This is a quick video that Me, James and Alfie made to demonstrate the ways that lighting and colour is used and how to achieve the looks.
To ‘break down’ is to take something apart into its core components. When this term is applied to an audience this definition transfers over largely intact and as such we ask the question ‘What are the core components of an audience?’ and come up with the following sections; age, gender, ethnicity and class. There are other factors but we shall get to those later.
Class relates to audience due to simple fact that one’s class is the outline for one’s lifestyle. This has a massive amount of influence over what appeals to an individual and as such it’s an integral point of consideration in the decision making process as it is one of the things that allows for a producer to tailor their production to an audience type. For example our production would be targeted at the middle class as they are the primary consumers of mainstream media.
Age is another important factor due to the effect age has on a person’s character; with age comes wisdom as they say. Taken literally this suggests that older audience members prefer slower paced, introspective productions such as detective shows or period dramas like Downton Abbey. Younger audiences however are generally more inclined to a preference for fast paced action piece. Obviously this is a sweeping generalisation but we can still learn something from it. Based on this alone it would make sense that our target audience would be younger rather than older.
Ethnicity is less important in the modern era due to the fact that there’s a lot more cultural crossover between races and as such there’s less of a stereotype as to what movies each race prefers. Furthermore, races are featured with more and more diversity in film and as such in most every film there’s someone for each viewer to identify with.
Gender is the final significant factor to consider when breaking down an audience. There tends generally to be a marked difference in the filmic preferences of genders. Stereo-typically men would prefer action sequences and testosterone fueled action heroes whilst women would prefer a romance or romantic comedy. This is always something to consider when discussing the demographic of an audience.
To conclude, based on these factors our target audience would be Caucasian, middle class men in their 30’s. To explain;
Middle class – Middle class people are the primary consumers of television and film and as such it makes clear sense to target them primarily.
White/Caucasian – Caucasian individuals also tend to watch more films and television as well which stereo-typically goes hand in hand with the working class
Primary age: 30’s – People of middling age tend to be a sort of middle ground for preferences in film; not drawn in completely by pure action, special effects and excitement and with some appreciation for the slower, more thought provoking pieces that stereo-typically appeal more to older viewers.
Secondary age: 13-18, Tertiary age: 65 plus – these two ages are the two extremes of a viewer base and as our film includes both of the ages preferred styles of film we can safely label them as secondary and tertiary audiences.
Gender – Gender tends to be mostly neutral but sci-fi stereo-typically attracts men more than women as a general rule. It’s not particularly something we have to focus on when filming.
James shot and edited a video that I helped on and this is what the final product came out like:
We are humans, we have a lot of experience in understanding how characters behave. Even with texts that don’t feature humans – it would be foolish or art-house to create characters who are unrealistic.
If we can’t relate to a character do we really care whether they succeed or not. In every story we’ve ever read we for at least one moment consider ‘what if that were me’?
A protagonist should certainly be active. It is their job to move the plot forwards. If Luke didn’t really give a sh*t that Vader planned on expanding the Empire by any brutal means necessary, you wouldn’t really have a Star Wars Nonology (I patented this word, it is mine now.)
Internal or external – a character’s motivations shape all their decisions. We as viewers have our own motivations. They might not be as far-fetched as plunging a ring into Mount Doom or finding the Lost Ark, but still, they’re there.
Spooky stuff makes people move quicker.
This makes a character more realistic. If you can’t imagine an omnipresent soliloquy going on in someone’s head – tearing their decisions apart, then they’re a very dull character.
Anton Chigurh is a beautiful character. People come away from every film and know something about a character. In Indiana Jones, he doesn’t like snakes. It’s not quite as simple as that. People aren’t as simple as that.
Kat in our film, for example, is complex as she is provided with her emotional turmoil in the realms of her distorted father figure – this explains why she is so interested in gaining another.
James and I were asked to create a documentary style video that showcases an arts group that meets every Wednesday near some stairs.
We feel it’s important to storyboard at the same time as the script is being written in order to clearly visualize every second of film. I personally love story-boarding – it encourages excitement for the actual ‘look’ of the film. It feels as if it’s coming together nicely. It also encourages us to think more logistically about how we will execute a shoot.
