Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Evaluation Question Three

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Audience feedback was a crucial part throughout the process of producing my media products. Although it was frustrating to be told that something didn’t look as good as it could after I’d spent so long on it, I was grateful for feedback. I found that as I spent a lot of time looking at and editing my products it was always a good idea to get a fresh perspective on something in order to keep me on track. At times, feedback also made me feel better about my work; if I felt something wasn’t that good but got positive feedback, it made me feel more motivated to bring all of my tasks up to a high standard.

My Blog Views

The first feedback I got was provided by a focus group in class. After listening to each other’s tracks, we took it in turns to ‘pitch’ our thoughts and ideas for our own videos. Members of the group then offered ideas on what they agreed or didn’t agree with, or how we could make our videos more exciting or authentic. Some comments I received during our focus group a shown below in a short cartoon.

The feedback I received lead me to consider other ideas for my video, as my original idea, although sticking to the conventions, was also pretty clich├ęd for a music video. I wanted my idea to be more original and have meaning to it.

I also asked my class to help me decide on names for the band, album and song. I chose a shortlist of my favourite and simply asked each person in the class which was their favourite. However, I had to make sure that I explained the genre of my band, so people didn't simply chose a random name because it sounded nice - it had to 'fit the job description'.

Feedback was also invaluable when it came to creating my ancillary tasks. After creating a mock-up magazine advert in black, white and red I was told by more than one person that it looked to much like a 'Twilight' themed poster. 
"Too Twilight"

 I began creating a new advert from scratch, looking closely at adverts from the same genre. Once I'd finished a few versions I asked for feedback on them. People were genuinely impressed with all versions but I just couldn't decide which looked the best. This was where the feedback got complicated. Everyone had different opinions on which poster was most effective, no one could decide on the same one.
I posted my first choice of advert onto Facebook, asking for feedback from family and friends. This ultimately lead to a change for my final advert. Although some people did not like the white background, the poster looked much too dark if I used a black background and appeared to be more heavy rock than alternative. 
After Feedback
Before Feeback

Generally people said that they thought the band name should be at the top so that you see it almost straight away, which lead me to changing it from the bottom of the poster to the top.

After showing friends my band website and chatting to them about what they thought they pointed out that I didn't actually introduce the band members individually. I decided to add images of each band member and their name to the BIO page of the website.

I also asked people what they thought would be a good prize for my website competition. Most people said a meet and greet with the band, so I added this to my competition page too.

I also asked for feedback throughout the process of editing my footage for the final music video. I am really glad that I did this - rather than waiting until I'd finished - as it was important for my narrative to make sense to the audience. After a draught screening it became apparent that my first edit was much too choppy with regards to the narrative; it just didn't flow. I shuffled a lot of my narrative footage around, putting in alternative footage and cutting other bits out. Although this was quite disheartening, as I'd spent a lot of tim on the first edit, I realised that I had the narrative in my head anyway and my audience were looking at it with fresh eyes and a different point of view. After completing my second edit I asked the same group of people to re-watch it. They agreed that this time the narrative made a lot more sense.
Once I had completely finished editing my video, it was uploaded to YouTube. I could then add a link to a status update on my Facebook and ask family and friends to give me feedback. It was really positive to see that people enjoyed watching my video and that they understood the concept of it.

Feedback from my audience really shaped the way that I thought about my products and ultimately how they ended up looking! I learned to go against my judgement at times and listen to what other people had to say.

Evaluation Question Two

Monday, 9 April 2012

Evaluation Question One

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Audience Feedback

Once my video had been completed I was very keen to get some feedback on it! I put a link onto Facebook and asked friends and family to leave their thoughts and feelings on it underneath.
My friends and family gave me some really good feedback. I am particularly pleased with the good comments on my editing, as it was the most taxing process throughout creating the product!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Filming - The Band Performance

When it came to filming my band performance I wanted the perfect location. Ideally I wanted to film it outside, but due to weather conditions and the difficulty of moving instruments outside, I decided that it would be much more sensible to film inside! This also meant more control of lighting, which - from watching Alternative Rock music videos - seems to be a crucial part of the performances.
There were two main music video's which influenced the type of lighting and shots I wanted to capture.

