Evaluation… Evanescence – My Immortal Slaveya Stoencheva
Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My website is a media platform which links to other social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace that is used as a function in order to promote the artist through the use of synergy as used in real music webpage's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626214992058/This shows how my product follows the codes and conventions of real media products in terms of promotion and advertisement. My media products follow the codes and conventions through the artists clothes and make-up. The use of black clothes follows the forms of the genre along with the dark eye make-up and hair on the female artist. This is shown through the comparison of real alternative rock artists: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626112137559/with/5514490759/ Which supports the codes and conventions of the representation of the artists. On the other hand, the track itself challenges the codes and conventions of Evanescence, a Metal band, as it is a mellow and slow song, which will not normally be associated with the band. Similarly, having a female vocalist also challenges the codes and conventions of metal which is mostly associated with white males as vocalists and as an audience.
Representation The form of my website, such as the colour scheme, follows codes and conventions of the genre – Metal– containing a black background with a bright colour, red in this case, to highlight the important sections of the website, which are mainly aimed at highlighting the artist.
Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The artists in my production were dressed in black, the female artist, also the main character, had her make-up done according to the codes and conventions of the genre. It consisted of more eye-liner and eye-shadow to darken her eyes and her hair being back combed. This representation created in the production relates to the rock genre along with the lighting, having scenes in black and white and some in a dark red room. This also relates to the lyrics of the song where she sings about the loss of her lover creating a dark and lonely feel crafting the music video for the purpose of the audience. The scenes in colour represent the memories she has with him, crafting an emotional feel to the song; this representation is seen as typical behaviour when we lose a loved one conveying the codes and conventions. The use of a cigarette in some scenes is seen as deviant as this music video will not be allowed to air on MTV or similar, popular music programmes in countries where the promotion of cigarettes is banned. However through the use of a cigarette in the production it portrays a more emotional feel of depression relating to the representation of the genre. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626167899221/ Through slowing down some of the scenes, creating a slow motion effect portrays the feelings of the artist as to how time seems longer now she is without him. This effect also goes along with the tempo of the song, crafting a deeper meaning in the lyrics of the songs.
Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My media products uses forms and conventions of real products, this is displayed through the narrative storyline in the music video Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VQ_3sBZEm0 My music video is based on the structuralist Vladimir Popp’s theory who argued that the character was central to narrative structure and TzetvanTodorov theory “structure of the fantastic” – equilibrium > disequilibrium > new equilibrium. My Digipack follows the codes and conventions of real media products through the use of a black and white theme that is most associated with the genre, along with the Serif font for the name of the Band which is also used in my website in order to create an effective and recognisable package. Using mainly one artist in the music video, website and digipack differs from the forms and conventions of the band Evanescence, as in most CD Covers the band as a whole is presented. I done this as it created a more emotional response from the audience based on the song itself – My Immortal. This allows the audience to create a closer connection to the artist and their feelings presented in the lyrics of the song.
Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My media products challenge, to some extent, the forms and conventions of the band as they are usually all represented on the front cover of their digipacks and music videos. I did this because the particular song was mainly associated with the main artist and created a more emotional link with the audience compared to if the band as a whole was represented. The use of the lens flares challenges the forms and conventions of real products as it is not normally associated with the genre. Although I used this in order to create a form of identity to the song which the audience would be able to associate with, this also created a more post-modern effect which ties in with the music video, although represented in a different way. I use of the general locations in my music video such as the park, bedroom and playground, to an extent, differs from forms and conventions of real media products as they are normally either animated or consist of a band performance with the genre. I chose these locations in order for the audience to be able to relate more with the artist and song, as it is a slow and emotional track. This is shown compared with the music video of Nightwish – Amaranth which is a similar genre to Evanescence's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdZn7k5rZLQ
Q2: How effective is the combination of your main product (music video) and ancillary texts (the website & digipak)? The combination of my main media product and my ancillary texts is effective in the use of the codes and conventions of the rock genre, which is normally associated with the band. The use of dark colours throughout my products contributes to the creation of a cohesive Media Portfolio, I also done this through the representation of the artist, alone, which integrates with the meaning of the song. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626285518340/with/5534769488/ I used the same costume for the artist throughout my media products in order to help form a cohesive package along with similar setting and location. This makes it easier for the audience to connect the three products to one another. On the other hand, my website does not particularly match with the others, this is because it is aimed as the band and artist as a whole, while the digipack and music video represents the band with the particular song. The song is a slow beat track, more along the lines of an alternative rock genre, which differs from the bands normally associated genre of rock. Due to this reason, my website differs slightly from my digipack and music video as it does not focus on the song itself but also the band as a whole.
