I created a Piktochart to demonstrate how I integrated technologies into this project:
Here is my letter to future A Level students who are looking to study Media Studies. The following voicethread explains the transferable, technical and creative skills that they will gain and develop.
So far, Media Studies has helped to develop a range of skills, from research to branding, which I will be able to transfer to my future education and career. I hope that future students, who are contemplating studying Media Studies, will be able to use this letter as a way of assuring them that this subject is an amazing asset to their future.
Media Studies has been teaching me many technical and creative production skills that I will be able to transfer to future education and careers, later in life. Here are the skills:
Media studies involves a lot of coursework, which I have learned to balance out, to be able to successfully meet deadlines. This balancing has also lead to me being a more organised person.
Directing and Management
When behind the camera, I have to direct the model and myself (in order to take a successful image). This can be a transferable skill because it will be helpful if I ever become a manager or boss, as I’ll have this experience of directing someone. Before I could carry out any shoots, I also had to organise when everyone was free, where to meet and who would bring the costume, makeup, props – this has led to experience in management.
Communication & Collaboration
A main skill in media is teamwork. To be able to produce anything, I needed to work with my peers in order to get a model, feedback and ideas. Communication skills have been very relevant in media as it has helped us all stay organised and prepared in advanced of shoots. Communication is a transferable skill as in all jobs I will need to communicate with colleagues and/or clients.
For my blog posts and feature article, I have gained writing skills. Before any blog post, I always ensure that I have a plan of what I need to mention, to prevent forgetting any points. In my feature article, I also had to ensure that I didn’t make any grammatical errors, so double checking was key.
Research and Planning
I carried out lots of research after deciding what genre I would like to use. To do so, I researched the genre’s artists using YouGov and I also created a dating profile of someone who would listen to the genre. Research and planning was helpful in advanced of my photoshoots and in the creation of my magazine as it ensured that I was prepared and able to have a successful outcome. If I go into any media related profession, these skills will be transferable and very important.
Photography – taking the pictures and editing
In media I have learnt many things about photography and what details to pay attention to when taking the images. Including; the framing, distance, angles. Photography is a transferable skill as we take pictures day to day. As social media continues to rise, photography becomes more and more relevant.
I have learnt how to design a conventional magazine and lay it out to be aesthetically pleasing. During the designing process, I gathered what works and what doesn’t (e.g. colours, shapes, images). Designing is relevant and transferable to everything – from products to posters.
How to create in the mind of both a creator and a consumer
So far in Media Studies, I have also learnt how to critically think in the mind of the creator and the consumer. I know how to use certain features to make a magazine conventional to a reader and the 4 reasons consumers use media; entertainment, information, diversion and social interaction (Blumler and Katz, Uses and Gratifications model). This will all be a transferable skill to apply on social media or if I ever work in the media/creative industry.
For my DPS, I followed these tutorials:
Resizing the image, while keeping Callum the same size.
Every time I enlarged the image on my DPS, Callum would go too far to the left. So, I decided to watch a tutorial on keeping a part of an image fixed, while enlarging the rest.
Paper tear effect
I felt the headline on my double page spread wasn’t standing out against the busy background so I needed to find a way to make the background behind the text blank. When I think books, I think paper. So I decided it would be interesting to give it a torn effect.
Apply a filter to a fixed part of an image
For my double page spread, I wanted to apply a filter to the background of the image but keep Callum in colour. I decided to do this because the books weren’t a very necessary part of the image and it was taking the attention away from Callum.
I wanted to highlight the important words on my contents page so I watched this tutorial to learn how to do so. I felt by doing so, the readers would be attracted to the main features as they would stand out.
How to Create a Star
I wanted to create some little stars for my contents page, to act as stickers. So, I watched this tutorial to show me how.
Colour drop shadow
I wanted some colour around the images on my contents page, to make them stand out. To achieve this, I added a drop shadow and opened up the menu, where I then changed the colour.
During the creation of my Magazine Front Cover, I have used many new design skills, including the following:
- Photoshop – smudging tool
- Photoshop – colour hue
- Illustrator – paint tool
- Indesign – drop shadows
- Indesign – text wrap
- Indesign – layers
What went well and even better if?
All of the design features I used went well but for my Double Page Spread, it would be even better if I could watch a tutorial on how to progress my skills even further. For example, I was thinking about having a ripped paper effect, behind the headline on my double page spread, so I can try and follow a YouTube tutorial to figure out how to do so.
Here are a few screenshots of the design skills I used on Indesign and Photoshop:
Hue/Saturation & Colour Balance
I altered the hue/saturation and colour balance, depending on the tone which I wanted the image to convey. For example, for the image of Kate I made it more red-toned and the image of Callum I altered to be more green hued.
For the front cover, I used a ‘mop’ brush which gave a water colour effect.
I used the smudge tool for the background image on my front cover. It made the CD’s more holographic and warped, creating a colourful setting which the audience will be attracted to.
Through these design features, my aim was to try and interest the audience through exciting visuals. For example, in Photoshop I used colour hue to make the image of Kate more red-toned as I felt it would help tie in all of the tones on the page as well as make it more rhythmic.
Next week, I will be shooting my model in the White Studio. As preparation I have decided to reflect my brand values, mission statement and how I will communicate my ideas using my Mise En Scene and camera knowledge.
My magazines mission statement is:
We are a brand, and most of all a community, that believe in the power of diversity within the music industry. Millennial’s ethics are to promote our passions; colour, rhythm, fashion and culture. The R&B community to us, is all about being able to express your creative individuality, while being part of something wider.
