1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
BY MAISHA HUSSEN
WHILST RESEARCHING, PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTING OUR MUSIC VIDEO, WE REALISED THAT OUR MUSIC VIDEO DEVELOPS AND FORMS REAL CONVENTIONS OF INDIE ROCK MUSIC VIDEOS. ONCE WE KNEW THAT OUR VIDEO CONSISTED OF SOME OF THESE CONVENTIONS, WE DECIDED TO FOLLOW HOW THE SETTING, CAMERA SHOTS, AND THE MISE-EN-SCENES OF AN INDIE ROCK MUSIC VIDOE IS. FIGURING OUT WHICH GENRE OF MUSIC VIDEOS OUR MUSIC VIDEO LINKS TO LED TO US TO CREATE A SuCCESSFUL MEDIA PRODUCT THAT OUR TARGET AUDIENCE HAS THOROUGHLY ENJOYED. USING SIMILAR SHOTS TO PROFESSIONAL MUSIC VIDEOS ALLOWED US TO EXPERIMENT WITH THE COMPOSITION OF THE CAMERA, AS WELL AS THE CAMERA MOVEMENT. ON THE FOLLOWING SLIDES CONSIST OF DIFFERENT CODES AND CONVENTIONS THAT LINK TO OUR MUSIC VIDEO, AS WELL AS HOW OUR MUSIC VIDEO CHALLENGES THE TYPICAL CODES AND CONVENTIONS.
- Targeted to both females and males, aged between 16 to 25. Usually, students and graduates who have significant disposable income and time rich.
- They are typically ethnic minorities, such as middle eastern/Asian, however, there are some other ethnicities like whites and blacks.
- They would be working class as they are students and will have part-time jobs or in search of a job as they have recently graduated. Some may live off their parent’s money or live on their own.
- According to the NRS Social Grade, they would be typically in the C2 skilled working class and manual workers section or D working class semi and unskilled manual workers.
- They appreciate creativity, such as expressionism in the form of indie rock music, such as singer James Bay and Florence and The Machine would be their main influences. They are likely to reject mainstream media on their opinions of cultural values and norms.
- The music genre they mostly listen to is Indie Rock and Pop, as well as Electro Pop, however, some may listen to some Soul music.
- They enjoy reading, especially news articles, they like to keep up to date with the world and new trends, they also like to draw. They like to visit traditional old places, such as mosques and museums, they enjoy listening to music and hanging out with friends.
- their hobbies may include going to big music festivals and concerts, such as Wireless and Coachella.
Other settings of typical indie rock music videos include more worn down or scruffy areas such as council estates. We used this setting to show more generic conventions of indie videos. Using this setting also reflected the demographic/ psychographic profile of our audience as this is where they're likely to hang out or tend to live, as we have aimed our music video to the working-class, generally, they mostly tend to live in council estates.
Indie rock videos tend to show the protagonist as being lonely and independent. They usually use settings that are shot in the bedroom or other isolated places, such as deserted alleyways. We used this particular convention/code of the indie rock genre to build a rapport with the protagonist, as well as making our chosen target audience feel like they can relate to her. The theory of Uses and Gratification implies that music videos are a form of escapism and they can empathise with the protagonist.
Typically, Indie rock videos tend to film in the city. Luckily enough that we are fortunate enough to London, we were able to film buildings, landmarks, cars, which are features in indie rock music videos as they use this their filming. They also often include blurry lights.We have also included this in our video as we wanted to show the two protagonists and their journey visiting various places, such as London Southbank and Chinatown, two popular destinations in London. This provides a realism aspect to our video as many teenagers like to discover and explore new places that they have not been before, which we wanted to represent this as it is a representation of how their friendship was once before one of the friends tries to radicalise the other.
Conventions of Indie Rock- How our video uses existing codes/conventions- Setting
Conventions of Indie Rock- How our video uses existing codes/conventions-
In our video, we used regular people who were natural in front of the camera to make it more realistic to the audience. This allows once again for the audience and the protagonists to build a connection with each other as the narrative we have chosen relates to situations that the audience can relate to. They also fit the criteria of our target audience profile/demographics as they are both 18 year old females who enjoy hanging out with their friends.
In indie music videos, the most common costume is normal, casual clothing, nothing too extravagant. This is usually jeans, converses, oversized jackets, backpacks and black skirts. Using this type of costume in our music video gives our music video a very natural, laid back feeling, which our target audience will be able to relate to the styles the protagonists wear.
