Friday, 2 May 2014

Miss Melody: 'Feels So Good' - Final Draft of Music Video

Ancillary Task - Final Draft

The image above is Miss Melody's advertisement cover.

The two images above are Miss Melody's CD Digipak; the top of the two images is of the front cover, and the bottom of the two images is of the back cover.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

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

I have used various media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages of my coursework. Some of these technologies were used last year to help me with producing my opening sequence for my group's horror film, but other technologies were completely new to me.

Blog-Publishing Services: Blogger

Blogger was perhaps the most important technology for my coursework, as it allowed me to post my research and planning notes to look back on when constructing my feature length music video; posting my progress from first drafts to final drafts, to show how my skills and creativity has evolved through the drafts, and also embedding images and videos from numerous other websites, to exhibit my use of planning, research, construction and evaluation. Blogger was the form of technology that I had used most frequently, to post examples of what videos I had researched the conventions for, how I planned for when to shoot my music video and what props, costumes, make-up and equipment to bring, how I have constructed my main product (music video) and ancillary texts, and also how I have evaluated my products overall.

Video-Hosting Services: YouTube and Vimeo

Video hosting services, such as YouTube and Vimeo, allowed me to watch other music videos to gain inspiration, for when I would construct my group’s music video. When studying the conventions of typical music videos and music videos of the pop genre, I had watched an array of different types of music video, which allowed me to learn about typical conventions that should be enforced in music videos, and how I should apply these conventions in my group’s music video. YouTube and Vimeo has also allowed me to upload all the drafts of my music video, and also some of my evaluation posts, to make my blog look more supervisual. Video hosting services helped to make my group's product look professional as professional music videos are often uploaded to YouTube (via Vevo accounts), Vimeo and other video hosting services, as it is such a popular platform of social media, that it helps to gain a significant fanbase from people who use video hosting services to watch music videos.

Filming Equipment: Camera and Tripod

When filming footage for my music video, my group would always make sure to bring a DLSR camera, to capture the footage; and a tripod, to ensure that the footage being filmed was completely steady, and didn’t feature any shaky footage. The filming equipment helped to make my music video look more authentic due to the steady shots, as professionals always use steadily filmed shots to make the music video look more appealing, rather than shaky shots that would make the audience feel distorted.

Editing Software: Adobe Premiere Pro

Then, after my group were done capturing footage for my music video, my group would use Adobe Premiere Pro, a video editing software, to edit my coursework. Adobe Premiere Pro allowed me to cut down the duration of clips, to quicken the pace of editing; and to be able to change the colour of the backgrounds of green screen shots, to make the overall aesthetics of the mise-en-scene more vibrant and colourful. In addition to this, I produced some of my evaluation posts on Adobe Premiere Pro and iMovie (another video editing software), to assist in making my blog posts in looking more supervisual. Adobe Premiere Pro helped my group to construct a professional product as it allowed my group to get technical with the product, adjusting the brightness of the footage to be more eye-catching to Miss Melody's target demographic.

The video above is a compilation of all the green screen shots used by my group. The green screen shots have helped my group to construct a more professional product as it allowed my group to change the colour of the backgrounds, making them bright and vibrant, which follows a convention of the pop genre, making the music video similar to other professional pop music videos.

Personal Computers: Desktop Computer and Macintosh

When working at school, I used a Mac to produce and construct my music video and ancillary texts, as well as evaluating my products; when working at home, I used a Windows XP computer to research conventions of other music videos, and also planning that would help me produce my music video.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

How effective is the combination of your main products and ancillary texts?

Through the concept of positivity, the main product and the ancillary texts help to promote the same text. For example, in the music video, Miss Melody are often seen together and having fun, whether that's through taking a 'selfie' (in one of the multiple cutaways for the video) or performing their choreography in numerous locations. In the advertisement cover, all members of Miss Melody are pictured close together, smiling and looking like they're having fun. In the CD Digipak, the three members of Miss Melody are all directly smiling at the camera in the front cover, enforcing the positivity towards their target audience of 'tween' girls, that is promoted through the rest of the texts.

