Friday, 8 May 2009

Evaluation of media studies project

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

Before I started out in producing my magazine, I looked at other magazines that are currently available on the market. During this process I noticed that they all followed certain conventions. For example, most of them only used three or four (at the most) colours, and only two or three fonts throughout the front page.

This was more noticeable in Kerrang! For me as this was my main style model, as this magazine represents the same social group, as my magazine is aimed at teenagers who are into the Rock/Metal genres of music. Kerrang! Tend to keep to the same colours which have appeared on their front cover, throughout the magazine. For example in one issue I have looked at, they use dark purple, white and black on the front cover. This has carried on throughout the contents page and the feature article page, as the colours they have used, sometimes are associated with the bands on the pages. They Another way it develops existing styles of media products, would have to be the idea of having free giveaways on the front page, along with a large masthead which is visible from one side of an isle in the shop to the other.Another way I developed the reoccurring conventions would have to be with having the main article in the biggest font, and having the brightest colours on the page. The title “ROCKOUT” is in a big bold font clear for the audience to see. It gives the connotations of being a rock magazine, but a modern rock magazine, that features the likes of nu metal, and not as much classic rock. It is also a weekly magazine with a low price so my audience can afford it. Not to mention the fact that, to make as “real” as possible, I had to place a barcode, a date and the website address on it too. These conventions remained the same throughout the other pages of the magazines I looked at such as MOJO, Q and NME. For instance they all had a simple, yet effective layout, they only used one or two fonts and sizes, and they kept the use of colour consistent throughout. From this I hope that anyone looking at my magazine will be able to see these being used on every page. I decided to have a black and white background for my front cover, and the second page of the article. The reasoning behind this was the fact that I feel that black and white has the connotations of a hard background for the band, featured in my main article. I thought this would be a good idea – giving the impression that they have worked hard to make their band popular etc. the black and white background was supported with the main image on the page being in colour. This helped to give the impression that they have came through the hard, gritty times, and are now able to enjoy the work that they have put into it. That and the fact that they are a new band, so to use the colour image with the back and white background, helped me to try to show that they had some understanding of their music genre, as many old bands use black and white.

Who would be the audience for your media product?


The magazine is made for a 15- 17 year audience, who are into the metal genre of music, it is not aimed at one sex, I have tried to have a balance of male and female faces of the front cover, however there it is dominated by male characters. This is primarily because of the fact that the main story is about a new band, made up of a group of males. My magazine is aimed at teenagers who have a disposable income. I.e. - from their parents or guardians, and can afford to spend money on clothes, DVDs, music, and magazines. This is explained in more detail throughout the course of my evaluation of my media product. Once the product was complete, i handed some copies out to my target audience so i could get some reliable feedback from them; as i previously handed out a questionaire to this group. When they looked at my magazine, they said i have produced a suitable magazine for the results i was given. For example, they said that i have managed to use a few colours for the front cover of the magazine, and have managed to keep the use of colour consistent throughout. The types of photos i have used as well have been used effectively. And finally they commented on the price of the magazine as it is cheaper than the other magazines aimed at this age group.

How does your media product represent a particular social group?

From my questionnaire I was able to find out that within my teenage target audience, it would be mainly aimed at 15-17 year olds, as I felt this music was an aspect of their lives that they knew lots about, and who had spare money to spend on music, magazines, clothes etc. I didn’t really want to aim the magazine at specific sex, as I tried to show a range of both genders on the front cover (which challenges the stereotype of the hard rock image which traditional is male. Another issue that I was able to pick up on from my questionnaire results was that the teenagers I chose to do my market research on, mostly agreed that they all enjoyed a more of a Rock/alternate metal genre.
Although I didn’t want my magazine to be aimed at just one gender, I feel as though it is aimed at mostly people who like metal, as the feature article is about a new metal band, and most of the bands mentioned in the magazine are metal bands. However due to the fact that it is a new band, I felt as though this would help draw the audience in as people tend to talk more about new bands and albums rather than music that had been out for a few years. The band is not representing the social group badly or giving the “hard rocker” image off either; they are trying to give off a neutral tone towards them. The use of women on the front page also helps to represent a particular social group. For example, it will appeal to men, along with the fact that some women will aspire to be like the woman/women on the cover.
The people who are featured in the main article, were working class who were doing well for themselves. This helped to give a positive representation of the working class.

As well, it is noticeable that many of the stories in the magazines that I have looked at are all about new music as this tends to sell with our target audiences.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

The institution that would be best suited to publish/distribute my magazine would have to be Bauer, as it distributes magazines (including my style model Kerrang!) like Mojo this would increase Bauer’s share of the market. . Bauer is the biggest privately owned magazine publisher in Europe, as it publishes magazines in countries such as France, Britain, Spain and Portugal. Bauer doesn’t just publish magazines here in Europe, it also publishes in the United States and Mexico. Bauer has recently acquired EMAP and changed their name to Bauer Media. Now they also publish EMAPs former magazine and other media titles, and as a result, is now the country’s largest magazine publishing company that distributes television magazines, music/film magazines, and puzzle magazines.

