Below is my response to my fourth creative critical reflection question; ‘How did you integrate technologies – software, hardware and online – in this project ?’ I responded to this question by creating a Piktochart which can be accessed through the link below.
After being given the question; How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products? we were tasked to respond to it in a ‘vlog’ style way. We had to present our product and develop our ideas on how we would distribute and create interest in our product running up too and through its release. Essentially selling our product and brand to the managers and distributors in the industry. Below is our response.
Below is my response to our second creative critical reflection question. The question we were given was; How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’? We have displayed our answer in a video which presents our music video as well as images from all our products to support our answer to the question.
To reflect on our products we have made we will analyse and look back on our products through four questions. Our first is; How do your products use or challenge conventions and how do they represent social groups or issues? We will respond to this question through a Prezi looking at each product individually and analysing the features and conventions we applied in our designs. Below is my response.
During the process of designing and producing our website we developed a lot of new skills and acquired some new terminology for conventional features in media we used but now have a better understanding of. In our own website we learnt how to link pages to buttons on our navigation bar and main page images. We did this by adding in a button then selecting it so that a tool selection bar would appear above it. Then by clicking the small link icon a menu opens up allowing you to choose what you link that button too, from another page to a phone number. As we wanted to link it to a page we selected that and then it allowed us to choose which page we wanted from a drop down menu on the right.
( Example of Adding Links to Buttons )
Following on, another skill we developed which was crucial to keeping to the generic website conventions was being able to include our artists social media links. This was key to promoting, and selling our products to make our artist successful. Below is an image showing that by selecting the ‘+’ button from the editing sidebar and finding the subheading ‘Social’ we are able to insert a social media link bar making it clear and easy for our audience to find our products from our website.
( Example of Adding a Social Media Link Bar )
We learnt another skill when it came to presenting our merchandise we had made on our page. We wanted to be able to showcase all angles of the product but without having multiple individual images as we felt this wouldn’t be able to be showcased in an organised or attractive way. We decided we needed individual slideshows for each product so that any website user could look through every angle of each item in an organised and more professional looking way. In the image below you can see that by selecting the ‘+’ icon again in the editing sidebar and this time finding the subheading ‘Interactive’ you are give a range of slideshow options. After choosing an appropriate one, similar to adding a link to the button, you select the slideshow and in the bar that then appears above there is the tab ‘Manage Slides’ which lets you edit each slide individually. We selected each slide individually and changed the background to an imported image of our personalised merchandise. This created the exact effect we wanted to fit with the style of the website as a whole.
( Example of Creating a Slideshow )
Overall, after going into this task not having any experience with this specific website I feel that the product we ended up with was very successful. Having no experience with this site made the initial tasks more challenging but the site was helpful in the sense that the tool buttons had text boxes linked to them that described what the tool did. The site also provided us with templates which gave us a sort of map of how things worked and were linked together, this meant we could base our work off of this and add and remove aspects we liked and disliked, such as the amount of pages we had linked in or the background colours.
As we were in the process of putting together our Digipak we developed and acquired some new skills within the software programmes we were using, specifically photoshop and indesign. These skills were the turning point in developing our DigiPak and being able to add features to improve our product and be able to include conventions that apply to our music genre.
Above is an example of how we used the ‘swatch’ tool in photoshop to match and coordinate colour on our DigiPak throughout, we took a swatch of our draft cover image which highlighted for us a range of colours including this beige shade that not only did we use for our inside right cover art, we also incorporated it into the splatters in the background of our front cover as shown below.
For the the front and inside right covers we used the brush tool. On the front cover we used a spray paint type brush to create the effect of paint splatters in a variety of coordinating colours we had taken from our swatch . On the inside right cover we started by using the shape tool to create the circles alongside the swatch for the main colour. We then used the brush tool too draw over that to create abstract lines. We cleaned this up with the blemish correcting tool to make sure the lines stayed within the circles we had originally made. To then layer the image we had just made we had to duplicate the image layer and copy and paste the circle we had just made. We did this to imitate the shape of a CD if one were to go there. (Below is an example of the brush tool we used.)
Looking back over our DigiPak it is clear we have experimented with a few new tools and developed our skills significantly with this software. Developing these skills meant that our product was improved and was finished in a way that allowed us to represent our created artist and their brand.
