There are many music videos which show sensual females however very often these females are then shown being close with males and the male figures being protective over the female and holding her in a very stereotypical romance way however our video aims to show the strength of the female over the male, there are some songs in pop music today that have lyrics and aspects that represent powerful strong women such as Jessie J’s song, Do It Like A Dude where Jessie J is grabbing her crotch and wearing her hat low like a man however whilst performing in the video she is still conforming to stereotypical views of a female pop star, dancing quite sexually with bold makeup and revealing outfits. We used aspects of modern pop videos such as the deatailing on the lips of the performer which has become like a trademark for Jessie J. This adds glamour and depeneding on the colour of the lips, dark purple can make the performer seem gothic and quite deadly while red lips may represent lust and romance. There  is quite a large divide in pop stars in the modern day for ones that are trying to appeal to men in their videos through what they wear and their movements on screen whilst there are some that are challenging the conventions of a stereotypical pop star, such a Lady Gaga who though her crazy outfits and style and love for everything wacky detract men, along with pop stars such as La Roux. We wanted to go down this route and produce a video that sometimes is similar to the likes of Beyonce and Rhianna but then also bring in parts that are the total opposite this is how we thought of using the same female as a very femanine character as well as quite a masculine one. In our video we are challenging the approach of having a very “pleasing to the eye” female in a music video which has become the norm in popular music videos today and stripping our performer from any thing glamourous from make up to costume. One costume we chose to use is a mans suit with bowler hat and bow tie, suits for women have become very popular and we see it quite a lot in the media.

trouser suits can be seen on the catwalk, on celebrities and in Lady Gaga's music video

We have used many jump cuts in our video, this gives a very jerky effect that is a popular technique in music videos, it can look edgy and modern. The inspriation for the jump cuts in our video came from the fast and jerky movements of vampires that are seen in the huge global giant that is the Twighlight films. There are strong women in twightlight that are deadly to males and have super fast movements, while the vampire is usually dangerous films such as Twighlight and the other numerous programmes such as True Blood( for which the advert below takes the classically sexual picture of juicy red lips and perfect white teeth but giving it a vampiric edge) that are to do with vampires portray the female vampires as quite sexual with long flowing hair, piercing eyes and animalistic charateristics. We wanted to give this effect to Jess, not by giving her razor sharp canines but making her move jerkily and excentuating her pale face and dark hair in post production.

The colour red is often used as a statement colour in many aspects of media, from films to TV to music videos, it has lots of meaning and is often a colour to describe lust, love and passion or danger, violence and death.

The long red dress represents and ultra femanine look and we then contrast it with the black suit which is very mush related to men. Most popualar female artists have very suggestive moves in their music videos, often caressing their own bodies and making questional hip movements and this has now become the norm with artists such as Britney and JLo, here is an example of this in JLo’s I’m Into You:

In our music video we didn’t want to conform to this so we used a sort of alter ego to our performer, who acts in a lot more of a scruffy way that is often related to men. We have seen Lady Gaga in the media with her masculine alter ego and we watched the movements on Jo Calderone in the video ‘You and I’. In this video Jo (Lady Gaga) is in a stained and grubby white tshirt, smoking a cigarette with greasy slicked back (Danny from Grease style) hair. He often has his shoulders hunched over, spits onto the floor and is very ungraceful, this is the kind of effect we wanted for Jess’s alter ego.

In our video Jess is wiping her nose with her hand and itching however in most conventional videos the man is very handsome and appealing with slick movements that would be appealing to females, this tends to be in pop music videos. Whereas in more Indi music and heavy metal the men are much more scruffy, with an unshaven face and tend to have a bit more of a ‘rough and tumble’ vibe.

This is more the type of male we are aiming for in our music video, one that might not be as appealing for most girls however does have an audience of people that are into his (Pete Doherty) music and style.

