Goin' Down Music Video

You'll Love Me When I'm Famous Album

You'll Love Me When I'm Famous Album

The Dropouts Website Link

Friday, 16 December 2011

Closing Post

This is the final post on my individual music blog. I've worked realy hard on this project, and I hope you've enjoyed looking at my work. I certainly feel like I have learnt a lot!

Olivia Cole
Candidate no. 3165

Moderator Post

Dear Moderator,

This is the individual blog for Olivia Cole, candidate 3165. Links to the group blog, as well as the other group members - James Reader and Frank Tan can be found in the links bar. I hope you enjoyed looking at my project!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Question 4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Technology in Research Stages

During this phase of our task, the Internet proved incredibly valuable in finding out about our target audience and conventions of the rock genre. Using search engines like Google, we were able to research other music acts that were similar to our proposed band, such as Paramore. Their websites contained a lot of information that we could use for ourselves.

Paramore's webiste

In addition to this, I found it fairly easy to research our primary 13-20 female target audience using social networking sites. Due to the angry, heavy style of music, we decided that Dropouts Fans would probably be a little angsty and rebellious, which meant that I would have to go beyond looking at facebook profiles of friends, as the lack of anonymity means that people don't present an accurate depiction of themselves. A social networking site that proved more helpful was, as it is expected that you will follow people you don't know, based on shared interests. Here, a lot of teenagers share much more personal thoughts as their identities are far more concealed, and therefore I could get a much stronger insight into the thoughts, interests, likes and dislikes of our target group.  
Tumblr Dashboard

When we were looking for inspiration for music tracks and video ideas, the site youtube proved invaluable in supplying video content. The comment section of certain congs also contained some interesting feedback from the marketplace.

Technology in Planning Stages

Our Blogger Page
We were set up with a group blog on so that we could have a platform for sharing ideas. This meant we could share research and planning posts between the group without having to meet up in person. We also used a facebook group to share ideas before posting formally on the blog.
Email messaging also proved helpful in contacting media staff who arn't contactable using social networking sites, especially when we were buying our coffin off ebay.
Email Account

Our band and logo designs were drawn onto a Promenthean ActivTablet and then uploaded to the internet, which meant I could use the images to find a matching costume fairly quickly.
Initial Design: Pandora

Initial Designs: Sparks, Vyper and Xen

Technology in Production Stages

 On the shoots, we used a Sony HVR V1E Film Camera to capture our footage. This was helpful as the images come out in high quality and it has a high battery life. The footage was filmed onto tapes which we could store in the media block when we were not using them.

An action shot from the shoot
We used the Seward Studio to film our video, which is a multipurpose arts room. We had the good fortune of having access to a full range of studio lighting, which meant that we could black out the room entirely and set up spotlights on the main action.

Frank's time to shine

The editing programme we used was Adobe Premiere CS5, which is really good for this sort of project, as it is relatively simple to use, but does include a lot of extra features, including colour grading, screen cropping and video transitions (we begin ours with a fade in from black). We could also use different timelines for each 'set-up' which helped us organise and time our shots to the music before we edited them together.

The programme we used: Adobe Premiere CS5

For our official band photoshoot, which produced images for the album and website, we used a Sony DSC H40 digital camera, in addition to three point lighting. The ability to look over photos we had just taken was helpful in improving our shots, and the good lighting minimised the time I had to spend editing the images in Adome Photoshop CS5.1. Photoshop was also the programme we used to design the album.


For our website, we used, as it provides a vast range of features for site building, such as active links, galleries, and the ability to embed videos, photos and twitter feeds (follow us at @thedropoutsuk !). The site allowed us to make a detailed band website, as seen at

Technology in Evaluation Stages

Posts were put up on the school's Intranet System to advertise the music video audience screenings, which occured in the Seward Studio, which this time was set up as a cinema.
Our Intranet System, which contains a news feed

 Using an overhead projector, we screened the video onto white canvass. After this, we uploaded our video to youtube, and from there shared it across facebook, twitter and tumblr to collect feedback.
Recent tweets from the Dropouts @thedropoutsuk on twitter. If you look further down the timeline, you spot Pandora arguing with @burningcarrecords, and @thedropoutsxen having a bass-off with the XYZs.

Goin' Down on Youtube

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Question 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Recap on our target audience

Girls aged between 13-20
Very tech savvy
Beginning to rebel from authorities figures, i.e. school, parents
Beginning to start relationships
Looking for new genres of music in order to gain some individuality

Secondary Audience
Boys aged 13-20
50 + both genders, who liked bands such as The Runaways

See below for highlights from our focus group research.

