In what ways does your media product develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I have created a weekly music magazine, which consists of six pages, which are a front cover, a contents page, and a two-page spread article. My magazine genre is dance and pop/R&B. It is aimed at sixteen to twenty-four year old females, as my questionnaire results showed this was the most popular age and sex. To get an idea of conventions, I researched and analysed other music magazines, such as Q and NME, and with this help I made my pages.
• Name of the magazine as masthead
• Issue date
• Attractive female model (however I have challenged this convention and left aligned my model, where as most magazines have their model centred)
• Full body shot
• Minimum of three colours (hot pink #fc1a9a, black #000000, white #ffffff)
• Minimum of three fonts (Haettenschweiler, pussycat, Century Gothic, Arial Black)
• Exclusive main story as a banner
• Free downloads for the reader
• Cover lines
• Stories are sectioned
• Same model as cover (this also challenges other magazines as some use different models)
• Pictures related to the stories (hooks)
• Image of the front cover
• Same colour scheme as front colour to emphasise brand identity
• Same fonts as cover to keep a house style
• name of "artist" as title
• two images of model (the same model as the cover)
• quotes to draw the audience in ot “the best bits”
• page numbers
• Standfirst (an introductory paragraph in an article, printed in larger or bolder type or in capitals, which summarizes the article)
• text is in columns
• minimum of three colours (blue #1ae4fc, black #000000, white #ffffff)
How does your media project represent social groups?
My article is about a blossoming young artist who won the hit TV talent show, “The X Factor”. This relates to most people as just about everyone watches this show. It also relates to young girls, (16-20) as my artist is only young, and it shows that her dreams came true, my article indicates that the model was just a normal girl, whose dreams came true, so I believe that my magazine represents young working class females of no specific youth subculture, in a positive light. I also used an attractive model, which relates to Naomi Wolf’s theory (1990’s), that having a sexually attractive model will influence women, as well as men, because they too believe they can look like that, if they buy the products promoted or live their life like the models.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
I don’t believe that there are many music magazines with the same genre on the market at the minute, however the few that have “pop” genre are very big, for example “top of the pops” and “smash hits” (http://www.smashhits.net/)
However, this magazine does not have the same audience as mine, for example the models are the cast of “High school musical”, a children’s show, so this suggests that the age range is for children, however some stories are about “celebs, gossip and love” and I don’t think children would read this, this emphasises the magazines has a large age group. I don’t think there is a gap in the market for my magazine, as it does not follow all of the “pop magazine” conventions, however if a big publishing company like Bauer, were to publish my magazine it would widen their market because of my magazines unique style and content and the target audience. My audience is for sixteen to twenty year old women, who move on to lifestyle and celebrity magazines, so this is my niche audience.
What would be the audience for your media product?
My target audience is 16-20 year old, working class females. So ideally I would like a young student, perhaps with a part time job with a low yet steady income. I’m also aiming my magazine at females interested in music, so their income should be spent on downloads and gigs.
I have decided to make a “profile” for my perfect target audience.
Name: Polly Ellison
Job: Student, but I have a part time job in a shop
Weekly income: £95
Interests: Shopping, reality/talent shows, travelling
Favourite genre of music: R&B, pop, rave and dance
Favourite artists: Rihanna, Britney Spears, Lady GaGa and Katy Perry
Why would you buy Encore: I like the colours on the front cover, they are very girly and bright which catches my eye. I watch The X Factor all the time so I would want to read this. I like the artists featured on the cover and I like reading about gigs and awards.
Polly is in my age group as she is seventeen. This research has helped me as I now know what my target groups spend their money on, what genres of music they like and how much they spend on music related products i.e. iTunes, gigs and music magazines.