In many pop videos today the women wear very little clothes and show lots of flesh but we wanted to make Jess more sophisticated as we are trying to show that Jess is a strong and independent woman and that she is not just trying to appeal to men. There are many women that are like this and despite not showing off lots of flesh are still known for being very sexy women and a good representation for women. Icons that both men and women can adore, such as Audrey Hepburn. This is the type of woman we wanted to portray Jess as and we did this through the outfits she wears and the way she moves. Jess’s moves are quite slow and sensual but not so suggestive like many artists such as Britney and Rhianna. When Jess is wearing the long red dress we had her moving slower and more sophisticated than when she is dressed in a short black dress and red high heels.

Many artists have developed trade marks that they have played upon and used to make fans and get into the public eye and have incorporated it into their music videos. They are things that make them noticed, for example JLo’s bottom has become a trademark for her and she is often known as the one with the good behind, she knows this and therefore shakes it about a lot in many of her music videos. Jessie J also has a trade marks and i would say that it is her lip art, in many of her videos she has studs and glitter and multi colours on her lips and if anyone else does it, which they have tried to it doesn’t seem to work. Icons in history such as Marilyn Monroe also had her trade mark stance in the white dress over the air grate and this is often copied and straight away people realise who they are trying to imitate. We have started to try and develop trade marks for Jess however there is no movement or costume that actually defines her and this would have worked well to make the video more memorable.

Overall I think we have challenged the idea that popular music that involves a beautiful women has to include her in tiny outfits and moving in a suggestive way, we have taken ideas from artists such as Lady Gaga who are changing the way we see female artists by creating older egos and being in touch with her masculine side. We are trying to show the strength of the women and that the male doesn’t always have to be holding her up.


Our main media prodcuts focuses a lot on the differences between genders and we needed to carry this on in our ancillary tasks. The main themes in our music video is the contrasting balck, white and red, the femanine movements with the masculine ones and the layering. We researched several images that related to our music video and thought about things that can work as a static image. We ddint want to simply take an image from the music video as the quality of the images we could get from the video aren’t as good as what we could acheive from doing a totally new photoshoot.

We looked at the outfits we had used for the music video and found something similar that would look effective on a picture. Instead of a red dress we used a long black one which looks a lot more gothic, we also used dark purple lipstick that is also quite gothic and deadly. We also use the fact that Jess’s hair is very dark long in the music video quite a lot by putting it in different styles. When doing the photoshoot we took lots of images on Jess throwing her hair about. This makes for a very striking image one that becomes more 3 dimensional as there is movement in the shot and you can tell that she wasn’t static. We focus a lot on movement in the video so the CD will suggest this. A recurring theme in our music video is the use of the colours red black and white as these colours are very vampiric and can look either modern or old and gothic when put together. Despite this we haven’t included the red as much in our ancillary products, I think if we had had Jess with red lips this would have been unorigional as red lips are always used on women to suggest sensulaity however we wanted to have an element of deadliness so used dark purple lipsitck which makes Jess look even paler. As Jess flicked her hair her hands are in a position of authority that suggests she is allmighty and powerfull and not trying to hide away, this is also what we have done in our music video, Jess does moves that are big and bold that show off her power.

Our initial ideas to have a image that was more literal to the title of the song where they was a deadly female that has power over a female however we then decided on having a more simple one as the concept and look of our video was only simple and we never really had a very busy shot. I think that an audience would put together our video, CD cover and poster but maybe only becasue Jess in on all of them, I think that we may have made our anciallry tasks too modern for our music video as our song and video is quite old fashioned as our song ‘Female of the Speceies’ is from the 1990’s and video is quite noisey and blurred which gives it a retro 90’s vibe. Then our ancillary tasks have turned our to be quite modern, having said this many older CD covers that is they were used for a current album they would automatically make it modern.

