Digi Pack- Previous Students Work

These four images are a previous students work in which I have chosen to annotate and look into more detail because I feel that this piece has a great sense of continuity to it; and stands out due to the images as you can tell there has been a lot of thought into the framing, colour and editing.

The use of camera and Photoshop

Throughout all four images, they have used a range of camera distances that are: super close up, close up, long shot and an extreme long shot, this variation is well balanced and pleasing to the eye rather than having four long shots as it wouldn’t captivate the audience the same way. Looking at the inside right image, the use of the rule of thirds worked great here as the eye is just of center and because he is looking directly down the lens it feels like he is connecting with the audience which grabs their attention. They have used Photoshop well to bring out the harshness of the blue, this idea of using blue adds to the continuity of the sea theme that runs throughout, however I feel like they could perhaps have enhanced the colour of the sea as it seems a bit too grey compared to the other pictures.

The front cover is excellently Photo shopped to make it look like he’s holding the album title, also, looks like it was inspired by the René Magritte painting called ‘The Son of Man’ where his face is hidden by an apple, however in this case his head is hidden by the album title.

Mise-en-scene and meaning

Lighting- There is a clear, bright lighting on all the images except the back cover. Because the fore ground of his silhouette and the background are similar colours and the lighting comes across as quite dull in comparison.

Props- Even though it’s not meant to be clearly seen they have still put the head of an acoustic guitar under his hands which works well as it is conventional to their genre, (Inside left).

Costume- The fact that he is wearing a suit on the beach highlights that it’s clear the genre is indie, because the picture is quite random.

Setting-  The beach as a setting is again a very conventional setting for the genre as it connotes feelings of freedom, sorrow, nostalgia and reflection. The symmetrical position of his hands and the way he is standing creates an aesthetic pleasure for the audience, which also conveys a simplicity to it.

The word choice and level of audience engagement

Starting with the title and band name, they have the names ‘Ocean and ‘sea’ on it and the pictures shows images of the ocean which relates quite nicely and helps with gaining the predictable pleasure from the audience. On the back of the album you’ll find a list of 7 song names, for example, ‘Wildfire’, ‘Atlantis’, and ‘Oceans’, these particular songs have the theme of nature in common which fits in perfectly with indie, however the grey, dull look of the back cover makes it not as clear as it could be as the background gets darker as it goes down.

The creative use of DTP to integrate images and text and use of colour/ typeface

The simplicity of the typeface shows further continuity and how the same font flows nicely onto the back of the album which brings it together as a whole. The use of colour throughout the album is amazing, the use of the different shades of blues and greys make the bright, electric blue stand out the most and really entice the audience.

Overall, looking at the mark scheme above, I would give this album  lower level 4 because they have manipulated the images to perfection and the use of colour is great, also they have kept the continuity of the genre present throughout all four sides. They did not reach the upper level 4 because the back cover is not very visually pleasing (with the exception of the silhouette).

Our Mission Statement

Now that we have finished creating the music video for our star, we are going to make a Digi pack (which is the front and back of an album cover) and a website to promote their new album and to try and advertise the new star as much a possible, the mission statement has great importance for when the Digi pack and website are made because they both develop from the mission statement, therefore, we need to make sure it describes what we aim to do for our audience to the best of our abilities.

In order to fulfill this, we have came up with our star’s name in which she is called ‘Meilaní ‘. Also, we worked hard to devise the mission statement to go along side the brand. Having a mission statement makes it easier for your target audience to understand who the company are, what makes this artist different from the rest, and if it suits their personal interests, therefore we will be putting many conventional themes that you would expect from the R&B genre, but throughout both the creation of the website and Digi pack we will need to make sure we keep continuity, otherwise the audience may take an oppositional reading towards our product as explained by Stuart Hall.

However, we also want to test the market slightly by adding very few unconventional elements so that our products will be more distinct than others’. This will be our unique selling point as we will know how to captivate a specific market of people.  But, before developing all of this we had to to a lot of research on the demographics of our typical target audience so that we know for definite who we are targeting.

Who is the audience?

Independent, witty and urban are a few words that describes who our typical target audience are, not forgetting they are mostly female and aged between 18-24. One thing that needs to be addressed is the amount of money spare they have a month to see how much we should price the album, which ranges from £125-£499, this is quite a large gap, so in result thinking about the price of our product we should think about not making our product too expensive otherwise our audience won’t be able to buy it.

The media that they enjoy are: watching The Xfactor and action films, using multiple social networking platforms, such as Instagram.

