1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
For my A2 music video I decided to take a song ‘Hit me like a man’ made by an alternative rock band, The Pretty Reckless. Current members of this group are Ben Phillips, Mark Damon, Jamie Perkins and Taylor Momsen, leader of the band.
Their whole EP was recorded by Interscope Records, which is owned by Universal Music Group. Although, this song doesn’t have an original music video, I saw it as a good opportunity to create my own story. I constructed my choice not only on my music preferences and knowledge, but also on resources given me by my college, they fitted well for conventional rock styled music video. I also researched this band and other bands in the same genre, to gain more information about conventions of rock style.
To get an idea about filming style I looked at few videos made by The Pretty Reckless
‘Hit me like a man’ song has something evil, sick and dark in it. On interview with Perez Hilton, Taylor Momsen said that this song is about mixing pleasure with pain. It lies on the top and we can easily say it just by looking at the part when Taylor sings ‘Do with me what you will, I won’t mind, you know I’m ill’.
However, everyone will have different interpretation of this song. For some people this song will be about abusive relationships, in which man dominates and woman can’t do anything with that. He can hit her, but she won’t say anything, because she believes in his love. Sometimes, in this situations man can convince woman, that it is her fault and he is forced to do that, punish her for her behaviour. It’s about domestic violence and it shows that females can get free, if they will want it. This song supposed to encourage females, having unhealthy relationships to end them. It inspires them to go against stereotypes and live a happy life. I decided to focus my film narrative on unhealthy relationships, were both partners are treating each other badly and what is worse, are not doing anything about that. I thought that it would be a good representation of modern society, especially younger part of it.
My TA are females between 16 and 25. They are rebels, who like party and socialize. They have wide range of hobbies, but are most likely to play some music instruments, as by that they feel connected with their favorite singers and bands. Because of the wideness of my target audience, they all have different education and occupation, but they are likely to study in college or university. Moreover, because of the age range, they are likely to have different styles. However, in general it is rock style with glamour, often with sexual connotations. They are very sociable and Internet helps them with that. They use different apps for communication, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They like live performances therefore are going to gigs and festivals quite often.
Before I started to film my own music video, I decided to look at some existed media. I was researching lots of different genres, to gain some ideas and inspiration. Radiohead influenced me heavily, their non-mainstream, alternative filming style, and gloomy, dark, minimalistic locations gave me an idea for my narrative styling. One of the Radiohead music videos influenced me the most, it was ‘Karma police’, as it has very simple, but breath-taking video concept, which is quite unconventional, as most part of the video is one cut. I knew, that I couldn’t use it for my music video. Because of its sound intensity it had to have fast pace, therefore lots of cuts. However that moment was very interesting for me, because even though it was one cut, they made it look very interesting and exciting. Radiohead have different target audience, as their music is more non-mainstream, indie and alternative, comparing to The Pretty Reckless they are more melancholically and deep, but I thought that by bringing something new to my genre, my music video would stand out. In ‘Karma police’ postproduction stayed almost invisible, because of its dark tones and overall melancholically thematic of the music video. This colour palette interested me, as it is very suitable for rock genre. However when I started to film my own music video, I realized that for good quality filming in the dark I need to have more equipment, which I couldn’t get (special lamps, better quality camera etc.)
After deconstructing ‘Karma police’ music video I realized that their filming and branding styles are perfectly appealing to their target audience. Target audience of Radiohead is mature and educated. Lyrics of the song are deep, so to fully understand this song, person has be educated enough and has to have a wide range of interests (politics, literature and spiritual knowledge, etc.). They will be attracted with the idea carried by this song. Audience of Radiohead and this song in particular have to be open-minded and knowledgeable to understand that in that music video Radiohead were referring to karma, by showing accuracy of Hindu theory and that eventually people will pay for their sins. Moreover this song refers to 1984 novel by George Orwell. This novel talks about public mind control by government, how individualism and independent thinking was prosecuted and finally, how government forcibly can make people change their believes, political views and even feelings for particular person. Music video brought new meaning to this song, which also appeals to their target audience. Man in the suit can represent people who run the country, politicians, dictators, government, and directors of big international companies. They are capable of doing loads of wrong things, they all are selfish and greedy. In this case politician was chased by the karma. However, man in a suit is powerful and eventually he is a winner. It shows that government has all the power in the world and nothing can stop them from what they are doing. This scenario appeals to main TA of Radiohead, as they are mature people, who have their opinion about politics, they are working class and usually are pressed by people standing higher in hierarchy.
Other band I researched was Muse and their music video ‘Madness’ pushed me to the different direction, as despite it was made by a alternative rock band, it had a little bit of the mainstream feeling in it, because of the music video styling. Lyrics theme of this song is love; therefore it was more suitable for influencing my work, as has similar theme to the song I used ‘Hit me like a man’. Towards to the end edit pace is getting very quick, so audience barely can follow the narrative, however all the cuts are shown in slow motion, which helps and brings even more tension to the video. Also, slow motion exaggerates the drama of the fight, shows reactions, muse and actors performance. All of that emphasizes the Hollywood styling. Moreover, it goes well with the relaxed, slow and pensive tempo of the track. However, after researching some more rock videos, I realized that it is conventional for them to have lots of cuts. Muse used lots of ‘earthquake’ effect in that music video, it helped them to build up feeling of stress and destruction, and also to interest their TA even more, because this effect makes audience to watch even more carefully. It was the reason I used this effect in my music video as well. Also ‘Madness’ music video gave me an idea about blurring the line between live and narrative parts. Live part in that song was shot in the same place, and colour palette as narrative. It is quite unconventional, but looks stylish and interesting. It is why my original idea was having same main actor for both, live and narrative parts. The idea was to blur the line between both parts and make the video more personal and appealing to my target audience and it would also give open end to my video. However because of some uncontrollable by me reasons, I wasn’t able to do so.
