Monthly Archives: September 2011

Music Video Planning & Research

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TEAM

Me (Charlotte)

Sammie

Chess ❤

Mat

THE SONG

Citizens! – Stop Making Sense

MAKING A PITCH

The ‘concept’ for the video in one sentence:

The changes that happen in a relationship throughout the years and ultimately fall apart

Who is the artist signed to? Is it a big label or independent? Internet only download?

 The music label ‘Citizens!’ are signed to is called Kitsuné. The french label – with its head office in Paris – was established in 2002 by Gildas Loaëc, Masaya Kuroki and the Japanese London-based company Åbäke. As well as being an electronic music label Kitsuné is also a french fashion label. Loaëc and Kuroki, who both like fashion and music, got the idea to found a company involved in both areas during a trip to Japan, where many people like both fashion and music, and are not afraid to combine them.

The label consists of 64 bands including ‘Crystal Castles’, ‘Foals’, ‘Hadouken’, ‘Klaxons’, ‘Metronomy’, ‘Two Door Cinema Club’ and ‘Citizens!’.

A brief outline of the video’s narrative

We have decided to fit a strong narrative to our music video as we believe this is what fits well with the genre of the music (indie, powerpop). It focuses on three couples – all in different stages of their relationship. The first couple are still in the honey moon phase of their relationship and to fit with this they will be dressed quite preppy and fairly innocent. The second couple are constantly flirting with other people from the opposite sex to get back at each other, and they will be dressed as the stereotypical ‘jock’ and ‘popular girl’. The third couple will be constantly arguing and fighting with each other. As this alone would bring down the mood of the fairly upbeat and happy song we have decided to have a funny twist and have males playing the female roles and the females playing the male roles. The song lyrics are juxtaposed with the  upbeat tempo of the song and we feel this is reflected in our narrative. Towards the end of the song all of the couples will have exchanged the elements of their relationships and the lead singer of the band will run away carrying the girl from the honeymoon couple with the male (played by a woman) running after them both and the band. At the end of the song the band will be stuck in a dead end and as the end approaches the band will zap the girls boyfriend with their instruments concluding in what can be described as quite a cartoonish style.

The Setting:

The setting isn’t entirely relevant to the narrative and is slightly dependant on the weather too. However, cutaways of the band and the stop motion figures of the band will take place in the college gymnassium as it reflects the preppy genre. All other filming will take place on campus and on the street.

Costume:

We decided all roles would be reveresed for the video, men would be dressing up as the female characters and women would be dressing up as the male characters. The men will be put in frumpy costumes with heavy makeup and the women will be put in stereotypical mens clothing with dark eyes and douche-bag beards. The band will be dressed in an indie fashion as this will represent the genre.

Specific shots & other technical codes:

There will be stop motion figures for the cutaway in the college gymnasium. There will also be a cartoon effect when the band zaps the boyfriend away with their instruments when the lead singer has run away with the girl. The mise-en-scene will have very bright lighting and bright colours which will reflect the humour element of the narrative and prevent the video looking unprofessional with dull colouring.

Audience:

The target audience is a preppy teenager aged between 13-20 years old, ideally someone who likes music genres like powerpop, indie or preppy.

Production schedule:

Production Roles:

Hair, Makeup & Costume: Chess

Camera Work & Direction: Charlotte

Lighting & Video Organisation: Sammie

Sound & Editing: Mat

MUSIC VIDEO PITCH: TAKE ONE

MUSIC VIDEO PITCH: TAKE TWO (After the song change)

 

TARGET AUDIENCE

In order to create a well executed music video I must look more into the indie genre as a whole. At first I thought the target audience for our music video would be young females however when looking into music video consumption I decided to look at music channels like MTV who broadcast a majority of indie music videos similar to the one we are planning on making.

MTV has a target audience of males and on a quote from their website they explain their target audience, saying:

“MTV

The music channel with attitude for indie, rock and alternative music enthusiasts. An interactive music channel playing diverse and cutting edge music, MTV Two is where the viewer defines the music programming – create your own hour of videos via the web. With a leftfield take on the world, it really is a channel created by and for individuals.

