Three stages x three technology strands: Stages: Research and Planning Production Post Production Technologies: Online Hardware Software.
A letter to a future A Level Media Studies student outlining transferable, creative and technical production skills to be gained from the course and illustrating these with specific stories, anecdotes from the process.
Describe audience age, gender(s), other media, socio economics, preferred media, psycholographics; how will it suit their uses and gratification? Identify professional ‘competitors’. Identify publisher. How will it reach the audience in different platforms?
There are not very many disco magazines around therefore I found it very hard to establish what was conventional and unconventional in a disco magazine. However, when I looked further in to it, I found that there were a few magazines from the 70’s which had a disco theme.
For example, ‘Disco 45’ and ‘Disco World’ had all the conventions you would expect from a disco magazine:
- Song lyric books.
- A colour scheme of black, pink and purple.
- Talk of a ‘rebirth’ of disco.
- Free gifts of a CD.
This told me that I needed to include lots of these kinds of things into my magazine. I believe I did this because I included the same generic colour scheme, interviews, talk of modernising disco and competitions giving the audience opportunities to win things. I didn’t include song lyrics because I did my double page spread on “top 10 disco songs” so I felt like if I did song lyrics as well, it would be too much. I also did not include a free gift because I believe it is a free gift or a competition, you can’t really do both.
My brand is communicated through the:
- masthead because I used the hot pink which is a conventional disco colour. I also used a bright navy blue to off set the pink and so it stood out from the black. While this is unconventional, I felt like it would go well with my colour scheme. I also added a satin layer to make my masthead sleek and polished like the satin gown the model is wearing on the ‘mixmag’ cover. Finally, I chose my font because I thought it was quite elegant, and all in block capitals making a statement with simple colours.
- headlines because they talk about latest albums, band interviews and how people reach the top. All of these imply a music magazine. While some of these headlines are a bit like a gossip magazine, I feel like the conventions of a disco magazine override this.
- colours because the conventional colours of a music magazine are black, pink and purple. I featured all of these in my magazine as well as adding blue to contrast from the black. This communicates my brand because the colours convey disco and the theme of colours is repeated throughout my whole magazine.
- language because I use words like ‘disco’ and ‘breaking the charts’ to imply a disco music magazine. Breaking the charts also implies that the singer is doing really well and having their big break. Also, if you look at the word ‘Nightclub’ it implies partying and dancing all night long. This makes my masthead link to the stand-first of: “where the party goes on all month long.”
- layout because it is quite conventional as generally disco magazines have a big cover star with cover lines wrapped around them. This is what I have tried to recreate here. For my main cover line I have also used a different colour and font. This is very conventional as you can see from my examples above.
My stars are also represented in a variety of ways for example, through the images, quotes poses and costumes:
- Images: my cover image represents my star as surprised or in shock. This is because my magazine has started a revival of disco. It therefore presents my star as moving with the times, quirky and unique. I have positioned it in the corner of the page so her eyes are almost central so it is like my cover star is trying to look directly at you. My insert picture is a bit more fun. I chose that picture because it contrasts from the serious cover star image and directs the readers attention to a different article.
- Quotes: “As long as we enjoy what we are doing, that is all the matters.” This is taken from my double page spread. It implies that my stars only care if they are enjoying what they are doing, they don’t care about what anyone else thinks. This shows that they are free-spirited and just do what makes them happy. This really conveys the genre disco and makes my stars look like good people.
- Poses: For my cover star, I chose a shocked pose because it implies that a revival of disco was not expected as it is a bit different. My insert picture is a bit more of a fun pose. It implies that my band just want to have fun and enjoy what they are doing. I chose Darien’s face to be quite serious because I wanted it to contrast the girls happy faces. This makes my cover star and Club Disco have clear star images because their poses are clear allowing the audience to read them easily.
- Costumes: I wanted all the girls to wear tightly fitted dresses as they are associated with going out and partying. I wanted Darien to wear a stripy, loud shirt because it contrasts the girls dresses which have no pattern. All of my images tie together through little things like the colour of their nail polishes (hot pink) and their sparkly headbands. This creates a clear star image because it reflects the style of disco while moving with the modernisation of disco. – So no flares in sight!
So, my product challenges conventions because I added blue to a conventional disco colour scheme to add a modern twist. I also challenged conventions by not putting in a free gift, as I didn’t think it was necessary as well as a competition. You could argue that I have challenged conventions just by making a disco magazine. As I said earlier, there are not many on the market so you could say that in making a specific disco magazine, I have challenged the conventions of the music magazine industry.