This music video has reference to rioting in underground happened few years ago in London. It is familiar theme to everyone, as it was shown on the news all over the world. People know what it represents and it makes them feel in particular way. This reference suggests a moral edge to the song and it shows that Muse is aimed at the mature, globally aware people. Also their target audience, as most part of rock genre fans should be interested in playing music instruments or singing, as in ‘Madness’ music video there was lots of close ups of band members and music instruments. It is very conventional for rock genre to show musicians actually playing, while pop singers relay mostly on their looks. It is due branding style of rock genre, they are branding their music, not themselves, by that suggesting that music they produce is actually good and has deep lyrical meaning, and this music video also has very conventional for rock music clothes. Band members are dressed in dark palette, and they have leather jackets on, while actors in narrative part are dressed more sexy and seductive. Even though that Muse is alternative rock band, this particular song is more in the pop style, it is why it is different from usual rock music videos. I would even say that it is mainstream music video with some rock influence in it. It is due Hollywood filming style and choice of actors for narrative part. This music video seems to have more style and fashion comparing to conventional rock music videos.
CD covers I analyzed are not particularly conventional for rock genre as well. First cover was ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ album by Coldplay. Their cover fitted well the group branding as Coldplay are represented as creative, artistic people. Colours and image concept of the CD package shows them, as calm and mature band. This cover suggests that they are modern, technological and inventive, as photo looks very different due to technology used for its creation. This photography helps Coldplay to reach their target audience, who are creative, sophisticated and intelligent people, they can see artistic approach to the CD package and are interested in buying it. Absence of promotional text makes this cover look expensive, minimalistic and mature. Also, it makes people to concentrate on the image. For the same reason the only text they have on the cover, is written with the very neat and simple font. I was aiming to represent my own band in the similar way it is why I decided to follow convention and don’t put lots of text on my cd cover as well.
Second CD package was ‘No wow’ by The Kills. They are Indie rock band and are usually represented as rebels. This cover is simple yet striking and suggest that their music is the same. The Kills, as majority of rock styled bands and artists don’t want to look polished, they are nonchalant and rebelling against mainstream conventions. In all ways musically, stylistically and even promotionally they are trying to show themselves in alternative indie way. By that they are easily reaching their target audience, as CD package and band branding is appealing to their target audience. Their music about the contact and attitude, therefore the artwork is the same. This album cover is made in black and white palette with some yellow tones, what make it looks a little bit old and messy. It is very conventional colour choice for rock genre, as it shows the band as aggressive and a little bit messed up people, while pop artist will use more optimistic and brighter colours. The text placement was rather creative, as the album name, ‘No wow’, is made to be as a part of the photo, and brings some criminal look to it. Alison Mosshart is holding it, covering her eyes, by that this photo became similar to ones they take in police station. I was aiming to have similar photographical style, to attract correct target audience. By looking at ‘Now wow’ cover TA will see dangerous, uncontrollable, loud people, who like to fight, enjoys taking drugs and love alcohol, and that will attract their main audience, as they will see that these artists are real people, with similar interests and priorities. Since my target audience is similar to The Kills one, I was aiming to put some of these features into my own CD package as well.
I created two CD designs, one that had straight relation to my music video and second one that represented my bands ethos.
The name I chose for my band didn’t have straight relation to the song I used for my music video, as I wanted it to be independent. However, The Velvets name fits well the genre and is quite feminine at the same time. I thought that this name will attract my target audience at its finest.Velvet its also a sexy material, soft and smooth to touch, expensive and original a regal fabric. I didn’t have any special band logo, as I wanted The Velvets itself to be it. I wanted it to be simple and neat, so target audience won’t struggle with its recognition. It is quite conventional for rock bands to have band name as their logo, so I didn’t feel it to be necessary to create graphic or symbol one, so font became a logo. I was aiming to have chaotic, rudimentary band ethos, so not having a special band logo helps to aim it. The album name, which is ‘Daily nightmare’ is very intriguing and fits ‘Hit me like a man’ song as well. ‘Daily nightmare’ is some kind of word play, and it, I believe will attract my TA as well. For all my text I used very simple, but a little bit gothic font, as I saw ‘Hit me like a man’ song as a very dark one, with some gothic style in it. Going back to it now, I realized that The Pretty Reckless often used some gothic features in their music videos or CD covers as well. I decided to leave my text quite simple and neat almost everywhere. The only exception, in both designs was inside of my CD pack. The reason was simple; I wanted my target audience to focus on photography more, as it has to say more, then text on it. Moreover I didn’t use that much of the text and didn’t have any promotional graphics in it, as I wanted my band to be represented as good and established band, which does not need to fight over every new fan. Their music itself is good, so they don’t need to attract people by using promotions on their CD’s.
