Thursday, 22 October 2009

Review of ‘YourFilm’ lecture

I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture my class recieved from 'YourFilm' production company. I think what made it different was that they were local boys, starting in the same place as we are now. I think this gave the class motivation and determination, because it shows how far you can get, just starting with a school camera and tripod. I loved watching their projects from when they were in secondary school, and then comparing them with what they are able to produce now - the difference was so significant! It was nice to speak to people who had so much experience, and who had passion for the subject.

Analysis of ‘Get Carter’ project

I think that the 'Get Carter' experience has increased my skills with the camera, as we had to frame various shots to create different moods. I learnt how different angles can create significane and bravery, or vulnerability of a person. From this project, I learnt how to pan and zoom using the new cameras and tripod.

Meetings and reviews

My group and I have planned to base the story of the music video based on the lyrics. Lyrics such as 'No matter what I say or do, I still feel you here 'till the moment I'm gone' have got to do with the young girl dying, as she will always be with her best friend no matter what. We will do shots of the girls' memories in all different locations, and flashbacks to when they were younger.
We did not want our video to be slow moving, as that would mean it would have no energy, so we have decided to do a 10-freeze-frame shot when the song reaches its climax, to create tension and lift the moment.

Mind mapping of ideas for new project.

Our new project is a music video, very much based on the lyrics of the song 'Gravity'.
Our plan is to create a story on two best friends, and one turns out to have leukemia. As the song reaches its climax, so will the story.
I will be working with Jennifer Foster, Amy McGeorge and Zoe Noble.
Our roles will be as follows;
Chelsea Halfpenny (me) - Actor, Editing
Jennifer Foster - Actor, Editing
Amy McGeorge - Location finding, Shooting
Zoe Noble - Location finding, Shooting

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Year 12 Summary

For my media project in year 12, I was asked to complete a front cover, contents page, and a 2-page article of a music magazine. I gained skills on Adobe Photoshop, although I had not used it previously. I worked with Fiona Burns on our magazine called 'Bounce' which was a house/R'n'B/urban magazine, and gained experience with using a professional camera. I learnt how different camera angles can create different effects, and how sight-specific shots can be more effective on an audience, for example, the background of my front cover was an urban street to give off this 'gangster' vibe. I experimented with various colours to emphasise the message I was trying to get across. I will pass my skills from last year to this year to produce my music video, which is going to be on the song 'Gravity' by Sara Bareilles, where I will be working with Jennifer Foster, Amy McGeorge and Zoe Noble.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


The brief for my final media piece was a music magazine. We were asked to produce a front cover, a contents page, and a two to three page interview based on a particular type of music.

In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
In my research, I viewed conventions of real magazines which make them so popular. Well-liked magazines like ‘Q’ and ‘Blender’ were two of my main influences, as they were quirky and had their own individual styles. I liked that they had continuous colour schemes and constantly changed their theme every month to meet each of their audience’s needs. They both included their prices discreetly on the barcode so that it did not take the attention away from the rest of the magazine, and I thought this was a good idea so used this in my magazine. Both have a particular theme every week (or month) to do with their main article, so I kept my vibrant and house-style to reflect the main artist MC Bean. If I were to produce a real magazine, I would continue to work on the conventions of these magazines. I used the conventions of real magazines by using a limited amount of fonts, to make the magazine seem sophisticated and less busy. I also used conventions of a real magazine by using hook lines from the main interview to draw the reader in, for example, 'Bean admits he's looking for love, but who is his type? FIND OUT INSIDE'. I challenged conventions as I didn't put many sub-stories on my front cover, as I thought my main image was attractive enough to make the reader want to read further. I was highly influenced by the Taylor Swift issue of 'Blender' pictured above. I liked that they used limited fonts and colours, this made the image the main focus - which was what I attempted to do. My barcode idea was influenced from another issue of blender, to put the prices in different currencies (American and Canadian) to widen my audience range. I also kept the barcode discreet so that it did not take the focus away from the main article.
I followed conventions by putting my double-page article in colomns, and kept my colour scheme throughout and maintained the house style. I followed conventions by putting the hook lines in bold in the interview, to make the reader want to read further.