How did you attempt to attract your audience?

Another way I attempted to attract my audience (other than the price and free giveaways etc) was the use of the various shots and images of not only males but females were used on the front cover to attract more male audiences. As Naomi Wolf (1991) states placing sexually attractive women on the front cover of a magazine, are used to sell these magazines, this giving the impression that woman aspires to thistype of lifestyle. Marjorie Ferguson’s theory that there four types of facial expressions used on women while they’re on the front cover of a magazine: Chocolate Box, which is a half to full smile, with the lips together possibly parted a little and have the teeth hardly visible with a close up of the face to the camera. Invitational: which shows emphasis on the eyes with her mouth shut showing a hint of a smile, looking at the camera. Super Smiler: Shows a full face toothy smile with hair being blown back. And finally the Romantic/Sexual looks. This is a more general idea that shows both male and female characters in a dreamy position on the cover. This has two ideas to showing the audience; the people are either “possibly available” or definitely available”. However, the shot I have used in my female character on the front cover is “invitational”. This is added to by the colours in the background (reds and pinks, which have the connotations of sex.) And of her clothes and her skin tone etc. For the actual shot itself I decided on using a high angle close of the woman. Another theory I have put into practise is “Uses and Gratifications” which is a theory designed to attract the audience as my magazine features a similar age group to my target audience who is able to identify with the subjects and other bands in the magazine . Another way I tried to attract my target audience was by the use of the newest metal band “Baptism By Fire” this band would be associated with the metal genre rather than alternate rock, the title itself gives this away. For the font type and size, I made it large enough to be seen, used a dark red, with an even darker red (which give the connotations of the metal genre and would appeal to an older teenage audience who just take an interest in the genre, and younger more gothic teenage audiences at the same time), because this was the best way I could think of for making it look like a dark, heavy metal band. This was after I tried dark red and orange, and dark red and yellow together, as they looked more of an alternate metal band now. So I decided to use the both reds. Another thing that would attract my audience would have to be the price, as it is affordable for teenagers, and stays around the price mark of the other magazines I have looked at.
My contents page would have helped to attract my audience as chosen to use a double page spread, and only three or four colours. Some of the images on I have on there are advertising other bands, and some of the photographs of people I have it are wearing band clothing, so this will attract them to buy the magazine even more as they can relate to the other bands being advertised in the magazine.
The article pages will also appeal to the audience as the questions I have asked the band are mainly about how they have became famous and rumours about them doing a tour with existing bands in the summer, as the audience are always interested in tours by their favourite bands, which is the most popular stories among this age group, according to my research, which is helping to encourage them to buy the magazine.
As you read the magazine, you notice the use of page numbers and other essential information regarding the magazine, These features are used for two reasons: To give a sense of clarity to the audience, and to give the audience a sense of ownership over the magazine, so they will be encouraged to buy the magazine.

What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Since the beginning of AS level Media studies, my ability of using Photoshop and taking photos with the digital camera has increased quite a lot, in terms of where is the best lighting, the areas to take the photos, the angles, and even just the general use of the camera, as in how to time the shot to be taken so you are able to get everyone you want in and where you want them sorted, so you get the best quality image as possible in the quickest amount of time.
I have also done market research which has also helped me, to see what people are looking for when they buy a music magazine.
During the use of Photoshop, I have learnt how to use all of the tools more independently than when I was doing my preliminary task of producing a school magazine. I am now able to edit the photos on Photoshop more efficiently now and know how to change the colour balance, and the general skills of layout in terms of creating my page My use of digital photography has also improved, and I am now able to demonstrate a wider range of shots I have taken for the magazine, whereas during my preliminary task, there was a lack of them, a straight forward mid/ long shot of the person was used on the front page, along with a couple of mid/close ups of other people from different stories in the magazine. Now in this project I feel as though I have shown these, but have also shown various angles not just the mid shot.

Looking back on your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Since I have completed the preliminary task at the beginning of the year, I can say that I have learned quite a lot about using Photoshop, and my understanding of the programme has widened dramatically, especially since years ten and eleven. However I have not just learned more about the programme I used, but the theorists behind the conventions of magazines, the connotations that the different colours have the use of different angles and styles of shots. This is also due to the fact that I have analyzed and how they are used to appeal to the target audiences because different magazines have different conventions, however they also have some of the same conventions too. I have also learnt other things during my AS Level Media Studies, such as the use of technical jargon to describe my work, and work of others, such as denotation and connotation. The main difference to my preliminary task is that this piece is closer to an existing market product. I have also taken into account that different audiences have different requirements, which I’m now more familiar with the psychology behind targeting different magazines since I completed my preliminary task.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Here is my final page of my article.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The first page of my article.