For my first studio shoot, I will be using Mise En Scene in these following ways:
Costume – The model will be wearing a ‘streetstyle’ inspired outfit. This consists of a red puffer jacket, cargo trousers, oversized tee’s, cycle shorts, sneakers and chains.
Action – I will direct the model to pose in a ‘laidback’ style, this will make them look slightly careless but also down to earth.
Makeup – The model’s makeup will be quite natural but with an exaggerated winged eyeliner and a bold red lip.
Props – I plan to use an old telephone (with a coiled wire), as I think it would be a good prop for the double page spread images.
Using my camera knowledge, I will be shooting at different angles and distances to ensure that I have a variety of quality photos as the end result. I want to make sure I get some close ups, mid shots and long shots so that I have lots of options for my cover photo and double page spread. A mixture of high angles, low angles and straight on angles as they all communicate different messages to the audience. For example, a high angles will communicate that the feature is superior to the audience. However, a close up would express more of an intimate connection with the audience.
When taking the photographs, I also have to ensure that features such as the ISO, shutter speed and aperture are at the correct setting to create a clear and crisp image. If these setting aren’t correct then the whole set of images could be ruined.
Now that I have completed my tour poster, I need to focus forward and prepare myself for making some media. To do so, I will need to consider the following topics;
CAMERA: ANGLES, DISTANCE, FRAMING
When on my photoshoot, I will have to consider the framing, angles and distances I use. Depending on the genre I choose, the different frames could signify the wrong message. For example, a high angle expresses that the artist is small, creating a vulnerable tone about them, which is most likely not the message I want to promote. An extreme close up may not be suitable for a music magazine front cover but in comparison, a mid close up would be more appropriate.
MISE EN SCENE
Mise En Scene consists of 6 components; costume, lighting, action, makeup/hair, props and setting. For my music magazine photoshoot, I will need to research appropriate costumes for the chosen genre (e.g. if I choose rap, I will need to consider using chains and excessive jewellery to represent the wealth which rappers like to profess). Components such as lighting won’t be the most important as the model will be cutout, however I will have to be aware of the lighting as it wouldn’t be appropriate to capture the image in the evening.
Personally, when I pick up a magazine, I am drawn to its aesthetics. The front cover layout for me, is a necessary way of drawing in consumers. If a magazine has a chaotic front cover, which looks unorganised and doesn’t have a suitable colour scheme then the majority won’t be attracted to it. However, if there is an appropriate colour scheme with the text flowing nicely around the image, almost everyone will be attracted to that magazine (depending on the genre, of course).
It is also an important factor for the main cover star to be the biggest thing on the page; the cover star is the main feature and most probably a recognisable face to the audience.
You know what they say, three’s a crowd. When considering the typography for a magazine front cover, it’s important that I remember to stick to 1-2 different typefaces (e.g. one serif and one sans-serif). It’s always safe to stick to one font for headings/subheadings and another for the main body text. Using too many fonts can overcomplicate the page and completely change the balance of the design. If I want to switch things up a bit, there is always italics and bold which can immediately create 3 different styles of one font.
Attention, interest, desire and action…AIDA is a crucial subject which I will need to think about when making my magazine cover. I need to consider the brands mission statement and how that will apply to the audience’s interests, along with the target audience which the magazine is aiming to address (this will depend on the genre). Depending on the demographics and psychographics which the audience is segmented into, they will have completely different attentions and desires to a different magazine.
BLUMLER AND KATZ
The two media theorists are the creators of the Uses and Gratifications theory, which suggests that consumers seek media for 4 reasons; entertainment, social interaction, personal identity and information. The Blumler and Katz theory will be important to consider when creating my music magazine front cover as I will have to be capable of understanding why the audience will be picking up the magazine…is the music genre some part of their identity? Do they depend upon the magazine as a type of diversion? Therefore, does it need to be relaxed and laidback, rather than consisting of an overwhelming amount of information?
Today in class, we studied two videos and discussed how the camera framing and Mise En Scene was combined to represent individuals, groups, events or places.
FRAMING – Camera’s distance from and in relation to subject
There are many different shot and angles types…some examples are:
- Extreme Long Shot
- High angle
- Low Angle
- Point of View shot
- Close Up
The screenshot above is from a clip in Chicken Run which we watched in class to assess the angles, shots, movement and framing. In the screenshot, we are shown a back shot of the chicken, which is very rare as the audience usually see from his POV or from the human’s perspective. In this scene, he is situated by himself – this angle expresses the genre of isolation and solitude, especially since in the previous clips he was surrounded by other chickens…this technique helps to convey the emotion of sadness to the audience. However, the chicken is also looking down on the farm which suggests he has a slightly higher power, which could be foreshadowing the plans to change the way the chickens are treated.
We also studied a clip from Downton Abbey and in groups we composed an essay about how Mise En Scene was portrayed in this video, which I found was very differently presented in comparison to Chicken Run. For example, at the beginning of the clip, Downton House, where the higher class live, is presented as an enchanting area through the golden lighting which shines onto the house. In comparison, the working class are situated in a building of darker tones, which creates a harsh contrast between poverty and shows how the upper class are superior to the minority.
From this study of framing techniques, I will now be capable of applying this to my Music Magazine as I am able to understand that to spread a certain message, the image requires a specific angle to communicate meaning to the audience. I am also able to understand that Mise En Scene has a big impact in relation to communicating meaning through an image. When creating my Music Magazine, I will remember these factors to prevent confusion of communication with the audience.