I decided that I don’t want to have unpretentious band photos as my photography for cover art, as I wanted my CD to stand out a little bit and be more progressive and sophisticated. For the first cover I had a picture of tattooed legs. I thought that tattoos will represent my band well and will also appeal to my TA, as that would attract them. Also, tattoos, are very conventional for rock genre, they are sign of rebels. Now it’s changing though, most part of population will have one, but originally tattoos were a sign of revolutionaries, people with radical, antiestablishment character. Bikers, which were fans of rock music, had it, prisoners had it as well, as it was a mark of rebels, and to make them stand out as being different and ‘marked’. When I decided to create this cover I relied on the old rock conventions. I also chose tattoos, which would have more of the rock feel in them, but wont be to manly, as my target audience in their majority are females.
Placement of tattoos is also quite unconventional, alternative and also it gives sexual connotations to the cover. I used black, white and yellow palette, which is quite conventional for rock genre. Black commonly is associated with bikers, and them wearing leather, with death, aggression and dark side of every person. Yellow brings mess to my cover, making it looks a little bit old, dirty and seedy. It was the look I was aiming at, as I wanted to show that my band is not about appearances, but about music they create. Also after researching other bands, and looking back at The Pretty Reckless covers, I realized that it is very conventional representation of the rock band; they are usually shown to be messy and unpolished. Layout I chose is very simple and minimalistic, I wanted I to look like that because of the photo I chose to be as my cover art. This photo gives a look to my CD pack as little bit chaotic and messy already, so I thought that it would be too much to put some more of these features on my CD package.
Narrative based CD cover is more simplistic, but has some rock feel in it as well. Photography I chose for my CD cover is scenes from my music video, what makes very good synergy between music video ad CD cover and is good for marketing, as it helps encourage TA to buy tickets for tours and products with this band image. Also the phrase ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll’ is very appealing to this cover in particular. Rock is all about that, it is why in cock videos people can often see naked bodies. Rock is selling sex and fun. In adulthood, fun is synonym for being drunk or high. I think that these photos are very appealing to rock genre, and my target audience will recognize those signs, and will be interested in researching the band. The manly, aggressive message carried by these photos I decided to soften with colour palette I used. By saturating these photos I made them more feminine, by that doing the whole CD package more sensual. However, these colours still are quite conventional for rock genre, with more use of white, but still with the rock feel. Layout I used for this cover is the same I used in my first CD cover, however I used it for the different reason. I wanted this cover to be more similar to one of the Coldplay I deconstructed. Even though I didn’t use graphic technology for its creation, I wanted to make it as minimalistic as my photography allows. I think that it made superior effect, as like that my CD looks minimalistic, a little bit depressing but still stylish, by that giving out the song and album thematic. In this cover I again subverted codes and conventions of rock CD cover. First of all I didn’t show any of the band members and music instruments, but I also used actors to pose for my cover. So having pretty, sexy women but not using her image helps selling the band and is unconventional, especially goes against mainstream pop, and the ease of the female form and the male gaze. It also suggests the band are not prepared to buy in to the norms of music promotion, which is again rebellious and provocative. It might confuse people who are not originally fans of The Velvets, but people who know their music, who saw their promotional music video ‘Hit me like a man’ will be interested in buying it. As music videos are originally created for attracting people to buy their CD’s.
Conventionally it is accepted for rock band to have themselves playing some musical instruments on the CD cover, as it shows them different from pop singers, who think more about their looks, not quality of the music. I decided to subvert that code of conventions. I believe that it made my cover a little bit more feminine and stylish, by that widened my target audience a little bit. The main art piece in both of my covers is the CD itself, by that portrayed the idea stand by rock genre, showing that music is the most important thing in this band. CD is designed from the tattooed roses, and tattoos as I said are conventional for rock genre. However rose tattoo has much more to it. It symbolizes these simple things like love, inner and outer beauty. Which already is appealable to my music video and band’s ethos. However that rose I used has some thorns in it, what suggests that love does not come without certain sacrifices and pain. My target audience will recognize the sign, and will be attracted by it.
I made two poster designs and they both are synergetic with CD packages, as I used same photography and font. I made them quite minimalistic and simple. However, my target audience will simply recognize the band and music style, as I followed the same principles as for my cover design. I used one extra colour, which was red, to highlight date of the event and promotion word (free), as it will interest people and force them to read all the information on the poster. Before I started thinking about my poster design, I also had a look and deconstructed few existing media examples, aiming to find out some of the rock posters conventions. However, I didn’t want to follow conventions strictly, as it wasn’t about genre, but about mostly about my band ethos, so I designed it more feminine and neater, then conventional rock posters I researched.
