Sunday, 8 May 2011

'Lights' Promotional Package: Individual Project Evaluation

My A2 Media project has been far more laborious than any other task I’ve completed throughout my course but it’s taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I’m really happy with the outcome of my Pop Promotional Package; I’ve done exactly what I set out to do and it looks just how I envisioned it at the beginning. Despite a few problems that could have been detrimental to the overall package, I’m glad these things happened as they’ve helped to shape the Pop Promotion and Promotional Material into the finished products that now are.

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

Through my secondary research of other artists’ promotional packages, including close analysis of music videos, I began to understand the different elements that make a successful pop promotion. With this understanding I could now focus on each individually with my own product in mind. These elements include important factors such as; Star Construction, knowing who your audience is and targeting them appropriately, having a strong ‘look and feel’ of the promotional package visually and carefully constructing a clear identifiable theme throughout by ‘branding’ the band in a similar, recognisable fashion. Here, my primary research came in useful, asking a sample about their views on music videos and star image which helped a lot. This cohesive look and feel has been done by almost all artists by making sure that all visuals used in the promotional package are near identical, for example, using the same image for both the album cover and print ad, only adapting the image slightly by adding release dates, social media links, tour dates and where the audience can buy the product etc. From researching this, I implemented each and every one of these qualities into my own promotional package.

I’ve closely analysed a number of pop-promos in order to fully appreciate the elements I mentioned in the previous paragraph and how these elements are expressed. I’ve noticed, that in order to build the star image construction needed for a band to be successful, techniques such as close-ups, a strongly defined visual styling, and expressing the band’s personality through their confidence and energy meaning the audience feels familiar with the band’s style both visually and musically. Though this isn’t genre specific, different genres typically use these codes and conventions differently. Cinematography and editing play such an important role in building the tone, mood and pace and genre for the song featured in the pop-promo with techniques such as cutting to the beat/lyrics and illustrating the lyrics through the mise-en-scene. For example, pop videos usually feature faster cuts and a wider range of shot types than an R&B music video.

With my marketing vision for GLITTERKNIGHT, I realised that Florence & The Machine’s promotional material was extremely similar to the direction I wanted to take my own band in. Her band are very indie and have a strong look and feel to them whilst retaining a darker, more edgy quality which is what I saw in GLITTERKNIGHT; not only in terms of genre but also in image and the entire ‘look and feel’ of the promotional materials. To further this research of meticulously marketing with a clear theme, I looked at other artist’s promotional material for their albums. Britney Spears albums ‘Circus’ and ‘Femme Fatale’ followed the codes and conventions that were made apparent in Florence’s campaign but also expanded on them. Techniques such as utilising social networking to reach a target audience were employed and building up almost character that’s larger than life are absolutely key to the success of a band’s promotional material.

Channeling what I’ve learned about the successes of the bands I’ve studied, I began to employ their techniques in a unique way that suits GLITTERKNIGHT. The song ‘Lights’ has been illustrated quite literally throughout the entire package, using out of focus fairy lights to create a clear identity and theme for the band’s material. We’ve kept everything unmistakably similar in terms of the images we’ve used; especially in the Digipack Design and the Print Ad. The same background and image of the band are used in both designs, as is the band’s and album’s logo. This creates an extremely recognisable brand to an audience and prompts them to consume all of the different types of marketing material used in our campaign.

We’ve considered many different elements and qualities from other band’s music videos when making our own. The lights from Florence & The Machine’s ‘Cosmic Love’ inspired us to include out of focus lights in our own promotional package. Instead of taking the idea completely though, we adapted the idea to suit our band’s look and feel, using a more golden hue and simplifying the number of lights used which works really nicely - the way we’ve used them is more prominent too. Instead of having them just as a background, we’ve layered them on top of some shots during the editing stage to build that mysterious star quality we wanted for our band. I think a really effective example of this layering can be seeing in the closing shot where the male member of the band (myself) can be seen peering into the camera
before fading to black (which can be seen to the right). Exploring narratives too also helped us decide on our own. I was extremely inspired by Florence & The Machine’s ‘Dog Days Are Over’ narrative and loved the idea of feeling lost in a forest. Again, we developed the idea to suit our own band and ideology behind our song by the use of props; the camera and light box which gave a very haunting, distressed feel to the narrative whilst retaining the band’s image whilst illustrating the lyrics of the song; feeling lost, alone and scrutinized until the ‘light’ appears. Like ‘Dog Days Are Over’, I felt that the large conceptual nature of our video would only be complimented with a narrative as both of these elements define the band perfectly. I decided against a performance based music video due to the genre of the piece, instead lip-syncing gives the realistic approach of being a band whilst maintaining the star image, ensuring that not only are we being really thematic and conceptual with the approach to ‘Lights’ and GLITTERKNIGHT but also that the band get a lot of screen time to really construct that all important star image.