Target Audience: 16-24 male”

This clearly has a big impact on our target audience as MTV is one of the biggest music video channels and it plays a lot of the genre we are doing – indie. This shows for our music video we should be targetting 16-24 year old males.

TRACK LYRICS

 

Oh my love,

 

What are we doing here,

 

This little heart,

 

Racing through the gears,

 

Lighting up a cigarette,

 

Counting out the change in a pocket,

 

Tell me love,

 

Will we ever know ourselves (WOO).

 

 

 

True romance x2

 

 

 

Oh my love,

 

Keep your eyes on the road,

 

I am a slave,

 

Turn the lights up in here,

 

What kind of minds are these that the gods and televisions gave us,

 

Hold me love,

 

Until we disappear again.

 

 

 

Here we are,

 

True romance,

 

Here we are,

 

True romance,

 

You hold in your hands,

 

True romance,

 

I found a place,

 

To make a stand,

 

True romance.

 

 

 

Never knowing where you came from,

 

Or where to go,

 

True romance,

 

Never knowing where you came from,

 

Or where to go,

 

True romance,

 

Oh whatever was I thinking,

 

When I let you go (WOO).

 

 

 

True romance x2

 

Here we are,

 

True (WOO),

 

True romance,

 

Here we are,

 

True romance,

 

Here we are.

 

 

Inspiration For The Music Video

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REPRESENTATION OF THE GENRE:

‘A Punk’ by Vampire Weekend is a song best fitting to the indie pop and surf rock genre which is similar to that of the artist we are looking at. The music video was directed by Garth Jennings (half of the duo of ‘Hammer & Tongs’) said his aim was to create something that expressed the “spiky energy” of the song and did this by using footage of the band sped up stop-motion figures during the performance. Despite the band being sped up all of the beats where correctly placed which added affect to the final outcome of the music video. The video is very fun and upbeat which I believe represents the genre perfectly. Ideally in my own video I will be looking to indie pop representations in popular music videos for inspiration. By using bright colours, a strong narrative, sped up stop-motion figures and cutaways with a variety of skilled and advanced camera angles and movements.

STRONG NARRATIVE:

Even though this power pop/ alternative rock genre differs from the band I have chosen to use for my music video the strong narrative is something I wish to use in the music video as it draws the audience into the video which creates a high viewing rate of the video, especially if the narrative has undertones of comedy and humour in it. The video was directed by Marc Webb who is a notorious director for alternative rock music videos and has worked with bands like ‘My Chemical Romance’, ‘Good Charlotte’ and ‘Green Day’. The singer of the band plays the two roles of a conservative family man and his noisy next door neighbour who is also the singer for a garage band. The narrative starts with the rowdy neighbour keeping up the family-man and his wife which ultimately sets off a prank war. By the end of the video the two men have switched homes and spouses. There are two other versions of this video that have been released online, this on focuses entirely on the ‘Full Narrative’ where as the alternate version is focused on the ‘Full Performance’

TYPES OF NARRATIVE:

– Realism

– Surrealism

-Multi Strand

-Non Linear

-Linear

-Asynchronous

-Anti Narrative (non-narrative)

MAKE UP & COSTUME

For the video we have decided to have a unique and organic take on hair, costume and make up. When looking for inspiration or similar ideas to what we have in mind we hit a bit of a brick wall and found it hard to find things to use when trying to explain how we wanted things to look in the ultimate version of the video. In order to execute a professional looking piece of footage and in order to do this research is essential. Below are some inspirations we have found for the video.

LADY GAGA

The accompanying music video for “Yoü and I” was released on August 16, 2011 and was shot by Gaga’s long-time collaborator Laurieann Gibson in Springfield, Nebraska. The video features Jo Calderone, Gaga’s male alter ego, who is also featured on the single’s cover, and Yüyi, her mermaid ego. The main concept behind the video was Gaga’s journey to be with her beloved one, and was portrayed through an assortment of scenes displaying her in various avatars, including the previous two mentioned.

