Monday, 21 May 2012

artists who've made it through YouTube

Alexa Goddard- n March 2010, Goddard created a YouTube channel with the username "AlexaMusicTV". She uploaded to this channel various videos of her own covers of R&B hits. She released four cover versions as singles, using social media such as Twitter to promote them. The biggest-selling of these was her version of "Turn My Swag On", which charted at Number 20 on the UK Singles Chart and Number One on the UK Indie Chart.

Monday, 30 April 2012

1. What are Henry Jenkins’ ideas about how the media landscape is changing?
The  old media system is dying and a new media system is being  born were participatory culture is taking over the companies with the power to give us the information is slowly giving the people the opportunity to cease control.

2. What is ‘convergence culture’?
convergence  culture is when every video image and story is available for us to see hear or read.It refers to media products that can be viewed across numerous platforms and channels now. The wikinomic idea that we all contribute to archive and create information rather than using an individual source.

3. How are Jenkins’ ideas similar to those of David Gauntlett and Michael Wesch?
fan art and fan videos are now more common. The people are using copyrighted material and reposting it as their own allowing us to view the products in a new to to improve the virtual sphere. His ideas also relate to Guantlett's idea that the media gods no longer have all the power as citizen journalism allows people to produce and distribute their own media.

4. How might we disagree with Jenkins’ utopian ideas about the media? (Answering this question may require some independent thought – be very afraid.)
 It can be seen as harming the companies who produce the big videos and films which we watch and the people are able to repost as their own with amnesty protecting them against copyright infringement. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

'Representations in media texts are often simplistic and reinforce dominant ideologies so that audiences can make sense of them.' Evaluate the ways you have used/challenged simplistic representations in one of the media products you have produced.

I am going to discuss my advanced portfolio in which I created a music video, and ancillary tasks such as a digipak and magazine advert, in relation to representations.

We decided to use a steadily growing genre of UK rap which consists of traditional fast temp lyrics but with occasional samples from indie and rock songs; we used the stereotypes of of a rap artist by using black man as the basis for our product as the artist. This is because most of the artists signed to, Island records are of an ethnic background. However this new representation of artists in that label reaches out to a wider audience as a more diverse choice and may become interested in our artist,Iceburg. Representations which become familiar through constant re-use come to feel 'natural' and unmediated. This could be why existing audiences of this particular record label, may see our artist as intriguing as part of the new rap indie revolution from artists such as Rizzle Kicks.
Another way in which we challenged representation was by perceiving our artist was to be more realistic and empathetic in the video. for example we can see this representation through the narrative in which the artist is shown having a good time with his friends. This shows that our male artist isn't in a glass ball like in most videos where it seems what the artist is doing in unrealistic.l male. This may appeal to a Marxist audience as our artist can be seen as less of a stereotypical male and part of the many, therefore making him different. However using the plurality model, we can see how a male audience would view the representation of our artist. It could be argued that the male audience may discouraged of our artists character because he is less assertive. Also the nature of the song, being about love and relationships, can be seen to reinforce that representation of a less dominant male, when seen from a male audiences view. another way representation can be said to show our artist being less assertive is the way he is seen as not taking himself too seriously. We can see this in the video when we see various shots of the artist having fun and laughing.

Another simplistic representation we used in this media product is in the was we chose to portray our artist to the audience. We used american rap conventions in terms of our artists appearance, and we stuck to the record labels representation of these type of artists. For example we focused on his studio performance throughout the video to show him being a hardworking real artist which the audience can relate to.This was also visible in considerably in the digipak as the back panel shows art artist in the studio about to start a recording session. To portray him as a laid back individual we made sure he was dressed very casually to give this impression. The varsity jack was also to indicate this specific genre as similar artists of this genre as we tried to give our artist 'swag'. In a way we represented our artist in a stereotypical way in relation to our chosen genre. This would appeal to a specific audience or social group, as these conventions are clearly seen, which could show our genre and convey our intended message prominently.

Representations in media texts can often be simple so that audiences can make sense of them. However I feel in our music video we have engaged with the pluralistic model in relation to our audiences, as we have challenged as well as used simplistic representations. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

1. According to this video, what was the music industry like in the 90s and how has it changed more recently?

Mass drivers such as music channels (MTV and VH1) and radio were powerful and more and more artists were being signed. Now there are more and more artists coming up, however it does mean that independent labels can't compete with the mainstream labels. There is now a bigger connection across music. It enables artists to do their own thing as they don't necessarily have to follow what everyone wants to hear as there is such a vast amount of artists out there. However it is often that only the artists who are signed to the big labels will get mass publicity. 

