Evaluation 4

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Evaluation 4 from Nathan Le Blancq – A Level Media on Vimeo.

Evaluation 4 – Script

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

The technologies used in my design process is best discussed when broken down into 4 stages. Research, planning, construction and evaluation.

Research – My research explored existing examples of media products similar to the ones I wanted to create. The internet helped me a lot with this, and I used Safari, Youtube and Vimeo to explore these examples. I also did some later research into specific examples of relevance such as the work of twenty-one pilots and Zayn Malik. I used Wikipedia and the blogs of established media creators such as that of Brandon Rike, who designed all the marketing art and digipacks for Twenty One Pilots.

I put the results of this research down on digital paper using WordPress. All of this happened using a MacBook Air, which allowed me to run a number of programs that I used in the Creation process. My video editing tools all belonged to the Adobe suite, which worked really well through my Apple engine. I used premier, audition and after effects to create my music video. Photoshop and Lightroom were used for all the art on my website. All the video and images for these projects were recorded on a Cannon 700D, Cannon 30-55 lens and a shotgun microphone. More specifically for my final media product, I had to employ an amp speaker, a Go Pro Hero 3, an automated triple-axis gimble, a tripod and a LED light block. Throughout the creation process, I also had to use a mountain of memory cards and a set of external hard drives. Once my final product and ancillary products had been finalised. I employed third-party video editing tools like Magic bullet, and then uploaded them to Vimeo and WordPress.

None of this would have been possible however without the tools I used for planning. These included Remind, a task management service that works using a cloud system. This allowed me to stay on top of the numerous elements to both my main and ancillary tasks. I also used Facebook as another organisational tool, more for those who worked with me on the projects than myself. This allowed me to create digital events with managed lists of people who received the information for times, dates, and locations of shoots. I used this method for everything from my first task, my recreation of a music video, all the way up to my final task. These technologies have been essential throughout the design process, as without the organisation capability they provided, I wouldn’t have got anything done!

The final area of any project was the Review stage. For this, I again used WordPress and Vimeo to host my videos. I gathered feedback from my target demographic sources, fellow media students, and my teachers. I received feedback on video quality, framing, colouration and speed, and I was able to make these changes and re-upload the new versions quickly and easily. Because of the simple video hosting provided by Vimeo, and the simple and effective layouts of WordPress, I was able to do this multiple times with minimal friction for both myself and my reviewers. I wouldn’t do this part of the process any different in term of the technology I used.

Advertisements

Evaluation 3

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

The fundamental idea that I felt I had to grasp from my audience was an understanding of them. In them, I found not just the consumers of my media products, but potential additions to the fan base of my band. As representing them was and is my fundamental role as the creator and manager of much of their consumable media, attracting these potential fans was also my role.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.39.34

My research into who these people were started with the band. Using a real published music group throughout this process has been a real help, as they already understood their target demographic audience of 14-19-year-old girls. Once this was established, I could start seeking out individuals within this demographic and use them to explore certain ideas. This can be seen in my target audience interviews, where I asked them certain key questions in order to establish my narrative idea for my final music video.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.38.50.png

Post video, I also had to create a digipack for the band’s release of their EP, including the song used in my music video. I discovered from my research of ‘indie-moving-to-pop’ groups such as Twenty-One pilots and Hozier that a really comprehensive brand approach was required.

top-mainset-1024x8391.jpg

I created a type-able logo, and a series of pieces of art that blended real photographic and digital photography techniques, creating stand-out images. These have been used on everything from my website to my digipack design, in line with the band’s wishes and what I had learned from my research as to what was needed to cater to my target demographic audience.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.40.47.png

My first ‘audience’ contact was always the band. All my media products were a public and live representation of them, and as such, they took great care in how my media products came out. They provided feedback on my video such as the issues with the framing. (which occurred as a result of using the go-pro and tricky gimbal) The majority of these cases were tricky or impossible to fix, but on their suggestion I was able to conceal one moment in the corridor where the band can be seen moving through motion editing, and at the end where I had to, unfortunately, hide a cut through key-framing opacity and cut to an entirely different video clip.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.41.31.png

This corrected the major issues, and the video then went through to the second stage of peer and teacher review. One of my peers pointed out that the lip-syncing was slightly off, which required a 0.99-speed change to my footage. My teacher then suggested that colouration would aid the story and add impact. I decided on a general look created through magic bullet mojo, with heavy key-framing on the bleaching of the look resulting in a warm beginning and an almost black and white end to the video.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.41.53.png

All of these changes vastly improved my media products, and without this audience feedback my work would have been consistently worse off as a result. In light of this, I can only conclude that in future I would enlist the help of more audiences, as they really do spot things that you as a media creator miss as you are constantly looking at the same footage over and over. The media tools such as WordPress were invaluable for this process, as the ability to host all my media content from a variety of sources in one easily accessible place greatly aided in the dispersal and delivery of my media products to these audiences.

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.42.37.png

I would absolutely use this tool again when seeking the invaluable advice of viewing audiences. 

Evaluation 2

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

  

Evaluation 2 from Nathan Le Blancq – A Level Media on Vimeo.

