Friday, 11 December 2009

Evaluation - Vonnie Pigott

Music video and Ancillary products
The song we’d picked for the video was ‘No looking back’ by a Cambridge band Anti-Social Burn-outs. The style of the song was quite heavy rock so it was that genre that we took most inspiration from, using lots of examples we compiled a series of products that followed conventions, mainly using dark lighting and colours.
Because of the genre, the video was going to be more about convention, as the breaking of convention is more common to indie or alternative music videos. When it comes to rock videos and products dark colours are key and are mainly about what the audience expects of it to gain more success, considering rock is a more mainstream genre.
The style of music meant that we decided the video should be very performance based rather than narrative based. The narrative was supposed to be quite vague, enough to understand a very basic plot (Guy training for a fight) but the idea was that there were a lot of pieces that the audience had to fill in themselves as is common with these kind of videos, in Animal I have become (three days grace) for example, the story is incredibly vague and feels like parts of a longer film and so the lyrics and the imagination of the viewer must fill in the gaps.
This was one of the videos we took some ideas from, mainly the performance but originally a lot more of the narrative. We were also influenced by other rock videos such as ‘Animals’ By Nickelback and ‘Afterlife’ by Avenged sevenfold which are very performance driven videos, animals especially which is all performance, we borrowed the way that they use a hand held camera and move around the band a lot. Afterlife is another example of a vague narrative but is a lot more abstract than Animal I have become.
We didn’t link the lyrics to the visuals but there were subtle hints, such as when the lyrics say ‘I am strong and I won’t be pulled apart’ at one point the female character blew a kiss towards the screen subtly hinting that this pulling apart could come from a woman, trying to distract and ruin somebody in the evil way that femme fatales are shown to do in films.
The lighting in the video itself was quite contrasting and bright at some points, such as in the beginning when the light suddenly changes when on the guitarist, but was dark and more gothic at others (Such as the bass footage.)
Though most of the performers costumes weren’t planned the guitarist was made to wear quite dark clothes and the bassist’s outfit was black and white and looked very gothic and the black makeup made her fit with the music better. The black lipstick was originally inspired by Jonas Akerlund’s (director, Papparazzi – Lady gaga) style of using makeup but it was an effect that was too difficult to achieve, I still liked the idea of using black lipstick however.
When it came to the Digipak we took a lot of inspiration from the covers of bands like Bullet for my valentine which use realistically cartooned images, the fact that it’s an illustration is contrapuntal to the sinister images they use (a bleeding woman) and we tried a similar thing, though not as violent the image of a scary looking woman holding fire is quite creepy. The woman on the cover was not meant to represent anyone in particular but looked similar enough to the one female band member to at least look like it relates, but even the idea of using somebody who is not in the band was inspired again by Bullet for my valentine’s covers who use a female character quite often despite being an all male band. The rest of the Digipak however was our own work, going slightly against convention by using quite surreal and trippy imagery with the colourful fire patterns.
The magazine advert was not very different to the Digipak, but it was meant to relate quite strongly to the Album. We used the image that was on the cover because it worked as a nice and simple image against a black background, it also worked in the way that it would make the Digipak itself more recognisable, as the point is to promote the album and not the band in this advert the audience needed to be able to find the CD easily in a store as they would recognise the advert image.
The fonts were quite gothic to fit with the theme, as a lot of elements of our band had been quite dark like this, a font called ‘A Lolita Scorned’ which looks almost as though it was dripping. The band name used a different font to stand out slightly more; it also had a glow effect behind it that added to the creepy effect (as it was a dark red.)
The Digipak used some images of two of the band members; these images were taken from the video itself and then drawn over using vectors, a viewer could link this back to the video as the images were generic and look as though they could’ve come from any point in the video. The stills were drawn over for several reasons: the original stills were very dark and bad quality, it looked brighter and worked with the surreal swirls and it fit with the cover far better. We avoided using the bands head or faces to add a sense of mystery to the band themselves, making them seem darker.
The imagery we used a lot was that of fire, the fire orb appears on the cover, the back and on the spine. This was because it related to the narrative of our video, which was meant to be quite strong and show the characters passion and hatred, the fire was a representation of this. It was also meant to help show the strength and passion that goes with the style of the bands music, as Anti-social Burnouts style of songs are quite heavy. Fire is quite common as a representation of passion, strength and hatred so it felt like an image that would work well. It was also more subtly used in the swirls, which are meant to look very vaguely like fire as well.

