Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2. Existing adverts/campaigns I have researched and how these have influenced my ideas

It is important to bear existing campaigns in mind when designing an advert, as these can indicate what is effective and conventional in the world of print advertising. In order to organise and create a visual representation of some of my research into deodorant products for 16-25 year olds, as well as the other specific requirements of the brief like the name Wave, I created a mood board showing useful images pertaining to existing adverts and ideas for my own.

My mood board

'For him' / 'For her' products, targeted at both men and women. This is reflected in the adverts, which shows both parties seemingly experiencing a strong attraction for each other - synonymous with Lynx's overall theme of making the user irresistible to the opposite sex. The campaign also uses humour to appeal to the audience - obviously the unification of these two would be disastrous due to the objects they are holding. The pack shot is also distinctive and is repeated across both adverts in the same position, lending a synergistic presence to the adverts.

In my own advert, I will also use both genders in order to better reflect the target audience of Wave. All four of the adverts will promote the overall message of Wave helping the user be a confident and social person, and the presence of two people of different genders - one of which the viewer may see as representing them - will amplify this.

The physical product itself will not be seen in the focal image, and it is therefore essential that it is prominently featured via a pack shot in all the adverts, in order to show the audience what to look for when they buy it, and also to give a greater sense of identity to the product and what it looks like.

My adverts' models will also be located centrally, as it is through their poses, positioning and expressions through which the message of the advert is shown. Overall, the synergy of these repeated aspects across the four adverts will help to solidify the brand identity of the product, as was done with Lynx, which was what led to its widespread success.

While not necessarily similar to my own advert ideas, this is an advert from a basketball magazine, and therefore a basketball player (Charles Barkley) has been chosen as the model for the advert to make it more relevant to the other content in the magazine. While I must adhere to the conventions of a deodorant advert in order to successfully promote the product, the print adverts are for Total Film magazine, and being aware of the context in which the advert will appear will be important in order to better appeal to the magazine's readers. As a result of this, I will include elements that are common to both deodorant adverts and film posters.

In conclusion, I have decided from these existing campaigns that it would be beneficial to depict some sort of relationship in order to appeal to the audience who would like to be sociable people. This lends itself well to the fact that I plan to include both a male and female in the advert to effectively represent the target audience.

1. How I intend to fulfil the requirements of the brief I have chosen

I have adhered closely to the requirements of the brief in the planning of my ideas. My chosen medium is print (Brief 2).

My initial ideas for the adverts incorporate outdoor settings and two actors my own age (16-17), one male and one female. This reflects the brief's requirement for an active, youthful, unisex brand identity. The theme carried by my campaign will be that wearing 'Wave' allows you to be a confident and social person. My adverts will also conform to the brief by using a blue colour scheme to create a strong and consistent brand identity between them. The actual product itself will be incorporated via a pack shot composited over the image. As part of my planning, I created a flat plan in order to visualise my ideas and identify any potential flaws before going further into production.

A plan for one advert
A plan for another advert

While only a simple representation of the final advert, this has helped me to see how well the layout of the advert and blocking of the depicted scene fits the requirements of the brief, and whether the elements work together effectively at this early stage.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Homeland Continuity Task

1. What was your role in the task and what did you actually do?

My role in the task was writing the script with Tilly and Cherish. We had to make sure it represented the plot conventions of Homeland and formed a convincing scene from the spy thriller genre - we therefore decided to make the scene about an interrogation, a common trope of the genre. I also appear in the video, and created my own edit of the scene.

2.  What factors did you have to take into account when planning, filming and editing?

When planning, we knew that we would only have an hour and twenty minutes to shoot the scene, and we therefore made sure that the scene would be of an achievable length. As well as this, we created a shot list so that the shoot would be structured and so that we would have a clear idea of which order we were going to film the shots in. A storyboard helped us to plan the framing of shots and positioning of characters, which would later help the blocking of the actors in the filming of the scene. When editing, I had to make decisions about when to cut to different shots in order to keep the visuals interesting and relevant to the events in the story. It was important that continuity was maintained through match-on-action; for example, the moment when Riana slides the folder across the desk is shown in two shots, and it had to already be moving in the second shot.

