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Advanced practical production Essay

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Introduction In my AS year I decided to produce an Internet site, which came under the new media production. The website was based on astrology and horoscopes, I named the site ‘Stars and Their future’. This year in my A2 year I decided to do a print based project, I chose to complete a CD cover, Video cover and a magazine article for an upmarket magazine. They will all be based around the promotion of an upcoming music talent ‘Sophie’.

Last year a lot of my work was based on the computer as it was an internet site, the pictures didn’t need to be high resolution as I wasn’t printing them off they were staying on the screen, whereas this year my project is based on Print, the pictures will have to be of a higher quality and resolution.

The main differences between the two projects are also that this year my work will be promotional. I am designing to attract people to either buy the products or to read the article, I need to make my ‘client’ look her best and attract new fans.

A lot of work will be needed to put in to make my project look it’s best. Planning For my coursework I plan to do a print based project, which will consist of a CD cover, Video cover and a magazine article all promoting the same female artist. I have decided to merge the style of contemporary and classical theme, regarding the layout and pictures used within my project. I have decided to produce the article for a more upmarket magazine such as Company, B, or Cosmopolitan this will consist of a simple classic layout with an informal use of contemporary pictures.

The CD and video will be of a similar style. The target audience for my magazine article will be for women aged 15+. My products will be open to all prospective buyers as I am basing my project on a female talent the prospective buyers could be men or women of all ages. For my album and video cover the style will be more stylised as they need to be more eye-catching for the prospective buyer, they also need to reflect my chosen artists style. The CD cover will need to be eye-catching, make the prospective buyer want to pick up the CD and want to know more.

It will be located at all reputable music retailers. The video should look fun and interesting to watch and make the buyer feel that they are going to get all the latest news on the artist that they couldn’t get elsewhere. It will be on sale at all supermarkets and high street outlet stores; it should be interesting and fun to watch. My magazine article will appear in an upmarket magazine and will be available at all newsagents, stationers and reputable supermarkets.

When researching for my project I did a survey asking a range of 20 people questions on which type of artist they prefer, what style and type of colour scheme. Looking at the results from my questionnaire, the results were quite split, based on the results the audience would prefer an artist that incorporated a bit of pop and classical, with a mixture of contemporary and classic style with use of classic colour schemes. Once I had my results from my survey I decided to do more research on the web, I decided to search for existing CD covers on www. covers.cc by female artists.

I noticed that all of the covers had a bright and eye-catching picture of the artist on the front, with a few smaller pictures of the artist on the back with the list of the tracks. I decided that I wanted to base my layout on this style. I also decided to include the lyrics form the songs I have written myself; they will be included within the sleeve of the front cover with pictures of the artist also to be included next to, and superimposed behind the lyrics, again similar to the style of CD covers I have already researched.

I also went to my local supermarket to look at the different types of music videos that are on the market; they consisted of either tour videos or a compilation archive video of all the artists’ recent pop videos. I decided that these ideas would be good to put together, the video cover would explain that my video was going to include all of the artists latest videos, plus never before seen footage, with exclusive interviews with the artist. After purchasing two magazines with an interview with a huge female music artist ‘Jennifer Lopez’, I analysed the two to see the similarities and differences between the two.

One of the articles was taken from Company magazine and one of them was taken from B magazine, they both have a classic layout with a big picture of the artist that covers one page and a short interview with Jennifer on the opposite page, I felt that I could incorporate the two articles to base an idea on for my own on. Throughout all of my research I have noted the graphology and fonts used on the page, they are always clear to read and are not of a size that is too big or too small to read.

Colour schemes are important; they can either reflect a theme or use of colours that compliment each other. I began organising the task by drawing up a plan of what I have to do and in what order it has to be done; I decided to design the layout of each of my pieces and making a list of what pictures needed to be taken. Important decisions that needed to be made was the style and angles in which the pictures had to be taken and deciding on a theme that would run through all 3 pieces to reflect the style of my chosen artist.

I decided to use the theme of fire and classic themes, using warm tones and colours such as reds, oranges and yellows, and subtle smoky greys and shadow effects; this decision was due to Sophie’s (my artist) fiery red hair. The technology I used when creating my project included a digital camera for taking and recording pictures. Microsoft Photo draw to touch up and edit pictures, I also used this programme to create my video and CD cover. I used the programme Microsoft Publisher to create my magazine article. This influenced the progress of my production by allowing easy transfer of my picture’s into my pieces.

The programme Photo draw also helped my to edit the pictures and allowed me to get them to the best quality. I decided to work on my own when completing this project as this meant that I could organise my time easily and I could make my own decisions. Analysis I have produced a video cover, CD cover package and a magazine article. All three of my projects share a classic theme to reflect the style of ‘Sophie’ my chosen artist. My product reflects and uses the conventions of the media genre that I am working in which is the promotion of an up and coming teen music star.

