About Me

Mediasaurus is an A-Level media group from London which consists of two hardworking students who wish to demonstrate the research and production that goes into making music video. We will also be designing promotional material for the band as well as the CD cover. Our blog will be updated constanly and daily with posts throughout the academic year to show our progress. You can also follow us on twitter to see more recent updates at: http://twitter.com/TheMediasaurus

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Gehan's Evaluation

Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenged the forms and conventions of real media products?

My media product which I have created both challenges and follows the conventions of my chosen music genre. The chosen genre is a hybrid of Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock and Skatepunk. This decision had come about after thorough questionnaires from both the blog poll and paper written questionnaires. It was from the replies of audiences that it was decided  a hybrid would be best to cater a variety of audiences, therefore attracting and pleasing a larger number.  
My chosen music video; OPM-Heaven is a Halfpipe is a music video which contains elements of all the genres that were chosen. This was decided after extensive research into each of the genres. My research extended to Youtube clips and I had other music video such as 'Blink182- All Small Things' which i thought about working with. But they unfortunately didn't consist of all the elements that were needed, though they may have had rock elements of electric guitars instruments and vocals, they dont have hip-hop elements such as graffiti and rap or skatepunk elements of skateboarding that I was looking for and was needed in my music video as I wanted my music video to be targeted at the youth.
In order for me to challenge and develop my music video, I had to do extensive research on skateboarders. This was done by interviewing both skateboarders and the general public on their beliefs of how they are treated in society and through the media. From this I was enlightened to the fact that skateboarders are given a bad reputation in the media and it was from this that I realized the abbreviation for OPM is 'Opening People's Minds'. I wanted to use the music video to change the public's perception on skateboarders.
My target audience is mostly for teenagers between the ages of 13-19 so in order for me to attract these younger generations I had to use youths just like themselves in the music video in order for the teenagers to relate to it more.
I also challenged the convention by not including any musical instruments. This was done purposefully as I thought it would not be realistic and therefore not be aesthetically pleasing to the audiences.
I looked at music videos that relate to my chosen hybrid genre and especially the camera angles and movement. 

I also developed the convention of the music video by adding graffti and colour to the music video. I had come to notice that both graffiti and skateboarder are interlinked as they are both an expression of self and a sense of freedom and therefore i thought it would only be wise to use this in my music video as it will attract the younger generations to the music video more and also be a reflection of the skateboarders fun loving personality.
I developed the music video by adding a clear narrative to show the audience a side of skateboarders that are not normally seen, in order to 'Open People's Minds'. This scene was when the skateboarder is seen skating by a lady who represents the general public is seen giving a face of disgust and words appear on screen such as 'violent' 'aggressive' 'waste of space'. This was done to add both realism and portray the negative view the public have on skateboarders. The skateboarder is then seen dropping and the lady is then seen shocked and she goes to down to help him. The skateboarder gets up and continues as if nothing had happened. This scene sees skateboarders in a positive light as it shows determination and the risks that they put themselves under in order to do what they love. 

The digi-pak that I created followed the forms and conventions of what is expected of my chosen music genre. I looked and analysed alot of the posters and CD Cover albums and found a similar pattern of the use of colour in the title. Black and white seem to the most used and therefore I wanted to follow that convention. Also I noticed that the artist is always placed in the middle of the poster or CD Cover allowing full attention to be given to them.

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

Having the same style of font, colour and theme to link the media products together is vital. It was important for me that both my Magazine poster and CD Cover compliment each other, to add more professionalism, continuity and value to the music video, reducing confusion to the audience.  

The theme of the graffiti was also used in both the ancillary tasks and the music video. This is to show the constancy in the media products. This instantly makes the message for promoting the skateboarding society more effective as skateboarding and graffiti are said to be immensely related.

Question 3: What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

This video shows the comments that I received after spreading the music video over the internet via Youtube and Facebook, which was done to have a wide range of audiences viewing and commenting on my music video. My family also watched the music video and left a comment, they seemed very pleased with the outcome of my music video and stated that the message that the positive imagery that the music video was trying to portray was powerful and clever.