  • How does your media product represent particular social groups?
    I think my media product represents teenagers in society; they are constantly pigeon-holed as rebels who are wrecking the streets and vandalising cars and people’s properties, when this isn’t the case with the majority of the younger generation. I felt I needed to pursue my point by making a magazine which shows teenagers in their element, showing off their talent and express them in a brighter light, than being known as horrid children destroying the country and I did this by using vibrant colours, and fun pictures. Also, my magazine was made for all social classes so that the audience can relate to them, and seek some element of personal identity; for example, my interviewee did not have a hard childhood, but explains that his sister went through a traumatic relationship. This can also create some admiration for the star and allows aspiration from the audience. I think my magazine represents a particular cultural sub-group – people who are interested in urban and house music.

  • What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
    The media publisher which I think would be successful in distributing my magazine would be Dennis Publishing Ltd. Through its three successful magazine brands, ‘Maxim’, ‘Blender’ and ‘Stuff’, it dominates the coveted 18-34 year old male audience, and is now looking for a wider range of audience for their product. I feel my magazine would meet their requirements and could reach both genders and a lower age limit, therefore raising their profile in the marketplace.

  • Who could be the audience for your media product?
    The audience for my media product would be students between 16 and 25 interested in the urban genre of music, because the taboo language use ‘like yo’ ass has the hiccups’ would not offend them as it is becoming more common these days, whereas it might offend an older audience. I also think my magazine would appeal to both genders as I have not used any stereotypically ‘girly’ or ‘boyish’ colours and have used both genders in the images. I chose a ‘unisex’ type of music – urban and house – as I believe both genders listen to this style of music, whereas my audience would have been quite limited if I had have chosen ‘pop’ music as this generally appeals to a female audience. I edited my age range to give it a higher limit because I wanted my magazine to appeal to both genders and men don’t seem to develop an interest in music until they are older, so I widened my upper age limit to 25.

  • How did you attract/address your audience?
    I decided to base my music magazine around urban and house music, as this is my favourite kind and is liked by the majority of people my age who I know, which I found by receiving information from a survey I handed out to the people in my class. My target audience was students between 16 – 25, of both genders, as the magazine has a young and exciting vibe on it for the younger generation, and due to this I made my magazine an affordable £1.20. I attracted my audience by promoting light-hearted stories on the front cover, by using colloquial language like ‘dirrty’ and emphasising the accent by repeating the ‘r’. I engaged my audience by promoting light-hearted stories on the front cover, and perhaps alluring the female audience by stating ‘Bean admits he’s looking for love, but who is his type? Find out inside!’ I learned about the ways different poses can address the reader from Marjorie Ferguson (1980), although her theories were about women, but I applied this too my model who is a male. Theory where she suggested that you can attract an audience by the type of pose you project on a picture, therefore to appeal to my audience I used invitational: emphasis on the eyes (or the glasses in my case), mouth shut or with only a hint of a smile, head to one side or looking back to the camera. The projected mood is suggestive of mischief or mystery, the hint of contact potential rather than sexual promise, the cover equivalent of advertising’s soft sells. I chose this pose because I think it is inviting and puts a light mood on my magazine. The image is a medium shot and my model is only smiling a little which suggests cheekiness, yet is still a cool pose. His hand gesture suggests he is a "gangster" which relates to the type of music my magazine is about; urban and house. I felt that by choosing a male artist I could attract both genders to my magazine, and it seemed that my target audience did not mind which gender or how many people were on the front cover, though most magazines stick to one central figure. I did not include any other images on the front cover as I did not want to take the attention away from the main article, and the photo was so busy that it would have looked too cluttered. I chose bright colours such as red and yellow to attract a reader, and express the happy vibe my magazine entails, along with ‘Pussycat’ font used to create a fun feeling, and so that it did not contrast with my use of colloquial language, so that the reader can relate to the stories. I used ‘Perpetua’ font on my title to keep my magazine looking sophisticated, and this was one of the more popular fonts voted in my survey. I edited the ‘o’ in ‘Bounce’ to give it a bouncy effect which reflects the title, and type of music my magazine promotes by endorsing an upbeat, happy lifestyle and reflects the rhythmical nature of the music. I wanted my audience to seek information from my magazine, to perhaps inform their social group of the gossip they have found out about the main star (MC Bean in this case). I also hope my audience have been entertained by my magazine, even if they weren’t originally seeking our entertainment. I hope by reflecting this mood, my target audience will feel that by buying my magazine, they too will feel upbeat and this will encourage them to keep buying it. I took advantage of the Uses and Gratifications theory by keeping my model the same age range as my potential target audience which would help them relate to the magazine, which means there is more chance of them buying it, it may become 'their magazine', the one they and their friends may buy. I showed my magazine to my target audience and they said they thoroughly enjoyed reading the interview, as they felt they could relate to 'MC Bean'. They thought my cover was eye-catching and liked the house-style theme that was continued throughout the mag. They thought the sub-stories in the contents page were relevant, and loved the image manipulation of the main photograph on the contents page.