JANELLE MONAE

Monáe has gained a signature clothing style of wearing a Tuxedo wardrobe, here she is dressed in her trademark starched shirt and tuxedo. She has described her Tuxedos as being a uniform for her career and she has stated that when she wears them that she is working. When asked about her public image she said “I feel like I have a responsibility to my community and other young girls to help redefine what it looks like to be a woman. I don’t believe in men’s wear or women’s wear, I just like what I like. And I think we should just be respected for being an individual…. I’ve been in Vogue, now, and different publications, which is cool, because I think that it just shows a different perspective of how women can dress.”

DIR EN GREY

Here these Japanese men have captured a very feminine look however managed to stay looking male without looking like in drag (unlike Tim Curry). They have all got long hair where hair extensions have been used to create an exagerated effect as well as a significant amount of make up.  Their make-up is allowing their eyes to stand out and their other facial features to be small/less noticeable and almost childlike. Eyebrows are kept thin and tidy and lips are a dark colour for emphasis. The man on the right is wearing tight clothing (a corset) and what appears to be a skirt which compromises culturally related gende traditions.

TIM CURRY (AS FRANK N FURTER)

Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a self-proclaimed “sweet transvestite” from Transsexual, Transylvania.” is a character from a big hollywood film called ‘ The Rocky Horror Show ‘.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

At first we thought about possibly filming it in London or on East 15 campus in Essex as I have friends who were going to be in it studying acting there but then after a few lessons of unclarified ideas we decided to stick to what we knew and film in Orpington. For ideas as to where to film in the area we scoped out YouTube for some filming already done in the college town. Just to show the location we are going to use here is a ‘Honda’ advert and a Orpington College advertisement:

HONDA ADVERTISEMENT

ORPINGTON COLLEGE ADVERTISEMENT

GENERAL INSPIRATION

At one point in the narrative the main character (played by mat) is going to cross the road to enter priory gardens, as we want to have an indie and vintage theme to the music video we saught inspiration from The Beatle’s alternate Abbey Road album cover and Kanye West’s ‘Late Orchestration’ album cover as we would like this to be a pivtotal and iconic part of the music video:

CD Cover Planning

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A CD cover establishes a link between the artist and the album, the tone of the product – what kind of genre it links to. Despite the falling record sales CD artwork is still a very important necessity as now it is shown on sites like Amazon and iTunes which is why CD artwork is still primarily used to promote the music of an artist.

Conventions of a CD sleeve:

  1. Image (artist)
  2. Track list (reverse)
  3. Bar code
  4. Website information (label & artist)
  5. Title
  6. Logo of the record label
  7. Copyright
  8. Parental warning
  9. Singles titles
  10. Date (year the album was produced)
  11. Names of the producer(s) and songwriter(s)

Taylor Swift – Fearless

The artist I have chosen to look at has a similar style in all of her album artwork which can be seen through the font, type of picture on the front, colours used, hair & make up and tone from the album.

Image of the artist

The image of Taylor Swift on the covers of her various album covers don’t tend to vary which carries both negative and positive attributes. Her recognised style is something which her fans love and says that as an artist it shows she is confident and comfortable with her own image. However it means that there isn’t any major change seen on her album covers apart from the obvious change in dress. Swift is known for her curly blonde locks and it can be criticised that this may be the reason she keeps it the same as it is a quality that sets her aside from other artists.

Taylor Swift fits into two genres; pop and country and fits in with more conventions associated with the country genre. Similar artists like Swift show the same lack of change in thier image and album artwork like Carrie Underwood.

Layout

The layout of Taylor Swifts album covers are all quite similar – from the type and letter style to the image and style.

Music Video Analysis

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Genre:

  1. Pop
  2. Electronic
  3. Hip-hop

The video begins with the song “Where in the World Can My Lover Be?” by Midge Williams & Her Jazz Jesters playing in the background.

Hype About The Music Video Pre – Release:

After the release of ‘Teenage Dream’,  ‘E.T.’ was released as the third and final promotional single.  The music video was released on the 31st of March, 2011 and premiered on MTV.com. The date was announced in a teaser trailer released on the 21st of March, 2011; it was 19 seconds long and showed clips of an unidentified flying object.