Audience feedback is very quite effective as it allows me to look at aspects of the music video in which I could've improved on. For example I had comments stating that the acting was not as great and energetic as it should've been and the lip syncing was not in time with the music.

I also gathered audience feedback on my ancillary tasks for my final production of Magazine Poster and CD Cover. During the process I had asked various different people from different ages what they had thought about my initial ideas; some had said that the Magazine Poster and CD Cover had too much characters on it which was considered distracting and it took away from the promotion of the media product. I took this criticism into account and only included one artist from the music video. In relation to this I was told from the audience feedback to not have the artists identity hidden as it doesn't promote the artist as I would like it to so therefore I made sure that I had an artist from the music video be in the cover of both the Magazine Poster and CD Cover. Another feedback the audience gave was the title- OPM, Heaven is a Halfpipe not being clear and readable. So I also took this constructive criticism into account and made sure that band name OPM and their track Heaven is a Halfpipe was clearly visible by having it written in bold white which would stand out from the dark background. Even though I received constructive criticism I was told that my poster was very realistic and theme in the Magazine Poster and CD Cover was continuous which adds to the value of my media products therefore attracting the audience's attention.

Question 4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

New media technologies was in constant use throughout the three stages. The blog was a new media technology that was used from the very beginning of the course. It was a way for recording all of my work and posting them on the blog instead of writing on a piece of paper. I was able to edit any of my posts and add extra posts whenever it was needed. The blog enabled my teachers to look at my work and comment on the posts that I've published already.

In the researching stage the internet was considered very helpful as it allowed me to look up various different bands from my selected genre on Youtube and analyse them such as "Blink 182- All Small Things". The internet was also considered useful in helping me select appropriate music videos, CD Cover and Magazine Posters in relation to my hybrid genre. This allowed me to understand it's different forms and conventions.

The planning stage also used new media as I had to scan images that I had drawn out for my storyboard onto paper. After scanning the images onto the computer, I had to animate the images, on Windows Live Movie Maker.

Whilst filming our music video we used a Fujifilm FinePix AV120, this digital camera enabled us to look at the footage we had just filmed and decide whether it should be cut out or saved to be later edited. The camera  has 12 mega pixel and 3x optical zoom which meant that the images would be much clearer due to the high definition of the camera. Not only did we use the digital camera but we also used Tri-pod to accompany it which was used to help us keep stable and smooth shots whilst filming. We also used to the digital camera to take location shots of the skateparks in which we were planning to film in.

In the construction stage of our music video, we used Mac computers to edit the footage. We used iPhoto at first and then dragged the clips into iMovie. This software made it easier for us to organise the clips similarly to our storyboard to make a narrative out of our music video. iMovie gave us the opportunity for applications of transitions and effects to be used such as words appearing on the screen and the sudden cuts.  After we created our music video on iMovie, we used iDVD in order to burn the information onto the Disc.

For the creation of the ancillary tasks a program named Abode Photoshop CS5 was used. This program is very useful as it enabled us to design a Magazine Cover and CD Cover. The program had tools such as lighting which was very helpful as we gave us the opportunity to play with the lightning which I believed helped make the media product very bold.

In the evaluation we used the internet quite alot to promote our music video. We used social networking sites such as Facebook for audience feedback and promotion of our music video and Twitter to promote our music video even further as well as keeping our followers up to date with what were doing with our blog. We also have a like button on Facebook in which 166 facebookers have liked. This was done to get as much people as possible looking at our blogs and commenting on our page which can be seen at the bottom of the blog. 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Enes' Evaluation

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

The poll which helped me decide on a hybrid genre
My media product, in many ways, uses, develops and challenges the forms and conventions of real media products. We chose our genre after making a poll on our blog, to see what kind of video the majority of the audience wanted us to make, and also gave out a questionnaire to different age groups within our school. The results were very mixed, so we opted to create a hybrid genre that would Hip-Hop, Pop, and Punk together in one track. Eventually we found a video by OPM titled ‘Heaven is a Halfpipe’ which met our criteria.