We’ve used forms and conventions of other real media products in our own pop promotion such as editing and cinematography techniques. In the music videos I found to be most captivating, the range of shot types and angles used made for really interesting viewing whilst also making sure the artist gets a lot of screen time. We shot the same sequence two or three times, each with two cameras using different framing, shot types and angles so we could edit them to the pace of the song using continuity which I think worked really nicely. In terms of constructing the star image and asserting the look and feel for GLITTERKNIGHT, we wanted our mise-en-scene to be as thematic as Britney Spears’ ‘Circus’ - obviously suited to our band though. We’ve done this by using a very limited set of colours throughout our pop promotion; golds, blacks and creams. Whilst analysing La Roux’s ‘Quicksand’ pop-promo and Marina & The Diamonds’ ‘Oh no!’ video, I noticed that their costumes and styling directly reflected the props, lighting and locations. We’ve used and developed this technique and I’m happy with the way we’ve kept it so similar throughout our marketing campaign.

We've applied a lot of factors to these designs that we've learned along the way from the analysis of other band's promotional material such as the strong cohesive theme, building a star image, aesthetically positioned graphics and clear recognisable branding. We've used the same image of the band on both the CD Digipack and Print Advertisement so the two, with marketing in mind, are clearly linked and distinguishable to our audience. The size and positioning of the band on both Digipack and print ad ensures this is the main focus to the audience and pushes the development of the star image we're trying to achieve. The costume styling for the cover strongly follows suit with the pop promotion for the lead song on the album entitled 'Lights' keeping consistent with the colour theme and the cultivation of star image, carefully directed towards our target audience (who have been defined earlier in the blog). Looking directly into the camera, the star image, similarly to other bands like us, detonates confidence and catches the eye of our potential audience.

For our Print Ad and Digipack Design, we took note of other artists’ fonts, images, layouts and stylistics in order to create something really successful and aesthetically captivating. I’ve learned that having the band as the centre focus in these materials is key to attracting an audience for the band and that the styling has to be very meticulous and close to all of the other components of the campaign and we’ve applied these techniques directly to our own. The fonts and mise-en-scene we’ve used, I think, have developed the codes and conventions used in other bands’ CD designs and adverts. We’ve kept the theme true to GLITTERKNIGHT’s look and feel and not over complicated anything - The typefaces we’ve used are clean, glowy, readable and positioned prominently, making the album title and band name unmissable to the consumer. This description can be seen below - the logo for GLITTERKNIGHT.

Overall, I think we’ve used a lot of the forms and conventions that I’ve mentioned above. Instead of directly copying other artists though, we’ve expanded on these ideas and changed them according to our band’s style which has been very important into shaping and constructing the unique star image needed for a successful campaign.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

Using the previously mentioned forms and conventions I’ve previously mentioned and developing them to produce my own music video has resulted in a really successful and effective finished piece. The mise-en-scene for our piece is very restricted. We chose to keep things very thematic on screen in order to really assert and express our band’s look and feel to our audience. The colour scheme is enforced throughout lighting, costumes, props and locations; gold, blacks, whites and cream. Visually, the video is quite energetic and the tone pace and mood of the video have very typically ‘pop’ qualities with a quirky 80’s edge which I think comes from the colour palette. This, combined with the costumes and styling of the video make us identifiable and relatable to our target audience which, at large, contributes significantly to the success of our pop promotion. The narrative furthers the illustration of the song both lyrically and melodically from our studio shots. It’s just different enough to break the video up, providing a new location and style whilst still retaining the stylistics we’ve defined. The colours are very warm, the costumes are extremely similar in terms of colour and style and the props, especially the box of light link the two locations together perfectly which I’m really happy about.

The tone, pace and mood of the music video is down to the way we filmed it and editing techniques. Taking examples from other media texts and changing them to fit our own provided us with the confidence and knowledge to fully express our ideas when thinking about this. The pace of the song is set by the frequency of the cuts and length of shots. We’ve cut shots to the beat and lyrics of the song accordingly, especially on key lyrics and when entering a new verse or chorus. A great example of this is is 1:10 into the video (displayed on the right). The camera zooms into Kira as ‘when I’m alone’ is sung before the second verse which looks really effective and works well with the tone and pace of this part of the song. Examples such as this really give a visual representation of what the song is and advertises it perfectly, an dark, upbeat indie/pop song - I think we’ve captured these elements really well with the techniques I’ve mentioned.

The CD cover is almost a summary of our pop promo. The costumes featured on the cover are almost identical to those worn in the video and the styling in terms of hair and make-up are too which makes for an easily identifiable link between these two texts. The background too is exactly the same as the lights in the music video, illustrating the album name and the song whilst providing an extension of the band’s image and look and feel that we’ve constructed. Throughout the Digipack, we’ve maintained a strong design theme, repeating the images used for the cover, especially the lights. The text featured throughout the Digipack resembles the band’s logo and album typeface which gives a really professional, clean and put together feel for the album as a whole. Semiotically, we noticed the connotations and denotations of how bands position themselves on the cover of their albums so we used this convention for our own. Positioned prominently in the centre of the cover, Kira and I are looking straight into the camera, signifying confidence and power- two things that are very important for star image construction. The way in which the album cover uses the same stylistics and visuals as the album cover means that this recognisability, in terms of real media products, would attract audiences who may have seen the video instantly, adding to the success of the overall promotional campaign.