Changing Looks In The Music Video

  • Cosmic space being
  • Angelic songstress
  • Warrior princess

 New York’s Willa Paskin compared her looks to “detailed, outlandish, and semi-gorgeous rainbow-kabuki”. Perry has also recieved criticism for clear similarities to other ‘characters’. The first look has been compared to Ziggy Stardust, the alter ego of English musician David Bowie. The second look has been compared to Lady Gaga’s look in “Born This Way” and the third and final look has been compared to fictional characters like Lara Croft,  Padmé Amidala, the aliens from “Battlefield Earth” (Film) and Jadzia Dax.

Below are some pictures showing the comparisons stated by critics:

Narractive & Performance

The music video was directed by Floria Sigismondi, who has a unique and well recognised style and has directed 45 music videos since 1993. To understand the narrative and performance I think it is key to look at Sigismondi’s other achievements as she has a very unique look to her videos.  She has directed other music videos such as:

  • 1996 “The Beautiful People”, Marilyn Manson
  • 1996 “Tourniquet”, Marilyn Manson
  • 1997 “Dead Man Walking”, David Bowie
  • 1998 “Anything But Down”, Sheryl Crow
  • 2000 “I’ve Seen It All” (interactive version), Björk
  • 2002 “She Said (version 2)”, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
  • 2003 “Fighter”, Christina Aguilera
  • 2004 “Talk Shows on Mute”, Incubus
  • 2004 “The End of The World”, The Cure
  • 2005 “Blue Orchid”, The White Stripes
  • 2006 “Supermassive Black Hole”, Muse
  • 2006 “Red Flag”, Billy Talent
  • 2006 “Broken Boy Soldier”, The Raconteurs

Extraterrestrial metaphors are used through the whole song, and Kanye West continues to use these metaphors in his two verses. The song is set in slow tempo with 76 beats per minute. Some critics find the song  very similar to chart artists like Rihanna, Evanescence, Lady Gaga and Queen.

One of the meanings of the song that the character Perry plays is in love and infatuated with a man who is different from all the men she’s ever met.
The beginning takes place in space which suggest a metaphor that suggests her relationship is transcendental and on another level because it’s nothing like the normal.

Katy is an alien in the video, and she scans the Earth which we can assume represents the relationship. Clips  of animals flash throughout the video whilst she is scanning the earth which is Perry’s character learning and observing the earth from afar which was destroyed by another alien landing on it.  Her landing on earth perhaps suggests that she was consumed by the relationship (earth). The earth could also represent how this man she is infatuated with cuts her off from the rest of the  universe and isolates her in their own world. The artist is a key focal point of the narrative and Kanye West acts as the cutaway for the music video.

Codes & Conventions

In recent years Lady Gaga, an award winning artist has had an increasingly artistic affect on Pop culture as a whole which has  in turn affected artists like Katy Perry to reassess their images in the public eye. The two artist have been regularly compared since Katy Perry’s sudden image change from girl next door glamour to what can now be described as couture, rockabilly and provocative.  The  music video ‘E.T.’ was also criticized for stealing ideas from Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ video.  When asked about  her recent and sudden image change Perry stated that it was a necessary and a natural part of her artistic growth.

Audience – In what way is the video attractive to its target audience?

All of the controversy, media attention and publicity hovering around this music video has only instilled that there will be more recognition from the public and more people will watch it leading to more album sales.

In Pop Culture at the moment there is a big shift in the presentation of artist and couture is flooding concert stages and music videos.

Artist Website

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lil Wayne

Website Enter Page

The website enter page is very striking and as we can see above is primarily used to market and sell his new album. The main image featured has contrasting colours to the plain white canvas textured background. On the righthand side to the picture there is a link to download the album on iTunes which also reflects how technology has changed the industry.

The format of the enter page isn’t very conventional to the Hip-hop/Rap genre whereas the home page is more stereotypical of the associated genre. The image of the enter page convays how important CD covers are to the sales of albums as this artist has used it to portray himself as an artist when a fan first enters his website. It also establishes the tone of the artists current music which could either deter or entrance more visiters on the page.