Q2: How effective is the combination of your main product (music video) and ancillary texts (the website & digipak)? The combination of my main products is effective through the use of the post-modernism through the ideology behind art in my website and digipack and in my music video through Jean Francois Lyotard’s interpretation of “postmodernism is characterized by the incredulity towards meta narrative”. My website and digipack form an effective combination through my use of the serif font for the name of the band – Evanescence – and the colour of it – grey – which makes it easier for the audience to associate the two together. I use of my digipack and music video advertisement on my website creates an effective combination as they use one another for the purpose of promotion and to make the audience aware of the new digipack and music video for download, luring the audience to buy the combinaion.
Q3: What have you learned from your audience feedback? The evaluation stage allowed me to gather the opinions from the relevant audience on my media productions. The feedback I received was mainly positive in the way the artists were represented in the music video, website and digipack. The negative feedback I received was mainly aimed at the one particular scene in the music video where the singer is seen slightly smiling. The feedback for my digipack, was mainly on the brightness of the artists face on the front cover, while for the website the overall outcome was to add more information. I learned from my audience feedback to focus on the smaller detail which would improve my overall product. The comments which occurred mostly are recorded and shown on the graph on the next slide.
Audience Feedback I questioned 25 people who listen to the genre – Rock – The overall feedback and most commented on features that I received from the feedback, I gathered and recorded onto the graph: Liked representation of the artist: 41% of the outcome from the feedback I received commented on the way the artist was represented in the music video, digipack and website. The scene of the artist smiling: 16% of the outcome mentioned a scene in the music video of the artist slightly smiling. Brightness of artist on front cover: 7% commented on the brightness of the artists face on the CD Cover. Additional information on website: 6% suggested that I add more information on the website. Liked the images and scenes used: 17% liked the images I used in my digipack and website and the scenes that I incorporated into the music video. Liked costumes or artist: 13% liked the artists clothing, commenting that they were able to associate it with the genre. This feedback is gathered through a questionnaire I placed on Facebook.
What I learnt from the audience feedback I learned that the face of the artist on my CD Cover is too bright and is difficult for the audience to be able to see all her facial features. I also learned to focus more on the scenes I incorporate into my music video, as the scene with the artist smiling does not follow the lyrics of the song and the intended narrative for my music video. For my website, I gathered, to add more information about the band in order to be able to capture the new/upcoming audience and interest them before they decide to explore the artist further. On the other hand I also learnt that the representation of the artist was suitable for the genre along with the clothing, make-up and hair.
Research and Planning For our music video we planned what song to use, the artists that would be most suitable for our task and the locations that would be most suitable for the song. Therefore we filmed at various locations in order to not create repetition, at the park, graveyard, bedroom and at a playground. I looked at similar genre music videos in order to explore the way the artist/s are represented. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626161767909/ I looked at similar genre bands such as: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwTmqPMjlPM I continued with my planning in the digipack and website in order to create an effective package which would follow the codes and conventions of real products. I also took into consideration my music video when planning my products along with the genre conventions. I looked at real websites of the same and similar genre bands and artists in order to find out how to represent my band. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626112277569/ I also looked at similar digipack’s to explore the representation and the creation of an effective package, I then continued in making mock-up CD covers for practice before beginning my final product, this helped me improve with the software I used. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157625186336199/
Construction Learning how to operate the camera enabled me to represent the artists through the various angles and shot types used displayed in this clip: The use of a variety of shot types, extreme close up and in contrast, the extreme long shot represent the feelings of the artist behind the meaning of the lyrics. The shot types also contribute to the narrative style of the music video. The use of the different angels creates a more dramatic tone to the music video and develops the feelings of the artists, this also creates a narrative-story line video. I was able to do this through the use of the camera which helped me create the music video.
