Myself, Megan Claydon, and Emmie Bryett (www.g324-sum2011-emmie-bryett.blogspot.com) two A2 pupils from Ilkley Grammar School, aged 17, are creating the a promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music promo video together with a cover for its release as part of an album digipak (CD/DVD package) and a magazine advertisement for the digipak (CD/DVD package.)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Q1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Music Video


There are several common codes and conventions which typically appear in boy band music videos,  and from videos from the 1990's in particular these include slow motion shots, the location is commonly an abandoned space or a deserted landscape such as a cliff top or an industrial warehouse, lots of lip syncing, especially in close up shots, location shots, there is often a female that is being sung about, water is often used, either with shots by the sea/river, dripping off the band members or rain, a lot of focus on the main singer, dance moves repeated throughout the video, black and white shots, and colour combined.

However, boy band music videos from the 1990's are significantly different to modern day boy band music videos, the clothing has obviously changed to suit the western society we live in and the fashion of this era, this including military boots and chinos, but as we were focusing on a band from the 1990's we tried to keep the typical codes and conventions with interpreting some modern day conventions. This widened our audience from not only the fans that grew up with Backstreet Boys but also modern day fans of boy bands.

We have used a female in our music video, similar to those used in boy band music videos such as Westlife- Uptown Girl, Boyzone- Baby can I hold you tonight and Boyz 11 Men- I'll make love to you and a more modern example of The Script- For the first time, we have used a similar female as used in these videos, a classy looking very pretty, sweet and innocent girl, that young girls will aspire to be like in the thought that they can then be the admiration of the boy band, she is not necessarily there for the male gaze, but could help widen an audience if a male was to flick past the channel they may keep the music video on if an attractive female is on screen. We have also not put out girl in particularly revealing clothing, more “nice” clothing, such as the floral dress, this is due to our primary audience being young females, and the how feel and mood of the song.

We have developed this concept of using a female by having her as a recurring theme throughout the music video, making it appear that the song is being sung about her.

However, in Westlife's song Unbreakable, they have not used one of the member of the band as what is connoted as the females boyfriend, we have challenged this, but still worked with similar cuts back to the female alone and with her boyfriend, and shots of them looking happy together by smiling, laughing and having fun.

The locations we have used are also similar to existing media products, we have used a “moors” setting as a main theme in our music video, this is a secluded area, and we have positioned the shots to make sure they do look secluded and in a rural setting, this is similar to Take That- Patience and Westlife- What About Now, both modern music videos, showing the rural setting is still used, and it has not completely changed to a more urban setting in videos such as JLS- Everybody In Love.

Many boy bands stick to one location, we have challenged this concept by using various locations but referring back to them, for instance our basketball court, the moors, the river, the bridge, the park, the fence and the goal post. However, some boy bands again such as Boyz 11 Men used this in I'll make love to you.

We have also used a river, this again a common convention of boy band music videos, by using some aspect of water tied into the music video, the shots are also similar to Take That- Prey, with single shots of the band members leaning on trees. The river we have used also has a “beach” feel to it, similar to Westlife- Unbreakable, however, we have challenged this idea of a “beach” setting due to the area we live in being more country and rural, it is not a classic “paradise beach” but works well with the other locations.

We have also taken the idea of using a basketball court for the beginning of our music video from the original video of our song, with the female walking past and catching the boy band members eyes, this again is used as a diegetic start in the original video like it is in ours however we have challenged this, by having them playing it outside, and not using this as the only setting for our video. We have also made it a proper game of basketball, rather than them just messing around in a “sports hall” there is focus on the ball and the net. We have also gone straight into the lip syncing from this location and after the female has walked past like in the original video.

We have also incorporated certain shots into our music video which have been used in other boy band music videos, our specific “side shot of all four members of the band from the side” was also used in the video What About Now by Take That. We have also used shots of the location, such as rocks, as seen in this video. However, we have developed from this video, by using more shots of the whole band rather than single shots. We have also included four shots of our band dancing around on the cliff, as seen in Westlife's What about now, and shots of them far away walking away, again seen in this video.

We have used a lot of lip-syncing which is similar to most boy band music videos, including the original for As long as you love me by the Backstreet Boys. It is also used in many modern boy band music videos such as JLS- Everybody in love. This shows that no matter what time period we are in, lip-syncing has carried out throughout, therefore it was important for us to keep to this code and convention, to help the audience know the genre of our music video.

Although The Backstreet Boys were a 90’s boy band, however they are making a come back, as they are touring now, we have taken a modern approach to the music video, if we were to use clothes that were seen as fashionable in the 1990’s this would not appeal to modern day society, therefore we have used modern day clothing, seen in recent bands. We took our clothing inspirations from bands such as JLS, The Wanted and One Direction. This includes military boots, chinos, jeans and earring studs.

