Welcome Message

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I am currently studying Media Studies at Ilkley Grammar School at A2 level and this blog will show you everything that I will be looking at this year. Each blog post will be like a piece of work that can be looked at individually. I hope you enjoy looking at my blog as I enjoy posting on it.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Final Cut - Jump Girls Aloud

Final Digipak

Final Magazine Advert

Evaluation Question 1 - What ways does your media product use conventions of real media?

Evaluation Question 2 - How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

Question 3 - What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Evaluation Question 4 - How did you use new media technologies?

Rough Cut 6

Friday, 16 March 2012

Pop music video budgets

The pop music video industry if well-known for producing amazing music video sparing no expense for aspects such as props, location, special effects and costume. Some of the most expensive music videos ever produced have been from the pop genre. These include Lady GaGas videos Bad Romance, and the priciest of them all Telephone rumoured to cost over one million US dollars.

The average pop music video costs on average ten thousand US dollars to produce, this was an obvious aspect to us when deciding to create a pop music video. Fortunately these large pop budgets are not so common for band music videos, as female band artists tend to be not as popular as single  pop artists. This was an advantage for us as we don't have thousands of pounds to spend on costume and lighting. We did have to spend a significant amount on mainly costume (around £50 from our own pockets), but was worth the expense as aspects such as the multicoloured tights do look very impressive.

Evaluation Question 1 - draft

·       Problems with the questions such as there being many different types of real media products which are a part of a specific genre but will not show expected themes, concepts or ideas.

·       Define conventions of pop format e.g. performance based, bright lighting, shot variety etc.
·       Compare my music video and what I have researched to the specific genre conventions of a pop video. Include narrative aspect which isn’t always used.

·       Include what I have developed in my music video in relation to conventions such as the ‘cute’ aspect being developed even further to a very youthful audience. How I have challenged conventions of the pop girl band music video by including aspects of alcoholic beverages being consumed. I have decided to include this aspect as a large proportion of our age group is 16-22, so they can relate more to the video and the band members. This element brings the video out of its tweenage audience and more into an older age range. All shots of alcohol drinking are shot in a proper manner and does not promote or include any evidence of drunkenness. The video still keeps its theme of innocence and fun.

·       Explain the difference between develop and challenge.
Challenging genre = completely different ideas
Developing genre = reflecting but changing

·       Have mainly kept to genre conventions of performance only but have included some narrative to give the music video more of a story to keep up with.

·       Relation between digipak front and back. Kept to the same theme of including sweets and balloons. This is relevant to the actual music video as well. One continuous flowing image on the front and back panels.

·       Difference between digipak and CD, digipak ecological aspects, dual case, cheaper to post/produce. Include how people don’t buy digipak’s or CDs anymore, illegal downloads.
·       Am I happy with the media language portrayed in my music video? Yes stuck to genre conventions, kept cute/innocent theme, performance + narrative, signifies, balloons, glitter, feathers, sweets, kept playful aspects. 

Would change to having more lip-synching to fit conventions better. Spent time and money on props and outfits really looked into genre. 

Evaluation Question 2 - draft

·       Start by asking with music video products are the digipaks, magads and music video all covered by one company? No different companies and artists handle different aspects so they won’t be exactly the same.

·       My music video will have all of the three related because we designed them all ourselves in relation to our genre.

·       Include examples of very little integration between the three. Rihanna’s’ music video, digipak and magad, kept the same theme of Rihanna and roses, this was only because the same company handled all of the aspects.

·       Explain the similarities and differences between ancillary texts and music video
Balloons, band members, bright colours, pyjamas, colour scheme, food, hair, make-up, playfulness, sweetness.

Sweeties aspect.
·       Include digipak booklet, and all of the backstage pictures. How we created certain aspects, what we used to blow up 200 balloons etc.

·       Playfulness amongst the three, how we mimicked other artists/ films such as The Saturdays coloured tights idea, the charity shop in the film Wild Child, the writing on the eye inspired by the Moves like Jagger music video.

Evaluation question 3 - draft

Include digipak scent video

·       Actual digipak deconstruction video

·       VLO – different ages, gender and their feedback

·       YouTube comments

·       Comments and feedback on the magad, how we have taken into account people’s views.