  • What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
    I have learnt about the varied types of distribution for a product, for example, putting our work on our own personal blogs on the internet, or printing it out to put into a portfolio (which often made the colours seem duller). Using the blogs meant that we could layout our plans and show our annotations and it could be viewed by the public, and receive feedback. I learnt the various ways in which to use Adobe Photoshop – editing the brightness and colour contrast – and my cutting continued to get more and more precise. I enjoyed using the digital camera as I experimented with diverse camera shots, such as – medium shot, medium close up, and long shot – and angles, such as low angle and high angle, to show social class and superiority.

  • Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
    I have learnt a lot from the preliminary task, as I analysed magazines and understood the conventions they used to attract their target audience, like specific colours, fonts and models to communicate a particular message to them. I researched my audience’s needs by producing a survey to my class as I had to keep in mind that I would be competing in an existing marketplace, therefore I based most of my ideas on their needs which I found out in the questionnaire. From my study of other music magazines and their conventions, I learned that a magazine should not be too busy, as when there is too much to look at it takes the attention away from the main purpose of the magazine, which is for a reader to actually look inside.

On the other hand, putting charming quotes or tag lines ‘like yo’ ass has the hiccups’ using colloquial language, on the front cover would entice an audience to want to read more. I used Adobe Photoshop to edit the layout and the photos, which were taken with a digital camera. I took my pictures both inside, and out, to give me a wide range of choice, and produce a professional finish. A particular editing skill I developed was manipulating images – as I grew more and more familiar with Adobe Photoshop I became to experiment with different colour schemes and editing techniques. I also became better at cutting pictures out more accurately to give my magazine a professional finish.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Picture editing

Contents picture

I edited this picture by cutting it out and editing the colours so that it was negative, and highlighted with a luminous blue. I only used half the picture so that it did not take over the contents page, and this is the final product;

I blurred out the background of my cover picture so that there was more attention on the model. I cut out some of the building around his hand so that I could enter text. I cut the picture down to a more suitable size so that the dustbin was not in view.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The final result.

In the refining process I made the red and black shapes smaller so that there was more space for the picture. The word 'like' of the tag line was being lost behind a house in the main picture so I made the font narrower. I blurred out the houses in the background so that the model is the main attention. I smoothed out the cutting so that it was more precise. I made the sub-story box funkier by making it slanty to add to the 'bounce' of the magazine. I put the shadow on the box to make it look more effective. I deleted a picture of a girl in the sub-story box as the picture was not vertically tall enough and looked disorted.

For the final finished contents page I changed the feature stories so that they were more music-related. I narrowed the text 'COMPETITIONS & OFFERS' so that it didn't touch the main picture. I also narrowed the text 'FREE SAMPLE CD FROM TOOTSWEETS NEW SINGLE' so that the word 'single' wasn't touching the edge of the photo of the six girls. I also blurred our the edges of the main picture to add to the effect of the magazine.

