photos of test footage of using different coloured lights in the video, and photos of filming which were posted on to our blog. We took photos of me in the college field for our album, which is on the front cover. We used Final Cut Express to edit our music video and also our commentary. On this programme we could do anything we wanted to our music video from cutting footage to adding amazing effects to enhance the video. We used PhotoShop to edit our ancillary texts of the album cover and the magazine advert. We used search engines on the internet such as Google and Ask to find information and pictures for research for our final products.
This modern technology makes it very easy for people to create music videos or films than it used to be. Having access to all of the new media technologies is very lucky for amateur film makers as with a camera and a programme like Final Cut Express you can create a reasonable video and upload it to YouTube, like we have done, and it is visible for the rest of the world to see.

script of commentary

How does your music video,use, challenge or develop forms and conventions of real media products.

Olivia: In our music video we used lots of forms and conventions or real media products. In Camerawork we used a range of different shots, from close-ups of me standing and singing, and also landscapes of Orwell.
Rosie: During our editing stage we used lip-syncing throughout like a real music video would. Across the whole of our music video we put a sepia effect on to create the continuity, all the same across the whole of the video. We put a dazzle and glow effect across the first part of our music video to create a fairytale. We used istopmotion, which we felt was a challenge of the forms and conventions of real media products, however we did find an example of this in Kate Nash's video foundations.
Derek: The fades and transitions of our music video fitted well with the genre as it was slow paced like the music. the genre of our video was sort of an acoustic, folk, alternative, generally sort of happy feely type thing. We decided we wanted to make this represented in our settings, as obviously thats going to make an effective video. We decided to use Orwell, which is the village where all the outdoor stuff is. It's quite naturalistic and we thought it looked really good. We decided to use the pub as it fit in with the folk genre, it was quite dimly lit.
Olivia: the music that's actually in our video is quite slow paced so we decided to do the editing slow paced as well. We wanted to get a fairy like feel in there, and I think we did that quite well with the dazzle and glow filters. The lyrics amplified the visuals and they also illustrated the visualsan example of this is when Derek and I were lying on the grass and the line is actually lying on the sun-kissed grass.
Rosie: In the mise-en-scene of our video Oivia is seen wearing a yellow dress, this is to represent the daffodils. We also felt that we could challenge the forms and conventions as we used the locations of country and city, as we felt this was unusual, as they usually use one or the other.
Derek: Our magazine pack and digipack used forms and conventions of real media products, such as barcodes, logos and track listings.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?

Olivia: There is a very strong effect between both our music video and the ancillary text. They relate to the constant theme of daffodils, flowers, blue skies, countryside, nature and wildlife.
Rosie: there is a theme of fairytale throughout our music video and our ancillary task. During our music video we put fairylights up, we then also edited in a dazzle and glow effect. During the ancillary task we put a little edited version we put a little edited image of Olivia with a big daffodil.


