Sunday, 1 May 2011

Evaluation question1

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

Throughout the production of both our main and ancillary tasks we have aimed to develop on and take the conventions of electronica music videos and productions further. During our research into other music videos and products within the electronica/bass genre we realised that alot of the videos have similar themes running through them (drugs, violence etc etc). This informed our own video as in order to develop the convention we found it necessary to first work with convention and then begin to work on taking the stereotypical ideas further.
This is the Chemical Brother's video for "Believe". throughout the video the main protagonist is hallucinating about completely normal objects (namely factor machinery) chasing him down. This has a strong link to our own music video because our own narrative also focuses on a main protagonist being pursued by his own clone which is equally as improbably as being chased by machinery. I think that our video is just as effective at portraying this sense of the improbably coming to life in someones mind, our use of quick cuts to frames of a white mask or of a person being where they weren't a single frame before create a confused feeling throughout our film which i think helps to contribute towards this. I do, however, think that our narrative could have been slightly better constructed to allow our film to move through a passage of time more obviously as i feel that at points our film gets a bit "stuck" on one scene (for example the bathroom scene) and this sometimes slows the pace of our film down. This is an issue with our music video because a fast moving narrative seems to be integral to quite a few other videos in the same genre as ours, for example the Chemical Brothers video. On the other hand i think that the reason that the bathroom scene drags on for a bit too long it because it is the moment that we introduce the audience to the main characters alter ego so it was important for us to show this moment clearly.

Another convention that is shown in many other electronic videos is rhythmic editing and quick cutting. this can be seen in the videos below:

                                                                                 Aphex Twin's Rubber Johnny

                                                                                Aphex Twin's Window Licker

                                                                      Square pusher's Come on my selector

Throughout all of these music videos editing is used to increase the pace of the video whilst also giving the video brilliant continuity with the music that it is based on. For instance in the Come On My Selector video there is a fight scene between 4:04 and 4:39. Throughout this scene the video is cut exactly to the music. Also in the Window Licker video after 1:17 the video follows the pace of the music with the pace of both the footage used and the editing on the footage. In our own video we have used this idea throughout. We tried to cut our video as closely to the music as we could whilst still allowing the film to flow from one scene to the next. I think that this worked well in our video, however we struggled at times to make our rhythmic editing fit the footage as well as some of the examples above. This can be seen in our video right at the start where some of the cuts were slightly out of time with the footage and i think that this is a bit of a short fall of our video. Having said that, the over all "feel" of the editing on our music video is very much in keeping with the conventions of the other videos above.

Ancillary tasks.

I think that our digipak that i created both challenges the conventions of other album covers and artwork but also works with some of the ideas that i have seen in similar products.
For example it was very important that the digipak stood out and i spent alot of time changing the look of it to achieve this (see "creating the digipak"). I think that the work i put into making the images "pop" payed off as i think it makes my product stand out clearly. A couple of examples of existing CD covers that work really well in this way are below:

Even though i think that the Loud Noises digipak fits in well to other artwork in the genre i also think that it challenges the same conventions. For instance, there are not many other album covers that i have come across during my research that use black and white images so strongly. In fact, with the exception of the two examples below, i found that most other album covers were very preoccupied with strong colour.

On the other hand, im not sure how much this usage of black and white helped towards the overall effectiveness of our digipak as a whole. I think that using a bit more colour in the main panel at the top would have helped to link it into the rest of the artwork better as the pink face doesn't seem quite enough to link it all together. Also, the monochrome of the dog image makes the text harder to read which in some ways defies the point of having text there in the first place. To improve the digipack overall i would have liked to work a bit more on the grading and contrast of the images a bit more to make it all fit together better. 

Our other ancillary task was to create a website. As soon as we started to research existing band websites it became clear that the main focus of these websites was to promote the band image and current releases:

For instance the chase and status website uses the same colour scheme as the one in the album cover shown within the website itself. We therefore decided that it would be important for our website to follow suit:

I think that this matching of colour works really well with our website and album cover, it helps the band image to become more defined because all of our products fit together and have a similar look to one another. However there were some issues with our website in that the aesthetics of it are not completely in keeping with other products, an example of this is that the text on the loud noises website isn't as big as those on the websites of the other bands this means that our website doesn't quite have the initial impact that seems to be quite important in the other example below:

Overall i think that our website is a good match up to the existing websites from band in the same genre. I do, however, think that given more time and work we could have made the website have a better, more professional feel which would allow it to align itself more closely with the current conventions for websites in this genre.

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