Monday, 15 March 2010


How I have challenged real media products conventions in rock magazines?
Before I started my project, to create a music magazine front cover, contents page and article. I looked at other magazines, the conventions of them and how they will relate to my magazine. I found most of them on Google images and then went to their home pages to find more of the pictures,
These pictures of the Kerrang magazine were exactly what I needed for my front cover inspiration. I realised the conventions of these magazines and other that I found on and other websites I will quote later on. I read both Mojo (2008) and Kerrang (2009) magazines, 6 Mojo and 10 Kerrang in order to see what conventions were needed. My magazine seemed to be aimed at teenagers and young men in their twenties, so I made my age range at 14 to 25, as my magazine has both older and newer music in it.
These magazines use ideology, promoting the cultural value system, which is why they use models on their covers that can attract the audience in. The conventions showed that the magazines only used between three and four colours and only two or three fonts, as I checked through other Kerrang magazines, it being my main style model as it follows the same age range and rock genre as what I wanted for my magazine. It is aimed at teenagers and those ranging from fourteen up to at least twenty-five, largely but not exclusively males. My magazine keeps a lot of the conventions, with my models head over the name of the magazine, I have other simple conventions such as the bar code, the price and the date, the placement of the text, my models have been taken at a medium long shot position just like in most of the other magazines, a medium long shot is the most common of the shots such as the shot on my front cover, contents page and main articles, this stops them from getting into the way of my other stories however still keeps them as the centre and main view on the magazine.
I used three colours for my front cover just like the normal convention such as in Kerrang and Mojo magazines; I also have just used two types of fonts, which are also common in all genres of magazines. For the pictures on my magazine, for them I first had to make sure their was no glare on them and it was in a dark place so my pictures did not have white spots on them of the lights, I first cropped and cut them all out so I knew what I was working .For the pictures on my contents page (shown later) I cut the images out to change their hairstyles and give my ‘producer’ a more important feel, especially since the pose made him seem important, I then sharpened the image, and altered the colour balance in order to turn him from white and pale to a more tanned tone of skin so he looked more like a producer and richer instead of just a pale person with who I took a photo of, a tanned skin makes them look more important. However for my pictures on my main article all I did was crop, cut and sharpen as when looked at they did not need touching up. All of my photos taken are from medium long shots, a few photos I took were from closer and longer but the convention is to have medium long shots for your pictures, unless you’re featuring either just one person or more then three people, as with both you need to be able to fit the page, so with two its better to do the shots from a medium long range in order to fit more on.
How does my media product represent social groups?
My magazine has an age range of twelve to twenty-one, this makes my magazine perfect as it really does appeal to this age range, it is mainly looking at men/boys of these ages and with my main story models being men they will aspire to be like them. They come from a working class and this represents working class young males in a positive light, showing that anyone can rise to be great and achieve success; the readers will also be sympathetic towards them because of their personal life and upbringing, they are down to earth and easy for my audience to relate to because of there working class background and 'everyday' clothing. They had struggled with all sorts of problems in their life and had in this not long lost their grandmother, this puts them in a very positive light, some readers may even sympathise with them, making them the perfect role models for the readers. The price of the magazine is also within a good range for my target audience as £2.50 seems within a reasonable price for them, as many may not have the best income, especially those who are unable to get jobs, my survey provided the evidence that this price was reasonable for my type of magazine, there is also enough in the magazine to last them until the next issue without spending to much of their money to get it, although it seems a lot for a weekly magazine you get more information than Kerrang and a more wider range of music to select from and read. Also with it being a once a week magazine they do not have to long to wait to see the latest news and have enough information to talk with their friends about during the week period, I decided on a weekly magazine as in my surveys it showed that this was the best choice. This magazine would compete with the likes of Kerrang, which is weekly, and Mojo, which is monthly, those who were my style models.

What institution might describe my media product and why?
Because it is most like Kerrang I would choose the most influential and biggest distributor, Bauer Media a private company that deals with distributing magazines throughout Europe, in Germany, France and Spain however they also publish in the USA China and Russia. Bauer publishes all the best magazines especially when it comes to rock, with Kerrang and Mojo, the biggest three in rock magazines and because they publish these there is a high chance that they will publish my media project as it follows all the same conventions and genre. It will also be competeting against them at the same time and to Bauer this is perfect as it means that their magazines will be sold a lot quicker and in more numbers as the competition will draw in the reader as it fights to beat the other magazines. My magazine is weekly and cheaper, it appeals to the audience with weekly news of downloads and will increase Bauer’s profits.
Who would be the target audience?
When I was deciding my main audience for my magazine, I chose males 14-25, this is because I looked at as many rock magazines as I could find possible and whom they featured in them, I also observed the other people who looked at or bought these magazines. I realised that a lot of them were between the 14 to 25 mark, however there were those who were slightly younger who seemed to like to read all about there favourite bands, even if sometimes they could not always buy the magazines, they liked the occasional one to read. I also noticed that a lot of the buyers were male, only one or two were female, the rest of the females tended to look more towards the lifestyle and fashion magazines such as ‘Heat’ and ‘Closer’, and that the buyers seemed to be from an upper working class background.