Following the CD Digipack, the Print Ad is near identical. As mentioned at the start of this post, we noticed that this was the case for nearly all promotional packages for albums and has been used by many bands. The out-of-focus background, image of the band and logos have been adapted directly from the CD design, again, making a clear link between the two and branding the album in a very careful, thematic manner whilst capturing and advertising our image as a band. The addition of vital marketing information is the only change to this design, as well as the size of the advertisment. This addition of the release date, ratings from popular institutions, social networking links and pointing out that the lead song ‘Lights’ is featured on the album is vital to success of the print ad and I think we’ve implemented these techniques really well without leaving the design looking too cluttered. As we have kept everything so similar, of course, this too directly references the music video for ‘Lights’ visually with the identical mise-en-scene theme. The ad captures what GLITTERKNIGHT is perfectly and defines and represents us in a very positive, very confident way like other artists campaigns have achieved in the past; if anything, the addition of features such as social media networking on the advertisement could potentially make the campaign much more successful as our contemporary image is reflected by targeting a demographic that rely on the internet and social networking for new music.

The out-of-focus lights in particular help us to define our preferred reading and representation. The overall glamourous, confident look, combined with qualities I’ve referred to previously create a very powerful star appeal to an audience in a way that’s not too over the top. This brings a certain level of relatability to our audience but still retains the ‘celebrity’ appeal that so many other bands and artist use to promote themselves. The representation of the genre, I think, has been achieved successfully with these three texts also. We’ve taken the codes and conventions from a variety of genres to suit our own as ‘Lights’ is really a hybrid of pop, electronic music and indie. The energetic, meticulously styled visuals reflect our pop qualities in a very eclectic contemporary/80’s way whilst providing elements of electronic music with the dark vibe and glowing typeface. The indie genre characteristics are subtle but they definitely exist, especially in the video which then comes down to the promotional material - the colours and styling, particularly regarding the band is quite typical of the pop/electro genre but the way it’s not over the top and quite modest brings out that indie tone, giving us a sense of normality and familiarity with our audience. This, I think is vital to the success and in my opinion, we’ve achieved the balance rather well throughout our entire campaign. All three texts relate to, and compliment, each-other perfectly and a strong sense of branding, building the theme and characters within the band is what makes this a successful campaign.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

The promotional package we’ve produced would be consumed by quite a broad audience due to the hybrid of genres around the featured song ‘Lights’. We’re targeting the campaign at certain demographics though. Typically, are audience consist of non-gender-specific artistic teenagers/young adults. Due to the genre, a female audience may be more present but with Kira in the band, this will surely attract a male following which we are happy to accommodate. We’re aiming the promotional campaign at this group of people due to the quirky, energetic, fashionable and artistic qualities that we’re expressing with our promotional package and therefore, those who are similar this description will be the ones to prominently engage with these texts. This is not the full-picture of our audience though; we’d be missing out on a huge market if we thought it was.

As visually and musically, we’re similar to Florence & The Machine and Ellie Goulding, the fan base will be similar. Expanding from the audience I described above, we would attract audiences that like pop music, electronic music and indie music. I still maintain that our audience will be younger rather than older due to the fact that GLITTERKNIGHT do express a very strongly contemporary aesthetic regarding both the hybrid genre and star image/visuals throughout the promotional campaign. We’re encouraging an active audience through the inclusion of social networking in our advertisement; we’re attracting our audience to become a part of the band so to speak and engage with our media texts actively rather than passively. This aspect of social media too is targeted more at a younger fan-base as typically, these are the demographic most likely to use sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Myspace. This being our plan from the start, I looked at Florence & The Machine’s fan-base early on in the project and this confirmed that targeting the campaign at teenaged-young adult, artistic middle class people, regardless of gender. GLITTERKNIGHT do express some 80’s qualities though, particularly in the lyrics and melodies in ‘Lights’; the song featured in the pop promo. This may extend our audience further, bringing in a slightly older crowd who enjoy that genre; you can never say ‘this is my audience and it’s set in stone’ but rather target the product at who you think will consume the product the most, taking qualities such as age, gender, class, hobbies etc into consideration.

We’ve received a lot of feedback from audiences throughout various stages of production which has been vital to knowing if we’re on the right track and keeping to our original plan. There’s been an overwhelmingly positive response to all three of our promotional materials; particularly the music video which we’ve screened in various locations including college, to friends, family and in public places. These sample audiences commented on how much they enjoyed the lights in the video and the entire conceptual aspect and said the way that it went with the lyrics was really effective. The editing was also called ‘professional’ and thought that it reflected the tone, pace and mood of the song really well, adding a new depth to the song. The effects we used during the edit such as layering shots on top of each-other was also received really well and we got quite a number of positive reactions from that.

