Thursday, 21 April 2011

Evaluation Question Two =]

How Effective is the Combination of Your Main Product and Ancillary Texts?

For our product to work as a whole we had to create a repeated motif throughout our ancillary tasks of a Digipack and poster that held good continuity with our music video as well as keeping in theme with our Indie rock genre by creating a sense of branding.

The first thing we did was a photo shoot of our two actors playing the characters in the video; this meant we could use these images on our Digipack and poster once we had edited them on Photoshop. I feel the images are really effective in reflecting our Indie genre as the characters are in simple black yet feminine costume, shot in a one room location and the images emphasise our theme of abuse. Using the same shot for our poster as the one on the back of our Digipack gave a good sense of continuity for our audience as well as in keeping with the genre for our target audience to relate to and keeping a good verisimilitude as the photo shoot took place in the same location as the music video was being filmed. Below is a film reel of some of the images we edited on Photoshop and the final shots we ended up using in our Digipack and Poster.

Create your own video slideshow at

We decided to carry across the costume in each of our tasks as again this keeps with the verisimilitude and continuity of our branding. We kept the costume simple for a shoot with both ‘sisters’ in black, the younger in a black cotton dress with legging and a beige flower in her hair to match her blonde hair and goodness whilst the elder in a black top and leggings with a red flower in her hair to match the red hair and present the evil sister. This sense of simple costume is so the audience focus more on the meaning behind the video rather than the outfits. Yet I think the continuity of costume throughout the products works effectively.


The main sense of branding comes from our band name ‘The Rivals’ which is seen on our poster and Digipack. We made the band name stand out on our ancillary tasks by putting it in bold, on the poster it is in white against the black background and visa versa for the Digipack. At first we got slightly criticised for the font choice as the class feedback we got back was that it reminded them of the Barbie brand logo font but after some long discussions we decided to keep this look as the font gave it sharp edges with a feminine look about it which is what we wanted from the band name. When the poster was finished the feedback we got changed and everyone seemed to comment that the font of ‘Rivals’ really in kept with the Indie genre and appealed to our main female target audience. Some still commented that it reminded them of the ‘Bratz’ font but we felt that that was the kind of look we were intentionally going for.

The colouring of all three products also contained a conscious continuity where we kept a slight black and white theme running along the two ancillary products, where the poster contained a black background with white font, yet contained the ripped image of the two sisters in colour, thus emphasisng the image to its maximum capacity, whilst the Digipack had two black and white images of eyes and two dull colour images one including the same as the poster, where the font colour was black for ‘Rivals’ and white for the song name ‘Girl With One Eye.’ Although the video contained no black and white footage the theme was kept through the characters black and white costumes and the colour footage was dull in tone in keeping with the inside left image of the Digipack.

All together I feel all three products create an effective use of branding that will catch the attention of our main target audience whilst emphasising our key theme through the use of good continuity and a prominent verisimilitude.

Evaluation Question One =]

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

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Editing =]

The editing process has become a long slow paced epic journey. After only taking one day to film we felt we had enough shots to create an intense music video, inkeeping with our chosen genre. As we had filmed on a VLR camera, our footage had been saved to memory cards. This was our first issue as Sir had to take these home and convert our files to AVI's. We edited on the Premier Pro editing software and saved all our work on the W: drive, however after starting work on our computer, it seemed it was just too much memory for the computer to hold so we changed computers 3 times. By this point we decided to save all our work onto my desktop documents to i could use any computer. Elliot editing the opening of the video and used speed duration to give it a really good look and effect, i then resumed with the fight and ending of the video. I too used speed duration, layered shots over the top of each other, repeated shots, reversed shots and created a quick montage at the end.
In the final week before our deadline, it felt like i was constantly editing for three days, whenever i had the chance i was in their editing. Apart from my group no one had seen the video until its final completion. On completely the video and watching it on the big screen i felt a really good sense of accomplishment and i loved the final product. The only shot that seemed a little cheesy was around a 2 second punch and reverse shot, although it was a little too much, it is over in a flash and i think the overall video works as and end product and so far the people who have seen it, love it and think it's great. So I think all the editing hassle paid off.

Make - Up Techniques during filming =]

Here are some screen shots we took of the files we are going to upload to create our video.

Here is a still image of my one eye, we wanted to build the make up onto my eye as the video progresses to show the progression of the abuse. We have created this tired eye effect by simply using grey eyeshadow to emphasise the dark tired sleepless nights this character has been having.

This image will be one of the last shots in the video, here you can see a purple bruise on my chest and that my eye looks extremely darker, cut and bruised. We created this effect using purple mascara mixed in with black eyeliner, and brown/grey eyeshadows to emphasise the black eye effect.

For the arm bruising, at first emily placed her hand on my arm and we drew dots of where her fingertips would be, then we were able to darken this using the eyeshadows and maroon mascara to show that she grabs my arm so tightly it creates harsh brusing.

