Friday, 17 September 2010

This is US -GROUP29 - Adam, Pia, Aiko, Rosie

Friday, 11 December 2009


This is our commentary evaluation on the production of our media product and ancillary texts. Some of the aspect ratio of the shots is not the same as we ran out of time to finish properly editing this piece of footage.


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

Our media product conveys many conventions of Indie rock; therefore we have used many effects that you will find most commonly in other Indie rock music videos. After choosing from our top 3 Indie rock genres, we started viewing other music videos from that specific genre using YouTube. Wikipedia, MySpace, Bebo and Google were very useful when we were trying to get more information about the band that we selected; we found pictures of the whole group in Supergrass which helped us identify their sort of characters. Already we were getting many ideas of how our music video was going to look, the soundtrack just reminded us of how you feel in the morning with a hangover, which is usually feeling slow, like the soundtrack ‘La song’ it starts off very slowly then rather than gradually rising it goes straight into a faster more up beat sound. Our initial idea for our music video came directly straight to our minds after hearing the soundtrack, which was that at the beginning we have Adam slowly waking up, finds a camera then the scene would change to the beginning of the party. The actions and the whole event are mainly taken by account from the soundtrack. The main effects that we have used within our music video are the diversity of speed; it has given our music video great overall results, allowing us to convey our thoughts about our intended music video in a very in depth detail. Every effect has its own emphasis’, therefore to make sure that we get our point across clearly; we made samples of effects which were done on a random video helping us to examine what each effect gives, it also gave us a chance to practice and play around using the editing. The real challenge that we came across whilst doing our media product, was the whole idea of having our music video taken in a house, we knew this would be a problem but because of our intentions that in our heads fitted perfectly well with the soundtrack, we took the risks and gave it a shot. We needed one house only containing one huge sofa- this we found at Rosie’s house. The planning of the shots went pretty quickly and due to lessons, not everyone in the group was able to either stay longer doing the scene shots and or come at all, however we decided that we didn’t necessarily need everyone to be at every single shot, so we managed our times together and shot the one where we needed everyone involved. Part of the challenge we got was not finding the house to shoot our scenes in, it was shooting our scenes in the house without making it look like ‘this is our house and these are my friends partying’. Once we thought of what all our challenges for our media product, we also came up with a strategy, which was simply to record as much as possible after shooting the main bits we needed.

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

The effectiveness of our ancillary texts combined with our music video is inevitably effective; it is somehow though abstracted from how our music video intends to materialize. The digipak cover has another side of conventions that are found used in other Indie rock genres, it’s pretty simple, laid out to be presentable and it looks very authentic. The colour is very eye catchy as it’s vivid but it is also a darker colour of the sofa that we iconize in our music video. Our pictures presented in the cover manipulates the authority that we have within the cover, it sways the importance of album covers, how it is important to the originators and or artists too, and how it places the band under the music industry as well as it’s own genre. The logo and the way the cover has been structured overall, insinuate the high quality of the cover along with how the band is maybe seen. Moving on to another of our ancillary task, which was the magazine advert, the combination of this with our main product is more compatible than the cover. From the most obvious reasons on how our magazine advert merges well with our main product, is all much more exposed due to an actual field being at present with grasses. The field may automatically convey a part of the title ‘Supergrass’, therefore is easy to register, but again the initial idea of this ancillary was to give the impression of the authenticity and simplicity of our band. The font, the logo and the structure has been preliminary at thought after seeing the result of the album cover that is why it was straightforward to produce.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

The feedbacks that we received for our ancillary task were genuine, it was more positive than negative comments and with very little detail and rather abrupt notes, and we have taken them into account contentedly. Feedbacks which came from another group that was on the same level as us and were also doing the same project, gave us some pointers that were useful but some were a little inadequate. Most of the judgements that were said for both our ancillary tasks, were opinions based on what was put in front of them, what they could only see is what they will put their recognitions on how ever very little estimation they could give. I have learnt that feedbacks are very important, and therefore should be taken seriously; every helpful piece of advice should be taken into account. Some of the feedbacks are completely different to other people’s feedbacks and this is why it is relevant to have at least five or more others opinions, perhaps a mixture of groups too. What would be great for projects such as this are to get incentives by getting other people involve, who are acknowledgeable specifically to our certain kind of genre. Getting feedbacks from an Indie rock fan type would be able to give a better perspective of what inventions we have produced to emphasize the conventions of an Indie rock band, also because they would be able to spot what is unsuitable and so we could enhance our level of work to improving it to a more standard level. Rather than changing our cover to some of the responses and suggestions we got from our feedback, we tweaked it a little and have kept it to how we intended it to look like. The reasons for disagreeing with some of the feedbacks we got are mainly because of the different aspects we got about it, although we have taken them at interest, our motives regarding to our music project have been set in a way that we have presented them. For example, one of our feedbacks alleged that our digipak “does not look like a cover”; we found that feedback quite ineffectual as even if it didn’t look like a cover to them, our cover has its own initial proposal. Moreover, all the other feedbacks that we had gotten were all very positive and their visual thoughts and points about our media product are pretty accurate.