Collectively, from the audiences I've screened the pop promo to, I've received a really welcome response to the shot before the first chorus where we transitioned from the narrative back to the studio shots by layering the camera from the narrative on top of Kira, furthering the idea that Kira is the subject of this scrutiny and fear we're expressing with the narrative. We have been told that our pop promotion goes hand in hand with the genre of the song too and that we’ve styled the music video really well using the codes and conventions of typical electronic/indie pop promos.

There has been very little criticism but the comments that weren’t entirely positive were incredibly helpful and were crucial to understanding what is important to an audience - especially as many of the constructive criticisms were from individuals that fell into our target audience. I was told that I was introduced into the video too late, that some more shots of the out-of-focus lights could be featured earlier and in some places, particularly the chorus, the editing could be a bit faster to build up the pace a little bit. This was fantastic advice and now we’ve changed those things, our pop promo has improved significantly and feels more complete. The feedback we received regarding the Print Ad and CD design were resoundingly positive too with much less negative feedback; people really liked how similar these texts were in relation to the music video which was the goal Kira and myself were trying to achieve! The only things that people suggested we change is the positioning in some areas of the print ad and the fact that more information could be included such as ratings and reviews which was fantastic advice that we used. There has also been a lot of internal criticism during the production stages of all three promotional materials. I am quite a perfectionist and I’d quite regularly go back and change things, especially in the Print Ad and CD Design such as the colour of my blazer which has been colour corrected from grey to black, fitting in with the thematic approach more as you can see to the top-left of this paragraph.

As my group this year consisted of just Kira and myself, the work load has been a lot meaning we had complete creative control which can only be seen as a positive, which it was. We were also the band. This meant that we really had to direct ourselves and construct our own direction/star image/identity for GLITTERKNIGHT which was actually a really enjoyable aspect of the project. This also meant that unlike in other groups who held screenings with their bands, us, being the band were hands on 100% of the time with creative and technical decisions, leading to a promotional campaign that we’ve been meticulous with and are really proud of. Metaphorically, we were able to spend far more time with ‘the band’ than any other group which resulted in a finished package that everyone had a say in, everyone had worked hard for and that everyone was really happy to submit.

From the screenings of both the music video and print material I did hold, the response from different audiences was actually quite similar and the readings they expressed were mostly what I was hoping to express. Two people commented on the fact the package had something really quirky and 80’s pop to it which was a welcome surprise as this was not intentional. I did ask, and this wasn’t a negative thing; our friend Jan told us that it added a universal depth to the video and that more people would watch it which is absolutely true and in a way I’m glad that in some areas GLITTERKNIGHT have been represented as a band with a universal quality to them. The feedback from the print material was also really positive and prompted the reaction we were looking for. “That looks really professional, I love the theme of them” I was told, “I can imagine seeing that on the shelf in HMV!”. I asked what they thought of individual aspects of the print material such as the typeface and I got the exact response I was hoping for; I was told it fits in really well with the rest of the design and that it was just big enough to not overtake the entire thing but easy to read and pretty. Perfect. They also liked how the band looked on the front, wearing similar outfits of a very monochromatic colour scheme, they said the styling really fitted in the rest of the cover/advertisement.

In my opinion, both as a member of the group and member of the band, I think there are many things we did right with both the music video and print materials. I also think there were some things that we could have done better; I am known to be a perfectionist though. If we had more money and planning time, I’d have really liked to have more types of lighting in the studio shots of the music video; more flares, gently flashing lightbulbs that could hang from the ceiling etc. I think if we had maybe two studio sets, each featuring different types of lights then that could have been effective but I think we’ve worked well with our budget and the footage we had - Nobody’s said that there’s “too much” of anything in the video which is always good but I would have liked to include more of what I’ve just mentioned.

Some things we did do right though in the pop promo was define a set look and feel for the band and followed that through the entire piece. We extended this look and feel onto the print work too so it looked almost identical to the video and I think I’ve done that really effectively and build a really clear branding for the band. I’m happy with how we’ve reflected the song in terms of pace, genre, tone and lyrically too through clever cinematography editing and mise-en-scene. In terms of the print material, I think we’ve included a lot of useful features and information. The size of the image of the band on both pieces identifies the band instantly and instills the band’s unique image in the audience and public. Features such as bar codes, track listings, a copyright logo and personal note add that professional, realistic touch to the CD cover, as does the release date, social networking information and ratings in the print ad. The overall theme works really well and is extremely consistent throughout the entire package which is something I’m really happy about and feel we’ve done well in as a group.