·       How I made changes from peoples feedback and also why I disregarded feedback, due to us having a more sophisticated knowledge of our genre and their specific conventions.

·       Feedback response, new feedback response. People didn’t thing the miming was in time, we edited it again, still thought it was not in time, re-shoot. Colour correction instead of tint.

·       Include summary, how it’s been useful, gave us good ideas and opinions of our target audience. was as important as our own creativity.

·       Explain who is primary and secondary audience (blog post) however there are individuals who are not aware of genre conventions who are still an audience.

·       How we got audience feedback, explain VLO day, different ages and gender.

·       Gained a general positive feedback, 210 YouTube views in three weeks

·       How we got audience feedback, range + variety, Gilrls Aloud forums etc. before and after screenshots, how we have transformed the band members.

·       Feedback from rough cuts

·       Problems with audience feedback, large range of media students, generally quite critical.

·       Role of audience feedback in our music video. 

Evaluation Question 4 - draft

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

·       Mainly research and planning information from blog posts. Screen shots, Final cut, iMovie and Photoshop introductions and how I’ve used them, vodcasts, inspiration from films, YouTube videos, and different music videos from same genre. Filming target audience asking for feedback and opinions, Facebook comments and share, site forums being used for feedback.
  • ·       Evaluate new media technology, how new technology makes it just as easy to make professional, polished looking music video just as well as the pros.

    ·       How final cut and other software can be bought by everyone. The same software that actual music video producers and TV shot producers will use to edit there work. Can make products at the same level as experts.

    ·       Indie films and music videos being produced at professional level with the same software we use and little budget.

FH audience feedback VLO day

I took the opportunity to show our most recent rough cut to a class of mixed gender, ethnicity and age groups ranging from ages 11-18 (aswell as my middle aged teacher). This was a day at school were we mix the year groups together so i took 20minuits to explain our intentions and make clear that any feedback, negative or possitive, would be valued and taken deeply into consideration. It was helpful that I got feedback to work from as this is the primary audince age for our music video.

6th form (16-18)
Girl - "The cuts were great that they went with the beat although sometimes it was too quick to see what was happening"
Girl - "I loved how the girls weren't size 0 and were all different shapes and sizes aswell as not all brunette, it was like a younger version of the spice girls"

Blue tie (15-16)
Boy - "The actress' were fit! especially the one with purple theme"

Purple tie (14-15)
Boy - "It was far too girly and there was no story to follow?" - I explained that we had not filmed the narrative yet and to my response this young man would like to view the final piece for final feedback!
Girl - "The balloon room scene was interesting and went with the theme but went on for too long."

Red tie (13-14)
Girl - "The lip sinking is not on time and it doesn't flow through the video it is only in the beggining bedroom scene, possibly include more of them singing"

Green tie (12-13)
Boy - "How did you get the sparkles on the girls?! it looked really good!" - To this I explained about final cut programme and the effect of dazzle" 

Grey tie (11-12)
Girl - "It was amazing and the effects of the colours (colour layers) were helpful to distinguish which girl had which colour"

As well as the feedback I recieved on wednesday (two days ago) I had some feedback from my friend Polly, her response yesterday was "I don't like how you use the constant colour layer, it looks like you have used it too much through out the video." SO I took this in to account and had a play with the effects on final cut, I came across the effect 'Colour Corrector' which instead of changing the whole screen colour, picks out certain colours on screen and changes just that colour SO I did this and showed her again today, I didn't mension I had changed the effect but she noticed and she much prefered the new effect, I also prefer it and I am pleased that we have used more effects as this is new to both myself and Harriet and we're both happy that we have widened our knowledge to the previously unknown!

QR codes

This is the valentines day advert for Marks and Spencer, their QR code is in the shape of a heart.

The full advert, QR code bottom left.

The QR code
On this advert was a QR code in the shape of a heart! this has inspired the idea of doing a QR code in a different shape to the typical 'square box'. The colouring of this QR code also stood out to me as it was pink and white rather than black and white.