Interested in: Left wing politics, new fashion trends, music.

Possible professions: Media and publishing, law, hairdressing, fashion design, coffee shop.

Top regions of where they’re from: London, North west, and Wales.

A call to action

When it comes to interacting with our audience, we want them to invest their time following the star on different platforms of social media so that they can stay updated with tour dates, fashion and what she’s doing on a daily basis. We want the fans to be able to go on her website that will soon be made to buy merchandise, see further information on touring, tickets and more.

Furthermore, the interaction can be taken to another level by using particular hashtags that are only applicable to the star which will have more people talking about her in a positive way, the hashtag will have to be catchy and have a  meaning behind it.

Who are the competition?

Famous singers that share the same genre as ours are: SZA, The Weeknd, Raye, Kali Uchis, Kehlani and Stormzy. Each of these artist’s websites are completely different, for example, Kehlani has an ombré of bright orange and as you scroll down the page it gets lighter, this effect is simple yet leasing to the eye. In contrast, Stormzy has a very dark theme with just slightly different shades of black, which gives off a completely different vibe.

Now looking at album covers of the competition, most of the female artists have elements in common such as them posing on the front and having bright colours run throughout.

Our Unique Selling Point

Meilaní is a star that just recently reached fame, so is new to the celebrity world and has already established her presence in the market of the music industry by leaving her mark in the R&B community. As being a part of this genre, her image is presented to he world as a young, fresh, flirty face that can sing luxuriously, this will be embarked upon how she is constantly bringing out new ways to shock and impress the audience and never has to push herself for new music as her natural ability for songwriting flows from the mind into ink.

Meilaní’ is extraordinary when it comes to being creative, ideas will forever baffle the nation as you never know what she’s going to produce next, whether she’ll mix in a more alternative side or turn to pop- the surprise is always waiting.

As explained by Dyer, a media theorist that looked at how a star’s meta narrative is purposefully constructed and manufactured to have an artificial appeal to a particular audience. Dyer states that each star has a ‘unique selling point’ that they are easily noticed by, which I give the example of Lady GaGa and her crazy, strange but unique fashion sense and careless attitude.

Mission Statement

Meilaní- will enrich your soul through her sooth tones and gripping vocals. The fresh soul artist who has thrown a controversial twist on what you think is R&B, her electric and bold aura will entice you in a way you’ve never seen before. Mixing in her real emotions, Meilaní weaves them into every song. Our aim is for our audience is for them to be captivated and immersed in her striking personality, that is vibrant, edgy, and of course beautiful. You won’t know what’s hit you.

 

 

Digi Pack Conventions Analysis

Here we have looked at album covers (front and back), so that we can fully understand the conventions of a Digi pack, therefore we looked at album covers that are in the same genre of our music video, R&B. We have shown examples of three that we like and that share the same themes such as having the star on the front which promotes their star image. We chose to annotate the third album as it seems to be the most captivating; and we wanted to try and find out why so that we can gain the understanding of the typical conventions of a great R&B album and to find what our brand will be.

What I’ve learnt is that colour choice and the image on the front are the most important factors of a Digi pack; this is because that’s what will instantly entice the reader, not the track list for example.

What this task helped me do is notice all the small things that the producers do to try and sell it, these things can range from the image, to the typography.  A slight change in either, can change a persons’  perspective and ideology of what the music will be like.

Music Video Draft 4

This is our draft four of our music video that we have constantly been tweaking and editing to create the best version that we can possibly make. What has changed in this video is that we have finally filled in the blanks so that we have a completed video from start to finish. We have also looked again at the text over the video and we think that regardless of the previous peer comments; the text creates a different medium and appears to be more targeting to the character and makes him look even more guilty as it looks like he is being scolded.

Below we have feedback of one of our peers assessing our draft four of what she likes and dislikes about the music video,so we have created a screen castify to capture her discussing her views and opinions of the video.

Our targets from our peer is that there is one main part where the lip syncing is slightly off and could easily be corrected.

 

Production Skills Evaluation 2

Today we had a professional in Premiere Pro called Mr. Lenfesty, who came in to watch our music video and gave us great feedback on what he thinks we’ve done well, what can be improved and what we should change. Having someone with a great amount of experience and knowledge of using Premiere Pro enables us to improve the video immensely; as he has an unbiased view- therefore can give his thoughts on how it looks and the impact of the video.

