Production partner :

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Welcome to the Blog!

In this blog I will be recording how myself and my production partner, Alex Burke, created a music video, a digipak and a magazine advertisement.

This is our production company youtube channel:

Alex Burke's Blog:

The three tasks:

For the music video, we recreated 'The Doors - People are Strange'. Our filming location was a hotel, with a cast of 7. It is a similar concept to that seen in '30 Seconds to Mars - The Kill'. Our protagonist, who is being followed throughout the music video by members of the staff and guests, start to imagine and hallucianate. We used multiple layering and ghosting, as well as distorting fast camera work and the use of colour filtering to get this across. We also used slow motion effects and cut shots to the beat.

We created a proffesional looking digipak go to alongside the music video and magazine advert. We took these photograuphs from our filming location.

We then created a magazine advertisement to accompany the previous. We once again used photographs from our filming location on this, with editing effects done in photoshop elements.

Final Cut

Ancillary One - Digipak

When uploading the JPEG file, we encountered a problem as blogger rejected this. For now these are the images taken by camera of our digipak.

This digipak was created in Coral Draw.

Ancillary Two - Magazine Advertisement

This is our magazine advertisement. The two images were photographed at the location of our music video. We have followed the conventions by including a picture of the digipak at the bottom, and information such as release date, band website, record company logo and record company website. We have also given information on the bonus DVD.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Evaluation Q1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our products were based on The Doors - People Are Strange, so we had looked at the bands background including singles, albums, magazine articles and also the film 'The Doors'. From looking at the film 'The Doors' we had identified the use of colour filters throughout the film, which we decided would fit perfectly into our music video. We decided to use this as it links with the drug references in many of The Doors songs in the past and also in this one. It also fitted in perfectly with our narrative, as the main protagonist has been imagining the other protagonists throughout the video, which we have signified at the end. We looked at the existing video for People Are Strange by The Doors and saw the codes and conventions in that video did not follow previous videos from The Doors. We saw that there was a lack of colour filtering and that it had limited performance throughout, mainly focusing on the lead singer. We wanted to use the ideas of strangers from this video in our production, but we also wanted to incorporate the colour filtering which it missed. We used many ideas from the music video The Kill by 30 Seconds To Mars, which is based in a hotel with only the band occupying the hotel. Although we used other protagonists than the band members, we incorporated the hotel idea, with it looking as though it is empty by the lack of a receptionist.

Rather than having a performance aspect which The Kill uses, we decided to go against this convention and have protagonists at the hotel singing lyrics of the song, which adds to the title of the song we have chosen. To add to the strange music video we tried to create, we had members of staff at the hotel and also guests singing the lyrics, rather than the same people over and over again. We had not seen lyrics which members of the cast not in the band had sung in music videos we had watched, as it was not conventual, but we felt that it this was a key element of our video so after audience feedback which told us to include more of that, we decided to re-shoot this and film more of the lip syncing. From the videos we had watched there had been a lot of effects used in this genre, so we decided after our audience feedback to include some ghosting effect which enhanced our idea of keeping this music video mystifying. We also added in a continual use of a chess game which linked to the idea of the main protagonist and what was happening to him, which we want the audience to understand at the end. We ended with the king being knocked over, which was just after the main protagonist in our video had been cornered by each member of the cast.

For our Digipak, we had decided to link it to the band name, which is The Doors. We planned on using double doors as the front image of our digipak, but after looking at 'when your strange' CD cover, we realised that having two doors as the front cover was not conventional so we decided to use a picture of the cast standing in front of the hotel, which takes up the majority of the picture. After looking at other digipaks we saw that it was conventional to keep a continual theme throughout so we have used a picture of a room inside the hotel, which is the spiral staircase with the chandelier at the top of the image.  This links to how when you open up our digipak, which we have the idea as 'the door', you then enter part of the building which is also linked to our music video. On the back of our digipak we have decided to use the image of the back way out of the hotel, which is a clear contrast to the front but from audience feedback people preferred this image as it kept to the conventional theme throughout rather than have an image with no relevant meaning. We decided to make our digipak a greatest hits album, as the doors have been around for over 40 years, even without their lead singer, because this would be a greater appeal than having a rereleased single. The only information on the front cover will be 'The Doors' Greatest Hits and a sticker saying 'includes people are strange music video. On the inside covers of our digipak after audience feedback from other digipak designers and peers, we have decided to keep it bare as we felt that due to the spiral layout of the room we have on it, any information would not suit it and therefor not look as appealing as it would if it was kept bare. On the back of our digipak we have included the tracks on the digipak, how all of the songs have been written by the band, the doors website, our production company email address and the record label website. We have also included copyright information, a barcode and the record label logo. On the spine of our digipak we have The Doors - Greatest Hits, a production number and the record label logo again.