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

During the research and planning for our media product we used varieties of websites, such as Google, MySpace and YouTube to get some ideas about the band that we have chosen. All the websites that we used for researching had their own benefits of helping us learn about the band, they also gave us in depth detail about the conventions that we should include the most. Google was mainly helpful on providing images of the band and other images that we needed like a sofa, Google is also where we got the lyrics of the song we have chosen, although it was very hard finding the original lyrics we improvised anyway by listening very hard to the words. YouTube have it’s main use which is to expose music videos as well as other videos like the interviewing of the band backstage, watching the videos of the band behind scenes had helped us learn about their characters more. Other benefits that we have gained and used during the construction of our music video from YouTube was the screenshots; the screenshot helped us in many ways evaluate the whole of our music product, we screened shot techniques that we saw from other music videos such as Aphex twin which helped conclude to some ideas for our music product. Furthermore, by using YouTube we managed to express some ideas about our music product through other music videos from other bands, such as ‘I got a feeling’ by Black Eyed Peas. Another website that came to use was Bebo, we had to contact the band to inform them about our quest and or project, by using Bebo we managed to leave them a message, we did not get any reply but at least we have a record of us informing them.
In the making of our video we used almost all the equipments such as gel lights to give different effects, it was very helpful and whilst experimenting with each of the lights we gained more experience with how to use them correctly in a way to produce great effects in specific scenes.
Another method that we came across was the use of green screening, which we had trouble getting into perfection, there was too many shadows therefore the light writing that we wanted to put over the green screen did not work as well.
Photoshop was one of the other technology that we used many times, our whole ancillary task was made using Photoshop as well as our other previous assignments related to our music product.

Thursday, 10 December 2009


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


When first deciding on initial ideas for our media products we felt it was important to use the conventions of the indie genre to ensure a consistent style and quality that could be related to other media products in the genre. Firstly the song is quite fast paced so we decided on a house party theme, the house party theme is not exclusive to the indie scene but relates to wider youth culture. For example the theme is use in the video of the song ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by The Black Eyed Peas.

            The important thing was to keep it relevant so we used mise-en-scene to create the same aesthetic as an indie band, for instance we used clothes (like plaid shirts) to identify with the indie scene. We also used certain items of furniture such as the sofa to reinforce the house party theme.

            As far as shooting is concerned we shot a lot of close up and extreme close up shots to use to create an identifying link between the band and its audience, this is important because the audience needs to be able to recognise the band members and remember who they are. This is hugely important in nearly all popular music videos.

             We also felt it was wise to include a short narrative in our video, which is also another convention of the indie genre. For example short narratives are used in the videos for both 'Fluorescent Adolescent' and ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ by the Arctic Monkeys. Our initial idea for the narrative was the band simply waking up after a house party to total destruction, after some story boarding we discovered that the planned narrative would have to be compresses for the video as it wasn’t possible to fit so many shots into the intro.


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


Our ancillary texts were designed to be both derivative and innovative at the same time. They needed to share the qualities of the video whilst offering a new look and style that would count towards the bands overall desired image.

            When designing the ancillary media products I wanted to include something British as the band Supergrass had roots in Britpop so I decided on an old school leather finish journal look. This is emblazoned with a crest, which is a combination of several British military crests with an old English ‘SG’ put in the centre. I wanted to capture the look of an old Grammar school journal. The design was directly inspired by the album cover of an album called the comfort of home by a band called Rufio.

            The magazine ad was a simple ‘green space’ image that had been manipulated to emphasize its colours and give it a reddish hue that related to the red leather look of the digipak cover. Our new Supergrass crest had been placed and faded over the top to once again relate it to the digipak and the overall band image.

