Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Jack Evaluation

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

After having a look at the various tracks there were to chose from we decided to go with the song Thinking man's session by The Next Men. I think the song fits into the genre of intelligent hip hop more opposed to the type of hip hop that tends to talk more about money, girls and cars. Our video follows conventions of most hip hop videos i would say our video is different to other videos such as snoop dogg. Although he has quite intelligent lyrics and beats most of his songs are about smoking marijuana, making money and women. If you compare this to our music video, we tried to stick to conventions which are typical of genre and artist who we had been influenced by. Such as Jurassic 5 and The Pharcyde. We liked there choice of locations which tended to be pretty urban and inner city. We chose to shoot our video at a basketball court and also used the skate ramp there. We took time at looking at conventions on how to shoot our video. We found that tracking shots and low angle shots made our characters seem more dominant and gave the audience a view of where we were filming. Harvey was the main character in our music video, he was shown as a dominant character who showed talented in breakdancing, playing basketball and rapping. The other characters in the video were shown to be wearing baggy clothes and hats however we tried to stay away from wearing jewelry and showing off cars as it is more associated with gangster rap. The group are shown to be quite intelligent and clean opposed to an artist such as lil jon who follows who's videos follow conventions of gangster rap. He is shown to be wearing big jewelry and the camera is always focused on him.

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

The idea we had for our digipak was to keep it simple, bright and to promote the characters from the video itself. We had a look at album covers which had been done by other rap groups which inspired us such as Jurassic 5. They tended to use pictured of the group for the front cover so we used that idea and took a still image from our video and used that. I think it worked well because it would give the customer an idea of what they are buying and listening to. For inside the pack, we decided it would be best to use two different images. The image that we used to go underneath the CD was a still shot of some graffiti we had. This was a vibrant imagine and shows the sort of imagine we are going for with our video and digipak. This is a sort of underground hip hop group image. For the inside left of the cover we used a picture of Ozzy, me and Jack. This gave another insight into who is involved in the group and the sort of imagine we are trying to give out to the audience. For the imagine on the back we took another still shot from the video of me and harvey. We thought this would be a good shot to use as the back cover as you can only see our backs so it looks quite clever when looking at it properly. We included the lyrics down the centre of the photo as we thought that would work pretty well. We blacked off all the edges of the pictures as it made everything look a lot cleaner and well presented.
The next thing we had to design was the magazine cover. We didn't want to include to much information to keep the reader interested and we also wanted to include a picture that would work well. I think the picture we used of me and Harvey walking worked well because it shows the type of genre of music we are aiming to show the audience. The information we included was all relevant information such as tour dates. We also decided to quote CL.Smooth on our magazine advert. This was to give the audience that a famous mc had viewed and given feedback on the magazine advert. We included the distributors of our product which included itunes, amazon, HMV and Myspace. Amazon, HMV and itunes were good choices because they are the places where the majority of people go to purchase music products etc.

3) What have you learn from your audience feedback?

When we started doing our research for our music video we used the process of questionnaires to find out information. From the answers we received we found that the genre of music people our age want to listen to is indie/rock. We also found that people our age tend to not buy music off itunes as it costs quite a lot when you start mounting it all up. We found people often acquire their music through youtube which is the same way we get ours. After receiving feedback from our peers in our class we found that we needed to sort out a few issues such as a few more clips and locations. We also had to go out an try and re-shoot one or two shots as we lost them when uploading to the computer which set us back a little bit. We received praise from our peers and also from the technicians in the media department.

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

Four planning Blogger.com has played the biggest part in helping us make sure all our ideas were put down so we didn't forget them. We made regular posts updating what we were doing and when we were going to film etc. We also used good, wikipedia and youtube a lot to research about certain artists and to find music videos which inspired us to produce what we produced. Before shooting our final piece we took the HD camera out shoot test footage. This was to try a few shots we had in mind and to see how the new cameras worked. This helped us a lot as when we came to filming our music video we had an understand of how to use the cameras and also knew exactly what shots we wanted to do/use. We had to add colour to the shots when editing them, this was a result of having to film a lot of the video in poor weather. Final cut played a big part in our music video as it helped us edit everything we filmed together and make our video look like a professional product. We used photoshop when designing our magazine advert and digipak. For the font on our magazine advert we used the website Dafont.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Written Evaluation - Austin Phillips

