Archive for the ‘Lucy Flaherty’ Category

This is my wix site that I created to present a visual presentation of 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.

3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

For our target audience, we mainly focused on the younger generation who are more familiar with the genre of music produced by the band, ‘Concrete Disco’, the age generally being around 16+. The range of people who filled out our questionnaires were 17-18 years old and a variation of ethnicities.  However the video typically follows conventions of a westernised culture, as seen in most modern media texts today. We identified our target audience by various research into music channels and by meeting with the band.  Whilst researching the genre of the band’s music and listening to a variety of songs they have previously produced, we decided on a number of music channels to research that focused in and around this genre of music (mainly dub, electronica and dance music). The channels and stations we came up with were those such as ‘MTV base’ and ‘KISS’.

From research we identified that it was largely a younger audience who tuned into/watched these channels and stations and that this style of music did not appeal to older generations. Furthermore, after meeting with the band in person for our performance shoot, it was apparent that a younger generation (mainly around 17-30) where those who attended gigs and bought tickets for other events that the band was involved with. Meeting with the band greatly assisted with our research for our target audience as we were able to recognise the age group of people who were most likely to be watching our music video and therefore could  construct a plot and create promotional products which would appeal to this group.  We constructed a questionnaire that allowed for comments on the both the music video and ancillary tasks. From our Questionnaires, it was apparent that our audience felt that the concept of the music video complied with the conventions of the genre, with appropriate stereotypical characters of current media texts. The audience also identified the fast paced editing which is also a connotation of the genre. Others notified that the story line/narrative was what they would expect to find in a high tempo/ dance music video. In addition, it was further noted that the fast pace of the music track echoed the intensity of the chase narrative. In terms of editing, viewers remarked that the different camera angles and cuts created an interesting and effective product. Audience feedback also suggested that viewers observed that the ancillary tasks and music video itself were linked, establishing an overall brand product. In terms of the Digipak viewers commented that the black and white ‘Andy Warhol’ editing mirrored the intensity of the chase scene in the music video. However, in criticism, some viewers felt that some colour in the ancillary tasks would have followed connotations of the genre more effectively, yet the deviation from conventions was seen as ‘rebellious’ and ‘dramatic’ which reflected the bands and the music video’s  nature.  Moreover, the bands were sent versions of the ancillary tasks so we could receive some feedback from them. They responded that the tasks were very effective and that the photos used portrayed the different aspects of their personalities appropriately. However they required us to change the digipak slightly as the song is a collaboration. They did also agree with the other audience feedback that some colour would have been effective but observed that colour was used in the magazine advert.  Moreover, it is hard to receive an accurate feedback for our magazine feedback, as we only have drafted versions.

In relation to professionalism, we aimed to create authentic products that were effective. We used a professional editing package to edit our footage in order to look as professional as possible, but with the schools budget confinements, we could not use the most expensive cameras and resources available. Therefore we tried to create the most professional product possible with the cameras and resources available for our group. The performance scenes in the music video seem quite poorly lit, meaning that the performance scenes look slightly grainy and have an overall dull presentation. If we had access to more expensive, professional lighting, we may have been able to film this scene so the final product would have been clearer. However we could perceive this poor lighting as being to our advantage, as the grey overall effect echoes the band name ‘concrete disco’ and mirrors the way in which the ancillary tasks have been edited.

We also received audience feedback from our class group for our animatic at the beginning of the research and development process. We made pictures on cards for different sections of the music video, mostly the chase scene. However it was hard to create performance scenes as we had not previously met the band or new how they operated.  The class were asked to make both positive and critical notes whilst watching the animatic on a projector.  From our feedback on this task, we learnt that it was quite difficult to understand the chase scene at first as we hadn’t incorporated an initial reason for the chase. At this time in the development, we were complementing ideas for the chase and had settled on the common representation of youths today that a gang or group would inevitably target one individual on their own. Our feedback suggested that it would be better to have a motive for the chase, hence the inclusion of the bag which is taken by the ‘geek’ at the beginning of the track. Furthermore, we tried to build on our concept in the animatic as much as possible, but it was difficult for the class to gain a full insight into what the final product would be like without the performance scenes, so some criticisms were given as the animatic seemed quite confusing to the group.  As a whole, the group did state that the overall balance of performance and chase scenes would create an interesting and effective media product.

