Thursday, 3 March 2011

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

Music Video Evaluation:

We took particular inspiration from modern french film and also certain aspects of silent movies. Two of the most inspiring french films we took creative ideas from were, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain and Paris Je t'aime:

The followi
ng short from Paris, Je t'aime gave us the initial idea to use mimes as our lead characters. We aimed to cohere to Goodwin's theory of an amplifying video where there is a relationship between the visuals and music that amplify each others meanings. As this is typical of indie videos, we were initially just using the conventions of typical indie media products. But we wanted to take the romance themes in Paris, Je t'aime further and develop them. Romantic story lines are typical themes in most music videos so this was quite a redundant idea, but when incorporating this theme with the unusual costumes and characters and taking Todorov's narrative theory and rearranging the typical order of equilibrium, disruption, disequilibrium, recognition, reparation, new equilibrium we turned our narrative into a more cyclical pattern by showing each development unchronologically and beginning with the disequilibrium and revealing what caused the disruption very late on in the video with a lot of contrasting shots of the equilbrium and ending our video with the same shot we used at the start. Using an unusual narrative style and non typical costumes and characterisation I think we managed to turn quite a redundant plot of 'boy meets girl and gets heartbroken' into a rather entropic and creative storyline.

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain was another great product we took a lot of stylistic inspiration from. It is even obvious from the film posters above that we took creative ideas from the general colour scheme of these two films, as well as the mise-en-scene of french life portrayed throughout the film, and the filters and lighting illustrated in the clip below.

We aimed to create the French mise-en-scene primarily through our locat
ion choices, filming in places like Cafe Rouge and traditional flower shops, as well as our use of french subtitles.

I think we succesfully created a French style to our video, which is quite an entropic idea for a music video, as although previous media products have adopted certain aspects of french cinema it is not a particularly widely used focus on indie videos and therefore is not a redundant idea- although perhaps to focus on a romantic narrative and also shift it into the stereotypical french 'language of love' was quite a redundant connection.

We also took inspiration from the filters used in Amelie that gave it a cross processed and vintage feel. We changed the RGB Curves and Brightness and Contrast of our footage so as to emulate this effect. This is not really challenging the typical conventions of our genre as a handmade and vintage feel is commonly used throughout alternative music videos, but we felt this was neccessary as Steve Neale says 'Genre is instances of repition and difference' and if we continually challenged these typical conventions and made a completely disjunctive music video it would not be identified as suiting our chosen genre.

We also incorporated stop motion into our video, we got the inspiration for this from the Kate Nash video Foundations, as well as inspiration from the auter Michel Gondry and his video Fell in love with a girl. Stop motion is featured in a minority of music videos, most of which typically from the alternative scene. This means that we are not really challenging the forms of other media products, although we attempted to mix the movement of household objects and live action, creating quite entropic viewing for the audience as they would not be expecting a shift to stop motion. We also tried to illustrate the recognition point of our video using stop motion, as a tear rolls down our lead mimes face in attempt to include this technique in a pivotal moment of the video.

In agreement with Nicholas Abercrombie it does make economic sense to target an audience of your genre with conventions they are used to, they like, and want to spend money on. So we ensured we kept some redundant factors such as lip syncing to the lyrics to keep it recognizable as a music video. Cutting on the beat so as to create a link between the visuals and the music as Goodwin states. Creating fast paced cuts including match on action shots, as we both agreed we needed to keep the narrative moving forward and not lose the interest of our audience. We felt that a common feature in the majority of music videos were that the cuts between shots were on beat. This was important to include in a music video as it although we wanted it to have an 'unpolished' look, we still wanted to achieve a professional outcome and this was an important aspect of that. Creating an unpolished and homemade feel to the production as indie music often mimics this style so as to contradict overly produced mainstream products. These unpolished aspectswere achieved through the use of increasing the speed/duration of some shots, which gave the clips an uneven 'jumpy' look, much like and old Cinemax film:

Another convention of the indie genre is entropy, this is a difficult one to evaluate as if the genre we are focusing on always features entropic ideas it would create a redundant image for the genre- yet if you incorporate entropy into a piece it cannot really be reduntant! We felt our mime characters were very entropic and actually quite a creative approach to our genre so feel that our video would appeal to indie fans who often aspire to contradict the mainstream, and would look for an original and different music video.

Print Production Evaluation:

When finding inspiration for my album artwork I took a lot of inspiration from the French films stated above, as well as looking into albums that featured photography as opposed to artwork. Taking a keen interest in the use of images that were highly over exposed usually with a sepia/black and white or film grain effect.

I was particularly interested in creating a vintage, old fashioned feel, reminiscent of negatives from film reels. This does not challenge the conventions of similar media projects as these images all try and portray an image relevant to the Auteur Theory (Not being influenced by the 'mainstream hype' with individual ideas determined by their creativity alone) but as this style of photograph and the 'Indie/Hipster' scene has grown in popularity, in actual fact with this growing niche becoming more and more mainstreamed into the popular culture cohering to Adorno's theory of popular media and music products being characterised by standardisation (they are basically formulaic and similar) and pseudo-indivitulisation (incidental difference make them seem distinctive, but they're not.)

I found that my print tasks were less creative, and mimicked other media products a lot more than my music video did, resulting in a more redundant product. I think this is because it is more necessary to conform to digipak and advert conventions to keep it recognisable as a product for sale, whereas a video is more of an expression of art. This perhaps is a limit to creativity as the product has to be easily identifiable as a product on a number of platforms and to a wide audience, and conventions such as:

- Having a four panel layout
- Featuring title text
- Copyright details
- Track listings
- Bar codes
- Record label details

all have to be included on every product to gain sales as thease are all redundant elements that a consumer would expect to see- no matter what genre they are a part of. Therefore I think evey single digipak will have to share these conventions.

However there are some challenges to typical conventions:
For example the mime character featured throughout is fairly unusual, as normally images of the band, typically with instruments, are featured heavily throughout a digipak. Additionally, I think the use of a vacant expression is fairly entropic, as typically on album covers, especially if featuring a female like my print task does, expressions would be either jovial or attempt to catch the male gaze whereas my model does neither. I feel I have complied to Neales hypothesis , as I have kept to standard conventions yet on the levels that were viable to take a slight challenge to I have developed something fairly unique.

No comments:

Post a Comment