Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Evaluation Question 3

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

To understand whether my music video was successful or not , It was essential I presented it to number of people to get crucial audience feedback. I approached both people in my target audience and people outside of my target audience to gain this and to understand whether I met our requirements.

Blog polls

At the start of this course, I set up a number of multiple choice questions on the right hand side of my blog, which I then distributed the link across Facebook, using media 2.0 to encourage my 'Facebook friends' to vote, who are all from very different age groups. I wanted to get a general idea of how different the responses were, and if there was any similarities of the answers which were given based on age which would affect the work which  produced, this type of feedback allowed me to get initial quantitative research. Of course I do not know who has voted, but out of the 8 people, the results show that 3 males and 5 females voted, and 3 people within my target audience of 13-17 year old, and 4 people voted from outside our original age range. I set up very general questions to determine how open to new ideas some people can be and if they would widen their musical choice to genres they had not listened to before which would help me in the creation of my music video. These were the questions and results I achieved:
1) Would you be interested in listening to a song from a genre you have never listened to before? This question would help define the amounts of people who would actually open up to listening to new genres they have never heard before, to widen their musical taste. If the answer was yes, then our video could appeal to many more audiences than the ones we specified in our creative journey presentation. Out of the 8 people who voted, 50% said , yes they would listen to a new music genre, with the other 50% saying they were not sure on whether they would or not. This told me that once we had completed our video, it would be possible that people outside of our initial target audience could enjoy the music and video and would be ideal to hear their feedback on it as well. Even if they may not understand the generic conventions of that genre of music, they would still be able to give us some critical feedback which we could use to make ours better, to aim it at a more widened audience.
2) Have you ever considered changing your favorite genre due to a single song? This second question was to gain a sense of how easily some people would change music taste due to one song. Results showed that 2 people have considered changing their music taste, and 6 people would not. It may be possible to say that these six people may have songs they love involved in other music genres, but we can draw no conclusions to suggest this.
3) What is your favorite genre of music? This was to really put these voters on the spot, to decide if they really did have a favorite genre. This was important because if these genres were outside of rock and pop, then the answers to question 1 would be important as 50% would consider listening to another genre, which could help with more definite audience feedback.

 Synaesthesia Activity 

In the planning stages of our video, before we had any concrete ideas, we participated in a synaesthesia activity and drawing images which we saw when hearing the music, (seeing the sound.) The whole class took part and we got the feedback pages of everything which entered their mind when they heard our song. Since the  group was all aged between 17-18(our initial audience at this point before we got greatly into planning), I thought it was important to use the ideas they came up with on the pages, such as 'American', 'party' and 'road trip' because it would appeal directly to them as these were elements they visualised when listening to the music. It was also important to use their ideas, because if we went entropic and used unpredicted conventions, we felt it would not appeal to this audience at all, as it would not be what they expect. We were then able to use these ideas to developed and challenge the conventions within the genre, but still using a narrative clear and appealing to the audience.


I then wrote up a questionnaire using a selection of the same questions from the recording (below) and gave them out to a number of people inside and outside of my target audience to gain a more varied and unbiased response of both quantitative and qualitative research. This was not a very convenient way of gathering feedback as the answers were just basic, and I did not have the opportunity to ask him to develop his answers, as I would in a verbal conversation with someone. Having said this, some of his answers did provide me with some very interesting opinions and ideas on improvements which the class of Facebook did not bring up.