We also took a wider sample of responses using a paper questionnaire, which meant that people could give feedback more anonymously. This was helpful as it meant that we could be given more critical feedback this way. Click this images to see some responses.

The feedback questionnaire applicants were of both gender and aged between 15 and 18. The responses were fairly similar, which suggests that we managed to target the average teenager accurately, as they understood our intentions with the video.

Out of ten, we managed an average rating of 7.7, which means that although there were elements we could have improved, it still successfully impacted on our primary audience.

The genre was correctly identified by everyone as rock, although there were some variations on the type of rock music - answers ranged to punk-rock to alternative-rock.

When asked what they liked about the video, common responses included 'the content of the video matched the song', 'the pace', and 'the different set-ups', especially the boyfriend shots, as several of them mentioned our slo-mo falling shot at the drop in the music. They agreed that it was similar to a real video, I suspect because we complied to a lot of the conventions of rock music videos. Most said that they would consider buying the album as long as the other tracks were of the same standard, which we found interesting as most of them were male, meaning that the video appears to be accessible to both genders. All of them said they would expect to see this video on the MTV music channels.

We also posted a questionnaire online, and asked some people that were outside of the main target audience to proved feedback. Examples of responses can be seen if you click the image below. (apologies for the rick-roll, it's the inevitable result of posting anything on facebook)

Some feedback that I was really happy about were the responses on whether they would buy the album, particularly the third point. One of the issues with the band that sing this song, is that the music is good but the lead singer isn't very likable to teenage girls, which should be the main target audience. For an example, read the following interview. In our case, it appears that we have completed our aim of accurately targeting the 13-18 audience, as they like the image of the band far more than the Pretty Reckless.

Question 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

We felt that the combination of our main product (the music video) and the ancilliary texts (the website and the album cover) were successful in projecting a firm band image. We created a brand identity by carrying over certain elements throughout all three products, such as band members, their individual characteristicscolour scheme, font, record label and music.

The Dropouts as a band
Across our three products we used images of the same four band members, in order to help the audience identify the band. This is especially important for us as our band was supposed to be debuting in the british music scene, and therefore the potential audience cannot be expected to already recognise the individual members. As a result, we spent considerable time on the the webiste creating identities for each member, which reflected in the video and album cover.

In the website bio, Pandora Hart, the lead vocalist, is depicted as a fierce female character, so we also showed this attitude throughout the photos of her on the site. In the music video, the definining characteristic is that she is beating up a male character which strengthens this identity of a strong female figure. Conventionally in rock bands, the lead singer will be given greater focus than the rest of the musicians, so in the video she is given the most screentime, a lot of which is filmed in CU, in order to cement her appearance in the mind of the audience. Because of this, we also used her more prominently on the album cover, as she is the most identifiable band member. The front image of the album cover also refers directly to the events of the song, as it replicates a mugshot, following the music video in which she has supposedly killed her boyfriend, as implied by the presence of a coffin.

We wanted to create an enigma when it came to our bassist, Xen. The text in the website bio explains this, and a lot of the images featured of him are not too clear, building on this mysterious identity. The only shots of him in the video, and the other male members of the band, are performance shots, which ties in with the website representation of them being solely interested in the music. We also featured a video interview of Xen, where we saw his social indifference in action.

As the lead guitarists of rock bands stereotypically have a reputation of being 'ladies men', we enhanced this identity with AJ Vyper, using photos that were slightly more revealing than the other two. The opening shot of 'Goin' Down' is of Vyper playing an electric guitar, which cements the  rock music genre for the band.
On the back cover, Pandora and Vyper are centralised, as conventionally the lead singer and guitarist are the focal points of a rock band.

With our drummer, Johnny Sparks, we used images of him throughout the website holding drumsticks, as it is a little harder to show what his function in within the band, as it's not very useful to take every picture with a drumkit. With all four members, we used similar clothing in the music video, album and website, so that the style of the band is constant - the colour black features prominently as it is a common colour for rock music.

Examples of Synergy

As stated before, the album cover directly ties in with the music video, as the mugshot image is relevant to the murder theme of the song. In some long shots, it is possible to see the skull logo from the inside cover on the bass drum, which heightens band identity. Our band members each have an individual colour scheme of black and gold, silver and blue for Vyper, Xen, and Sparks respectively.