The feedback we got on the Digipak said similar things, they said ‘the gothic style of the design suits the style of music, this is undeniably going to be heavy rock with little attempt to be mainstream.’ This in essence is the effect we had wished to achieve from the digipak, we wanted the cover to say something about the style of music contained within it so the Digipak was definatly effective. In regards to the magazine advert we were told that the ‘Colours and image blend well together, writing font matches theme of the band’ So the fonts seemed to worked, considering there were three different fonts
We were also told that; ‘The use of the same image for the magazine ad is an obvious consistency but as it's such a striking image - it is direct and effective.’ Which again what we were aiming for, there was an obvious instant recognition that the two were related by an audience and the simple image aparently worked well if it was described as ‘Striking.’ This is good as it means that our Digipak will stand out to an audience and if nothing else at least interest them in finding out what it is.
There was not much response to the video, we were told that it fit in well with a lot of conventions, again something we were aiming for as we weren’t trying to go against convention. The problems with the music video at the start however was that we lacked a lot of band footage, due to instruments bieng quite difficult to get so we fixed this by doing the instruments in all different places, this however did go slightly against convention as bands are most often shown together in at least a few shots. So because of this the video was more experimental, it worked out well, mainly because we made it very obvious that all the musicians were in completely different places. However we still would’ve prefered to have had all the musicians together rather than done it this strange way.

When it came to creating all of our media products there were a lot of incredibly useful new technologies available to help, not only in the research but the planning and the research.
Obviously the blog was incredibly helpful for recording our thought processes and the label clouds that are used were also helpful for organising and finding pieces of information when we needed them.
When it came to research, of course the internet was useful, we used it to find a lot of existing examples of videos of other bands (Hence the inspired videos) and collecting the images of other bands album covers and magazine adverts. When searching for the album images we mainly chose bands who worked in a similar genre to the genre of music we were doing, and so we picked heavy, rock bands or singers such as; Avenged sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, 3 Days grace, Nana Kitade and even very heavy bands like dying fetus. So working in a similar genre helped as we used styles inspired by a lot of these covers.
It also helped in finding photoshop tutorials, there are a lot of tutorials for photoshop that show you how to do all sorts of amazing effects, one of which we used in our Digipak in order to make the fire orb effect in the girls hands.
Photoshop was the most useful program of all, it was helpful in creating all sorts of effects for the Digipak and Magazines advert as well as drawing over the stills from the video to create a cartooned effect, as well as all the fonts available on photoshop. It was great for the research and collecting images together, and testing out effects found on photoshop tutorials.
When editing the video the only program we used was Final cut express. Final cut is a good program for editing, far superior to other editing programs like Windows Movie maker. Final cut is very good for detailed editing and all sorts of effects that work in a very similar way to photoshop, such as the adjustment of the brightness and contrast and even filters that can be found on it are quite similar to those on photoshop. Before we started the video we tested some of the effects available on final cut, although we tested quite a few of them we decided not to use any in the final video, mainly because most of them looked quite cheesy. However had we been doing an indie style video some of the effects we’d tested, such as the cartooned version of a video, we might have used them but it didn’t fit with a rock video.
Final Cut was also used for the evaluation stage of our product, we created a DVD commentary type video that would be designed to go with the Digipak. We each edited our own section for the commentary, for my section I used mainly the fade and tween effects in final cut to show images or videos of our products to illustrate the points I made.
All the different media technologies and the influences from other bands are what have helped create and complete all the products of our Music video project. In the end I am quite happy with how our ancillary products turned out but I’ve always thought our music video could have been much better if we had had better footage.

