The production brief is to create a promo video to promote a music artist and to establish the song. The promo video would be a low budget video which can have a length of up to 5 minutes. The AS Media Production Coursework was to create a set of posters to advertise a certain charity of choice. It was to create at least 3 posters related to the objective of the charity. In comparison both projects were to advertise or promote to the target audience so that they would know more about the topic shown.
The differences is that the AS required ideas on static pictures whilst the A2 project required ideas on a continuous picture with sound which are to be linked together. Part One The stages of production started with the ‘brief’, then our pre-production research which consisted of ‘introduction to R’n’B videos’, ‘music channel listing’, ‘R’n’B Conventions’ and a Textual analysis of the following songs Mario – let me love you, Usher – Burn, Bobby Valentino – Tell Me and then questionnaires were distributed and then analysed.
The production material we have produced were the synopsis, list of the ‘personnel, locations and props’, the ‘Permissions letter’ our ‘health and safety sheets’, ‘shooting schedule’, ‘the call sheets’ and ‘the storyboards’. Once we have shot the video, we completed the call sheets by signing them to prove our attendance and then we logged all the footage that we have recorded and then used the logging sheet to create the edit decision list. Once the paper work was finished we did the editing to put the video together.
We have chosen to do an R’n’B video for the artist Ray J was decided by the group as a whole. It was easier to get an individual singer which looks like Ray J for an R’n’B video than for us to get a whole band for a Rock video and there was the problem of finding people who knew how to play the instruments. Also the song one wish could be made as a Love/Romance narrative whilst the songs on the Rock genre were mainly abstract such as “Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out”. It was decided to choose Ray J’s One Wish and put a narrative in it so that meaning can be conveyed to the audience.
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The Production brief was written by Nicky and the pre-production research was split between the individuals in the group. The pre-production tasks were decided by the group and the individuals and depending on what facilities they had at home. Nicky took the task of listing the channels the music artists songs appeared in because he had access to digital television while me and Annie had the task of listing the summary of conventions of similar R’n’B videos of the chosen artist while Vanessa had the introduction but due to her leaving the group we split her work between the group members equally.
The textual analysis of the videos were decided though a draw, from a list of similar Music artists and songs they were randomly assigned to each member of the group so that it would be fair. We have found that Ray J’s music videos were played on the following music channels; MTV, MTV Base, Kiss and Smash Hits which are listed in the channel listing. Also in the introduction we have found that the musical genre of Dance and Rap were starting to appear but were put on their own program slots such as channel “Yo! MTV Raps”.
MTV then launched a new music channel which were targeted at young, black youths (now watched by everyone) who were urban music lovers of Hip-hop and R’n’B which featured artists such as Ray J, 50 Cent, and Usher etc. This research has helped us find the target audience for the questionnaire we were creating. The questionnaire was created by the group as a whole and the target audience was based on students at the college where the questionnaire was distributed to (young people) and Annie chose to do the questionnaire analysis to analyse the conventions and what others thought about the R’n’B conventions.
The questionnaire analysis and also the conventions listing in the pre-production research has helped us to choose locations, props, actors and also the costumes to use in the video. The synopsis was originally assigned to Vanessa who was still in the group at the time but because the she waited till the last minute to write it and there was a story board deadline, the other three group members decided to revise the synopsis and complete it without Vanessa so that the storyboards can be finished.
I was tasked to complete the storyboards but I have drawn them to Vanessa’s synopsis so the storyboards also had to be revised along with the synopsis. With the old storyboards discarded, Annie helped me to complete the new storyboards for the deadline. The next tasks were to complete the schooting schedule, list of the personnel, locations and props to be used, health and safety sheets, call sheets and the permissions letter, where were all distributed to the group members evenly and fairly, As one of our group members has not been turning up we distributed the work to 3 members fairly and chosen by individual group members.
We decided as a group to use a black actor to be Ray J so that the representations can be realistic and then used other actors of the oriental race to promote a more diverse cultural representation in the video. The Locations we have chosen and used were related to the song as well as the questionnaire analysis which were shots inside and outside a House, on a Street and in a Park. The Props used were also related to the questionnaire analysis such as the BMW X5 car which is a classy car and cars used in R’n’B conventions were classy and luxurious cars.
