1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our media product tries to develop and challenge the conventions of real media products, for our video we decided to turn what is basically a “love song/break up song” into something with a different power/meaning. The line “It’s already over” we assume is the band Orson singing about a relationship coming to close/ending. We wanted to change what the audience interpreted by changing it from a “love song” to a story about a super hero.
Without going into too much detail the basic plot outline is our hero once brave, high and mighty has been reduced to a drunk after becoming surplus in society. We show this using flashbacks and mock news reports to convey the message of our superhero being useless due to there being no more villains. This in itself is how we challenge the conventions as it’s not that common to have a music video that almost contradicts the message of the song (unless the artist has intended).
It’s also not massively common to have an entirely superhero themed music video (for an indie song) and especially uncommon to have a music video about a hero that’s run down or in a sense failed.
The examples we could find of a comic book or superhero themed music video were:
-Eminem – Without me
-Velvet Revolver – Come on Come in
The most conventional part of our music video was the fact we had a guitarist that’s in quite a lot of the shots, he is never part of the story but he completes the feel of the video giving the audience a visual link to the music
Moving onto our Digipack and advertising,
Both the Digipack and our advert are fairly conventional to what most bands in today’s media would release, the Digipack shows the characters, the name of the band and recommendations (MTV – 5 star, ETC) as well as an age rating and list of songs, it is what you would expect to find on a normal album cover. Like most albums the DVD counterpart is the same as the CD cover and If we had created a CD cover then it would have been themed similar to this Digipack.
The advertisement takes on a very simple but effective approach, typical and conventional to an indie style of music, the advert shows the name of the band followed by the name of the song, the characters under the title show what we want the audience to assume is the characters after the music video, now in plan normal clothes living everyday lives, but we link them back to the video by keeping their main prop (masks/guitar) the other way we link the advert to the video is we use our “comic book” theme with everything almost pixelated/colourised to look like a cartoon. The last convention I can comment on is we use the “Out now” and ratings again, this is what you could typically find on a bands advert as it tries to draw the audience in with promises of high quality media.
To conclude I believe that the Digipack and advertisement stick to the conventions of typical media products where as our music video tries to challenge them
2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Throughout our project we have tried as hard as possible to keep the superhero/comic book theme alive in our work, we show this at the beginning of the video with the “flash back” scene where we see our hero defeat the last villain and making himself in a sense jobless , we carry this theme into our Digipack and advert. In both the Digipack and the advert the same font is used for the title and subtext as well as graphical effects in the text the main difference and just about the only difference is one the Digipack we used a different background effect not previously used in our project.
Cleve drew some character photos for the villain and the hero that were also included in the Digipack, these are detail drawings of the characters and represent the general feel we wanted for each character (Hero: strong, powerful, etc.)
3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
Throughout our audience feedback we were told that our location was really good, using soul tree (local club) and our costumes were also really good, the constructive feedback from the rough cut said that we needed to address how long each cut was as it was a fast paced video but toward the end the shots got longer and longer, so this was fixed, we were also told about how people’s eyes are drawn to the bottom left of the screen, this made us place the most important captions in the best place (Our hero faces his final battle) to try enforce the story of the video
Our target audience is sort of a general alternative / indie genre, we try to make the music video interesting by giving it a story line most people will understand if not relate too in some sense. The idea of this almost makes our video accessible, in the Digipack the included sketch art is an added bonus to make the project unique
4. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research planning and evaluation stages?
One of the biggest changes to our work this year in appose to last year’s project is that our college invested in new HD camera’s, these gave us not only higher quality footage to play with but a larger aspect ratio (widescreen) this allowed us to fit more in a frame possibly giving the viewer more depth to explore within each shot. As well as being a bonus it was also a problem, shooting in HD meant that for the first time every little detail had to be perfect or it would be extremely obvious.
We also used a lot more video filters/effects this year than last; this was mainly to get our “comic book feel”. This technology also let us cover up factors that were out of our control such as in the first scene we ran filming into the night and the flood lights came on, we masked this using the cartoon effect but slightly tweaked to the other to try make it less obvious
Another powerful tool we got to use was final cut express, as said before this allowed us to use filter effects as well as control audio tracks, this was useful for setting up when music would come in etc. An early problem we had was copying our rough cut to our final cut timeline; final cut wouldn’t leave it in a widescreen ratio and tried to change it to 4:3 (square).
We also used Adobe Photoshop to create text and custom text boxes in the video (Description boxes and action text) although I stayed on final cut editing my other group members (Brendan mainly) worked in Photoshop sending me image files via an iDisk
A great resource for us is Youtube, on Youtube we were able to watch music videos from almost any artist we wanted and without it our planning and research wouldn’t have been so successful
To conclude without the technological resource available to us there would have been no way we could have created our video with the level of success that we did.