1. Media Studies Evaluation Michael Panter- 3128 Aiden Andrews- 3003
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
From the start of this course we set out to research in detail the ways music videos are receivedby audiences and codes and conventions they normally stick by in order to gain popularity. After researching different artists and their songs and looking through many different types of music videos we decided that we wanted to take the approach of a more unique sort of video, which challenged the usual conventions found in regular music videos. We began by choosing an artist whose songs reflected the style we were trying to mimic, Har Mar Superstar. After analysing numerous music videos that have been produced by him we found that it was exactly the type of thing we wanted to do and only reinforced our longing to create a music video that drifted away from the norm. We also like this genre of music video as it appealed to a large audience, with different aspects being favoured by different age groups, not just one.
In order to make sure we knew what kind conventions were to be found in a usual music video, we had to do detailed research on other popular videos. We did this both by watching T.V stations like The Box, a music channel that plays the song accompanied by the music videos by the artist and also by going on YouTube.
You Tube was of great help to us because it allowed us to find the songs that we wanted to analyse for free. We were also able to skip to certain parts of the video which came in handy when we needed to do textual analysis on other videos.
5. Narrative Body
Although we planned to produce a music video that challenged the normal codes and conventions, we did follow some rules that were previously in place regarding making a music video. For example, we kept a narrative running throughout our video, which occurs in some music videos, but isnt present in others. We did this because after we had constructed a questionnaire we found that the most popular type of music video was one that told a story and went along with the lyrics. This is because most audiences are entertained by this method of production and enjoy having a definite start and end to a music video with a narrative running throughout, rather than just using random shots and effects.
In this way our video follows a major convention in most real productions and more importantly, a lot of Har Mar Superstars works, which we derived much of our inspiration from. Har Mars video for his song DUI has a narrative running throughout, a video which influenced us greatly.
6. Editing on the Beat
After verifying the typical conventions of a music video, one of the major common threads we found was the fact that many of the cuts and edits of shots were in time with the songs beat. We decided that we wanted to us this in our music video as it looked extremely effective and well timed when done correctly. The cuts look especially good when a character is walking on the beat, e.g.when the underlying beat sounds, the character takes a step.
When planning the shots that we wanted for our music video, we decided that in order to stick to the conventional norms in this respect (which is what we wanted to do) it would be best for us to only include items and scenery that we wanted in the shot. This is evident in our shot with the Pets at Home store, which we filmed because there was a major link to the concept of our video.
In our music video, although we had a very comic theme running throughout, we wanted the audience to perceive that the dogs were almost real people. This meant that we didnt have to change a normal household massively when we were filming the dogs at home, we could just film them in an average house. However, we did try to include elements of items that reflected the fact that they were animals. For example, in one of our first few shots we had a close up of one of the dogs reading a Cats magazine and we also included a toy that the audience could associate with pets.
8. Challenging Conventions
From the very start of our planning and preparation we knew that we wanted to steer clear of the conventional norms for a music video and create something that challenged them. Originally we had picked The Verves Bittersweet Symphony but after looking over it in detail we figured that the current music video was to iconic for what we wanted to do, and that might have a detrimental effect on our product. This forced us to look for a new song and a different artist and Har Mar Superstar fitted the style we were aiming to portray.
In our music video, from the very start it is evident of the themes we were trying to include. The dogs challenge the conventions of normal music videos as usually videos that follow a narrative are based around humans not animals. Also the way that the dogs appear to be very human like in their nature, by reading, walking, cleaning etc, is unusual as it is not a common trait in music videos. However, we did want the dog to show traces of slipping back into his animalistic ways. There is a good example of this when he is outside Pets at Home and surveys a dog kennel, reminding the audience that he is in fact still a dog.
9. Challenging Conventions (continued)
Another way in which we challenged the usual conventions found in a music video was the absence of the actual artist of the song, or anyone imitating him for that matter. Obviously because we had minimal funds and no contacts in the music industry, we knew that getting Har Mar Superstar to actually appear in our music video was unfeasible. After looking through our options, concerning the main focus of our music video, we concluded that it wouldnt look as good if we had somebody else pretending to be Har Mar therefore we decided to go in the opposite direction and not have a human character involved in our narrative.
A lot of modern music videos also like to include lip syncing, however once again we decided to stay away from this. We felt that unless it is done very well, it looks terrible, and we did not want to take the risk of attempting lip syncing. Also, we didnt think it would be necessary to include lip syncing in our video as it would break up the narrative and make things more complicated, whereas we wanted to try and keep ours simple to understand.
We also had the option of including some sort of band, or more simply, people playing along to the music of the song. However, like with the possible inclusion of the artist, we felt that it wouldnt add anything to the piece.
2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Our digipak goes along with the typical conventions found in modern music digipaks. We have included, like a usual digipak, the artists name and the name of the album on the front cover of the digipak and there is also an image set behind the font. This image is reflects my artists style as it is quite abstract and meaningless. I believe it fits in with the what the artist represents and therefore is effective for one of his albums. Also we have a spine, which once again bears the name of the artist and the name of the album, and a back cover to our digipak which has not only a track list, but also a bar code and a Compact Disc logo. We decided to present these on the back as that is where they are normally situated on conventional products. The fact that we have them on our digipak increases our products realistic value. Overall we believe that our digipak is suitable for the task it has to carry out, which is to advertise and hold the CD of our chosen artist.
12. Digipak (continued)
After creating our digipak, we believe that it not only does its job of appearing realistic and advertising the product, but also reflects strongly upon the style of our chosen artist, Har Mar Superstar. I have tried to keep the layout on my digipak as simple as possible as the artists has a kind of carefree and easy going attitude. We have also tried to include bright colours is both of our digipaks as our chosen artist is quiet bubbly and entertaining, so we have tried to draw upon this when completing our ancillary tasks.
13. Magazine Advertisement
When we were planning our magazine advertisement we thought that it would be best to keep a connection between both of the ancillary tasks. That meant linking both our digipak and our magazine advertisements together, so that the audience could piece the two together and see that they were from the same artist.
However, because of our artists abstract nature, we decided on having the links between the two as discrete as possible. This was because in a lot of magazine advertisements that we looked at there was not a massively obvious trend that connected it to the digipak.
Much like our first ancillary task, our CD digipak, we created our magazine advertisement so that it was as much like the real thing as it possibly could be. We did this is the Mac programme Pages as it allowed us to layer our text and images and move and rotate them around so that we could do exactly what we wanted concerning the layout of the advertisement. We included an image of the digipak so that the audience made a connection, and also included the name of the artist, the album name, its date of release and also the artists website, so that fans have all the inf