So How Did It Go?

I have now finished the creation of my magazine ‘Metallum’ and have thus completed component one of my media A Level. My magazine was based on the genre of my choice, being metal, and included photographs that I had taken myself, meaning I had to understand how to make my mise-en-scene successful and suitable for my genre. I also had to learn about the demographics and psychographics of my target audience and how I could create a product that will appeal to these types of people in the most effective way.

Completing the project involved many different aspects, including learning how to use different types of software and hardware, learning how to take a photograph that conveys the star image and story I want to tell, and understanding how to design a magazine to meet the expected conventions. These aspects gave me transferable skills that will help me in future media components and my life post education, such as better time management skills, communication skills, team work skills, and technical skills.

I am overall happy with the outcome of my completed magazine as I believe it represents my genre of metal well through the use of my mise-en-scene and page design and will catch the attention of my intended target audience. The creative freedom has been very enjoyable and I found that using different software and becoming comfortable with them has helped my computer skills and I am glad to have gain all of the skills that I now have.

How Is It Going?

So far I’ve managed to convey my brand of the metal genre through keeping the mise-en-scene of the images I’ve used and the colour schemes of my pages appropriate. This means that all my models in the photos I’ve used are dressed in clothes such as leather jackets and have moody or menacing facial expressions. Furthermore, the colours I have used have been darker like blacks, reds, and yellow to catch people’s attention. I’ve tried to stay away from fun pinks and purples as I feel they give off ore of a pop vibe.

The process of creating my music magazine has given me many transferable skills that I will be able to use throughout my life. This includes organisation and time management skills to help me finish things before deadlines as we have a certain amount of work set to be completed each week and I have to make sure I have completed it all so I am not to fall behind. Additionally, it has improved how I respond to other people’s feedback as most of the work I complete is assessed by other people who will tell me things that I can do to improve on it. This will be useful in ensuring every piece of work I complete can be to the highest standard as I’ll be able to effectively improve on things I male according to what others say.

Furthermore, my literacy skills have improved as I have to write about my work in posts on my blog and check through it to make sure my sentences make sense and I haven’t made any spelling mistakes or accidentally used a wrong word. I’ve also learnt new words that I need to use, like mise-en-scene and connotes and have learnt how I should structure my essays in the most efficient format.

Design Skills 2

By editing the image of my main star for my double page spread, I learnt a lot of new skills in Photoshop.

Firstly, I gave the white background of my model’s picture a raindrop effect by selecting the background using the ‘color range’ tool that I learnt to use previously when making my contents page, then with the background selected I used the ‘fibers’ effect to make raindrops that go around my model. I did this to match the dark effect from the mise-en-scene of my model and create a mysterious mood.

Next I created a red square on a new layer by creating a square box with the select tool and colouring it in with the paintbrush. I did this with a blue box too to begin creating my bright coloured effect on my model.

Then, again using the ‘color range’ tool I highlighted the background of my initial image, making sure to turn the fuzziness up so I can get features of the face, then hid the layer and selected the layer with the red box  and deleted the selection.

This left me with a dark red outline of my model, so to make it slightly see through, I turned the opacity down so it didn’t completely cover my model. I then repeated this process with a blue square to create a 3D looking effect over the image of my model.

The reason I chose to give my star the 3D red and blue effect is because it looks like the lights from a police car and I felt it creates a narrative that this character cannot be held back by rules and may be a bit rebellious.

What I found went well in doing this effect on my model was that the overall finish was eye catching as it contrasts with the rest of the magazine, being bright and colourful. However, I found the way I create this effect to be rather inefficient as it took me a very long time to create, so if I were to do it again, I’d find a way that I can recreate this in a much smaller amount of time.

Design Skills 1

The first skill I learnt in Photoshop was to change the brightness and contrast of my image. I chose to do this as the lighting of my photos were rather golden-yellow so I decided to give it a lighter and more clear colour by increasing the contrast and making it brighter by a small amount. By doing this I made the colours crisper which makes the model stand out more.