This image shows us in a meeting regarding our thoughts on whether the shots are appropriate and work well with the script.
At this stage, we have constructed 56 frames which equates to about 2.5 pages of script, or 2 minutes of footage. Each frame is unfortunately not as well-coloured or polished as my GCSE work.
A gorgeous, but unnecessary amount of detail was used in the GCSE trailer. Perhaps if we had focused more on shot framing and focusing and movement, the trailer might have been better, and less time would have been wasted. As long as you can understand where the subject is in the frame, what time of shot it is, the equipment; lenses and camera information i.e f-stop, and most importantly camera movement – you’ll be good.
Here is our preferred, more efficient layout. Less space is wasted in text boxes.
Despite the aversion to detail – it is important to add some details in to strengthen the mise-en-scene. For example, here – I have a clear image in my head of what I want Kat’s bedside table to feature. In a couple months time on a stressful shoot, will I?
the most important part of this ‘basic model’ for us is the ‘entertain’ section, particularly the escapism part. Sci-fi and Fantasy are the two genres that most facilitate escapism. This is largely due to their setting, a reality that is usually so far removed from our own that we can ‘escape’ into this universe and not think about our own lives. When watching Star Wars for example you become absorbed in the story of heroes and villains, of star ships and laser guns and you don’t think for a moment about how it relates to your own existence. This is the purpose of sci-fi.
Even in productions like our own that have limited sci-fi elements and focus more on characters (soft sci-fi) the principle of escapism still applies heavily despite being set in a world very much like our own, perhaps even more so in a sense. It could be suggested that a sci-fi set in a world like our own in fact facilitates a greater degree of escapism as it becomes much easier to inject oneself into the narrative.
Catharsis; “the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.” This is the traditional interpretation of the term catharsis as coined by Aristotle sometime in the fourth century BC. Literally meaning to cleanse oneself emotionally, the term was picked up first by literature and, much later, by film. In the context of a story catharsis is the moment of relief when the villain is defeated for example, or when the hero escapes a trap. Every film worth its salt has a moment of catharsis, romances have the characters finally fall in love, action has the hero defeating the villain; it goes on.
By its very nature catharsis can occur several times over the course of the film and to a degree it is dependent upon the viewer and what they view to be a stressful scenario. In our short film for instance we have three major points of catharsis in the plans; finding out the old man has powers, discovering he is an alien and the suggestion that he has survived at the end. These points of catharsis bring me onto the next point; its not always about stress in the traditional sense, it is more akin to anticipation in some cases. What defines something as catharsis is the release, not the emotion itself.
Due to the nature of film making there are likely to be several more instances of catharsis on a smaller scale but they have not been fleshed out as of yet as integral to the plot. If more moments end up our film, they’ll likely be spontaneous or incidental additions.
Binary opposition is essentially two concepts that are the opposite of each other; hero and villain, man and woman, young and old, kindness and cruelty. All these are very simple examples of the concept. It more predominantly applies to a media text in regards to characters. In our production the binary opposite is that of the uncle and the alien; both are seemingly older men and yet that is where the similarities end. Where one is gruff the other is gentle, one is rude and abrasive whilst the other is considerate and kind, loud and mute; it goes on.
Binary opposites always have a link in some way, shape or form otherwise they wouldn’t really be considered opposites, they’d simply be unrelated. In the traditional example of hero and villain the link is usually their point of contention; the princess, the kingdom, the world, etc. The common link between our characters is Kat, she is what forces them to interact within the plot at all and as such provides them with something in common with which to establish their ‘binary opposition’.
Todorov’s Three Part Structure
In perhaps the best simplification of narrative structure Todorov tells us that every media text follows equilibrium, disequilibrium and resolution. In our production the equilibrium would be the point at which Kat and Toby are communicating, meeting up and so on; the world is as it should be. Following this is the disequilibrium in which the alien is discovered and continues all the way through to his ‘death’ which is the resolution (his hinted survival is also part of this). In a sense our narrative structure goes against convention as the disequilibrium is not the negative point, the resolution is.