            On the inside cover of the digipak we decided of putting the track listings in the middle and the four band members faces and their names either side, two each side. This was so as the CD or DVD was removed from it’s housing in the digipak the band member’s faces and names would be revealed. The images of the band members on the inside covers were rendered in black and white and we also applied a filter to give them greater texture.

The target audience for this product was not just younger fans of the indie genre but also older fans of Supergrass that may have been disenfranchised by the bands more recent image decisions and want something that pays homage to the bands roots.


What have you learnt from your audience feedback?


The audience feedback was useful to gauge whether the products we had produced were consistent with the conventions of the genre and each other. We received pier feedback at various stages throughout the project, some of this was useful and some of it wasn’t.

The blog feedback we received initially on the pros and cons of our blog up till that point was useful, it recommended we try to make the blog more visual by adding more pictures and videos. I decided to make it my personal target to facilitate this as I struggle with written posts.

The feedback relating to the rough-cut version of our video was positive expressing a keen approval for the use of effects and different types of editing, especially in the bridge of the song where the video is designed to correspond and flow with the music to create an experience that is both aesthetically and musically pleasing. We were also recommended to fill in some of the gaps left when editing the rough-cut in order to meet the deadline.

The feedback concerning the final products, them being the final video, and the ancillary products was varied. Most of the feedback for the final video was positive and constructive. For the ancillary products some of the feedback was negative, from this we distilled that the reviewer must not have understood a lot of the imagery included in the products and more importantly would mean that we would have had to make a range of changes in order to make it more accessible to audiences that have difficulty in grasping the concepts portrayed, ‘dumbing down’ in affect.


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


As a group we use many new media technologies, these ranged from digital computer applications to research and presentation websites. For instance in the construction of the music video we used Final Cut Express in order to edit both the rough cut and the final product. Final Cut Express is a video editing and manipulation program, I found it easy and intuitive to use. The great thing about final cut is that it can be used to fully manipulate footage. For instance in the bridge of the song we used it to alter the speed of footage and make the footage play backwards whilst speeding up gradually as the song does. I got the idea for this when listening to the song and trying to visualize what I was hearing, I wanted to use the sofa as the central feature of the shot, keep it as a static feature and have people coming in and out of the room as it sped up.

We also used techniques like this in the intro of the song as the song built to the beginning of the performance. We slowed down many of the shots in the intro but cut them so they moved quickly to give a sense of disorientation that reinforced the idea of waking up after a house party, this we felt was important because it makes the audience feel part of the performance.

In the production of the ancillary products we use the photo editing software Adobe Photoshop. Use of this was crucial in the production of the digipak covers inside and out and in the production of the magazine advert. We used Photoshop to manipulate taken and internet images to create the key components of the products. For example we used Photoshop in the production of the look leather finish of the digipak. We found an image of a piece of leather that had a good texture, then using Photoshop we manipulated the colours turning them from bright reds to a subtler warm browns and cropped the image and transformed accordingly.

When producing the magazine advert we used a similar technique to what we used when producing the leather of the digipak. We took an image of a green space when out taking band photos; we then took this image and altered its colours so that it had the same hue as the leather of the digipak, this created a more stylized image that related to the final product and added an idea of what we were aiming for as far as band identity was concerned.

We also used new media technologies when researching ideas for the final product. The site video sharing site was a massive asset to us in our research because we could use it to research and watch videos that we felt could be used as inspiration or to illustrate an effect or aspect that we wished to include in our video. We also used the social networking site Bebo to contact the band and let them know we chose their song for our project.

Throughout the project we were instructed to keep a blog on to record our progress. A blog is a great way to record and present a projects progress as all entries are displayed chronologically. They are also very easy to use and edit. Video, text and pictures can all be displayed on a blog and all entries can be commented on.


Our finished media product uses many aspects that may be found in real media products. We worked carefully to ensure that we acknowledged and included genre conventions which has meant that on the whole our video has not challenged conventions but used and developed them. Our genre is Indie or Alternative music relating to videos such as those for Little Man Tate and the Gallows extending some conventions whilst playing down others. Some of the conventions we attempted top include were the use of Indie style clothing such as skinny jeans and plaid t-shirts, although this is not wholly evident, a fast overall pace to the video with a narrative whilst still being slightly disorienting, lots of people and close up shots of the singer miming. We have also included a variety of shots including mid shots, long shots, close ups and extreme close ups, point of view shots and high angle shots. This variety of shots is evident in many main-stream music videos as it maintains the viewer’s interest for the whole song.

