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 Q2 how effective is combo of texts

Q2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

See below for more detailed notes, but this structure might help save you considerable time, and could make for a better, more coherent response overall.

  1. VIDEO PART 1: Discuss/critique the question: would such texts be tightly integrated? Make brief comparison with some examples - you won't struggle to find examples from your own artist with very limited linkage
  2. Print off your print texts (and/or have open on multiple tabs/screens). Slowly work through your video, pausing to take screenshots/make notes where you see a link to print texts, BUT ALSO making some notes on points of difference too. Writing on print-offs should help with the next step.
  3. Separately compare your print texts noting key links and some differences
  4. Go through your notes. Do you see points/themes emerging? Can you tie any of these to specific theories, eg intertextuality (Kristeva, postmodernism)?
  5. VIDEO PART 2: If so, use these as 'chapter titles' and discuss all three texts at once. Otherwise, structure by focussing on your digipak first, then your mag ads
  6. VIDEO PART 3: SUMMARY A brief review of key points and reflection on how tightly or loosely yours tie together. It would be especially useful here to include some thoughts on changes you could make if doing this again.

The same issues as with Q1/3/4: a shared script (which, if presented without clear sub-headings and imagery does not help marks on presentation) which is sometimes recorded in a very poor manner, and the imagery not always as closely reflecting the point being made as it should. The use of titles is helpful, and the analysis generally good though.

EMMIE: The one weak answer from Emmie; this would really benefit from a video and a greater degree of depth. It appears long as a post, but there is a lack of detail overall.
BETH: A single vid, with an existing vid referenced in this embedded below. Rather rushes through a script, which undermines the impact (assessment criteria: ability to communicate), but the content is good. Specific egs throughout, and very, very good at getting into how the industry works - drawing on and suitably illustrating concepts such as digitisation and convergence when doing so.
EMMA: The Eval Qs are a little hard to find: the post dates do need to be tweaked to ensure they come immediately (and in order) the final cuts, plus 'Eval Q2' as a post title isn't helpful. This is an interesting answer for 2 reasons: (1) starts with excellent industry context (specific examples of companies that work in this field - and what they charge [easy to get via websites or ringing and asking - as a band! - for a rough quote) and (2) starts out by rejecting the need to combine too explicitly the 3 texts designs. The vid goes on to detail the conceptual and narrative links from vid to the ancillaries (cartoon style, party/rave scene).
Neat, simple way of showcasing the links: edit 1 image of all 3 together
JONNY: Again, vid done as a group meant there was a real risk of exam board marking this Eval down to 0/20 - don't repeat this mistake! Responses to this Q are often rather dull - this is an exception, and it helps secure high marks if a sense of passion comes across, as it does here. The combined image Jonny provided quite neatly illustrated the visual link between the texts, and is a good idea to utilise! The vid uses the physical products to back up points made: quick, simple yet effective (just not for every Q!). Skip to 3:30 in and note the neat trick of discussing fonts used and then saying to camera "and you should be able to see this font on screen NOW!" With a little forethought its a neat idea to talk about things you know you'll edit in later! The written text below was excellent, with many hyperlinks, relevant sources quoted, and well laid out - but easy to do, because it came from posts within the R+P, simply rewritten/paraphrased for the Eval.
CHRIS: Simply too brief in this case.

This is a suggested approach to tackling this question.
Break down the varying tasks, which might include:
  1. critiquing the question!
  2. detailing your target audience
  3. (this links back to audience) where might each text be distributed/exhibited
  4. break down (denotation of) key elements of each of the 3 texts in turn
  5. in what ways are the 3 products linked
  6. in what ways are they differentiated
  7. evidence + reflect on some AF on all 3 as a package
  8. is there anything you would alter given more time/resources
  9. IF brief was different...
Remember, you need to incorporate some new video material with each Eval Q, and widely employ images, hyperlinks, basic design elements, and perhaps selective podcasting too.
You can share research within a group, but must produce individual responses.
You can share video, but make it unique by using the YouTube annotation tool to add individual evaluative comments, links etc.