Todorov’s Five Part Structure
On a related note, Todorov also invented two additional parts which constitutes a five part structure; equilibrium, disequilibrium, recognition of the disequilibrium, an effort to restore the equilibrium and the resolution. The two new stages (third and fourth) add more detail to a structure when the concept is laid out, aiding the planning process. This detail splits the aliens arrival in two; the aliens arrival itself (disequilibrium) and the children’s discovery of him (recognition). The first attempt at resolution is the uncles attempt to remove the alien from his house, something that ends in seemingly tragic failure and, obviously, the other three stages are as above.
For our short film with it being our own ideas and style we’ll have to come up with our own look. This will involve pre-production research into colour grading and how it will affect the feel of the film. The colour grade of certain scene can even effect the mood of the scene, for example: warmer colours are more associated with happiness and comfort, while colder colours are associated with comfortableness and loneliness. Moreover colour grading can be associated with different time periods and equipment it is filmed on. This can be things like: super 8 and super 16 film.
In our film we are going for a kind of style that takes inspiration from super 16’s filmic look while also making use of the current technology. This can be achieved by having similar colour science, with things such as grain and yellow mid-tones, but while using the same frame rate and sharpness in current camera technology.
In film most people use look up tables (LUT’s). These are presets that are done by professional colourists to give a shot a certain look and feel. By having these settings as LUT’s it allows you to have certain settings applied to multiple shots in a package that allows you to use it on multiple projects. We think in our short film it would be easier, but more time consuming to create a colour grade for each individual scene rather than trying to find a LUT that can cater to the short film as a whole.
We created a few looks that give the type of feel that we are going for:
Super 8 Inspired:
This grade is heavily inspired by day light super 8 grading. Super 8 has a very heavy emphasis on yellow in the mid-tones and heavy grain, with the addition of very soft images only achievable by turning off in-built sharpness in a modern day camera. In addition to the the shadows and highlights are raised to give it that soft non-contrast look.
Super 8 Cool:
This grade is very similar to super 8 daylight but similar to dim lit or night time shot super 8. With the obvious mid-tones being much colder and the image being overall darker as super 8 could not handle dim or low light as well as 30mm or modern day full frame.The blacks in super 8 and as well as super 16 are often not as dark or crunchy as normal film black, in addition to the whites not being true white and being more of a grey tinge. This is a staple part of both super 8 and super 16 film look.
Super 16 Inspired:
With super 16 the light and colour performance was much better than super 8. This allowed for better work in dim light and retaining more richer colours. With super 16 the mid-tones kind of role off of the highlights to create a nice soft look and the shadows are quite bright in some areas. It has less grain that super 8, but in this grade we decided to add a grain overlay to give it a more authentic look. In addition to this the colours are more well balanced, so we decided that we would decided to give it a more colder look that warmer. with magenta and yellows in the highlights and greens in the mid-tones to counteract.
There were a few issues with our concept that members of our enraptured audience shook themselves from their awe induced silence to point out to us. *winks* For example, some people took issue with the idea of an old man being so exposed to the cold as he would be on the moor top, continuity issues relating to child actors potentially getting drastically different haircuts and how we intend to film the scene in which the old man falls down the stairs. The following slide intends to reach a conclusion as to how we shall resolve these problems effectively.
The pitch was useful to us. We discovered that there was a clear issue with the timing of our short. It will not be short at this rate. This is undoubtedly the main issue. We seek to resolve this by cutting unnecessary or irrelevant scenes.
- We had a scene in a morgue that was a stupid and ridiculous idea.
- We plan on making the transition between the moors and the town shorter, like only seconds.
- We aim to make the montage scene condensed, and the pacing of the rest quite generous with time. This will ensure that we have time to hold onto shots for dramatic effect, but also make the appropriate elements snappy.
We also have the issue of practical effects, which we need to research in detail until we have planned each one we will use in detail.
Our next steps are:
Writing a fully-fleshed out treatment of the short film. Here we will see the scenes that are unnecessary/too ambitious.
Drafting out some scripts for certain scenes. Draw out our storyboard.
Looking at our actors – screen-tests etc. Seeing if they’re capable/the best person for the role.