One of the posters I deconstructed was advertising which was promoting American Idiot album, seventh studio album by the American punk rock band Green Day. Main target audience is attracted by this advert, due to its rebellious appearance. Mid-shot of Billie Armstrong shows his emotions and intention. Target audience sees their idol enjoying his music and will be interested in buying this CD, to experience same feeling. This advert has masculine and aggressive colour palette of red black and white. It represents this album as conventional, classic therefore quality alternative rock album. Font supports genre of Green Day and band style, shows them as disobedient people. Font style of Green Day writing makes this writing to stand out and makes it the most noticeable element of this advert. It is due their band brand name and popularity, people will be attracted by it and encouraged to read this advert. Target audience is attracted to this advert, as they have similar style and interests. Comparing to my ad it is messier and more masculine, therefore has more of the rock conventions in it. My target audience is a little bit different as they are mostly females also interested in fashion, so they won’t expect something as aggressive. So in order to attract my target audience I not only had to follow some conventions to show the style and ethos, but also differentiate my product to give a reason to buy it.
Content and style of my music video affected the way my target audience interpreted it, and gave a new meaning to the song. After some real media examples I researched, I understood that live performance is vital for the rock music video, as rock is all about good music, not about looks, it is why purely narrative video would look mainstream. I chose to make a mix of the live performance and narrative, to give a rock feel to the music video, to make it more alive, thrilling and at the same time personal. For my narrative I used very minimalistic style, which didn’t look very cozy, by that implying on their relationships. Moreover, I desaturated colours in that part to make audience feel a little bit uncomfortable, as they can see that it is not a happy love story, also de-saturated colours showing that this was in the past. I changed the meaning of the lyrics a little bit as well, as this song originally was about enjoying the pain, and had a little bit masochistic vibe in it. I decided to make it more feministic, by showing that person in abusive relationships always has a way out. I showed that the main character doesn’t enjoy it, but stays with her partner, because she loves him and because of all the good moments they had, even though it was only few of them, I wanted people having these kind of problems to recognize themselves in my music video and understand their situation.
My music video follows and subverts some codes and conventions of rock genre. However, genre is rarely static, as Steve Neal says ‘genres are instances of repetition and difference’ as if I would follow all rock conventions, I would create something that already was created, by that failing in attracting my target audience. It subverts codes and conventions of rock genre by being cleaner and neater. Also, usually, conventional music videos are allocated in the darker mise-en-scene, by that they are getting messier and more aggressive look, while my narrative part is filmed in rather in bright location. I did that in order to differentiate my music video and attract my target audience, as despite the love to rock music, they are females, which prefer something a little bit softer and more sophisticated.
However, as in majority of rock videos, mine was a combination of live performance and narrative. It appeals to my target audience as they are interested in music and it also represents my bands ethos, showing that they are not about looks, but music quality. The way I allocated my footage was chosen on purpose as well, I wanted to highlight, the genre by representing the band. Moreover, in postproduction, I chose to use fast pace, as it is very conventional for rock genre, because of the music intensity. It brings some excitement to the video and looks more intensive. Also, I wanted my music video to be a little bit provocative; it is why I put in some footage of my actress revealing her body. It turned up to look very conventional for rock genre, as it is provoking and rebellious. Moreover, it highlights my actress’s sexuality and femininity. This play on female sexuality is very conventional for rock music videos and print work. Moreover, camera work wasn’t very smooth, as being smooth and neat is a more mainstream convention. Rock music videos conventionally look messier, as it fits the music aggressiveness and intensity.
In the beginning I wanted my music video to have a blurred line between live performance and narrative, it would personalize my lead singer and make the music video more personal as well, as it feels like band is sharing their feeling with audience, by making it more interesting and real. I was inspired on that by some existing music videos.
However, few days before filming date I had to change my storyboard, by making my narrative independent. It turned up to work almost as good, as by making my narrative faceless, for my target audience it became much easier to project the story on themselves. It adds to my bands ethos, making them more feministic, as by that music video they are raising awareness about abusive relationships, showing how unhealthy relationships look and what is like to be in one. I also desiderated colours for my narrative part; it was a representation of the couple’s state of relationships, showing that they are unhealthy, and wrong.
This music video represent my target audience and my band as young rebels, as they are smoking and drinking, therefore, they like to party go to gigs, festivals and concerts and are quite sociable as well. Moreover, desaturation is a representation of my target audience interests, like fashion as these colours make the video more stylish. They want to be mysterious, non-mainstream and unconventional, therefor are attracted to everything different and a little bit indie and alternative. The narrative story itself changes my bands ethos, making my band feministic, and globally aware about socio-political topics. Because of that my target audience representation changes as well, making them more intellectual, educated and mature.
- How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
During my project I was trying to make sure that both parts of my work, print and moving images compliment each other. However, at the same time I didn’t want them to have exact similarities, because after researching some existing media, I realized that it is very rare when CD covers and posters have literal correlation with music video. One CD usually has around 15 songs, and 3 music videos for the whole album, so it would be impossible to allocate all of the main features from few different music videos in the one artwork. The cd and advert will be adverting the whole album not necessarily just one song, however often the first realise off an album is the ‘title track’ and therefore the first video promo has an influence. One of my designs doesn’t have any relation to my music video, however it has similar message standing behind it. Stylistically they fit each other well as well, having that grunge look, and rock feel about both of them. This cover is created in a way, which will attract my target audience in particular. They will be attracted by tattoos on the models legs, and will see it as a sign, that this is their kind of music. It was the main reason I used tattoos for my print work, as it is a sign of rebels. These tattoos look creative and give crazy feel about my band.