Stephens evaluation

Music Video Evaluation

In our music video we tried to follow conventions of rock/metal music videos but this gave us a few problems. Firstly we had to film quite a lot in lesson times and around college because we had struggled to find time when we could all meet up and do it, also filming round college made our shots look less professional but we still tried to follow conventions of a rock video. The initial idea of ours was to go film the performance in vonnies outhouse at the bottom of her garden but none of us could find a time when we could all arrange to go because of people having work or other commitments, I feel that if we had have been able to find time to do this I think our video would have looked much more professional and would have been easier to make it look like a rock/metal video.

Our narrative part of our media performance was preparing for a fight scene, this was hard to make to follow conventions due to us filming quite a lot of it in the gym which doesn’t look very gothic or follow convention in that sense. Our idea for the fight scene came through us trying to understand the words of the song through hearing because we couldn’t find any of the lyrics on the internet or on the main website of the band, so we had to figure them out and try grasp a meaning on the song ourselves.

Our first idea for the fight scene would be to have me training for a fight scene but not actually punching someone at the end because we thought it would be better to have the audience of the music video be guessing what happened after but we decided to put it in there for extra effect. I think our video follows conventions quite well because of some of the band shots look gothic and dark and follow conventions of real media music videos.

Our music video, digipak and poster went well together because the music video looks like a rock/metal video and the digipak and poster reinforce the same ideas, like with the creative flame animations and the darkness of the background on the digipak and poster both link in together with the our music video, you would normally associate flames and darkness with the rock/metal genre.

We took a lot of inspiration from other bands CD covers like bullet for my valentine and our actual band we got the song from anti social burn-outs. They’re look like they belong in a rock/metal band due to dark makeup, clothes, hair, etc. On our digipak we got stills from our music video and animated them to look cartoony and like the album cover of bullet for my valentine we thought this looked good so we decided to make it, however we did add flames to the guitars to add extra effect and to follow the conventions of the rock/metal genre.

Our audience feedback was very encouraging in the fact that we had a lot of good comments about our digipak and poster, we are happy to have received these comments because as we know that our music video wasn’t as good as it could have been so we put extra effort into making our digipak and poster as good as possible by vonnie using her strong Photoshop skills to create a digipak and poster which look very professional.

We got some feedback on our music video saying that it was very good due to the unfortunate circumstances we ran into when preparing to film our performance part of the music video; this was very unlucky for us because our initial ideas were a lot better that what was the actual outcome. The audience feedback we got gave us confidence that we did a good digipak and poster this was essential for us because we wanted to make this as strong as we possibly could.

In our music video we used a wide range of media technologies in the constructions and research, planning and evaluation stages. The main computer program we used was final cut, this was used to edit all the bits of footage we gathered filming and we were able to put effects on clips; we were going to put some effects on our clips but we decided not to because we thoughts it made the music video look cheap, less professional and fit less into our music video genre so we thought it would be a good idea not to use them.

We spent a lot of time on final cut trying to green screen as we would be able to make training scenes look much more professional by putting me in better training locations but again we had trouble with making this look good due to creases in the green material which made it hard for us to delete the green out of the frame when we were editing it so we got some green card which has no creases in it so it would work properly. Then the next problem with green screening was making it look real because I had to run on the spot and it was quite obvious, when we deleted the green and put a background under me, that it didn’t look real so we thought not to use that because it would look less professional and very cheep. So them we tried to green screen while I was running on the treadmill in the gym but this was extremely difficult to do so we decided not to do this.

The internet played a key roll in our music video we got lots of inspiration from other bands websites and MySpace accounts for the performance part of our music video. We went on the bands whose song we were covering and got lots of ideas on our music video from this like when vonnie and James are playing guitars.

Again the internet was very helpful but not for the performance but the narrative this time. We went on YouTube and looked at fight scenes in movies and music videos and we found some good ones of never back down, rocky and snake in the eagles shadow, these were a great help for us when we were planning our fight sequences and what to do, like practicing punching was a main part of this seeing as I was preparing for a big momentous fight.

We used photoshop to make our digipak and poster we needed to use photoshop because it has amazing tools which we needed to make pictures that look professionally made the digipak template was also on photoshop and we had a some spare time after making it so we decided to make our blog look better by putting a 3D picture of out digipak on there.