2.What are curators (such as Pitchfork and Hypemachine)? what is their role? why are they important?
Curators such as Pitchfork and Hypemachine are music reviewing tools for customers for them to decipher the difference between the self governed 'good' and 'bad' music. It also allows comsumers and artists to recieve music with commentary for more in depth paths of how music is produced. Pitchfork media has a strong focus on independent and underground music, mainly of the indie genre (hence independent). The Hypemachine is an mp3 blog aggregator which allows people to find and listen to that their friends are listening to as well people who they arent associated branching out the potential long tale audience.

3.How can you link what this video says about creativity ( in video-making, in particular) to David Guantlett's ideas and to the theory of the long tail?

Due to the rise in technology, artists are now able to create more original and creative products which could lead to a new type of audience which isn't the mainstream. Although these fan bases may not be of a large scale, these small fan bases show that due to the increase in music production it is now evident that niche audiences can be formed due to this

Monday, 16 April 2012

Describe how you developed your skills in the use of digital technology for media production and evaluate how these skills contributed to your creative decision making. Refer to a range of examples in your answer to show how these skills developed over time.

The advancement of digital technology made allowed me license to be creative and my skills were able to develop as the transition in quality of my foundation portfolio with my short thriller opening to my advanced portfolio of a music video.

to begin with my skill with editing software was not great so the initial programme I used to create my reconstruction of the good, the bad and the ugly using Imovie. By the end of that preliminary task we were encouraged to use Final Cut Express and this became the prominent programme for my foundation and advanced portfolio. In the infancy of our foundation work it was difficult to use final cut as I was not familiar with using a Mac so it made it difficult to get the programme to do to cut the footage from the first task of 'The accident as it shows with the rough transitions between shots and lack of attention to continuity. As we embarked on more tasks the use of final cut became easier as familiarity with the tools made it easier to make a better quality of work; this was shown in our preliminary task when we used the razor tool so that we could time the cuts precisely so that we could apply continuity correctly. In my thriller opening we were able to distort the levels on the soundtrack so that we could drop the score when the characters were talking and bring in the instruments for the chase scene. This helped our development as our initial feedback from our rough cut was the soundtrack needed work and the colour needed to altered. Final cut express allowed us to develop our product further for a successful final film.

After the success and confidence which we developed from our foundation portfolio this skill allowed us to develop how we could create a successful product for our music video. With the basic to moderate tools now mastered we began to try more creative and use the advance tools of layering amongst others so as to use Final cut to its full potential. The use of the layer tool was useful in portraying the relationship between the lyrics and visuals by slowing down one version of a shot so it created and delayed blur effect to display the drunken state the artist was in. This received positive reception from our target audience as it helped us to replicate the desired reaction in us and our audience.

In our advanced portfolio we had to complete ancillary tasks which required a new arsenal of skills. for these tasks we were required two out of three of the following : a digipack a magazine advert and a webpage; we decided to to create a digipack and a magazine advert. As previous experience with the following software we decided that Photoshop would  be an appropriate programme; as it delivers a professional finish  we decided it would give our products the highest standard of finish. As a intricate and temperamental programme it is difficult to use on a PC which i am use to it became a much of challenging task when the majority of the editing of photos was done on a Mac. The use of online tutorials online helped me get to grips with the various tools. This was useful as we were able to created spotlight effect on our  images so we could raise the level of brightness on a certain part of an image without distorting the overall colour; this was key to the editing of our digipack as we were able to bring to focus our artists face and torso on a plain background and give the picture character.

Though i had previous experience with with the software Photoshop in there were still a few problems. Learning to use the magic wand tool to highlight parts of the photo due to its AI it would select and deselect parts of the photo at will and would compromise the edit of the rest of the development. Even though we did incur problems the produced products from Photoshop were a vast improvement on previous notable works from our foundation portfolio; this is when we designed a film poster and due to our lack of experience the only tools we could use competently were the feather and free transform which lead us to simply darkening the background and adding basic text. By the time we presented our advance portfolio with our artist poster we were able to use the feather to blend colours, the spotlight effect to draw focus and self installed texts to grab the audience. This overall gave our work a more professional look and would be real of existing media products.

Another form of technology that we used was our cameras. We shot both our foundation and advanced portfolio in high-definition;this was after we recieved feedback that our  first  attempt of the film opening on the foundation portfolio that the picture quality was not great for the kingpin scene as the room was too dark and the chase scene looked "grainy". We felt that the cameras helped us to increase the quality of our work and the camera was easy to use, clear in quality in picking up footage and sound; the sound quaility was helped by our use of the microphone as during the scenes outside for our foundation product it was initially hard to hear the voice of the henchmen over the wind. We felt that these cameras that we used were appropriate as opposed to non-HD cameras as most films are now shot in HD for a better finish.