Messages that I believe are successfully enforced in the main product and ancillary texts include the sense of positivity (another example of positivity shown through the ancillary texts, as well as the example of positivity in the above paragraph, is the message in the back cover of the CD Digipak, where Miss Melody thanks their fans for supporting them and stating that if you work hard and believe in yourself, your dreams will come true. This idea of Miss Melody believing in their target audience continues to convey the concept of positivity, which helps to portray the group as positive role models for young girls to look up to.

The main purpose of an ancillary text is to promote and advertise a singer/group's upcoming release, so fans will hopefully feel enough anticipation to purchase the album and listen to it. Advertisements hype up the release through lots of bold, eye-catching words, that are intended to captivate the audience and also hype them up for the upcoming release. CD Digipaks are intended to make the singer/group's album look aesthetically pleasing, in order to make the audience feel compelled to purchase the album. For pop groups, a convention of CD Digipaks are vibrancy, as that is appealing to a young children/teenagers (who are believed to be the target audience of pop music videos).

As mentioned above, the target audience for Miss Melody's main product and ancillary texts are young girls aged between 10-12 years old. The focus of a young demographic is significant, as it makes Miss Melody, as a group, responsible for setting a good example for their target audience. This has been enforced not just in their music video (through the lack of males; to connote to young girls that boys aren't needed to have fun, and that romance isn't important for them at that age), but also in the ancillary texts (through the pink coloured font, to appeal to their femininity, and again, through the lack of males, cementing the fact that Miss Melody is an all-girl pop group).

Comparing Miss Melody's products to other pop groups, I believe that Miss Melody's product looks professional due to how many conventions it follows from the pop genre. For example, the pop genre is notorious for its use of colour, which appears consistently in Miss Melody's 'Feels So Good' music video and ancillary texts. Another convention of the pop genre that Miss Melody follows is a lot of close-ups and big close-ups, so the target audience have a clearer memory of who was responsible for performing the songs in the album.

In addition to the professional look Miss Melody's media texts maintain, their star persona as a pop group is also present. In the music video, one of the reasons why London was used as a location was because it is the capital of Great Britain, signifying its importance. The intention behind this was the use of London to connote Miss Melody's importance, suggesting that they as a group were as important to pop music as London is to Great Britain. In the advertisement cover, their social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) are present, to display that they are trendy and like to keep up with their fans on social media, which would appeal to a modern audience who is also into social media. Present not just in their advertisement cover, but also their album cover, their band name is displayed as a logo (), which could be treated by their fans as a recognisable sign which identifies their products, to help reflect on their star personas.

This is an example of how the main product and ancillary texts have been combined to promote the same message to Miss Melody's target audience. From the array of colour used in their music video (often seen in their green-screen shots), the image of the colourful high heels in the CD Digipak and the use of pink in the advertisement cover; bright colours and vibrancy are something that have been promoted throughout my media texts, using the theory of semiotics to connote that the bright colours should reflect on the bright personalities that Miss Melody's target audience should possess.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

This video shows a Vox Pop session where my group have gathered some thoughts from other people, to give our group some feedback on our music video. The demographic for our audience in this Vox Pop were a range of adolescent males and females aged between sixteen and eighteen years, as they are believed to show the most interest in music videos.

Overall, the feedback our group has received has been mostly positive, although our group has also received some constructive criticism that could have helped us to improve. For example, one of the main critiques of the music video was for the performers to put more enthusiasm into their performance. Personally, I feel like I was partially responsible for this, as I could have been more assertive in directing the girls performing in the music video to put more enthusiasm into their performance.

Questions that were asked in the Vox Pop included the following:

- What was your favourite section of the music video? (This question was to determine what generally went well in the music video, based on what was well-received from the audience from the Vox Pop feedback session. Overall, the audience had widely praised my group's use of footage from London, which although was difficult to achieve, shows that my group's work had paid off)

- When did you visually realise the genre of the video? (As a high number of pop music videos could easily be identified as a pop music video within a short amount of time from the viewer watching it, this question is to see if my group's music video garners the same reaction from the audience. )

- What did you think of the colours and the mise-en-scene of the music video? (Vibrancy and the overall aesthetics/looks both play huge roles in pop music videos, so if people approve of my group's use of colour and mise-en-scene, then my group has successfully followed that particular convention of pop music videos)

