Saturday, 17 September 2011


Matthew, Harriet and Katie

Monday, 14 December 2009

media evaluation comments

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Before planning our music video we undertook some extensive planning and research and looked at every area possible to find ideas and clips, we ended up with a mixed range of different themed videos ranging from romance and love down to young countryside folk style music this was good for us as it left us with plenty of open options and allowed us to vary from shot to shot during our experimental stage (planning). As an example, we filmed Katie standing almost under a bridge across the water just to get one shot, this shot consisted of natural lighting reflections and a decent low angle shot that really set the scene and ended up being really effective in displaying early stages of the genre. The dress code consisted of our blonde actor being dressed in brown boots, a light coloured dress and a brown guitar around her neck, now if you hadn’t yet seen it then that already describes a folk, older sort of styled genre that comes across as a western singer on a road trip, but i think the way we’ve shot it really takes that hint away from the video and so it almost remains a folk style as opposed to western. We’ve used every shot angle possible and plenty of character views and expressions, this was to insure we’d keep the attention from the audience throughout the video.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?
This combination of both the product and the ancillary tasks proved to be very effective and with the use of constructive visuals and texts the ancillary became a bold advertisement and a good marker to advertise our product. With the use of soft colours and images alongside small amounts of contextual visuals the ancillary tasks were presented to a high standard and as it formed a connection with the main product they then worked together to form high quality portfolio of work. It also represented the genre to a well produced standard and gave strong characteristics and good stereotypical representations of our genre. Our feedback then backed this up as most people recognised what genre and forms we had gone for, we’d also publicised our product in a respectful way considering the viewers their comments, i.e. we changed a few colours on the ancillary tasks to improve the visuals and this enabled us to get a finer detailed advertisement and a much improved overall product.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

Overall our feedback was balanced, constructive and very helpful it gave us the opportunity and the chance to improve areas of our work and tweak shots and transitions that then made connections in the video and the work a lot more fluent and rhythmical. Comments among our feedback was most pleasing and consisted of, “sophisticated piece of work, simple yet effective designs, includes a lot of information without looking cluttered” this was the feedback from our ancillary task, and the key thing we’d learnt from this was that it’s often better and more effective to keep things simple and develop them from that as opposed to going straight into something to complicated.
From our music video people noticed the “folk” genre straight away and complimented the likeness of the lyrics with the visuals they also mention the range of shots we used and this showed us the effectiveness of our close ups and our mid-shots. We wanted a warm loving, country feeling and so we didn’t want everything being shot from a distance, the days we chose were luckily sunny and bright and so that already provided us with a bright, warm and happy atmosphere all we needed to do then was to capture and develop that atmosphere into something constructive and meaningful. All the shots ended up being more or less a success and had meaning and passion in them, the genre came across boldly with our extravagant ideas being dramatically developed in the country surroundings. The area we ended up working on most was the editing, and weeks after our initial capturing of the footage we were still working on the transitions and the slides between the shots, finally with the added help of the audience feedback we decided to stick with the dissolve ideas and our video become fluent and relaxed very quickly.(yet again keeping it simple seems to be a very good idea).