Practicing practical effects, how will we do the flicker effect? Looking into dimmers as they give a more realistic imitation of a power surge.
Catharsis: “Catharsis is an Aristotelian term. “Fear poisons life with anxiety” “Catharsis can flush the feeling from our minds; clears the air” “Catharsis is the sense of purgation or relief.”
It can be put as the “aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh” moment. Watch either of these examples which show some of the biggest a-ha! moments out there.
Considering that a catharsis can be as minute as possible, and many can occur in just one text, what moment in the Iron Giant clip was the catharsis?
The realisation of his powers as an alien robot you say, superb! Well it’s important to notice that a catharsis is a device that truly makes a film.
Why are we interested in catharsis? Short films are short by definition and we feel that for it to be an enjoyable short, it needs some sort of key catharsis.”
Science Fiction: “Another reason why we chose the Iron Giant clip was because it is an example of a Sci-Fi text. Why is it?
The advanced alien robot character might be a hint.
Science Fiction is defined as a genre having conventions of advancements in science or technology.
Because of the broadness of this genre, having such a wide scope for writers and directors to play with, there are so many different uses of the term science fiction – and it’s easy to forget that.
Most people, in thinking about ‘Science Fiction’ might sigh and think of tinny products like Doctor Who, Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. On the other hand, people may leap straight to the bigger Sci-Fis; Star Wars, Blade Runner, or Alien.
Many forget about controversial texts which are less-conventional, i.e. Inception, Frankenstein, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ex-Machina. These are texts which don’t fully adopt the many conventions of Sci-Fi, and only focus on one.
The Iron Giant is again, an unusual Sci-Fi, as it’s only defined as being so because of its sole robot element.
Why did we want to do a Sci-Fi short?”
Because it’s cool: “Sci-Fi is a genre that allows for so many ‘cool’ things to happen. It’s a genre that is entirely speculative, most of the Sci-Fi’s out there present issues which could happen/have already happened. The iconic ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….’ tagline is a way for nerds to uphold the slightest possibility of some form of Star Wars situation happening at some point somewhere – it simply can’t be disproved. This way, Sci-Fi films can complete the utmost form of escapism – by creating situations so far from our own, that we may temporarily forget that our own issues exist in the 90 minutes whilst watching a film.
For short film purposes, much of Sci-Fi is based around an idea that is simply developed over and over until you’re left with something so epic that the idea is lost under all the layers of Hollywood ganache. With a short, you can explore an idea, and only the idea. The actors won’t distract you from it’s meaning, and there isn’t enough time to ruin the idea, unless you’re a remarkably bad filmmaker.”
Style: “Short films are used as devices to showcase a particular artist’s style. Our short film will need a particular style in order to follow conventions of the format.
Looking at films like Under The Skin and Ex-Machina we can see a bleakness in the way that the stories are presented both visually and dramatically. This is in stark contrast to many of the over-sensationalized Sci-Fi blockbusters. Some directors and artists carry their styles across their films. Wes Anderson for example is famous for his almost-symmetry, his technicolour wash palette, and his slow, calculated humour. Michael Bay on the other hand is famous for his over-use of slow motion, shiny objects and explosions. Each of these will have picked up their styles from other directors, authors and artists alike. Now it’s our turn to do the same.
What will influence our style?”
Influence: “Moonrise Kingdom provides our character material – the humour between them.
Stranger Things gives genre and setting, the retro-futuristic 1980s charm. We’d love to explore an 80s style in our short film.
E.T. gives the relationship between an alien and a child.
Donnie Darko provides thought-provoking dialogue useful in shorts.
Hunt For The Wilderpeople is genius for it’s use of comedy between the two lead characters, Taika Waititi knows best.
Her has a palette which is a bleak entanglement of Blade Runner and Donnie Darko.
True Detective provides both stunning and sinister visuals.
The Iron Giant gives the perfect sweet narrative and relationship that we aim to create in our short.”
Idea: “Our idea goes like this:
A young girl and her friend encounter an old alien man who appears to have no recollection of where he is. His only method of communication is through the use of electrical devices.”