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Real media products use a set of conventions and forms during their music video these include such things as lip syncing, this is when the artist in the video mimes to the song. Another main convention which is used is the lyrics relate to the music in some way by either amplifying, illustrating or contradict the lyrics. Also there is often a relationship between the visuals and the music, as well these amplify, illustrate or contradict the lyrics. The video should create a feeling/mood which fits to the genre of the song. The use of close-ups is used to advertise the artist and meet the demands of the record label. Mis-en scene is an important form in real media product the mis-en-scene needs to fit with the genre of the song.
Overall we felt that our media product used the main forms and conventions of real media products, although we did think that we challenged some of them. We wanted to use the conventions and forms to create a realistic video but we wanted to make our video unique. Firstly the use of lip syncing throughout our music video is a main use of convention of real media products. The majority of modern music videos which are in the charts and on the internet have the artist lip syncing to create a realistic video of the artist actually singing. In our music video Olivia lip synced throughout the entirety of the music video, this is why we felt we used one of the main conventions. Although in every scene on the music video Olivia is not always seen lip syncing it is always her who is doing it, unlike in some modern videos such as Nickelback’s Rockstar, where there are a lot of different people lip syncing to one voice. Olivia is playing the part of Charlene in our video and we felt it suited our genre to just keep Olivia as the only one to lip sync. The use of lip syncing is a main convention and created a realistic feel to our video.
Another use of the mains forms and conventions of real media products that we used was the way that the lyrics amplified the visuals. This is because our music video told a story; however there was not direct obvious reference from the lyrics to the visuals throughout the video. However there are parts of the music videos which do make obvious reference, there is some points where the lyrics illustrate the visuals for example the line in the song which says ‘lying on the sun kissed grass’ Olivia and Derek are actually lying on grass.
The mise-en-scene used in our music video uses the conventions of a real music video because it fits our genre, we created a fairy-tale like theme throughout which was shown in the mise-en scene.
A challenge to forms and conventions of real media products which we felt we used was the use of locations. We chose to film all outside, with no filming in a studio like setting, we didn’t just film all in the countryside or all in the city we used both. We felt by only filming outside and filming in two opposite locations was a challenge because usually real music videos either chose to film in one or the other.
We used i-stop motion during our music video too. We felt this was a challenge of forms and conventions of real music videos as not many music videos use this technique, however we did find an example of this in Kate Nash- Foundations. i-stop motion is a technique used to make certain objects look as if they are moving, in our case crisps and beer. Although this is not what you would expect in our genre we felt this gave our video an edge and gave the unique factor that we wanted to achieve.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
The combination of our main product and our ancillary texts was an effective one we felt this was a success. There were many clear themes that ran throughout the main product and ancillary texts which made a clear link through the whole product. Each ancillary text had reference to the main product of the music video. As the ancillary texts were advertising the product we wanted to make sure there was a clear theme. One theme was the colour yellow, this was a simple yet effective theme. Yellow was used in a lot of the video, for example the costume worn by Olivia was yellow and the fairy lights used in Lucy’s back garden were also yellow. Furthermore yellow was used in both of the ancillary texts; firstly it was used for the font on the album digi-pak as well as the yellow daffodil which is on the front of the album cover, and on the magazine posters the many daffodils used were different shades of yellow. We felt yellow was an appropriate colour to use as the song used in our music video is called ‘daffodils’ and daffodils are yellow. By dressing Olivia in yellow in the video it is as if she is representing a daffodil.
Another clear theme used throughout the whole project was the theme of countryside/nature. We felt this was another appropriate theme because of the genre of the song (alternative folk), it fitted well. We wanted to create a fairy tale like theme and the countryside was great for this. On both the magazine poster and the album cover nature is clearly a theme as the background of both of these ancillary texts is a countryside view, with the blue sky and green grass. The same logos and same font was used on both the digi-pak and magazine cover too to make an obvious link between the two ancillary texts, people will know they are advertising the same product.
By having a clear theme throughout it makes it obvious to the audience (customers in this case) that the products are related thus more profit. If we were entering the whole product on to the market this would be very important.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
Our audience feedback for our final project was positive which suggested that our media video was a success. We were given feedback throughout the entire project, this proved to be very helpful as there were a lot of things which people felt should be added when watching our rough cut. Our rough cut feedback was the most useful feedback because it allowed us to gather different people’s opinions on our video so far and allowed us to pick up on certain parts which the majority of people felt should be changed, and things which people felt were missing. Our rough cut feedback highlighted the need for more close ups of Olivia the main character, particularly of Olivia singing, we took this into account and added more close ups, improving our final video. Another point learnt from our audience feedback on our rough-cut was the need for more obvious directs to the camera. We added more of these. As well as learning that we needed to add certain things to our work the feedback also reassured us that what we had done so far was productive, the rough-cut feedback said that the settings used were good and fitted with our genre well. This was a relief as if people felt that the locations were wrong it would seem the whole video was slightly strange! Olivia’s performance skills were noted as being good too which we were very glad to hear.
We also got given audience feedback for our final product. This was very positive which we were pleased about. The audience liked the way that the characters interacted naturally with each other; this gave it a realistic feel, which was good. We wanted the video to be like a story, Olivia and Derek playing the two characters in the song, we were pleased that the characters acted naturally together because we wanted the video to tell a story. Also our feedback on our final cut didn’t pick up on anything that we had missed. Also the things which people felt were lacking in; such as close –ups were not mentioned. We felt we had improved the problems, which had been previously mentioned.
The feedback stated that the way the characters interacted was good and was realistic. The use of different locations was also credited, the audience feedback said that the countryside locations used fitted our genre well and the alternative pub scene was good.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
We used new media technologies throughout the entire construction of our music video including the research planning and evaluation stages. We used such programmes as ITunes, Final cut, Photoshop, Blogger and YouTube. We also used a camera and video camera.
Firstly during the planning of our music video we used ITunes, we used this programme to listen to the CD of different tracks, which we were given and chose our song. We also used this programme to continuously listen to the song throughout the product.
Throughout the planning stage of our project we also used blogger. This is a programme that entitled us to keep a diary of what we had been researching and planning, this was useful and helpful because it allowed us to read back our previous blogs. We used the internet to research popular music videos mainly the website YouTube was used, this was because YouTube allowed us to watch popular music videos and analyse the videos. By analysing modern music videos this allowed us to pick out certain characteristics that we wanted to include in our video.
During the actual construction of our video we used a video camera to film the video. We also used a stills camera to take photos of the creation of the video, for example we took photos of the setting up of Lucy’s garden, and this enabled us to upload the photos straight to blogger so our blog used both photos and written diary entries to show what we had been doing. This made our blog more interesting. Final cut allowed us to edit out the mistakes in our video and change the order if we wanted to.
During the creation of our ancillary texts Photoshop was the main new media technology that was used; this meant we could edit each photo and add text to our poster and album cover easily. By having these new technologies at a low cost it allow new artists to easily be able to get their music out there by using sites like YouTube. The different programmes are quite complicated but it is easy to grasp the context of what to do and how to actually use the programmes.

music video commentary

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