Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Eval Q3 Learning on aud feedback

Q3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

KEY POINTS: 
As always, there is overlap with other Qs, but especially with Q4 on new media technologies.

  • Kick off with a thorough summary of the work you've done on audience, making clear your primary and secondary audiences and what research you did on this. Using links to blog posts or screen shots of these is no bad thing.
  • This is a useful Q for exam prep: audience and web 2.0 theories (which often look at the changing status of audience/producers) should be applied and explored prominently. Postmodernism, especially intertextuality, could be useful too (and many more!)
  • Don't feel you have to venerate audience feedback;  limitations of new media (source of much of your feedback) also have theory you can explore: Andrew Keen sees this as a disaster for society; John McMuria argues the supposed level playing field for Indies is a myth and conglomerates still dominate; Elberse has demolished Anderson's long tail theory
  • As with ANY Q, also feel free to state "I cover this topic in more detail in Qx"
  • Footage of aud feedback is important
  • As is your actual response - going through changes made as a result (and examples of feedback you rejected, explaining why)
  • You needn't be comprehensive to the nth degree on detailing feedback received. If you feel you can reduce that to key themes or issues, do that ...
  • But make sure you illustrate as much as possible the material that was/n't changed as a result of feedback
  • Sum up - just how central (or not) was audience feedback? You could usefully consider material on the exam 1a topic of creativity here: is this compatible with an auteur approach? Can you crowdsource your vision? You could compare the impact or influence of feedback to that of research into conventions and consequent intertextualities, and discuss how available software/hardware made feedback im/practical.




ADDITIONAL POINTERS: You need to be clear on who your target aud is/was ... but don't be afraid to say that feedback led you to change your view of who the primary and/or secondary aud might be. Too few of you have really considered the importance of the 8-12 (especially female) tween demographic who have long dominated the sales that make up the Top 40 pop chart. IF your target aud is 15-24 you need to show evidence that it does work for just such an aud: videoed feedback + research questionnaires/polls + FB/YouTube screenshot views/comments etc. 2ndary auds will often be younger AND older (original fans).
Appearances of your act on TV shows/ads, press and media generally are v useful for justifying the general argument that there is an aud for this work.
Fundamentally, what steps did you take to test out your hunch that there is an audience out there for your texts, and that it matched up to the audience/s you described? What evidence have you of these steps, including video/screenshots etc?
Especially for considering the younger end, look at/apply Uses + Gratifications and other audience theories (included in Q3 links post).
What tensions are created by considering multiple audiences, and especially in catering for younger auds whilst seeking to attract youth/mature auds? Did you have to cut/censor any content?
Provide links for posts on feedback, which itself will help evidence the role this played (if you haven't already, create a links list for this, so you can simply copy/paste it in one go).
Be detailed on the scope of feedback received ...
But also evaluate it: don't uncritically say it was brilliant and always useful, and you passively acted on it all.
Have you used the YouTube annotation tool to summarize feedback on 1 or more rough cuts? If not, you still can (and then highlight this in a past post, with a screenshot [+ instruction on toggling annotation on/off in YouTube, which I've blogged myself]. You don't need to re-embed in older posts; annotations are simply switched off or on in the same uploaded vid. Use Word with arrows + text boxes to summarize print text feedback; remember you can use the full image and/or cropped/zoomed parts (embed using Scribd or other upload services, and just make sure you test that you've not messed up the size, or that its set to private and won't show up/go fullscreen etc - send a post link to someone else to look at + verify for you).
Was age/gender/ethnicity/sexuality/nationality/class (or other demographics) an issue in the nature of feedback received? (you can usually expect sharply differing feedback from M+F auds, plus teen/30+) Was the value of feedback limited if the sample aud knew the cast personally? How did the feedback of your teacher + fellow Media students compare to general feedback? Did the context of screening for feedback (in a class; on a portable media player [including phones]; accessed via links) make any difference (or the screen size)? 
What was the overall impact: has it improved your final text/s? Do you feel you lost your individual voice/vision with this ... or perhaps your vision was enhanced by it? (Were you forced to compromise, and if so did that actually improve the final text?)
Have you tried applying any theories, using your Eval as a means to practice applying some of the concepts/theories covered in Q1a/1b? Q3 is a natural choice for this! S.Hall's readings, Uses + Gratifications ... (presumably you have discussed genre theories in Q1!) ...
Screenshots/clips of before/after (feedback said ...; so we did...) are vital for this. Remember, if you neglected to do this whilst blogging, add in now (make sure you let me know details so I can review R+P marks where relevant).
Address the role of new media - fan forums, your/my YouTube channel, blogger, FB etc (and limitations of this: any spam/silly comments?).
Are you entering your work for any festivals? (yes: 2012 Co-Op Young Filmmakers Festival)
Include feedback on your final cuts.
Did you create multiple texts for differentiated audiences? Maybe viral ads + main? Ads for different mags/readers? Versions of vid with/without 'adult' content? Additional one-shot vid (as U2, Pixies etc have)? 'Collectible' numbered digipaks with different covers?