Me interviewing a skateboarder in Southbank
Within the ancillary tasks, including the actual video itself, it was crucial to carry out the necessary amount of research to make our video as powerful as possible. I interviewed skateboarders and graffiti artists from the area in which we shot most of our footage (Ladbroke Grove Station) to ask them about the problems they face and how members of the public perceive them. I was also able to speak to some of the general public and ask them their own opinions of the skateboarding culture. I learnt that graffiti and skateboarding go hand in hand together so I wanted to show a clear link of this within most, if not all my media texts. Skateboarding and graffiti are forms and ways of going against what is being asked of you and not conforming to what is expected of you. I use these conventions in my own texts as well as some of the negative stereotypes of skateboarders. By this, I’m referring to the scene where the lady is disgusted at the skateboarders and the text alongside her reads ‘Waste of space, Disrespectful, Violent and Aggressive’ which were some of the words given to us by people of the general public. Obviously not everything was negative, but we agreed that the negative press would make for a more powerful and controversial music video.

Having discovered graffiti was a big part of the skateboarding
movement I decided it should have an influential position
within all my created texts.
The band name itself, OPM, stands for Opening People’s Minds which is what we wanted to achieve in the video where the skateboarder gets hurt, and the same lady comes down to help. The skateboarder simply gets up and dusts himself down which shows a sense of courage, determination and resilience as he does not stay down after every knock he takes but instead, gets back up to show his strength. Using real skateboarders gave the music video an air of realism as we were able to direct exactly what we wanted the skateboarders to do, or where to skate in the park at any given time. This achieved more for us than if we simply came to the park and filmed the skaters skating around aimlessly. We perhaps did develop the use of graffiti within a Skate punk music video, because graffiti wasn’t referenced as much in other music videos of a similar genre, for example Blink 182’s ‘All The Small Things’ music video. 

This image shows the the band name 'OPM' being repeated in our music video, as well as our ancillary tasks to further promote the band.

 How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

The combination of my music video, CD covers and magazine poster really complement each other, as they share the same purpose and goal. They all promote the artist through the skateboarding cultures main features which are; skateboarding and graffiti. By keeping the same themes within all of the texts, the message becomes more powerful and promotion becomes more effective. The music video shows the same elements as the ancillary tasks which makes each individual text automatically identifiable as a group collection. The band's name OPM, was frequently being promoted in the music video through graffiti and it is also on each of the CD covers and magazine image.

This is the front of the CD cover. As you can tell, it displays the band name in the top left corner and the album name in the top right corner. The artist is positioned in the centre to further promote the artist himself. The location shows a clear degree of graffiti which conforms to the conventions of the skateboarding culture.
This is the back cover. The back cover gives you a detailed track listing complete with the length of every song including the interludes/skits and the track number. The image is of the BaySixty6 skatepark and it shows two different realms. The dark side of skateboarding, and the other brighter path. This is mocking of the stereotypes some people have that skateboarders are all vicious and violent creatures.
This is the magazine advertisement. This promotional pice of material states the band name, the name of the single and reminds the target audience that they can download the song from iTunes today. Once again the element of graffiti is present to keep a sense of realism. The artist is also in the same clothing and similar setting because the idea is to transfer data to the audience's short term-memory so they can store it in the long-term memory through repetition.
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

For the distribution of our music video and ancillary tasks, I used the internet to post it on popular sites such as, Facebook and our blog; I also provided several screenings at my house for friends and family. Generally, everyone was really pleased with the video and enjoyed watching it almost as much as I enjoyed making it. Twitter also helped me promote the link and I received many positive comments from people all across the globe. I also had people from Manchester and Nottingham asking for collaborations!
i decided to post my video up on Facebook instead of YouTube for several reasons. I didn't wan to infringe and copy right acts and also I have many close friends on Facebook who were willing to share and post the video on other people's walls without me even having to ask. This meant my video could quickly spread and be seen by a lot of different people.