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

For the overall production of our media product, the research and planning I used a variety of internet search engines and resources to look for information and inspiration. Search engines, in particular Google, were used to find out some information on the band, as they were unknown to my media group at the beginning of the coursework process. Once we had gained an insight from the use of search engines to who the band were and the type of music they produced, we could then use more search pacific sites such a YouTube and MySpace to develop our research further. We also used the bands website and MySpace for images and logos that we could use in the first stages of our planning. As our research became more advanced, we used sites such as Google and Wikipedia to provide still images and information that could be used in a number of topical essays that would become part of our planning and development. For these essays, we studied other music videos of particular genres and themes and the Directors websites were also used here for additional analytical understanding and knowledge.  When presenting all of our planning and research on a blog, we used This blog site allowed us to share information and communicate with our teacher at different stages in the planning and development. By using this blog, each member of the group could post their work individually. This website also allows for photos and videos to be embedded in the posts, so that both individual and group work could be formally presented and further explained with photos and screen grabs. However, on occasion, the site would not allow us to post photos from the internet or some images that were saved in our area. To overcome this we saved the images we wanted to use on the blog on the E: Drive. The images were then more easily accessed and uploaded more quickly onto the blog.

Whilst on location filming, we used Cannon digital cameras, a Nikon D40 and a tripod. We found this equipment very easy to use as we had used it for filming last year, so the cameras were very easy to handle. In addition, the tripod was very useful when helping to steady shots or do panning shots. However, the battery did not last long on the Cannon camera, so we had to return to school to charge it. This proved time consuming and extended the filming process. It also caused a problem as it meant our actors had to stay around for longer, which wasn’t the best situation for them. Once the camera was charged we continued filming and managed to finish when we had previously planned. For Editing, we used Apple’s Final Cut Pro Express. This proved quite problematic as we had new Apple Mac computers installed and were used to the editing package used on our previous computers where we had previously practised editing for our ‘pink panther’ task. The new editing package was similar and easy to get used to, so it didn’t cause a major problem when editing the video. Although, there were some saving issues, the package was effective and useful for producing an effective and authentic music video for our music track.

When constructing the Digipak and Magazine advert. We used Adobe Photoshop. At first this was difficult to use as I had never used photoshop before. It took a few practises and development on other pieces of work before I understood how to use the package effectively and correctly.  We had some problems with the layering techniques and moving around text and images. However once I had grasped how to use the programme, it was straightforward then onwards. For The CD cover, we needed almost a grid style format for the images.  I tried to create same sized images for this piece using freehand, but the images were not all the same size, which made the overall look of the cd cover unprofessional. As a response to this, using the Photoshop elements package, I learnt how to create a gridded back ground so I could copy the images over and make them all the same size. It was easy to use the effects tools to create the black and white images seen across our ancillary tasks which proved very useful and contributed to our product as a whole.

In addition to these packages, websites and other technologies, our group decided to use the ‘create your own website’ feature at This site allowed us each to present our evaluation using edited visuals images, videos, links and music. Although the group realised that this would be a more time consuming alternative to using voice recordings to assist our evaluation, we realised that this website was easy to use with limitless ways to present our evaluation in a visually inventive style. The website features tutorials for help, but the elements were very easy to use, especially in contrast to the Photoshop package which proved more difficult. There were lots of templates, icons, animations and text to choose from so that we could all create a unique yet exciting website in which we could present our individual evaluations. Even though this option was more time consuming for the group, it was encouraging that we could make such a site that allowed us to use so many different features to produce an effective and impressive visual item in addition to our blog presentations.

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

A brand creates an identity for a product, so as part of a media package branding is important for making sure the products being distributed are recognisable to the target audience. As a group, we have tried to make a consistent link between each of our texts to create a brand image.  Whilst undertaking our CD and magazine advert research, it came apparent that cd cover designs often reflect the personalities of the band and the genre of the music. It was also evident that a continuation of image was used throughout music videos and whatever adverts, covers or any other means of promotion was used to assist the music video, as seen in these examples for ‘Dizzee Rascals’ music.


When referring to the music video, we tried to continue brand image and personification of the band members throughout the editing processes. We tried to use clips that reflected aspects of their personalities, for example, the clip of the main vocalist laughing and the many facial expressions of the drummer and matched them to different sections of the music. These personalities were then portrayed similarly in

the CD cover, by the use of edited images from the video/photo shoot. The combination of the two tasks created an overall memorable and recognisable product for our target audiences.

