Published on March 14, 2014
Media A2 Coursework Evaluation
Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
In order to tailor my media Music Video to correctly appeal to the audience and to focus on Tyler’s codes and conventions. Research from Tyler the Creators current digipaks has shown that he doesn’t tend to follow common conventions, from analysing each cover in and out of the digipaks we can see that there is no consistency. The main conventions we can take from Tyler’s artwork is that he relies heavily on the use of his face which is essential his brand image and icon, and we can see there is his branding within the artwork by use of his clothing. Therefore when creating the digipak we took into consideration that Tyler constantly uses his identity in order to be recognised. Linking to this as a placeholder for using his face we concentrated on Tyler’s brand and personality so we used one of his main logos seen in the bottom right image, this is commonly used to Represent his brand and his personality. Not only does our digipack relate to Tyler’s identity but it allows the audience to properly identify his work via the logo and the large name of the song, similar to the ‘Goblin’ album cover. Throughout the digipak we have included images of Rory’s the actor in our music video who mimed Yonkers, by including these images we wanted to create a strong icon, this relates to information in Andrew Goodwin’s Dancing in the Distraction factory “the demands of the record label will require lots of close ups of the artist.”
Here is an example of how we used Rory’s head in the artwork included in our digipak. The reason for using this is that it over exaggerates the brand placement and is quite weird an unseen within digpaks of other artists within the genre. It is also very similar to how Tyler crops his head into his productions, for example the bottom picture is a screen grab from ‘Tamale’ one of Tyler’s latest music videos. The majority of the faces Tyler pulls are comical and we wanted to carry on that form with Rory’s face so we chose a comical grin, this appropriately matches the conventions of Tyler the Creator’s work. But continues to challenge the conventions of the genre in the same way that Tyler does.
In the production of our music video we wanted to develop one of Tyler’s main conventions and a common convention within the genre which is the camerawork, Pictured on the left is short clip of an example of Tyler’s direct address to the audience in his original Yonkers video. Below that is still image of our production. We wanted to focus on including the direct address with the close up shot as I believe that as it is a fairly emotional and deep song it therefore I sought it necessary to create as little gap between the artist and audience as possible. So therefore the audience takes the lyrics of this song seriously. Similarly to Tyler’s video our video features direct address throughout the majority of the run time, however it isn’t just Yonkers that Tyler features direct address, it has become a theme across his over video’s such as ‘Domo 23’.
Another convention we were keen to emphasize was the motif of brand placement which is commonly used in most of Tyler’s video’s. Brand placement and endorsement is a common theme throughout the Hip-Hop genre, However Tyler only tends to promote his own brands such as GOLFWANG usually abbreviated to GOLF but however wears Supreme in a lot of his videos and photos. Therefore in order to represent this we had our actor Rory wear a Supreme hat and a GOLFWANG jumper and made sure to include plenty of medium shots so that the logo On his torso was visible. This made Rory relatable to Tyler and also able to appeal to the correct audience. The use of Tyler's motif relates to Andrew Goodwins theory which is the demand for the record label to have close ups and the development of motifs.
Another theme used consistently within the production of our video and ancillary texts is the use of the black and white. As our album is an Extended Playlist focused around the song Yonkers, which is a relatively deep and unhappy song therefore we deemed it unnecessary to market our album with bright colours as it doesn’t carry the correct representations and could perhaps confuse the audience. The use of black and white relates similarly to the use of our location. You can see that we chose an urban environment with noticeable graffiti the reason for choosing this type of environment was that it had the correct connotations with our chosen artist as locations such as this are common among the stereotypes of youths, the lighting from the ceiling allows us to use the full effect of black and white the use of these codes and conventions allowed us to create a video that follows similar conventions of Tyler’s Yonkers video as that is also Produced in black and white. In terms of other videos within this genre similar to Tyler our video challenges the conventions as there aren’t any I know of that are produced in full black and white
Question 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
We believe that our production package fits together in order to promote our album effectively. We did this by creating a solid link between our products, for example we focused heavily on iconography, through using certain codes and conventions such as Fonts. As you can see above is the video with the font identical to the album poster on the right, the font has continuously been used throughout our other pieces. This allows our audience to easily identify our work and with the poster including the album artwork, it shows the consumer what to be looking for. An advantage of our album being an extended playlist is that it allows us to focus on the name of the song, this allows it to be found easily without having to know an album or artist name and for this reason the song name is promoted at the start of our video.
