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Thursday, 7 May 2009


- In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I have created a music magazine, which consists of six pages, which are a front cover, a contents page, and a four-page spread article. I worked with Niomi Bolam so together we had produced twelve pages; this included two front covers, two content pages and two sets of a four-page spread. I produced four-page spread interviews and Niomi produced a four-page spread article. Our magazine genre is R&B but we do have a sub genre, which is pop as this was close to our favourite. It is aimed at fifteen to twenty-five year olds as our results of the questionnaire showed this was the most popular age.

Together we came up with names for our magazine and we put these in our questionnaire. With help from our questionnaires we came up with the final name ‘Upbeat’, this was the name that got the most votes.
Together we came up with a house style that would be repeated but the colours we used are different. We decided to keep the same two base colours, which are black and grey, as we thought these would look good against a bright colour, but we did chose a main colour each. We got our colours from our questionnaire; the two favourite colours were blue and orange. We chose to put these colours in our questionnaire because they are bright, bold colours and they would look good against dark backgrounds. Using three colours is a common convention of real media products and my magazine does this. I looked at various magazines such as blender and Q,I have used some styles and conventions of blender magazine as I like the style and I think it looks very eye catching and attractive.
I have also used different forms of conventions in my magazine such as using just four fonts; eras bold itc, century gothic, Bradley hand itc and franklin gothic. We handed out a different sheet of paper with different fonts on and these were the favourite fonts.
I have used only one image of a model on my front cover, as it would look overcrowded with other images on the cover. My model is attractive which as Naomi Wolf says it will help gain more readers of both male and female. She gave the beauty myth that women are drummed into believing that being beautiful will make them happy. Using a picture of an attractive model can attract women as it can inspire women and they might to look like the model, as they may also believe being beautiful makes you happy. Laura Mulvey says that the sexy pose attracts men. It is called the male gaze; photographs are taken from the male perspective. According to Marjorie Ferguson my model would come under the ‘chocolate box’ expression. This is half or full smile with the lips together or slightly parted and the teeth are barely visible. The camera is three-quarter or full face. My model is sitting in a rather sexy pose and the projected mood is slightly ‘available’. However, this is overcome by the mood being blandly pleasing and warm, where uniformity of features in their smooth perfection is devoid of uniqueness or of individuality. My models head does overlap with the ‘Upbeat’ but you can still make out what it says. I did change my original picture as I wanted to have text surrounding her figure and before I flipped the picture, this was not capable. The text is surrounding the model, it looks spaced out and simple; this is a very common convention of a music magazine. The tag lines are in grey, blue and black to show a range of colours and make parts stand out. I have an arrow with text in to make it unique and different to other magazines. It makes part of the text jump out at you, it doesn’t look boring and all the same. The text curves around her body, showing of her figure and the title ‘Upbeat’ is at the top of the page larger than the rest so it is easy to read and grabs the audience’s attention. My slogan ‘find your beat’, it just above the title and is used in every issue of ‘Upbeat’ and is recognisable. The bar code, date and price are all at one side of the page in one place so it doesn’t take the attention away from the rest of the page, but gives extra information about the magazine that is needed.
My contents page follows the same colour scheme and style as the front cover. It has the ‘upbeat’ title to make it clear what magazine is being looked at. It has the date and issue at the top, to show the audience what issue it is. I have a blue block which includes the cover stories, they go in chronological order and each have a small paragraph about that each story is about, this is to show readers exactly where the cover stories are. The other stories are on the other side of the page, some with pictures to show what it will include. This is commonly seen in magazines of this genre. I have linked my magazine to last months issue by showing who was in it and what my reader’s opinions are. This links the issues together and keeps ‘upbeat’ magazines consistent. A lot of magazines do this to keep readers involved with buying the magazine.

My four-paged interview follows the same colour scheme as the rest of the magazine. It follows many forms and conventions of a real interview. I have the same size columns and I have the questions and answers in separate colours as it makes them separate from each other. My questions are black and my answers are grey with the quotes being blue. The title is a quote from the text and it is big and bold so it stands out. This is commonly used, as the readers want to read more to find out what has happened. This title overlaps my big picture of my model but I think this looks effective. I have a small paragraph about the girl in my story; this is to bring the readers in. My second page follows the same style but it has more text and smaller pictures. The colour scheme is the same and I have carried on using quotes. I have used quick check questions that consist of eight questions that the band or artist will answer. This is in every issue of ‘upbeat’ and links them together.
Collecting my research for my production was easy as I handed out questionnaires and worked with the answers I had received back. I also worked with these for the planning of my production with ideas I already had. When I got my result from my questionnaire in, I noticed that my audience liked to see old and new bands on the front cover; I made my front cover have lots of artists stories on, and what was going on in their life now. The price of my magazine is £2.50 as the results of my questionnaire showed people would pay £2.00 - £3.00. I put the price as £2.50 as I consider £3.00 being a lot for a magazine and my target audience may not have enough money to spend on magazine. A lot of other magazines are also over £3.00; so making my magazine under will catch a buyer’s attention and will stand out from more expensive magazines. ‘Mojo’ magazine in £4.30 and ‘Q’ is £3.90, so my magazine for the price of £2.50 is very reasonable.