Name: Andrew Carroll
Age: 16
Gender: Male
Interests: Music (specifically rock), football, cars
Job/Profession: Sales Assistant/ Student
Income: £200

When I really look close at my audience I think that because it is rock I am expecting them to be probably white lower or middle class. I am going for mainly males and more towards the younger generation, like those who read Kerrang, as it is aimed more towards the adolescent’s, even though another one of my style models ‘Mojo’ is aimed to older men it still gives me what I need to target the 20 year olds as they listen to a lot of the older music. So my age range is between twelve to twenty-one. When I looked at these people I had to think about many things most of which was that a lot of them don’t exactly have the money to spend towards magazines, Kerrang’s price is £2.70 and this is a reasonable price to set as you don’t want it to high such as £5 or too low as you wont gain any real money in, so my price is £2.50 as it means that it can compete with Kerrang which is also published weekly and other magazines and in the end they should choose mine as it basically has the same content for a cheaper price, it may not be much cheaper but the audience will only recognise that mine is cheaper overall. My ideal audience’s main interests will be music, in particular rock, and most likely if there all boys/men, then football, a lot of them will have but still rely on their parents for income, such as maybe £100-200 a week, if they have jobs, they will most likely therefore spend their money on either going out or buying magazines.

How did I attract/address my audience?
When I was thinking about attracting my audience I had to use various techniques. These techniques consisted of the content inside the magazine, the language that is used to pull the reader in, the models that have been used on and in the magazine, the colours and the fonts used. My main story for my magazine is the rise of a new band, it is nothing new but the fact that they rose to the number three spot in such a quick time will shock the reader/audience, drawing them in. Throughout the magazine I used colloquial language; this is because it is shown that talking more informally to the audience allows them to relate to the magazine so they are more likely to buy it. This is using Blumler and Katz's uses and gratifications (1974) they saw that media generally seek to gratify, personal identity, which is exploring or reinforcing our own values through comparison with others values and Surveillance which is the need for a constant supply of information about what is happening in the world, so in my case what is going on in the music world. The colours in my magazine, the blacks and whites, have connotations of masculinity and allow the males to identify with the magazine and there ‘black and white’ rock based lifestyles. I also surveyed my target audience to find out what they wanted in a magazine and I looked at other successful magazines, Kerrang and Mojo in order to look how to appeal to my target audience.
Our survey research showed us that the rock magazines are a predominantly male genred with predominantly male followers and featuring males, this will allow my audience to relate to the magazine and encourages them to buy it.

My models for the magazine are around the same age to my target audience so this will appeal to my audience and draw them further in. The main characters ages are meant to be older then that of the reader as they will see them as someone to aspire to and try to relate to their situation as well as wanting to become what they have become. I also thought about adding in more adds or promotions to my magazine; however I did not want something on the front page taking up to much room so instead I chose to put in a Linkin Park poster inside so that they would have something else in the magazine
to get, wanting them to buy it that little more, I chose Linkin Park as
recently there album has become I great seller and is very high up in the charts.

What have I learnt from the process of creating this product?
At the beginning I knew nothing about adobe Photoshop, or about digital photography, however throughout my projects I learnt about certain techniques on adobe such as rendering the pictures and air brushing them to make them look more effective on my magazine especially the cover, using air brush can correct some faults, not with the picture but with the model themselves, such as little imperfections that seemed to stand out and not seem right. I also learned about different angles in which to take pictures such as long angle shots and medium close up's. I also was able to find perfect lighting conditions, and background conditions so that there wouldn’t be any glair or light problems on my pictures, this would be a problem when it came to rendering them as the light would cover the models face and would be almost impossible to remove this light. However there were some problems with lighting, I managed to see it on the pictures and go back to change the areas around so that the glare would not come up again. On Adobe I started off not even knowing how to cut out pictures or create a background now I can create full magazine covers with very limited problems. For my contents Picture of my models I cut the images out to change their hairstyles and give my ‘producer’ a more important feel, especially since the pose made him seem important, I then sharpened the image, and altered the colour balance in order to turn him from white and pale to a more tanned tone of skin so he looked more like a producer and richer instead of just a pale person with who I took a photo of, a tanned skin makes them look more important. I have also learnt how to use the blog, it has allowed me to combine images and text and become a producer of a media artefact that can be seen and commented on by a worldwide audience.

Looking back at my preliminary task, what do I feel I have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
When I look at my preliminary task I now that my knowledge has increased a lot since then. When doing my preliminary task I did not study any conventions of magazines, however this time I did a thorough study of magazines. I had to study about what will attract people and my target audience with my main magazine. For my main magazine I also had to think about what my competition would be, as I would have to match and beat those competitors. When I look at the preliminary task compared to my main magazine I can see the style of it and the practical aspects, my main magazine is a lot more stylish and has the better look and feel of an actual magazine. For the practical side of things I looked at the colour and the fonts and styles of language that could be used to make the photos more effective and make my magazine look more professional. I figured all of this out thanks to researching it all; also my production skills have improved as well as my understanding of conventions and of the magazine market. For my pictures, I have learnt about image manipulating and air brushing to render the pictures and make them look more authentic and add any tiny details that cannot be added without the technology, such as how to blur an image or to change the colour tones to remove any light problems from glare of the sun.
I managed to get some very positive comments from my target range audience, here are a few of them; Garry Anderson 19 said ‘ This is a very bold magazine, it really speaks to me and I would think that I would buy it ‘, he also mentioned ‘It is very loud, the picture on the front captured my eye and the story that comes with it really intrigues me’, Sam Marshal 17 said ‘I think it looks very good, and with all that you get in it, the price seems actually very fair‘. They were all very good comments and showed me how my magazine faired in the real world.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

I have been re-doing my evaluation for the 3rd time