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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

How effective is the combination of your main task and your ancillary tasks.

My main task was to create a music video and to construct and to contrast the genre of the music the track was representing.

My ancillary task was to create a digipak and a poster, these are both print media products and can also be used to demonstrate how I can construct and contrast the genre of the music.

By using all three of these products in tandem I found I would be able to create a synergy between them, this simply means that all three of them together has a far more meaning affect on the audience than just them on an individual level. This therefore means that by combining the three together I could create a better effect than by just having them as separate projects and therefore the combination of the three creates a synergy that is very effective.

The reason for having these products is to promote awareness of the artist and track and to advertise the song. Therefore the way in which they are combined is very important to advertise the overall artist. A very important aspect of the three is to depict a representation of the artist and the genre. And therefore by having two different forms of media in print and film, there is a wider audience being able to view the main task and ancillary tasks. Therefore the combination of the three tasks becomes very effective because the three together can be seen by more people than if they were shown on their own. This shows how effective the synergy can be when the three are combined.

To combine the three effectively I needed to link them together with media technical codes to conform to the genre ad to adapt the genre to give the appropriate message the song lyrics give off. To link them together I used several different techniques via technical codes, one example of how I did this was to create visual motif that was present in all three of the products, to do this I had the actor wear the same coat with a florescent orange brand label on it, this linked the three products together in a subtle way and helped to create the synergy I desired.

Another way in which I made the links between the three products to combine them in a synergy was the way I used camera angles, by using similar camera angles in each of the products I created a link between the three and it also helped to display the dominant figure of the character himself, by having a low angle shot I could make the artist look more powerful, the camera is looking up at the actor and therefore made him look more taller and a more dominant figure. By having this technical code in all three of my products the message behind the camera angle is really emphasised as the audience are seeing the angle in all three products. This means the combination of the main task and the ancillary tasks are very effective as they help to construct a synergy.

One way in which I linked the three tasks that I really liked was the location of the shots, not only were the locations I used for the video, the digipak and the poster very good at representing the genre of the song and run down areas but because the same location appeared in all three, this is a great advantage as the three can be linked together by the audience and they can relate the three pieces together because of the location they are set.

The advantage of combining the three tasks in a project is that the synergy is produced. This is a major advantage because it advertises the artist and represents the artist very clearly and as a three the name of the artist and album is well promoted and the word spreads about the artist. This wouldn’t be done if it were just the music video as people may watch the video and not know who is singing in it, this poses a big problem as the whole aim of it is to make sales, therefore by having visual motifs that link the video to the poster upon which has the name of the artist and album on it, this will educate the reader to the name and album and even where to follow the artist on social networking cites such as facebook and twitter, but more importantly it will tell them exactly where they can buy the product online (itunes), so essentially the video draws the customer in with the song and the representations, the poster educates as to the name ad where to get it and finally the digipak is there to appeal to the audience and even passers by, especially those who are into the music genre of the artist, for example in the genre of my track (British hip hop) a fan of the genre may be in a music store for example and see the front cover of my digipak, he will automatically assume the genre of the music because of the representations he interprets through connotations and denotations he has made from the mis-en-scene I created in the digipak, this is also the same for the poster and the video, I would like to think that any passer by who know about music would be able to watch without sound and be able to tell me the genre of the music.

There are however some aspects of my projects that weren’t so effective together, the main example is the colour schemes in which I used. I used a black and white shot in the digipak but a colour shot in the poster, the two when put next to each other have a distinguished contrast which isn’t very effective when trying to link them together to create a synergy, this is because I feel people may fail to relate the two pieces together at first glance and therefore it may be likely that people walking past a poster and noticing it wont relate it to the digipak and vice versa therefore these people may not be familiar with the product and are less likely to buy it. This is very bad as the whole point of the tasks is to advertise the artist and the track and because of the clash in colours they may not be as effective together when combined.

In conclusion I think the combination of the main task and the two ancillary tasks was very effective, this is because they created a synergy and as a whole represent the genre very well, I would however do it slightly differently in the future, this is because there are parts of the products I don’t like, for example the colour clashes, and therefore in the future I would make sure all the colours are either the same or compliment each other and are similar to each other. Apart from smaller details like this is feel the products combine really well and overall the project was a success.

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

I have used media technologies in every stage of production and presentation for everything I have produced in the whole course. They have been necessities in everything I have done. Media technologies I had utilised have ranged from really good quality editing programmes such as adobe Photoshop and adobe premier pro to free social networking sites such as facebook and twitter where I have received audience feedback on my work.

Here is a list of all the media technologies I have used in my A2 advanced portfolio:

  • Youtube
  • Google
  • Wikipedia
  • Facebook
  • Blogger
  • Photoshop
  • Picnik
  • Spotify
  • Itunes
  • Amazon
  • Premier Pro
  • Powerpoint
  • Microsoft Word

I used these technologies to create the best possible work I could have done. I used them all to do different things to create my work.