The shooting locations and the times were decided in the shooting schedule and extra shots which were not in the storyboards were taken so that there were extra clips which we could add to the final production. We spent three separate days to film in different areas. The first day was in London’s Green Park and Oxford Street, the next two days were shooting in the house and outside the house. Once the shooting has finished the logging of the recording and the edit decision list were conducted by the whole group and then the editing began.
We decided to cut the shots with the beat of the song to have consistency and also to follow conventions. We have also decided to use fade to black cuts though out the narrative and cross-fade cuts while Ray J is dancing to keep the video linear. Also major revision was done to the end of the video, where a whole scene was cut out. This was because the clips were too dark due to the scene being outdoors and ideally in a sunset time, the lighting quickly went from bright to dark therefore the shots were too dark even if we had artificial lighting, so it was replaced with a choreography scene.
Part Two The objective of the music video is to promote the artist and his songs so that he will be know better in the public. We decided to follow the theme of the song, which has a love/romance narrative to it. The narrative is not a linear narrative, as it would be continuous with the song, therefore there is a flashback of “8 years ago” which is part of the lyrics. As mentioned before the locations used would be related to the questionnaire analysis and the genre of the narrative so that conventions are followed.
The narrative would start in the house with the actor looking upset, this is where he communicates the message that he is upset and obviously is missing someone suggesting a love/romance narrative. There is then a flashback where he is happy with his ex-girlfriend here the video is communicating happiness when he was with the girlfriend and that he is thinking about her. It then cuts back to the present time and then continues in a linear narrative. The sequence where he picks up the phone communicates to the audience that he is going to do something about it and get her back.
In the next shot, the girl picks up the phone but through facial expressions, the girl does not want him back. The next scene shows the main actor going to someones house, and finding out the ex-girlfriend has a boyfriend. This follows conventions, as there is a dilemma that the main character has lost. This relates intertextually to Mario-Let me love you as the main character loves the girl, but then loses because she already has a boyfriend but then in the end the girl and the main character are together, communicating that they are in love.
After the scene where Ray J finds out the ex-girlfriend has a boyfriend, he goes to a park and get drunk, this communicates realism and representations, as in these situations, there is always drink involved. The narrative then shows Ray J seeing a similar girl to his ex-girlfriend and he runs after her thinking it is her but realises she wasn’t. It then shows the girlfriend seeing him and then taking him home and looking after him while he is drunk.
After this, he bumps into her on a high street where he expresses his feelings to her, then the scene cuts to choreography as it leaves the audience to think if they eventually get together or not rather then adding it in making it more complex. After the narrative, the choreography comes in, which is an important convention with R’n’B videos, as almost all R’n’B videos contain choreography. We communicated meaning through cinematography by following conventions of R’n’B. We used mainly longshots, and close ups.
Such as the opening sequence and the first few shots the camera would be at a medium long shot with the camera panning. This makes the shots more static and less boring. The panning was used as it follows R’n’B conventions as most R’n’B videos have panning, such as Mario-Let me love you which is another Love/Romance narrative video there is a lot of panning used. Also high angle shots were used, this follows the conventions in a love/romance narrative, as the shot shows the character’s helplessness, he is broken which relates to the original Ray J – One wish video which has high angle shots of the actor.
The lighting used was low-key, to reinforce unhappiness and that he is lonely and the actor’s figure expression communicates that he is upset. During the flash back when the song goes “In fact I was the one that said I love you first”, a sepia effect was used to communicate to the audience that it is a flash back, which is also anchored by the lyrics. The shot is also taken in a high key lighting so that it communicates that he is happy. The shot tells the audience that they were happy together and also communicates the meaning that he misses her which follows the conventions of a love/romance narrative.
Although the next shot shows them arguing, a high-key lighting was used to see the facial expressions on the characters to reinforce, the actions. The editing is conventional with R’n’B videos, as the cuts are on the beat, keeping the video flowing consistently, The cuts are also following the lyrics and the speed of the song, as they are long shots but as the speed of the song increases the length of the shots are shortened and there are a larger frequency of cuts.