. We used a black and white effect on the photos taken from the music video shoot and edited them to mimic the recognisable works of Andy Warhol. We thought the black and white effect was a creative choice as it creates an image that can be associated with the band name and consequently makes the products, as a whole, look professional. Although the ancillary tasks black and white colour scheme does not seem to comply with typical media conventions of the genre, we felt the products combined with the satirical chase scene in the video created an overall colourful and exciting product which would appeal to target audiences.  From our audience feedback, the black and white effects on the ancillary tasks were noted as intensifying, which reflected the nature of the chase scene which was exaggerated by fast paced editing and quick cuts. Furthermore we used photos of the band members that give an insight of their personalities and so that the target audience can familiarise with the band. Again we incorporated these photos and the black and white effects on the advert for continuality, authenticity and branding purposes. Moreover, we used the same fonts and colours used for the digipak, so the overall presentation of the products is consistent and recognisable. It was important for us to present an image of the band that could be recognisable and replicable across other products. It is also evident from the magazine poster that we have been influenced by the works of Andy Warhol and from other bands such as ‘Blur’.  Although we have used the ideas of these artists to our creative advantage, we have made our own products look unique and presentable by choosing appropriate colour schemes, formatting, fonts and images so that the overall presentation of our main product and ancillary texts is professional, effective and can be recognised by our target audiences.

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

The song we have created our media products for is ‘Play for your life’ by Concrete Disco. The genre of the music is a mix of dub/electronica and we have tried to conform to the conventions of the genre by using a variety of editing, colour and structures.

For our music video, we combined narrative and performance, which was influenced by our research into other established media products. The performance scenes of the band also act in accordance with with ‘Goodwin’s analysis’, as close ups of the band meet the demands of the record label. This also aids the construction of band image and may contribute to any motifs that the band may wish to continue across products. Our initial idea was the chase concept. This follows genre conventions as a chase is associated with quick cuts and fast pace editing that is often seen in current music videos such as, ‘Chase and Status – End Credits’.  This also shows a link between music and visuals as the scenes are cut to the pace of the music. When the pace of the song tempo is slowed at the intersection, the editing slows down accordingly. Additionally, after this section the song returns to a fast pace. Here the frequency of the cuts increases greatly and a hand held camera is used to reflect the almost ‘frantic’ pace of the music. When referring to intertextuality, our music video mirrors scenes from ‘Harry Brown’, a film which was then used to create the ‘Chase and Status’ video, ‘End Credits’. The chase narrative has been used across media texts. This was beneficial to the group as it allowed us to construct a realistic media product. Our narrative plot links directly to that of the film, as it is based on a housing estate and youth crime. Although this is directly linked, our video undertakes a sardonic approach which we thought would appeal to our target audiences and paralleled the nature of the band.  The visuals make a direct link with the lyrics of the song. We felt the satirical tone of the music video narrative echoed the main lyrics ‘play for your life’. The scene where the youths approach the ‘geek’ character reflects the negative representation of youths in today’s society and how youths are commonly portrayed in modern media texts. We felt this imitated the lyrics ‘pay your dues by day, by night you do as you like’.  Using conventions of real media products would be beneficial to our product, as the band is currently quite unknown and exclusive, and therefore audiences can associate their music with something similar already established in the market.  This genre is associated with fast paced music. We edited the video material to the fast tempo of the music as seen in many real media products distributed by bands such as ‘Pendulum’ and ‘The Prodigy’.

The characters in our media product follow the stereotypical connotations of groups represented across media products currently. We used the representations of youth groups such as ‘chavs’ and ‘geeks’ to our advantage, so that the characters are strongly portrayed and instantly recognisable to the viewing audience.  Intertexuality continues throughout our ancillary tasks. We have incorporated the works of Andy Warhol into our magazine advertisement and our CD cover. We edited the pictures using Photoshop in order to create the print effect.  Again, these were made in black in white which may seem to deviate from conventions; however as a group we felt this was more effective as the photos mirrored the band name ‘Concrete Disco’.   We also used the ‘parental advisory’ logo on our cd front cover and various other logos such as distributors and barcodes on both our digipak and magazine advert. Such logos and barcodes are used on purchasable media texts worldwide, so the use of these on our own products adds to the verisimilitude and authenticity to our product as a whole.

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.