Here is my letter to a future A level Media Studies student outlining transferable, creative and technical production skills to be gained from the course.
Media opens you up to lots of skills that will be very useful in the outside world. For example, organisation and teamwork. Media also helps you to improve your technical skills when using cameras and lighting as well as mise en scene technique and colour scheme.
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. My challenge was to bring it back up-to-date!
Here is an emaze I made to answer CCR1.
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.