Make your video look SPESSHUL

The only way you will get a top grade video, is to play and experiment. Look around the effects section of the programme and try them out. Then look at youtube tutorials to help you out.  Your teachers, know the basics but ever year our students come up with more exciting, innovative and crazy effects. Just do it!


Risk Assessment and Production Meeting Agenda – Performance Shoot

Departmental Risk Assessment

Preproduction Essential Documents

These are 2 documents that you must complete and upload to your blog.

You will need to consider the risks of being on location and discuss them with your teacher and your peers to ensure your own and others’ safety.

If you intend to leave school during ‘frees’, your parents/guardians have to have signed and returned your risk assessment document.

You cannot take non-Media students out unless we have permission from their parents/guardians too.

Check: is the location you have opted for the right one for your performance. Think carefully.

Production Meeting

This is vital so that everyone knows what they are expected to bring for the shoot – costumes, make up, props etc.

You must include photos for costumes and props. Order on amazon, ebay now. Don’t wait until next week. Visit charity shops. Ask Mrs Cobb as Media have a good collection of costumes and props and so does she.  The devil is in the detail – no wrong socks, hairbands on wrists, irrelevant necklaces or earrings!  Make every detail count.

Check the background too – is there a random car, rubbish  bags, your own camera bags?  Remind yourselves of these essential checks on the PMA.

Describe Your Audience

Audience Ideology (Values, Attitudes & Beliefs)

In order to understand audience you should understand what makes them tick, especially what reasons they have for consuming any media at all.

Remember Blumler & Katz, who suggested that there were four Uses and Gratifications that an audience seek from their media. Their theory describes an active audience:


Information Self education to suit personal needs; advice on practical matters; information on events or issues of personal interest; curiosity or general interest. News to help them decide how to vote.
Personal Identity Media reinforces or challenges personal ideologies; models of behaviour explored to challenge, adjust or affirm personal values, attitudes and beliefs
Social Interaction Identify with others to gain a sense of belonging (identity); find basis for real life interactions; a substitute for real life relationships
Entertainment Escape; diversion; emotional release; filling time; aesthetic enjoyment


Stuart Hall Reception Theory

He argues that an audience decodes what the producer encodes in a text. However, how they read the text will depend on their

  • Demographics – age, gender
  • Psychographics – beliefs, politics, religion
  • Cultural competence – their knowledge of ‘stuff’
  • Circumstances in which they are consuming the media   

So whatever you decide to include in your music video and associated products must use signs, symbols, cultural references and codes that your target audience will be able to read, interpret, recognise and decode so that they will enjoy it and have a preferred reading of your text(s)

This theory will be extremely helpful for the Critical Reflection. It will also be useful theory to understand for both Postmodernism and Media Ecology; sections of the last paper (Critical Perspectives).

Below is a handout on Hall and a slideshow on reception theory.


Click for handout on Hall.


So…what am I supposed to actually do?

Answer… Design your perfect audience member.

Consider these questions when doing your research:

  • What platform is your production to be accessed on?
  • What is the product’s function? (What is it trying to do or achieve?)
  • What genre(s) does your artist typically work in?
  • Who are the target audience?
    • What do they find appealing?
    • What do they like to do?
    • What are their interests/concerns?
    • What do they expect from this type of media product?

As a pair/group agree the following features of your audience:

  • Which other bands/artists your audience would be into?
  • What other media they would consume, fashion tastes, musical genre preferences…
  • What are their values, attitudes and beliefs they hold about what’s important in their lives and the world around them.
  • What broad demographic groups do your audience fall into (gender, age, education, occupation, marital status, cultural background)?
  • What ‘communities’ do they belong to?
    • Where do they live, work and play?

Then as a group you should all contribute to designing your target audience profile in the form of a moodboard.


Here is a handout we gave you earlier this year which describes different audience groups / communities which is helpful in reaching some conclusions about their values, attitudes and beliefs, and how to describe their communities and social groups.

Use Google slides to design a profile for your target audience to include photos and call outs for key facts.

Give your ideal audience an image, name, gender, relationship status, groups, status, likes, dislikes…all of this should be through the filter of music and should help describe your audience profile. Make it as detailed as possible – why not consider someone you know (do not actually use them) who likes the music, is a fan of that music/band and use them as inspiration.

Note: This is a group task so share the document or moodboard.

You should try and outline the ‘typical fan’ on someone you know – this always helps to guide your design decisions – would he or she like it, respond to it, notice it, enjoy it?