To get an idea of my target audience and what they would like, I created a questionnaire which was taken by 100 people. The highlighted answers were the most popular. This is I got the name of my magazine “Encore” from. An encore is an additional performance added to the end of a concert, from the French "encore", which means "again", "some more”. I also found out my target audience, genre price and colour scheme, this when I decided to add a “free download” voucher on my cover, as downloads appeal to young people, i.e. my target audience, as this a common way of obtaining music for this age group. I then had to decide on my main story/article, and decided to use a young model, who won “The X Factor” This relates to most people as after I researched my target audience I found it is popular. I wanted my magazine to appeal to girls, so I used very feminine colours, like bright pink, to appeal to my target audience. My research above shows that my target audience don’t have a very big income, so I made my magazine a £1.00, this would compete with other, more expensive magazines, and I also used this price as my magazine is only a weekly magazine. My article also relates to young girls, as my artist is only young, and it shows that her dreams came true. I also used an attractive model, which relates to Naomi Wolf’s theory, that having a sexually attractive model will influence women, as well as men, because they too believe they can look like that, if they buy the products promoted or live their life like the models. I looked into Marjorie Ferguson’s theory of poses (1980) and found that my model’s pose is Invitational: emphasis on the eyes, mouth shut or with only a hint of a smile, head to one side or looking back to camera. This pose suggests they’re inviting the audience into the world of the magazine.
By exploiting the Blumler and Katz’ theory of Uses and Gratifications, (1995) my model appeals to a similar age group to add an appeal, and it relates to them as they think they can be like this, she is wearing the same clothes as they would wear and they could find her inspirational.
I also used “hooks”, (“the video music awards exclusive”) which I based on existing products and audience research to influence my audience, on my front cover, which is a typical magazine convention, I done this so I could “draw the audience in” and they can see what else my magazine includes, including my main article.
What have you learnt about new technologies from the process of creating this product?
I used many new technologies that I had never used before to create my project, such as digital cameras, Photoshop and Blogger.
I have edited photos using tools such as;
• Burn tool – to make the models skin look more tanned
• Polygonal Lasso tool – to crop the photo and get rid of the background
• Smudge tool – to even out the models skin
• Brush tool – to emphasise the models eye make up
• Colour replacement tool – to change the models clothing colours
• Red eye removal
• Clone tool- to lengthen clothing or hair
This is a photo I have edited. As you can see I had to cut the model out as the photo was took on a red background, so I cut the model out, and then changed the photo to medium shot. I used the burn tool on her skin as I have used the same model for the cover, and I tanned her skin on the cover. I used the colour replacement tool on her eyes to give the impression she is wearing more eye make up. This photo is good as it is not blurry and I like the way she is looking at the camera, but her eye is slightly hidden behind her fringe, which gives a mysterious effect, making the reader want to read the story.
This is another example of a photo I have edited. I have took the photo on a red backdrop, so it’s easier to edit. I used a digital camera and a tripod to take the photo. Here’s how I accomplished the final photo:
• Polygonal Lasso tool – to crop the photo and get rid of the background
• Eraser tool – to get rid of any excess background
• Clone tool – to make her top all one colour
• Clone tool – to crop her hair short
• Brush tool – to give the impression she is wearing eye make up.
I have also learnt how to use www.blogspot.com This is a website where I made my own blog, to record my progress. On blogspot, you can also add photos to describe your progress and process. The blog is like a media portfolio on the internet so it can be viewed by people around the world.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the full product?
Looking back at my first drafts, I feel that I have learnt so much since I started the course, in September. I have learnt new technologies like how to work digital cameras and Photoshop. I have learnt how to edit photos and change the saturation and adjust colours. I have learnt how to record my progress and process on a blog, for others to see. I have learnt how to target specific audiences, researched conventions and media language and the way it’s used to appeal to an audience. I’ve used my improved technology skills to help me achieve my goal ok, from analysing magazines to looking up theories and theorists. I have put everything I have learnt and all my skills into making my product look as real as possible, and I think I have achieved this. I have created the product aimed at a niche audience, but for a large, nationwide one, compared to my preliminary product. I’ve created my product based on careful research, to exist on shelves along side NME and Q, with a specific nationwide audience in mind.
When I showed my final product to Polly Ellison, this was her reaction: “wow that looks so real, it could be on the shelves in a news agent! I like the way the pink is feminine but it contrasts with the black to give a punk effect! I also think the free downloads is a good idea and it would influence me to buy it.”