3. How successful was your sequence? Did you manage to demonstrate match-on-action, shot-reverse shot and 180-degree rule? Did you achieve continuity overall?

I think our sequence was successful, as there is a strong sense of continuity across the whole scene. Between shots, we kept the background as consistent as possible, and kept props in the same places to avoid breaking continuity. As an actor in the scene, I tried to keep my actions as consistent as possible in order to allow a the full range of shots to be used and still match up in terms of continuity. We adhered to the 180-degree rule, filming only from one side of the conversation so as not to confuse the viewer's perspective. The shot where the door is opened has been edited so that it effectively uses the match-on-action technique, again lending consistency and continuity to the final edit of the scene.

4. What have you learnt from completing this task?

From completing this task, I have developed my understanding of shooting and editing a scene, and how these two parts of the process can influence each other and need to work together in order to create a successful final product that has a good sense of narrative flow.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Daily Mirror News Task

The front page
The Facebook page

The Instagram page

The Twitter page

The website

1. Explain your role/responsibility within the team and the task. What were you required to do?

Within the team, I worked with Abbie and Cherish to produce the front cover of a physical copy of the Daily Mirror. This included choosing appropriate stories for the platform, creating the headlines and adding images. We then designed the layout of the page to make all of it fit together and produce a finished cover.

2. For one media form, describe the codes and conventions you chose to follow and explain their intended impact.

 When making the front cover, we immediately knew that, as a tabloid, the Daily Mirror was more likely to feature large amounts of image content than a broadsheet newspaper such as the Daily Telegraph. Printed copies of the Daily Mirror certainly have larger image content than the website or social media pages, as this will allow the cover to catch potential readers from afar in a way that is not necessitated by a website or social media. The large image of David Davis that we chose for our cover is very relevant to the article about Brexit. We intentionally chose an image that was not posed, as this allowed us to portray him as perhaps "CONFUSED" in the caption, which conveys the Daily Mirror's lack of support for Brexit. Beginning the image caption with a single capitalised word and then having the actual description for the picture is also a common convention of the Daily Mirror that we reflected in our own version. The inclusion of an advert for Tesco on the front page also shows the Mirror's conventional way of making money through printed advertisements, as well as being targeted towards the Mirror's less affluent audience who would not be shopping at a more expensive store. This cover of the Mirror will appeal to the audience by reflecting their own views and by adhering to the familiar brand identity of the newspaper.

3. Explain how your choices reflect the real newspaper's values and target audience. 

The front page has a clear and immediate presentation of the Mirror's left-wing political stance, shown through the description of the Brexit deal as 'shoddy' and the politician involved as 'diabolical'. The standfirst continues this negative attitude towards Britain's EU-leaving deal, which goes further still to cement the newspaper's position as left-wing.
With the exception of Brexit, the stories were chosen because they were not terribly specific financial or economic stories, which traditionally would not appeal to the Daily Mirror's audience of lower socioeconomic grades. As a result of this, we included alliteration and hyperbole in the headlines to create humour and entertain the target audience through a sensational portrayal of events - a technique also seen in the real Mirror.

4. Explain how your team adapted the news across the three different media forms and the reasons behind your decisions.
 Upon receiving the brief, we knew that some stories could be shown on all three platforms according to their level of importance. For this reason, the Iraq story was featured on all three. However, we felt that stories like the Frozen Finger Fiasco would be better if they were shown in print due to their comical nature, which would allow for a word play headline and contribute to the appeal in the print version. This appeal through entertainment is a necessary one for the printed copy, as it is the only media form that the user must explicitly pay for.