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
From the start of the task right through to the end we were using new media technologies almost all the time, we were using the digital cameras for the filming, then we developed and edited the footage on final cut and the images were edited on Photoshop. The preparation works was done weeks before the shooting, and the internet was a key role in our investigation and development period, the internet was a key source for our initial ideas and brainstorms we also used online sources such as Wikipedia, MySpace and Google search. The original use of the internet was to find representations of our genre were we found existing videos on YouTube, here we found random and well known artists that became useful for information and development ideas through a transitional stage of the task. We also used MySpace to find information, pictures and present song from our artists Charlene Soraia. This became very useful as we become to get feel for her music and ideas come through that related to the genre of music she was representing. By this point we had strong ideas and became very precise in what we wanted.
When we came to work on the ancillary tasks Photoshop and Google became very useful, Photoshop enabled us to use high quality images and allowed us to work on them and edit them without losing the initial high pixel quality, we used image layering and darkening to create a soft calming effect, we didn’t want anything to sharp or bold because that would simply go against the genre of our original production.
The work on Photoshop became a success and looks appealing, professional and respectable, all of the work we had done has been edited in one form or another and because of this computer software our work has developed since it’s been on the computer and so without this software our work would probably just look like some homemade amateur movie. With the capabilities of Final Cut being so varied we were amazed at how much we can do, but as we are all now quite familiar with the software it came naturally and even though we’ve used a decent amount of transitions and effects we intended to keep it fairly simple to keep the effectiveness of the shots as natural as we could. At the end of the task i was relieved to find we’d just managed to get it finished, and we can appreciate how lucky we are, as without the software and the sources we’ve, we would have been here for months, planning and editing!
The task has also made me realise that nothing ever runs smoothly! And you always have to be prepared for the worst that can happen, I’ve learnt that it is better and often more effective to keep things simple to create natural effect instead of wasting time trying to complicate things that don’t actual work. So what i mean is, never attempt to spend a long time on something if you don’t know how it’s going to turn out, not if you have deadlines anyway! Overall i am very pleased with our finished product and I think the sources and software have proved to be a priceless asset to our project.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Media Commentry Essay

1- In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Using the ‘alternative folk’ genre gave us the opportunity to incorporate ideas which did not necessarily conform with just the normal ‘folk’ idea. ‘Alternative folk’ is a genre which uses conventional and stereotypical ideas of the countryside and nature such as fields, guitars, love and heartbreak and either adds to, enhances or changes these components to create either a new or slightly more complex image. For example we filmed the singer driving along country lanes, used play park equipment in a field and also wrapped fairy lights around a tree – the typical natural of ‘folk’ in contact with the, not so related, man made materials ‘alternative’.
The mise-en-scene conforms to the genre as it includes many stereotypical elements such as the filming being completely outside and using the country side and a back garden to create the most typical natural feel we could. Using natural colours such as yellow, cream and green, and (apart from the fairy lights) using natural lighting connected all the elements together more thoroughly. Out of the props, the guitar is immediately recognisable as a link to ‘folk’ music and having the yellow car driving thorough the country side along with the fairy lights and using the play park are more our own twist and adds to the theme and the ‘alternative’ aspect.
We conformed to the regular, natural and establishing camera angles and shots which included close-ups, long shots and low-angle mid-shots, while still using tracking shots and point of view shots. The only un-naturalistic camera shot we used was a zoom but this was used in areas of slow moving footage representing memory which sometimes features in real media products.
We created a mixture of diegetic and non-diegetic sound throughout the music video. This both conforms and goes against the stereotypical ‘folk’ music video but is incorporated in the ‘alternative’. We decided to do this to create a connection to the audience when the singing was diegetic and performed and then to continue the connection and add a story mood with non-diegetic over the memory images to create an interest.
2- How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?
The combination of our music video and ancillary tasks is very effective and works well as it connects visuals, text and genre in a flowing and relaxed manner joined with a happy and fun atmosphere. We decided to integrate certain photos from filming such as playing the guitar in the back of the car and additional group photos such as all three of us out and about together in the college grounds and mould together what we hoped would appear to be a recognisable, friendly product. Our aim was to represent the artist in a non-provocative, stereotypical, friendly way which conformed to the genre and appealed to the target audience.
3- What have you learnt from your audience feedback?The audience feedback throughout the entire project was on the whole very complimentary and helpful. Some of the feedback we were most pleased with was: “The lights are very effective”, “Lip Syncing is effective”, “Has done back and forth from different sections of the video well” and “General pace is good”; We appreciated these comments the most as they pointed out the areas that we took most care with spent the most time on. We were only given a couple constructive criticisms. These were: “More close ups of lead singer” and “Another location, cut to and back from?” we found these to be very helpful as we were able to create more variation in unsung areas by filming more varied footage. We also were asked to add “More dissolves” which would continue the pace of the music video and were commented that we should think about adjusting a couple of grainy shots when they said: “close up on the guitar is 'grainy' needs to be re-shot.”
4- How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Throughout the planning and making process of our music video we used a number of different technologies including equipment, internet and computer software. These included Cameras, Itunes, Final Cut Express, Photoshop, Wikipedia, and Google. We used the internet for our research into the specific ‘alternative folk’ genre and what it incorporates, the original artist of the song and what her own views and form of style is and also for our digipack ideas, what it is, how it works and general familiar layouts for maximum audience participation. The camera was vital for filming our music video and we used it to our advantage by being able to use it as hand held which contributed to the ‘home video’ and authentic effect we were looking for and by sitting it on the tripod which allowed us to focus in the artist without moving around and creating a natural frame. Photoshop was another programme which without we would have had to make our ancillary tasks by hand and to a lesser quality as it allowed us to upload, cut fade, change the colour of and move pictures and text around the screen. Final cut was very helpful as well in fields of editing such as cutting, transitions and placement of footage along with colour changes for picture manipulation to create our own stamp and feel to the final products. Finally, we used an online blogging system to keep track of our progress and create updates of our work. Being able to use these technologies as an amateur filmmaker to create a product from concept to consumption has been very helpful and insightful. It has allowed me to have an opportunity to produce a piece of work which I would have otherwise not been able to if they were non-existent or unattainable. It has given me an insight into what kind of procedures, preparations, time limits, equipment and focus is needed to create a product which can be viewed and/or interacted with by or with a target consumer.
In What Ways do your media products use, develop or challenge forms an conventions of real media products?