- Is the music video conventional of girl bands? (As 'Miss Melody' consists of an all-female pop group, and is inspired by other girl groups such as Little Mix and Sugababes, it was expected that the audience would think that Miss Melody's music video is conventional of girl bands. However, our group was aiming for the music video being unconventional, due to some of the risqué choreography incorporated into some of the girl bands' music videos, whilst Miss Melody's music video is intended to be more innocent and upbeat, showing their target audience of young, 'tween' girls that they don't need boys to have fun)

- Was there anything our group could improve on? (This question is to make sure our group receives feedback that helps us to improve on my group's music video. Although our group has received a critique about the performers not using enough energy into their performance, as mentioned earlier, that critique helps our group to improve on our music video, to reduce the amount of negatives the music video has)

In addition to receiving feedback via Vox Pops, my group has also received feedback throughout the construction of Miss Melody's music video through fellow peers, who were also making their own music videos. As they were constructing their own media products, they were able to provide detailed feedback that featured WWWs (What Went Well; the positives of the music video), EBIs (Even Better If; the negatives that needed to be improved in the music video) and any additional notes peers wanted to leave.

The feedback received from peers helped to really improve my group's music video, and an example of how this was achieved was through common EBIs that appeared above such as needing more cutaways (to make the performers look happier and more enthusiastic) and dance routines in other locations (a typical convention of the pop genre). Both of those were implemented into the final version of 'Feels So Good', as they made the music video more conventional of the pop genre.

WWWs also helped to improve the construction of my group's music video, as it showed my group what we were doing right, thus allowing us to follow some of these positives when improving on the music video. For example, one typical WWW was the good use of mise-en-scene (specifically costumes and location). Whilst improving on the EBIs,  our group made sure to maintain a good use of mise-en-scene, through ensuring that the costumes performers would wear always matched, and that the locations used would help the music video to fit the genre.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

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

This video explains the ways in which I have developed, used and challenged forms and conventions of real media products to produce my music video. During the process in which I have constructed my media products (music video and ancillary texts), this has taught me the importance of following conventions of other pop music videos, as it makes the product recognisable to its target audience.

During the construction process of my media texts, I have learned about the values and significance of forms and conventions, especially when applying these conventions to pop products. This is because the pop music genre is targeted towards a younger audience of 'tween' children, nearing their teenage years, as pop music videos have quite a strict set of forms and conventions that must be followed (examples of these conventions being the consistency of colour and vibrancy throughout the music video, as well as the convention that any singers/performers have to smile throughout the duration of the video to enforce positivity, which is a major theme that appears in a majority of pop music videos).

The purpose of using conventions from real media texts is to make my group’s media text more recognisable towards our target audience. If we had not used many conventions typical of pop music videos, then our fictional media text would have confused the audience, not eliciting the response our group would have wanted to receive. This is why our group ensured to follow an array of conventions that are typical of pop music videos, such as the use of vibrancy and colour; often seen when each member of Miss Melody is performing in front of a colourful background (achieved through filming with the green-screen, and editing in post-production).

However, although conventions are very important to follow when producing media texts, not every convention necessarily has to be followed. In fact, my group thought that developing and challenging a few conventions would provide a better outcome with our completed media product. An example of how we have developed a convention is through the pace of the editing. Taking inspiration from Little Mix’s ‘Move’, which features a multitude of swiftly-paced cuts that appear consistently throughout the entirety of the music video, our group decided to take a similar approach. However, because the pace of ‘Feels So Good’ (the song performed by Miss Melody) is slower than the pace of ‘Move’, our group thought it would be better to have a slightly slower pace of editing in our music video; especially as Miss Melody’s target audience are ‘tween’ girls, who would most likely not understand the decision behind incorporating a very quick-pace of editing into our media product.

Finally, challenging conventions is something that our group has also decided to implement into our media product, as we felt this would be beneficial towards the end result. An example of how Miss Melody has challenged a convention of the pop genre is through choreography. The choreography used in Sugababes’ ‘Push The Button’ was very risqué and sexual; something that would likely appeal to an audience of young males, aged between 15-25 years. Because ‘Feels So Good’ is aimed towards a completely different demographic, the choreography that would be used was intended to be a lot more innocent and fun-looking, so that Miss Melody’s target audience of ‘tween’ girls would feel more compelled to enjoy watching the music video.