Themes: “We decided that some of the themes that should come out of our short film will be:
Coming of Age,
How?: “It’s an ambitious idea, but between the four of us, we’ve had a lot of practice. All we need to do is have careful time management, to be respectful of our actors and crew, and to think about the story the whole time. We are lucky in having access to a wide range of technologies, such as high-end Nikon DSLR cameras, lenses, and film-quality sound equipment. The fun side of the production can come in practical and visual effects, which will be used sparingly, but even so – practice with these will be fundamental.”
On the 2nd of October our group decided to meet to work on the narrative and characters of our short film. We were there for around 3 hours and it was actually surprisingly productive. We managed to establish a solid plan for the 4 main characters of ‘Him’, Kat, Toby and ‘Uncle’. By establishing these characters it allowed us to layers more texture to our story and make it have better meaning and arc. In doing this we established a basic story narrative to pitch to the class later on in the month. In the session Alfie came up with the good idea that the aliens electrical powers can also be used as a vessel to portray his emotions, which will help in giving the character more personality and making the audience warm to him faster. In addition to character and story development we also settled on the working title and length of the film. We decided that the film would be around 10-15 minutes long and that we will try and not making the film 15 min in planning as this will not leave room to add ideas on the day of filming. Moreover we settled on themes and feels of the film such as: Friendship, loneliness, coming of age, etc. The working title that we decided on was: FLICKER. Also we had lots of nice coffee
In June I entered a competion to be featured and entered into Bradford’s Parks and Places event. I was then featured in one of the showings that was on their City Park Big Screen and website.
Within the past few weeks since finishing Year 12 Media we have been given a task to complete up to the end of the July half term. The task that we were set was to create and produce a short film based around an idea that was provided. We chose to use the idea of too late. This is because we felt that we had most freedom with this theme as there are many different ways that this could be included within our short film. We were aware that from being given this task that as long as we planned it well and worked effectively then we didn’t have to have it completely finished a this project was so that we could get used to working the groups that we will be working in next year, which for my group is the group that we worked in, in year 11 to create our film trailer Childhood’s End.
When it came to planning the film we worked around the theme of too late to eventually come up with the superhero mick take idea, which we all really liked and found would work well for us as we had assets that would be available to us at this time as well as that it was an idea that we would be able to film in the short period of time we had available to both film and edit. We started planning by listing the assets that we had, we then moved onto coming up with the superhero idea, this was then followed with planning the basic story line of the film which was equilibrium, disequilibrium and resolution. Once we had done this we fleshed out the storyline more fleshing out the characters and storyline. We found that when we had more of an understanding about the characters it allowed us to come up with the dialogue we originally wanted to include as well. Within the time we were adding to the storyline we came up with the idea of including a montage for the costume ideas as it was mentioned in a discussion about the Spiderman costume montage which was really effective.
The final stages of planning we did were storyboarding it on a large white board and figuring out any camera movement that we wanted to include. Following this we also planned when we were going to film after figuring out when we were all free within our work experience week. Due to other commitments we were limited with time so we decided that we wanted to film the key moments within the storyline most so we chose the design montage, the shower realisation moment, a gym montage and some drone travelling shots. We planned to film on the four days all of which were in the afternoon.
When it came to filming we started with the design montage shots and the shower scene. We filmed this at James’ house within his studio and his bathroom. For the montage scene we chose the worst drawer within the group (me) to design some appalling costume designs to include within the montage to help create the mick take feel. We filmed this montage scene for around 2 hours possibly a bit more. We included steady cam shots, jib shots and hand held shots to include variety of different angles. We used loads of different lenses for example 24-70mm 2.8, 105mm macro lens and 50mm 1.8. By using the different lenses we were able to experiment more with the shots and include a large variety of different types of shots for example shots with a large depth of field, macro shots and wide angle shots. For lighting we used an Arrie off camera with a prop light and a reflector to achieve the lighting scene within the desk shots and the close-up face shots. For the costume montage we used a single Arrie light and a small reflector to achieve a very harsh shadow and lots of harsh contrast. For mise-on-scene we tried to get a basement type vibe by having old warn furniture and littered props around the floor. Also the lighting contributed to the mise-en-scene with harsh lighting that could have come from a harsh single ceiling light.