When we were planning our media product we looked at a number of existing products such as the Jonas Brothers, Eliza Bennett and Miley Cyrus’ music videos. In all these videos there is a convention of a performance based video with a story incorporated into it. We thought this was a really good idea and so used it in our music video. For example: There are scenes where Katie is singing along and plucking on the guitar and singing into the camera such as when she is sitting in front of the lit up tree and singing into the camera. There are also scenes in our music video that has a story element. For example: When Katie is driving in her car and going on a journey.
While watching the music videos we also learned that a lot of music videos have a voyeuristic feel/ the notion of looking in on someone or an event. We took this idea and developed it to make when me and matt are walking through the field.
Generally we have followed the conventions used in typical music videos. However we at times we have challenged the conventions of real media products. For example we used almost all natural lighting throughout the whole video. We wanted to do this to give a more natural feel as it fits with the music and lyrics of the song.

Our Feedback!
I was generally were very pleased with both our peer and teacher feedback! Some examples of our feedback are: “In the video there is one main likeness with lyrics and visuals, the video is mainly shot outside highlighting the metaphors in the lyrics. When the lyrics mention love and being together, the visuals show two people holding hands and looking joyful.” We thought this was a good bit of feedback as our main aim was to represent in visual form, the story being told in the song. One of our most positive comments which kept coming up was how well we synced Katie with the song, and we were told it looked like a real product and like she was actually singing. However during the process we did get some constructive criticism and tried to use it to help us finish our final product. For example: We were told that the quality of the footage differed. The shots of Katie were excellent but the close-up of the guitar was really grainy. We realised that this was because we had zoomed-in on Final Cut Express. We were determined to have the same quality of footage so went out the next day to re-shoot. We were also told that we needed more close-ups of the lead singer. We already had this footage but just hadn’t used enough of it, so decided to add more of it in and cut to and back from it from the other pieces of footage.

How effective is the combo of your main product and ancillary tasks?