SOME PAST STUDENTS' ANSWERS:

update: 2014
ATOMIC KITTEN GROUP
POPPY and MILLIE: Poppy has unhelpfully taken her excellent videos offline, but you can see a similar video on Millie's. Millie included a 'script', which is not a bad idea and helpful both to yourself and the marker. Poppy added material and worked on the presentation (as did TILLY), which is better still, and enables you to get a quick sense of the video content, which included a good range of theory - which clearly helped Poppy in the exam and securing an overall A. NOTE: The moderator was unhappy at how similar the videos were. KATE's also made it clear in the text below that the ancillary texts were specifically considered.
FAITHLESS GROUP
CURTIS lead the way on the mag ads in particular, and the video the group combined on was really excellent, and, again, a script (plus some additional last minute material) is included, which is a good idea. Again, though, note that the exam board wish to see distinctive INDIVIDUAL responses, and DEC and JAKE's responses were too similar. Don't be afraid to reject feedback; go to 9:03 (near the end) of this Eval Q3 vid and Curtis gives a nice example of doing just that.

EMMIE: The layout is problematic (assessment criteria: skill in choice of form/use of ICT): it just needs tidying up. The upside is the amount of material from the R+P that Emmie can call upon, but some new video would help here.
BETH: Comprehensive video, with plentiful illustrations. Part of this are vids they shot of asking potential target audience members what they knew/thought about Gorillaz/track, and what they might want/expect to see in a vid for it - so, so simple but so, so important and useful!!! Nice points on YouTube from around 3:30, and Beth distinguishes between Media students' feedback and general teens feedback. From about 3:55 you can see how a list of points received is brought alive by editing in clips the points were referring to. Thats time consuming ... but thats also reflected in the markscheme (assessment criteria: skill in choice of form/use of ICT/ability to communicate). You can also see filmed footage of feedback sessions, again very useful (and something you can do even at a very late stage!). Go to 8:30 in and you can see that relevant parts of the ancillaries are likewise put on screen (ie, not just the whole text each time). Jump to 12:44 and I'm filmed making a suggestion - Beth edits in a jpg of the part of the frame in which this suggestion was then carried out, a neat way of highlighting the impact of feedback (again at 14:08 on the point of a sticker).
EMMA: Beth's production partner takes a very different approach, whilst raising many similar points. The YouTube annotations on the 1st vid are very useful, and certainly add to the vid. The detail on the range of audiences questioned, and the variation in the type/style/usefulness each generates, is excellent. You'll note that the later vids of aud feedback are for the final cut; if you're organised we can do this in the 1st week back to give you the chance to add such vids. Ancillary detail is a little lacking, and might have made better use of existing R+P posts.
JONNY: The passion for the work comes across very strongly. Given that the vid with all 3 in the group talking is just one element of a detailed post with much more multimedia content besides, this was acceptable in this case, though the ancillaries should also be addressed outwith that main video. Note the small details in the text: YouTube for example is made into a link, but specifically to Jonny's own channel. Could do with some more detail, and a better main vid, but still v good!
CHRIS: Interesting vid: Chris really engages with the pros + cons of feedback, and the sources of feedback, often putting screenshots of this on screen; he details why he rejected some of the feedback. Discusses contacting the record label and fan forums as part of this.
2012 DRAFTS:
ASA: Its not detailed enough - would need additional text under the vid - BUT is a good example of an effective vid, and crucially contains a useful element of self-criticism. It helps your cause if you can avoid saying everything was perfect. Its good to see video clips (albeit could be more tightly edited) and not just screenshots being used. There's a little bit of humour too, which is fine.