Second artwork is based on the narrative part of my music video. It gives out the genre quite easily as well, as conventions of rock is to be rebellious, ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’, it is what my cover shows. My target audience will notice this message, and will be willing to research my band and buy this CD.
It is very important for the product to have consistence in its graphics and advertising across all the media formats. I decided not to create obvious synergy between my music video and print work, as I thought it might confuse my target audience, as my CD has more songs in it. However, I was trying to create synergy in my work through the style elements, graphics and photos I used. All of them had rock feeling and was giving out my bands ethos well. I decided that I don’t need to have band logo, as I wanted the name itself to be it, like that, it is much easier to make the band name popular and recognizable. I used the same font in both print work designs, as a result two different designs have correlation between them. Each design has stable colour palette. Tattoo designed was made in colours I used for my live part of music video, and both, my CD cover and advert has relation to that.
However my second design was based on the narrative part of the music video, and made in the same colour palette. Live-based design has stronger synergy with the music video. However the genre is not that obvious. My target audience had to see my music video beforehand to get the cover, and its meaning. From the other side, music videos are made to promote CD’s, so I think it wont be a really big problem, especially while my main design (tattoo design) gives out very strong rock vibes. It was done through the basic knowledge and audience and market researches. It helped me to realize what my TA wants and how can I give it to them. Tattoo design will attract my target audience, as it looks sexy and rebellious. Tattoos, are very conventional for rock genre, they are sign of rebels. I also chose tattoos, which would have more of the rock feel in them, but wont be too masculine, as my target audience in their majority are females. I think that I would be quite successful in selling my project, as it is well appealing to my target audience. It’s not only catching their attention with interesting design, but will also make them to buy it for the work quality. Tattoo design helps me to get to the right people, people who will be interested in this genre, as it is simple, yet striking. It appeals to correct TA therefore I won’t waist any time trying to reach out wrong people. My video, however, doesn’t have any tattoos in there. I don’t see that as a problem, as it can be explained by the fact that my singer has those tattoos, and her legs are covered through out the whole music video. I could have make those tattoos on my actresses legs to create more synergy, however I dint have that opportunity and moreover, I wanted my target audience to think that those are singers, as it will show my bands ethos and style. Both market and audience researches helped to create the perfect product for the audience I am targeting at.
Also, after researching my target audience, I realized that technology is playing very big part in their lives. Websites like Facebook and YouTube are getting more and more popular. It gives out a good opportunity to expand my marketing and synergy. Internet is a very easy way to help TA to get closer to their idols, as band will be sharing photos and videos of their everyday life, and it will increase their popularity as well. Most of the bands own their Facebook page or YouTube channel, it increases their popularity and helps to promote their CD’s and tours. It will also help them to sell their branded products. For example Nirvana established very good synergy by using half dead smiley face. Now it became their band logo now recognizable all over the world.
- What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
General target audience for my album is females between 16 and 25 years old. They are usually rebels, who like to party and socialize. They have wide range of hobbies and interests, but majority of them are most likely to play some music instruments, as by that they feel connected with their favorite singers and bands. Most part of my target audience are very interested in music and art, they are very creative and artistic. They also would be interested in photography and graphic design, so they will be familiar with programs like Photoshop. They are more educated and experienced comparing to hip-hop music fans, even though they are revolutionaries and protesters they are more likely to do some extra reading and have some deep and extraordinary interests they will be knowledgeable about. Because of the wide target audience, they all have different education and occupation. It is most likely that they are studying in college, finishing their A-levels or studying at university. Some of my target audience have part time job or they might be doing placement in university. They are most likely to chose creative course at university, as they know that they will be bored working in office as an accouters. They want they life to have some spice in it, it’s why they are choosing alternative rock music. Their age and maturity will assume they are globally aware of socio-economic-political topics and have a more liberal, open minded outlook to life, and not materialistic. It gives me new ways I could advertise and promote my product, like participate in some charities.
Because of the age range in my audience they are likely to have quite different styles. However, it is most likely to be mature, rock style with feminine touch. Fashion is very important for my target audience because first of all they are females, and secondly it is they way to show their individuality. However their style done casually and without looking like it is actually important for them.
They favour Converse to high heels and are not fans of cute dresses with flowers on them, because they prefer wearing jeans and t-shirts. Some older girls of my target audience were thought by rock music, that it’s all about sex, and sex sells, so it has effect on their clothing style. However comparing to hip-hop and pop fans, they are playing mysterious and more hard to get kind of girls. It is why their style has sex in it, but it is not slutty. They are confident, self assured, and are in control of how they look because it what they want, not for male gaze, as pop mainstream fans usually will do.
Even though originally female rock fans created this style, now it gets very popular across all the females. However, it is the reason why now there are plenty of shops selling this kind of clothes, so there is a big choice in prices and designs. My Target Audience is more likely to be customers of shops like Pull and Bear, Top Shop, Zara and River Island. They are very fashionable, alternative and cheap, what is very important for my target audience, as they are students and have limited amounts of money. These shops are targeting at the same target audience I do, it is why they even have special offers for people with student card.