I chose the questions
carefully, to gain a better understanding of what the audience thought about what went well, and if the main aspects, such as the editing worked well to help create a more successful product.
  • Did you understand the narrative? This was an important question to ask my audience, because we had worries on whether or not our audience would be able to unwrap the flashbacks of Matt and Lily from the narrative to understand the main story line. The story was not told in chronological order, with no firm base that the narrative was about a break up, it was something that the audience had to think about, something which relied on their cultural capital and upbringing and I was keen to determine whether they picked up on it. 
  • What do you think the main story was? This was also important because even if they said 'yes' in the first question, I still wanted to understand whether they did fully understand the concept of  the video,as we used elements of Todorovs theory with 'equilibrium' and 'disequilibrium' throughout the distorted narrative. The only way to find out was to ask them what they thought was going on and if they picked up on everything we incorporated and expected the audience to understand. This would help me to recognise whether this audience had the right cultural capital to understand our narrative. 
  • Do you think it complies with a pop-rock genre? We initiated for the video to comply with the genre of the song, otherwise the audience may not watch t if it does not have some visual relationship between the video and song. The audience was purposely selected as 'rock' listeners, rather than pop (from pop-rock) as they would be more likely to take a preferred reading to the video.
  • What was your favourite thing about the video? I chose to use this question to get an idea of the aspects of the video which really caught the audiences attention and which parts they especially liked. 
  • Do you think it suited you/the target audience? This was important, because I wanted to establish whether the feedback givers thought that the video suited the target audience, and which elements supported this. (They were told the audience type before they completed the form)
  • What did you think about the fast paced edits and the quick quirky shots? These were some of our redundant elements in our video, as it is a key convention of fast tempo music, and I wanted to allow the audience to give their initial thoughts of the types of edits and cuts we used, as we wanted the video to be fast and quirky, but still be smooth to watch.
  • What would you improve? This was an important question, because it would allow me to understand the aspects my audience did not like about the video and if they took any oppositional reading to it. This would also come in useful if we were to edit for a second time, so we could make these amendments to make it more audience directed. 
I sent my feedback form to a friend, Lewys, who lives in Wales. This seemed necessary as I do not think I would have been able to post it, and get it returned in time to analysed, so I decided to email it to him (with evidence to show this). As the form shows, he is within my target audience, so I was hoping he would show a preferred reading status to what I had created. He used quite short answers to questions which were quite distinct and didn't involve any evidence that I wanted him to expand, something I could of prompted in a verbal conversation.

An older man of 48 years old, outside of my target audience also filled one out, and there is a distinct difference in the way these two people have looked into my video and the responses they have given on the forms. Whilst Lewys has given short answers where he thinks is necessary, Mark has however expanded on each question as much as possible to give me the best feedback he could in a compact way. Both of these applicants are male, so I was able to compare their thoughts together, from someone inside of my target audience and someone of the same gender outside, to determine if they both took the same reading strategies or opposite ones.

The first question was quite simple. Lewys took the question literally, and just answered 'yes' to understanding the narrative, whereas mark decided to express further what he thought the narrative was about. 

Regards to the narrative, Lewys has been able to identify the narrative of what is going on, whereas Mark has taken another aspect which he believes is the narrative. Lewys is right in thinking the narrative is about a broken relationship and the guy is on the journey back to create the new equilibrium . Mark on the other hand believes that the guy now has too choose between the girl and the band. He may of just mis-read the narrative or it just may be confusing to understand, showing his cultural capital may not lay in this genre of music, to understand the amplifying meaning of the video and having to refer to a definition of the genre to determine whether my music video fits.

After looking at the definition of rock pop 'A music genre which  mixes a catchy pop style, of light lyrics, in its guitar based rock songs' Mark has been able to use this to identify the conventions in my video which fits the definition. The fact that he has used this could suggest he does not have the cultural capital of someone who is into this genre of music, and therefore is not able to define the elements which make up the characteristics of a rock-pop genre. Lewys just put the answer 'yes' which is not very helpful, and since this is a written questionnaire, I am not able to get him to expand his answer.

Mark like many other feedback comments (later on) noticed the dog clip and thought it was a little bit random, which is an entropic element we included.. He says it is totally out of context, however makes you think about the narrative and places Matt and Lily in the location of a park, showing he has taken a negotiated reading with this part of the video. He also liked the quick shots of the boys getting in with the car, understanding the pace of the music and the edits are keeping in time, unlike Lewys who liked the slow motion shots of the video, as it made the video look a little bit more intense and empathized little aspects which is something we tried to achieve.

