Monday, 12 December 2011

Filming planning!

Since our first drafts of our ancillary tasks our complete, the main focus is now our Music video. This morning, I decided to go and take pictures for possible location ideas, here they are;

These locations all give a rather eerie feeling which will fit with our narrative structure a lot more. We'll be making our storyboard soon so we'll be thinking more into other locations!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Ancillary task - Digipak

Since we are doing the music video task, we have to create a Digipak and a music poster for our band. I have started doing the Digipak so I will upload each photo step by step.

Step 1

I had decided to use this picture as the back cover for the digipak as I think it is very striking. The space on the left creates a perfect space for the credits for the songs. The name of our band is "Lyrical Criticism", 

Step 2

I really like the image I have used for the front cover. Since we are staring right into the lens of the camera, it catches the audiences eye as we are staring right out.

Step 3

I added a black border to the whole of the album as basically, it makes it look more professional than having a cut off image, I have added song titles to the top right corner of the CD to add more typical conventions of having song names on the back.

Step 4 (Finished)

This is my finished front and back cover for my ancillary task. I have added two more song names as many single's always add a few songs that they are hoping to release in the near future. I have added the rights and music company on the bottom to make it more realistic. I have also included a review from a music magazine.

Inside the Digipak

The inside of the digipak generally consists of an image of the band and some form of print on the CD. So knowing these conventions, I used them to create the inside of my digipak. 

Step 1

I like the layout of the inside, it is simple but also very effective. The simplest next step was to put some text on the CD to go along with typical conventions, here is my finished inner digipak;

Step 2

The text on the CD basically brings the whole thing together. I have put the song titles on the CD and also the credits to Sony on the CD. I have tried to get the sense of realism in it as real CD's consist of these conventions. I am really pleased with my finished ancillary tasks.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Ancillary task - Music poster

The music poster felt a lot smoother to make, this is probably due to past experience making front covers of magazines at AS and for Extended Project. A music poster has a few conventions such as the company name, band name, band photo and the terms and conditions. I have decided to use a full band picture for the poster as it involves all of the band for the audience to see them all. We took the picture by using a technique that I had came across whilst taking some by myself a few weeks back. We took the image by hanging it from a branch of a tree with time on. Here is the first step.

Step 1

I think the picture is of a high quality and it looks like a great poster picture as all 3 of us are in the picture and we're looking straight into the lens which on the poster will look like we're all looking out to the audience. I had placed a few conventions on the first draft so could gather an idea of what it could look like. 

Step 2

I have done the same with what I had done on my digi-pak; putting a black border around the whole image. I marked out where I was wanting to put the other conventions to see if my image still looked at a high enough standard at that not too much would be covering the band.

Step 3

I have added the band title, album cover image and a release date. I have also made it clear that it is a HMV exclusive as stated under the band name and under the release date for my album. On many band posters however, they usually have quotations from the band or a new song or even a magazine, so I added that to my final copy.

Step 4

This is my final finished poster. The quotations bring the poster together and it doesn't seem so bare now. I changed the colour of the name to just plain white with a black text shadow so A) it stands out a bit more opposed to just white text, and B) so it fits in more with my colour scheme, Since HMV's logo is pink/purple, I've had to merge that into my colour scheme so i've used it underlying my white text to fit in with the colour scheme. 

Friday, 2 December 2011


Before we make our HMV advertisement poster, we need to send an e-mail requesting permission to use their logo to comply with the copyrights act. Here is the e-mail I sent, eagerly awaiting the apply!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Music Distribution Company Choices!

I am researching music companies and music stores to have as the bands record label and the main distribution store. The record label plays a massive part in the band/solo artist taking off. It is mainly associated with the band recording the song; sorting out the recording studio. They are responsible for the marketing of the band and also the music videos. Without marketing, no band would be majorly recognised. Since I am trying to make this product as realistic as possible, I am going to analyse record labels.

Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Recording Company has signed the likes of Kings of Leon and Franz Ferdinand. Their main priorities are signing indie/rock artists and our song choice (The Kill) is a rock song. For realism, it would be more plausible to use this record label to represent our band however I will still research into more record labels.


