Monday, 11 March 2013

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

For my music video I decided to look at artists which shared the ‘indie folk’ genre of music. Some of these artists include Kt Tunstall, Amy Macdonald and Laura J Marling. The Indie folk genre was demonstrated in my music video through camera shots, editing and narrative. When researching different artists that share the genre I noticed that there are a lot of close ups of the singers face, which I decided to use in mine as this creates a bond between the audience and the singer and also encourages the audience to feel emotionally involved in the narrative. I also think this is important as Andrew Goodwin suggest that the demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist to help develop motifs which recur across their work. 

 My video also includes various long shots of different landscapes, as this demonstrates how the artist has travelled through the city to find her ‘home’, which is represented as a boy. I thought this would be effective as it is also very typical for this genre to have shots of landscapes to give a more authentic and undulating feel as seen in Ellie Goulding’s video 'The writer'.

When editing the music video I decided to use jump cuts to help create the passing of time. I also changed the speed duration in certain parts and put the singer in slow motion as I saw this in Amy MacDonald’s video 'Slow it down' and thought it appeared really effective and captivating. As my video is set over one day I also thought it would be a good idea to speed up shots such as when she's sat outside a shop and people are passing by quickly. I think this worked really well as the singer does not move the whole time, suggesting that she is not part of the crowd and showing a sense of isolation as she's thinking. I was very much inspired by Amy MacDonald’s video 'Mr Rock and Roll' and 'A team' by Ed Sheeran as they both use this form of editing in an effective way. 

Amy MacDonald’s song "Mr Rock and Roll" also inspired me to vary my shot types while filming the 'singer' run as she uses panning, low angle shots and hand held shots. This gave me the idea to hold the camera myself and follow the singer as she ran through the town centre, as well as panning the camera as she ran by at various different angles to match the pace of the music. I believe this is important as Andrew Goodwin suggests that there should be a relationship between music and visuals and that the tone and atmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music (which can either be illustrative, amplifying or disjunctive). My video is mainly amplifying as the song is about finding her 'home' and throughout the video the 'singer' is travelling through the city to find it. Goodwin also believes that this should be linked to Synaesthesia. My video is very synaesthetic as there is a physical representation of verse/chorus structure. This is produced through the performance side of my song and also through the editing.

When editing my music video I also made sure that my shots correspond with the beat of the song, especially when it builds a faster pace before the last chorus where my shots and editing is a lot quicker and abrupt. I was very much influenced by Laura Marling’s opening to her video 'Rambling Man', where it begins with a close up of her hand playing the guitar as the camera focuses. I thought this would be interesting to use in my own video as the guitar is the only instrument playing at the start, and performance is an important factor of my video as Pete Fraser suggests music videos feature some element of performance - singing and playing instruments and usually miming, which I use in my video various times. 

I also decided to dress the 'singer' in casual clothing as all of the indie folk female singers seem to not focus on their image but the meaning of the songs they are playing. For my Digipak and magazine advert I decided use images of places that represent the singer’s journey to find her 'home'. This is clearly shown as it consists of pathways, roads and alleyways that the 'singer' passes in the video. For the back of my Digipak however, I decided to take a photo of two people walking, which represents the singer and the boy in the video. I thought this would suit the back cover as it's the last thing you see, and my music video ends with the couple reunited.

 After looking at Laura J Marling and Kt Tunstalls adverts and Digipaks I noticed they all share quite an artistic style, which suits the genre as it gives quite a unique and authentic impression. I wanted this to be seen in my work also so I edited the photos and then drew them myself in black and white. I also noticed that they both have elements of nature in their Digipaks which I wanted to incorporate in mine, so I used a picture of a round plant to go behind the disk tray to match the size of the CD. I also thought this would suit the song especially as she is surrounded by nature a lot of the time in the music video. 

 I was very much inspired by the staves magazine advert as it is still very authentic and artistic looking but also very simplistic and effective. I decided to carry out the same theme of black and white but instead I decided to leave the top half of the advert white so the text can be seen clearly. I included the record label logo, album ratings and link to her website, which is all seen on The Staves advert. 

 Genre is dependent on a high degree of redundancy, and I think it is important that my music video, advert and Digipak fit into my indie folk genre as audiences don’t like change, especially as certain genres suit certain ages/genders in society and have expectations about the style or content of the text. Tom Ryall also refers to this as a “framework of structured rules, in the shape of patterns/styles/structures, which act as a form of ‘Supervision’ over the work of production of filmmakers and the work of reading by the audience. I believe that although my magazine Advert and Digipak fit into the indie folk genre quite well I also think that I have challenged and developed conventions also. I'd say that my magazine Advert and Digipak is quite entropic as I haven't just taken photos and put text over the top. I decided to edit the images in Photoshop by changing the image to black and white and then altering the threshold so the picture almost has a pop art effect. I was able to do this by clicking on the colour panel and then 'adjustments' where it gave me the option to alter the threshold by dragging the cursor along the line. (left image)

 I then decided to draw each image with fine liner pen and then scan it back in to add text and change the contrast, which you wouldn’t necessarily see in Indie folk magazine Adverts/Digipaks. I think the fact that this has made them appear bold and striking will attract my audience even more. When looking at Digipaks by indie folk artists I also noticed that they the singer is usually on the front cover, which I decided to go against as I didn't want my album to appear too commercial, as my audience are quite niche and care more about the music, rather than the artist’s image. 

I also decided to stick to black and white as this I thought looked more effective and entropic, even though the ones I had looked at were all in colour. I think it is good to challenge the forms and conventions however doing this too much can be dangerous, as this may result in the artist’s genre of music not being recognized or attracted by their target audience. On the other hand I still think it is important to include difference, as genre is never static but "shifting and slippery", according to Susan Hayward. 

I think the fact that I have completely changed the original narrative of the song also makes my video quite entropic. As the song is about the singer’s home I thought this would make the video too dull and boring. So, instead I decided to change the representation of the word 'home' to mean a boy. I thought this would have a good effect on the audience as having a story line or other complex fragments "leave the viewer with the desire to see them again" -Pete Fraser. However, this in a way makes the video quite redundant as quite a lot of indie folk songs are based upon the love between a boy and a girl.

 I also decided to stick to the black and white theme in my video to match the Advert and Digipak. This also makes the video appear more home-made and low budget which is what I wanted to achieve as the artist of the song is not that popular and probably wouldn't be able to afford making a high-budget video. I believe my video doesn't quite fit into Goodwin’s templates as he states that there is frequently reference to notion of looking and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. My video does not include any male gaze as that is not what I wanted to portray. I wanted my audience to feel emotionally involved in the narrative and did not want the singer to be sexualised in a voyeuristic manor, hence why I did not film any sexual parts of the body and dressed her in non-revealing clothes.

1 comment:

  1. This is excellent. There are some more instances in the video that clearly use conventions from your chosen genre that you could have discussed though you can't analyse them all; just make sure you haven't left out conventions that are particularly successful.
    You should have some discussion of genre is useful economically, perhaps this could go next to your comments about Ryall.