Web 2.0 was integral in our course in decision making, as it allowed us to promote and gain feedback from our target audience in mass population. We found that asking people to watch our video wasn't enough, and we needed a new approach to bring in an audience. We devised a plan to get a viral buzz going for our product using various platforms so that the videos could be spread. The best way to do this was to post our videos to a numerous amount of social networking sites through YouTube in order to gain feedback and publicity. For our advanced portfolio, we regularly uploaded our music video to YouTube a numerous amount of times as a work in progress to easily post through sites such as Twitter and Facebook in order to receive feedback to make our final product even better. However, during our foundation portfolio it has to be said that we didn't utilise our possession of Web 2.0; the main form of promotion was using trends on twitter by hashtagging evasion to try and get people talking about it. As we weren't fully aware of it's capabilities and heavily relied on questionnaires and small scale feedback from close peers.
Overall, my group and I feel that our experience in using digital technology has vastly improved in making creative decisions as we all feel that our advanced portfolio is better than our foundation portfolio simply due to our experience and knowledge of how to utilise the programmes that we were able to use.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Explain how you used conventional or experimental narrative devices in one of your productions.

I'm going to discuss theories of narrative in relation to my advanced portfolio. This was a music video for The Rizzle Kick song 'Im 17'.We started off by researching and analysing real media products, this was to ensure that we had a good grasp of what conventions of a hip hop video and rock video due to the song we picked being a hybrid. I began by creating a Goodwin analysis of snoop dogg's 'Drop it like its hot' video to understand the rap concept of our video as it clearly portrays a the conventions of baggy swag varsity clothing, it is important to examine real media texts. We decided that we were going to show some of hip hop conventions of varsity clothing.we also decided to show as a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, which is one of the key features considered by Goodwin.

After analyzing the lyrics of the song, we interpreted that the song was about a teenage boy aged 17 who simply wanted to enjoy himself by involving himself in materealistic acts as well as certain illegal acts, this helped us to develop the hio hop side of our video.To make sure that indie side of our video was also portrayed we decided to make the acts such as studio recording part of the video as the key concept showed in these . We crafted a narrative about a boy who is living a hedonistic lifestyle and even though at college he puts in minimal effort and spends him time messing around.

We decided to create a narrative which targeted specifically our target audience of adolescents and young adults for optimun result. therefore this narrative was seen to attract a closed audeince but could have a snowball effect of attracting secondary and tertiary audeiences of teenagers and the twin audience of hip hop and indie. In terms of narative todorov's theory came in handy as the five stages were recognised and help build a basis for the narrative story which was interwoven throughout the video. the initial equilibrium shows that our character is getting dressed before a  typical day at school  and the disrruption occurs when  he realises that working in school is time that could be spent making a hit rather tideous work and he storms out of class. The disruption occurs when the character decides that to be a star he must imitate the lifestyle of drunken behaviour which is reflected in the drinking and partying that occurs in the video. In an attempt to repair the disruption the studio scenes are cut into the video to show the more serious sign of achieving the dream. by the end of the video a new equilibrium is established as the character has realised to achieve his goal he must work hard and put in the effort like her would at school and this is reflected in the shots of him working on his lyrics. Although it does not appear in this order in the vidoe we thought a fragmented narrative would be effective as it  adheres to the concept of narrative and is experimental.

Our narrative in our product fulfils the target criteria as the target audience can empathise with character and his antics feature in the video. We researched our target audience so we could deliver a product that would have all the conventions which they would expect ; our peers acted as our trial group as they were the age of our target audience so and their feedback was vital to our success.Our main character features myself aka iceburg to deliver the narrative of our 17 year old character who chooses to engage in activities simply because it is fun. The narrative speaks about being "down for a laugh" and this is reflected in Icburg getting involved in drinking games for example the shot of him with a beer box on his head. This was put into the video as it would be a visual which had relation with the lyrics which is a key concept of Goodwin and it also included a story which our target could relate to as the age range was 16-21 of the primary audience. Though this doent portray Iceburg in a positive light it shows that he is a regular artist that the fans can relate to which is an image developed by artists such as Rizzle Kicks and Ed Sheeran who are also shown to be regular people who participate in casual adolescent activities.

This product from our Advanced portfolio shows that we have used many conventions of a music video whilst including  the forms of narrative described by theorists such as Goodwin of matching the lyrics with visuals and Todorov by including the five stage theory.

Monday, 19 March 2012

TV spin off

Match of the day 3 is a spin off of the TV show match of the day were the regular pundits are joined by guests to discuss the weekend's action and with the added quizzes for the pundits with added predictions of what will happen in next week's games. It began during august of 2011 as an add on to Match of the day 2 to be displayed on the bbc sport website as an added article to accompany focus forum which is another discussion show but has become its own spin off series. The viewing audience is the same as match of the day as it can be accessed straight after the tv show online and on the red button to make sure that the fans can access what they require.