YOU MUST ALSO USE THIS WEBSITE:  Go to ratings/entertainment and then  search for your artist or a similar one. Then scroll around and down and see what other artists they might like, what else interests them, their age, beliefs, politics etc. and mention it in your introduction or even better, take a snipping tool screen shot of the profile target audience for your performer.  For example this link gives information about fans of Adele.

REMEMBER TO USE TERMINOLOGY IN YOUR BLOG POSTS INTRODUCTIONS and REFLECTIONS! –preferred reading, encode, decode, oppositional reading, demographics, psychographics, cultural experience, uses and gratification, target audience, producer, target audience, entertainment, education, social interaction and personal identity, communities, tribes, tribewired, individualists etc from the audience segmentation sheet.

Star Image – the performer


How the star/band/performer is represented in your video and on the digipak and social media page is crucial in constructing the values, attitudes and beliefs of the artist in the mind of the target audience.



Music videos are made primarily to promote the star, in order to sell their music, in order to make money…well mostly!

They are also constructed to construct a set of desires in the target audience to be like them, think like them, love what they love, be involved in their lives & buy what they suggest.

There are huge synergies between marketing and star image! We don’t just buy a product we also buy into the values of the star image and in purchasing their product emulate them. Media representations of the star image is crucial in terms of raising an audience awareness.


They are essentially walking talking brands, who use their branding to advertise, publicise and sell to fans. Stars have to remain constantly interesting to keep the fans intrigued – the star image evolves and is constantly reinvented by media companies! In fact Stars could be seen as its own special kind of ‘species’.

Richard Dyer Handout

Richard Dyer is a theorist you need to learn about. He came up with some concepts about how ‘star image’ works in the media. The link to the concepts booklet is in the menu at the top of the blog. Find it, add it to your drive, print it, LEARN IT!



Your task is to take the ‘star’ (performer, duet, band, group…) you analysed when you did the genre analysis and create a ‘concept board’ on how they are ‘represented‘.

Find examples of news stories, incidents, events, digipak covers, music videos, articles, blogs, tweets that all contribute to their ‘star image’. The way they are represented is called their metanarrative (over arching story about them).

Image result for pinterest

And remember, just as you do in your TV drama analysis – you must add ADJECTIVES to how they appear through that particular event, story, picture etc. You can do this task as a group but must all equally contribute to the page.

This is a link to an excellent example. You should have at least 15 – 20 images and comments.

Visual Shot List – padlet

Instead of a written list of shots we want you to create a visual shotlist of the kind of shots you want to include in your performance shoot.  This is a group effort so share a board amongst you.

However, certain genres (types) of music rely specifically on certain shots as part of the repertoire of elements (conventions, ingredients).  For example:

  • Heavy rock might have canted, hand held camera shots with whip pans a plenty, which helps convey a genre that is energetic, anarchic and rebellious.
  • Indie acoustic might include smoother, longer, pull focus shots that represent the artist as sincere, laid back and unhurried.

You should study other bands of a similar genre and YOUR OWN and then collate @ 9 screen shots and make some GIFS (FOR MOVEMENT) of conventional shots, frames, angles they use in their performances. This way you can begin to learn what is conventional to your genre – remember you have to please your audience so need to make sure your video conforms to their expectations so that it is ultimately, THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT so that it will follow conventions but be different and new and unique enough not to be boring.

You should look at at least 3 – 4 other music videos and use shots from these. You will then title the shots with an explanation of the shot i.e.

  • close up of guitarist’s instrumental mastery represents his skill and talent
  • whip pans between band members looking at each other underlines their close team work and energy
  • master long shot of band performing as a unit portrays their oneness
  • mid shot pan of band members makes them appear approachable and ordinary to the audience
  • extreme close up of lead singer’s expressive face and vocals etc represents him as extraordinary and intense

Always add in some textual analysis….how does that shot help represent, connote, convey, portray the star and ultimately, the genre?  YOU NEED 9 DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHOT; distance, angle, framing, movement, special.

Made with Padlet


Some analysis shots in a different format.


Inspiration – weird and wonderful ideas?

It is always worth looking at OTHER ART forms for inspiration. Photos, art, websites, films, theatre – they could all spark a moment of imagination.

Click on the photos to go to the websites of these photographers to see more of their work. It might just light a spark!

Just some inspiration!  Don;t just look at other music videos.  Watch dance, theatre, adverts, films for ideas on narrative style and contents.

These are just a few links to ‘weird and wonderful’ youtube videos:

Beckett play – Theatre of the Absurd – Quad

Not I – Beckett

Beckett – Acting without words – I High

The Bed Experiment – Theatre of Cruelty

DV8 – Physical Theatre – 3 ballets

This is a link to a really intriguing channel on YouTube. Have a look at his videos though – a myriad of ideas perhaps?