They both agreed with the areas to improve, with both saying the lighting. Mark says all the lighting could have been improved but does not take away the punchiness of the video, connoting that he may have the cultural capital of someone who can relate the visuals to the music, and it is very dark compared to the energetic music. He could also determine the main convention of music videos in that the music should be bright and clear, something which my video is lacking.

Video Recordings

I then gathered two people and filmed them watching the video  and then interviewed them on what they thought as I thought this would give me a better chance of getting speakers to develop their answers of their true opinions of the video, and get a sense of whether they did like the video. One of these people (Mark) was in my target audience group who are for example :
-Students between the ages of 13 and 19
-Listen to pop-rock genres, such as busted and fall out boy
-B/C1 on the jicnar scale
-Hedonists and Post-modernists in society
The second person was a woman (Karen) who falls outside of my target audience, which would allow me to discover whether these two people have the same or different views on the video, and find out if people outside of my target audience would take more of an oppositional reading due to age, genre of music, pace of music. I showed the video to a B (jicnar), middle aged, 'middle class'  female and asked her to share her opinions on what she thought, prompted by my questions asked (video).

I asked very similar questions too the questionnaire.

Conclusion of my video feedback:

  1. Both of the respondents seemed to understand the general narrative which we told through the video, which was a crucial aspect of our video to ensure it was successful.
  2. The answers about the genre were relatively the same, both agreed that my video was suitable for the genre I was working in, with the fast edits I was used and that it was suitable for my target audience of this genre type which was quite a redundant element we used to make it suitable.
  3. Both people I interviewed agreed that the video was suitable for my target audience of 13-19 year old's. Mark even compared our video to Busted, referring to the fast paced and typed of shots the used and seemed to apply that to my video, suggesting that he may have the cultural capital to understand the main conventions of a music video and which elements are needed to create a good video in a certain genre, in this instance rock-pop. Karen understood that the actors and the band in the video having were idols to which the audience could identify with as they are within the age range themselves., suggesting that she could of taken a preferred reading of the text. It may not be her type of music, but she was still able to identify the key features which would make a video attract its target audience. 
  4. It was very clear that both audiences, older and young liked the fast paced edits and quick shots, which may suggest that they both have the knowledge and cultural capital to understand the main conventions of a video, and that many fast paced songs  have short, quick shots. However Karen seemed to take a view saying that she liked how we included some longer shots. This may suggest she does not have a strong youths mind to be able to process things to be able to keep up with a consistent fast pace, but the longer clips help her stabilize and process what the video is about, whereas Mark had no problem with the fast edits.
  5. Regards to the improvement, only mark was able to suggest suitable improvements perhaps suggesting that he has the cultural capital of a media studies student to be able to be critical about the video, as he knows the conventions and how the elements should be in order to attract the audience. I agree with him in that we should have improved the lighting as it does not reflect the pace of the and energy of the song. 

Facebook and Youtube

I also posted my video and ancillary products onto my focus group page on the social networking site Facebook, which I felt was really useful to get Qualitative research about my products. I included a mixed gender approach, and the majority of the viewers were between 15 and 19, so fitting in with my target audience. I felt that singularly posting to participants of my target audience would give a bias response, and I would not be able to compare results to a wider audience, therefore  I also posted the video to my timeline to get a more unbiased response, from a wider audience of people outside of my target audience.