We looked at several different music videos relating to our initial idea of a party atmosphere and a group of friends. These included videos for song such as House Party At Boothy’s by Little Man Tate, I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas and Staring At The Rudeboys by Gallows. We also looked at the Adidas advert to the track Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s. All of these videos contained the same characteristics such as a fast pace, quick shot changes and use of light patterns and interesting camera angles. They all also fall in to the similar kind of category of music (Indie) which is the same as the song we chose. We came up for the idea of our video before we had looked at these particular videos as we looked at these to further our own ideas.

We took ideas that could be used in the editing of our finished piece making use of different speeds, rewinding footage, cross cutting and making sure a linear narrative was generally present. One of our most effective and interesting pieces of footage I think is the shadow dancing on the wall which was created by placing a green filter on a light and placing it behind two people dancing casting their shadows on the wall. We filmed the two people dancing for around 20 minutes gathering a range of footage and then imported it to Final Cut Express where we chose the sections that we wanted and edited the speed. We also experimented with shadow puppets although decided no to include this in our finished piece. The Gallows video for Staring At The Rudeboy’s has a similar piece of footage where a red light has been shone behind lead singer casting his silhouette on to the camera. We thought this was very effective and developed it in to our own video idea.

When looking over the videos we used for inspiration I found that our finished video was very similar to that for Little Man Tate’s video for House Party At Boothy’s in which a group of friends are shown messing around and throwing a party. It shows a narrative from before the party starts to people getting ready and travelling there, arriving and the party becoming underway and gradually spiralling out of control. It has many elements of humour in it such as the reference to ‘impersonating a Police Office is a crime’ while many people are dressed in Police related costumes along with more comical things such as Big Bird from Sesame Street. This humour is continued through to the end of the video where the end of the party is shown to be closed down by police and a tired, worn out effect is created as everyone stops dancing and the music calms. I think that although we did not necessarily intend for out video to be so similar to one that is a real media product you can find many aspects of this video in what we have created. We aimed to have quite a relaxed feel to the video which is ever present in House Party At Boothy’s showing people laughing and messing around. Footage of people arriving and travelling to and from the party can also be seen and shots of only the lead singer performing are present. These are mainly mid-shots which is what a majority of ours are as well although we also attempted to include some extreme close ups as these are often seen in professional music videos.

On the whole the element of performance in our video is essential to it being at all related to a real media product as a record company producing a video for this song would require the motion of looking for the viewer and an element of performance by the artist. We did not however include footage of other band members performing which to an extent challenges an aspect of real media products as videos for similar styles of song will include reference to instruments such as drums, guitars and bass’ throughout. We used many ideas that are already established in the Indie music scene such as the theme for a party, friends having a good time, drink, dance and performance based along a narrative. As we have included these things in our finished media product I think that we have developed what would already be expected from a video for a song like La Song by Supergrass rather than challenging the audience to reconsider or question what is on the screen.

I am pleased with the overall media product we have produced however I think it could have benefited from the inclusion of more up-beat, active shots and an element of instrumental performance.

Our main media product works well with our relationship between the lyrics and visuals being slightly illustrative although the lyrics appeared to lack meaning to us (this could have been related to us not being able to find a complete set of lyrics for the song until after we had produced the entire video). The relationship between the music and the visuals I feel is amplifying as we used the beats of the song and pace of the music to produce a large part of our video editing the speed of the shots to relate to the pace of the music. This is particularly evident in the bridge where we have taken a piece of footage and rewound it then taken different sections of it and put them at different speeds so that the footage starts off in slow motion but builds up to be a lot faster than real life. You can also see it in the penultimate shot which is slowed to match the dieing out of the music.

As well as creating a music video we had to create two ancillary products to go with it; a digipak and a magazine advert for that digipak. As we created the video first we had to link both our digipak and magazine advert to elements found in the video and also to the information and background research we had done on Supergrass and CD’s they had produced in the past. Our finished media product and two ancillary products had to compliment each other and work together as a portfolio as well as individual pieces of work which at times proved to be quite difficult.

We designed and produced our digipak first after our music video but as it was a digipak it was not only advertising La Song and the video we had made for it but also an entire album and other bonus features including downloads. This meant that we could not make our digipak specific to one song and had to include varied information and ideas that were separate to that of our music video. We did a lot of research in to Supergrass as a band and products they had produced in the past in an attempt to make the product as professional and relative as possible. We also tried to link the contents to the style music and what would often be expected for products such as a digipak today. We decided to give the digipak an overall worn or textured background relating to the ‘used’ style a lot of their products have. In our eyes however this seemed to make the product possibly appeal more to an older audience and as our target audience was teenagers we chose to design a crest similar to one you may find on a school jumper to go on the inside of the digipak so it is seen as soon as the product is opened.