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

After choosing the song, ‘thinking mans session’ by the nextmen, we began planning and researching what our video should include. Instantly we agreed that we would like to use codes and conventions from other intelligent hip hop artist’s work such as Wu tang clan and the pharcyde. This included familiar locations, clothing and actions by the main characters. I would class the song as intelligent hip hop rather than rap/gangster rap, for example 50 cent, as his lyrics are largely based on his life experiences, women and having a lot of money.
We used a large amount of time at the beginning of the task to research this genre, in which some of us were already familiar with. This made finding the artists that we have been influenced by much easier. We wanted to give the video a west-coast feel to it, drawing ideas from groups such as Jurassic 5, using similar locations such as basketball courts, walls with graffiti and other urban features. We also took this into consideration when shooting the video; using shots that were most common among hip hop videos. I feel that we made the most of locations by selecting certain shots, for example tracking shots in front of graffiti, low angle shots and close ups of the characters using exaggerated hand actions to envision lyrics. Following the conventions of most intelligent hip hop videos; we decided to use a group with two lead characters rather than a single person. Harvey played one of the lead characters, an alpha-male, multi-talented mc that shows his creative talents such as break dancing and playing street basketball. Although the crew wears baggy trousers, basketball jerseys and flat peak hats; we wanted to keep away from large jewelry and tank tops, as this is more associated with gangster rap. The only way in which we may have challenged the conventions of the genre is that the video is set in Cambridge. This made finding locations that are similar to ones from Wu tang clan and pharcyde videos a challenge. I feel that we have used conventions of this genre to create a video that fits with the song, as well as urban hip-hop culture.

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

We wanted to keep our digipak cover simple, promoting the characters seen in the music video, with saturated, vibrant colours, similar to the video. We have looked at album covers by various artists including the roots’ Game theory for similar ideas. We decided to use a video still for the image on the front cover, as we wanted to show the two main members in action. For the inside right, we used a bright graffiti image to go under the CD and for the left, another picture of me jack and jack in costume. We decided that the closing shot from our music video would make a great back cover as it had a perfect light gap in the centre for the song titles. We enhanced this image by using a vignette to darken the edges to really emphasize the information.
When we had finished the digipak we then moved on to designing a magazine advert for our product. We wanted to make it as simple, so that the possible customer could gather the relevant information but still be striking enough to grab the reader’s attention. By putting a picture of the digipak on our advert, it allows the reader to clearly identify what the product looks like in order to find it easily. We also included tour dates, to offer the possibility of seeing the group live as well as buying the CD. After deciding that quoting someone famous, that has knowledge and is respected in the hip-hop industry; we made the decision to quote C.L. Smooth as this would give the impression that someone who knows what he is talking about has reviewed our product. Distributors of our product are crucial, as the majority of sales will come from them. This is why we have added the logos of institutions such as iTunes and HMV to inform the customer of where it is available and that reputable companies are selling it. I feel that this design has further assisted the idea of a hip-hop group rather than a sole character. The image of Harvey and jack walking together helps to show the genre of the music whilst also being appealing to a wide audience due to its simplicity.

3) What have you learn from your audience feedback?

Early on in the process some of our group uploaded a questionnaire about finding music and video elements that people enjoy for market research. We gathered from this, that most people our age tend to listen to more mainstream indie/rock and usually find it through recommendations or youtube, which coincides with our own ways of finding music. It is more often than not brought on iTunes, although some people transfer music between themselves and their friends. After gaining a lot of positive feedback from our peers, we knew that the ideas were all there but there was a lack of locations and a few clips that we were not happy with. We also experienced some technical issues when uploading the clips to the Mac that resulted in us losing some of our strongest shots. This meant that we had to re-shoot some scenes, but having already filmed them before we found that the clips came out better than the originals. We soon went out to shoot for the third time; correcting some shots that we felt didn’t flow but also adding locations such as the underpass. Following the completion of our final product, we gained a lot of positive feedback including praise from media technicians, for instance “The best piece I’ve seen of this genre so far” and that “colouring and shots complimented the locations”. I was also informed of how the colours and fast editing really made our product look like a professional piece.