Maverick have helped produce the work of The Prodigy on two occasions and UK rock band, Muse on their album 'Showbiz'. It would be a good label to work with, but they are constantly losing artists with lack of communication from the owners since the take over. They haven't really signed any other major stars so this could suggest that their internal affairs with the artist may not be strong or they aren't the best at marketing their own artists. 

Def Jam Recordings

Def Jam have been around for more than quarter of a century and they have signed some of the best artists in the music industry. By looking at their discography, they mainly go for R & B artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West and Jay-Z. Since we're going for a Indie/rock band, this is not the record label we are looking for. 

So the record label we are going to choose is Sony Music Entertainment.


For my music poster, I have decided to use HMV for my music advert since they are the most prolific music store in the UK. They do many varieties of posters ranging from new albums to meet and greets, also known as "Get closer" posters. I have already started creating the poster at this point and now I have decided upon a label, I can finish the rest off!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Ancillary Tasks - Digipak

I have took some images which were pretty fun taking as I was using a tree to balance the camera to take pictures at different angles. I have narrowed it down to two pictures which came out really well and portray images for a typical album cover for a solo artist.

Front Cover

This picture is a medium shot which is a moderately used shot on CD covers with close-ups. This was the first picture I took with the camera hanging off the tree. I think it's a very effective picture as the solo artist is looking right down the lens of the camera and the artist is the main focus of the picture. There is no major distractions in the background so the focus won't be dropped. The fact that I am looking straight down the lens of the camera is very effective for the audience as my eyes will possibly catch their attention considering I'm right in the middle of the shot.

Back of Digi-pak

This is a low angle shot which was took with the camera balancing on a rock. I like this shot as it has the artist looking away from the camera as if he is looking to his future. However, this picture seems darker than the image I'm using for my front cover so I touched it up a little..

I prefer this version more as the colours are a lot more solid and lighter. It will make a major difference to the look of my Digi-pak. I will have the contents of the album in the top right of the album with the essential conventions; bar code, trademark information etc running from the bottom left to the right.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Plans for my Ancillary Tasks!

Before designing my Ancillary tasks, I have decided to make a plan for them to make it easier during the production, here they are!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Analysis of Existing Products

Since I am doing the music video project, my task is to analysis existing products (Digipaks and advert posters). Doing this will increase my knowledge on how I have to go about making the ancillary tasks and it will also be helpful on comparing my product against these existing ones.

This is the album cover for "Fall Out Boy - Believers Never Die Greatest Hits". The image on the album cover is very significant as this album was made to signify the end of Fall Out Boy. The skeletons lying next to each other connote an ending, death. They denote to being in the past. The way they are holding on looks like they were aiming to portray that they'll never be forgotten or holding on for a comeback. However, the name of the album "Believers Never Die" could suggest that the skeletons were not believers perhaps. Overall, it is a very effective front cover for an album to mark the end of an era.

This is the album cover for "Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory". As the image shows, it is a soldier planting a flag into the ground. This usually denotes control, victory over something/someone. The name of the album, "Hybrid Theory" is the fusion of creative and communications, combining earned and paid media to enliven ideas, unite communities, amplify stories and spark desired outcomes. The album could be a statement towards the media saying that they've overcome them or it could be agreeing with them, fighting for their cause which could link with the soldier.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Kill - 30 Seconds To Mars

This is the song we will be using for our music video. This song has lots of different meanings due to the intense quality of videography in the music video. The video links to the film "Ths Shining", however the song lyrics portray reflecting on your inner self/self conscience and how he tries to overcome it. I will annotate the lyrics to get a better understanding of the film.

The Kill – 30 Seconds To Mars – Lyric Interpretation

To get better understanding of the song, I will interpret the lyrics so I can find a better meaning to help build a storyboard for a more effective video. This will help me in creating a music video the best of my capability.