The main page of the website also contains this colour scheme

However the most predominant colour scheme is black and purple, which iswhat Pandora wears in the video, and several of the photographs - this colour was featured on the album cover and the website, and we managed to create the exact colour by using the code #680363. The industry references on the album and website match - we created the fictional 'burning car records', complete with logo, which is presented on both texts. Naturally, our music video track is listed on the album, and is set as the music player on the website.
The Label info on the website. This can also be seen on the back cover of the album
Getting the audience to invest in the band

It is sad but true that bands don't make it unless they bring in a lot of money from the audiences. For this reason, we included a lot of promotional material for the album 'You'll Love Me When I'm Famous' and the single 'Goin' Down', as well as band merchandise. The music video itself is a promotional tool - by streaming it on tv and online, the audience awareness of the band and their music is lifted. The album contains multiple links to web content, which in turn promotes all the music. Our banner at the top of the page to sell the album contains the same image from the back cover of the album, using syngergy to help the audience link the two. On several pages of the site, for example 'Gallery', we have a advert for the album with links to itunes. The shop provides clothes featuring the short and long band logos, so that the audience has the ability to identify themselves as a fan.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

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

Our group sat down together to discuss the above question. We began with the music video.

Summary Points:

  • Conventional Rock Video
  • Dark colour scheme & lots of performance shots
  • Relationship between lyrics and visuals
  • Relationship between music and visuals - cut to the beat
  • CU of singer acting as visual hook
  • Comparisions to It's My Life
  • Little less responsible band  image, but appealing to teenage audience
  • Breaking editing rules - typical music video convention
  • Concept / fragmented narrative don't link to performance
  • Metaphorical mise-en-scene
  • Alternative gender representation
We then moved onto the website:

Summary Points
  • We stuck to conventional website layouts
  • Different features - music, links etc
  • Traditional pages
  • Brand Image strengthened
  • Opportunities to buy - adverts
  • Challenging conventions in terms of bio - targeting audience not critics / journalists
  • Audience Interactons on different platforms - twitter; comment box
  • Keeping site as a central hub

Summary Points

  • Challenging conventions - competition page - making question appeal to audience
  • Social Networking used to target audience
  • Record Label influence
Discussing the Album

Summary Points
  • Symbolic, artistic front image
  • Using album title in image
  • Industry conventions: Parental Advisory sign, Label details, band contact
  • Making sure whole band is featured - rock is a group genre not solo
  • Logo across all products
  • Colour scheme - similarities between all four pages

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Audience Overview

Our primary target audience are: 
Girls aged between 13 and 20.

Secondary audiences include: 
Boys aged between 13 and 20
Girls aged 10 to 13
Girls aged 20-25
Other rock music fans

Things that girls may experience in their teenage years:

  1. Changes in appearance. This could be hairstyles or colour, body piercings, weight fluctuation, increase in height, or change in fashion.
  2. Rejection of family lifestyle. A stronger focus on friends and social life, less time spent with parents.
  3. Becoming more argumentative, and defending own beliefs and opinions.
  4. Mood swings and magnified emotions.
  5. Experimentation. This could be with drugs, alcohol, sexuality, or lifestyle choices.
A selection of statistics about the target audience
52% of children ages 5-17 who have a TV in their bedroom.
Four out of five teens (17 million) carry a wireless device (a 40% increase since 2004)
Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. 
Among young people, those with poorer grades and lower self-images are most likely to begin using tobacco. 
Young people who come from a low-income family and have fewer than two adults living in their household are especially at risk for becoming smokers.
More than half of teenagers are virgins until they are at least 17 years of age.
More than half (56 percent) of youths age 12-17 reported that marijuana was easy to obtain. 
More than 40% of teens who admitted drinking said they drink when they are upset; 31% said they drink alone; 25% said they drink when they are bored; and 25% said they drink to "get high." 
Hours per day that TV is on in an average home: 7 hours, 12 minutes

From researching the audience, it becomes apparent that the teenage years are a highly transitional time for a person, where they try to find their own identity. Our video should tap into the anxieties that teenagers face, as we are promoting a message of making your own decisions and not conforming to social expectation. As it is the teenage years where people become more rebellious, the should be able to identify with our brand of defiance.

As it is apparent that young people spend a lot of time online, we decided that the internet should be the main platform for promoting our band. Social networking sites such as facebook, twitter and youtube are highly popular with young people, so creating band pages would be beneficial to targeting a young audience, in addition to creating a band website.

Band Image
Our image is based on rebelling against the traditional system, and calling your own shots. As our target audience is predominantly female, we don't intend to style our female singer in a highly provocative way, as this could alienate some of the potential fanbase. However, we do intend to put a focus on the fashion of the band, as this is a core interest of girls of this age group. In many ways the band represents the 'girl power' portrayed by the spice girls, albeit with rock music. This ties in with the teenage desire not to be pidgeonholed into other peoples expectations.