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

Blogger.com played an important role in allowing us space to consistently post updates about research and planning using mind maps and test shots. In the planning and research stage, we regularly used wikipedia and google to easily find facts about different artists, and conventions of the genre. They were also useful in determining our target audience. When out scouting for locations, Harvey and I used a digital still camera to take pictures of possible spots to show the other members of our team. During a lesson or two a couple of weeks before shooting was due to start, we borrowed the HD cameras that we would later use for the final product, to conduct test footage (which can be found on our blogger account). This was extremely helpful in allowing us to become accustomed to the new equipment for shooting and importing clips as well as testing the quality of the camcorder. The fact that footage was captured on SD cards was not only effective in retaining video quality but also for easily transferring the clips into Final cut. Following our first shoot I personally took on the task of importing the clips into final cut pro, which I have at home, to use professional plug-ins to colour each clip in my own time. Being HD cameras, this task took longer than I expected. Part of the idea of colouring the clips was to brighten them and produce more vibrant tones, creating a more west coast feel to our product. This was a result of having to film in poor weather conditions; but I think we overcame this problem fairly well. Using final cut was incredibly useful and simple when creating the fast reverse shots over the scratching in the song for example at 1:38 when Jack, Harvey and I are walking through the underpass. Photoshop was only used for the ancillary part of the project, to create the digipak and magazine advert. The use of the website Dafont was helpful in choosing a font for our digipak and advert, as there is a wide range of fonts of all themes. This made it easy to choose the right font for us, which ended up being a subtle curly font that keeps up the intelligent hip-hop genre whilst complimenting the image on the front cover.

Evaluation Commentary

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Georgia's Evaluation

1) Our media product uses the conventions of a real meida product - we followed the conventions as we thought that this would be the most effective way to success. We researched artisits that were within the same genre (intelligent hip hop) - such as 'Jurassic 5'. Obviously we also researched 'The Nextmen' - we notice that the clothing was baggy which then inspired us to revolve our product around basketball as we felt this was a lcear and effective link we could portray. We also saw this in another artists video which is shown in a blog post below and it worked well. In the videos we researched the cuts were in sync with the beats and they were quite fast paced, therefore we made sure that we had enough quality footage in order to make these quick cuts and for it not to be boring and repetitive. We thought about the colouring of our video, and although we liked the videos that we saw in black and white we felt that using colours would make it much more interesting as in some 'Jurassic 5' videos the colours are part of what keep you interested. We used warm colours - giving it a west coast vibe.
2) I feel the combination of our main product and ancilary texts worked well together because we have not made them all look completely different - we have linked them together with the images that we have used. We took stills from our music video for our DigiPak and then took the image that we used on the back for our DigiPak for the magazine advert. This made the main product and acilary texts flow well together as they all had a clear link to one another. The DigiPak and magazine advert were different in respect that the DigiPak has a bright image as it is the front cover which is obviously what people see first - whereas the magazine advert was dark and a black and white image. But, they were still linked with the way that instead of using a bright image on the magazine advert we used bright fonts and put a smaller image of the front of the DigiPak on there - therefore it was clearly linked by the use of colour. We added tour dates onto our magazine advert as we felt that this would be a good way of advertising the band and making it stand out much more - bringing more to the band and perhaps making the audience feel more in touch with who they are listening to.
3) When we first recieved audience feedback on our rough cut- we obviously didn't have enough footage as we couldn't even make it to the end of the track. To solve this issue we then went out again and filmed a lot more - and in different locations so that our music video wasn't boring and the same all the way through. We orginally had a scene where there was footage of a car with people in it listening to music. The audience feedback we got given was ot in favour of this as they felt it made the video look cheap. We decided to remove this because obviously it is the audience who would buy the record - not the creators. Once we did this the feedback we got was much more positive as the whole image of the video flowed much better. Researching into the clothes they wear in the genre of the music also clearly paid off because the audience thought that this made the media product look more interesting and professional. The editing was praised as when the music skipped we made the footage skip - cutting with the rhythm of the beats.
4) For the planning of our media product we used Blogger where we made regular posts on our thoughts and progress. We put all of our ideas and inspirations on there so you really could see our thought process throughout the whole planning and research task. We used the HD cameras to film our test footage to see if our ideas were going to be successful and what we imagined them to be. Obviously we also used the HD cameras to film our actual shoot. When it came to editing we used Final Cut Express where we changed the lighting of our footage to make everything look more vibrant and interesting. We rewinded and sped up some clips to make them skip back and fourth to the beat of the music. We will also use this programme when editing our evaluation to put still images on to make it much more visual and creative - it will also clearly back up points that we are going to make in our evaluation.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Harvey Navales - Evaluation

