Creative Critical Reflection 2

How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’?

Victoria and I have created a explanatory video voiced over our final draft of our music video to depict what we have done to create our brand and it’s identity.  We discuss how small representations, such as, the character’s costume and makeup work together to link the music video, Digi pack and website.

 

 

Creative Critical Reflection 3

How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products?

To answer this question, we have created a video in the theme of ‘The Apprentice’ which include:

  • Who are target audience are
  • Their ideologies and Values, attitudes and beliefs
  • The focus of the message that is being encoded to the audience
  • Our brand identity
  • Mission statement
  • The design / content of our three products and how they fulfill our audience’s uses and gratifications
  • How the products speak to the audience and try to create a relationship with them
  • Distribution and marketing

 

Evaluation of Web Design and Application

For the making of our website we used the software called Wix. Even though we had no experience with this website maker, it was easy to use and we were able to pick up new skills without having any lessons, this was not a problem because the website gave a mini tutorial and was very simple to use; in which we experimented. Before you start making the website its asks you a short series of questions like ‘What type of site do you want to create?’ it then gave us a choice from a drop down bar- which we selected ‘Musician’. What this does is put forward the templates that they think will be most suitable for our purpose and give more tailored options.

Below you can see the layout of what the site looks like when we are editing, there are many tools on either side that we have experimented with.

An example of a tool that helped towards making our site come across as more professional is after adding an image we clicked on the background on the left side of the Editor, went on Settings on the background- then image preview. We clicked the toggle next to ‘Parallax’ to enable. The effect this had was when you scroll down the image moves upward therefore giving the illusion that you are scrolling far away from it.

We decided to keep the purple colour theme consistent throughout the whole website because it creates predictable pleasure and follows the blueprint conducted for our brand as explained by Rick Altman. Below is a snippet of the tour page which you can see the purples, blacks and whites are all present.

Overall, I think that Wix has been very useful due to it being easy to comprehend and get used to, the only issue we came across was when we put the social media bar at the top right we didn’t realise that it was hanging off half the page, this made the site wider and looked unprofessional. However, to solve this we moved it more to the left and made sure it was defiantly on the page.

Creative Critical Reflection 1

I have created a presentation on a website called ‘Prezi’, this allowed me to reflect of how I have used and/or challenged the conventions of the R&B genre for the brief. I have focused on particular areas such as  how the characters are represented through the use of micro  features, like camera angles and composition.

 

Production Skills Evaluation 3

Creating a digipak means that we have had to both learn a lot of new production skills to be able to do: two photo shoots, edit the images through the software Photoshop, then make the digipak in InDesign. The following skills below has given me an advancement in this area of the media world.

 

Photographing skills

Because we needed a re-shoot, it enabled us to reflect back on what went wrong so that when it came to it we didn’t repeat them and realise what we didn’t like about the outcome of the pictures. The skill we now have figured out is the focus on the camera and double checking all of the pictures when we think we have finished the shoot because as we noticed the first time, we thought we were focusing the camera but the images still came out blurry which was really frustrating. However, we learned from our mistakes and on the second shoot we had really clear images that we were happy with.

Out of focus compared to in focus shots:

 

 

 

Editing the front cover image

What we noticed that slightly irritated us was that on the left side of her hair was a lot more flat then the other side which made it look a bit odd and not that conventional for our genre as R&B stars usually look ‘perfect’.  So what we did to amend this was on Photoshop we explored what tools we could possibly use to try and unnoticeably drag out her hair a bit further. We came across the ‘Liquify’ tool which was under the ‘Filter’ drop down bar, this let us choose the sizing of the tool to drag out her hair as the larger the tool the more of her in the picture would move but if we made it quite a bit smaller it was too obvious. So, finding the right balance was tricky.

Another tool we used to make the image impeccable, was going over with the ‘blemish’ device just to smooth over any blemishes because as the media theorist Dyer said stars are ‘extraordinary’ so giving our star the perfect, smooth skin makes audiences everywhere believe that she is this more elite and better than them. We located this tool on the side bar in Photoshop, here are the before and after results:

 

InDesign skills

Because we are not overly familiar with InDesign, there are so many features, tools and elements of the software that we have learnt to use. For example, the ones we used the most was the tools that spaces out the text, make it bigger, smaller and closer together, these were so helpful to us as they let us personalize the digipak for our star.

Acknowledging the image above, you can see that we have spaced out the text ‘MEILANÍ’ as it gives off a more simple effect rather than when it was squashed together as it made it harder to read which wouldn’t have given the target audience the aesthetic pleasure they would expect in an R&B digipak.

 

 

Our Brand’s 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.

In the music video, the star is portrayed to be quite political and knows where she stands in life, so is confident in everything she does. Therefore, we want to amplify her boldness in the Digi Pack and website to carry out the brand identity.

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.

 

 

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.

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.