Below you'll find detail on the 9 points listed above; these overlap, and are just a suggestion; combine these as you see fit.
Re-read and quote the brief, paying particular heed to the alliterative
phrase 'promotional package'.

WOULD THIS BE A 'PACKAGE' IN THE REAL WORLD? Thats highly questionable! Show your awareness of industry conventions by arguing that its more likely three separate media agencies would tackle the three tasks. You can help back this up by setting out one example for each: a company that produces music vids; one for digipaks (wewow surely!); one for advertising design/placement (even here, these two tasks can involve separate agencies - design and 'buyer', who places the ads in appropriate media outlets). Set out each company hyperlink as a quote, so its easy to spot, and briefly detail what service they offer. If you find an agency that offers all three, use it too; just state that this is still unusual.
FURTHER READING: there is a book in F6 on the music industry!!!
Control by Anton Corbijn
HOWEVER... The flipside to this is that, as the traditional revenue model of the music industry crumbles under the challenge of new media, budgets have tumbled and the long-term trend is likely to see single agencies offering a full suite of services. This ties into a concept you may recall from the AS exam work: convergence [Scribd doc].

THE ART v AD QUESTION Is a music vid art? An ad? Or an uncomfortable hybrid of the two? Does assessing your work in the way the question frames it denude or diminish the element of artistic endeavour involved? Consider music vid auteurs such as Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Anton Corbijn (there are 'directors series' DVDs on each avalaible in F6/Lib, each with useful extras). The last three have all established critically acclaimed film careers, treading the common path from music vid to film direction (the early WT team emerged this way; Warp grew from a Sheffield record label!). Album and single covers have also been widely viewed as a valid art form!

ACTUALLY...ITS A VALID QUESTION... Ultimately, there is credence to this Q. All three texts must be linked by a common target audience.

2: detailing your target audience
Its meaningless to discuss the links without being explicit on who the texts are targeted at; this will be a key influence on your decision making. Give a simple example or 2 of how this aud is reflected through all 3 texts (leave greater detail for Q3).

3: (this links back to audience) where might each text be distributed/exhibited
Would a 'consumer' be likely to encounter all 3? Where might they appear? Discuss what audience/s you think are likely to be exposed to each - you will need to address core/primary and secondary audiences here. Try to use specific data for magazines (leave greater detail for Q3). Consider Amazon and Play/HMV etc: look at their recommendation systems, + discuss how your text might appear on a page for other products. The same point applies for YouTube: where might your vid appear on the sidebar (consider tags here) - you could also cite the Co-Op Film Fest (2 A2 vids got picked in 2011). Have other social/new media helped to push all 3? (consider your company blog, Twitter, Facebook - espec if you set up a FB page for the co rather than just using your personal account)

4: break down (denotation of) key elements of each of the 3 texts in turn
Simply list/denote the key features, and note any initial striking similarities/linkage between the 3

5: in what ways are the 3 products linked
Provide plentiful screenshots - not just full print texts/screenshots, but also some cropped/zoomed parts of frame depending on the point of reference.

6: in what ways are they differentiated
As above for 5. NB: have you used the YouTube annotation tool to highlight 'package links'? You could/should use this for multiple Qs, so pick which cut to use carefully, and make sure you clearly instruct in any such post to switch the annotations on (provide a screenshot).

7: evidence + reflect on some AF on all 3 as a package
A simple vid: film some folk discussing all 3 texts (displayed via computer screen, +/or print-offs + portable media player/phone). Picture quality is not important so own phone camera would be fine (just ensure you can upload the footage; chances are you can do this from home).

remember that if you create new materials (screenshots, aud feedback vids etc) for Eval, you could insert these into your R+P posts to boost that mark too - just take care with post dates and avoid copy/pasting to/from Eval

8: Is there anything you would alter given more time/resources
Did you have other/grander plans that you just couldn't achieve for whatever reason? Its important to address in an Evaluation anything you weren't pleased with; marks-wise its sensible to highlight things you know could be improved upon.

9: IF brief was different...
IF... it wasn't for this Eval Q, and the brief citing a 'package', what other ideas/approaches might you have taken?Would it have made any difference?

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