This is the contents page to with my magazine.

This is my final front cover for my magazine.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The page follows a fairly simply layout, we can see that they have followed two of the most "famous" conventions of magzines; only using three colours, and only using a few fonts/ font sizes. We can see from the sub heading (and by the use of the long shot) that the man in the photo is the man who is being talked about. They have used a long shot along with the white background to support the idea of him being in the shadows of his former band mates now. They have kept to the use of three colours to keep the page looking neutral. As the white gives the conotations of innocence while the black gives conotations of anger, and hate.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Analysis of Kerrang! article page

The page follows the typical conventions of magazines, such as having all the text in columns. And by the use of three colours throughout the page to add to the idea of the page being consistent and easy for the audience to read. We can tell by the colours that they have used, that the magazine is aimed at a more gothic girly audience in the age group of 14- 17 year olds. Also the woman that is used on the second page looks lost and isolated, due to the fact the image is in black and white, and the white background looks as though it’s trapping her. The woman looks uncertain, and lost because of this.
The font looks like old fashioned hand writing, and with there being several copies of the text surrounding the main text (which is dark red) gives the connotations of it being lost, which reflect the idea of the woman being lost.

I was going to use this extreme longshot as the lighting conditions were okay. However after looking at the image in more detail, it was clear that it was blured, so therefore could not be used.

Another image i did not use.

I was going to use this photo in my contents page. Yet again the lighting that the photo was taken in looked off in comparison with the page and the other images on it.

other photos i did not use.

After cutting this photo out, it was clear that the lighting conditions that the photo was took in, were bad, and made the rest of the page look amatuer.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Photos i have used, and how i manipulated them.

Here are the images you will see in my final copy of my magazine. I will now explain how i managed to get the image looked the way it does.

This is the image i finally decided on using for the main image on my front cover. As you are able to see, the image looks very different on the front cover to what it looks likes without any manipulations. In order for us to get the correct lighting conditions, we had to take the photo outside. To make it easier for me when i cutting it out on Photoshop, we placed blue boards behind use, so i could use the Magic Wand tool to take away the areas of blue quicker. To remove the areas of the image i did not need, i had to zoom right in, and use a rubber on a small scale in order to get the best looking cut possible. Once i had done this, i transferred it on to Photoshop, which looked like this. This image used in the background is one i had taken at a concert. I desaturated the colour levels, to make it look black and white. I wanted to use a colour image with a black and white image to give connotations of a hard yet successful lifestyle. The black and white being the doom and gloom times of thier lives. And the colour image being the fun, happy times of their lives. Although the black and white image is of a concert, it reflects the hard times they've had, as touring is apparently a really stressful time for musicians.

Possible Photos i could have used. But didnt.

Originally i thought about using this high angle close up as my main photograph on my front cover. However after finishing the page, i decided that in producing a rock magazine, people will want to see who is playing the guitar. The mise en scene of the photo is incorrect for the genre of music i am representing. For instance a metal artist won't be wearing a light blue t -shirt.

My next thought was to use this high angle long shot, as after i had manipulated the lighting, and shape it was almost perfect. However it still had one problem; there was only one person in the shot when i was wanting to

produce an article about a new band.

Here is another image i did not use. This would have been the image i would have used if it had of had been taken in better lighting conditions. As the colours of the blacks and greys looked "washed out" when i had cut it out and placed it around the other images i have used on my front cover.

Monday, 20 April 2009

contents page. Work in progress

After looking at mountains of contents pages to have as a style model, i finally found a double page spread, that looks suitable to show to my target audience. The colours are fairly simple, white has been used as it keeps a balance between the reds and blacks on the page. It has been divided into different headings to help the reader understand what is going on on the page, and makes it much simpler to read through.

second half of the article. Got a little more to do on it.

This is the second double page spread of my feature article. I havent used lots of images on it as i dont feel the need to, as the page has lots going on in it to start with, and the images that have been used are enough to keep the readers interested. However it would have been good if i had a group photo of the whole band together, rather than having different faces on different images. I feel i have kept the rest of the layout fairly simple and easy to read.

Friday, 17 April 2009

When i was creating my first pages of my article, i knew i wanted to have an image of a concert with a photo of the band infront. However the orginal lighting in the image made the photograph of the my band look unrealistic, as the lighting of that photo was not the way i wanted it even when i changed the options around. Another point would have been that it you would not be able to see the text that went with the page.

