How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Within the ambient genre artists will tend to use artwork or minimalistic images to promote their albums, which would not be incorporated in the video. For example, Phaeleh’s Afterglow album that displays interesting artwork on the album and poster, yet it bares no relevance to his video. My partner and I decided to stick to this convention as within the genre it is a professional trait. Also, Interesting or minimalistic artwork/ images present a sense of mystery which draws the audience in, it also interests the audience to see what other types creations the artists have for their products, which is why our products are effective for selling Alt-J’s album. Looking back at our initial ideas the video is supposed to show how man and nature co-exsist, to show this we planned to show shots of busy streets in London and shots of natural landscapes. Although our idea changed slightly, we still show this idea, with many people (nature) in a man-made city (man). Also, although there isn’t many, we still incorporated shots of the ‘natural elements’, such as the sky (air), the pond (water) and the fire torches (fire). The video and ancillary tasks encourage the audience to see things in a positive perspective and it teaches them that beauty is in they eye of the beholder. I think this idea will strongly speak to our target audience.
They’re are many ways in which we have shown effective links between our products even though they aren’t straight away obvious. For example, it is clear that we have over edited our image for our ancillary tasks to create a colourful, attention-grabbing image, what isn’t particularly obvious though, is how we digitally enhanced our video to compliment our video. They are certain colours which we made bolder in the video: purple, blue and orange tones as they were used in our ancillary tasks. Also, the many lights of London featured in the video are reflected in the ‘stars’ on our ancillary tasks. The most obvious and effective link between the products is the band’s logo which we created on photoshop. We ‘labelled’ all our products with this logo as it made them relatable to each other which helps promote the band and their products.
Overall, although my video doesn’t link directly to the ancillary tasks, the combination of the products is effective in promoting each other in terms of the genre. In many other genres it is rare for their album covers to have any direct connection to their music videos. For example, in the pop genre, the artist will usually use a picture of their face on their albums. Even though they do feature themselves in the video, there is not usually a strong link between album and video. I think my partner and I have cleverly linked our video and ancillary texts through the use of subtle elements such as colour use and the underlying idea that I believe our target audience will understand. Even though I’m extremely happy with the outcome of the products maybe my partner and I could have taken and used an image from a location we had filmed at, so that our video and ancillary tasks connected visually as well as through our idea.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The way in which my media product(s) uses common forms and conventions of real media products is evident as they all carry the same house-style. It is very conventional for an artist’s poster to reflect the digipak, which I believe my products do successfully. To ensure my partner and I reflected the house style through all of our products we used one of our original images that we digitally enhanced.
We used the same picture for our poster, digipak and we created a logo using the ‘text within image’ technique to create a logo for the band, which we used on all products we produced. We did this to make sure the audience would be able to identify the logo and link them together. As the song we chose for our music video has a futuristic style we decided our house style needed to reflect this in order to appeal to our target audience. So not only did we edit our chosen image to convey a futuristic night’s sky but we chose the font Haettenschweiler to use across our products as it is a futuristic-style of writing that is also clear to read. It is a bold font which grabs attention, a common convention used on advertisements. I believe our chosen house style is effective as it is memorable.
Although my music video is not traditional, there are certain aspects that are conventional such as the transitions of clips were in time to the beat of the music, something my partner and I made sure was exact, to ensure it looked professional and was easy on the audience’s eyes. We also used landscape shots which are very conventional in ambient music videos to add to the calmness of most ambient music. Although the pace of our music and video varies there are natural landscape shots that convey peacefulness.
Small yet realistic and professional elements, such as the barcode, ‘Anti-piracy’ label and the record company’s logo are all incorporated on to the digipakappeal to forms and conventions of real media products. These elements were used in order to professionalise the product and to make the digipak look authentic. They were also placed on the back and bottom of the digipak which is the usual place to find them on real digipaks and CD covers.
We decided to use a landscape format for our poster as it included a landscape photo. I also felt that a landscape poster meant more ways in which we could advertise it such as billboards and double page spreads, which are more eye-catching. My partner also believes the landscape format links to the cinematic quality of the music video. As posters are generally constructed in a portrait layout I believe our poster develops this convention as it is has been done before yet only to advertise the band not their album(s).
It is clear how we developed form and conventions, within our genre of music, for digipaks. Ambient music products are usually promoted via the use of artwork, however, a less common form of promotion for this genre is naturalistic landscapes to convey the peace and serenity within the music. We have chosen this less common option because in the initial ideas for the video we wished to convey man and nature coexisting. We did not feature a model on the promotional products as we did not want the idea to be centred around one person, as we wanted to show man collectively. We have used a landscape picture which is conventional but we have developed this by noticeably digitally enhancing the image to make it abstract and to appeal to the futuristic stylings of the artist.
I don’t find any elements within our video that could be considered as developing conventions. My partner and I were very interested in challenging conventions and felt there were no typical conventions to develop.
Through all my products I would say they mostly challenge normal forms and conventions of real media products.Within the second ancillary task- the digipak- there are various aspects which challenge the forms and conventions of real media products such as the front cover which doesn’t feature any text. With inspiration from Pink Floyd’s album, Dark Side of the Moon, we decided to use only a symbol that we made that is relatable to the poster and image within the digipak. We intentionally challenged this usual convention to create a sense of mystery which draws in the audience. It is also refreshing to see a different type of cover when searching through CDs in a shop.
The main way in which we have challenged conventions in the music video is using two songs that merge together. We chose Vivaldi- Four Seasons to start the music video to emphasise the theme of traditional landmarks of London transitioning into modern day cityscapes utilising Alt-J’s track. It is very unlikely for a music video to feature different songs.
Another way in which we have definitely challenged forms and conventions is the absence of hired actors, which is typical of music videos as actors help to convey the narrative within a video. Our video is classed as ‘art clips’ by Sven E Carlsson’s theory, which states that ‘art clips’ are used in “music videos that do not feature a visual narrative nor contain any lip-schronisation performing”. We decided against using actors as we didn’t want them to steal focus from the meaning of the video. I also felt that we didn’t have the equipment nor resources to professionalise production elements for actors, e.g. lighting, make-up and costumes.
Overall, I would say our video mostly challenges conventions of real media texts. This was very intentional as I feel conventions are supposed to be broken. The idea is to create something new and original making it more interesting for the audience. No one wants to see something they’ve seen before. We chose not to use actors and to merge two songs together as it is different and more impressive for the audience to see something they’ve never seen before. It also meant more of a challenge for me and my partner which made this unit exciting. I am extremely happy with what we produced as it could example what is to come of new conventions for real media products.