There are several things that link our products together from the gems on the lips to the bowler hat, I think the products work together very well as, combined, they create a whole identity and vibe that is obviously about sensual females, I think that a sketchy design for the CD cover or magazine article would not have suited the video as the video is quite mature and doesnt really suit the playful style of a sketchy design. I don’t think that a painted design would work either as the era that the song was bought out the CD covers were more graphic images rather than paintings and we don’t want to get rid of our interesting factor that we chose not to use a modern song as this has helped us choose our target audience and how to portray our characters. I think that a kaleidoscope design could have worked for our ancillary products as we used alot of layering in our video as this looks very effective and can create interesting patterns and imagery so the use of patterns in our CD cover could have worked quite well. I did choose to include layering in one of our magazine advert designs, I layered the two images we have used for our CD cover and back cover for the magazing an layered them on top of eachother and reduced the opacity on the close up image of Jess in the bowler hat, this made Jess look as if she has hair over her eyes like huge eyebrows and a colourful beaded necklace where the gems on boy Jess’ lips and on the neck of girl Jess. I like the way new shots and patterns can be made through layering. As our video is quite simple we didn’t want to use fancy writing that took attention away from the imagery as in our video we didn’t want to include a big story line that would take attention away from Jess’s costumes and mise-en-scene.

Overall I think the combonation of our music video and ancillary tasks works very well as despite the background in the music video being dark and quite gloomy and our ancillry products haveing a crisp white background the contrast of atmosphere can relate to the contrast between the two types of character in our video,  the use of mise-en-scene such as gems and the bowler hat link the video to the products making them a very effective and eye catching group.

To start with we asked an audience of adults such as our mums and dads and older friends to view our music video to get different perspectives on it. The feedback from out younger audience showed us that the song was not popular with teens as it is not of their era and they can’t enjoy our video if they are put off by the song. People of a different generation of music may enjoy the song better as they might recognise it.  This is the feedback we got:

1. Did you enjoy the music video?

Well this is pretty positive, it makes our initail thoughts clear that our video is suited to an older audience. We need to think or reaons why the 25% didn’t like the video, was it becasue they got bored and thought that technically the video wasn’t good or they just didn’t like the song. In theory we could have chosen s song that would suit a wider reange of people and ages however we wanted to try something that we aren’t familiar with and that we wouldn’t choose to listen too. We wanted to go out of our comfort zone and these figures show that we may have pulled it off. We realise that it isn’t going to be too eveeryones taste as some videos I watch, I like and some I don’t it just depends on the person. We tried to think of everyone, for exmaple having a seductive female may appeal to the male audience as many female artists of today take this approach in their videos of writhing around on the floor however we wanted our female to be strong and dominant, this would appeal more to the female audience.

2. Did the pace of editing suit the style of the song?

I was quite hard to edit to the beat with our music video, however there were some bits in the song where a turn of her head or a jump cut could go with the beats that were at the end of each chourus, during the slower and more powerful bits of the song we wanted to keep the movements flowing as we used lots of jump cuts in other places and didn’t want the video to be repetative. We tended to keep editing at the end of lines in the song rather than with the beat which may have been a mistake. However more than half of the audience said they felt it was edited to the beat which is good as sometimes our video suited longer shots of her movements rather than fast paced editing.

3. What age of person would you target this video at?

The song female of the species was bought out in 1996 so if people who were around 25 heard the song and became a fan of it in 1996 then that would mean we need to target at around 40 year olds. We did try to cater for our age group as well however it was hard as it seemed if they didn’t like the song then they instantly took no interest in the video. There are aspects of the video that our age group would enjoy as the performer is of a similar age to them however I think the song put them off. We should use this information that more than half of the older people that viewed our video believed it suited best 30+ year olds to help with our CD cover and magazine adervtisements as picking the right imagery and font could help to atrract the target age we want to sell to. However this result that not all under18’s wouldn’t like this video as more and more genres of music is being invented so people are beginning to diversify their choice of music which could work in our favour.

