So… I am ready to photograph my star.

Mission statement: “Roots is devoted to spreading the love of the new age of country. By featuring up and coming country artists, the best new songs to inspire your playlists and introducing ways for you to get involved it aims to spark interest in the new generation of country listeners and prove that country can be fun too.”

In order to produce great photos of my star I will need to use

 

Production Meeting Agenda for 1st Photo Shoot

My aims for my first photo shoot for the front cover of Roots are to produce clear photos that communicate the country genre. I would also like the photos I take to portray my model as fun, friendly, and positive.

Below is my production meeting agenda, which includes details of costumes, makeup, props and technical equipment, as well as who is responsible for each component of the shoot.

 

Please click to view my document in full.

So what am I up against?

In the presentation below, you can see my research into other country music magazines. I have described what they include, who they interview and how they communicate with their audiences. I have also then set out some aims for my own magazine; Roots, and what I would like to include to be conventional of the genre but unique at the same time in order to gain an audience.

Star Image – theirs and mine

In order to prepare for designing my star I have researched the star image of a famous country singer, Carrie Underwood. I looked into all the components that piece together to convey her star image including her music, performance, PR appearances, magazine covers and social media. This overall construction of a star is called a meta narrative.

Using Richard Dyer’s theory of the paradox of the star, it is clear that this applies to Underwood’s image as well. He said that these stars appear extraordinary (talented, amazing) and at the same time ordinary (they go shopping, fail driving tests etc). Dyer also stated that they are both present (eg. with social media we are able to interact with them) and absent (eg. during concerts on stage).

Below is my Prezi, which goes into detail about the meta narrative of Carrie Underwood.

Please click to view my Prezi

Using inspiration from other female country singers I have constructed a look for my cover model. I am planning to have one female cover star. My star will pose with a smile on her face and relaxed, open body language to portray her friendliness and the idea of a ‘girl next door.’ I am aiming for my star to come across as talented, strong and unreachable, whilst at the same time conveying she is ordinary, friendly and honest.

My Audience Profile

Here is a dating profile I constructed, using ratings and correlations on You Gov, to reveal my target audience’s demographics and psychographics.

I will aim to produce media that encodes ideas relevant to my target audience so if my country music magazine is successful they will decode this effectively. This is called preferred reading, however if this isn’t achieved and the audience rejects the values and ideas I encode in my magazine, this is called oppositional reading.

Something else I have achieved from this task is understanding what my readers will get out of consuming my magazine. This helps me to understand their uses and gratifications of the media I will produce. Hopefully, using my audience research, I will be able to produce a country music magazine that entertains and informs my audience as well as giving them something to identify and interact with.

Branding Ideas + Mission Statement

For my music magazine I have chosen the genre, country. I personally enjoy listening to country music as I love the tone of the genre and how it makes you feel.

I decided to call my magazine; ‘Roots’ because it has a homely feel and an earthy and rough vibe which are both conventional feelings from country music.

Below you can see the word cloud I created for the connotations of the country genre, that will help me to construct my mission statement for my magazine.

If I successfully include these items eg. interviews, playlists etc. and convey the themes of the genre then I  should satisfy Blumler and Katz’ ideas about the uses and gratifications of media.

Mission statement: “Roots is devoted to spreading the love of the new age of country. By featuring up and coming country artists, the best new songs to inspire your playlists and introducing ways for you to get involved it aims to spark interest in the new age of country listeners and prove that country can be fun too.”

So… I’m ready to make some media!

After learning about about all of the components that I will need to make up my magazine and experimenting with them, I am now ready to start making media. I have listed everything I will need to consider below:

  • Blumler and Katz – Their ideas about the uses and gratification of media, including entertainment, social interaction, personal identity and information are going to be key when designing my magazine. I will need to keep all of these in mind in order to inform and entertain my audience, as well as giving them something to identify and interact with.
  • MES – When dressing my model and taking photos of them I will need to consider costume, lighting. acting (facial expression and body language), make up and hair and finally setting.
  • Camera techniques – Whilst carrying out my photoshoot I will need to consider the angle, distance and lighting of the photos I take to communicate the meaning I want to the audience.
  • Target audience – I will need to research my target audiences age, gender and interests. Then when creating my magazine I will be able to tailor my design to my audience.
  • Layout – I will need to include the conventions of a magazine eg. masthead, cover lines etc. They will also need to be spaced accordingly so everything is legible.
  • Colour scheme – After considering the conventional colours of my genre I will need to apply this to my own magazine.
  • Typography – I will need to research conventional fonts of the genre and use this to inspire my magazine. Also, I will need to experiment with the alignment, size and stroke of the text.
  • AIDA – I need to aim for a magazine that attracts the audience, interests them, creates desire and gives them the tools to take action eg. telling them where to go to download the album.

My Tour Poster

Before I could start making my tour poster, I began by researching the conventions of folk tour posters, album covers and conventional folk fonts. Below is a moodboard of these folk examples that I found.

When starting to make my own tour poster I want to include these conventional colours, fonts and image styles whilst also making my poster unique. This is important so my audience is still interested and not disappointed.

Typically the colour palette includes pastel colours, oranges, blues and greens, that create an organic feel, typical to the folk genre. The artist isn’t often looking directly at  the camera, they are usually looking off into the distance or we can’t see their face.

Below is my final tour poster for my folk artist:

For this task I used photoshop and Indesign to construct my final tour poster. I chose to use a corn field background as it has an organic feel which is a key convention of the folk genre. I includes pastel colours which also conventional. From my research I discovered it isn’t common for the folk artist to look directly to the audience. However I wanted to make my poster slightly unique to the genre so the audience aren’t disappointed and disinterested.

Please click to view the document in full.

Targets:

  • Keep experimenting with typefaces and the stroke of the text.
  • Improve my cutting out in photoshop, cleaning up lines.
  • Make sure the layout ensures that all the text is legible.

My Magazine Front Page Swede

After being introduced to Indesign we had to create a replica, as close to the original as possible, of the front page of a magazine, including the conventional features of a magazine front cover such as a masthead, cover lines, a pug and a main cover star.

Below is both, my final draft and the original.

Please click on the image to see a PDF

The original magazine cover

This task has successfully introduced me to Indesign and how to use its features such as adding text, changing the stroke of the text, adding shapes and filling a frame proportionally with an image. I have also been able to consolidate my knowledge of the conventions of a magazine cover which will be essential when producing my own. Here, I have listed some of the strengths and weaknesses of my mock-up front page:

Strengths:

  • I found it easy to navigate placing an image to fill the frames.
  • I was able to change the spacing in between the lettering to more accurately reflect the  original’s font.
  • The layout of the quote at the bottom left of the front cover, matches the positioning in the original.

Weaknesses:

  • In places, such as the pug, the text is bolder than the original.
  • The alignment of the cover lines on the right of my magazine cover is not right. They are not in line with each other.
  • I struggled to find the correct fonts to match the original.

Here are some youtube tutorials I found that will help me in the future to use Indesign more effectively.

These tutorials will help me when it comes to using Indesign in the future for my tour poster and magazine. Using these videos I will be able to navigate around text in Indesign more easily as this was what I struggled with the most during this task.