I feel we’ve reached our audience appropriately. The tone of our pop promotion is very contemporary, very up-beat and energetic and has a good pace to it; it’s an interesting watch with some captivating visuals and locations. The image we’ve constructed is very identifiable as I’ve mentioned earlier which includes the audience, we’ve constructed a unique star image that has both celebrity quality (with the meticulous costume styling etc) but kept a sense ofmodesty that our audience can relate with. Looking into Florence & The Machine was also extremely useful and through this, we learned a lot about who our audience actually are which I mentioned in the first few paragraphs of this evaluation. Through what we learned, we built our image around this very contemporary, mystical surrealist idea that’s extremely relevant in the pop industry currently; it’s been tried and tested and builds and attracts a really sizable audience. We’ve also encouraged an active audience by advertising to them to keep updated and follow the band on social networking sites such as Twitter and Myspace through our Print Ad which creates a great deal of audience pleasure and interaction.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

New media has played a vital role throughout all production stages during our promotional campaign for the band. We’ve used the internet a lot, physical technologies to edit, record, shoot etc. and have made good use of software in order to get the promotional material looking exactly how we wanted it to. Of course, every aspect of my coursework has been documented on this Blogger account. This has allowed me to work on, view and change posts from anywhere as well as show others my ideas effectively with the addition of web applications, videos and images.

During the pre-production and research stages of the promotional package, both Kira and myself had really strong ideas in our head for the visual elements of our promotional materials. We got together and searched the internet to illustrate these points to one another and used these images in a pitch to a sample audience to gain response. We found some excellent examples of things we wanted to achieve on sites such as Flickr and Google Images, DeviantArt and various other websites. We’ve also come across some really great video on YouTube that illustrated perfectly what we were hoping to achieve with the out of focus lights and various editing techniques we were interested in. YouTube also allowed us to view bands’ VEVO pages containing their music videos which allowed us to analyse them and embed the videos right onto this blog.

During the planning stages of the promotional campaign, I’ve used a collection of new media to express my ideas and communicate my progress. Polyvore is an online tool for creating outfit ideas, allowing me to search for exactly what I wanted and brain-storm a theme, adding new pieces of clothing so I knew what would work for building the star image I needed. I’ve also used Prezi which has allowed me to embed a really effective mind-map/powerpoint onto my blog which I’ve used to display narrative ideas, show initial research and explain key points and ideas throughout the project. We also used Prezi in the group evaluation to answer questions in a more visual manner, helping us really show you what were talking about rather than writing about it. Soundcloud, which is an online music hosting website has also really helped me during my project. It’s enabled me to embed the original ‘Lights’ on my blog, our band’s demo version, and finally, the finished song. It’s a quick, easy and effective way of quickly sharing audio and is fully customisable. Google Documents has also allowed me to embed the powerpoint presentation I used to pitch our idea to the sample group early on during pre-production; It displays the powerpoint in it’s original form, allowing anyone to click through the slides.

To keep in communication with Kira during this stage, I used a range new media and technology. We talked on Facebook, AIM, texted, called and I used Twitter not only to talk to Kira about the project but also to get feedback from the wider world. This broad range of new media technologies meant that I could reach Kira if I had something really urgent to say about the project quickly.

During the video production and editing, we used a wide range of new media to create the desired effect for our promotional package. Equipped with tape stock, we shot our footage on a Sony Z1 Camera. This camera was extremely easy to use and included useful features such as a built in light, microphone and allowed us to change the depth of field in some shots which was really important to our production. During the editing stages of our pop promo, we used Final Cut Pro. I used this piece of software last year and found it quite difficult at times to operate but I’ve learned so much by editing this piece of work and my skills have improved greatly. I’ve been able to colour correct every shot using this software, synchronize the song with the footage, line every take up in the time line, edited a lot more effectively than last year and have managed to find a lot of visual effects such as glows and editing the opacity of some shots which has resulted in a really nice final product. Using Quicktime, we compressed the video so it was ready for streaming and download, resulting in a much smaller file size without compromising too much on the quality of the video. I then uploaded the pop promotion to YouTube and then embedded it onto my blog.

For the print production stage of the campaign, we made use of Photoshop CS3 and the internet for finding appropriate typefaces. Being familiar with Photoshop has helped me and Kira so much during this stage of production and allowed us to work effectively, quickly and accurately. We were able to express our ideas fully with this software, especially layering, feathering and adding glows to the different components of the promotional material and positioning them. We downloaded the typeface ‘Futura’ from ‘What The Font’ and applied a glow and gradient using photoshop as well as colour correcting images and playing around with the lighting. When all stages of this were complete, we saved the images as both .PSD and .JPEG files and uploaded them directly to our Blogger accounts.

Other examples of new media I have used during the project are; Flashlight for iPhone 4 which enabled us to achieve the flashing light box effect used in the narrative in the pop promo. Downloaded from the Apple App Store, I taped my iPhone to the bottom of the box we used and my iPhone camera’s LED flash was transformed into a strobe light which looked extremely effective! I also used my iPad connected to a pair or portable speakers in order to play the music from iTunes, ensuring that we were lip syncing in time with the music. This also allowed the cameras to record the song which made synchronizing the song in Final Cut much easier and quicker. As I was the band as well as in the group, Kira and I had to record our own song for the project, deciding on ‘Lights’, I used Logic Studio 8 on my MacBook for the music production and my MicroKorg XL Synthesizer and Samson Q1U microphones to capture our voices. These three worked seamlessly together and we were able to layer our voices to create some really nice melodies and samples. I then compressed the song into a high quality MP3, sent the file to iTunes and converted the MP3 into an AIFF file so that Final Cut would read it.