 

Home Page

The home page is very bland and after the enterance page is quite disappointing and almost an anti climax to the website. There is minimal content on here and the only unique thing about it is the music played on the left hand side of the screen. It feels like the website is only half completed as even the ‘Life Feed’ element of the page doesn’t work – this page is rather disappointing and for a home page is also quite bland. The photograph is of the artist against a solid colour background and has a dotted pattern layered on it across the whole page. The photograph has been awkwardly placed and isn’t positioned properly. If I could change this page I’d move the photo to the left hand side so his face wasn’t covered by script as soon as you went on the page and then as the website viewer scrolled down his photo would be sent to the back and act like a normal background.  The video aspect is a good idea where you can scroll through his different videos however it too is positioned awkwardly and this puts a negative feature on this element. All in all the page doesn’t look as though it belongs to one of the most popular rappers worldwide and actually looks quite messy and unprofessional.

 

News Page

 This page is much more improved than the home page and actually looks like it should be the home page. The photograph has been positioned much better on the page and hasn’t had attention taken away from it due to it being covered. I like the colours used on this page as they emote a relaxed feeling and this is complemented by similar colours shown on the album cover that is on the news feed. However with a colour like this as a background it is very likely that 9 times out of 10 the images on the website won’t go with the colours of the background or complement it and will instead look messy and unproffessional.

 

Bio Page

 This page has the same problem as the home page did as the photograph has also been positioned wrongly. As I said about the previous page, with such a distinctive background colour the images on the website will often clash with it which is what can be seen here. Not only that, but the image doesn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the page – it feels quite grungy whereas the background feels quite well put together.

Shows & Events Page

 This page looks very bland and has a similar problem to the other pages as it doesn’t have enough content on it. If there were content on the left hand side of the page it wouldn’t look so out of place however all the content on the right hand side doesn’t look like it fits well and this throws the balanced of the website off. It looks messy and as if it hasn’t been positioned properly. At this stage if I were the viewer on the website I would consider that the website hasn’t been managed or looked at in quite a long time.

Music Page

 This is a much better page which is perhaps because of the solid colour background. However this page doesn’t actually go with the rest of the website which is a shame because it establishes a negative elment to the best page on the website. The positioning of all the photographs have been done well and the page on a whole looks quite clean and well managed.

Video Page

 Even though I refreshed this page numerous times nothing appeared on the left hand side of the page. At first I thought it must be an HTML error or my server wasn’t able to read the script but after looking at it in more detail I realised the only active content was on the right hand side. The fact that even though there is no content and the Videos box is stretched down to half way down the page shows a lack of continuality as on the Shows & Events page the box is actually shortened due to the fact it has no content. Even though it is bad the content box is empty it is still good that they have made that clear unlike on this page. This is a majorly negative element to the website as it will confuse the viewer and they will think the server is playing up before coming to the same conclusion that I did. This will make the viewer be cautious on returning to the website as they will think it is hard to navigate.

Photos Page

 This page is also badly positioned, the photogrpah behind the smaller image is the same which looks repetitive and too similar. Instead of having to scroll down to see the other images there should be ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons to keep the page short and ideally without the viewer to have to scroll down. This page, like many on this website feel unbalanced due to the fact that if there is content on the right hand side the likelyhood is that there won’t be on the left.

Store Pop-up Page

 I do like the fact that the ‘Store’ page is a pop up as usually artists have them on the same website. This adds a unique element to his website which goes in favour towards it. I do however think that some viewers won’t like this as it will clogg up their computer and usually it is simpler to continue the artists store on the same website. I also don’t think the artist should have kept the same background and should have actually gone with the plain solid black background due to the fact that this would allow the products to be shown more effectively.

Login/ Signup Page

I like the fact that you can log onto the website with one of your existing social networking websites. This will make it a much quicker element to signing up and if the website were in better condition would probably enable many more sign ups that usual.

Music Video Consumption

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Like everything concerned with technology music video audience consumption has evolved and changed dramatically throughout the past 10 years. Over the past ten years things like MySpace, iPods ,a slew of social networks, Music blogs have all played their part in this process in a radical way. Now  even when you buy CDs, which have never been a visual representation of the music industry or artists are expected to have music videos on them so when you insert the CD into your computer or Laptop you can watch them.

One example of how large music video consumption has gotten is that in February 2010 alone 12.2 billion videos were watched on YouTube.

‘Web 2.0′ plays a significant part in this radical change of consumption as due to the internet copyright enforcement is obsolete and is no longer the necessary attribute to an artists’ or record labels’ financial and professional success.