As i thought that this idea wasnt the best it could possibly be, i decided to use another image of a concert, changed the brightness of it, however unlike the previous idea, i split the page in two. Having half white (to make the text easier to read) and the other half as the image from the concert. This worked well with the image of my band, as it looks more like they are there. A second advantage of having it this way would be the fact that " Baptism By Fire" was able to be a darker colour, and was contrasted with the lighter, better colours of the images on the rest of the page. It is also more noticable to the reader, so it takes less to find the article if they had not used the the contents page.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Rockout front cover. Almost finished version

Here is my "Rockout" front cover. I will post the contents page soon.

Monday, 16 March 2009

plans for my magazine

Here my second idea:

Here is my first idea for my magazine:

Here are some design ideas i have came up with. Enjoy.

When we look at the Kerrang! Front cover, we notice one thing at first glance; the main picture of the band. Because the title is giving the impression that they are one of the most dangerous, they show this by the mise en scene they have used in the photograph. The man in the centre of the photo, seems to be the hardest, by the way he holding the chain, and by the fact that he is wearing glasses, give the connotation that he is hiding some thing from the audience. The rest of them are all wearing black, to fit the part of the “hard man” look as well, with all of them showing off either tattoos, our piercings, and all of them are also covering their faces in some way again, giving the connotation of them being hard and dangerous. After the text, “sex. Drugs. Violence”, the three holes through his gloves give the connotation that there is more to tell as it looks as though its leading the way to the rest of the article.
Kerrang! have also used the same four colours throughout the page, to make it consistent. They have only used two different fonts as well, one for the mast head, which is covered by the band. And one for the articles that they have in the magazine. They can afford to cover the mast head as they are a well known magazine and their target audience are well aware of what they put in their magazine and what the normal characteristics of the magazine are like.
Just in case the main article doesn’t draw the potential buyer in, they have also highlighted what else is in the magazine. However the font size in significantly lower than the size used for the main article, however they have made the band names bigger the writing telling us what the articles are about. As well they also have a free giveaway advertised, and at the bottom they have a “PLUS” which stands out from the rest of the articles as well, just for one last attempt to pull the reader in.
At the top of the page the word “mega” implies that the tour is going to be big and every one should go and see the bands that are playing. It also relates to the rock – metal theme they have going on throughout the page. As well for all the Avenged Sevenfold fans they have put a website with one of their song names as the websites address, so that once they have read the article they can go check that out.
We are able to tell the target audience for the magazine as it is produced to look more of a tabloid magazine, not an older more mature specialist magazine.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Again the front cover follows the conventions of a typical magazine page: the four colours and the three fonts used to keep the page consistent. All the colours used on the page look neutral. However if we look at them individually, and where they are positioned on the page in terms of the where they are in contrast with the pictures, we can see that they have used red to advertise the Taste of Chaos tour at the bottom left hand corner of the page. They have done this as the colour red can be associated with violence, chaos and death. The title of the article looks as though it has been written over blood, so as the tour had metal bands on it, this was a good idea to use red, as this gives the connotations of the metal genre and danger.
Pink is the most dominate colour that is used there, as it goes well with the little bit of yellow they use. They alternate between yellow, pink and white to advertise the feature article, this is so it is easy for the reader to read the different artists they have mentioned, so if they like a couple of them they will hopefully buy a copy of the magazine. They say “and more” to try to get you to hint at you to buy the magazine as they “…” is inviting you to turn the page and take a look at what else is in the issue. I would say that it is also used to try to get girls to buy this magazine as it has only men on it. The title of the article of the article makes it sound personal as it says, “rock stars that changed your world”. The word “your” is an attempt to try to make it seem as though the bands are personal to you. Again this is to try to get you to buy it. To add to the fact that this is their main article, the page is covered with popular, well known rock faces not just the ones that have just came about, but ones that have been around for a little while too.
The font they have used for the title of the magazine stays the same in every issue, and it helps represent how rock music should be played- loudly, as it looks as though it is shattering because it is so loud. This is reinforced by the fact that the slogan, “life is load” is right next to it. This makes it sound as though life should have rock music in it.
Even though all the colours they have used look neutral, they make the cover feel cold looking especially when the man on the bottom corner looks pale, and the man on the top left hand corner is in black and white, along with the person on the bottom right. This could also be a reflection on the genre of music they play.
Just like the other Kerrang! magazines the masthead is covered, this is due to the fact the it is a well known magazine with it’s audience. We can tell that it is aimed at teenagers aged 14-19 because of the bands on it, as they all are rock, punk or screamy metal. However, it could be argued that this issue is trying to draw more readers in as it mentions Kurt Cobain, and Slash, who we all know were in big name rock band in the past decade or so, but to keep its regular readers happy as it talks about the tours, and has people from the big bands today. And to advertise this, they have a picture of Billie Joe Armstrong who was a big name in the 90s in his band Greenday and still is today.
Another point to make about how they want to draw the audience in is the fact they have the only ever interview with “Tool” in about the new album.