For my front cover, I have featured an image that I took using my Canon 1300D DSLR camera in one of the locations that I will be filming in (as this allows for my digipak to be linked to my final music video product), in order to make this image look older/more vintage I edited it to increase the noise, changed both the brightness and contrast settings and put the image in black and white. I also used a bold, vintage font for the artist’s name which I put along the top section of the cover to allow for it to stand out and fit in with the rest of the vintage aesthetic; for the album name I used a simple minimalist font to allow for the consumer to read it easily and to give a simplistic appearance to the cover. I placed a black border around the outer edge of the cover in order to again promote both the minimalist and vintage appearance of the design.
I designed my back cover to match the style of my front cover, matching the black border and using the same simplistic text that I used for the album name to write each song name. The image of the bat that I used on the back cover of my digipak also references my music video as my actress uses that bat as a prop throughout it. I created the glitch effect on the bat by copying the layer 3 times and playing around with the opacity levels and position of each layer – I did this as it creates a more interesting image than just a plain old bat. Many digipak designs of the electropop genre feature a simplistic or slightly abstract design on their front and back covers so by creating my covers to appear simplistic/minimalist I have followed this convention of the genre.
On the spine of my digipak I featured both the artists name written in the same vintage font that I used on the front and back covers and the Album name (again written in the same simplistic font), however I inverted the colours (white text on black background) to add interest and allow for a distinguished separation between both the front and back covers.
For the inside cover of my digipak, I edited a close up image of the artists face to make it a warm-toned black and white as this allows it to fit the theme of the rest of the digipack without being exactly the same as both the front and back covers.
As most of the disc tray will be covered by the CD, I wanted to use a simple design. I chose an image of a broken mirror as this also directly links to my music video (as the artist smashes mirrors) as well as providing a nice looking pattern. Again I edited this to have a warm-toned black and white filter to fit with the rest of the digipak’s old/vintage appearance.
I wanted to keep the design of the actual CD quite plain as it would allow it to fit the aesthetic of the front and back covers and would also prevent the inside of the digipak from appearing too busy as the smashed glass background of the disc tray is already quite patterned. Many CD/record designs in the electropop genre include a simplistic design on the CD disc so in doing this I have followed a convention of this genre.
On my homepage, I have featured the same image as I have featured on the front cover of my digipak, along with the same fonts to write both the Bands name and the album name.
On my second page I have included tour information throughout many countries in the world. I have featured another image taken in my photoshoot that I have edited to match the vintage style/colour scheme of the image on the first page.
On my third page I have linked the song that I used for my music video, including my digipack art as the album cover. This page also featured the same font used to write the album information on my digipak and anotherimage from my photoshoot that I edited to match the style of the homepage and my digipak.
For my fourth page I have included a link to my final music video as well as the same styled images and text as the rest of the website and my digipack.
For my fifth page I have featured a ‘store’ section including many items of merchandise that can be viewed on a ‘quick view’ setting. Additionally, the merchandise all features designs related to my artist and music video, with designs taken from my digipack covers in order to keep a level of consistency throughout my products.
For the final page of my website I have included links to my artist’s social media platforms in order to allow fans easily find them. Again this page features the same aesthetic as my music video and digipak as this allows for a consistent style to be evident throughout the products.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
The first stage of my A2 coursework consisted of selecting a genre and watching music videos in order to give myself a visual idea of what I should include in my music video. This allowed me to see the conventions associated with my chosen genre such as choice of actors, locations, props and editing styles. I decided to use YouTube in order to view these videos as, being an extremely popular video-sharing website, it had a very wide range of videos in the genre that I wanted to reproduce. In order to make posts about the research that I had done I would take various screenshots or screen recordings of music videos, digipacks and websites and then upload them to my blog either as a screenshot of a document or as an embedded link to a video posted on vimeo.