These last two images show me at my worst. Here the character is alone and realising her brusing. On the floor she touches herself delicately realising how much pain her elder sibling has caused her and how much the brusing hurts. Whilst in the mirror, upon looking at her dishevelled self there is a great shock and sadness in her eyes, which makes her pick up the box and kill herself.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Short Video of Eye =]

Final Magazine Poster + Audience Feedback =]

Here is our final magazine poster.

As we were now heavily involved in the editing of our video we had to look back at our previous audience feedback before changing our poster on Photoshop. We still kept the same photo in the background as we felt it was very striking and represented the theme of our video. When we returned to our poster we realised that there was only a few things that we needed to do. I decided to put our poster onto Facebook to get some audience feeback from friends and hopefully our right target audience.

Firstly, we removed the speech marks around Girl With One Eye as it had been commented on that it seemed to gramatically correct and they don't suit the style that we were aiming for. Next our audience before had decided that their was too much writing on it, so we decided to get rid of the cheesy childish catch line, 'Dont miss your latest dose of rivalry' and instead moved the 'buy in stores now' further to the centre of the stage and made it bigger so it stood out more and there was less for the audience to take in, also so the main image stood out more. Finally our logo 'Rivals' was commented that it looked very similar to the 'Barbie' brand signature but after some research we realised that the font was rather striking and effective as it linked our image of girly dressed indie rockers that contrasts to the essence of their songs. Therefore we decided to keep the font the same and see what people on Facebook had to say about our final ancillary product. We did take on all our original feeback and we were thankful for it but we still wanted to keep the main essence of the poster to how it was and see what our friends on Facebook had to say.

On Posting our new advert to Facebook, i suprisingly received a far few comments. The first was from a year13 female, who is of our target audience she felt that the 'colour contrast was very good' and she also stated that ' the title is awesome and well-suited' after this comment i was happy that we had kept the supposed 'Barbie' font as obviously it appealed to our main target audience.

One thing we were commented on was that NME rate things out of 10 stars, which was a mistake but we didn't want to have to decrease the size of the stars so therefore we kept to a 5 star rating.

After this I received a comment from an 18year old photography student who fits perfectly into the indie rock genre she commented., ' I really like the torn effect down the middle and how both your eyes are looking straight at the viewer. The colours looks great with almost opposite hair colours and flowers in your hair. Not overly keen on the bottom half but i like the font of 'rivals' Great poster.' Again she commented on the 'Rivals' font choice that it obviously inkept with the genre, and she liked the use of colour. I agreed with ther that the bottom half wasn't that exciting but i explained that we wanted our audience to focus on our band name, 'Rivals' and the main ripped image. So i was very happy with her comments.

I received a comment from a 22yr old male friend, although he doesn't fit into our target audience exactly he still made some valid points and if we had the time i think we would have tried to make some adjustments using his constructive criticism. He stated, 'put a lighting effect on the faces so that they're is maximum emphasis on the eyes, fading into black around the edges, ESP the brown bit at the top. take out the 'order in stores now' its the first thing i looked at and distracts from the strength of the rest of the poster.. maybe put some quotes from reviews or something.. lastly the stars should be above the tear marks.. i think thats all.. otherwise i really like it :)' the only thing i would not have changed is putting the stars above the tear marks as i like the layering effect as if the images have been stuck over the top of the writing.

In general the comments were very positive and better than i had first expected, the last comments made general comments, that it looked good and the image was of top quality, another 16yr female photography student mentioned, 'maybe the eye colour a little brighter? to really capture the attention of the audience' again valid point, but generally i am very pleased with the standard of the poster and as long as it appeals to our main target audience then it's hit the mark for me. 

Digipack + Audience Feedback =]

We wanted to keep our Digipack simplistic with minimal writing and key images. Our first few versions we had kept in just black and white but we felt it lacked something, so decided to combine black and white with colour. We kept the the same font from the poster and also used the same image from the poster for the back cover of the digipack to give it some continuity. On completeing the Digipack i placed the photo onto Facebook to see what people had to say. This was the feedback;

'awesome just from photographers point of view i'd make the 4th image a little brighter and maybe have a bit more contrast see how it looks? Also maybe do something with the second eye like youve done with the first one and put an image in the pupil or just make it a tad brighter.'

This comment was from an 18yr old male photography student, although he isn't in our main target audience i think his advice was useful. I understand his comment about the 4th picture but i like the dullness of it as this dullness is seen in our music video, and with the eye we took the pupil out to make it more effective.