My magazine represents issues because it shows (especially with my double page spread article) it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you enjoy doing it. You shouldn’t let other people judge you by what you enjoy. This is particularly shown with the quote: “As long as we enjoy what we are doing, that is all the matters.” It also represents a social group that never really before existed. The disco lovers that live in the 21st century.
Here are my two adverts that will feature in my magazine.
Audience: a collection of people for a particular genre. Stuart Hall argued that an audience decodes the messages that a producer puts in place in a piece of media through his reception theory. So, the job of the audience is to decode what the producers put in place.
When I found out I needed to create adverts for my magazine, I looked back at my audience demographics and psychographics to find out what kind of things my audience would be interested in. I also looked back at the dating profile I created. My audience is generally generation x and baby boomers so I tried to target these kind of people. So, my audience are still young and vibrant but they probably play it safe rather than being rebellious.
I think these adverts fit my target audience because my audience are the kind of people who like to have a good time and go out dancing but are probably a bit more fresh and not rebellious so I think these fit that brief.
I chose this advert because my audience like to go out and have a good time and an open dance studio seemed a good fit. I also like how the orange juxtaposes the pink on the opposite page.
I chose this advert because everyone loves a soft drink. Since my audience are not very rebellious, I thought a soft drink advert would be a good choice. It talks about having a “master plan.” I think this works with my genre because disco is all about having fun so this advert just stops and makes you think for a minute. The drink splashing out also makes a statement. It suggests you are breaking the mould and letting loose. That is exactly what my magazine is all about.
I think both adverts, but especially the dance studio one, fit with my genre because my genre is all about people going out and having a good time and that is the connotations of both adverts. Making the most of everyday, enjoying life and knowing what you love.
Here is my complete draft of my music magazine.
All in all, I really like my magazine as it brings a modern twist on disco which before was quite out-dated. There is nothing like this on the market so I think my magazine is very unique and original.
Front Cover: For my front cover, I chose a colour palette of hot pinks, purples and cyan blue. I used a dark blue to do the important sub titles like the “win” and “world exclusive” and “exclusive interviews” to catch the audiences attention. This also, in turn brings out the colour of Millie’s eyes. I took the colour palette from Millie’s nails, so it is all coordinated. My masthead pops out of the backdrop as it has a pink shadow which I created and my stand first is relevant to the monthly issues of my magazine. I included a polaroid so there is something that ties all three pages together. Every time there is an insert I have done it polaroid style showing a continuation and that style will appeal to my target audience.
Contents Page: For my contents page, I went through a variety of different layouts before settling with this one. I like it because it is simple but effective, the pink strip down the side separates the words from the pictures making them clear and the reader knowing where to look. I chose a sophisticated font for the title of my contents page to make disco a bit more modern. I then changed the end into black giving it a more sleek and refined look. I chose that particular picture of Millie because her arm frames the text perfectly making it look like she was always there. I (yet again) added extra polaroids for my features to bring the audiences attention to my main articles. I used a script style font for my editors welcome so it feels personalised for the reader and unique.
Double Page Spread: I chose that picture because I though it worked well as a double page spread picture as Darien’s hand goes over the pages bringing them together. I decided to do a polaroid strip because I had lots of other pictures that I wanted to include and I thought a strip like that would work well. This also links it to my contents page and front cover along with a similar colour scheme. I decided to do a top 10 songs article because I thought it would show understanding of my genre and be interesting for the reader. By putting the songs in a different colour, it makes them stand out and when my audience are flicking through it acts as an overview.
Here is a flipsnack of my magazine:
What went well: I really like my double page spread. It is sophisticated and simple. I really feel like I have modernized disco with this design.
Even better if: I changed my contents page title font so it tied in a bit more with the rest of the magazine. I should have also got my models for my double page spread shoot to make their hair more curly as then it would be more conventional. However, you could argue that ‘Club Disco’ are trying to break conventions anyway so it could be seen as ok.
What has changed: There are lots of things that have changed, the main thing being my contents page layout. I changed this numerous times and finally settled on this one which I really like. I have also added in polaroids to every page so all the inserts tie in together.
A JPEG PDF of your three pages. Screen Castify from teacher. Summarise feedback and targets.
Here is my complete magazine draft.
