My name is Eddie Rowe, (candidate number 9147). I'm a media student at the Latymer School. I am working in group 2 with Mario Louka, (candidate number 9099),and Ignacio Flores (candidate number 9049). To view my work, use the 3 labels on the right named 'A2 Research and Planning', 'A2 Construction', and 'A2 Evaluation'.

Group 2 Music Video

My Music Video


My Digipak

Group 2 Website

My Website

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Evaluation Post 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Music Video Conventions

Before evaluating the conventions of music videos, I found it really interesting to read up about different media theorists and their thoughts on both music videos and the state of the music industry itself. I looked at theorists both old and new, and whilst I found many answers to questions I had, I also found myself asking more questions about the area; a lot of what the theorists had to say really intrigued me.

Although a mixture of all three, our music video loosely followed a narrative story, (simplified to bored girl listening to music and daydreaming), the bulk of the video was concept, with a small amount of performance.


Our music video had some performance however our music mainly focussed on the narrative/conceptual side, which I believe is stereotypical of the genre. For example, "Red Lights" by Tiesto focuses mainly on narrative, however has some performance towards the end.


Tzvetan Todarov’s narrative theory suggests that all narratives follow a three part structure, wherein at the beginning there is equilibrium, then there is a development that causes the balance to dissolve, and then finally there is a shift at the end that causes equilibrium to be restored. I believe our music video surprisingly does follow this, as our beginning equilibrium is the protagonist working, then the break in equilibrium comes in the form of this new track she listens to, (“Sun Goes Down”). This all happens very early on in the video, (similar to many films), and then over the course of the video is the journey back to equilibrium, (the daydreaming running its course), and finally the music video ends with the protagonist waking up and realising everything is back as it was, even if it may be boring in comparison.
For this reason I believe our video falls significantly within the narrative category.


Main character pushing the circles.
Visual imagery and use of symbolism are the mainstays of a conceptual music video. Although our music video does not make significant usage of symbolism, I would argue that it does fall quite heavily into the conceptual category as there are many points where not all elements have clear meaning behind them, such as the scene with circles being moved by the main character.

Iconography and visual hooks

CU and MCU of Orlando
Andrew Goodwin discussed iconography a considerable amount, one thing he pointed out was the importance of visual hooks and how often pop star's faces are shown in close-ups and how much these shots are repeated within a song. We followed these conventions within our music video, ensuring we used plenty of close-up shots of the singer, Orlando. This decision was also backed, I feel, by Dyer’s star theory, particularly what he has stated about institutions manufacturing stars in a fashion purely for financial gain.

Orlando joining in a party to portray
him as fun.
Richard Dyer’s star theory influenced the portrayal our artist a significant amount. Taking into consideration what he has said about hegemony, we tried to portray Orlando through the music video as a friendly, energetic, fun-loving character, one that as much of the target audience could relate to as possible. We did this by making sure shots always showed him smiling, and joining in when the rest of the characters on-screen were dancing.

Porter Robinson appears in many CUs
in the music video for "Lionhearted"
His stern expressions built up his
"bad-ass" persona.

Inter-textual References

As the music video for Porter Robinson's "Lionhearted" contained inter-textual references towards revolution, tyranny, and elements of Japanese street fashion, our music video also contained some inter-textual references.

Part of the Mars scene
We referenced the 2015 discovery of water on Mars through the Mars scene, with the knowledge that even if the audience didn't realise the reference, it wouldn't have a negative impact on their experience as the majority of the video is a dream sequence anyway. The main reason we decided to include this scene was because we initially felt it could end up looking rather aesthetically pleasing.

Glow raves
Some of our glow-in-the-dark section

We made strong inter-textual references to festival/rave culture through the glow-in-the-dark section of our music video. 


When editing our music video, we tried to generally follow the conventions outlined by Carol Vernallis, which fundamentally included breaking the conventions of normal continuity editing. These conventions generally entail editing the music video so that image and sound are synchronised. Our track had a very defined beat running through it so this gave us a good grounding to follow the conventions.

I made the following short video to breakdown what Peter Laurence said about stereo imaging, and how we applied it. 

Lyrics, Music, and Visuals

"Do You Really Want To Hurt Me"
In Andrew Goodwin's book, Dancing in the Distraction Factory, he raises the question of to what extent a music video shapes the experience of the audience, and what they perceive as the message of the video. The most notable example of this he gives is of Culture Club's song, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" for which the music video shifts the meaning. The song if listened to on its own we would view as a simple tale of romantic loss, however upon viewing the music video we see Boy George singing to a courtroom judge, thus the message of the song is changed into an address towards homophobic attitudes.