30 Seconds To Mars - Closer to the Edge

30 Seconds To Mars' music video for Closer to the Edge particularly inspired my choices of lighting and therefore the shots I wanted to capture. Although much of their performance was captured onstage, I wanted mine to be more of a 'studio' shoot. The first shot that really inspired my whole idea was

The complete darkness to begin with, then the lead singer's hand appears on the microphone, lit from the opposite side of the camera. As the singer steps up the the microphone, we can see the outline of his face and hair. It adds a sense of mystery to begin with, the identity of the singer is somewhat masked, yet the shot is beautiful and dark. I really wanted to create a shot like this, although not exactly the same. This meant that I would need some decent lights and a room that I could make as dark as possible! There was only one place I could really think of that was suitable - the school drama studio. As it already had proper lighting, was painted black and had black-out curtains. It also had a computer in it, which meant that I could play the track straight from it.
 Due to the build up of my track I wanted the performance to get more exciting throughout the video. It was decided that the band would all wear suits for the performance (luckily all of them owned one!). The performance would start of quite calm or 'chilled' and as the music built up, the guys would get more and more disheveled and sweaty. Of course, I didn't want them to get too worn out, as I wanted more than one take - so for the later parts of the performance I asked them to splash water onto themselves, so they appeared sweaty. I loved the effect the splashing water gave in the 30 Seconds to Mars video and wanted to achieve something similar. 

You Me At Six - If I Were In Your Shoes (Kerrang! Exclusive)

When it came to the kind of band shots I wanted to get I looked at a video of You Me At Six performing. I wanted to capture some different angles of both the performers and the instruments. Close-ups were a must of the band's faces and the instruments - especially hands and eyes!

The Set and Band
I was really pleased with how the filming for the band performance went! None of the boys are actually in a band, they're all from my class (with the exception of the drummer, my brother), but their performance was first class. It really helped that they all knew how to play their instruments as it made the performance so much more believable. Dan, the singer, was really busy with his own work in the lead up to filming, so he didn't manage to learn all the lyrics to my track. This was easy to overcome however, as I printed out the lyrics and stuck them to a white board in front of him. After a few rehearsals and test shots we just began. No one really knew how to properly use the lights but we managed to go crazy with them, whilst I was filming and this was extremely effective.

We took three takes initially of the whole song. I also filmed some of Dan on his own as he approached the microphone (30 Seconds to Mars style) from different angles. Once we'd filmed the first three takes, I asked the guys to go to the bathroom and splash water on their faces and we took a further three takes as well as individual takes of each performer. I am really pleased with the band's performance as they really got into it and used as much energy as possible without getting too worn out! Even I was getting worn out from trying to capture it all on camera! During and after filming I also made sure to take plenty of photographs of the band which would be used for my website.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Filming - The Narrative

Before Filming
After the changes to my narrative storyline, I realised that all of my footage could be filmed at Kristie's house. This means that I can drive to Kristie's whenever she has any free time such as after school and at weekends. Using her house as the location also means that costumes and props are easily available to us. For example, in the shots where Kristie is dressing up, we can go through her clothes to find appropriate outfits that fit my ideas.

Much of my footage would be filmed in Kristie's bedroom. Luckily it was large and light so I would be able to get different shots from different angles. I did worry that Kristie wouldn't have a large enough mirror for the shots I wanted to get, but it turned out that Kristie had a huge mirror opposite her bed! She also had lots of fashion magazines which I would need for my shots, so we spread these out on the bed in preparation for the first few shots. I also wrote a list of all the extra props I would need to take to Kristie's which included things like a set of weighing scales and a bag of chocolate.

After Filming
In all, I did several sessions of filming with Kristie. As most days I went after school, it didn't stay light for very long so these sessions were quite short. Kristie was perfect to work with. Before we started filming each time, I would explain what I wanted Kristie to do, or in some cases show her. She was really willing to do whatever I wanted, even when she had to do it over and over, so that I could get the right shots. Below are some of them:
Medium shot - Kristie infront of her bedroom mirror

Close up - looking out of her bedroom window

Medium shot - sitting on her bed with the magazines

Over the shoulder shot - brushing her hair in the mirror

Medium shot - in the kitchen

POV shot - on the scales

Close up shot - weighing food

Medium shot - magazine cut outs

Close up -  opening chocolates

Close up - crying (we dripped water down Kristie's face to create the tears)

Extreme close up - tears on magazine (I squeezed a tissue soaked in water to drip onto the magazine)

Close up - ripping magazines (I brought an old gossip magazine rather than using Kristie's)

Close up - clothes strewn over bathroom (we tidied up afterwards!)

Close up - Kristie fainting (I got Kristie to hold the camera in front of her face as she fell, to get a different but effective shot)