I used YouTube in my researching and the presentation on my video as the final format was uploaded onto facebook and therefore a huge audience could view it. I used it for researching because it is very simple to use and has millions upon millions of videos uploaded onto it. Therefore I could find what I was looking for very quickly, it is also very quick to load and I could pause it at any point very accurately to get screen shots for my research and development. The advantage of using YouTube is that I had a huge amount of access to all kinds of different British hip hop tracks and also every other genre you could think of, the main downside of this technology however is that there are also quite a few fan made videos that take a while to sift through to get to the video you want to watch.

Google in my opinion is the very best search engine that can be used. It is very simple to use, very fast and powerful and the majority of the time you don’t get the spam that you get on may other search engines. I used google in my research and planning of my video and ancillary tasks. It was very helpful for me to look at the genre in more detail and read other peoples views of the audience and the genre. The great advantage to using google over any other search engine is the simplicity it gives you and the speed at which it works, I cant really find a drawback to using the technology only that sometimes you have to be very specific with your search requests. By using google I completed really useful research on all of my tasks ad found really useful examples of similar media products to my own.


Wikipedia was the technology I used to research the origins of my genre, it is a very useful factual encyclopaedia and I found it very useful for researching how british hip hop came about. It is simple to use and will always give you what you are looking for. It is very good for helping you to understand things and to gain knowledge on any subject. The major drawback however is that there are major rumours about the quality and reliability of the information on the page as a lot of it is user written.

Facebook, one of the largest social networking sites, was very beneficial for me to gain audience feedback. Not only did I post my video and pictures of the poster and digipak to gain comments from my friends but I also posted statuses about the genre and ideas for people not in my class. This is very useful as it gave me a much wider spectrum of feedback that wasn’t all about technical codes. The great advantage about using facebook is that is is very simple and unlike twitter it is possible to write more that 160 characters on a comment or post, this meant that people could give me more feedback then they would have on one post on twitter. The biggest drawback with using facebook for this is that only my friends could view the video, this means that not a huge amount of people can see the video and I could not get the viewing figures I wanted for a large amount of feedback.

Blogger is probably the media technology I used the most of all. It is a website in which you can create a blog for yourself to post anything you want. We use it at school to post our research and planning and our evaluations and our finished products. It is very easy to use and you can change privacy settings etc. to make it completely secure. As a result of everybody using it, we can comment on each others blog posts and read what each other has written, not to copy their work but for a sense of healthy competition and to share ideas with each other as after all, all our projects are very different and because we were working individually we needed to help each other as much as we could. Blogger is very useful as it is very simple and does exactly what we wanted it to do, it also enables us to give feedback and receive feedback. There are however drawbacks to the blogs, they don’t let you just upload windows documents and when writing on the blog there is no spell check so silly mistakes can be made without being picked up on.

Photoshop is the programme I used to edit the still images for the poster and the digipak. It is a notouriously tricky piece of software to use as a novice editor (me when I started). As a result I really struggled with the technology at first and needed a lot of help from people in my class to help me get to grips with the software. It is a very good programme as it makes it possible to change and adapt the product to what you want it to look like and it makes it easy to edit out imperfections and therefore creates the perfect article. The main benefit of using this technology is that you can improve your product in so many different ways and for a more experienced editor there is a huge range of different tools to edit your product. The huge issue I found with the product was that it was so difficult to work with and as a result I spent a lot of my time working on Photoshop.

Picnic was without a doubt my favourite piece of media technology to use, it is so simple yet gives a really good quality image at the end of the editing process. I used it for both the poster and the digipak, the programme let you sharpen the whole image or parts of it at a time, you could fix blemishes on the picture and eliminate red eye. It was very simple to add text to the photographs and there were various texts with wide spectrums of colours for the text. The great advantage I gained from using the programme was the quality that could be achieved with such simplicity, if you have a photo that doesn’t need drastic work or to cut out a segment of a picture then it is great to use. The main problem with the programme however is that there is no where near as may tools that can be used as there is on Photoshop and therefore a really good editor would be able to create a better image on Photoshop and for that reason I used picnic to do the easy editing and then I used Photoshop when picnic couldn’t give me what I needed.

I used spotify and itunes to save the track on my laptop and ipod so that I could play it at the different locations so that the actor could lip sink in time with the music, both programmes are very good to use, I prefer to use itunes when on set as it is really quick to get up and on my laptop for some reason plays a lot louder than spotify.

I would also use itunes spotify and also amazon to sell the product, by using all three I can reach all customers and hopefully make more sales for the artist. It would be safe to say however that Itunes is by far the most popular.