Old magazine ad design

This is our previous mag ad design we had originally decided to use the ideas and design from. The theme of keeping to the girls having their own colour was popular, along with the idea of the three different pictures along with including the sweeties theme. The idea was good but we didn't think it looked polished or professional enough, so we decided to keep the idea of including the separate images of the girls and their colour schemes.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The album The Show is one of the first albums released by Girls Aloud in 2004. The digipak includes a simple cardboard sleeve with the CD placed inside. There are aspects from this digipak that I have included in my own digipak; this includes the front style, a group shot and the design of the sticker. This picture was obviously created cheaply and without much thought. The large white space above the heads of the girls makes the picture look very blank. The writing of the band name and the name of the album is also the same font which makes the cover look very amateur. The largest amount spent for this digipak was on the outfits for the band members, the customised directors’ chairs and lighting. The editing and design for the album was clearly not a focus point in terms of cost and effort and overall looks quite tacky and rushed. My digipak will include a much better layout and design.

Podcast 9 - filming getting ready scene

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Digipak research

Digipaks typically are paperboard or card gatefolds, with plastic trays inside to hold a CD and sometimes also a DVD. They are a remake of dual cases, all plastic cases, and are more environmentally friendly, lighter and simply nicer to look at as they are not 'bulky'.

They became popular in the early 2000's because of this and are getting more and more popular. Many places use them for advertising such as a personal experience i had of walking through Leeds City centre and people were handing out digipaks to advertise the night club Oceana which consisted of a CD with a mix of music that is played and a DVD.

I have been researching into how we are going to make our digipak and so i went onto google images and found this instruction picture - this is the style of digipak we are going to be making.

So far we have the idea of having a war hole effect on the cover of the digipak, there will be 5 images, one of each girl and they will be looking towards another band member in another image.

This is an example of a warhole effect on Maralyn Monroe but we will have five pictures, so one in the middle, and each girl will be in the pictures rather than a copy of one picture. This is only our first idea so we are hoping that we can come up with more different ideas for the cover, inside is going to be completely different though and we will have a different theme such as black and white with pictures of the girls in suits and hats - a bit of a 'mafia' look.

This is Rhianna's recent album 'Loud' and this is her digipak for it - she has the same picture on the cover as she does on her jual case but her inside of the digipak is a lot more interesting and eye grabbing to people buying this product as there is an attractive picture on the inside of Rhianna and her CD's have a print of a rose on them. This is also a DVD which comes with the digipak so this also attracts people as they are getting more than just a CD in an environmental friendly, light case.

With this perticular digipak a poster was available which is a picture of the album's cover

How to make a Digipak. Step by step guide.

How to Make a Digipak

Representation in music videos

The way the artists in our music video are portrayed in the way they dress and how they behave is all influenced by the girl band genre and how easily the main target audience can relate to the characters. The audience most influenced by how the characters in the girl band dress and act are the young females aged around 10-13. We have aimed for a cute style of dress for the main female characters along with quirky style which is common representation in band music videos. The colourful onsie’s and multi-coloured tights reflect how we have appealed to our target audience and also followed in the girly style of outfits commonly found in this genre.

The band the Spice Girls were the first ever girl band where the characters had their own unique style and personality. In previous girl band history all the characters dressed the same and didn’t seem to have their own identity. Each one of our characters has their own unique identity. See post: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2781413377890299659#editor/target=post;postID=4718168981448311473

This gives them I way to have their own unique presence within the music video as they keep to their own personality indicated by their specific colour and temperament.

Other aspects of the video also where included to keep that youthful, fun and sweet vibe. This included the use of glitter, bubbles, pink and white balloons, feathers and pillow fights. These are all signifiers aimed towards a younger audience appreciated by the young, girly and innocent individual. The bright lighting used to highlight the girl’s faces is also a common feature in pop videos to bring out the glamouress aspect to the video.  

The cheeky and fun shots of the girls smiling, winking and laughing towards the camera invites the audience in to almost have as much fun as they girls are having at that moment in time. We have used a lot of shots of the girls looking straight into the camera, which makes the audience feel more involved with the video and the characters portrayed. This is a common feature found in music videos.