Next I learnt how to cut out my model and remove the background. I chose to do this by hand using the ‘polygon’ tool as I found the ‘magic wand’ wasn’t very accurate when the image has a background with multiple colours. To do this I clicked along the silhouette of her body and then made a circle and deleted the contents of that circle. I found that none of my backgrounds of my images were very good so I decided that I would cut out my model and put her on a plain background. I also found that getting rid of the background makes the model seem more powerful and important to a viewer as there is nothing to distract you from her, which I found to be the best star image for my genre of metal.

Finally, to create the clear paint splatter effect on my model I made use of the ‘color range’ tool. I learnt that I could make the black paint splatters blue by using the ‘color overlay’ tool on each image of the paint splatters, then, as there is not blue in any other part of my image, I could use the ‘color range’ tool to select only the blue shapes. Then I hid the paint layers and selected the layer with my model on and was able to delete parts of her in the shape of the paint splatters.     

The impact of this effect was desired to create a narrative and make the star image look more wild and free, as if she’s making a statement about how no one can hold her back. It can also represent her creativity as a music artist who writes and releases albums to the public.

I’m Ready to Photograph My Star

Throughout this media course I have learnt about how different uses of camera and mise-en-scene can communicate brad ideas in a different way. Now that I am ready to photograph my star, I need to recap all I have learnt to make sure I am successful in this photo shoot.

Camera Techniques

  • High angle – Makes the model seem smaller and more vulnerable
  • Low angle – Makes the model look larger and more dominant
  • Rule of thirds – The different sections of a photograph, should be able to position the model in a way that they will draw the audience’s eye to them
  • Distance of shot – Consist of close up, mid shots and long shots- close up allows you to see the details of the model’s face, mid shot allows you to see the model and their outfit, long shot allows you to see the surrounding environment of the model but doesn’t give much detail of the actual model


Lighting – Can be high key or low key depending on the mood that is wanting to be portrayed, high key giving off a clean and happy feeling and low giving off a dark, spooky and mysterious feeling.

Acting – How I want my model to present themself to the camera. Open body language to represent confidence and closed body language to represent vulnerability.

Props – Can be used as an extension of the genre to help further convey the brand ideas.

Make up – Light and pale make up can represent purity, wealth and innocence. Dark (black etc) around the eyes can make a model look scary and aggressive, and bright make up (pinks and reds) can make a model look friendly and welcoming.

Hair – Tightly tied back hair that is out of the way makes someone look like they’re a hard worker and studious. However big curled or ruffled hair makes them look like they are wild or out of control.

Camera and Mise-En-Scene For My Photo shoot

Using what I have learnt, I now know that in my photo shoot I will use high key lighting to highlight the models outfit and make it sharper and stand out more as the clothing will generally be quite dark and would fade into the background of low key lighting. The model may make use of a guitar to convey the metal genre and will act confident. Additionally her hair will be messed up and she will have dark make up.

I will make use of a variety of distanced shots, but mainly focus around mid shots so you can see the detail of the model’s outfit. I may try to take a few at low angles so the model looks powerful and dominant with open body language.


I’m Ready To Make Some Media

After creating my tour poster, I have learnt that to make a successful piece of media there are certain criteria that I must be able to meet. I will have to be able to meet this criteria when making my music magazine:

  • Make use of magazine features such as pugs, plugs, masthead, main cover line. main cover star, insets, price and bar code.
  • Consider AIDA- attention, interest, desire and action- if the magazine isn’t interesting to the consumer and creates no action, they will not buy my media.
  • Colour scheme is important to help represent the theme/ genre I will choose and I should make sure this colour scheme relates to the images I use.
  • For the layout I need to think about the rule of thirds and whether the design fits on the page correctly.
  • The fonts that I use for the masthead should be big and eye catching to make my magazine easily recognizable. For large amounts of writing the font should be serif type fonts as they are meant to be easier to read.
  • The images used need to have a variety of camera techniques used to make the magazine more interesting. These can include long shots, close ups, high angles, low angles and tilted images. The image should also represent the genre and the model in the image should be dressed accordingly to the genre