In order to plan my music video, I put together Target audience interviews and auditions using my canon 1300D and edited them in Adobe Premiere. By doing this I was able to review the footage of each and make decisions based on the content of the videos, this allowed me to decide what my music video should contain and who my lead actress should be. In addition to this I went out to each location in which I would be filming my music video and took shots of it with my canon 1300D DSLR camera in order to make sure that it was appropriate for filming (e.g. lighting/surroundings). As my actress would have to be free in order to go out on shoots I contacted her via social media in order to arrange dates and times that we were both free to go and film for extended periods of time. As I knew that my video would have many cuts in very close succession throughout the song, I filmed myself lip syncing to the song in different locations in my house and then edited it in Adobe Premiere in the same structure as I would in my actual music video. This allowed me to make sure that it looked okay and that it was possible to get the lip syncing correct in such fast paced sequences of shots. Prior to going out and filming my music video, I created a detailed shots list on pages in order to make sure that my filming process was efficient as it would be difficult for me to arrange additional shoots with my actress as she was often busy.
During the filming process of my music video I used both my Cannon 1300D (with sigma 30mm lens) to film any regular speed shots throughout my video and my iPhone 6s (using app promovie) in order to film any slow motion shots as this allowed me to film up to 240fps whereas my DSLR camera only allowed me to film up to 50fps. I then edited the footage together on Adobe Premiere adding effects such as colourization, stabilisers, and cropping the footage to allow for better continuity between cuts, occasionally exporting footage out of premiere in order to add specific effects to the footage using Adobe After Effects (such as removing grain on darker footage and adding a shaky effect over more dramatic parts of the video). In order to achieve many of the effects that I did in my final video, I watched a range of tutorials on youtube in order to help me navigate through the various settings in both Premiere and After Effects. During the filming process, I used apple music in order to play the song out loud (from my iPhone) for my actress to lip sync along to so that I could ensure that the timing of her lip-syncing would be correct.
While constructing my digipak I went out on a photoshoot with my actress and took pictures of her in various locations that I knew would be included in my music video with my canon 1300D and my iPhone 6s. I edited them in Adobe Photoshop, changing the colour saturation and hue to allow the images to appear more old/vintage looking as they took on a warm, black and white colour scheme. I then edited the front, back, spine and inside covers using a template to ensure that the dimensions of my digipack were exactly correct. While working on my digipack, I used my Wacom Bamboo tablet in order to make it easier for me when working around different shapes which required a more dexterous approach than I could achieve with my laptops trackpad.
I used Wix to make my website, and uploaded my favourite images that I had taken from my photoshoot and edited on photoshop that I thought related best to my music video and digipak to use for the backgrounds of each page. I then also designed the website to use the same fonts and general colour scheme as my digipak and linked my music video through vimeo to the “videos” page in order to link the 3 products together. Additionally I linked the song “Anyone Else” by PVRIS (the song I used for my music video) to the music page through iTunes and created a functional merchandise page with products that I created on photoshop.
As part of the evaluation process, I review all of my work and then type up a script into a pages document that I can use as a script during a voice over (If I am doing a video evaluation) or that I can post on my blog for the examiner to read. In order to get footage and images for my video evaluations I use QuickTime to screen record videos and screenshot any stills that I want to include and use premiere to edit these together as I am able to use multiple layers of video and audio within this software. Whereas in the past I have used websites such as Prezi to display my evaluations, I will not be using these this year as I have discovered that using them is a hassle and the result is not worth the amount of time they take to create. Therefore I felt that submitting a mix of both video evaluations and pages documents with a range of images and written text would be a better way to present my evaluations as they look better and would be more time efficient.
Prior to filming my music video, I conducted a target audience survey in which I asked people who fit into my target demographic their opinions on what I should include in my music video. Before they answered my questions I had them listen to the song that I had chosen as this allowed them to get a feel for the song itself and build up an image in their heads as to what they would expect to see, I then provided them with a questionnaire, giving them options to choose from of different conventions that I had discovered throughout my research of other music videos of the electropop genre. This allowed them choice of what I should include while still making sure I was sticking to more conventional approaches within my work.
