How did you integrate technologies (software, hardware and online) in this project?
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.
How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products?
We were set a task by Lord Sugar to create a vlog to demonstrate our business plan to reach our target audience and how it does so. We have made the aforementioned vlog in which we talk about our bands latest album. In this vlog we go over how we have raised awareness for our latest album, as well as what we have done in order to connect with our target demographic and how they are meant to perceive our product. We have gone over things our target audience enjoy, and the conventions or unconventional of the music video, website and digipack. Specifically the music video and digipack. We have also discussed our record label and how we plan to distribute this album with everything included. From the guerrilla marketing ideas to big statements around the globe and online we have sufficiently targeted our latest album towards our target demographic of young millennial English men.
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.
We had changed a lot between our first and final drafts. For example:
We removed a few fonts and refined it to about four
We added the final draft of the music video to our website
We added in a mission statement
We added another Linkin Park song to the website for fans to listen to more music
We rearranged the menu to an appropriate order
We added a few more tracks onto the digipack
We responded quite well to feedback given, and was able to use it to improve our products vastly. I am very pleased with our website, and think that it is both conventional to the alt rock genre, and also is good at targeting our main demographics. To add to this, it overall looks very pristine, and the added factors really improved both our digipack and website. Overall, I am very pleased everything, and believe that they are very good products.
How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’?
My group and I have made a directors commentary so discussing how our three projects (Music video, digipack and website) have created a sense of branding. In this, we discuss the cross media convergence of the three projects, and how they reflect the genre of our music, star image and meta-narrative as well as the bands ideologies and how they communicate these to their target audience.
How do your products use or challenge conventions and how do they represent social groups or issues?
Our band eXile takes on an alternative rock style of music, which both conforms to but also in areas challenges conventions. Themes of insanity and entrapment are inferred throughout the bands media, and in the Prezi above, I go into detail about how eXile conforms and challenges alt rock conventions in their music video, digipack and website. From cinematography, to style of edit, colour palette and iconography, every little detail in our media has been planned out with the thought of alternative rock conventions in mind, and the Prezi above details what we have done, and why it is so important for our band.
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:
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.