Final Note

As I’ve already stated at the beginning of the evaluation, I’m really pleased with what I’ve managed to achieve with this project and how much I’ve learned from and enjoyed the process as a whole. I’ve produced a promotional campaign for a band that I’m really happy about and it’s exceeded what I thought it would end up like at the beginning of the project. It’s been received really well by others which is gratifying and I think the use of new media, applying everything I’ve learned from the research stages has allowed me to fully express my ideas and make this Promotional Package a success.

Group Evaluation

Here is my group evaluation for mine and Kira's Promotional Package. My own, more in depth evaluation can be found at the top of my blog and Kira's can also be seen on her own blog. We wanted to really make good use of new media technologies in this group entry; You'll find a video commentary on our Package and Pop-Promo, Presentations and Prezis. Though we have provided backward/forward steps in our Prezis, feel free to pan and zoom around them yourself if you need a closer look at any information.

We shot and edited the video above using a Sony Z1 Camera and Final Cut Pro. Here, we discuss and evaluate how effective our Package has been, we explain why we have used some of the techniques we have, go through the research and planning process with you and elaborate on our choices throughout all stages of the Promotional Package production for our band, GLITTERKNIGHT.


All three elements portray represents the star image perfectly. We achieved this mainly by making sure the full focus were on the band within all three elements of the pop production. Within the video we used close ups and zooms in between other shots to always pull focus back to GLITTERKNIGHT. In the CD cover and advertisement the image of the band is always centred within the print parts of production. Also by using a minuscule amount of elements of writing around the print media (keeping the important information for the audience.) to also keep the band at the core importance of the pop promotion.

All three parts of our production have kept genre specific, representing our electo/pop genre perfectly. We did this by presenting the electro and pop side to each part of our pop production using elements of each genre incorporated, using mise en scene, cinematography and design ideas. The knowledge we had gained from the research we gathered from other pop promotions of the same genre. By mixing the pop elements with the quirkiness of the electro pop. The styling for example in the studio shots the styling using opposite colours to give both of us our own identity. But at the same time a synchronised look and feel which is an aspect used in pop videos. Keeping the electro aspect in the styling in the narrative and also with themes like the contrast of the forest shots and the out of focus lights from the studio. Creating a Kitsch creative element to the piece.

The three elements combined make an amazing promotional package for GLITTERKNIGHT. We kept within the same themes creating the same ideologies about the band. Also giving the band a distinctive image keeping them standing out from other bands of the same genre. Creating higher popularity. This done by keeping the theme throughout the package, of the lights, type face and images of the band. Buy using eccentric ideas mixed with the pop elements we have created a promotional package that will catch the audiences eyes and create more sales for the band.


Above, we explain how we have targeted our audience, the audience's reaction and feedback from our Print Material and Music Video and how things have changed since. Audience feedback is crucial to developing a pop promotion. As the audience are the people who will be viewing your pop promo, as you are enticing them to be interested in your band. They are the ones you have to impress. So by getting their input gives us the maximum ability to make it what the viewing public want.

We’ve received a lot of feedback from audiences throughout various stages of production which has been vital to knowing if we’re on the right track and keeping to our original plan. There’s been an overwhelmingly positive response to all three of our promotional materials; particularly the music video which we’ve screened in various locations including college, to friends, family and in public places. These sample audiences commented on how much they enjoyed the lights in the video and the entire conceptual aspect and said the way that it went with the lyrics was really effective. The editing was also called ‘professional’ and thought that it reflected the tone, pace and mood of the song really well, adding a new depth to the song. The effects we used during the edit such as layering shots on top of each-other was also received really well and we got quite a number of positive reactions from that.

They also really liked how our advertisement and DigiPack set had individuality of our own but still keeping what needed to be on them for example the copyright and company logos that would usually be seen. The fonts and images had hugely positive comments (mainly explained in the presentation) regarding how the same image of the band were used on each piece of print work and each time centered to create the attention to it. Giving the Overall they liked how the whole package came together in a recognizable way for the audience so they could relate all to one another. Also giving the band a star image and attention that is needed when creating a pop promotion. The type face they loved as it seemed as if it was glowing. By using special effects in photoshop to create this to make it stand out.


In this Prezi, we explain our use of new media technologies we've used throughout every stage of our production and print work. New media technologies have allowed us to present our ideas perfectly through the use of a wide range of Software, Hardware and various Web Applications and have generally made the process not only easier, but a lot more fun!

We've used a lot of new media technology throughout every stage of our project from research to the final touches such as this evaluation. The fact that we documented everything we've done, all creative decisions, ideas and tests on Blogger meant that we could display everything in a really visual way, embedding video clips, Polyvore sets, presentations and music players directly into our blogs. This allows readers of the blog to gain a real understanding of the ideas we were writing about instead of having to imagine them from our words.