[BELOW: notes on lesson from this, and materials used which you can download and modify
aud feedback = AF]
  1. How familiar are you with the 4 A2 Eval Qs?
    • a reminder to use the Cwk guide
    • a single page copy of the 4 Qs issued
    • strong links to the A2 exam Q1a/1b topics
    • need to build up notes NOW
  2. Some brief points on these Qs:
    • Q1 USE OF CONVENTIONS - genre + format sep issues; tackle all 3 products; links between these [Q2] relevant here; ties into ALL the MANGeR topics
    • Q2 COMBINATION OF TEXTS - must be clear + explicit in your planning; NB: Laurie O'Connor's point on the look of digipaks; what research + aud feedback went into these (all 3 should be clearly designed with a target aud in mind!)
    • Q3 AUD FEEDBACK (focus of lesson)
    • Q4 USE OF NEW MEDIA - incorporates all stages, incl Rsch + Planning (finding info: books - Lib catologue, Amazon.co.uk, googlebooks; search terms - do some new research and create links lists from this [add gadget]; finding contact for copyright holder + requesting permission; vox pops; aud feedback - fan forums, polls on blog, social networking, YouTube, email etc) not just software
  3. List sep means by which you've sought (perhaps no response in some cases) AF, eg Media class + teacher; non-Media students; social networking, YouTube, online forums, vox pops [vids]
  4. What audience/s have you sought AF from? Think about the concept of  core and secondary audience. Does any pattern of difference emerge between the two (think here too of Stuart Hall's semiotic theory of 3 levels of reading)?
  5. Complete table to note roughly when you've sought AF, in what form, and what the outcome/s have been. [this doc is embedded below; you can download and add/modify]
  6. Now asterisk or highlight each occasion of AF you can evidence with use of new/digital media (other than notes in a blogger post) - i.e. video, audio, screengrabs/Printscreen
  7. Review your list: is your AF well balanced across the 3 texts? What forms of AF have you not yet attempted? Given the proximity of the deadline, have you pencilled in a rough schedule for final AF?
  8. Make notes individually on the following then discuss answers with someone from a different production group: 
    •  Give one specific (use precise media language) example where AF has reinforced your idea/plan
    •  Give one specific (use precise media language) example where AF has changed your idea/plan
    • Before showing any text for AF, what steps should you take? (NB: this extends to YouTube uploads!!!) [context is key, but also testing files and having any vid equip set up ready to go]
    • In general, what do you think you've gained from AF? 
    • [If finished early, also consider this:] How important is AF in the media industry you're looking at?
  9. A reminder that the final cuts/texts require AF too! Also to ensure you email or pass on all drafts directly to me for feedback (don't simply post on blog)
  10. Arrange now to reciprocally analyse the use of conventions in one person/group's texts, and mutually feedback on your findings [helps to prep Q1]
Q3 Aud Feedback as Table                                                            

I'll add any additional notes as they emerge from the next class' lesson.
A reminder of the 4 Qs:
a2 Evaluation Questions                                                            

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