4. What aspect of the music video did you enjoy most?

This is quite a positive result as we did try to focus a lot on costume changes and making what she is wearing a big part of the shot. However obviously we didn’t have as many resources as a porfessional producer would have such as a huge wardrobe with numerous different styles and looks or professional make up artists or hair stylists along with many hours to film the video. We were only able to hire the video out for a couple of hours at a time, and we was able to incorporate a few of my dancing costumes into the video. As we only had a simple location we needed to work hard with the mise en scene and Jess’s acting to make the video work well. You can see in many pop videos such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga that there are so many costume changes and every single one is so detailed and interesting too look at, everything has been carefully thought about from the eye make up to the footwear and that is what we wanted to do for our video. We was very fortunate to have Jess in our video as she is very comfortable behind the camera and was good at the movements as a male as well as female. She has the look we wanted of seductive and vampire like with pale skin and dark hair whcih we enhanced in editing. It may be that what you see on screen is more important than how you see it on screen as in the composition and camera angles to the everyday public.

5. Do you think there was a clear representation of the power of the female over males in this video?

This is a postive response to this question as really this is what it’s all about. The title being female of the species and nearly all the lyrics about the power of the female ae “when a girl like you has cast a spell on me”, “one kiss and I’m zapped” all lead back to the females power. However I believe we could have done more towards pushing the meaning of the song out to the audience by including  things to do with females having power over males in nature such as the black widow spider who is often shown in documentaries as deadly insect with no fear of the males, it is often found that the female of an animal is bigger than the female, we could have included something to do with this however it is something to think about when producing our CD cover, while remembereing to link to our video.

6. Do you think there was a wide enough range of camera shots used?

We did need to focus a lot on camera work as our location is so simple. I think we could have used more camera angles however we was limited with height, it may have been beneficial to take a step ladder to our shotting location so we could ahve got a better range of shot heights and angles. We used many close up shots to show the detail of her facial expressions and make up. We did use the dolly however the floor was quite uneven so we used mats to get a smoother shot. 65% of positive feedback it quite a good result however I can see ways of improving the range of camera angles. I think it is of the upmost importance that we made everything on the screen interesting to make up for the lack of interesting location.

Overall we recieved some positive feedback and I have learnt that is was beneficial to spend lots of time on costume changes as this is what the majority of the audience liked most. I have also learnt that we could improve on the pace of the editing as 30% of the audience thought the editing didn’t suit the song. We have also founf out the age group we need to target, 30+, as they are more familiar with the song. This will help us decide how to go about advertising our video through the magazine advert and CD cover, I think we need to take aspects of CD covers from the mid 90’s to appeal to the age group we are targeting at.

Our main source of research for our music video was the internet however before we had even chosen our song we looked through our music devices such as ipods for what kind of music took our fancy and what song we could use that we liked but we wouldnt get too sick of listening too. Ipods enable us too listen too any music we want and have many good and bad points. Downloading music to put onto ipods have meant a decline in the CD industry hence why CD covers have got more and more innovative and tactile. The CD era took over from LP’s which along with the radio were at one point the only wany of listening to your favourite music and this poses an often asked question of is the experience of listening to music become less special as it becomes so much easier too do? However as LP’s are now a lot rarer and people are finding it fashionable to be in a niche market and have begun to buy them more meaning as they are now “cool” too have as having just an ipod is too common so there could be hope for the LP.

So looking through my ipod is a very quick and easy way of finding songs that we thought would be good to make a music video too. Using YOUTUBE we searched for videos that inspired us and we thought were extremely effective, there are many ways of seeing music videos, on the computer on the TV there are many music channels devoted to showing non stop music videos and using an Ipod/Ipad so it was pretty simple to get our hands on pleanty of music videos.

After choosing Female Of The Species I looked on their website to see what their vibe is like and to see what other songs they have and look at their discography. Websites are a very simple and easy way of finding information out about bands and what going on, they are a super quick way of updating fans about tour dates and new songs however the Space website wasn’t too up to date as Space were no longer a band when we were researching.