Video Feedback
  • 'It's good, the clip of the dog seemed random and the girl did not feature enough so it didn't make much sense why she was there, either there should have been more shots of her of non at all. But the shots were short and choppy and fitted well with the music and beat. The actors or band didn't seem as passionate as the music sounded And the end shot was good but would have been better to match the first shot or the other way round.'
  • 'thought the video was lively and showed the boys as being young and passionate about their music. Really liked the variety of shots such as slow motion and close ups - however a few were a bit random and i felt it had no real relevance to the rest of the video, in particular the end shot where he looks up at the window and the shot with the dog? other than that great video and looks like a lot of effort has been put into it!'
  • 'I agree with Sophie I thought it was really good but I thought the girl should have featured earlier or not at all because she came in quite late. It looked really great other than that and looked like they had a lot of fun!'
  • 'For a first video it is a first class effort and a first class result. The song chosen at first does not appeal to you (because it is not a popular song played on the radio stations or clubs) however after the second or third time it gets to you and is quite catchy. The concept of the video is fantastic. The singer and the musicians seem to be actually performing and not lip syncing which is quite good considering they are very young and amateurs. The location is good and the whole concept of them getting into the car and driving to the girls house works well. For a first attempt by untrained amateurs this is a fantastic effort and therefore very difficult to criticize  However if there is some constructive criticism then there is very little. The object of the song - the ex girlfriend does not feature much or even if she does, is only on the screen for a split second, she should have been more of focus. The white brand new Audi could have been replaced with a old classic or a banged up American soft top to keep within the feel of the video as the Audi sticks out like a sore thumb. Lastly the video clip of reversing the shot ( like getting into the car) was used just too many times and becomes a little irritating. However the whole video looks a lot of fun and it seems that a lot of fun was had by all in the process of making it. So great effort and great job. Well done.'
  • Hi all, I really enjoyed the choice of song but would have liked to see song and band title go onscreen at one point (for when people want to buy it. I liked the split screen shots. Agree with the others about the girl appearing sooner too.
The feedback from Facebook was a lot more unbiased, than some of the other techniques I used, as a wider range of people gave their opinions, as the ages ranged from 17 years upwards and were of mixed gender. The majority of people outside of our target audience took oppositional reading, meaning they recognised the values and conventions of the video and accepted them, but still seemed to express the downfalls in what we created with structured criticism. The general response showed that the audience understood the general ideology of the guys in the car, but did not particularly understand or  like how 'Lily' was featured so late and not right at the beginning, which we thought believed she was, but looking back at our video, we believe we could of inserted a shot earlier on.

They clearly enjoyed the song and overall enjoyed the video, which meant they were entertained by it, which was the main aim and purpose. Since some of the comments and suggestions of not understanding the use of Lily, and/or suggest that Lily should of appeared earlier, were from people outside of my audience. This could suggest they may not have developed the full cultural capital to understand the full narrative of the video. They may understand elements, and the main gist of the narrative, but may not fully understand what we were trying to portray through our researched generic conventions. We did use Lily right at the start of the video with an extreme close up of her eyes, after a close up of Matt’s, which we anticipated would instantly show their connection- (the equilibrium of the video). The responses may have meant her appearing even earlier than this, to fully understand that the girl (Lily) is a main aspect of this fractured polysemic narrative (Goodwin).

Many responds suggest that Lily could have also featured much more than she did, 'the ex girlfriend does not feature much or even if she does, is only on the screen for a split second, she should have been more of focus.' As we wanted to create an amplified video, this meant we had to show meaning through the song, our way of this was showing that the girl was perfection, and the guy couldn't do any better than her. The main objective which we initially presented was a break up of a couple (represented by the close up shot of Matt's head in his hands), the disequilibrium of the narrative, and the attempt for the guy to travel to the girl’s house to create the new equilibrium, which we left as a cliff-hanger at the end. We did not want to feature Lily greatly, as we felt the distorted narrative should be about the journey back to her house, with occasional flashbacks (shown by the blurriness and spotlight lighting effect) of her and Matt to give some sense of the anchorage of why they are travelling in the car, and the main story isn't evolved around their relationship elements. The ideal culture capital would be able to indicate the journey as a reuniting of Matt and Lily and that the band are on their way back to the house, which is where they are performing throughout the video, showing a link between the narrative and performance. We did not want our video to be too redundant or 'illustrative' (Goodwin- the lyrics correspond to the images in the video) as it would make it too predictable to the audience, and would take away any reinforcement for them wanting to watch it again. We had to use some entropy to gain the attention of our audience and to twist conventions to initiate them to want to re-watch. 

I do agree with the comment which suggests that the band's name should of been featured onscreen, however this was not something which we discovered in our research and we thought the main important element was the video and its pace. We did have the idea of a close-up of the car radio with the song title 'Perfection' written as the song playing (much like an existing car radio) . However we were advised on making the video as quirky and as fast paced as possible, so we discarded the idea. If we had more time we would of looked into putting the bands name and title at the start so the audience knows what the song is called, and who the band was which would help the audience recognition between the print productions and video. 

