Below is our finished music video

My Outside Digipak Panels

My Outside Digipak Panels

My Inside Digipak Panels

My Inside Digipak Panels

Please click the image below to view our finished website

Monday, 29 January 2018

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

Our media product, i.e. the music video, album cover and website, both develops and challenges the forms and conventions of existing media products. We chose to take inspiration from predominantly R&B websites and albums and in turn combined all the conventions we saw in them and used them to create our own website and album cover which could conform to the genre conventions. For our music video we followed the forms and conventions of contemporary R&B videos, such as 'Miss Independent' by Ne-Yo, and then developed this by having a lead who challenged the usual convention of the lead artist being smooth.

Our Music Video

The purpose of a music video is to promote a newly released track from an artist and this can be done through three forms- Narrative, Performance and Conceptual:



We applied this theory by having a performance and narrative driven music video, in turn combining the elements from each form.

Music Video- Narrative

The narrative of our music video is quite simple; it shows the artist AJ looking back at his past relationship with his ex-girlfriend which ended due to her cheating on him with another man. The music video shows the stages of the relationship and is an expression of the emotions he felt and how he intends to move on.

One of the aspects of Carol Vernallis' theory is that the narrative structure of a music video may be disjointed and fragmented through the use of discontinuous editing. We decided to conform to this theory by placing in short narrative scenes/sequences in between performance shots (lip syncs and dance). The theory of a fragmented narrative is quite common in the R&B genre where music videos usually play around with the narrative around their performance shots. An example of an existing R&B music video which conforms to this theory can be seen below along with examples from our music video of how we conformed to it:



Music Video- Performance

As is the norm for the R&B genre, our music video is predominantly performance driven with most of the shots being of AJ lip-syncing or dancing. For the performance elements of our music video we took inspiration from existing artist such as Usher, Jason Derulo and Ne-Yo. In particular Ne-Yo's music video for 'Closer' which has a good mix of lip-sync, solo dancing and group dancing.




As you can see this music video is primarily performance and in turn was very useful for us when deciding upon how to film and edit our performance shots. We noted that having a selection of professional set-ups and costumes was vital to keeping the performance elements exciting.


Andrew Goodwin's theory suggests that there should be some link between a songs lyrics and the visuals that accompany it in the music video. We decided to take on and apply this theory in our music video by matching up some of our lyrics to character actions, such as when AJ's girlfriend leaves the room (leaving AJ alone and confused), the line "Why did you leave me all alone?" plays.


   Our Website

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Our Album Cover

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In conclusion, we ensured our media product challenged, used and developed the forms and conventions of real media products by researching existing products from our chosen genre to see what the common trends were and in turn how to incorporate them successfully

Monday, 15 January 2018

Evaluation Question 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

I think our main product and ancillary texts work well together due to the use of a synergistic marketing campaign, inspired by existing artists as well as Richard Dyer's theory on star identity. We aimed to produce a music video, album cover and website which could combine to form a brand identity around AJ as well as increase the reach of the artist to our audiences, such as fans of the RnB genre.

Below is a slideshow explaining the roles behind each of our artifacts (music video, album cover and website) as well as how we incorporated Dyer's theory into our marketing campaign:



In order to get some inspiration for our own artist's star identity, I decided to research Not3s and Raleigh Ritchie, with the latter sharing a similar persona to what we aimed to create with AJ and the former being an upon coming London artist- similar to AJ

The Website
The website acts as a sort of hub of the marketing campaign; this is due it how it is connected to all the media products relating to an artist as well as promoting all purchasing opportunities and overall showing off the artist in a positive light to anyone surfing the website. This is therefore what we aimed to create in our website and I believe we did manage to achieve this, as shown in some examples below:
"Get it here" option available on home page - instantly promoting the album
Music page with both the music video and the album- links the two and creates synergy
Our shop page providing purchasing opportunities for consumers in our audience
Our social media links which can be directly accessed form the website- interactivity between artist and audience
Tim O'Reilly's theory on Web 2.0 suggests that "A Web 2.0 website may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community". In turn the benefits of an artist having a Web 2.0 website cannot be underestimated as it can help them reach the level level of stardom, as referenced in Richard Dyer's theory of star identity. We therefore tried to take advantage of Web 2.0 by creating multiple opportunities for our audience to interact such as links to social media, newsletter sign ups, a competition and a Q&A section.


Our news page showing off our opportunities for audience interaction
In conclusion, I think my main media product and ancillary texts work well together due to the high levels of synergy between each product as well as all the various opportunities for purchasing and interactivity. Overall, I think after taking into account Richard Dyers Star theory we were able to create a consistent brand across our music video, album cover and website which would serve well in giving AJ a star identity. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Construction Post 6: Website Post-Production

To create and design our artist's website we used 'Wix'. Although no one in the group had any previous experience with using 'Wix' before, it was relatively easy to get the hang of so by the end of the project we were all comfortable using it; a key factor behind how much progress each member made when working individually on the website.
The gallery page

As an artist's website is the hub of all the information a consumer needs to know about the artist. Therefore we needed to create an interactive and cohesive website which also had synergy with our other artifacts (the music video and digipak). We also wanted to create purchasing opportunities for our artist's audience as this is proven to be successful with existing artists when it comes to increasing audience interaction.

My personal contribution to the website included setting up the shop and editing the products on sale, producing the gallery page, setting up both the social media pages and creating the tour poster.

The tour poster for AJ

Construction Post 5: Digipak Post-Production

To create our Digipak album cover we used Adobe Photoshop. Below is the template we used for the front and back outside panels. A similar template was used for the inside panels too.
Outside panels template
As mentioned in the previous post my group made the decision to share the responsibility of all the products. However, as I had the most experience in Photoshop and was most comfortable on it I took the lead on the last week and therefore had quite a big contribution to the final design. I produced both the inside covers and made the finishing touches to the front covers, I also produced the spine and the institutional information on the back cover.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with what my group achieved with the Digipak as it met our intended targets and expectations.

Below is the finished product:

Inside album cover

Outside album cover

Construction Post 4: Music Video Post-production

Editing

We edited our music video using software called Adobe Premiere Pro, which we used both last year and at GCSE. Due to having used this software previously I was quite experienced and therefore felt confident thought the process.

Myself editing the music video
The first step we took was to watch through all our takes and rename them so they would be easy to identify when placing them on the sequence timeline. We then proceeded to choose the best take for each shot and place these on different tracks; if the shot was a lip-sync shot then we synced it up to the original Cry Me A River soundtrack. The purpose of this was to have every lip-cync ready at our disposable when it came to actually putting the video together.

In order to finish all three of our artifacts in time we decided, as a group, that the best course of action was for the group to share responsibility for each product. Even though we all worked on each product, the group made a decision that on the last week each member should focus on the product they work the fastest on as this would give us the best chance of finishing in time. In the last week Sian took more responsibility for the music video edit so therefore my main contributions came within the 1st half of the video, grading decisions, lip-sync matches and shot transitions.