A massive range of software has been used to create, plan and manifest our promotional package into fruition too. We've done a lot of tests on Final Cut Pro such as checking out effects, chroma keying green screens, finding really nice/quirky effects and typefaces on Photoshop and using Frameforge to create really detailed/visual storyboards/shotlists.

My individual evaluation can be found here, where I address these issues in much more depth.

Group Evaluation by: Ben Halliday & Kira Knight

Friday, 6 May 2011


Here is the finished version of our pop promo for 'Lights' by GLITTERKNIGHT.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

GLITTERKNIGHT Final Promotional Material

Please Click on images to expand/view High Quality.

Above is the promotional material for my group's band, GLITTERKNIGHT. The design is exactly, if not better, than what I envisioned when we started developing ideas for the Digipack and Print Advertisement and I'm thrilled with the finished product.

We've applied a lot of factors to these designs that we've learned along the way from the analysis of other band's promotional material such as a strong cohesive theme, building a star image, aesthetically positioned graphics and clear recognisable branding. We've used the same image of the band on both the CD Digipack and Print Advertisement so the two, with marketing in mind, are clearly linked and distinguishable to our audience. The size and positioning of the band on both digipack and print ad ensures this is the main focus to the audience and pushes the development of the star image we're trying to achieve. The costume styling for the cover strongly follows suit with the pop promotion for the lead song on the album entitled 'Lights' keeping consistent with the colour theme and the cultivation of star image, carefully directed towards our target audience (who have been defined earlier in the blog). Looking directly into the camera, the star image, similarly to other bands like us, detonates confidence and catches the eye of our potential audience.

As explained in a previous post, similar colours and graphics have been used to those in the video, again, strengthening the theme and directly referencing the visual elements (mise-en-scene) used in the Pop Promo - especially throughout the Digipack.

Aside from the album art, the remaining components of the Digipack is an really simplistic but concordant with the design concept as a whole. The graphics used on the insides make use of a reduced and simplified version of the cover's background that make text on the inner sleeve readable whilst keeping overall style in consideration. The back cover, contrastingly, features a much 'busier' version of the graphics on the front. The combination of the drop-shadow and outter glow on the track listing makes all text easily readable though which is the main priority; keeping everything practical. The typeface we've chosen to use throughout all promotional material is 'Futura' with a standard Photoshop outter glow blended into the colour of the white-golden text. 'Futura' was chosen as it fitted the criteria we stated in the treatment; we were looking for something really simplistic with a modern twist and easily distinguishable and readable for our audience. I think this typeface reflects these qualities really well and the styling (glow, colour) only compliment this.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the result and as I mentioned, it exceeds my initial visualisation of the promotional material for GLITTERKNIGHT.

By Ben Halliday

Friday, 8 April 2011

Screening of 'Lights' Pop Promotion: Audience Feedback

The importance of screening our pop promotion to a sample audience is crucial for the success of our task. Without the knowledge of what are potential audience think of our production, we're left blind to some key factors we may need to change and with a set of fresh eyes viewing our piece, we can get an honest, unbiased opinion.

Kira and myself have held several screenings of our pop promotion in various stages. We've held them in college, in public places we both frequent and shown the video to friends, family and those who fit our target audience criteria. Overall, the response has been resoundingly positive.

From this research, we've found that people really enjoy our idea. We've had numerous comments telling us that our video displays an 80's edge which works really well with the music both lyrically and melodically. When asked, people also confirmed that our pop promo fits the codes and conventions of a pop video; "It reminds me of Little Boots - it really fits electronic sound of the music but also comes across as quite soft and innocent" we were told. This made us really happy as that quote really summed up what we were attempting to achieve with this. Some other feedback included that the way we took 'Lights' literally was a nice, subtle touch as it fitted in well with the lyrics and mood of the song; especially when the out of focus shots were featured (which were favoured by lot of the audience). Overall, the audience agreed that the music video showcased the band really well and the pace, mood and tone of the video fitted in nicely with the music.

We received some really helpful criticism during a few of the screenings which was what we were looking for. Someone commented on the fact that I was introduced into the video much too late, which, when was pointed out seemed completely obvious. Feedback such as that, from fresh eyes, is absolutely vital. We were also told that some more 'out of focus' shots (which the audience loved) could be introduced sooner in the video- and some more shots of the band posing.

Though the sample audience said the pace of the video suited the music, two people commented that more cuts in the chorus (especially when 'calling' is repeated three times) would make the video look more energetic which was excellent feedback that really helped shape our product.

Some technical feedback (mainly from our media class) included some affirmations about the cinematography used, especially in the narrative. They really liked the framing of shots - especially in the scene featuring the bridge. The editing was also commented on favourably. People really liked how we layered shots of the camera taking pictures over Kira and also how we layered the bokeh lights over shots of the band. We were told the editing looked quite professional which shocked us a bit (in a good way!) and that the overall style of our video really just 'spoke' the song.