Demonstrating the exact representation
of the lyrics 'sun goes down' in our music video.
Although we were aware of this idea of multiple meanings created by the music video and the music itself, we felt we'd achieve the best final result, (in terms of appealing to our audience), by creating a video that was the best possible representation of what we visualised when we first listened to the song. This way we felt we weren't at risk of creating a ‘challenging’ music video, as this is not a convention of the EDM/House genres.

Conventions of genre

Susan McClary and Robert Walser stated that one issue of analysing pop music, (and I'd argue this stems from the proliferation of electronic music and the integral part it now plays in modern pop), is the complexity of the music. There are many aspects of the music to take into account when forming an analysis, (tempo, rhythm, melody, acoustic space, timbre, harmony, arrangement, lyrics), and finding a way to relate all of these individual pillars of the music to one another can be an enormous job.
I'm suggesting that these issues are furthered by pop’s growing reliance on electronically-produced music, because producing music electronically allows for far greater customisation of the final result than standard recording, mixing, and mastering.

“Break Free” by Ariana Grande is a very interesting track to consider with this in mind. Up until the release of this song in 2014, Grande had practically only been performing within the genres of pop and R&B, whereas this track is classed as EDM, (as is the track we used, “Sun Goes Down” by David Guetta). “Break Free” exhibits the characteristics of what we call ‘pop’; the track is just over three minutes long, has a verse-chorus structure with repeated choruses, and also repeated melodies.


Goodwin also stated that the music's genre is generally demonstrated by the music video itself, something that we kept in mind when constructing our music video. Although we followed the convention of the influence of festival culture evident within the music video, we didn't totally adhere to the artist's representation

Calvin Harris' appearance
in the Armani brand makes
him synonymous with 'cool'.

Whilst most EDM artists stick to having a very serious, 'cool' appearance, we tried to challenge this convention somewhat by making Orlando appear as a more fun and energetic singer. We did this by having him smiling and joining in with the dancers in most shots, however there were a couple where he kept a more serious expression.

Porter Robinson's cool demeanour in


The most common themes found in music videos for EDM and its sub-genres can include love, relationships, aspiration, freedom. The music video for Hardwell's "Follow Me" features many of these themes. It portrays freedom through the wide shots of desert landscape, alongside shots of the car driving away and Jason Derulo standing along in the empty landscape. Relationships are represented through the shots of Hardwell and his companion in the car together and also particularly the shot of them in a flirtatious stance.

Representation of relationships, many people
will also consider this aspirational.
Wide shots of Jason Derulo connote freedom.

Many EDM songs, specifically those heard at festivals, seem to reflect their upbeat rhythms through use of warm colouring.

Orange-ish filter in Hardwell's "Mad World"
Yellow-warmth in Tiesto's "Red Lights"

Album cover

We studied many different album covers before planning ours in order to ensure we were fully aware of the common forms and conventions.

Comparison of our album cover and one of Calvin Harris'.

Album covers usually include multiple images of the artist both inside and out in order to best make it obvious who the artist is. This is a convention of album covers as a whole as they are promotional materials for the artist.

Orlando digipak/album cover design
Ellie Goulding's "Delirium" purely has her
on the front cover.


Orlando's website is synergistic with both the album cover and the music video as it makes use of similar colour schemes and style, and has the same logo as the album cover.

The final 'Orlando' logo, used across our marketing.
I have produced a Prezi presentation to discuss the forms and conventions we followed or challenged within the Orlando website.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Evaluation Post 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

To ensure success for the artist, Orlando needed strong branding and identity. I believe we reinforced this quite well through synergy between our media texts.

According to Goodwin, genre is often established through the album cover, and is very important in helping to create meaning, suggesting the 'correct' way to decode the media text.

Example of an effective, synergistic marketing campaign: Porter Robinson

Artist Identity
Orlando's identity is for the most part easily discernible from our media texts, and we followed Richard Dyer's star theory when creating his identity. We tried to make Orlando appeal to the audience in a fashion whereby he appeared as the sort of character they'd love to be friends with.
Album Digipak

Synergy in the marketing campaign

We made a very striking logo in Photoshop that we could use across the website, album and products. Keeping the font the same at all times and including the vinyl record helped to reinforce the synergy across our ancillary texts. Furthermore we made sure to keep the blue and black colour scheme flowing through these texts. Our music video however did not stick to the colour scheme, as its colours varied to connect with the 'sun goes down' theme.
The merchandise on our store all had the same Orlando logo.