In doing this survey I was able to receive detailed responses on what to include in my music video, for example the majority of people who took part in the survey said that they wanted to see both narrative and performance aspects within my music video whereas I was originally going to include just performance. The survey allowed for me to gain the opinions of my target demographic, allowing me to ensure that my final music video product would appeal to it’s audience and generate interest from fans of the genre.
I believe that my approach to gaining audience feedback this year was more appropriate and stylized when compared to my audience research from my AS coursework as last year I conducted an online survey via SurveyMonkey, however this survey was not directed at a specific demographic meaning my responses were mixed and therefore did not guide me to one specific or accurate outcome when planning my video. As my target audience for this years coursework was more apparent and concise, I was able to target a specific age group and therefore get more definite responses as to what I should include in my final product.
After producing my final music video, I showed it to some of my peers, and I again asked my target audience what they thought of the product. I was given a variety of positive responses, most commenting on the editing techniques and combination of narrative and performance that featured within my music video. These responses allowed me to know that I involved conventions of my genre in my music video as my target audience enjoyed the end product.
In conclusion I believe that I have learned more through my audience research in my coursework this year than I did throughout my AS Coursework, as this year I was able to convey my surveys face to face, diminishing results that were not given seriously and giving me the opportunity to hear people’s personal opinions that were not restrained by choosing from stock answers on a screen. If I were to do this again, I think that I would ask the people I was interviewing to give more justifications on their choices or offer more constructive criticism during the production of my music video drafts.
2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Within my coursework, I have tried my best to link my music video with both my digipak and my website as upon researching other artists of the electropop genre I discovered that their products all seem to share a similar general theme. For example when I researched PVRIS, their music video, digipak and website all shared the same vintage and simplistic style with matching text and images throughout their products. Colour schemes between the digipak and website shared the same monochromatic palette, however their music videos displayed a larger variety of colours (including muted colour palettes so as not to be too bright but not black and white like their digipak and website design).
In order to link my digipak and website together, I used the same colour schemes (black and white) and simplistic design, featuring the same basic text written in block capitals along with the Artist’s logo written in a vintage font. As I have used a black and white simplistic design, but bold and basic fonts I believe that this allows the artist’s name and album name to stand out to the viewer in both my website and digipak, allowing me to highlight the more important parts of the designs. The two products also feature the same images of the artist in locations associated with my music video not only allowing the two to be connected with one another, but also with my music video. An example of this is my use of the same image of my actress on the home page of my website and the front cover of my digipak, as this is the first thing that the viewer sees when looking at both products it solidifies the identity of the artist and creates a level of familiarity that allows them to connect the two products together and in turn connect them to the music video upon seeing the location that the artist is in in the image.
Another way in which I linked my digipak and my website to my music video is through the use of images taken of the props that were used throughout the video, for example both the bat and the broken mirror from my music video are featured within the design of my digipak and the Bat is featured on the merchandise in the ‘Store’ page of my website.
As I believe that both the use of props and multiple locations throughout my music video are some of it’s most defining features, I tried to incorporate these as much as I could into my ancillary texts in order to make it much easier for my audience to create a connection between the products. In doing this I believe that I have successfully combined my media product with my ancillary texts as they can be easily linked together by appearance and theme.
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
For my music video I chose the electropop genre as this is my favourite music genre to listen to and I believe it often has interesting and unique music videos.
In my work I tried to follow the conventions of this genre through my selection of actors, locations, editing techniques and performance/narrative. For example, I selected a young female for the lead role in my music video as this is a convention seen in many electropop music videos such as Halsey’s ‘New Americana” and NYPC’s ‘Hard knocks’. In both of these videos a young female actress plays the lead role, both becoming empowered at the end of the video’s narrative. Therefore by including a female lead in my music video whose character develops to become more independent and strong throughout the narrative, I have followed this convention of the electropop genre.
