Monday, 4 March 2013

Question 4 - Text format

How did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?
Blogger - Blogger has been a great tool in documenting the creation of my products from start to beginning. By being able to post a wide range of formats and its easy embedding it has allowed me to demonstrate all four stages of creation in my course effectively and clearly. The use of labels and dated posts also allows for easy navigation to older posts for myself or any peers and examiners making it a key tool in the course.
Prezi - Prezi as demonstrated here is an effective presentation tool which is completely different to all others in its field. Unlike powerpoint which has set slides prezi allows you to work on one canvas zooming in and out of information, pictures and videos. This gives a great affect that is eye catching and exciting.
Vimeo - Vimeo whilst not being the only or leading video hosting site around it is by far my favorite. One reason for this is it is genre specific to creation pieces such as short films, documentaries and music videos making it a great site to host my short film on rather than sites like Youtube or Dailymotion which host a vast and obscure range of footage. Vimeo is was also the first and leading video sharing site in hosting HD videos. All videos are encoded into H.264 for HTML5 support and have a higher bitrate than any other competing site.

Sony Vegas - Sony Vegas is a form of video editing software and the one I used to edit and create my music video in post production. I decided to use this brand over others such as Premiere, as the effects and ability to manipulate are greater and simpler. For example in the scenes in which I had to do multiple cuts in very quick succession I was able to zoom in to edit my clip per 0.1 of a second and simply press the "S" key to separate the clip where I needed. However the best effect Vegas was able to offer me was the ease of applying effects to clips by simply dragging and dropping a preset on to all the clips which I wanted to look the same. This allowed me to change the storyline and allow it to look darker and more ominous in seconds. This effect was very useful and played upon the theme of my music video excellently. This saved me having to use after effects which could become complex using multiple forms of software on the same project. The best thing about Sony Vegas is the simplicity, I found that being able to edit on such a minute scale, cutting my clips by 0.01 seconds in order to get the timing perfect, was an obvious upside. 
Adobe Photoshop - Adobe Photoshop is a great tool for any image editing I wanted to do throughout the course. This was especially helpful in creating my magazine advert and my digipak, both of which were done purely on Photoshop. I was able to cut out my models and change the effects e.g lighting and contrast. When using black and white settings as well it enables you to have more free reign in the hues to get the perfect picture. Another way in which Photoshop was very helpful was in my production posts on my blog. After doing a photo shoot I would need to upload all my photo's to the blog. I was able to create contact sheets for all my photo shoots with ease.  However individually uploading every single photo was time consuming and would clutter up my blog. Therefor Photoshop was the clear choice.

Canon 550D DSLR - To film my music video there was only one choice from the beginning and that was the Canon 550D DSLR. The Canon allowed me to film in 25 frames a second rather than the typical 24, this extra frame was used in order to give my music video a more real life effect rather than cinematic. The fact it is digital is another key benefit rather than in the past where film was needed. This is beneficial as instant playback is possible after filming and doesn't need to be developed. Digital cameras also have a vast memory capacity compared to film which allowed me to capture more footage, in better quality, and for free. It also makes post production a lot simpler as in Vegas I can cut, speed up, reverse, slow down and generally mould any clips I have taken into the way I desire. This camera was also used to take the photos for my poster and magazine article. This is because the camera is equipped with a cinematic shutter speed and with a 1.8 aperture lens I could take detailed and artistic photos of my models.

