Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Personal Learning

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

Throughout creating this piece, I have learned how to use the program Photoshop Elements. I was quite weary at the thought of using this program, as it looked so difficult and there were so many options. However, after exploring the different tools and adjustments available I found myself comfortable using the program. I have learnt about rules in terms of photography. I have also learned about some more shots than what I had origninally known. I developed skills on how to make photographs look more professional. I feel I am better at using a computer now, when it comes to using the internet for blogging and saving files in different formats.

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

I believe I have learnt a lot since I first started. It shows how much more advanced I have become with creating my own cover. When comparing my very first preliminary work with my finished product it's clear that I have made a great amount of progress. The second uses more conventions, it's more professional, more realstic. I have learnt about how important the representation of my chosen magazine's potential readers is, and that the audience needs to be interested.


How did you attract/address your audience?

The audience for my product could be people all from different cultures and backgrounds. There is a stereotype of people who listen to Rock/Metal music, but the truth is it can range from all different ages, genders and ethnicities. My magazine could attract many different ages, as I have names of fairly young bands such as Rage Against the Machine on the cover, to a very mature band like Metallica. When I asked around on what you'd expect to see on the front cover of a rock magazine, the majority said men between 20 and 30. I challenge these conventions and expectations by having a female band on the front cover, and male bands advertised around them.


I found these website while researching my audience. I wanted to find out who I was aiming for, and found that the potential audience is huge. However, people who are truly dedicated to only this kind of music tend to look the part, whereas people who listen this kind of music casually along with other genres may not be expected to listen to this kind of music, based on their appearance and age. I don't think there is any audience in particular that I am looking to aim my magazine at. I want to appeal to young and old, male and female, and different ehtnicities. I think different issues featuring different bands and articles will attract different people.


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

Looking at all the different media groups that produce music magazines, I have come to the decision that Bauer Media Group would be the best option for my magazine. At the moment it distributes two of the biggest music magazines in the world; Q and Kerrang, both of which I believe to be good quality, respectable magazines that stay true to the music they represent. I believe if Bauer were to distribute my magazine, they would advertise it well; possibly linking it with music channels or music radios like they have with both Q and Kerrang. It recently took over the consumer magazine division of EMAP also, proving that it has the money to invest and can save certain media products. They have a very good reputation, they have offices all over the world and have been in business since 1875. Kerrang is very much like my magazine, and I feel they could link my magazine with Kerrang, rather than it being a major rival if another company were to own it.


How does your media product represent particular social groups?

My magazine represents the people who listen to the music. I gave the idea of what my band "Dead Embers" are supposed to sound like other bands such as Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins and Audioslave. I would like to appeal to the fans of these bands, females in particular. I'm trying to appeal to people who are dedicated to their music, and the avid fans.

I am hoping to represent females as equal to males in this type of music. By putting a female group on the front cover, I hope to give them power and respect. However, they could still be subject to the male gaze. Rather than being about music, a lot of female bands tend to have gossip surrounding them and get looked at rather than heard. Through experience I have noticed a lot of men who don't like a female artist's songs will still watch the video. And that is because most female artists dress provocatively because it is recommended. Everyone knows: Sex sells, and the music industry (pop music in particular) take advantage of this fact. Then we look at other genres, even then girls are subject to the male gaze. Hayley Williams, Amy Lee and other women in bands that produce rock/punk music, do not dress provocatively and do not attempt to appeal to men, but still do for this very reason.

I did a survey around my sixth form asking:
"Who would you expect to see on the front of a rock magazine?"

Options Response

All Male Band - Middle Aged 15
All Male Band - Aged from 18-30 19
All Female Band - Middle Aged 0
All Female Band - 18-30 1
Mixed Gender Band - Middle Aged 0
Mixed Gender Band - 18-30 8

The results from my survery show that all male bands are expected the most on the front of a rock magazine, and age doesn't seem to be an issue. It seems it's unheard of to see an all female band on the front cover of a rock magazine. I was quite suprised that 8 people would expect a mixed gender band to be featured, however with the rise of bands such as Paramore, Evanescence and Lacuna Coil; it seems it's becoming more popular. All these bands however, only have one female in, and they're all singers.

Stereotypically, readers of my magazine would be men between 18-30 with long hair, who possibly wear make up, wear Vans shoes, have a bedroom painted black and are depressed. They are also likely to play an instrument. However in most cases, this is not the case. Someone who listens to this music religiously may be close to this description, but it is unlikely. Someone who listens to rock music casually are not likely to look the part. While talking to peers, I have discovered a lot of people I wouldn't expect to listen to rock music in fact do, including myself. Music tastes are not always shown through appearance and dress sense. Brands such as converse and Famous Stars and Straps are related to punk music. Doc Martins brands are closely related to the 'goth' image. Putting everything into categories simply cannot work. My magazine cover is supposed to represent rock/metal music, but 'Dead Embers' are not wearing black clothing and heavy eyeliner, because I don't want to associate these things with this music.


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

When creating my magazine, I looked at the front covers, double page spreads and contents pages of the most popular music magazines on the market. By doing this, I was aware of the conventions that are generally used. I both used these conventions and challenged them. I chose to do a rock/metal magazine. Looking at magazines such as Kerrang! helped me to pick the layout and style of my magazine. In terms of colours, the only bright colours I used were mostly red and yellow. This is because they both give a feeling of "Caution" or "Danger" and they are used on most a lot of magazines. For font, I wanted a "grunge" style font but ended up using a bold print type of font, as it grabs the attention of the potential buyer and it's easier to read. I've used a messy style to reflect the type of music the magazine is about, such as ink blobs and paint drops. I found this to be the general style of Kerrang! magazine, which I based my magazine on. When comparing to Kerrang! to Q, Smash Hits and NME, it is clear that the kind of music that is being represented is shown through the layout and style. Also, the expressions of the band/artist on the front tells the audience a great deal about what kind of magazine it is. I've found Q represented many different genres of music, and therefore uses a clean organized style, so then it caters to the many different kinds of music. The only outlandish colour their magazine uses on the front cover is red for the masthead. NME represents indie music more than anything, and this is shown through the layout. The layout is quite distorted and busy, but the shapes and texts still have straight edges and it still looks reasonably presentable. Smash hits uses youthful colours such as pink, purple and blue. These colours vary, but it seems to always be very bright, making it interesting and exciting to it's young audience. Kerrang!'s front covers were very busy ans the font and shapes where very distored. I liked these features and therefore adopted these conventions. I also challenged the conventions of a rock magazine by having the double page spread and front page feature an all girl rock band. No magazine that I looked at featured an all girl rock band, and from what I know, there are none in the mainstream at this current time. So I decided to use this, to introduce one in my magazine, and add the colour pink in with red and yellow, making it link in with the band. I wanted them to come across as feminine but to still have an attitude. I also used the 'busy' style of Kerrang's front cover (which I based my magazine on) on my own, with puffs and buzz words such as PLUS!, EXCLUSIVE! and WIN! I believe I have used the knowledge of conventions of music magazines to my advantage. While using some, I have made my magazine original by introducing some of my own ideas.

Final Contents Page

This is my final contents page. I feel it fits in with the front cover of the magazine, adopting the colours, font and overall style.

Final Double Page Spread

This is my finished double page spread. I have added pink in to against conventions and add some femininity to the band. I feel it respresents the music genre, the attitude of the magazine and the band itself.