I agree about photo #4, but nothing too drastic. Possibly also see if in photo #2 the girl on the right could be brightened a bit? Don't know if you're using photoshop for this, but if you are you could use the dodge tool a bit in her shadowed bit. Nice concept though, I like this

Again this comment is from a male not in our specific target audience but again he likes the concept and thinks it works so therefore i'm happier. He also commented on brightening the images but personally i liked the dull look. Although no girls commented on the photo, being a girl myself who fits in our target audience i think the concept works and i'm extremely happy with the overall look.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Matador Record Label Artists

After researching into ‘Matador Records’ I found this band ‘Perfume Genius’ Just from looking at the album cover it reminded me of our video the dingy colours and even the physical hand gestures reminded me of our music video. After reading the write up about this band I realised there music portrayed similar themes of exploring the darker side to the world. Knowing that this band (although they are American based) is on ‘Matador Records’ makes me realise that this is the right independent record company to use if we were to branch off into American waters.

Band: Perfume Genius Album: Learning
Even though he is only in his 20s, Mike Hadreas, aka Seattle’s PERFUME GENIUS, has a story with the twists and turns of a person who has seen a lot of darkness. Hadreas explains: “I spent my whole life hiding from the things that happened to me, to my family and friends. The entirety of all these experiences: abuse, addiction, suicide, all that cool stuff, I couldn’t bear to look at it.”

This extraordinary debut album explores that world through home-recorded songs that bring to mind early Cat Power, Elliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens and Pink Moon-era Nick Drake. Mostly simple vocal and piano, the minor-key melodies work their way into your brain and stick there. “Mr Peterson" is the seemingly innocuous tale of a high school teacher turned inside-out. “Gay Angels' is a gorgeous soundscape of layered organs and synths. “Write To Your Brother' contains elliptical allusions to a mother treating a song “like a lover.' Hadreas’s life is a catalogue of remembered pain and sadness, and this album is an indelible testament to that.

Band: Belle and Sebastian  Album: Write About Love

Back after a 5-year hiatus doing solo projects, soundtracks and more, Glasgow’s beloved BELLE AND SEBASTIAN have returned with one of their finest albums. Marrying the intimacy of early works like Sinister and Tigermilk with the production values of their more recent work, Write About Love is a varied, captivating and occasionally disturbing trawl through the mind of Stuart Murdoch and his colleagues. Tracklisting:

I Didn’t See It Coming
Come On Sister
Calculating Bimbo
I Want The World To Stop
Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John
Write About Love
I’m Not Living In The Real World
Ghost of Rockschool
Read The Blessed Pages
I Can See Your Future
Sunday’s Pretty Icons 

How is your research into institutions responsible for the production and regulation of the media influence your production work?

At first the institutions we looked at were major record company labels such as Universal and Island Records (the record company Florence + The Machine are with) However we realised that these labels weren’t very specific to our genre and were very big companies that had a variety of artists under their name. After choosing a specific genre and target audience we had to find a record company that portrayed similar artists to our band ‘The Rivals’. We researched further into independent record labels, as this would be the best starting point for us to promote our single to and independent label before branching off afterwards to the bigger labels such as Universal Records. We found lots of specific record labels in America, such as ‘Bloodshot Records’ who based in Chicago have been able to keep their independence they are interested in fresh new Indie alternative rock bands that don’t conform to the original stereotypes and I thought this was a good match for us, however we carried on looking for British based record labels as we are an English group with a predominantly British target audience. Looking at ‘XL’ record label an independent based in the United Kingdom, although started off with artists like the ‘Prodigy’ they have branched out to take the best artists in their genres including ‘White Stripes’. This influenced our decisions to try something different in relation to the themes behind our video.
The Canadian-American band ‘Arcade Fire’ have also kept to their routes of not conforming to the major record labels but kept with the independent record label ‘Merge Records’ since they first began. The band often records its albums in its own studios, to exacting and personal specifications, and retains ownership of the music, which it licenses to Merge. Its previous two albums have gone gold, or close to it, and “The Suburbs” is expected to do the same, or better. This is the same type of exposure that we want our band ‘The Rivals’ to do and as ‘Arcade Fire’ sit in the same genre of and uses a record label focusing on the manufacturing of the product similar to the independent ‘Matador Records’ although these are American based record labels, this would mean we could branch out into the American market thus expanding our marketing techniques and receiving a bigger profit and larger amount of single sales.

How did your research into audiences contribute to your production work?