INTERNET (WEB 2.0) – ONLINE MUSIC VIDEO CONSUMPTION

In February 2010 alone, 12.2 billion videos were watched on YouTube, this in itself shows the changing ideological consumption pattern. One of the key features of YouTube is the ability of users to view its videos on web pages outside the site. Each YouTube video is accompanied by a piece of HTML, which can be used to embed in social networking sites like Facebook and blogs like WordPress and Blogspot. The website was created in 2005 and was primarily only intended to be used for sharing videos however this is a key example of a media being manipulated by the music industry for artists and record labels benefits, this can also be seen with phones.

Since then many platforms for this website have emerged like synergy between the website and smartphones which now allow people to access YouTube videos (depending on their provider and data plan). YouTube Mobile was then set up in 2007 however not all of YouTube’s videos are available on the mobile version of the site due to copyright reasons.

Since June 2007, YouTube have expanded their many platforms. One of their most notable synergies was with Apple where YouTube videos are now available for viewing on a selection of Apple products. The videos can be viewed on Apple TV, iPod Touch and the iPhone.

Just over a year later in July 2008 a service on TiVo allowed access on the system to search and play YouTube videos which led to the company launching “YouTube for TV” a year later in January 2009, which was a tailored version of the website for other TV based media devices that had web browsers included in them. This means that now YouTube videos can also be watched on game consoles like PlayStation 3 & Wii. In June 2009 something called YouTube XL was set up which has a simplified interface designed for viewing the videos on a standard television screen.

If this shows anything is shows that the never ending platforms for Music Video Consumption are ever expanding and flooding into every aspect of the media like phones, game consoles, websites and now even televisions via web browsers.

Yahoo! Music owned by Yahoo! provides a number of music services such as internet radio, news, artist information, original programming but more importantly music videos. It is one of the few search engines  that has tried to cash in on the pattern change in music video consumption, similar to Google Inc. when they bought YouTube for a whopping US$1.65 billion in 2006.

The layout of the website is very different to YouTube as it is not just video orientated and also has features such as internet radio.

MTV.com is another internationally renowned site known for many music related media including music videos. On the website there are certain music charts you can look at (like numerous other websites) however on MTV.com there are the music videos to each song posted in the charts. This is an image which we can see below:

MTV.com experimented with entirely video-based layouts between 2005 and 2007. The experiment began in April 2005 as MTV Overdrive, a streaming video service that supplemented the regular MTV.com website. Shortly after the 2006 Video Music Awards, which were streamed on MTV.com and heavily utilized the MTV Overdrive features, MTV introduced a massive change for MTV.com, transforming the entire site into a Flash video-based entity.Much of users’ feedback about the Flash-based site was negative, demonstrating a dissatisfaction with videos that played automatically, commercials that could not be skipped or stopped, and the slower speed of the entire website. The experiment ended in February 2006 as MTV.com reverted to a traditional HTML-based website design with embedded video clips, in the style of YouTube and other popular video-based websites.

Launched in February 2004, this social networking site now has over 800 million users (active in September 2011) and employs over 2000 people. In July 2007, Facebook began allowing users to post attachments to the Wall, whereas the Wall was previously limited to textual content only which now include such things as photographs, links to other websites but more importantly music videos. Facebook does not host music videos itself like websites such as YouTube but it is possible to share them on there and as one of the worlds leading social networks this employs music video consumption to increase dramatically as people are not only able to do so but coersed by friends, family and facebook aquiantences to do so.  By looking at the chart below which shows the users by age we can see how much more music video audience consumption is available when such a large social networking site like facebook creates the possibility to post videos on friends walls or in the news feed for everyone:

By looking at this graph it shows the three largest age groups of the users of Facebook as also being the youngest which suggests not only does this radical change affect them the most but that they are the radicals changing the nature of music video consumption.

Hello world!

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Welcome to my A2 Media Studies blog for 2011-2012 where I will be posting various posts relating to unit G324: Advanced Portfolio in Media.

On here I will present my research; planning & evaluation of my media portfolio for:

  • my music video
  • my website homepage for a band
  • a digipack for the band’s CD/DVD