Jared Leto actually said this song is about your relationship with yourself, and how different sides of you can compete to make you who you really are. And eventually one side will win, and make you who you are. This is what swayed me into thinking about a horror music video because you can portray a lot with music and moving images combined without any speech needed because the lyrics say what is necessary.

The interpretation I have is that this song is about him and mainly his past, it’s a split personality song where one talks to himself. The main theme for this album is about a past being forgotten and with "The Kill" in the album you can't fully understand the song unless you hear their whole album it’s a message their sending of a new start with struggles. However you can pick up on a general meaning of the song and I will shortly summarise here. “The Kill” is one of the struggles of it with the man vs. man-kind theory. He is singing a song with his conscience.

"What if I wanted to break? Laugh it all off in your face, what would you do?"

All the other verses in this song is his negative conscience asking him the “what if..” as in if he did something differently, what would have happened? The chorus is his response to his conscience.

“I tried to be someone else but nothing seemed to change. But nothing seemed to change, I know now; this is who I really am inside. Finally found myself, fighting for a chance. I know now, this is who I really am"

This whole verse is basically him arguing with his own conscience. You can tell he eventually overcomes it as he screams the last line. I am really happy with the song choice for the music video because the lyrics have so much meaning to them, it will be really challenging to make a narrative which is good enough to the keep up with the caliber of the song.
These are the results from our questionnaire. My partner in the group, Ryan Robinson has the orginal questionnaire and I have the results.

A-Level Project!

For our A-Level project, we have decided to make a music video using the song “The Kill” by “30 Seconds To Mars”. This song has been majorly recognised to the in-depth meaning of the music video which compliments this song. We were in debate whether to do a horror trailer or a music video basically because they are both as exciting as each other to do so we came to the conclusion that we’d make a somewhat horror music video.

Extended Project!

For my Extended Project, I decided to make a Media based project. I aimed to make an NME Icons magazine dedicated to the band "Fall Out Boy". Doing this project has been really enjoyable and I've enjoyed making it as my knowledge on the band has increased a lot. The even better side of me doing this project is that since making it, I've had the chance to speak to all four Fall Out Boy members since I mentioned the magazine I was creating dedicated to them. ALso, I have ahd requests from the Fall Out Boy Videographer to view it and also the Head Editor at NME, Tim Winchester asked if I was able to e-mail him my magazine. I'm glad that I decided to make a magazine now because for my A-Level project, we have to create ancillary tasks so it has kept my photoshop skills fresh in my mind.I have included my magazine in the post.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Prep Project!

This is the prep project which we are carrying on from. The aim of this project was for us to obviously get ready for our main stimulus. I thought this turned out really well and we decided on many brilliant ideas which we all contributed towards the video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

EVALUATION - How does your Media product represent particular social groups?

My magazine represents social groups mainly from the story of the main artist. She was a working class girl who worked in a clothing store and had an experience in musical theatre. She rose to fame by winning a singing competition. This article relates to middle class people as the artist previously worked in a clothing store.

My model connotes an indie/rock magazaine which is what I aimed to do. She is wearing a modern, indie top with brown skinnie jeans. The skinnie jeans tends to be worn by indie/rock performers. The statement of leading our own lives has started to give women a chance to wear what they want and express their personalities throughout clothes. The stereotypical divide between men and women has declined over the years. 

As I mentioned in the previous post, the music industry is mainly male orientated, but more and more women are becoming interested in the topic and are playing important roles in magazine distibutors and companies, also editing. My music magazine is aimed towards both genders which goes against the stereotypical views of music magazines being majorly aimed towards men. Doing this will create a wider spread of audience and women could inspire to be like the model on the front cover so they will be most likely swayed into buying the magazine,

EVALUATION - How did you attract/address your audience?

I attracted and addressed my audience by using typical conventions of a magazine and I have exploited uses of gratifications.I have attracted my audience by using a big picture for my front cover of the artist which is eye catching. Also, I have added free give aways and added a competition which tends to be a main persuasion why people buy magazines. I have addressed the audience by trying to create a magazine that would appeal to an audience of 14-30 year olds.