These are some of the comments I received on the day I posted up the video. Positive comments are always helpful in making your video feel accomplished and that is what these comments have helped me achieve.
Obviously though, constructive comments are the most helpful as they help you to see areas you have missed out yourself that you could improve on in the future. I was asking for honest opinions and people mentioned that the lip synching could have been tighter as there were some parts of the video where it didn’t look like the artist was mouthing the right words. Apart from that aesthetical issue, everything else seemed to work. My audience could easily pick up on the fact that the video was essentially made to portray skateboarders in London and how they are perceived. It all became clear with the addition of the scene where the young girl looked particularly disgusted as the skater was skating. I was told the text helped to clear up exactly what the girl was thinking.

Audience feedback also helped me with my ancillary tasks. My first magazine poster used a filter that made it hard to read some of the writing on the poster itself. Also, people told me that there wasn’t any information about the artist or when the single was coming out. I decided to change it and opted for a clearer and sleeker design, which was easily read and had more information than the previous poster.

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

Throughout all of the stages new media technology was constantly in use. Obviously the research had a lot of reliance on the internet, and in particular, websites such as Facebook and YouTube. YouTube helped us to research music videos, look at the different forms and conventions for various different genres and give us ideas for our own music video. Facebook helped us more with the distribution of our music video as many people were able to access it online. We also used Twitter as a tool to further advertise our blog and invite more people to follow us and share their views on our progress. Our own personal blog allowed people to interact with us personally and give us their own opinions on our blog or contribute to our poll which in the end helped us decide what genre to use. The planning stage also required me to use new media as I had to scan images that I had drawn out for my storyboard onto paper. After scanning the images onto the computer, I had to animate the images, on Windows Live Movie Maker. I then brought in text and transitions to explain the video.
The magazine advertisement in construction
The main interface for iMovie
For the construction of our music video, we used the Mac computers and programmes such as iMovie, iPhoto and iDVD. We first had to
import our footage that we filmed onto iPhoto and then drag it onto iMovie. We then edited the footage including the addition of different transistions and the option to add text to the video. The footage we did film was filmed using the Fujifilm FinePix AV120, which had a 12 megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom. It also allowed us to film in High definition giving our final music video a clearer image. The camera itself was fairly small so mobility was not a problem and it sat firmly in the tripod we used to keep the footage steady. We then needed to burn the information onto a disc using iDVD. For the ancillary texts, the use of Adobe Photoshop CS5 was extremely influential for the design of our CD covers and also the magazine advert. Tools such as vivd light and colour burn were used to get the desired amount of lighting in my images and I also used a filter for the CD cover which I think worked really well with the different colours of the graffiti in the background.

The Music Video

Analysis of Music Video:

This is a close up shot of the skateboard. A pan is also used following the skateboarder. The identity of the skateboarder is left a mystery and this is done purposefully to grab the audiences attention. From this we instantly come to realize that this skateboarder follows the typical style of dressing of a skateboarder from his shoes.
A wide shot is used here and still the identity of the skateboarder is not revealed. However more of him is revealed. This is also an establishing shot as we know realise that the main artist is making his way to the skate park. The steps presented here could be a representation of the staircase to Heaven which is what the song is all about. The staircase could also be representing a barrier between the real world and the heavenly world of skating.
This is a side view of the main artist. Its also a mid shot too. A panning is used here to add movement to the music video, keeping it upbeat and lively. The main artist is instantly seen with his cap placed the other way round and a long chain. This brings out the idea that he is an aggressive, violent character, however in the music video we are trying to display the complete opposite. The colour white has different interpretations. Some may say that the colour white represents the innocence of the skateboarder, on the other hand white is known for causing headaches for some people and this could be a reflection of what the public think of skateboarders in general.
A wide shot is used as we are able to recognize the location of a skate park. The location shows that the skate park is an open space meaning that everyone is welcomed again mirroring what the lyrics of the song. The location also have greenery reflecting a heavenly, natural atmosphere.

Again another close up shot of the skateboard. This was placed here to allow a variation and therefore keeping the audience entertained and the music video upbeat.  

