Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of a real media product?
As stated a lot throughout my blog, my main aim for my coursework this year was to create a video, digipak an advert that looked professional. To do this, it was extremely important to follow the codes and conventions of real media products, which first required me to find out what those were. In doing research into this, I found that C&C are the different techniques used to construct meaning in videos, divided into 2, technical and symbolic. Technical refers to the camera angles, genre, pace of editing and the sound, whereas symbolic is the mise-en-scene, facial expressions, gestures and poses the audience sees. The whole point of codes and conventions in music videos is to allow the audience to become familiar with the genre, it provides structure which the audience can understand and also, to make sure the lyrics of the video match with the visuals which is what is expected by the audience.
The song I chose is in the indie genre. Codes and conventions of this genre are that they usually include references to life events, usually negative ones. When looking into this I decided I didn’t want to create something that revolved around death or loss and so instead tried to tell the story of an individual who is lonely and perhaps trying to find himself or find his path in life as the lyrics suggest, when he is referring to himself at different ages. Indie music genres are typically narrative style as they tell the story of the subject they’re talking about. However, I couldn’t portray my artist at the different ages he mentions in the video, as he talks about being 7,11, 20, and 60 years old, so instead I decided to show him as lonely thinking about his life rather than being those ages. I chose a performance style to make it more personal, to help the audience feel more of a connection with the artist rather than to tell a story using visuals. I think this is one way my video challenges conventions as it doesn’t really follow a ‘normal indie video style.
In terms of technological conventions, the way I presented the artist to represent the isolation he sings about was through the use of camera angles/shots. I include a lot of close ups to allow the audience to feel close to the artist, hoping they will be able to understand his emotion more. The editing style I chose also helped get the indie genre across as the cuts were slow and long, which worked with the pace of the song, some cuts were even in time with the music which helped the visuals and the lyrics work well together, which can be pleasing for the audience to watch.
Symbolic conventions were something I didn’t really think about when filimg however,since learning about them after filming and re watching my video ive discovered that they happened naturally. For example, my artist turned up to the shoot wearing a brown jacket which I didn’t ask/tell him to, I didn’t have any preference for clothing. However looking back at my final products ive realised that the brown jacket he wore really goes with the autumnal theme of the woods, as I filmed in November/December, all of the leaves were orange and brown and that is what is seen in the background of the shots. In fact the clothes the artist is wearing do make him look slightly indie which fits in with the codes and conventions of indie bands having their aritsts looking ‘indie’. The actor I chose to be in my music video is also an A-Level Drama student, and so the more and more we shot the video, the more he got into the meaning behind the words, which then came out in his facial expressions and gestures. Hand gestures become more and more exaggerated as the song builds up before the final chorus, the same goes for facial expressions too when he sings. I think this really helps getting across the emotion behind the song.
From listening to the lyrics, the main thing inferred from them are of the artist’s isolation and loneliness. This is then what I decided to portray through the mise en scene. Both of my shoot locations helped to show the idea of the artist being alone. For example, location 1 was in the black box room at school, with the help of red head lights, all you can see in the shot is the artist. This infers to the audience that he is alone in a dark place, leaving them to guess his emotions, which could be sadness, fright and loneliness. The second shoot was at the woods. In this location you can always see the trees and vast land in the distance, with no other person in sight the whole time except the artist. This allows the audience to infer that the artist is lonely, which is the message I want to get across, as well as linking nicely with the lyrics of the video.
Overall, I think that following codes and conventions when creating music videos/adverts and digipaks is important as it keeps it on the right path, it helps you to stay on top of what youre trying to get across without doing something wrong or different, something that shouldn’t be in your style of video. I think that it helps a video seem more put together and professional if it follows a specific style and the codes and conventions of the genre.