We have also incorporated dance moves into our music video, this again can be found in boy bands from the era of The Backstreet Boys but also modern day boy bands, JLS use a lot of dance routines in their music videos. We have also used “The Christ like gesture” which is commonly used in boy band music videos, including Westlife- Flying without wings and Backstreet Boys- I want it that way.

Many boy bands do not use much editing within their music videos, they use continuity editing, it is not too obvious to the audience that editing is being used this is due to them not being very “lively” music videos, it does not fit in with the mood and the feel of the music video. Therefore we have challenged this code and convention by including various editing aspects, such as over lays, fades in and outs, and rewinding actions for instance when they are throwing rocks in the water, however we have conveyed some original editing of original boy band music videos, for instace by using black and white, this can be seen in Boyzone- better and N’sync- Gone. However, we have used both colour and black and white, this is seen in Take That- Prey, this adds dramatic effect, as our shots of our female and our male character are all in black and white, making them stand out, connoting they are an important part of the music video. We have also used slow motion, which can be seen in many music videos, especially when it is including a female, to connote her beauty, we have conveyed this in our music video with our shots of our female, such as Westlife- Uptown Girl, however we have challenged this by using other shots in slow motion as well, such as the couple walking through the park. As a last minute decider, some of our shots were not great focus, and looked like back stage footage, of the band laughing, therefore we have edited these, by de-saturating the clips to connote they are back stage footage, this can be seen in Guns N Roses- Sweet Child O’ Mine, however we have challenged this idea, by not using it all the way throughout the music video, simply using it in the last chorus, spreading them apart. 





Digipak 


Digipak's are a recyclable form of C.D packaging, they are usually used for limited edition items, like for instance what we have done, with the special feature of our music video. 


A digipak has a front cover, a back cover, and then depending on how many compartments you need for the inside, there is various templates. There is a gatefold, commonly containing the title of the band and the album.


The front cover usually contains an image, or a piece of art, for instance cartoons on the front cover, representing the named band/ artist. It will also usually have the album name and the title of the band/artist. 


The back usually as well contains an image, or just a plain cover, as it is the front that stands out the most, however the theme is usually consistent throughout the digipak. The back also contains the track list, a bar code, copy right information, a website, on the inside front cover, there is a lot of writing about the production team, everything that has helped towards the album. They also have their own band logo. 


Within our genre, through research, we found it was essential to include a image of the band on the front of the digipak, so this is what we did, a plain image, but stands out, we found similar images for Westlife's album Gravity or Backstreet Boys album Millennium. The band name is also very bold, we also noticed that a lot of bands of our genre also use black and white, therefore we have followed these conventions, however we have challenged this by using a blue colour for our sky, rather than keeping it all black and white, making the image of our band stand out more. This is similar to Westlife's first album "Westlife." 


The clothing is also keeping in theme with our music video, we have also used an image from our actual music video on the back of the digipak, tying our products together, but also leaving a narrative enigma for what the music video will contain. 


Rather than using a plain background for the back of our digipak, we used a second image, this can be seen in various boy band albums, again Westlife- Gravity, Westlife- Back Home, Blue- Guilty. 


Blue was more of a 90's band, where as these Westlife albums are quite recent, showing a boy band convention that has been kept throughout time, again helping us appeal to our audience of young females but also people that may of listened to the band back in the 90's. 



Untitled from megan claydon on Vimeo.




Magazine Adverts 


The magazine that we decided to release our adverts in was Q, a music magazine released monthly, containing artists from all genres. And it is a very popular magazine. Take That were recently advertised in this magazine, making it perfect for our target audience. 


By looking at many magazine adverts inside Q magazine, we realised that many of them have a quote from Q magazine itself, therefore we used this for our magazine advert too. This makes people more likely to buy the album as if you are a consumer of Q magazine you will trust their opinion or you wouldn't invest in their magazine. 


We also noticed that many adverts contain the name of the band, the album name and when it released, therefore we too have included these key features. We also mentioned the bonus feature music video. 


It is rare to find boy band adverts, this may be because they are a band from the 90's, especially from our specific genre, however you do get advertisements on things such as billboards, many d not actually release adverts, they may just do interviews, with gossip magazines such as "OK."


We have kept our magazine advert in line with our other products, especially our digipak, by keeping the images in black and white and again using shots that are featured in our music video, this drawing all our products in together. 


We made a few examples, however from our audience feedback it turned out that both were liked as much as each other, therefore we kept both adverts, using one as a teaser poster, leaving a narrative enigma, and our other as our actual advert, with all the details of our digipak on. 


To then show our Photoshop skills, we cut out the members and placed them on a background image, this again was liked by our audience, so we used this as a second teaser trailer.


Therefore, we have challenged music adverts, as it is not often that artists will release more than one advert. 



Untitled from megan claydon on Vimeo.





Untitled from megan claydon on Vimeo.

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