For the graphical representations of the store items, I suggested we utilised the website 'redbubble', as it allows you to upload a design and have it applied to many product mock-ups. We screenshot the pictures the website produced then uploaded them to our store page.

Just one of the many images
of Orlando wearing the Ray-Bans.
The Ray-Ban sunglasses were a key icon throughout our texts, appearing across the music video, album cover, and website. This key item not only reinforces the 'cool' aspect of Orlando, but also acts as an anchor to his style and the audience being able to recognise him.

Being able to purchase the sunglasses on the website also adds to this, and allows the audience to feel more like the successful character if they so wish.

The website acted as a central anchor to bring all the aspects of Orlando's marketing campaign together. Audiences are encouraged to visit the site as it provides further information and insight into Orlando's life, kept up-to-date. Once on the site, engagement is encouraged, for example they can make purchases from the shop, or join in competitions.
Audiences can also browse through Orlando's gallery,
view videos, and check tour dates and other events.

Orlando competition to engage audiences.

Social media
We included social media links on the website so that users could follow the artist and potentially interact with them. In hindsight, we should have shown social media links for Orlando on the album cover and at the end of the music video in order to make it even easier for potential fans to follow the artist.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Evaluation Post 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

In the early stages of the project we did a lot of research into our target audience in order to ascertain what they find appealing.

We were constantly bouncing ideas off other people at the beginning of the project, this helped us to get to understand what people within our target audience would find appealing or not.

We often brought people to the editing suite in order to show them the music video whilst we were still working on it in order to get feedback for aspects such as logical progression of shots and whether certain sections were snappy enough or not.

After completing the music video, I showed it to a number of people within our target audience and asked them questions about it in order to gauge how successful it was. Although the people I interviewed were fans of the EDM genre, they weren't die-hard fans, and they also were fans of an eclectic mixture of other genres.

I videoed these responses and they can be viewed below:

I also created a survey on in order to further branch out the reach of my video, and this allowed me to get responses from more diverse audiences.

On the left are a few responses I received when inquiring as to what story the audience felt was being told. A few of the responses came very close to the original meaning we had in mind, and the top one in the picture I feel is pretty much spot on.
It seems the majority of the people who watched understand the general idea, and for this reason I feel that the audience feedback has shown that our music video performed quite well.

Throughout the course of the project, we kept into account what our target audience would like and audience theory such as uses and gratifications. We did this in order to produce the most successful final products as possible.

We also made sure to get target audience feedback regularly over the course of the project. This would allow us to make the music video appeal as well as possible to our target audience.

We mainly took into account Blumler and Katz' 'Uses and Gratifications' Theory, which involved diversion, surveillance, and personal identity.

A commonplace use of media, music in particular, is to escape from everyday life and enter a world which can capture the audience's imagination.
We created this world most strongly through the music video, especially the cartoon imagery that we utilised throughout, allowing the audience to become immersed in the world of Orlando. The 'worlds' which the main character discovers offer a great escape from reality for the audience. Furthermore her reactions to what she sees, mainly awe and curiosity, work to captivate the audience into feeling similar emotions.

One of the more serious shots.
Personal Relationships
The emotional interactions one can have with media texts was tapped into with our music video. Orlando is made through his plain yet stylish clothing and friendly, fun actions to appear as the sort of person the audience would want to be friends with. There are shots within the music video which highlight his playful side, and others showing his more serious side.

The Instagram widget we embedded
on our website.

Personal Identity
The general public often look to media outlets in order to help validate themselves and build up their personalities and how they are. The ability to share links to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow the audience to see what kind of all-round person Orlando is, and possibly build on their own personality from that. Furthermore it can give them further aspirations, seeing the lifestyle the artist lives.

The Instagram widget also acted as a surveillance gratification as the audience can find out more about Orlando's life.

Public curiosity and thirst for knowledge is pandered to by our project, in particular the website. Orlando's website has a lot of information describing his activities, what he's doing, and where he is. This is especially well represented by the Instagram widget in the gallery section. The proliferation of technology and software, particularly web 2.0, has made this possible. Furthermore, the ability to view his tour dates and buy tickets allows the audience to get further involved in this way.

The Website
Feedback for the website was generally very positive.
I messaged some friends who were fans of the genre and asked their opinions of our website. Most stated that they liked it, and there were a lot of positive comments on the colour scheme of the site.
However, people did respond that the News section was a bit bare, so we decided to add more to that page. This included adding the signing event and update video, as mentioned in Construction Post: 6.

