Friday, 2 March 2012

Question 1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

The inspiration for my video came from several different other media texts/creations I had viewed and researched into. For example, I used a piece from a different genre of mine as I saw an idea I felt I could use. In the "Eminem - Space Bound" video, I noticed there was a shot where the protagonist (Eminem) would literately split into two on a dual screen, revealing two scenarios, I attempted to create that (however, due to my lack of technical knowledge, I feel it didn't come out nearly as well as I hoped). I also used ideas from "Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down" & "Linkin Park - Numb" to separate the Band from the Protagonist of the video (Which Eminem's Space Bound Video didn't do). However, instead of completely following the convention (which I found through many rock/indie videos) that the protagonist was a female, I decided to choose a male, and to challenge the ideology that women should be the ones that seem weak in society. The idea that Men could also be considered emotionally 'weak' is an ever emerging ideology, and one that I liked to further. During my audience feedback, nobody commented once on the choice of gender, so either nobody picked up on the idea that it may have been different having a woman playing this, or they felt it was a decent choice. During a group meeting with my focus group, I asked what people felt about the actor, a particular comment was "he fitted the role perfectly".

When creating my video, I didn't want to focus too much on the genre. Walter Jon Williams states that genre labels are only useful as to actually find the audience. Once I had a general idea if I focused too much on making it fit completely to that genre, it could become too redundant to old ideas, etc, and become boring for the audience I was catering to.

I got the idea of having the protagonist alone in the first few shots with a dark background from my own print work earlier in the year, I had several shots with the same actor in a white background, but I felt a black background might be able to add a loneliness to the scene.

I feel that my media piece did look, to some extent like a real indie video however, on reflection there are some small parts which I'd change. I re-evaluated my research (especially on the 'Face Down' video) and I found myself particularly unhappy with the static, still shots of the band, feeling they broke the pace/feel of the video slightly. Also, I feel the dual-shot could have been done better, but that was due to my lack of technical knowledge on how it'd work out, which shows I should have researched it more. I found some people agreed with this view (screenshot to the left). I also felt that the camera quality wasn't high enough for an official music video, but due to obvious budget reasons, I couldn't afford a professional quality camera.

My video used many conventions of the Indie Rock genre and there was nothing huge to break away from the conventions. However, I felt having a slightly darker tone to the end of the video (Whilst open to interpretation, my first thought was to show people that the protagonist did actually die, shown through him fading away in the very last shot to the end). In videos such as 'Face Down' the character walking away from the house in which such bad things happen hints at a happy ending. There was also the point about showing a man to be vulnerable, but I doubt it's exactly shocking to show that any more.

I used a mix of entropic (the split-personality) and redundant (obvious, general band shots) ideas to keep my video a little more exciting for the viewer, but not so strange and crazy that it confused the audience. Steve Neale stated that the audience takes pleasure from genre with uses of 'instances of repetition and difference', therefore too much different or too much repetition would have a bad effect on my text, which is what I wanted to avoid. I asked my audience how they felt about it, and the comment that struck me the most was when somebody identified that there was 'familiar aspects' but it didn't dull it for them. I felt using the split screen and the same person twice in a single shot helped to keep the audience on their toes and make them curious as to what would happen. Nobody seemed to think my text became too similar to other texts.