Archive for the ‘Ciaran Walsh’ Category

I completed a wix webiste to show my media evaluation.


Concrete Disco – Play For Your Life

This is our Music video created by Anthony Szymaniak and Ciaran Walsh using Apple Final cut pro express.

Q3 evaluation – ciaran walsh

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Ciaran Walsh

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

When choosing a target audience we needed to think about what type of people would be interested in the lively music that concrete disco play. This made us chose a younger target audience without a specific gender to focus on, as we felt the music would interest them. We also thought that this genre of music might not be attractive to all cultures and therefor decided that the UK would be a good place to attract a new audience for the band. We were able to successfully identify an audience for concrete disco by devising a questionnaire for people to fill out. Results came from teenagers around 17 and 18, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds as we believed them to be a suitable ages group that would have an interest in the music. To gain this demographic we did a number of tasks, including another questionnaire and making accounts on In the questionnaire, we asked probing questions that might help us to develop our ideas. The results we gathered led to different thoughts that could be used. Respondents to our questionnaire thought music in this genre would be up beat with some bass and girls, with a performance and a storyline. It was hard to incorporate all of these characteristics without the final production looking chaotic and muddled. Therefor we combined most of the things expected from this genre as possible, this led to our final idea of having a chase scene storyline merged with a performance from the band. The second thing we did ( allowed us to see what ‘type’ of people we were, for example, indie, Goth, chav. This links in with our audience research, as we are trying to build up an audience base while at the same time trying to figure out what type of people would be interested in our music video. This knowledge helped us when it came to filming, as we were able to include certain aspects from other music videos that appeal to an audience of our choice and include them throughout the video.

To help us to fully understand the target audience we researched music channels that support similar genres of music. Music channels such as, ‘MTV base’ was a main station we looked at because it focuses on genres such as electronica and dubstep. We also gained advantages from watching these networks, such as the understanding of what audiences want from a music video in this genre.

Looking at our feedback we found that not a lot of people knew a lot about the genre they are in (dirty disco), however they were successful in identifying what might be in a music video of this genre.

There were not many professional videos made directly around this genre of music, but we used other known and successful music video characteristics within our video. This would allow the audience to connect with the video making it more memorable. We used the conventional stereotype of youths in hooded jumpers displaying aggressive behaviour as a narrative combined with the traditional idea of the stars performing their song. This allowed us to keep the audience interested with the narrative while giving the band exposure, as audiences would be able to recognise them in the future. During the narrative the audience are positioned in the position of the boy who gets beaten up. This allows the audience to sympathise with him and feel his emotions, making the video memorable and effective.

To acquire the information needed to allow us to improve and develop our music video, we made a questionnaire and gave it to a potential target audience. The results gave us a good insight into the way the video comes across to an outside crowd, and how they interpreted the message of the video. The questions addressed conventions of the genre, improvements that could be made, appropriateness of props and costumes and how well the visual images are synched with the music. The results showed that the video was liked and accepted as a good video. Improvements could have been made with the quality of shots, ie colour, which would be hard to develop, as we have to work with the equipment available and the limitations it has.

The video would be suited to a big record label for widespread release. It has all the characteristics of a video that has already done this. For example the song and video by Eminem ft. Rihanna Love the way you lie has similarities with our video. It has the stars performing the song while also having a narrative to keep the audience interested. There is evidence to support the idea that our video should be widespread in the audience feedback. One person said ‘it creates a story that’s believable and what you would find in a high tempo video.’ this shows that when they compared our music video to other professional ones they have seen it made sence and entertained them, as done by other videos in this genre of music.!__master-page-4

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

A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. Making sure that a media product is branded and recognised by the target audience is a major target that has to be throughout when advertising. This allows a specific media product to be established and easily linked with other information quickly. In our group we have tried to make easy links to associate our media product with. We wanted the band to be seen as friendly and approachable, which is important for the bands advertising in terms of fans. This was achieved through various shots such as them laughing and generally having a good time; while at the same time portray a more in-depth narrative of a chase scene mixed in to the music video. We also made a visual link between the band’s name ‘concrete disco’ and the pictures on the digipak. By using pictures in black and white surrounding the band’s name in grey gives a visual link that can be easily recognised by fans. This is another way in which we tried to brand our media products, and our hope is that through the branding it will help when advertising the band to the public. The pictures we used were also a way of branding our media product. It was a way of portraying the bands personalities like we tried to do through the music video.