Moving onto the shower scene we had Terry in his swim ware so that he wasn’t naked within the scene, but they were worn low to instigate that he was naked in the shots. We had a Luke warm shower running so that there was no steam to fog up the camera as well as the mic in the bath as we were able to prop it up and point it towards the shower sound. We had two cameras set up; Matthew had the main camera whilst James was on B roll. Matthew was positioned on two boxes to get the high angle over the shower to easily get the over the shoulder shot of Terry. We also had James at the side of the shower to get the eyelevel shots and the low level shots of terry including close ups of his face and when he drops the shampoo bottle. This took us around forty- five minutes to get the shots that we needed. This was the end of the first shoot for this project and overall it was very successful as we get every scene that we wanted.
The next filming day was the following day when we were shooting at Matthew’s house and on his road. This shoot took place from 8.00pm to 10.30pm as we wanted to have the twilight lighting within the drone shots we planned. We started with the jib shot of Terry coming out from the door and getting on his bike after pushing it up the drive. James did the jib shot, whilst Matthew and I did sound. In between shots Alfie was taking set photos for the blog. After this we moved up to the top of the drive to get terry coming out of the drive and then we had a second camera set up in the middle of the road with a wide angle on to get all of the sky and Terry. It was a very wide angle shot to establish the area. The camera was stop down a couple of stops to expose for the sunset as we shot at twilight. We did loads of different angles and types of shot of Terry going down the street to get the perfect shot to give the mood of him going on an adventure. James then got the drone out to get a very high angle of Terry riding down the street. This was also to get the sunset we desired for the shot.
To follow this we went back into Matthew’s house to get the shots for the scene that appears before in the final product before he goes outside. This was the scene of him telling his mum he is going out, we prepped the scene with one Arrie light in the kitchen facing towards the door and we had Matthew in the corridor and James in the kitchen both filming at the same time. For the scene we had terry run down the stairs whilst Matthew’s mum was washing up whilst Terry ran out the door afterwards. To achieve the scene that we wanted we cut together the shots that were filmed together at the same time which were then cut together in post to show him coming through the door and speaking to his mum. This was the final bit for this shoot which was also successful as got the shots that we needed and shot in perfect time frame to get the right type of sunset.
Even though the short film was ok without it we didn’t have chance to film the gym scene as we didn’t know if we had permission at the gym as no-one had organised to film there. But the final product that we have ended up with was really successful.
In post we used adobe premiere pro cc to cut together the clips, add sound, sync up the audio from set, colour grade and add effects.
Double Page Spread
Contents Page – Alternate Version
Double Page Spread – Alternate Version
First things first, I got a new camera between the time of shooting my preliminary and shooting my full product. I upgraded from a micro 3 thirds sensor to a Nikon APS-C sensor. This has vastly increased the sharpness, quality and ISO range. In addition the better lenses that provided better creative flexibility in getting a good image. This separates the two magazines from the beginner, free distributed, low count circulation to the above average, high circulation count distributed by official company’s magazine. This is also down to the equipment provided. In addition to better technologies there are also connotations and meaning behind the photos taken in the music based magazine compared the lifeless shell of the photos that are placed in school magazines. I have also learnt the different ways of taking a photo. Through Jessica Kobeissi and Peter McKinnon I have taken their experience and techniques to heart on how to take portraits and this helped drastically when producing a good photo.