Evaluation by Harvey Navales

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

We chose the song thinking man's session by the Next men and the genre of the music is intelligent hip hop/rap. The codes and conventions you see in our music video are typical of the hip hop genre the rhythm and the beats that the music has to suit the music video or how the artist in the video perform actions that matches the clip. For example Eminem's song Love the way you lie ft Rihanna, the music video has actors playing the role of lovers which matches up with Eminem's lyrics. i would define our music video as intelligent hip hop/rap and not like Eminem's, where most of his song is based about his life experience, close friends and how people influenced him.
In comparison to our music video we used conventions typical of the genre artists that had influenced us such as the group Jurassic 5 where we shot some of our locations on a basketball court/skate park. We also looked at conventions on how we would shoot our piece. We mainly used close ups of the artist to show his hand actions and also used tracking shots in order to show our location such as the graffiti along the wall and the basketball court. The character that I portrayed was a cool alpha male all rounded talented artist. He can dance, rap and play basketball. The band was portrayed almost like intelligent individuals all clean and not putting a rough image compared to artists like 50 cent where he's always wearing a white tank tops smoking and rapping in front of the camera. We also planned our costumes so that it would bring more realism into the video. Costumes like the fitted cap, Ecko ltd jacket, basketball shorts, baggy tops and trousers etc.
To conclude i think we have used the conventions typical of the genre so that it would suit and fit our music video.

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

The design and ideas of our Digi-pak was very simple we wanted to showcase the artists featured in the video into our album cover very much like jurassic-5's album quality control where all of the group members are on the front cover just sitting and relaxing and not looking too serious. For the front cover we just took a picture of the intro clip where me and Jack Matthews were walking along the wall, the back cover design consisted of me and jack and we used vignette style to try and make the tunnel more lively. The inside left of our cover had parts of the graffiti wall and on the right was the crew members . The tone style that was have in our video is vibrant smooth to make it more realistic and we decided we'd do the same for our digipak make it stand out to consumers. The font that we used also fitted our music genre the graffiti style font which we got from Dafont website.
The impression that you get out of the band from the CD is very similar to the ones in the video but we made our digipak different so that it doesn't give that much away about the band if the person was going to buy the CD first then go watch the video.

We continued this style to the advert by putting our back cover of the CD and putting it in front of the magazine advert. We used this style to attract consumers because when they pick up a CD they look at the front for the album title then look at the back for the contents of it so we put the back cover in front of the advert so that when they pick the magazine up they will think ' I've seen this somewhere before' and hoping that they do and pick the CD up for the second time. We also used tour dates so that it gives the impression that our group is going big and we can go to different gigs to show our music. We chose institutions such as the HMV logo, iTunes, MySpace and Amazon to put in our advert because we believe that by doing so will show that our content is available on the sites on the advert so the consumers won't have a hard time looking for it and we also added a review quote from a famous rapper C.L smooth so that it will somehow promote our work by having a famous artist listening to our piece and give it a firsthand review so that consumers won't have second thoughts in buying the product.

We decided that we weren't going to make my character as big as 50 cent like having a single portrait picture of him in front of the cover because we don't think that it would suit our genre and it's not a good representation of the group just having one person on the cover. all the people in the group contributed to this project so I don't see why we should just concentrate on my character.
We chose the image for the advert because it's appropriate to any target audience, young or old and we also chose the image because there was nothing complicated going on in it just 2 guys walking towards the end of the tunnel which we found unique some album covers that we looked at like Mobb deep's album had cartoonized artist in it and with a lot of ghetto style fonts almost in 3d.