In order for our products to reinforce each other we concentrated on making the branding obvious and the location persistent, as you can see both the tunnel and the cat logo are visible in both our video and the album artwork. This reinforces the brand image and allows the audience to recognise this far easier. And Tyler’s current fans will easily notice the logo as it is widely used throughout his brand “GOLFWANG”. The use of the long shot in the album artwork allowed us to create a clear image of the tunnel which can therefore be linked to the music video. This type of brand reinforcement can be seen in Tyler’s video ‘Tamale’ and the album it is included in ‘Wolf’ this is shown in his video and artwork below, there is an obvious direct link between the two. The use of this branding also relates to Andrew Goodwin’s theory that iconography reflects the genre.
What is important to any record label is that the product is professional and has the correct legal information on it, this is clear from my research of Tyler’s album covers as shown on my blog to the right. Therefore on the reverse of the digipak cover we have included a record label name and a small print of legal information to give a professional feeling to the consumer in order to make sure they feel safe buying the product. This level of detail can also be seen on the front of the digipak as we have included a parental advisory logo as seen on the vast majority of Albums which include Explicit language.
Question 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?
We started our audience research with a survey using Survey Monkey, using this website with it’s built in application allowed us to submit a public survey in which anyone can answer. Pictured below are examples of some of the data we received. The main features of the data are that we found out that the main gender of our target audience is male, predominately teenager, white British in ethnicity and with a few black Caribbean and black African audiences. Upon learning about this we decided we would have a teenage actor within our music video in order to appeal to the mass audience. We also found out that the majority of viewers accessed music videos through their smartphone. This was therefore taken into consideration when rendering and uploading our video to YouTube making sure it was accessible to smartphone users otherwise it would most likely effect our views.
Another valuable source of our audience feedback was our interview with two boys from out target demographic. This helped us to see what we should be aiming for in terms of content within our video. A recurring theme of having a strong artist presence within the video was popular among both boys, upon finding out this information we then decided to incorporate the whole video as a shot of the artist and to include him a significant amount in our ancillary texts. This allowed us to create a fan base surrounding our product and gave us a face to promote and an artist that the audience can connect with. This closely relates to Andrew Goodwin’s view that music video’s demonstrate genre characteristics such as our direct mode of address to the camera. Which is seen widely throughout the Hip-Hop genre.
Once we had finished producing our video we deemed it necessary to get some feedback in case any changes where necessary before submitting it. Therefore we shared the video using social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and also asked other members of our class for their honest and critical opinions. Our main criticism was that when the video was on YouTube it was a bit too dark in some areas with it being a black and white video, we then tweaked the brightness in order to make these parts clearer to the audience. We didn’t receive a large amount of criticism for our video production, instead we where praised on our use of a one shot video, location fitting to genre, good miming fitting with the nature of the rap and our use of black and white.
Question 4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
A huge range of new media technologies has helped my A2 Coursework to become what it is. This new technology has been used in order to organise, research and produce my work. One of the main products I have used heavily throughout my coursework is Blogger. The use of this online blogging application has allowed me to document my progress throughout my coursework and has helped my project to stay organised. It has also allowed me to describe what I have been doing effectively by allowing me to embed videos, pictures and make use of hyperlinks to more information. A big feature of blogger is that it can be publicly accessed therefore making it really easy to be shared on social networking sites by just using a single link.
Being able to gather large amounts of information has been very beneficial to the quality of my coursework. Being able to use YouTube to analyse videos published by artists within my target genre has helped me to understand common codes and conventions which have contributed to the way in which my music video links to the audience. Another extremely valuable tool has been the use of Survey Monkey. Upon using this application it has allowed me to clearly see what the audience wants in a music production, which is extremely important in the music industry because if the people do not consume your product you cannot afford to stay in the industry. The use of Google Maps allowed us too easily scout for a location that would fit our requirements of genre and had the correct connotations. Street view especially allowed us to find a location and see it’s suitability without having to travel.
Media hardware played a big part in allowing us to film the production the way we want, using the tripod for stability and led camera attachments in order to get the correct lighting for the aesthetics of our video. Most importantly the use of computers. All of the editing was digital and possible due to access to a computer. All our editing was done in Final Cut which allowed us to add filter, change brightness, saturation, gamma and over effects that lead our video to become what it is now.
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