1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? By Deeqa Ali
Music Video • During the pre-production stage of the project, we researched existing music videos of similar genres to our chosen song, ‘Set off’. We were searching for inspiration and also to find the main conventions included in pop/rock music videos. By analysing past videos created by Hey Monday such as ‘How you love me’, this allowed us to establish what to include in our product. In the ‘How you love me’ video, Goodwin’s theory of narrative and performance is apparent, in that there is almost always a storyline element to music videos, and also a performance element, where a mini concert for the chorus of the song is performed. This is a common feature in many videos especially those of the pop/rock genre. Panning shots are used throughout the main performance scenes as these allow the audience to see the entire band whilst they perform the main chorus. Throughout the video, there is a relationship between the lyrics and the visual aspects such as colour schemes and symbolism used. We wanted to include this into our music video so that we have a narrative that relates to the lyrics. This allows our audience to understand the concept of the song and therefore be able to relate and perhaps become devoted fans. • Dyer’s star theory (1979) argues there is one main star in a band, which is the most attractive and becomes the face of the band; this person is the one for the audience to be attracted to. Star theory is widely represented in many music videos as the lead singer of the band is the main focus in videos and establishes the band’s image. For example, in Maroon 5 the lead singer Adam Levine is constantly the focus in nearly all the videos they have. This is due to the fact that he is established as the star of the band, therefore the majority of the time the emphasis is on him. Through this, the audience can relate and become familiar with one member of the band. We decided to conform to this and include star theory into our video as we had a main singer, who was the face of the band. The editing of pop/rock videos are mostly fast paced, with jump-cuts being used to transition from different scenes. This is largely to do with the fast pace of the music. With these constant transitions, it keeps the audience engaged and interested in the video. We conformed to this aspect of the editing to be included in our video. The sound featured is mostly diegetic, although some songs contain dialogue at the beginning.
The symbolic conventions featured in existing videos created meaning beyond what is obvious to see. Specific facial expressions are expressed in the music video during the performance aspect of the video. These facial expressions are portrayed through the use of close ups. This conforms to the stereotypical pop/rock genre. The mise-en-scene shown is bright and artificial lighting. We incorporated this in our video as it creates a more professional look. The costumes worn by the bands are quite dark and punk like, to make our video more believable we had to conform to the conventions of Indie rock clothing. During the performance, we made use of real instruments that gave us a much more realistic feel of being a real band. In the music videos there is a typically differences in the representation of gender. Instead of women being shown as submissive, they are active agents, as they are mainly the lead singers of the bands for example in Paramore. This make the audience view women as much more dominant which subverts the stereotype that suggests women are simply objectified as sex objects in some music genres such as R’n’B. The men are also represented as dominant as they are viewed as playing instruments such as the drums which are seen as a masculine instrument to play. In our video we too decided to subvert from the typical stereotypes placed on women in the media. As we are a girl band, it is preserved that we should dress in a certain revealing manner like other girl bands for example Girls Aloud. On the other hand, most pop/rock bands are known for wearing modest and casual outfits, so we conformed to that stereotype, but we did try to add a more ‘teenage feel’ to it by wearing jeans and leather jackets. This is so that we could relate to our target audience who were teenagers.
Digipak • Research was conducted into existing digipaks of different and similar genres to our chosen song to form a variety of ideas. By doing this, it allowed us to view different ways to present our pack and the differences between genres. Most of the indie/rock genres had similar conventions, with either a distorted picture of the band/lead singer or abstract image or cartoon. For example, in ‘folie a deux’ by fall out boy has a cartoon illustrated on the front cover. The image plays off the title of the album as ‘folie a deux’ is translated as ‘A madness shared by two’ and the image is of two bears, one carrying the other, which is a creative design and creates intrigue especially for the audience, as it makes the audience think about the image as it is unusual and makes it a talking point. We wanted to do something similar to this so we decided to conform to the stereotypical indie/rock digipak. • The analysis of the digipaks gave us an understanding of what is needed to be included to create a realistic digipak. The information included lists of songs on the album, which is featured at the back of the album. We collected more images inside of the bands or images that link to the songs on the album for 4 different bands. • The images included inside the digipak are of mainly the same nature as the front cover. However, it also includes pictures of the band, allowing the audience to establish a bond with the individual members of the band. The colour schemes used on albums are similar throughout the album- inside and on the front cover. We stuck to these typical conventions, using the same colour scheme throughout the pack. The front cover includes a blurred image of the lead singer, with an altered focus on the image. Our colour scheme was orange and white, which subverts the stereotype since most of the digipaks of rock/indie genres use dark colours. The change of the colours was primarily for the reason that bright colours are eye catching and will draw the audience towards it.
Website • Analysis of existing websites conventions allowed us to view the type of layout and material that is represented in the pop/rock genre. By looking at Hey Monday’s previous website page, we were able to develop an understanding of the band and what type of details they included, for example what kind of pages they included, such as biography information and how this presented. We decided to subvert their colour scheme as it was more pop than rock as it uses pink and turquoise colours throughout. On the other hand, we did comprise conventions of rock such as those of Paramore in our website by using colours such as red and black for our backgrounds. This allowed our colour scheme to seem much more diverse compared to other girl bands, who tend to use pink a lot in their websites. This aimed to make the reach and appeal of the band also seem wider and more diverse so that it would appeal to the target audience of all teenagers. • The images in the website are of a stereotypical indie theme as most of the pictures were quite ‘quirky’, such as distorted obscure pictures of people’s faces. Like other bands early in their careers, we did take some professional pictures too to have good clear images of us as a band. By doing this it allowed us to attract a wider target audience and appeal for our image by not trying to only appeal to one segment of the audience, who are into Indie music and instead appealing more widely to different interests. • John Fotis stated that ‘social networking sites are all about enabling people to express and share ideas and thoughts with others, but also enabling them to connect to others’. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are featured, with a live feed on the homepage. This allows our audience, who are largely teenagers, to follow our activities as a band. Social networking sites are becoming a big influence in society. Therefore, to reach an audience efficiently social network links are a feature that needs to be included. Twitter and Facebook have become an easy way for artists to communicate with their audience all around the world instantly, which is why we included these links on the website.