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Q1) In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our media product consists of three consumable pieces of media; including the music video itself, a website, and finally an album advertisement. Over the course of the past academic year my group and I have conducted various research into these media products in order to really comprehend how we can successfully promote our product.

Music Video:
Our music video for Kid Cudi’s ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’ honestly challenges many forms and conventions of professional music videos, although it does still conform to many. We started off by doing Hip-Hop genre research in which we found a few common tropes which we decided to conform to. An example of this could be the fast paced nature of Hip-Hop music which meant that our own editing had to be relatively fast paced too, we even got criticised during some of our audience feedback as some shots in our 1st draft were extremely long given the context of the song; especially the opening sequence which left a black screen for a couple of seconds. We also conformed to the traditional convention of music videos by presenting a link between the lyrics and the visuals;  theorist Andrew Goodwin backs this up and states this as one of the main tropes of any music video. We show this with a few lines in our video, such as when the performer is saying “attracting me” as the camera pans closely right into his face. Goodwin also claims that the image of the performer should be exemplified by making him the centre of attention. Acknowledging this, we made sure to give the artist ‘Benzo’ a vivid star persona in which he sported stereotypical Hip-Hop garments such as a hoodie and chain. On the other hand however, we could be seen as going against the norm when we take the theme of depression and mental health and shine a light on it. This subject matter is usually not taken into consideration in this genre of music, but considering the lexical choice of Kid Cudi we felt we could comment on it without any questioning from our audience. The post-production allowed us to edit the typography in the title and make it sync up with the pace of the beat, this was effective and it is something usually implemented in Hip-Hop music videos as the groove of the beat is the main component.

The use of the garden performance challenges codes and conventions of traditional Hip-Hop videos as it isn’t a common location. In addition to this, the colour saturation added gives the performance a sense of ‘hyperreality’ which was praised by our audiences.

The editing of the video can easily be compared to that of other mainstream songs. The ‘scribble effect’ seen throughout our music video is seen in many modern videos and is even part of the English electronic duo’s ‘Disclosures’ aesthetic, although it seemed to be a generic staple of music videos contemporaneously. In terms of the narrative of the piece, we subverted traditional Hip-Hop tropes as generally there is a lack of narrative and there is instead a large amount of performance. We knew that, to get a top mark, we had to introduce a few compelling

narratives in order to keep our audience engaged throughout the entire song.

We came to a general consensus to use Wix as a medium to create all three of our websites. This was mainly due to the sleek pre-made templates that they offer, which look incredibly clean and polished. We decided to challenge the contemporary tradition of keeping the entire website above the fold, which is seen in a surprising amount in modern websites due to the fact that it makes the experience easier for mobile users. People who use our websites are able to scroll down to access different sections of the website, which gives us as the creators more freedom. We also noticed that most artists make sure to create synergy between website and their most recent musical venture as it acts as a form of promotion. We implemented this technique in our own websites as we agreed upon using one font throughout our entire campaign (Futura Condensed Extra Bold) as well as a similar colour pallet which really emphasised the connection between the products.  

We made sure to constantly promote social media as we now understand the major impact it has on the music industry as well as how it can shape the performers star persona. The overall composition of the navigation bar is another element which our websites adhere to in relation to existing websites. Our navigation bars consists of the following pages: home, tour, music and store. We decided to include these pages as they have almost become a staple in contemporary websites we have analysed. Offering anchor points at certain points of a page is also another convention which we noticed during research. Content within websites such as Beyoncé’s is often accompanied by hyper links which when clicked, seamlessly direct the user to another component of the same page. We implemented a similar component to our websites where for example when a user proceeds to click on a command such as “watch music video”, the website directs them to the music video which is located below the fold. This helped to improve the flow of the overall website as users can navigate through it without being directed to a new web page and still locate the content which they came for.

 Album Advert:
Contributions to the album advert were made by the whole group; and much alike the previous two media products we also also analysed various album adverts. The archetypal convention of centralising the performer was seen in almost every scenario and thus that’s why we decided to imitate that in our own piece. In addition the stereotypical strap line that shows viewers the hit singles included in the album was also another trope that seemed to appear in every album advert, this is as it attracts potential buyers who may of heard of the song and not the performer. The social media icons that show what streaming services the album is available on are placed neatly towards the bottom of the screen with the artists website URL and record label to the left and right respectively, this is a good use of space as the information is scattered across the sides of the advert to allow the main image take up the majority of the advert.

The anonymous masked characters are seen surrounding the performer whilst he is looking down, we did this to give the advert an urban and uncanny feel, as a possible interpretation of the album cover is that he is being intimidated by his thoughts.

This challenges traditional norms of Hip-Hop as the performers are usually made to look almost invincible and untouchable. Furthermore, they are throwing up ‘gang’ signs which is synonymous with the genre of hip-hop. The background image used was actually a direct screenshot from our actual final music video draft, yet again providing synergy between the two as they are using the same content.

The whole idea of the ‘Cypher’ album advert, was meant to reference to rap battle terminology ,  the different masked characters on the album cover can be seen as his crew. This was inspired by the way boom-bap rappers would pose in the 90s such as Mobb Deep and Flatlinerz

Overall, as a group we managed to get a really good sense of what fundamental tropes we should include in our media product through our analysis of many famous artists. However, we purposely challenged a few of these conventions due to the subject matter of our song choice. The genre of our video can very clearly be identified as Hip-Hop by our websites and advert which is what our objective was from the very beginning; thus we are very satisfied with the outcome.

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