Monday, 28 February 2011

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

It is fair to say that my print work and music video follow fairly redundant styles through using "real" forms and conventions.
On the other hand, my work also develops and challenges "real" forms and conventions in some cases, making my work individual and original.

My work derives from a popular genre of music (Grime/Dubstep) and therefore me and my partner were constantly surrounded by influences of popular media which closely related to my work, (being a teenager and our chosen song being aimed at teenage culture).
Despite this I was always trying to keep an open mind and incorporate an element of entropy within my work.
I suppose this relates to Steve Neale and his theory on genre, and how it is "instances of repetition and difference".

I didn't used to completely understand this statement, yet now through creating my own media product, I understand how Neale is correct. I have essentially copied other pieces of media, yet added my own personal touch, which makes it suitable to the genre yet still different and interesting.
I tried to ensure my own creative input was apparent within my work, I gained original ideas from my own imagination and thought processes, and tried to make these have priority over stereotypical influences.
But I also know that I was inspired by the surrounding environment as well as the media I was purposely and subliminally exposed to.
My media products uses conventions of those in real products. This is probably because of the large amount of research I did on existing products, especially those in the same genre of my chosen song.
I was inspired by films such as "Kidulthood" and "Adulthood" which I didn't study, but I enjoyed and felt were relevant to my work.

The themes and imagery within these films were reproduced within my music video.

Plan B's video for the song "Missing Links" had a large effect on my work, me and my partner found this music video both successful and entertaining, and as we wanted to follow the style expected of the genre of our music, we were heavily influenced by it.

Our main character, like Plan B in his video, wears a hooded jacket, with the hood hiding his face. Both characters in the two separate videos walk the streets and perform in a way expected of characters in their context.

I created these split screens using Photoshop to give an idea of how our video was similar to Plan B's.

So because of this, my video could be seen as very redundant and typical of the genre. I do not believe this is a negative thing entirely, because our chosen song has no lyrics, our video is quite disjunctive, so I think it is successful that we managed to make our audio and visuals appear as if they were "meant to be".

I didn't want my print work and video to be completely predictable, so instead of "copying" the relevant videos I studied, we chose to develop elements and ideas from them, such as the violent connotations and dangerous atmosphere associated with our chosen song's genre.
I kept elements within my work which were redundantly related to the style of our song, such as the fashion, the hooded main character, murder, drug deals, street life etc.
Doing this meant that to our target audience "understood" the audio and visual within my music video and therefore it connected successfully, and my print work connected to the music video in the same way.

In contrast, I also tried as much as possible to give my work subtle twists in ways you wouldn't expect of hip hop/grime/drum and bass culture; such as the killer wearing an ironically happy mask and the unnecessary, unexpected bathroom scene where the character spits on the camera and is filmed going to the toilet.
Other entropic factors which develop and challenge "real" forms" and conventions are the actual killing scene itself, the melancholy, artistic ending and interestingly there is no use of women displayed as sexual objects or "voyeurism".

I blended themes you would expect from my genre of music, with aspects you wouldn't expect.
I am mostly referring to my print work, where I illustrate a very young child holding a weapon and appearing violent and dangerous.
Weapons and violence are typical of my chosen song's genre, yet when they are juxtaposed with a stereotypically "innocent" child, the original meaning is flipped and the audience is left confused, but most importantly - interested.
Because of this I could say my media products challenge "real media products".
The way I portray a child holding weapons in my poster and digipak could be seen as politically incorrect; and as I found out myself, even within my college it was frowned upon.
I didn't do enough research into the subject, and it effected the grade I got for my print work.
This itself is interesting, because it proves how society are expectant as well as unprepared for certain imagery and when something they don't expect is shown, they feel it is unnecessary or problematic.

In relation, it can be problematic if forms and conventions are too closely followed, as opposed to challenged or developed.
If "genre" was always followed without an original creative input or "auteur" style, media products would be constantly predictable and would become unpopular because "the target audience" would get bored of seeing and hearing the same thing over and over again without any alterations.

In addition, previously on my blog I showed how I was going to act as the killer wearing the mask, but because of the clothes I was wearing, I was inappropriate for the task.
This is an example of how me and my partner avoided being entropic purposely in order to fit in with the intended genre of our video.
We needed our killer to be wearing clothes "expected" of a killer to wear on the streets, which is why redundantly Matt ended up acting the killer because he was wearing more "stereotypical" clothing.

Overall I would say all my media products use conventions and forms of real media products, mainly through the influence of my research on existing products.
However, In alot of cases I develop real forms and conventions, and in a few cases I even challenge them through my own imagination and ideas.

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