To complete our project we had to make a DVD cover and an advertising poster as well as the music video. Our aim was to link all three together, to represent the artist and so if it were a real product there would be almost a signature style of the artists work. I think the combination of our music video and ancillary task is overall quite good. We thought a good way to link both the ancillary tasks and the music video would be to have the main characters on all three products. We decided to make a prototype in our free time to get our head around what a digipak would actually look like as we had only seen pictures on the internet. We also made it to see what our actual DVD cover would look like if it were to be released and to get our ideas across before we started working on the final product in lesson. We made the prototype out of a cereal box and corrugated cardboard and drew pictures of what we wanted to be on there. An example of this would be: On the front cover of our prototype, there is a drawing of all three main characters from the music video with the artist/singer in the middle. Both ancillary tasks promote the artist in the same way by using stills from the videos and images taken on the same day of the artist in the same outfit as in the video. Both the DVD cover and the Advertising poster use the same style of font to link in with each other. In the end half of our group made the DVD cover and the other half made the advertising poster. As we hadn’t consulted about the colour scheme the Advertising Poster turned out black and white and the DVD cover was bright and colourful. This was a big mistake and something we would need to improve on if we were to release the product

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

While we were conducting our research into our product we used lots of new technologies to help us with our research. To start with we used Wikipedia to help us find out the meanings of words: Such as digipak. Once we had chosen our song for the music video we used iTunes to import the song into the computer. We used YouTube to look at existing music videos with similar and different genres to give us ideas: e.g. camera angles, Storyline, lip syncing etc.
We also kept an online blog to keep track of what we were doing. We also imported pictures from Google and YouTube videos to help convey our ideas.
During the construction of our music video I used a DV camera to film. We mainly used the DV camera on a tripod to keep still steady shots. However in some shots we wanted a ‘home-movie’ effect. An example of this is when we were in the car, we free-held the camera to give the feel of a group of teenagers on a road-trip and documenting their experience. During the construction of our music video we used technology such as Final Cut Express to create the music video: e.g. put the cut the footage, put the clips together, sync with the soundtrack and add special effects. An example of a special effect we used was to give a good effect to a transition. We took the footage of the tree lights and lit them up really bright so it covered the whole screen. We then dimmed them back down to reveal a new scene to give the effect that time has gone by.
We used the software Photoshop to create our CD/DVD cover and our advertising poster. For the CD/DVD cover we used photos we had taken with the stills camera on our trip filming as well as some photos we had taken around the back of college to fit in with the video.
For our Advertising poster we used the same idea. We imported photos of our filming trip in the nearby village Hildersham to represent the artist and the characters in the video. As the pictures all had different colours to them and so clashed we decided to turn them black and white and used Photoshop to do this. We also used Photoshop to import already existing logos such as and to re-size the pictures.

For our Evaluation we were asked to create a video commentary which would later be filtered into our music video. We have again used Final Cut Express to cut the video and will use it to disperse clips of our music video and outtakes into the commentary.

music video commentry

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Digipak and Magazine advert feedback

Magazine advert:
sophisticated, simple design. Manages to include lots of vital information without appearing cluttered and unorganized. The strong contrast between the black and white grabs your attention immediately, as well as the light tunnel which seems to be the focus of the advert, with everything else around it. Lovely images work well together to hint at the genre of music. Could definitely pass for a real magazine advert.

Album cover:
Nice 'scrapbook' effect, fits with the genre well. Images work well together and links the cover with the video, especially the photos of Katie with the guitar which looks like an actual reference to the video. Simple and effective design, uncluttered, with a nice font.

good job guys! :)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Our digipak

Here are our digipak finals. Excuse the excess content - could not crop properly, thanks.

music video,Poster

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Our digipak mock-up

Here are the photos of our digipak mock up.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Our own digipak ideas

We plan to create a 'gate fold' style CD/DVD case; this is because it is the most common shape for a digipak and will therefore be recognisable and comforting as most people will know the general layout and understand how to navigate their way around the folds. We believe this will create the most interest and have the best aesthetic appeal. We have the idea of using a mixture of stills from the video and stills from a stills camera to create a link between the music and visuals but also to give a realistic, homely and fun atmosphere from the other stills. We are hoping that this will appeal to the target audience and make it seem that we are on a similar and reachable level and that the music is intended for them.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


These are examples of a couple of digipaks. Digipaks typically consist of a gatefold (book-style) paperboard or card stock outer binding, with one or more plastic trays capable of holding a CD or DVD attached to the inside.
They are often used as covers for CD singles and/or special editions of the album.