For our magazine cover we have decided to use the photograph of the cast which was going to be on our digipak, before audience feedback. We have decided to use this as it links to a previous Doors CD cover of Strange Days, which has the cast of a music video who are all very unique and in different clothing. We have edited this photo so that it is signified as weird, like the rest of our music video and which the band is also linked to. We have done this by distorting and adding different textures onto the photo, as well as experimenting on the colour filtering, which we have done in our music video and which happened in the film The Doors. We have also used a faded image in the background image, which was not conventional as we had not seen it been done by any of the magazine adverts we had looked at. We have done this by reducing the image's opacity and layering it into the background. The information we have included on our magazine advert is that we are advertising a digipak to be released on 27th of May, and that it includes a greatest hits album with a bonus music video of people are strange.

Evaluation Q2 - How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

The three texts that we have created all work well together in combination for one band and one music video, yet they all have their unique ways of creating an impression for an audience to purchase these products.

The target audience our group has is for people over the age of 30 as the primary target audience, because when this band were at their most popular time was over 30 years ago, when the primary target audience for the band would have been people in their late teens and early adulthood. For us this has created a sub target audience for late teens, as this is for who this band traditionally targeted even though this band dates back in time. We have tried to make our products relate to both target audiences, but in particular the primary target audience, with elements which they may have seen in such things as past CDs from the band, and also the film The Doors, which they are likely to have watched if they have been a fan of the band in the past.
Some of the key elements in our music video which plays a huge role in the combination of the three texts is the setting, which is because of where the music video is set. This hotel has been used in the two ancillary texts, and plays a dominant role in the music video as the idea is based around the cast within this hotel, and how they are acting strangely towards the main protagonist. Another element of our music video which has been used in the other texts are the cast within the music video. The main protagonist we have chosen is used in the digipak and magazine advert, and we have chosen him because we feel that even though it may be very minor, he has elements which resemble Jim Morrison, which will appeal to the primary target audience. We have also included the rest of the cast in both the digipak and the magazine advert in the clothing they had worn in the music video, as they link to the CD Strange Days by the Doors, which will help our products appeal to our primary and also secondary target audience, as they are in strange clothing which also links to the song title. The spiral staircase and chandelier that feature in our music video have also been used in both our ancillary texts, as the inside cover of our digipak was this spiral staircase and chandelier. In the magazine advert we have used a faded image of the spiral staircase and chandelier, faded behind the image of the cast which feature in our music video.

Our digipak is most likely to be sold in record and stores such as HMV in the classic rock section, or in the digipak section depending on if the store have a separate section for digipaks, due to the limited amount of them that are currently being produced at the moment. Due to how market is changing, it is also very likely that our digipak would be sold on the internet, most likely on website such as, and

BoxOur magazine advert is likely to feature in magazines such as Classic Rock, Q, Mojo and Rolling Stone and take up a prominent amount of the page, as the band has been very famous in the past and is still well known, especially people in the age group of the primary audience. Due to the popularity of this band, it may also feature on the front page of the magazines Classic Rock and Rolling Stone.

The three products that we have created are different in the way that for the music video, the majority of the hotel is not highlighted in either the magazine advert or the digipak. The cast in the music video are portrayed differently in the two ancillary texts compared to the music video, as they are all standing together in the images of the digipak and magazine advert. On the back of the digipak, the image of the back door is not shown on the magazine advert, nor does it feature in music video.

Click For CONTENTSIf we were to retake this task and create three products to link together again, we would use a constant theme throughout such as black and white, so that when you looked at all of our products together, you could instantly tell that they were related, rather than having to look at the name of the band and therefore make the connection.

If we had more time we would spend longer on editing the music video such as including more members of the cast, and more locations within the hotel. We would also try cut to the beat even better than we have already, and added more layering and ghosting to the video. For our digipak we would have added a booklet with song lyrics and dates the songs were released originally. For our magazine we are very happy with what we had produced but could have added more effects.

