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CRITICAL EVALUATION OF A2 MEDIA PRODUCTION COURSEWORK (website)

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Introduction

CRITICAL EVALUATION INTRODUCTION For my AS Production I constructed a series of three A4 advertising posters and an accompanying leaflet to raise awareness of the problems of child abuse in primary school children. The target audience was primary school teachers who might need help to spot the symptoms of child abuse. The need for this poster campaign was identified following a research questionnaire of primary school teachers who mostly felt that they would like extra help to inform them on whom to talk to in confidence if they suspected that a child was being abused. The posters also provided a telephone number for the fictional child protection organisation SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now). Each poster was created using two different original images of child actors photographed with an Olympus C-50 Zoom digital camera and then cropped and edited using Adobe Photoshop. The logo for SCAN was created using the Paint programme. The leaflet was created using Microsoft Word and the SCAN logo was imported from Paint. The posters were designed to be displayed individually in staff rooms and also to be placed as newspaper advertisements in the Times Educational Supplement, a weekly paper for teachers. The leaflet was designed to be added into the Times Educational Supplement as a flyer and also posted to individual primary schools. For the Advanced Production for A2, I am going to make website for a local singer called Lauren Filer. Lauren is relatively unknown outside her local area but she has a local fan base that is expanding. Folk based female vocalists are a niche market and it is difficult for them to become well known via the normal routes. Locally Lauren's fans are young people aged 15-20 who will typically be very familiar with music websites. The main target audience will consist of young people aged 15-20. The purpose of the website is to provide information for fans who want to find out more about the artist or dates of performance and hear samples of the music. ...read more.

Middle

The popularity of reality TV programmes that launch the musical careers of previously unknown singers such as "Pop Idol", "The X Factor", "Fame Academy", "Popstars" and "Stars in Their Eyes" has changed the way in which musicians can develop a successful career. Previously, musicians would perform and record CDs to be sent to mainstream or independent recording companies until they either gave up or were 'discovered' by someone influential enough to market the artist in a way that would appeal to a target audience determined by the record label. Artists would be selected because they fitted into a particular musical genre and would be marketed with a stereotypical image. Reality TV music shows are based on a totally different idea - the power of selection comes from public telephone voting combined with selection by a panel of expert judges. Unknown and inexperienced artists are shown live on TV week after week and gradually eliminated from the competition by public vote. In the last few years the public have made stars of unknowns such as "Will Young" and "Kelly Clarkson" in this way. Will Young is an interesting example. He has a good singing voice and is hugely popular with girls, despite being openly gay. He has a loyal fan base built up in a short space of time because of their involvement with his success. The fans chose and voted for him to win Fame Academy. His individuality might have made it difficult to succeed in the conventional way. Another postmodern development in the music industry is the widening of the ways in which music is distributed. Previously, according to a Marxist analysis of consumerism, music played on a limited number of radio stations from playlists created by media institutions such as the BBC, could be bought from shops with only a range of genres. The variety of music on offer was limited by the space available and so the powerful institutions such as HMV/Virgin had a great control over the music available for the public. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some people may visit the site just to play the amusing games and then be tempted to listen to the music clips and find out more about the band. This would obviously only work for small niche audiences because it is a hook that relies on knowledge of certain non-band members and a shared background knowledge to enjoy the joke. The text on each page is written using the century font because this was identified in my original research as easy to read and available on most home computers. I chose to make it white to stand out even more clearly on the dark blue contrasting background, this is also a normal convention in music website genre. I was also careful to maintain a consistency of design, each page having the same background, title and photo layout, colour scheme and navigation structure. This repetitiveness is conventional because it makes each page easy to identify as belonging to the site. One of the websites I used in the production planning and particularly liked, is the Destiny's Child website. This is copyright of Sony Music Entertainment Inc, a subsidiary of the immensely wealthy and powerful Sony Corporation. Obviously, Sony has the resources and professional experts to produce WebPages that are hard to match with limited expertise, time and equipment. Part of the strength of a media institution such as Sony is that, through takeovers and mergers it has acquired an enormous range of interests including music, electronics, games, pictures. This convergence between different media products had led to synergy; the newly forged links between the different parts of the Sony Corporation each helping to promote their own products. However, the Internet allows anyone to launch their music onto the web without having to be preselected by media institutions and it passes freedom to the audience members to buy their own music directly from the artists. The media institutions still have an advantage because of their finances and organisation but the power of millions of individual Internet users should not be underestimated. (999 words) ?? ?? ?? ?? Holly Cresswell 1 ...read more.

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