Lukes Evaluation

Media Evaluation Essay

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

One way in which conventions are challenged in our music video is that the locations of the video change quite frequently and seemingly at random. I think this is unusual to most music videos including rock. In the video we ‘the group’ performed the roles of different band members. We did not look as though we should really be in the video because it’s a rock genre; you would expect the band to be wearing dark clothes, gothic, punky styled. We were not wearing clothes anything like this, our everyday clothes were worn (jeans, normal t-shirt, hoodies etc).

Each band member was shot separately in different locations. These were the two guitarists, drummer and singer. This is not the usual way as far as rock music videos go. Many rock music videos were watched during our project for inspiration and ideas; I didn’t see one video that didn’t have a shot of the whole band together at one point, and very rarely would you see one band member on their own for too longer time. In our video you never saw the whole band together playing at the same time, you would only see the band members playing on there own in different locations. This means our video is very different in this way in comparison to the majority of music videos in the same or similar genre.

From our video you would think the target audience would be anyone from the ages of roughly 13 to 25 maybe 30 years of age. If you just listened to the music you would predict that the video to it would be in your face, dark and gothic. This would follow the normal forms of rock genre music videos unlike ours and would target the same sort of aged audience except maybe a bit older than 13, probably 15 years would be the youngest of the target audience.

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

Our digipack goes very well with the video and song. From the lyrics we could make out, understand and make sense of someone was very angry, preparing for a fight or confrontation of some sort. For example some of the lyrics are ‘break free flight fight tonight’. This is represented well with the red, orange and yellow flames all around the digipack. It shows aggression, passion and anger as does the lyrics and tone of the song.

The front cover of the digipack is very simplistic with just an image of a face, a pair of hands and a flame. Its very uncomplicated but in its simplicity extremely good. Inspiration for the digipack was other rock album cover such as ACDC – Those about to rock and Pink Floyd – The Wall.

The darkness of the digipack compliments the main product. The song has a dark gothic feel to it but also anger, passion and emotion. I think a fiery flame with a black background is the perfect way to get all these sorts of feelings across.

On the other if you were to see the digipack before seeing the video you would expect a different type of video. You would expect an in your face, aggressive performance based video which is very different to what ours is.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

There was very little feedback from the audience but what they did say was that the video was good, well edited and followed the conventions well. We basically learnt from this that we could edit clips to make a reasonable video and follow the conventions of the rock genre. I would have to disagree with the comment of we followed the conventions well in some ways we followed the conventions but I think that we didn’t follow the conventions in more ways.

The audience also said that the digipack was excellent and followed the conventions perfectly. I think that from this comment you can learn that you can promote a music video well to fit the conventions with good ancillary products alongside the main product. This could help attract people who are into the genre but haven’t heard the music to buy the product.

One comment of feedback we received was that the locations could have been changed to places outside of the college or our homes to a different place to fit the conventions more. For example we could have set the video in a cemetery or church. From this I can learn that to make your video more interesting and fit the typical conventions you could be more adventurous and creative with locations for the video.

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

Our whole video was edited and put together in Final Cut Express. All the different long clips of performance and narrative were cut up and mixed together to make a more fluent, interesting, and watchable video. If we couldn’t cut each shot up the video would be much more boring and longwinded and much less interesting to watch. We also experimented with different effects such as green screening, slow motion, black and white cartoon and distorted effect. All of these effects worked well but didn’t make our video fit the conventions of a rock genre any more and just would have looked a bit odd.

We also used the internet a lot during our project. We created a blog to record what we done each lesson. Also our ideas, inspirations and effects experiments were recorded in our blog so that you could see how we got to our final piece of work. Problems and how we overcame them were also recorded on the blog.

We also used Photoshop to create our digipack. On the programme you can get a stencil plan of a fold out digipack which was very useful and much easier to play about with different pictures and make it as easy on the eye as possible. We also used Photoshop to try out different effects you could put on pictures to make them fit the genre conventions. However the one we attempted were very hard to do and didn’t work as well as we hoped.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dvd commentary - vonnie

Publish once finished please

Friday, 27 November 2009

3D Digipak

3 dimensional version of the Digipak

Digipak Completed

The final Digipak. I've marked where the Cd should go on one of the panels.
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