• In what ways does you product use, develop or challenge forms & conventions of a real media product.
• Comparing my finished music video to real media products I can see that I have used, developed and challenged forms and conventions in many ways. First of all I begun to study the existing video from Chicane’s Poppiholla and especially loved the monotones and slow motion of the clips. I took this theme & continued it throughout my final product, by turning the original clips into blacks & white and slowing the speed, I then however developed this further by slowly bringing the colour back through at the end of the video, to suggest the life coming back into the narrative. I got the idea of bringing the colour back through as it was a convention used in Beyonce’s Broken Hearted Girl which I particularly liked. I believe this worked really well as it portrayed the inspiration of the character, when she achieved her goal the life came back through.
Studying the real media products such as broken hearted girl by Beyonce, made me realise that there is not many long takes filmed from start to finish, and therefore have tried to add as many cuts & transitions to have short snappy clips engender excitement and pace for the audience, I feel this works really well as the transitions look very professional rather than just placed anywhere.
We decided to base the narrative on the theme similar to that of Billy Elliot & Step up, whereby the character could not achieve her dream in the first instance but with a little effort managed to break through in the end despite her under-class background.
My video has used a variety of close up & long shots throughout again capturing the real media product style, In particular I feel that the close-ups showing the characters emotions throughout the story really reflect on the mood of the story. The long shots show dance skills and moves, and establish a variety of locations.
Also I have produced a promotional poster for the album of my video and have chosen to advertise in HMV, this simply because it is a very popular store where many existing products already advertise. This would therefore be a good place to advertise as it is where our audience should buy it. I then produced a Digi-pack cover for the case of my CD and again feel this task has been achieved well. We chose an area which we had used in our film to take the photos for this, it was a run-down subway covered in graffiti which highly represented our characters social status. I have changed the character to black & white, however kept the bright colours in the background I feel this is a good way to represent the inspiration being represented from our storyline.
• How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
I think the combination is very effective, I have tried to convey a working class ambience in my Cd cover, to reflect the girl’s social status however at the same time, and she is also in a joyful pose, to suggest her ultimate triumph and to engender a sense of happiness in the audience to encourage them to purchase it. In the real world the poster could be part of a fly poster campaign and it could be found in music magazines of that particular genre. Slightly modified, it could be used as an advert in magazines and it would also be available as a download on my artist’s website. The Cd would also be advertised on the website and if people who order it direct through the website would also receive a percentage off a t-shirt.
My website would also show the video and as an advertising ploy and I would also include an interview with the actors and dancers, in time I would make the video available for people to download on their phones. The website will have outtakes from the photo shoots and from the DVD and competitions and the chance for audience feedback to give my fans a sense of ownership so they would be more likely to buy it.
I would also have a Facebook site, which held information about the artist, upcoming gigs and where to buy the high definition version of the DVD. On this Facebook page there may also be previews of different versions and mixes of the song.
I have released a copy of the video on Youtube as another promotional move, because fans watching it will want to buy the official version, which would be accessible via a link on the Youtube page. I would then aim to release it to music channels such as: The box, MTV or 4 music.
This way I have used convergence to promote my products, but of course there will be other aspects to my marketing campaign such as print, internet and television interviews with the artists or people involved with the production.
Finally in the age of web 2.0 I would hope that ‘prosumers’ would also promote my work using still images and the video itself (although there would not be an embedding code on youtube) via blogs, and other social networking sites, and also via their mobile phones, although I realise there is a risk that I would lose revenue from illegal downloading and it is possible that not all comments on the blogs would be favourable.
• What have you learned from your audience feedback?
• We had a slight issue with the people we were using for our judges and therefore asked a few of our piers if they thought they were acceptable before continuing to film. The problem we had was that they looked to young, and not professional enough to capture realism of the audition, the audience agreed with this and we therefore had to change our original actors who are shown in the clip below to the new ones which have been used in our final product.
How did you attract/address your audience?