Question 4 - Video format

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Question 3 - Text Format

What have you learnt from audience feedback?
Who is my audience and why is feedback important?
The feedback I received from my target audience was key for the production of my music video. It allowed me to see how others viewed my project through and better understand what it is that they would like to see in a Music Video. It also enabled me to make the necessary improvements, boosting its audience appeal. The target audience that my Music Video is aimed at was of a male gender at a young age; predominantly young, white males between the ages of 13 and 30 however the group also includes those outside its core demographic base who follow its dress codes, appearance, and behaviour. They would be interested in music videos and attend the bands performances, rather than just watch them on YouTube, music channels or listen on the radio. However they would regularly use sites like YouTube or programs such as Spotify to listen to the band and others of this genre. For this purpose I chose to host my final cut of “Say Goodnight” by ‘Bullet For My Valentine’ on Vimeo over the much dominating Youtube.
Target Audience Continued
I selected this target audience as the younger end of the scale are at an age when they tend to develop the interests that will stay with them for life, rather than earlier on when interests change rapidly. These people will be in the NRS social groupings of B, C1, C2. They will also have an extensive knowledge and use of the internet making publicising and hosting my Music Video online to be an obvious choice. I chose a young cast for my Music Video; “Say Goodnight” as this was something that my audience could relate to allowing them to enjoy it more thoroughly. I also dressed them in the stereotypical clothing brands that this group of fans would dress in e.g. wearing black band t-shirts and black skinny jeans.
What I have learnt from audience feedback?
Audience feedback as drastically changed how I have created my Music Video and for the better. Feedback such as some scenes lasted too long and interest was lost gave me space to improve and create a final production that I knew my audience would enjoy. Research into my audience before production was key. This research gave me a key idea what they would like to see in the Music Video and be able to make an audience pleasing Music Video that still represented the codes and conventions of this music genre. I posted on Facebook, using the opportunity of my audience being technologically understanding to gain some insightful research and feedback through social networking. I got a lot of replies and responses resulting with valuable and positive feedback.

Question 3 - Presentation Format

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Question 2 - Text format

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

I believe that my music video meets the standard of other forms of media has served its purpose quite well and to a good level. The video highlights the band in their own musical element. The video is of the band playing through a whole song from one of their albums, which tells the audience about their ability as musicians as well as showcases their style and genre. However the video also has a narrative element to it, not just strictly performance, but whilst it does tell a story, it gives the audience an insight and look what goes on behind the music, as they get to see the band actually perform the song.

The main purpose of my music video, and any music video, is to essentially advertise the band. The video conveys both the band’s image and music simultaneously in hopes to leave the viewer with a memorable image of the music and band. The audience is introduced to the band’s look while they are listening to their music; these complement each other, advertising the band further. Additionally to this, music videos have other purposes such as; to give the listener a better understanding of the song, I achieve this through the narrative structure, showing the journey of the main singer and his failing relationship; this helps to entertain the audience and allow them to empathise with the bands frontman.

The video certainly advertises the song as it demonstrates the work and talent that goes into making it. The video represents the band as being professional, talented and hard working, which would appeal to the viewer/listener. As well as the narrative as it actually allows the fans and viewers to see inside a personal memory of the main character. For these reasons I believe my music video effectively demonstrates the band’s style and look. 

Question 2 - Prezi format

Friday, 1 March 2013

Question 1 - Text Format

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

The music video I created conforms to some of Andrew Goodwin's media theories. For example’ his ideas on music videos, such as the obvious link between the visuals and the lyrics. This is relevant to my product as I have followed the story told in the song and re-created a literal visual representation. For example, as the main characters walk off screen, a gradual zoom to close up of a bouquet of flowers is used, which could be linked to the lyrics: “Flowers laid out for you”. The pace of my music video might also link to Goodwin’s theory that music and visuals also intertwine at times. The song I chose “Say Goodnight” by Bullet For My Valentine starts off with a slow tempo and towards the end the mood changes and builds to a fast tempo, therefore when editing my music video, I ensured to keep a steady pace, making sure the cuts of shots were on the beat, and didn’t contradict the melody of the song. I specifically edited my narrative in relation to the tempo as well purposefully showing the turning point of their relationship as the song becomes angry and fast paced. The fact I edited my music video utilising a slow motion effect also assisted in keeping my music video on the beat and ultimately what made the pace so well fitted to my song.