In addition to conventions from other music videos, my group drew inspiration from theories on media texts. For example, Andrew Goodwin's theory 'Dancing in the Distraction Factory' helped our group to construct focus in certain sections of the music video. Using Goodwin's 'Amplification' theory (where the soundtrack cuts to the beat of the video, but also cuts off the beat to emphasise on particular features), my group cut off the beat when cutaways appeared, to ensure there was focus on the girls in the group acting happy and friendly, to set a positive example to their target demographic of 'tween' girls.

Although there were no direct inspirations in our ancillary texts, our group made sure to follow typical conventions when constructing our album cover and Advertisement cover.
In the album cover, generic conventions that have been followed includes the following:
  • Image of the group ()
  • Name of the group ()
  • Name of the album ()
  • Barcode ()
  • List of songs featured in the album ()
In addition to those conventions, Miss Melody's album cover also follows some more specific conventions of other album covers in the Pop genre. An example of this is through the vibrancy and colour that consistently appears throughout the cover. This convention was something my group got from Britney Spears' 'Circus' album. The use of bright colours is conventional, as it catches the audiences' eye, making them feel compelled to take notice of the album, and perhaps listen to it to see if Miss Melody's songs are as bright and vibrant to listen to as the album cover is to look at. Additionally, a girl aged between 10-12 years old (the target audience for Miss Melody) is more likely to be appealed by an array of colours, rather than a monochrome effect, as colour is something that is bold and able to capture their attention, whilst monochrome colours look 'dull'.

In the advertisement cover, generic conventions that have been followed includes the following:

  • Image of group ()
  • Name of group ( )
  • Showing what is featured in the album ()
Although not exactly a convention, something that is commonly seen in advertisement covers is the emphasis of bold words, which is intended to heighten the audiences' anticipation towards the release of the album. This is seen in various advertisement covers (examples including McFly's 'Motion In the Ocean' cover: "THE ALBUM OUT NOW"; Jessie J's 'Who You Are' cover: "INTERNATIONAL SMASH"; and Vanessa Hudgens' 'Come Back To Me' cover: "fantastic"). Miss Melody has implemented the use of bold words in their cover (; which is fully capitalised and ends with an exclamation mark, to add to the importance), to capture the audiences' attention.

Miss Melody's advertisement album incorporates pink coloured font to maintain a feminine look. This is to attract their target demographic of 'tween' girls, as pink is believed to be a feminine colour, thus appealing to girls who embrace their femininity. Additionally, this is also the reason that the pink heart is visible in 'Miss Melody', since hearts are also believed to represent femininity, thus providing more of a reason for little girls to be appealed by the advertisement cover.

In the advertisement cover, other features included are:

  • Record Label (To broaden Miss Melody's consumer base, market their album, and also to make it available via stores and other media outlets):
  • Social Media Accounts (To display that Miss Melody has conformed to popular social media trends, to appeal to their target demographic, since they are believed to be into social media):
  • Their own website (To show that Miss Melody is an authentic girl group, as professional artists have their own website):

Friday, 31 January 2014

Ancillary Task - First Draft + Construction

This is the image our group produced on the back of our CD cover. We made sure to resize the image, so it would fit with the other images (see below).

This is the front of our CD cover. Our group decided to have a feminine theme with the CD cover, due to Miss Melody (a feminine band name) being an all-girl group, and having a 'tween' female target audience. In our CD cover, the image of high heels and flowers enforce the concept of femininity, making the target audience feel more compelled to buy Miss Melody's album.

Our group initially considered using this for an advertisement, but when we experimented with fonts, it didn't look very conventional, so we decided to continue editing the advertisement until we found something that felt more girly and conventional.

This screenshot shows that our group experimented with brightness and contrast to achieve a more professional look. We also added pink and white font, to continue enforcing the idea of femininity. The font also features '', to show that our group has a website, which may ensure that a certain number of viewers to check the website, to see more information on the album; 'Album out now including hit single 'Feels so good', as many album advertisements, such as McFly's 'Motion in the Ocean' and Jessie J's 'Who You Are'; and also 'SYCO ENTERTAINMENT 2014', to let the audience know the record label responsible for Miss Melody.