5. In hindsight, is there anything about your team's outcomes that you would adapt or improve?

I think that our cover could have been improved if we had been more consistent with the design. For example, the font could have been made to stay the same across all instances of text, which would make the cover seen more professional. However, I think that the overall effect was achieved and that the cover is a clear presentation of Daily Mirror conventions.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Celebrity Magazine Cover

1. Summarise the music celebrity you have created. Include name, music genre, personality and how they are being used to comment on contemporary celebrity.

I gave my celebrity the same name as me, and while this is a fictionalised version of me, I think giving him a normal name rather than a stage name chosen for appeal (such as an alliterative name or a single word like JayZ) supports the character's representation of an indie style of music, where I think artists would be more likely to use their real name. My celebrity is one who presents themselves as more of a normal human being ,rather than other male artists who perhaps go too far to present themselves as macho or tough-looking.

2. Evaluate how you have constructed the representation of your celebrity through your cover image and cover headline/text.

My celebrity sits alone against a nighttime countryside background, perhaps to show the solitude of fame in how it separates you from the rest of society and people's regular lives. He is quite small in the frame compared to other Billboard covers, but this just goes further to illustrate a sense of solitude and loneliness. The 'other side of stardom', as written in the magazine text, is represented through the presence of literal stars above the celebrity, who looks up as in searching for another meaning - or their other side. Of course, the actual message of this phrase, to stop focusing on celebrity glamour and go back to the roots of music, is shown through the celebrity's casual dress and lack of obvious makeup, as well as the use of an acoustic guitar rather than an electric one, which would have been indicative of a modern setting - but this acoustic guitar instead encourages us to look back.

3. Reflect on the production/editing process.  Are you pleased with the end result? Identify what is successful about your shot?  What would you have done differently in hindsight?

I am pleased with the end result, as I think the model and background have blended well to create an eye-catching image - certainly helped by the blue colour grade applied to both. I think the shot of the celebrity is the best one of the set that was photographed, as some others, such as the one where I was leaning on the guitar while standing up, looked awkward and would not have contributed to the relaxed emotion I was seeking. However, I think there is room for improvement, as the model is perhaps too small in the frame, and could have been larger to fill more space on the cover. The reason I made him his current size was to leave some space above his head for the stars to be visible, so perhaps the solution to both problems would have been to retake the shot in many different poses to allow for more flexibility in choice of photograph later on.

Minecraft Pocket Edition Gameplay For YouTube

1) How I did it

To create the video, I filmed myself reacting to a pre-recorded clip as though I were playing the game live. To add to this impression, I often described what was going on in the clip - such as the character holding seeds, which I said opened the possibility of creating a farm. I overlaid the footage of myself onto the gameplay video using the FilmMaker Pro app on an iPad, and also adjusted the size of the overlaid clip, as I didn't want it to obscure a large portion of the actual gameplay. Providing a constant and engaging commentary, which I attempted to do, is very much the style of these videos, as seen in the videos of popular Minecraft youtubers such as DanTDM and SkyDoesMinecraft.

2) How could my video attract Mojang and/or Microsoft, and how might it influence them?

These kinds of videos rely on the fanbase of Minecraft being interested enough in the game to watch a video of somebody else playing it, and provided it goes viral, the thoughts and opinions given by the creator of the video could be heard by many people, including Mojang or Microsoft. An example of popularity leading to this scenario is in the success of the fan-made plugin Bukkit - Nathan Adams, a developer for that plugin, was given a job at Mojang due to the success and popularity of the fan-made content.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Video Games and Me

Perhaps the first experience I had with video games was via a handheld that I haven't ever identified - a small white device resembling a Game Boy, and yet I think it must have been either a Sega product or a bootleg, since it included a few Sonic and Alex Kidd games.

Through the Nintendo Wii in about 2008, I played Mario Kart and an assortment of other games, such as Wii Sports Resort and Super Mario Galaxy. This was in the golden age of the Nintendo Wii, when it was extremely popular for families and still somewhat technologically relevant due to its 'wiimote' controller. My favourite game became Majora's Mask, which I played on PC via a Nintendo 64 emulator (and as a result, I was one of the people who bought the 3DS remake on the first day in February 2015.)