This crest is also present in the magazine advert which pulls many of our ideas together using the crest which is found in our digipak as the main focal point keeping the slightly ‘old school’, youthful feel and the same type face as that found on the outside of our digipak for the main titles and information. It also uses the image of an ‘open space’ relating to the finial shot of our video where someone is alone in the middle of a field. We also felt this gave a broad, open, relaxed feel to the magazine advert keeping it illustrative to an extent of some of the work we had done for our music video whilst it could also easily relate to other videos or songs while still clearly being an advert for our digipak. Although it may not be obvious we altered the colours in the main photograph for our magazine advert so that the trees were a similar colour to that of the background effect of the digipak.

Overall I feel our finished media product and ancillary texts work well as a portfolio. There are aspects in each product that relate in some way to those of another ensuring that they are all interlinked and constantly appealing to the audience to view the product or spend money on the digipak. I feel that the crest is a very strong linking point as it is present in both the digipak and magazine advert linking to the youthful, playful feel of the video while also advertising the band with the letters SG in the middle. If we had planned ideas for out digipak and magazine advert more thoroughly earlier on we could of included the image of the crest somewhere in out video making it a continuous link throughout the portfolio of work. We also included images of us as band members on the inside of the digipak as we are the characters that are present in the establishing shot of the music video. On the whole the artist is not really represented in similar ways in our finished media product or ancillary products. I think this is a down fall of our project as if we had spent more time planning and working as a group we could have produced a much stronger linked portfolio of work.

I am pleased with the overall outcome of our media portfolio as I feel all the products link together whilst also being able to be stand alone products. However, I feel that we could have produced a much better magazine advert and made some more improvements to our digipak if we had spent more time working as a group as this would have meant that we spread the work out more equally and would have had more time to spend on the individual products.

Throughout our project we received feedback from class members, our teacher and friends. This helped us to develop our project to meet both consumer interests and needs and keep to the requirements of the production company. We were offered feedback on our blog, research and planning process, pitch, rough cut, final cut and ancillary products meaning we constantly had other people’s points of view to take in to consideration while producing our portfolio as well as our own leaving us with a better quality of work in the end.

We received our blog feedback earlier on in the project to help us to develop our initial ideas and to encourage us to look at different things we could do. The feedback for our blog was overall good. We put a lot of time and effort in to our initial ideas and planning process looking at intertextuality, other video’s related to our idea and the auteur theory using it to analyse work by music video directors such as Chris Cunningham and Jonathan Glazier. This research and variety of blog posts provided both visual and analytical information for the viewer giving a detailed summary of our initial ideas whilst providing information on real media products and directors. One piece of feedback we got was that we could include more images and photographs of our ideas and the band to give the reader a more detailed understanding of what we hoped to achieve from our project. This enthusiasm about our initial idea gave us confidence to carry through our ideas and produce our finished product.

At the time we received our blog feedback we had just shown our pitch to our class and teacher to be able to use the song La Song by Supergrass to use for our project. As we were unsure that we were going to be offered this song we had also included planning on our blog for two other songs if we had not received our first choice. In our peer feedback on our blog they said that this gave them a good idea of our ambitions and showed we were prepared for things to not go as we hoped.
Our pitch was successful and we got the song we were hoping to use. We were offered feedback from our class members on our pitch and what was good and bad about our idea. This allowed for us to develop what we had already thought of in to a more clear professional idea fitting to our song and Indie genre. Our pitch gave a clear idea to the audience about what we wished to achieve making sure all our ideas were related and consistent while also reminding us to ensure that our video did not simply look like a person walking around a house with a camera. We were also advised to focus on the surreal aspect of our video in relation to our narrative which gave us a good idea of what an audience expects from an Indie video. The final piece of feedback we were given was do some intertextual research in to film and television programmes such as Skins, Shameless and The Simpsons. The feedback on our pitch was overall positive giving us encouragement to continue with what we were planning to do while also giving us an insight in to what would be expected from our target audience.