Many of the responses did not understand the clip of the dog, which was near the middle of the video, which is understandable considering it is the only animal featuring clip we used. This was to break up the use of the car narrative and performance in an instrumental break. The road which the dog runs over could also be interpreted as a graphic match edit the style of road the car is driving down. 

One comment also suggested that we replaced the Audi with an old fashioned car. During our research and planning, we noticed many videos did use an older car, therefore we did want to use an older car, which was going to be supplied by my Neighbor. With the arrival of the snow, he was not willing to bring it out on the road, and so we decided to film with Grace's Audi in replace as it was the most logical thing to do in the circumstances. 'Green Day' was our main inspiration about the older cars, and we are quite disappointed that we were not able to use the older car as I think it would of worked really effectively, and kept to the redundant American Rock-pop genre road trip feel the music gives- also this idea was shown though our class synaethesia activity. We felt afterwards that the car gave an entropic feel to the video, as we used a more modern car, than the use of an older car which was a generic convention we found in the videos we looked at.

'The location was good'. The mise-en scene was really important to us because we did not want two locations to look the same, We wanted the audience to distinguish the stages of the narrative and where they were being placed, and furthermore we did not want it to be boring to watch (The location was consistently changing with the narrative and the beat).The 3 locations were : Outside the house, The road and the park, each having its own part of the narrative. We also wanted the boys to dress as naturally as possible as they are part of our target audience profile and we did not want them looking too staged and fake. The clothes they chose to wear did fit in with the overall house style which we conveyed and to the genre style of the music. (Star image- Goodwin)

From the comments I collected, I do not feel that my video has a direct behavioural effect on the passive audience. This shows they do have the cultural capital to realise the non-realistic aspect of the narrative, and not to go and travel in the way we have shown with the boys sat on the sides and stood up. This therefore contradicts the hypodermic needle theory which suggests that the media affects your behaviour. I don't believe the feedback given would suggest that our video would turn our audience into adventurous drivers, further showing they are preferred readers as they just accept the narrative and features included as a video. I was also pleased that nobody, from any of my feedback techniques wanted a specific ending to the narrative, as we left it open to interpretation. We wanted to leave it as a cliffhanger, on the basis of not knowing whether Matt reconciled with Lily or not- shown by the mid-shots, followed by a zoom of him looking up at the window. If we had closed the narrative, this would of compiled to the Hypodermic needle theory, leaving nothing to the audiences imagination. 

I received a few comments from several 30-40 year old mixed gender viewers on my 'timeline' post which just said : 'well done' or 'excellent' 

This could suggest they have taken a preferred reading of the video, and have been able to fully understand the narrative and concept, again being the whole aim and idea. Ray comments 'Keep it up Matt,' perhaps believing that Matt is actually singing in the video, suggesting we have risen to the redundant conventions of a music video, and used lip-syncing to the best of our ability in the edit suit,  managing to get the timing just right, which is really important for any music video.

Ancillary Feedback

I approached my focus group on Facebook by adding images of both my advert and digipak onto the group and asking for opinions on them both, these are some of the comments I received:

  • 'I like how you've mixed the band members with images, however i don't like the shadow effect that's going on, i like the idea but i personal don't think it fits, for example on the image on the top left why are there 2 shadows behind the singer? and i take it there is no drummer in the band that's why there is a shadow of one? Just my personal opinion sorry'
  • 'The digipak and advert mirror and compliment each other so you can tell the advert is advertising the album which is really good  all the images are ace as well because they're all different. the editing is so good too, well done '
  • 'think it looks really effective, like the choice in colour. Images are well thought through and the smaller detail are presented well! Also love the little moons'
  • 'I really like the digipak, the theme carries on from the magazine advert. I love the cartoon effect on all the panels. You've done a really good job!'
  • this is awesome! looks properly professional as well, the band stand out and the typography looks wicked, such a good advert 
  • It just looks like a real magazine advert! Really good! I like the slight use of red in the back ground and then carried into the font.