Researching and planning didn’t involve that many new media technologies, mostly just the internet and our brains, however as we began to construct our music video we were using a lot of technology some we could manage and some we couldn’t. As music videos focus a lot on the quality of the shot so that all details of the mise-en-scene are extremely clear this meant that the lighting had to be top quality, we needed more than just the media lighting so we got hold of some industrial sized lights that would give life to the dark places we were planning on filming in. Obviously light isn’t exactly the newest thing in the world however the way it is used is constantly being adapted and the thought put into lighting is increasing, we used these lights to create shadows and outlines.

We have learnt from filming previous footage that having two cameras can make everything a whole lot easier as continuity can be mastered a whole lot easier and you can pick and choose between angles that look best. At the begging of filming we tried to use my camera which is a Fuji Finepix s200 EXR which is brilliant for taking pictures however after time without a HD setting for recording movies we found that the shot was often very noisy and not as clear as we would have liked.

This camera is only 12 mp as it wasn’t bought recently and with the crazy pace of constantly improving camera technology it has already become dated but will still be useful for the ancillary products. Like many things in this day and age buy something new a year later there will be versions ten times better, it has become very hard to keep up with media technology without breaking the bank. The school cameras shot a better image than mine so we used that to film most of the music video sometimes using the fuji alongside. We also attempted to use a steadicam which despite being invented in 1976 have adapted and evolved to become a brilliant media technology.

There are many tutorials on the internet to help us get the hang of using it but we only managed to get about half an hour of practise compared to the years of practice professionals have. We did try to use the steadicam during the constrsuction process however we didn’t manage to get any useable footage using it, hopefully now we know the absolute basics of using one we will eventually be sucessful using one as the outcome can be very impressive.

Steadicam is a brand of camera stabilizing mount for motion picture cameras that mechanically isolates it from the operator’s movement, allowing for a smooth shot even when moving quickly over an uneven surface”

We also wasn’t using the most appropriate location to put a steadicam to full use as the theatre was onlu small and no long smooth movements could really be made without running into a chair or something. We also used a tripod to make our footage smooth, for some shots we mounted the tripod on a dolly so that we could do some long panning movements circling around Jess wshilst she was dancing, many of our shots were very static so we had to do lots of work in post production to make our video work and look interesting.

We used many new media technologies in the editing of our music video, we used programmes such as final cut and mpeg streamclip to convert our footage to make it work on final cut. We have now had lots of experience of using this software, we aren’t quite geniuses on it however our skills have developed and we have learn’t lots of new techniques and we used many of these in our music video.

Our video is very playful with editing and we could mess around with effects and layering to create the look we wanted. We didn’t want to make our video look at all tacky but we did want to make it look cool and stylized. Here are some of the techniques we used throughout our video:

We also introduced ourselves to photoshop and we realised that it’s not at all like paint. We needed to use photoshop to create our ancillary products which was our CD front cover, back cover and insert and magazine article. We started out reserching other products on the internet. We looked at a BBC article of the best album art of 2011, this is an example of convergence of media in the online age where newspapers and magazines are now avaliable on the internet creating a whole new experience but maybe loosing its inital attraction of something that is physically there to read on the go that is freshly printed keeping you up to date with goings on. Anyway this article gave emaples of CD artwork that works very well. We could get inspiration from these and see how modern artists present there work and how album covers are constructed.

This is where we found the Cults CD cover which inspired us to use the technique of capturing a movement in a picture in this case the hair.

We then did a photoshoot with Jess using the Fuji camera which captured some brilliant images that we was sure would work for our CD art. We then started the construction process using photoshop whcih once we got the hang of using it went quite swimmingly. We used tools such as:

Throughout all stages of the making of the music video and the evaluation I have used this wordpress blog to record whats been going on and how the video has progressed how I have used other artists work to inspire me. A blog is a relatively new media technology  that came about in the late 1990’s and are an interactive journal and has become a way for many people to express themselves in a way more exciting than just writing them on paper. Having a blog has enabled me to show videos and pictures that relate to my work and has helped me realise the progress I have made in a fun and unique way.