We had made a rough draft of the website and submitted it for feedback from our teacher. When it got back to us, we discovered that we had a few areas to improve on, even though that on the whole the website tended to be quite good and conventional to the alternative rock genre. Some specific areas that we needed to improve upon included:
- We used too many fonts – Some fonts were more difficult to read and there was no real flow with the typography as we had too many fonts.
- Missing video – We couldn’t get our video up on the website as it was taken down on YouTube, it was a prominent part of the album and needed to be on the front page ideally.
- Mission statement – We had not included our mission statement anywhere on the website.
- Music – We had put in an audio player, but no actual music played from it, to add a really cool spin to the website, it would be good to have music from our band playing when you click on it.
- Menu order – The menu was a bit awkwardly ordered with no real rhyme or rhythm to it. It was important to order the menu.
- Drop Down Menu – It would be nice to add in a drop down menu to spice up the site
- Tracks – There are too few tracks on the digipack, we needed to add some in
Though small tweaks, the devil is in the detail, and it was important to acknowledge, change up and improve upon them to really get the highest marks, and really live up to our potential as media creators. We did address these issues, and I believe that we addressed them very well. Now we can focus on further enhancing and improving even more that we are almost there.
Below is a Piktochart of all of the technologies (Hardware, software and online) That we used in the creation of the music video, digipack and online website. Ranging from May 2018 way up until now. Here I discuss each and every technology that I used, as well as specific examples of them and an image providing a visual aid used for presenting and evidencing how each were used. I split up each technology into ‘Pre Production’, ‘On-Set Production’ and ‘Post Production’, then also ‘Digipack’ and ‘Website’ for easy viewing. Each creative technology is split up into a colour (Blue = Software, Orange = Hardware and Purple = Online) and in addition to this, given a shape based on the creative technology also. Each one of the creative technologies listed were crucial for creating or evidencing work done. Without them, our pieces wouldn’t have been as good or convenient as they were.
We as a group decided that we would do abstract pictures for our digipack, taking four photos from various distances, angles and compositions, and then photo shopping them all. We decided to start with filters, as shown below we used the ‘Colour Balance’ tool so we could play around with colour. As our genre was alternative rock, we decided to use reds, dark oranges, blacks and greys as those colours are conventional to the alternative rock genre.
We made sure that we used a range of media in order to make this digipack. To do this, we decided to use both Photoshop and InDesign with the former being used for any photo manipulation (As it was more advanced for photo manipulation than InDesign) And the latter for any text. As shown below we used a simplistic font with a black outline, and a big red x, as it was a reoccurring theme. It stuck with our colour scheme, and was also conventional to the genre of alternative rock. All the font editing was also done in InDesign, from shadowing to outlining, to making the x bigger and bolder.
I have learnt a lot of technical and transferable skills throughout the creation of this digipack. For example, in terms of technical skills I have learnt:
- How to layer in Photoshop
- How to add filters in Photoshop
- How to liquify in Photoshop
- How to use other basic tools in Photoshop
- How to use filters on Photoshop
In contrast in terms of transferable skills I have learnt skills in:
- Teamwork – Sometimes we would have to work together or compromise on elements of the magazine
- Communication – It was vital to stay in touch with both of my team members at all time so we could work together on this
- Organisation – It was important to store files in the right places, and be organised so that we all knew which posts to do and when
Above depicts the picture of the layers that we had used, all culminating in a highly advanced and highly complex picture. Below is a picture of the filter gallery. We decided to use it in our inside left and discography. Both technical skills that I have learnt since making the digipack.
We have made a flow chart in order to demonstrate how everything links on our website. We have also described how every page on our website has significance, for example how you can buy merchandise in the shop to support the band, or linking tour, and allowing UK and EU residents to see our band when they come to their countries.
On our website, you are put straight onto the splash page with a big hero shot, letting you know that you’re on the right page. We have our title right beneath, and a red and black conventional colour scheme. At the very top of the page, there is a link to all of the bands social media, as well as our toolbar, allowing the user to navigate throughout the website, all of them shown in the flow chart below:
In addition, it is important to know how we made the website. In terms of our group, I decided to give some general words to Wix, and they gave us a template. This made our template, however we changed the template a lot in order to make it personal to our band. The creating process is as shown below:
I have decided to analyse the XX’s previous students work, as their genre is quite similar to ours. Not only did this student make their website on Wix, just like us, but their band shares a lot in common with ours, yet differs too. For example:
- The Home Page – Their home page just like ours is a scroll down, and reveals more information the further you go down. They, just like us, have their social media’s linked off to the side, and have a navigation bar at the very top featuring links to ‘Tour Dates’, ‘Merchandise’ and an ‘About’ page etc.
- Hero Shot – This is where our sites differ however. Whereas we have a hero shot of our band, they have their latest video. Perhaps we should use this inspiration to get our music video somewhere up on our website in order to drag attention to it, and thus our bands latest album.
- Discography – Our bands differ here too. They have a discography including all of their previous albums. I think that we should have this too, as it looks very effective on portraying that they are a real band with a history
- Colour Scheme – Our bands are different in terms of colour scheme as well. Whereas we have blacks, greys, white’s and dark reds throughout our website, the XX have light blues, dark greys and purples. It seems to work for their band however, as they seem to have more lighthearted, quirky tones, and so what works for them, probably won’t work for us.
All in all, I think that though our bands are similar in some places, we do have quite different takes on the website. This previous student’s work contains website elements that we could use, for example the discography and introduction of our latest music video in order to draw buzz towards our latest album. I believe that though this is not a perfect website (For example, it doesn’t have any upcoming tours, or a huge mix of social media) it is a very good attempt.