The peer and teacher feedback we were offered on our planning, research and pitch allowed us to develop our ideas and begin filming and testing footage and effects through until our rough cut deadline. This was roughly 3 weeks before our final deadline and when we had uploaded our video to our blog we were again offered feedback on what was good and bad and what we may wish to consider including to appeal to our target audience and to please a production company. Comments were made on our camera work, footage, editing, conventions and what was missing. One of the main things that was pointed out was that our rough cut missed any sense of performance as we had not had a chance to film the miming and were still unsure as to whether we were going to include performance on instruments. Our editing and transition of shots was also commented on as although we had put a majority of our footage in we had not placed many filters on these sections so it was slightly bland and the section with shadow dancing was far too long. These comments encouraged us to look at different ideas that could be included in our finished piece and also gave us ideas for what we could do with footage we had already shot in order to make it more interesting. Again the feedback on this section of our project was mainly positive complimenting much of the editing we had done and the variety of shots and angles we had included.

Being given positive feedback gave us confidence to be more experimental with our ideas and try things we had not initially intended to do even if we did not then use them in the finished piece. However it was also important to be given negative feedback as this helped us to improve out product through taking out ineffective footage and including ideas that we may not have thought of in the first place which was effective in the eyes of someone not involved in the production process.

After receiving our rough cut feedback we proceeded to shoot our final video producing some extra footage and a large amount of miming experimenting with green screen and different coloured filters. When we had finished our video we again posted it on our blog where our fellow class members gave us feedback based on the Goodwin Analysis. The overall review of our media product was positive with demands for an Indie music video generally being met whilst keeping an element of humour and surrealism which is essential for making our style of video work. Our video was described as being illustrative of the music as we had edited much of the footage to match the beat of the music and often changed shot on the beat of the music as we felt this gave it a more professional feel. From the feedback we were offered on our finished product we learnt that our video contained many of the required elements while also challenging some presumptions through missing out things such as instrumental performance. We were pleased with our finished media product and so I am glad that we got generally positive feedback on our finished piece.

Finally we produced our ancillary products for which we also received peer feedback for on our magazine advert and digipak separately. We got mixed feedback for our ancillary products with more positive feedback for our digipak than our magazine advert. This response was expected to an extent as we did not plan our time carefully around this part of the project and therefore had to rush the production of our magazine advert meaning we overlooked some obvious faults. Both our products were relatively simple to produce due to our lack of time with them both using the same font face for most information and taking many of the same ideas and images for instance the crest being the main focal point in the magazine advert and being the first thing you see when you open the digipak. These similarities are good as they ensure our products work as a portfolio with the video constantly reminding the audience of the main product. Although some of the feedback was negative I feel this was necessary as a large part of our feedback throughout the project has been positive and this more negative feedback has emphasised something we may wish to focus on in future projects.

We used a variety of new media products to produce our final video including the internet; search engines, Blogger and a variety of websites, Final Cut Express, Photoshop, Itunes and a stills camera. This selection of technologies helped us with our research, planning, construction and evaluation stages of our project.

The main use of the internet in our project was for gathering information and to aid with the initial planning and development stages. The main sites we used were google to do research on aspects such as Supergrass’ background and previous work, lyrics and images and art work related to our video idea. This meant we could gather a stable base of knowledge as to what may be expected form our project as it allowed us to look at things that constantly appear in Supergrass products. We also used Youtube to watch Supergrass music videos and also to gather intertextual references and view related music videos. This again helped with the planning and gathering of information as well as the construction as it gave us ideas as to what may be able to be included in our project that we had not though of before.

Our main use of the internet however was for Blogger, a blogging website where we wrote all our ideas, research, planning and feedback. This allowed for us to ensure all our information was always organised and in one place so when required we could find what we wished for quickly and easily. It also meant we could monitor our progress and keep an eye on whether or not we were working to standard. It helped not only with our planning and research but also with the construction and evaluation of our work as all feedback was posted on the blog at appropriate points in the project. This blog ensured we stuck to our ideas and did not stray from what we hoped to achieve from our video as well as allowing us to quickly and easily document work and bring up previous files when working on our ancillary products.

Final Cut Express was one of the most important programmes in our project as it allowed us to edit our footage and store it in one place alongside the soundtrack test footage. It also allowed for us to add effects to our finished video such as changing the speed, rewinding footage and adding filters to alter the colour or appearance of a shot. It also provided us with the ability to zoom in to a moving image on a stills camera without having to shoot a steady zoom on the digital recording camera which proved to be very difficult when we tried it. We also produced test footage in Final Cut experimenting with different speeds and filters before using them in our video and also tried to use green screening for our miming. Being able to test these meant we knew what we was appropriate to use in our final video and the difficulties we had with the green screening showed us that it was not really a good idea to put in to practice. This programme helped us with our planning and construction allowing us to produce a better finished piece in the time we had.