The school magazine is low production technologies, like not having a studio or only using average lighting with no production value what so ever. School usually don’t have access to a full-fledged studio that I used when shooting my music magazine so that shows in their final products as they are lower than standard. One factor of this is the lighting that is used in my preliminary compared to my final product. Lighting in the school based one is only a single consumer based light while the music based one uses several high end lights. You can diffidently tell by the of light on both images. The harsh undiffused light of the school based shows the lower quality while the well-lit lovely diffused lighting of my music based shows the higher production quality and the development of skills in the time between
Photoshop is a big part in the developments I have made from the preliminary to the final product. I have learnt that sometimes more is less and that you can never have too many layers. Having everything o different layers is very useful as it gives you that ability to tweak every last thing. Another thing that is learnt from Jessica Kobeissi is how to use an adjustment curve. This thing is a saviour of photos. Pairing this with a dodgy histogram, the thing that tells you the composite of the image, it can fix anything and saves even the worst of images. Leaning about shadows, midtones and highlights has progressed me through learning valuable skill in photography and how to compose an image related to a histogram and what will bring out the best photo. While on the subject of composing an image I have improved on that too. In my preliminary I knew how to pose and block, telling models where they should move for the proper dramatic effect, basically. Using the rule of thirds and the “golden rule” have been a staple of my photography and I strongly believe in following it, but to break it when necessary to get more creative imagery, and this can be seen throughout both my school and music magazine. The way to I improved upon my composition from the base task is through cropping in post. If I didn’t like the image as it wasn’t tight enough on my model I would have just left it in my preliminary, however in my final all my images have been skewed, rotated or cropped to achieve the best compositionGraphics are a big part of magazines. In research I found that there popularity is much more than I imagined. My music magazine as seen makes use of very simple graphics that are used to separate the brands from the picture and in somewhat diminishes them as the blue in the brands and the blue in the graphic are similar and seem to seep together. I improved upon this by putting a little more research into the use of graphics to find out how they can define and make text punchier. On my final product you can see how the triangle at the bottom punctuates the text more and helps it not seep into the similar coloured background, which would have made the text unrecognisable and useless. I also used a very transparent red box behind the exclusive box to give a slight separation from the image as the image distracted from the text without it. This can be seen on my preliminary that the text is just splashed anywhere and that none of it has meaning or purpose apart from just being there. Pictures are also classed as graphics when as a drop image or manipulated to add towards another shape graphic or text. In preliminary I used no picture graphics while in my final task you can see the addition of a vinyl record on the front cover and a drop image in the contents page adds to the full image and provides information that wouldn’t be achievable with just text.
Text is important. In my school based magazine I just threw in any other font that Photoshop provided me with. This didn’t pull the pages together as they all had different fonts. I improved this by having a main font the ties the front page and the DPS together. I obtained a font from the internet that I thought looked rock stylistic but also with a hint of classiness that most indie magazines try to present. When working with fonts it is good to keeps in mind that they can be overdone and that even the simplistic fonts can be good and that you don’t need a super fancy font to show off your new magazine.
To find out how I attracted my audience its best to refer back to the actual audience and the feedback that they gave me. The feedback was collected from a small sample of people that wrote what they both liked and disliked about my magazine pages.
The feedback that I received from my front page is generally good. This is good as the front page is the selling point of every magazine as it’s the first and only thing that a customer will see. If the front cover isn’t good then they will not pick it up and buy it. A comment on the front cover says “colours go well with each other”. This is what I have opted for by choosing a main colour throughout my front cover as it pulls the whole thing together by having a theme. If a magazine has lots of different colours then it can be too confusing and the page can seem very jumbled and harsh. In addition using different colours doesn’t match the genre of the magazine at all. Indie magazines usually have a unifying colour that keeps their audiences coming back. The text and typography are what you would find on a typical indie magazine and that’s what makes it distinguishable as indie. With simple headlines and matching colour scheme it all follows the connotations of the genre. Also the name of the magazine, “Record Cabinet”, record are now associated with indie music as they were first to hop back on the record band wagon of the 21st century.
In my contents page there is a comment that says “nice image of model”. This is one of the key things that are needed to attract the audience. The image. If the image has something wrong with it then it will put off the audience as it doesn’t look GOOD. The pictures included in every magazine are the first thing you will see in each page, without an image the text next to it will just be a boring slab of information. If the image is low quality, framed wrong, has too much or too little going on then it will not have that eye catching affect that the successful magazines like Q and NME have. Good images are what separate the mediocre magazines from the professional ones. This is what I hope I have achieved in taking high quality planned image to make sure that my magazine breaks through the barrier of being just glanced at and make sure that it is recognised by audiences and picked up in stores.