They are very sociable and like to stay in touch with people as well as keep up with world’s news 24/7, so new technologies, like smartphones help them with that. My pre-production research showed that 100% of questioned people owned a smartphone. My TA use different apps to communicate with their friends and share moments from their lives in posts, videos or photos. They use programs like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Such a popularity of these programs among my target audience gives me a good opportunity for marketing. Lots of bands have a page on Facebook or Twitter. And now it became very popular to have one on Instagram as well, lots of bands and some companies even make promotions there (people have to share their page and two will win something e.g. concert tickets). So recently it became common to follow your idols as well, like that my target audience keeps on new trends and simply getting closer to their icons. My research also showed that majority of my target audience uses YouTube, it was very useful information as it gives more ways to promote my band. Moreover questionnaire showed that minority of my target audience uses radio or buys CD’s, as everything they need they can easily listen on their phones, usually through iTunes, because of Apple brand popularity. It shows that CD promotions for example won’t be effective. However, my TA are also not mainstream or conventional, so they might be collecting CDs or vinyl and wanting to have a hard copy of the artwork included.
My research supported my assumptions and showed that my TA likes watching channel 4 and MTV. However, they prefer computer to television, as now, in Internet, they can find all the songs, TV Shows and movies they want and they can watch it anytime they want, because they also can comment on it or spread it via social networks. They like media content, which is a little bit challenging, and unconventional as well as simple and funny. My target audience will watch wide range of TV shows, but younger ones will be fans of shows like Skins, Misfits and Shameless while older ones will be watching Sherlock or Dexter. They like controversial films with interesting, non-linear concept, but will enjoy comedies not less.
While older ones will be watching Sherlock or Dexter.
They like controversial films with interesting, non-linear concept, but will enjoy comedies not less.
Majority of my target audience reads NME magazine. Also they buy Mojo, Clash and Kerrang!. It was quite important information, as it gives me a good opportunity for print advertising of my band. From the books I will expect them to read all the popular ones, starting from The Great Gatsby to 50 shades of grey.
As my research shows, my target audience likes to socialize and go out. They prefer festivals and gigs to the clubs, but will go to the club if there is no good festival in their area.
I think that my pre-production survey and some extra knowledge helped to create product, which will address the correct target audience. My tattoo print work has very strong rock vibe in it, at the same time being a little bit unconventional, alternative by not having an artist on the cover of my CD pack. My pre-production survey showed that 100 percent of my target audience expects to see artist on the artwork of the conventional rock album. However I was aiming to make my album a little bit more alternative, due to this fact I had to differ it from some of the conventions of the rock genre.
Tattoos, however, were strongly suggesting the rock vibe of my CD. My research and basic knowledge showed that originally bikers were having those kinds of tattoos, and they are fans of rock music as well, my TA will recognize this sign and will be willing to purchase my band’s album, as will know this CD’s genre. Moreover, for a long time already tattoo is a sign of protestors, of rebels. Majority of my target audience will consider themselves as such, so this artwork will attract them, as they will feel closer to the artist and will think that it’s their kind of music. I also didn’t use any promotions on my CD pack, as I thought that it would make my band less mature and cheaper. I also chose a little bit edgy font, which looks more neat and minimalistic comparing to conventional rock genre, because I wanted highlight alternative vibe of this album. Post-production survey showed that 100 percent of questioned thought that genre was obvious for my tattoo designed cover, which shows the success of this particular cover. All the feedbacks for this cover were positive people were agreeing that they like the design and it certainly grabs their attention, makes them interested in researching the band and watching bands music videos. However, they said that they don’t really see synergy with my music video, following by 100 percent of questioned saying that it doesn’t really matter. I knew about lack of synergy with this particular cover, however I thought that it wont really matter as long as they made in similar style, and this survey support my decision. Feedback showed that some people would prefer colour scheme to be improved, but if I would change it, it will loose any connection with music video.
Second cover design wasn’t as successful as the first one, but majority of the feedbacks were positive anyways. 50 percent voted for this cover being not as obviously rock as my first cover design. However I think it is due the place I was making my research. Not all the people were fans of this genre, so they couldn’t recognize some of the signs carried by this cover. It talks about sex and alcohol, which are few main themes for rock genre. I guess what might have confuse 50 present of people asked, it was colour scheme, de-saturated colours brought neatness, sadness and some minimalism to the cover. It was made like that, as I was aiming to have more synergy in this design. It worked as 100 percent of people said that this cover has synergy with my music video. Photography was the favourive part of questioned in this CD design, however at the same time they voted for photography as the feature to be improved. This cover is suppose to be a rare, non-official one, it’s why I think it will work well, as my target audience will see video beforehand, and if they will notice this cover, they will see the synergy with my music video.
For my print work I had lack of professional equipment, I think that with better quality cameras and better lighting I would be able to improve quality of photos. However, all the feedbacks were positive, so I believe that I did a fine job, as I got the audience reaction I was hoping to get.
For my music video I chose very popular theme, which will relate to my target audience. Theme of the video is love and relationship problems, telling that woman can be free if she wants to. It has some feministic vibes, as it encourage girls to be more independent, and shows that females are just scared of changing their lives, so they prefer to stay in their habitual atmosphere, even when it’s not healthy. Vast majority of my target audience are interested in feminism, and will be attracted with relationship theme. Moreover live part of this video has very strong alternative rock style, what will attract my TA as well. Narrative part looks more sophisticated and minimalistic, which shows alternative side of the video. I use few sexual elements in it, as rock is even associated with ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’ phrase. My narrative part also had some rock styled props, like cigarettes and alcohol. All of that suggest their living style, and attract my target audience with its rebellious habitat. I also used few close ups on music instruments, as my pre-production research showed that my target audience in their majority are interested in them, and play or want to play them.