We did not use Photoshop for the production of our music video however we used it to create both our ancillary products and produce moodboards visualising ideas earlier on in the project. We created image brainstorms showing clothes that we may wish to use and photographs of the type of atmosphere we wished to create including images of parties, friends, alcohol and nights out. This programme was useful as it allowed us to manipulate images/photo’s and create text all on the same document. It is a very versatile programme allowing us to experiment and produce finished ancillary products that were interesting and experimental. The main use of this programme was for the construction of our ancillary products but also partially for visual planning of our music video.

Itunes played a small part in our production as it held the song we wished to use and allowed us to track time and plan our video before we had taken any footage or imported it to Final Cut.

We also used a stills camera at various points in our project to take photos of our storyboard, record the effect of the different gels in the light and take pictures for our digipak and magazine advert. This piece of equipment allowed us to use many of our own images in our finished product and gave us fresh ideas to work from as images such as that used in our magazine advert of the landscape was a spur of the moment image and we like how it looked while taking photos of us a band members. This piece of equipment mainly aided us with the construction of our ancillary products as this was generally the only time we felt it necessary to use still images however we did photograph certain parts of our research and planning giving a visual idea of what we wished to do as well as a written one.

Having access to this wide variety of new media technologies allowed for us to research, plan, construct and distribute our finished media products to a very high quality. Being able to use these products meant we could experiment with many different and ideas and do things that young or amateur producers would not have been able to do in the past. Some of the facilities were also free such as the use of the internet used for research and distribution meaning that in the future I could be able to produce and distribute pieces of work at a reasonably low budget.

Pia's Evaluation Essay

In what ways does your media products use, develop, or challenge forms of conventions of real media products?
how effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?

The music video our group has produced, is to the song "La Song" by Supergrass, the genre of the song is indie/rock and what makes our video similar to that of a real music video, is due to various different reasons, one is because it is the same length, which is normally around 3-4 minutes. The sequence begins with a medium - long shot of "the band" (our group) asleep on the sofa which is a main feature throughout the video, the music is synchronised with the footage as it starts off very slowly with an organ and violin playing, we use many conventions similar to ones in real music videos, like slow motion, and editing which helped the group make the video carry from clip to another clip nicely and makes each scene flow from one to the next.
Using the editing to create a big effect when the music beat suddenly starts around 38 seconds in to the footage, this is used to indicate the past when the frame inside the still digital camera jumps to full screen moving footage, these transitions are all similar to ones that are used in real media products.
the genre and style of music in our video is represented through different use of micro elements such as: camera work, we filmed typical angles indie videos use, for example, we used shaky cam and hand held cam to shoot Adam lip syncing / singing, this is characterised by the shakiness and jerky movements to create this effect on the footage also using this with a slight high angle to create that skinny look. The mise-en-scene also portrays the indie style of genre through costume and props, like chequered tops, skinny jeans, the guitar being played, all of which increases in representation when joint with the music, for example the kooks, arctic monkeys etc, for example Niave - by the kooks, where the main character is walking around in his skinny outfit and wavy hairstyle sining the lyrics.
Editing plays the biggest role in the creation of the music video, as this can pick out and enhance the tiniest of features or footage, this is all done by playing around with the cutting of footage, transitions, modifications, filters and more, by playing around with all these effect it also helps synchronise the song, and beat to the footage and helps relate the genre of the song more.
Representation of the band and instruments being played was required in the music video, and real music videos has representation of the lyrics , whether the lyrics are being represented by being sung and lip synced by the artist or having visuals / illustrations of the lyrics - for example having them written on screen or footage of the lyrics being written down, therefore we filmed alot of footage representing the lyrics, we filmed various different locations with the lyrics being sung, we did also capture footage of visual lyrics, however it was chosen not to use this in the final cut of our video.

A lot of other conventions we used in our video were, a montage effect, when Adam was lip syncing and singing there is two shots of him on the screen at the same time depicting different settings/locations of the house and different shot lengths of him, indicating passing of time. We also used different coloured gels (blue/turquoise/red/pink/yellow) - which allowed us to create more colours by combinding two gels at one time, we have a variety of shots, there is a good use of close ups in the camerawork, especially taken of the performance. Editing and cutting the video to the music beat, slow motion and rewind, these effects are in the bridge of the song where it gets really slow again, this is similar to the begining of the song then the music sound is guitars being played backwards and sounds as if it is being rewound therefore the idea of rewinding the excess footage synchronised well and worked out really effectively. We used many transitions to make the film flow and work together like fade in fade out all of which real media products would use.