We want to make one of these digipaks for our music video

Goodwin's Peer Feedback

1. Alternative Folk. Throughout the video the guitar is played making the genre known to the audience. The main singer is female and directly address the audience through the camera throughout the video.

2. In the video there is one main likeness with lyrics and visuals, the video is mainly shot outside highlighting the metaphors in the lyrics. When the lyrics mention love and being together the visuals show two people holding hands and looking joyful.

3. There are also links between the music and the visuals. When the guitar is being played the female singer in the video is also playing the guitar.

4. During the video there are a range of close ups of the main artist such as driving the car or playing the gituar

Monday, 2 November 2009

Teacher Feedback

1) Camerawork/ Mise-en-Scene
  • The lights are very effective. Atmosphere.
  • Quality of the footage differs- excellent of katie but close up on the guitar is 'grainy' needs to be re-shot. (Also it doesn't look like katie's really playing.)
2) Editing
  • Lip Syncing is effective.Has back and forth from different sections of the video well. More dissolves?
  • General pace is good.
3) Genre
  • Well performed- look at 'costume' of lead singer. Fits convention of female vocal driver lead singer.
4) Missing
  • More close ups of lead singer. Another location, cut to and back from?

Rough Cut Peer Feedback

1) Quality of footage: Camerawork etc
  • Lots of Different shots-good range. Good locations.
  • Like the variety of shots- Locations are appropriate for the genre
  • Some of the footage is bad quality but like the variety of shots and camerawork.
  • Really well Lip-synced- looks like really singing song.
  • Good variety of shots- excellent lip-syncing.
2) Use of Transitions: Edit Types:
  • We love the bit where katie is singing on a bench then fades to katie driving then back again. Lots of editing of shots- quick and clean.
  • Good editing between shots, we like the use of fading into other shots.
  • Like the Cross fades transitions where you can see sa few shots at once.
  • Nice Transitions
3) Evidence of Conventions:
  • Playing Guitar - Folk song
  • Country blues
  • Play the guitar and the setting- country/folk song
  • Good setting for the song
  • Illusion of castle- to taylor swift- good
  • Great locations really suit conventions
4) What is Missing? What needs to be Added?:
  • Tighter cuts between clips bt there were a few occasions where there was a gap between
  • Could use fades between the clips as the tempo and pace of the music doesn't suit quick instant.

our music video

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Rough cut

This is our rough cut. We've used still shots which we took a couple of weeks ago to show what moving image is going to be there.
The close-up shots of the guitar are existing shots zoomed in. However we understand this makes them grainy and that we need to re-shoot these shots at a later date.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

What We Need To Do After the Rough Cut

Here we have composed a list of what happens or will need to happen after the rough cut after half term:

- We will need the extra day of filming to improve/add to our music video sequences. This will include footage of the road and singing while driving.

- Improve and add certain transitions to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the completed music video.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Test Footage

This is some test footage I did while away this weekend to see how the travelling aspect looked visually and whether it would be a good method to use in our video.

1. This is on the Metro Line in Newcastle, it was to test how footage from a side window would appear.

2. This clip is of the car journey on the way home and to see how footage looking forward out of the windscreen would look.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

test poster

up to date props/costumes

basic props.
- yellow car(traveling experience)
- guitar
- torch
- fairy lights
- road trip(music)
- picnic blankets
- picnic basket
- sunglasses (weather depending...)
- use of clocks (to show the times through out the day)

- white dress
- blue tights
- Brown Boots
-Blue scarf and hat
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