After our screenings of the pop promo, we took all information on board and considered the constructive criticism of our sample audiences. We ended up slightly tweaking quite a number of parts that were commented on such as the introduction of myself at the start, more out of focus shots and posing. We included more close-ups of the band and made the pace slightly faster too which helped the tone of the video tremendously. I'm thankful to everyone we screened the video to and really grateful for their comments; I can't stress enough how important this task was so were able to tailor our video to our target audiences needs.

Post by Ben Halliday

Friday, 1 April 2011

List of Props, Costumes & Locations

This is my studio outfit a Topshop flowing lace cream top and black skirt. With a Metropark USA gunmetal angular necklace and red ring. The accessories are the only thing not following the colour scheme, just to give it a small quirky difference.
Ben is wearing an All-Saints blazer and a 'French Kissing' t-shirt. With Topman jeans and All-Saints bracelets. Once again minimal accesories just to give the outfit a pop whilst adding sophistication and simplicity.
The outside costumes were much different to the inside shoot. Ben and I both have different styled hair and the outfits are a lot more relaxed. As this part was the narrative we decided to make it more 'street wise' when it came to the outfits, things that anyone could wear down the street, for relatability. It's more casual but with a classy edge. Bens faux studded leather jacket and Allsaints scarf and t-shirt from LONG. Myself with a Topshop coat/blazer and skirt and blouse from ASOS.
We had minimal amount of props not many were needed for our narrative. The camera is a very important aspect of our video. It represents being followed and judged from the outside world. At one point it is faded into the studio shot to show the relation of the character being watched.
The box also has important relevance of the video. After being chased through the forest, the box I find represents purity and enlightenment in a sense. Finding a place you can feel safe in and un-judged. Which relates to the lyrics; 'Shining when I'm alone'.

These are a few shots of the outside location that we filmed at. It has a very warm autumn like feel to it. We tried to go as deep into the trees as we could making it a seem more frightening for me when I'm being chased . But doing it during the day also gives the portrayal of every day life; Wanting to escape the day to day struggles.

Group post by Kira Knight

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Detailed Synopsis

As an extension of my initial synopsis for the 'Lights' pop promotion, here is an extended, more detailed and definitive version.

Our ideas have changed quite a bit since the first stab at a synopsis which is a good thing because I feel like everything's been thought out more realistically and the stylistics involved seem much more captivating than they previously were. Our ideas now are also much more within reach and thought through much more logically and work well.

The pop promotion will begin with the infamous out of focus lights panning around layered over footage of Kira and myself which gives an instant visual of the band and automatically builds a star image. Following this, Kira's verse kicks in shortly after the musical intro so naturally, the focus will begin on her in the studio with a range of shots edited in continuity. We will layer the out of focus lights on top of parts of this footage as well as shots of Kira posing to the camera to break her verse up slightly before transitioning into the narrative.

We will begin the narrative through the 'viewfinder' effect we filmed during the Christchurch park shots where we put the SLR camera's viewfinder against the lens of the DV Camera. Hard cuts of Kira walking will work with the pace of the song before the narrative really opens up into the story. The effect of the SLR camera will enforce the feeling of scrutiny and being watched and judged which is why we're going to move onto Kira running now, being followed by a panning shot before cutting to myself snapping pictures of her. This will fade back into the studio where the chorus approaches.

In the chorus, I'm then introduced to the piece in the studio using the same range of shots used in Kira's verse - a lot of different angles and shot types using continuity to merge them. During the chorus, the chase scene over the bridge will be featured, using hard cuts to the beat and lyrics of 'calling calling calling me home' which will add some pace to song and define the mood and tone.

In my verse, the cuts quicken slightly now in the studio shots and we're going to make much more use of the out of focus shots and layering - this is where the editing gets really interesting. Kira will also be seen in my verse, posing to the camera a few times as the bokeh lights layer over her face.

In the last chorus a breakdown of the song, we are reintroduced to the narrative, showing Kira getting increasingly distressed and hinting at the fact that I'm the one taking photographs of her in an enigmatic manner. The range of angles here strengthen the image that Kira's being watched and observed carefully before she runs and finds the box. While this is happening the pace will increase further using hard cuts that coincide with the beat but also follow continuity to the audience aren't left confused.

In the final chorus, the pace remains quite fast and we make use of the really energetic studio footage, featuring shots of just Kira and just myself but also shots where we're seen together. The out of focus lights and shots of us dancing completely out of focus can be seen here as we make our dramatic entry into the instrumental outro, finishing with Kira and myself posing to the camera. The piece will finish will the panning out of focus lights before the 'viewfinder' type shot returns from earlier. I can be seen making my way up the camera and peering in rather mysteriously (the lights from the studio can still be seen at this point) before I walk out of shot and everything fades to black.

This sounds rather confusing but the finished product, which we're shortly to start work on soon will illustrate everything I've just mentioned and will speak for itself; this is just final detailed description for Kira and I so we know which direction we're taking the video in. If it ends up looking like it does in my head (if that makes any sense) then I'll be absolutely ecstatic.