Furthermore, Goodwin states that music videos might also be used to amplify emotions and moods, without completely illustrating the song. In terms of this theory, my music video conforms perfectly, due to how the happy mood, and towards the end, the sad mood and sense of loneliness is displayed by both characters throughout my narrative, capturing the essence of the song, whilst creating a completely new storyline. This grabs the audience’s attention, keeping their interest the whole way through, until the two characters’ paths split at the end of the video; where it is revealed through the use of an iconic signifier; a close-up of a dead end sign blurring to a lens flare, that they are not destined to be together.

In terms of the representation, I attempted to create a sense of love but also hate within my music video. I essentially did this through the use of mise-en-scene. For instance, by filming in multi-locations I was able to allow the mood and feeling to change throughout allowing the audience to relate each location to a different emotion and more importantly allowing them to follow the story and character emotions more easily. Another way this was portrayed would be in the costumes of my actors; dressing them in dark clothing, also signifying the impending doom or the quality of their relationship, reinforcing the idea of the characters being trapped in a dead-end relationship. This idea complements my song choice as within it are references to past memories that could make audiences feel sympathetic; “I live my life in misery, I’d sacrifice this world to hold you”.

My music video fits into the heavy metal music genre, due to the footage within my product echoing many shots used in music videos for artists such as 'Rammstein' and 'Rise Against'. An example of this is my focus on destruction and generally dark matters. Close-up shots of the band members allows the audience to get closer to their idols, and also encapsulate the codes and conventions of heavy metal music videos typically shots that are used in order to create an intimate feel to the video, as the songs usually aim to make the listener sympathise with the bands emotions – in contrast to perhaps indie music that aims to make the listener feel calm and mellow.

My focus on locations is what makes my music video so aesthetically pleasing. Finding the right locations, such as a dark field, helps to target my video at the right audience. Those who listen to Heavy Metal music will appreciate the outdoor setting and be able to relate it to the characters’ lifeless and empty relationship. Therefore, the locations within my video are easier and more effective for my audience to identify with. Furthermore, those who listen to Heavy metal music who live in city areas might find great joy in enduring within footage outside of their normal environment, creating a sense of escapism, whilst also maintaining the codes and conventions of a heavy metal video showing the band playing on a proper stage with lighting. My video would largely appeal to young, white, male, and blue-collar, however the group also includes those outside its core demographic base who follow its dress codes, appearance, and behaviour. This is because the band consists of young men who sing about issues that others in their group can relate to. Although their vocals may not necessarily portray this, their lyrics do; therefore largely appealing to those of a similar social group. Due to this, I carefully picked my band members and actors to appear as stereotypical metal types. This is so I could ensure that my audience would feel a personal identification with my actors, as they belong to that group of fans, also helping them to feel more engaged with the narrative as they too may have been in the same or a similar situation. By definition this means that my video is also applicable to Bulmer and Katz' Uses and Gratifications theory.

My video reinforces the concept of how the actions you make have an impact on other people’s lives as well as your own, in the form of a linear narrative mixed in with a band performance to demonstrate the emotions that the artists have towards the events portrayed in the narrative. The story begins by showing the main characters fond memories of a past relationship, in which we see the female character smiling and often cuddling with the male protagonist. However, the restrictive narrative ensure that occasional shots to the main character, with a troubled or vacant expression, shot in a different location bring to the attention of the audience that fact that he regrets what has happened; making the audience feel sympathetic towards him and recognising his issues. This could make my story slightly more abstract as the linear narrative is intermittently interrupted to reinforce the message that he is now unhappy. The use of the dark footage towards the end of my video show the darkening mood and gives connotations of a depraved relationship making audiences feel sympathetic towards him and the band in general but ultimately still thrive for their success.