Rough cut 3

Girls aloud primary and secondary audience

The key primary audience for Girls Aloud is around the age of 13-22. This is a similar age group for other girl and boy band audiences. The artists tend to focus more of the teenage audience to sell their songs as well as other merchandise. Girls Aloud have branched out to selling merchandise such as cosmetics, their own false eyelash range and hair products. They have also done advertisements for KitKat and Nintendo. All of these products are all aimed at a younger female audience which condones the idea that they advertise themselves to a younger audience of around 15-24. Similar artists who share the same target audience include Katy Perry and Britney Spears who tend to adapt a sweet and cute looking image, but also wear provocative clothing to attract their male audience. Girls Aloud does have male audience that needs to be taken into consideration, however it is not in the majority percentage of audience.

Girls Aloud secondary audience is aimed at a tweenage audience of around 10-12 years old. This age group tends to look up to the artists and sees them as role models, wanting to be like them, act like them, dress like them etc. It is clear from tweenage girl magazines such as Bliss and Shout that artists such as The Saturdays, Rihanna, Katy Perry etc, are heavily advertised with posters being promoted and their everyday lives and celebrity lifestyle also being a focus point to the selling of the artists. Girl groups such as Girls Aloud have an added pressure of being role models to this particular audience as they can be seriously criticised if their image is seen as inappropriate to the younger audience.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Change in digipak idea

After deciding on the idea that digipak should have panels with the different girl’s faces on and sweets in the other boxes, Faye and I have decided to use another design which is a similar design to other album artwork of our genre. The design now includes all of the girls together on the front of the digipak, with balloons in their hands with the album name on. We have also used a layer of sweets with a low opacity which runs throughout the entire digipak. The flowing image of sweets continues on the back of the digipak and the song titles list on the back on top of different coloured sweets lining down the digipak. The inside panels of the digipak will continue with the theme of balloons, with the girls faces on top of different balloons and some single images of pink balloons behind the CD and DVD panels.

Podcast 8 - items purchased for filming

Rough cut 2

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Narrative aspect to music video

As the majority of mine and Faye’s music video is performance we have decided to add a narrative aspect to the club scene at the end of the video. The girls will be dancing in a club and each of them in turn will leave the group to see the same boy. If will be shot different, for example with one girl going outside to meet him, one girl will receive a text, the other will be looking at their watch. The girls will each be shot obviously being distracted from the group activities in some way or another. Eventually the male character enters the club to find he is dating the same five friends and the girls realise they have been seeing the same person. A range of close-ups and medium shots of the characters would be appropriate to use in this scene.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Pop video directors

Syndrome entertainment is a company that designs and directs all sorts of different music videos within different genres. They are a well-known company and have produced music videos for world famous artists such as Eminem, The black eyed peas and Chris Brown.
Famous pop bands Syndrome Entertainment have created music videos for include The Saturdays, JLS, The black eyed peas. They created the video Notorious for the girl band The Saturdays which has heavily influenced my own music video. During the club scene to the video the screen is slit into different sections showing different clips. This is what I intend to do in my club scene.

  Their website:

Phil Griffin if a famous music video director who has worked alongside Girls Aloud as well as other famous artists. He has directed the Girls Aloud music videos Sound of the underground, No good advice and life gets cold. He has also directed music videos for other artists such as the late Amy Winehouse, Adele and Kings of Leon.
Griffin is also known for his photography, documentaries and commercials. His photography includes portraits of pop artists including Britney Spears and Mutya from Sugababes. Griffins’ commercials are focused mainly around the cosmetic and beauty industry, including Max Factor make-up products, Clairol hair products and GHD hair commercials.

These commercials show similarities to the pop genre as they are glamorous with bright lighting and focus on selling their product to enhance a person’s beauty. The pop genre focuses on the beauty of the artists to try to influence their audience. For teenagers they want to be as glamorous as the artist, whilst men are attracted to the artist, and so watch their videos.  

Key features of pop music videos

Pop genre music videos always highlight the youthfulness, attractiveness and what an ideal person is supposed to look like in the artist. Bright lighting is used in the videos to highlight the artist’s facial features and to make them look more attractive by removing blemishes etc. Look at my post on lighting in pop music videos for more information at http://hattiesmusicvideo.blogspot.com/2011/12/lighting-of-music-videos.html

Pop artists usually wear tight, revealing and provocative clothing in their music videos to gain male attention as well as still appealing to their target audience. The music videos focus heavily on the singers and their performance compared to the rock genre which tends to focus on the instruments played.