For my finished interview I put a small paragraph in the top right hand corner describing 'MC Bean' so that the readers had a little bit more of an insight into the interview. I made the 'MC Bean' title big and bold so that the reader knows exactly who the interview is about, and I also included an image. I included a quote from the interview so that the reader wants to read more. I asked questions that the public wanted to know because public demand is extremely important in the media business.
For the final draft of my second page of the interview I kept the title 'MC Bean' big and bold so that the theme was carried throughout the magazine. I used four small pictures of 'MC Bean' which show four different sides of his personality so that the reader feels like they are on a personal level with the star, as one of the public demand answers was that they like to get up, close and personal with a star they like. At the end of the interview I included a 'thanks' from the interviewer to show appreciation to the star and also informed the reader what date MC Bean's album was coming out and the name of it.

Interview inspiration

I used this interview with a popular solo artist, Rihanna as an example for the format and style of the questions, as my star 'MC Bean' is as popular as her according to my magazine.

Interview by Vicki Grimshaw

YOU have an amazing figure. How do you stay in shape?
A lot of hard work and a lot of running on the treadmill. Cardio is the key. I have a personal trainer who travels with me if we have a big event coming up. I work out every day but I need a trainer to motivate me – I don’t find it much fun working out on my own.

What do you like about your body?
My bum, and I keep working at it as I want it to be perfect. It makes my clothes look good – and guys like it!

And what do you like least?
My legs. I’m insecure about them. Everyone wants to have slim, perfectly-toned legs and I’m the same. I do weights but I don’t want my legs to bulk up so I do a lot of cardio. I’ve lost a lot of weight since I started working out and if I exercise every day for a week, I can drop several pounds. If I diet, I see even faster results.

Do you have a strict diet?
Carbs are the enemy but if I go three days without them, I start getting weak. If my trainer had her way, I’d eat small meals every three hours, but I sometimes only eat once or twice a day. I have egg whites and pineapple for breakfast with hot water and lemon. For lunch I have fish and potatoes. I hate vegetables but I make myself eat them. For dinner I have fish again.

Does size matter?
Not at all. My size varies – sometimes I’m a (US) 2, sometimes 4 (UK 6 or – but what matters is being fit and healthy. Being slim makes me feel better about myself. It boosts my self-esteem, and having a toned body helps with my job because I wear a lot of skimpy costumes. My weight fluctuates, but I don’t weigh myself every day. I’m 5ft 8in and weigh around 9st 7lb.

Would you have cosmetic surgery?
I don’t think so, but I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t in the future. If my breasts started to drop, I might not like that. But for the next 20-25 years, I’m going to stay as natural as possible.

What’s the downside to fame?
I hardly get home to Barbados because I have a demanding schedule, and I do miss it. The bad thing is that I’m away from my culture, friends and family, and good home cooking. It’s tough being on your own in a hotel room on the other side of the world. But for every sad situation there’s a good one – I get to do amazing things and go to places I once could only dream of.

Tell us about the gossip that you and Jay-Z are more than just friends…
Rumours come with the territory and you can’t help these things.

Or that you are dating singer Chris Brown?
I’m single. If a good guy comes along we’ll make it work, but for now I’m having fun being a single woman.

Who’s your ideal man?
One who makes me happy, makes me laugh, and keeps me in good spirits.

Rihanna is headlining at The O2 Arena, London, on March 7. Her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, is out now

Thursday, 29 January 2009

MC Bean interview

Now, when I heard that MC Bean was coming to the studios of ‘Bounce’ I have to admit, I was nervous. All the stories I’d read about him being mean and having a huge ego; I really wasn’t looking forward to meeting him. I would just like to tell all you MC Bean fans that he isn’t any of these things; if anything he is a loving, caring and funny young man who is loving his life as a successful solo artist. As soon as he walked in, his charismatic personality hit me immediately and his face lit up the room. I asked him how his flight was and he would not stop talking about how nicely he was treated and how appreciative he is. Here, he answers your questions!

1- Do you have a girlfriend?
Aw, I’d like to say I do but no, I don’t. “Music was my first love, and it will be my last” as John Miles would say. Anyway, I think I’m too young to have a girlfriend and the minute, plus I don’t have time. I’m only nineteen; I’ve still got a life to live before I start thinking about girlfriends and commitments. But this does not mean I’m not willing to have fun [He laughs].