Overall I think that finished product reflects the theme and style I set out to. I wanted Sophie to be seen as a classic artist and to not be associated with the pop genre. My CD cover consists of grey tones that reflect a classic theme; within the booklet it contains the lyrics and more pictures of Sophie, each reflecting her individual style. I named the album ‘The way you like it’, I chose this as the title for my album because it reflects to any potential buyers that Sophie’s kind of music is a type that can be enjoyed by all.

When researching for my CD cover I noticed and trend with albums that were used for female stars, on the front was a close up of the star that was very noticeable to the prospective buyer. I took a picture of Sophie’s head and made it fill the front. I then used the tools within the photo draw package to touch-up the photo and make it look more professional. I made the picture appear in grey tone by using the greyscale tool that made the picture appear in black and white, I also made the picture fade out around the edges by using the transparency tool.

To make the face more noticeable I used web effects to make the face have a glow around it. This made the front cover look professional. I added the title and my artists name using the font vinetta sans in a white font. I chose this particular font as I felt is was a classic font the looked great and fitted my chosen theme. The video cover again uses the same colour scheme as the CD cover, greys and shadows, although the video cover is set out in quite a different way. I decided that the title for the video would be ‘Up Close and Personal’ the theme on the font cover reflects this.

I took a few pictures of Sophie that were close up head shots in various positions and from different angles, for some of the pictures I used a fan to blow Sophie’s hair to give the pictures a more professional touch. When researching for my product I noticed that when professional pictures were taken of models in most cases the models weren’t looking directly at the camera, this looked more professional so I decided to adopt this technique. As the video is called ‘Up Close and personal’ I waned to reflect the theme of a photo shoot on the front cover.

I chose three of the pictures of Sophie and arranged them in a suitable way. I also made them 3D by embossing the pictures and giving the designer edges with the Photo draw package, again allowing Sophie to seem closer to the prospective buyer. Again I touched up the pictures getting rid of any dust or blemishes using the photo draw tools. The way in which the photos are arranged is o look like a fashion/ photo shoot i. e. being up close and personal- nothing to hide. Which is what the content of the video is going to be about.

The magazine article is made for a more upmarket magazine, I blended the styles of cosmopolitan and B, I think that my article portrays the right theme for my artist, the article is quite contemporary using a close up head shot of Sophie to fill one page of the article and pinks and purples on the other page, The writing is not to big or to small. I got my idea from two magazine articles that already existed about a stars 5-point plan to fame. I also incorporated an interview into this so that the readers could get to know my artist ‘Sophie’.

I used Microsoft publisher to create my article. I have followed media conventions literally when creating my products. The CD cover is typical of an album cover of an uprising female artist, with a large head shot on the front, listing of tracks on the back with lyrics included with images of the artist with the booklet itself. The image on the front is eye-catching and shows my artist in a classic way. The video front is eye-catching with 3 images of the artist on the front with the title in bold front as to catch the prospective buyers attention.

The title is ‘up close and personal’ which gives the buyer an insight into how detailed the biography/ ‘behind the scenes’ video is. Typical conventions have been used when writing the article I have created an upbeat chatty voice, which the reader can relate to. The article is aimed towards females age 15+ as these are the typical market for this type of magazine /article. Again a large image of Sophie is opposite the article so that the reader is automatically aware of whom the article is about. I mentioned use of voice within the magazine article, using phrases such as ‘had bagged her first theatre role in London’s west end.

‘ Bagged is a colloquial term that the readers can relate to, it allows the article to seem informal and friendly which is how I want Sophie to be perceived. When creating the CD cover I wanted to create some form of narrative, the lyrics tell a story as the reader/ listener gets to know Sophie more personally. When writing the thank you section at the end of the booklet I wanted my choice of words to be personal and informal, when addressing the fans and relatives/ management I needed to use the correct language so that it felt like Sophie was talking directly to the reader.

The video cover doesn’t include a lot of text, there is a blurb on the back which aims to entice the reader into wanting to watch the video gaining information that they wouldn’t be able to get else where i. e. using phrases like ‘never before seen footage’. The potential buyers only read this though once they have picked the video up. I included ‘quotes’ on the front cover from top magazines to show what they think of the video and Sophie, ‘HOTTEST NEW TALENT’, ‘NOT TO BE MISSED!!! ‘ Again enticing the potential buyer to pick up the video. The representation of the video is included on the back of the video cover within the blurb.

Words like ‘exclusive’ and descriptive work describing Sophie ‘beautiful’, ‘superstar’ all make the buyer want to know more. I have made use of particular stereotypes within my work, I have gone against them. Typically new uprising music stars are manufactured, blonde, don’t have individual style, and are single and available. All of these I have gone against and my star is refreshingly new, red hair, individual style, writes own music/ lyrics, and is in love and is not ashamed to let the world know. Her music comes first not the number of no1’s or record sales. A breath of fresh air and individuality makes sales.

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