Overall, I am very pleased with how my three components have worked out. My favourite is my double page spread because I think the two pages work well together. I also like how I have used the extra pictures to create a polaroid style strip. I like my front cover however I feel like the background is a bit too busy and I should make it a bit more black to tie it in with the other two pages. I think my contents page needs the most work because I am not truly satisfied with the overall layout.
Here is my feedback that my teacher gave me:
- Improve the contents page layout:- It will make it look more like a magazine and make it less confusing for the audience to read.
- Make my cover star pop more:- This will add to my front cover as she will have more of a star image and ‘look’ like a star.
- Change my tagline:- I am going to change it to “where the party goes on all month long” because then it is relevant to the monthly editions of my magazine and not just like every other nightclub.
Here is my new and improved contents page. I have decided to change my layout completely so it works better with my double page spread.
Here is a recording of my peer reading their peer review.
In summary, I think I have produced a good second draft I just need to work on making the writing a bit clearer and filling in the space. I would also like to add in some more detail so my magazine looks more realistic.
What I’ve changed:
- The layout.
- The font of the title.
- Put in more polaroids.
What is good:
- I like the colour scheme.
- I like the style.
3 targets for my next draft:
- Fill in the space.
- Make it a bit more disco.
- Make the writing clearer.
- Make editors welcome wider.
- Sort out Millie’s polaroid so it has no background.
I have learnt lots of new transferable skills when creating my complete magazine draft.
InDesign: Over the last few weeks, I have learnt how to group images to make my life easier when rearranging my layout. I have also learnt that simple designs often work better and even when you decide on a layout you’re probably going to change it later anyway. This is a transferable skill because it has made me stress less about my original design and instead experiment on the software.
Photoshop: I have learnt how to edit an image to make it look how I want it to look and I have also learnt how to use the paint brush tool to recreate a disco inspired background. These are transferable skills because I can now manipulate images and create my own backdrops.
I have also learnt lots about how magazine production work and how long it takes to create a single page. Doing this has really opened my eyes to how much work it takes to create one magazine.
I have also learnt lots of transferable life skills in creating my magazine including communication, organisation and teamwork. This has been through planning my own shoots both in school and outside.
- Communication: My communication has improved massively in studying media because when planning a shoot, you need to be able to communicate with your models and anyone else involved so you get good pictures. It has taught me that I need to be very clear on what I want. This is a transferable skill because when I go out to work, in any job, you need to have good communication skills so you can convey your point.
- Organisation: I have learnt that in order to plan a shoot, you need to be super organised because if you’re not, your shoot will not get done to the standard you want it to be. I also need to be organised to get my blog posts on time. If they do not get done, I will fall behind. Organisation is a transferable skill because it will really help me in life if I am organised and to order my work so I get it done on time.
- Teamwork: Teamwork plays a very important part as when I do a shoot, I need to be able to work with people and communicate effectively. It is a transferable skill because you are always are going to have to work with people in any job.
- Learning how to use adobe software: I have learnt how to use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. While this may not be a transferable skill for all jobs, in the media industry, it would be very useful. It has also made me more aware of how to enhance images and how to create advertisements and magazine covers.
What has gone well:
- I really like my double page spread and my front cover as I think they are quite realistic and magazine-like.
- I have picked up how to use Photoshop and InDesign quickly.
Even better if:
- I should watch more videos on Photoshop and InDesign to broaden my knowledge of the software.
I have learnt lots of new design skills and production techniques over the last few weeks. For example I have learnt how to do a drop capital on InDesign to make my double page spread more realistic. I have also learnt how to use one text box and add columns to it rather than doing two unidentical text boxes. Both of these things made my double page spread a lot easier to work with.
Furthermore, I have also improved my skills on photoshop. This includes cutting out as I have made an effort to make my cutting out more accurate. To broaden my knowledge on photoshop, I have also watched some videos so I can create better looking pictures which will make my magazine look more professional.
What went well was that I have improved my knowledge on both Photoshop and InDesign which has lead me to create a good double page spread. It would be even better if I carried on improving and enhancing my knowledge so that I can improve my coursework even further. I can do this by watching more videos and experimenting on the software.
My new design skills and production techniques have had a specific impact on my star image because it has made be portray what I want my stars to look like easier by using lighting effects and editing. It has also helped me to portray my genre because I can now add in extras which before, I didn’t even know how to do. My improved knowledge on InDesign has helped me to create a clearer and better narrative because I now have even spacing between by two columns and a drop capital makes my magazine look more realistic therefore, improving my narrative of a disco trio.