On my front cover, I have used a woman model on a music magazine. Music magazines main audience tends to be aimed towards men. I have exploited Naomi Wolf's theory of insecurities to some extent. Although my image is not erotic, it will appeal to women as well as men as they will prefer a magazine with a woman on the front apposed to a man. The age of my model is within the age range for my target audience. This makes it more appealing to my target audience as they could relate to their stories.

Monday, 9 May 2011

EVALUATION - What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

EVALUATION - Who would be the audience for your media product?

The audience for my product would be male & female, aged between 14-30. The groups I have included have been heard many times by anyone in that age range. From my audience research, there isn't a group nobody has heard of in my magazine. I have chose the age range 14-30 as indie music is more popular amongst the younger generation. The age range I have chose does not mean that people under 14-over 30 don't like the music, anyone can buy it! Just the bulk of the artists are heard more amongst the age range I have chose.

EVALUATION - What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

I think  that the distribution company 'BAUER MEDIA COMPANY' should distribute my magazine. This company distributes the music magazines "Kerrang" and "Q". These two magazines are mainly male orientated, so the reason they should distribute mine is that I have a female on the front cover. This would keep the male audience interested, but it will also bring in the female audience as they could aspire to be like the model on the front cover. Doing this means it is matching all my target audience which will generate more sales of the magazine as the female audience will also buy it. 

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

My product challenges forms and conventions of real media products throughout my magazine. For this evaluation, I will compare my front cover with a font cover by "Kerrang".

I have a strapline at the top of the magazine giving ther website of the magazine. Kerrangs' magazine has a strapline also, but a free giveaway which is where I got my idea of a competition from. The side story on my magazine, "I'm so glad I took guitar now" shows that there is more to the magazine than just a main story which is a typical convention that I have used. I have also included a free poster giveaway of a certain artist in each issue which is the main free giveaway in music magazine industry. The 'Plus' section is another indication of using conventions from real magazines as Kerrangs' maazine also has a 'Plus' section of bands that fit into their genre to show what the magazine has in store for the customer. 

EVALUATION - Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Feature Article =)

The feature article is always the story the artist on the front cover has to tell. It is the main story in the magazine, and usually the first thing the buyers read when they open it. The layout has to be just as interesting as the actual content of the text. Here was my first plan for my feature article:

The layout is simple, but effective in my opinion as the fact that the model is in the middle means that the audience will be focused on that straight away, noticing it is the artist they want to read about. The picture is somewhat indie as she has her tongue out and a cardigan around her neck, as if she doesn't give a care in the world. I put the text around the outside as I thought it looks good in the layout. However, this draft lacked actual realism, the article itself does not even look entertaining, so I changed a few things in my improved and feature article:

I have improved the layout of the text by placing it around her instead of straight down the side. I have expressed the colour scheme still, how I want it to be running throughout the magazine, so I added the same effect I had on my title to the feature article with her name and the main quotation, "The break I've been waiting for". I have added some typical conventions to the feature article such as page numbers on the bottom and the magazine website on the bottom right hand side. This all adds to the realism of the magazine. After comparing my first finished feature article to others, I felt like mine looked empty, so i added a border to the article which has made a huge difference in my opinion.

I believe the border adds to the realism and takes away the empty feeling I had about the other article. I changed the layout too as since the feature article is a double page spread, it would of had a big crease down the picture. I moved the picture to the left so it wouldn't be creased as the picture is the main attraction of the feature article. I changed the colour of the text too as it is more visible to read. When we had the audience feedback session, people still believed that the page looked empty and missed typical conventions such as a logo, so I created a logo and changed my feature article. This is my final and finished feature article.

 I believe my feature article looks a lot more filled now. In the bottom left hand corner, you can see the logo I created and placed to satisfy the customers belief in this being a real magazine. I also added the quote "I'm still in shock!" to the article as that is in a line in the actual article, This is used a lot. Overall, I am very pleased with my final outcome.