It was Blulmer and Katz that said that people use the internet in order to entertain, inform and reinforce their self beliefs amongst other things. People will similarly go to their favourite artist’s website in order to inform themselves of upcoming events and news about their favourite artist, as well as to be entertained and reinforce why they like that band or artist. To truly understand conventions of websites and Blulmer and Katz theory , we decided to look at a professionally made website. ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ is an alternative rock band which is similar to ‘Linkin Park’, the band that we are basing our band off of. In the Screencastify below, we discuss:
- The genre
- Representation of the band and it’s members
- Meta-narrative of ‘Bring Me The Horizon’
We learnt that this website does not only provide information for newcomers and general fans, but also entertainment, allowing fans and interested viewers alike to see their newest content, keep updated in their news, see their tour plans, buy merchandise and follow them on social media, giving their fans the power t be fully indulged in their character and spread word of mouth.
In theory, we should be able to use this as a sort of inspiration of what a good and successful alternative rock band’s web page should look like. Though we should not and are not going to copy, it is important to see examples of conventions from our genre, for example colour scheme, font and layout. Hopefully we can achieve our goals of portraying a quirky unconventional band just like ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ did.
We have now the first draft of our digipack, having taken pictures and photo shopping them all. Overall, I am very pleased with what we have, and believe that we have made a solid effort that reflects the themes and meta narrative of our band, as well as staying conventional to the alternative rock genre, straying away in some areas however to provide consumers with something new and fresh.
Despite that, we do have problems with our digipack, and that is what first draft’s are for. After finishing it, we were given feedback on how to improve. Mainly, it was subtle changes just to enhance the quality and make it look better. We will have to improve upon these in the second draft. These problems (And how to fix them) Include:
- We have no album name on the front cover – We were rushed for time and completely forgot to put it in, so in the second draft we will amend that
- There are spelling mistakes – In ‘Into The Asylum’ and ‘Hallucination’ there are spelling errors, and so we will go back over and fix them, as well as making sure there aren’t any other silly errors throughout
- Bring the four panes together – We must find a way to bring the four panes together when exporting
- Curve the smoke effect – Just to make it look cooler on the front cover we will arch the smoke effect
- Maybe change the effect in the bulb for the inside left – It doesn’t seem to be easily visibly broken, and so maybe we should change the effect on it
- Bring back the colour of the filament in the bulb – Looks too striking, we may need to ease it a bit
- Bring the crispy effect to the eye – The eye seems a bit out of place, perhaps we should get some continuity between the inside left and inside right, reusing an effect would do that
- Put an X on the back cover – It is the only page with no X, breaking continuity, and looks out of place, we must find a place to put an X, maybe in the tracks?
- Use a filter on the back – It is cold tinted, the complete opposite of the front over, we need to bring in some more reds and oranges
- Back cover text – We haven’t put in much copyright yet, nor the record label and so must do so
Now we know how to further improve an already solid piece of coursework. If we stick to the advice that we have been given, and amend the smaller mistakes, I believe that this will be an extremely good digipack. Now it is all about fixing our mistakes/adding in solutions.
– Arctic Monkeys current 2018 style
I decided to analyse the rock band ‘Arctic Monkeys’ website in order to further understand my knowledge of website terminology, and get a grasp of what a band’s website should look like. I found that they have many conventional website features such as:
- A leader board at the top of the page
- A colour scheme to match their latest album
- Font to match their latest album
- Social Media links
However, they do stray away from common conventions. For example, whilst you would expect for there to be a hero shot on the home page, there is not one. Instead, they have a documentary about the creation of their latest album. I found that nearly ever decision made in the creation of this website was in order to promote their latest albums. From the themes, colour schemes and scroll down layout, it is evident that their main goal is to expose their latest album to their audience. Contextually, this is probably because it is so different than their previous albums, and so it may take a bit of pushing to introduce it to their fans.
Overall, I believe that this helped my understanding of both how we should do our website (In terms of layout, promotion, links etc.) and the website terminology.
We have now finished our main shoot for the digipack. We made sure to get both pictures of the front and back covers of the digipack, as well as a few pictures of the upcoming band website. We decided to film in the evening during sunset so that we could have both daytime and nighttime shots. We played around with our prop smoke, and shot in multiple different places at the same location. In evaluation, I believe that it went quite well. Most, if not all the shots were in focus, and we used a good range of distances, angles and elements of composition. From the rule of thirds, to different levels/proxemics and depth of field, we used multiple pieces of composition in order to create different feelings and meanings.
When all the costume was on, props in place, and we started shooting, it just came naturally. Since I was manning the lens I had to communicate well with my actors to get the best and most admired shots, and I believe that I directed them quite well in order to get the desired shots, and portray alternative rock themes of edginess, rebelliousness, and the usual urban, industrial vibe that is conventional to most alt rock bands (Which personally I believe we captured in these images).
Even though we can only use two, we had a lot of great images, and thus we shall probably use a few of them in our website. Below are a few of the images from the shoot:
The pictures above are all in a contact sheet in order to show all of the pictures that we have. Obviously we will only choose the best, but it is important to get all of the pictures, as some will portray our themes better than others. In addition, Now have risk assessed, and planned, and gone out and done our shoot now, with some good results! We got about 70 pictures in total, some of them potential to be on our digipack cover, others with the potential to be on the future website, others…. probably won’t see the light of day again. We have used various props and costume as well as other pieces of mise en scene in order to create a well effective, quite conventional, yet very original digipack cover. It is important to create this contact sheet on order to see exactly what we have, and to cipher through until we find something we really like. I am very confident we have enough photos so that we have a few to choose from. This is the first big step in getting a good digipack cover!