I messaged some friends asking their opinions of our artist's
I also created an online survey asking fans of EDM about their thoughts on the website. 19 people responded to the question 'What would you rate the website on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being brilliant and 1 being terrible?' I then made a pie chart from this information.

The pie chart acted as a much more visual way of representing
people's responses to our website.
The feedback I received on the website overall was very positive, with the majority of respondents rating the website 5 out of 5, and the next largest majority rated it 4 out of 5.

Album Cover

I decided to create another online survey targeting our target audience in order to find out what people felt about the final album cover design.
I then collated these results into pie charts in order to give a more visual reference of how well people thought our album cover performed.
A pie chart showing what 13 participants rated our
album cover on a scale of 1 to 5.
Results suggested that our album cover was generally well received. In hindsight this information then could have been improved if I had asked what the participants felt critically about in the album cover.
I then created a survey asking people whether they felt the album cover was typical of the genre and reflected it well.

Out of 16 respondents:
  • 13 stated that it was very reflective of the EDM genre.
  • 2 stated it somewhat reflected the genre.
  • 1 stated it did not reflect the genre.
Although this feedback shows that our album cover was probably very reflective of the genre, the feedback does not take into account the 'quality' of the album cover. I believe it would be quite hard for respondents to judge the album cover without judging how professional it looked. Nevertheless if I were to create this survey again, I would probably have stated not to take into account.

In conclusion
  • I think that we got a lot of good feedback on all of the media texts we created.
  • We could have gotten more feedback from secondary and tertiary audiences to increase a wider level of appeal.
  • We could have also got more feedback earlier on in the project on the website and album digipak, as initially we did not get so much feedback in the early stages.
  • The focus groups of our target audience brought up the greatest range of ideas and suggestions.
  • However one-on-one interviews I felt gave the greatest impression of how the media texts actually performed.
  • Therefore I think we could have held more one-on-one interviews with target audience members about our ancillary texts.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Evaluation Post 4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

We found new media technologies central to our project, new software and hardware allowed us to create the best possible project. These technologies gave us opportunities for better communication between the group, more in-depth research, and higher quality finished products that would have been achievable without.

Research & Planning

Social media was a hugely useful platform for us to use, not just within the research and planning stages, but throughout the whole project, especially for keeping in touch with one another.
Our Whatsapp group

Our Facebook Group
We made a Facebook page which allowed us to post ideas or reminders to one another at any time.
Our mobile phones also contributed hugely to our project as they allowed us to not only check the Facebook page at any time, but also keep in instant communication via a Whatsapp group chat we made.

YouTube was probably the most useful platform in my opinion during the research and planning stage as we were able to spend a long time watching and analysing existing music videos found on this website. It was very useful for getting inspiration, and if one of us found a video we liked in our free time we would be able to share the link with the other members of our group in order for them to see it as well.


During the construction process, our school's studio served as a massive help as it was already kitted-out with both a white and a green cyclorama, alongside lights with different colour settings, and blackout blinds on the windows. We also made great use of the Arri floor lights, which we mainly used for helping light up the background equal amounts, so that it would look good when chroma-keyed.

The Leapfrog lighting desk was also a huge help to our project, as it allowed easy remote usage of the Arria 1000k lights mounted in the studio. Instead of manually having to scroll through each colour filter on every single light, the Leapfrog desk allowed it to be done automatically just by keying in a number. Furthermore it was able to 'save' lighting set-ups, meaning we could finish shooting one day, come back the next and load up the exact same set-up in an instant.

I also think that the cameras we used were of a huge use in our project. We mainly shot on the Canon 5D Mark II, and although I found it had a few problems with rolling shutter, it nonetheless produced great quality final images. The school's 550D and my 600D were also a great use as they allowed us to shoot in 60fps, which was required for the slow-motion shots we did. Furthermore, the ability to swap the lenses around on all these cameras meant a very fluid shooting experience.

Construction: Post

During post-production, new media technologies also came to play a huge part. We used Adobe Premiere Pro for general composition and some basic video effects, and Adobe After Effects for the more complicated video nuances. One of the basic effects achieved using this software was an audio effect I added at the beginning, where the music starts off sounding 'tinny', (like it's just coming from the protagonist's headphones), then the bass filters back in as she puts the headphones on. I achieved this by using a high-pass filter audio effect, and key framing it to that moment in the timeline.
The timeline in Premiere Pro made cutting shots easy.

Highpass cutoff for 'tinny' sound

I would argue that Adobe After Effects, (AE), was the most integral new media technology for our project. Without it many of the effects found in the final video would not have been possible. I was the only one in the group who had much prior experience using this software so initially I had to explain a lot of what I was doing to the group so that they could contribute, for example explaining Iggy how to do frame-by-frame masking, one use of this was the close-up shot of the champagne glass. Unfortunately however, the software often took ridiculously long times to open saved files.