The new changes =)

After finishing my first draft, I decided to retrieve some target audience feedback, and the same point kept coming up. My first draft does not really denote a typical indie/rock magazine. So massive changes were needed, however my first draft did come in useful as a style model, all I really done was change colours and the font. Also I needed a new picture as the picture is the most eye catching part of a front cover, and that didn't really show signs of an indie/rock magazine. Here was my first plan, minus a picture as I needed to take some more:

This was a colour scheme I wanted to try out in the beginning of making my magazine, but I left it to one side. The most productive thing that came from this new layout was the title. The title looks so much more effective as having the same text copied twice and having half and half colours on different sides gave it a 3D effect, I was really pleased with it! However, once again relying on my target audience to help me out. They agreed with me on the thought that the red was too bright and 'in your face'. The picture I decided to use gave me the next colour i wanted to try as the background:

I put this picture as my background for my first draft with the new title to see if I was definitely on the right tracks to achieving my goal of creating the perfect front cover for an indie/rock magazine. The only thing that was bad about the picture I wanted to use was the shadow, this is where I got the idea for my new colour scheme.

This is my finished front cover. My new colour scheme turned into Cream, Brown, Orange & White. I have kept the same side stories and free give aways but also added a featured competition which I believe is a good addition to the magazine as it is just as effective as the adverts, being used  as an extra to attract the customers to buy my magazine. I have changed the colour on the title from Black to Orange to follow the new colour scheme. I have also added an extra convention in; a website. I have used the effect 'Drop Shadow' for the text as it stands out a lot more. You can see the effect the drop shadow has on the main story, it makes it bolder. The picture denotes that the magazine is more indie/rock than the previous one. It is also a better picture as the model is looking straight down the camera doing a 'peace' sign which is a message that many bands try to portray in their songs these days. I asked random people in our school who are also in my target audience age group if i could have a few minutes of their time to ask what magazine they would buy. Out of 20 people, 20 people chose this magazine, so it shows that it is a lot more appealing to my target audience.

Putting the typical conventions of a magazine onto my own =)

After finishing the key points to start making a music magazine, (Genre, colour scheme and title) I could start focusing on being precise with my magazine by putting typical conventions on my front cover. The typical conventions of any magazine tend to be one main picture with a catchy brief next to the picture to attract the audience, side stories, bar codes, price, issue number, free give aways and other featured bands. All of these combined will create a brilliant, eye-catching music magazine. The first convention I added was the price and issue number:

I used the same font for the price and issue number as I wanted to set a common theme to follow as all successful magazines, such as 'NME' use the same style font throughout their magazine.  Still referring to real magazines, i needed to add a bar code to my magazine to give the sense of realism to it: 

As mentioned before, the bar code does give a realistic effect to it. I also added the "Featured bands" section to my magazine. I have used indie/rock bands and bands that I like too. The key bit about this section is that it can denote that it is an indie/rock magazine. I filled the 'Flipside' in with white. This made it more eye catching in my opinion. All that was left to add was the main story and the side story, then my first draft of my front cover was finished, ready for constructive criticism:

My finished first draft. as you can see, I have added the main story, side story and the free give away. I have stuck with the white and orange colours for the text to give a theme to the magazine. I also added the orange to the issue and price as I linked it with the name 'Flipside'. I thought that it would be pretty clever to use the different colours (Orange and white) as the borders for the two different things, as if it was flipped around to be different colours. I've placed the text in her eye vision to make it look like she is looking up to it, as well as the title. I have done this to make it look like she is interacting with the magazine, to denote that she has a story to tell. The side story denotes that there are more stories to tell so it would jump out to a wider audience. The free posters will spur the audience to buy it because it increases the buyers if there is free items to give away.