The elements of it that we mainly needed help with was:

  • In one clip where the actor is running away from the camera there’s a blue bin that’s in the shot that could be distracting and not fit in, this is unconventional to our genre and it detracts from the character being alone, running away; it is a narrative addition that is distracted and unnecessary. Therefore, to solve this, he showed us to go into the tab called ‘Lumetri colour’ which enabled us to select the colour of the bin and dull it down to a grey shade by creating two adjustment layers, so that it blended into the surroundings and didn’t stand out as it wasn’t what we wanted the audience to focus on.

Below is a screenshot of after we successfully changed the colour of the bin bag:

(Click to see more clearly)

 

With this other screenshot below, we also used the colour wheel to drag the points of the bag to the colour we want instead of using the secondary colour bars as you can see in the screenshot above.

 

  • What Mr. Lenfesty also commented on was the idea that for the flashbacks we could use a vignette effect on all of the flashbacks so that they’re more clear and that the target audience don’t get confused between the flashbacks and the footage that’s meant to be the present.Therefore, we have taken in his advice and tried it on one of the clips to test it out, however we found it looked quite harsh and looked unprofessional in which Mr. Lenfesty then showed us that we were able to ‘feather’ the harsh lines out so the focus on him was more subtle. This resulted to drawing the audience’s eyes to a particular point on the screen, such as when we show a very short clip of blood on his hands- we can us the vignette to focus their attention on the weapon instead of anything else, therefore the main points of the narrative can get across the the target audience and cuts out the confusion.

  • Another thing that Mr. Lenfesty helpfully implied that we should do was to not only organise our folders in our main files, but also name and organise them within Premiere Pro as you can put them in a ‘Bin’ (which is their term for a folder), and the best part of this was that he showed us how to duplicate the file for our current edit of the music video so that if were not sure whether to test something out and it goes wrong, then we can test it on the duplicate and it won’t matter if it goes wrong as we still have the original.

Teacher feedback

Our teacher has watched our 2nd draft of our music video to give us feedback on the elements of it that needs more developing and the parts that we have done well, knowing this enables us to reflect back on the video from another person’s point of view.

Feedback:

What went well:

What needs improving/ideas to enhance video:

  • Quite a fast opening, a lot to take in
  • Good close ups
  • Could get Harry closer to Sal to show a connection
  • More reference to lights
  • Blue bin in the way of running shot of Harry
  • 180 degree rule almost is not applied in a few shots
  • Start with a close up or some angle that gives a connection to Sal and the audience
  • Is the text supposed to be there? If so, is it conventional?
  • Beautifully framed
  • Quality of harry close up doesn’t appear as good as the other shots (which is because of a grainy effect)
  • Harry is a bit smiley in one of the shots
  • Slow down the clip of Sal  
  • Good cuts for pace
  • Needs match on action- he was past the bin last time
  • Strong performer
  • She knows the lyrics well 
  • More cuts nearer the end to create energy
  • More lip gloss needed on the close up
  • For the shot of him stabbing, need to get in there and create fast pace
  • Getting the shot of the police car is brilliant and very conventional
  • Need a recurring theme of blue lights
  • Good narrative but needs more cut to reaction and match on action
  • Need a long shot of her, as it is all very stationary
  • Sal in streets by her self singing?

Now after reading and going over these comments, we understand that we need to figure out whether we need another shoot to get in more blue lights and more shots to cut to; or we could just improve our editing skills in Premiere Pro, so for example we can play around with the colours of the clips and maybe add a blue light effect. However, if we don’t know how to do this, we can research tutorials on YouTube. 

Audience Ideologies

To make sure we cater for our audience we have deeply researched the type of person that would love our music video, and what reasons they have for consuming media such as Instagram and YouTube. Theorists that understood this important factor were Blumler and Katz who explained that there were four uses and gratifications, their theory further illustrates an active audience and  four reasons for why and how people consume media, which are: Information, Personal Identity, Social Interaction and entertainment. Therefore, I have looked on a site that I have previously used called YouGov and searched for the typical people that would enjoy R&B and the site Instagram, In which you can see the outcome below, where they are a female between the ages of 18-24 that live mainly around urban areas such as London/Manchester/Brighton etc:

After researching this, I have created a fake dating profile of the typical audience, and have included what they like, their passions such as her favourite music (which is our genre) and primary information. Stuart Hall was a theorist that discussed how the audience can reject the ideas if they strain too far from the typicality of the genre, this is called ‘Oppositional’, however when the ideas are accepted is is labelled ‘Preferred’, so in result of this theory I have made sure that I take in what ideas that would be rejected by the audience, such as; if the music video had more heavy rock themes rather than R&B.