Long opening times were a pain.
The main use I made of AE was for chroma keying the shots of actors that were in front of the green-screen. The reason I used AE for this was due to the fact it allowed far more customisation in the process, for example allowing me to colour-correct just the edges of people in order to blend them better with the scene.

Another great use of AE was the other visual effects, including creating the backgrounds such as that seen in the 'Mars' scene and the 'New Year's' scene. These backgrounds I created by utilising AE's mask tools, alongside layering. Further effects I did that wouldn't have been possible without the software include making the glow sticks in the last scene change colour, and other light effects.
Layers in AE

Blogger has been the most important media technology I have utilised in this project, as it has allowed me to show ideas I had and decisions I made throughout the course of the project. Furthermore it has allowed me to respond to the evaluation questions in a more visual way by embedding other web tools and images. Although the most integral piece of software in my project, I do have some qualms with Blogger as it is a nightmare trying to format posts with, and often seems to randomly make pictures break text in the wrong places.

HTML5 was very useful when I made a video speaking about stereo imaging, as it allowed me to present the video in a slightly different style to a YouTube video.

The graphics interchange, (gif), format has been very effective when trying to present and explain my ideas. This has been especially notable when using short clips from existing music videos, as it allowed me to show only the relevant section without expecting anyone to go through every single video referenced in full. The ImgFlip website was great for converting sections of YouTube videos into .gif images.

Prezi has also been a very useful technology in the process of reflecting upon and showcasing my ideas and thought processes. I found it good in this sense as it can not only display text, but also images and video. This is a great web tool to present information in a more visual format, as opposed to purely blocks of text.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Construction Post 6: Website Post-Production

Having completed our music video, we next concentrated on our album cover and website. To create the Orlando website, we used's html5 website editor for cloud-based websites. It was very easy to pick up and use due to its very 'drag-and-drop' style.

The first thing we took into consideration when we began constructing the site was what the colour scheme should be, and how it will reflect our artist Orlando.

We chose a scheme based around the colour blue, and next planned out our pages and how we desired them to look. We also used the website mock-up we had made on PowerPoint as a reference when making the site (as shown in Research & Planning Post 23).

The original planned homepage design.

The first base pages we decided to make were as follows:
  • Home
  • News
  • Media -> Video
  • Store
  • Live
  • Bio
  • Contact

We received a lot of positive feedback about the signing event
and the winter competition.
We then organised a small meeting with a focus group made up of members of our target audience, in order to get feedback on the website. Most of the group agreed that what we had created so far followed the conventions of real EDM artist websites very well. Several stated that they particularly liked the idea of having the competition and signing event. It was also noted that having the links to other social media and Instagram feed was good as they felt that being able to feel able to interact with the artist was attractive.

We included social media links in the footer section, alongside
a link to our record label, and the relative logos.

The target audience focus
group stated that they
thought the instagram
feed was a great idea.

The landing page we added due to
focus group feedback.

They did state however that we should add a landing page, as this was something they felt most other websites had, and would make the website look more polished and professional. We decided to add this suggestion; we added an 'ENTER' button that linked to the homepage.

In order to make the site more interactive and keep the audience feeling hooked, we created an 'update video' detailing tour dates and mentioning the new music video. This will also work to create hype for the Sun Goes Down music video.

We used the mock-ups I got from
redbubble as images in our store.

For the store page, we had already decided we wanted many different items of Orlando branded merchandise. I used the website in order to get pictures of items with the Orlando logo on them, as displaying these kinds of images on the store page is a convention of most artist websites. This is a simple technique done so that the customer knows what they are buying, and it can also attract their attention. I then downloaded these images and they are what we used in our store page.

Some of the store items.

We then decided pricing by looking at the prices of the same or similar types of items available on other EDM artist's stores. We also decided to mark some merchandise as "on sale" or "new" in order to make the items more appealing for the audience to buy.

Above the navigation bar we had the Orlando logo. We also added a banner "PRE ORDER THE NEW ALBUM NOW" in order to inform the audience not only the fact that they can purchase the album, but the fact they can get it before other people.

I think all of our group found Wix very easy to use when creating our website. It allowed very quick and easy customisation which was great as that gave us time to go into a lot of detail with each page. Furthermore talking with our target audience focus group meant we ended up making changes that had a positive impact on the website, making it look and feel more appealing to our audience.