This is a mono print of Marylyn Monroe made by Andy Warhol. This gave us inspiration for our digipak. We could adapt the famous work to fit the characteristics of the band. First we took close ups of each band member, as we were not doing this for just one person we had to use two pictures of each band member. We saw this as an opportunity to show off some of the bands characteristics that would help when trying to promote them. To do this we took both serious and funny pictures that we would later use. Having   two pictures of band members left us with one square free; this again was seen as a positive as we could include additional information, such as the band name and song title. We also attempted to incorporate colours in our digipak that reflect the ones used in the mono print of Marylyn Monroe, however after doing this it didn’t look right and we chose to use black and white. This also reflects the band new name concrete disco, which would allow the target audience to connect the poster to the name of the band. The aim of CD cover we made was to attract a fresh audience looking for something new. Although colour isnt used it portrays the band in a serious manner about their music however the content of the pictures counteracts this and shows there fun side.!__master-page-3

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

Before we stated filming, we had to research the type of music video we wanted and the audience that would watch it, as well as a suitable song to base the video on. We achieved this through search engines such as, Google, Wikipedia and YouTube. Google and Wikipedia allowed us to research genre conventions within general music videos and audiences for different genres of music, which gave us a basis to work around. The knowledge gained from them gave us basic start up skills and ideas which we could convert into a sustainable video. Using Facebook we found a band toxic funk berry, now concrete disco, which were willing to let us make a video for one of their songs (play for your life) which gave us a more specific genre of music to research. We then looked at the narrative we wanted to incorporate into the video (chase) and other videos which featured this, Dizzee rascal’s sirens, and Plan b’s end credits, through YouTube. Throughout the research process we documented any useful research on a website called This helped us to keep track of any previous work done and contributing work by the rest of the group. At first there was some problems using the site as it was the first time using it. We had difficulties when uploading pictures and adding new posts to our groups blogs. We overcame this through practise, as we used the site more we came more familiar with the process of uploading pictures and posts, which made the development of our research quicker.

The production of the video was in some was challenged by the equipment available to us. The cameras (Nikon D40) although allow us to use a variety of techniques, such as automatic or manual focus, made other areas of production weak. The quality of the picture when filming the band was poor as at times it went too dark, we tried to overcome this when editing, by trying to use white balancing in dark shots. A way we could have overcome this would have been to have additional lights during the shoot. The lighting was not great in the room used and this would have counteracted this. if we could do the project again, external lights would have been a priority, as they would have increase the quality of the overall production. Other equipment limited the control and shot choice we had, such as the tripod. This limited the smoothness of a panning shot, to a state in which we couldn’t use one. However the tripods did allow us to get steady shots of all band members and actors used within the production of the video, which follows general conventions of music videos. While filming we did encounter some technical problems with the cameras. As we had to film the same actions several times from different angles the battery ran out, which delayed production for around 2 hours. This was due to the fact that we only had one camera, which in itself caused problems when filming with the continuity of the video. We overcame this problem second time round when filming the band, by bringing two cameras with spare battery’s.

The equipment available for editing also enhanced and challenged the quality and effectiveness of our music video. The computers we were using were out of service for a week, this delayed the editing process making it harder to meet deadlines. We also had some difficulties adjusting to the new computers we got. Although they provided us with new applications at first we found it hard to complete simple tasks. However they allowed use to make several video sequences, that helped to us intertwine the footage from both performance and narrative.

As we had not edited anything since last year, we decided to complete a quick editing exercise. Using the beat from pink panther we gathered images from pic search (so they were not copyright) and put them in time with the markers we had already lay down. The markers helped us to make sure the images we were using would be in time with the music, making the editing look better. This was good practice as it familiarised us with the editing software, adobe premiere elements 4, and would allow the real editing process to be less time consuming and smoother.

As this was an editing exercise that would help benefit us we decided to find funny pictures that would be suitable for people of all ages; if they were to see it.

We used a website called word cloud for the song ‘step up step down’. This was going to be our original song we worked on; however the band gave us the song ‘play for your life’. We then got ideas for a music video and converted them into this word cloud. The first has no colour but has contrasting colours. This was the initial idea for a chase scene, but we thought we should have a back p idea. We generated new words and used colour to fit the narrative of the idea (party scene) however when we viewed other videos that toxic funk berry, now known as concrete disco, had we found an existing party scene. The words used in the word clouds resemble the plot of the narrative of that idea. Such as chase, youths, and estate for idea 1 and girls, alcohol and drugs for a stereotypical teenage party.

When editing our final video we used adobe premiere elements 4, which we also used for our editing exercise pink panther. This software allowed us to create different sequences that we could edit on. This meant it was easier to organise the cuts we made from different parts of film. With every sequence we made an additional 2 would be made for that sequences sound. This let us keep track of which sequence was playing at once and allowed us to sync the visual shots we filmed with the pre recorded song by the band.

However before we started to cut any material we first had to upload all the footage we got from the shoot. The next step was to make sure the visuals matched the music. This was very important; if they were not matching the song would have looked out of time and unprofessional. It is also one of Andrew Goodwin’s analysis points of a music video, as it makes the audience feel like they are actually watching the band perform their music.

Once all the footage was in time, we had to look through and sort all the shots we could or wanted to use. This reduced the amount of footage we would have to sieve through to find shots, saving time and effort. We were also able to view any section of film in the top right hand corner and if we wanted we could adjust the size of the shot and move them around to suit our needs or desired effect.!__master-page-5

Evaluation Q 1-Ciaran Walsh

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Ciaran Walsh

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

Music videos follow similar conventions within genres through the use of narrative format and structure. Within our music we try to follow these conventions giving us an easily accessible video. We used both performance, by the band concrete disco, and narrative throughout the song to give audiences both a storyline and visuals of the band playing.