As we finished our mock up, we presented it to other people to hear their opinion To analyse if our mock up draft conveyed the ideas we had and fitted our genre we took it around and asked people what their first impressions were. The results are below:
We first asked; What genre do you think it fits into? Then gave the options below:
Rock – 0
Classical – 0
R&B – 1
Indie alternative – 6
Hip-hop – 0
Pop – 1
Folk – 0
Indie pop – 13
Next we asked; How does it make you feel? And this is what we concluded:
Overall I feel that we have successfully conveyed the genre and message well as emotions such as loneliness, isolation and vulnerability were most popular, alongside indie alternative or indie pop for genre. These are all relevant to our designed branding. Now we have this information I feel more confident in moving forward now that our ideas and draft link well and are relevant to our artists ideals.
Targets: I feel this feedback could’ve been improved by potentially refining our choice of adjectives, making them more similar to make a more specific and accurate representation of the impression it makes to the people we presented it too. I also feel that if we had covered a larger amount of people this would’ve given a better impression of the opinion of the majority.
After having produced a music video to go with “Bloodstain” by Wrabel. We can now move on by having another look and analysing our target audience to better understand the branding we have created ourselves through this video. For example, asking what sort of artist and branding would’ve produced a music video like ours. We are moving on and working towards making a DigiPak for our created Brand. As we now create a mission statement for our star; “FELIXX” we can pull together our ideas and have a clear view of our stars branding, image and aesthetic. By putting it into one statement it makes our aims and ideas clear for the production.
Following on from our research we have discovered that our target audience demographic are females aged between 18-24. People who would classic musical films like grease, or romantic chick flicks like Pretty Woman. We also found that our audience would listen to other artist who follow our genre such as; Adele, Ed Sheeran or George Ezra. I find that these artists and films have similarities to the brand we are starting to create as they all convey a more emotional side, discussing topics like love and heartbreak, which are reoccurring themes throughout our work.
From developing our USP, we have found that the star image we are going to develop will be someone who is very individual in their style who is in touch with his vulnerability, someone who displays his heartache and struggle to find the right relationship and person to share it with. We want this branding to highlight the key theme of acceptance and that this brand is one that support being open, honest, emotional and understanding whilst being LGBTQ community that he himself is apart of.
From this we understand that our mission statement is that ‘Felixx’ is an inclusive and colourful artist. His emotional and soft tone is complimented by a deep beat. He talks about current issues, love and heartbreak inspired by pop culture with a twist. Expressing his own views on relationships and issues, he’s a relatable and comforting voice to his audience.
After having a meeting with Lenny who works in media and design, he helped us to develop our skills in the editing of ur music video. He helped us to understand how to apply effects to our video, specifically how to overlay clips. This effect we decided we wanted to involve before this meeting as we felt it meant we could convey two emotions at once to fit the lyric and tone of the song. Having this meeting and be able to share our ideas and ask questions was really helpful as we were presented with new ideas and techniques that we could now apply to our video if we so wish. Having this more technical approach means our video should turn out to be a lot more precise, appropriate and professional looking. We are considering developing our themes and ideas by applying effects to shots that involve symbolic “blood” in water to push colours and reinforce our ideas. All of this has allowed me to develop my technical skills, for example looking at the image below I now understand how to overlay clips by adjusting the opacity and inverting it. By applying these effects, we have aimed that it would create a more isolated, lonely, and broken-hearted tone, as if his feelings are as uncontrollable and intense as the crashing waves, and vulnerable from past relationships, as if his feelings are the water hitting against the rocks. This relates to our theme of indie/alternative pop as we are conveying emotion in an abstract and creative way whilst still incorporating that “pop” feel.
We can now focus on applying these skills and further finessing, refining and perfecting our video to convey our ideas and appeal to our researched target audience for our specific genre. This was really useful in being able to develop and expand our skills.
This project has meant that I have developed my skills in using programs such as Premier Pro, despite this I still have skills to develop. Looking at the project so far I have used the skills to edit the video to the beat as well as edit the color and tones in the shots to reflect the mood of the song itself. Below I have put in images of the settings I changed and the before and after effect it had one the shot. By raising the intensity of blue and green tones it links to the water theme that flows throughout the video and means that the images flow well as there is no abrupt change in overall tones. As well as this it relates back to our research of our artist and the genre and tone of the son overall. Focusing on the tone of the song we lowered the brightness to reflect the mood.