Another way in which I have followed conventions of this genre is through my use of editing techniques, for example many electropop music videos feature a very warm colour scheme. In order to achieve this I overlaid a warm, orange-tinted filter over many shots throughout my music video, however I switched to a darker blue tinted filter during more dramatic and dark moments in my music video in order to convey more emotion/feeling to the viewer during these moments. Examples of videos that feature this convention are the 1975’s video for ‘Robbers’, Halsey’s ‘hurricane’ video and Lorde’s ‘perfect places’ music video which all feature warm colour schemes which allows the video to have a more cheerful atmosphere; however there are also examples of videos that use a more cold-toned colour palette as they try to convey a more dark/aggressive theme such as Twenty one pilot’s ‘HeavyDirtySoul’ and PVRIS’s ‘Fire’. I believe that by combining the two different colour schemes to convey different emotions at separate points in the music video, I have developed this convention of the electropop genre. Another editing technique that I have used is cutting to different scenes in my music video following different audio cues, for example I would cut to a new location on every guitar strum in order to make the transitions fit with the structure of the music itself. Examples of this convention can be seen in videos such as Twenty on pilot’s ‘Ride’ and PVRIS’s ‘Fire’. Another editing technique that I used was the introduction of a ‘wiggle’ effect that I created on adobe after effects during dramatic or intense moments of the video, I did this as I was inspired by PVRIS’s video for ‘What’s wrong’ in which a wiggle effect is used to amplify the action happening on screen. By using similar editing techniques to the ones used in other music videos of the electropop genre, I was able to follow the conventions and trends associated with the genre.
For my locations, I used a large variety of both rural and urban locations as this allows for a more interesting and diverse aesthetic throughout my video , the use of both rural and urban locations is also a common convention of the Electropop genre as this genre often relies heavily on the appearance of the surroundings in order to create a certain connotation throughout the video. The use of locations similar to the ones seen in my video can be seen in both Lorde’s ‘Perfect places’ music video and Halsey’s ‘Bad at Love’ video, as I have followed the convention of using locations that are relevant and fit well with the particular moment that they correspond to in the song, I believe that I have followed this convention of the electropop genre, if not developed it due to the large variety of locations that I used throughout my video.
In my video I also featured costumes and props associated with conventions that I have seen in videos of the electropop genre, for example in my video I featured props such as a mirror and a baseball bat. I have seen mirrors used in a variety of music videos relating to this genre as they allow for nice-looking shots of reflections in the glass and allow for the actors/actresses to almost interact with themselves, examples of music videos that feature mirrors are CHVRCHES’ ‘Leave a trace’, PVRIS’s ‘White Noise’ and PVRIS’s ‘Mirrors’. The baseball bat that I have featured in my music video was heavily influenced by PVRIS’s ‘White noise’ and ‘St patrick’ music videos in which a baseball bat is used to create a more ominous appearance to the actors involved as well as being used to break various objects through the videos. By using these props I believe that I have followed the conventions of this genre as it allows the audience to associate my video with other videos of the electropop genre. The costume that my actress wore throughout my whole music video was also inspired by various styles that I have seen in other music videos of this genre, however most videos of the electropop genre feature greatly varying costumes from one another, so I attempted to match my actress’s outfit to the tone/theme of the song.
When creating my digipak I researched the digipaks of other electropop artists such as Twenty one Pilots, Lorde and PVRIS, in doing this I discovered that although the layout/design changed between them, many of them used the same simplistic and at times slightly abstract style – Often using plain and simple fonts with images and colour schemes that relate to the artists general style/aesthetic. Therefore while I was creating my digipak I tried to keep the design fairly minimalistic, featuring plain fonts for the album information but still including a more vintage style font for the artist’s name and vintage effects on the image on the front cover in order to maintain the artist’s general style. In addition to this I linked my digipack to my video by using images relating to both the locations and props used in my music video (i.e. images of the bat and smashed mirror as well as images taken of my actress in locations featured in my video).
For my website, I again researched the websites of other electropop artists and found that their websites often featured the same aesthetics as their digipaks/videos so in order to follow this convention I used the same images, fonts and colour schemes in my website as I did in my digipak and music video to allow for the viewer to recognise a clear link between all three products.