Particularly in indie videos, the lighting tends to be quite dark and muted/dull or they would be the conventional black and white, which is presented throughout our music video as scenes of the past. Generally, the lighting of indie music videos enhances the artist feelings and emotions, such as James Bay's song 'Let It Go', so the audience can be able to identify their emotions easily. This is also presented in our music video, as we deliberately decided to shoot in areas that have dark lighting. We decided to use grey tones to represent the broken relationship in our music video.
Props are very important in indie videos as they are used as iconography. These are representations of certain meanings that can be interpreted in any way desired. Journals, sketchbooks, photo albums etc, anything that creates a sense of the past, are used in indie videos to demonstrate deep feelings of sadness, loss or even happiness. We created our own polaroids to represent the two friends relationship as they were photos of their past and memories that they shared before they went their separate way.
Conventions of Indie Rock- How our video uses existing codes/conventions- NARRATIVE
The use of narrative in indie videos are very important as it helps to tell a story which the audience could relate to. Usually, the narrative would link in well with the lyrics which leaves room for more imagination, this makes a video stand out more. The use of narrative has become really popular as it holds people's attention better compared to a music video of live performance. It makes it much more interesting as there are more variety of shots used, which we focused on our music video. Our narrative follows a non-linear structure as the video consists of a montage with flashbacks of shots of the protagonist and her friend having fun. In indie music videos, the common themes are based on depression, loneliness, and friendship. We decided to choose friendship as the narrative we chose links well with the theme of loneliness and friendship, as we showcase a relationship that becomes broken over time.
Indie rock videos tend to have a lot of unique shots. Taking this into consideration, we decided to experiment with different shots, such as taking close-ups of trees and decorative lights that were decorated on trees, which we decided to merge together in our video to make it look more interesting. This is very artistic which indie videos tend to be, implying that the videos are always inventive and constantly artistic.
Conventions of Indie Rock- How our video uses existing codes/conventions- CAMERA
Close ups and the use of the rule of thirds are always used in indie rock videos. Using close-ups in our video allows the audience to become closer to the protagonists and to feel as if they are there experiencing and seeing what they are visualising. Within our music video, we have used a series of these shot types to show the two protagonists journey of their relationship breaking away, and them leaving each other. Which allows the audience to follow them through their journey. The use of close-ups of certain objects or scenery shows a significance throughout our music video, such as the padlock.
Indie rock videos are seen to commonly use shots that include scenery. This is seen within our music video as it gives the audience to have a sense of atmosphere. Within our music video, we have lots of shots of the sky, buildings, all providing a sense of realism in the video. Which indie rock videos tend to mostly have.
Conventions of Indie Rock
How our video challenges existing codes/conventions
In most of indie music videos, we are exposed with a lot of sexualisation of the female body, which Laura Mulvey would see this as the 'Male Gaze' theory. Examples of this is the song 'Love me' by the band 1975. The video shows a woman in a very short hot pink dress, which is quite revealing. However, we wanted to challenge this common convention as in our video as it is based on two friends. We wanted to focus on more important values such as their friendship and innocence as opposed to sexualising their bodies. By using this concept, it is good for our target audience as they are teenagers and young adults, who can be easily influenced by the media, which we did not want to happen as it is not right for women to be objectified like that. We also see the artist not wearing a top, suggesting to their target audience, this is the image they should be and that it is seen as right for him to promote himself as a sexual object.
For indie rock videos, performance is a key element in their music videos to show off their energy or passion to attract an audience to their live shows. Only very few music videos are only of performance and vice versa, but usually a typical indie rock music video would have both a performance and narrative element. We have challenged this typical code/convention of indie rock music videos as we have no performance at all, as we only focused on the narrative, and the storyline. We decided to make our audience focus on the narrative as the narrative is the crucial part of the music video, as it highlights current issues that are happening today. In addition, another reason we decided not to have performances at all is due to our target audience survey questionnaire, they stated that they pay attention to storyline rather than the performance of a band or artist.
Conventions of Indie Rock How our video challenges existing codes/conventions
Indie videos tend to have very fast paced shots. It helps to create a montage of many shots. This is usually seen by very fast cuts from one shot to another, which is seen as the opposite in our music video. Our video challenges this typical convention of an indie rock music video as we have many slow cuts and slow paces, which was right to use as the beat is very slow, and having fast paced shots along with the song would not match at all. This led us to heavily rely on the slow mode editing tool, as it is suitable for our music video, and the beat of the song. Another common editing technique is a graphic match, which we did not experiment with at all.
The editing process of indie rock music videos tend to use light leaks/grainy effects which are seen as common in indie videos. This is because it provides a feeling of nostalgia and the feeling of reminiscing into the past. In our music video, we presented the memories in a similar way to how the effects of an indie video would usually have. However we used the filter black and white to portray the memories instead of using this special effect.