Evaluation Question 1 – In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

EVALUATION QUESTION 1 from Iain McCallum on Vimeo.

Script Complete:

There are many aspects of my Advanced Media Production that can be considered to be both conventions and challenge the conventions of real media products. These conventions can be seen in my final music video and digipack. One convention that can be seen in my digipack is the use of a barcode and copyrights printed on both the back of the digipack and on the CD. I used InDesign to arrange the copyright text in a circular shape around the disc and at the bottom of my back cover, this is a typical convention seen in real media products for example on David Guettas CD for the album ‘One Loud’. I felt that using tonal, black and white shades across my digipak was effective as it is a convention seen in real indie/pop digipacks. An example of this is The 1975’s “Face Down” and ‘Music for Cars’ albums which utilise a variety of black and white tones which are ultimately simple as I believe the absence of colour places the focus on the subject and emotional aspect of the photographs across the digipak. Additionally, the shades employed successfully complement the genre of their music (which is a very similar Indie/Pop genre that my own music video represents).

When researching real music artists digipacks I became aware that most artists created their own font that is used throughout all of their albums, posters, tour posters and merchandise. An example of this is Ed Sheerans’ albums, using the same font as well as creating his own logos (resembling different mathematical signs and symbols e.g. division, multiply and plus) that are now immediately associated to his form/style of music (these symbols also feature on his guitars as seen during his collaboration with Stormzy when performing ‘Castle on the Hill’ at the Brit Awards in 2017). As well as looking effective, it distinguishes his own unique, original style and brand from other artists of a similar genre. For my digipack and merchandise, I decided to use the same font called Intro Cond (downloaded off of 1001 fonts) throughout which not only makes all of these products flow and systematically connect, but also allows for a brand/image to be engraved/learnt because listeners and followers begin to recognise my chosen font as being my singer’s ‘trademark’ and can immediately associate similar styles with that of my artist. I also feel that in my digipack, posters and merchandise, just like Ed Sheerans’ various albums, the photographs I captured on the same day as shooting my final music production worked successfully as the images were of the same location and utilised the same weather conditions. Another convention I spotted when researching existing media products was to include a lyrics booklet within the albums digipak which fortuitously enables my followers/consumers to become more familiar/related to my artists music. Furthermore, it allows them to enhance their connections/understanding of the songs lyrics and therefore relate this directly to the narrative of my music video. Subsequently, I decided to include a lyrics page in my digipack, which includes many different songs that feature within my performers album. Existing digipacks also include the artists record labels and various music companies logos on the disc. An example of this, although all artists feature these logos, is Amy Winehouses’ ‘Back to Black’ album which features the ‘Universal Studios’ production logo and her production companies logo on the back cover. I felt that this is an important convention and therefore decided to use the ‘Atlantic’ record label logo across my own digipak.

Moving on to my website and other elements of my digipak, in order to make it more realistic/professional, I decided to use ‘Atlantic Productions’, an extremely successful, well-known record company, to promote my artist. A convention seen in many other websites by real artists is that the tour dates are listed under their own subheading, for example, James Arthurs, Charlie Puths’ and The 1975’s pages (to name a few). Furthermore, many websites incorporated pictures of their artists (Charlie Puth uses this as the main image across his website and the first picture any viewer sees). This lead me to pick an image with a similar convention that most importantly complements my chosen genre and the style of my artist. As a result, just like my digipak, I continued the theme of black and white tones/shades across my website and incorporated a textual landscape image of my artist standing on the beach. I believe this image works effectively with my chosen font style and colour, making important information stand out and catch the eye. I chose to put my singer in normal casual clothes that I feel would not challenge the conventions of similar acoustic videos and digipacks as it is nothing out of the ordinary. However, on the other hand my website could be seen as challenging the conventions of real websites as mine features various tabs and links whereas real life websites often include a constant, free-flowing scrolling layout which requires little tabs/links. Although this did not fit existing conventions and ideas, I believe that my setup/layout is easier to navigate, clearer and more effective when needing to find information about my artist quickly.

In my music video I feel that I followed many conventions that exist in real music videos. The first most obvious convention is that I used both a young female adult as my main actress and young male actor. This convention can be seen in Charlie Puth’s ft. Selena Gomez, hit single “We Don’t Talk Anymore” music video as well as Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” production. The locations I used can also be considered conventions as in the existing indie/acoustic music videos that I researched during my research posts most tended to feature beaches or fields/forests. I chose to use these locations in my music video as I feel they work well with the style of music. I also noticed that the use of filming waves and birds is a typical convention of acoustic music videos this may be because it represents serenity and freedom. I chose to use these kind of shots in my music video because the lyrics of my song fit with that theme. Additionally, the use of mobile phones, particularly in the first minute of my production, instantaneously connects with todays audience (people are now immersed into technological developments and advances in everyday society). My music video was based around a double strand narrative that  focused around two main protagonists (either side of the split screen) – the narrative unfolds and finishes around my characters, usually focused around the artist in a music video, for example in Ke$ha’s Tik Tok music video, it features her doing her daily routine of partying and drinking but focused completely around her. As a result of researching similar videos like this, I decide to include my artist as one of the two key characters. This relates to the theory of a Three Act Structure. Act 1 involves introducing the main character/s and setting up conflicts which is the story of the sequence (at the end is the catalytic moment where the equilibrium is disrupted). Act 2 is the disequilibrium/climax. This is when the consequences are explored of the catalytic moment where the protagonists recognise the disruption and tries to repair the diegesis. Finally, Act 3 involves the final revelation and or the moment when the conflict the story is resolved and a new equilibrium created – the audience are told/understand the final message (this also relates to Todorovs’ theory of narrative where narrative is split into four concepts of an equilibrium, disruption, resolution and new equilibrium). My final sequence successfully incorporated elements of both theorists e.g. normality is established as the characters do their daily routines before disruption occurs as everything starts going wrong for them both.

In conclusion I feel that my media product is both a convention and challenges conventions of real media products. However I feel that when construction my digipack, poster and music video I made sure to take all my research that I had done into consideration in order to create a product that is both effective and is a convention of a typical music video.

Evaluation Question 1 – In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

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