Wednesday, 15 December 2010


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

Our final media product uses many conventions of real media products. We used Eminem and Rhiannas 'Love the way you lie' video as inspiration, as it had a similar storyline. One convention we used was selling the artist. We did this by making sure the artist (me) had the most screen time and used many close-ups. Also, i was wearing Adidas clothing and a flat-peak hat. This matches the genre as it is seen as 'hip-'hop' clothing and would be seen being worn by many other hip-hop artists, for example Kayne West. This also links into Genre Characteristics as it is a common convention of real media products. We  tried to film the majority of our shots in 'hip-hop locations', so we found many different graffiti walls and decided to shoot infront of them. We thought this matched the genre characteristics as you would expect to see the same or something similar in other music videos of this genre.

Also, we used another of Goodwins Points. This was visual/lyrics. This is how what you see at the time matches what is being said on the audio. An example of one is when the lyric 'She had a lil weed and we get a lil high' is being said, our video changes to a shot of Clara smoking a fake spliff. We thought this would be effective and emphasize the drug reference. Another Goodwin Point is visual/music. We added this to our video by changing the camera shot to the beat of the song. We also thought this was effective because in this particular section, the beat is very noticeable and our editing goes very well with it.

A way we challenge a convention of a real media product, is that we have not used Voyeurism in our video. We all agreed that we did not think it would be appropriate as the song is about how Kayne West says how men use and take advantage of women, and how he wants to be different from the rest. Effectively, in our video we have 2 Kayne Wests. Me being the actual artist, and Saul being the narrative side. We thought this would be a good idea and believe that the audience would be able to understand this.  

2) How effective is the combination of your Main Product and Ancillary texts?

I believe the combination of our main product and ancillary texts are effective. We used stills from the music video to create both the digipack and magazine advert. We took a still shot in Final Cut Express of the artist (me) and is the main focus on both the texts. For the digipack, the front cover is a big image of me standing infront of a Graffiti wall. Again, this is another way how we sold the artist. On the back cover, the background was again a graffiti wall and on the foreground we showed:
  • What is included in the digipack
  • Quotes from newspapers
  • Directors and Producers
  • Stills from the video, both narrative and artist side
  • Record label
  • Price.
All of these are very important so we felt we had to include them. For example, the stills from the video are significant because it gives the viewer/audience a taste of what they would expect to see, and whether they would buy it or not. The quotes give the digipack a good impression and would promote it as it has been given good feedback and could potentially increase sales. For the magazine advert, we also used the above bulletpoints.

You can recognize all 3 of these products are all related and similar in at least one way or another. In all 3, there is the urban hip-hop background setting of the graffiti walls. This is a strong combination between them all and i think had worked really well. Another is the colours we have used. For the font on our magazine advert, we used one of the colours on my Adidas t-shirt to show how we colour co-ordinated it.

3) What have you learned from audience feedback?

We did not receive any feedback for our final product. However, we received helpful feedback for our rough cut version. It was given to us by other students in our class. They commented on both the good and bad points and we took these into account and worked on them for our final video. Also, the head of Media department gave us some feedback which we found very effective. She commented on the lack of camera shots and how we let certain clips run for too long without changing them, and also how there wasn't enough close-ups for us to 'sell the artist'. We all agreed this became very boring, and wanted to film a better variety of shots. After receiving this feedback we went away and filmed once again. The footage we captured was good, and there was enough to change to different locations when editing. Our new footage ranged from more close-ups and mid-shots, to long-shots and some more narrative footage. We were very happy with our new footage, and decided to make the shots the main part of our video to replace the old ones. The majority of it was me lip-syncing from a few different angles, and throughout the whole video, it keeps coming back to these shots. Also, we filmed in some new locations. Saul recommended the skate ramp in Arbury as it suits the hip-hop genre. This also features quite a bit in our video.
Another criticism we received was on how the lip-syncing wasn't up to scratch. On our Final Cut version, it wasn't too bad, but on the version the rest of the class saw, it had been compressed and the quality had been decreased. We believed this was the main reason for this, but we went back all through the video and improved it all. 
To help us with our Ancillary texts, we created a questionnaire to ask to the rest of our class. This included questions we needed to know the answer to, to help us design them. An example of one of the questions used is: "On the front cover of the Digipack, would you expect to see the Artist?" We found out that the people we asked would expect to see the Artist, as he is a solo artist and the main focus.

I believe the feedback we received was very helpful, and if nobody was to criticize our video, then it would be no where near as good. As a group, we are all more than happy with our final result. We all think it looks professional and mature.

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

In the research and planning stages of our media product, we mostly used the blog and the internet. This was a good way to put down ideas and plan ahead about what to do, as it is secure on the blog and uploads above all our other posts. This meant the information we posted was there for us to look back on easily and would not get lost, as opposed to hand writing it.

Our main computer software we used was Final Cut Express, alongside Adobe Photoshop. We used Final Cut to put together and edit the captured footage. We learnt many new advanced techniques to make what we edited look more professional and believe we did an excellent job in doing so. In my opinion, one of the best clips in the video is when Saul is standing by the roadside and traffic is speeding by. We had planned this before hand and knew exactly how we were going to do it. Saul just had to stand perfectly still on the spot whilst we filmed, and the cars drove past behind him. When editing it, all we had to do was speed up the clip to the appropriate speed. This took a few times as we wanted to get the perfect speed. Another idea we came up with was Saul laying down with Clara, and then Clara fading away. Again, we had planned this before hand and knew exactly how we were going to do it. We needed to film 2 shots, one with Saul laying with Clara, and the other with Saul in the exact same position but without Clara. All we needed to do is fade the second clip into the first whilst that fades out. We had problems doing this, so we had a little help from one of the Media technicians who quickly gave us advice in which we then corrected it.
We used Photoshop to create our Ancillary texts, the Digipack and the Magazine advert. All of us felt that our skills on Final Cut were much stronger than on Photoshop, so didn't really know where to start. We completed our Digipack first as we came up with more ideas for it. We used our feedback from our questionnaire and used a still shot of me being the main focus from our music video, and put it as the background. We did this for both the texts, but used a different picture.

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