Starting the Front Cover =)

After researching music magazines and getting positive feedback from my surveys, I felt like I had enough research to start creating my music magazine. From what I had gathered, the front cover of a magazine tends to have a big picture with the main artist, so I used the picture I wanted to use for the cover to find my colour scheme. To start with, I need to find a font to use for my magazine. Here are some examples:

These fonts are all different so I decided to put them all in the firing line to be used for my title. I decided to choose the bottom title for my magazine as I felt like the bottom title would appeal to a wider spread of the younger audience which is what I am aiming for. This is what it looked like with the sample font: 

Let's talk about the picture. I specifically took this picture because i had an idea in my head on what i what i wanted my front cover to look like. I had my model look to her top right, as I would have the title there.

. I personally thought this was a good idea as it added my own uniqueness to my front cover. The next task to complete was actually thinking of a main colour scheme to use, as well as a title for my magazine. I decided to use Dark Blue, Orange, & Dark Green. I went for this colour scheme as it the colours on the models jacket are similar, so I decided that it would work better using the same colours. I then needed to think of a title for my indie/rock magazine. I done a survey amongst people in my class to find out the most popular. Here were the choices:

The most popular name was 'Flipside', so going with what my target audience wanted, I decided to stick by the name and it eventually grew on me. So now having a picture, basic colour scheme and a title for my magazine, i could start putting typical conventions on my magazine! 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Music Magazine Project =)

For our new project, we have to create an original music magazine. I have decided to do an "Indy/Rock" magazine as it fits the music genre I like. My biggest rivals will be "NME" and "Kerrang!". since this is the case, i have decided to do look at the front covers, analyse them and look at what makes them professional magazines. I will use this research to help the creation of my magazine. Here is the front cover of "NME";

This will be like a style model for my front cover as the layout is brilliant. The big picture behind the text gives the audience a clear view of who it is about. The colour scheme runs throughout the front cover; Red, Black and White. The bold title is eye catching and there is no mis-understanding about who the front cover is about which is what i want people to realise on my front cover. It has all the other featured bands down the right hand side to show that there is a lot more to the magazine.

NME's rivals "Kerrang!" colour scheme is darker than NME's. "Kerrang!" also feature heavy metal artists such as 'Slipknot'. Their colours scheme is normally black, white and red. It is mostly black though, possibly links with the dark genre of musics. Here is their front cover featuring Biffy Clyro;

The conventions of “Kerrang!” tend to include more poster offers. This entices the audience to buy it as they get free posters of possibly their favourite band or a band they show an interest in. I would also use a picture like they have used as a medium shot is what is needed for our magazines. However, i would change the bottom part of the magazine as you cannot see them clearly if it was on a shelf so if people did not like Biffy Clyro, they wouldn't be as enticed to buy it.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

My school magazine development and final copy =)

This is the project we had started 3 weeks ago. I have achieved the goal of creating and finishing a front cover and a feature article of a possible school magazine. I made some changes along the way and i will talk through why i changed them.

This was my first orginal idea of the colour scheme for the front cover. I chose this colour scheme at first as it matched the school logo but when i tried it with the images, it didn't look professional with the gradient background so i changed it to this;

This is my final copy of the school magazine. The bold grey background makes the pictures and text stand out and it looks bolder. I added pictures to the front cover for the side stories so people who look at it know that it wont just be about one thing. I personally think that the finished copy is a lot more eye catching with the grey background.

I went through the same process for the contents page. This was the most time consuming out of the two pages as you have to think about the whole of the magazine even though you won't be creating the page. Here was the first plan of the contents page;

I was pretty close to choosen this background as i thought it brightened the page up. However, most magazines have the same colours as the front cover and having the gradient background of blue and white didn't fit the background of the front cover, so this is my final contents page;

Once again, I believe the dull backgrounds living up the pictures and text as it makes them bolder. Since it was a school magazine, I have not put the typical conventions in such as a barcode because you wouldn't expect the school to scan a magazine as they wouldnt be sold in supermarkets. If it was a professional magazine to be sold in supermarkets, I would put free offers in to attract the society, but it wouldn't be needed in a school magazine as it isn't made for a profit, it's made to inform.

My Feature article plan =)

This is a basic plan of what i am wanting my feature article to look like. I think this is a good plan as it is about 70% of the spread and a big image is needed on the main part of the article. Here is my plan;