Wednesday, 1 May 2013

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

Here we go again... It's evaluating time! /Cilan

Throughout the entire process of creating the music video, digipak and and promotional poster one of the main objectives has been to make my artist, Dark Flame, marketable to an audience. I decided upon the rock genre, which meant my potential audience would be rock fans. Because of this, it was necessary to look at then conventions of existing rock artists to get an idea of what traits make them appealing to this audience.

Music Video

One of the first things I did once I'd decided on the genre I was going to use was to look at the kinds of things I like and dislike in music videos. This is because I am personally a fan of the rock genre, and so although this was very much a rough, sketchbook method of research meaning I took my opinionated "findings" with a grain of salt, I thought it might be a good idea to pick apart videos I like to see what kinds of notable traits pop up.

The main things I noted are that I like easily recognisable imagery, such as the shot of the Queen band members miming the opening of Bohemian Rhapsody -

-as well as that I like the simplistic performance elements of Hardline's Fever Dreams video.

After this, I did some more research into rock videos, and found that some of the elements I'd noted were recurring features, making them conventions of rock videos. I'll explore those more in the PowerPoint below.

(Thanks Slideshare, you old pal...).

Album Cover/Digipak

As my album is a rock album (no, I'm not going to go into the technicalities of how you could argue that I Am... All of Me might be on the rock/industrial metal borderline because of the tinny drum track) I made a point of looking at various other existing rock albums to see what recurring features appeared. I looked at various albums including The 2nd Law by Muse, One by Pearl Handled Revolver, Circle of the Oath by Axel Rudi Pell and Band on the Run by Wings.

From this research, I found a few notable features - one is that the imagery was usually quite dark, or in the case of both The 2nd Law and Band on the Run have a simple solid black background on the front cover.

This simplistic background is a concept I originally intended to use back when I put together my first drafts of the front and back cover, however in this instance I decided it would be appropriate to deliberately go out of my way to subvert this convention for one reason (as I mentioned previously) - this being that I was looking at the album chart and I noticed that both Paramore and The Lumineers had an album out with a very similar artwork style. I then acknowledged that whilst having a similar cover would give rock fans a sense of familiarity, the album wouldn't stand out in a shop if there are two other albums which look practically the same. Because of this, I decided to maintain the general greyscale colour scheme (for the previously mentioned familiarity) but add some brush textures so it has its own unique aesthetical feel to it.

Promotional Poster

When albums come out, the label usually produces some kind of promotional poster for said album. These are the things you see in the window of record shops etc.. As with the music video and digipak, I took to the wonderful world of t'internets to find out more about existing posters.

One thing which stood out to me, with both the Axel Rudi Pell and Muse posters I looked at is that the main basis of the posters' designs was in fact the album cover's artwork. This makes sense from a practical purpose, as it shows potential consumers what they are supposed to be buying. My poster does subvert this to a very small degree - I changed the kinds of brushes used to add texture. This was purely for the sake of making the poster look better - what looks okay on a small image can look a bit rough on a larger one, so I thought as the poster is also trying to gain attention, I would go out of my way to make it look better. The visual link already exists as I've used the same photograph and logo on both the digipak and poster, so I can't see the change being detrimental in any way.

The other is that the name of the artist and of the album is shown right at the very top. My poster again conforms to this convention - and as with both of the posters I looked at, I've used the same typographical style in terms of both font and added visual effects; again, this gives a synoptic link between the poster and the album, showing people what is being marketed to them.


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