Upon looking at these various artists we realised that even though the music tastes are quite different our main target audience would be predominantly  White, British females in their late teens around the 16-25 from a middle class background as this age group are already fully engaged in music and pop culture and is the main group that make up the majority of people at Festivals, therefore after researching into different festivals, we realised our target audience would all have similar interests and hobbies, one of these going to Festivals. By targeting this audience we can capitalize on our single sales whilst enhancing marketing strategies by publicising our band. As we chose the Indie rock genre we researched other artists that our target audience would want to see such as Marina + The diamonds, which play at festivals just like our main band Florence + the machine played at many major festivals last year and our target audience is the most popular age group to be seen at Festivals. Researching other Indie bands such as ‘Arcade Fire’ ‘Imogen Heap’ and ‘The Killers’ showed that the Indie rock genre incorporates a wide range of male, female solo artists as well as bands, thus giving us a bigger target audience to engage with culminating in bigger sales of our album. To reach out to our target audience we would our own experience of Myspace and Facebook to reach out to wider audiences, as these websites have thousands of members as well as trying to get TV Promotion and potential magazine coverage such as  ‘Amplifier’ and ‘NME’ and general poster distribution whether at Festivals or other social events. All of this audience research culminated into going for an alternative genre to the traditional pop or rock, and created a video that contributes to the modern world of media by giving a narrative a darker side to intrigue our audience.

How did your research into genre contribute to your production work?

My first research task was looking into Taylor Swift’s song ‘Love Story’ and analysing the music video. This was my first look into a genre of a popular music video but I knew straight away that I wanted to do something for the modern female teenage audience. Her video contributed to us creating a narrative structure for our video and using our lyrics to tell the story. Our music genre changed as we started looking at different song choices from Taylor Swift’s contemporary country style to Lucy’s striking Lady Gaga video which portrays strong characters in an artistic abstract fashion. After looking at these two juxtaposing contemporary artists, we started looking at a popular genre that is seen in England, so this is where we found ‘Florence + the machine’ an indie rock band, after listening to their album we knew this genre was right for us and we wanted to create an intense experience for the audience so taking the lyrics of her song ‘Girl With One Eye’ which gave a strong basis of a narrative. Whilst looking at Florence + the machine, we came across PJ Harvey another indie artist who also experiments with rock, pop, electronica, and folk became a prominent artist in our minds, who became a strong influence when looking at album covers and the antique mis-en-scene feel for our actual video.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

1st Day Filming =]

On Friday we set up the school Photography studio to create a dull and run down bedroom for our main protagonist. To create this specifically old and run down mise-en-scene we used many props such as; antique mirrors, speakers, drugs cabnet/box, camp bed, cushion, make-up, dark clothing with accessories for the hair such as clips and necklaces, and we also used make up to give the illusion of bruises and grazes.

To start with, Lucy put dark make up around my eyes to suggest sleepless nights and tiredness rather than being hurt. As the filming and narrative progressed she added more make-up to the face and body to capture bruises. For this, the main products we used were plum coloured mascara for clotted blood, green, brown and cream eye shadow for bruising and tired eyes and eye liner for cuts on arms, which looked very affective as even when i looked in the mirror i scared myself at how realistic the bruising looked.

I believe the group was pleased with the quality of mine and Emily's acting and we were delighted with the amount of work we got done, especially the fighting scenes which looked realistic on camera. I think the hardest part of the day was the few shots of Emily lip sinking and making the fight scenes look realistic as it was hard to feel really upset and hurt when your having such a laugh filming but I still thought our day of filming was a success and i really enjoyed acting in the video. We will be filming again next week to finish scenes off and tweek parts of the film as well as adding in shots of Lucy playing the guitar if we feel we don't have enough footage already.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Preliminary: Camera Experimentation =]

Today Elliot did some preliminary filming to try out a digital SLR camera that we may have an interest in using as one of the cameras for our music video. After he has edited a section on Premier Pro we will look at it to see what the quality and effect looks like, but from the other short videos i have seen using the same camera, it really like the effect it gives so hopefully we will be using it.

Schedule =]

We are getting at the stage where we are nearly ready to start filming. After our audience feedback on our advert we still need to take on that advice and re do parts of the poster.

But we have decided we are going to take a day filming on Friday 21st January, for an all day shoot. We want to start in the morning, for Elliot to start to set up the photography room, then work through first two lessons with me and Emily to get the base of the video until 11am, then when me and Emily have a lesson, Elliot will film Lucy and the guitar shots, so after lunch we can film me and Emily again and then we can carry on until we have finished.

Hopefully we can get everything done in one day but if not we have left the following Friday with a couple of double frees just for any extra touch up filming or extra shots that we think of.
After this hopefully we can start editing and evaluating the filming process.

Email =]

This is the email we sent to Florence + The Machines record company.

Dear Island Records,

My name is Heidi Lesiw. I am a Yr13 A level Media Studies student, and for my coursework me and my group want to make a music video for the song ‘Girl With One Eye’ by Florence + The Machine. I am writing to see if I could be granted permission to use the song for my coursework, which has to be published onto the internet probably using YouTube. We are not trying to gain anything from you just the permission to use the song, all credit for the music will be given to you the record company and the band. As we are just being marked on the making/filming/editing of the video not the actual song choice.

We would be truly grateful if you could give us permission for the use of this song as this would be much appreciated.

Many Thanks,

Heidi Lesiw
Ringwood School Yr13 Student