2- Did you write all of the songs on your new album?
No, I didn’t. Out of the 12 songs I wrote seven and then three were written by my good friend Chris Toner, and the other two were written by my little sister. She’s an aspiring song writer so I wanted her to get some experience and see what her songs sound like recorded and they were brilliant; really suited my voice. The song ‘Don’t’ is my personal favourite and that was one that my sister wrote about a past experience of violence within a relationship. It was really deep and meaningful and I really enjoyed recording it.

3- Have you ever been in love?
No, I can’t say I have. I had a childhood love that I still think about sometimes, but it couldn’t have been love or we would still be together! I believe everything happens for a reason.

4- Who are your inspirations?
Definitely my father first of all, he is my hero for many reasons. He went through a lot as a child including abuse and had a dysfunctional family, but he has done so well in life and worked his way up to where he wants to be. I can’t go into detail, but all he ever did was believe in himself and that is a big inspiration to me. In the music world I have to say, Michael Jackson. I think he is a lyrical genius, not to mention his dancing talent! He is unbelievable and his talents are unlimited.

5- What made you first interested in urban music?
My Dad used to listen to a lot of soulful music when I was younger and my Mom was more of a pop music kinda gal, and I think urban fits in the middle of that. Also, I love a song with a good rhythm and that’s was urban is all about.

6- What made you who you are today?
I think that keeping your faith in yourself is a good way to go about things, as in this industry there are a lot of times where you will get your confidence knocked, but if you really love what you do and have the ambition, then you will make it, as long as you try.

7- Why did you want to become a singer?
I listened to a lot of music from a young age, and I was always a quiet child so I think I found singing as my way to express myself. Even when I was in the car and was listening to music I would get so lost in a song and really put my heart and soul into singing it.

8- Have you always wanted to be a singer or did you have other ideas?
When I was a lot younger, maybe 3 or 4, I wanted to be a cadet ‘cos I was totally into Star Wars and wanted to fly to space in a cadet jet. I never even thought of being an astronaut as so many kids used to say they wanted to be that but I always wanted to be different than everybody else. By the time I was around 7 I knew I wanted to be a singer and then when I was 12 I started to get into rapping and MCing.

9- What do you look for in a girl?
Hmm, let me think. [around 10 seconds later] I like somebody with a good sense of humour; I really dislike serious girls who don’t know how to have a good time. I like girls with curvy figures so I have a lot to hold on to. I love it when girls smell really nice, I have preferable smells; like fruity, but fresh smells, mm! I think that’s it really, I’m not really fussy and I can’t really think of anything in particular that I look for, we just need to click.

10- What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m a big fan of basketball and play for a local team when I have time; I love seeing all my old school friends, and I think it’s great that we still see each other even though we left school three years ago. I love to play piano as well and I haven’t had a chance to yet on this album, but I’m hopeful that I will on my following album.

11- What are your plans for the future?
Oh wow, I can’t even think about the future right now ‘cos I’m so excited and involved in the present. I would like to think my career would carry on as successful as it is now. I know it is very unlikely that people stay in the business for the rest of their life, but I’d like to think that my music will stay fresh and up-to-date with the current styles and that perhaps I will be around for a long time.

12- Would you ever live back in a council estate?
[He laughs] Um, I think it would be difficult as I’d be constantly asked for my autograph and for pictures and the paparazzi would be on my back 24/7, but I still visit my parents and they live in a small town estate.

13- Who was your favourite solo artist when growing up?
Michael Jackson, without a doubt. I always listened to his songs, my favourite being ‘Billy Jean’ and I used to constantly try and dance to ‘Thriller’ but was never any where near as good as the master himself.

14- What inspires you?
My faith in God, because he brought me into this world I want to make him proud and live life to the full and take any opportunity that may come my way.

15- How long has it taken you to get where you are today?
I began to get involved in the music industry when I was about fourteen but I would always get knocked back because I was too young. I started writing my album when I was seventeen, so it has took me two years to get it out in the public.

16- Who would you like to work with in the music industry?
I would like to work with the current most popular urban artists like Chris Brown, Rihanna, Ne-yo, but most of all – the Pussycat Dolls. I don’t care about all the bad publicity they’ve had, I’ve met them and seen them live and know for a fact that they can all sing and dance and are all-round fantastic.