The comments for my ancillary products are all from my focus group, an audience of 17-18 year old's, so I expected them to show a preferred or negotiated reading. The overall response was excellent, and each commenter really liked both the digipak and advert, which is very positive.One respondent from my digi-pak feedback took an aberrant reading, (theorised by David Morley) showing that this person does not fully understand the connotations of the text. He states that he does not understand why I have used shadows in two of the panels (comment 1), although he likes the idea. This shows that he may not have the cultural capital needed in order to understand my ideas and formation of my digipak, and perhaps cannot see any links which I have used to other digipaks, therefore not understanding my aim and purpose.  

A number of people mentioned my media products were coherent throughout my advert and digipak, which was really important as they needed to look like part of a package to help audience recognition, and to show in basic terms, they go together. I made sure of this by using my 'House style' throughout both productions, examples are: the background, red stripe, font and my moon creation. 

One person did pick up on the moon and really liked it, showing that this could be a preferred reading, as she/he accepts that it is part of my house style, which makes my products unique as it could be identified with this symbol. 

I was pleased that no one suggested using different backgrounds- such as more serious locations, because, with a young band, they tend to have fun in the early stages of their career, and using different backgrounds would make them seem less serious than they are in the video. The use of 'locational' backgrounds would also take away elements of the genre and tone them down from the type of music they produce. The mono colours I have used, generally represents the 'rock' and 'dark' era which is connoted with the genre we are working in, and still shows the young aspects of an enthusiastic band. 

The majority of the comments received, I feel do have the cultural capital to understand my ancillary products, showing that they understand the generic conventions and ideology which builds up an advert or digipak, and able to determine which is which.

To define cartoon (as said by one response): 'A simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in an exaggerated way, esp. in a newspaper or magazine.' The key word here is 'exaggerated', and I feel I have used exaggeration in both the video- within the performance actions and posture, and in my print- the poses which I took my pictures. In my digipak I used bright colours to empathize the energy from the song, and to show the enthusiasm of the band, perhaps a little more than shown in the video, therefore perhaps connoting a more 'comic' connotation and feel about it.

The video was already uploaded to Youtube , as we used this media platform to get it onto our blog, so I accepted and invited comments through here as it shows through technological convergence and media 2.0 that audiences can access videos from anywhere, choosing which videos to consume. Media 2.0 is shown through the account 'WVsuspect.' This was a random user on Youtube who looked at our video, without us distributing it out to him through other technology, therefore he chose to watch the video at his own accord which is very promising. They all took preferred readings and and they seemed to really like it. No one suggested anything which we could of done differently. The bottom comment says he particularly liked the classic 'getting the girl' showing that he notices the key conventions in many typical music videos, perhaps suggesting we are just recycling ideas and not come up with a original idea after all, as it all comes down to the love story between boy and girl. It also shows we have created quite a redundant video, up until the end which is entropic, but we have used a classic love story which is quite redundant in many videos. These comments were:

  • WVSuspect (Youtube subscriber)
  • 'Interesting video, i like it. Nice channel too. Subscribed. Safe!'
  • Anthony Vinnicombe (19):
  • 'I like it a lot, the video really flows with the music, i specifically like the parts of the video which section off the band members. Great Job :)'
  • Liljonesyboy (17):
  • 'very well pieced together and brought across a punk rock feel of 'the lads having fun'. A classic 'getting the girl' story which adds the feel of the song and represents it well. 10/10 Though there is no snoop dog :/'
Hypothetical Changes

 Although karen (video response) said that it fitted to the music and worked within the frame, I think we would choose a more suitable clip in replace of the dog. Many other comments did not understand it and thought it was a bit random therefore id change it to a more recognizable clip and a more related clip to the narrative or performance. 

I would also re-film the performance using stronger lighting to make it brighter and look more professional. Therefore I would use this performance a lot more in the video, to make it performance orientated rather than narrative, to show a consistent house style.

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