• The final product was screened to three males & three females. They were told to watch the video carefully to then answer a number of questions about how well they thought the film worked. The narrative of the film was that of an inspirational moral, to try and put the point across that anyone can achieve their dreams if they try. By using a female character I feel this has slightly narrowed the audience to more likely being girls, again by the age of the character I feel it will appeal to a similar audience age group of 10 – 18 I also feel that simply from the kind of music it is this would also. As you can see from the video we then started to ask the two groups of people questions such as how they thought the locations of shots worked, how easy they found the story line & what they liked most about it. I found that both male and female answers varied slightly, possibly is due to the fact our video is more appealing to the females however the answers were really rewarding and positive about the video. The male group all said that the locations worked really well & that because there were so many iconic landmarks it really brought a personal feel to the theme of the narrative also they particularly liked how we had added the Sage Gateshead to the film, as this represented the performance aspect of they story. They also commented on how easily they followed the story line, and clearly understood that the girl failed, tried again and then succeeded. One person even said that as an audience many people will be able to relate to this: a teenage girl from a working class background who wants to achieve something that she loves, but is knocked down from people from a higher social class. I feel that this point was very interesting as one of the things to be considered whilst shooting the film was to ensure that it was clear to the audience how less well off the main character appeared to be from the original successful candidates simply from the area she lived in and the clothes she wore. They then told us what they liked most about the video, and I was glad to here that they really enjoyed how we had changed it to black & white and then to colour for the ending. One of them said that this worked well to strengthen the theme of her failing and when she succeeded the colour was brought back through which was what we aimed for people to understand. I feel that these comments have brought a really interesting point to the understand of my audience as it proves that although the main audience was for the female teenage gap that it also appeals to male audience who come from a similar social class background to the character and they are able to enjoy the narrative by relating them selves to the situation. The female group commented mainly on how they enjoyed watching the different locations of the film and particularly enjoyed the shots where the character was dancing in open spaces such as at the beach and on the quayside, they also said that they could easily relate to the narrative and that it was inspirational for a lot of people to achieve their dreams especially from a social class background where it is very common for people to give up on something they don’t think they will be able to get at the first instance. These comments were again very positive of they overall video and were almost quite predictable that they would prefer it a little more than the male group as they understand from a girl’s point of view that many people are like the character. From all of the comments I could not but a conclusive audience to the video as both genders enjoyed it however as expected before even concluding the film I feel that the audience is mainly that of a younger age audience and, although not exclusively for a female gender, is very much appealing to girls the same as the character.
• How did you use new media technologies in the construction & research, planning and evaluation stages?
• When our original ideas were cast we had gathered different aspects of existing real media products to research themes and conventions that would be popular in the industry. We started by looking at videos which we thought could follow a similar narrative to our inspirational story, and particularly analysed points from the film Billy Elliot. By doing this we were able to understand how to represent our character as being from a working class background. One of the things that we noticed was that whilst dancing and trying to achieve his dream the character Billy Elliot was always on his own, and people were looking at him and judging what he was doing. We achieved this by introducing the other two characters who were from a better off background and were together laughing at the main characters failure. Once we had studied the theme from Billy Elliot we could then use You Tube to concentrate on other music videos which we could use certain aspects of. Hence the black & white theme & slow motion which we liked from the videos from Beyonce. Overall the internet & You Tube was a major part of our research as we could gather as much information as possible from existing products to ensure that our product would be successful in the industry. Also as well as researching films & videos we had to think about our ancillary work, we again used the internet to look at digi-packs to find out measurements and ideas for my work. We then decided to use a basic CD size for the dimensions of our digi pack, for a front middle and back page. From this I was able to produce images for the product that would appeal to the audience, by using bright colours and simple text. When producing my print work I linked this well to the narrative of my film by using a stereotypical working class area to capture the environment the character is from, thinking about this I used a subway which was covered in graffiti which has worked really well in my opinion.
• Whilst planning our planning our DVD we first had to familiarise ourselves with equipment so we took a scene from Get Carter, and filmed in a group as we acted it out, this was really helpful as it meant we could look at different features which the cameras offered such as the zooming qualities, the contrast and the lighting. I feel this exercise really prepared us for the use of our filming. As well as practicing with available equipment we also produced an anamatic of a storyboard which we found really helpful as we could refer back to this to ensure we weren’t going off track with the different stages of our filming.
• For the construction of our film we ensured that we always had more than one camera filming the character so that we could capture different angles of her dancing, this worked extremely well as it meant that we could link shots together easily with transactions. For one scene we had a very large group of people which had to take part in an audience scene, this needed a lot of planning and we had to ensure that we had three cameras filming: one to be still standing, one on a tripod and dolly and one held hand. This meant we could get as much footage as possible to cover a lot of the audience’s reactions. We only had 15 minutes to film this shot which meant we had to get everything planned out perfectly. We had clipboards with every stage of movement that we wanted to capture and give the audience very clear steps to follow, this meant that we captured the correct shots necessary.
To edit our product we used the programme I-movie, because we felt it had all of the necessary features that we would need to use, for example, we were able to turn the film black & white, change to slow motion, and transactions in between certain shots. We particularly liked the transactions that were available as we didn’t want to be over the top with them and tried to make them as subtle as possible by using fades to ensure the video ran smoothly without looking stuck together in separate sections. We were then able to import our film into Final Cut, which enabled us to add the music track in the correct place. We added a fade to the start of the film so that it didn’t just start immediately, which works really well and all fits in time.
For my print work I have used Photoshop, a programme I was familiar with from my AS level, and feel that I could use all the features to a high standard to ensure that my work looked professionally built. I could desaturate the image to black and white and add different lighting effects & levels, which then let me make my work the best it could be. I feel that the media technologies that have been available for me to use have really helped me ensure that my final work is at the best possible standard.
• In my evaluation stages I was able to screen my video to people and have been able to create small video clips of interviews with audience members which helped me evaluate what was particularly good and worked well for the audience from there immediate reactions. I have also been able to make my blog public which means that all links to videos which I researched are available for anyone to see along with my anamatic of the storyboard, original filming which I have shown before editing, and photos which I took for my print work.