Construction continued… As shown on the previous slide in the clip: By using different camera angles and shots in the music video we aimed to represent different aspects of her life to craft a more dramatic tone. Through representing sorrow, we used close-ups of her to show her emotions towards the situation portrayed in her facial expressions. The use on long-shots was to show the setting of the scene and to represent emptiness in her life with no one around to help or understand her creating a more emotional response from the audience, the scene of her alone by the lake and on the swing help portray this. The low angle shot to her and eye level to her lover us used to represent the effect of his suicide which coincides with the meaning of the song. Certain scenes contained snow, which is normally associated with loneliness and beauty, the use of these scenes represent these feelings creating a greater feel of emptiness in her life. The scenes in the bedroom with the dark, red walls is typical of the genre creating a crazy tone almost one of desire to return to normal, the feeling of blame upon herself for his departure, crafting a more dramatic sphere and the tone of the song progresses. The media representation in my production is one of emptiness and loneliness, crafted to meet certain code and conventions of the genre, alternative rock, and also certain aspects which differ from the related codes and conventions to create the personal feeling of the song, creating a stronger emotional response from the intended audience.
Construction continued… The construction stage enabled me to learn how to use software such as Final Cut Pro, and improved my skills in Photoshop and Illustrator which was needed in creating my final digipack and website. This is an example of the technology I used to form my music video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42826572@N06/sets/72157626162540797/ I used Final Cut Pro to log and capture the video footage from the camera , edit the scenes, which were mainly desaturate following the codes and conventions of the genre, and sync the music with the footage. For my digipack, I used Photoshop to edit, crop and add effects to the images I used to create my product. I combined this with Illustrator where I created the fonts for my media product, helping me in constructing my digipack. I used Photoshop and Illustrator once again for the construction of my website, although I also learned how to use Dreamweaver. This enabled me to insert functional links into my website, forming a representation of a real website.
Q4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 in my construction stage to edit the images I used, I desaturate all the images as it was most suitable for the genre. I also created smoke and the lens effects in Photoshop, which are found on my digipack and website. Using these effects allowed me to create a more post-modern product through the ideology behind art although it is usually referenced to architecture.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 I used the Filter tab when creating the lens effects and editing the images which allowed me to use a variety of options for my final product. The tools which were easily accessible for me allowed me to crop and cut the parts of images I did not want to use, this also made is easier for me to add and remove effects and colours to my digipack. This enabled me to layer the images I preferred to be in front of the other as shown on the back cover with the smoke effect. The ruler made it easier for me to work with the size of the front, back, left and right.
Q4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Using Photoshop I was also able to add an outer glow to the font I used, this helped me create a more recognisable theme associated with the genre, and highlight the name of the band in order to lure the audience. I was further able to create the right size needed for the digipack and website and blend an image of the artist onto the top left background of my website along with the butterflies:
Adobe Illustrator CS3 This allowed me to chose the colour I thought would be most suitable for my product With these options I chose the font for my product along with the size and opacity of my text I was able to alter my chosen font, moving each angel of the letter • Through the construction state I also used Adobe Illustrator CS3 to create the serif fonts I used throughout my digipack and website which allowed me to import them onto Photoshop where I completed my final products.
Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 Here I chose what I would like to be a link by highlighting it. This allowed me to chose what I would like the link which I selected to take me to. I continued with the development of my website on Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 which used to create functioning links on my website which would be found on real websites.
Q4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? For the construction of my music video I used a variety of media technologies, first and foremost I used a video camera to record the scenes I intended to use for my product. Following what I have recorded, I used Final Cut Pro to log and capture the footage from the tape and upload them as separate scenes onto this programmes in order for it to be easier for me to allocate which scenes would be most suitable for the time of the track. Using Final Cut Pro I was also able to edit and place the scenes to create my final product.
Final Cut Pro These options allowed me to add effects to the scenes such as slow motion and desaturate The hard drive enabled me to store my music video along with the scenes and track making it easier for me to work from This enabled me to chose the scene I wanted to use easier Using this I was able to watch my product through the creation which helped me in my choice of scenes I was able to create a suitable length for the scenes, and watch the progress of my product along with the track I was able to add blur in and out’s to create a better flow to the music video
World Wide Web Aside from my construction stage I used the internet when gathering information and researching the genre in depth to be able to understand and set the guidelines which I would need to create my final product. I visit websites such as Youtube which helped me focus on the way artists are represented in their music video along with information sites and their official webpage's. For the evaluation stage I used the social network site Facebook to be able to gather opinions on my final products from the relative audience. I also used Windows Movie Maker to present aspects of my work along with Microsoft PowerPoint, which I used to incorporate the information. I used other websites suck as Flickr, to upload images, which allowed me to present my work clearer. I done this, also, through the use of a blog, Wordpress, where I was able to gather my research and planning.