Public viewing showed mostly positive feedback from viewers. They thought that lip singing was very natural and actor play was very impressive as well. The lead singer played outstanding, as was very emotional and passionate. However girls in the band were not ‘rocking’ enough, maybe a little bit too shy and not emoting the power and content of the song. Also, it would be a good idea to make my lead change her costume few times, as it would give an expression, of these filming made on few different gigs. The live shots needed ‘dirtying up’ and distressing to get synergy with the song and cd cover. Moreover, some people thought that it would have good to have the tattoo feature in the video somewhere, even if not the singers legs, but I don’t think that it was that important, as it is possible that on the cover shown legs of my lead singer, whose legs were hidden on my music video. I also had some problems with equipment for my narrative part, I needed larger, more rock amps, as once I used were too small for alternative rock genre. Also the lack of guitar strap resulted in one guitarist looking every awkward. The drummer wasn’t playing powerfully enough or in time, what made me to cut her from the majority of the scenes, some of which were outstanding. I had to spend more time for the cast, to chose people which would fit this genre better, as I understood that good cast is very important, as filming goes faster, post-production is easier and video looks more real and passionate. People said that in both parts, but especially in narrative, camera work was very impressive and some of the close ups, with the actors play were giving out very strong emotions. Everyone enjoyed aerial angle shot of the street, as it was very unconventional, and interesting way of showing my actress running away.
Also people liked costumes for my narrative part, as they were very simple, but had rock vibe, moreover even when my actress was running on the street despite simplicity of the clothes she was wearing she was standing out of the crowd. However it was noticed that in all of the narrative shots she was wearing the same clothes, it confused some of the viewers. It was due unexpected change in the whole music video, because I wanted to have the same person in the live part as a singer and in the narrative, so in the end I would make an open end. However, I had to change my scenario, and find new actress at the last minute, so she didn’t have anything much to wear. I hoped that half naked scenes would dilute that mistake. Moreover because this changes, I had to change my ending few days before filming. It is the reason ending of this music video is a little bit blurred and confusing for some people. I am very happy with my actor performance in narrative part, because in the short notice they were able to give very good performance. However they couldn’t do some of the simple things like screaming at each other or fighting, as they were to shy to do that.
Few days before the filming my narrative part, my lead singer said that she doesn’t have opportunity to participate in my music video anymore, so I had to change my storyline. As in the beginning, I was planning to blur the line between live and narrative parts, as I was inspired by Coldplay ‘Fix you’ music video.
Because of the sudden change, I could make this kind of the ending for my video. I decided change my narrative to the separate, new love story of the abusive relationships. I think that this change didn’t bring only negatives to my music video. Despite the slightly unclear end and not that passionate play, I got a very nice shooting place and an actress, which suited the part better. It was due sexy feel she was giving out, which suits rock genre perfectly.
If I would have a little bit more time for writing second version for my narrative, I think I would do some improvements in clothes and directing (make them to fight etc.). Moreover, better quality camera, and overall equipment would make a big change to this video. I had some ideas about filming in the dark, as it would fit the genre better, however for good quality shots in the dark I had to have special lighting, which I didn’t have. Also live performance wasn’t as exciting as I hoped, as I wanted lights to change, as it would bring more action and emotions to the footage.
- How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
For creation my project I used wide variety of media technologies, for the research, planning and constructing the body of the project, starting from Internet surfing and using websites like YouTube and Facebook. These helped me a lot with the first step of my project: research. Interesting links on Facebook widened up my idea of the rock music and showed me other ways I could have go (choosing indie music instead). YouTube had very useful videos, which helped me to understand conventions of alternative rock music and also some music videos gave me some ideas for my own music video. Also for researching my target audience I used range of different social networks, as well as Intagram. Recently Instagram became extremely popular among my target audience, so it was a good idea to use it for my research. My target audience was posting photos on the daily basis, sharing information about were they are going and what they like. Despite that being very dangerous for their own lives it was very helpful for my research, as it gave me an idea about their interests, music preferences, places they visit etc.
Also for researching my TA I used my wordpress.com blog. I created my questionnaire before production stage, so I will have an idea what my TA expect to get from alternative rock music video and cd cover. I also found out about their interests, preferences and some information, which I could use for my product advertisement. This feedback was very important for my work, as it improved potential quality of the final product. Afterwards, I used poll daddies for my pos-production survey as well. The answers were nerveless as important for me, as feedback gave me an opportunity to improve some bits of my work and showed me were I did well.
WordPress website played a big part in my project, as it helped me to display and present my work in very presentable, but conventional way. It is very easy to share information through it, and is a good and accessible for updating your work and see the progress you made. It allowed me to use lots of media like poll daddies and charts. Moreover the multi-media of this website gave me an opportunity to make my blog entertaining and interactive by adding pictures, videos and hyperlinks to it. It made my blog more interesting for people, and easier to understand my ideas and findings. In real world it would ease the communication for the company, as their employees would be allowed to comment on the project, add suggestions, add images and ideas, put up source material, do instant feedback of ideas and discuss it globally. Moreover it will give them an access form smartphone, so they can be anywhere and see a location or mise-en-scene for the music video, or if they will get new idea they can take photo and upload it immediately.