I used Premier pro alone to edit the video. At the start of year 12 I found it very difficult to use but thanks to previous projects I am fairly useful with it now. It is fairly simple to used and is very good when using after effects to get the best quality out of the video. I didn’t however use many after effects on my video, this is because the genre of my video is very independent and by putting on fancy after effects the video appears less independent and more of a larger budget video. It is a very useful and fairly quick software to use and when used effectively it can be very precise. It can on the other hand take a while to load and does have the tendency to crash and work can be lost.

I used PowerPoint for one of my evaluations, I used it because I’m very familiar with the product and for me it was very easy to create what I wanted to. The benefit of using PowerPoint for me is that it is very clear and very quick to get it right. The drawback to using Power is that it is very generic and all PowerPoints look fairly similar.

Microsoft word was very useful when doing blog posts and my evaluations, I wrote the evaluations on word then put them onto other programmes to present them. It is very useful for me because my spelling can be bad and it has a very good spell check and it is also very good because it helps to create a structure for the blog post and I can plan where pictures will go. The main disadvantage to it is that I have to copy and paste the posts into blogger and sometimes it doesn’t work so well

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Digipak making.

My digipak is a 4 pannel digipak with a front and back cover and two inside pannels of which one of these holds the CD itself.

The front pannel is an image of the artist with his leg bent up against the wall, i did a lot of research to identify a good idea for the front cover that matches the genre of the track. I have seen a few oher british hip hop artists that do a similar thing in their posters and front covers.

If you look further down my blog you will see examples.

This is the finished product of my digipak front cover:

The back cover was a slightly difficult one to do.

I had to do a track list that fitted the genre and that would fit in the list that would fit onto one line as to not ruin the flow of the context.

I also did some research into what to write at the bottom as regards to copyright etc.

Here is the finished back cover of my digipak:

The middle pannel that holds the disc i kept very simple as having lots of writing and special effects would be wasted as the CD will be covering it most of the time. I therefore added a stensel from a graffiti photograph i had taken and this image features in my video and will act as a visual motif for the arist in future videos.

Here is the finished article for the CD pannel.

The other middle pannel is my favourite but also one of the hardest to do. I have done quite a lot of research and all of the ones i have looked at have had completely different things! I got the image for the pannel from a photograph i took when doing my first video shoot. It is of a gate with graffiti on it and it fits the genre perfectly!

As it is a blak canvass except for the writing it made it really easy to sharpen the image and put on effects to make the image look even more proffessional.

The writing I added was hard to think of and I kept it very simple to make it fit the genre and to fit the image well.

Here is the finished middle pannel:

When all added together it looks like this:

Genres in music videos.

Music videos hugely differentiate depending on genres, we can usually tell what genre the music is from by watching the video without sound. This is because genres tend to follow a trend, for example a hip hop/rap video will normally feature a run down area and can often have a black and white effect. An example of this is a video by Jay-z called "99 problems"

The Black Box

At the bottom of the poster is the black line with the sponsors and social networking sites.

I had to do a lot of research into what to use in this box.

A couple of them were obvious to me as they are the most popular social networking sites in the world and billions of people use it and potentially have access to the product.

This is how i have advertised twitter and facebook on my website and the aim of this is for people to see these signs and instantly recognise them and therefore search for the artist of the websites.

Then i had to add the record label and itunes label to the sponsor line.
I used itunes because it is hugely renound as the best online music store in the world. I did research by asking family and friends about the way in which they listened to their music. I asked the simple question "do you or a family member own an apple product that can connect to itunes?" everyone i asked said yes and almost everyone i asked said every family member has equipment that connects to itunes.

As a result it was a simple choice as to put this into my sponsor line.

MODrecords is the record company i have invented that is owned by the artist himself and 1st blood records is the independant hip hop record label that is producing the music.

Friday, 6 January 2012


I started my poster a long while ago and found problems with every picture, edit and effect I used.

It all started with the picture i wanted to use of the artist stood against a wall with one of his legs flat against the wall, I got the idea for this shot from many posters i have seen before with artists like Devlin and chipmunk with the same pose.

Underneath is the original photo i aimed to use:

The shot itself is of good enough quality to be made into a poster but because of the graffiti in the background it became impossible to put font into the picture that was visable without having to put effects of it that would make the image look over edited and not very effective.

Below is the only way in which i could make the font visable.

As you can see it just does not look anywhere near good enough to get into the band of marks i intend to get into.

So i moved onto a new picture with new problems.

Below is the original image i am currently editing.

It is a close mid shot of the character looking below the camera and is of good quality.

I cropped, zoomed and sharpened the image to produce the size needed for an A4 poster, you can also see i have removed the unneeded colours in the background that made the image look unprofessional.

I have done further edits in Photoshop and added fonts:

I then added the sponsors in a black bar at the bottom of the poster:

I made a few modifications to the lighting on his face and added the sponsors on the bottom. This is almost the finished article.