Using a short fade to black between every shot is also decided as it would make the video less complex but simple which gives a better effect than a cross fade, but during similar shots such as the choreograph scene in the end, cross fades were used so that it does not look like the camera is jerky keeping the video continuous. This video is aimed at active audience, in terms of the Uses and Gratification model. The active audience would make the choice to reject certain messages that video portrays such as getting drunk in a public area which could be seen as dangerous.
In cases of the passive audience, they would accept all the messages which are communicated from this video, where the term ‘Hypodermic needle’ applies, and the media injects all messages into the bloodstream like a drug therefore being manipulated by the media. We are mainly promoting a love/romance with this video. Part Three Media producers create promo videos mainly to create a profit and the artist’s main motif is to become famous and well know.
To the media producers the more famous an artist is the more profit they will make as they will sell more. The way music videos do this is by being entertaining and relates to its genre and the target audience which it is aimed at, so they promote their albums and singles without having to go on tour. Our ideology is to promote the music artist and make him more known and also seeing as most his R’n’B video’s only contained one culture of actors/ress’s, we are to promote a more diverse and cultural representation.
Ray J’s album Raydiation which contains the song One Wish is by the record label “Knockout Entertainment / Sanctuary Records”, where Knockout Entertainment is Ray J’s own label while Sanctuary Records is the worlds leading developer of music. Sanctuary Group houses over 100’000 which makes them the world’s largest independent music label owner. This video compared to existing media texts such as other Ray J’s videos, follows conventions of R’n’B genre music videos. It is also similar to Mario’s – Let Me love you as it is also R’n’B and a similar narrative of Love/Romance.
These two artists have a similar target audience, mainly young adults, and also the two artists are of similar age. With Mario’s video, he is aiming his song at a woman that he loves while Ray J’s – One Wish is about an ex-girlfriend who he is trying to tell he loves. The narratives are similar where both girls are taken by another guy and the protagonist’s have lost as they cannot get the girl. Although in Mario’s video, he fights back to get the girl, showing he is powerful and does not give up, Our Ray J video shows the protagonist feeling sorry for himself by getting drunk disorderly.
The alcohol was suggested by the questionnaire analysis, done in the pre-production research where respondents said alcohol was a main prop which relates to the R’n’B conventions therefore it was included. Most of the locations we have used were outdoor locations such as up London and in Green Park. Locations such as London’s Oxford Street would be ideal, as it is a populated area with expensive and luxurious shops which shows that Ray J would be a rich and famous person as he is shopping in expensive shops.
The BMW X5 used would be conventional also suggested in the questionnaire and shown in majority of R’n’B videos as expensive cars represent class, and luxury and the BMW X5 is an expensive car. The piano sequence was used as it matches the song, and it also communicates a meaning of him being talented as he can play the piano as well as sing. Nearer the end Ray J sings to his ex-girlfriend while in Mario’s video he dances and sings to the girl which shows that they are not losers and they will not give up without a fight. After showing the video to an audience and requesting feedback, the overall response was positive.
The video had an average rating of 8 from the target audience and that all of them think our video follows the typical conventions of an R’n’B video although there were responses about the locations being too dark, and the costumes were too casual. All respondents said that the actor/actresses that were featured were appropriate and 9 out of 10 said that the camera shots followed convention. Also 9 out of 10 said the story line is well presented and the same number of respondents said that the editing of the music video was fluent, e. . keeps with the beat of the song. This shows the overall response was positive but, there is a little room for improvement. Due to the video being low budget, extra equipment would be required such as spot lights to lighten up areas. The main complications with producing the video was time, and that some shots taken were useless due to bad lighting therefore if it was to improve next time, lighting would need to be improved and also time management as the ending of the video was a little bit rushed as we ran out of clips.
Also being low budget means that there was very little clothing to choose from therefore we had to do with the clothing the actors were wearing on the day. In the pre-production research, we have found that Ray J’s videos appeared in channels such as MTV, MTV Base, Kiss and Smash Hits, and according to the feedback questionnaire, many respondents said that the video would be featured on MTV, MTV Base and Smash Hits. These channels would be the ones we would be recommending the video to be broadcasted on as it is suitable due to the target audience of the video match the target audience of the channel.