This scene is a wide shot of the main artist singing however in a different location. This is done to keep the pace of the music video flowing. More greenery is presented here and again this reflects a heavenly scenery that the skateboarders. The main artists casual way of sitting is reflected in the laid back personality that skateboarders have.
This is a side view of the main artist singing. The shot is also a wide shot aswell as a mid shot. 
A low angle shot is used here of the main artist. This again was done purposefully to allow the music video to be upbeat keeping the audiences attention. The clear blue sky could be an interpretation of feelings of communication and peace in which the music video- Heaven is a Halfpipe is trying to send across. The use of low angle instantly puts the main artist in a higher position and we are to be seen looking up towards him making us the audience more vulnerable. 
Panning was used here to establish the scenery and induce characters that will be later be seen in our music video. This is good in showing constancy between the scenes. The shot is also a wide shot. 
This is a close up (side) shot of the main artist. This is done to engage the audience with the main artists character and personality, giving a more in depth sight. The pointing of the finger is for all the people in the public that have these negative ideologies of skateboarders. 
This is a two shot of the main artist and supporting artist. This is also a side view of them singing. Having both these artists sing in unison reflects the unity they have with one another. 
A pan is used here to establish the scenery of London. A long shot is used to present the iconic tourist attractions of the London eye and Big Ben.
This is a two shot of both the main artist and supporting artist singing. A low angle shot is used here. This could interpreted as the audience looking up at the skateboarders as if feeling small due to the embrassment of our irrational judgments. However another interpretation would say that it reflects the idea of skateboarders thinking that they are superior to the public. It could also support the ideologies given to them as they seem to be violent and aggressive when presented in this way. It feels quite intimidating. The flowers that are found behind the main and supporting artist could be a symbol of happiness and love which could be a reflection of skateboarders.
Panning is used again following the skateboarder. This is done purposefully to add more life into the music video as its supposed to upbeat and entertaining. 
This is a side view of one of the characters in the music video. Alot of graffiti is seen in this scene to reflect the artistic side of skateboarders. The use of colours also reflects the fun, lively personality of them too. 
The camera here was stationary and the skateboarder had to skate towards the camera, this adds enjoyment in watching the music video grabbing the audiences attention and keeping them entertained.
A long shot is used here as well as a pan of the skateboarder skating.
A hand-held camera- point of view shot is used here of the supporting artist spraying 'OPM' on the wall. This was done to promote the artist. The also supports the whole idea of graffti being hand in hand with skateboarding and we decided using this scene to follow this convention. The use of silver is to symbolises coolness and friendliness and the green nature and self-respect. 
A low angle shot and wide shot is used here again to show the power in which skateboarders have as the music video reflects what they feel about the prejudices that they encounter and the vulnerability in which the public who have misjudged the skateboarders are supposed to feel.
A mid shot of the supporting artist is used here. The 'OPM' name is seen in the left side of the screen to promote the artist and also to show that continousy of the scenes.
Words appear on the screen in synchrony with the supporting artist. This is done purposefully to highlight diferent aspects;
 "chill" reflecting their calm and laid back personality. 
"you can't come in"  was written in bold to represent the harshness of the statement. 
"missed biology" is also written in bold to state that education for them is not as important for them as skating is. This is seen in the phrase "i got skills" meaning the skills of skating.
The character playing the role of the general public presents the ideologies and stereotypical beliefs they have on skateboarders. This is what we have found out after asking the genuine members of the public what they thought, they said that skateboarders are "violent", "waste of space" and aggressive" and we wanted to present these ideas into our music video. 
"Heaven" is written in a fancy way to show that Heaven is the only place for skateboarders are able to show off their form of art. 
This a 360 degree pan of the skate park in Southbank. This is a great way to establish the location. This method was executed to keep the upbeat level of the music video and well as keeping the audience entertained  (engima).
The camera here is hand held and the movement in this scene moves parallel to the beat of the music, thus creating a happy, fun loving atmosphere, which we are trying to portray in this music video.
Here in this mid shot we were trying to show the way in which the public view the skateboarders. The character above is playing the public and is seen giving a look of disgust. We did this purposefully to show to the audience how unfair they are by behaving and misjudging instantly. This allows time for the audience to reflect on their own behavior. The green colour of the grass symbolises wealth and peace which is juxtaposed as the wealth of knowledge is lacking with the character due to her irrational judgment. 
