Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Evaluation Question 3 - What Have You Learned from your Audience Feedback?

I have collected audience feedback, as it is vital to see whether I have targeted my project at the right audience in the right way. Firstly, we asked media students for their feedback, as although they may not fit into my chosen target audience, they can give critical responses more detailed than non media students. They were all asked two questions, one about the lip sync, and one about the whether the video suited the genre of the song.

Overall, the general consensus is that the lip syncing was feasible, but that the acting was unenthusiastic. Another comment said the lip syncing looked unrealistic, as the acting looked flat. I think this is a fair point to make, as the acting was poor. However, many people thought the video suited the genre, as they felt the more comedic elements such as using Guitar Hero controllers matched well with the song, as it’s a cover. Metal cover versions of songs are usually seen as not being serious, as they are usually performed by the band just for fun. Finding this funny requires a a basic knowledge of Guitar Hero. This is an example of the audience having the right cultural capital, which is a theory developed by Pierre Bourdieu, which is whether or not certain knowledge is known within social groups. This collective of information within a social can come from a wide variety of sources, though Pierre Bourdieu claims much of it comes from institutionalised. For example, learning good manners or proper etiquette are learnt within our culture at an early age. Cultural capital can also be at a much more local level, such as knowledge of a more niche pastime, such as video games or comics. In this example, the audience is expected to understand the social contexts of Guitar Hero and similar games, such as the backlash by musicians claiming people should learn to play a real instrument instead of a simulation.

I also asked people who are not media students, as their opinions are more important, as they view it from an outside perspective. Among the various replies, this paragraph was one of the most critical.
"While you do have some good camera angles and movements (such as the shots down the guitars and the tracking shot of bob), most seem very stationary and bland. You do have some camera in hand stuff, but it’s still lacking movement. And I don't think that random bit of black and white worked too well."Specifically, the comment about how the video seemed "stationary" is important. This refers to the use of a tripod throughout the video, instead of using a handheld camera, which is more comment for videos using heavier songs such as the one I used. The reason we shot using a tripod was mainly for practical reasons, as it allowed us to set up multiple cameras at one time. However, if I were to redo this video, I would use handheld cameras throughout, or apply a shake effect in post-production. Other comments later agreed on the lack of motion within the video. This is not a good example of an audience member misinterpreting the preferred reading of the video, as it is more of a technical criticism.

The same reply also went on to comment further:
"And I don't think that random bit of black and white worked too well." Noting this, I would have toned down the black and white clips, limiting only to select parts of the song, such as the breakdowns. However, the black and white footage was used to help give areas like the breakdown a stronger sense of contrast and give the constantly changing footage more impact. I would say this response was an aberrant reading of the text, as the misunderstanding led to them finding less pleasure in the music video.

It is worth noting no responses expressed confusion in the use of the Guitar Hero game, which shows the understanding of at least the general idea of the game is known within the target audience's cultural capital.

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