Magazine Advert

Similarly to my music video, my magazine advert conforms to the conventions of real-media products in relation to the Heavy Metal genre. The artists name is clearly written at the top left, making sure that it is the first thing the potential audience see whether they read left to right or top to bottom. Furthermore any fans will instantly recognise the advert as it’s done in the same font that ‘Bullet For My Valentine’ usually use; and also displayed the same as it is on the Digipak. This creates a house style and a common theme, so that the products are easily identified and comparable with each other. The title of the album is placed along the bottom to underpin the rest of the graphic, so that it is the last thing that the potential audience read. I did this as it has been proven in memory tests that when it comes to short term memory people remember the first and last things that they read, this means that it will stick in their minds. It features a five-star rating from well-known and respected magazines "NME” and a five 'K' rating from Metal magazine “Kerrang!” intetextually referencing that it's a Metal Genre music video. This ensures the potential audience that the album is good as they know that these magazines carry prestige and they respect that. It also contains quotes such as: “Brit-metal gold” and “This band's got chops!” in order to help promote the album and give it that additional support that it deserves, helping to sell the album. The language I used to describe the album suits the style of the band’s genre, as ‘BFMV’s’ target audience will enjoy the heavy but deep and distinctive music, which the lexis I have used, help to represent. The effect of having the frontman and signer holding a sledgehammer also fits into the theme of my music video, as it allows the fans to feel closer to him with the smiling face but also shows his rebellious side which attracts many of the fans thanks to the sledgehammer. I created one in portrait and one in landscape; this is so that I could ensure that the album could be promoted and advertised in multiple locations, for example, a bus stop advert in portrait and a billboard in landscape.

Digipack Cover

My Digipak maintains this modern rebellious style with the application of tints and filter lights to the photographs I took during my first film shoot. One of the images are of my main actor standing against a white background which I was easily able to remove, holding a sledgehammer to reflect his dark side. The other one was an image of opportunity which I spotted one day as I was walking around. ‘Bullet For My Valentine’ use a lot of crows in their album artwork to represent darkness and the fact that crows fly in small groups like their band itself. I noticed it sitting on a TV aerial with the sun perfectly behind it and took a photo. The filters on these photos make the scenery appear darker and more intriguing, ultimately making the album itself more appealing and eye catching. These photos therefore both conform to the typical representations of Heavy Metal artists, who are often portrayed as dark and profound. The concept of identity is something I have played around with during the course of my project, as the bands style is dark and therefore possibly unapproachable but the fans want to be able to get to know the band better. Therefore I made sure that the picture was inviting but at the same time kept the element of rebellion in it hence my continuation of this theme throughout my digipak, magazine advert and ultimately my music video. I also included a record label logo of ’20-20 records’ so that potential audience members will be able to recognize the industrial record label and associate it with this genre, helping to advertise the artist and the company at once, also making sure that any potential audience members who appreciate this record labels music know that they would like this album. The copyright details are also included as well as typical generic conventions such as a track list and a barcode. These all contribute to making my product look as professional and as close to real-life media texts as possible.

Question 1 - Spoken Format

Final Video

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Diary 27/02/2013

These are my final music video tweaks that I want to address before the final submission date. I have worked so long and hard on it now that I need it to be as good as possible to get the grade I feel I deserve.


1.       Light at beginning needs to be all white.
2.       Cutting used at the beginning needs to be duplicated for the train station with Nick.
3.       Opacity level switch has affected visibility of Narrative – It makes them darker? Band overpower them as the performance is darker.
4.       Ruby walking through park – Cut better, Make footage BLACK AND WHITE and possibly contrast 0.2
5.       Second smashing sequence needs to be BLACK AND WHITE and contrast possibly 0.2
6.       Ruby + Nick walking together on grass – Cut better (B+W is perfect)
7.       Final clip needs to fade to Black and White faster.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Diary 05/02/13

I am lucky enough to be one of 500 fans to posses a ticket to their intimate gig in their home country; Wales.
I am going to use this opportunity to get some pictures of the band and see how they act in an environment full of die-hard fans. I will also keep an eye on their personalities on stage, how they carry themselves, and the type of outfit they wear and how they wear it in conjunction with their style.

Music Video Research

This is 'Bullet For My Valentine's' brand new music video and it's EXACTLY what I'm aiming for myself with a narrative using the main band member and also a performance from the band themselves.