This scene is a wide shot of the main artist/ skateboarder dropping off his skateboard after trying to perform a trick. This was done to show the audience the danger in which these skateboarders put themselves against. This high angled shot puts the audience in a superior more powerful position and the injured skateboarder in a more weaker, vulnerable position.
This wide shot is considered an important scene as it is when the public have actually realised what skateboarders are actually putting themselves against. This for us is supposed to be when the music video 'Open's People's Minds(OPM)'. 
These scenes are a two shot of the girl and the main artist (skateboader). The scenes try to show the people who have doubts that it is still okay to change and believe something different and this is done with the girl who represents the public making her move to ask if hes okay.The position of the girl is higher and she has to look down on him showing the prejudices and power whereas the main artist is left in a weak position as he looks up at her. Some could interpret this and say that the public could use their power and change their opinions in order to help the less able.
In the second image the camera is at a high angle creating a hierarchy of power in society. The audience watching this will be looking down at both the girl and the main artist (skateboarder). An interpretation as to why the camera was placed at a high angle is to show that once your seen trying to help a skateboarder you have automatically placed yourself in a slightly lower position as shown above. Here the image is a point of view shot hiding the face of the girl making her not have an identity. This states the people who have been in that situation, where they have felt sorry or changed their opinions on skatebaorders will consider or see themselves in her shoes.
After the artist takes a fall and is hurt, hi shows determination and willness to improve and better himself. He doesn't simply stay down after every knock he takes in his lifetime, but he gets back up and fights. The camera here tilts up as the main artist (skateboarder) gets up symbolizing the change in power. Now the girl is looking up at him and so are the audience.
This is an extreme close up of the abandoned skateboard after the artist has fallen. This could be symbolic to the audience looking at skateboarders in a different light, seeing them much more closely as this music video reveals a side of them which the irrational public haven't seen before.
This is a shot to show the artist back on his feet and on his skateboard. This shows the audience his passion for skateboarding and the risks he takes in order to practice what he loves doing the most.
These quick cuts flash through some of the artists to keep in synch with the beat as it picks up. This allows the  music video to be entertaining and lively reflecting the personality of the skateboarders in this music video and in general.
This shot shows 4 of the artists in a single frame. You could interpret this as the unity between them as they greet each other and combine to do the chorus. This unity is a message sent to the general public stating that they don't "have no gates or walls", revealing the friendly, welcoming side in which they state the public don't have.
A pan is used here to establish the scenery of London. A long shot is used to present the iconic tourist attractions of the London eye and Big Ben.
Again another close up shot of the skateboard. This was placed here to allow a variation and therefore keeping the audience entertained and the music video upbeat and since the music video is on skateboarders it was only fair to keep adding other skateboarders into the music video.
A long shot of a skateboarder is used in this scene aswell as panning to give a sense that the audience are watching him from a distance. The red and black worn by the skateboarder represents the idea that skateboarders have personalities from two ends of the spectrum. For example the red represents passion, happiness, energy towards skateboarding whereas the black represents remorse, anger fear and sadness of the way that they are being represented in the media. And we wanted to end with that. 

Many cuts have been used throughout the music video and this was done to keep the music video upbeat and lively as it had to reflect the personalities of the skateboarders. We wanted our music video to show the audience the positive side to skateboarding and skateboarders and to reveal that they are not all bad as the public makes them out to be. We wanted to make the music video open people's mind (OPM).
Whilst planning and making this music video we learnt alot about the skateboarding world. We had the chance to ride on the skateboard and we realise that it really is hard and takes alot of training to get as good as the skateboarders in this music video, and it was from that experience that we admired them even more. 
We had so much fun filming and met various new friends along the way and we could tell that their passion for skateboarding will never fade as they live, breath, sleep skateboarding. 
We would like to thank all the skateboarders in this music video that had allowed us to film them, and we hope we made the music video justice!