AS Media Studies Coursework Evaluation:
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of a real media product?
My final media product uses a number of different conventions that an actual magazine cover, contents and spreads do as well as some challenging forms of conventions. Conventions are used to allow the audience to quickly identify that this is a typical magazine as the positions, styles and content are all what they expect to find.
A wide range of magazines conventionally tend to position the main image on the front cover slightly on top of the masterhead to show this is the main story line. However, the shot used is usually a medium close up of a celebrity (or singer in the music magazines), which I have tried to challenge as I have used a long shot to show more of the main image.
Conventionally, you would expect to see the masterhead of a magazine cover positioned at the top and usually filling the width of the page, which is exactly what I have done for my piece. The genre I chose to base my product on was “POP”, which isn’t as popular nowadays than it might have been 15 years ago, so proved a difficult choice in creating the right colour scheme. However, I researched a few “Smash Hits” and “Sugar” magazines, which used a wide range of colours to suit both female and male genders, to come to my decision of a pale pastel coloured background with bright, vibrant yellows, reds and oranges for the text. This multi-coloured cover will definatley grab potential readers eyes as it will be the brightest cover on sale. By chosing spectrum colours I think I successfully achieved a magazine cover to suit both genders.
On the contents page and double page spread I have used a simple Times New Roman font to be conventional with a number of other magazines as well as using Bauhaus 93 to round off the corners of the titles and to make them look smooth; also I have used Papyrus for the interview text to create the effect of someone actually writing it out in their own handwriting. However, on the front cover I have used Cairo SF for the text in order to attract my target audience as they might find “fancy” or slightly unconventional writing more appealing.
Free gifts are quite a common thing to advertise on the front cover of a magazine to persuade the readers to buy this specific magazine over another one. I have advertised a “free girls aloud poster” in a red, circular button to show this and have also placed a yellow band across the bottom of the page to stand out and grab attention.
I have used a filmstrip across the bottom of the front cover to give an insight to the celebrities who are presented in the magazine which is seen as quite unconventional as none of the covers I have analysed or researched contain this style. It has nothing to do with the content of the magazine, as it shows musical and celebrity gossip and not anything about film. The reason for using it is to be experimental within the media society and mostly to be unconventional, as some readers may like the unusual change.
How does your media product represent a particular social group?
The target audience for this magazine is teenagers aged 10 to 14 years old, although anyone with an interest in celebrity "chit chat" may also wish to purchase it as this magazine is half pop music news and half celebrity gossip.
My media product represents teenagers as they are the majority of people in society today who obsess over celebrities and love to hear all the latest gossip. Young girls tend to be more interested in “pop” music as they tend to have crushes on those in boy bands or obsess over an idol of theirs.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
A wide range of media institution might distribute my music magazine as it is filled with the latest music and celebrity gossip which is targeted at the younger generation to inspire and entertain them. It also contains a number of competitions to enter to win a variety of different prizes from cash to concerts (with parental consent of course). This magazine contains some mind blowing fun puzzles suitable for ages 10 to 14 years old. These do not have prizes for the winners but help to stimulate their brains. Below are the types of places which might distribute my music magazine: Magazine Stalls, Newsagents, Supermarkets, Local Shops, Book/Stationary Shops (example: WHSmiths). Also, digital publishing may help to distribute my media product as about 17% of the media industry use this technology to distribute and advertise their own.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
The target audience for my “pop” magazine would probably be young teenager around 10 to 14 years old. They are more likely to be interested in pop music or celebrity gossip than that of the older generation. Although “pop” genres of music are not as popular now as they used to be, some young girls may still have that little “crush” on a famous boy band or inspire to be one of their idols which they tend to see in these genres of magazines. Teenagers are more likely to choose a magazine for how bright and colourful it first appears rather than that of an older person.
How did you attract/address your audience?
Young teengers tend to like bright colours and so I used a number of complementary spectrum and pastel colours such as reds, yellows, oranges, blues, greens, pinks, purples etc. A bright and bold colour scheme is more likely to catch someone’s eye than a plain white and black one, especially for a younger target audience. Free posters have been advertised to grab attention and persuade them to buy it as well as a chance to win tickets to a live concert! Also, I have not used too much mature or fully formal language in which the younger generation would not understand nor would want to read. The content is full of gossip about celebrities and music that advertises itself in the magazine. A different font of writing on the front cover may interest the chosen audience more as it is informal and “fancy” looking.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
I feel that I have learnt a lot from producing my media product and about the technologies as I have developed my skills in using Macromedia Fireworks.I can now make such simple images seem a little more exciting by just adding a motion trail or emboss feature. Also, by learning to alter the tolerance when using the magic wand tool enabled me to cut out the relevant image on place onto a background of my choice. This helped me to position the main image on my final front cover to slightly overlap the masterhead to be conventional with other leading magazines.
I have learnt to use the blogger website as it is where I must upload my progression during the creation of my media product. It has helped me to get feedback on the genre other peers think I should base my product on. I have uploaded images and written work through posts and I did create some mini polls to get some feedback from, which in the end wasn't a success.
From constructing my media product I have been able to take my own images via a digital camera which before I wasn’t sure of all its settings and the different camera angle shots you can use to improve the quality of image. I have found it easier to transfer images from a digital camera rather than scanning them from a traditional “film” camera.
Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
My computer skills, I feel, have greatly improved as well as my knowledge of the media industry since creating the preliminary task. I now am able to use Macromedia Fireworks effectively even though there is room for improvement, and know what it takes to get involved in making a successful magazine (a lot of hard work)! I have also improved on my language skills as for my final product I decided to write more textual content especially on the font cover, as for my preliminary looked rather boring and not very eye catching.
I have found that there is always room for improvement when producing for the media industry as things are always changing so what may look good now perhaps won’t be appealing in the future as with the technology, it is always being improved for the better.
I have learnt that there is a lot of planning and research that goes into creating a brand new magazine from scratch when you have absolutely no idea of what to do. This includes questionnaires, analysing other media products linked with an idea you may have, audience’s feedback on what makes a great magazine, interests of members of the public as they’re the ones who will buy it.
Colour schemes, genres and textual content are all major factors in attracting a target audience and desire a great deal of thought .For the preliminary task we had been given a school magazine to produce, which only enables a specific amount of content and images to be used whereas creating a music magazine has a much wider audience and therefore content to include.