17- What was the worst part about starting off in the music industry?
Definitely the bad exposure; I hated all the rude and hurtful things the papers and magazines used to say about me. I don’t know or understand where they get it from! But after a while, you get used to ignore it and as long as you know it’s not true, and the people you love know it’s not true, then it’s okay.

18- Do you have any weird celebrity crushes?
Yes. [He gets embarrassed] Cher! All of my friends think it’s weird, but it’s so true! There’s just something about her, I think she’s so sexy. I love that gothic element she has about her.

19- What do you do on an average day?
On a normal day I wake up at around 7, get some breakfast, have a shower and get picked up around 8.30am. I then arrive at the studios and record from 10.00am until 12.30pm, have some lunch, and then return to the studios at 2.00pm until 6.00pm. I then go home, go in the shower and go to sleep. If I have any spare time I practice piano or maybe watch some television.

I’d like to thank MC Bean for answering all your personal questions so sincerely, and taking time out of his punishing schedule to come and speak to us here at ‘Bounce’.
Chelsea Halfpenny.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I was puzzled as to what people would want to read in an interview so I printed 20 copies of this question and gave them out to my companions to see what they would like to know. This is the question:
What questions would you like to ask a popular male solo artist? Anything you are dying to know about them?
The following questions were desired to ask:
1. Have you ever been in love?
2. Has your heart ever been broken?
3. What is your lifestyle like?
4. Who are your inspirations?
5. What made you first interested in that type of music?
6. Are you single?
7. What made you who you are today?
8. Why did you want to be a singer?
9. Have you always wanted this job or did you have any other ideas?
10. What do you look for in a girl?
11. What do you like to do in your spare time?
12. What are you plans for the future?
13. Would you ever live back in a council estate?
14. Who was your favourite solo artist when you were growing up?
15. What inspires you?
16. How long has it took you to get to where you are today?
17. Who would you like to collaborate with in the music industry?
18. What was the worst part about starting off in the music industry?
19. Do you have any weird celebrity crushes?
20. How was your flight?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Practice mags.

This is my first magazine to let us practice using photoshop. I hadn't done media before, but it didn't take me too long to get used to the program. When I look back at this cover though it looks very inexperienced. I like the 'Pussycat' font as it makes it have attitude, hence the title, and it is girly and my audience for the magazine was school girls. The pictures are slightly blurry and badly cut out so I used the blur tool to hide it. I only have two pictures on and only have one sub-story which wouldn't attract readers. I used different colours to make it look vibrant and promoted the school with the school badge.

I liked the layout of my contents page as I used a style model to get a general idea of what magazin contents page layouts are like. The picture are bright and attractive. I like the different fonts used as I think it makes it look sophisticated. I have advertised charities so that the pupils who read the magazine can take part in them. I put the date of which the magazine was issued. I put six sub-stories in so that people had an idea of some of the major stories inside.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Blender mag.

There is a photo covering the first 'B' of the title showing that the magazine is popular as people already know the title without having to display every single letter. They are promoting that this is their 5th anniversary issue in big letters as if they are promoting their popularity. There is only one font used on the whole cover which makes it look sophisticated and less cluttered. The expression on the band's faces are all different and have a lot of personality which puts a happy vibe on the magazine. A picture of a naked, attractive and extremely famous woman (Mariah Carey) on the front cover will attract men to the magazine. Putting popular singers on the cover will attract readers as they want to read personal stories about them. There is no particular colour scheme to this cover but there are multi-colour balloons and the band are wearing different colour shirts making the cover look vibrant and attractive. The barcode is at the bottom so that it is not so noticeable that it spoils the theme, but noticeable enough for the reader to see the price, etc. The date is provided so that the reader knows exactly when the magazine was issued. They have a quote from the band who the interview is with, giving the reader an insight to what is inside. The main story in the magazine is printed larger than all the substories to make it stand out. There is a photo of a girl at the top, almost naked which will attract men. The title has it's own unique style with the slit through 'Blender'.