My name is Ella Budgett and my candidate number is 8120. The other two candidates I am with in Group 1 are Eleanor Lynch (8450) and Pru Carter-Phillips (8128). Our group photo can be seen on the right. To see my portfolio evidence, please click on the three labels on the right named A2 Research and Planning, A2 Construction, and A2 Evaluation.

MiraJax Best Be Believing Music Video

MiraJax Best Be Believing Music Video:

MiraJax- Best Be Believing

Front and Back Digipak

Front and Back Digipak
Front and Back Digipak

Inside Digipak

Inside Digipak
Inside Digipak

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Monday, 9 January 2017

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

Our media products both challenge and conform to the conventions of real media products. It was important to us that we created products which conformed enough to allow our target audience an initial interest, yet were challenging enough to allow for uniqueness and engagement.


One of the main theorists I looked at to see whether our music video either conformed to or challenged existing media products is Andrew Goodwin. I explain his theory in the Prezi below and then go on to apply it to our own music video.


When making our video and deciding if we wanted to conform or challenge the conventions, we had to look specifically at music videos of the same genre as ours and see which characteristics they adopted.

An example of an existing music video that follows the narrative convention is Charlie XCX's song 'Break The Rules' as seen below.


An example of an existing music video that follows the studio convention is La Roux's song 'Bulletproof' as seen below.


By looking at these particular conventions, it is clear that our video challenges the whole narrative and studio aspect as we made use of both of them. We wanted to incorporate a major studio element as we were dedicated time to do this in school and it allowed us to play around with colours through different lighting filters. It was important to us that our video was vibrant and colourful as we want our duo to come across as light spirited and happy, so we used the studio to do this. We also wanted a narrative aspect that told a clear story line throughout the video that made it easy for people to relate to. The story line follows a girl breaking free from the restraints her boyfriend holds on her, however, he apologises and at the end they make up. It can be seen that colour plays a big part in existing electropop videos and so this is a convention that we followed. Furthermore, we also followed the conventions of beauty shots in order to show the artist on an up close and personal level and to add variety to our video, along with the use of different camera angles. The image above shows how we conformed to the convention of beauty shots and a colourful studio set.


Calvin Harris' music video for his song 'How Deep Is Your Love' featuring Disciples, shows similar characteristics to ours and is part of the same genre. It combines both narrative and studio, using neon lighting for the studio to illuminate the girls face on beauty shots. We used this video as a reference point when making our own.

We followed the convention of having both an illustrative and amplified relationship between the lyrics and visuals in the hopes of making our video easily comprehensible as well as giving it some deeper layers of meaning open for individual interpretation. Below shows parts of our video where the relationship between lyrics and visuals is illustrative. 

In this GIF, the camera pans around MiraJax's heads whilst Mira sings the lyrics 'like a map of my brain' to indicate a literal interpretation of the lyrics as the camera movement implies looking around their brains.

In this GIF, Mira and Jack stand outside the station and we edited the clip to make it sped up. This shows a literal illustrative interpretation of the lyrics 'too many voices drown the ones that need to be heard the most' because the people in the background act as the voices that are surrounding them.

In this GIF, the visuals show an amplified interpretation of the lyrics because as a group we understood the lyrics to tell a story of a girl breaking free from restrictions, remaining sweet and true to herself. The balloons on set were our way of indicating a celebration of freedom, the flower petals show the destruction of expected femininity and the heart lollipops show that she has a sweet heart and wants to love herself.

Another convention we followed from Goodwin's theory, is the record label demand for a reoccurring visual motif. We used the beat on the chorus to edit beauty cutaway shots which show Mira's face/body parts in close up shots which draws attention to her style. This also follows the convention of an illustrative relationship between the visuals and music as we edited on the beat. However, we didn't include any voyeurism or intertextuality because it didn't fit in with the storyline we created. Below is a clip form our video that shows our visual motif that has been edited on the beat.


Another theorist we looked at is Carol Vernallis. She bases her theory around four concepts that determine how a video is constructed; narrative, editing, camera movement and framing and diegesis. I explain her theory in the Prezi below and then go on to apply it to our own music video.


Judging by the forms and conventions highlighted in this theory, our music video is appears to be equal in it's levels of conformity and challenge. I have purposely picked out one point from either the conform or challenge column for each concept. The points I have picked out are then demonstrated with an example as they are the most important/obvious points.

Challenges: resolved ending

Conforms: breaks continuity rules

Challenges: camera doesn't move in time with lyrics (cuts half way through lyrical phrases)

Conforms: narrative actions incomplete

One music video reference point we found that mostly conforms to Vernallis' theory and is of the same genre as ours is called 'Oh No!' by Marina and the Diamonds. The most obvious conforming factors are:

- disjointed structure
- breaks rules of continuity 
- extreme shots (close-ups)
- distinctive camera movement (shots from above)


Example of disjointed structure:

Example of breaking the rules of continuity:

Example of extreme close-up shots:

Example of distinctive camera shots from above:

We didn't want our music video to conform fully to the forms and conventions that both Goodwin and Vernallis highlighted because we felt this would subtract from the uniqueness of our video and would therefore be less interesting to watch. It was a key factor for us that our video had lots of narrative to engage a UK, urban audience, but also lots of studio to reveal our artists' style and aura.


The conventions of an electropop artist website can be seen in the diagram below.

With our website, we conformed to conventions on the basis that they are key for promoting an artist well and there are important requirements to think about such as all the necessary pages, however, we were able to then further developed some conventions by adding even more interactivity on our website in order to make it more entertaining and engaging.

On the left is an image that shows one of the conventions we conformed to for artist websites of the same genre. We wanted to include a home page that promoted the album because this is ultimately a huge source of income and a lot of the website revolves around songs on this album. Many artist websites have this on their home page, with links to buy the album and listen to the song on iTunes (we also included live links to allow our audience to do this) because it gives their fans purchasing opportunities, enabling them to feel engaged and connected with the artist on some level.

On the right is an image that shows how we developed conventions as we included the chance for our audience to enter a competition, as well as a meet a greet where fans can meet MiraJax and get the new album signed. We wanted to include these opportunities because we felt it added a new dynamic to our artist and fan relationship, showing our duo to be very connected with their fans. Other websites of the same genre only make use of merchandise and subscribing pages, along with social media links. This may be because they are tailored to an older target audience. It seemed that a lot of pop artist websites had more interactivity such a quizzes on Little Mix's website and this could be because their target audience is younger (a similar target audience to ours).


Below is a table that highlights the most important conventions of a debut album cover. As is clear, we followed all the conventions mentioned. We did this because ours is a debut album and so in order for it to sell and get MiraJax's name out there, it had to appeal to our audience. If our duo were bigger and more well known then we would be able to experiment with our album cover more as we would have already built up a big fan base who know our music well and so they would buy our album regardless.

We looked at AlunaGeorge's album cover to identify and confirm these conventions as they are an electropop duo similar to ours. 

I then made the same diagram for our album cover to show how we followed the conventions that I mentioned above. 

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