To follow general music video conventions we looked at other music videos by well known artists such as, Dizzee Rascal and Plan b. This allowed us to see similarities within their videos which have made them a success. We found that lots of close ups are used of the star performing the song in some way mixed with a narrative. Viewing these two artists allowed us to develop a narrative for our media product of using a chase scene, which features in Dizzee’s “sirens” and Plan b’s “end credits”. From this we found various shots and angles that could be used when filming, which we try to introduce throughout our music video.

As well as following performance and narrative conventions we try to follow camera, sound and editing. For camera angles, we used lots of close ups of the stars. As well as mid shots of band members performing using instruments. The use of long shots allowed us to fit the band performing all in the same shot; this allows audiences to get to know the band. This follows conventions of music videos as artists do this to help advertise them to increase their success.

Sound was an easy convention to follow as we based it around an already existing song. This mean that we only had to link up the shots we got from filming with the timings of this song. This applied more during the editing process, to make sure cuts were in time with the beat of the music we set markers down to make it easier for us to link them up. cuts in time with the music to move a storyline along or show different aspects of a stars personality are often used in music videos. It is an easy way to change scene and can help make a video memorable. We tried to do this during our media product with different techniques used in time with the music that would help audiences mentally picture the video, and link that with the band.

Our music video has been massively influenced by other media productions. We have tried to use knowledge gained from watching other artists (e.g. Dizzee Racal and Plan b), videos and tried to incorporate them into our own video. Not only have music videos had an influence but films and television programmes as well. They are what we base new media productions on and a way of understanding other productions. This is all based on the typical conventions we would expect to see, for example shot reverse shot for a conversation.

Another video we looked at to get inspiration for our production of a chase scene was Sirens by Dizzee Rascal. The first picture shows the star running down a dark foggy road late at night. To be able to have included fog in our production would have helped increase the tension within the video, however we did not have to budget or necessary utensils to do so. Also filming at night would have been hard as we did not have extra lighting that could have been used on the day of the shoot, which also caused problems when filming the band. Watching this scene gave us lots of ideas and insight into the type of shots and frames we should use to enhance the effectiveness of each scene. This music video also gave us ideas about location for the shoot. Like the videos for ‘sirens’ and ‘end credits’ we wanted to use ally ways around an estate to film. This would give the narrative a familiar feel to the target audience, as they may have seen similar media productions about the stereotypes we have tried to introduce throughout our music video.

we knew we wanted to intertwine a chase scene with footage of the band performing, as used in many music videos. To see what the actors were going to wear in the chase scene we looked at Plan b’s end credits. Here we were able to find the stereotype of what teenage youths dress and act like. They are out of control, destructive and intimidating. They wore their hoods up and scarf’s around their mouths to hide their identity. We decided to incorporate this into our music video so a wider audience would be able to connect to the context of the video. Scenes from the video were taken from the film ‘harry brown’ about the troubles of a local man, caused by vandals on a daily basis. In the second picture (who starred in the film) we see him holding a gun which he then shoots. We decided not to include props such as these as we didn’t want to make the content unacceptable for some viewers who may fall into our target audience. The third picture is also from the film where using a hand held camera local boys ride around on a motorbike filming the havoc they are creating. If we had the equipment available we would have liked to add in a small scene such as this, however due to limited apparatus and obvious health and safety concerned we excluded it from filming.

Throughout or music video we tried to use Goodwin’s analysis to help us to comply with typical media conventions. There are visual links between the music and the visuals on screen; an example of this is when a beat is heard we had the drummer on screen playing the drums in time with the music. Throughout the music video we had close ups on the stars, eg the band, performing their song. This is another point in Goodwin’s analysis that allowed us to make a more rounded production. It also promotes the band as people will be able to recognise band members.!__master-page-2

This is the CD cover design as part of the digipak for ‘Concrete Disco’, ‘play for your life’. For the format I used a 3×3 grid so that all the photos would be the same size. The photos were taken from the magazine advert and I then edited a second set of photos so that there would be 2 photos of each band member. I used the filter tab and then the ‘sketch’ option on Photoshop and chose the ‘torn edges’ edit to use on the photos. I adjusted the brightness and contrast slightly so there would be prominent areas of light and dark. The photos were then inserted on the grid in separate layers. For the gap in the middle I used a square shape filled with grey for the middle section and then used the font from the advert for the band name and song title.

We have began to develop ideas further using the photoshop elements package. We have used inspiration from other artists and bands to choose the final ideas for the digipak. I experimented on the photoshop package with colours,filters and compositions. By adjusting the brightness and contrast and grain/texture of the image I was able to able to edit four of the photographs of each band member to recreate the Andy Warhol prints i had researched previously.

This is a rough draft of the beginning of one of our magazine advert ideas. In addition, a colour version will be constructed. We will then send the images to the band themselves, for audience feedback, which will provide valuable information for our evaluation tasks and exam.