The digit pack cover and magazine advert are similar to that of real media products as we have researched examples and created our products with this in mind, the digit pack has a picture of each member of the band (our group) positioned on, the back has a short summary of what to find in the pack and more to make people want to buy the product, we have written it asthough it was a message from the band themselves, "we are Supergrass, and this is our DVD album" this makes the reader/listener feel more connected with the band. Captured still shot photos from clips of the final music video are included and created a logo for the band, to make it look more similar to real products we have used icons like the DVD symbol and bar code, and we used them with a textured background, by researching other digit pack cases and information that we then got the ideas of what to apply to ours, we felt we gave the digit pack a more professional finish.

we represented the band by taking individual pictures of each member and editing the color and giving them effects in photoshop, we positioned them so that a 2 Cd's would be covering us, this is so we are not seen all the time, we placed them like this because each of our band member is an individual, and like different styles, however we are all equal and we are together, but have our own spaces and this represents us more personally.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

the feedback we got when we did the first pitch of our initial song choice and idea for the music video was positive, however there were doubts at how we would get the footage we wanted of the "party" scenes, this allowed us to set ourselves targets so that the work was consistant, and that our pitch idea was carried throughout the video, we were advised to look at similar clips like scenes of parties from TV series like Shameless and Skins, and to build up the effect of the sofa theme we looked at programmes like The Simpsons and Friends, we also had competition as another group wanted to use the same song choice as us which made us work more efficiently to achieve more and get the best information and pitch backup.

the feedback on all information taken in and set out on the blog was again positive, and it was obvious to peers that we researched lots on how to make our video conform to typical media conventions, it was advised to make research and analysis better to add test footages and photos of preparation to make it more visual, and to distinguish our music video from others, this gave us a giudeline of what we needed to do and how we could improve.

feeback we recieved after our music video draft was again very positive for example "use of speeding up footage was affective, and where the camera linked the narrative, worked well played backwards" "angle "shifts" on arrival are affective", all that needed amending was the performance footage which we had not yet filmed.

Feedback on final cut version of music video was once again very positive with little recommendations on what to improve as this was the final draft, therefore this feedback was emphasizing positive features of the finished video "good video, demands met", our group agreed with feedback based on goodwins analysis.

Feedback on ancillary products was very helpful it pointed out the strong parts of the digit pack cover and magazine advert and recommended what could be improved to make it more enjoyable to the public, the digit pack having a more positive outcome than the magazine for example "clever use of screen grabs, the style is conveyed even with contrasting packaging and music video"- digit pack, "magazine advert, not very clear hard to read".

in conclusion most of the feedback recieved overall was positive, however there were strong recommendations that were helpful and useful, critisism was appreciated as it was taken in and put to good use to help improve on products, which helped make products better and more enjoyable, the feedback we got allowed us to look at others views and provided outside views we could use to improved development, we took to consideration all feedback that was given by our peers and used it to build on our ideas and create better overall products.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research planning and evaluation?

we used the internet for many stages of our project, for researching on search engines, we created a social networking blog to contact the band this was bebo, we asked their permission to use their song for our video. We created a youtube account for our group to help in the process of uploads so we could easily put them onto the blog and it benefitted many tasks we did.
we used photoshop for our ancillary products to create pictures, moodboars, digit pack and magazine advert and more, this helped us create something more personal to our group and make it effective, and we used final cut to creat and complete our music video drafts.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Peer ancillary task feedback

-The inside of the digibox is simple yet effective.
-The Front cover does not give too much away, but clever use of screen grabs means it does not confuse, and the style is conveyed even with the contrasting packaging and music video.
-I like the old leather style of the background
- The back cover could be laid out better, maybe having it more 'central'
-Digibox does look like a real product, I especially like the logo you created

-Magazine advert not very clear, writing hard to read at bottom
-The background has nothing to do with the video
-Do not think it looks like a real product, the basics are there but the background makes the font unreadable, especially with how tiny some of the quotes are. I recommend making all of them the same size at the top, and changing the background image, maybe using a darker image and then making the quotes white would be more effective.
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