-How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My product represents a particular social group; women. Men could buy it but I believe that is has a more feminine tone to it. As my magazine is R&B, social groups that like R&B music and pop will buy it. My star is a young music artist who is from a normal working class background who changed her life my going into the singing career. She is now famous but she wasn’t born famous. In terms of ideology my story projects the view that anyone can achieve his or her dream. This type of narrative is typical in the types of magazines I researched; ‘Blender’, ‘Q’ and ‘Mojo’.

-What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
I think that the writers of ‘blender’ magazine, ‘Alpha media group’ would be a good company to distribute my magazine, as my production appeals to the same audience, and genre. Both magazines contain music news, reviews, albums and concerts. Although ‘blender’ magazine has recently published that they may be unable to continue with their publication, I still feel that with my magazine, ‘Alpha media group’ would be able to sell it, and expand their share of the market. With a new magazine, I believe this would pull the audience in and ‘Alpha media group’ will have a larger number of fans. ‘Blender’ and ‘Upbeat’ are quite similar; they both use one main colour and a few base colours. ‘Upbeat’ has more tag lines than ‘blender’ and I have given ‘upbeat’ a greater variety in representation of fonts unlike ‘blender’. This could also have a larger impact on the publish of my magazine as it seems to sell its self more by having more information on the front. The price of ‘Upbeat’ is cheaper then the price of ‘Blender’, this could have a big impact of readers as finding cheap magazines is quite hard.

-Who would be the audience for your media product?
The target audience for ‘Upbeat’ is fifteen to twenty-five year old women. As my magazine is R&B and Pop orientated, it is more likely to attract this age and gender. Less contemporary music and old music magazines seem to be bought by men. Guitar music and old country music are more listened to by male rather than females. Women over the age of twenty-five aren’t usually interested in music magazines as it can be seen as a waste of money as they tend to buy lifestyle, and the fairly recent genre of gossip magazines. The genre of my magazine isn’t liked as much by over twenty-fives than it is for the younger generation. ‘Upbeat’ is filled with concerts, hits, reviews and albums of all the latest music, not mentioning music from the past unless it is vitally important at the time. The older generation mostly like reading about the music that was out when they were young because that is where a lot of their memories come from.
-How did you attract/address your audience?
The story I chose is an interview with a new singer. I used an interview because it gives the readers a good look inside to her life and they get to read it coming from her instead of a news reporter. I chose a new singer as it is a music magazine, and I feel my audience would like to read about something or someone new and fresh of the minute, instead of old news, gossip and bands or artists. . I have used all of my tags on the front cover, inside on contents page. I have many stories inside so when my audience looks in they can find out straight away what is inside and if it is their type of magazine. I have high lighted important words in blue and left the rest of the text in black as I think this will make them stand out. I have highlighted words such as artist’s names and key dates that have recently been in the public eye. I have used old and new bands in my stories, as when looking at my results of my questionnaire, this is what my audience would like to see.
After my magazine was completed ,I handed my magazines out to 20 people that fit into my target audience.This was to see if my magazine was capable to compete with other music magazine. Almost of of these participants have back positive feedback;
'Your magazine looks different from other magazines which is good as it won't be a repeat from others'
'I like how the house style is kept throughout the magazines, all of the colours match and look attractive'
'The front cover is very eye catching, the colours and text stand out, it would appeal to me if i seen it on the shelf'
'I really enjoyed reading the interview, it wasn't boring , it was interesting and funny. I liked it because I got to know a lot about the person'

-What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I constructed my production on Photoshop, which I did find quite hard at times. I found that making layers and putting things on top of each other was fairly easy and it looked very effective. I used a menue box at the top of my page above my title, to add extra text and add another convention of a magazine to my work. My title did however overlap slightly and there was a small arrow on the menue box pointing to the text; these built a lot of layers. It’s look attractive and professional. I did find cutting around my model challenging and relatively hard, as getting her to look perfect was tricky; it took a lot of practising. I had to soften the edges of me picture so it didn’t look rigid.

-Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Looking back at my preliminary task I feel that I’ve progressed a lot. My publishing and photography skills have improved dramatically and I have a much deeper understanding of how to produce a professional product for a set genre and target audience. In working with my partner, Niomi, I’ve discovered how important it is to work together to ensure that separate parts of a product are achieved. I also feel much more confident in representing my views about design. My expertise in writing in a journalistic style are also much improved and I’ve very much enjoyed the challenge of completing my work before the deadline.

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