3.) What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

First of all before the main music project started we posted a questionnaire on our Facebook asking people their favourite music and whey they get it from. Most common feedback we got was mainly rock/pop and mainstream music and people either get it from youtube or through friends.We found this interesting because we all do the same thing , we on Youtube to look at music videos and also liked rock/pop. Most people got their music from Itunes but some were through friends we also found that they like to ask for reviews or samples before they bought the product to ensure that they didn't waste their money This only contributed slightly when we finalised our selection for our music choice but had a great impact when we made our advert and digipak in the ancillary task we included all the references from reviews and also added logos from where they got their music from.
The first feedback we got from our rough cut were mainly positive but the only criticism were just more locations and basically add more conventions to it. We took into account what the audience said and made our project much better such as the locations that we added like the subway in Cambridge and we re-shot some of the clips to make them look better and we had technical issues when we lost some of the original clips when it came to editing such as re shooting the basketball shot sequence for the intro we had to do in college but overall it was the audience feedback that made our project better than our rough cut. 'The best piece I've seen of that genre so far' - Nick (media staff) when he said that we felt we have really achieved something big because we didn't want it to go wrong . 'Rapping was in sync and good job learning the lyrics' we were also delighted to hear that from the audience because it was a challenge doing the main rapping throughout the video whilst keeping a straight face. I also got feedback from my family and friends and they said that it didn't look like Cambridge it looked really professional on how it was edited and the location was well picked.

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

First of all we planned all our scripts and notes on the website Blogger which contained all the information's such as our mind map ideas for the scene selections the lyrics for our video was copied and pasted from Google. The research into the codes and conventions for our music video was done on Google and searched for Wikipedia music video conventions and we had a whole list come up with the conventions for the genre we needed. one of our task was also to go one find your tribe a website which asks you all your favourite things in almost like a multiple no wrong or right question layout and at the end it the result you get was all the combinations that you liked in the previous stages. we also used Google for our target audience for the genre and we found that a lot people into mainstream hip hop or rap would like our music video. We used the still camera to take pictures of our mood board and put them up on the blogger and also to check out our locations. Photoshop was mainly used for the ancillary task where all the pictures where cropped and edited to make the album cover and advert . this is where the website Dafont came into play as there was a fine selection of fonts ranging from electro to ghetto style of writing to put in our cover.
Final cut was the main technology we used in order to make our music video before we started our whole project we went out to test the new HD cams that the media department provided and we tried out going to the college basketball grounds and shot a few samples found in Blogger. Our group member Austin also used his own final cut pro at home to add vibrant effects which needed plug ins for it to work in his own time because we couldn't do it in college as the plug ins weren't available for us to use. We decided to alter the light of the whole production because when we shot the whole video the weather was really terrible and it was getting dark when we finished. By adding the colour effect the video has changed dramatically, it looks as if it was sunny when we shot it and it had like a California style sunset to it almost. Some of the parts in the music had scratch beats to it where the vinyl's are scratched back and forth to make a stuttering effect we incorporated this into our video by making our video to stutter in sync with the beat as well for example when i was doing a basketball dribble around Austin which the clip was rewound back and forth.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Romain Garvais analysis & Wu tang clan star analysis

In this music video there are a lot of tracking shots which make you feel as if you are following a long with the characters. Throughout the video you are shown a group of boys going around beating people up. This makes you feel on edge whilst watching it. The way the video is shot makes you feel as if you are the person filming them or your watching it through a cctv camera. The music in the video doesn't fade in or out throughout the video it just runs straight through. I feel this works as the song is quite fast paced along with what is going on in the video.

M.I.A. Born Free
Uploaded by trentisthenewpink. - Explore more music videos.

This video is similar to the Justice video. The difference is the genre of music. It again uses a lot of tracking shots and hand held but this video cuts to different groups of people. A lot of the shots are slowed down which makes the audience relate more to what is happening. There is a lot violence in both video and they both contrast to the type of music. The song title is "born free" and it is showing ginger people being captured and killed which is contradicting what the title of the song is about. This music video may not be suitable for a young audience because it shows people being killed and beaten up. This is in contrast to the other video as well as there is also a lot of violence.

The video for "protect your neck" and "whats golden" These two videos are similar in the way that they both use the whole group when rapping rather than focusing on one man. "whats golden" is shot infront of a green screen which is different to "protect your neck" as it is all filmed outside which makes the group seem more underground. "whats golden" is more cheerful hip hop where as "protect your neck" is more dark, underground hip hop. It is also the sort of song you want to listen to and chill out to. "whats golden" is more of a song that you would listen to and dance to.

Progress view 13/12/10

we are almost finished, we just need to edit all our clips together in sync with our music video. we had an idea of putting our soundtrack and reduce the volume so you can just about hear the track so it doesnt make the commentary boring . we are aiming to finish by wednesday including our individual written evaluation.
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