 

Production Skills Evaluation 1

As we are now working on draft three of our music video I have gained many new skills on Premiere Pro whilst editing, as beforehand, I didn’t know how to to anything on the software and since experimenting I have learnt many things such as:

  • Cutting and putting videos together
  • Putting effects on a clip
  • How to import audio
  • How to slow down and speed up videos
  • How to mute clips
  • How to export them into YouTube videos

These few examples can be seen in the following images:

 

One skill that I picked up quickly was reversing a clip, this helped give a sense of despair, paranoia and guilt; as he runs his hands through his hair. When we were experimenting with changing the speed of the clip we were going to slow it down, however, we came across how to reverse the clip which we tried and really liked.

Another skill I have learnt on Premiere Pro is putting effects on footage and manipulating them to my satisfaction. An effect that we think works really well is the glitch like — that we created by changing and moving the colours slightly to the right which gives off a really cool glitch-looking effect that makes the clip look distorted, and gives off a sense that there is a problem and gives connotations that his head is messed up. First of all we had to copy and paste the footage so that there is three clips of the chosen scene all together, then search in effects for ‘RGB colour’ and apply on all, you then change one clip to all red, the second to all blue and the third green, after, you change the position of each colour which results in this glitch effect that you can see below.

We also have exported our music video drafts onto YouTube, so that our progression is clear, we can reflect on each one and see what else needs to be done. As you can see below, I have taken a screenshot of my YouTube channel where I have uploaded the first two drafts, the first video just consists of only the performance, therefore, it is very easy to see where we have improved in our editing. However, we also saved our drafts in our  music video folder labelled ‘Drafts’ just in case anything is lost or deleted we have back-ups saved.

Draft 3

Many things have improved in this video due to the constant learning of how to create effects and edits for the video, so what we have added (clip-wise) is the footage of the treacle being poured on him so that the metaphor of paranoia can be produced. Our teacher also commented on the previous draft explaining that the narrative was quite confusing because you don’t see who he murdered so we put in the footage of the victim walking past and Harry watching him as we found as it made more logical sense. (You can see this at 2:09).

Another element of the feedback that we considered, was the point that the audience don’t really have enough time to see the clip of the screwdriver as we didn’t put in a slower close up in the previous drafts, nevertheless, we made sure to put it in in this draft (3) to show improvement of the video- and now watching it, it works really well and is more clear. this can be found at 2:13.

Also, we have put in many effects to make the video look more interesting, such as the overlapping echo effect, a grain effect to show his mind isn’t clear, and created a glitch to represent that somethings wrong and that reality is distorted for him.

To truly understand the pros and cons of our video we have had peers to comment below what they think works well and what could be improved; hearing their views has made me realise a few things, such as maybe the metaphor of the paranoia (treacle) covering isn’t quite as clear as we thought it would be. On the other hand, we have had many comments about the editing to the beat and about the strong performer really makes you believe she’s singing.

(Click on images to see more clearly) 

After reading these, I have now created personal targets which are:

  • Continue with the editing to captivate audience
  • Look at different fonts for the text over the video ‘needs to be more distinct’
  • Need to think about how I can make the metaphor more clear
  • Need to fill in the rest of the video as we have not fully completed it yet.

Shoot Evaluation- Narrative

Overall, reflecting back on the shoot, I think that we were very organised in the sense of: time, locations, props and the footage we got.  Also making sure that we stuck to the 180 degree rule and used the rule of thirds in the majority of our shots so that we can gain the best outcome to our abilities.

Throughout the year of learning about cinematography, it has enabled both of us to understand how to make a video more intriguing to the target audience; such as communicating meaning so that they want to end up watching more of it, this is why we have made sure to film many shots and angles of him looking worried to make the audience wonder and ask ‘why?’.

Below are images that I took on the shoot that show a great example of distances that we used to make sure our video didn’t consist of just the same angles; as it would seem repetitive and would lose the interest of our audience.

  

Weaknesses

  • Tripods leg broke so had some shaky footage
  • Could do with more match on action shots i.e when he reads the threatening note
  • The camera wasn’t screwed in properly therefore wobbled now and then (however only affected a few shots)

Strengths

  • Good variation of angles and shots
  • Followed our story board
  • We got coverage and filmed more than we needed just in case

Targets: Our main target that we discussed was to check all the equipment is not faulty before we take it out filming for when we film the treacle scene which we plan to show flashes of throughout the music video to represent the paranoia.