For my planning I used same social networks for creating my mood board, which afterwards helped me with designing my storyboard and was a reminder of the style I wanted to follow. For my advert and cd cover planning and real production I used Photoshop, which I already knew how to use, so it didn’t hinder my project in both planning and production parts. The hardest part was creating the CD, as it was quite hard to overlay the image on top of existed CD. In real production, Photoshop was very useful for me as I was able to make my photos look more professional, and improve quality, as I didn’t have professional camera, I used semi-pro Canon 600D. It was very important to make a good impression at my target audience, as I had to make them interested in the band. All photos I took I changed in Photoshop afterwards. I was playing with their saturation, contrast, brightness and colour. In adjustments my favourite tool was selective colour as it enabled me to change colour palette of the photo, or change only particular colours. Moreover Photoshop helped me to create my band logo, by choosing Baskerville font and changing its wideness I made origin for my brand logo, however after to add some drama and rock vibe I used shaped eraser tool to bring some destruction to the logo. It got a little bit old look what made it look more alternative and interesting, as it didn’t look like modern mainstream. I was trying not to use too much effects, in both moving image and print work, as it would make my product look unnatural and too polished, which is unconventional for the rock genre and can confuse my target audience. Even though I used retouching tool, which is usually used for more mainstream genres, like pop, as they are selling look, while rock is selling music, I was trying not too overdo it, so it will still have a little bit messy grunge look. These tools are very important in post-production, as they help to emphases style, emotion, intent and content.
For my music video I used Final Cut Pro, which was quite challenging for me, I had to watch some tutorials in YouTube to understand some things. One tutorial helped me a lot, as I wanted to darken my video, as it was too bright. With the time I got used to interface of this program and became more productive. I used lots of colour change for my live part, as my footage was too yellow, and school atmosphere was too obvious. I also used few effects, for instance effect earthquake add very rock feel to my music video, and made it more interesting overall. Moreover, this effect gives feeling of disruption to the video, which is very conventional for rock genre, this convention allows to be not as neat and persistent like producers have to be while they are creating more mainstream, pop music videos, which conventionally are more polished. Also used some transitions effects to add drama to my music video. The obvious transition effect was the flash, I used it to show difference in time period, like memories or to mix narrative part with live in a last choirs as it was the one with the fastest pace, the strongest one.
I also used digital media for my project evaluation, such as poll daddies, YouTube links, Prezi and Vimeo. This multi-media approach helped me to create interactive evaluation. I was able to represent my ideas visually, what gave me an opportunity to stand out and explain myself better and potentially allowed anyone on world to see and comment on my product.
New technologies made access to media formats and direct advertising to their target audience easier for institutions to target their audience. My survey showed that 100 percent of questioned people own a smartphone, which have an access to other media platforms. Some media platforms made targeting much easier as well. For example, on Facebook, they decide what advert to show you, through the links you like, pages you go to etc. This method made advertising easier, direct and more effective. YouTube advert placement meanwhile is based on the video you are willing to watch. For example, before makeup tutorial, YouTube will show makeup ads, all of that is made in order to successfully reaching their target audience. Moreover, now advertising can be made through creating a page on Instagram or Facebook, which is free way to get some attention and attract more people to your product, through sharing pictures, videos and links. It also eases the communication with their target audience, as they can leave feedback about your product, or follow the band through the videos and photos they post. Moreover, they can rely on ‘word of mouth’, which nowadays is a very effective type of advertising your product. For band fans it gave an opportunity to be closer to their idols, as they can follow them through lots of different social networks. Their icons will share photos and videos, and more importantly announce the dates for their next gigs and concerts. New technologies made these kinds of announcements cheaper, easier and more essentially global. This is especially important for independent band and studios, as while conglomerates has ability, money and power to advertise themselves successfully, majority of independent companies are dying out, pressured by multinational companies. Digital technologies and its popularity gave the chance to advertise cheaply and successfully. However at the same time that means greater competition between companies as it means equal opportunities for independent companies and multinational conglomerates.
Moreover, multi-media gave an opportunity for institutions to create more platforms for their fans to interact with their idols or products. Creating their own apps, websites and games turned up to be very effective in terms of advertising and attracting target audience. Multi-media gave an opportunity to users participate in production process, as they now can leave their commentary which will be available for everyone, so target audience today has opportunity to contribute to media.
Modern technology also is helping different independent companies, including record labels, to survive or get started. Internet enabled them to get easier software, cheaper kit and advert with the help of different websites. With Internet they are able to target their audience worldwide, by placing ad online. Moreover it also enabled them to make a bigger scale research, what gives them opportunity to outline their target audience more correctly. It is very important to know who exactly is your TA, as it allows to market more directly and cheaper. By knowing who is target market, independent companies nowadays can advert on Facebook, or by creating smartphone apps. Use of technology and multi-media is very important for both, companies and audience, as businesses has an opportunity to market and operate cheaper, while for audience it’s a way of entertainment.