Evaluation Q3 - What have you learnt from your audience feedback

On our main product which is our music video, after our first rough cut the general feedback was that there were to many shaky shots and not enough of the cast lip syncing throughout. The audience feedback also told us that we needed to included more editing such as layering or ghosting effects to link to the song title, which is People are Strange. After this audience feedback we did some re-shooting with extra cast members and had more lip syncing, so the audience felt as though they understand the preferred narrative better.

After this we re-screened it to students who do not take media studies, and they found our video very entertaining but to change the ending, so we looked at it and decided to have the whole cast closing in on the main protagonist as though they had been looking for him throughout, which helped them understand the preferred narrative. We also included more locations within the hotel, which included the dining room, which we had a member of the cast in a chef hat to add to the mise en scene, the room with a spiral staircase and chandelier, the bar and outside the hotel. This helped the audience see the location we had chosen to film in and see why we had chosen this location, compared to something else. We had also incorporated more editing such as ghosting up the stairs which the audience liked, the layering of the chess game throughout to link to the game the cast are playing with the main protagonist, following him through the hotel. We also decided to had colour filters to the end of the video, which links to the film The Doors, which uses colour filters throughout to add to the 'strangeness' of the band and single.
From feedback on our original digipak, we realised that we needed to have one image throughout the inside cover, instead of two different images. This is because this follows conventions of other digipaks and makes it more professional. We decided to use the theme of the hotel as the front cover, the spiral staircase and chandelier as the inside cover and the back door out of the hotel, so it has a continual theme throughout. We have included the tracks included on the greatest hits album on the back, aswell as the doors website, our production company email, the record label website, the record label logo and the production number, and the copyright of our product.

From our magazine advert feedback, we realised that by only having one simple image with no editing, people found it boring, so we decided to edit an image into the background which was the image we used on the inside cover of our digipak, and a room which featured in our music video. After our first draft we realised that we didnt advertise our digipak enough on it, aswell as that we have included a music video in our digipak. We have also included the doors website, the record label and the digipak picture at the bottom.

Draft 1 of our Magazine advertisement :

We were told due to copyright we couldn't use a picture of the band so we decided to use the cast of our music video in the style of 'strange days'. Atfer audience feedback on this draft, feedback told us not to include the tour dates, but to promote the idea of the digipak further and make it stand out. We were also told to not use the digipak folded and to just use the front cover of this.

Draft 2 of our magazine advert:
On this draft people did not like the black surrounding the text, as it blocked out a lot of the image which was more important to see.
After audience feedback on the first draft we decided to incorportate a ghosted image of the spiral staircase and the chandeleir which links to our music video and our digipak.


From audience feedback everyone enjoyed the final version of the magazine advert, as there was nothing blocking the image and by shrinking the digipak it looked more proffesional. We also incorportated the Elektra record label logo, website and the doors website.

Evaluation Q4 - Use of new media technology

Compared to the previous year, the footage we have obtained is to a much higher standard due to the HD cameras we were able to use this year, which has hugely increased the proffesional look of our music video, due to the wide angle lense, which helps get a larger framed shot. This has helped us especially due to us filming in a hotel, where the mise on scene is very eccentric. This in comparison to the SD cameras last year is a huge contrast, as the footage last year looked as though it was of a much lower standard compared to this years, and that the finer details this year were picked out, such as the King falling over in our music video.

At the start of the editing phase we used IMovie09 which is a huge improvement to the previous IMovie we had used last year, as we were able to look at a clip in finer detail and break it down, which meant that lip syncing and positioning clips were to a much higher standard compared to the previous year. We could also sync he music a lot easier than we could last year, as it was a lot easier to import and cut, as there are different layers.

The editing facilities we had this year had been extended to final cut, which has been a huge success with the fact that we were able to do layering and add ghosting effects into our music video, to help it shape the narrative and how this music video was meant to be 'strange', which links to the title of the song. The layering was also very helpful on final cut as we could change the opacity and move clips over one another, as the files can be split up into multiple layers, unlike many other of the editing types.

The new updated blogger is also very helpful because with widescreen blog it is easier to upload videos and for them to be able to fit on the page easily, with them not overlapping. I feel that it also has a better layout than previous blogs.