On my DPS there is a comment saying “Good graphics” & “unconventional interview layout”. These two thing link in with the typography of the magazine. You could say that text is just as important as the image as it is what they’re actually buying the magazine for to read the articles. However if the text looks boring then it’ll be more like reading the news paper rather then an exacting magazine. By adding graphics and have a unique or “unconventional” layout will create a sort of “flashing bubble” around the text saying “come here and read this”. Graphics are essential in magazine as it gives a flare to anything that would usually be boring and in indie magazines, there are a lot. These are big things in attracting an audience towards big blocks of text that would normally look challenging to the reader, but now it looks kind of fun and interesting.
It seems that through the comments received I have found that my magazine is good enough to attract an audience. Does it attract my audience though? Well, yeah. The high quality production and simplicity of the colour schemes and content is what an indie audience strives for. It’s what it’s all about for them. Even though no one mentioned anything about age, ethnicity or class that is good in one way that when people look at ‘Record Cabinet’ it doesn’t spring to anyone’s mind, which is what you need in a magazine, for it too appeal to everyone.
The constructive critism of all pages are all of graphical errors or differences of opinion, which is good as this doesn’t affect the style of the magazine or goes against the conventions of indie magazines that my magazine could not have included
What is my target audience? Well that all depends on my magazine and who likes to buy that magazine. It all comes down to one thing really: young or old? With this foundation question set the rest falls into place. Older generations being in the 35-60 range while younger generations being in the 17-30 range, both have different ways of in taking the media distributed by the many different companies. First we have to look at the way that the different ages digest media. These can be things such as physical magazines in the shop, subscription magazines and digital subscriptions and web based media.
The older generations are obviously used to it the old ways, hard physical copies that they can hold and see. Just like how they did it back in the day. This can be from habit and that it is exactly how they got they media when they were younger and it’s just never going to be topped by the ever growing popularity of technological media, or that it is part of the fact they have it in their hand and it brings back that nostalgic feeling bringing them back to their younger years. As younger generations we’ll never know this feeling till the future when the information is directly transferred to the brain and we complain about having to actually go to a website and read about things. Anyway these physical copies can be acquired through many large chain retail shops or small corner shops that sell an abundance of genres. This can be part of a routine that older people do every month, maybe even every week.
The younger audiences are faster paced and have shorter attention spans compared to the older generations. This means that they want to access to their media as fast as possible and in small bit sized bursts. These are usually acquired through social media outlets. In this day and age smart phones now let you get news apps and apps developed by magazine distributers. This fits to their lifestyles and how their interpret media. The easy accessibility and not having to go out of your way to obtain the magazine has seen the rise in magazine distributers promoting their online issues. This is great and all but is it better for Record Cabinet? I don’t think so.
Different audience that have no correlation towards my magazine would be the different types of people. Ethnicity, gender and sexuality aside these do not affect my audience as the magazine is set to appeal to all people. It’s the type of lifestyle that they live that effects what kind of person they are. Social class, parenthood, and job status all affect what kind of person someone is. If someone is a parent they will be buying family friendly content in relation to their children. They won’t be buying a magazine that swears or shows sexually commutated imagery which could be included in some issues. If someone is of a higher class or has a high earning job then they won’t want to pay for an average magazine that doesn’t replicate their lifestyle in the text of the magazine, which links towards the hypodermic needle theory that the media influences our lives so much that they can convince the public so much that we believe what the media tells us.
You see the indie scene is always one step ahead in the retro style. They worship anything old and retro styled. This will soon be what magazines are… Retro. The magazine will come out of its current slump of decline and return to the indie audience as being “cool” and “edgy” to own a pile of magazines. The target audience is the younger indie people and this is the type of thing that they relish on, being independent and different. So if the majority are getting their daily influx of news from the Q website then they will want to be different and actually go and buy a physical copy. This counters the argument of the older vs the older generation. The target audience is very dynamic in that the type of audience is matches the older generation; however the indie demographic has the ideals that match the older generation’s likes.
This Easter I went on holiday to the south of England to a lovely place called Eastbourne. In my spare time I love creating film and documenting travels and such. This is an example of the things i love to create.
In this video I address how the different genres of music affect the presentation and contents of their magazine.
When composing this video I used Adobe Premiere Pro CC to edit clips together
To record sound I used a programm called Audacity that let me record several clips into one file and so on. I also used it to remove background noise from my recording, to some extent.
Hope you enjoy the video