Musicologists often identify the following characteristics as typical of the pop music genre:

·         an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology.

·         an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal artistic qualities.

·         an emphasis on recording, production, and technology, over live performance.

·         a tendency to reflect existing trends rather than progressive developments.

·         much pop music is intended to encourage dancing, or it uses dance-oriented beats or rhythms.

The shots of the pop music videos tend to be quick and sharp usually to fit the beat of the music. They don’t tend to use continues shots as the large range of angles and shot differences tends to suit the audience and music better.

Meet the Girl Band

Ella – (Cheryl) Colour: Pink

The girly and slightly prissy member of the group wears a large amount of pink including a necklace that has the Barbie logo on it. This suggests that she is very feminine and youthful. She is the more moody member of the group. We have included shots of her looking unhappy at the sleepover scene when she is woken up and hit with pillows.

Luisa – (Nadine) Colour: Purple

Luisa is the sexier member of the group, wearing provocative clothing and dark, heavy makeup. In a particular scene she wears tight sequin leggings with an unbuttoned blazer. This would be seen as not appropriate for our genre, however a large percentage of artists aimed at a tweenage/teenage audience have outfits/ lack of clothing being displayed in their music videos. E.g. Katy Perry, Britney Spears. Luisa is a more daring and cheeky member of the group provoking her friends and causing chaos within the group.

Lily- (Kimberley) Colour: Green
The sweet and innocent member of the group wears minimal amounts of makeup. Lily has a country style with checked skirts, denim shorts and cowboy boots. She is a very friendly character and is constantly smiling and dancing and having a good time.  She is much more forgiving than her best friend Ella and shrugs of any mischief that happens with group of girls.    
Kate- (Sarah) Colour: Blue

The cute and sweet member of the girl band is petite with long, curly hair and is constantly smiling. She takes on the role as the little girl of the group as she still sleeps with her teddy etc. She is a lot smaller than the rest of the girls and is seen as the little sister and is sometimes bullied because of this. She is cheeky and is always involved with the activities taking place, she is very confident and wears a girly, glittery crop top and skinny jeans.

Molly- (Nicole) Colour: Red

Is another sweet member of the girl band but also has a mischievous side to her, often influenced by Luisa. She wears a 60s type of style with large, puffy skirts, long pearl necklaces and red lipstick. She has jet black hair with pale skin which also suits the 60s look. She is a confident member of the band and along with Luisa has a cheeky side to her that likes to cause mayhem.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Discovering Photoshop tools

Photoshop elements is a program that I have used in the past for IT lessons at compulsive level (year 7-9), but never really experimented fully with. By creating my practise Digipak I have learnt a number of useful tools to enhance photographs and design.

These include:
·         The crop tool, a relatively simple function which resizes a photograph or image to fit the requirements necessary.
·         The cloning tool, which simple clones an image selected. I have used this to remove a mirror from a background of a photo, by covering the mirror with a colour similar to the background surrounding it.
·         The red eye remover tool, has been very helpful and effective by removing the red eyes of someone in a photo created by the flash of the camera.
·         The type tool, has also been useful by creating the text added to the Digipak. This includes the Digipak title, song listing and company information.
·         The shape tool, has allowed me to create what looks like an added sticker to the Digipak which is commonly found. Cutting out a circle of a section of the front cover and writing in it, gives this effect.
Other aspects of Photoshop include the layering options, which allow a person to add multiple images onto one document. The tint tool has also allowed me and Faye to change the tint of the girl’s photos so they have their own colour as originally planned. I haven’t explored the advance parts to Photoshop, and have mostly stuck to the simple tool. For the final design of me and Faye’s’ Digipak we hope to use more complex tools to get more professional effects.

Vodcast - Digipaks

Podcast 7 - filming bedroom scene

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Digipak/behind the scenes photos

Digipak Photos

Backstage the ballon + sleepover scene