Evaluation Question 2 – Script

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

One of my favourite research examples was Twenty-One Pilots. This group shows a real understanding of how effective concurrent visual imagery can be when deployed across a variety of media texts. The way that they used the same set of imagery and iconography across all of their media, from their videos to their digipacks, website and merchandise was a huge inspiration for me. This makes their brand identifiable in different ways, through their art more than even a logo. It’s a brilliant idea and one I employed to make the combination of my website, digipack and video more effective.

The most basic link between these products is the artwork. I created mine by blending very fine charcoal powders together on different types of surfaces, and then heavily editing the images digitally. This resulted in a series of instantly unidentifiable pieces of art which can be seen on my website and on my digipack. I then took the colour palette of this artwork and applied it to my music video, further linking the ancillary tasks to my main one, and increasing identifiability. This is the main asset of using this technique, as it establishes strong links between different media texts and products beyond the band and their brand.

The images almost become the brand, and this is doubled up through my use of the iconography of the large, capitalised blocky text that I used for both the website and digipack. The design is simple and powerful, themes which I also employ in my primary media text, my music video.

I feel that the combination of my main and ancillary task media texts is effective because of these parallels that I have woven in. They are similar but can be so different. And this allows for the creation of a new type of brand, based on a concept and an idea as opposed to the actual group or band themselves. This involves the fan base more, giving them ownership of their brand, and creating a family -unit feel because of this.

 

Evaluation 1

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Evaluation 1 from Nathan Le Blancq – A Level Media on Vimeo.

 

Evaluation 1 – script

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

My final media product is a music video for a song that can be clearly categorised as belonging to the pop genre. The song also has numerous ballad elements due to the tone created by the lyrics, which are wistful and reminiscent;”dreaming of better days, this is my youth. So many better days now I’m stuck here with you”. These clear indicators provide me as a media creator with a wealth of examples of media products of a similar genre, all of which hold conventions that I can employ to ensure that my media product is identifiable as a pop music video.

One such example of a song and video with a similar narrative to mine is Alt-J’s Breezeblocks. Although Alt-J’s music is normally classed as an alternative, Breezeblocks is very identifiable as a “breakup song” by its use of two actors who are clearly romantically connected in some way. One convention of this idea is the use of a heterosexual couple. This convention is used in other breakup songs such as Zayn Malik’s “pillow talk”. The idea that normal couples are heterosexual is propagated by this convention, and by using actors in a heterosexual couple as opposed to a homosexual one, say of two men, I remain within the conventions of breakup songs.

Another convention that I have used is the narrative plot device of an argument sparking a breakup. By directing my actors in such a way that anger and an explosion of emotion is conveyed to my audience, I am following the conventions of existing media products of Pillow talk and Breezeblocks. This narrative device is stereotypical of the idea of a breakup, and by sticking to this convention that’s seen frequently in similar media, I’m able to instantly tell my audience what’s going on in my media product, in the first 10 seconds of viewing.

One convention that I challenged, however, sets my media product apart from those examples of a similar genre. (see above) My location and props imply a couple that has been together a long time., through the large house, many bills, and quantity of clothing. They are not wearing wedding rings, which I decided against to indicate that their relationship has not been in a good state for some time before the beginning of the narrative in my music video. It would however be safe to assume that they were married. The broken convention comes in the form of my actors’ age despite these implications of a long relationship. I chose teenage actors deliberately, as while this breaks conventions, it instantly creates a connection between my characters and my target demographic audience, who fall into the teenage age bracket. The characters in my product could be interpreted as younger representations of their current day selves, or as a reflection of the beginings of thier relationship during happier times. However my audience interprets this, the effect is the same. 

Digipak and Website

 

The website is, in my opinion, my best media creation aesthetically. Following the lessons, I learned from my digipack and website research into 21 Pilots I created sets of art for all aspects of the band’s media and deployed them in considered ways. I couldn’t be happier for the way this turned out in the website and Digipack, which is why they’re sharing a blog post.

The type-able logo is also a product of this process and once again I couldn’t be happier with it.

Webiste: https://nathanlbspam.wixsite.com/midriff

Digipak final.jpg

 

Final Video

My final video after colouration, error removal, editing along the lines of speed and inclusion of music. Its been a long journey, and I’d be lying if I said I was 100% happy with it. But re-filming became essentially impossible very quickly, and that would be the only thing that would allow me to properly avoid the mistakes I ended up happing to fix after the fact. But I did fix those mistakes, and I AM happy with how this version ended up considering the footage I ended up with. There are things I’d do differently next time but looking at the context in terms of what I was working with, I think I’ve pulled off a music video that does justice to Midriff’s song and performance, which for me (as a media product creator working with and for a real band) was the most important thing.

Final Coloration

I decided on a final flowing coloration that changed throughout the video. The base coloration was a blend of looks from magic bulet and and over-lying look from the magic bullet mojo suite.

 

I then keyframed this coloration so that the bleach variable increased slowly and steadily throughout the video, slowly draining the look of all colour. This sticks with connections seen with odes of a similar genre such as the one I recreated in September; Imagine dragons – Thunder. However my example challenges this convention as it starts out with a slightly saturated colourful appearance, before bleeding into the conventional black and white look. Th comparison between the start and the end can be seen below.

 

Below is an example of this saturated colourful starting look compared with the original footage pre-coloration.

And a comparison of the bleached ending look compared to the original.